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Thread: Requiem (PG-13)

  1. #76
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    FYI, I read chapters 8 and 9 without going through and taking notes because I'm trying to expedite the process of getting to where you are currently. It's a shame because chapter 9 was an absolute treat. Some of the most vivid and realistic detail I've ever read in any kind of fan fiction. And I enjoyed it because I dig Dorian and Shelton more than Ethan still.


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  2. #77
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    Well, here it is. The much promised Part Two.



    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Chapter 4
    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    “Ap!” the diminutive Pokemon agreed, rolling to ihis left and dodging the powerful jet of water.
    Just a normal typo, or the usage of a never before seen language.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    As its owner reached underneath to scratch its underbelly, Trapinch felt an familiar sensation start tugging at its gut. Nipping at his owner’s hand, Trapinch closed its eyes.
    I believe that this should be “a” not “an”. It sounds better that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Trapinch began to growl loudly, tapping into the growing process that his kind was sometimes afforded. His skin suddenly transformed into sickly hues of yellow and green. His eyes began to bulge and turn a lustrous olive as his backbone began to stretch and wiggle trough the back of his thick hide. Crimson blood streamed down his sides as a pair of regal looking, rhombus shaped wings burst out from underneath his skin. Growling louder now, the bones in his face began to change shape, becoming thinner, narrower, becoming almost brittle in their lightness. As a pair of antenna burst out of Trapinch’s forehead, his new tail split in two, mirroring the shape and color of its new wings.
    Ahh, description, wonderful description. You describe evolution more vividly than any other fan fiction I’ve read. It’s better than the many generic “flash of white light” evolutions I always see.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post

    “Vibrava,” the dragon type hissed, his voice an eerie whisper. Arching its back, the newly evolved Pokemon beat its wings furiously, channeling the wind they produced all over its body, cleansing itself of the blood and fluids that had accumulated on its sparkling body.
    Might just be me, but I don’t think a comma is needed after hissed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    “Ready whenever you are, junior,” Dorian called, taunting the upstart kid. “Take some notes while this is going on. You might actually learn some-“

    “PIN MISSLE!”
    Nothing wrong here, I just like to point out the parts that made me laugh or otherwise emotionally react.

    I see why you called this chapter a filler. Other than Trapinch evolving and Dorian and Ethan seeing each other for the first time, not much happened really. At least you added the humorous dialogue between the young trainer and Dorian; it reminds me why I dislike them in the first place.



    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    CHAPTER 5
    Cause
    Wha? No errors? Yes, you read right, I did not detect any grammatical errors in the chapter. Give yourself a pat on the back, or something. You deserve it.

    Anyways, the chapter itself. The beginning of a series of very emotional and action packed chapters. The stalemated battle and the banter between Dorian and the kid was entertaining. And then we have the tunnel/path/construction site/cliff/gorge/thing and violent back-story of the Graveler. It draws some comparison to the tunnel in Hoenn that has a similar story. Anyways, the ensuing ambush and battle next chapter, this chapter did a great job building up to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post

    Chapter 6
    Effect
    Perfect set of names for these two chapters in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Faster than Dorian could think, he, Shelton, and their Pokemon were yanked upwards and shoved to the right, high above the incoming stampede of rock Pokemon. They flew through the air, being guided by Golduck’s formidable mind. Dorian saw everything, he felt all of it. His group was guided into the crater the earlier explosion had made, [B]bing[B/] pushed tenderly out of harm’s way.
    Only typo I found, supposed to be being. And the scene itself. Such a moving act of selflessness and sacrifice by Golduck. I’m not going to say that I cried, but it was emotional.
    The chapter was very well written, you do a great job at showing us the viewpoints of the Graveler tribe. It almost makes me feel sorry for them, almost.

    Sorry for the delay of this review, part three shouldn’t take as long as the other two.

    Knightfall signing off…

  3. #78
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    And I just finished chapter 10, so I'm all caught up. Back to the in-depth reviews as soon as I get a chapter to review in "real-time".


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  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876
    I prefer them to have sibling-like relationship rather than a romantic one.
    Me too! I think they work alot better to me that way

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876
    I wouldn’t really use the word “obviously” in third person. It can make the readers feel dumb especially if they don’t realize what you’re actually trying to say. Also expecting your readers to know things is silly. If you said, however: “it was obvious to Ethan that Alakazam was trying to keep them both level…” or something, that’d be fine, since it’s attributed to your character, not the readers. Hope that makes sense.
    Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I've been struggling with different aspects of how to portray what's happening to the degree of what I see happening when I visualize it, and how to write it down so that everyone can see the same thing I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876
    Amusing. Oh, Shelton, you’re such a flirt.
    She sure is. I'm surprised you didn't comment on the 'Lost' tidbit I put in there =P

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876
    Lol, at first I think Ronnie, but you cut this section off at the perfect point to where the readers realizes—well, ****, Ethan’s coming too.
    Ah, I was wondering who might pick up on that portion. My fiance did as she was proof reading for me. I should have known you would as well.

    Thanks for reading/reviewing as always!

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall
    Requiem, an interesting choice for a story title. It means a church service for someone who has died, or a piece of music for that service, a slightly morbid piece of foreshadowing in my opinion. Still, catchy title.


    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall
    I find it a little strange that Dorian just found that rare artifact covered by a thin layer of dirt, while the others were in hidden, underground chambers that had to be forced open with a Pokemon attack. I realize that it’s for the plot, but I’m not sure why this certain artifact was so easy to find. Just a little oddity I was wondering about.
    Thanks for pointing that out. There's a reason that one was so easy to find, and it will be revealed much later in the story. Good eye

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall
    Only typo I found, supposed to be being. And the scene itself. Such a moving act of selflessness and sacrifice by Golduck. I’m not going to say that I cried, but it was emotional.
    I'm really glad you think so! I'll be honest, I got somewhat emotional when I was writing it. I liked to think that I would be capable of the same kind of feat, and I would imagine you would learn alot about yourself in a moment like that.

    And thanks for reading/reviewing as well! I look forward to seeing what you think of the last few chapters

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulba the Great!
    Hi! I'm new to this fic and as such have only read through chapter one, but I'm totally hooked. The Pokeflect is a nice touch, sounding like a very real invention that totally would be needed as technology increases. I like the world you've created, and I'm intrigued as to how the Granite Cave boy will connect with Dorian. I also really enjoy his Trapinch's gradual shift to evolution. It's a neat touch.
    Welcome! I appreciate you taking the time to read, and I look forward to what you have to say about the rest of the chapters. Thanks for the support

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    When you are doing quick back-and-forth dialogue, you don't need the names and verbs ("Dorian exclaimed", etc. Just let it flow, untagged line after untagged line. It will feel a LOT more natural, and will read just as it is supposed to. As long as each character has a distinctive voice, the readers should be able to keep up with the flow for several lines at a time
    Thanks for bringing that to my attention. You're right, I think it would read better the way you suggested.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    I was curious about this. Is it a Graveler power, to increase the size of the rocks? Or was it just describing the change in Nuzleaf's percerption of them as they got closer to him?
    I always envisioned Rock Throw as pebbles expanding into small boulders as they're thrown. I remember seeing an anime way back in the day that had something similar. The character could triple the size of whatever he was holding. Which gave me the idea for this

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    You're going to get REAL TIRED, REAL FAST of me talking about the Pokeflect, but to me, it's such a fascinating concept. Would the Pokeflect work if given TO a pokemon? If not, why not just give them some? I can imagine that in battle they'd be barred, but for just journeying around? Hell, I'd give my Pokemon at least one! It would make them indestructible to random acts like this.
    Lol, I'll never get tired of you bringing it up. All of those questions will be answered within the next three chapters, I assure you. I'm glad you like the idea, I've actually been working on a few sketches to post.

    Thanks for following the story. It means alot that you like it so much and have taken the time to give me the feedback that you have.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilentMemento
    I actually felt sorry for Scyther, and I don't blame her at all for lashing out at her trainer. Hell, I don't think she should've apologized for that; what Ethan did to her was completely unnecessary and cruel, especially when she showed that she did feel bad about cutting the cable wires. I also felt sorry for Rapidash; he pushed her way beyond her limits and then wouldn't let her rest or eat. I truly think that Ethan, in his madness, is going to end up killing one of his own Pokemon. I just wonder if it would be an accident or on purpose. I also wonder which one would end up paying the ultimate price.
    I agree with you. By the time this is over, he's going to surprise himself. I feel like he'd have a little more restraint if she was switched with someone like Alakazam though. I think Ethan is unusually short with Scyther sometimes because out of all of his Pokemon, she's the most unruly. I think he may believe the only way to express his point sometimes with her is to cause her pain. At the same time though, Ethan is starting to show he may be slightly off of a hinge. Nicely done though, as that comment really mae me think about the character

    Quote Originally Posted by SilentMemento
    I don't think that Dorian's going to die this early in the story, but now that the shard has been activated by him, I do wonder if he's going to start hearing the voices as well.
    Activated being the key word; good eye. I'm glad you're paying attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilentMemento
    The characterization of Dorian and Shelton was nice to see. It's really amusing to see their interactions with each other. The part where Shelton fell head over heels for a mere electrician and Dorian's reaction was especially hilarious.
    Lol I'm glad you think so. Alot of the jokes and banter between the two of them is really close to the same things that go on between me and my fiance.

    Thanks for pointing out my mistakes in the chapter. And I appreciate you reading/reviewing!



    Once again, thanks to everyone who has stopped by to read and review. I'm sorry I wasn't able to get to everyone's comments/questions with this post, as my schedule lately has been pretty hectic. I appreciate the suggestions and corrections all of you bring to my attention. I owe these characters a good story, and all of you help contribute to that. Chapter 11 should be out by tomorrow night, so anyone following should be sure to check it out.

    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-


  5. #80
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    I'm actually pretty terrible at noticing subtle things so I probably missed the LOST reference. *sad face*

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


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


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


  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    I'm actually pretty terrible at noticing subtle things so I probably missed the LOST reference. *sad face*
    Lol. Tan, longish hair, greasy, scraggly beard. James Ford = Sawyer

    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. #82
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    Rated PG-15 for violence and swearing


    Chapter 11


    Dorian could see through his arm. That was the one thing he kept thinking about as he was pulled into the sky. He had stopped screaming by the time he had passed through the lower layer of clouds above Pewter City; and instead of focusing on that impossibility, he was choosing instead to examine another. To him, it was like his limb had taken on the attributes of a screen door. When his eyes were unfocused, his arm appeared to be solid, but when he narrowed his eyes, it seemed semi-transparent. As he rose past the exosphere he kept staring, only stopping to examine his surroundings when the color he was seeing through his arm changed from blue, to black.

    Dorian took a deep breath, trying to process this new situation into his already overworked mind.

    “Space?” he whispered.

    He knew that he wouldn’t be able to hear the word, as the lack of oxygen would prevent it, but to his surprise the word was audible. As he heard his voice, he became aware of another feat, he could still breathe. Putting both of those situations to the side, he looked around.

    Trillions of stars shone around him, twinkling brighter and dimmer like sequins in sunlight. As he studied the burning balls of gas, he became aware that he couldn’t distinguish what was up or down, or left and right for that matter; causing him to experience vertigo for the first time. As he struggled to get his bearings, the moon shied itself into view at the far right edge of his planet. Pockmarked with craters and glowing brilliantly ivory against the black backdrop of space, it seemed almost content with its place above the world.

    As that thought crossed his mind, he looked down; taking in the sight of his planet from a perspective he had never seen before. He recognized the great desert of Orre to the northwest, Sinnoh to the northeast, the landmass of Unova to the far west, and tucked away in the middle of his vision was the island of Hoenn. A few hundred miles to the right of Hoenn, sat the sizeable split region of Johto and Kanto. Parts of the different regions were obscured by clouds, but in no way did it dampen the view that Dorian held. The regions were painted with vibrant hues of green and blue, their colors so vivid and defined that Dorian almost forgot the situation he was in. So involved he was with cataloguing the experience in his mind that he barely noticed when the shard lightly pulsed six times.

    With each vibration, an eerie black star winked into existence at a point on four of the regions below him. One star for Orre, Sinnoh, and Unova, while three sparkled on the west side of Kanto. As Dorian struggled to understand the significance of the lights, the shard in his hand moved itself down to position itself towards the star shining from Orre. Without any sort of warning, the shard shot down towards the desert wasteland, pulling Dorian behind it.

    Just as he did not freeze in the deathly cold of space, he did not ignite in flame as he descended back into the atmosphere. The only thing he felt as he was unwillingly pulled back into the atmosphere was a soft push against his skin, not unlike that of a gentle summer breeze; which struck Dorian as odd considering that he was plummeting towards Orre at several thousand miles per hour. Trying to get a clear picture of the landscape speeding by beneath him was useless, as all he was able to observe were streaks of blue, followed by a rich orange. Just as he was stricken by how utterly helpless he was, his movement stopped, and he found himself standing in a fountain in the center of Phenac City.

    Dorian recognized the desert oasis from pictures he had seen throughout his life. Blocks of white marble made up the homes and businesses that adorned the city streets, which were flanked by canals of gently moving water and towering palm trees. The shard in his hand brought itself down to point at a small block near Dorian’s feet. A black glow the size of his fingernail suddenly sprang to life on the stone, signaling its importance.

    Without warning yet again, the shard moved itself towards the water and launched itself straight down, pulling Dorian through layers of stone and dirt behind it. He couldn’t see or hear at all as he moved, which to him felt like he had been buried alive. Just as he drew in a breath to yell, he dropped down into a circular chamber, which was lit every few feet by glowing torches. The walls were the same white marble as the city above, while the floor was made of chipped and decaying brick. As he looked around, Dorian spied a figure cloaked in a long brown robe, the hood drawn, obscuring the person’s features. To either side of the person were the shapes of two hulking Nidoking, their muscles tight and bulging. The three were all staring at something to Dorian’s left, which prompted him to turn. Sitting on a pedestal in the middle of the room was another shard, its surface hewn with script and pictures just like his. As if the shard noticed his gaze, it glowed softly, lighting up the room for a moment with its inky radiance. As soon as the light reached him, the shard in his hand rose upwards, dragging him back above Phenac City. As he watched, the shard faced itself due east. The familiar tunnel vision situation took hold once again as the shard sped off in that direction, Dorian flying along behind it, his gaze filled with a shining tube of color.

    Almost as soon as his third speedy flight started, it stopped, and Dorian found himself hovering above a long white road. He drifted slowly forward, snow swirling around his floating frame. Trees dotted the road occasionally, their mighty statures dwarfed by a monstrous mountain to his right. The scene in front of him was so calming, that it started to take his mind away from the situation he was in; he had never seen actual snow before, it was affecting him in a most pleasant way. Just as Dorian thought the tranquil road would last indefinitely, a placid lake came into view. A rectangular stone outcropping of rock was visible near the middle of the body of water, resting forebodingly on the water like a gatekeeper. As Dorian watched the rocky ornament pass beneath him, the shard pointed itself down, dragging him into the water behind it.

    He didn’t feel the water as he passed beneath it, but he noticed that the temperature became slightly colder than it already was. Down and down he dove, holding his breath out of reflex until a thought occurred to him. Blowing out his stored air, he took a deep breath; no water rushed in to greet his lungs; just like his experience in space, he could still breathe. After a few more seconds of diving, his feet touched bottom, the shard in his hand lighting up a ten foot circle around him with its glow. The water glowed a pleasant blue-green around him, making him aware of a small pedestal positioned about five feet to his left. After a pulse from the shard, a small button at the top of the pedestal glowed. As Dorian stared, the marker lifted him back up towards the surface, his speed increasing as he rose.

    Dorian burst through the top of the lake, creating no explosion of water as he exited its confines. The shard pulled him into the air about ten feet above the water, and then quickly pulled him through the northern most wall of the rocky structure in the center of the lake. The shard quickly set him down in the center of a small chamber within, his shoes making no sound as they touched down on the rocky floor. In front of him was another small pedestal, another shard resting on its polished surface. The marker glowed quickly as Dorian looked at it, making sure that he was aware of its presence.

    Every marker points to the others,” he thought, remembering his uncle’s words.

    Pulsing lightly in agreement, the shard in his hand lifted him up again, through the ceiling of the structure to hover above the lake. Preparing himself, Dorian took a breath, foreseeing what would happen next. The shard faced itself southwest and shot forward again, dragging Dorian to yet another location. As his vision blurred, Dorian flirted with the idea of trying to remove the object from his hand. After a moment of consideration he decided not to, hypothesizing that after it had shown him all the shards he would be allowed to go back to his body in Pewter City. Not only that, but he couldn’t wrap his head around what would happen to what he thought was his spirit if he suddenly dropped to the ground while moving a few thousand miles an hour. He felt so helpless, so infantile. This thing was dragging him around like a toddler, with no regard to how he might be feeling. As he was trying to decide whether he could still vomit or not, his movement stopped and he was able to make sense of the world again.

    He was hovering in front of a large window several hundred feet in the air in the middle of a giant steel and glass metropolis. The first thing he noticed was that day had turned to night; the rapid change would have shocked him if he wasn’t already in an even more impossible situation. He saw people walking by beneath him, completely oblivious to him defying gravity above. The city around him glowed white from the fluorescent lighting all around, stretching for miles in every direction. Dorian recognized this place, as it was the biggest city in the world; Castelia City. The shard in his hand pulsed again, prompting Dorian to look up. A small glow emanated from behind the glass in front of him, betraying the secret of a few people inside wearing dark purple lab coats.

    Taking another breath to steady himself, he once again blasted off, this time heading to the east. He wondered if he was going to Hoenn next, or possibly a secluded portion of Kanto. Three markers were accounted for, which left two besides his own to be discovered. He was very shocked when he suddenly found himself hovering above Pewter City, being guided slowly down into the tree line not too far from where his own body still laid sprawling. He floated through the trees about a foot off the ground, passing through ancient oaks like a ghost. He stopped about a hundred yards from where his body was, directly in front of a man flanked by two Pokemon.

    The man had long brown hair and a look on his face of extreme fury, a Scyther and an Alakazam positioned to his right and left. The man was dressed for journey, made evident by his worn boots and heavy pack across his back. The man did not notice Dorian as the shard pulled him around behind him so he faced the man’s traveling pack. The shard in his hand pulsed twice rapidly, igniting twin glows from each back pocket of the man’s jeans. Dorian was confused; the man had two glowing outlines of an obsidian marker in his pockets, but Ronnie had told him that the one he possessed was the first one to be discovered. Was this man a research assistant of some kind? Or had his uncle not been entirely truthful? As Dorian asked himself these questions, he was pulled forward back towards Pewter City, where he was able to look at his body again.

    His face on the ground was contorted in agony, electricity still sparking all around him. Looking up, Dorian saw that Nuzleaf was still rushing towards him, having made much progress over the last several minutes. His Pokemon was now only a few feet from him, and was currently in mid-dive, arms outstretched towards his body on the ground. The shard in his standing body pulsed for the final time, causing the shard still in his ground body to glow brightly. Satisfied that it had done its job, the shard in his standing body lifted him up and positioned him on top of his ground body and slowly started lowering him down. As his feet touched his ground body’s midsection, his body started dissolving into black smoke, inching its way up his body. An intense wave of heat rolled across his body as it vanished, causing Dorian to yell out in agony. The smoke ate its way up his standing body, being absorbed back into his physical body on the ground. Through his all encompassing haze of pain, Dorian took a deep breath, trying his best to prepare himself as the smoke reached his neck. His vision blurred as the smoke reached his eyes, and he experienced the unusual sensation of weightlessness as he was forcibly sucked back into his body.


    ***********


    “It burns!” Dorian screamed as Nuzleaf crashed into him, his grass Pokemon using his formidable strength to pull him up and launch him away from the sparking electrical cables.

    Dorian rolled across the grass, Pokeball gripped in his right hand, the shard still clutched in his left. He breathed quickly and deeply, verging on hyperventilation as his eyelids fluttered. He felt the grass on the exposed skin of his arms, a welcome reminder that he was back where he belonged. An instant later, he saw Nuzleaf’s striped face above his own, his Pokemon cradling his face in both hands.

    “Nununuz!?” his Pokemon yelled.

    “It fucking burns!” Dorian screamed in return, thrashing left and right as he spoke.

    “Nuzleaf!” his Pokemon retorted, gripping his face tighter.

    “I’m fine, but it burns!” Dorian yelled back.

    “Nuz!” Nuzleaf replied, jumping off Dorian and running back towards Ronnie’s house.

    Dorian rolled backwards and shot to his feet, goose bumps breaking out across the back of his neck. With a yell of satisfaction he threw the shard in his hand as hard as he could, ridding himself of the cursed talisman before it could take him away again. He shivered in the heat of the sun, bringing his arm up to his face and poking it roughly. Shelton ran up to him with Machoke close behind, the sounds of squealing echoing behind her.

    “Are you okay!?” Shelton yelled, her voice frantic and concerned.

    “I’m good,” Dorian replied, still poking his left arm.

    “You scared the hell out of me,” Shelton sighed. “Why are you poking yourself?”

    “I’m trying to make sure my arm is solid!” Dorian roared, grinding his fingers deeper against his skin.

    “Did you get shocked by the lines?” Shelton asked, tilting her head to the side. “Because you’re freaking me out.”

    “I’m so sorry to be freaking you out. I just got dragged across the planet by that thing!”

    “What are you talking about?”

    “That stupid marker just dragged me to space, then to Orre, then to some ski resort, then to Castelia!”

    “Dorian, I think you need to lie down, you might be in shock.”

    “I’m not in shock! That marker just pulled me out of my body!”

    “Right,” Shelton said, stepping closer and cupping his face in her hands. “Do you know who I am?”

    “Of course I do, moron!” Dorian shouted.

    “Wow, I guess you’re okay,” Shelton said, letting go of his face and turning back towards Ronnie’s house. “Do you still have the Pokeball that you captured the Spoink in? Because I think that Nuzleaf is giving it a beating.”

    “Here,” Dorian replied, handing over the Pokeball.

    “Just uh, stand there and behave,” Shelton uttered, turning back towards the sounds of violence further up the road.

    “I’m not kidding!” Dorian shouted as he watched her run back towards his uncle’s house.

    Dorian’s body twitched involuntarily as he watched Shelton return the newly captured Spoink back into its ball. Cursing loudly, he started walking in small circles, trying to work the feelings back into his legs. His mind raced, trying to rid himself of the feeling of helplessness he had experienced a few moments ago. This was ridiculous, this stuff didn’t happen; it was complete and utter folly. He kept pacing and talking to himself until Shelton and Nuzleaf walked back up to him, both wearing concerned looks on their faces.

    “Well,” Shelton started. “Nuzleaf beat the shit out of the Spoink you caught.”

    “Good,” Dorian replied, resuming his trot back and forth. “Give me a minute and I’ll finish what he started.”

    “You sure you’re okay?” Shelton asked.

    “Nuzleaf?” his Pokemon repeated.

    “Look, I’m fine,” Dorian assured them, spinning once and lifting his arms. “That marker is bullshit and I’m not going near it again.”

    “Where is it?” Shelton asked, her eyes scanning the ground.

    “Over there,” Dorian replied, pointing to the black marker a few yards away.

    After walking over and plucking the object from the ground, Shelton returned, looking Dorian up and down like she doubted whether he was lying about his well being. He stopped pacing and looked at her, his eyes moving from her and back to the shard in quick order. Shelton deposited the shard back in her pocket, opening her mouth to say something when she was cut off by a throaty growl to their left.

    His uncle pulled up in his yellow motorcycle in a spray of dry grass and dirt, smiling from ear to ear. He dismounted his bike and crossed the distance between them quickly, pulling them both into a tight squeeze as he arrived. His uncle smelled like leather and campfire smoke, easing his troubled mind back into its usual place. Ronnie guffawed loudly as he squeezed tighter, transferring his love to them in unseen waves.

    “There they are!” Ronnie bellowed, releasing them from his embrace. “You made good time!”

    “It wasn’t too bad,” Shelton beamed.

    “Good,” Ronnie smiled. “How you doing there, Nuzleaf?”

    “Nunuz!” the grass Pokemon said, holding out a wooden hand.

    Ronnie shook it vigorously, then turned his eyes to Machoke and asked, “Who’s this slab of muscle?”

    “Machop evolved along the way,” Shelton answered.

    “Well congratulations big guy!” Ronnie replied, smacking a large meaty hand against Machoke’s back. “How’s it feel?”

    Machoke didn’t respond, but smiled sheepishly and retreated to hide behind Shelton, which didn’t do much to conceal him considering that he was now several inches taller than her. Smiling, Ronnie turned to face Dorian, who had stopped pacing to size up his uncle. Thick brown beard bristling underneath a prominent nose, and clad in his usual green cargo pants and tucked in button down; he was still the father from his childhood. Running one hand through his unkempt hair he turned back to Shelton, eyes looking Dorian up and down in concern.

    “Is he alright? I expected a warmer welcome,” Ronnie chuckled.

    “Well, he captured a Spoink by your house and it decided to throw him into those split electrical lines,” Shelton explained. “I think it may have addled his brain.”

    “You alright?” Ronnie asked him, dropping his friendly voice in exchange for a more fatherly tone.

    “I’m fine,” Dorian stated. “That marker dragged me across the planet but Shelton thinks I’m making it up.”

    “What do you mean?” Ronnie asked, gripping him by the shoulders.

    As quickly as he could, Dorian recounted his journey up into space and the shard dragging him across the different regions. His uncle didn’t give him the slightest look of skepticism throughout the story, even when Dorian told him about what he assumed to be his spiritual essence dissolving back into his physical body. He only questioned Dorian when he told him about the man he saw that had two markers in the nearby woods. After some prodding, Ronnie had Dorian walk him over to the spot where had seen the man, but he and his Pokemon had disappeared.

    “The legend said that each shard would point the way to the others, but I didn’t think it would be that extreme,” Ronnie said. “I do find it hard to believe that someone besides the director and I would know anything about the markers. Perhaps the old man hadn’t been entirely truthful with me when he said that this was solely my assignment.”

    “So you believe me?” Dorian asked.

    “Of course I do,” Ronnie assured him. “I raised you, boy. I know when you’re lying.”

    “Alright good,” Dorian replied, hanging his head.

    “May I see it?” Ronnie asked, not bothering to hide his excitement.

    “Here you go,” Shelton said, handing the shard over to him.

    His uncle’s hazel eyes scanned the marker up and down, taking in every shape and line like it was a newborn child. He turned the marker over and over in his hands, making Dorian think that if day shifted to night that his uncle would be too enveloped to notice. After a few awkward moments of examining the shard, Ronnie pocketed it and turned his attention back to Dorian.

    “I know it was by chance, but this worked out really well,” he said.

    “Just keep that thing away from me and I’ll do my best to agree with you,” Dorian replied.

    “No problem,” his uncle assured him. “I’m sorry about what happened, the limited text we have on it didn’t mention anything of the sort. I expected crude drawings, not the out of body experience you described.”

    “It’s fine,” Dorian said. “Just get us paid and I’ll forget about it.”

    “That won’t be a problem, I’ll make sure of it,” Ronnie grinned, patting the bulge in his pocket. “Look, I’m going to head back to the museum and run a few tests. After I present it to the director I’ll come back and we’ll have some dinner.”

    “Sounds good,” Dorian replied.

    “Any chance of your famous beef stew?” Ronnie inquired, his hopeful gaze lingering on Shelton.

    “I suppose,” Shelton smiled.

    “Good,” Ronnie replied, placing one hand on each of their shoulders. “I’m very proud of both of you.”

    A few more hugs were passed around, Ronnie’s eyes glistening in the sunlight. He walked over and mounted his cruiser, reaching into his left pocket as he swung his burly frame over the seat. Pulling out a Pokeball, he tossed it to Dorian, smiling as it sailed through the air. Dorian caught it easily, finger lingering over the button to release the Pokemon inside.

    “Let Kecleon out for awhile, he’s missed both of you,” Ronnie said.

    Without another word, he started his bike and sped off, making a beeline to the museum on the other side of town. Dorian pressed the button on the pokeball, releasing the Pokemon that had been a constant companion to Dorian and Shelton since they were children.


    ***********


    Ethan watched as the man who rode up embraced the two thieves and spoke with them. His heart began to race as the woman pulled out the shard and gave it to the man. The sight of the object increased his rage tenfold, as they had no idea what they were casually passing between them. The carelessness of the group disgusted him, and he would make them pay for their thievery.

    Minutes earlier, he had seen the male thief get thrown into the downed power lines by what appeared to be a Pokemon further down the road. He had grinned quickly as the man came down on the sparking cables, but that grin quickly vanished seconds later as the man had been rescued by his Nuzleaf, seemingly unharmed. He had surely been saved by the healing powers of the flakes Ethan had been absorbing, as no mortal man could have survived exposure to that much electric current. The voices had told him of every flake he had taken into himself, and he was sure that they would not let someone as unworthy as this man and woman be privileged enough to encounter one. Regardless of what he thought, the man had emerged from the situation unscathed, much to Ethan’s dismay.

    After talking for a few minutes, the younger man had led the other straight towards Ethan and his Pokemon, and they had only avoided detection by quietly sprinting further into the woods and ducking down behind a nearby boulder. His bloodlust became almost overwhelming as they closed to with a few yards of him, only holding back as to not be seen by pedestrians milling around the city. He briefly thought of using Alakazam to yank them further into the forest, but it might have alerted the woman, who in turn would have alerted others.

    After the two had left, he watched the older man on the motorcycle pass a pokeball to the man and woman and sped off to the northwest, leaving the two thieves behind. His urge to run out and slaughter the two hooligans was trumped by his longing to follow the shard, so he quickly gathered his thoughts and turned to his Alakazam.

    “Scyther, you’re with me,” Ethan instructed.

    “Sai,” his Scyter replied.

    “Alakazam, you stay with those two. Don’t let them out of your sight. I’m going to get the shard and then I’ll come find you.”

    “Kazam?”

    “It’s not your concern. Your job is to keep track of the two humans.”

    “Alakazam.”

    “I don’t have time for this. Just watch them and make sure you’re not seen.”

    “Ala,” his Pokemon nodded, obviously unsatisfied.

    “Let’s go,” Ethan said, nodding towards his Scyther.

    The insect Pokemon nodded back and followed her owner, weaving through the woods like a viper. The pair trekked west through the woods for a few hundred yards, and emerged back into the city, looking to their right to make sure they were out of the prying eyes of the two people they were hunting further down the road. Ethan jogged forward quickly, trying his best to keep his speed down to avoid alerting anyone of himself. He followed the cream and yellow cruiser through the town, his Scyther keeping pace to his right. He managed to keep up with the motorcycle through the town, and slowed his jog to a walk as the rider dismounted and strode inside the Pewter City Musuem. He increased his pace as the man entered a side entrance to the building, keeping back until the door closed behind him.

    “Ready?” Ethan asked.

    “Saisai,” his Pokemon assured him.

    Ethan gripped the metal knob of the entrance and easily tore it away from the door, trying his best to keep the sound of screeching metal to a minimum. Tossing the knob to the side, he slinked into the building, looking left and right to make sure he wasn’t seen. The narrow hallway he entered was painted an ancient brown, complimented by ceramic tile the color of sand. He walked quickly and with purpose, letting the shards in his pockets guide him in the right direction. Their pulsing stopped as he encountered at a pale blue door at the end of the hallway. Closing his eyes for a moment to center himself, he reached out and turned the handle, snaking his way inside.

    The office he had sneaked into was more rectangular than square, almost appearing to be an extension of a hallway. Papers and folders were stacked in neat rows leading up to a gigantic computer monitor. In front of the monitor was the older man he had seen from earlier, his back turned to him, showing that he had not heard Ethan enter the room. To the man’s right was the shard he had come for, its surface a brilliant blue in the light of the nearby computer monitor. The sight of the relic so close pulled a red haze in front of Ethan’s eyes as he silently walked forward. The man in the office chair was so focused on the screen that he did not hear him approach. Which suited Ethan fine as he quickly reached out and broke the man’s neck.


    *********


    “Kecleoooonnn!” his uncle’s Pokemon sang as he was released into the world.

    The green reptilian Pokemon quickly jumped up into Shelton’s arms and motioned with one scaly arm for Dorian to join them. The crested Pokemon embraced him quickly, his stubby arms barely making their way around Dorian’s neck. After a quick hug, the Pokemon jumped down and beamed at them, its toe claws digging into the dirt. Round eyes observed both he and Shelton simultaneously as he bobbed up and down, the bright yellow stripe around its stomach almost moving in the failing light. Extending its coiled tail to wrap around Nuzleaf, the lizard Pokemon drew him in close, careful to keep the sharp crest on his head away from the grass Pokemon. The two Pokemon exchanged words so rapidly that the meaning was lost to him and Shelton.

    “It’s good to see you,” Dorian grinned, slapping the short Pokemon a high-five.

    “Kecleon!” the Pokemon replied, turning its gaze from Dorian to the towering figure of Machoke. “Leon?”

    “Chooke,” Machoke answered, placing both hands behind his back.

    Satisfied with the answer the newly evolved Pokemon gave, Kecleon turned back to Dorian and Shelton and started to fill them in on his and Ronnie’s escapades since the last time he had seen them. Dorian opened his mouth to reply but stopped when a thought occurred to him. The man the shard had shown him had been watching him. He had not been amiably walking through the forest went Dorian had encountered him; he had been crouched low, looking straight at where Dorian had been on the ground. His stomach clenched up involuntarily, and he excused himself from his friends and started back towards the woods.


    **********


    Ethan pocketed the shard on the desk of the man he had just killed, reveling in the satisfaction of acquiring another priceless artifact. The voices would be pleased that he had retrieved it, and they would reward him for overcoming this adversity. Secretly Ethan hoped that they would be proud of him for the force he had shown, and the righteous action he had displayed in their honor. He closed his eyes and centered himself, reveling in the experience of exacting his vengeance. The feel of the man’s head in his hands as he ended his life was spellbindingly intense.

    “Scyther, sai?” his Pokemon asked.

    “Not quite,” Ethan replied.

    Roughly dragging the man out of the chair and pulling him to the floor, Ethan reached down and tore open the man’s shirt, exposing his chest and stomach. Reaching out to the man’s desk, he grabbed a piece of paper and pen, and quickly scrawled. Smiling to himself, he passed the scrap of paper to his Scyther, who fumbled awkwardly with it in her sword shaped arms.

    “Can you handle that?” Ethan asked.

    “Scyther,” she replied.

    Ethan turned away from his Pokemon as she cackled quietly and crouched down low over the man. The office was extremely organized, and a quick rifle through the files on the man’s desk yielded no notes on the shards or the treasure that they led to. He still had two more links to sever before the legend of the treasure passed back into the void, but he needed to make sure that no record of it was left behind. While Scyther worked away, Ethan pulled out a bottle of water from his pack and quickly dumped the entire contents into the computer located underneath the man’s desk. Moments later, smoke creped out of the air vents of the machine, followed by the monitor on the desk flickering out. He stowed the bottle away and took a step back to view Scyther’s handiwork. It was wonderfully done, and would send quite a message once the same was done to the other two thieves across town.

    “Let’s go,” Ethan told her. “Clean yourself up first.”

    “Saisai,” she grinned, reaching down and wiping her arms on the dead man’s cargo pants.

    Ethan turned and led his Pokemon back through the door they had entered, both unaware of the small security camera watching them from the ceiling.



    **********


    The man and his Pokemon were still nowhere in sight. He could tell from the way the grass had been flattened that the man had indeed been there, and looking to his right he saw a few snapped twigs a bit further, which was possibly the way that the man had left. He estimated that about fifteen minutes had elapsed since the shard had shown him the man’s location, so he couldn’t have gone far. Dorian couldn’t figure out why his uncle’s boss would have someone else on the project without telling his uncle. He knew his uncle would not object to extra pairs of hands on a project, especially one as intricate and important as this one.

    Pulling out his cell phone he quickly dialed his uncle’s number. It rang several times and went to voicemail, and repeated the sequence when Dorian hung up and tried again. Was Ronnie enveloped so heavily in the cloud of excitement around the marker that he wasn’t paying attention? Or maybe he wasn’t answering because he had silenced his phone so as not to be disturbed. As he began walking back to Shelton, another thought occurred to him. The man had not come to try and help him when Dorian had been tossed into the wires. There had been no sign of him running to get help or even attempting to help in any way at all, he had simply been staring.

    “Shelton, I’m starting to freak out slightly,” Dorian told his roommate as he arrived back at her side.

    “About?”

    “The man that I saw when I got dragged around. It’s just weird to me that Ronnie and I couldn’t find him.”

    “I wouldn’t worry about it. Ronnie said that the director probably just had someone else on the project and forgot to tell him about it.”

    “I know, it just feels strange to me for some reason. Ronnie won’t answer his phone either.”

    “Come on, Dorian. You know how he is when he focuses on his work. He probably just silenced his phone.”

    “That’s what I thought too, but still. I found some bent grass and twigs where I saw the man before. They started at the tree line and led further back into the woods. I know you’re having a hard time believing me about what I went through, but from the direction he was facing when I saw him, he was watching me.”

    “From what you said though, your body was on the cables when the marker showed you everything. Why would this random guy watch you get electrocuted and not do anything about it?”

    “That’s what I keep asking myself.”

    “Are you sure that he wa-“ Shelton started, her voice suddenly drowned out by the sound of a squealing siren.

    Dorian and Shelton both turned simultaneously to see three police cars speeding to the northwest portion of the city. Painted a dull brown and green, with lights flashing blue and red above, they sped down the road with haste, easily exceeding the speed limit that was standard across the city. As the sound of the sirens grew lighter in their ears, Dorian and Shelton turned back to one another. For almost a minute they stared at one another, both blank and confused. Shelton broke the stare by pulling out her phone and dialing Ronnie’s number. After a moment she returned the phone to her pocket and pulled out Machoke’s pokeball. Returning her Pokemon, she resumed her stare, not sure if she should be the first to speak.

    “I-“ Dorian began.

    “Yeah, let’s just go see him,” Shelton interrupted.

    With Kecleon and Nuzleaf in tow, the two of them started north towards the museum.


    ************


    Ethan exited the side entrance to the museum cautiously; eyes scanning left and right for anyone who might have seen him leave the building. No one was in sight, so he increased his speed, trying to put as much distance between himself and his rage as possible. Suddenly, the sound of several sirens broke the calm tranquility of the city, his heart racing as he absorbed the noise. He kept walking as three police cars came into view, clouds of dust billowing out behind them as they raced forward.

    “Don’t look at them,” Ethan said quickly.

    His Pokemon obeyed, keeping her head level and her stride normal. The cruisers moved slightly to the right as they passed him and Scyther, giving him a quick reprieve from his racing pulse. He took a breath, cursing himself for giving into fear so easily. His celebration was short lived though when he heard the loud screech of squealing tires. Undeterred, he kept walking, displaying no sign that he had heard the commotion. As he did his best to keep his composure, a harsh voice split the air.

    “Down on the ground, now!”

    Ethan quickly turned, being greeted by the sight of six police officers clad in identical ebony uniforms. He did not do as they commanded, electing instead to watch them approach and size up the potential threat. They all wore identical crew cuts and golden badges; three had firearms drawn and pointing at him, while the others had one hand gripping the ones they still had holstered. The officers spread out as they slowly approached, turning their triangle of bodies into a curved half-circle.

    “Now asshole!” another officer shouted.

    Again, Ethan decided against the man’s command.

    “You are under arrest for suspicion of murder. I repeat, get on the ground, now!”

    Scyther twitched in front of him, her mouth splitting to reveal her fangs. Her action caused the last three officers to draw their weapons, and adopt an even more menacing stride.

    “This is your last warning! You and your Pokemon get down on the ground, now!”

    Ethan slowly clenched both fists as they closed to within fifteen feet of him, a veil of red beginning to drop across his vision.


    *************


    The museum came into view a few minutes after they had started jogging, its eastern entrance boasting an unfamiliar sight. Six police officers were approaching a man and a Pokemon, all of them pointing their guns. Their backs were bent low, their steps cautious and deliberate. The lead officer was yelling at a man in front of him, motioning with his weapon towards the ground. A stone formed in Dorian’s stomach as he looked at the man, his brain reminding him of what he had seen earlier. It was the same man he had seen, his long brown hair gleaming bright and healthy. The officers kept approaching, hands tightening on their firearms.

    “This is your last warning! You and your Pokemon get down on the ground, now!”

    Dorian heard the finality in the officer’s voice, knowing what would happen if his command was not obeyed. He didn’t know what the man had done to merit this kind of attention, but the officers assembled wouldn’t have been this much on edge for no reason. He could feel the tension in the air from here, it was almost suffocating.

    As he watched, the man inclined his head towards the officers, his mouth moving quickly.

    Suddenly, the man’s Scyther sprang forward, sword-like arms glowing a blinding white. All six of the officers fired their weapons simultaneously, causing Kecleon and Nuzleaf to jump forward, shielding them from possible harm.

    The Scyther waved its arms mind-bendingly fast, sharp pings ringing out through the air as it deflected the bullets. Two of them were reflected back to their source, burying themselves into the stomach’s of two of the officers. Rosy blossoms of blood bloomed at the area of impact as they struck, the officer’s screaming out in pain as they dropped to the ground. Dorian gasped as the Scyther sprinted forward, his mind freezing in place as it took down two more of the policemen with vicious slashes; slicing through bone like air. Blood sprayed in long arcs as it struck, a sadistic smile etched on its triangular face. The two remaining officers quickly turned around and ran, leaving their dead and wounded companions behind. The Scyther quickly followed in pursuit, only to stop in its tracks by a shout from its master.

    “Shelton,” Dorian whispered, grabbing her limp left hand. “Back up, just start walking, now.”

    “Why is this happening?” she asked quietly, slowly stepping backwards as she spoke.

    Nuzleaf and Kecleon followed suit, keeping their position in front of them. Whether it was the fact that they had started walking, or the man just sensed their presence, Dorian didn’t know, but the man turned. The man waved his Scyther forward, a smile breaking out across his tanned face. Dorian stopped in his tracks, entranced by the man who had just commanded his Pokemon to murder four people. He looked so normal, so different from what he thought a man like that would look like. Round emerald eyes, accented by a small nose, hovered above muscled arms and loose fitting jeans, a green traveling pack draped across his shoulders. As Dorian watched, the man screamed at them, his voice so abnormally loud that Dorian instinctively covered his ears.

    “Leaf!” Nuzleaf roared back, sliding his right foot back into a fighting stance.

    As if reading its owners mind, the Scyther sprinted forward again, this time heading straight for Dorian. His right hand shot forward and activated his Pokeflect as he quickly stepped backwards, hands growing numb from the rush of adrenaline. The man up the road laughed maniacally as the Scyther came forward shockingly fast, raising its right arm and grinning broadly. Nuzleaf and Kecleon ran forward to meet it, both drawing back their fists to combat the threat.

    “Leon!”

    “Nunuz!”

    The Scyther ducked low as the two connected, striking both with the broad side of its arms in an effort to scatter them. Kecleon was violently thrown to the left as he was struck; body bouncing off the ground like a stone thrown across water. Nuzleaf was forced down to the ground, being kicked roughly in the face as the Scyther passed by him. Nuzleaf vanished in a flash of black light as Scyther swung its right arm towards Dorian, howling in delight as Dorian ducked backwards to avoid the blow.

    The attack never reached him. Just before Scyther’s arm connected, a black flash appeared in front of him, which materialized into a panting Nuzleaf. Both of the grass Pokemon’s hands were lifted up, catching the Scyther’s blow and protecting his master from harm. Nuzleaf gripped the sword tightly, the sharp appendage slicing deep into his hands. The Scyther narrowed its eyes and pushed harder, trying to overpower Nuzleaf and force him aside. Nuzleaf didn’t budge however, he shrugged off the pain and kept holding, drops of sap beginning to form on his forehead.

    Dorian and Shelton both jumped forward to help Nuzleaf, dimly aware of more sirens sounding through the air as they moved. As Dorian grabbed the top of the Scyther’s left arm to wrench him away, he saw the man further up the road start sprinting towards them, moving faster than Dorian would have thought possible. He swung his head to the side just as Shelton’s fist sailed past him, crunching loudly as it connected with the Scyther’s face. As the blow glanced off of the insect Pokemon, it tore its arm free of Dorian’s hold and swung towards Shelton, who ducked and followed with a left cross to the other side of its face.

    “Sai!” the Pokemon roared, spraying hot saliva into Dorian’s face.

    Dorian barely noticed the Pokemon’s voice, as he was too busy watching the man as he closed the distance between them. The man drew a long dagger from his belt as he approached, shouting curses as he dove forward. As the man’s feet left the ground, his body stopped, and Dorian noticed a purple glow take shape around the man’s chest. A similar glow enveloped the Scyther he and Nuzleaf were holding in place, and suddenly both the Scyther and the man were yanked straight up into the air.

    The sirens were painfully loud now, and as Dorian turned to look for the source, a brown and gold toned figure darted between him and Shelton, launching itself up to meet the man and the Scyther. The Alakazam that had slipped past Dorian bared its teeth at him as a purple light engulfed its body, carrying it up to its companions. The man was obviously being lifted against his will; evident by the amount of flailing and yelling he did as he rose higher. The Alakazam would not be denied though, and the three of them speedily vanished into the clouds above.

    “Nunuz!” Nuzleaf panted.

    “Christ!” Dorian agreed. “Are you alright?”

    “Nuzleaf,” the Pokemon assured him.

    “Give me your hands,” Dorian instructed his Pokemon.

    “Nuz,” Nuzleaf replied, turning over his hands. A long groove had been carved into the palm of each of his hands, leaking blood through his Pokemon’s fingers. As Dorian opened his mouth to speak again, his Pokemon silenced him with a wave, assuring him of his wellbeing.

    “Leon,” a new voice said behind him.

    Dorian turned to see Kecleon limping towards them, one scaly hand clutched across his belly. The Pokemon removed the hand when he saw Dorian’s mouth drop, showing him that the result of the attack had been a large bruise and not disembowelment. Kecleon and Nuzleaf started conversing quickly, the words passing by too fast for Dorian to understand. As the sirens came to a halt and policemen rushed past them, Dorian finally turned to Shelton. She was pacing back and forth quickly, face flushed, mouth set in a rigid straight line.

    “You good?” Dorian asked.

    “I’m fine,” Shelton responded. “That Scyther almost caught me with that left. It’s got me a little wired.”

    “It was strong,” Dorian agreed. “That was him.”

    “The man the marker showed you?”

    “Yes.”

    “What happened, Dorian? I mean really, what the hell was that?

    “I don’t know, I can’t process this right now.”

    A gold and red ambulance soon pulled up to the cacophony of scrambling people, rushing those injured into its confines and quickly speeding off again. Oddly enough, none of the officers stopped to speak to the two of them. He didn’t know if the new ones to arrive had not seen them engaging the man and his Pokemon, but it made sense to him after a moment that they would be more concerned about apprehending the fugitive. A man with a silver badge sprinted by quickly, yelling into a radio and pointing towards the sky; Shelton stopped him with a wave and he approached, his eyes scanning the heavens from north to south.

    “Did you two see what happened here?” the man asked.

    “Yes,” Shelton answered. “Can you please explain to me why we were nearly bisected?”

    “Look ma’am,” the officer started. “We don’t have all the information yet as to why it happened, but my priority right now is trying to find the suspect. If you’ll excuse me.”

    As the man turned away from them, Dorian touched him on the shoulder, “Why was he at gunpoint when we walked up?”

    “Look, museum security called us a few minutes ago and reported a murder. We responded, and now I have two officers dead and another two in critical condition.”

    “Murder?” Dorian asked, his heart picking up speed again. “And you’re sure it happened in the museum?”

    “Yes. That’s what dispatch told us, and now you know exactly as much as I do.”

    After the last word left his lips, the man turned and walked away, once again screaming into his radio. As Dorian struggled with the implications of what he was just told, he saw Kecleon bolt towards the museum, dodging quickly past the people milling about. Dorian quickly followed him, noticing Shelton and Nuzleaf following a step behind him. This was a dream; this was not the order of events that were supposed to take place. He brought the marker, he would receive the reward, and they would go home; that’s it, done! This did not fit into his life, this was not his path. He knew Ronnie was inside, and he knew that he probably would have no idea what had taken place right outside his office.

    Through a flickering hallway he followed Kecleon, who had adopted a speed Dorian had never witnessed. The four of them burst through the door to his uncle’s office a moment later, almost tripping over each other in an effort to get through.

    Dorian’s heart stopped.

    Smoke billowed across the ceiling while lines of blood crisscrossed the floor in small rivers. The streams of crimson emanated from the body of his uncle, who was lying in the floor, head cocked to the side unnaturally. As Dorian fell to his knees, he saw that the word ‘thief’ had been carved into his uncle’s chest, the letters jagged and deep.

    Kecleon started shrieking.
    Last edited by Sidewinder; 22nd May 2012 at 7:56 PM.

    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-


  8. #83
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    I'm here to give you a review of your Prologue-Chapter 3. Don't worry, I'll be sticking around for more, I just wanted to give you my thoughts on what I've read so far while they're still fresh in my mind and because I'm probably going to have to take a break from reading this weekend to write the next chapter of Possession.

    Overall, I'm really pleased. It seems like there's a really epic plot shaping up from what I've read so far and you make a really good impression with both your characters and their interactions with each other. I like Dorian, I really like Shelton, and I like all their Pokemon. You've managed to make me care about them in a pretty limited space, so kudos to you on that!

    I'm going to stick to a fairly linear commentary on this, so here it goes:

    Prologue:

    By and large, you have very nice, flowing sentences, that are long, but usually don't get too unweildy. This kind of sentence construction displays a nice confidence and comfort level in writing that's nice to settle into.

    Occasional gouts of water forced itself inside and flooded some of the tunnels
    "Itself" should be "themselves" since "gouts" is the subject that the reflexive pronoun is pointing back to, and "gouts" is plural. You'd have to switch around the sentence to something like "The occasional gout of water" to make "itself" match up.

    I thought perhaps the background bit concerning the boy's foster parents and his feelings for them could've been done better in scene. It's just not very emotionally affecting to just be told his backstory instead of experiencing it. I know this is the prologue and there needs to be a certain amount of focus, but nevertheless this bit felt a little exposition-dumpy to me.

    His parents were long dead, twisted and spirited away by the ghostly hand of death.
    I really like this sentence. It's nicely evocative and macabre. The only thing I don't like about it is the dead/death repetition. Perhaps changing the "long dead" to "long gone" would get rid of that problem?

    The Abra had also lost its parents; his new parents being vague on how it happened, but nevertheless fate brought them together and they were both blessed for it.
    To my mind, "being" sounds rather awkward here, especially since this doesn't sound like an ongoing action. "Had been" or "were" seems a better fit to me.

    The pokemon cocked its head from side to side like a Pidgey, listening.
    I like this description. It instantly creates an image in the mind. In fact, you have a lot of really excellent descriptions in this prologue. I'd say nice description is the thing that characterizes it. It certainly makes for a suspenseful impact too.

    Chapter 1:

    I like the idea of the Pokeflect. It’s nicely sciencey and it makes a lot of sense given the dangerous nature of being that close to attacks. It’s a creative idea and I like it... though not necessarily how it’s placed in the story. Putting it right at the beginning undercuts any of the action and movement you might've gained by beginning the chapter with a flamethrower attack. Instead, the reader is basically immersed in rather movementless tech-talk that seems to me to go on rather longer than its contribution to the story deserves. I don't think it contains much of a hook to keep the reader interested in continuing.

    As for the second paragraph, I'll be frank with you: I don't like it when stories completely stop for a lengthy character description. I get your predicament: you want your readers to be able to picture this new character as soon as possible. But for me, the last thing I really care about a character is how he or she looks. Generally speaking it just stops the action and feels very conspicuously heavy-handed if it happens all at once. That's why I prefer physical descriptions to be spaced out a bit more instead of having them come all at once. The lack of movement in this paragraph is only compounded by the fact that the previous paragraph has the same basic problem. And the beginning of a chapter is a difficult place to have this problem, because it's right where the reader is deciding whether the chapter is worth reading or not. Though, to your credit, I think you do attempt to do what I think good physical description really should do--you use it to tell us about the character's personality--and that's good.

    The chapter gets a lot better after those two paragraphs, so, if you want my opinion (and you are free to not want it), I think it would be an improvement to clear out the deadwood in those first two paragraphs and try to sprinkle the remaining details more evenly in the narrative instead of having it come all at once.

    It was in this chapter that I started to really notice your very frequent use of semi-colons. I'm a bit hesitant to even bring this up because, hey, I suppose there's nothing too wrong with using a lot of them (I, myself, have a debillitating addiction to dashes and italics) but... well, it does end up seeming a little overused to me. And there are a lot of places where I feel like a period or a comma or even one of my beloved dashes would better serve you than a semi-colon. It helps me to think of punctuation like musical instrumentation to create just the right kind of pause, and it doesn't necessarily seem right to me in all the cases you use it. But that might just be my own reading of it.

    No sooner had he given the command, the Growlithe righted itself and charged his Nuzleaf, orange flame licking the pits of its nostrils. The small pokemon proved to be too quick for Nuzleaf however; as the grass type readied itself to dodge, the pokemon put on an extra burst of speed and speared the brown pokemon in the sternum, making an audible crack!
    When not in the wonderful world of dialogue, I'd be wary of exclamation points. Most writers like to keep them horded away in a rarely used drawer because they can have a... I suppose you could say a rather desperate sound. Or at least that's the way I think of them. It's usually better to let the excitement of the sentence speak for itself instead of telling us it's exciting with an exclamation point. If this was dialogue then I wouldn't even be bringing this up beause that's an inflection issue, but in this case... well, I know a lot of editors tend to nix exclamation points and this one and the one that follows it seemed unnecessary to me.

    “Yeah you helped too I guess, although I think it’s also the fact that I’m just a real ‘Go-Getter’, the kinda guy that really overcomes adversity at all costs. Don’t you think so?”
    Your location says “Arkansas” so I’m assuming you’re American, right? If so, then I believe the comma should be inside the single quotes (I know it definitely is with regular quotation marks). Systems in other countries do it differently though, so if you’re not American or not using American style conventions for some other reason then ignore this.

    You definitely manage to convey the relationship between Dorian and Nuzleaf very well. Same later on with Trapinch.

    Again, I’m noticing that the description is rather plopped and stagnant when it comes to Trapinch. It mostly uses “to be” verbs like “was” that make it so there’s not much movement there.

    His head collided not with the thump he expected, but with the clear crisp clink of silverware on glass.
    Nice use of alliteration for sound effect, I’m definitely hearing it. Though I’d nix either clear of crisp, to be honest. Having three of them in a row seems like it’s trying a little too hard on the alliteration front. Alliteration can easily be overdone.

    “That’s great Dorian, I’m glad that when we get tossed to the street we’ll have a nice warm Growlithe to live in.” she said, rolling her eyes and turning to Nuzleaf.
    *smile* I like you already.

    I feel like the things that happened to the boy in those nearly three decades would’ve been more affecting if they were teased out more instead of just summarized. Priority-wise, as a reader I’m more interested in what’s happening to him than what the characters look like or some of the other things that get more time and attention in this chapter. I like that you brought it back to the prologue at the end, though.

    Chapter 2:

    “I’m instituting a new rule,” Shelton began, crossing her legs and leaning forward. “From now on, all your decision making privileges have been revoked. Other than involuntary bodily functions you have to perform in order to survive, I want you on the sofa, sitting on your hands at all times.”
    *bigger smile* I REALLY like you already.

    Awww. I haven’t even met Machop and already I like him.

    “Ah! How’s my future daughter in law doing?”
    That should be "daughter-in-law" I believe.

    “Yes,” his Uncle answered. “The direct translation goes ‘Gathered together, split apart. give your world, to eat what remains.’”
    Oooh. *leans closer to screen* Sounds interesting and foreboding! *crosses fingers for eldritch interdimensional horrors*

    “So that’s three that I owe you now?” the man asked.

    The Pokemon didn’t reply with a verbal affirmation, rather it held up four of its spindly fingers.
    *smirk* You have a gift for these nice, sharp relationship moments. I like it.

    The plot feels like it has a lot of momentum even at this beginning stage. Definitely good for creating interest.

    Chapter 3:

    Cutting him off mid sentence, Shelton asked, “So if I’m hearing you correctly, they were going to spend one-hundred thousand credits to move all of their excavating equipment here, but if were able to make it there before they leave, we may get some kind of finder’s fee?”
    Correction:

    Cutting him off mid sentence, Shelton asked, “So if I’m hearing you correctly, they were going to spend one-hundred thousand credits to move all of their excavating equipment here, but if we’re able to make it there before they leave, we may get some kind of finder’s fee?”

    “Dorian, even if he got us ten percent of the cost, that would pay me back and both our bills for the next two months!”

    “I know!”

    “That’s why you’re so excited!”

    “Exactly!”

    “Any other time, I would call attention to the fact that were both yelling!”

    “Same here, but this occasion calls for it!”

    “Yes!” she agreed.
    Heh. Nice. I can feel their excitement and you drew attention to it in a nicely humorous way.

    “I have dominion over you,” Dorian reminded the grass type, getting up and brushing the dirt from his jeans. “And I am commanding you to not laugh when I inadvertently embarrass myself from now on!”
    Another excellent line. The way you infuse these characters with some humor really makes them likeable to me.

    Pfft. I like Dorian’s attempts to start up a catch-phrase and Shelton having none of it.

    All in all it seems like you have a nice mix of things going on. I've pointed out the places where I think the text falters, but aside from those I'm enjoying this, and you've definitely got me interested and on board to read more. I hope these comments were helpful in some way, and I'll see you after I've read onward.

  9. #84
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    Marvelous. This chapter seems to follow a lot of then this happened pphrasing, but I'm not sure that's really avoidable in the construct. One thing that jumped out at me though, as an ametuer fictitious geogrpaher, is your placement of Orre and Unova. (yay for recognizing the Orre region! Whoo! We will be known!)



    The problem, is that you have Unova pegged as farther west. Since they are both based on US states, most geography I know will put them on the same continent, with the Orre region in the way between Unova and Kanto/Johot, solving the why yo have to fly to Unova and not boat. This is also done though because the mainland of Unova is west of the region, while the sea is to the east. Orre is flipped the opposite way, with the sea to the west and the generic land to the east. If you subscribe to the idea that Gen1-3 is based on Japan, then for Orre to be the closer of the two it should be to the Northeast with Unova farther East, similar to how the real world would look if someone was standing in Hawaii and looking at the US and Japan. Or, you go the other way, with Unova being on the other side of the Tojoh region with Orre being the farhter one away, but then you lose the canon's statement that the Unova region is too far to go by boat, while Orre is appearently accesible by nearly all species and trainers.

    If I'm nitpicking the geograhpy, that means I don't see anything more glaring in the story, right?

    “Yes,” his Uncle answered. “The direct translation goes ‘Gathered together, split apart. give your world, to eat what remains.’”
    Oooh. *leans closer to screen* Sounds interesting and foreboding! *crosses fingers for eldritch interdimensional horrors*
    Every time I see this, my first thought is: "Arblus, Look! It's Unicron!" Go look it up, if you don't know the flick.
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

  10. #85
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    I woke up sick in the middle of the night and figured I'd do this while I'm up. Hopefully my quality isn't suffering because of it.

    As he studied the burning balls of gas, he became aware that he couldn’t distinguish what was up or down, or left and right for that matter; causing him to experience vertigo for the first time.
    Nothing particularly wrong here, but the punctuation you chose made me read it a little weird. Maybe try:
    "As he studied the burning balls of gas, he became aware that he could not distinguish what was up or down--or left or right for that matter--causing him to experience vertigo for the first time."

    I split couldn't into could not, too, just because.

    Without any sort of warning, the shard shot down towards the desert wasteland, pulling Dorian behind it.

    Just as he did not freeze in the deathly cold of space, he did not ignite in flame as he descended back into the atmosphere. The only thing he felt as he was unwillingly pulled back into the atmosphere was a soft push against his skin, not unlike that of a gentle summer breeze; which struck Dorian as odd considering that he was plummeting towards Orre at several thousand miles per hour. Trying to get a clear picture of the landscape speeding by beneath him was useless, as all he was able to observe were streaks of blue, followed by a rich orange. Just as he was stricken by how utterly helpless he was, his movement stopped, and he found himself standing in a fountain in the center of Phenac City.
    I get that, more than anything, Dorian is probably in severe shock (if such a thing is even capable in an ephemeral state), but the narration almost makes him sound...bored by this ordeal. Especially at the point where he is getting pulled to Earth at high speeds, I imagine he'd be freaking out and screaming. Unless the shard is releasing a calming effect, which seems possible, so I will just read on.

    Without warning yet again, the shard moved itself towards the water and launched itself straight down, pulling Dorian through layers of stone and dirt behind it. He couldn’t see or hear at all as he moved, which to him felt like he had been buried alive. Just as he drew in a breath to yell, he dropped down into a circular chamber, which was lit every few feet by glowing torches.
    Ah, there we get something. Okey dokey.

    The shard pulled him into the air about ten feet above the water, and then quickly pulled him through the northern most wall of the rocky structure in the center of the lake. The shard quickly set him down in the center of a small chamber within,
    You used "quickly" twice in pretty quick (HA!) succession there. I know how hard it can be to catch those when you're writing because it takes longer to get the words down, so it doesn't feel repetitive.

    Looking up, Dorian saw that Nuzleaf was still rushing towards him, having made much progress over the last several minutes. His Pokemon was now only a few feet from him, and was currently in mid-dive,
    This just struck me as a little weird: If Nuzleaf still wasn't to Dorian's side in several minutes, then he is the slowest creature on Earth. Unless it was because he was dealing with the electricity and the dangers and what not, but it doesn't read like he was moving cautiously.

    “I’m not in shock! That marker just pulled me out of my body!”

    “Right,” Shelton said, stepping closer and cupping his face in her hands. “Do you know who I am?”

    “Of course I do, moron!” Dorian shouted.
    I love some of the interactions between these two.

    “Look, I’m fine,” Dorian assured them, spinning once and lifting his arms. “That marker is ******** and I’m not going near it again.”
    I'm going to be honest: I USUALLY don't love such incessant cursing, but it actually really does fit here. Dorian should be in great pain from the electrical shock and burns, and his mind should be 10 shades of blown, so I think this swearing does a good job of conveying a mixed sense of pain and utter rage at his confusion.

    He had not been amiably walking through the forest went Dorian had encountered him;
    *when, not went.

    The Scyther waved its arms mind-bendingly fast, sharp pings ringing out through the air as it deflected the bullets. Two of them were reflected back to their source, burying themselves into the stomach’s of two of the officers. Rosy blossoms of blood bloomed at the area of impact as they struck, the officer’s screaming out in pain as they dropped to the ground. Dorian gasped as the Scyther sprinted forward, his mind freezing in place as it took down two more of the policemen with vicious slashes; slicing through bone like air. Blood sprayed in long arcs as it struck, a sadistic smile etched on its triangular face. The two remaining officers quickly turned around and ran, leaving their dead and wounded companions behind. The Scyther quickly followed in pursuit, only to stop in its tracks by a shout from its master.
    Why don't the officers have Pokeflects? Or kevlar? YOU KNOW I CAN'T NOT CONSTANTLY ASK ABOUT POKEFLECTS. But it seems like, if anyone, cops would have them. I have some questions about the cops whole behavior here, but I'll read on and see if they are answered (mostly: why were they so aggressive here? How do they know with such certainty that Ethan is the culprit? The only way I can imagine is the security camera was sending live feed somewhere, but if that's the case, the cops should have known what they were getting into and definitely had the aforementioned protective measures in place. If it's not, why were they pulling guns on some random, unthreatening man and placing him under arrest before bringing him in for questioning?)

    He looked so normal, so different from what he thought a man like that would look like.
    THAT....is a really good, realistic observation.

    Nuzleaf didn’t budge however, he shrugged off the pain and kept holding, drops of sap beginning to form on his forehead
    Also, very nice. I like the idea that Nuz' bodily fluid is sap. It's so dark and innocent at the same time.



    -There have been so absolutely spectacular action scenes in this story, and you write [pokemon] action about as well as I can imagine it can be done. Just...gorgeous. Very vivid and descriptive and intense and powerful. I seriously think I could read a hundred stories here and not find a single action sequence that puts me as on the edge of my seat as the scenes you've written with the Graveler and now with Scyther. I could seriously gush about those sequences forever.

    -That said, I have three overall character or plot-related complaints:

    1) The questions I had regarding the police officers earlier. That really gets me. Did they see the footage that Ethan was the culprit? If not, why were they so unnecessarily aggressive? And why weren't they prepared for violence in any possible way?
    2) This is minor, but spilling water in a computer may or may not wreck the computer, but it almost certainly won't erase the information within. Then again, this might not even be a complaint, because you could have done that to show how oblivious Ethan is to things that don't directly concern him, like technology.
    3) Dorian and Shelton (but mostly Shelton) seem recovered from what happened to Golduck really easily. When Ronnie meets them, Shelton beams "It wasn't too bad" in regards to the time they made, and I thought "Well, except when you were brutally assaulted and one of your closest friends was maimed. Just that". I get that they wouldn't say "Because of you telling us to come here, Golduck was been crippled!", but...there should be a happy medium between that and basically forgetting it ever happened.
    Last edited by Sid87; 19th May 2012 at 11:15 AM.


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  11. #86
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    Hi, there! I'm a reader of this fic. I've been reading since a few chapters ago, but after this chapter I found myself with so many things I wanted to talk about that I decided to come out and review.

    One of the main reasons I'm enjoying this is that you have such likeable and compelling characters. Dorian and Shelton both have really fun personalities that bounce off each other wonderfully, and they feel entirely natural as lifelong friends, making for a great pair of protagonists to read about. I also love that their Pokémon are very much participating characters as well. I particularly like Nuzleaf, with the way he and Dorian are constantly sparring and bickering, but beneath that they're clearly fierce friends. Machoke is also kind of adorable, especially now he's all big and bulky but still has his meek, shy personality. I could tell you'd done a great job of getting me to care about all of Dorian and Shelton's Pokémon because the Graveler incident had me worried for them and hoping they'd be okay, which is clearly the impact you were trying to give it. You also made a good move in nerfing Golduck's psychic powers due to that incident, in my opinion, since having a Pokémon with an ability to do almost anything like he could would have made solving future crises a little too easy for Dorian and Shelton if he'd kept that power. (I was actually a little surprised he had that much power in the first place, since while Golduck do have some psychic abilities, they're not actually Psychic-type, so he shouldn't really have been able to do quite as much as an actual Psychic Pokémon... but that isn't really an issue now he's lost that power.)

    Then there's Ethan, who, even despite events in the most recent chapter, I still feel kind of sorry for. He's clearly blind to just how bad of a thing he was getting himself into with these shards and flakes. He's doing all these terrible things because he really believes that those voices love him and care about him, but I get the distinct feeling that, whatever the voices are, they're just taking advantage of a lonely kid to do their dirty work and don't actually give a damn about him at all. Absorbing those flakes has probably screwed with his mind in ways he can't even begin to realise, too. And his Alakazam, I find incredibly compelling. He's obviously very much aware of all the things I've said about what his master's getting himself into - but he's so loyal to Ethan that he still supports him even when he doesn't think what he's doing is a good idea. I feel like Alakazam has the potential to be one of the most pivotal characters in the story: he's the only one in the position of possibly being able to convince Ethan that what he's doing isn't right and isn't good for him and get him to stop before anyone else gets hurt - but whether he'll manage to do that, and how far his loyalty will stretch before he puts his foot down, are big questions that I'm looking forward to seeing the answers to. Soon, perhaps! - because after he dragged Ethan and Scyther away from murdering Dorian and Shelton this chapter, I'm really eager to see Ethan confront him over that and how that turns out.

    Here's a thought, actually: since your Pokémon characters are such important, contributing characters, and since you've indicated that their trainers can actually understand what they're saying so long as they're not speaking too fast (and that it isn't just picking up vague meaning from their tone and inflection but stuff like being able to understand them recounting stories of what's gone on in the past, as with Kecleon this chapter), why not translate the Pokémon speech? Since you seem to be writing in third-person limited POV, and the POV character knows more or less exactly what they're saying, letting the readers know what they're saying too could give the Pokémon even more depth as characters. It's fine if you don't want to for whatever reasons - I apologise if it seems like I'm trying to write your story for you here - but it's just a suggestion.

    Aside from the characters, you also have a pretty intriguing plot that I'm sure will get even more fun and plotty and gripping than it already is further down the line. Pretty much the only thing about this story that was bothering me as I read through it was various mechanical issues here and there with the writing (such as a tendency to halt the action for listy descriptions like Skiyomi pointed out above me, as well as other things which would probably have been caught with more thorough proofreading) - but these have been getting less prominent as the fic has gone on. I'll try and point out some that I noticed while going through this chapter mentioning things I liked so you get an idea of the kind of thing I mean.

    Dorian could see through his arm. That was the one thing he kept thinking about as he was pulled into the sky. He had stopped screaming by the time he had passed through the lower layer of clouds above Pewter City; and instead of focusing on that impossibility, he was choosing instead to examine another.
    I liked this. What's happening to Dorian right now is impossible enough that it seems entirely likely that his mind would just short circuit and decide to focus on one of the least brain-breaking aspects of it in order to cope. That struck me as a nicely realistic reaction, given the situation. I'm not sure you did quite such a good job of Dorian's reactions throughout the rest of his little trip, though; before long he just seemed to be calmly describing the scenery as if he's just on holiday and nothing weird is happening at all, without any kind of sense that this is just what his brain is focusing on to try and cope. And while I like the notion that everything was so impossible to comprehend that he just decided to go along with it and process what the **** just happened only once it was over, when it is over, he doesn't seem to have a moment where he stops and tries to come to terms with it; he just starts blurting out how he got dragged all over the planet like there's nothing weird about that at all.

    I dunno. I may be misinterpreting some things slightly, and reactions like this are going to be incredibly difficult to write anyway, since it's not as if anyone could know what it's actually like to be in that kind of situation. You did a fairly decent job, considering, but after that bit at the beginning that I think you really nailed, I felt like the rest of it could have had something a bit... more, in the way of brainbroken reactions. I don't really know what to suggest, though.

    The man had long brown hair and a look on his face of extreme fury, a Scyther and an Alakazam positioned to his right and left. The man was dressed for journey, made evident by his worn boots and heavy pack across his back. The man did not notice Dorian as the shard pulled him around behind him so he faced the man’s traveling pack.
    This here is an example of your tendency for listy character descriptions: the man had this, the man was that. Try and vary your sentence structure more and focus on the parts that really matter instead of just listing everything that can be seen - show us how furious he looks rather than just telling us he has a furious expression. Here, especially, since this is the first time Dorian sees Ethan, this deserves to have more of an impact to it.

    Talking about the plot for a moment: Ethan only has two shards? From what I remember, he's definitely absorbed more than two flakes - isn't there one shard per flake? ...Hang on, one of Ethan's flakes came from near Dorian's shard, so I guess he has three flakes right now. If I'm still getting this mixed up, do let me know, though.

    The shard in his standing body pulsed for the final time, causing the shard still in his ground body to glow brightly. Satisfied that it had done its job, the shard in his standing body lifted him up and positioned him on top of his ground body and slowly started lowering him down. As his feet touched his ground body’s midsection, his body started dissolving into black smoke, inching its way up his body. An intense wave of heat rolled across his body as it vanished, causing Dorian to yell out in agony. The smoke ate its way up his standing body, being absorbed back into his physical body on the ground. Through his all encompassing haze of pain, Dorian took a deep breath, trying his best to prepare himself as the smoke reached his neck. His vision blurred as the smoke reached his eyes, and he experienced the unusual sensation of weightlessness as he was forcibly sucked back into his body.
    This part was also a bit clunky and difficult to understand, what with all the "his body"s and it often being unclear whether you were referring to his physical or non-physical body. Maybe it would help if you referred to his ethereal form entirely as "him", since that's where Dorian feels like he is, and the body on the ground as "his body". "Him" and "his body" is simpler to follow than "his standing body" and "his physical body" or anything like that.

    A little tip on evading swear filters: the best way is to put one of the letters in Font=Verdana tags, because then it isn't visible at all. The single italic letters threw me off slightly.

    Jolteon colored motorcycle
    Jolteon-coloured? Really? The problem with that is that due to you making me think of Jolteon, I now can't help but picture the bike to be all spiky, too, which I doubt it actually is. There's nothing wrong with just calling it yellow.

    Ronnie guffawed loudly as he squeezed tighter, transferring his love to them in unseen waves.
    The bolded part is a bit of a weird and cheesy way to describe a hug. It's not really needed, either, since the rest of the narration already gives the clear impression that he loves them like a father.

    “Alright good,” Dorian replied, hanging his head.
    Should be a comma between alright and good.

    “Alakazam, you stay with those two. Don’t let them out of your sight. I’m going to get the shard and then I’ll come find you.”

    “Kazam?”

    “It’s not your concern. Your job is to keep track of the two humans.”

    “Alakazam.”

    “I don’t have time for this. Just watch them and make sure you’re not seen.”

    “Ala,” his Pokemon nodded, obviously unsatisfied.
    Oh, Alakazam. He clearly has a pretty good idea what Ethan's planning to do and doesn't want him to do it, but he doesn't push it and does as Ethan asks because he still cares about him, and, and and and... =D I'm seriously fascinated by him.

    Which suited Ethan fine as he quickly reached out and broke the man’s neck.


    *********


    “Kecleoooonnn!” his uncle’s Pokemon sang as he was released into the world.
    Ouch. That juxtaposition of Ronnie being murdered and introducing us to one of Ronnie's faithful Pokémon for the first time... that's just cruel. Nice one.

    the bright yellow stripe around its stomach almost moving in the failing light.
    Huh? If you mean the zigzag on a Kecleon's stomach that's the only part it can't change the colour of, isn't that red?

    Dorian opened his mouth to reply but stopped when a thought occurred to him. The man the shard had shown him had been watching him. He had not been amiably walking through the forest went Dorian had encountered him; he had been crouched low, looking straight at where Dorian had been on the ground. His stomach clenched up involuntarily, and he excused himself from his friends and started back towards the woods.
    (bold: "when")

    This strikes me as rather a random moment for Dorian to realise that. Surely he'd have been more likely to do so when he dragged Shelton and Ronnie to where he'd seen Ethan and found him gone? Even if not, for him to suddenly realise it here, it would make more sense if something in the conversation had directed his thoughts back towards the man he'd seen, rather than it just occurring to him completely out of nowhere.

    The voices would be pleased that he had retrieved it, and they would reward him for overcoming this adversity. Secretly Ethan hoped that they would be proud of him for the force he had shown, and the righteous action he had displayed in their honor.
    Here's a hint of that lonely little boy desperate for a parent figure he can prove himself to. D: Those voices are totally taking advantage of him, I'm sure.

    There had been no sign of him running to get help or even attempting to help in any way at all, he had simply been staring.
    Ethan exited the side entrance to the museum cautiously; eyes scanning left and right for anyone who might have seen him leave the building.
    I'd be fine with your slight overuse of semicolons that Skiyomi pointed out (I'm a little guilty of that myself), except here it seems that you don't quite understand when they're used. Both parts on either side of a semicolon should be able to stand on their own as a sentence; you should be able to replace a semicolon with a full stop and still have it make grammatical sense (like with the one in this sentence here). The semicolon's purpose is basically to show more of a connection between the sentences on either side of it than a full stop would.

    The second of the above quotes is an example of you using a semicolon where you shouldn't, as the "eyes scanning left and right..." part doesn't make its own sentence. The comma in the first quote, meanwhile, shouldn't be a comma, as both parts on either side of it are their own sentence. (Commas can only be used to join together two sentences if they come before a conjunction like "and" or "but".) That first quote is an example of somewhere you could use a semicolon if you wanted, although a full stop would also work. I'd actually go for the full stop, personally. The second part would be more chilling in its own sentence.

    “Now ***hole!” another officer shouted.
    Commas should always come before and after a direct address (though the after isn't applicable here), even if the direct address is some word or phrase that isn't actually the person's name.

    The Scyther waved its arms mind-bendingly fast, sharp pings ringing out through the air as it deflected the bullets. Two of them were reflected back to their source, burying themselves into the stomach’s of two of the officers.
    This... I found a little difficult to swallow. I know Scyther are fast, but that fast? And that accurate for two of them? Even if she is fast enough to hit them, slashing at speeding bullets should have just torn holes in her scythes; changing the direction of momentum of those bullets is going to result in all that momentum acting on her, instead. There's probably some other way you could use a Scyther's abilities to have her and Ethan avoid harm, here - and then just have her go murdercrazy on the men after that so you still get four of them injured/dead.

    As if reading its owners mind,
    owner's.

    (I'm probably not catching every single typo here as this is my second readthrough and I'm mostly skimming. This stuff has been getting less frequent than it was in earlier chapters, like I've said, but still, make sure to proofread thoroughly.)

    Kecleon was violently thrown to the left as he was struck; body bouncing off the ground like a stone thrown across water.
    Nuzleaf didn’t budge however, he shrugged off the pain and kept holding...
    More examples of semicolons that should be commas and commas that should be semicolons.

    Dorian barely noticed the Pokemon’s voice, as he was too busy watching the man as he closed the distance between them. The man drew a long dagger from his belt as he approached, shouting curses as he dove forward. As the man’s feet left the ground, his body stopped, and Dorian noticed a purple glow take shape around the man’s chest. A similar glow enveloped the Scyther he and Nuzleaf were holding in place, and suddenly both the Scyther and the man were yanked straight up into the air.

    The sirens were painfully loud now, and as Dorian turned to look for the source, a brown and gold toned figure darted between him and Shelton, launching itself up to meet the man and the Scyther. The Alakazam that had slipped past Dorian bared its teeth at him as a purple light engulfed its body, carrying it up to its companions. The man was obviously being lifted against his will; evident by the amount of flailing and yelling he did as he rose higher. The Alakazam would not be denied though, and the three of them speedily vanished into the clouds above.
    Alakazaaaaam! (also incorrect semicolon.) I am really looking forward to seeing how he's going to explain himself to Ethan, and how Ethan will react.

    “Look ma’am,” the officer started.
    Another direct address that needs a comma.

    Smoke billowed across the ceiling while lines of blood crisscrossed the floor in small rivers. The streams of crimson emanated from the body of his uncle, who was lying in the floor, head cocked to the side unnaturally. As Dorian fell to his knees, he saw that the word ‘thief’ had been carved into his uncle’s chest, the letters jagged and deep.

    Kecleon started shrieking.
    Love the impact of that last line. Poor Kecleon. D:

    And poor Dorian and Shelton, for that matter. They clearly aren't about to catch a break any time soon. I like that about this fic! Another reason I'm looking forward to the next chapter is that I'm sure their reactions to this will be well-portrayed, as you've already shown your skills at this kind of thing with aftermath of the Graveler incident.


    I'll definitely be reading this, then! Don't hold out on me stopping by to review every chapter, as I'm frequently lazy and currently busy, but if you keep having such compelling plot and characters then I'm sure I'll find myself with so much to say that I can't just not say it many times in the future. :3
    .: Evolution is a battle .:. Something has to lose :.
    LOST EVOLUTION
    Chapter 33: Inside has been posted.


    Foregone Conclusion
    Spinoff/prequel/backstory/thingy to Lost Evolution, written for NaNoWriMo 2010

    Three Heads Are Better Than One

  12. #87
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    Should be a comma between alright and good.
    While we're at it, "alright" is not a word and should always be "all right".


    Sid87's Gen 6 Igloo Shop!

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  13. #88
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    His father’s older brother worked as a curator at the Pewter City museum, which was a profession he excelled at naturally. Owing to his near genius IQ and love of all things made hundreds to thousands of years before he was born.
    There should be a comma between naturally and owing. The sentence doesn't stand on its own, so it should just continue from the first one. This is probably a problem you've rectified in your later chapters and I probably sound like an idiot.

    “Don.” the Pokemon agreed, returning the smile as best as its terrifying face would allow.
    This line made me giggle.

    Dude, this whole thing with the shards is exciting and mysterious! I don't know what the flakes are that are attaching themselves to this boy's body, but they freak me out. Alakazam is right to worry. Also, remember when you're pluralizing something to not use an apostrophe (Diglett's should just be Diglett. Pokemon don't pluralize I don't think. And if they do, and I'm mistaken, it would still just be Digletts.)

    Again, you probably already know this. I'll shut up and read Chapter Three.
    I am not worried, Harry. I am with you.



    ^This is my new fanfic. It's a work in progress, so please read and comment at your discretion. I hope you like it. I think you will.

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    Harry Potter and How I Met Your Mother are currently my life.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    While we're at it, "alright" is not a word and should always be "all right".
    While we're at it, alright is an acceptable aknolodgement to a person, typically synonomous to "Okay" (as in, "Okay, I understand") and does qualify as a word. "All right" is a broader statement, where in you are addressing many objects as a whole and stating their condition. It's typically not seen, but is essentially the same thing as "All's right" (All's right with the world"):-P

    Whether or not it's an alright stand-in for "okay" here, such as

    "Somewhere between okay and good"
    is probably a regional thing.

    -The Hoosier
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

  15. #90
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    Here it is, Part Three.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post

    CHAPTER 7

    AFTERMATH
    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post

    “Shelton, I didn’t leave him out there. He yanked us up, I had no control over it.”
    Supposed to be a semicolon there, not a comma.

    One of the most emotional chapters yet in my opinion. I must say that the first time I read this; I thought Golduck was dead and gone, but than you pull a plot twist on everything and have him somehow survive that suicidal attack. I must commend you for that bit of ingenious story work, a Machiavellian idea that now adds yet another subplot to the fic: Golduck’s continued survival and recovery that is if he lives to get to the Pokemon Center.
    Equally as dramatic as Golduck, Machop’s near death state and Shelton’s song and speech to him almost brought me to tears. Yes, I will admit it: it brought me to tears when I read it. It didn’t help my emotional state any that Machop evolved and was partly healed of his injuries.

    Very good chapter, even fewer mistakes that I caught. Good job on this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    CHAPTER 8
    An interesting insight into Ethan’s ,ahem,complex personality and his thinking process. It seems that the power given to him by the shards has completely corrupted his sense of morality to the point that he’s willing to murder someone over them (Plus, all the seeing red he’s doing can’t be good for his eyes). He seems to care for his Pokemon though, so maybe he some sense of humanity left in him.
    Conflict between him and Dorian and Co. is now inevitable, I fear the worst. Those voices cannot be up to any good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    CHAPTER 9
    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Reaching down, she scratched a spot at the small of Nuzleaf’s back, dragging her sharp nails across his wooden body.
    The bold part of that sentence doesn’t sound right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Aspear berries had a naturally occurring coagulant in them, which would help if Golduck’s arm was injuried before it had completely healed.
    Injured is misspelled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    “What’s twenty-six times thirty-seven?” Shelton quickly asked.

    “Well, if you carry the decimal and square the remainder,” Dorian started, squeezing his eyes shut in concentration. “Three-hundred and twenty-five!”
    No, Dorian. You’re supposed to carry the decimal than divide the answer by the exact circumference of the sun. The answer is obviously 24, not 325.

    A calmer chapter than the last two/three. At least Golduck is going to be fine, it’s too bad that the gemstone operation was so expensive….wait a minute. That might have been another reason for them to get the money from the museum director. I say might have been, because I have read chapter 11 and I now think that’s out of the picture. Good chapter, a few errors, but nothing big.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Chapter 10
    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    “I don’t see how, but this thing is vibrat-,” Dorian said, only to be cut off by the sudden impact of a pokeball hitting him in the side of the head.

    “Nuuhnuz!” Nuzleaf cackled loudly.

    “You little bastard!” Dorian yelled, bending down and picking up the ball. “I wasn’t paying attention! That’s a free shot from ten feet!”
    That’s just a funny scene, a bit of humor before many terrible things happen.

    The calm before the storm, that’s what this chapter is. A mix of humor, weirdness, and rage. The bits of humor were a nice addition to make the readers laugh before the storm of events that happens in the next chapter. The two parts I find weird are Dorian’s capture of Spoink, I mean he just threw a pokeball in a hedge and just catches a Pokemon? Just a little unrealistic for my tastes. The other definite weird event in this chapter was the out of body experience Dorian has after he’s thrown on the electric lines. Which makes me wonder, if these mysterious shards and markers can influence someone enough to be willing to murder people, and give them strange out of body visions, what else are they capable of doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post


    Chapter 11
    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    “Space?” he whispered.
    I honestly could not resist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    As that thought crossed his mind, he looked down; taking in the sight of his planet from a perspective he had never seen before. He recognized the great desert of Orre to the northwest, Sinnoh to the northeast, the landmass of Unova to the far west, and tucked away in the middle of his vision was the island of Hoenn. A few hundred miles to the right of Hoenn, sat the sizeable split region of Johto and Kanto. Parts of the different regions were obscured by clouds, but in no way did it dampen the view that Dorian held.
    Have to ask a small question here. I know that in some fics, the Regions are a part of the real world; usually set somewhere in the Pacific Ocean (I can only think of Cutlerine’s The Thinking Man’s Guide to Destroying the World as an example of this). In other fics, the Regions are in their own world. I’m wondering if other nations like America, England, or Japan exist in this fic.
    Just a random question that I thought of.


    The last two chapters were-for the most part- calm. This chapter, however, had enough things happening to fill two chapters comfortably. It goes from Dorian’s trippy spirit journey across the planet, to Ethan seeing red a lot, to Ronnie getting brutally murdered in cold blood, to a failed arrest, to Scyther’s bloody carnage, to Dorian finding his beloved uncle dead. Like I said, a hell of a lot of stuff happening in this chapter, but you handle it pretty well and write it so that I didn’t get tired reading through it. I am anxiously waiting to see the next chapter.
    Dorian’s reaction to his loss will severely affect him, whether he goes on a quest of revenge against Ethan, or continues his uncle’s journey for the markers is probably going to be a major part of chapter 12 methinks.

    And so that is Part Three of my review, Portal 2 references and all. Hope it’s acceptable. I’ll definitely be there to review the next chapter when it comes out. Now that I don’t have to review multiple chapters, I can focus more on individual chapters. So, yay for less work!

    Knightfall signing off…

  16. #91
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    As he rose past the exosphere he kept staring, only stopping to examine his surroundings when the color he was seeing through his arm changed from blue, to black.
    Don’t really need that comma there, it’s an unnecessary pause and kind of ruins the flow of the sentence.

    He knew that he wouldn’t be able to hear the word, as the lack of oxygen would prevent it, but to his surprise the word was audible. As he heard his voice, he became aware of another feat, he could still breathe. Putting both of those situations to the side, he looked around.
    Sounds kind of silly to put his voice and breathing to the side, since they’re both very important. You might want to clarify and say he didn’t put the situation of not being able to talk/breathe to the side, but that he simply didn’t have to worry about those fears anymore.

    As he struggled to get his bearings, the moon shied itself into view at the far right edge of his planet. Pockmarked with craters and glowing brilliantly ivory against the black backdrop of space, it seemed almost content with its place above the world.
    I like this particular piece of description. It seems sweet and surreal and creepy all at once. Though I would say “brilliantly glowing ivory” instead because it sounds better. I had to read that part a few times to get it straight.

    As he was trying to decide whether he could still vomit or not, his movement stopped and he was able to make sense of the world again.
    LOL. Even in crazy situations like these, Dorian is still amusing and thinks of silly things like vomiting.

    Looking up, Dorian saw that Nuzleaf was still rushing towards him, having made much progress over the last several minutes.
    Wouldn’t it be that Nuzleaf HADN’T made much progress? Dorian probably felt like he was gone for several minutes, but in reality he wasn’t gone long at all… so he’d perceive that Nuzleaf had made little progress after so much time had passed. Even if this wasn’t the case, having Nuzleaf make “much progress” on getting to someone he was already by sounds kind of silly.

    I’ve only read a few paragraphs of the next section so far, but I wanted to stop and comment on the pace of the chapter so far. First, though, I’d like to say how you included the region of Orre in here—it always seems so forgotten and I really love it. Second, the pace was really wonderful. You added so much description (but not enough to make me feel overwhelmed or bored) and made everything seem so surreal and dream-like… so it seemed like so much time had passed, but in reality, little time had passed at all. Then, when you get to the next section, reality hits again, and everything’s very fast and frantic. I really like the distinguished difference you made between those two sections. It was realistic and very well written. Hope that makes sense.

    “Well,” Shelton started. “Nuzleaf beat the **** out of the Spoink you caught.”

    “Good,” Dorian replied, resuming his trot back and forth. “Give me a minute and I’ll finish what he started.”
    Haha, I particularly liked this part since trainers are all shown as general “goody two-shoes” who’d never hurt their pokémon or treat them wrong. I guess that it probably isn’t surprising to you that I’d enjoy seeing Dorian beat the **** out of his pokémon.

    “Look, I’m fine,” Dorian assured them, spinning once and lifting his arms. “That marker is ******** and I’m not going near it again.”
    Doesn’t the pokeflect have healing powers or something, if I remember right? Why isn’t this coming into play?

    “Machop evolved along the way,” Shelton answered.
    I would imagine Shelton to have more emotion toward this since Machop only evolved because he was about to die. That was pretty traumatic stuff right there.

    “Just keep that thing away from me and I’ll do my best to agree with you,” Dorian replied.
    Is Dorian not afraid of it happening to anyone else? He sure was okay with handing it to Shelton and Ronnie as if he knew nothing would happen… which seems impossible to know.

    “Sai,” his Scyter replied.
    Spelled “Scyther” wrong, no big deal.

    The man in the office chair was so focused on the screen that he did not hear him approach. Which suited Ethan fine as he quickly reached out and broke the man’s neck.
    I knew this was going to happen because I read a review before I read the actual chapter… *sigh* I’ll never do that again. Either way, it was sudden and tragic. I already feel bad for Shelton and Dorian even though I haven’t seen their reactions yet.

    I must say, though, that I like the parallelism with Kecleon already. I feel like Ronnie will live on through Kecleon or something. It has to mean something, anyway, since the last thing that he did before he died was bring Kecleon into the story. I look forward to seeing when you do with him.

    The museum came into view a few minutes after they had started jogging, its eastern entrance boasting an unfamiliar sight. Six police officers were approaching a man and a Pokemon, all of them pointing their guns. Their backs were bent low, their steps cautious and deliberate. The lead officer was yelling at a man in front of him, motioning with his weapon towards the ground. A stone formed in Dorian’s stomach as he looked at the man, his brain reminding him of what he had seen earlier. It was the same man he had seen, his long brown hair gleaming bright and healthy. The officers kept approaching, hands tightening on their firearms.

    “This is your last warning! You and your Pokemon get down on the ground, now!”

    Dorian heard the finality in the officer’s voice, knowing what would happen if his command was not obeyed. He didn’t know what the man had done to merit this kind of attention, but the officers assembled wouldn’t have been this much on edge for no reason. He could feel the tension in the air from here, it was almost suffocating.
    Hmmm. I don’t know if you can tell here, but the sentence structure is very identical for nearly every sentence. Every sentence is about the same length, and every single of them has two parts to them, separated by a comma. You might want to watch out for this and try to vary your sentence structure a bit more. Short sentences are good sometimes, and so are really long ones (especially when you want to emphasize certain points).

    Oh, and this is pretty much present for a lot of the chapter. O_o I just didn’t notice until now, so I guess it’s not a huge deal… but it’s something to work on since you’ve improved a lot on grammar and other things. I can really tell you’ve been proofreading now.

    The Scyther waved its arms mind-bendingly fast, sharp pings ringing out through the air as it deflected the bullets. Two of them were reflected back to their source, burying themselves into the stomach’s of two of the officers. Rosy blossoms of blood bloomed at the area of impact as they struck, the officer’s screaming out in pain as they dropped to the ground. Dorian gasped as the Scyther sprinted forward, his mind freezing in place as it took down two more of the policemen with vicious slashes; slicing through bone like air. Blood sprayed in long arcs as it struck, a sadistic smile etched on its triangular face. The two remaining officers quickly turned around and ran, leaving their dead and wounded companions behind. The Scyther quickly followed in pursuit, only to stop in its tracks by a shout from its master.
    This part reminds me how stupid police can be in the pokémon world. They expect to go in with firearms and expect to come out successful? Pokemon are ton more effective. But then again, that can be pretty cruel, making pokémon get into dangerous situations like that. I’m probably reading too much into this, but I guess it may give you something to think about if you include the police again.

    “Why is this happening?” she asked quietly, slowly stepping backwards as she spoke.
    A fair question, and a powerful one. I like it.

    He looked so normal, so different from what he thought a man like that would look like. Round emerald eyes, accented by a small nose, hovered above muscled arms and loose fitting jeans, a green traveling pack draped across his shoulders. As Dorian watched, the man screamed at them, his voice so abnormally loud that Dorian instinctively covered his ears.
    I also like this part a lot. It shows that anyone could go crazy and turn evil, really. It’s not just the people who are “psychotic” or “look crazy” that are capable of doing bad things like society would have you believe. This is more realistic.


    As the man turned away from them, Dorian touched him on the shoulder, “Why was he at gunpoint when we walked up?”
    Should be a period after “shoulder” not a comma. A comma before dialogue should be used for speech tags only.

    Anyway, I made a lot of general comments throughout the review even though I usually put them at the end, so this part will be short. Your description was really amazing this chapter, maybe moreso than usual. You picked just the right words to convey the tone you wanted to, and all the characters were engaging and interesting as always. I could find very little wrong with this. Perhaps my only complaint might be the constant POV switching between Dorian&co and Ethan in just one chapter, but I think it kind of fits. Even though it’s one fic, they’re on two completely different journeys and the two completely different mindsets that Ethan and Dorian have are important to portray. So yeah. Keep it up!

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


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


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


  17. #92
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    Sorry for the long wait for replies to the reviews, been swamped at work. Thanks to everyone for reading/reviewing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi
    As for the second paragraph, I'll be frank with you: I don't like it when stories completely stop for a lengthy character description. I get your predicament: you want your readers to be able to picture this new character as soon as possible. But for me, the last thing I really care about a character is how he or she looks. Generally speaking it just stops the action and feels very conspicuously heavy-handed if it happens all at once. That's why I prefer physical descriptions to be spaced out a bit more instead of having them come all at once. The lack of movement in this paragraph is only compounded by the fact that the previous paragraph has the same basic problem. And the beginning of a chapter is a difficult place to have this problem, because it's right where the reader is deciding whether the chapter is worth reading or not. Though, to your credit, I think you do attempt to do what I think good physical description really should do--you use it to tell us about the character's personality--and that's good.
    I see what you're saying. It's been pointed out to me before, and I agree with you. I usually hate info dumping in fics that I read, by I seem to have ignored that occasionally when writing my own lol. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, I'll be more careful about that in the future

    It was in this chapter that I started to really notice your very frequent use of semi-colons. I'm a bit hesitant to even bring this up because, hey, I suppose there's nothing too wrong with using a lot of them (I, myself, have a debillitating addiction to dashes and italics) but... well, it does end up seeming a little overused to me. And there are a lot of places where I feel like a period or a comma or even one of my beloved dashes would better serve you than a semi-colon. It helps me to think of punctuation like musical instrumentation to create just the right kind of pause, and it doesn't necessarily seem right to me in all the cases you use it. But that might just be my own reading of it.
    Thanks for bringing that to my attention as well. I will say that commas and semi-colons are a big weakness of mine, and I have been trying to get better at it.

    Your location says “Arkansas” so I’m assuming you’re American, right? If so, then I believe the comma should be inside the single quotes (I know it definitely is with regular quotation marks). Systems in other countries do it differently though, so if you’re not American or not using American style conventions for some other reason then ignore this.
    Yup, I'm American. That was a silly mistake on my part. Thanks for showing me

    Thanks for the review! I'm sure you'll like the next chapters ^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Glover
    One thing that jumped out at me though, as an ametuer fictitious geogrpaher, is your placement of Orre and Unova. (yay for recognizing the Orre region! Whoo! We will be known!)
    Yup! I've always loved Orre, so it will be getting alot of action in coming chapters!

    The problem, is that you have Unova pegged as farther west. Since they are both based on US states, most geography I know will put them on the same continent, with the Orre region in the way between Unova and Kanto/Johot, solving the why yo have to fly to Unova and not boat. This is also done though because the mainland of Unova is west of the region, while the sea is to the east. Orre is flipped the opposite way, with the sea to the west and the generic land to the east. If you subscribe to the idea that Gen1-3 is based on Japan, then for Orre to be the closer of the two it should be to the Northeast with Unova farther East, similar to how the real world would look if someone was standing in Hawaii and looking at the US and Japan. Or, you go the other way, with Unova being on the other side of the Tojoh region with Orre being the farhter one away, but then you lose the canon's statement that the Unova region is too far to go by boat, while Orre is appearently accesible by nearly all species and trainers.
    Actually, that makes alot of sense. I placed them where I described for the story. Granted, it seems more realistic your way, but due to plot reasons I can't go into, where I have them is integral to the story. Had I known that you were this good I would have PM'd you for advice though lol. So you're saying I should switch Orre to the Northeast, Sinnoh to the Northwest, and Unova pretty far to the Southeast of Orre?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    1) The questions I had regarding the police officers earlier. That really gets me. Did they see the footage that Ethan was the culprit? If not, why were they so unnecessarily aggressive? And why weren't they prepared for violence in any possible way?
    This would be revealed in later chapters, but perhaps I should let everyone know. Basically the video feed in Ronnie's office went to a security room in the museum, where a guard was stationed. The guard called the police, and described the murder, and Ethan and Scyther. Hence why they braked right after they saw him on the road.

    2) This is minor, but spilling water in a computer may or may not wreck the computer, but it almost certainly won't erase the information within. Then again, this might not even be a complaint, because you could have done that to show how oblivious Ethan is to things that don't directly concern him, like technology.
    Answered your own question there tee-hee. I don't think Ethan was in the correct state of mind to notice/care wether it would actually erase the info, he was just trying to quickly cover as many possible bases as possible.

    3) Dorian and Shelton (but mostly Shelton) seem recovered from what happened to Golduck really easily. When Ronnie meets them, Shelton beams "It wasn't too bad" in regards to the time they made, and I thought "Well, except when you were brutally assaulted and one of your closest friends was maimed. Just that". I get that they wouldn't say "Because of you telling us to come here, Golduck was been crippled!", but...there should be a happy medium between that and basically forgetting it ever happened.
    I understand what you mean. My thoughts on that are that they probably wanted to break it to him gradually. I probably should have put a line of dialogue somewhere in there before they met up with him >.> But they only came because he needed them too. Well, they needed the money but they were taking it to him. I'm sure as their adopted father he would feel responsible and torn up that they went through so much and were almost killed. I'm sure that they would have told him about it, but right when he pulled up probably would have been somewhat awkward.

    Why don't the officers have Pokeflects? Or kevlar? YOU KNOW I CAN'T NOT CONSTANTLY ASK ABOUT POKEFLECTS. But it seems like, if anyone, cops would have them. I have some questions about the cops whole behavior here, but I'll read on and see if they are answered (mostly: why were they so aggressive here? How do they know with such certainty that Ethan is the culprit?
    Lol, I'm glad you asked those questions. Just FYI, I'm sketching a picture of a Pokeflect now and should post it within the next few chapters. I talked to a few police officers in my town to get a real feel for how they would react in a situation like this, which is why I wrote it that way. I live in a small town, and three of the officers I spoke with were not wearing Kevlar; all of them said they had some, but generally since my city has such a low level of crime, they don't always feel the need to. Which goes to show how relaxed a place can become where murder and other major crimes are an extremely rare occurence. It does seem like police would have Pokeflects, but, I'll further dwelve into the making of them later on. But just so you're aware, they are primarily meant for competitive trainers and they are extremely expensive in my world. Trainers are given a better rate and special financing if they purchase one, but every day citizens can't usually afford them. It also makes sense to me that a police department would spend more money on cars and special training instead of Pokeflect's, especially when they have firearms that are deadly to all humans and most Pokemon.

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg
    (I was actually a little surprised he had that much power in the first place, since while Golduck do have some psychic abilities, they're not actually Psychic-type, so he shouldn't really have been able to do quite as much as an actual Psychic Pokémon... but that isn't really an issue now he's lost that power.)
    I was wondering who would bring the type situation up. Honestly, Golduck always seemed to me that he should be dual typed as Psychic, then water. He can learn so many good psychic moves, and the image of him in my mind always has him as just a pure psychic. I love the Psyduck/Golduck specie, and I wanted to represent them how they were in my head, though it would present a problem if he was that powerful, so it's going to be fun depicting how he deals with the loss. That way, I have my vision of him, and the one that is technically correct.

    Since you seem to be writing in third-person limited POV, and the POV character knows more or less exactly what they're saying, letting the readers know what they're saying too could give the Pokémon even more depth as characters. It's fine if you don't want to for whatever reasons - I apologise if it seems like I'm trying to write your story for you here - but it's just a suggestion.
    That is actually a great suggestion! I don't know if I'll do it exactly as you suggested, but what you said gave me some really decent ideas. Thanks!

    And while I like the notion that everything was so impossible to comprehend that he just decided to go along with it and process what the **** just happened only once it was over, when it is over, he doesn't seem to have a moment where he stops and tries to come to terms with it; he just starts blurting out how he got dragged all over the planet like there's nothing weird about that at all.

    I dunno. I may be misinterpreting some things slightly, and reactions like this are going to be incredibly difficult to write anyway, since it's not as if anyone could know what it's actually like to be in that kind of situation
    I see what you mean. I struggled with that as I was writing it, but that was the best I could do. It's probably the hardest thing I've had to write so far. Capturing what's going on, and having description, while having Dorian's brain going crazy was a nightmare. I did the best I could, but I agree there is room for improvement, thanks for brining that up.

    Talking about the plot for a moment: Ethan only has two shards? From what I remember, he's definitely absorbed more than two flakes - isn't there one shard per flake? ...Hang on, one of Ethan's flakes came from near Dorian's shard, so I guess he has three flakes right now. If I'm still getting this mixed up, do let me know, though.
    He actually has four flakes, but yes he does have two shards. First flake came from Dewford when he was a boy, second was with the shard in Hoenn, the third was with the shard in Diglett's cave, and the fourth was absorbed where Dorian found a shard.

    Jolteon-coloured? Really? The problem with that is that due to you making me think of Jolteon, I now can't help but picture the bike to be all spiky, too, which I doubt it actually is. There's nothing wrong with just calling it yellow.
    Lol I gotcha. Looking back, that wasn't very bright of me. Changed it to 'yellow', lol

    Oh, Alakazam. He clearly has a pretty good idea what Ethan's planning to do and doesn't want him to do it, but he doesn't push it and does as Ethan asks because he still cares about him, and, and and and... =D I'm seriously fascinated by him.
    You'll like what's coming

    This strikes me as rather a random moment for Dorian to realise that. Surely he'd have been more likely to do so when he dragged Shelton and Ronnie to where he'd seen Ethan and found him gone? Even if not, for him to suddenly realise it here, it would make more sense if something in the conversation had directed his thoughts back towards the man he'd seen, rather than it just occurring to him completely out of nowhere.
    Thanks for pointing that out. I'll think of a way to transition that better.

    Sorry I didn't comment on all the points you mentioned, but I only had time for the big stuff. You've helped me out alot, and thanks for reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulba the Great!
    Dude, this whole thing with the shards is exciting and mysterious! I don't know what the flakes are that are attaching themselves to this boy's body, but they freak me out. Alakazam is right to worry. Also, remember when you're pluralizing something to not use an apostrophe (Diglett's should just be Diglett. Pokemon don't pluralize I don't think. And if they do, and I'm mistaken, it would still just be Digletts.)
    Thanks for the help, and I appreciate the continued reading!

    Quote Originally Posted by knightfall
    One of the most emotional chapters yet in my opinion. I must say that the first time I read this; I thought Golduck was dead and gone, but than you pull a plot twist on everything and have him somehow survive that suicidal attack. I must commend you for that bit of ingenious story work, a Machiavellian idea that now adds yet another subplot to the fic: Golduck’s continued survival and recovery that is if he lives to get to the Pokemon Center.
    Equally as dramatic as Golduck, Machop’s near death state and Shelton’s song and speech to him almost brought me to tears. Yes, I will admit it: it brought me to tears when I read it. It didn’t help my emotional state any that Machop evolved and was partly healed of his injuries.
    Aww, thanks! Believe me, I had alot of emotion going on as well when I wrote that. Just to tell you a little bit about my life; my fiance sings that song to me whenever I'm feeling bad or depressed, it usually makes me feel alot better.

    I honestly could not resist
    lmao that was great. Nicely done

    Have to ask a small question here. I know that in some fics, the Regions are a part of the real world; usually set somewhere in the Pacific Ocean (I can only think of Cutlerine’s The Thinking Man’s Guide to Destroying the World as an example of this). In other fics, the Regions are in their own world. I’m wondering if other nations like America, England, or Japan exist in this fic.
    I see. My fic is set in its own world, with the locations of the regions loosely based on how I've seen them placed in maps in the Pokemon world. No japan, USA, etc.

    Thanks for reviewing, I'm glad you're caught up.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876
    Sounds kind of silly to put his voice and breathing to the side, since they’re both very important. You might want to clarify and say he didn’t put the situation of not being able to talk/breathe to the side, but that he simply didn’t have to worry about those fears anymore.
    Good idea! I must have overlooked that

    Wouldn’t it be that Nuzleaf HADN’T made much progress? Dorian probably felt like he was gone for several minutes, but in reality he wasn’t gone long at all… so he’d perceive that Nuzleaf had made little progress after so much time had passed. Even if this wasn’t the case, having Nuzleaf make “much progress” on getting to someone he was already by sounds kind of silly.
    You're right, I'll make sure I correct that. Thanks for pointing that out

    I’ve only read a few paragraphs of the next section so far, but I wanted to stop and comment on the pace of the chapter so far. First, though, I’d like to say how you included the region of Orre in here—it always seems so forgotten and I really love it. Second, the pace was really wonderful. You added so much description (but not enough to make me feel overwhelmed or bored) and made everything seem so surreal and dream-like… so it seemed like so much time had passed, but in reality, little time had passed at all. Then, when you get to the next section, reality hits again, and everything’s very fast and frantic. I really like the distinguished difference you made between those two sections. It was realistic and very well written. Hope that makes sense.
    It does make sense. I'm glad you liked it. The funny thing is what you liked was the thing I was worried about the most. I almost felt like I was putting in too much description and that the shard sequence was going on for too long. I'm glad that you thought the opposite. Thanks!

    Doesn’t the pokeflect have healing powers or something, if I remember right? Why isn’t this coming into play?
    Nope, they just bouce Pokemon based attacks away from the person wearing it. The Pokeflect always forces the attack away from the wearer in a different direction then it came from. If an attack hits the person in the chest, it glances left or right, from below, it's forced up, or left and right, etc. Hope that answers what you were asking. If you know of a chapter where I gave the impression that it has healing properties, let me know.

    I must say, though, that I like the parallelism with Kecleon already. I feel like Ronnie will live on through Kecleon or something. It has to mean something, anyway, since the last thing that he did before he died was bring Kecleon into the story. I look forward to seeing when you do with him.


    Oh, and this is pretty much present for a lot of the chapter. O_o I just didn’t notice until now, so I guess it’s not a huge deal… but it’s something to work on since you’ve improved a lot on grammar and other things. I can really tell you’ve been proofreading now.
    Lol that is kinda weird. I looked back and noticed the same thing, so thanks for bringing it up. I'm glad you think I've been improving ^_^

    On a funny side note, just so you know, my fiance helps me proofread every chapter, and I accidently misspelled Nuzleaf's name in chapter eleven. She caught it and we corrected it, and she said, "I'm glad I caught that, because diamondpearl would have brought it up." She reads my reviews, and always kicks herself when you find something that slipped through her radar XD

    Thanks to everyone who read/reviewed! I'm glad everyone has been following still is, and that some other people have jumped aboard to add their advice and comments as well. I'm sorry that I didn't have the time to touch on all of the points of each of your reviews, but I wanted to fill in the most important parts before anything else. Thanks to everyone for your kind words and compliments, they really mean alot ^^;

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

    -Thanks to PopPrincess_Lyra for the amazing banner-


  18. #93
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    There was one point where I thought it had healing powers, but I can't remember the specific moment. *cries* I'll let you know if I remember.

    And LOL nice about your fiancee. I beta read for quite a few people so I have a tendency to find/look for mistakes all the time, darn right I would have pointed it out. :P

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


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


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


  19. #94
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    Prologue and Chapter 1

    I do have to say, I'm liking what I'm seeing so far. You do seem to know what you wanna do with your story and where you're going to with the characters, and the fact you've established somethings earlier on makes me think you do have something big planned for the future. I can't complain about Grammar, since your grammar for the most part is spot on.

    I do wonder about the boy with the Abra and his story. I mean the fact he seemed to have gained powers, in terms of increased speed, stamina, and strength makes me wonder just what type of changes he went through. Nuzleaf, Golduck, Trapinch, Growlithe, and Abra have been/going to be what I'm going to say for now as the "prominent" Pokemon of the story. Trapinch being on the road to evolution seems interesting, the fact that it's pain is supposedly a sign of such is pretty nice foreshadowing reminds me of the anime and Misty's Psyduck's tail glowing red being a sign. Nuzleaf's seasonal change was something that caught me by surprise, reminded me of Sawsbuck and Deerling. I do look forward to how you'll establish the personalities of the characters and Pokemon from here on out, but mainly the Pokemon since you treat them as characters with emotions, rather then battling machines like a lot of Pokemon fanficers do. For the most part I like Shelton as character and find her interactions with Dorian to be pretty interesting and funny.

    I also look forward to seeing what you do with this "Pokeflect" in the future. Of course it's only one chapter so far XD Dorian does seem like the irresponsible type of OC, since he spent money on a Friend Ball rather then paying rent. Either way their personalities bounce off each other quite a bit. Shelton does indeed seem like a "tsundere" or "snark" type character. I'll move onward to chapters 2-4 later on. ^^ I wish I could have made this review longer.

    Chapter 2

    So, that little scene pretty much confirmed what I think about Shelton and Dorian's relationship. They really do care for each other underneath it all since Shelton made that line about her being worried. I thought the introduction for the Pokemon could have been done better, not that I'm saying it was bad but, I do hope in the future chapters we get to see more of the Pokemon's different and unique personalities. So far I'm getting, Nuzleaf is a bit childish, Trapinch is similar to Nuzleaf, Golduck is sympathetic, Shuppet's weird and mischievous, and Machop's a bit of a scaredy cat. Shuppet and Machop's personalities made a sure fire impression on me and that's a good thing to see from the start since so many Author's treat Pokemon like personality-less battling machines.

    Next up, I'm really looking forward to what you have planned in-regard to Shelton's future interactions and how she may/or may not contribute to the story. Dorian's uncle Roonie doing some excavation nearby in-regards to the objects that that man found seem pretty interesting, and I look forward to seeing how the man intermingles into Dorian's story and character. I didn't have a clue he was talking about Rydon, I thought it was Donphan for sec, I felt like there should have been a little more emphasizing on the "Drill" part of Rydon since it would've given a more definite picture about it. It seems this man in on a quest to find those shards that seem to have some kinda power, but at the same time cause temporary pain, nausea, and weakness in the person they dig themselves in. Nice description of the blood scene indeed, I really look forward to what we'll get next.

    Also interesting to note Dorian made have found a shard that the Alakazam man is pursuing.
    Last edited by Doryuzu; 24th May 2012 at 8:28 PM.

  20. #95
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    Alright, I'm going to kick this character-based review off with a character profile: Ethan (note that I'm probably going to be wrong on a lot of this; I'm just noting what I've seen so far).

    His attack on Ronnie showed a few things about his character that I didn't realize before. First off, he is extremely disorganized in his killings. I don't think he realized that a place like that would, in fact, have security cameras. Hell, I don't even know if he cared. He's proven that once he locks on to a target, he gains tunnel vision; he sees nothing except his victim (or victims). In one aspect, that makes him much easier to see coming and to capture; Dorian and Shelton will always be aware of him, and the police will find him very easily because of his fixating behavior. On the other hand, it makes him all the more dangerous; he will slaughter anyone who gets in his way, no matter how innocent they are. When he feels the heat coming down on him, he will grow more desperate and the danger will only increase. And fate help the people who back Ethan into a corner.

    The second thing I noticed was his need for attention. He wants the voices to know what he's doing for them. He wanted to send a message to Dorian and Shelton by his mutilation of Ronnie's corpse. He wants some bit of satisfaction from his journey being noticed by others. It completely differs from when he was a child; he didn't seem to care about his adoptive parents at all - and that makes me wonder if Ronnie truly is his first murder.

    Thirdly, his delusions control a large part of his character. He truly thinks that his beliefs (which I don't think are entirely his own) are the only ones that are right. He cannot accept that they may be wrong. It's not because he is a narcissist; I don't get that feeling at all. It's because his emotional state is still that of a child's. His opinions probably aren't even his own; they belong to the voices, and he's scared that if he disagrees with them, they will refuse to be his friend. You know, much like when a seven-year-old threatens his buddy to not tattle on him or he won't be his friend anymore.

    Finally, the blitz attack with no confrontation with Ronnie, refusing to respond to the police officers, and attacking Dorian and Shelton without saying anything but curses toward them suggest that he has no social skills whatsoever. In fact, I am willing to take a guess that he goes out of his way not to speak to anyone but his Pokemon and the voices unless he absolutely has to do it. He'll stand out wherever he goes because of his behavior, not because of any physical features he has. That contrasts a bit with the need for attention; without any social skills, there is no possible way to hold a genuine conversation and no reason for anyone to listen to you. That makes me wonder what use the shards and flakes could have for someone like Ethan and what their ultimate goal is.

    In summary, Ethan is disorganized, anti-social, delusional, and craves attention that he feels that he never got. I am not surprised that he killed someone. The only thing that surprises me is that he didn't do it earlier in the story.

    Like someone else mentioned, the death of Ronnie tying in with the release of Kecleon was remarkable symbolism. Almost as if you were trying to say that...hmm...new and totally improbable theories are being created. D8

    I am most certainly wondering how Dorian and Shelton are going to react toward Ronnie's death. I am also wondering if anyone aside from the three main characters has any real interest in the shards and flakes.

    Either way, I'm looking forward to the next chapter, whenever it comes out. This one was simply brilliant.

    Sincerely,

    Mem.
    Last edited by SilentMemento; 24th May 2012 at 11:33 PM.
    COMING SOON

    Warmonger - A fantasy fic where peasants fight the wars of kings and lords, where monsters lurk in the night, and where depravity is not only expected, but encouraged...

  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotpika
    Nuzleaf's seasonal change was something that caught me by surprise, reminded me of Sawsbuck and Deerling.
    That was always something that made since to me when it came to grass types who had exposed leaves/bulbs/etc. I never pictured them wilting, but changing into an orange for fall, dark brown for winter, and back to green for spring and summer always struck me as something that would be neat.

    I do hope in the future chapters we get to see more of the Pokemon's different and unique personalities.
    That's something that has been brought to my attention before, and I assure you, they'll get there

    I felt like there should have been a little more emphasizing on the "Drill" part of Rydon since it would've given a more definite picture about it.
    You're actually the second person to bring that up. I may go back and tweak a sentence or two so that the picture is a little more clear.

    Thanks for reading/reviewing!

    Quote Originally Posted by SilentMemento
    Alright, I'm going to kick this character-based review off with a character profile: Ethan (note that I'm probably going to be wrong on a lot of this; I'm just noting what I've seen so far).
    Anyone who has any sort of questions about who Ethan is, pay attention to the profile that SilentMemento posted, as he's correct on almost every single portion of his thoughts on Ethan. I'm not going to respond to specific parts of what you said just because I feel like it would reveal more about Ethan than I want to ATM, but good job. You've picked up on almost everything I've thought about him

    Thanks for reading/reviewing!

    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-


  22. #97
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    Chapter 3

    It was a nice set-up chapter for the most part. Shelton and Dorian as well as their group of Pokemon are getting ready to head to meet Dorian's uncle. The fact Dorian got ready so fast and was really excited was pretty nice to see characterization wise. Shelton's "snark" demeanor was fun for the most part again, she seems to have more respect from the Pokemon then Dorian does. The getting things ready seemed to be paced a bit speedy, but oh well. So, Dorian is mainly doing this to pay bills and pay back Shelton and earn the money. I wonder what type of true value and power that stone holds. Either way I look forward to it.

    Ethan is the man with the Alakazam, okay we got a brief moment with him and he's finally leaving that city. I fully expect him to cross paths with Dorian and Shelton soon. Sorry this review was a bit on the shorter side, but it wasn't a very long chapter ^^;; There was the occasionally grammatical error but nothing really to cry over.

    Chapter 4

    I didn't think that chapter was too filler-ish. Trapinch evolved after a battle with a wild Marshtomp, in Johto. So there's that. I defiantly got to say Dorian's interactions with that kid made for some entertaining read and the fact he thinks a lowly Beedrill is anything special. I can't but wonder why Dorian can be reported for refusing a battle, seems a bit weird that he can get in trouble. I like how Dorian and the kid decided to put money on the battle and you ended it nicely. Dorian seeing Ethan and his Alakazam trans versing the skies like that was nice foreshadowing for the future. Ethan certainly does have his ways to travel. I liked Machop's characterization, refusing to leave Shelton leg. Shelton telling Dorian he'd get hit for hitting that kid. Again the chapter wasn't too long so I can't really say much more in this review.XD

    Chapter 5

    This chapter was pretty short, it's no prob either way, just saying. So, the Beedrill and Growlithe ended up tying? Even with an advantage that seemed quite peculiar, then again Growlithe is still a newly caught Pokemon. I thought it was pretty smart to use Machop and Golduck as sort of the main group bodyguards against the angry Rock-types, though why not Vibrava and Nuzleaf too? They have advantages as well. I once again liked Machop being characterized as a pretty quiet and meek-ish Pokemon. The ending exchange between Dorian and the trainer was nice. I like how you showed the angry Rock-type Pokemon in a light where they have a motive for being so pissed at humans, with the death of their elder clan members they don't want to get rid of them, they actually want them dead and gone. I liked Shelton's concern over Golduck and Machop, you really do get the feeling she cares for both a lot and it makes sense since Machop usually hangs near Shelton's leg and is a big of a scaredy cat and Golduck is what I imagine as Shelton's main Pokemon. You really do understand that more with her crying and such. I wonder how the gang is gonna deal with the Graveler now, without Golduck and Machop's help. And how will they save Machop and Golduck, so many questions.
    Last edited by Doryuzu; 1st June 2012 at 5:35 AM.

  23. #98
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    Disclaimer: Apologies if some of the grammar information is redundant for you as I'm not sure what you learned from when you first started this story to where you are now.

    Prologue Review:
    The Abra, like most of its species, was largely lethargic, napping constantly; seeming more like an infant human than the psychic force for which it was named.
    Think of semicolons as weaker periods. They are mostly used to connect two complete sentences based around the same subject/idea. In order for it to be correctly use, both clauses on each side of the semicolon have to be able to stand as its own sentence. If you re-read the second clause, you'll notice that “seeming more like an infant human ...” cannot stand on its own; therefore, you either need to change the punctuation (in this case a comma) or change the phrasing of the second clause in order to keep the semicolon (could do something like “it was seemingly more like an infant human ...”).

    Granite Cave, was unique in the fact that it was not only just found on the island but burrowed underneath it.
    No need for the comma.

    Occasional gouts of water forced itself inside and flooded some of the tunnels, but all in all a worthwhile risk for those who wished to learn, and to those who wished to find the rare gems scattered throughout its recesses.
    “Gouts” isn't what you think it means – I'm guessing you're using it in terms of gushing? Having a “gout” is usually in reference to the pain in the joints; it's not really synonymous with other things if I recall correctly.

    There's also no need for the comma after “learn.” It's not the hugest deal in the world but remember that commas signify a small pause, so you might be creating an unnecessarily awkward flow for your reader should you abuse commas. Generally speaking, you only need to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction (words like “and” “but” “so” “nor” etc.) when you have two complete sentences on each side of the conjunction (Ex. She went to the store with her dog, and when she got there, she went immediately to the dairy section).

    He allowed himself a small smile at the thought; he and the pokemon had bonded extremely well over the last few months, becoming inseperable, becoming dependant on one another.
    Inseparable; dependent.

    The Abra had also lost its parents; his new parents being vague on how it happened, but nevertheless fate brought them together and they were both blessed for it.
    You might want to consider rephrasing this sentence again as it's a little clunky to read. “The Abra had also lost its parents. His new parents were vague on how it happened, but nevertheless, fate brought them together and they were both blessed for it.”

    The sounds of the tour group were barely audible, they had slipped far behind.
    The comma here should be a period or a semicolon.

    The psychic pokemon rolled forward across the boy’s shoulder and hovered barely off the ground, a nimbus of black-purple energy glowing in its right hand.
    Artistic license aside, you do want to be careful with particular descriptors to make sure that you're describing is an accurate depiction. Nimbus is more of a glow, not so much a “ball” as what I think you're going for, so either you're being a) repetitive, as you said “glowing” a few words later or b) not really using nimbus correctly. This is particularly nitpicky, I know lol, but just for future reference when describing.

    They both reacted at the same time. Abra growled, and a sphere of psychic energy arced from its hand and struck a blur of pale cream and green that was dashing towards them. The boy clenched his fists and took a step forward, intending to get a better footing. His foot did not come back down. The blur spun in the air, reflecting the attack Abra had shot back to its source, knocking the Pokemon into its master, hurtling them both to the far wall. Before the impact struck, the boy felt a motherly warm hand grasp the back of his shirt and guide them through the wall, passing through solid granite like it was air. As the boy and his Abra were forced through the wall, he felt the hand drop them into pitch blackness.
    Generally speaking, the problem I had with this bit is that even though this sequence of actions is realistically supposed to be going fast, you structurally wrote it in a fast, heavy chunk that I feel might leave your readers more confused about piecing together what happened vs. feeling enthralled at the actual rate of the sequence and what's going on. Don't be afraid to play around with sentence structure; the way you word sentences can set certain moods. You tend to use the same sentence structure for description scenes so it has more of a list-like feel to it (ex. he did this. This happened. That was his reaction to this). It's not particularly enthralling to read or captures attention easily; it's just, well, a list of what's going on.

    I do appreciate that you seemed to go to great lengths to describe things in a rather specific way so the reader knows exactly what is going on in your head, but some of the time it's a bit of a hit-or-miss in that you seemed too caught up in describing that you're neglecting other aspects that are important for an intriguing read. This is the prologue and all, and who knows if this boy and his Abra actually play a larger role, or are the, main characters, but whether the character is major or minor, you should strive to have your reader somewhat invested in your characters. I felt like your focus was somewhat skewed; you focused a bit on describing and the course of action, but because of that, I don't really sympathize or feel anything toward the character. It's intriguing because the events were mysterious, but that's because the events were mysterious and not so much because of how this particular character reacted to said event. It takes a while to find what makes you comfortable as a writer when it comes to style, but remember it's okay to use your narrative to describe your character's thoughts outside of physical reactions to things.






    Chapter 1 Review:
    It was only because of the Pokeflect around his wrist that Dorian wasn’t roasted alive by the flamethrower attack the enraged Growlithe had just launched at him. While still experimental, the ‘Pokeflect’ had saved many from grievous injuries sometimes sustained in pokemon battles. Almost three years ago, scientists working for the Silph Corporation had learned how to replicate the effects of the pokemon move, Reflect, and Light Screen, and combined them. When activated, the wrist mounted device enclosed its wearer in a globule of light blue energy that had the ability to reflect all but the most powerful pokemon based attacks up and away from its wielder. Where before, trainers competing in Pokemon battles had to constantly be aware of attacks that missed their Pokemon and put them in direct danger, the Pokeflect gave trainers a sense of relevant comfort knowing that they were ‘generally’ out of harm’s way.
    Remember to be aware of the “showing, not telling” rule. The problem with huge clumps of telling is that it's not entirely intriguing. This sort of writing may be good for a textbook where you're trying to inform the reader what said device does (and nothing more), but remember that you're writing a story. While I do get that you're trying to inform the reader what this important device does, it's not entirely interesting to read (again, think of how your textbook is written), and it does come off as somewhat lazy. Why not describe what happens when the Pokeflect is activated in “real time” instead of telling us what it does in a huge paragraph? Why do you think the last sentence is relevant or important for the reader to know? Would the story make sense still even if you waited for possibly a more appropriate time to introduce relevant information in a way that blends better with your narrative?

    Dorian Dvakna, twenty-four, was far too thin for his age. At a bit over six feet he comfortably stood a few inches above most people he knew and met. With dark hair, and hazel eyes verging on brown, most would say Dorian to be handsome, though certainly not gorgeous, but rather somewhere between atrocious looking and the latter. By all accounts very ordinary, with his arms and legs toned from working at the local Pokemon breeders house in Cherrygrove City. His smile however, deterred any from thinking that he was anything but ordinary. His unnaturally straight and white teeth only showed confidence and capability.*
    The same applies to here; this is pretty much information dumping, and a confusing one at that. You're trying to describe this guy as “average” but “far too thin for his age” isn't average – that's, well, according to you, rare. You describe him as “handsome” (at least according to other people) but then he's suddenly “somewhere between atrocious looking and the latter” (I'm not sure what latter you're referring to here either). I have a feeling that you're going for a “hometown hero” sort of feel – but the stress on making him seem ordinary makes your stress of his “un-ordinary” features a little more obvious and sounds kind of vain.

    Like the above paragraph, the same sort of reasoning applies. Do you think the reader needed to know all of this character in one huge go because it was necessary for the story?

    Don't stress too much if your reader doesn't know what your character looks like as soon as you introduce him. I think one of the main concerns for a newer writer is that if you don't “set up” a scene, a setting, or a character straight off the bat (somewhat akin to a script), then your readers will complain, “I don't know what he looks like!” No worries; your readers are good at filling in the pieces as you go on.

    With that said, the best way to describe a character is to blend it in with description. Reasons for this is because a) it's really less apparent that you are describing a character and b) it doesn't feel like we're taking a “description stop” so to speak before rolling forward again. Things like “He wiggled his eyebrows, brown eyes flashing dangerously” or “She rested her elbow on the desk and twirled her hair, black strands wrapping tighter around her pointer finger” blend better with the story, keep the story moving, and describe your character. Two birds, one stone.

    The small dog was perhaps waist high, and was beautifully layered with stripes of alternating orange, black, and yellow. While not extraordinary as a Growlithe, its god-like evolved form of Arcanine was close to legendary. He knew it would give him an edge when he finally decided to enter the competitive battle scene. This little Growlithe was doing everything it could to live up to its future namesake. Biting, slashing, and breathing torrents of fire at Dorian’s Nuzleaf; who was doing a pretty adept job at dashing back and forth, bouncing on his hands as well as his feet to stay away from the fire mutt until his master gave the order.
    I'm not sure I get the sentence in bold. It seems that you're trying to describe Growlithe as better (which is fine as this is your character's opinion after all), but then you call Arcanine God-like. So I'm just … a little confused what you're trying to do with it.

    The semicolon after “Nuzleaf” shouldn't be there. Remember that semicolons connect two independent clauses (complete sentences) that are related to each other.

    “bullet seed!’ Dorian roared.
    Bullet still needs to be capitalized as it is the start of a sentence.

    “You put up quite a fight.” Dorian said over the tired and struggling Growlithe. “It’s not often something is able to surprise Nuzleaf. Though I suppose he is getting pretty seasoned.”
    Punctuation and dialogue can be a little tricky to get, but once you get the reasoning behind it, it's easier to know when to use a comma and when to use a period.

    In a nutshell, anything that states how the dialogue was being said (he said, he shouted, he questioned, he whispered, etc.) is still connected to the dialogue (it's part of the same sentence). As such, the two have to be connected. If the dialogue doesn't end as a question mark/exclamation mark/ellipsis, the ending punctuation should be a comma; likewise the word following should be lowercase if it's not a proper noun. Try reading what you wrote as two sentences (as what the period is telling us to do). While “'You put up quite a fight'” may function as its own sentence, “Dorian said over the tired and struggling Growlithe” isn't (you're wondering what Dorian said). As such, these two clauses need to be connected with a comma.

    If you wrote something like:

    “You put up quite a fight.” Dorian looked at the tired and struggling Growlithe.

    you would need to put a period after “fight” as these are two separate sentences.

    Nuzleaf shot him a dirty look. Over the last several days, the grass type’s single leaf that rested on top of his head had taken on a burnt amber color, signaling the arrival of Fall. Though the leaf would not wilt, it annoyed the bandit striped Pokemon to no end to have Dorian tease him like a seedling stuck in sap.

    “Thanks for humbling him.” Dorian winked, bringing a clenched fist to hover over the struggling Growlithe.

    A green friend ball dropped out of his hand, falling towards the Growlithe in slow motion; the white button on the front tapped the dog’s forehead; the ball split in two, and the newest addition to Dorian’s rag-tag group of misfits turned into energy. Glowing intensely white, his form folded in on itself again and again, becoming more miniscule; and at the same time started to spin. As soon as the energy that was Growlithe became smaller than the ball, its two halves came back down in a mighty snap! Signaling a successful capture, and the reward to his hard work.
    I kind of like and get the dramatic narrative here for something simple actually, but it kind of seemed like it wouldn't end. =P Anyway, the last sentence isn't a complete sentence. You can rephrase the last two sentences into something like “As soon as the energy that was Growlithe became smaller than the ball, its two halves came back down in a mighty snap: a successful capture, the reward to his hard work.”

    “I-“ he started, only to be cut off by the fiery glare thrown at him from her shocking azure eyes.
    I noticed you seem to be a fan of color synonyms. =P Remember to be careful with it; sometimes what you're describing might not be what you actual mean (there's a different between sapphire and blue and crimson and red), and sometimes it does stick out like a sore thumb if you have what appear to be a normal sentence, only for a “lemon chiffon t-shirt” description to be thrown at you (not that I think you would use lemon chiffon as a descriptor but … well, yeah).

    It was obviously handmade, evident by the lines and shapes carved into its face. One side of the stone was rigidly straight, while the other two sides looked like they had been sheared off of a larger piece. As he cleared away the rest of the dirt from the stone, he observed two shapes that were hewn into it below the vertical lines. One was arguably a human, judging from the shape. While the other had what appeared to be the antenna of an insect Pokemon. They were both unmistakably dead.
    I love the ending to this paragraph; I think it had the perfect amount of description where we know enough (but not too much) to get the gist of what's going on only to have that last sentence be sharply thrown in our face, but in a good way. I think your focus was good for this particular event.

    Which was why he was in Vermillion city that day; to the famed Diglett’s cave he traveled, or rather, underneath it. The whispers had led him to a cave in the recent months, in the sand swept plains of the desert in Hoenn . The cave bearing another flake he took into himself. The cave he found near Route 111 however had something extra. A shard of stone from the enormous tablet he had seen in Granite Cave years ago. People the man walked past throughout the day forgot him as soon as he passed. A somewhat average looking man with long, wavy tan hair, an Alakazam keeping stride to his right. A curious jumble of thoughts passed across their minds as he walked; the sudden feeling that they were late, or had misplaced something of small importance.

    The duo walked east of the city, the man allowing himself a small smile as he zipped up his jacket.
    I actually sort of like this too but it took me a bit to figure out what you were saying. I do get what you're doing, and I do appreciate that you're using sentence structure to set up a certain flow (sharp, like the man), but you might want to re-read it and see if you could trim something out or merge something together The sentence in bold is what threw me off in particular for some reason )“People the man” reads a bit awkward for me but that might just be me).

    Anyway, this chapter was a bit of a setup I could tell (not that that's a bad thing). The main problems was at the beginning of your story (information dumping), but you did rather well with describing your battle. I liked the sequence of actions for your battle, and you described it not too heavily where it became overbearing but not too little where I really don't know what's going on. I also like that you did make your pokemon character's agile instead of them throwing attacks at each other.

    The other nice thing about this chapter was the introduction of Shelton in comparison to her counterpart. Her introduction blended much better with the story (including her physical description) and I already have a good feel for her personality (at least the angry side of her) in just a few short paragraphs. Dorian's interactions with his pokemon were also well done, and I'm glad that they have their own personalities.

    In terms of actual narrative, it got progressively better as the chapter went on for some reason – I'm wondering if it's because you're trying to highlight the importance of Dorian (that it sort of became too obvious) and don't think Shelton deserved such a grand entrance (at least in terms of narrative, not in actual action) or because … well, something lol. There were less information dumps (there was one with the Trapinch character but not as heavy as the earlier one) and you described things so that they worked with the story instead of as description blocks.

    Anyway, onward!


    Chapter Two Review:

    To start off, I really do enjoy your dialogue between Shelton and Dorian. It's very smooth to read. Plus Shelton is a rather fun character to read.
    I actually see a lot of improvement from your prologue to this chapter when it comes to describing things. Again, I'm not sure if it's because you think certain things deserve more description than others depending on how important it is to the plot or if it is you toying around with description as a writer and learning new things, but I did like the simplicity of your living room scene.

    “After you pay me back,” she smiled. “With interest.”
    It should be a period after “back.” Likewise, “she” needs to be capitalized. Or you could do:
    “After you pay me back”–she smiled–“with interest.”

    “Sure.” she replied. “What do you got?”
    Period after “sure” should be a comma.

    “Request granted…Moron,” she said, flashing her teeth.
    Isn't she already smiling from earlier?

    Indistinguishable from a grey bathroom towel, the point topped ghost Pokemon was Shelton’s latest capture. It was a pleasant enough Pokemon who didn’t get into much mischief, save for the odd habit of sleeping in the refrigerator and nowhere else. Shelton had caught the charismatic Pokemon partly out of wanting a new addition to her small family of Pokemon, and partly to break her Machop of its manic fear of everything but Her, Dorian, and their respective creatures. Its species usually synonymous with bravery and strength, Shelton’s Machop unfortunately fell far short. She still didn’t believe him, but once, Dorian watched Machop catch a glimpse of his own shadow following him, only to run screaming back to the house. Nothing however, terrified the fighting type more than ghosts. Even ones they saw when watching horror movies would send him sobbing back to Shelton’s bedroom.
    The “her” in bold shouldn't be capitalized as it's not a pronoun. This paragraph is also partially confusing because you start on one subject (the Shuppet) and then move to another (Machop) without really making it obvious that you're talking about something else now (the ambiguous “its species”).

    “By the way,” Shelton said. “Your Uncle Ronnie called. I told him you would ring him back once you got home. He seemed pretty anxious to talk to you.”
    Since the dialogue is being continued but is split up by a dialogue tag, you would punctuate it like this:
    “By the way,” Shelton said, “your Uncle Ronnie called. I told him you would ring him back once you got home. He seemed pretty anxious to talk to you.”

    “...Once assembled and placed back on the tablet which they were broken off of, show the way to a terrifying treasure.”
    You're missing a word or something in this sentence.

    “Well, from the limited amount of information we’ve gathered on the marker’s, they’re supposedly forged from metal; but out of a rare ore we think is obsidian.
    “Marker's” should just be “markers.” Apostrophes are used for possessions in that context.
    We know that from their description, it’s jet black, weighing much less than other metal ore’s they would have had access to back then. From what the Director is thinking, he attributed it more to a hollow, glossy diamond, instead of metal.”
    Same applies here for “ores.”
    Armor plated feet, shins, and waist became visible first. Followed by a sizeable stomach, still armor plated, but with a different color.
    The second sentence isn't a complete sentence. It would be best to merge it with the first one here
    With the Alkazam’s direction, they slowly slid back into the holes that lined the walls to the entrance of the hidden chamber.
    Typo on Alakazam's name.
    “I’m fin, I’m fine,” the man stammered.
    Might be better to type “I'm f-fine” to illustrate stammering instead.

    Anyway, I am pleasantly surprised at how much you improved in this chapter in terms of the actual writing; it's actually neat to see. =P I did enjoy the first scene with Shelton and Dorian; their interactions were very believable. There were still some problems with how you introduce new elements to the story, particularly with characters. It's okay to explain things, but there's no need to really explain everything in one go, if that makes sense.
    The following scene was described very well. Your niche may very well be in describing battle scenes which a lot of writers seem to have trouble doing and envisioning besides “attacks, block, attack” scenes. It is interesting that Dorian found the shard that the man is looking for. Seeing how powerful this man is and how, well, sort of … awkward Dorian is at times should make for a interesting interaction.

  24. #99
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    Chapter 12


    “Let go of us!” Ethan screamed, struggling uselessly in Alakazam’s mental grasp.

    Alakazam didn’t acknowledge his master’s command; he just kept raising them higher and higher, putting as much distance as he could between them and the crowd below. He turned his head to stare at his friend. Ethan’s face was contorted with rage, and he was flailing his arms and legs wildly in an attempt to break free. Why did he do this? How could he have been so stupid, so violent? Those flakes were obviously influencing him; they had made his friend do those things. Alakazam was sure of it, and this was the last straw.

    As they reached the top of the cloud layer, Alakazam started moving them north, his mind racing back to examine the situation once again. He had been watching the two humans as Ethan had instructed. They seemed pleasant enough, in no way worth the rage that Ethan was intent on unleashing on them. Alakazam had had to sprint backwards a few yards when the man had approached the tree line again, and watched him as he once again examined the spot which Ethan had been lying in wait. The man had left quickly and walked back to the female, raising his hands and explaining something to her. Just as Alakazam started reaching out with his mind to hear their conversation, a siren had split the air. Three police cruisers had suddenly rocketed past.

    Alakazam changed his focus from the two humans and instead reached out to the closest car as it sped past. The officer in the car was scared, anxious. He had been called to town by a frantic dispatcher, who had told him that a man and a Scyther had just committed a murder at the local museum. His heart skipped a beat then, and he immediately threw his consciousness against the other officers, trying to glean as much information as he could from their minds. The other officers had little else, but what he did find out was that a security camera in the museum had captured the entire act. Alakazam knew who had done this. Ethan had given into his anger, and he had not been there to stop him. As Alakazam quickly processed what his next move was, he saw the two humans start quickly walking towards the north part of the city.

    He followed them slowly, fighting against his instinct that something terrible was happening. He forced the thought back down. Ethan was smart and he could handle himself. He should be able to escape unnoticed. It had never been his partner’s way to draw attention to himself, especially now that he had committed such a heinous act. That thought caused him to stumble in his tracks. Ethan had murdered someone. There was no denying that from what he had heard. A man and a Scyther. Alakazam clenched his hands into fists and he struggled with the implications. Ethan had finally snapped because of those poisonous flakes, and this was the result. He knew those things were trouble, but he couldn’t have imagined that they would drive him to this level. Suddenly, another sound rolled across city, the unmistakable of sound of firearms being discharged. That spurned him into action, secrecy be damned.

    He sprinted forward, quickly assessing the new ordeal in front of him. Police were lying on the ground screaming in pain. Blood was everywhere. He heard Ethan scream a threat and saw him start to run just as he noticed Scyther fighting with the two humans and one of their Pokemon. He increased his speed, desperate to get to the humans before Ethan got to them. With a grunt he reached out with his mind, plucking Scyther off the ground and following suit with Ethan. He yanked them up and growled at the male human as he passed by. Why had he done that? It wasn’t the human’s fault at all.

    Alakazam’s attention snapped back to the present as a small clearing passed by beneath them. Closing his eyes to feel out the land below, he lowered them down, Ethan and Scyther both shrieking at him as he did so. As soon as his feet touched the dry grass he looked around. Trees circled the small field in a perfect circle and they seemed to be devoid of life and prying eyes. He knew they were several miles outside of Pewter City, and while he had no doubt they were being chased, they were far enough away to buy themselves a few minutes. Alakzam started pacing back and forth, trying to work out what he was going to say. He saw that Scyther and Ethan were still struggling against his hold but they were making no progress at all. Taking a breath, Alakazam walked over to stand in front of his friend, making sure to keep a few feet between them. Not wanting Scyther to hear their conversation, he reached out with his thoughts and spoke directly to Ethan’s mind.

    What have you done?

    “Let me go,” Ethan hissed.

    Why did you do this?” Alakazam asked again.

    “Now,” Ethan said, his face starting to twitch with fury.

    I will not,” Alakazam informed him. “I’ve stood by and watched while you let those things into your body, and I’ve followed you across half the planet to retrieve them. This ends now. You just murdered someone, Ethan! You murdered someone! Why did you do this!?

    “He deserved it!” Ethan screamed in return. “He stole from them!”

    Ethan,” Alakazam started, trying to keep himself calm. “Those voices are not real. They’re just in your head; they do not exist. Have you ever touched them? Have you ever been able to talk to them besides when you’re dreaming? I’ll answer for you. No, you have not. Yet you let them drive you to this? To this!?

    “That’s not true and you know it!”

    It is true, Ethan. This is just in your head, and now you have destroyed your life and mine over a fairy tale.

    “Let me go!”

    “Scyther, Sai!” Scyther screamed.

    No,” Alakazam replied. “We’re going back to Saffron, then we ar-

    He stopped himself midsentence to focus more attention on Scyther, who was vibrating her wings rapidly. The motion inside was small at first, but the more she vibrated the less control he had over keeping her in place. He doubled his efforts as she regained control of her arms again and started hacking away at the lilac bubble surrounding her. Sweat rolled across his brow as he struggled to hold both of them, knowing that the continued strain would eventually lead to him dropping them. Releasing a savage cry of victory, Scyther broke through the last layer of the bubble. Her feet touched the ground and she bolted forward, swinging a heavy arm towards his head.

    “Sai!” Scyther screamed.

    “Kazam!” he yelled back.

    Just before the blow that would have killed him connected, he raised his right hand and quickly covered it with an oval of psychic energy, blocking the blow and deflecting her arm to the side. She growled in frustration and started swinging both arms toward him, causing him to protect his other hand to intercept the oncoming scythes. He started being pushed backwards as each blow landed against him, barely able to keep up with the speed in which she was swinging. One blow he deflected was forced into his leg, which opened up a long gash as the sharp appendage struck. He grunted in pain and momentarily lost his focus, allowing her to slice him again along the ribs. As that slash struck, he lost his concentration completely and dropped his hold over Ethan. His master sprinted forward, arms outstretched.

    “ALAKAZAM!”

    With that scream a sphere of energy coalesced between himself and Scyther and exploded, sending her spiraling away towards the trees. As soon as she rocketed away, Ethan crashed into him, sending him to the ground. The two rolled sideways, both seeking leverage against the other. Ethan ended up on top and grabbed him by the
    shoulders.

    “How dare you!” he screamed. “This is mine! This is my destiny! He had to die for his theft, otherwise more would follow him. Don’t you understand that!?”

    You don’t have the right to kill innocent people! Your destiny be damned!

    Ethan started to shake him then. His shoulders were yanked up and down, his head bouncing off the ground so hard that his vision started to blur. He thrust his chest upward as he was yanked up again, forming a psychic shockwave and directing it to splash against Ethan. The effect was instantaneous. Ethan’s shirt was shredded by the energy discharge and he was thrown backward fifty feet, sailing backwards in a perfect arc. Alakazam jumped back to his feet, tears beginning to form in his eyes. He heard a shriek from the trees and saw Scyther launch herself out of the forest, zigzagging left and right quickly as she raced forward. All the feelings and actions of the day finally tipped Alakazam to the breaking point. The insect Pokemon’s face filled him with a righteous anger and disgust that he had been holding back for years, and he could control it no longer.

    Sliding his left foot back a few inches, Alakazam lifted his hands upwards and grabbed the air like it was the handles of a bicycle. At the same time he closed his eyes and lashed out with his thoughts towards the sprinting insect. He forced his mind through blood and sinew and wrapped two tentacles of energy around both of the Scyther’s shoulders. Just as the bug Pokemon closed the last remaining yards between them, Alakazam opened his eyes and pulled down with his hands.

    Scyther screamed in agony as both of her shoulders were dislocated. The action caused her to tip forward and smash against the ground. She rolled to a stop in front of Alakazam, scythes hanging limply at her sides. He looked down at her and stared as she continued to scream, the sound adding more stress to his troubled mind. He kicked her roughly in the stomach as he stepped over, knocking the wind from her lungs and shutting her up. Stupid insect.

    Just as he started forward again, he felt a hot pinprick strike him in the chest. Looking down, he saw a red laser painted on him. He followed the beam further up the field and saw Ethan pointing his Pokeball at him, black smoke steadily rising from his master’s body. His form began to dissolve from the feet up as a cooling sensation spread over his limbs, easing the pain from his two wounds. He felt himself pulled forward as he lost his vision, a single tear falling from his face and splashing against the grass below.


    *********


    Ethan stared at the Pokeball in his hand as Alakazam was absorbed back into its confines. He breathed. This was folly. How could Alakazam take this away from him when he was so close? Granted, the officer’s showing up was a tremendous hiccup in the plan, but the two thieves had shown up like a gift. How could he have not reacted the way he did? They had stolen, and they had to be punished, period. Ethan deposited the Pokeball into his pocket and drug his hands across his face. He felt no remorse for the man he had killed, or for the police that Scyther had maimed. They were beneath him; they had dared to tell him what to do. Peasants, all of them.

    Ethan looked around as the wind rippled the long stalks of grass around him. Obviously going back now would be stupid. As Alakazam had lifted them above the city he had glimpsed more cars coming to the aid of their fallen brethren. Not that they could hurt him, but for what he was doing, exposure meant failure. He had erased the memory of the treasure and the markers, and he had destroyed one of the people responsible for the theft. He would find the other two thieves again, but going back now would only illicit another violent response from the police. The best thing to do would be to go back home and bide his time. He needed to speak to the voices to find out where the next shard was as well. The situation in Pewter didn’t matter, they did not know his name, or where he lived. He was angry that they had seen his face, but it wasn’t enough for them to be able to track him down.

    He heard a moan in front of him that caused him to look down. Scyther was pushing herself across the grass with her feet, crying weakly as she moved. Ethan saw an unnatural bulge on the back of each of her shoulders, obviously the cause of her plight. Sighing audibly he walked forward and yanked the bug to her feet. She moaned again as she tried to stay upright, scythes pointed straight down.

    “I’m going to set your arms,” Ethan told her as he wrapped a hand around each of the bulges. “Stay still and don’t tense up.”

    “Scyther.”

    Ethan quickly tightened his grip and yanked upwards. There was a loud crunch as the balls of her shoulders slid back to their rightful place. Scyther screamed loudly again. Ethan stepped away and examined her as she experimentally moved her arms. The bug seemed to have regained control of them, and after a minute she was back to swinging them faster than he could follow. Satisfied, he dug into his pocket and pulled out her Pokeball. Returning her was obviously the smartest option, as word of her was likely spreading towards every corner of Kanto as they stood there. His Pokemon nodded at him as he returned her in a flash of light.

    Ethan pulled off his pack and changed his shirt and jacket to camouflage his body in different colors. No doubt people were on the lookout for his description, so anything he could do to shake them up was a smart move. He needed to get as far away from here as possible. His home in Saffron was only a few hours away, and he could cover it even quicker if he rode. He pulled out Rapidash’s ball and released her. The fire horse materialized in a shower of energy and flame, red eyes glued to Ethan’s as she stood up to her full height. She looked at him disdainfully until she interpreted the look on his face. He spoke to her quickly, expressing how urgent it was that she get them back home as soon as possible. He mounted the fire horse and instructed her of the direction they needed to go. She nodded in return and started forward, doing her best to keep her fiery mane from billowing too brightly.


    *********

    Less than three hours later he was back in his apartment in Saffron. He had stuck to using side streets when they entered the city, and returned his Rapidash as they approached his building from a back alley. He slinked his way up the fire escape like a Spinarak. He stopped on the twelfth story and opened the window to his bedroom, which he kept unlocked for reasons exactly like this. Ethan slid the window shut behind him and locked it. He slid to the floor and closed his eyes, relaxing for the first time in several hours.

    He opened his eyes and took in his bedroom. Dust had become king while he was gone, and had made its home on every inch of his orange tile floor and polished walnut furniture. He rose from his floor and shed his traveling clothes. Walking over to his bed he collapsed face-first, rolling across the top and positioning himself on his back. Almost three months had passed since he had been home. It was so blissfully quiet here, so quiet and so dark. The low lighting was wonderful to his tired eyes, and he tried his best to slow his breathing and drift off to sleep. He needed rest. Physically his body felt fine, the flakes made sure of that. He was never tired anymore, but mentally he was exhausted.

    Sleep didn’t come for him however. There was too much on his mind, and as hard as he tried, he couldn’t let go. Speaking with the voices would be able to calm him down. They always eased his mind when he was troubled. They were mentors and counselors; they would know what to do. Unfortunately, Alakazam was still in his ball, and he wasn’t about to let him out so he could put him to sleep. He doubted that his Pokemon would even willingly do it anyway. The thought of his psychic Pokemon quickened his breathing and filled him with angst. Alakazam had called him a murderer, he had been so mad. Ethan knew what he did was not wrong, but having his friend so angry, so angry that he attacked him had put Ethan on edge. Was he right? Obviously killing people would bring unwanted attention, but still, they had deserved it. Ethan was a righteous light from above, he had been sent to accomplish a goal, and anyone who got in the way of that goal was fair game. Pushing the thought of his friend from his head for the moment, he got up from the bed and retrieved Scyther’s pokeball.

    “Sai?” his Pokemon asked as she was released.

    “Power up one of you arms,” Ethan began. “I need you to knock me out.”

    “Scyther, sai?”

    “You know I’ll be fine, it just has to be hard enough to knock me unconscious.”

    “Sai, Scyther?”

    “No. Alakazam is not an option. Are you questioning me?”

    “Sai,” Scyther replied, taking a step back and shaking her head.

    “Good,” Ethan replied, positioning himself at the foot of the bed.

    As he watched, Scyther’s right arm began to glow. She quickly raised it up and brought it down frighteningly quick. The blunt portion of her scythe cracked his skull easily as it connected, forcing a few slivers of bone into his brain. Ethan cried out as he felt his cranium fracture, but it ended quickly as his eyes involuntarily closed and he felt himself fall backwards onto the bed. He felt and saw nothing for a moment, just black space devoid of light or objects. He felt his eyes again after a moment, and proceeded to open them.

    He was back on the island. The sky was not its usual cloudless blue today, nor was the water lazily lapping against the sand like it usually was. The sky was overcast and dark, with bulbous iron clouds low and foreboding. The color of the water matched the sky almost exactly. The sea was slapping against the shore ferociously as a wild wind tore across the surface, sending the water into crazy spirals further out. Ethan turned around and saw the tower. It was black as night like always, but set against the dark grey backdrop of the sky it looked almost sinister.

    He felt them before they arrived. Every time he came to this sacred place he hoped they would reveal their physical forms to him, but this time was no different than the last. They surrounded him on all sides, the only tell-tale sign of their presence being a gentle push against his consciousness.

    Ethan,” they whispered.

    “Lords,” he replied, bowing slightly.

    We saw that you recovered the marker that was stolen. We’re proud of you, Ethan.

    “It was no trouble, I assure you. I even made an example of one of them.”

    We saw what you did, Ethan. You made us so proud. What plans do you have for the other two?

    “Well, as I’m sure you were aware, there was a slight complication.”

    We saw what transpired. What are your plans for the other two?

    “Nothing immediately. It’s too risky to go back to Pewter right now. I’m sure the authorities are on the lookout for me.”

    Regardless of who may be searching for you, we need you to go back and deal with the two of them.

    “I, well, I know we need to clear up that loose end, but right now it wouldn’t be the wisest choice.”

    It’s not like you to disobey us, Ethan. With your power, no one should be able to oppose you. We have to make sure that the two humans are dealt with before they spread word of the treasure. You will go back.

    “I do understand what you’re asking of me, but I’m telling you that if I go ba-“

    YOU TELL US NOTHING!” the voices screamed.

    Ethan fell backwards in alarm and hit the ground. The sound waves generated by the voices felt hot on his skin. He looked back up to see lightning starting to flash around the small island. Thunder boomed loudly in unison with the electricity, shaking the ground beneath him. He felt the voices start to spin around him.

    WE TELL YOU! YOU OBEY! WE DID NOT GIVE YOU THESE GIFTS FOR YOU TO IGNORE OUR WISHES! YOU WILL GO!

    Ethan began to cry. The lightning started flashing faster, the voices swirled around him closer. Why were they doing this to him? Hadn’t he explained the issue? Not that a jail could hold him if he was caught, but it would make his task exceedingly more difficult. He whimpered slightly at a particularly loud clap of thunder, snot being excreted from his nose between sobs.

    “I’m sorry,” Ethan lamented. “I’ll get it done somehow. I promise I’ll take care of them. It’s not smart for me to go back right now but I’ll arrange for someone to go and deal with them, I swear it! I’ll have someone bring me their heads and we can forget this ever happened! Please!”

    This must be dealt with quickly, Ethan,” the voices said, lightening their tone. “Just get it done. We will start to fade if someone else finds the treasure. We’re sorry for treating you this way, Ethan, but you have to understand that if you fail, we will die.

    “I will never let that happen. I promise you. I’m sorry I disputed you, that was childish of me. I love all of you dearly, and I know you have my best interests at heart.”

    Good, Ethan, good. We love you as well. Like we have said countless times, you are our champion. You will piece us back together.

    “I will, I swear it. Where am I going next?”

    To Sinnoh, Ethan. Go to the lake of knowledge in the north. You will find another shard there, which will bring you one step closer to us.

    “I’ll leave as soon as I can, I promise. And I will deal with the two thieves. No expense will be spared, I promise.”

    Thank you, Ethan,” the voices sang. “We trust you.

    “I, I love you all,” Ethan said as the world around him began to flicker. “I will see this through.”

    As he said those last words he felt himself pulled into the sky once again. He closed his eyes as he entered a cloud, and when he opened them, he was back in his home in Saffron.

    “Scyther, Scyther?” his Pokemon asked.

    “Yes, I was able to talk to them,” Ethan replied, catching the sight in his mirror of black smoke rising from the large gash in his skull. After a moment, the wound had healed.

    Ethan stood up and walked to the kitchen, fishing a glass from a nearby cupboard and filling it with water. He drank deeply, savoring the feeling of the cool water seeping down his throat. He finished the water and walked back to his bedroom. Part of the comforter was soaked in blood from his head, so he pulled the whole blanket to the floor and laid back down on the cool sheets. He swiftly fell asleep and did not dream.


    **********


    Almost sixteen hours later, he woke up. Ethan felt refreshed and revitalized. He also felt ready for what was about to come. He had three shards now, and had the location for the fourth. Presumably when he gathered all of them, he’d be able to revive the voices to their original form. What a relief it would be to have them on the physical plain. To feel their warmth and their love in person everyday instead of fleeting minutes when he dreamt.

    Ethan walked across the slate floor of his bathroom to his shower. He removed the rest of his clothing and showered. The scalding water felt fabulous on his skin as it washed away the sweat and dirt he had accumulated over the last several days. He stood under the hot stream for several minutes, his mind going through a catalogue of the different resources at his disposal. He had made a few contacts from Unova over the last several years, people who have benefited greatly from the civil uprisings that had been plaguing the poverty ridden region for the last two decades. People with very specific skill-sets that suited the task he had in mind. After he exited the shower and dried himself, he slipped into a robe and made a few calls. After about thirty minutes of conversation with a man from Olivine City, he had acquired the name of a man who would be capable of the task.

    He crossed his sparsely furnished living room and sat down on the couch. The man he called next refused to give him his name, but did agree to meet him in Vermillion City in four days time. Satisfied, Ethan hung up and grabbed a small remote off of his cocktail table. He pressed a button and a panel on the wall in front of him slid to the right, revealing a large television. A press on another button brought the device to life.

    Ethan gasped.

    His face filled the screen in front of him. The picture had been magnified to the extreme, but his face was easily recognizable. The picture of him grew slightly smaller to make room for another picture that appeared next to his; this one showing his Scyther. As he watched, both pictures were minimized once again to make room for another picture of him standing in Pewter City. The third picture was from one of the police cars that had pulled up as he was fleeing the museum, obvious from the windshield in front of the camera. Ethan’s breath caught in his chest as he watched both pictures disappear to show Vivian Humphrey, the local channel nine news anchor.

    “We come back to the story that has been the focus for much of the region for the past few hours,” Vivian started. “The man and Scyther pictured are wanted for the murder of John Francis and Ricky Thomas of the Pewter City Police Department, as well as the murder and mutilation of Ronnie Dvakna, a curator at the Pewter City Museum. Close to four in the afternoon yesterday, police were alerted by the security office at the museum that a hidden security camera had caught the brutal murder of Ronnie Dvakna. Police were soon dispatched, and came across this unidentified man and his Scyther. The man ignored commands by police and ordered the murder of two police officers, as well as having his Scyther put an additional two in critical condition. An Alakazam is also believed to be involved. The hospitalized police officers identities are not yet known, but we do know they were airlifted to Saffron City about an hour after the incident.”

    Ethan stared, his mind refusing to process the situation in front of him.

    “Police have no information about the identity of the suspect, but are encouraging anyone who recognizes the man or the Scyther in the photographs provided to please call their local authorities. Both John Francis and Ricky Thomas are survived by their parents, while Ronnie Dvakna is survived by his adopted niece and nephew, Dorian Dvakna and Shelton Street; who were visiting him at the time. We will be displaying the pictures constantly over the next several hours, and urge anyone with information on the whereabouts of the man or Scyther to please call in. We do however stress that anyone who encounters this suspect to use extreme caution, as he is believed to be armed and dangerous.”

    Ethan quickly flicked the television off and shot to his feet. His mind was going in every direction at once. How could this happen? How could he have been this stupid? They had his picture, and it was probably being shown in every home from here to Hoenn. This was so very bad. He didn’t make mistakes like this. Ethan calmed himself with a quick breath. He didn’t really associate with his business contacts face-to-face and the only people that saw him on a regular basis were his neighbors in the apartment where he lived. So it was unlikely that someone would be calling in already, but it was still not a chance he was willing to take.

    He quickly crossed back into his bedroom and roused Scyther, who had been dozing on the floor. He dressed quickly for journey, filling her in on the situation as he started pulling items from his dresser into his traveling pack. She didn’t seem as shocked as he thought she should have, but dismissed it as she left to check the fire escape by the window. Ethan meanwhile hurried to his closet and knelt down to remove a loose tile in the floor. The safe underneath opened with a six digit code he entered. Inside was a small leather case, which he opened to verify its contents. Inside was a driver’s license and passport under a fictitious name and address, flanked by his picture. Along with the identification were four fat rolls of currency from all six regions, easily enough for him to survive on his own for the better part of a year. He closed the case back and deposited it into his traveling pack along with three changes of clothes.

    Scyther came back into the window and nodded at him. He quickly returned her to her ball and pocketed the sphere, as it was much too dangerous to keep her out at the moment. He didn’t bother to take another look at his apartment before he crawled out the window to the fire escape; nothing of value remained inside. The shards were in his pack, and the flakes were inside him, which was all that mattered. Ethan slowly crept down the twelve story staircase, taking care to duck down below any windows. As he got down to the street he pulled his hair into a tight bun and drew the hood of his jacket over his head. He passed through the alley like a ghost, passing by a family of Rattata in a nearby dumpster. He waved down a taxi as he got to the street, sliding off his backpack and sitting it next to him as he climbed inside.

    “Where you heading, pal?” the portly driver asked.

    Making sure to keep his head low, Ethan replied, “Vermillion City.”


    **********


    Four days later…


    The face looking back at Ethan in his hotel room mirror looked remarkably different than it did a few days ago. A purchased electric razor had taken off his long wavy hair and replaced it with a crew-cut. Over the last several days he had also grew out his facial hair and he was now sporting a neatly trimmed goatee. He ran a hand through his hair, unfamiliar with its velvety feeling. Ethan turned and went back to the desk in the corner of the room.

    The television was on with the sound muted, throwing blue shadows against the walls of the darkened room. More coverage about Ethan was playing onscreen, though less of it had been playing as the days trickled by. The police had received a tip from a tenant in his apartment, which turned up barren when the police had broken down his door. Ethan made a mental note to go see the old woman that called it in when all was done with the markers. The police now had his name from the lease he had on his apartment, and now the name Ethan Bernard was common knowledge to every person in Kanto. After that revelation, Ethan had stuck to his room, not wanting to test his chances. He turned his attention back to the desk and the picture that was lying on one corner.

    They had caused this. If those two thieving hooligans had not meddled in his affairs, this never would have transpired. He loathed their smiling faces, cursed their common appearance. His life had been upended because of them, and they were going to receive his vengeance. Perhaps when the voices were brought back to this world they would know of a way to clear his name and allow him to have his life back. Not that it mattered if they couldn’t, as the important thing was that he would be with them. A beep from his watch took his eyes away from the picture. It was time.

    He cleared out everything from his temporary shelter and stuffed it back into his pack. Ethan slung it over one shoulder and stepped out into twilight, once again raising the hood over his head. At first he thought that doing that would draw attention to his invisible face, but the temperature had been dropping steadily over the last few days, so a hood wouldn’t draw too many questioning looks. Not only that, but anyone who looked directly at him received a gentle push from his mind which prompted them to walk in the other direction. A few blocks down the road was his destination. The sign above the pub read, ‘The Leaky Blastoise’.

    He slipped in through the door and was greeted by the sound of drunken laughter. The bar was low-lit and large, a perfect place for a meeting. His boots crunched broken peanut shells loudly as he crossed the floor. Ethan sat down at a table near the side entrance and ordered a beer, one hand resting protectively on the pack to his right. After a few minutes, another man entered the bar. He was as tall as Ethan, but not nearly as heavy. The man’s dark eyes glanced left and right as he passed between singing patrons until he saw Ethan’s dark green jacket. Ethan had told him what he would be wearing so he’d be easy to pick out. The man casually sat down and smiled at him, extending a tattooed hand. Ethan shook it lightly and returned his hand to his pack. The man spoke first, his voice low and deliberate.

    “Mister Feiss?” the man asked.

    “That’s correct,” Ethan responded. “I didn’t catch your name the last time we spoke.”

    “Well, I have no intention of giving it to you, but to make this somewhat easier, you may call me Marco.”

    “Fine,” Ethan replied, laughing inside at the man’s rudeness. “You came highly recommended from my contacts in Olivine.”

    “I prefer not to talk about my past exploits, if it’s all the same to you.”

    “I heard you were a man who knows the value of secrecy. I guess they were being honest.”

    “Listen Mister Feiss, I value money. From what I understand, you have a problem with two individuals. I can take care of that problem for you, but I want my fee upfront. I didn’t just spend four days traveling to get here to exchange details about my methods. Do you have the money?”

    “Here it is,” Ethan replied, sliding an envelope towards him.

    The man felt the weight of the envelope and deposited it into a pocket in his jacket, revealing the handle of a gun before he zipped it back up.

    “What have you got on them?” the man asked.

    “Not much,” Ethan responded, sliding the picture of the two thieves to him. “Their last address along with their names are on the back.”

    “Last known whereabouts?” Marco asked.

    “Pewter City,” Ethan said.

    “I’m assuming you don’t care how I get this done, right?”

    “Well, I actually have two stipulations that go along with taking this job,” Ethan said, pulling a Pokeball from his pocket. He noticed that as he did so Marco’s hand moved slowly toward his jacket; the man relaxed however when Ethan brought both hands to the top of the table. He almost laughed in Marco’s face; the man had much more to fear from Ethan than any Pokemon he might bring out.

    “What’s the first?”

    “You are to take this Pokemon with you and release her as soon as I leave. She will be with you every step of the way. She’ll help in any way you command her, and she will report back to me when you’re finished.”

    “That’s a problem for me. I don’t work with Pokemon.”

    “Well, you’re going to have to bend your rules this one time. I need to make sure you accomplish this, and to be honest I don’t trust you at all. She will watch your progress, and come back to me when you’ve finished.”

    “What makes you think you can just order me about?”

    “Oh I don’t, but as long as you agree to have her along with you at all times, I’ll pay you triple.”

    “Money up front.”

    “I don’t think so, and if you try to screw me over, I’ve already instructed her to cut your throat,” Ethan said with a smile.

    “Fine,” Marco replied through clenched teeth. “What’s the other condition?”

    “I want their heads.”

    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-


  25. #100
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    Alakazam’s attention snapped back to the present as a small clearing passed by beneath them. Closing his eyes to feel out the land below, he lowered them down, Ethan and Scyther both shrieking at him as he did so. As soon as his feet touched the dry grass he looked around. Trees circled the small field in a perfect circle and they seemed to be devoid of life and prying eyes. He knew they were several miles outside of Pewter City, and while he had no doubt they were being chased, they were far enough away to buy themselves a few minutes. Alakzam started pacing back and forth, trying to work out what he was going to say. He saw that Scyther and Ethan were still struggling against his hold but they were making no progress at all. Taking a breath, Alakazam walked over to stand in front of his friend, making sure to keep a few feet between them. Not wanting Scyther to hear their conversation, he reached out with his thoughts and spoke directly to Ethan’s mind.
    I'm not really sure why anything above this paragraph was needed. Sorry if that sounds blunt. Normally, you do Dorian&co's point of view, or Ethan's. Having Alakazam's point of view and take on things is really awkward. Also, it didn't really do much for the chapter. You didn't introduce anything new, only repeated things the reader already knows: Alakazam wants to stop Ethan, Alakazam is a good pokemon, etc. After this, however, when Alakazam finally, blatantly says that the voices aren't real, though... that's fine, because it brings something new to the table. Though the Alakazam POV is a bit odd and still doesn't add much, imo. Could be just as effective from Ethan's POV.

    I also liked the fight between Ethan and Alakazam. I'm sure Alakazam could have destroyed Ethan easily, but the battle is dragged on because he obviously doesn't want to hurt his trainer. Also, I like the idea of how Ethan believes in his destiny so much that he'd heard the thing closest to him.

    He kicked her roughly in the stomach as he stepped over, knocking the wind from her lungs and shutting her up. Stupid insect.
    The "Stupid insect." part seems a bit out of place in third person. Perhaps put it as dialogue/thoughts?

    Ethan pulled off his pack and changed his shirt and jacket to camouflage his body in different colors. No doubt people were on the lookout for his description, so anything he could do to shake them up was a smart move.
    I agree with the reviewer that said Ethan's murder was sloppy, but I didn't comment on it because I figured that's how you wanted it to be. And it made a lot of sense. Does it make sense, then, for him to suddenly start being careful? Perhaps this incident has suddenly made him start thinking he's not invincible after all.

    He had stuck to using side streets when they entered the city, and returned his Rapidash as they approached his building from a back alley.
    Would remove "to", or just say "stuck with using"... Sounds awkward the way it is now.

    “You know I’ll be fine, it just has to be hard enough to knock me unconscious.”
    If Ethan's supposed to be suddenly careful, then perhaps you should add a part where he asks Scyther to keep a look out and to protect/move him if necessary.

    “I, well, I know we need to clear up that loose end, but right now it wouldn’t be the wisest choice.”

    “It’s not like you to disobey us, Ethan. With your power, no one should be able to oppose you. We have to make sure that the two humans are dealt with before they spread word of the treasure. You will go back.”
    Your back-and-forth dialogue technique says a lot, though perhaps you should add some action to show that the "voices" are getting angry or that Ethan sounds kind of opposed to what he's being asked to, which he's not used to.

    “Yes, I was able to talk to them,” Ethan replied, catching the sight in his mirror of black smoke rising from the large gash in his skull. After a moment, the wound had healed.

    Ethan stood up and walked to the kitchen, fishing a glass from a nearby cupboard and filling it with water.
    This seems to be a pretty abrupt transition. I would expect to see Ethan reacting to crying or being scared, but he seems unscathed at the moment.

    The picture had been magnified to the extreme, but his face was easily recognizable. The picture of him grew slightly smaller to make room for another picture that appeared next to his; this one showing his Scyther. As he watched, both pictures were minimized once again to make room for another picture of him standing in Pewter City. The third picture was from one of the police cars that had pulled up as he was fleeing the museum, obvious from the windshield in front of the camera.
    If I read this right, "the third picture" should actually be described as the fourth picture.

    How could this happen? How could he have been this stupid?
    Should be "How could this have happened?" to keep consistent tenses.

    Over the last several days he had also grew out his facial hair and he was now sporting a neatly trimmed goatee.
    "grown" not "grew"

    This chapter was well written and I enjoyed it, even if it seemed a bit slow. Not much happened or was revealed, but I suppose it was a filler chapter. I look forward to more, especially because the last line is creepy... but intriguing.

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


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


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


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