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Thread: Sunlight Bleak

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Sunlight Bleak

    Howdy y'all! I recently stumbled upon an old fanfiction that I started a while back and while it's still early, I found a new sense of inspiration from reading it and thought I'd share it everywhere I could to (hopefully) entertain as well as get some feedback on how to improve as a writer. With that being said, shall we get started?

    Rating: PG-13 for mild language, mildly suggestive themes, and mild violence

    Synopsis: Team Plasma has succeeded in "liberating" pokemon from their trainers in Unova, but what happens when they set their sights on the liberation of pokemon in the entire world? Follow along as former Trainer Ace WIthrow (along with the help of a certain red-headed fiery gym leader) attempts to right the wrongs that have Team Plasma have wrought upon him.

    Prologue: Fanning the Flames

    Three years.

    When a truce had been reached. A faux settlement signed and sealed on a worthless scrap of paper. Subliminal propaganda fueling the thunderous applause.

    Three years.

    When the phrase "We will create a better Pokemon world for tomorrow starting today!" was plastered across every TV station and heard from radios throughout the world.

    Three years.

    When he was forced to give up his best friend and loyal companion in the name of "science" and the advancement of eugenics.

    Three years.

    Ace Withrow stared at the barren ceiling of his small, unkempt room. Three years...has it really been that long? His hands drifted over his face as he waited for his PokeNav alarm to ring. 8:15 A.M. The time that signified his departure from the land of dreams and his entry into the harsh realities of the real world. Unfortunately for Ace, that time of entry seemed to get earlier and earlier with each passing day. His eyes had snapped open that morning at exactly 6:31 A.M sharp, the bright red digits of his PokeNav still burned in his memory. Countless thoughts and emotions swirled in his mind as he lay there, unaware of the passing seconds. He tried to recall pleasant memories-times spent battling and grinding with his Typhlosion and the rest of his former pokemon. Those recollections were short and fleeting, much like the wisps of smoke from a dying ember.

    He sighed. What time is it?

    BRRRRIIINNGGG BRRRRIIINNGGG! I want to be the very no one ever was! To catch them-

    Just on cue, he thought dryly as he turned the alarm function off. Ace hopped off his bed and stretched out his limbs, wondering what the day had in store for him. He mentally counted off the various tasks that he still had to finish for Professor Elm and groaned. Crap! I think I forgot to feed Chikorita last night before I left the lab...the Professor's going to kill me!

    Lamenting the prospect of yet another lecture from New Bark Town's resident pokemon expert, he rubbed his now suddenly sore temple before shuffling over to the small bathroom adjacently connected to his room. Not more than five minutes later, Ace was freshly showered, clothed, and ready to go. He collected the PokeNav on his nightstand and checked for any new messages he may have gotten over the night. There were none of course.

    He chucked the device into his backpack and hurried downstairs, noting that he was probably going to be late, yet again, to the lab. Just as he was about to exit the front door, a familiar voice called out to him.

    "Honey? Can you come to the kitchen for a second?"

    "Sorry, Mom, I can't! Professor Elm is going to kill me if I'm late again!" One quick twist of the knob and...

    "Don't worry, Ace, that can wait! I've already called him to let him know that you'll be running a little late! There's someone here to see you!"

    Looking between the entrance to the kitchen and the doorknob, Ace shrugged and walked toward the kitchen, wondering who this mystery guest was.

    "Alright, Mom, I'll bite, who's here to see me? Oh and are there any bread rolls left? I'm starving!" yawned Ace, hoping to score a quick bite of breakfast with his newfound bought time.

    "So I see pastry is higher up the totem pole than me eh?" a feminine voice cooed out. Ace's head swiveled instantly, his eyes scanning the room for the source of that familiar tone. They rested on the sight of a slender woman standing next to his mother. Her fiery red hair contrasted nicely with her black, form-fitting crop top shirt and the loose, baggy jeans she wore which left little to the imagination; the outline of her underwear obviously visible.

    The redhead smirked. "So are you just gonna stand there and eyeball me up all day, in front of your mother might I add, or are you going to say hello?"

    "Flannery Faren. It's been a while."

    "That doesn't really count as a hello in my book," she chuckled sarcastically. "But I'll take it I guess. How have you been, Ace?"

    Before Ace could reply, his mother cleared her throat, "Oh my look at the time! My favorite show should be on now. I'll be in the living room if you two kids need me!" And with that she was gone, faster than an Accelgor at the race track. Ace simply laughed and shook his head, Flannery letting out a slight giggle of her own.

    "So what are you doing here, Flannery? I didn't think gym leaders got much time off."

    "They don't usually, or at least I don't think they do." Her expression quickly turned somber.

    "Don't tell me...Plasma?"

    "Viva Liberation eh?" Flannery chuckled dryly as she adjusted the loose belt buckle barely holding up her pants. "Apparently there was some hush-hush agreement made between Ghetsis and Maxie. A sort of mutual defense pact I guess you could say."

    Ace suddenly felt lightheaded, leaning against the wall to prevent himself from falling. Flannery looked on, concern evident on her face. "I know, Ace. I know. I didn't want to believe it either, but when that League official...what am I saying? When that League pawn showed up with a briefcase and a check, I knew I'd be out of the game for a while-at least in Hoenn."

    "...I can't believe it." sputtered Ace, suddenly feeling the throbbing in his temple from earlier. "Those bastards weren't content with trapping Unova?"

    Flannery took a seat in the chair next to Ace, putting a warm, comforting hand on his shoulder. "Apparently not. That's part of the reason why I'm here." Ace turned to his friend, curiosity tinged in his eyes. "Ever since Team Magma defeated Team Aqua and destroyed the Blue Orb, they've had a stranglehold on League policies. Things were alright early on, especially once they came to their damn senses and realized that drying up all the oceans would kill everyone, including themselves, but lately...

    Ring ring ring! Ring ring ring! Phone call Phone call!

    Ace fumbled in his pocket for his PokeNav before looking apologetically to Flannery. "Do you mind if I take this? It's from Professor Elm."

    "Not at all, in fact can you put it on speaker?"

    "Sure, no problem." Ace accepted the call and hit the speaker icon on the PokeNav touch screen.

    "Ace? Are you there?"

    "I'm here, Professor, what's wrong? Why do you sound so jumpy?"


    Ace exchanged a worried glance with Flannery. "Professor Elm? This is Flannery Faren from Lavaridge Town speaking, what's the problem?"

    "Oh hello, Flannery! I didn't know you were visiting...uh...wait what? What do you mean the transfer isn't working? That's impossible!"

    "Professor? What's going on?"

    "Oh! Flannery, Ace, can you two please quickly come over to the lab? I...I don't know what to do..."

    Just as Ace was about to pester Professor Elm with more questions, Flannery got up and shouted, "Don't worry, Professor, we're on the way!" before ending the call and shoving the PokeNav into his hands. "Come on let's go!"

    Unable to offer a retort, Ace let himself be dragged out the door by the red-haired gym leader, the pair heading off in the direction of Professor Elm's laboratory.
    Last edited by timberwolfv1; 2nd March 2015 at 5:33 AM.
    "Are you feeling it now, Mr. Krabs?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015


    Next chapter incoming!

    Chapter 1: The Unknown Plan

    "Oh thank goodness you're here!"

    Professor Elm offered a forced smile to his two guests, half-heartedly adjusting the numerous wrinkles on his worn out lab coat.

    "What happened here Professor? I swear I cleaned up before I left last night and now it looks like a stampede of Tauros ran through here!"

    "Ah well you see," started the professor as he tiredly sat down on a nearby office chair. "I just recently received a call from the Johto police force. They informed me that a contingent of Kanto officials are on their way here from Tohjo Falls."

    "Kanto officials?" Flannery threw up her hands and laughed, eliciting quizzical looks from both Ace and Professor Elm. "So you're getting yet another prestigious award in some field of pokemon research right?" The gym leader shook her head. "You didn't have to scare us like that by pretending to be in trouble and getting us all worked up about it!"

    The professor sighed, taking off his glasses to massage his eyelids. "Believe me I'd be happy if all they wanted was to sit down for some coffee." He offered a wry smile, the wrinkles on his face betraying his advanced age. "But this little rendezvous is not good news I'm afraid. You see, it appears that private pokemon researchers are being phased out in favor of corporate institutions."

    Flannery blinked. "You mean like universities? Those have been around forever though."

    "Not quite. These aren't universities in the sense that they do not enroll any students. From what I understand, a large and influential corporation known as Venice Corp, has been recruiting the top pokemon researchers across the globe."

    Ace shrugged as he leaned against the wall, observing the Mr. Mime wall clock that was clearly set three hours behind. "I still don't see what the big deal is. If anything, this is good news for you Professor Elm. Maybe they want to offer you a job there?"

    "A high-paying job!" chimed in Flannery.

    "That'd be nice and all, but..." Professor Elm motioned for Flannery and Ace to join him near his computer. "I've done some research on this organization online and they've had some very scrupulous dealings in the past. Take a look." With a click of a mouse, a seemingly old news article flashed on the screen.

    "Venice Corp settles deal out of court with Unova League for-" Ace read before being interrupted by his redheaded companion.

    "500 million! Holy Arceus!" Flannery shook her head in disbelief. "That's a lot of dough!"

    "Yes, yes it is. But take a deeper look at this article and you'll see why I have my suspicions."

    "Venice Corp had come under heavy fire for its alleged eugenics program, a claim that was..." Ace paused and shot a glare at Flannery, not wanting another rude interruption. Her response was typical, thought Ace, watching as Flannery stuck her tongue at him playfully. He cleared his throat before continuing, "...A claim that was unable to be verified according to local law enforcement. It appears that Venice Corp was unwilling to go through a lengthy court battle, however, as they paid a settlement fee of approximately 500 million dollars to the Unova League." Ace stopped and scanned the last part of the article, his face contorting in a noticeable frown.

    "You might as well read that last bit out loud Ace." suggested the professor, nodding his head in understanding.

    Ace gritted his teeth. Not those bastards again!


    "Right, sorry Professor. It says here that Venice Corp has long been rumored to have ties with Team Plasma."Ace stared at the computer screen blankly, wondering what it all meant. Evidently, Flannery wondered too, as she mimicked his thoughts vocally.

    "But wait I still don't get it! What does this all have to do with the Kanto officials that are coming to meet with you Professor?"

    "It's pretty simple really. These people are part of Venice Corp."

    A look of surprise washed over both Ace and Flannery's faces. Professor Elm continued to stare stoically at the computer screen.

    "Yes, these people are part of Venice Corp. I don't know how, or even why for that matter, but they've established some sort of footing within Kanto ranks." He sighed, adjusting his glasses again. "The bottom line is that it probably isn't good news for me."

    Flannery began to pace back and forth around the stacks of boxes and books, a nervous expression plastered across her face. Ace braced himself against the wooden desk, attempting to take in all of this new information. For the second time that day, he thought of his old buddy Typhlosion. How he had chosen him as a cute little Cyndaquil right there in the very lab he was now standing in. How he had felt when his mom agreed to let them go on their very own adventure together. And most importantly, how he had protected him from that ingrate Silver.



    "So what's the plan then?" Ace turned expectantly to Professor Elm. "You've got a plan right?"

    "Ah well...I suppose so." He scratched his neck nervously. "To be honest I was expecting something like this to happen, you know involving Team Plasma. I exchanged many emails with Professor Juniper who is more privy to matters such as this than the mainstream media and I could tell that it was only a matter of time before Ghetsis tried to expand his reach, directly or indirectly, into the other regions." He sighed for the upteenth time that morning. "I guess I underestimated that time..."

    Just as Ace was about to reply, a small, green pokemon bobbled into the room, the lone leaf on its head swiveling about slowly.


    Flannery immediately ran over and picked up the alarmed pokemon, hugging it tightly to her chest. "Aww look! It's a cute Chikorita!" The grass-type pokemon struggled to escape Flannery's tight grip, but it was no use. It spotted Ace and Professor Elm near the computer and began crying out to them, hoping to procure their assistance.


    "Flannery, you're going to strangle Chikorita to death," sighed Ace. Flannery looked down apologetically at the green pokemon before setting it down on the floor. An amused Ace watched as Chikorita scrambled beneath Professor Elm and cowered away from the fiery trainer.

    "So about that plan, Professor..." coughed Flannery, a faint blush tinging her cheeks.

    "Well...the plan is for you to go to Mr. Pokemon's house north of Cherrygrove."

    A pervasive silence engulfed the room. Seconds passed, then minutes, before Ace cleared his throat. "Excuse me?"

    Professor Elm scratched his head sheepishly. "You see, Mr. Pokemon has made all the necessary contingency plans for this type of scenario, but for security purposes I don't know too much about them."

    "That...that doesn't even make sense though!" a flabbergasted Flannery sputtered.

    "A lot of things don't make sense when it comes to Mr. Pokemon, I'm afraid."

    Ace spoke up, vouching for the peculiarities of Mr. Pokemon. "He's right, that guy is pretty strange, but I don't understand why we have to go to his house."

    "Mr. Pokemon may be an eccentric fellow, but he has a great analytical mind. I also suspect that he has more skeletons hidden in the closet then he's letting on." Professor Elm closed the news article and logged off his computer before picking up a nervous-looking Chikorita and handing it to Ace. "If I had to make a bet, I'd wager that Mr. Pokemon would rather wrestle an Ursaring than step foot in New Bark Town to meet these so-called officials."

    Ace petted Chikorita on the head, eliciting a warm response from the grass pokemon. "Can't you email him or use a carrier bird pokemon?"

    Flannery nodded her head in agreement, walking cautiously over to Ace and Chikorita. "He'd be able to tell us exactly what we need to do before they get here. I don't think we have the time to walk all the way over there and back."

    "I had a conversation about this very thing with him once at his house. His response was that carrier birds were too at risk of being intercepted and that emails were hardly secure. In fact," Professor Elm opened a drawer nearby and withdrew a piece of paper. "This is the last email that he sent me."

    Flannery took the paper and read it aloud. "Dear Professor Elm, this is URGENT! I've stumbled upon a remarkable discovery! You need to come over to my house and see it for yourself ASAP!"

    "Isn't that the email about the pokemon egg that he sent you five years ago or so?"

    "Yes it is, Ace. I'm not surprised you remember it either as if I recall correctly, I sent you there on my behalf."

    "With Cyndaquil..."

    "With Cyndaquil." nodded Professor Elm solemnly. He sat back down before continuing, "So you see, this is why I need you two to go up there and see what he has to say. I've no doubt that he knows exactly what's going on right now, but he won't come here."

    "Well...why don't you come with us Professor? That way-"

    "Not a chance." said Professor Elm, silencing Ace with a wave of his hand. "If I leave, they'll know something is suspicious and I don't want my family getting hurt over this."

    Ace and Flannery exchanged troubled looks, but the Professor again waved their concerns off. "Don't worry about me, if anything they need me for whatever goals they have. I'll be fine. But, I do have favor to ask of you."

    "What is it, Professor?"

    "Take Chikorita with you. I don't want it getting in harm's way."

    Ace hesitated, looking down at Chikorita who had fallen asleep in his arms. "But I-"

    "Yes, I know that your trainer's license was revoked. Many of my former pupils have shared the same fate as you, Ace, so you're not special in this regard." He looked up sternly. "But this isn't a time to be concerned with rules and regulations. Do what you need to do in order to keep Chikorita safe, at least until you reach Mr. Pokemon's. If you feel that it would be unwise to continue traveling with it then I'm sure he'll be happy to have another pokemon friend."

    Ace handed the sleeping pokemon to Flannery who cradled it in her arms gently, a far cry from the death grip that she had entrapped it in just minutes ago.

    "I understand, Professor. We'll leave immediately."

    Professor Elm sighed and got up warily. "Then let me walk you out."

    Ace shielded his eyes as the trio, along with Chikorita, stepped out into the sunlight. "Normally, I'd advise you to contact your mother first, but time is of the essence here. Good luck."

    Ace nodded, a steely determination present in his voice. "Good luck to you too Professor, and stay safe."

    With that, Professor Elm disappeared inside his lab, as Ace and Flannery lingered for a moment before turning toward Route 29, a stepping stone in their path to Cherrygrove City, and beyond that-Mr. Pokemon's house.
    Last edited by timberwolfv1; 2nd March 2015 at 6:30 AM.
    "Are you feeling it now, Mr. Krabs?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005


    Hey there. Welcome to the forums! It's always good to see new writers around.

    Before I start in with the review, there was one thing I wanted to ask--is there any particular reason you're putting your chapters under spoiler tags? As far as I can see, all it does is make it take one more click for people to actually see your writing.

    Anyway, your prose is pretty solid overall, but you do have some persistent punctuation problems. In particular, you have difficulty with direct address and semicolons.

    A direct address is where one character speaks directly to another using their name. In these cases, the name should always be set off by commas. For example:

    Sorry Mom I can't!
    Here Ace is talking directly to his mom and using her name, so "Mom" should be set off by commas, like so:

    Sorry, Mom, I can't!
    Same deal in the very next line of dialogue:

    Don't worry Ace that can wait!
    Should be:

    Don't worry, Ace, that can wait!
    The same rule applies when the character's name falls at the beginning or end of a sentence, though you end up with only one comma in those cases:

    How have you been Ace?

    How have you been, Ace?

    Flannery, Ace can you two please quickly come over to the lab?

    Flannery, Ace, can you two please quickly come over to the lab?
    Those are just some examples--I'm pretty sure you leave the commas out in every case of direct address so far, which adds up to quite a few missing pieces of punctuation. If you manage to get things straight now, it should save you a lot of edits in the future.

    Next up are semicolons. Semicolons should only be used to join two independent clauses, which are pieces of a sentence that could stand on their own as complete sentences even if they were separated. You can also use them in some lists, but that's not the issue here. You've only used a couple of semicolons so far, but they were both wrong. Let's take a look:

    They rested on the sight of a slender woman standing next to his mother. Her fiery red hair contrasted nicely with her black, form-fitting crop top shirt and the loose, baggy jeans she wore which left little to the imagination; with a rather obvious outline of her underwear visible.
    It's pretty easy to test whether a semicolon belongs somewhere by splitting the sentence on the left and right sides of it and seeing whether the pieces work as sentences of their own. Here "with a rather obvious outline of her underwear visible" isn't a complete sentence, so the semicolon doesn't belong; it should be a comma instead.

    (Incidentally, "with a rather obvious outline of her underwear visible" is pretty wordy and convoluted. Consider something like "the outline of her underwear was obvious" instead.)

    Ace simply laughed and shook his head; Flannery letting out a slight giggle of her own.
    Again, "Flanner letting out a slight giggle of her own" isn't a sentence by itself, so there should be a comma in place of this semicolon.

    Unable to offer a retort, Ace let himself be dragged out the door by the red-haired gym leader; the pair heading off in the direction of Professor Elm's laboratory.
    Same deal here.

    I'm also not sure why you italicize times (e.g. "8:15 A.M."). It made sense with the "three years" thing, since there the time is more of a stylistic thing (or is perhaps literally Ace thinking "three years"), but I don't think that's the case with the other times.

    Regarding the opening "three years" thing--it looks a little odd when 2/3 of the paragraphs begin with "When" and the last one doesn't (especially because that's the leading one). I think what you're going for there is symmetry and repetition, and for that to work well I think you want to do everything you can to get the three paragraphs to start the same way.

    He sighed. What time is it?
    I think you forgot to italicize "What time is it?"

    I've done some research on this organization online and they've had some very scrupulous dealings in the past.
    I think you mean unscrupulous.

    It looks like you're going well out of your way to avoid using the word "said," which has only come up once so far. I'd be a little less hesitant to use it. It looks a bit weird when every piece of dialogue is being sighed, chimed, suggested, sputtered, etc. It's usually better to rely on the characteristics of the dialogue itself to indicate the tone, rather than trying to inject interest through the use of an unusual speech tag.

    Anyway, enough about style and grammar kinds of things. I'm always down for stories that fiddle with what might happen if Team Plasma was actually able to achieve any level of liberation, so I'm really interested in seeing where you go with this. , and also that the threat shows up so early on in the story, with Professor Elm already worrying about what his visitors might be up to. All too often a story starts off with a flash-forward that introduces the actual threat, only to go back to generic trainer stuff for thirty chapters before the primary antagonist actually shows up.

    However, despite that, in the first chapter you go far out of your way to make things go just as they do in the games, despite the fact that the characters you're working with are an experienced trainer and a gym leader, which I find disappointing. You do lampshade how ridiculous the circumstances are:

    "That...that doesn't even make sense though!" a flabbergasted Flannery sputtered.
    ..but you have to be careful with putting in meta comments like this, because ultimately... yeah, I have to agree with her. The elaborate rationalization Elm has for sending Ace off like this doesn't convince me that this is the only, or even most reasonable, option he sees--just that you really, really wanted to figure out some way to have your character haul out of New Bark Town with a level 5 chickorita, even if it didn't really make much sense in-universe. In a situation like this I actually think under-explaining would be preferable to over-explaining, but neither of them are as good as not going this route at all. Right now it looks like you've set things up for a rehash of the game's early plotline, which also happens to be the early plotline of thousands and thousands of OT stories on the internet. It's really disappointing to see you start out with an interesting premise, only to work really hard to make your characters go through the very same things so many other fanfic trainers do. I'd encourage you to focus on bringing out what makes your story different than all the others, rather than trying to adhere to the common form.

    I'm also a bit confused as to why Flannery just up and goes with Ace. Throughout the entire conversation the characters seem to just assume that she's going with him, but I don't see any reason why she would--she doesn't have any pokemon herself (I presume), so all she's going to be is dead weight, and all in all she doesn't seem any more thrilled with the errand than Ace is. She also had some vague important-sounding thing she wanted to talk to Ace about that I would imagine she could be working on otherwise, too.

    Again, I'm interested in the premise you've set up, and I hope we'll be seeing more of how Plasma is moving into Johto sooner rather than later. You do a good job of setting up Ace's backstory, keeping it a little vague but filling in the major elements without going on and on about it, and your prose is generally pretty solid; your humorous notes hit pretty well, too. I also have to say I love the title. It's simple but evocative.

    Again, welcome to the forums, and best of luck with your writing!

    In which an undead trainer, a bloodthirsty super-clone, and an irascible ex-Rocket grunt set out to rescue an imprisoned Mew--if they don't end up murdering each other first.

    Banner by Sworn Metalhead of Dćdric Design

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015


    Negrek-Thanks for the response! Good point about the spoiler tags, I guess I"m just used to forums where they want you to keep things hidden in order to ease the burden of a huge page of scrolling. The tags are now off!

    I also wanted to thank you for pointing out my terrible use (or misuse!) of commas and semicolons. I don't think I've ever been consistent with those, which is extremely odd because it's so simple the way you explained it! Same goes for the time italics, which have been appropriately edited.

    Funny thing about the word "said". When I'm writing dialogue, I always feel like I use it too much and so I suppose I compensate by using other terms. That's a habit I should definitely kick.

    I hear you about the repetitive plotlines and I'm hopeful that the story will slowly worm itself out of that stereotype as it progresses. I'm not sure I can say much more than that without spoiling things, so I hope you understand!

    Alrighty here's a new chapter!

    Chapter 2: Catching up in Cherrygrove

    "So where exactly is Mr. Pokemon's house? I don't think I saw it on the way over here."

    Ace and Flannery walked along the dirt path at a quick but leisurely pace, hoping to reach Cherrygrove City by nightfall. The sighting of Hoothoot and the warm glow of twilight in the darkening sky however, indicated that it was likely they would make it into town late. This was not overly concerning to Ace though, as he had frequently played late night errand boy for Professor Elm and his assistants and thus knew the route like the back of his rough, calloused hands.

    He observed Flannery ahead of him, noticing that she had quickened her stride slightly. Chikorita was nestled in her arms, visibly asleep and audibly snoring.

    "It's north of Cherrygrove like Professor Elm said, but it's off the beaten path so to speak. You probably didn't see it because it's hidden in the woods."

    "Ah." Flannery paused for a moment, causing Ace to stop and look up at his companion; a confused expression embedded in his features.

    "What's wrong?"

    Flannery shook her head and waved her hands, her billowy ember hair bobbing in the evening breeze. "It's nothing. I thought I saw something in the grass over there."

    "Gee I might be way off base here, but maybe, just maybe, it was a wild pokemon!"

    "Oh really?" Flannery rolled her eyes. "I think you're right, Ace, it was a wild pokemon and you know what else? I'm the queen of Hoenn!"

    Ace chuckled, imagining Flannery attempting to put a crown on her conspicuous head of hair. Flannery joined in too, giggling for no pecuiliar reason and simply sharing a laugh with an old friend.


    "Oh no! We woke up Chikorita!" Flannery looked down at the grass pokemon who yawned loudly and adjusted itself in her arms. "I'm sorry Chikorita, you can go back to sleep if you want. I promise we won't be loud anymore." Chikorita chirped its own name contently and wagged its leaf as it stared intensely at the setting sun.

    Ace snickered. "Loud eh?"

    Flannery looked over at Ace, a sly grin forming on her face. "Get your mind out of the gutter, Withrow, this isn't pre-school." Ace shook his head and laughed before pointing out over the horizon

    "Look! Cherrygrove is just up ahead! Let's hurry and get to the Pokemon Center!"

    "Race ya there!"

    "Oh you are so...on?" Ace spotted Flannery and Chikorita several yards ahead of him, dashing at a furious pace towards the city. "Oh that's cheap." he said to himself as he ran after them, hoping to catch up. In the back of his mind, however, Ace couldn't help but wonder what it was that caught Flannery's attention. A dark silhouette flashed before his mind's eye briefly. Familiarity resonated within him for a fleeting moment before disappearing like a Gastly in the night.



    Ace leaned back in his cushioned seat as he sipped on his warm glass of milk, relishing the relaxing tranquility that the Pokemon Center had always offered. The brightly lit and spacious lobby was relatively quiet; the only patrons currently up were himself, Flannery, Nurse Joy, and an older man beginning to doze off in his seat. Flannery was situated at the front desk, happily chatting about with the pink-haired nurse as she waited for Chansey to finish Chikorita's checkup.

    Pulling out his PokeNav, Ace checked the time. 11:37 P.M it read. It was relatively late, but not so late that he would be thinking about sleep. Not yet. Perhaps the soothing milk would change that soon, but for the time being, Ace was alert and ready to roll. He quickly scanned through various news headlines on his PokeNews App, noting nothing of interest. I don't see anything about Team Plasma on here, even in the Unova section. And Professor Elm's name hasn't come up yet. I guess that's a good thing...

    Clicking it off, Ace set the PokeNav down on the table before rummaging through his backpack and pulling out a candy bar. His mother had always sent him fresh snacks each and every day ever since he had left home all those years ago and that tradition continued even as he worked as a lab assistant under Professor Elm-only this time, she wouldn't have to worry about the cost of carrier fees! Typhlosion loved these chocolate bars. Ace laughed, though he wasn't really sure why, peeling off the wrapper before taking a big bite out of the mint-flavored confection.

    "Are you still on about that "loud" comment I made earlier?" Ace looked up to see his redheaded friend holding both Chikorita in her arms and a smirk on her face. She placed Chikorita on the counter where it sniffed around for a bit before noticing Ace's candy bar.

    "Nah." Ace replied as he nonchalantly tossed a piece of chocolate over to Chikorita who happily gobbled it up. "I was just thinking of better times is all."

    "Yeah, don't we all?" Flannery said, her playful grin settling into a warm smile. "It seems like only yesterday that you moved out of Lavaridge. I still remember you crying your eyes out the day your mom broke the news." Ace groaned at the unpleasant memory causing Flannery to burst into a fit of laughter.

    "Hey I was what, five years old at the time? You can't really blame a little kid for being upset at having to move to a whole different region can you?" Ace petted Chikorita on the head and took another swig of his milk. "So what's been up with you anyway? Last time I saw you was when I made my triumphant homecoming to Lavaridge and beat you for the badge."

    Flannery rolled her eyes. "Oh please, that was my first official battle as a Gym Leader and you know it. Anyways, I've been doing alright I guess. The gym keeps me...kept me busy I should say. After they iced it, I helped my grandpa with the hot springs for a while, but that got pretty boring and plus, who wants to see old wrinkly people in nothing but towels all day long?" She wrinkled her nose in disgust, eliciting a chuckle from Ace. His smile soon devolved into a frown, though, as he pointed at Flannery's belt buckle.

    "I noticed you weren't carrying any pokeballs. Don't tell me...?"

    "Yeah." Flannery turned her gaze toward the large window next to their table, looking out at the dimming city lights. "I had to leave Mag, Meg, and Torkoal with Gramps as official pokemon employees or some stupid crap like that, otherwise they would've been taken away from me." Ace stared down blankly at his now-empty cup, noting the sadness evident in his friend's voice.

    "And you know what the worst part is, Ace?"

    "No, what's that?" Ace lifted his face to meet Flannery's gaze and was instantly taken aback. The anger that radiated from her eyes was unlike anything he had ever seen from the normally cheerful and carefree girl he knew.

    "They told me...they told me straight up that if I didn't have them re-registered to become employees of the Hot Springs, then my pokemon would be killed as they would, quote, "taint the superior genetics that are required of land-based pokemon." What kind of stupid bullcrap is that?" Ace stayed silent, very aware of the clenched fists that threatened to bang down on the table at any moment. "The choice was pretty clear to me. I wasn't going to have my own pokemons' graves resting on my conscious." Her face softened and her hands relaxed as she laid them on her lap. "I don't know if I could live with myself if I let that happen."

    Ace watched her for a moment unsure of what to do, of what to say. He sighed, knowing the pain that she felt. Three years. The days grow longer but it seems like the memories come back stronger one way or another.

    The two friends sat quietly, watching as Chikorita wandered about the Pokemon Center, fully exploring its new surroundings after a nice snack. It ignored the now-sleeping old man and tried to get Nurse Joy's attention who cheerfully petted it on the head before disappearing into the back. The Chansey that replaced her at the front desk also petted the grass pokemon on the head before the two began to converse, happily chirping their own names back and forth.

    Ace smiled before turning back to look at Flannery who met his gaze with a tired glance.

    "The game has changed."

    "It sure has."

    "But the question is, will we play by these new rules?"


    Flannery yawned and stretched out her arms. "Well it's getting late; I think I'm going to call it a night." Ace looked at her, surprised.

    "Really? It's only...1:00 A.M." Ace stared at his PokeNav. "Wow. Time sure flies I guess."

    Flannery laughed as she got up from the table. "It does seem that way doesn't it? Well I'll see you in the morning then I guess. Don't stay up too late okay?"

    "I'll try I guess. Goodnight."


    Ace watched as Flannery bid goodnight to Chikorita and Chansey before disappearing down the hallway that led to the rooms of the Pokemon Center. His gaze lingered for a moment before he got up himself, deciding it was probably best to get some sleep.

    "Come on, Chikorita! You're bunking with me tonight!"

    Ace scooped up Chikorita into his arms and placed it on his shoulder where it rested happily before the two began their short trek to his room where a land of dreams and memories awaited them.
    Last edited by timberwolfv1; 2nd March 2015 at 7:20 AM.
    "Are you feeling it now, Mr. Krabs?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015


    So for this next chapter I decided to mix things up a bit. It's written from the POV of N and honestly...I'm not sure how it turned out. I felt like it dragged at times, but maybe I've read it one too many times. I'm curious to read any thoughts you guys might have on this latest chapter. Here it is!

    ~Chapter 3: A Show of Force~

    "We must liberate the Pokémon! Then, and only then, will humans and Pokémon truly be equals. Everyone, I end my words here today by imploring you to consider the relationship between people and Pokémon... and the correct way to proceed.

    "Is this the correct way...Father?" a green-haired figure murmured to himself as he leaned against the railing of the ship he was currently on.

    "Who are you talking to N?"

    He turned his head slightly, peeking a glance at the person that dared interrupt his brooding thoughts. Of course he knew who it was. There was only one person that was bold enough to challenge him that way. "Hello, Touko. Beautiful day isn't it?"

    "Are you ever going to call me by my first name ever again, N?" The man known as N smiled, brushing a strand of grass-colored hair from his face. An amused expression came upon his face as watched the girl he affectionately referred to as Touko drop her hands to her hips with a sarcastic sigh. "Say it with me, N. Hilda. Touko. White. First, middle, last." N was struggling to pay attention however, his eyes trailing down Touko's slim figure.

    "Are you sure you won't take me up on that offer on that summer dress Touko? I don't know if I can contain myself anymore with you strutting about in that tiny, oh-so-tight skirt."


    "Are you even paying attention?!" Touko threw up her arms in frustration, turning away from the smirking man.

    "You don't have to hide your face from me, Touko," N teased, walking up and placing his hands on Touko's tensed shoulders. "I find it fascinating to see how many different shades of red it can turn."

    "Yeah? Well I think it'd be interesting to see how many shades of black and blue your eye can turn!" Touko hissed, keeping her back turned. N felt her smooth muscles relax in his soft grip, however, and he began to knead them with his fingers. An almost inaudible sigh escaped her lips, spurring him upwards to her delicate neck. And what a beautiful neck it is, thought N as he continued to massage Touko's skin. Her moans of content grew ever louder, lulling N into a euphoric trance as he explored her shoulders with his fingers. Tufts of chocolate-tinged hair brushed against his nostrils, filling his senses with a fragrance of pomegranate and lavender. It was simply intoxicating. But just as he was about to inhale the sweet aroma, Touko whipped around to face him, her lips forming a knee-weakening smirk.

    "Smelling my hair again, N? You know that's not something normal people do."

    "Ah know the old saying. Love makes people do crazy things." Touko's smirk faded into a warm smile as she took N's hands in hers; a light blush forming on her perfectly rounded cheeks. N could feel his heart begin to accelerate and he swore that if it was a Rhyhorn, it would take first place in the National Kalosian Rhyhorn Race.

    "Love huh?" slurred Touko, causing N to gulp in both nervousness and anticipation. "Love is such a strong word don't you think, N?" N inwardly cursed her for the effect she had on him when she used that sultry tone of voice. The sparkle in her big, beautiful, blue eyes was unlike anything he had ever seen, capturing his imagination in a way that nothing else could. He watched as she bit her lips softly; drawing her face mere inches away from his.

    "Don't you think?"

    "W-wha-?" N stammered, his mind fuzzy and drawing blanks. Before Touko could proceed any further with her not-so-innocent intentions, a bell chimed in the distance.

    "Sir N? Lady Hilda? Lunch is ready!" called out a feminine voice. N shook his head, trying to regain his composure.

    "Thank you, Anthea! We'll be right over!" N turned to look at Touko, clearly seeing the disappointed expression written on her features. He sheepishly rubbed the back of his head. "Well we'd better get going before the food gets cold." Touko sighed and offered a small smile before turning and walking toward the dining hall. N frowned. Even after three years, I still can't figure out this girl. How does she do it?

    N watched, mesmerized, as the slim girl's hips swayed with each step she took. He shook his head and ran to catch up with her, silently scolding himself for becoming distracted.

    For her sake and mine's...I must stay focused.


    "I'll ask you once more, Professor Elm. Will you come quietly?"

    N stared sullenly at the slender Pokemon Professor, who was repeatedly shaking his head.

    "No. I am not interested in working for Team Plasma. You may have convinced some of the others, but I am a man of high integrity." N sensed the slight tremor in his voice, a stark contrast to the defiant posture and expression he was portraying. Touko, flanked behind him, was impatiently tapping her foot on the cold wooden floor. Has she always been like this?

    "Then I trust you will do the right thing as a man of...integrity. Team Plasma is only interested in the well being of this lovely planet we call home."

    "Bullcrap!" N shrinked back slightly at the unexpected outburst. "You're all liars, the lot of you!" Before N could utter a retort, Touko stepped in front of him and threateningly pointed a finger at Professor Elm.

    "Listen, and listen good, Professor. The Liberation movement doesn't need someone as pathetic and lowly as you. Do you understand me?" N watched on silently, resisting the urge to cover his ears as Touko's voice grew louder and angrier. "We are only offering you this job out of the goodness of our hearts! If you don't accept this gracious offer, then I'm afraid you are an enemy to both Pokemon and humankind alike."

    Silence pervaded the room as Professor Elm looked down, seemingly contemplating Touko's forceful words. Touko wore a smug grin, N noted, obviously convinced that she had successfully persuaded Professor Elm to join them. To both of their surprises however, Professor Elm slammed his fist down on a nearby table, rattling the Plasma Grunts that were keeping guard awake and to attention.

    "NO! You can offer me anything you want, but I will not join you! Not in this or any other lifetime." Touko scowled, preparing to lambaste the Professor once more, before N stepped in and placed a hand on her shoulder.

    "I am sorry to hear that, Professor. But I'm afraid this means we'll have to take you into custody."

    "On what grounds?"

    "For conspiring to disrupt the peace and tranquility of the land between humans and pokemon. And-" N raised a finger and pointed it at an empty capsule. "For careless abandonment of your research pokemon."


    N sneered, growing more confident as the cracks in Professor Elm's resolve became increasingly evident. "We've checked your logs, Professor. You are responsible for a Poke-Dex entry number one-hundred-fifty-two. If I remember correctly, that is a Chikorita, is it not?" N took Professor Elm's downward glance and silence as a cue to continue. "Our men have searched the premises and surrounding woodlands. There is no Chikorita in the vicinity and thus we have reason to believe you have abandoned it. Care to dispute this, Professor?"

    Professor Elm remained motionless, continuing to cast his gaze down at the wooden floorboards.

    "Very well then. Professor Utsugi Elm, you are hereby under arrest for treason of the highest order. You will be taken to the Unova High Court where you will be tried for your crimes. You will of course, be entitled to a Plasma-appointed, public defender." N paused, motioning with a nod of his head as two Grunts walked up to and handcuffed the non-resistant Professor. "Do you have any questions?"

    "Alright then. Let's head back to-"


    A burst of water sent the Grunts blocking the doorway crashing to the floor where they lay dazed and confused.

    "Stop right now! You can't arrest my Daddy!" A young girl wearing a red sweater and blue overalls rushed into the room. A blue pokemon resembling a cross between a mouse and a water balloon tumbled in after her.

    "Marill! Marill!"

    "Lyra, what are you doing! You need to get out of here, it's not safe!" N watched from the corner of his eye as Professor Elm began to struggle against his captors. He turned his attention back to the girl. She couldn't have been any older than thirteen and the Marill that accompanied her was clearly not used to battling as it huffed and puffed next to her.

    "What a lovely daughter you have, Professor. You should be proud."

    "You monsters!" roared Professor Elm. "If you lay even a finger on her I swear I'll-"

    "You'll do what Professor?" interjected Touko haughtily. "You'll do nothing, that's what. Now stay still and shut your mouth." N raised an eyebrow, not expecting this type of behavior from Touko. I'll need to talk to her later about this...

    Touko turned her attention to Lyra who was now visibly shaken. "What? Are you gonna cry now? Big girls don't cry honey. Are you a big girl?" Tears began to stream down the young girl's face, but she stood her ground. Touko seemed amused.

    "Tell ya what kid. How about I make you an offer? We'll have a pokemon battle and if you win, we'll let your dad go. But if I win, he's coming with us and so is your little Marill." N stared at Touko incredulously, trying to determine if she was serious about going through with her offer.

    "O-okay! Let's do this Marill!" Lyra's Marill scampered ahead of her, putting on a brave and determined face. Touko smirked before throwing out a pokeball. "Go Serperior!"

    A bright flash of red light revealed a large, green serpentine pokemon. It slithered about the alarmed Marill who ran back and clung to Lyra's legs. "B-be brave Marill! Do it for Daddy!" The water mouse pokemon reluctantly stepped forward to face the towering Serperior.

    "Why don't you go first? Hit us with your best shot!" called out Touko-a little too enthusiastically N observed.

    "M-Marill use Water Gun!" The water pokemon let loose a stream of water from its mouth, scoring a direct hit on Serperior. Serperior shook the attack off and glared down at the Marill. This match isn't even a contest. How can that Marill hope to compete with Touko's Serperior? A pokemon she's had since the very beginning-ever since it was a Snivy?

    Touko grinned. "Not bad I guess. I'll take it easy on you and end this as painlessly as possible." N breathed a sigh of relief. Touko had been acting strange ever since they arrived in New Bark Town, but it looked like she was beginning to behave like her old self. Battling brings out her best trait I'll admit. I wonder what move she'll use here? My money's on Giga Drain.

    "Serperior use Leaf Blade!"


    Serperior's leaf-embroidered tail glowed a deep green as it raised up and slammed directly into Lyra's Marill. The force of the impact sent the aqua mouse pokemon crashing through a nearby table, where it lay in a heap.

    "Marill!" Lyra cried out as she rushed over to her fallen pokemon. N watched as the young girl took the gravely injured pokemon into her arms, sobbing heavily. His gaze narrowed at Touko who offered no hint of remorse for her actions.

    "That's that then. Hand over the Marill and we'll be on our way." Tears stained the floor as Lyra shook her head and attempted to run away, only to be blocked by a number of Plasma Grunts. One of the Grunts forcefully pried the unconscious pokemon out of her hands and handed it to N who looked down on it with pity.

    "No! You can't take them away from me! Marill! Daddy! Please!" bawled Lyra who was now being pushed out of the building by the numerous Grunts. N looked on for a moment before calling out to them.

    "Make sure she gets home safely or I'll have your heads in the unemployment line!"

    Shortly after, Professor Elm was escorted out of the building as well and into a waiting truck bound for New Bark Port. As Touko fawned over her Serperior, N rummaged around the drawers and found a simple spray Potion which he used on the ailing Marill. Satisfied that the bruises were healing adequately, he handed the pokemon off to a nearby Grunt, instructing him to take it to the ship as well. He then turned his attention to Touko.

    "What were you doing back there?"


    "Why did you have Serperior use Leaf Blade when a simple Giga Drain, hell even a Mega Drain, would've sufficed!" N's voice projected louder than he anticipated, but he couldn't help himself. "Touko, when you do things like that, you go directly against the very edicts that we fight for!"


    "Ugh! I'm...I'm sorry for yelling, but you should know better." N rubbed his forehead and turned away. He saw the apologetic look Touko gave him, but he had to let her know that her earlier actions would not be tolerated. "I'm going to go back to the ship now, maybe you can go sight-seeing or something."

    Touko reached out to grab N's shoulder, but he gently brushed it off, walking out the door and not once looking back. Though he couldn't visibly see her, her visage continued to dance in the back of his mind-taunting him almost. Just what was it about this girl that caused him to think so deeply? He sighed as he exited the building, feeling the evening wind wisp through his hair.

    "Are you feeling it now, Mr. Krabs?

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