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Thread: Brothers' Bond (PG-13)

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulba the Great! View Post
    I'm new to this fic and I've only read the first chapter, but it's absolutely fantastic. Seriously. The chapter length, character description, everything is perfect. I really like the way you described Caterpie, and I already have a pretty good sense of who Sammy is from the get-go. Nice use of familial expectations. I look forward to catching up so I can actually try to give critical feedback!
    I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you continue to do so!

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    I think at the end there, you meant to only put JUST "relaxing" OR "how sweaty he'd become", not both. Also, the paragraph that this section in is unbelievably huge. Readers could be turned off by large blocks of text like this, so I would separate it into shorter paragraphs if possible.
    Actually, the "now that he was relaxing" should either have been put off by commas or put at the beginning of the sentence. It's a tad unwieldy the way it is, and I'm going to edit that part to the beginning.

    As for the length of that paragraph, Sidewinder said the same thing, and I have to admit, I'm not seeing that. Actually, I purposely wrote a larger paragraph because I so often write short paragraphs that I feel like I could always embellish on. When I'm constantly writing short paragraphs, I feel like I have A.D.D. or something. Like "Why can't I find more to say here?" I feel like it's better writing if I can flesh out paragraphs, but if you don't want to read it, I'll see what I can do going forward.


    This seemed a little abrupt. There was poor transitioning here. At first Sam is thinking about Rowan, and then all of a sudden someone is in his way? You say shortly after that Sam was lost in his thoughts, but the tone of the piece doesn't really show any element of surprise or anything. A simple mention of "suddenly Sam heard footsteps or heard a voice" before the actual dialogue might have made it flow a little bit smoother.
    More defending myself here (because, honestly dammit, I really liked this chapter), I don't see a problem here at all, and once again both you and Sidewinder said the same thing. The narration was attached to Sam, and Sam did not see or hear anything, so...suddenly someone was there. If the narrator mentioned that there was someone coming up behind Sam, that would take me out of the consistent narrator who is limited to just Sam. The only mistake I might have made, and I can tell I did by what you just said, is that Barry was BEHIND Sam, not in front of him. Sam passed the path, and Barry followed him from that point before finally surprising him. Perhaps I should have been more direct there. I mean, it follows: in real life, sometimes people sneak up on you, and you don't know they are there. And actually, surprise dialogue (I just made that term up) is something I have always done a lot of in my writing. Someone is unaware or lost in thought, and then--BAM!--someone's there.


    My biggest complaint about this chapter is that it almost readers like a summary. You really only tell what happens to Sam on the beginning of his journey here. I would have liked to see each scene fleshed out in more detail... It seemed as if you were breezing over supposedly non-important parts only to get to the important scenes (aka the ones involving the three lake pokemon). The scene with Barry was good but the rest made me want more. This can be really dangerous since you're going to lack any subplots and such, and therefore you'll be missing a lot of opportunities to flesh out your characters.
    I think, in my defense, this was a case of "Sam eating his omelette" wasn't going to further the plot in any meaningful way, so it was better just to say that it happened. I could have had a whole extra chapter of Sam waking up and eating breakfast, but at this point, I've established Sam and his relationship with Rowan, so where else could I go there other than shoe-horning something in that isn't needed there? I also feel like I meandered on enough just getting to THIS point (there were already two chapters of Sam sitting around talking to Rowan; a third felt extraneous). But still, it's honestly a duly noted point, and I will keep it in mind going forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Finally here, sorry it took so long.

    The first thing I noticd was the huge block of text in the beginning of this chapter. it's not incorrect that it's there because it's all about the newly captured Shinx (who's one of my favorite Sinnoh Pokemon BTW), but I found myself losing my place several times. Obviously you're going to have paragraph's that are longer than others, but this one just seemed a little bit excessive. You can split that paragraph in two, and make it alot easier to read. It makes it easier for your regular readers to get through, and new readers as well.
    As I noted up there to diamondpearl, I'm actually surprised this is a point of contention. But I said everything I needed to say up there, so I'll keep the comments from both of you in mind and move on.

    I agree with diamondpearl that meet Barry was a little quick for my taste. An easier lead up like suspecting that someone was nearby, or seeing footprints, etc, would have been a little bit easier. To be completely honest, Barry kind of annoys me. His attitude is somewhat childish, which doesnt really match up with him being such a young assistant. Obviously he got to that point by being brilliant and good at his job, and from what you've made me think of Rowan, his age wouldnt really matter. But Rowan really does seem like he has a low tolerance for behavoir like this. It goes both ways though, as even though I don't like Barry, I quite liked the interractions he had with Sam.
    I covered this in my reply to diamondpearl, too. My premise is, you know, this is Sam Stark. Not Batman. I've never personally really noticed footprints when I've been out walking in the woods.

    As for Barry, yeah, he's kind of an impulsive jerk, but he is also, yes, very good at what he does. He's basically Barry from the D/P/Pl games, but a few years older and better at what he does. And the line you didn't like, that's basically my homage to what he actually says in the game. But not everyone's going to like every character, do I'll accept that. I think you'll like him more as the story goes on. But he IS a teenager.


    I liked the length of this chapter better as well. I didn't put it in a word processor to measure it up against previous chapters, but it read really well. I'm still wanting more though when it comes to length. I want to have so much in the chapter that I have to stop and take notes as I'm reading instead of being able to remember my points as I read. If that makes sense.
    This was longer, yes, and while I agree that previous chapters that were just a bit over 2 pages were probably two short, I tend to look at huge chapters in the same manner that you and diamondpearl noted that you looked at my single long paragraph here. I have always had a tendency towards shorter, quick-hitting chapters, and, like I mentioned with stretching out that one paragraph to give myself exercise in doing so, I could probably stand to lengthen my chapters a tad. I just feel like chapters that are more than 5 or 6 pages are a bit tedious to read. Though, granted, short chapters read better when the whole story is put together and read worse when being posted chapter-by-chapter. Something else to keep in mind as I go on.
    Last edited by Sid87; 14th May 2012 at 8:35 PM.


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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Actually, the "now that he was relaxing" should either have been put off by commas or put at the beginning of the sentence. It's a tad unwieldy the way it is, and I'm going to edit that part to the beginning.
    Fair enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    As for the length of that paragraph, Sidewinder said the same thing, and I have to admit, I'm not seeing that. Actually, I purposely wrote a larger paragraph because I so often write short paragraphs that I feel like I could always embellish on. When I'm constantly writing short paragraphs, I feel like I have A.D.D. or something. Like "Why can't I find more to say here?" I feel like it's better writing if I can flesh out paragraphs, but if you don't want to read it, I'll see what I can do going forward.
    It really isn't about the length of the paragraphs so much as it is the content of them. As long as you say what you need to say, then you can move on.

    Also, I'm sure you know that you should start a new paragraph every time a new idea is presented, and I believe that paragraph I pointed out focused on way too much at once. You could have separated some of the parts and still have gotten the job done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    More defending myself here (because, honestly dammit, I really liked this chapter), I don't see a problem here at all, and once again both you and Sidewinder said the same thing. The narration was attached to Sam, and Sam did not see or hear anything, so...suddenly someone was there. If the narrator mentioned that there was someone coming up behind Sam, that would take me out of the consistent narrator who is limited to just Sam. The only mistake I might have made, and I can tell I did by what you just said, is that Barry was BEHIND Sam, not in front of him. Sam passed the path, and Barry followed him from that point before finally surprising him. Perhaps I should have been more direct there. I mean, it follows: in real life, sometimes people sneak up on you, and you don't know they are there. And actually, surprise dialogue (I just made that term up) is something I have always done a lot of in my writing. Someone is unaware or lost in thought, and then--BAM!--someone's there.
    Don't get me wrong, I liked this chapter too, since Barry's scenes were incredibly well written and realistic. I just pointed out things that seemed iffy to me to try to help you.

    And fair enough then if the narration is third person limited. I was under the impression that it was third person omniscient (in which case you could have added something about Barry sneaking up on Sam) since I believe we've been told about Tommy's thoughts before, and/or things Sam might not have known at the time of the narration. Perhaps I remembered wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    I think, in my defense, this was a case of "Sam eating his omelette" wasn't going to further the plot in any meaningful way, so it was better just to say that it happened. I could have had a whole extra chapter of Sam waking up and eating breakfast, but at this point, I've established Sam and his relationship with Rowan, so where else could I go there other than shoe-horning something in that isn't needed there? I also feel like I meandered on enough just getting to THIS point (there were already two chapters of Sam sitting around talking to Rowan; a third felt extraneous). But still, it's honestly a duly noted point, and I will keep it in mind going forward.
    I agree about the Sam eating his omelette part, lol, and about the Rowan part. Focusing too much on Rowan wouldn't have been very good either. For this chapter, I was mostly talking about the Shinx capture. Why include it if it's not important? If it's important, why not expand on it?

    It just seemed like last chapter, Sam had just announced his plans, and now, with very little time passing, he's at the lake already. What planning did he do? What were his initial travels during his journey like after he left Rowan's lab? You could have added other scenes beside the Rowan one to help expand other characters or Sam. Even with your chapters being out of chronological order, it seems a tiny bit rushed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    This was longer, yes, and while I agree that previous chapters that were just a bit over 2 pages were probably two short, I tend to look at huge chapters in the same manner that you and diamondpearl noted that you looked at my single long paragraph here. I have always had a tendency towards shorter, quick-hitting chapters, and, like I mentioned with stretching out that one paragraph to give myself exercise in doing so, I could probably stand to lengthen my chapters a tad. I just feel like chapters that are more than 5 or 6 pages are a bit tedious to read. Though, granted, short chapters read better when the whole story is put together and read worse when being posted chapter-by-chapter. Something else to keep in mind as I go on.
    There's nothing wrong with this. Some people just prefer longer chapters, some prefer shorter. I've seen plenty of books with 1-2 page chapters... The difference here is that we have to wait a week or more to see the next chapter, whereas in regular books, you can keep on reading immediately. Do with that what you will.


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  3. #53
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    I hope you (or Sidewinder) don't think I was dismissing your opinions; I wasn't. I wouldn't have been using smileys throughout my reply if I was actually defensive or upset. I just thought I needed to defend a few points. I absolutely value what you guys said, 100%, and am serious when I say I'll consider them going forward.

    A few new points:

    -You're probably right about the lack of showing the capture of the Shinx. My only excuse is when I was visualizing the scene, I greatly enjoyed the image of Shinx bobbing along next to Sam and playing with Bree. I just wanted to open with that since I liked the visual.

    -I may have screwed up and shown another character's thought process before, but I might hate myself if I have. I can't stand inconsistent narration. I know I'vedone a few "Tommy seemed to think..." or "Rowan appeared to be..." so I could allude to their inner processes, but it's all done through Sam's perception. But that doesn't mean mistakes weren't made. I'd just be really unhappy.

    -I wanted to display here that Sam DIDN'T do any planning. I thought I did a good job of that, but perhaps not. I wanted to show that he is getting frantic and desperate, and even when things are going well, he still hasn't thought it all out. So that's why I didn't show him coming up with a plan: he didn't have one. He thinks he can just wing it. If I didn't display that well enough...shame on me.


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  4. #54
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    Chapter One, here we go! *cracks knuckles*

    He was thankful that Sinnoh had outlets that accommodated devices brought from other continents as he plugged his trimmers into the wall adjoining the bathroom sink.
    This is a delightful little detail that makes your world so accessible. Love it.

    As of eight o’clock, Sam had never managed to get any more sleep when his hotel phone rang.
    That should probably be "Sam had not managed". Otherwise there's some weeird tense stuff going on.

    I like the paragraph describing his frustration at waiting. The bit about the minute hand being faster than the bus? Gold.

    helping him take in the brand new environment
    Are you referring to the Butterfree? Because you just stated it was female...

    An Ninetails
    Not to be the grammar nazi, but it would just be 'a Ninetales'.

    What a nifty way to hook me for the next chapter! Bravo.

    I swear I'll read faster and catch up once the week is out.
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    Are you referring to the Butterfree? Because you just stated it was female...
    ....yes, that's....yep. I can't believe no one else caught that one. In my defense, I wrote the line about Bree's wings a few times and couldn't decide if it was a he or a she. I guess after I decided on "she", I forgot to change that line.

    And yeah...I need to go back and edit almost all my uses of "Ninetails". I can't believe I never noticed that was how it was spelled. I, unfortunately, need to edit a few of the typos that have been caught so far. Just haven't had time.

    Thanks for the continued support, though.


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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    I hope you (or Sidewinder) don't think I was dismissing your opinions; I wasn't. I wouldn't have been using smileys throughout my reply if I was actually defensive or upset. I just thought I needed to defend a few points. I absolutely value what you guys said, 100%, and am serious when I say I'll consider them going forward.
    No worries, and I believed you. And it's okay to defend yourself but I'll still give my opinion haha. Also, we're not always right anyway. You know your story better than we ever will!

    But that doesn't mean mistakes weren't made. I'd just be really unhappy.
    Fair enough, "seemed" and "appeared" are good words to use. But they can be misleading still if the reader isn't focusing on your story enough or whatever.

    -I wanted to display here that Sam DIDN'T do any planning. I thought I did a good job of that, but perhaps not. I wanted to show that he is getting frantic and desperate, and even when things are going well, he still hasn't thought it all out. So that's why I didn't show him coming up with a plan: he didn't have one. He thinks he can just wing it. If I didn't display that well enough...shame on me.
    You did do a good job showing he was frantic and desperate, no doubt. It just seems unrealistic that he didn't do ANY planning for something so important, you know? Maybe he could have done some planning, but not very good planning.


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


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


  7. #57
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    Chapter 7: Present Day

    Sam had thought Barry was moving fast when they were just on their way to the lake yesterday, but he realized he hadn’t seen fast until the young man, abandoning camp and all of their belongings, raced along the edge of the lake in an attempt to get to the northern side. His feet came down so hard and so quickly, he almost trampled a family of Bidoof who weren‘t aware of his presence until nearly too late.

    “Barry!” Sam called out from behind him as he did his best to stay caught up. “Barry, what’s going on? You’re leaving all of our supplies behind!”

    “You can stay with them if you want, but I’d rather you came with me. So either keep up or don’t!” Barry’s gait hardly changed as he yelled the order back to Sam.

    Sam had no time at all to be indecisive, and he knew it. If he paused to consider his actions for even a moment, Barry would be out of sight. With that realization, Sam increased his speed in an effort to stay just behind Barry’s trail of dust. He still had no idea why Barry was running so fervently, but it was obvious that the sound from the other side of the lake had awoken something dire within the young man. It was a side of Barry that Sam had seen no sign of yesterday.

    After a few minutes of a dead sprint around the periphery of Lake Verity, Barry finally slowed down, placing his right arm over his chest as he did so. Sam knew Barry must have been feeling the same vice squeezing his lungs that he did. Their pace reduced itself to a quickened walk, and Sam finally had enough time to realize wherever they were rushing off to, they were doing it in their pajamas. Sam tried to imagine whatever creature was making the mechanical beeping noise being intimidated by his flannel sweatpants and white tank top, but it seemed all-too-unlikely. Somewhere in his haste, he had lost one of his knitted slippers, and he tried to calculate if having one was any more ridiculous than either having both or just being barefoot. He settled on kicking the other one off to match his bare feet; he could recover the socks when they came back around the lake.

    “Did you bring your pokemon?”

    Sam was almost shocked that Barry had spoken; he hadn’t said anything since demanding Sam’s decision. Sam’s hand went to the exterior of his pockets and he felt the three lumps within. “I did, yeah. Why--”

    “Good. You sleep with them? Smart.” Barry was still not even turning his head to Sam when he spoke, choosing instead to keep his eyes locked on the shoreline. He really must not have wanted to lose even a step’s worth of his speed, even while recuperating from the sprint.

    “I guess. I just--”

    “Do you know anything about the beeps?”

    “The beeps? You mean the noise? No, how would I? I just got here--”

    “It has nothing to do with you?”

    Sam desperately wanted to finish a thought without another interruption, but this question wrecked into his brain like a runaway car. “What? With me? No, no it’s not.”

    Barry nodded and picked up his pace to a light jog. His vice must have loosened somewhat. Sam wished his chest would tell him the same. Nevertheless, he increased his own speed to match.

    The beeping that had saved Sam from his nightmare grew louder as they rounded Verity. Sometimes it would disappear for minutes at a time, only to re-emerge later. As they got closer, other sounds began mixing in. First, a heavy, rapid sound of two hard materials colliding. After that, the sound of hydraulics. What they were approaching was definitely man-made. Not only that, but it had to be some kind of heavy machinery. He was considering the implications of that thought when he saw that Barry had come to a stop and was crouching. The motion he made with his hand signaled Sam to do the same.

    Maybe a hundred yards of trees and shrubs separated Sam and Barry from a small construction force in a clearing of the woods. There was a large, orange backhoe that emitted a cautionary beep--the sound that he had been chasing--when it needed to back up. Not far from the backhoe sat an idling bulldozer and a matching orange breaker. All three pieces of machinery had the same picture of a fiery bird blazoned on their doors. There was obviously a man in the backhoe steering it backwards off a mound of dirt the equipment must have dug up, but the other vehicles seemed empty, and half a dozen men milled about outside them, all clad in matching construction hats and red jumpsuits. There were too far away for Sam to discern anything they could be saying.

    “What do you think is going on here?” As Sam turned to Barry to get an answer to his question, he found the young man snapping pictures with his cell phone. Sam stared on as Barry then began inputting information into the touchscreen. “What are you doing?”

    “Sending these pics to the professor. You seriously don’t know these guys?”

    “What? No. I told you--”

    “Awesome. Good. Okay, I have to call him. Hold on.”

    Another statement interrupted by Barry, but Sam was much less concerned about this one. Barry pulled the phone to his ear, and Sam went back to studying the crew. The last man working exited the backhoe and joined his partners on the ground, studying the hole that Sam figured the breaker and backhoe joined forces to bore.

    “Professor Rowan, hey it’s me. Did you get the pictures I sent you?...Good...Yeah, they’re just here at the north side of the lake...So did you recognize the emblem on...Phoenix Shipping Corporation?...No, I never heard of it...” Sam’s eyes shot back-and-forth between Barry and the workers by their equipment. It seemed impossible that they could hear Barry at this distance, but what if they could? Were they allowed to be here while this crew was working? Barry’s conversation continued, “Well that doesn’t sound so bad...No, he’s right here with me, he doesn’t seem to know these guys...Yeah, I believe him. I am not particularly suspicious of guys who whimper in their sleep...Do we have permission to?...Awesome...Oh, you know I can, but what about--CHRIST!”

    When the ground shook, it dislodged the phone from Barry’s hand, sending it into a bush several feet away. Both Sam and Barry toppled to the ground as the floor of the forest revolted beneath their feet. Sam felt a sticky rain trickle down on him, but only for a moment--it stopped as suddenly as the earthquake underneath him had. He reached to the back of his head to feel the wetness of the rain, but it was more than wet. It was also thick, and when he brought his hand back around, he could see it was white and brown. He lifted his gaze to the trees, and that’s when it hit him: whatever had so suddenly startled himself and Barry seemed to also scare the birds and the pokemon in the trees above them. “Son of a--”

    “Hey, are you okay? What was that?”

    Sam’s attention was called back to the more pressing matter. “I don’t know...” Suddenly a thought hit him. “Well those guys dug a hole, right? Maybe they set off some kind of explosive when the hole got deeper than their machines could go?”

    “Those idiots. Look, Sam, I know you’re here to see Mesprit or whatever, but I might need your help, and you’d be doing Professor Rowan a favor, too. You want to come help me stop some unlicensed construction?”

    Barry was right enough that this was not why Sam had come to this lake. Whatever this was, it really wasn’t his business, and what authority did he or Barry have to tell these guys what they could or could not do? But when Sam thought past that, he concluded that he might never see Mesprit with these people here destroying the forest. “Sure. Whatever. I mean, I guess. But what do we--”

    Barry pulled two of his pokeballs out of his pocket. They were plain red-and-white pokeballs, the cheap kind that were generally so undependable that they were used almost exclusively to catch fresh, defenseless hatchlings. “Follow my lead.”

    Barry shot out of their cover and into the clearing where the men worked. “Excuse me, gentlemen!” he called out, “I’ve come to check your paperwork and licensing for your project here today!”

    The men began exchanging words with each other, but Sam could not understand them; not because he was too far away now, but because they were speaking in a language he did not know. Now that Sam was closer, he could see the skin tone of these men was slightly different from his own, as if they had a permanent suntan, and that’s when it hit him: they were no more native to Sinnoh than he was. They must have come from one of the equatorial regions. One of them, a man with full, bushy sideburns, stepped forward from the rest. He was not as thickly built as Sam imagined construction workers to be, but maybe with so many machines and explosives doing the work, he did not need to be. “Hey, kids. This is not a playground, there are dangerous stuff at work here. I am sorry if we did startle you, but you are going to have to get go from here.” The man’s imperfect speech and accent seemed to confirm what Sam already suspected.

    “Happy to,” Barry smiled at the worker, “just as soon as we check to see if all your paperwork is in order. Verity Forest is protected land, after all.”

    Sideburns turned back to his group and shouted something in what was probably his native tongue. His coworkers replied in kind, and he turned back to Barry. “Child, I am to be serious. You have to leave. It is,” he put his hand on a Great Ball that hung from his belt by a keychain, “not safe here for you.”

    That was apparently all Barry needed. Both of his arms pressed forward, red energy flashing forth from his two pokeballs. In the space between himself and Sideburns materialized two pokemon: one, a child-sized monkey with red and blue warpaint on its face and flames dancing on the end of its tail; the other a tortoise creature that was easily the size of a large SUV. Sam recognized them from the tour guides he had read about Sinnoh as a Monferno and a Torterra, respectively. The Torterra was especially impressive, having a fully grown small tree sprouting from its shell and protective, rocky plates growing out from the sides of its head. Upon its emergence, it sat perfectly still except for its head, which moved to study its environment. The Monferno shuffled swiftly from side-to-side and stretched its knuckles to crack them.

    Sideburns yelled something back to his crew while he unhooked his Great Ball. Sam braced for them to rush forward to help him, but they instead turned towards the heavy equipment and raced for them. Energy was just emerging from Sideburns’ ball when Barry yelled to Sam.

    “You deal with whatever he’s got! I’m going to stop those guys! Torterra, fissure away those vehicles!”

    The massive tortoise slammed its oak-like left front leg about a foot deep into the forest floor. A crack in the earth broke under the breaker, and the machine teetered sideways into it. Sam tried to watch to see if anything was happening to the other devices, but his view was suddenly obscured by a large, rotund pokemon. Sam was familiar with it as a Hariyama on only a rudimentary level from the studying he did when he was still active in the World Pokemon League. He never had the displeasure of actually seeing one in person until now. It’s huge, three-fingered palms swayed in the air in front of him, and its thick eyebrows formed a menacing V-pattern on its forehead.

    Sam fumbled for his pocket. He had never been in a purely confrontational fight before; all of his previous battles, many though they had been, were either friendly spars or WPL matches. He found the Nest Ball in his left pocket and squeezed it one time, bringing Bree forward in a flush of energy. While the boy he was with was destroying Sideburns’ machines, it seemed a bad time for Sam to ask what the rules might be for this fight. Sideburns yelled something to Hariyama in the language Sam couldn’t understand, and the massive fighting-type brought its flattened hand down in a chop onto Bree. She reeled backwards from the impact, but managed to stay airborne.

    “Hey! I can’t understand that! That’s...really unfair.” Sam found that he was pointing an accusing finger at the foreigner. Sideburns shouted another mystery order, but this time, Sam had his bearings more together. “Bree, fly up! Just...stay away from it!”

    Hariyama’s right leg whipped around to kick Bree, but she had managed to narrowly avoid the impact by flying several feet into the air. “Yeah, you can yell all the gibberish you want now, but your fatty ninja pokemon can’t fly, so why don’t you calm down? We just asked to see your license and paperwork!” Sideburns scowled in response and let out another roar that did not sound like the friendly invitation to drink coffee and sort this all out that Sam had hoped for.

    Hariyama bent forward and slammed both of its hands into the ground in front of him. After a second of straining, it pulled a clump of dirt and stone the size of an oven from the earth and pitched it at Bree in one fluid movement. The Butterfree was struck by the rock, but still managed to use her ability to fly to roll with the impact and stay aloft. Sideburns opened his mouth to call another attack.

    “Oh, I’m done with this. Butterfree, psychic the heck out of tubby and end this!”

    Bree zipped down and landed directly on top of Hariyama’s head. She dug her blue feet and paws into the fighting-type’s scalp and splayed her wings wide. Visibly, nothing else seemed to happen until Hariyama screamed in agony. It fell onto its belly, defeated.

    “Do you yield?” Sam had no idea why he barked those words, but he had to admit to himself: it sounded really good. Sideburns recalled his Hariyama and took three hesitating steps backwards. When it seemed that Sam and Bree were not pursuing him, he turned and rushed off into the woods. Sam noticed the rest of his group must have already fled there; it was now just Sam, Barry, their pokemon, and some wrecked machinery.

    “Really? ‘Do you yield’? That’s the direction you decided to go there?”

    Sam shrugged. “It felt right.”

    “I thought you were threatening to cut his head off.”

    “I think he thought so, too. Did you see him book it out of here?”

    Barry rolled his eyes. “Yeah, you’re a lion among men, what with your bird poop hair and your night whimpering”

    “Oh, you caught both of those, huh?" The adrenaline from the fight was beginning to fade, and Sam’s thoughts went back to the lake. Had those guys frightened away Mesprit? Would he still have a chance to catch it after all the ruckus they had made? He was removed from his thoughts by a sudden sensation on his back; Barry’s Monferno jumped up onto his shoulders and bounced in place. He panted heavily into Sam’s ear.

    “Hey, stranger danger! We talked about this.” Monferno waved Barry’s words off and continued to happily bounce around on Sam’s back. “Eh,” Barry continued, “I guess he knows you’re with me. He likes everyone, though. Don’t be too proud of it.”

    Sam scratched Monferno’s large, oval ears. “What do we do now?”

    “Well you’re here to play Lake Warrior or whatever, but I’ve got to get back to Professor Rowan. These guys work for some shipping company that just opened in Canalave City. No idea what they’d be doing here. If you want to come along, I wouldn’t say no.”

    Sam knew he had a decision to make. This wasn’t why he’d come here, and he had no idea what it even was. He did know that it was none of his business, and it certainly wasn’t going to help Tommy. But seeing Mesprit seemed less likely than ever now. Maybe, he thought, if he went back to Sandgem Town with Barry, he could take the time to study what he now knew of Lake Verity and find its secrets.
    Last edited by Sid87; 25th August 2012 at 1:39 PM.


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  8. #58
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    Sam had thought Barry was moving fast when they were just on their way to the lake yesterday, but he realized he hadn’t seen fast until the young man, abandoning camp and all of their belongings, raced along the edge of the lake in an attempt to get to the northern side. Rowan’s assistant might as well have been sightseeing earlier compared to the purposeful pace he took to track down the beeping noise that had awoken them. His feet came down so hard and so quickly, he almost trampled a family of Bidoof who weren‘t aware of his presence until nearly too late.
    That seemed a bit forced to me. I would have stopped after the second sentence when describing Barry's speed. It's almost like you're trying too hard to describe how fast he was. Fast is fast, and unless the speed is happening with different actions (like slicing, running, jumping, etc), it can feel like you are trying too hard to convince us of what's happening. Make sense?

    “It has nothing to do with you?”
    I liked Barry's suspicion of Sammy there

    As they got closer, other sounds began mixing it.
    Mixing it? should it be mixing in?

    He lifted his gaze to the trees, and that’s when it hit him: whatever had so suddenly startled himself and Barry seemed to also scare the birds and the pokemon in the trees above them.
    I liked that. Nice small touch of comedy in the middle of the situation.

    The man’s imperfect speech and accent seemed to confirm what Sam already suspected.
    I really liked the addition of the bad speech from 'sideburns'. That's actually a really realistic touch and can be all too common IRL. Accents are hard for me to write, and especially sound out when I'm intentionally using bad grammar. I think you nailed it, and it added to the foreign nature of this weird group. Good job!

    “Hey! I can’t understand that! That’s...really unfair.” Sam found that he was pointing an accusing finger at the foreigner. Sideburns shouted another mystery order, but this time, Sam had his bearings more together. “Bree, fly up! Just...stay away from it!”
    You did a good job showing Sammy's inexperience with violent situations. His experience so far has come from controlled enviroments, and giving him the opposite of that did alot to show a weakness for him and confirm that he still has alot to learn. I do like his simplistic approach to keeping Bree out of danger, as it was somewhat effective. He seems to advance into these situations with know forethought, so I'm hoping a situation like this will teach him to think more before just rushing headlong into unfamiliar territory.

    She dug her blue feet and paws into the fighting-type’s scalp and splayed her wings wide. Visibly, nothing else seemed to happen until Hariyama screamed in agony. It fell onto its belly, defeated.
    That part felt odd to me. I know that psychic is super effective against fighting and all, but that seemed too easy. I was hoping for more of a display of her power, and I did feel like the battle was ended before it really began. Psychic is a mental attack so I liked the take on an invisible force tearing itself through Hariyama's mind. A little more description on what the Pokemon were feeling while it was taking place would have done alot to help out the scene I formed in my head. Nice job on adding a Hariyama BTW, as its always been one of my favorite Pokemon ^^

    All in all, I liked the chapter. The action and pacing were well done, and it felt nice getting thrust into an unfamiliar situation and see more Pokemon doing what they do. You mentioned a few chapters ago something about adding more Pokemon, and I still hold true to what I said back then, but at the same time it is very nice to see more Pokemon being introduced. Keep up the good work

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    That seemed a bit forced to me. I would have stopped after the second sentence when describing Barry's speed. It's almost like you're trying too hard to describe how fast he was. Fast is fast, and unless the speed is happening with different actions (like slicing, running, jumping, etc), it can feel like you are trying too hard to convince us of what's happening. Make sense?
    It does, and I eliminated the second sentence entirely. I didn't catch it until you said that, but you're right. Thanks!

    Mixing it? should it be mixing in?
    Yes. And now it is.

    I really liked the addition of the bad speech from 'sideburns'. That's actually a really realistic touch and can be all too common IRL. Accents are hard for me to write, and especially sound out when I'm intentionally using bad grammar. I think you nailed it, and it added to the foreign nature of this weird group. Good job!
    Thanks. I felt like I was stradding a TOUGH line of not making him a caricature, but still having just enough incorrect grammar that it reflects on his foreign nature. I'm glad you appreciated it.

    That part felt odd to me. I know that psychic is super effective against fighting and all, but that seemed too easy.
    Yeah, I can see that. All three "battles" I've written here have been short because I have never written pokemon battles before this story. So I'm keeping them brief while I get my practice in and not letting myself drone on in the meantime. But yeah, it was pretty easy, I can agree. I apologize if I besmirched your boy Hariyama.
    Last edited by Sid87; 19th May 2012 at 2:32 PM.


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    He thought about this past year in eighth grade when he told Evelyn Simmons that he was going to steal her new gaming system so he’d have something to do over the summer. Did she take him seriously? Was he going to go to jail or something?
    I like the honesty this brings to Sammy. Only a youth would possibly think of this explanation for an official's presence.

    heck, their dad worked there, and it had long-since gotten to the point where Sammy forgot most people don’t usually want to go to hospitals.
    This adds tremendously to the visit; the sensation of false security when entering the hospital just adds this layer that I really like.

    The realism of the boys not even making it to their father's side is tragic. I only hope we get to meet him in future chapters, through flashback or something.

    It seems pointless reviewing these earlier chapters, but I wouldn't want to just skip over my thoughts and reactions. Maybe it's a neat little blast to the past for you.

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    His feet came down so hard and so quickly, he almost trampled a family of Bidoof who weren‘t aware of his presence until nearly too late.
    Amusing. Sounds just like Barry. I like little details like this that really show characters, so good job.

    Sam’s eyes shot back-and-forth between Barry and the conversation he was having and the workers by their equipment.
    Seems kind of weird to say that Sam’s eyes are looking at Barry’s conversation. I’d just remove the conversation part.

    Barry’s conversation continued, “Well that doesn’t sound so bad...No, he’s right here with me, he doesn’t seem to know these guys...Yeah, I believe him. I am not particularly suspicious of guys who whimper in their sleep...Do we have permission to?...Awesome...Oh, you know I can, but what about--CHRIST!”
    For future reference, there are supposed to be spaces after ellipses.

    Barry pulled two of his pokeballs out of his pocket. They were plain red-and-white pokeballs, the cheap kind that were generally so undependable that they were used almost exclusively to catch fresh, defenseless hatchlings.
    You shot down my perfect image of a perfect pokéball… *cries* Not really. This was amusing to read, though, especially from the eyes of an experienced trainer.

    We just asked to see your license and paperwork!”
    I doubt a bunch of full grown men would give in to 2 children asking for paperwork, but then again, Barry acts before he thinks, and Sam is just going along with anything that might bring him closer to his goal. Interesting.

    Barry rolled his eyes. “Yeah, you’re a lion among men, what with your bird poop hair and your night whimpering”
    All in all, another good chapter. I like how the entire chapter was fleshed out compared to last chapter, where only certain parts where. Also, I liked the good balance between action and comedy relief. Barry and Sam make a pretty entertaining duo, I must say. The description was good, and I liked the part where you included a foreign language for people from another region, that's not something I normally see in fics. I’ll be interested to see what Sam has in store for him at Sandgem Town, since his plans are kind of out the window and he’s got no direction now. Keep it up!


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    Seems kind of weird to say that Sam’s eyes are looking at Barry’s conversation. I’d just remove the conversation part.
    Makes sense. Good call.

    I doubt a bunch of full grown men would give in to 2 children asking for paperwork, but then again, Barry acts before he thinks, and Sam is just going along with anything that might bring him closer to his goal. Interesting.
    You know, the entire time I was writing this in my head, Barry was going to state that as a representative of Professor Rowan, he had some kind of de facto authority to question on this matter, but it was a matter of the chapter writing itself when I got there. The characters just didn't want to go in that direction, so...they didn't. It's always fun how you plan these things, and then the story goes where it wants to.


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    x3 The relationship between the brothers when they were young is really adorable! That leapt out at me immediately when I was reading the prologue. :3 It really helped the story flow, and I get the feeling I'm going to continue to enjoy it as the plot continues to unfold. The motivations that went behind Sammy's choosing of a pokemon, and his characterisation in general was really well done, he felt his age. x3 The entire battle and capture scene was very original, so much kudos for that! x33 Characterisation and plot wise, you have my attention. x3 Can't really notice anything on the grammar/spelling/description front - your writing style reads well, which is always important! The introduction leads you gently into the story: I quite liked how you began to bring in the character's personality through introducing us to his voice, it came across quite nicely.

    On to the next chapter - ooh, you've really got me intrigued! The elements of mystery and suspense you slipped in were very well placed, and if I had more time (I shouldn't even be doing this review, but it was only fair, and this story is too good to warrant you being skipped) I would certainly catch up. The continuities between this new Sam and his younger self were delightful- most obviously in the continued reference to 'friends', but I look forward to seeing the character develop all the more. His personality, from this snapshot seems lovely. The development of elements of the prologue were very well done, m'dear. :3 No critique, really, except that at the beginning the transition between his thoughts (when he was considering which clothes to wear) and his actions (with what seemed to be him changing into the clothes) seemed a little sketchy, I wasn't certain whether he was changing or just still thinking about it, which threw me off a bit? You may want to consider taking another peek at that. Beside that, however, I really can't find anything to critique. x3 It was generally enjoyable, and i'll be back for more~! :3


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    Since I ninja'd you out of a review in the Review Game thread, I figured I might as well stop by your thread since I'd been meaning to for a while anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Sammy’s freckled cheeks blushed, his dad wouldn’t have approved of that, either; dad always called them “friends”.
    This feels very run-on. The first half before the semicolon feels like it ought to have a semicolon in the middle of it, and the second half feels like it should just be a separate sentence.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    But that was then he was eight.
    I think you meant "when" here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    “All right, fine. I’m going back home and telling dad you went all catatonic. No friend for you.”
    Hehe, that's cute.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    “A battle?” Sammy cried, having realized where Tommy was going. “But I just caught it! I don’t know anything about it yet!”

    “Well how do you think you get to know it? Take it out on a date?”
    Their conversations are adorable, I'm loving them so far.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    The Caterpie turned around to face its new trainer, tilted its head in each direction, and then crawled off towards an oak leaf lying just a few feet to its left. Caterpie continued the lunch that had just been so rudely interrupted.
    Oh dear. xD Does it even know how to battle?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Tommy shook his head. “Vlam was a little careless with the ember, and it burned too fast through the silk. She ended up burning her own paw.”
    Seems a bit odd for the narration to describe Vlam as "it" when Sammy knows that she's female.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    A realization fell down upon him: today was the 17th. It had been two weeks since he’d arrived in Sinnoh! That meant when the customs office in downtown Jubilife City opened in the morning, he’d be able to get his friends back. He’d had them thoroughly checked at the Goldenrod Pokemon Center before his flight so he was sure that he wasn’t bringing any foreign diseases into Sinnoh, but customs still insisted on keeping them to run their own tests. It was an annoyance, however mild. Two more weeks on top of how long he’d already waited, but these ones felt longer than the rest. He was closer now than ever to what he needed, and to wait for a silly, redundant government clearance seemed an unnecessary chain holding him back.
    I always love worldbuilding, so it's neat to see little details like legal requirements on trainers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    The black spots in the veins of its wings marked it as a female of its species; its long, black antennae zipped back and forth, helping her take in the brand new environment.
    Hm, the inconsistency in the pronouns feels a bit weird.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    “Do you think our other friend wants to come out, too?” He snatched the Dusk Ball off of the other side of his belt and squeezed it lightly. An Ninetales emerged from the flash of crimson energy.
    Heh, I was guessing it would be a Ninetales...that's interesting. Also, this paragraph could probably afford to broken up a bit more, especially since it has several lines of dialogue in it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Back on the field, Vlam maintained her offensive while the fighting-type pokemon struggled to regain its bearings. She darted left and right, each movement inching her closer to her foe. Sammy recognized this instantly: it was Tommy’s way of maximizing Vlam’s foe’s confused state. The Machoke and its trainer had no idea from where she would be attacking. A double juke put her behind the Machoke, and she began covering herself in a ball of fire.
    Your battles flow nicesly and are enjoyable to read. I'm actually a bit surprised she's only a Vulpix in such a large tournament, though it could always just be that Evolution Stones are rare or valuable in this fic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Sammy’s mind wandered; why was a cop here for him? He thought about this past year in eighth grade when he told Evelyn Simmons that he was going to steal her new gaming system so he’d have something to do over the summer. Did she take him seriously? Was he going to go to jail or something?
    Despite the fact that I sense things are about to take a turn for the worst, this got a good chuckle out of me. It's a hilarious train of thought and fits great for a 13-year-old.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Sammy knew his father needed him, but what about Tommy? He didn’t even know yet, and he had worked and trained so hard to get where he is. But this cop made it sound like dad could be... (Sammy couldn’t bear to finish that thought, and his brain redirected) ...like dad really needed to see them right away. The exclamation from the crowd out in the open-air stadium reminded Sammy that the battle was still going on. He felt a clock ticking inside of him as the officer looked at him expectantly. Dad had always said the road leaving work was awful; he talked constantly about wanting them to put a stop light there. Tommy was possibly just minutes away from the semi-finals. But how soon did they need to get to the hospital? A hundred bees swarmed inside his brain, and before he knew what he was doing, he was at the railing over the battlefield screaming his brother’s name.
    I really like the way this thought process was laid out. It really summarizes all of the different weights on his mind and forces the reader to worry.

    And wow...yeah I kind of suspected something like this would happen, since stories focusing on a pair of siblings tend to have them alone in life. It's cruel, but it's the hardships like that can make a story really memorable since the characters are forced to grow and overcome.

    I'm surprised at the shortness of your chapters, but it makes them a light, easy read, so in a way it's kind of nice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    The door to the left of Sam finally opened, and he whipped the magazines back onto the table where they came from as if they had been illicit, and, in equally quick fashion, Sam was on his feet.
    It's the hilarious side notes like this that make the narrative of this fic so flavorful to read.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    “I need them, professor. I need the legends.” He turned away from the map and stared down Rowan unflinchingly. “Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie. I’ve come for them, and I won’t leave Sinnoh without them.”
    Well then, this is an interesting place to leave things. We've gotten lots of backstory and character development, but I sense that we might be getting into some plot here. Especially since Sam has Vlam which seems to suggest that something has happened to his brother.

    That's all I've got time for today, I'm afraid--I've been spending far too long reading fics and need to get back to all the things I need done. xP I'll be back though! These chapters are light and the narrative style makes them rather enjoyable.

    ~Chibi~


    Ever wondered what would happen if humans had the power to overthrow the Legendaries? To either use them for their own ends, or eliminate them altogether? One thing is for certain...the balance between human and Legendary is unstable.

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    8/30/12: CHAPTER 7: “Into the Fire” POSTED!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by katiekitten View Post
    x3 The relationship between the brothers when they were young is really adorable! That leapt out at me immediately when I was reading the prologue. :3 It really helped the story flow, and I get the feeling I'm going to continue to enjoy it as the plot continues to unfold. The motivations that went behind Sammy's choosing of a pokemon, and his characterisation in general was really well done, he felt his age. x3 The entire battle and capture scene was very original, so much kudos for that! x33 Characterisation and plot wise, you have my attention. x3 Can't really notice anything on the grammar/spelling/description front - your writing style reads well, which is always important! The introduction leads you gently into the story: I quite liked how you began to bring in the character's personality through introducing us to his voice, it came across quite nicely.

    On to the next chapter - ooh, you've really got me intrigued! The elements of mystery and suspense you slipped in were very well placed, and if I had more time (I shouldn't even be doing this review, but it was only fair, and this story is too good to warrant you being skipped) I would certainly catch up. The continuities between this new Sam and his younger self were delightful- most obviously in the continued reference to 'friends', but I look forward to seeing the character develop all the more. His personality, from this snapshot seems lovely. The development of elements of the prologue were very well done, m'dear. :3 No critique, really, except that at the beginning the transition between his thoughts (when he was considering which clothes to wear) and his actions (with what seemed to be him changing into the clothes) seemed a little sketchy, I wasn't certain whether he was changing or just still thinking about it, which threw me off a bit? You may want to consider taking another peek at that. Beside that, however, I really can't find anything to critique. x3 It was generally enjoyable, and i'll be back for more~! :3
    Considering you did not have to review this by any means, I greatly appreciate your doing so. I hope to someday get into Ember Days, but as it is, I'm on catching up on a couple stories here I got a late start on. But I might be able to get all caught up on them this weekend, so perhaps afterwards I can give it a peek.

    Thanks for all your kind words, and I'm going to re-read that section with the clothes and see if I can clean it up.



    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi Pika View Post
    Since I ninja'd you out of a review in the Review Game thread, I figured I might as well stop by your thread since I'd been meaning to for a while anyway.
    I am sure I will appreciate it!

    This feels very run-on. The first half before the semicolon feels like it ought to have a semicolon in the middle of it, and the second half feels like it should just be a separate sentence.
    That sounds better, yes. I think I will look at that during my lunch and fix it.

    I think you meant "when" here.
    That I can fix right now.

    Their conversations are adorable, I'm loving them so far.
    Thanks! I have always thought I wrote entertaining dialogue, so I'm happy others are noticing. It's one of my few strengths.

    Seems a bit odd for the narration to describe Vlam as "it" when Sammy knows that she's female.
    The "it" there was the ember attack, not Vlam. But I can see the confusion. Perhaps I will change that, as well.

    Your battles flow nicesly and are enjoyable to read. I'm actually a bit surprised she's only a Vulpix in such a large tournament, though it could always just be that Evolution Stones are rare or valuable in this fic.
    I appreciate this because I had never ever written a pokemon battle before this story, so I'm glad they aren't awful. As of chapter 7, I've only done three battles so far, and they've all been relatively short (or unfinished as the one you are talking about here). I'm hoping for more as we move forward, but it just hasn't turned out that way so far.

    I'm surprised at the shortness of your chapters, but it makes them a light, easy read, so in a way it's kind of nice.
    Honestly, this story has been a seat-of-the-pants kind of thing. After reading some other great things on this forum, I decided I wanted to try my hand at a fanfiction. I literally wrote the first chapter with two things in mind: The prologue was a scene I dreamed up in my head years ago but never wrote or did anything with, and I wanted to use my favorite legendaries (the Lake Guardians). That was it. So a few of the earlier chapters are short because I was basically just feeling everything out. Starting with chapter 5, they've started getting longer. And this story keeps changing on me. As I write it, it takes on the life of its own, and I keep changing the ending and the details along the way. It's fun to be so fluid with it, because the vast majority of my writing tends to be rigidly planned out long in advance. I like letting the characters and their actions dictate to me where this one should head.

    It's the hilarious side notes like this that make the narrative of this fic so flavorful to read.
    Thank you so much.

    Well then, this is an interesting place to leave things. We've gotten lots of backstory and character development, but I sense that we might be getting into some plot here. Especially since Sam has Vlam which seems to suggest that something has happened to his brother.

    That's all I've got time for today, I'm afraid--I've been spending far too long reading fics and need to get back to all the things I need done. xP I'll be back though! These chapters are light and the narrative style makes them rather enjoyable.

    ~Chibi~
    Thank you muchly for the critiques and compliments. I intend to get into the beginnings of TLC during lunch today, so look forward to that!
    Last edited by Sid87; 22nd May 2012 at 1:23 PM.


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    Default chapter 8

    Just FYI: I don't have an actual list of who has or has not requested to be on the PM list here, so if you could let me know again, I'd appreciate it. I feel bad PMing people and worrying they haven't actually asked to be put on the list. I hate to just assume.





    Chapter 8: Six Years Ago...

    “Most kids can’t wait to get as far away from home as possible for college, and you want to stay here? You’re crazy, Sammy.”

    Sam and Tommy stood outside Ilex Hall, the largest educational building on the University of Goldenrod City’s campus, hosting most of the math and business courses that the school offered. Seeing as how Tommy had attended the university, however briefly, Sam couldn’t have imagined anyone he’d rather have guide him around the campus. The first place they toured had been, of course, Whitney Williams Stadium, the school’s official pokemon stadium, just a short bus ride off of campus and named in honor of one of Goldenrod City’s most famed trainers. Tommy was very insistent that Sam enter the National Collegiate Pokemon Association right away in his freshman year and see if he could translate the success he had in high school to a more competitive level. Not that it would take much prodding for Sam to do that; he knew he’d be signing up as soon as registration for first-years was open. After that, they’d visited the cafeteria halls; Tommy had made it clear that while the cafeteria was a good bargain with the meal plans the university offered, the restaurants around campus were the better option taste-wise. Since then, they’d been visiting the various educational facilities. Harrison Hall, where most of the science labs were located, was a very modern building whose eastern wall was entirely glass window panes, and it stood in stark contrast to the gothic layout and worn concrete walls of liberal arts building, the Abeshire Building. They had skipped the southern area of campus where most of the dormitories were located; Sam had made it clear that he wanted to live at home for at least his freshman year.

    “I mean, with your grades and your marks as a trainer, I’m sure most of the universities in Johto would accept you in a second. There’s no reason to feel tied to Goldenrod if you don’t want to be.”

    Tommy wasn’t wrong, and it made Sam feel egotistical to think so. But UGC was a respected school, not to mention the only one Sam could attend entirely on scholarship due to his late father’s employment there. Tommy was already working so hard to provide for them both that Sam knew he couldn’t entertain the notion of adding college costs on top of that.

    “Yeah right. And what happens while I’m gone? You sit around and talk to yourself until you go crazy? Or you finally start working the ten hours a week you don’t already and drive yourself into the ground? Face it, you don’t know where you’d be without me.”

    “I’d be neck-deep in women is where I’d be. Without the oh-so-sexy declaration of ‘No, baby. We can’t go back to my place. My kid brother is up watching pro wrestling’, I’d be solid gold.”

    Sam sputtered a few words, but nothing pointed was coming to him as he tried to imagine his brother meeting women. It was a disturbing thought, broken up by Tommy’s laughter. “Oh man, you need to see your own face, Sammy. I think I just broke your brain.” Tommy patted his brother between the shoulders. “Like I have time to date? Wishful thinking. But man...you are so gullible, kiddo.”

    Sam was relieved, first that he did not have to imagine Tommy dating any further, and then by the fact that his living with his older brother wasn’t the reason Tommy didn’t get to do so. He’d never admit it to his brother, but the weight of the guilt he felt over everything that Tommy did for him was pretty heavy. The fewer things he could add to that pile, the better.

    They moved away from Ilex Hall so that Tommy could show him the Banner Memorial Library that was on Sitrus Avenue, the main road through campus. Every so often, Sam would notice Tommy take a deep breath and just stare off at a building or a university transit bus or a bench on the lawn outside of a building. It would only last a moment, but there was definitely something there. A memory, Sam thought, or perhaps a regret? If Tommy felt bad about his failing out of UGC, he’d never let Sam know it. He still remembered the day the letter came and his questioning his brother over it. Tommy just chuckled and replied, “College is hard, kiddo. You better get your grades up so you can see just how hard some day.” And then he effortlessly changed the subject to using his new Fire Stone to evolve Vlam. As Sam thought of it like that, college was the only thing that Tommy didn’t make seem effortless. He was constantly on the receiving end of promotions at work, he had more friends than Sam could count, and he usually made short work of Sam when they sparred their friends. His brother was everything Sam was and then some; if Tommy couldn’t handle college, how would he be able to?

    He hadn’t consciously stopped walking, but he knew the fear of his upcoming freshman year had halted him when he saw that Tommy was now several feet ahead of him and turned back looking at him.

    “Hey, you only need to stop and look both ways at an intersection. It doesn’t really apply to the middle of the sidewalk.”

    “What if I can’t do it?” He instantly felt ashamed at having to speak loudly enough for Tommy to hear him. Any of the other kids milling about campus could just have heard him, and what if he had to share classes with them this year? They’d remember him as that whiny freshman who can’t hack it.

    “Can’t do what? Stop at an intersection? I’d kind of hope that’d be a skill you’d have mastered by now...”

    “No. College.”

    Tommy bridged the gap between them. He studied Sam for a second, and Sam waited for his advice. “Well we’re always hiring at the department store!” Sam looked back at him expectantly. He needed something real now, and Tommy seemed to understand. “Hey, listen. You got this. You’re a better man than you know. For someone, you know, who’s barely a man.” A short jab in Sam’s arm punctuated his last point...




    “Are you even listening? Does senility really hit this early?”

    Sam was shocked out of his recollection of another time by this youthful voice next to him. When his eyes refocused on the present, he saw what had sent him into his own memories so many minutes ago.

    “Waves.” Sam swallowed a burp. “Seasick. God...”

    Barry and Sam had boarded the ferry bound for Canalave City about an hour ago. By that estimation, it was approximately fifty-five minutes ago that Sam’s insides began revolting against him. He could only remember one other occasion when he’d been aboard a ship, and that was when he was twelve. Tommy, his father, and he had taken a summer vacation cruise to Cianwood City. Not far from the coast of their destination, the sea had turned rocky and a storm battered their ship. If Sam were to put it crudely, he figured he must have lost 5 pounds just from regurgitating into their cabin washroom. That memory made even the mild waves brushing their ferry almost more than he could bear. After that, he enjoyed no aspect of the vacation. It was no wonder, Sam figured, that his mind saw fit to distract him with a more pleasant memory of years gone by.

    “Really? Wuss. It’s just some water. Look,” Barry started doing jumping jacks on the deck of the ship. “See? I’m fine.” He kept going. Jumping. Up and down. Up and down. Up and--

    “Oh god, please stop that!”

    “What?”

    “The jumping and the moving all the time!” Sam exclaimed while pressing his palm to the side of his head. “Stop it!”

    Barry finally settled back down. “This plan is failsafe. We’re totally going to find out what the Phoenix Shipping Corporation is up to. You know, as long as they don’t do anything dastardly like bounce around.”

    “I’ll be fine once we’re on land.”

    “Better be. By the way, while you were ignoring me, I was trying to show you the herd of Wailmers along the side of the ferry. Too bad we aren’t allowed to catch them from here, though.”

    “Do Wailmers really come in a ‘herd’?”

    Barry shrugged. “What would it be then?”

    Sam pursed his lips in thought. Nothing was coming to him. Flock? No. Pack? Maybe. “Herd it is,” he finally replied, done wasting brainpower on the matter. Barry nodded, triumphant.

    The ferry’s speaker system broke the sudden silence between them, “We’ll be docking at Canalave City momentarily. We hope you enjoyed your time with Canalave Ferry, and we look forward to serving you again.” A shot of static signaled the end of the announcement.

    Canalave City was supposed to be to the Sinnoh continent what Olivine City was to the Johto: the region’s major port and import/export town. Sam had rarely been to Olivine back home, and one of those few times was when he was boarding his unfortunate cruise. It was an awful town as Sam remembered it. The air constantly smelled of dead fish no matter where you went, and the boardwalk was loaded with garish, tourist-trap souvenir shops trying to sell sweatshirts with pictures of Krabby or the Olivine Lighthouse on them. The lighthouse seemed to account for all of the town’s history; apparently it was a big deal twenty years ago when it had to be physically moved backwards into the shore a few hundred yards due to the erosion of the land by water over time. It was all anyone talked about when he had visited. The ships coming in and out of the docks were loud and obnoxious, and the huge crane devices propped on the water’s edge to assist with removing cargo were a tremendous eyesore. Even thinking just these details about Olivine was enough to ball Sam’s fists, but at least he’d stopped thinking about the water.

    He still wasn’t sure why he was doing this. After the disaster in the forest hoping to catch a glimpse of Mesprit, and instead getting a glimpse of possible illegal activity, he and Barry had met up with Professor Rowan in Barry’s sleepy hometown of Twinleaf Town. Rowan asked Barry and Sam to take this trip to Canalave to see what they could find out about Phoenix Shipping. Barry was, of course, excited to go. Sam, less so. But what was he to do? Barry was brash and reckless, and if everybody at Phoenix had the same violence-first crisis management skills that those workers at the lake had, the kid could be in real trouble. Sam cursed Rowan for sending Barry on such an errand, and then he cursed himself for not just letting them dig their own graves without involving him.

    The ferry slowly docked, and Sam’s first impression wasn’t a bad one. The city was constructed around an inlet of water that dug into its heart. As the ferry cruised to its final destination, Sam saw buildings on both sides. It was an impressive feel, as if the city was welcoming him fully into itself. Sam inhaled deeply as he took in the encompassing city. Dead fish smell. “I hate port towns,” he muttered to himself.

    “Hey excuse me!” Sam noticed Barry was banging on the window of the ferry conductor. “How do we get to Phoenix Shipping? We’re supposed to meet someone there.” The conductor mouthed a reply from inside his cockpit, but Sam couldn’t hear it from where he was standing. Barry seemed to be able to, however, as he nodded and gave the conductor a thumbs up. “It’s pretty close to here,” he noted to Sam. “Just right up the boardwalk.”

    They were halfway between the ferry dock and the Phoenix building when it finally occurred to Sam to ask the most rhetorical question he imagined he’d ever ponder. “You don’t really have a plan for what to do when we get there, do you?”

    “Nope. Just gonna play this by ear.”

    “Okay, yes. Tell me, what is your ear playing right now?”

    Barry scratched his chin with his index finger. “Hm. Walk in. Find the receptionist or accountant or CEO or whoever’s at the front desk. Say ‘why were those guys performing illegal construction at Lake Verity?’ in a very menacing voice. Get answers.”

    “Yep, that’s pretty good. But how about instead of that, we do anything else?”

    “I like the sound of that, too. What have you got?”

    Sam grabbed Barry’s shoulder to stop their progress down the boardwalk. Getting to the building before the plan was fully fleshed out seemed unwise. “Okay. You work for Professor Rowan. Professor Rowan is the legally authorized Pokemon Professor of Sinnoh, right?”

    “Right.”

    “Okay. I’m going to assume that, just like in Johto, Regional Pokemon Professor is a cabinet position, yes? Rowan was appointed by and serves under your Minister Benicini. Am I right so far?”

    “As rain.”

    “Then you--and by extension, I--are legally representing not just the Pokemon Professor Rowan, but Secretary Rowan. We greet the receptionist as such, prove our credentials by contacting the professor, and ask to speak to Phoenix Corporation’s legal advisory team regarding some--and we won’t say what kind--but some kind of ‘sketchy legal matters’. Still with me?”

    Barry nodded, but it seemed to Sam as though the assistant was looking through him. He certainly didn’t seem like the kind with an attention span large enough for a detailed plan. Undaunted, Sam continued.

    “We ask the legal team why the Phoenix Shipping Corporation would be performing illegal drilling and construction on government-protected land, and why they responded to queries about their licensing with violence.” Sam pulled his hands up to his chest in an innocent manner. “We explain that we are sure it is just a misunderstanding as to how they ended up there, and perhaps their employees were just startled by our presence, but we are required to report back to Secretary Rowan with answers on this matter regardless. We make it seem like it’s all a big inconvenience, and we want to help them clear it up as quickly as--”

    “We’re going to sneak onto a boat.”

    Sam smacked his lips in response to Barry’s latest interruption. He sighed, “Yes, that is also a robust plan. Detailed plan of action filled with subterfuge and tact, vis a vis sneaking on a boat. Dilemmas like this keep men up at night...”

    Barry pointed out past Sam, to the docks behind them. Curious, Sam turned and saw the boat to which Barry was alluding. Sam’s frustration grew, but he felt it best to continue to humor Barry. “It is a nice boat, I’m sure, but I think you’ll find my plan has more--”

    “It’s a cargo ship.” Suddenly, it was Barry who sounded exasperated at Sam. “And the cargo being loaded was labeled ‘Acuity Project’.”

    Sam was struck silent. A second of the three Sinnoh lakes that housed the legendary trio was Lake Acuity. Was it possible that whatever this company was doing at Lake Verity, they also had planned for Lake Acuity? And, if that was the case, it seemed almost certain that the Phoenix Corporation was after the legends, as well. If that vessel made it to Lake Acuity while Sam and Barry were busy pussy-footing with a bunch of lawyers, who knows what its crew could do?

    “Gotta say, Barry. Loving this boat plan.”

    They studied the cargo ship in silence as they slowly made their way close to the pier, being careful not to get close enough to rouse any kind of suspicion. A total of five more crates, labeled just as the ones Barry had seen, were loaded onto the deck. Some of the crates were as small as compact cars, others were as large as a storage unit. From the boardwalk, they had counted just a handful of crew onboard, not many more than what they’d seen working the site at Lake Verity. This crew seemed harried, checking tie-downs and scanning in crates, but as the crates finished being loaded, they disappeared into the ship. Taking this as their opportunity, Sam and Barry rushed to the side of the ship.

    Sam’s heart sank. They couldn’t just walk in the pier entrance, but the boat was at least twenty feet tall. Now that they were next to it, he couldn’t think of any way to get on board. He shrugged his shoulders to Barry, still careful not to make more noise than necessary in case they missed a crew member on deck.

    Barry shook his head and then tapped his temple. He snatched one of his regular pokeballs from his pocket and released Monferno. The fiery monkey bobbed happily on the pier until Barry waved for its attention. Still trying to remain quiet, Barry made a cup with his two hands and bent forward. Then he sprung back upright, bringing his cupped hands upward as he did so. Monferno nodded in understanding, and likewise cupped his hands and bent forward.

    Barry pointed to Sam, who arched his eyebrows and shook his head. Having this little monkey who could fit on Sam’s shoulders heave them up and onto the deck? It seemed crazy. Barry nodded his head in reply to Sam, and Sam realized he might not have any choice. The ship would undoubtedly be departing, so it was now or not at all. He reluctantly placed his right foot into Monferno’s hands.

    Sam was not quite sure how he stifled his screams as he was heaved upwards and then landed on the metal deck with his back, but he had. He would have never imagined Monferno had that kind of power in him. Moments after Sam’s landing came Barry’s; it was equally graceless, but he seemed less disturbed by it than Sam had been. They both sprang up to their feet; Sam did it to look around and ensure no one saw them, while Barry did so to withdraw Monferno back to the safety of its ball from its spot on the docks. Sam saw no one, but he still didn’t want to take a chance. He pointed to an array of crates, and the two of them ran to conceal themselves in it. As they got there, they felt the cargo boat pulling away from the dock. Whether it was the superior plan or not didn’t matter now; they were on their way to Acuity.
    Last edited by Sid87; 12th August 2012 at 12:55 AM.


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  17. #67
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    “Most kids can’t wait to get as far away from home as possible for college, and you want to stay here? You’re crazy, Sammy.”

    Sam and Tommy stood outside Ilex Hall, the largest educational building on the University of Goldenrod City’s campus, hosting most of the math and business courses that the school offered. Seeing as how Tommy had attended the university, however briefly, Sam couldn’t have imagined anyone he’d rather have guide him around the campus. The first place they toured had been, of course, Whitney Williams Stadium, the school’s official pokemon stadium, just a short bus ride off of campus and named in honor of one of Goldenrod City’s most famed trainers. Tommy was very insistent that Sam enter the National Collegiate Pokemon Association right away in his freshman year and see if he could translate the success he had in high school to a more competitive level.
    Wow. You creating all of these new things for your pokemon world really brings the fic to life and adds a lot to it. Even better, you added a bit of Sam's characterization in there by saying he'd love to have Tommy around, even if someone better could replace him. I liked this intro paragraph a lot.

    Tommy just chuckled and replied “College is hard, kiddo. You better get your grades up so you can see just how hard some day”.
    Not sure if you suddenly forgot the rules of speech tags here or if it was intentional, but yeah. Comma after "replied" and the quotation mark after "day" should be outside of the period.

    He was constantly on the receiving end of promotions at work, he had more friends than Sam could count, and he usually made short work of Sam when they sparred their friends. His brother was everything Sam was and then some; if Tommy couldn’t handle college, how would he be able to?
    Everyone always says college is supposed to be "the best time in a person's life." I'm glad you don't use that cliche here and that you actually take the idea very seriously and convey that very openly in the fic.

    They’d remember him as that whiny freshman who can’t hack it.
    "can't" should be "couldn't". Random tense changes FTW.

    “Really? Wuss. It’s just some water. Look,” Barry started doing jumping jacks on the deck of the ship. “See? I’m fine.” He kept going. Jumping. Up and down. Up and down. Up and--

    “Oh god, please stop that!”
    Lol, poor Sammy. But I do like the use of repetition here to convey his sickness.

    Taking this as their opportunity, Sam and Barry rushed to the side of the ship.
    Sam’s heart sank. They couldn’t just walk in the pier entrance, but the boat was at least twenty feet tall. Now that they were next to it, he couldn’t think of any way to get on board. He shrugged his shoulders to Barry, still careful not to make more noise than necessary in case they missed a crew member on deck.
    Forgot to put a space between these two paragraphs.

    The ship would undoubtedly be departing , so it was now or not at all. He reluctantly placed his right foot into Monferno’s hands.
    Misplaced comma.

    Overall not much happened this chapter, but it was well written nonetheless. You're getting better at expanding on important scenes, and the little details you add for worldbuilding are really great. Also, Sam really doesn't have any plans, huh? Doesn't help that Barry is going to ruin every plan he makes, either. I look forward to more of their crazy adventures.


    | she will get the truth out of him, whatever it may be. |
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  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    Not sure if you suddenly forgot the rules of speech tags here or if it was intentional, but yeah. Comma after "replied" and the quotation mark after "day" should be outside of the period.
    Yeah...that was weird. Dunno how that happened.

    "can't" should be "couldn't". Random tense changes FTW.
    The can't there was from the context of Sam thinking "I'll be in class with these kids and they'll all think 'that guy can't cut it, I heard him whining that one day.'" So it's not really a tense change, but I guess it is unclear that that's how he's imagining it.

    Forgot to put a space between these two paragraphs.
    I don't know why, but I'm writing this all single-spaced in Abiword with identation, and then just double-spacing the paragraphs when I cut and paste it here. I knew I'd miss one sooner or later.

    Overall not much happened this chapter, but it was well written nonetheless. You're getting better at expanding on important scenes, and the little details you add for worldbuilding are really great. Also, Sam really doesn't have any plans, huh? Doesn't help that Barry is going to ruin every plan he makes, either. I look forward to more of their crazy adventures.
    Yeah, I know. I'm having a lot of not much happening, but I REALLY need to establish the Sam/Barry dynamic as well as I can, or I fear later moments won't make as much sense. I really need to get their partnership fleshed out, and while I didn't WANT to have another scene of just people talking, it seems necessary. I enjoyed this chapter, though, so I regret nothing. And Sam is getting better at having ideas and plans (though, to his credit in this case, he was thrown into something he couldn't have seen coming), but they get subverted a lot.


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  19. #69
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    But UGC was a respected school, not to mention the only one Sam could attend entirely on scholarship due to his late father’s employment there. Tommy was already working so hard to provide for them both that Sam knew he couldn’t entertain the notion of adding college costs on top of that.
    What a realistic thing to mention. Money is so important in most aspects in life, and I'm glad you call attention to it here. It affects where you live, schooling,etc, and to be honest I do get somewhat tired of fics where characters seem to have endless amounts of cash without any sort of explanation on how they got it. Tommy surprised me though when he spoke about how smart Tommy was. I never thought that Sammy was dumb or anything, but it's surprising to me that he's so intelligent that any school would love to have him. I suppose I need to revamp my picture of him. Nice

    “I’d be neck-deep in women is where I’d be. Without the oh-so-sexy declaration of ‘No, baby. We can’t go back to my place. My kid brother is up watching pro wrestling’, I’d be solid gold.”
    I loved that bit as well. Another realistic statement. Im starting to hate that Tommy's in a coma

    Barry scratched his chin with his index finger. “Hm. Walk in. Find the receptionist or accountant or CEO or whoever’s at the front desk. Say ‘why were those guys performing illegal construction at Lake Verity?’ in a very menacing voice. Get answers.”
    Lmao, oh Barry

    “Yes, that is also a robust plan. Detailed plan of action filled with subterfuge and tact, vis a vis sneaking on a boat. Dilemmas like this keep men up at night...”
    vis a vis? What?

    Anyway, nicely done. This was a nice chapter. The interraction between Tommy and Sammy are nice, as usual. The whole premise for your story is interesting, and since I started reading it, I wondered how you would show the 'bond' between them. You're doing an excellent job so far. These little flashbacks, even some of the inconsequential ones do alot to solidify that relationship that you obviously have thought out quite a bit. I look forward to these little trips down memory lane just as much as I do the advancement of the plot. The pair of them sneaking on board the ship was almost a little too convienent, but after some thought, I decided that I liked it and it was a really good way to advance the story. Perhaps on the ship they might learn a bit more about this corporation

    Nice work

    An Ancient Treasure, a Terrible Price. Take the Risk, Eat the World
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  20. #70
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    Hey man, I'm here to do my review!

    Prologue:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    “You can stare at it all day, Sammy. It doesn’t do any tricks until you throw it.”
    Haha, it's funny because it's true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Sammy mentally pictured going into fifth grade this fall and showing off a fearsome Noctowl. Man, the look on Miah’s face when Sammy would jump onto Noctowl’s back and fly up to the top of Goldenrod Elementary; he could see it now! He’d be stuck standing there with his mouth open while all the kids asked Sammy if they could have the next ride. Bellsprout and those fake ghosts wouldn’t seem so special then!
    I really like this bit and how you keep going back to Sammy proving himself to his peers. He's acting like an actual ten year old which is what I really adore, he's acting realistically.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Tommy’s armed locked around his neck, and he felt his older brother start abusing his head with noogies.
    Don't you mean 'arms' ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Sammy, now fully free of his brother’s grasp, glanced down at the ball in his hand. He was hesitant as he pictured the Noctowl in his fantasy turn into a butterfly that wouldn’t be able to bear his weight. The image of Miah shocked in silence turned to a image of him laughing like a hyena.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    His brain flashed to the image of Miah Vanderbelt laughing at the silly, undersized bug pokemon, then to that of his dad giving him another lecture if he came home with nothing. The two options juggled in his head. Miah, dad. Dad, Miah. Without realizing he was even doing it, his arm thew the ball as if it was making his mind up for him.
    You did it again, Sammy's primary motive is to prove himself to his buddies at school in order to fit in, I like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Vlam was Tommy’s first friend, one that he had caught in a Dusk Ball at midnight on his tenth birthday.
    At midnight? On his tenth birthday? Haha, seems a bit unlikely, but okay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Not only had Vlam been training with Tommy for five years, but it had a huge type advantage over bug pokemon, who hate fire.
    'Hated'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    “You can have a leaf later if you want, I promise! Just...tackle that pokemon!”
    Hmm, so you're not capitalizing the moves nor Pokémon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Sammy snapped his attention back to Caterpie so quickly, he felt a nerve pinch in his neck, but shook it off. “No, that’s not...come on! What the heck? You just...run at it and throw your body at it, bug! It’s simplest attack in the world!”
    Haha, sounds easy, right? :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    The Caterpie just continued staring back at him. “Run! You’ve got, like, a dozen little legs!”
    Another amusing little scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Tommy slowed his pace, but never turned back to face his brother. “I said Vlam was burned. Not out cold.”
    Oh, he totally won that battle.

    I'm kinda baffled by the fact how your prologue is longer than some of your current chapters, but eh, I don't really mind short chapters - it makes it easier for me to go through them. This prologue was actually done pretty well and despite some slight grammar issues that others have pointed out before, you've shown me a relationship that has a lot of potential to become something amazing, a relationship between two brothers, something that seems vital to this story and I think that your prologue does a good job on establishing that.

    Sammy was portrayed realistically, there's no doubt in my mind about that, all he cares about is fitting in and all those sudden imaginations of his about his peers laughing him out were really amusing as they perfectly described Sammy's character and his fears. I also liked the bit when he throw the ball and captured Caterpie, he realized that he had just caught a silly little Caterpie, it just fit so well.

    Chapter 1:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    He was thankful that Sinnoh had outlets that accommodated devices brought from other continents as he plugged his trimmers into the wall adjoining the bathroom sink. He had heard that other areas of the world like Unova weren’t as readily accessible for foreign devices.
    Very realistic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Sam had brought a suit, but that now seemed too stuffy; he wasn’t here to do a PowerPoint presentation or ask Professor Rowan to marry him, after all.
    The last bit would be amusing to see, hehe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    With a gentle squeeze of the ball, a Butterfree appeared in the air, stoicly beating its wings to stay aloft.
    It's 'stoically'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    The orange fox creature looked up at the tall buildings around it, decided the busy city was not worth the attention, then leaned down to licks its front paws to keep them as elegantly groomed as the rest of its fur.
    Ninetales isn't really orange, to be honest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    “Does it feel good to be out of your ball, Vlam?”
    Nice.

    You ended your chapter on somewhat of a shocker evoking the readers to wonder why the hell he has his brother's Vlam and when did she evolve, nice job! The chapter itself was done well and you portrayed many aspects of your own Pokémon universe realistically such as the check for diseases or the thing about foreign devices. Sam himself seems much more mature of a character which prompts me to look forward to further developments regarding him and this whole story. Why is he in Sinnoh, though?

    I didn't really notice many grammar mistakes, everything flowed well and your descriptions were handed quite decently, in fact.

    Chapter 2:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Back on the field, Vlam maintained her offensive while the fighting-type pokemon struggled to regain its bearings. She darted left and right, each movement inching her closer to her foe. Sammy recognized this instantly: it was Tommy’s way of maximizing Vlam’s foe’s confused state. The Machoke and its trainer had no idea from where she would be attacking. A double juke put her behind the Machoke, and she began covering herself in a ball of fire. Thurmond’s voice roared for Machoke to turn around, but the bewildered pokemon couldn’t understand its trainer’s command. Vlam’s flame wheel connected into the small of Machoke’s back. The crowd hailed strong approval, which incited Thurmond to yell back at them and shake an angry fist.
    This is a nice tactic and great description of a battle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Sammy’s mind wandered; why was a cop here for him? He thought about this past year in eighth grade when he told Evelyn Simmons that he was going to steal her new gaming system so he’d have something to do over the summer. Did she take him seriously? Was he going to go to jail or something?
    I really liked this bit and his thoughts keep shifting to other aspects of his life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    “He didn’t make it, I’m sorry. He passed just a few minutes ago.”
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Tommy was all he had left.
    I guess this marks a major change in the story, but I did kinda expect his father to die since the moment the officer showed up. It was good chapter, although quite short. It could have been longer, honestly. I also have to comment on your shifts between past and present, I actually really like them as they give us some nice contrast between Sam's past and his current personality.

    I have no complaints, but it could have been longer.

    Chapter 3:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Sam thought this odd because he usually enjoyed Newsweek, at least, but his heart just didn’t seem to be in a place for reading about other peoples’ problems.
    Don't you mean; 'Sam thought this was odd ...' ? Either that or 'Sam thought of this as odd'. Either way, you're missing something here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Bree was oblivious to all of this, as she had fluttered her way into a corner of the room and was pecking around an overgrown houseplant whose vines were snaking between Rowan’s window blinds. Time and again, she’d dig her head into the heart of the plant only to snap it back out in alarm when its leaves tickled her wings. “There’s no honey in there, Bree,” Sam would say to her as she stared down the plant, her wings stretched wide to make herself appear large. After several seconds, Bree would forget the advice and again dig into it.
    Bree has a personality, nice job on establishing that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Vlam watched this with what appeared to be great disinterest, curled around Sam’s inactive foot. She had always seemed slightly annoyed by Bree’s impetuousness, and Sam imagined that her thoughts must have been something along the lines of ‘How has this thing not outgrown this yet?’. Vlam had entered battles very much like Tommy always did--meticulous, patient, and subtle. She would almost always concede an opponent’s opening salvo so that she could get a taste of their power and strategy. Bree, meanwhile, never outgrew her trainer’s methods of battling from his younger days--headstrong, fast, and furious. Bree and Vlam had sparred countless times over the years while Sam was growing up; to say that Vlam had a winning record would almost be an understatement, but despite her displeasure at Bree’s immaturity, she always licked Bree’s cheek after a victory and let the butterfly pokemon chase her many tails. Bree never seemed to mind her losses to her sister much, anyway. Despite the Butterfree’s innocent veneer, she and Sam had become a potent duo not unlike Tommy and Vlam. Sam’s youthful fear of being referred to as ‘Bug Catcher’ by his classmates quickly dissipated when the two of them were constantly near the top of his class rankings. In the corner of the room, Bree had again found herself assaulted by the plant and was now buzzing at it furiously. Vlam--perhaps weary of her sister’s noise or perhaps wanting to comfort her--disengaged herself from Sam’s leg and took patient steps towards the plant. Bree studied her as Vlam buried her own head in the plant, shook its leaves, and then emerged. Bree chirped a response, Vlam cooed back, and that seemed to be the end of her great interest in the plant for the moment.
    This whole scene was just marvelous, in my opinion. Not only did you use it to expand on Sam's future you've also expanded on the relationship between Bree and Vlam as well as on her personality. Some writers treat Pokémon merely as animals with no actual personality so seeing this makes me one happy readers/reviewer!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    “I need them, professor. I need the legends.” He turned away from the map and stared down Rowan unflinchingly. “Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie. I’ve come for them, and I won’t leave Sinnoh without them.”
    Oh, the plot thickens, huh?

    This was yet another great chapter, but I feel like you might want to separate those blocks of text in paragraphs, I don't know - I just feel that it would be much easier for me to read them that way and I bet it'd be the same way for others as well. Like I commented before, I'm happy Vlam and Bree have distinctive personalities but I'm especially intrigued by Sam's wish to have the lake spirits - what is he up to?

    Chapter 4: Oh, we're back in the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Tommy laughed and shook his head in disbelief. “Sam, you are cheaper and easier to feed for a year than most pokemon. You’re too good to me.”
    A great example of their loving and brotherly relationship.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    “Vlam.” It was the only word that Sam’s brain would release.
    Sammy really cares about his bro, huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    The realization crept into Sam’s awareness like a spider stalking prey in its web. Tommy hadn’t failed his classes because he couldn’t handle them; he had failed because he simply wasn’t going often enough. He was working fifty hours a week at the department store on top of taking care of the house and helping Sam with his studying and training. He had forsaken his future in favor of providing Sam one for himself.
    Aww. :/

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Tommy had given his brother a normal life despite their parents both being dead. Sam, in return, gave him a rock.
    I feel really sad for Tom and I can see that this abrupt realization stroke Sammy hard - this will definitely influence him a lot. Though it's not just a rock, it's a Fire Stone, aren't those rare? But I guess Sammy was just being hard on himself upon the overwhelming feeling of guilt - you can tell that he feels really bad. I mean, who wouldn't?

    I'll get to the next four chapters later on, but I hope you were satisfied by my review. This story doesn't have a lot of grammar issues, as far as I've read, and it's an above average tale of two brothers whose relationship, I assume, has yet to fully unfold. I'm intrigued by the fact that Sam wants Azelf, Uxie and Mesprit as I can't think why he'd need them but I'm assuming it has something to do with his brother.

    It's a good story, I hope your next chapters are even better as well as slightly longer but I guess that quality is always ahead of quantity.

    I hope you liked my review! I'll be back soon!
    Last edited by Janovy; 1st June 2012 at 10:28 AM.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    What a realistic thing to mention. Money is so important in most aspects in life, and I'm glad you call attention to it here. It affects where you live, schooling,etc, and to be honest I do get somewhat tired of fics where characters seem to have endless amounts of cash without any sort of explanation on how they got it. Tommy surprised me though when he spoke about how smart Tommy was. I never thought that Sammy was dumb or anything, but it's surprising to me that he's so intelligent that any school would love to have him. I suppose I need to revamp my picture of him. Nice
    Yeah, it's just another step that Sam made growing up. He was never dumb (like you said), but he wasn't amazingly bright, either. It was after the last time we saw Young Sam and he realized what all Tommy was going through for him that he decided to buckle down even harder and make Tommy proud.

    that bit as well. Another realistic statement. Im starting to hate that Tommy's in a coma
    I originally didn't think many people enjoyed the flashback moments, which is why I went a few chapters without one. But I really wanted to add this moment in. To be honest, ALL the previous flashbacks should have been combined with a present-time chapter like this one was, as I think this worked best. And I'm glad you enjoyed the flashback and Tommy, so maybe I will keep going with them.

    is? What?
    It's a Latin phrase (I believe) that has gained popularity as a saying, not unlike "quid pro quo" or "carpe diem". I didn't think it too obscure to use here. It just means "compared with" or "versus". Something like that.

    nicely done. This was a nice chapter. The interraction between Tommy and Sammy are nice, as usual. The whole premise for your story is interesting, and since I started reading it, I wondered how you would show the 'bond' between them. You're doing an excellent job so far. These little flashbacks, even some of the inconsequential ones do alot to solidify that relationship that you obviously have thought out quite a bit. I look forward to these little trips down memory lane just as much as I do the advancement of the plot. The pair of them sneaking on board the ship was almost a little too convienent, but after some thought, I decided that I liked it and it was a really good way to advance the story. Perhaps on the ship they might learn a bit more about this corporation.

    Nice work
    I hadn't thought of it until you said that, but yeah...it was kind of easy. I should have had them peter around Canalave a bit more first, anyway, and kept playing up Sam's disdain of seaside towns. But I really like the cargo ship scene coming up, and kind of wanted to speed onto that. And yes, within the next 3 or 4 chapters, we should be getting the scoop on the Phoenix Shipping Corporation. It's not as easy as one might believe....







    Quote Originally Posted by Janovy View Post
    I really like this bit and how you keep going back to Sammy proving himself to his peers. He's acting like an actual ten year old which is what I really adore, he's acting realistically.
    Thanks! It's really hard to write a credible 10 year old when I haven't been ten in 20 years!

    At midnight? On his tenth birthday? Haha, seems a bit unlikely, but okay.
    LOL. Okay, yes. But I was doing that to show the differing levels of trust dad had in Tommy and Sammy.


    Hmm, so you're not capitalizing the moves nor Pokémon?
    Yeah. I think I wrote somewhere on page 1 that I wouldn't write "Jim hit him with a Punch". So...makes sense to me.

    I'm kinda baffled by the fact how your prologue is longer than some of your current chapters, but eh, I don't really mind short chapters - it makes it easier for me to go through them. This prologue was actually done pretty well and despite some slight grammar issues that others have pointed out before, you've shown me a relationship that has a lot of potential to become something amazing, a relationship between two brothers, something that seems vital to this story and I think that your prologue does a good job on establishing that.
    Honestly, I had dreamed up that prologue scene about TEN YEARS AGO (longer, actually. It was back when only R/B/Y existed), and just never used it. So it was really vivid to me, and that's why it was longer than anything else for a while. Also, I was basically making the story up as I went, so I didn't want to say too much I'd end up not being able to work with. But it's all pretty well thought out by now.

    Sammy was portrayed realistically, there's no doubt in my mind about that, all he cares about is fitting in and all those sudden imaginations of his about his peers laughing him out were really amusing as they perfectly described Sammy's character and his fears. I also liked the bit when he throw the ball and captured Caterpie, he realized that he had just caught a silly little Caterpie, it just fit so well.
    thank you very much!

    This is a nice tactic and great description of a battle.
    Thanks. Having never written a battle before, I was really wary of how they'd come across, but surprisingly, people have dug my battles so far. Good news to me, because my next chapter (chapter 9) is going to have a big one (I think...or it might now. We'll see how it goes).

    I have no complaints, but it could have been longer.
    Yeah, it should have been. But they get longer, I promise!

    This whole scene was just marvelous, in my opinion. Not only did you use it to expand on Sam's future you've also expanded on the relationship between Bree and Vlam as well as on her personality. Some writers treat Pokémon merely as animals with no actual personality so seeing this makes me one happy readers/reviewer!
    It's funny to me how radically different pokemon are portrayed just across fan fiction here. In some stories, they are flavorless battle creatures, yes. In mine, they are very pet-like (in that they are just like a cat or dog in that they have personality, but aren't human-level intelligent), and in others they speak with their trainers. I'm glad you like my take!

    I feel really sad for Tom and I can see that this abrupt realization stroke Sammy hard - this will definitely influence him a lot. Though it's not just a rock, it's a Fire Stone, aren't those rare? But I guess Sammy was just being hard on himself upon the overwhelming feeling of guilt - you can tell that he feels really bad. I mean, who wouldn't?

    I'll get to the next four chapters later on, but I hope you were satisfied by my review. This story doesn't have a lot of grammar issues, as far as I've read, and it's an above average tale of two brothers whose relationship, I assume, has yet to fully unfold. I'm intrigued by the fact that Sam wants Azelf, Uxie and Mesprit as I can't think why he'd need them but I'm assuming it has something to do with his brother.

    It's a good story, I hope your next chapters are even better as well as slightly longer but I guess that quality is always ahead of quantity.

    I hope you liked my review! I'll be back soon!
    Thanks for all your kind words, and your pointing out the misspellings others have missed; I really had NO IDEA how to spell "stoically", and I'm surprised spell checker didn't catch that. LOL)! I hpe you enjoy the rest of the story going forward.
    Last edited by Sid87; 1st June 2012 at 2:06 PM.


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    Alright, I just read the last four chapters.

    I love Barry's character.

    I'm not really surprised by that because I strangely find myself liking almost every version of Barry (anime version, manga version, game version) but your Barry is especially hilarious, and I gotta say, I loved the scene on the ship when Barry was up and down, up and down, up and down, haha, that was really funny especially due Sam's reactions on his behavior. I also love the fact he has a Torterra, one of the Pokémon I really like.

    It's also sad to hear that Tom suffered a stroke and like I expected, Sam is blaming himself as evident by his nightmare which was really creepy but insightful at the same time. I finally understand Sam's motives and they are quite noble - suddenly the title makes so much sense as their bond is the driving the plot of the story you're writing. Speaking of Sam, I'm glad you're expanding on his character as we progress - we gradually keep finding out more silly stuff about him such as that he gets seasick or that he hates port towns such as Canalave or Olivine (by the way, very nice description there).

    Oh, oh and I'm quite happy that you've began finally separating the paragraphs - it's much easier for me to read it now.

    There were some mistakes but others have already pointed them out so I won't bother this time, it would just take too much time and I hope my comment on your characters and other stuff will suffice for the time being. What else can I say? Keep up with the good work! You seem to have your plot all planned out and with those Phoenix guys around we seem to be approaching the bad guy zone. Oh, and let Barry stay Barry, he's awesome that way.

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    All caught up - and I love where this is going! The relationship between the brothers has bloomed beautifully, and I love Barry, he loves a delightful dimension to it. x3 I'm a fan of the longer chapters, as well, although your shorter ones were stylistically the same and just as good - I guess the difference is just having a better chance to sink into particular scene? In any case, I really do like how you've woven the narrative so close to Sammy, his character really emerges throughout, and the manner in which you describe settings in his voice (particularly your description of the inner room of Rowan <3). x3 The plot is developing wonderfully, and poor Tommy...! Looking forward to how you continue this, would you mind putting me on the PM list? :3


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    Janovy: I like Torterra, too. Turtwig is actually my favorite starter in any generation. I actually have never seen the anime (since the first season) or the manga, so I'm not up on anything regarding Barry except for the video games, but I'm glad I am continuing a tradition of your liking him.

    Katie: PM list; done!





    Sorry I have been updating SO FREQUENTLY as of late, but I have my wedding coming up in two weeks and have had an unusual amount of free time lately. I promise to slow down as of this chapter. I don't want to alienate readers by updating so frequently.

    This chapter is the longest of the story so far, and I hope you enjoy it! It also has my first pokemon battle of substantive length. I hope you enjoy it!






    Chapter 9: Present Day

    Chispa whimpered unhappily. Sam thought that letting her out of her Friend Ball so that she could stretch her eager little legs would make her happy, but it quickly became obvious that all she wanted was to run about the deck of the cargo ship. Sam considered that this was not a great idea given that he had no way of knowing when any of the Phoenix Corporation crew might need to come out onto the deck, and so it went that she would start moving towards the edge of the crates where Sam and Barry had concealed themselves and Sam would have to issue the most stern whisper he could muster to get the Shinx to come pouting back to his side. This would last for a few minutes at best before she would start testing his attention again by creeping towards the opening that lead to the deck.

    If Sam were to be honest with himself, he was thankful for Chispa’s misbehaving; it kept him on alert for her and distracted from the three sensations within him that were joining forces in an attempt on his life and sanity. The first, and the one he most expected, was his seasickness. While the Canalave Ferry had only a calm strait to cross to get to Canalave City, the Phoenix Corporation vessel was circumnavigating the Sinnoh continent, and the waters here on the ocean were much more vulgar than those the ferry had to contend with. His stomach lurched with every wave that assailed the ship, and his mind was flooded with memories of the storm off of Cianwood in his youth. He had thus far been able to keep his insides under the control, but he couldn’t help but wonder how long that would last.

    The second sensation, one that was seemingly in direct conflict with the first, was that of hunger. Sam and Barry had been aboard this ship for almost twenty-four hours. Having not intended to be away from civilization for so long when they arrived in the city, the two of them had no inclination to bring any supplies or food with them. As the hours passed, Sam couldn’t help but ponder how long they’d be at sea before he’d have a chance to eat something. Anything. And what if the boat they were on did not dock near a town or a city? Would they have to abandon surveillance on the crew to get something to eat instead? He thought that one day without food was probably not terrible; people had survived much worse than that under more dire circumstances. It did little to settle him. He was still hungry.

    The third of these sensations was by far the worst at this point. The stowaway voyage had started in the quite temperate Canalave City, but as it stretched up the Sinnoh continent, bitter cold slammed his body. For as poorly as Sam and Barry had planned for a time without food, they were even less prepared for this insidious chill. Sam wore only two layers of short-sleeved tops and jeans; Barry was possibly even worse off with just a long-sleeve top and shorts. Sam wondered if he now missed the scarf he’d worn earlier to Lake Verity just for fashion. The cold was the reason why they’d released their pokemon to begin with a few hours ago; at least Vlam and Barry’s Monferno were capable of radiating warmth. It had gotten to the point where the risk they ran of being spotted due to the light of their friends’ flames was easily worth it.

    The thought of Vlam using her heat to protect him made him appreciative, and he reached out to stroke her back. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Chispa using what she must have perceived as his lack of attention to inch towards the edge of the cargo crates. Sam hissed shortly through his teeth, and she yelped in frustration but returned to him.

    “I think we could train her here.” Barry’s mouth was having a hard time properly enunciating his words due to the chill within him. They had been quite conversational, if quietly so, upon boarding the ship, but hunger and cold and annoyance were settling in to both of them, and they spoke less and less. Barry probably, like Sam, just wanted the ship to dock as soon as possible. “She’s small, and we could probably do it here without being noticed.”

    Sam shook his head, and it was more vigorous than he intended since his body must have taken it as a cue to unleash a prolonged shiver. “No,” he answered when he finally regained control of himself. “I’m not training her.”

    He could tell Barry was already asking why not, but he was not sure he even had an answer to give. It reminded him of the same feeling he got when he was in Verity Forest and felt compelled to capture her. The Shinx looked back at him as he found himself studying her, and she wagged her sparking tail before flopping to the ground beside him, her belly exposed for him to rub. She was too innocent in the forest that day to know that she was supposed to run from him. Was that all it was? Regardless of the reason, Barry nodded without an answer to his question and went back to making sure his energetic Monferno wasn’t about to set the crates about them on fire with his tail flame.

    Sam still couldn’t believe the cargo was so brazenly labeled. The Acuity Project. What would an international shipping company be doing running around the lakes of Sinnoh? There were hardly any packages that needed to be delivered to protected national park lands. On the other hand, it wasn't hard to write off how the workers on the Verity site reacted to his and Barry’s presence. Barry was an overzealous kid, and hell, he made Sam want to attack him, as well; that really might have been a misunderstanding on Sideburns’ part. It wasn’t a pleasant thought, the idea that he was freezing to death on this cargo ship, his stomach racing itself to see if he starved or threw up from seasickness first, all over a misunderstanding and some easily explainable happenstance.

    He opened his eyes without even realizing he had closed them. Mentally, he made a note to watch that; the cold was apparently a more subtle foe than he imagined, and he doubted his body could afford the slowed heartrate that sleep would bring. Chispa was gone! The thought hit him in the face like a glass of water. He couldn’t feel her body next to him; she must have dashed out onto the deck when his eyes closed. Barry’s eyes were closed, too, so he couldn’t have noticed her leaving, either. Sam cursed himself for succumbing that easily. Before he was even on his feet to find and retrieve Chispa, he heard a familiar foreign noise. A voice speaking in a language he didn’t understand, and it was coming from the other side of the crates. Chispa must have been seen!

    He rushed out from his safe spot, his body no longer recognizing cold or hunger or the rocking of the boat. There was a man in a padded coat waving his arms and shouting at poor Chispa who’d been backed to the edge of the ship. Sam had no way of knowing if this man wanted to throw her overboard or give her a treat, but he wasn’t about to find out.

    “Hey! Leave her alone!”

    The man turned to Sam. He had a dark, ungroomed moustache, and it made Sam think of Sideburns. Did these guys all come from the Cult of the Thick Facial Hair or what?

    “Just back away from her, and we’ll talk this out.” Sam held up his open palms peacefully, to show he was no threat. “Just let me recall her, okay? We’ll play this however you want after that.”

    The men at the Verity site seemed to understand and speak English, even if they weren’t particularly peaceful. That did not seem to be the case for this one, though, as his reaction to Sam pulling Chispa’s Friend Ball from his pocket was to shout back at him and reach for something in his coat’s pocket.

    “Monferno, toss him!”

    Sam’s attention was pulled to Barry’s voice behind them, and then immediately back to the man with the moustache. Monferno had sneaked close enough to him to grab around the waist. Sam looked on in horror as Barry’s pokemon flipped the foreigner overboard.

    “NO!” Sam shouted. On pure instinct, he rushed to the edge of the ship, grabbed a life vest that hung there, and threw it into the sea as close to the man as he could. “Grab it!” Sam yelled, pointing at the vest. He was as relieved as he could ever remember being in his life when he saw the shivering figure make it to the safety device. “Are you psychotic, Barry?”

    “What are you talking about? That’s basic problem-solving there.”

    “That guy could die out there! The water here’s got to be about thirty-three degrees, and who knows how close to land we are. We’ve got to try to save him.”

    “No. You should worry about to save yourself.”

    Sam looked upward, to where the new voice had come from. Behind the railing going around the second level of the ship stood the rest of its crew, eight men all of similar foreign skin tone. Sam instantly thought back to the shout he let loose in horror as Monferno threw their co-worker overboard; they must have heard him, and here they were in response. Sam couldn’t help but jealously note that they were all dressed appropriately for the weather.

    Next to him, Barry seemed frozen in the moment. He never even acknowledged the threat of the ship’s staff. He was still looking out over the side of the vessel; his hands were shaking, but Sam somehow got the sense that it wasn’t from the cold. Barry was rash--there’s a good chance he hadn’t thought about his actions when he ordered his friend to deal with the crew member. He must have locked up when Sam presented him with the reality of what could have happened. Sam felt awful now for yelling at him and questioning his sanity; he had just been trying to help and clearly didn't want to hurt that guy. Chispa was cowering behind his feet, and Sam realized it might be up to him to get them out all of this.

    “Thank goodness you guys are here,” Sam lied, “your friend fell overboard when we tried to present him our credentials. We need to get him back on-board before he freezes or drowns. I threw him a life vest, but the water is so--”

    “We will put down a lifeboat for him. You do not worry about it. What you should worrying about is what we do to hitchhikers.”

    The man who was speaking was surprisingly clean of facial hair, and he appeared to be very large. It was hard to say if he was as big as he appeared due to all the warm layers he was wearing. Snow pants, a padded coat like the other man’s, and a ski cap added to his size. He had the same accent that Sam remembered from Sideburns.

    “We’re not hitchhikers,” Sam replied. It was true, at least. Something was lost in translation between their language barrier there. “We just...” He thought back to his plan in Canalave; it was worth a shot. “We’re here legally representing Secretary Rowan, and--”

    The man whom had taken the lead speaking role for the crew raised his right arm, and his companions all pulled out various kinds of pokeballs. Sam paused, then started waving his hands downward to signify for them to calm down. Ending this without conflict, however improbable, was definitely ideal.

    “Whoa! Hold on, guys! No one is in trouble here. We just have some questions about--”

    “Sam, watch out!”

    At Barry’s words, a dozen flashes of luminous energy erupted onto the deck of the ship; its crew had unleashed their pokemon. At least their abrupt aggressiveness shocked Barry out of whatever stupor had possessed him. It was Sam who now felt as though he had been stunned. Barry summoned his Torterra, as well as a third friend that Sam hadn’t seen him release before. It was a blue penguin-like creature with four white dots on its stomach and two yellow crests lining its head from its beak upwards. Sam recognized it as a Prinplup, a rare aquatic pokemon from the Sinnoh region. It shuddered, happy to be free and ready to battle.

    “Sam, I really need some help here, if you’d like to get in the game! I’m handicapped enough as it is by how much Torterra can’t do on a boat.”

    Sam nodded and recalled Chispa into her Friend Ball. Stuffing her ball into his right front pocket, he grabbed the Nest Ball inside it. Bree was released into the air just as Vlam bounded out from behind the safety of the crates to his side. The Phoenix workers’ pokemon outnumbered his and Barry's friends more than two-to-one, and Sam quickly realized that Barry was right about the limitations of his most fully evolved and powerful friend. Without any earth beneath Torterra’s feet, it was going to be unable to use some of its fiercest attacks. Sam recalled the fissure it had used earlier and realized that was right out, but he was interrupted by a dozen voices he couldn’t understand before he could consider any others. The Phoenix Corportation pokemon were being ordered to attack.

    “Vlam, confuse rays and baffle attacks! As many as you can handle, all right, girl? There’s too many of them, and I need them off balance! You’ve got to do that for me.” Vlam seemed to bob her head in agreement with Sam’s words before streaking off to the middle of the fray, her magnificent tails stiffening outward. “Bree, fly out of range as high as you can. I want you to put anything that isn’t with me or Barry to sleep. Can you do that?” Bree hummed a reply and sped up above the boat’s deck as fast as her silky wings would carry her. Trickery tactics seemed like the best bet at this moment given the odds; if they could keep their enemies off-balance, they might be able to hold out and calm everybody down. Vlam was moving fast, darting in front of enemy pokemon and stopping just briefly enough to hit them with a blue-toned light show before dashing off to the next foe.

    In the air, Bree was not so lucky; she had no sooner gotten into the night sky than a blue bird pokemon with a red breast began following her. The bird--Sam recognized this foreign pokemon as either a Taillow or a Swellow, he couldn’t remember which was the evolved form’s name--moved too quickly for her, and it refused to allow Bree the time to set up a sleep powder attack.

    “Bree, whirlwind! Blow it out of the sky!”

    Bree began forming a swirling vacuum using the power of her wings, but the bird opponent began doing the same. Sam cursed under his breath at not being able to discern who was giving it orders. The crew were all looking in every direction at the chaotic battle scene; it was impossible to discern who was guiding the bird. The bursts of wind crossed in mid-air, dissipating each other almost immediately on contact.

    Sam wanted to issue another command, but he was knocked from his feet by a charging iron lizard. Sam tried to right himself, but the spike-backed steel salamander before him stared him back down. It looked as though it would charge again if Sam didn’t stay where he was. He tried to crawl backwards and earn himself some distance, but the Lairon wasn’t having any of it; it was outpacing Sam’s backwards movement as it stepped forward towards him.

    Out of the corner of his eye, Sam saw Monferno rush away from the Lotad it was engaged with and knock the Lairon onto its side with right fist that ignited in a blaze upon impact. Lairon let out a shrill, metallic screech as it tried to get back to its feet; its frantic movements signified how much the fire punch had hurt it. Barry’s Monferno extended its left hand and pulled Sam back up to his feet. Monferno made a throaty, joyful noise which Sam acknowledged with a nod and then bounded back to the ground fray against Lotad. Sam glanced up to see that the avian pokemon had taken advantage of both Sam’s distraction and its speed advantage; it was striking fast with stiff shots from its wings. Butterfree was still aloft, but it was dazed and hurt. Sam decided to take a note from Lairon's playbook and give the Swellow something else to think about for a few moments.

    “Vlam! Use a fire blast on that bird!”

    Vlam came to a halt from her rapid-fire offense and belched a sofa-sized fireball into the sky. Butterfree’s opponent caught sight of the attack at the last instant and rolled out of its path. It might have singed a feather or two, but it mostly avoided the fireball. That was fine with Sam since it had now given distance between itself and Bree,

    “Bree, psybeam! Stop it from staying airbone, at least!”

    Bree’s antennae twitched, found the bird across the air from it, and then stiffened. The bird froze, then let out an agonized squawk and began spiraling downward. Sam’s exclamation of victory was short-lived, however, when he saw Monferno crash to the deck after a burst of water attack hit it dead on. Above the fray, Bree did not have even a moment to catch her breath from her previous battle; a Golbat was now chasing her through the sky.

    “Vlam!” He wanted to call out another fire blast from his Ninetales, but she was equally engaged in dodging the rapid-fire strikes of a Meditite whose psychic powers were able to defend it from Vlam’s confusion tactics. Vlam let out a pained howl; the Meditite, floating in the air in a yoga position, must have been using its invisible telepathic powers. “Vlam, fight it off with a fire spin!”

    Vlam shook her head to fight off the Meditite’s attack and unleashed a spinning vortex of flames. The Meditite seemed at first to be engulfed by the attack, but it appeared in an instant outside the flames. It must have teleported free, and it went back on the attack on a stunned Vlam.

    “Barry! This isn’t working out super well for us! Please tell me you’ve got a back-up plan.”

    Just a few feet away, Barry nodded and recalled Monferno into its pokeball. “Use a surf attack, Prinplup. As hard as you can, buddy!”

    The penguin pokemon shoved away a a tiny lobster pokemon that had been trying to attack it with its pinchers. Before the Corphish could right itself, Prinplup blasted it with a concentrated burst of water from it beak for good measure. Prinplup crossed its wings in front of its body, and its eyes began to glow with blue energy. The foreign enemies seemed to pause and brace themselves for a big attack, but as the seconds passed, it became clear nothing was happening.

    “That back-up plan was underwhelming,” Sam sighed. “Anything else?”

    “I don’t know. I really thought that’d work better out here on the ocean.”

    The Phoenix crew’s pokemon, who had previously been cowed by Prinplup’s potential attack, regained their assurance and started pressing forward again. Golbat was again terrorizing a weakened Bree in the air, and Vlam was back to facing off with the Meditite. Sam suddenly wished that was all of the bad news.

    “Oh god," he muttered in Barry's direction. "What did you do?”

    Barry turned, presumably to ask Sam what he was talking about, but he didn’t even need to get any words out; it was impossible to miss what Sam had seen. An enormous wave was barreling towards them, having formed several dozen yards out in the ocean. It had to have been the result of Prinplup’s surf attack. With the whole ocean and the force of the water and wind behind it, the wave attack had reached massive proportions. And it was bearing down on the ship. Sam figured the crew had to have seen it by that point, too, but he was too mesmerized by it to check them.

    Sam gained just enough of his wits back to withdraw Bree and Vlam into the safety of their pokeballs right before the wave hit. The world vanished in a flush of water which quickly became all he knew. He felt the force of the wave push him backwards, causing his back to slam into a hard object. It forced the air out of his lungs, and he was barely able to gulp another lungful down before the water pulled him all the way under. He pinballed off several more things--one felt like the railing on the ship and another like one of the crates he had been using for protection--but he forcefully held onto the precious oxygen in his lungs until the impacts ceased. He lost all track of what happened to Barry and the ship’s crew, but that was replaced by another realization: he was no longer on the boat at all. Whether he was washed away alone or the entire vessel tipped under the ferocity of the surf was unknown to him. He was underwater in the middle of the ocean, and he had no idea which direction was which. He tried to swim in the first direction his body would move towards in the hopes he would find air, but the water was frigid and it assailed his muscles; they refused to work with him. He collided with something large, and it was propelling him in the direction he then knew must have been down; the object must have been one of those crates, and that most likely meant the entire ship was down. His lungs felt like they would rip open if that’s what they had to do to release his last breath. The air inside of him seemed like a vicious enemy now, but he knew he had to fight to hold onto it. If he exhaled now, he was finished. A thousand lights flickered against the backdrop of his eyelids, and consciousness was becoming just a memory as the cargo box continued to ride him to the bottom of the sea.
    Last edited by Sid87; 11th September 2012 at 1:39 AM.


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  25. #75
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    ...Cliff hanger lord! x3 I really enjoyed the battle scene, you handled the multiple points of focus very well with the pace of the story, once more you really felt yourself in Sammy's shoes. Nothing else that I noticed, really - too caught up - but I really enjoyed this. Well done~! x3


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