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Thread: Brothers' Bond (PG-13)

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    Again, sorry for the delay. But this is the final block review, so now I can focus on one chapter at a time!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Chapter 11
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Sometime around three hundred years ago or so, the country of Kanto was the first civilization on the planet to learn that pokemon could be both efficiently captured and trained to work with humans. The Kantoans discovered the process by which they could transform pokemon into high-frequency, unstable energy that could be contained in a mechanical orb that would harmonize the energy signature and keep the creatures in stasis. It was all very technical and would require a science class to understand rather than a history lesson. As pokemon were brought from out of the wild and into households, it was found that the energy stasis aided in relaxing them and making them more peaceful and pliable to working with humans.
    This is an interesting way to start a chapter, as a guy who enjoys history (whether real or fiction) I like this. Three hundred years ago is a long time, though I’m certain that their technology is further advanced then ours by a long shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Within a few decades, Kanto had a huge militarized pokemon force. There was an Air Force of precision Charizards, flying through the skies with more maneuverability than the most advanced jets of the age and blasting pure flame at their enemies. Then there was a Navy of raging Gyarados, able to withstand and attack from the harshest depths of the ocean and swimming circles around helpless submarines. And this was to say nothing of an infantry of Machamps and Gravelers, shredding tanks into heaps of scrap as artillery bounced off their massively powerful bodies. The Kantoan armed forces became the world’s most dominant power overnight by ignoring mechanical weapons and using instead the ones with which nature had surrounded us.
    Wow, I just loved this. On a deeper scale it shows how humanity can take anything, even nature, and use it to gain an advantage over others. On a much shallower scale, it has a Charizard Air Force. So much bad-assery.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    The history books would tell you that war lasted thirty-eight days and was more than a little one-sided.
    Pfft, the Combine conquered the entire planet in seven hours. You can do better Kanto.
    Sorry, I couldn’t resist making a HL2 reference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87

    Still, even though the military actions had ended, there was still tension between the northern and southern continents. Hate and prejudice doesn’t tend to quite fade away, even after so many decades; it stays simmering, just beneath the surface. The two sides maintained strictly separate cultures and traditions. Tourism was low between the hemispheres due to the harassment foreigners faced in each region. The World Pokemon League only sparingly had special events between northern and southern regions since riots were so frequent. Society on a global scale may have shifted towards a peaceful and progressive attitude, but individuals were still very full of insecurities and distrust; despite the new age of enlightenment, the separate regions sometimes seemed like they were still worlds apart. That was why it was so odd to Sam.

    “You speak really good Kantoan for someone from Hoenn, Mr. Alonzo.”
    A huge info dumping paragraph sort of, but I enjoyed it. It provided a great insight into the structure of the world in your story, and why it is that way.

    And, thank God they didn’t use nuclear or biochemical weapons (if they even had them) in the war. That’d make everyone’s lives much more difficult in the present.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87

    “So, hey, if I invite you guys into this very obvious trap, do you think you could, you know, walk right into it?”

    “Why yes, I do believe that is what we’ll do. We'd love to.”
    As their banter suggested while they trudged through the streets of Snowpoint City—streets that were buried in over a foot of snow despite the calendar’s clear indication that it was the tail-end of spring--Sam and Barry were convinced that Henrique’s invitation was nothing short of sinister. It made perfect sense: why would he refuse to talk to them inside a crowded hospital and then invite them to a secluded suite? Given Sam and Barry’s short history with Mr. Alonzo’s employees and property, why was he even so gracious and personable to them? Unless, of course, he was guilty of something, Sam determined. And if he was guilty of something, what were the odds he’d continue to be so pleasant?
    Mr. Alonzo isn’t acting how an antagonist would normally be acting. Especially considering they cost him and his company huge amounts of money in damages.

    Maybe he’s good at hiding his true motives like any politician or person in power does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87

    He could already feel the dampness pooling at the bottom of his sock and wrinkling the flesh on his toes.
    As someone who has experienced that sensation, that’s a pretty good description of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87

    Mr. Alonzo settled into the extravagant-looking couch and crossed one leg over the other. “Gentlemen, I’m sure we could make meandering small talk and not really say anything for quite some time, but I respect you both, so I’m going to get to the heart of the matter. I am aware of the…,” he paused and seemed to yet again mull over a selection of what to say, “incidents you’ve had with my employees.”
    He’s not a normal antagonist, I think I’ve said that before. No small talk, no angry monologue, he just get’s straight to the point. I like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “Their actions cost me quite a substantial amount in equipment, to say nothing of the lost hours of labor or transportation costs. But sometimes that is just the price of business.” Mr. Alonzo leaned back into the couch. Sam nodded, but could think of nothing else to add. Mr. Alonzo switched gears. “You both have no doubt figured out that I’ve come here for the legends of Sinnoh, right?”
    He’s being nice to them? He freely admits his plans to the very people who stalled them? What sort of trickery are you playing at Mr. Alonzo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    "Poaching?" Mr. Alonzo, the pitch of his voice rising. "No, not even close, Mr. West. Let me ask you a question: When a farmer needs assistance raising his crops, is it poaching when he catches a Gloom to encourage their growth? When a demolition crew catches a Rhyhorn to help them tear down a building and remove rubble, is that poaching? Or is it poaching when a hospital uses an Audino to heal an injured person's minor bruises or superficial injuries?"

    Barry raised an eyebrow. "That's three questions."
    His reasoning is sound, actually. Is it poaching? Is it truly acceptable? Is Pokemon Training basically hunting? Is Mr. Alonzo truly a villain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    "People talk about legendary pokemon, and we're talking about abilities that range from controlling the weather to manipulating time and space and everything in between. Think about how that could benefit humanity, gentlemen. We could stop storms and natural disasters in their tracks before lives and property are lost. We could erase our greatest mistakes from history; no more Century War and the hate it spread between our regions." Mr. Alonzo opened his arms wide in front of him as if to emphasize the scope of his ideas. "We could have perfect knowledge and understanding of the world around us. I've not come here to capture Sinnoh's legends or put them on display. I've come here to find them and get them to use their powers to benefit mankind. All of us. "
    Oh no. I’ve scene this exact scenario many times, I’ve even considered using it in my own story. Using the Legendaries to solve humanity’s problems, stopping disasters, twisting around the very fabric of time to erase our mistakes, it will only lead to the destruction of the world.
    When you mess with the time stream entire futures collapse, pasts are corrupted beyond repair, and the present is plunged into unending darkness. Mr. Alonzo, you think the Legendaries will solve our problems? You are wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87

    "They don't belong to mankind, though; they belong to the world." Barry's words shocked Sam out of his laser focus on Henrique's words. Sam had been engrossed in the thoughts, but Barry had wasted no time in having a rebuttal. "Do you really think it's in anyone's best interest to corral pokemon that can control time? Or human emotion? Yeah, gee, what's the worst that could happen there, right?"
    For once, I agree with Barry one hundred percent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    "And your view of how gracious and well-meaning humanity would be in the face of these possibilities is awfully wrong-sighted."
    Once again, absolutely correct. Humanity cannot be trusted with power, we only corrupt it.

    “See? This is why we can’t have nice things!”

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Mr. Alonzo tilted his head down and smiled. Slowly, he shook his head a few times as if he were pardoning himself from engaging in a [/b]verball[/b] battle with Barry. "I see your point of view, Mr. West, don't get me wrong. And I also get that you must feel very confident in expressing it. After all, you and Professor Rowan have had the legendary pokemon of Sinnoh hidden away and protected for quite some time now, haven't you?"
    Besides the plot altering statement by Mr. Alonzo, “Verbal” is misspelled. You have two “L”s in the word.
    Anyways, wow, this might be the one that effects the plot the most. Sam’s trust is Barry and the Professor is going to be pushed to the extremes, if not broken completely.
    Mr. Alonzo seems to have good intentions, but as we all know, they pave the road to hell.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87

    Chapter 12
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Sam had nothing. He had no words or thoughts or actions. His brain was preoccupied with processing what the President of the Phoenix Shipping Corporation had just said. Just when it seemed like he was on the verge of accepting it, something inside him replied “No. No, that can’t be right” and forced him to reconsider it. Barry having had the lake guardians all this time? It was inconceivable. Implausible, even.
    Pretty awesome way to show Sam’s disbelief in what Mr. Alonzo just said, but the bolded part needs to be fixed. The “Or” between “Words” and “Thoughts” doesn’t need to be there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “We started hearing about the Church of Cyrus.”
    It makes sense, actually. That Team Galactic could be classified as a church of some sort. Cyrus had a doctrine that claimed that he could reshape this imperfect world, and people believed him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Barry and Mr. Alonzo were still debating just feet from Sam, but his ears weren’t processing the sound of their words. There was no reason for Barry to ignore the more important accusation there. Unless...

    “You son of a *****.”
    A perfect summarization of the angered and confused thoughts Sam is having.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Sam’s rage deepened as Barry’s confession, and he moved his hands down to Barry’s face, grabbing at the skin around his eyes and nose and mouth. “You saved my life! You pulled me out of that lake! And for what? So you could lie to me some more? So you could keep me from them?” His fingernails dug into Barry’s skin.
    Whoh, Sam is starting to scare me a little. Though his anger is (mostly) just, his rage is quickly getting the best of him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “No!” Sam shouted. “This is about us, not them! You damn liar! You saved my life; for what? So I can go back to my brother and tell him I can’t help him? So I can tell him I let him down? So I can say those words and know he can’t even hear them? Is that why you saved me? You should have just let me die!”
    Again, powerful speech. That’s one of the reasons I love this story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “Gentlemen! Mr. West! Mr. Stark! Are you both okay? This...this is not what I wanted. Do I need to call for help? Is anyone hurt?”
    Mr. Alonzo, ever the peacekeeper. I think this is exactly what he wanted to happen.
    Now Sam can never trust the Professor, or Barry again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “Man, Sam...I didn’t mean to trick you.”

    “Oh?” Sam laughed openly, “please, tell me how you tricked me by accident then, Barry.”
    And the sarcasm is back. The humor in this story is in the most unexpected of places, I love it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Mr. Alonzo looked back to the cabin’s busted door. “I am sure I can cover that. But what happens now?”

    Sam looked from Mr. Alonzo to Barry and then back to Mr. Alonzo. “Do you really think you can use the legends to help people?”

    “Man, Sam, don’t...”

    “I do, Mr. Stark. You heard what I said, and I meant that. There are pokemon in the world that can fix so much of what’s wrong with the human condition.”
    While it isn’t an entirely unexpected turn of events, it’s still kind of shocking to hear Sam siding with Alonzo mere minutes after he was convinced he was a villain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Sam sighed. “I’m not sure yet. But I know that for as mad as I am at him, Barry’s just a kid...just an assistant. So there’s somebody else who owes me some real answers before I make my next move.”
    And so, Professor Rowen becomes target one on Sam’s hit list. A great chapter, and a really great battle. It might have been that Barry wasn’t trying to win against Sam, but I found Sam’s victory kind of … I don’t know … empty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Chapter 13: 5 Years Ago
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87

    “Wow, you’d been together since last semester.”

    “Yeah, it just kind of--”

    “That’s a long time for her to have just seen you naked for the first time.”

    Sam sputtered a few sounds, but nothing of consequence. Tommy was laughing so hard his eyes were wet. “I hate you,” Sam finally said.
    I love Tommy, I really hope he recovers so we can hear more of his dialogue. It’s one of the reasons why I like reading the flashback portions of the chapters. And Sam, you should probably get a Burn Heal. I’m sure you can guess the reason why.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Tommy clapped his hands together and then pointed at Sam. “Didn’t I tell you to live on campus this year? Why doesn’t anyone listen to me? I am full of unused wisdom.”
    I’m certain my mom and my teachers all feel the same way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    He made a mental note to never ride a bus again in his life if he could help it. Bus stations that seemed to be one sideways glance away from erupting in gang violence, cramped seats on the busses themselves that got you either elbowed by a sleeping neighbor or pestered about the health benefits of eating whole garlic by a chatty one, and air conditioning and heating that were spotty at best did not combine for convenient travel. Sam figured next time he’d just hitchhike. It couldn’t possibly be any worse.
    Ah, the lovely side effects of public transportation. You’re not the only author I’ve seen criticize Sinnoh’s Department of Transportation. However, this story portrays it in a better light and not openly cursing its existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Two days since the incident in Snowpointe, and he still had no idea how he would react to Professor Rowan once they were face-to-face. Flipping out on Barry in the heat of the moment was one thing--and Sam was already regretting his behavior there--but confronting the professor was another entirely. Rowan knew Sam and Tommy personally, yet he deceived Sam regardless. Still, Sam knew there was a world of difference between attacking a fit young man in the heat of the moment versus doing so to an older scholar after having time to digest his rage.
    Yes, Sam. Attacking the elderly is not right. And I know you’ve already been briefed on this, but Snowpoint has no “e” at the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Rowan rolled his eyes slowly. “Sam, Sam. What you must think of me...”

    Sam lifted his hands. “Stop. Don’t want your pity party. Want to know why you lied to me.”
    Sam’s dialogue seems a little disjointed here, but I’m sure that’s on purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “It was almost a decade ago, Sam, that a man named Cyrus first appeared. It was absolutely nothing at first; he was just some street looney who wandered from town to town with signs about it being the end times. He would stand on street corners and talk to passers-by about the coming end of the world. It got the point where he was just kind of...a thing. News stations would humorously cover where the crazy guy with the sandwich board was today. ‘He’s outside the Hearthome Contest Hall, he’s at the Floaroma Gardens, he’s in Pastoria’s Great Marsh Park’, that kind of thing. He was more of Sinnoh’s adorable mascot than anything else.
    Hmm, I’ve never seen Cyrus portrayed in this manner. As a religious fanatic, but, again, it makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87

    “Unfortunately,” Rowan rubbed his nose at the word, “I underestimated just how fervent Cyrus’ supporters were. There was a riot when news broke that the government had declared him a threat to national security, and... well, Barry’s parents did not make it back with us. We were able to apprehend Cyrus; he’s been remanded to the care of a psychiatric institution in Veilstone. Barry, meanwhile, I took him in with the assistance of a friend in Twinleaf. I thought I’d never have to use someone close to me in these matters before, but when Barry saw those men at Verity, I think some part of him wanted to live up to his parents’ legacy.”
    Wow, now Barry’s eagerness to stop the construction crew and Alonzo’s plans makes a lot more sense. And something tells me that we haven’t heard the last from our friend Cyrus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “So you sent me and Barry out to die just like you did his parents. I was good enough--”

    Rowan’s fist slammed down hard on his desk, knocking down pictures that had been sitting there of Rowan with various children, shaking hands with colleagues, and with his arm around a woman. “Mr. Stark! Whatever you may think of me, you will not speak to me that way in my office. I will not stand for it.”

    “Righteous indignation doesn’t fit you very well, professor. Not right now.”
    This scene is just so picturesque, I can clearly see it unfolding as Sam accuses the Professor and him lashing back. Awesome work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “Once you’ve brought them into society and gave the world irrefutable, visual proof that they exist, do you think they could ever just go on with their lives? Everyone would want them. Crazies like Cyrus would be just the start. Every ambitious trainer in the world would be after them. Even well-meaning folks like yourself. All of you, trifling with forces mankind was never meant to control, for your own personal gain. The legends are able to keep the forces of nature in balance because they are free to do so. Without that peace, who knows what would come of things?”
    Wow, it’s not often that both of the conflicting sides in a story have equally compelling reasons why they are right, or rather, why the other side is wrong. Rowen is reiterating what I said about Mr. Alonzo earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “But my brother’d be--”

    Rowan slammed his hand down again. “There is more to life than your brother, Mr. Stark!”

    Sam pursed his lips and gritted his teeth again. This conversation was clearly going nowhere, and Sam knew at that moment what he had to do next anyway. “Not to me, there isn’t”. Before Rowan could issue another word of protest, Sam walked out the front door.
    Wow, this chapter was filled with drama. Sam and Rowen’s debate about the ethics of using the legends, I loved it.
    Damn, this review is just devolving into me complimenting on things I liked about it (though I’m sure you don’t mind). There’s not even any errors to point out anymore….

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Chapter 14
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Sam smacked the receiver end of his cell phone off his forehead three times before closing his eyes and reminding himself to try to remain calm. “No, you did not lose a package,” Sam spoke very slowly, picturing Mr. Rivera as a small child who couldn’t grasp large, intricate ideas. “Mr. Alonzo knows me. We are acquaintances. He is probably even expecting my call.”
    I am very fortunate to have only gone through the experience with being endlessly transferred a few times, but I understand Sam’s frustration completely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “NO!--”

    “...I will just transfer...”

    “DON’T YOU--”

    “...you down the hall to...”

    “I don’t want to be transferred again!”

    “...the head of our Communications department...”

    Sam let out a very primal yell as he pressed the End Call button on his phone as vengefully as he could. He rued modern technology for taking away the old-fashioned ability to slam a handset down into its cradle.
    You have no idea how hard I laughed at this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Rowan had gotten the car from him, and that last thing Sam wanted now was to depend on anything having to do with that man.
    I think the bolded word is supposed to be “for”, not “from”.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “I have information you might want. I think I know where the legends could be.”
    I assume this is supposed to be the part in the story where the hero betrays the “good” side for the “bad”, but I’m not sure which side is which. Or if there is a clear cut “good and bad”.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87

    “The family shouldn’t be that hard to find. Professor Rowan is a public figure, so someone’s got to know where his sisters live. His friends, well okay; that will be a bit harder, but still workable. The ladyfriend of his, though, she’s got to live at a higher elevation. There was fog in the background of the picture, and I think I saw a pretty obvious mountainside view.”

    “Celestic Town,” Mr. Alonzo mused.
    That’s a pretty detailed memory Sam has, considering he only ever saw those pictures twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “Your ‘best interests’ can go blow,” Sam stated, shaking his head. “I came to you because you have the resources and the desire to help me meet the trio. We get their help, first thing is first, and that’s that I help my brother.” Sam was not sure Mr. Alonzo even knew anything about Tommy other than from the fit Sam had on Barry back in Snowpointe. “After that, I don’t care if you bring them back home or making everyone happy all the time or dress them up in doll clothes. Doesn’t matter to me.”
    It’s not a good idea to bash the ideals of the man who’s going to be backing your expedition, Sam.

    Not too much happening in this chapter really, but still a great chapter. I’m still a little uncertain of Mr. Alonzo’s true intentions, but I’m sure we’ll see them unfold in the coming chapters.
    I wonder if we’ll see anymore of Barry? I’m sure we will, but there’s always the chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Chapter 15
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Of course it had to be Sideburns.

    His name was apparently, as it turned out, not actually “Sideburns”; it was Carlos. And he had been sitting next to Sam for several hours as they navigated the mountainous route 210.
    Wow, I never figured we’d see Sideburns again. Maybe I should used your idea and try to reuse my minor characters. 

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    For all Sam knew, they were planning what the best way to cook him was (Sam immediately scolded himself for the potentially racist thought that all Hoennese were barbaric cannibals; still, he could not help but think they were discussing things that had to do with him, even if he knew that was just paranoia).
    It’s interesting to see what you do with the racial tensions between the hemispheres. I’ve never seen racism used in any story in as great of an issue as it is here. Another quirk that differentiates this from all the other journey/adventure fics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    While Sam was stuck waiting on customs in Jubilife, he picked up a disposable cell phone just for calls he might need to make in Sinnoh due to the international rate on his regular service being so astronomical.
    Again with the things that makes this unique, cell phone rates between regions. I mean, I have never seen another story even mention that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “You are not to answer that?” Carlos asked, looking over at Sam. Perhaps, for as little as he seemed to want to talk to Sam, he wanted some voice to break the silence. Or perhaps he just like eavesdropping on phone calls.
    More broken Kantoen, yay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87

    “Leave it here in our little pull-off. If we need it, we come back and get it. But how about instead of going in and dynamiting the hell out of everything, we start off with some old fashioned looking around?”
    It wouldn’t be the first time someone threatened to blow up Celestic Town.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Sam’s decision to leave the trucks and equipment behind was beginning to seem like a terrible idea; this was clearly not a place that received many visitors, and every eye in town seemed to be on Sam and the crew from the minute they entered. He’d seen enough horror movies growing up to immediately think that this was the kind of place where strangers got chained up in leaky basements and tortured by people who made boots out of human flesh.
    Wonderful image in that last sentence. Which makes me wonder, what kind of horror movies has Sam been watching?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Sam turned around at the stranger’s voice to see a pair of people coming down the path behind them on an all-terrain vehicle. Sam, Carlos, and the crew exchanged confused glances as the the couple pulled their ATV up to them and came to a stop.
    You have the word “the” repeated twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87

    “Hogwash,” Professor Carolina interrupted. “What are you really doing here?”

    “I just said, we’re here for research. Honestly.” It was honest, even if what they were there to research was the legendary guardians.
    Technically, I guess Sam wasn’t lying, but not that it matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “Gram, we don’t know yet--”

    “You know why they’re here, Cynthia. Don’t defend them.”
    I’ve never seen Cynthia’s grandmother as a professor, but it really makes sense.
    Another thing about this story that I love, everything makes sense sooner or later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Sam enjoyed briefly imagining that she was defending him from the lady who must have been her grandmother because she thought he was charming, but he realized it was a wasted thought. She probably would not be too impressed with him shortly. “Carlos,” he said, turning to his reluctant partner but keeping one eye of Carolina, “get going. You know what you need to find.”
    Keep dreaming, Sam.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    The rest of the world outside her ball was seemingly irrelevant to her as she intertwined Sam’s legs, rubbing her head on his shins. If Sam had any designs on intimidating Cynthia and Professor Carolina into submission, those were clearly just nixed.
    Though I’m sure that your choice of using her would perplex them for a minute, therefore, still stalling them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Cynthia shook her head slowly, as if in pity, it occurred to Sam. Still, the rock just sat there, and she did not give it an order. Sam continued studying it, but he could not discern anything of note. It was a rock, and much more than he would describe a Geodude as a rock. It was a blank, cracked stone. It didn’t move. Still, it was impossible to just catch a plain rock in a pokeball, so it had to be some kind of pokemon. Sam nudged Chispa out from between his legs. “Be careful, but investigate that for me, Chispa. Can you investigate the rock for me?”
    I didn’t realize what Pokemon this was until after you said what it was, though the “cracked rock” should have been a massive red flag for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Cynthia took advantage of the time it was taking Sam to come up with a plan against her pokemon. “Use your shadow sneak, Mouri!”

    Mouri--apparently, Sam realized, the name of her Spiritomb--hissed in reply to her command; its green flashes started popping more rapidly and then began erupting with energy inside the Spiritomb’s spiritual form. With a rush of unexpected speed, its body stretched out as far as it could while still anchored to its rock home. Chispa screeched in pain as Mouri’s body overtook her.
    Ghost Pokemon, nasty bunch they are. Poor Chispa, though Sam’s choice in using her seems a little … stupid in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Sam ignored Cynthia’s plea. Carlos and his men had been in the cave for several minutes now; he just needed to buy them a little more time. “All right, Vlam. If it wants to hide in the rock, we’ll just knock it clear out of the forest. Use a double kick on it!” Vlam rushed forward. Sam may not have been able to hurt the Spiritomb, but as long as it was bound to the rock, he could at least get rid of it.
    Huh, it never occurred to me that you could do that since Spirtomb is tied to that Keystone. Interesting little piece of info.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “Jackpot,” Sam whispered to itself. Before Bree even really got to begin her bug buzz, the Spiritomb pulled away into its protective rock, just as Sam had wanted.

    “Bree, that’s what we needed, girl. I want you to cover that rock in sleep powder now!” In the air above Mouri’s stone, Bree shook her wings fervently. Powder-fine scales broke loose and fell the area below. With nothing to interrupt her, Bree let the scales fall for several seconds until everything below was covered in them. “That’s good, Bree. Come back over to me.” Sam looked across the field and saw Cynthia grimacing; she must have figured it out. “That’s right. Your Spiritomb’s protective home just became its prison. Bring it out now, and it’s going to absorb all the sleep powder.”
    Sometimes, I forget at how competent a battler Sam really is. Using Sleep Powder like that, it was a stroke of genius.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “Last chance, Mr. Stark,” Cynthia offered. There was an edge to her voice that Sam had not picked up on before. Maybe she really was just fooling around at first. “Give up and let us go get those gentlemen.”

    Sam continued looking at the Garchomp. Almost as if on cue to emphasize its trainer’s point, the dragon licked its lips. Sam swallowed and turned his gaze to Bree. “Well, girl. You ready to really see what you can do?”
    I was bracing myself for a quick, brutal end to this battle, but it seems it never happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “What was that?” He found himself shouting in unison with Cynthia. The look on her face revealed she must have been surprised that he did not already know.

    “They weren’t supposed to do anything like that!” Sam shouted over the squeal in his eardrums. “I promise, this wasn’t my intention at all!”
    You know Carlos, him and dynamite, you can’t keep the two away from each other.

    And I can clearly see Sam trying to explain to Cynthia and Professor Carolina that he didn’t mean to blow up their town’s ruins.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    They were the legendary guardians of the lake.
    Wow, this is it. The part of the story we’ve all been waiting for. The Lake Trio finally show themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “Please!” He called out them, just hoping they’d hear him. “Please, I won’t let them hurt you, I promise! I need you! I’ve come so far, and without you, my brother will die! Please don’t leave now! He needs you. I need you.”

    In the distance of the sky, one of them came to a halt. Sam could faintly make out the crest that marked it as Mesprit. Perhaps something in his voice got through to the small guardian. “Please, I will do anything--anything--for my brother! I would never hurt you or try to catch you, but he means everything to me and nothing will stop me from saving him. Please come back!” With those words, he saw a second stop; this time it was Azelf. As Azelf floated down to its brother Mesprit, Uxie also came to a stop, if only due to curiosity as to what had gotten the attention of the other two. They hovered in the air far from Sam and stared at him. “Please...,” Sam muttered, as he fell to his knees. “Help me.”
    Ohboyohboyohboy! This is it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “No!” Sam yelled. He knew they would ruin everything, but it was too late. The battle spilling outside the cave, the frantic yelling of the Phoenix workers, and the sight of them charging towards Sam were all too much for the legends. They took back off into the sky as swiftly as they had fled the cave. Well before Carlos and the others reached Sam, the guardians were out of sight.
    And that cracking sound was my heart. It just burst from a mixture of excitement, sadness, and more excitement. Sadness that Sam has just lost the only hope he has of restoring his brother, and excitement that this is only half of the story and that there’s still another half to go.

    A wonderful group of chapters, the best I’ve reviewed so far. I tried to find as many errors as I could, but there were only two or three that I was able to find.

    This marks the end of my reviewing of multiple chapters, so now I can focus solely on individual chapters. Because, let’s face it, I haven’t put the most dedication into each and every chapter’s review, so now, we won’t have that problem.

    I’ll reiterate what I’ve said countless times before, this is an amazing fanfic. Your skills as an author and an overall original idea are what really make this story. I’m going to be putting this into my signature shortly. I can’t wait to review the next chapter.

    Oh, and I hope you find another job soon. In this economy you need all the luck you can get. So, good luck.

    And awesome banner, I like it.

    So, until the next one,

    Knightfall signing off …

  2. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    Sam having a crush on Cynthia sounds really amusing. Not sure why, but it does.
    He needed some more aspects of his personality; he'd been pretty single-minded of late. And Cynthia seems like she'd be a pretty girl.

    Tsk, tsk. If anyone Sam should know better by now than to think something is improbable.
    You'd think, right?

    I was going to make some remark about how electric and dark type attacks should work against the Spiritomb, but I quite like the idea of physical attacks not effecting him at all. It seems more realistic for a ghost-type pokémon, one that wouldn’t work for the games, but is interesting to see in a fic. Kudos to you.
    It seemed interesting of an idea to me.

    Seems a bit uncharacteristic of Sam to lets others think so ill of his friend. Maybe it’s just me, though. You could just say that Sam planned to prove Cynthia and everyone else wrong about Bree’s abilities. As it stands, though, it seems like Sam is just letting the judgment pass and that doesn’t sit right with me.
    I think it's just a matter of Sam being confident in Bree's ability, so there's a smugness that comes with letting people underestimate her right before she smacks them upside the head. Also, it might not be the best battle strategy to start arguing back "She's really strong!".

    Also seems a little odd to me that Sam would be trusting Carlos to get done what exactly needs to be done.
    All Sam really knows about Carlos at this point is that he doesn't like Sam and that he's kind of a hothead. But as far as Sam knows, Carlos is good enough at his job. After all, his crew had managed to correctly determine that Mesprit was not at Lake Verity.

    All in all it was another good chapter. I found it a bit odd that Sam put so much faith in Carlos and the crew after so clearly showing his disdain for them, but that was it, really. The battle was well described and well balanced (I wasn’t expecting Sam to do spectacularly against the champion, after all) and the scene between the trio/Sam was bittersweet and hopeful, and fleeting, gone just as quickly as it came. I look forward to how Sam reacts to this situation and whether or not anything changes for him.
    Like I said, Sam and Carlos weren't buddies, but Sam had no reason to believe Carlos was not a particularly competent worker. Trust me when I say it's not a mistake Sam will be repeating (Sam and Carlos have a confrontation to start off chapter 16). I hope you continue to enjoy the story as it goes!


    Quote Originally Posted by Ememew View Post
    I’m a little confused by this bit, to be honest. If there’s no proof such pokémon exist, then why is it such a sensitive matter to discuss? I would guess it wouldn’t be seen as a taboo to look for something that might just be a myth, so is it because he’s afraid Sam would sound like a crazy person for looking for them?
    This ends up getting explained in chapter 14, I believe. Rowan is very particular about anyone having designs on the trio or Sinnoh's legends.

    A stroke was a good choice, considering what Sam wants to use to reverse the situation, but it does seem a little unusual for a 24-year-old to suffer one.
    I did some research on strokes before I wrote this (because I wasn't certain I was going to have Tommy's affliction even be a stroke at first). One of the reasons I went for it was because strokes are more common in young adults than people think. Especially under stressful, unhealthy lifestyles

    while barefoot and in pajamas. Nothing suspicious here! I enjoyed how the battle was written, too. Well paced. I always hate writing battle scenes (for Pokémon-based stories or otherwise), so I respect people who can pull them off well.
    I'd never actually written a pokemon battle before this story, so I'm pleasantly surprised at how not terrible I am at them. I was REALLY hesitant to have too many of them for most of the story, but I've been going to town over the last few chapters.

    I like the lighthearted, if guilt-tinged, interactions, but they can also be problematic for reasons previously stated. Maybe Sam catching Tommy in a moment of weakness (examples could be snapping when he’s annoyed enough or just venting his frustration when he doesn’t think Sam’s looking) and that might make him seem more rounded? Yes, we see how the situation affects him by his college grades and forlorn looks while he’s giving Sam the tour of the campus, but always shrugging it off positively until he can’t anymore just doesn’t seem realistic to me.
    People have mentioned this enough to the point where, sure, I guess I'm in the wrong with it, but still...I regret nothing. This is all told from Sam's perspective and memories, and it doesn't seem that realistic to me that he'd be thinking about the bad times or any of Tommy's faults. If your mom/dad/grandparent/sibling just died or was in a coma, you probably wouldn't be thinking "Boy, remember that time that he was a real jerk to me?". If the narration was not as attached to Sam as it is, sure; there could be scenes with Tommy making more mistakes in life, but it seems unnatural, driven by guilt as Sam is, that he'd be recalling Tommy in a less flattering light. But, like I said, that's apparently just me, and I'm keeping it well in mind going onward.

    Yeah, that’s all I have at the moment. Chapters 9 and beyond will be coming soon (probably). So far, I like how fleshed out the characters are, but I’m not sure on certain points, such as why Sam felt the need to ask Rowan to let him search for the legends beyond having someone else reassure him he’s not crazy for trying (which, I’ll admit, seems like a good reason for wanting to ask Rowan for help, it just could be better).

    Now that I think about it, teenage self-centeredness probably would be enough to keep Sam from noticing a lot of his brother’s struggling (along with Tommy’s tendency to try to hide this from his brother). I was referring more to his not realizing that Tommy was being overwhelmed at all by the situation rather than him going out of his way to provide for the pair. As for FullMetal Alchemist, I liked it/them (there are two anime series, one that follows the manga more closely than the first) for the most part.

    9 – 15 will be reviewed soon.
    I corrected the errors you noticed, and thanks for the compliments along the way. Yeah, everyone seems to be digging Barry; He's been MIA for a few chapters now, and I feel like all my readers are going to jump ship if I don't bring him back ASAP.

    The reason Sam went to Rowan was not to get permission so much, it was to see how much Rowan would assist him. Sam fully imagined that Rowan would just drop everything and leave his lab to help him find the guardians; obviously that wasn't the case, so Sam just took what he could get from there.

    I can see Sam probably having had to notice more. I'll keep that in mind for the future. Thanks!



    Quote Originally Posted by Zibdas View Post
    Finally found the time to read this! Sorry it's rather late, I'm unfortunately busy with school in a few days....
    And now we're at the climax. I just felt a chill. I'm not too good with words that ahven't been used, but keep it up!
    In regards to your PM, I personally rather like Brothers' Bond. Also, Boots of Human Flesh sounds like an old 80's horror movie.


    This bit confused me though.
    Thanks!

    and the bit that confused you is, I think, Carlos' broken "English". He's foreign, and not great at Sam's (and the Northern Hemisphere's) native tongue. He has a lot of problems with verbs mostly.



    Quote Originally Posted by gotpika View Post
    Chapter 8

    Hm.....not much to say. Not much of anything happened this chapter. Though we do find out a bit more about Tommy and Sam's past and we also learn about the shady group's actions back at Lake Verity. I wish I could say more but not much of anything happened significantly. I once again enjoyed Tommy and Sam's interactions and how you showed off how unselfish Tommy is. Dialogue flowed nicely and I'm getting the feeling of Cresselia or Darkrai appearing for some reason.
    Probably because that was in Canalave and on a boat. But no, no Darkrai or Cresselia...YET (and wow, Sinnoh has a LOT of legendary pokemon).



    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    Pfft, the Combine conquered the entire planet in seven hours. You can do better Kanto.
    Sorry, I couldn’t resist making a HL2 reference.
    I have no idea what HL2 is.

    A huge info dumping paragraph sort of, but I enjoyed it. It provided a great insight into the structure of the world in your story, and why it is that way.
    Yeah, it seemed like that section was not nearly the hit I was hoping for. No one seems to have enjoyed it very much on the whole (yea, others, like you, enjoyed the details, but not the section as a whole). Ah well, lessons for next time.

    Maybe he’s good at hiding his true motives like any politician or person in power does.
    I just don't think, as yet, that Mr. Alonzo is a very cut-and-dried individual.

    His reasoning is sound, actually. Is it poaching? Is it truly acceptable? Is Pokemon Training basically hunting? Is Mr. Alonzo truly a villain?
    He doesn't think he is.

    Oh no. I’ve scene this exact scenario many times, I’ve even considered using it in my own story. Using the Legendaries to solve humanity’s problems, stopping disasters, twisting around the very fabric of time to erase our mistakes, it will only lead to the destruction of the world.
    When you mess with the time stream entire futures collapse, pasts are corrupted beyond repair, and the present is plunged into unending darkness. Mr. Alonzo, you think the Legendaries will solve our problems? You are wrong.
    Yeah, I didn't think the idea was brand new when I came up with it, so it's my chore to make it a worthwhile read even if it's not exactly an unheard of concept. Hopefully I do a good enough job.

    Anyways, wow, this might be the one that effects the plot the most. Sam’s trust is Barry and the Professor is going to be pushed to the extremes, if not broken completely.
    Mr. Alonzo seems to have good intentions, but as we all know, they pave the road to hell.
    I'm glad that chapter had the desired effect.

    It makes sense, actually. That Team Galactic could be classified as a church of some sort. Cyrus had a doctrine that claimed that he could reshape this imperfect world, and people believed him.
    Obviously my story doesn't take place in the game canon world (see: the WPL, the lack of gym leaders, etc). It struck me that I should go a route with Team Galactic's history that is a bit more realistic and less goofy and nefarious. I hope it works.

    While it isn’t an entirely unexpected turn of events, it’s still kind of shocking to hear Sam siding with Alonzo mere minutes after he was convinced he was a villain.
    Desperation makes for strange bedfellows.

    And so, Professor Rowen becomes target one on Sam’s hit list. A great chapter, and a really great battle. It might have been that Barry wasn’t trying to win against Sam, but I found Sam’s victory kind of … I don’t know … empty.
    Yeah, Barry really had the fight in the bag until he sacrificed Monferno to help poor Chispa. And he was trying to calm Sam down and subdue him while Sam was [mostly] trying to inflict pain to Barry. If the fight had been on an even kiel, it would have gone differently. It maybe it will...

    Ah, the lovely side effects of public transportation. You’re not the only author I’ve seen criticize Sinnoh’s Department of Transportation. However, this story portrays it in a better light and not openly cursing its existence.
    I am LEGITIMATELY DEPRESSED that this is not the first fanfic you read that details Sinnoh's transportation (I don't necessarily see the bus Sam was on as PUBLIC transportation, but more of a private company like Greyhound. But I see what you mean).

    Yes, Sam. Attacking the elderly is not right. And I know you’ve already been briefed on this, but Snowpoint has no “e” at the end.
    I REALLY thought it did for a while. D'oh.

    I assume this is supposed to be the part in the story where the hero betrays the “good” side for the “bad”, but I’m not sure which side is which. Or if there is a clear cut “good and bad”.
    I think that in the "real world", good and bad are both very subjective concepts.

    That’s a pretty detailed memory Sam has, considering he only ever saw those pictures twice.
    Yes....that. Heh. I was trying not to spoil anything, but given how close the narration is to Sam, I probably should have (and heaven knows I've had trouble in other areas where I've wanted to keep things a secret from the reader by the narration has made it hard), I probably should have noted that Sam realized as soon as he saw the photos he realized what they might mean.[/quote]

    I wonder if we’ll see anymore of Barry? I’m sure we will, but there’s always the chance.
    Short answer: Yes. He'll be back.

    Again with the things that makes this unique, cell phone rates between regions. I mean, I have never seen another story even mention that.
    I went to Grand Cayman back in June and came across how terrified we were to use our cell phones, so this was still fresh in my mind.

    Also, as unpleasant as it is, racism/jingoism/prejudices are just SO prevalent in the world. I couldn't justify introducing all of these characters across continents and not have this kind of stuff come up. The world just can't be that idyllic.

    It wouldn’t be the first time someone threatened to blow up Celestic Town.
    Wow, I completely forgot that! But yep. Good point.

    I’ve never seen Cynthia’s grandmother as a professor, but it really makes sense.
    Another thing about this story that I love, everything makes sense sooner or later.
    The bit about Cynthia's grandmother being a former professor (and named Carolina) is from Bulbapedia. I didn't know it, either!

    You know Carlos, him and dynamite, you can’t keep the two away from each other.
    What can I say? He has a shtick.

    And I'm glad you dug the scene with the trio. That was hard to write because I knew how important it had to be. Sometimes, I re-read it, and I worry about Sam being too melodramatic, but what he said had reason behind it (first pleading to Mesprit's emotions and then to Azelf's willpower). I'm happy with the scene. Happy-ish. I can promise that Sam is done crying for a while (he'd done it a lot lately). He's getting harder and more of an edge...


    Sid87's Gen 6 Igloo Shop!

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  3. #128
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    Chapter 3: Present Day

    Sam sat in the lobby of Professor Rowan’s laboratory thumbing through the magazine selection on the small desk next to his seat. Newsweek, Linoone Fancy, National Geographic, World Pokemon League Illustrated, and Ponyta Dressage Today; nothing that really seemed to catch his eye. 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. He felt a shiver in the base of his neck that he was unsure if he could attribute to his nerves or the air-conditioning. Just as he had always heard, Sandgem had beautiful weather outside, but it could get to be stifling indoors where the breeze from Sandgem Bay could not penetrate. Air conditioning in this seaside beach town was much less of a convenient luxury like it would be at home in Goldenrod and much more of a life necessity. Every few minutes, he’d catch the fact that the foot crossing over his opposite leg was swaying rapidly. He’d stop it, but as soon as his mind wandered off, the appendage began gleefully oscillating again. After several tries of stopping it only to find it swaying again on its own soon after, he placed his right hand on it in an attempt to hold it in place. He nodded as if to motion that this would teach his errant foot for its impudence, and he went back to rooting through the magazines for something to catch his eye. He passed a men’s fashion periodical and again cursed himself for nixing the full suit.
    Ok, so being truthfully honest the opening didn't really get my attention, however the description is brilliant and I loved the little sentence about the air conditioning, it was a nice little touch, you didn't need to have it in the air but it flowed nicely with the rest of the scene.


    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.
    This was my favourite paragraph, you're capturing Bree's personality beautifully. She seems repetitive, like no matter what the consequence shell do it again, awaiting a different outcome. I also enjoyed the fact you referred to 'Rowans blinds' another nice touch. Your vocabulary is a nice wide rang too.

    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?’.
    I like how Vlam has a kinda stuck up personality, as it goes with her image well, but if being honest that was expected. Although, I don't like the fact you're telling Vlams feelings through Sam. Maybe show it more clearly through Vlams actions and expressions, like maybe have her shake her head as she stared at Sam, helplessly, unable to escape the immaturity. Just a thought.


    “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.”
    The ending gave a few mixed emotions to me, it kinda annoyed me how it took so long in the chapter to get to this point, although in fairness I did enjoy your description that lead up to Sam and Rowans meeting. What I wanna know though is why Sam has such determination for the legends, he literally needs them. Overall I thought it was an interesting chapter, could of moved faster, but at the same time I liked the build up, I hope I'm not being too picky aha, well done though!
    Last edited by LadyLady; 29th August 2012 at 12:22 AM.
    For everyone who likes stories you can read my first ever fan-fic here!


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  4. #129
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    From the prologue I got a strong impression that this story was going to be heartfelt. The relationship between the brothers is blatantly evident at the start; from the way Sammy looks up to Tommy, to his dependence on his brother to make their way out of the forest. As well as that you’ve also set up a conflict of interest in Tommy’s first capture based on social and family pressure, something that goes completely ignored in most initial captures. I also think that in having Vlam burn itself, it shows Tommy isn’t completely adept yet at training and emphasises his age and role as both a mentor to Sammy yet still a learner. Methinks I’m going to read this all today.

    In the first chapter I got from the very first use of his name that a lot had happened. Clever use of shortening his name down to ‘Sam’ as it removes the childish and inexperienced traits we knew him to have in the prologue. Upon mentioning the Dusk and Net balls I assumed who the Pokemon were but the confirmation at the end raised further questions and intrigue into what happened to the brother - excellent writing device, rather than immediately explaining it through Sam’s feelings and inner thoughts. I am particularly envious of your descriptions as you’ve certainly brought the city to life with little nods to customs, traffic, school etc. I would have liked to know what the nightmare was about but am willing to wait for that information as it builds up the mystery.

    And there was me thinking that something had happened to Tommy. Altogether a very heartbreaking chapter and we have yet to see the resulting emotions of their father’s death. Despite the sadness, you still manage to drop in a little comedy in the form of the gaming system lie which helps to keep balance and prevent it from becoming overly serious at all times. Don’t really have anything negative to say on this one – perhaps perfectly executed. Reading other people’s comments on the lack of the father’s appearance, I thought that the relationship between him and Sammy was quite distant, as if he spent a lot of time away from the brothers. Forgive me if I read it wrong but that was the impression I got, although I realise it isn’t explicitly mentioned. However, the reason I believe it to still be so gut-wrenching is because now we know it is just Tommy and Sammy. I guess if there was more inclusion of the father, it would emphasise the lack of him thereafter though. Sorry I’m playing both sides.

    To describe Vlam and Bree as sisters is quite an unusual tactic, one I wouldn’t have thought of at least. Definitely a great way to describe their relationship since their initial encounter in the prologue and perhaps paralleling that of Sammy and Tommy. I found the most engaging bit to be their interaction with the plant, described as if watching a wildlife show but with tame creatures. You treat them as characters rather than props which makes them realistic and with personality, which is why I disagree with another reader that they have to look different in some way. It is their character which sets them apart in my opinion.

    Tommy grinned. “Well I’m related to you, stinky.
    Tommy laughed and shook his head in disbelief. “Sam, you are cheaper and easier to feed for a year than most pokemon.
    I’m sure you’re aware but speech would start on a new line.
    Why do you do this to me?! You give us the fire stone with one hand and despite their dad’s death all is good in the world and then you take with the other hand and it all comes crashing down. Incredible writing device right there. I don’t know if it’s to come later but it might be interesting to witness Vlam’s reaction to Sammy handing the stone over to Tommy and Tommy talking about Zeek initially. I realise I’m way behind so it might not be of use to you.

    For your sake I might read through to the end without commenting and start from the latest chapter haha. They’re pretty much annoyingly perfect anyway.

    Also I must be on the PM list. It is essential to my continuing existence on this planet :P
    Last edited by energo; 30th August 2012 at 1:11 AM.
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  5. #130
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    Okay. I've read pretty much the entire story, and it was amazing, by the way. I promised that I'd review this fic earlier on, so I hope that this one is long and detailed enough to help you out:

    Prologue

    First off, I want to get this out of the way...

    “All right, fine. I’m going back home and telling dad you went all catatonic. No friend for you.”
    That is some very, very frightening foreshadowing, especially given what we learn later on. If this was intentional (which I'm thinking it almost certainly was), you did this incredibly well, and it's a perfect example of how a writer can tell everyone about a huge twist without really telling them anything at all. Major kudos to you.

    Sammy's thoughts on that other kid, Miah, are a very cool addition to this story as well as his thoughts on the so-called "bug-catcher" designation. It's good to see a main character (when they're a kid) in a trainer fic being portrayed as advertised.

    Tommy seems pretty impulsive. Wanting to battle Sammy right after he caught the Pokemon and using his Vulpix against it? I find it humorous and ironic that Sammy technically beat Tommy in this fight (even though he tried to gloss it over). Teenagers...XD

    Chapter One

    Hmm...there are two things that one could take from the sudden switch to "Sam". Either he's fully matured past his childhood...or he subconsciously wants to bury his past. Now that I've read the entirety of this story, I'm definitely thinking that it's the latter.

    I loved Sam's reaction to the receptionist being so disinterested in his friends. I can't blame her, though. She probably listens to many different trainers, and a lot of them aren't nearly as nice as Sam was. Customer service can be draining, and it's nice of you to portray that.

    Hmm...I'm curious about Vlam's motives. Maybe she decided to go with Sam in order to help her original trainer?

    Chapter Two

    Another short chapter...but very powerful. You did a great job by saying more with less. Officer Trufant seems like a chill guy as well. Pity that Sammy did see him under better circumstances. I shouldn't say this, but I'm glad that neither of them got to see their father before he died. If I were in their position, I'd rather remember him as he was rather than a shell of himself.

    Sammy's emotions were surprisingly realistic for this chapter. You've done a good job portraying him as a kid.

    Chapter Three

    Bree's attention span is like that of a kitten's or a puppy's. It's rather cute, I must admit. And Vlam's interactions with Bree are cute as well.

    So, Sam's father studied under Rowan as an assistant? It does make sense; the professors probably need a lot of interns to help them out. It also gives the medical background a story of its own, which is nice. It gives the reader something to think about.

    So Vlam trusts Rowan? Hmm...maybe Sam should listen to her instincts since they're usually right.

    And now the plot is starting to take form. Sam wants Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf...well, so do a lot of people. And not all of them have the motives that he has.

    Chapter Four

    Ha! Is that a reference to how pathetic and unpopular Flareon is in competitive battling (and how awesome and popular Espeon is?) If so, that was brilliant.

    Hmm...I get that Tommy's supposed to be a very likeable character and all, but this portrayal is concerning me. No, not because of the misconception that Tommy is a perfect character. He's clearly not...because there's no way in hell that a guy working as an assistant manager in a department store would have the funds to adequately pay for the costs of a young teenager and - to my count - at least six Pokemon, as well as cover the bill for Sammy's Pokemon. Let's not forget that a daycare would likely charge a fair bit of money to take care of even a single Pokemon, so Tommy's likely footing the bill for that as well. Oh, and there's university, the house bills, traveling costs, etc. Even dropping university wouldn't help with those costs. And we can't trust Sammy's perspective in this; Tommy seems like the type of character who would rather gloss over his problems and bumps in the road (hinted in the prologue when he denied that Sammy had beaten him in his first battle), especially when talking to Sammy, whom he deeply cares about.

        Spoiler:- potential theory:


    Chapter Five

    Heh. Sam just got himself into a huge political shitstorm. Some guy from Johto trying to take Sinnoh's legends, potentially by force? That's going to go over so well.

    Interviews after a match? Another nice bit of realism. Pokemon battles are the biggest sport in the world, so it makes sense that it would play out as other sports would in today's era.

    Migrane headache, involuntary movement, slurred speech...that's actually a very good depiction of the signs before a stroke. Sam's gone through so much tragedy in his young life...I truly feel for the guy. I'm not sure why he didn't at least ask if his brother was okay, though; it's a natural human reaction to ask someone if they're okay when they flinch in apparent pain. And given the fact that Tommy already had a migrane headache...it just shocks me that Sam wouldn't even ask if his brother felt alright.

    Chapter Six

    Okay...this is definitely scary. Sam showing signs of paranoia is not a good thing. When you have someone who thinks that everyone is out to get him (him thinking that his neighbors think he's crazy) and you give him the means to find out if it's true (Uxie says "hi")...well, that's a recipe for utter disaster right there.

    In other news, Chispa is so cute. Enough said.

    Barry's behavior in the beginning - and Rowan's - makes absolutely no sense. I'm sorry, but he just seems a bit OOC to me. He may be wacky, immature, overconfident, and more than a bit ADD, but he doesn't seem like the type to play pranks or insult someone's Pokemon. And there's no way Rowan would've let Barry on his staff if he was this immature. I don't care if he's the son of two people he respected; Rowan would've put his foot down long before that would've ever become a problem. It makes even less sense when Barry shows more of his personality in later chapters; he's almost a completely different person than the guy I'm seeing here.

    The nightmare sequence was rather...frightening as well. Obviously Sam feels an enormous amount of guilt; he believes that the stress of taking care of him caused Tommy's stroke, hence the "you did this". Very, very well portrayed.

    Chapter Seven

    Hmm...why does this situation remind me of companies using illegal immigrants as cheap labor? I'm already beginning to dislike the Phoenix Corporation...

    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.
    Minor grammatical typo. You want "its".

    Hmm...the battle scene was okay, but the pace seemed a bit fast. It's not a problem. It's more of an observation I had.

    Okay, I'm going to continue this in another later review. I just want to say that I'm truly enjoying this story and where it's going. I love the realism, I love the personalities you've crafted, and I love how you're portraying your main character. I'd love to be added to the PM list, if you don't mind. Either way, I'll be keeping tabs.

    Sincerely,

    Mem.
    CURRENT STORY

    A Time for Everything - Kalos has lived peacefully for far too long, following the ideals of the corrupt. It's time to change that... An AU of X/Y.

  6. #131
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    I've read all the chapters now and been mulling over the last chapter and I'm sorry but the interactions with Cynthia irk me a bit. I'm not sure if these events take part way through Cyrus' campaign or after he's defeated but at this point Cynthia would be the Sinnoh League Champion, no? Despite coming from another region, Sam is at least competent in battling and would be aware of such facts even if she is from another continent's league? It's like a football fan knowing the top players / managers of another country's team. And yet he is quite ignorant to who she is. Furthermore, being a Champion, her Pokemon have proven themselves the strongest on the continent, the best of the best. And yet the offhanded way in which her Snorlax and Garchomp are batted aside at the entrance of the cave by a group of Pokemon owned by some workers of the Phoenix company, in favour for swiftly bringing in the moment with Sam and the trio, makes them seem not that powerful.

    Also, if the Professor and Cynthia did want to protect the trio that badly, why would she play silly games with a trainer she could beat flat out? I appreciate you needed time for the workers to do their thing in the cave but it doesn't seem right that they'd waste that much time dealing with Sam. Up until this point I thought the story was pitch perfect. The fight with Barry was incredibly well done from a character perspective and motivations, even Sam joining the company made sense. I hope I'm not being too over critical.
    If you're interested in FanFic please read up on my new story: The T-Legend. Much appreciated.



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    Oh wow. Lots of stuff to reply to all of the sudden, so let me not leave you guys hanging. Thanks for all your thoughts, too!


    Quote Originally Posted by LadyLady View Post
    I like how Vlam has a kinda stuck up personality, as it goes with her image well, but if being honest that was expected. Although, I don't like the fact you're telling Vlams feelings through Sam. Maybe show it more clearly through Vlams actions and expressions, like maybe have her shake her head as she stared at Sam, helplessly, unable to escape the immaturity. Just a thought.
    I get what you're saying, and I'm usually more conscious (at least, I think I am) about "showing" over "telling", so I will work to keep this in mind.

    Thanks for the rest of your review, too! I hope you did enjoy the read.




    Quote Originally Posted by energo View Post
    In the first chapter I got from the very first use of his name that a lot had happened. Clever use of shortening his name down to ‘Sam’ as it removes the childish and inexperienced traits we knew him to have in the prologue. Upon mentioning the Dusk and Net balls I assumed who the Pokemon were but the confirmation at the end raised further questions and intrigue into what happened to the brother - excellent writing device, rather than immediately explaining it through Sam’s feelings and inner thoughts. I am particularly envious of your descriptions as you’ve certainly brought the city to life with little nods to customs, traffic, school etc. I would have liked to know what the nightmare was about but am willing to wait for that information as it builds up the mystery.
    I tend to strive towards giving fictional world a realistic touch that makes them feel like "Yes, I believe that this could actually happen." I appreciate that you enjoyed that.

    And there was me thinking that something had happened to Tommy. Altogether a very heartbreaking chapter and we have yet to see the resulting emotions of their father’s death. Despite the sadness, you still manage to drop in a little comedy in the form of the gaming system lie which helps to keep balance and prevent it from becoming overly serious at all times. Don’t really have anything negative to say on this one – perhaps perfectly executed. Reading other people’s comments on the lack of the father’s appearance, I thought that the relationship between him and Sammy was quite distant, as if he spent a lot of time away from the brothers. Forgive me if I read it wrong but that was the impression I got, although I realise it isn’t explicitly mentioned. However, the reason I believe it to still be so gut-wrenching is because now we know it is just Tommy and Sammy. I guess if there was more inclusion of the father, it would emphasise the lack of him thereafter though. Sorry I’m playing both sides.
    To me, it was always that Tommy was Sam's primary male role model. It's not that Dad wasn't there or wasn't important, it's just that Tommy was always the person he most looked up to. But yeah, I wrote myself into a corner by stressing Dad's role so much in the prologue that, despite Tommy being more important, I really SHOULD have included him. Lessons for next time.

    I’m sure you’re aware but speech would start on a new line.
    Actually, not necessarily. You can start dialogue with the dialogue tag or description first. Dialogue USUALLY starts a new line, but it's not a rule.

    Why do you do this to me?! You give us the fire stone with one hand and despite their dad’s death all is good in the world and then you take with the other hand and it all comes crashing down. Incredible writing device right there. I don’t know if it’s to come later but it might be interesting to witness Vlam’s reaction to Sammy handing the stone over to Tommy and Tommy talking about Zeek initially. I realise I’m way behind so it might not be of use to you.
    No no, it's very useful. I store advice and criticism away in my head to remind myself what to do later. As for witnessing Vlam's reaction: I'm a stickler for consistent narration, so with the story so firmly attached to Sam, it might be hard to figure out a way to show Vlam's reaction (but, admittedly, not impossible).

    For your sake I might read through to the end without commenting and start from the latest chapter haha. They’re pretty much annoyingly perfect anyway.

    Also I must be on the PM list. It is essential to my continuing existence on this planet :P
    Happy to add you, yes.


    Quote Originally Posted by energo View Post
    I've read all the chapters now and been mulling over the last chapter and I'm sorry but the interactions with Cynthia irk me a bit. I'm not sure if these events take part way through Cyrus' campaign or after he's defeated but at this point Cynthia would be the Sinnoh League Champion, no? Despite coming from another region, Sam is at least competent in battling and would be aware of such facts even if she is from another continent's league? It's like a football fan knowing the top players / managers of another country's team. And yet he is quite ignorant to who she is. Furthermore, being a Champion, her Pokemon have proven themselves the strongest on the continent, the best of the best. And yet the offhanded way in which her Snorlax and Garchomp are batted aside at the entrance of the cave by a group of Pokemon owned by some workers of the Phoenix company, in favour for swiftly bringing in the moment with Sam and the trio, makes them seem not that powerful.

    Also, if the Professor and Cynthia did want to protect the trio that badly, why would she play silly games with a trainer she could beat flat out? I appreciate you needed time for the workers to do their thing in the cave but it doesn't seem right that they'd waste that much time dealing with Sam. Up until this point I thought the story was pitch perfect. The fight with Barry was incredibly well done from a character perspective and motivations, even Sam joining the company made sense. I hope I'm not being too over critical.
    I'm going to temporarily skip Mem to address this since I was already just talking to you.

    I may not have made this as clear as I had intended, but my version of the pokemon world is NOT canon at all. I have the WPL in lieu of gyms/Elite 4/Champion, etc because, dating back to another point I made to you, I strive for realism. Little kids running around a continent battling weird gym leaders does not smack to me of a realistic world. But a professional, organized sports league? Makes sense. And while the WPL is "world", it is also distinctly separate leagues. So Cynthia IS incredibly powerful and successful, but Sam wouldn't know more about her than I, a fervent NFL fan, would know about the Canadian Football League or the [now-defunct] European NFL.

    Now, your point about her playing games with him. That's just an annoying truth of the pokemon world. Sam's not the kind of guy to use his pokemon against humans (GENERALLY, though his morals are fluid right now...), but with Vlam and Bree (and, I guess, poor Chispa), if he wanted to keep them out of the cave, he could have. So Cynthia has to fight him to get past him. Where I DO agree with you is that her starting with Mouri is a weaker decision because Mouri is a stall-wall, and if she was in a hurry, it doesn't make sense to use him. BUT I really wanted to write a Spiritomb. So don't tell anybody else. (I did realize halfway through that scene that if she was in a hurry, she'd have just thrown Garchomp out). I also don't imagine Garchomp and Snorlax being BEATEN at the entrance to the cave; just that there were about half a dozen guys in the cave, each with their own pokemon. So if they had 2 each on average, that's 12 against 2. Even then, I really only see the crew's pokemon doing enough to push Perang and Kelaparan out of the way; not outright beat them. Maybe I wasn't clear enough there, though.

    Thanks for the critique and the thoughts! They were insightful, and I will put them to heart!




    Quote Originally Posted by SilentMemento View Post
    Okay. I've read pretty much the entire story, and it was amazing, by the way. I promised that I'd review this fic earlier on, so I hope that this one is long and detailed enough to help you out:
    I'm certainly glad you enjoyed it, and thank you so much for giving it a read!

    That is some very, very frightening foreshadowing, especially given what we learn later on. If this was intentional (which I'm thinking it almost certainly was), you did this incredibly well, and it's a perfect example of how a writer can tell everyone about a huge twist without really telling them anything at all. Major kudos to you.
    I don't honestly remember if it was intentional or not. It may have been. But I've changed the story SO MUCH as I've gone that I'm not even sure the plan as of the prologue was for Tommy to be in his stroke-induced coma. But heck, let's say it WAS intentional and be really happy with me.

    Sammy's thoughts on that other kid, Miah, are a very cool addition to this story as well as his thoughts on the so-called "bug-catcher" designation. It's good to see a main character (when they're a kid) in a trainer fic being portrayed as advertised.
    I sometimes I feel bad that I dedicated as much time to Sam thinking about Miah as I have considering Miah does not appear in the story (YET!). I have gone through periods where I think he should, but I always then think that would be way too convenient and contrived. But I admit, I like the Miah thoughts, too.

    Tommy seems pretty impulsive. Wanting to battle Sammy right after he caught the Pokemon and using his Vulpix against it? I find it humorous and ironic that Sammy technically beat Tommy in this fight (even though he tried to gloss it over). Teenagers...XD
    Impulsiveness is a common family trait for them.

    Bree's attention span is like that of a kitten's or a puppy's. It's rather cute, I must admit. And Vlam's interactions with Bree are cute as well.
    I'll be honest, I LOVE writing Bree and Vlam (and later, Chispa). They're such disparate personalities that I like to try to bring across without actually giving them speaking roles (I have always seen pokemon in my head as extremely durable, powerful pets, and one of my favorite things about reading the fanfictions these past few months are the wonderful multitudes of representations of their intelligence and personalities).

    Ha! Is that a reference to how pathetic and unpopular Flareon is in competitive battling (and how awesome and popular Espeon is?) If so, that was brilliant.
    That's a good point, but I'm not as hip on the competitive battling scene as I'd like to be. Poor, useless Flareon.

    Hmm...I get that Tommy's supposed to be a very likeable character and all, but this portrayal is concerning me. No, not because of the misconception that Tommy is a perfect character. He's clearly not...because there's no way in hell that a guy working as an assistant manager in a department store would have the funds to adequately pay for the costs of a young teenager and - to my count - at least six Pokemon, as well as cover the bill for Sammy's Pokemon. Let's not forget that a daycare would likely charge a fair bit of money to take care of even a single Pokemon, so Tommy's likely footing the bill for that as well. Oh, and there's university, the house bills, traveling costs, etc. Even dropping university wouldn't help with those costs. And we can't trust Sammy's perspective in this; Tommy seems like the type of character who would rather gloss over his problems and bumps in the road (hinted in the prologue when he denied that Sammy had beaten him in his first battle), especially when talking to Sammy, whom he deeply cares about.
    I'm very glad you brought this up because it's CLEARLY an aspect that I knew in my head, but never got around to writing out. So I will take the time to explain it NOW in lieu of editing it into the story and saying "Uhhh...you missed it! Go back and re-read it!"

    Sam and Tommy's dad was a well-paid physician, and he had all the life insurance and 401K and what not that a typical medical job would have. When he died, the boys inherited enough money to help them get by for quite a while. Now, I'm not saying they're Bruce Wayne; they clearly aren't (but OH MAN. This story would be a LOT BETTER if they were!), but the house was fully paid for and they had money to cover the taxes and bills. They also have a lot of family friends (their dad's co-workers and what not) that have assisted them over the years. Now, despite this, Tommy knows the money isn't infinite, AND he knows he has to put on a good show for Sam and be a role model, which is why he works so hard (especially in regards to accruing more jobs as they age because the money is becoming more and more finite). Tommy, of course, gets himself into trouble because he doesn't want to rely on help from family friends or the inheritance as he gets older (he wants as much of the inheritance as possible to be saved up in case they need it later in life), so he overdoes it. But that's all shown later on.

    What, you mean I didn't include all that earlier? I actually thought I did, but it dawned on me pretty quickly that I obviously did not. Sigh.

    Interviews after a match? Another nice bit of realism. Pokemon battles are the biggest sport in the world, so it makes sense that it would play out as other sports would in today's era.
    I thought so.

    Migrane headache, involuntary movement, slurred speech...that's actually a very good depiction of the signs before a stroke. Sam's gone through so much tragedy in his young life...I truly feel for the guy. I'm not sure why he didn't at least ask if his brother was okay, though; it's a natural human reaction to ask someone if they're okay when they flinch in apparent pain. And given the fact that Tommy already had a migrane headache...it just shocks me that Sam wouldn't even ask if his brother felt alright.
    Thanks, I did try to do a bit of research on strokes (to make sure Tommy was age-appropriate or if I needed to go another route), so I am glad I was able to present them well. And yeah, Sam was always a little more self-centered than he would like to admit (his not realizing Tommy was working so hard he failed college). There's more than a little guilt driving Sam's present-day motives (as his nightmares might tell you).

    In other news, Chispa is so cute. Enough said.
    I know, right?

    Barry's behavior in the beginning - and Rowan's - makes absolutely no sense. I'm sorry, but he just seems a bit OOC to me. He may be wacky, immature, overconfident, and more than a bit ADD, but he doesn't seem like the type to play pranks or insult someone's Pokemon. And there's no way Rowan would've let Barry on his staff if he was this immature. I don't care if he's the son of two people he respected; Rowan would've put his foot down long before that would've ever become a problem. It makes even less sense when Barry shows more of his personality in later chapters; he's almost a completely different person than the guy I'm seeing here.
    I may just be copping out here, but I see Barry as multi-faceted. He's impulsive and silly and out-there, but he's not an idiot, and he knows to show up when things are important. But left to his own devices, he'd rather just be spontaneous and have fun. Not to mention, he was originally not enamored of Sam or the idea that someone was after the lake legends (due to his backstory, people with such goals aren't his favorite kinds of people, but he saw Sam as less threatening and less likely to achieve his goals than he ends up seeing Mr. Alonzo), so he was more than willing to screw around with Sam upon their initial meeting. Also, in regards to Rowan...well, there's a LOT of guilt there considering he feels responsible for Barry's being an orphan. And he also knows Barry is straight-laced enough to take the right things seriously when he has to.

    The nightmare sequence was rather...frightening as well. Obviously Sam feels an enormous amount of guilt; he believes that the stress of taking care of him caused Tommy's stroke, hence the "you did this". Very, very well portrayed.
    It probably says something about me that SO MANY of my characters are driven by guilt. Heh.

    Hmm...the battle scene was okay, but the pace seemed a bit fast. It's not a problem. It's more of an observation I had.
    No, you're totally right. Aside from the Bree/Vlam pseudo-fight in the prologue, this was the first pokemon battle I ever wrote, so I wasn't great at it. I like to think my subsequent battles have gotten better, but yeah...this one was totally short and unfulfilling.

    Okay, I'm going to continue this in another later review. I just want to say that I'm truly enjoying this story and where it's going. I love the realism, I love the personalities you've crafted, and I love how you're portraying your main character. I'd love to be added to the PM list, if you don't mind. Either way, I'll be keeping tabs.

    Sincerely,

    Mem.
    Happy to add you, and I'm glad you have enjoyed it thus far.
    Last edited by Sid87; 30th August 2012 at 12:29 PM.


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  8. #133
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    I Think this is a great fanfic. I can't seem to find grammar errors that other people haven't found though. I'm not that good at reviewing, so I will spare myself the torture. Can you add me to PM list?


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  9. #134
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    Okay, I’m back! I swear I at some point had quoted and commented on some parts of the first couple of chapters I had missed, but I lost them during the huge time delay, and figured that instead of procrastinating on coming up with comments for chapters I read weeks ago but never got time to comment on, I just decided to jump in commenting halfway through chapter 11.
    “Their actions cost me quite a substantial amount in equipment, to say nothing of the lost hours of labor or transportation costs. But sometimes that is just the price of business.” Mr. Alonzo leaned back into the couch. Sam nodded, but could think of nothing else to add. Mr. Alonzo switched gears. “You both have no doubt figured out that I’ve come here for the legends of Sinnoh, right?”
    Whoa! That was...direct. I definitely wasn't expecting that, so good on you there. I mean, we'd known all along that Sam and Barry were suspicious of a hidden agenda along those lines, but having it confirmed outright by this guy is another things entirely, and I can see this having the potential to thicken the plot considerably.
    "People talk about legendary pokemon, and we're talking about abilities that range from controlling the weather to manipulating time and space and everything in between. Think about how that could benefit humanity, gentlemen. We could stop storms and natural disasters in their tracks before lives and property are lost. We could erase our greatest mistakes from history; no more Century War and the hate it spread between our regions." Mr. Alonzo opened his arms wide in front of him as if to emphasize the scope of his ideas. "We could have perfect knowledge and understanding of the world around us. I've not come here to capture Sinnoh's legends or put them on display. I've come here to find them and get them to use their powers to benefit mankind. All of us. "
    Ah ha HAH. Now THERE is something interesting. This is one of my favorite story themes surrounding the Legendaries, and seeing it here is awesome. Also, mega kudos, because I'm honestly surprised by the lack of this theme in many other fics.
    "And those abilities are safer unmonitored in the wild?"
    :3 Mr. Alonzo, I do believe you are channeling the ideology of my fic 20 chapters from now.

    Oh man. Well, while you already knew it was a given that your characters had me engrossed in this story, you've gone and thrown in my favorite Legendary themes, so now I'm like...doubly hooked. Onward to the next chapter~!
    “And I told you,” Barry finally replied, his voice throatier than Sam had heard it before, “that they don’t belong to humanity.”
    Oh man, seeing the more adamant side of Barry now is really awesome.
    Barry’s left eye twitched, and he suddenly lost the ability to response to what Mr. Alonzo had said. Sam thought he heard a grunt coming from Barry’s clenched mouth.
    *Respond
    Wait, what? That didn’t make any sense to Sam; why wasn’t Barry shooting down the rumors about this Cyrus church thing? Why had his argument regressed to being about who the legends do or do not belong to? This guy had just accused Barry and the professor of some massive conspiracy, and Barry was letting it go. Barry and Mr. Alonzo were still debating just feet from Sam, but his ears weren’t processing the sound of their words. There was no reason for Barry to ignore the more important accusation there. Unless...
    I really liked Sam's thought process here as we worked out everything that was going on. It felt very natural, wheras a lot of authors might have just had the character figure things out immediately without showing how they came to that conclusion.
    The Shinx lifted her head out of a snow pile she had built and rubbed the excess flakes off of her nose with a paw. She yipped in apparent delight at Sam’s decision to use her and charged through the snow towards her target with her tail shooting off tiny bursts of electricity. As she closed in on Barry’s water-type, she flipped sideways and smacked her tail into Empoleon’s leg; it let out a noise that seemed more annoyed than pained. Chispa darted to the space between Emploeon and Vlam and spread its feet wide as it yelped repeatedly at the large penguin, warning it away from her friend.
    Awww. That...that's adorable. And kind of sad because she clearly doesn't stand a chance against them.
    Two aspects of the situation jumped out to him so abruptly, he wanted to smack his head for not seeing them before. Torterra had Bree grounded and pinned, but in doing so, its head was perilously close to Bree's. And while Empoleon may have been water-based, but its body had that metallic shimmer to it now; it had evolved into a steel coating. In most situations, that would be beneficial and protective, but against Vlam, it was a huge chink in the literal armor.
    It's awesome and refreshing to see a fic take the creative angle in Pokémon battles.

    *Finishes chapter and lets out a low whistle.* Daaannng. Not many fics have the strength to throw such a powerful curveball that splits the main characters like that. All of the characters' reactions were very natural and believable, too.

    “Coach T. said he spoke with Professor Nelson about my being excused from class so I can train for my qualifying match tomorrow.”

    Tommy nodded. “Well, coming to my work and pestering me is pretty strenuous training. I’m certain you have this one all wrapped up.”

    “Man can not survive on pokemon training alone.”

    “That’s cute. Did you learn that in class?”
    Damn it. Stop being so good at writing lovable banter between characters!

    ...Okay, I'm getting further in this conversation and HOLY CRAP HOW DO YOU WRITE DIALGOUE SO WELL. I mean, I consider dialogue one of my strong points, but damn I cannot fathom how you get every single line to be so natural, endearing, illuminating and quotable!

    And I just love how many parts of this fic have gone and addressed the real-world consequences of issues like using the power of the Legendaries.

    The conversation between Sam and Alonzo at the stadium had a nice atmosphere of tension about it, which worked well when paired with the Pokémon battle going on in the background, which provided a nice backdrop.

    And as silly as it feels, I have to cut this review short. And only one chapter away from being fully caught up, too. ><; I really want to get if posted though, since I hadn't reviewed in such a long time. I don't think I need to tell you that I'll be back soon, though. ;P

    ~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.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8/30/12: CHAPTER 7: “Into the Fire” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 8 progress: 9/12 pages


  10. #135
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    Well that was a blast to read! I just want to say that you have created one of the best non-canon pokemon worlds ever. I would give a review but I am very limited due to having to use a 3ds, so I'll just say thanks for writing this.

    PS. PM list please?
    FEAR THE WRATH OF THE MIGHTY WALREIN WHO IS MINE!



    Quote Originally Posted by a person View Post
    Again, N believed he would thrash your ass with his dragon, thus winning the ultimate duel of death and crap between truth and ideals. He had no idea that you would pull your own dragon out of the ass he expected to thrash.

  11. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi Pika View Post
    Okay, I’m back! I swear I at some point had quoted and commented on some parts of the first couple of chapters I had missed, but I lost them during the huge time delay, and figured that instead of procrastinating on coming up with comments for chapters I read weeks ago but never got time to comment on, I just decided to jump in commenting halfway through chapter 11.
    Happy to have you back!

    Ah ha HAH. Now THERE is something interesting. This is one of my favorite story themes surrounding the Legendaries, and seeing it here is awesome. Also, mega kudos, because I'm honestly surprised by the lack of this theme in many other fics.

    :3 Mr. Alonzo, I do believe you are channeling the ideology of my fic 20 chapters from now.
    Uh oh! It seems pretty obvious, though, right? And who's to say it is the wrong idea?

    I really liked Sam's thought process here as we worked out everything that was going on. It felt very natural, wheras a lot of authors might have just had the character figure things out immediately without showing how they came to that conclusion.
    My biggest regret so far is that I didn't just do this story as first person to show more DIRECTLY Sam's thought processes more often, but oh well. I enjoy getting to do it when I can.

    Awww. That...that's adorable. And kind of sad because she clearly doesn't stand a chance against them.

    It's awesome and refreshing to see a fic take the creative angle in Pokémon battles.
    I love everything Chispa does. And thanks!

    ...Okay, I'm getting further in this conversation and HOLY CRAP HOW DO YOU WRITE DIALGOUE SO WELL. I mean, I consider dialogue one of my strong points, but damn I cannot fathom how you get every single line to be so natural, endearing, illuminating and quotable!
    ~Chibi~
    I try really hard to write witty, believable dialogue. So thanks for noticing and appreciating.





    Chapter 16

    Sam was determined to make the trip back to Canalave City as miserable as he could for Carlos. It was not even a small percentage of payback for what Carlos had cost him, but it was the only way Sam could stop himself from putting his own fist through the windshield in frustration.

    “First of all, I have no idea why you went in there and decided to set off explosives. That had to be the dumbest damn idea I can imagine. You think you’ll find three skittish, hiding pokemon, and your genius solution is to try and blow up half the cave. You’re a god damn idiot. Then--then!--when you get out of the cave after we were actively trying to keep you inside so you could maybe not ruin everything ever, you charge ahead like raging Tauroses and scare them away a second time. And that time, for good. So yes, now they’re gone, and we have no idea what our next move is. Congratulations, Sideburns! You’re the worst person in history.”

    Carlos snorted. “We thought they was attacking you.”

    “Oh, you’re about five seconds away from seeing what an attack looks like so next time you’ll know.”

    Carlos pumped hard on the breaks, jerking Sam forward into his seat. The seatbelt jammed into Sam’s sternum, pushing the air out of his lungs and bruising his chest. Sam realized that Carlos did it out of aggressive frustration--some kind of manly posturing to show Sam he couldn’t be spoken to that way--so Sam reached into his pocket as a threat.

    “Do it. Come on, Sideburns. I’ll give you a hint, we already played this game, and--spoiler alert--you lost. But go ahead and threaten me. I could use a big, dumb idiot to bang my pokemon against for a few minutes. Let’s go.”

    Carlos, who was breathing heavily and audibly, glared at Sam for a few seconds before simply clearing his throat and turning back to the wheel. Sam was quietly thankful; he was more angry than he could ever recall being before, but once Carlos’ crew realized their foreman was being attacked and came to back him up, Sam would really not have liked the way that confrontation ended. For the moment, though, he had successfully alpha male’d Carlos, and that would have to do.

    “God, I can’t wait to tell Mr. Alonzo how this went down. I hand him the guardians’ location on a silver-freakin’-platter, and then it all goes to pot. Everything’s screwed up, and I--” Sam felt an air pocket in his throat and knew he needed to redirect his emotions before he showed weakness in front of Carlos. “Damn it!" He slammed a fist down onto his side of the dashboard so hard, it knocked their walkie talkie free. Not wanting to acknowledge his outburst, Sam scooped it off of the ground without a word and placed it back.

    Sam turned to stare out the window at the feeble guardrail and the valley below. He would not be in Canalave for several hours at best, and the last thing he wanted was to be once again cooped up in that truck with Carlos. He had been so close; the trio had been right in front of him, and they seemed to be willing to help him out. Over a year of searching had brought a solution to his fingertips, and it was gone again to who-knows-where over the bumbling of some idiots with whom Sam had been stuck. Sam rubbed his eyes so hard that when he pulled his fingers away, black spots danced in front of him. The construction crew made Barry look like a baron of foresight and careful planning; when Sam got back to the Phoenix Shipping Corporation offices, he was going to insist on a new group of men to work with, or he was going back on his own. The choice might have been out of his hands anyway since he no longer had anything to offer Mr. Alonzo in exchange for their help (help of course being a term used extremely loosely in their case). Now that the guardians were on their own, Sam had no insight into where they could possibly be.

    His mind flashed to the girl and her grandmother. Who were they? Cynthia’s Spiritomb was amazingly strong, and the strategies she used were nearly flawless. On top of that, she had wrecking balls like a Garchomp and a Snorlax? Crazy, he thought. Sam wondered if she was in the Sinnoh division of the WPL, and, if so, if that was how hard the championship tiers were. He knew Bree would be disappointed that she did not get to battle, even against a monstrosity like that Garchomp. She hated not getting to be involved, and the next time he released her, he knew she was going to be high-strung and still battle-ready. He felt the multitude of pokeballs bulging in his pocket and wondered if any of Barry’s pokemon would have fought for him should it have come to that. He suspected the high-energy, affectionate Monferno might have, but Empoleon and Torterra were bigger x-factors. It was probably for the best to keep them all contained for the moment. Eventually Sam knew he’d have to make his way to Twinleaf Town and drop the three of them off. At the moment, he could not bring himself to think of facing Barry, though.

    Sam remembered the empathetic feel of Professor Carolina’s hand on his shoulder. It was not just the guardians that felt Sam’s anguish and came to trust him in his moment of pleading. The lady who had just moments before been so forceful and aggressive with Sam felt something, too. He took a look at Carlos, his face full of sideburns and a scour. Sam could not help but think he had made the wrong choice leaving Celestic with the crew with which he came. But no...he could not have stayed behind with Carolina and Cynthia; no matter whether they were sympathetic to him or not, they were firmly entrenched with Rowan’s belief that the legends were to be protected from humanity. They would never help him find them again. Mr. Alonzo was still the only real avenue Sam could pursue. He would have liked to have depended on the professor and her lovely granddaughter, but they would surely only seek to dissuade Sam from his purpose. Just like Rowan.

    Sam’s head felt full, and the fog going back down the mountain hid the sun successfully enough that it felt much later to him than it was. His eyes rebelled against his attempts to keep them open, even as he considered how unwise it might be to doze off with Carlos around. The world of thinking about how close he’d been to getting the trio and whether going back with Carlos to Canalave was the right idea just seemed too arduous at the moment, though, and he let his eyes win.

    When they opened again, the first thing Sam noticed was the large cranes. He thought he’d somehow slept all the way to Canalave and its piers, but he also knew he could not have been that tired. When he looked over to Carlos for a clue, he saw that traffic on the other side of the road was a string of dump trucks. A look out his passenger side window showed him a large, rocky hillside with what seemed to be a covered waterslide jutting out of it. The tube was propped up on the outside of the hillside by reinforced pillars and disappeared off in the distance behind the tree line. Sam’s sleep-adled brain finally recognized it as a coal pipeline. They must have been in the coal-mining town of Oreburgh. Sam surrendered himself to a yawn as he tried to regain his bearings after the uncomfortable truck nap that left him feeling worse than he did before.

    “I thought you would sleep all day,” the man next to him said.

    “It felt like I did,” Sam responded, his anger from earlier feeling less important while his mind continued trying to find its focus. “Oreburgh?”

    “Yes.”

    “So we’re close to the strait then,” Sam noted rhetorically. It was going to be a chore getting all of the Phoenix Corporation equipment back onto a cargo ship just to get across to Canalave, but it was hardly his concern; Carlos and his men would handle that. Sam briefly wondered if they resented him for that but discounted the thought. It was probably fine with them that he did not touch anymore of their stuff. They tended to end up in fissures or at the bottom of the sea when he did.

    Sam’s eyes wandered back out his side window. They stared up past the nearby mills’ smokestacks that rose into the Oreburgh sky. He resented the steam and smoke they released as he looked to the clouds. The odds were slim that he would see the guardians here (and he knew even calling the odds “slim” gave them far too much credit), but he knew he had to look. They were somewhere, after all... why not right above his convoy? With no conversation to be had from Carlos, Sam lost track of how many minutes he’d watched the sky. Occasionally he’d catch sight of a Starly or some other bird and think it was one of the trio before realizing his folly. Sam sighed as he lost sight of the world above him because the truck entered the Oreburgh Gate Tunnel; how long would it be before he saw them again? Would he see them again? These were pokemon that only a handful of people had seen in the last several centuries, and Sam was hoping to find them twice in his life. He knew it was unlikely, but what other choice did he have? He’d given up too much to quit now. The hope that he’d find them was almost all he had left.

    Sam’s phone rang when the truck was mere feet inside the tunnel; it was Rowan’s name on his display again. Sam thought it over--Rowan did not seem the sort to call just to mock him for failing to get the legends. Maybe Professor Carolina told Rowan about Sam’s encounter and what she witnessed; maybe Rowan knew now that Sam’s heart was in the right place. He decided to answer.

    “Professor?”

    “Sam? Sam, you answered. Thank goodness. Sam, we need to talk.”

    “Is this about Celestic Town? Do you know what happened?”

    “Celes-- --No, I-- --were even there--.”

    “Professor? Can you hear me?” Sam began speaking more loudly into his phone. This caused Carlos to give him an annoyed look. “I’m in the Oreburgh Gate, and I’m losing you. Can you hear me?”

    “Yes, I-- --you. Is something-- --hear me?”

    “I’m in the Gate! Oreburgh Gate! I can barely hear you!”

    “Well I’ll-- --then. I-- --voicemail and I need-- --Barry-- --home. He-- --and I-- --is. I don’t think-- --with it-- --Phoenix--”

    “Professor Rowan, I have no idea what you’re saying. I--damn it.” Sam put a hand over the transmitter end of his cell phone. He was going to ask Carlos if they were almost through the tunnel, but then it occurred to him: Professor Rowan was not calling about how Sam had gained the trio’s trust at all. He was talking about Barry and the Phoenix Corporation. He was just calling to talk Sam out of this again. No faith. No trust. Just another lecture. “Are you still there, Professor?”

    He heard Rowan still talking right through the question. Rowan must not have been able to hear Sam any longer, either. “--please, I-- --help and-- --care for-- --doesn’t deserve--” Finally, Sam’s phone emitted a beep, and he knew the call was lost entirely.

    He growled as he pocketed his phone again. If the professor was not going to be helpful, why couldn’t he just leave Sam alone? Sam looked out ahead of the truck; the tunnel seemed to stretch for miles.

    “You lost your call?”

    Sam nodded, though he was initially shocked at Carlos’ words. He could not tell whether Carlos was mocking him or simply asking a question. He decided it was not worth challenging him. “Yeah. Didn’t matter, though. Whatever.”

    The tunnel did eventually end, of course, but Sam never got the return call he was expecting. He briefly considered calling Rowan back, but he figured it was not worth the hassle to put himself in position for the likely scolding. Without any more calls, the ride continued in silence as they passed through the crowded streets of Jubilife City. Ever since he had arrived at Jubilife Airport weeks ago, he’d only felt more and more hopeful with every passing day. It had been a roller coaster climb of anticipation he had been on, and the pinnacle of it was Celestic Town. Unfortunately, when he reached the top of the track, he found that there was no station in sight where the roller coaster would end. There was only another rapid descent with his heart in his throat. Sam tried his best to ignore the city and continue looking upwards and around the skyscrapers for any sign of the legends.

    When the route west through Jubilife City was halted by a broken down city transit bus, Sam began wondering what bus deity out there resided in Sinnoh, and why he hated Sam so much. Carlos sighed angrily and repeatedly sounded the horn from his truck. Angry foreign voices shouted through the walkie talkie, and Carlos responded to them in kind. For all Sam knew, they were exchanging pie recipes; everything in their native language sounded harsh and bitter. Getting a headache from their roaring voices, he opened the passenger side door.

    “Where do you go?”

    Sam waved his arm ahead of them to the stalled bus and the Jubilife police officers arriving on the scene. “Who knows how long we’re going to be stuck here, but I’m kind of over the whole sitting-in-a-truck thing. I’m just stretching, Sideburns; don’t worry. I shouldn’t be far.”

    Sam distanced himself from the crowd on 8th Avenue that had gathered to gawk at the bus and the mayhem of traffic it was causing. He pulled his three pokeballs from his pocket; Vlam and Chispa should have been healed enough by being in their energy stasis, but Sam wanted to make sure. He could always buy them medicine now that he had time to kill. With three squeezes, his friends emerged to the street. Bree cut rapidly through the air in a zig-zag pattern; just as Sam expected, she still had plenty of energy to burn, despite having been in stasis, since she had been so psyched up to battle the Garchomp. Vlam’s legs and tails were stiff, and she sniffed the air with determination. Sam felt guilty that the last few times she’d been free from her ball were to battle, and now she was apparently beginning to expect it. He promised to himself to give them all more time free to relax. Chispa was, as usual, nonplussed by anything that had previously happened to her, and immediately began assailing a pebble she found on the sidewalk. She swatted it a few feet away and then wriggled her rear end and pounced onto it.

    “Are you girls okay?”

    Chispa’s attention was grabbed first; she immediately forgot about her enemy pebble and rushed to Sam’s legs, winding herself between them. Bree chirped a response in the air, though the sudden, darting movements of her antennae told Sam she still thought the Garchomp was around. Vlam let out a huff of air and did a circle on the sidewalk before lying down.

    “It’s okay, Bree. You’re okay. No one is here. It’s just us, okay?”

    Bree tilted her head and hummed abruptly. Apparently settled somewhat, she flittered towards Sam and settled on his shoulder. He coughed as a smattering of her spores invaded his sinuses. He flicked her wing gently to get her attention. “You’ve got to be careful with those things, little girl.” He wiped away water that was welling in his eyes as a reaction to her scales, and she rubbed her round head against his in a form of apology.

    Chispa nipped at his ankle, probably upset at the lack of attention from him. He leaned down, careful not to shift his weight so much that Bree fell from his shoulder, and scratched the back of her neck. Doing so increased the pace at which she was intertwining his legs. Chispa and Bree seemed contented enough, but there was something off about Vlam. She lay inattentively on the sidewalk, moving only enough to look from left to right and let out a yawn.

    “All right, what’s the matter with you?”

    Vlam dodged Sam’s attempt at getting into her line of sight by turning away from him. He moved over to where she shifted her head, but the fox pokemon turned to face the other direction. She was clearly giving him the silent treatment. “Oh, whatever it is, I’m sorry,” Sam sighed. “Just let me know, okay?”

    Vlam slowly pushed up to her feet and butted the crown of her head into Sam’s left pocket. He felt Barry’s pokeballs bobble there. “Is that what it is? You want to see Barry’s friends?” Vlam continued staring intently at him. Sam shrugged. “All right, fine.” He reached in his pocket with mild trepidation; he had no idea how Barry’s pokemon would react to him. Still, it was not as if he was gambling on their battling for him, so they should be safe to just let free for a bit. With a gentle squeeze to each red-and-white sphere, he released them.

    Monferno emerged much like Bree had, with his head shooting from left-to-right and obviously wound up. He seemed disoriented at first, but upon noticing Sam, that faded. He leapt upwards, causing Sam to have to catch the fire-type in his arms to avoid a collision. Monferno grunted in a high voice and patted Sam’s face. Bree, seemingly perturbed by Monferno’s playfulness, flew off of her trainer’s shoulder. Barry’s Empoleon and Torterra were apparently less excited to be with Sam. They each stood stoically next to the other shooting Sam looks that he could only discern as unpleasant disdain.

    “So... hi there.” Sam rubbed Monferno’s chin more for the benefit of Empoleon and Torterra than for Monferno. He wanted them to see that he was not an enemy. “Sorry that you haven’t been out for a while.” Empoleon replied with a throaty cackle that didn’t sound happy and caused some of the on-lookers to turn their heads to them.

    Sam contemplated saying something else, but before he could, he felt a paw swiping at his leg. He looked down to find Vlam staring up at him. “Be my guest,” Sam said to her and moved his hand towards Empoleon and Torterra. Vlam walked over to Barry’s pokemon and barked softly. They were unfazed. She tried again, this time brushing her tails gently against Torterra’s leg, but again was given no visible reply. A third attempt to communicate something to them was met with a loud growl from the immense tortoise, and Sam decided that was enough. He recalled Torterra and Empoleon into their balls.

    “Sorry, Vlam. I know you were trying, but they clearly weren’t buying what you were selling.” Vlam cooed in response and wiped her muzzle with a paw. Monferno, at least, was not swayed by his family’s reaction; he continued crawling around Sam’s shoulders and trying to find a comfortable position. “I’m going to get you guys back home, I promise,” Sam pointed out to the fiery monkey, “I just need to find the opportunity. I’m not sure Barry would love seeing me right now.” Monferno grinned and clapped his hands together, and Sam could only assume he was just happy to hear his trainer’s name.

    A few yards ahead of him, he could see that the bus was finally mobile again and was getting pulled off the road. He promised the four friends around him that when he was out of the stuffy truck, he’d let them free again and recalled them into stasis. With that, he rushed to the truck before Carlos could leave without him.





    Brief Author's Note (because this is apparently a thing I do now): This chapter was originally going to be longer, but I didn't like the scene-break that occurred at this point, so I just cut the chapter off here and started the next scene at Chapter 17. Ah well. This chapter does feel short, and I might regret the separation, but it felt right at the time.
    Last edited by Sid87; 24th September 2012 at 4:23 PM.


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  12. #137
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    How did Sam get barrys pokemon?
    FEAR THE WRATH OF THE MIGHTY WALREIN WHO IS MINE!



    Quote Originally Posted by a person View Post
    Again, N believed he would thrash your ass with his dragon, thus winning the ultimate duel of death and crap between truth and ideals. He had no idea that you would pull your own dragon out of the ass he expected to thrash.

  13. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwarleyMosby View Post
    How did Sam get barrys pokemon?
    It happened back in chapter 12 at the end of their battle:

    Sam, moving quickly towards Barry, had no intention of dignifying that question with answer. All he knew was that with every word Barry had said, the inside of his head felt hotter and hotter. He knocked the pokeballs out of Barry’s hands and picked them up from the snow while his former partner issued a cry in protest.

    “How does it feel to have something you love taken from you?”

    “You’re just--”

    “Yeah. I am.” Sam pressed his chest against Barry‘s and glared into his eyes.


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    Aww. I can't help but feel sorry for Same regarding their reaction, but still... he's not terribly likable, you know?? Stll, I enjoy your wordplay and shall look forward to reading this more in the guture~

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    Oh, look! I do still exist! Sorry it’s been a while since my last post here. I’ll just jump right in where I left off.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    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.
    When I re-read this sentence, I realized it was ok, but it threw me off the first time I read it. Maybe adding a “that” where I indicated above would prevent confusion?
    If Sam were to be honest with himself, he was thankful for Chispa’s misbehaving
    Sort of similar situation here. I think that it might work better if you said “… he would realize he was thankful for Chispa’s misbehaving . . .”
    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.
    Aww, Chispa’s cute here.
    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.
    The longer you go without action, the more second thoughts start to settle in. Well captured.
    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!
    Hmm, maybe a bit of a transition between waking and realizing Chispa’s missing would help here? Perhaps something like “Sam thought for a moment. Something seemed different from when he must have closed his eyes” before he realizes the Shinx has wandered off? There isn’t much transition between the two thoughts as it is.
    “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.”
    More to suggest that Barry isn’t just your run of the mill professor’s aid.
    “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.
    The broken English (Sinnish? Kantoan?) threw me for a second, as I was expecting the next speaker to be Barry rather than one of the foreigners. That’s probably the intent, but it might help to add that the voice belonged to someone unfamiliar in the same paragraph he speaks in, so you don’t accidentally leave a reader wondering where Barry’s grammar skills went to all of a sudden.
    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.
    Poor Barry. Wonder if it’s good or bad for Sam to be around someone as or more impulsive as himself?
    Barry summoned his Torterra, as well as a third friend that Sam hadn’t seem 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.
    Seem should be seen, easy typo to make. And the third Sinnoh starter now takes its turn to shine.
    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.
    I’m not sure if this counts as advice or random musings on my part, but maybe mentioning the birds in reverse-evolution order (Swellow first) might add to the idea that Sam doesn’t remember which is the evolved one’s name? Saying them in the correct order by coincidence still gets the point across, so maybe it’s just me overthinking it.
    Vlam came to a halt from her rapid-fire offense and belched a sofa-sized fireball into the sky.
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen that move described that way before. Something about “sofa-sized fireball” amuses me.
    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.
    You appear to be missing a space after stiffened.
    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.
    It’s just one thing after another, huh? Poor guys.
    “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.”
    This exchange was fairly amusing, but there are a few typos in the description of the action, a double a and an it that should be its.

    Also, good luck getting Sam on a boat ever again after Surf hit. First seasickness, now this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Chapter 10
    He set his dishtowel on the rack next to the sink and turned the knobs to the stop the water pressure, but the water didn’t let up; he tried again, but the knob just spun loosely in his hand. The water was unstoppably filling the sink, and he knew soon it would fill his home. The drain wouldn’t be able to handle the deluge, and it would overflow and fill the kitchen and then the living room and then whole house and then his lungs—
    Ok, looks like another dream. Let’s see where this goes . . .

    Sam agreed. Now that his brother was dead and awake, Sam could start going to school again. He would tell Miah Vanderbelt that Tommy came back to him, and no one in Miah’s family would do that for Miah. That would really get him good.
    The bizarre non-reaction to the situation is probably what makes it so creepy.
    He rushed up the stairs and turned the bathtub on; it seemed to take a long time to get the water temperature right. No matter how much he fidgeted with and manipulated the knobs, the water still came out extremely cold. Sam studied the water pouring out of the tub faucet. It reminded him of something from earlier, but he couldn’t remember what. He tried to think...after he came home from school, he did the vacuuming. What else?

    “Is the water right?”

    Sam was startled out of his thoughts by his brother’s words. He ran his hand under the spout one more time. The water was warm now. “Perfect,” Sam answered. He turned the water off and hopped over the wall of the tub into it. His hand scooped water up and run it over his other arm, rubbing it clean through his shirt sleeve.

    “Is it making you clean?”

    “It is. I feel a lot better, Tommy.”

    “Is it washing away your sin?”

    “What sin? What are you--”

    Sam’s words were cut off by Tommy’s hands around his neck. His brother’s face was flush with red now, and his pupils were tiny. His blonde hair was completely disheveled. Arched eyebrows punctuated his rage. “You forgot about me!”

    Sam tried to argue that he never did, but Tommy’s hands cut the words off at his throat and they died there, unspoken. His brother continued, “You were supposed to stop me from dying, but you didn’t! You went all the way to another country because you promised me you’d get the legends, but instead you went chasing after that bird.”

    The bird. Sam remembered now. Tommy made him promise to catch the legendary pokemon, but he forgot about it and started trying to find it instead. The legendary pokemon would have woken Tommy up from his coma; what would that stupid phoenix have done for either of them?

    Tommy’s hands forced Sam under the bath water, and the tub spout was running again. There was too much water above him and too much weight pushing him into it. All he could see as he looked up was Tommy’s malice weighing him down. Sam wondered if he’d still be able to see Tommy now that he was dead.
    And now I’m reminded that between Canalave and Snowpoint lie the Full Moon and New Moon islands. It’s probably not the best idea in the world for a guy who has nightmares to travel past Darkrai’s domain.
    Sam sat up suddenly and gulped the air around him. He swallowed one sharp breath followed by another, followed by another. There wasn’t enough air in the white room to fill his lungs; he needed more! Something... there was something in his nostrils. He yanked the plastic tube out with force; it was coming between him and the air that he needed. He needed all of it. Sam heard words, but they were nonsense. To his left, he saw Barry. Barry’s mouth was moving and words were coming out, but none of it made any sense to Sam; the speech was garbled and hollow. Rowan’s assistant’s head turned and he began shouting his echoing gibberish to someone else. Several people in white uniforms flooded his vision and pushed Sam flat back onto the bed in which he lay. These were the same people that couldn’t help Tommy back home, and they were here now to not be able to help him, either. He just needed air; he just needed to breathe, so why were they resisting him? Something pricked Sam’s arm, and he felt his opposite hand slap one of these people. They were trying to put him back to sleep; they were trying to take his air away. Sam wanted to continue swatting at them, but there must have been weights attached to his hands now, they were so hard to move. The people positioned the object back into his nostrils while Sam begged them not to. He heard one of them start counting, and then Sam’s world faded to black.
    Pretty good way to show Sam’s disorientation.
    Barry nodded. “I might have underestimated the potency of that wave attack back on the boat.” Barry let out a chuckle and rubbed the back of his head. “It knocked the whole thing over on its side. I had Prinplup--” Barry paused and looked upward for just a moment before meeting Sam’s eyes again. “I guess that’s ‘The Artist Formerly Known As Prinplup’ at this point,
    *groan* Good pun, Sid87, good pun.
    “Think nothing of it. Hey, did you catch that part where I oh-so-subtly hinted that my Prinplup evolved after all this? It was awesome! I mean, he did beat, like, fifteen pokemon at once. Oh, and you. He beat you, too, I guess.”
    Barry’s so helpful.
    The thought of Barry’s pokemon shocked Sam to attention and reached down to where his pockets should have been. He found only the warm skin of his thigh, uncovered by his hospital gown under the bed sheets. “Where are my balls?”

    Barry froze, his tongue caught beneath his teeth, staring at Sam reaching downwards under his sheets. A smile spread across his lips. “... Heh heh...”
    “… Heh heh… “ indeed.
    Sam wanted to reply, but what could he say? This was important to Professor Rowan, and the professor had already done so much to help Sam. He set Sam up with Barry, he gave him the rental car and supplies, he treated Sam’s mad plan with respect after it was explained to him. And couldn’t these two plans come together? Sam could always come back to Lake Acuity later if he needed to. Until then, going with Barry could only ensure the safety of the third of the guardians, Azelf. Really, what was the downside of continuing on with Barry?

    “You forgot about me!” The words from his dream earlier echoed in his mind. Sam rationalized to himself that it was not that he was forgetting about Tommy--he was doing this for Tommy, in fact. The goals were not mutually exclusive.
    Something tells me this won’t be the last time the goals seemingly conflict.
    As Sam filled in his insurance information, he wondered if any insurance company in the world would ever touch any children that he might ever have. He imagined his family’s last name would be on every insurance company’s blacklist for the next three generations. We’re sorry Mr. Stark, an insurance company would tell his hypothetical son, but apparently car accidents, strokes, and falling in the ocean are all pre-existing conditions in your family.
    I chuckled.
    “Did I tell you Prinplup evolved?” Barry called out from the other side of the door as Sam pulled his polo shirt over his head.

    “You actually did.”

    “It was pretty awesome. It beat, like, twenty pokemon at once.”
    Barry’s estimation of the number of pokémon Prinplup beat seems to be growing. Well, that’s in character, all right.
    “Come in; I’m dressed.” Sam winced at offering that. It made it sound like there was a perpetual valid concern that he might not be.
    Sam second-guessing his words and actions is becoming a trend too.
    The man blinked slowly and bobbed his head. “No, I’m afraid I forgot to give it. My apologies. I am Henrique Alonzo. I am the President of Phoenix Shipping Corporation.”
    Something tells me the plans Barry was making for him and Sam were just put on hold.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Chapter 11

    It was pretty basic as far as world history goes.

    Sometime around three hundred years ago or so, the country of Kanto was the first civilization on the planet to learn that pokemon could be both efficiently captured and trained to work with humans. The Kantoans discovered the process by which they could transform pokemon into high-frequency, unstable energy that could be contained in a mechanical orb that would harmonize the energy signature and keep the creatures in stasis. It was all very technical and would require a science class to understand rather than a history lesson. As pokemon were brought from out of the wild and into households, it was found that the energy stasis aided in relaxing them and making them more peaceful and pliable to working with humans.

    Well, humans being humans, Kanto barely had time to take a deep breath with their new friends before the Premier of Kanto decided that the best way to use this new technology was on a national defense level. Pokemon may have been living creatures, but they were creatures with tremendous offensive potential, as well as hides that were highly resistant to many of the weapons of the day. Within a few decades, Kanto had a huge militarized pokemon force. There was an Air Force of precision Charizards, flying through the skies with more maneuverability than the most advanced jets of the age and blasting pure flame at their enemies. Then there was a Navy of raging Gyarados, able to withstand and attack from the harshest depths of the ocean and swimming circles around helpless submarines. And this was to say nothing of an infantry of Machamps and Gravelers, shredding tanks into heaps of scrap as artillery bounced off their massively powerful bodies. The Kantoan armed forces became the world’s most dominant power overnight by ignoring mechanical weapons and using instead the ones with which nature had surrounded us.

    Johto was quick to accept the offer of annex that Kanto had offered. Being close to Kanto in both proximity and relations, they knew what kind of military force the Kantoans had at their disposal, and they happily agreed to peaceful surrender into what would become Kanto’s burgeoning empire. After that, Kanto turned its eyes to the rest of the northern continents and launched an invasion next on Sinnoh. The history books would tell you that war lasted thirty-eight days and was more than a little one-sided. It was such an overwhelming and popular victory that General Rayner, who oversaw the action, was swept into office as the next Premier of Kanto after Premier Jordan retired.

    It was apparently said back in those days that the Kantoan empire spread around the north more quickly than water from a spilled glass across a countertop. So many countries deferred without a struggle, it was debated throughout the history texts as to what even constituted an official war or battle. It was not until Kanto turned its gaze southwards that it encountered its first true resistance.

    As tales of the limitless Kantoan military force circulated the globe, the southern continent of Hoenn began work on its own pokemon armed forces. They had struck an alliance with the resources-rich region of Unova, and were able to develop their own pokemon technology in a fraction of the time it had taken Kanto so many years before. When the Northern Empire began moving south, Hoenn was able to strike back at them with a ferocity they’d not yet encountered. Not only was Hoenn suddenly a near-equal military foe, but they had species of pokemon at their disposal that the North had only sparingly seen before.

    The Century War was the name given to the hundred-plus years of relatively endless battles between Kanto and its Northern Empire and Hoenn and the United Southern Continents. It was said to have been the most brutal war in the history of the world, no doubt helped by the fact that quite a few unsavory characters came into power during that time. Premier Gardner was a brute who came into power midway through the century and was known to order the torture of southern prisoners in order to extract information. President Stewart of the south had a penchant for sending attacks to areas densely populated with non-military personnel in an attempt to terrorize the north into turning on their leaders out of fear. The casualities, of both human and pokemon, were innumerable.

    Fortunately, most of these vicious ploys backfired. As Kanto and Hoenn continued a war in which neither side made much progress in expansion, new philosophies were quickly spreading throughout their citizens. The idea that pokemon were living, feeling creatures that should not be used as tools of war was taking hold in the hearts of the public. When the empire started, people had only known pokemon as wild animals, but when the technology to catch and train them became more widespread, humanity found these creatures to be powerful, yes, but also smart and empathetic. What started as a few sparsely-attended meetings would turn into government petitions and then into large-scale rallies. The populace decided they wanted the pointless war they grew up under to end, and they wanted pokemon free from their shackles as military weapons. On both sides of the equator, politics became inundated with people who shared these new progressive lines of thought, and the world started changing, even if slowly. The war between north and south lessened and finally came to a halt with the signing of the Scott Treaty--named for Premier Scott who proposed it--and Kanto granted independence to the regions under its empire that wanted it. Pokemon were taken off of the battle field and put back into the wild, as well as in households, sanctuaries, and stadiums where they could enjoy playful, sanctioned battles under the watchful eye of medical professionals and rights activists.

    Still, even though the military actions had ended, there was still tension between the northern and southern continents. Hate and prejudice doesn’t tend to quite fade away, even after so many decades; it stays simmering, just beneath the surface. The two sides maintained strictly separate cultures and traditions. Tourism was low between the hemispheres due to the harassment foreigners faced in each region. The World Pokemon League only sparingly had special events between northern and southern regions since riots were so frequent. Society on a global scale may have shifted towards a peaceful and progressive attitude, but individuals were still very full of insecurities and distrust; despite the new age of enlightenment, the separate regions sometimes seemed like they were still worlds apart. That was why it was so odd to Sam.
    This is a very interesting and well thought out history of the pokémon world. The Gyarados Navy seemed particularly frightening, especially in light of what a Prinplup’s surf can do. However, I’m not sure about its placement here. It’s a fairly lengthy bit of background, but only the lingering distrust between Hoenn and the southern areas and northern areas like Sinnoh pertain directly to the scene at hand.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the long version and would hate to see it just scrapped for just a brief bit of info relevant to the current scene, but I think the long version might be better saved for an “Extra” (like an appendix or something similar) than be in the middle of the story like this.
    Sam thanked the President of the Phoenix Corporation for the comment, and Mr. Alonzo turned out of the room. Barry began to speak, but Sam shushed him; it was ridiculous to think of a successful businessman leaning over to listen at doors, but Sam imagined this was the kind of man who would do anything it took to get what he wanted. A minute passed, and then two, before Sam finally broke the thickening silence.

    “Well that was odd.”

    “I was going to ask if you two wanted to be alone for a second there. What was with all the playing nice-nice?”

    “It’s the old ‘honey versus vinegar’ concept.”

    Barry stared at Sam and wore a vacant expression. “What?”

    “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. It pays off more to be nice than abrasive.”

    “I am not familiar. Why are we catching flies?”

    “It’s not... we’re... it’s just a saying--”

    “You know what catches the most flies? A fly swatter.”

    The fly swatter analogy was actually a pretty good metaphor for Barry, so Sam merely nodded in reply.
    And that pretty much sums up Barry’s idea of tact.
    “So, seriously, why are we actually going to his place when we openly agree it’s a trap? This is a dude who’s catching flies. What’s he using?”

    Sam rubbed his chin with his thumb. “Well, he was nice to us, so he’s using honey. According to the saying.”

    Barry shook his head. “Are you sure you have that right? Like, shouldn’t it be bees? Bees want honey. Not flies.”

    “No, bees make their own honey; they don’t want honey. It’s like...you don’t have to go out and get hair. You make your own.”

    “Bees make honey like people make hair?”

    “That analogy really got away from me. Look, I didn’t make the saying up. I can’t answer for it.”

    “It’s a dumb saying.”
    This continues to be amusing. Although I wonder if the pokémon world might use a Bug-type pokémon in this metaphor rather than flies. I guess the use of the saying establishes that there are also real-world animals in this fic-verse, but the importance of pokémon in the world might lend itself to sayings about attracting . . . wait! Is there even a housefly pokémon yet?
    “Oh.” Sam went back to ruing the snow in his shoe. When he was young, around Barry’s age, he’d started keeping track of all the things he’d do if he ever got elected to power. The list was simply for fun, as Sam had never had any political aspirations, and its contents were haphazard. He’d periodically rule on matters like banning certain foods he didn’t like and making television programs he did (but felt were underrated) mandatory viewing. He hadn’t thought about that list in years, but his mind flashed to it here; he decided he would make snow illegal. He could already feel the dampness pooling at the bottom of his sock and wrinkling the flesh on his toes.
    Good luck with that one, Sam.
    In Snowpoint, no one can hear you scream, Sam thought.
    And now I’m reminded of an NPC in Snowpoint who informs you that it’s quiet there because the snow swallows up sound.
    “May I offer you both something to drink?”

    “Vodka on the rocks.”

    Sam soured his lips at Barry in disapproval, even though he was mostly sure his partner had been joking. “We’ll both take coffee; that’d be great. It's pretty cold out there.”
    Still amusing, Barry, joke or otherwise.
    “My men are not quite as well-versed in your language and culture as I am. Not to mention that most of their interactions here in your country haven’t been ideal. They are threatened a lot. They get screamed at that they are stealing jobs from the people of Sinnoh. When they go shopping for supplies or groceries, store clerks follow them around as if they would steal anything they could fit under their shirt. They’ve gotten used to everyone’s default reaction to them being racism and jingoism.”

    “I’m very sorry to hear that,” Sam said, and he was. His trip to Sinnoh hadn’t been marred by any of that, but then again, he didn’t know what it was like to look and speak differently than the citizens there. With Mr. Alonzo presenting these facts to him, Sam remembered he'd always heard others say that people from the Hoenn area were thugs and criminals…did he let that color his actions when he encountered them?
    A very realistic way of introducing these themes into the story.
    Mr. Alonzo switched gears. “You both have no doubt figured out that I’ve come here for the legends of Sinnoh, right?”

    Sam nearly choked on his own tongue; He and Barry had certainly suspected that, but to have Mr. Alonzo so freely admit to it was beyond what he’d imagined. What a brazen thing to say, Sam thought. “We… well… yeah. We kind of figured that, of course, but—“
    I think Sam’s reaction pretty well mirrors the readers’ thoughts. It’s surprising when a character is this direct about something of such magnitude.
    “You’re aware that poaching legendary pokemon is illegal, right?” Barry spat, “Why would anyone just come out and admit to that?”

    "Poaching?" Mr. Alonzo, the pitch of his voice rising. "No, not even close, Mr. West. Let me ask you a question: When a farmer needs assistance raising his crops, is it poaching when he catches a Gloom to encourage their growth? When a demolition crew catches a Rhyhorn to help them tear down a building and remove rubble, is that poaching? Or is it poaching when a hospital uses an Audino to heal an injured person's minor bruises or superficial injuries?"

    Barry raised an eyebrow. "That's three questions."

    "Pokemon are a huge part of our daily lives. But we don't even know all about them. We have pokemon that transport us to our jobs. We have pokemon that work on construction sites to help us build. We have pokemon that battle in stadiums to entertain us. But these are just rudimentary day-to-day duties. They do these things because they are strong or because they can manipulate plants, sure. But what about the legendary pokemon?"
    So I take it that this fic-verse presents legendaries as less godlike and more like really powerful, really rare (possibly endangered) species? Pretty good way to present that.
    "People talk about legendary pokemon, and we're talking about abilities that range from controlling the weather to manipulating time and space and everything in between. Think about how that could benefit humanity, gentlemen. We could stop storms and natural disasters in their tracks before lives and property are lost. We could erase our greatest mistakes from history; no more Century War and the hate it spread between our regions." Mr. Alonzo opened his arms wide in front of him as if to emphasize the scope of his ideas. "We could have perfect knowledge and understanding of the world around us. I've not come here to capture Sinnoh's legends or put them on display. I've come here to find them and get them to use their powers to benefit mankind. All of us. "
    I heard of some path . . . it’s supposed to be paved with good intentions. Where did it lead, again?
    "And those abilities are safer unmonitored in the wild?"

    "Considering that, historically, the legends basically just putz around on their own, hide, and not mess with us? Yeah, I'd think so. They don't go around using their powers on a whim, so they're probably a lot smarter than we are."

    Sam watched as Barry and Mr. Alonzo went back-and-forth. What was Barry saying? Wasn't he with Sam to help him get the lake guardians so that Sam could heal his brother?
    Pretty decent counterarguments between these two, though I expect Barry’s youth and relative inexperience to be his undoing in the argument. It’s easy to see how Sam’s doubts are setting in against his previously trusted partner, too.
    "Your view of what these pokemon could mean to the world is awfully short-sighted, Mr. West."

    "And your view of how gracious and well-meaning humanity would be in the face of these possibilities is awfully wrong-sighted."
    Yep. Barry’s not exactly coming off as a seasoned debater, while Mr. Alonzo’s years of practice are beginning to shine.
    Mr. Alonzo tilted his head down and smiled. Slowly, he shook his head a few times as if he were pardoning himself from engaging in a verbal battle with Barry. "I see your point of view, Mr. West, don't get me wrong. And I also get that you must feel very confident in expressing it. After all, you and Professor Rowan have had the legendary pokemon of Sinnoh hidden away and protected for quite some time now, haven't you?"
    You can almost hear Sam’s current train of thought coming to a screeching halt in order to process this new information.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Chapter 12

    Barry was unflinching. “Well, rumors. I guess if you’ve heard some rumors then there’s no way you could be refuted--”
    At least Barry recovers quickly . . .
    “We started hearing about the Church of Cyrus.”

    Barry’s left eye twitched, and he suddenly lost the ability to response to what Mr. Alonzo had said. Sam thought he heard a grunt coming from Barry’s clenched mouth.
    . . . or at least until correctly provoked. Alonzo’s done his research, it seems (and possibly into Sam’s background as well, as this information seems designed to divide and conquer). So if this doesn’t take place in the usual canon universe, how did the events of Cyrus and the Spear Pillar play out?
    “Yes, that. We know about that. And, what’s more, Mr. West, we know that after that affair, you and Professor Rowan hid the legends to protect them. Now, I would never blame you for that, son.” Mr. Alonzo place an arm around Barry’s shoulders; Barry’s face recoiled at the act, but he did not physically resist it.
    Placed is missing the d at the end.
    Henrique and Barry both froze mid-sentence and turned towards Sam. Their widened eyes showed that each man thought Sam’s quiet accusation was referring to him.
    Or maybe it wasn’t divide and conquer after all, and just a lucky coincidence?
    Sam’s sense of reason fled him, and he charged Barry. As his shoulder drove into the young assistant’s stomach and crash them both through the door to his cabin, Sam thought he heard Mr. Alonzo let out an exclamation of shock. It didn’t matter. All that mattered was what Barry knew. His legs continued driving himself and Barry several feet from the door before finally slamming Barry down to the snow-covered ground. He dug his fingers into Barry’s wild blonde hair to hold him in place.
    Crash should be crashed.
    Sam’s rage deepened at Barry’s confession, and he moved his hands down to Barry’s face, grabbing at the skin around his eyes and nose and mouth. “You saved my life! You pulled me out of that lake! And for what? So you could lie to me some more? So you could keep me from them?” His fingernails dug into Barry’s skin.
    Ouch. When Sam snaps, he really snaps. Just ouch.
    Sam ignored Mr. Alonzo; he had nothing to say to him at the moment. He instead walked a few feet away and plucked Barry’s pokeball out of the snow.

    “Thanks, I guess. Sam, we can talk about this.”

    Sam shoved the ball into Barry’s chest. “Let it out.”

    “What? Why?”

    “Let them all out.” Sam pulled his own Nest, Dusk, and Luxury balls from his pocket.

    “What is this?”

    Sam looked over to Mr. Alonzo and decided to answer his question this time. “This is my wanting to kick his teeth down his throat but knowing he’s not even a legal adult yet.” He squeezed Bree’s ball once with his right hand and did likewise to the balls of Vlam and Chispa in his left, bringing all three of them out into the snow. “Do it!” he shouted to Barry.
    I can certainly see why Sam feels so betrayed, but he seems . . . I don’t know. . . I’m not sure such a quick burst of anger would still be going this strong at this point, after the initial energy’s been let out. It’d probably have settled into a cooler rage by this point, rather than asking for another fight.
    “Man, Sam...I didn’t mean to trick you.”

    “Oh?” Sam laughed openly, “please, tell me how you tricked me by accident then, Barry.”

    Barry winced at those words and must have realized that was a stupid thing to say.
    I like how even though the narration is tied to Sam you can sort of guess at Barry’s thought process beyond what Sam’s interpreting here.
    “Yeah? Well, life is full of disappointments.”

    The words stuck in Sam’s ear and reminded him of something someone told him fairly recently. “Your professor once told me that life is full of changes in plans. Right before he sent me out to look for something that he knew wasn’t even there. Like an idiot! While my brother,” Sam’s fists balled as the full meaning of what Rowan told him washed over him, “is drooling on himself and dying! So you tell me...the fact that you won’t help me save him, is that a bigger disappointment or change of plan?”

    “Damn it, Sam.”
    Just the repetition of similar words drives the betrayal in deeper, well written.
    What was that supposed to be, Sam thought. Was Sam supposed to be thankful now because Barry had saved Chispa? Was that supposed to somehow make up for the fact that he had doomed Tommy? Not even close. The mere thought of it incensed Sam; did that kid really think that Sam would call the battle off if he saved Sam’s friend?
    Wow, Sam’s even interpreting Barry’s rash actions as more manipulation, huh?
    Sam felt a twitching in the back of his neck. Was beating one of Barry’s friends in battle going to bring Sam back? Of course not. “Ignore him and do it, Bree!”
    I think you meant Tommy there.
    Bree, who used the momentary distraction of the stun spore to sneak in close to Torterra, zipped frantically around the large tortoise’s head. While flying in a crazed pattern, she shrieked a high-frequency pitch. Something about the sound did seem to be causing Torterra great agony; it lowered its head and tried in vain to cover its ears with its massive, yet unwieldy, legs. Frustrated and in agony from its failure to protect itself from the Butterfree’s assault, it let out a pitiful roar. Bree seemed to have the situation well in-hand until a fast-moving dart of water crashed into her wings, sending her crashing to the ground.

    Sam glanced over; he had been so engaged in Bree and Torterra that he had temporarily forgotten Vlam and Empoleon. “Vlam!" he called out to his brother's closest friend, “tackle Empoleon!"
    Good thing Barry was similarly distracted, or the Vlam and Empoleon fight would probably have already been over.
    Sam waited until Empoleon turned all the way around and positioned its weight to lauch the water dart. He had it where Vlam wanted it.
    launch
    “Vlam, fire blast!”

    Vlam’s tilted her head back, then stretched it forward in a shot. An orb of fire flared from her mouth, gaining size and power as it combusted with the oxygen in the air. Despite the fireball’s intensity, it was possible that Empoleon would have been able to neutralize it with a water attack, but now that it was turned away from Vlam, it would have no chance to get the leverage it needed to launch an attack powerful enough to do so. The fire attack collided with Empoleon’s side, and the water bird squawked in pain. The flames were heating up its metal exterior, no doubt causing great agony. Barry recognized this immediately and summoned it back into its pokeball.
    I like the way you described the way Steel’s fire weakness works.
    “All right, did you get that out of your system then?” Barry asked, withdrawing Torterra from the snow.
    Barry, that was quite possibly the worst timing for such a question. Don’t remind him that he’s mad at you when you’re out of pokémon.
    Sam, moving quickly towards Barry, had no intention of dignifying that question with answer. All he knew was that with every word Barry had said, the inside of his head felt hotter and hotter. He knocked the pokeballs out of Barry’s hands and picked them up from the snow while his former partner issued a cry in protest.

    “How does it feel to have something you love taken from you?”

    “You’re just--”

    “Yeah. I am.” Sam pressed his chest against Barry‘s and glared into his eyes.
    Uh . . . Sam? Sam, what are you doing? I get that he’s angry, but the theft sort of comes out of nowhere. I’m not sure that it doesn’t work, but I’m also not yet sure that the scene does, either.
    Sam looked from Mr. Alonzo to Barry and then back to Mr. Alonzo. “Do you really think you can use the legends to help people?”

    “Man, Sam, don’t...”

    “I do, Mr. Stark. You heard what I said, and I meant that. There are pokemon in the world that can fix so much of what’s wrong with the human condition.”
    There’s something not-quite-trustworthy about Alonzo’s reaction to Sam’s side-change. It could be read as him wanting to be agreeable so Sam doesn’t fight him too, but he seems a little to calm about the whole ordeal. Yes, he seems like someone to keep an eye on.
    “Get him home,” Sam said, pointing to Barry. “He lives in Twinleaf Town. Just see that he gets home from here.”

    Mr. Alonzo looked over at Barry and scrunched his lips. “I suppose I can do that, yes.” Barry was still shaking his head, but he did not look up. “What are you going to do now?”

    Sam sighed. “I’m not sure yet. But I know that for as mad as I am at him, Barry’s just a kid...just an assistant. So there’s somebody else who owes me some real answers before I make my next move.”
    Looks like Rowan’s going to have some explaining to do.

    I enjoyed these scenes. You manage large, multi-pokémon battles pretty well and introduce the points of contention – race relations and the debate on the ethics of using legendary pokémon – believably. My only main concerns with this group of chapters are the placement and size of the history of the pokémon world within the story and the thoroughness of Sam’s defeat of Barry (i.e. the claiming of his pokémon as the spoils of victory) being somewhat unprecedented in terms of what we know of Sam thus far. That’s all I’ve finished up to for now, but I’m still impressed by what I’ve seen.
    Oh, look! I wrote a fanfic! Weak (One-Shot. Rated G). Can Iris convince Bianca that she can't just avoid her problems?

    And another one: Mischief (One-Shot. Rated G). A little fun for October.

  16. #141
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    May 2007
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    You think you’ll find three skittish, hiding pokemon, and you’re genius solution is to try and blow up half the cave.
    “your genius solution”

    Sam felt an air pocket in his throat and knew he needed to redirect his emotions before he showed weakness in front of Carlos.
    I find it interesting that Sam seems to think weakness can only be shown through words. I would argue that being so angry at the hands of someone else could be a sign of weakness as well, especially for a man.

    Over a year of searching had brought a solution to his fingertips, and it was gone again to who-knows-where over the bumbling of some idiots with whom Sam had been stuck.
    “with whom Sam had been stuck.” Sounds a little too formal for the rest of your informal writing. Keep things simple.

    He took a look at Carlos, his face with full of sideburns and a scour.
    Remove “with”. I also like how you keep pointing out this guy’s sideburns, LOL.

    Sam’s eyes wondered back out his side window.
    I think you meant to say “wandered”.

    Vlam and Chispa should be healed enough by being in their energy stasis, but Sam wanted to make sure.
    “should have been”

    Sam felt guilty that the last few times she’d been free from her ball were to battle, and now she was apparently beginning to expect it.
    Don’t know why, but I really like this part. It shows how much Sam cares for his pokémon and also makes me wonder how many pokémon out there really react like this.

    Overall, the chapter was enjoyable. You portrayed Sam's anger well, and you're moving the plot along well with Professor Rowan's mysterious phone call and with Sam trying to figure out what to do next. It was also nice to see the pokemon out again, the scenes are always cute and fluffy.

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


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


    | love and other nightmares |
    | limited time, limited abilities. kyurem says she can be cured in exchange for saving those who need saving. |
    | chapter 3 released 11/22/14 |


  17. #142
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    Feb 2012
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    Sorry it has taken me so long buddy

    Chapter 12

    “Mr. West,” Henrique smiled softly,
    Lmao I'm really starting to like him. That small smile probably cut through the air like a knife when he did it. Nicely done on setting the tone of the chapter with little actions like that

    Barry’s face recoiled at the act, but he did not physically resist it.
    Like what I quoted above, this adds somepower to what's going on. Nicely done. Henrique is obviously well informed, almost clairvoyant by Barry's reactions. Not only is this opening up things about Barry that I wasn't thinking about, but it obviously is going to place some turmoil on his relationship with Sam. I'm intrigued

    Sam’s sense of reason fled him, and he charged Barry.
    Haha, exactly. That reaction didn't surprise me, but I got closer to the screen when Sam started getting physical. Nicely done

    It hurts clear through to my soul, though.
    I'm not sure if I'm in love with that phrasing. Hurts down to my spirit, to my core, to my being - those I think would have sounded a little better. I know you're not meaning anything religiously metaphysical here, but that's what my mind flashes to for some reason lol

    Bree began zipping out of the sky to help her sister,
    That phrasing though, I really liked. Obviously it shows the bond between Bree and Vlam, but it also speaks volumes to how YOU see the characters. You can see their closeness and the bond they have even though they are different species. I mean, they're going to get close over time, but Bree thinking that way made me realize that their bond goes much deeper than I previously imagined.

    The battle was well written and actually perfectly timed. Any longer would have dragged, and I salute your knowledge of type effectiveness in the heat of battle and directing the Pokemon's moves accordingly. Sam kind of channeling Tommy in the midst of the chaos helped him quite a bit, and to be honest I didn't think he had it in him to slow down and analyze the situation. He was so charged up and acting on adrenaline when he attacked Barry, that once the battle started I was sure that he was going to lose. You surprised me with the outcome in a good way. Calling point to the fact that Chispa is too young to be a real threat was a realistic touch as well. This battle definitely ranks high in my favorite battle scenes you've done

    Chapter 13

    Sam had been considering calling Tommy’s boss one of these days and reminding her of all the overtime and hardwork Tommy had been putting in, but he also didn’t want to embarrass his sibling or speak out of turn.
    I liked that you called attention to that awkward social situation. I know the line you're referring to when you wrote that all too well. It's a very weird line to tread when you know someone deserves something while at the same time putting away your personal feelings about the subject. Nice touch

    “Really, a shrug? Did you just turn fourteen again? Use your words.”
    LMAO, that cracked me up. It really seemed like something Shelton would say haha. It's moments like these that you really hammer in the core of your story. The relationship between Tommy and Sam, especially in heartfelt funny moments like these really shine brightly, at least for me. Nicely done

    Our entire human race had succumbed to racism and greed and pride.
    I'm not sure if I would have used those words as examples as to why Humanity deserves to be ast away. Consumption, Genocide, lack of Empathy, Intolerance, Religious segregation, Violence, Self-destructive attitude towards nature and others, Pollution, etc, I believe would have been better examples., at least for our world. Your version of things might be different, but if you're drawing on examples from our world, it may have been better to go a little deeper. I can feel the gravity of what Rowan is trying to convey, but the words he uses there kinda throw me off. Hope that makes sense lol

    It’ actually what he wanted.”
    Should be it's

    This was one of the chapters involving Sam and Tommy's backstory that I liked the most. There's a film called "Gone in 60 Seconds" that really reminded me of Sam's feelings for Tommy; the film focuses on a man trying to save the life of his brother. I don't know if you've seen it or not, but there's this one portion near the end where the cop that's been chasing the main character throughout the film lets him go. The guy asks him why he's doing it, and the detective responds, " A brother's love, is a brother's love."

    Chapter 14

    It was fast becoming Sam’s experience that they would be more than happy to transfer him. First there was another, equally-unhelpful, receptionist, then the disinterested floor manager, and then, most recently, some idiot in an office with a nonsense job title.
    Lmao, see Samsung's customer service hotline. You're really good at describing situations that annoy most people with uncanny accuracy. Nice work

    “But why haven’t they returned, is what I’m saying. It’s because he had to leave them with someone. Someone who would guard them and convince them to stay. And for him to do that...”

    “It would have to be someone the professor trusts. Someone close to him.”
    I'm totally with what's going on with Sam and Henrique right now, but you've written the battle scene with the Kadabra and Rhydon so well that I can't help but wonder what's going on with them. I know in a bit you touch back on it soon, but as I played their conversation out in my head, a lot should have happened on the battlefield and I couldn't stop but wondering what was going on. I know that what Sam and Henrique are talking about is important, but you may think about adding some snippets of the battle between their dialogue

    Sam joining up with Henrique was unexpected, which was probably what you were going for, and it's something I should have seen coming, but it surprised me nonetheless. Part of me is still somewhat taken aback, but I also think that that part is still underestimating what Sam is willing to do to help his bother. I like t

    Chapter 15

    Of course it was Sideburns
    Lol, nice way to start off the chapter. Not only does it give me the visual of the guy with four foot sideburns, but it helped me to set the tone for this chapter

    “Leave it here in our little pull-off. If we need it, we come back and get it. But how about instead of going in and dynamiting the hell out of everything, we start off with some old fashioned looking around?”
    I love the parallel between Sam's forward thinking and Sideburn's 'I don't give a ****, go with the flow atitude'...If they end up staying together for awhile I can see some funny situations arising.

    Cynthia shook her head slowly, as if in pity, it occurred to Sam.
    OMG he has no idea what's coming. Lol, if your version of Cynthia is like the one I've always had in my mind, she could trash all of them without batting an eyelash. I'm glad you decided to include her.

    Literally wanted to punch my laptop in the face when Carlos and crew came out just when Sam was so close. I know it had to happen for the fic's sake but still, you built that up wonderfully and yanked it out from under me in fantastic fashion. Their descriptions and traits are just how I imagined them to be with your story and I was pretty impressed. Sam opened up more to them with his words than I would have thought, and I love how he forgot the chaos going on all around him in order to try and get their attention. Obviously they were having a pretty intense conversation between each other in their minds, and to be honest that's what I can't stop thinking about. I wonder what they said about Sam or the situation in general. Maybe you'll touch on that later, but at the same time I liked that you didn't so I can make my own suppositions.

    Chapter 16

    Tauroses
    I see what you're going for here, but I think you can leave it as just Tauros. I think. If I see several deer in the road, I don't say, "Hey, look at all those deers!"

    Hmm, this chapter was shorter than the one's that followed it, and while I liked it quite a bit, nothing really stood out for me enough to comment on it. I know why you need chapters like this; to bridge the gaps between important events. Rowan's call has me wondering what's going on, and to be honest I was pretty sure that Empoleon was going to impale Sam on one of his head spikes when he was released, but I'm glad that I was wrong on that one. To me, the portion that stuck out the most in this chapter was Sam thinking back about Cynthia. Not only was it intricately described, but it spoke volumes to the inner desire of Sam not just to save Tommy, but to battle, in the literal aspect and on the emotional plane. It's almost like he's associating that strong trainer with what he mentally feels like he's up against.

    And caught up. Keep it up

    An Ancient Treasure, a Terrible Price. Take the Risk, Eat the World
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  18. #143
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    Okay, I'm back to review the remaining chapters. Looks like I have a lot of catching up to do, but I'll try to make it long and detailed:

    Chapter Eight

    Whitney Williams Stadium? You've got to be kidding me. Just makes me intensely dislike that gym leader even more, for some odd reason...oh well. At least that (censored for five minutes) Miltank isn't making an appearance (at least; I hope not). XD

    Hmm...I'm beginning to see why Sam would do anything to help his brother. Tommy, to me, seems less like a person and more like what Sam wants to be. Tommy is Sam's ideal for a person. From what I've seen from Sam (and please correct me if I'm wrong), it fits his character; he's shown that he has a little bit of narcissism, not just mere selfishness. It's not to the point where the characteristic has dominated his character, but it's clearly there, and if it's intentional, you've done a nice job showing it.

    It also shows that Sam has one of Tommy's major flaws: glossing over imperfections and bumps in the road. He's willing to overlook every single fault that his brother has so that he can construct a perfect fantasy (or delusion, if you want to be harsher) of who he wants to be. Tommy may be the one in a coma, but Sam is clearly the person who's falling apart, and he's painted a picture of his brother that may or may not be entirely accurate. I mentioned this before, and I'm not changing my stance on this: he's not going to enjoy whatever revelation comes out about Tommy.

    “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.
    Nah, it's totally a pod of Wailmer.

    Wow. If Sam hates port towns and boardwalks so much, he would totally hate Ocean City, Maryland. XD

    Barry rejecting Sam's sound plan (hey, even the best lawyers can't talk their way out of a jam when a competent government gets involved) for sneaking on board a ship is one of the worst plans I've heard...but Sam going along with it while ditching said sound plan is even worse. Based on what comes up later, I guess he is that desperate, but still...

    Chapter Nine

    Hmm...Sam's also forgetting about another major foe, one that would kill them quite easily: thirst. They won't die of hunger, but thirst will surely get them, especially when they're out at sea. The salty air would wear them down far before hunger or even the cold would set in. And since Prinplup hasn't been shown yet, it wouldn't have been able to help. I really think that you may have forgotten about that aspect.

    And Barry...wow. Throwing a guy overboard was quite possibly the dumbest thing he's done yet. Has he ever heard of the term "hypothermia"? If he has a Pokemon like Prinplup, he should have. Sam shouldn't feel guilty at all for chewing him out; in fact, I think he's showing tremendous restraint by not going into a full-blown rant.

    And what about these crew members, huh? You'd think that these guys would be buddies; they're from the same region working on the same ship, and the leader completely blows off the fact that one of his guys is overboard in the freezing water? With friends like him, who needs enemies?

    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.
    Hmm...you may want to add the word "the" in front of the two bolded words; when you use the word "Butterfree", it makes it sound like the Pokemon isn't Bree. It can be a bit jarring, to tell you the truth. It's the only mistake of this type that I've seen thus far, though. Right now, your grammar is impeccably-good.

    ...I take back what I said about Barrry. That was the dumbest thing I've ever seen him do. What kind of trainer uses a freaking surf attack in the middle of the freaking ocean while on a freaking ship? Now he's endangered numerous lives - including his own as well as Sam's and both of their Pokemon - instead of merely one. I'll be quite surprised if none of them end up dying as a result of his stupidity. I'm almost ready to pull a Gandalf to Barry's Pippen.

    But then again, that's your talent shining through. I love the fact that you're able to make me this animated about your characters. A lot of people can't do anything close to that.

    Chapter Ten

    I love what you're doing with this dream. It's actually a very accurate portrayal; every dream has some correlation to real life, and this...nightmare was obviously taking place while Sam was drowning. And the nightmare itself was just stunning (and definitely frightening). You can clearly see his guilt about everything. It's even projected into the hallucination of Tommy; Tommy's apology for dying feels more like Sam's subconsciousness apologizing to Tommy for (supposedly) dying and leaving him alone. I'm seriously loving the way you're portraying both of their characters.

    I honestly can't say the same for your portrayal of Barry. He nearly killed a lot of people and just blew it off; hell, some of them might've frozen to death because he didn't bother to get them medical attention. The guy who he threw overboard definitely drowned or froze to death; there's no way he would've lasted that long in the ocean, especially since Barry went to save Sam first. I'm really not liking this callous version of Barry; it just doesn't fit who he is. It seems so out of character. It feels wrong.

    Barry's rash and doesn't think things through. I get it. That part I don't mind so much. I wouldn't even mind the whole thing if he did it in the heat of the moment and showed regret for his actions. But I don't think he'd ever be this remorseless about potentially killing people. The way you've portrayed him thus far is bordering dangerously close to psychopath territory, and it's probably the one thing that I absolutely don't like about the fic right now.

    Oh my fate, that part about the insurance company putting his family on their blacklist was hysterical...in a very morbid way.

    Oh...wow. Now the freaking President of the Phoenix Corporation is meeting them in person. This is going to be really interesting, especially with Barry's recent actions.

    Chapter Eleven

    Hmm...while I appreciate the world-building in this (you clearly put a ton of thought into this world of yours, and I love reading about it), I truly believe that you could've incorporated some of it into spoken dialogue, particularly the hatred between Kanto/Johto/Sinnoh and Hoenn/Unova. I don't see a problem with anything else, though, and I feel that it adds to it a lot. This is your world, and you can - and should - describe things as they happen(ed).

    Am I the only one who's not buying any of the **** that Alonzo's selling? The racism/jingoism part, maybe, but the poaching rant and the stuff about sharing the blame? Come on. Sam has to see that this guy's flat out lying. Barry, at least, knows better.

    For one thing, poaching something like a Gloom or a Rhyhorn just doesn't compare with taking legends out of their natural environment and asking them to - and I quote - "benefit mankind". Well, what about the legends? I don't see any way this benefits them. Barry's absolutely right on this, and I never thought I'd say that.

    Secondly, you have to look at it from his view. These kids put his employees' lives at risk and potentially killed some of them. If I were the employer, I'd be furious at Sam and Barry. He's clearly lying through his teeth and trying to play the role of a peacemaker in order to get both of them off his back.

    And finally, that last part there? That was an obvious ploy to divide them in two. I can't believe that Sam isn't seeing this...

    Chapter Twelve

    ...And now Alonso has succeeded in driving Sam and Barry apart. I have to give the guy credit; he did his research. He's already establishing himself as a villain to keep an eye out for. Manipulating Sam like that...that was utterly brilliant on his part.

    Sam’s rage deepened at Barry’s confession, and he moved his hands down to Barry’s face, grabbing at the skin around his eyes and nose and mouth. “You saved my life! You pulled me out of that lake! And for what? So you could lie to me some more? So you could keep me from them?” His fingernails dug into Barry’s skin.

    Sam felt Barry’s hand moving around down by both of their legs and realized the young man was going for one of his pokemon to help remove him from the situation. Sam let Barry grab onto one of his pokeballs just so he could swat it out of Barry’s hand and helplessly into the snow.

    “No!” Sam shouted. “This is about us, not them! You damn liar! You saved my life; for what? So I can go back to my brother and tell him I can’t help him? So I can tell him I let him down? So I can say those words and know he can’t even hear them? Is that why you saved me? You should have just let me die!”
    ...I just involuntarily flinched at those lines. These lines...these are purely from his heart and filled with emotion. Now I feel sorry for Sam because his last hope is completely gone. Everyone lied to him. Barry, Rowan, Alonso, everyone. And you can feel that hope fade out of existence along with the small part of Sam that still trusted people. This...was an incredibly powerful scene.

    And now Sam wants to hurt Barry the only way he can: by hurting his Pokemon. And he doesn't even care if his own Pokemon get hurt in the process. He wants to lash out at something...and he's using a young and innocent Pokemon in Chispa to do it. And then he takes Barry's Pokemon in the end... It's almost too painful to read, and I mean that as a total compliment. You're doing this scene absolutely right.

    Oh, no. Sam's seriously trusting Alonso to get Barry home safely? There's no way this guy will keep his word...

    Chapter Thirteen

    And Tommy's full of advice, as always. That part of him, I think is real. Tommy definitely seems like he's more empathetic than Sam, and he seems like the type to help a younger sibling out with their problems.

    You know, I actually can picture Cyrus as a bit of a lunatic who would form a cult...but in your universe, that means that Palmer was murdered...

    Wow. Rowan doesn't respond to Sam's ranting at all? He just bears it? That's not the professor that I kno-

    Rowan’s fist slammed down hard on his desk, knocking down pictures that had been sitting there of Rowan with various children, shaking hands with colleagues, and with his arm around a woman. “Mr. Stark! Whatever you may think of me, you will not speak to me that way in my office. I will not stand for it.”
    There's the professor I know and respect! I knew he'd come out eventually.

    And that last paragraph clearly highlights Sam's delusions at this point. Barry and Rowan aren't being selfish and uncaring in this regard; everything they've done has been for the sake of the legends. He's incapable of realizing that at this point, though, and that saddens me.

    Chapter Fourteen

    Heh. I love the transfers that Sam's having to go through. That's just hilarious stuff. XD

    Alabaster and Cornelius...hmm...reminds me of Sam and Alonso, actually. Alonso all but said that if Sam challenges his authority, he'll lose. Sam must be more desperate than I thought if he's willing to trust this guy.

    But you did a great job with the battle scene...and judging by the place you're going to, there's going to be another fantastic one in the next chapter.

    Chapter Fifteen

    Heh. Why do I get the feeling that Carlos is going to be a major secondary antagonist?

    Oh, by the way, Sam, that is a racist thought. I'm just calling it like it is. And more references to paranoia. Yeah. Paranoid...delusions...Sam's really starting to scare me as a character.

    Oh, wow. Cynthia...er, sorry. XD But Cynthia's in the fic. Sam's not getting anywhere near the legends with her there. But why is she just fooling around? She knows that Sam's there to take the legends. Everyone in Celestic probably knows it. Why even bother to tell him to stand aside when you know he's not going to do it?

    Oh, that's a very nice depiction of a Spiritomb. Even the battle style seems to reflect on the species very well; it's a literal wall. XD Sam was smart to figure out how to stop it. Pity that he won't be able to beat her Garchomp. None of his Pokemon would stand a chance, and I don't think Barry's Pokemon would stand much of a chance either.

    And of course, the Hoenn crew ruins everything...twice. Once by using dynamite and then they botch the capture of the legends when Sam was clearly in control of the situation. I can't believe that the legends actually trusted Sam. Apparently, I've thought a lot less of him than I should have.

    Chapter Sixteen

    Wow, Sam. Not a very smart move to pick a fight with Carlos, especially when he's up against his crew as well. He's lucky that he didn't get the snot kicked out of him.

    Heh. Looks like Cynthia's strong battling skills isn't the only impression he got from her. XD

    Oh, no. From what I gathered from Rowan's call, I don't think Barry ever got back home. You can tell by the last part that Rowan deeply cares about Barry.

    Oh, wow. You're not the only author who hates the Sinnoh bus system. XDD

    And looking at Barry's Pokemon, Torterra and Empoleon clearly hate him for what he did to Barry. They know that he took them. I think he's damn lucky that Monferno's not fully-evolved; if he was, he might've acted the same way.

    Overall, I loved the last few chapters. The only thing I really didn't like was Barry's portrayal, but everything else was spot on, and I truly enjoyed reading it. This is a literal gem. I love the world-building that's going on, and I love the way you're portraying the mature themes in your story. Take as long as you need for the next chapter; greatness should never be rushed, and this story is great.

    Sincerely,

    Mem.
    Last edited by SilentMemento; 18th September 2012 at 2:15 AM.
    CURRENT STORY

    A Time for Everything - Kalos has lived peacefully for far too long, following the ideals of the corrupt. It's time to change that... An AU of X/Y.

  19. #144
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    Sorry it took me so long to get back, but I've got my reviewing tiara on and I'm ready to give my thoughts on chapters 8 and 9. *adjusts tiara*

    Chapter 8 Notes:

    Good world-building with the college facility names

    Loving the conversation between Sam and Tommy about what Tommy would do if Sammy went to a college that was farther away. I know I said last time that I was pulling away from Tommy because he’d come a bit too perfect to me through Sam’s vision… but it’s moments like this that really pull me back to liking him.

    Hmm. Sam’s disturbed by the idea of his brother meeting a woman. An interesting thought. Just general wincing from imagining a family member in a romantic entanglement or fear of Tommy finding someone that’s more important to him than Sam is?

    I think you could’ve found a bit of a more subtle way to say that Sam feels guilt over the sacrifices Tommy’s made for him. First off because, well, that’s very clear at this point and secondly because it feels a little too on the nose. I’d feel his guilt more if he didn’t tell me he was guilty… if that makes sense. I mean, I don’t think you need a major change or anything. Just something that removes the basic iteration of “I feel guilty.” “It’s bad enough that Tommy already blah blah blah, without him having to blah blah blah” might manage the job without that direct statement of feeling.

    I also think you could plum more psychologically out of this moment. Give Sam a chance to basically smokescreen himself from feeling guilty about the possibility of denying his brother a love life by instead telling himself that he’s just ew-ed out over the concept of his brother being romantically involved with someone.

    Not just in this circumstance, but I think there are a lot of places in this that you could play with perception. We’re seeing this from Sam’s perspective, so he doesn’t always have to be reliable in his reports of the goings on in his own mind. I’m not saying he should be a liar, by any means—just that everyone deceives themselves at some point and it creates a more rewarding experience for the reader when they have to filter through those perceptions, those lies-we-tell-ourselves, to the heart of what’s really going on. Doing that could also be a good chance to give Tommy one of those moments of weakness I asked about in my last review. Sam will likely only remember Tommy as the perfect brother, but sometimes the reader can see something that the narrator misinterprets or represses or warps or doesn’t have enough information to understand. Just a thought.

    *snickers* I love Barry.

    *looks it up* Well, actual whales come in pods, gams, herds, schools, and mods, so herd should be correct for Wailmer.

    I like the description of Olivine. A touristy port-town, from the perspective of someone who doesn’t like seafood or sea travel, would come off pretty bad.

    Hmmm. I like the idea of Professor as a cabinet position. Government is something I always wished the franchise itself was more specific on in terms of its world.

    I’m not saying that the ending to this chapter is bad because it’s not, but I think if you’d ended at the “loving this boat plan” line, you’d have a much stronger ending to the chapter. Because all that really seems important to me at least about the scene of them sneaking onboard is the fact that they… well, get onboard. And if you begin your next chapter with them actually on the boat, maybe with a brief explanation of how it happened (which you probably don’t really need. Being able to sneak onto a boat is not an unimaginable phenomena) then the reader can assume that they got on the boat. I just don’t think extending the scene is necessary here and I think Sam’s line makes a great chapter end stinger.

    Chapter 9 Notes:

    *snort* The Cult of Thick Facial Hair? Loving it.

    “No. You should worry about to save yourself.”
    Sounds like something’s off here. Perhaps it should be “worry about how to save yourself” or “worry about saving yourself.”

    Umm… I love Barry and all, but getting his Pokemon to toss a man overboard is pretty cold… I know you go on to say that he probably just acted rashly, but it kinda seems over the top to me.

    Hmm. His situation is rough, but bringing Professor Rowan into this could’ve been troublesome. If he’s in a political position, then it might not look good to have people claiming they represent him stowing away on a ship. Then again, the operation on the ship itself might not be legal and their situation is desperate, so I suppose giving it a try wasn’t a bad idea. Didn’t work though.

    I can't give too much commentary on the battle because... battles are not my favorite subject both when it comes to writing and reading. I think you did a good job on it and kept the pace moving, but they're never going to be the kind of scenes I latch onto.

    As far as endings go... tidal waves and near-drowning are pretty extreme! I think it's a nice suspenseful place to end, but I do think this is a situation where you could've increased dramatic effect by breaking up the last paragraph a bit. A lot happens in it and I think each seperate thing would have more of an impact if it wasn't all clumped together. I think I mentioned breaking up longer paragraphs in my last review? I'd say that also applies to a few other places in these two chapters.

    All in all, quite exciting events going on here and whether we're with Sam and Tommy in the past or Sam and Barry in the present, there's a great rapport between the characters that makes them likeable and the story fun to read.

  20. #145
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    So many awesome comments; thanks guys!

    I want you all to know I'm not blowing you off; I started a new job at the end of last week, and I'm currently in the first of 11 non-consecutive weeks of training with 12+ hour training days. When I'm home, I'm pretty much either sleeping or eating, so I haven't had time to reply to all your great comments (this apology goes double for you, Skiyomi: I've had the new chapter of Out Of My League opened in a tab ever since you updated it, but haven't had time to read it or the other updated chapter of another story I have opened. Sigh), but I will eventually get to them and reply(maybe even tonight; who knows?).

    This also means chapter 17 will be delayed until WHO KNOWS WHEN. But it has been started (I delayed it to work on a One-Shot story for here I got 12 unglorious pages into before the new job came a-callin'), so it's not, I suppose, THAT far away.

    But thank you all again!


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  21. #146
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    Well I just started reading and finally caught up, I'll admit that the beginning was a little slow for me, but that's maybe just because I like action scenes, I do, however, like where this is heading and enjoyed pretty much everything after the 4th chapter if I am remembering correctly. Keep up the good work and good luck with your training.

    I also noticed that chapter 16 isn't in your direct links, though I imagine you already knew that.
    Last edited by Azurus; 25th September 2012 at 1:24 AM.


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  22. #147
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    Alright, I know it’s a little late, but here it is. My review of Chapter 16!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “First of all, I have no idea why you went in there and decided to set off explosives. That had to be the dumbest damn idea I can imagine. You think you’ll find three skittish, hiding pokemon, and you’re genius solution is to try and blow up half the cave. You’re a god damn idiot. Then--then!--when you get out of the cave after we were actively trying to keep you inside so you could maybe not ruin everything ever, you charge ahead like raging Tauroses and scare them away a second time. And that time, for good. So yes, now they’re gone, and we have no idea what our next move is. Congratulations, Sideburns! You’re the worst person in history.”
    Well, I think we’ve already established the relationship between Carlos and explosives.
    And from Sam’s dialogue, I’d say he’s not too happy with Carlos and his crew’s actions back there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Carlos snorted. “We thought they was attacking you.”

    “Oh, you’re about five seconds away from seeing what an attack looks like so next time you’ll know.”
    Broken Kantoen, yay! And, this quote was just too good to go unnoticed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “Do it. Come on, Sideburns. I’ll give you a hint, we already played this game, and--spoiler alert--you lost. But go ahead and threaten me. I could use a big, dumb idiot to bang my pokemon against for a few minutes. Let’s go.”
    Again, too good of a quote to let go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Sam was quietly thankful; he was more angry than he could ever recall being before, but once Carlos’ crew realized their foreman was being attacked and came to back him up, Sam would really not have liked the way that confrontation ended. For the moment, though, he had successfully alpha male’d Carlos, and that would have to do.
    *Angrier

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “God, I can’t wait to tell Mr. Alonzo how this went down. I hand him the guardians’ location on a silver-freakin’-platter, and then it all goes to pot. Everything’s screwed up, and I--” Sam felt an air pocket in his throat and knew he needed to redirect his emotions before he showed weakness in front of Carlos. “Damn it!" He slammed a fist down onto his side of the dashboard so hard, it knocked their walkie talkie free. Not wanting to acknowledge his outburst, Sam scooped it off of the ground without a word and placed it back.
    Yeah, I’m sure that Carlos won’t be foreman after Mr. Alonzo hears of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Sam rubbed his eyes so hard that when he pulled his fingers away, black spots danced in front of him. The construction crew made Barry look like a baron of foresight and careful planning; when Sam got back to the Phoenix Shipping Corporation offices, he was going to insist on a new group of men to work with, or he was going back on his own. The choice might have been out of his hands anyway since he no longer had anything to offer Mr. Alonzo in exchange for their help (help of course being a term used extremely loosely in their case). Now that the guardians were on their own, Sam had no insight into where they could possibly be.
    I love the detail with Sam rubbing his eyes and the black spots. Anyways, it brings a good question to mind: what will Mr. Alonzo do now? Sam has nothing to offer him now, so he can’t pull that trick again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    He felt the multitude of pokeballs bulging in his pocket and wondered if any of Barry’s pokemon would have fought for him should it have come to that. He suspected the high-energy, affectionate Monferno might have, but Empoleon and Torterra were bigger x-factors. It was probably for the best to keep them all contained for the moment. Eventually Sam knew he’d have to make his way to Twinleaf Town and drop the three of them off. At the moment, he could not bring himself to think of facing Barry, though.
    Wow, I completely forgot that Sam had Barry’s Pokemon. It wasn’t mentioned much since he took them in Snowpoint so I didn’t remember it until now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    He took a look at Carlos, his face with full of sideburns and a scour. Sam could not help but think he had made the wrong choice leaving Celestic with the crew with which he came. But no...he could not have stayed behind with Carolina and Cynthia; no matter whether they were sympathetic to him or not, they were firmly entrenched with Rowan’s belief that the legends were to be protected from humanity. They would never help him find them again. Mr. Alonzo was still the only real avenue Sam could pursue. He would liked to have depended on the professor and her lovely granddaughter, but they would surely only seek to dissuade Sam from his purpose. Just like Rowan.
    I’m sensing that this entire paragraph is going to be really ironic in the future, him feeling that he has no choice but to depend on Mr. Alonzo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “I thought you would sleep all day,” the man next to him said.

    “It felt like I did,” Sam responded, his anger from earlier feeling less important while his mind continued trying to find its focus. “Oreburgh?”

    “Yes.”

    “So we’re close to the strait then,” Sam noted rhetorically.
    Ah, the awkward small talk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    It was going to be a chore getting all of the Phoenix Corporation equipment back onto a cargo ship just to get across to Canalave, but it was hardly his concern; Carlos and his men would handle that. Sam briefly wondered if they resented him for that but discounted the thought. It was probably fine with them that he did not touch anymore of their stuff. They tended to end up in fissures or at the bottom of the sea when he did.
    Yep, I wonder how the bill for all that stuff is going to look…

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    He heard Rowan still talking right through the question. Rowan must not have been able to hear Sam any longer, either. “--please, I-- --help and-- --care for-- --doesn’t deserve--” Finally, Sam’s phone emitted a beep, and he knew the call was lost entirely.
    Hmm, interesting. I wonder what Rowan wants now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Ever since he had arrived at Jubilife Airport weeks ago, he’d only felt more and more hopeful with every passing day. It had been a roller coaster climb of anticipation he had been on, and the pinnacle of it was Celestic Town. Unfortunately, when he reached the top of the track, he found that there was no station in sight where the roller coaster would end. There was only another rapid descent with his heart in his throat. Sam tried his best to ignore the city and continue looking upwards and around the skyscrapers for any sign of the legends.
    Wow, has it only been two weeks since he left to go see Rowan? There’s been so much happening. Anyways, the sentences comparing his feelings to a roller coaster couldn’t have been worded better. It’d be exactly how I’d describe the journey too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    When the route west through Jubilife City was halted by a broken down city transit bus, Sam began wondering what bus deity out there resided in Sinnoh, and why he hated Sam so much.
    Heh, Sam, you’re not the only person the bus god hates. By the way, the other fic I said also decries Sinnoh’s public transportation is My Trip to the End of Time by Cutlerine. Just in case you were wondering.
    Though I think you portray the hatred better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “Where do you go?”

    Sam waved his arm ahead of them to the stalled bus and the Jubilife police officers arriving on the scene. “Who knows how long we’re going to be stuck here, but I’m kind of over the whole sitting-in-a-truck thing. I’m just stretching, Sideburns; don’t worry. I shouldn’t be far.”
    I love Carlos, he may be just a minor character, but I hope he sticks around. The broken language has grown on me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    With three squeezes, his friends emerged to the street. Bree cut rapidly through the air in a zig-zag pattern; just as Sam expected, she still had plenty of energy to burn, despite having been in stasis, since she had been so psyched up to battle the Garchomp. Vlam’s legs and tails were stiff, and she sniffed the air with determination. Sam felt guilty that the last few times she’d been free from her ball were to battle, and now she was apparently beginning to expect it. He promised to himself to give them all more time free to relax. Chispa was, as usual, nonplussed by anything that had previously happened to her, and immediately began assailing a pebble she found on the sidewalk. She swatted it a few feet away and then wriggled her rear end and pounced onto it.
    Just in how they act you can clearly see their personalities. I love how you write the Pokemon in this story, especially Chispa.
    “Assailing a pebble” that’s just so damn cute.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Bree tilted her head and hummed abruptly. Apparently settled somewhat, she flittered towards Sam and settled on his shoulder. He coughed as a smattering of her spores invaded his sinuses. He flicked her wing gently to get her attention. “You’ve got to be careful with those things, little girl.” He wiped away water that was welling in his eyes as a reaction to her scales, and she rubbed her round head against his in a form of apology.
    Well considering that her scales are designed to cause poisoning and paralysis, I’d say she needs to be very careful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Vlam slowly pushed up to her feet and butted the crown of her head into Sam’s left pocket. He felt Barry’s pokeballs bobble there. “Is that what it is? You want to see Barry’s friends?” Vlam continued staring intently at him. Sam shrugged. “All right, fine.” He reached in his pocket with mild trepidation; he had no idea how Barry’s pokemon would react to him. Still, it was not as if he was gambling on their battling for him, so they should be safe to just let free for a bit. With a gentle squeeze to each red-and-white sphere, he released them.
    Vlam the Peacemaker, it’s a good title. It’ll catch on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Monferno emerged much like Bree had, with his head shooting from left-to-right and obviously wound up. He seemed disoriented at first, but upon noticing Sam, that faded. He leapt upwards, causing Sam to have to catch the fire-type in his arms to avoid a collision. Monferno grunted in a high voice and patted Sam’s face. Bree, seemingly perturbed by Monferno’s playfulness, flew off of her trainer’s shoulder. Barry’s Empoleon and Torterra were apparently less excited to be with Sam. They each stood stoically next to the other shooting Sam looks that he could only discern as unpleasant disdain.
    Considering the fact that he stole them from their trainer, I’d assume they wouldn’t be too happy with him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Sam contemplated saying something else, but before he could, he felt a paw swiping at his leg. He looked down to find Vlam staring up at him. “Be my guest,” Sam said to her and moved his hand towards Empoleon and Torterra. Vlam walked over to Barry’s pokemon and barked softly. They were unfazed. She tried again, this time brushing her tails gently against Torterra’s leg, but again was given no visible reply. A third attempt to communicate something to them was met with a loud growl from the immense tortoise, and Sam decided that was enough. He recalled Torterra and Empoleon into their balls.
    Well, I guess the “Peacemaker” thing is out of the question then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    “Sorry, Vlam. I know you were trying, but they clearly weren’t buying what you were selling.” Vlam cooed in response and wiped her muzzle with a paw. Monferno, at least, was not swayed by his family’s reaction; he continued crawling around Sam’s shoulders and trying to find a comfortable position. “I’m going to get you guys back home, I promise,” Sam pointed out to the fiery monkey, “I just need to find the opportunity. I’m not sure Barry would love seeing me right now.” Monferno grinned and clapped his hands together, and Sam could only assume he was just happy to hear his trainer’s name.
    Hm, I’m wondering just where the story is going to go now. The Lake Trio are gone, and aren’t likely to be found for a while. You’ve hinted that Sam will eventually go to Rowan and talk and possibly return Barry’s Pokemon, but I haven’t the foggiest about what the big plot point is.
    I assume it’ll become clearer over time.

    A great chapter, I expected nothing less. Only one mistake I was able to find, and it was small.
    I liked how Sam was able to “cool down” somewhat after the fiasco in Celestic town, and how uncertain the future is for him and his quest.

    I’m sorry about how long this took to get out, I’ve been busy with school and life lately.

    So, I can’t wait until the next chapter, and good luck with your new job. Hopefully the training will be over soon and you’ll have a better work schedule.

    Knightfall signing off…

  23. #148
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    Congratulations on the new job, and don’t worry about taking a while to post – it gives me more time to catch up with your other chapters!
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Chapter 13: 5 Years Ago

    “Hey! Buddy! Are you supposed to be in charge of this craphole? I was at the Rooftop Cafe, and the vending machine ate my money. You owe me a drink.”

    Tommy must have recognized his brother’s voice, because all he did was shrug and continue counting inventory of weight belts. “Good to know the new Rip-off Idiots feature is working then.” Tommy put his scanning gun down on the counter and finally turned to face Sam. The brothers embraced, with Tommy slapping Sam hard on the back as usual, before he continued, “Don’t you have Adanced Theories of Pokemon Psychology tonight? What are you doing here?”
    This brotherly interaction feels pretty real, nice job. Also, “Advanced” is missing a v.
    Tommy nodded. “Well, coming to my work and pestering me is pretty strenuous training. I’m certain you have this one all wrapped up.”

    “Man can not survive on pokemon training alone.”

    “That’s cute. Did you learn that in class?”

    “Probably. Let’s go with ‘yes’.
    You’re pretty good at this banter between the two – certainly had me chuckling. I think going back to a lighthearted conversation after all the drama was a nice way of allowing Sam to retain the reader’s sympathy. These interactions with Tommy help remind the reader just why he’s desperate enough to get as angry as he did.
    Tommy had been department manager of that floor--hardware and sporting goods--for a few months now and was expecting a promotion any day now based on the glowing quarterly report he’d just had from his supervisor. Sam knew Tommy secretly wanted to be put in charge of the sixth and seventh floors--pokemon goods, food, and supplies--even if he wouldn’t come right out and say it. Sam had been considering calling Tommy’s boss one of these days and reminding her of all the overtime and hardwork Tommy had been putting in, but he also didn’t want to embarrass his sibling or speak out of turn. As Sam mulled over the possibility of calling her some more, Tommy emerged from behind his counter with a bottle of iced tea.
    Just another reminder that you have a few double-hyphens instead of dashes scattered around. Also, hard work is usually two separate words.
    “You know me. If I don’t work through lunch, it’ll be a miracle. Better you have it than I waste it. What with all the vigorous standing around you’re doing in preparation for tomorrow, I’m sure you are working up quite the thirst.”
    I think this mention of Tommy’s not taking care of himself while sacrificing for Sam was a bit better done than some of the others. It’s more subtle and natural and it makes more sense that Sam might overlook it than some of the previous mentions have appeared.
    “That’s a long time for her to have just seen you naked for the first time.”

    Sam sputtered a few sounds, but nothing of consequence. Tommy was laughing so hard his eyes were wet. “I hate you,” Sam finally said.
    Scenes like this are great! Tommy seems a lot more real here, and I laughed right alongside him.
    Rowan answered, his fingers fumbling to open the wrapper of a piece of hard candy as he saw Sam at his doorstep. “Sam Stark! How are you, son? How may I assist you?”
    Looks like Barry hasn’t been in communication with him since the incident. I’m guessing he wasn’t delivered back to his hometown as promised.
    Rowan appeared ready to scold Sam, but his face dropped and his shoulders heaved. Sam couldn’t tell if it was guilt or not, but the professor seemed to forego whatever was coming and instead began the story of the Church of Cyrus.
    Oooh, this ought to be interesting. This seems a pretty good way of creating a Team Galactic that’s not actually called Team Galactic, which makes sense for your continuity. Of course, this also means Palmer (Barry’s father) isn’t around in this continuity either, unless he went missing instead of being killed off. I like the set up and how it works in a pokémon world without Gyms, and it’s a little fun guessing what aspects are kept from the canon universe and what aspects are changed.
    “Unfortunately,” Rowan rubbed his nose at the word, “I underestimated just how fervent Cyrus’ supporters were. There was a riot when news broke that the government had declared him a threat to national security, and... well, Barry’s parents did not make it back with us. We were able to apprehend Cyrus; he’s been remanded to the care of a psychiatric institution in Veilstone.
    Better hope he doesn’t get out!
    Sam crossed his arms. “And you couldn’t have told me all of this when I first came to you?”

    “With the look in your eyes and your determination? Would you have believed me? Would you have cared what I said?”

    “No.” Sam’s statement was unabashedly plain.

    “That’s why. So I figured it was safer to have you go look for yourself and figure that the legends didn’t even exist anymore.”

    Sam tightened his jaw so hard, he felt a sharp pain shoot through his molars from being ground together. “So I came to you for help, and you led me around like a dog on a leash because you think I’m no different than a psychopath who,” Sam laughed at his final words--they were just too ridiculous, “wanted to destroy the world?”
    Yep, Sam’s got reason to be angry, all right. Although, I think his anger builds more realistically here than with Barry.
    Rowan’s fist slammed down hard on his desk, knocking down pictures that had been sitting there of Rowan with various children, shaking hands with colleagues, and with his arm around a woman. “Mr. Stark! Whatever you may think of me, you will not speak to me that way in my office. I will not stand for it.”
    Rowan’s timing is good, too, trying to let Sam vent until he realizes he’s heating up rather than cooling down, and then moving to stop him.

    Rowan sighed. “And what happens with the guardians after you bring him back?”

    “What do you mean?”

    “Just what I said. Say you found them and brought them back to Johto. And say they could even cure your brother. Then what?”

    Sam paused; he had not considered this before. He rubbed his hands together as he thought about what he would do then; he had not realized how sweaty his palms had gotten since his arrival at Rowan’s office. He meant what he told Rowan earlier when they met the first time; he had no interest in the legends. He didn’t want them for himself. “I would let them go. Either let them leave them as they want or bring them back here so they’d be home.”

    “Do you honestly think it would work like that?”

    Sam narrowed his eyes. What was the professor getting at?
    I like Sam’s confusion here – it helps show just how one-track-minded he is about this and how naďve he is about the consequences of his actions. I can’t say I approve of Rowan’s decision to lead him on, but I can understand his reasons for not wanting Sam to have access to the trio.

    That said, I do wonder if this could have been resolved by Rowan suggesting that Sam somehow bring his brother to the location of the legends in secret. The logistics of getting a catatonic man out to a secluded location might be complicated, but I would think it would be doable – unless Rowan’s concerned about the idea of playing favorites or is worried that Sam might let word of the legends get out anyway.
    Sam pursed his lips and gritted his teeth again. This conversation was clearly going nowhere, and Sam knew at that moment what he had to do next anyway. “Not to me, there isn’t”. Before Rowan could issue another word of protest, Sam walked out the front door.

    He had gotten several yards away from Rowan’s laboratory before he felt secure that the professor was not going to follow him and try to continue their discussion. Most likely, he was as exhausted from it as Sam was. Sam couldn’t help but wonder why Barry and Rowan couldn’t see how much Sam needed this. Why were they being so selfish and uncaring? There was a life at stake, and it was apparent that they would do anything in their power not to help save it. If that was the case, Sam would simply get in touch with those he knew would be on his side. As soon as he found a place to stop, he’d make a call to the Phoenix Shipping Corporation. Mr. Alonzo would have to take his call since Sam suddenly knew where to start looking for the guardians.
    It also seems pretty risky for Rowan to just let Sam leave in the mood he’s in, now that he knows they exist. Even if he doesn’t know about Sam’s contact with Mr. Alonzo, you’d think he’d be concerned that Sam might start trying to convince someone of importance to track them down.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Chapter 14

    Sam smacked the receiver end of his cell phone off his forehead three times before closing his eyes and reminding himself to try to remain calm. “No, you did not lose a package,” Sam spoke very slowly, picturing Mr. Rivera as a small child who couldn’t grasp large, intricate ideas. “Mr. Alonzo knows me. We are acquaintances. He is probably even expecting my call.”

    “I’m sure he is,” Alberto Rivera replied. Sam could somehow hear the Secretary of Domestic Relations and Image rolling his eyes. “But, as I said, I can not contact him at the moment. If you feel I can not accommodate your needs in a satisfactory manner, I’ll tell you what I can do...”
    Sam’s not having a very good day. Although, I do wonder why Mr. Alonzo didn’t provide Sam with an easier mode of contact when he seemed like he would be happy to have Sam on his side before.

    Also, if I remember right from highschool, “cannot” is written as one word.
    “NO!--”

    “...I will just transfer...”

    “DON’T YOU--”

    “...you down the hall to...”

    “I don’t want to be transferred again!”

    “...the head of our Communications department...”

    Sam let out a very primal yell as he pressed the End Call button on his phone as vengefully as he could. He rued modern technology for taking away the old-fashioned ability to slam a handset down into its cradle.
    Haha, this is a great mental image, though.

    It had been a few days since Snowpoint by this time, and Sam had no idea if Henrique was still there. Still, it was the only lead he had left. Sam turned his phone back on and searched for the number for Snowpoint Resort. He pressed the number when it showed on his phone’s screen.

    “Is Henrique Alonzo still available?” Sam asked the lady who answered his call. She placed Sam on hold; with any luck, Mr. Alonzo was still there. If not, Sam’s next best idea was camp out in the middle of the Phoenix Corporation office floor in Canalave until someone put him in touch with their president.

    “This is Mr. Alonzo,” the voice on the other end responded. Sam recognized it and was immediately both relieved and frustrated. He was relieved, of course, that he had gotten through; he was frustrated that he wasted so much time trying to navigate the maze of Mr. Alonzo’s employees before calling the resort.
    Good reasoning, though, in figuring out an alternative. You can almost feel the lightbulb going off in his head when he resorts to calling Mr. Alonzo where he last saw him (ok, bad pun, I know).
    “Oh man. Sucker,” Sam chuckled aloud.

    “Do you suppose so?”

    Sam glanced to the voice from over his right shoulder and saw Henrique standing there. Figuring it would be the proper thing to do, Sam stood and shook the man’s hand. It couldn‘t hurt to butter him up a bit.

    “Good to see you got the ticket I left you.”

    “Yes, this is interesting. I haven’t sat in the crowd in ages. I usually get box seats when I come to these.”

    “Oh,” Sam said while nodding. He felt an odd mixture of embarrassment and anger that someone would so flippantly imply the seats were not up to his usual standards, but Sam decided to swallow those feelings. He motioned back to the arena. “Do you not suppose the Kadabra just fell into the Rhydon’s trap?”

    “I think that trying to hide from a psychic is a foolish idea.”
    Nice timing for his arrival, too. Experience and a fresh face are colliding in more arenas than the one on the field below.
    “I’m sure I could find some if that would make you feel better.” Sam would let Mr. Alonzo think the meeting was public for whatever reason he wanted; Sam knew it was because he was not yet sure if he could trust Henrique.
    I’m guessing Henrique already knows, Sam. Also, I like the way the battle is thrown in throughout this exchange – it’s always good when a writer makes sure to work the environment in where appropriate.
    Sam snapped his fingers. “That’s right. It dawned on me when I was at his office and saw his desk. There were pictures of him with his nieces and nephews and with some friends and possibly with a...,” Sam stopped as he thought about the next word. Girlfriend? Sounds immature for a man of Rowan’s stature. Lover? Sam shuddered at that thought. Finally, he came up with an alternative. “A paramour.”
    I’m not sure about the term paramour, as it refers to “especially a lover to a married person” like a “mistress.”
    “So why are you telling me this? You certainly have not seemed like my biggest fan up until now. Now that you know what I stand for, do you see I have everyone’s best interests at heart?”

    “Your ‘best interests’ can go blow,” Sam stated, shaking his head. “I came to you because you have the resources and the desire to help me meet the trio. We get their help, first thing is first, and that’s that I help my brother.” Sam was not sure Mr. Alonzo even knew anything about Tommy other than from the fit Sam had on Barry back in Snowpointe. “After that, I don’t care if you bring them back home or making everyone happy all the time or dress them up in doll clothes. Doesn’t matter to me.”
    Sam’s one-track mind might lead to trouble, even if Mr. Alonzo truly does have the world’s best interests at heart. Also, Snowpoint doesn’t have an e at the end.
    Mr. Alonzo smiled at the result and turned to Sam. “A good lesson, I think. No matter how young, enthusiastic, and driven a competitor is, he’ll always lose out when he challenges someone older with more experience.”
    This has double meaning written all over it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87
    Chapter 15

    Sam probably had not helped the situation when, upon seeing a sign on the merge ramp to the highway instructing them to yield to traffic, he asked Carlos, “Do you yield? At this sign, I mean?" and then giggled at his own joke.
    Nope, that probably did not help at all. I’m not sure how wise it is to rub in his victory when Carlos is driving on such a precarious stretch of road. It doesn’t help make Sam likable, that’s for sure.
    For all Sam knew, they were planning what the best way to cook him was (Sam immediately scolded himself for the potentially racist thought that all Hoennese were barbaric cannibals; still, he could not help but think they were discussing things that had to do with him, even if he knew that was just paranoia).
    Yep, that seems pretty racist, all right, Sam, and not too helpful for making him likable combined with his attempts to provoke Carlos when they’re on the same side now. Is this scene meant to establish just how ingrained the prejudices are in the culture you’ve created for this fic? It doesn’t help me like Sam, despite the previous chapters doing better in that regard.
    “You are not to answer that?” Carlos asked, looking over at Sam. Perhaps, for as little as he seemed to want to talk to Sam, he wanted some voice to break the silence. Or perhaps he just like eavesdropping on phone calls.
    Like should be past tense.
    “What is this? I can tell you what it’s not. Stealthy. We’re just--” More foreign words came with a burst of static from the dashboard walkie-talkie. Sam reached over and pressed the button. “The adults are having a discussion. Sit quietly and think about what you’ve done for a while.” Sam flipped the device to off and returned his attention to Carlos. “We’re just going to roll up into their town with six flatbed trucks and a bunch of heavy equipment? You think that won’t get attention?”
    I get that Rowan’s attempts to communicate frustrated him, but stuff like this just sounds more spiteful than anything. Although I do like the use of Celestic Cave – it always disappointed me how empty it was in the games, despite being clearly connected to the legendaries.
    Celestic Town was no more impressive up close than it had been at a distance. It seemed as though someone had once wanted to build a settlement, but thought that clearing trees or establishing infrastructure was too much work. Route 210 cut through town, but it was the only thing Sam would really call a road; the homes that were not right on the main route were only accessible by barely-paved, one-lane paths. The storefront that Sam had seen from the distance was just a market and the only business he noticed until he caught site of a medical center closer to the middle of town. Those two were apparently it for Celestic commerce. Sam’s decision to leave the trucks and equipment behind was beginning to seem like a terrible idea; this was clearly not a place that received many visitors, and every eye in town seemed to be on Sam and the crew from the minute they entered. He’d seen enough horror movies growing up to immediately think that this was the kind of place where strangers got chained up in leaky basements and tortured by people who made boots out of human flesh.
    I think the paragraph could be broken up a bit in the spot I indicate in bold. The first part is a description of town, the second is Sam’s horror-movie filled imagination and second thoughts taking over instead. Also, good job building the creepy atmosphere of the town.
    Sam found that seeing her before him was the pleasant thing Sinnoh had given him yet.
    I think you’re missing the word “most” in there.
    Sam took slow steps towards her and extended his hand. “I apologize then. And it’s a pleasure to meet you, professor. My name is Samuel Stark.” He found himself hoping the young woman with Professor Carolina was noting his gentlemanly nature.
    I hope this is just showing off for a pretty face rather than a “love-at-first-sight” thing, because I don’t tend to find the latter very realistic. That said, it is funny when compared to the previous mood, so it helps deflect some of the seriousness of the scene.
    “Cynthia, there’s no more time for talk! Those men are in the cave already!”

    Cynthia frowned and pulled a ball from inside her coat. Sam recognized it as an Ultra Ball from its yellow-and-black design. “Please stand aside and allow us to get those gentlemen out of the cave, Samuel. It is imperative.”
    She seems a little too polite about this, given the situation at hand. If Cynthia and her grandmother are supposed to be guarding the legends (and possibly have already been informed about someone named Sam Stark from Rowan) you’d think she’d be a bit less concerned with formalities when the guys are already in the cave.
    Sam chewed the inside of his lip in frustration and pulled Chispa’s Friend Ball from his pocket. “I can’t do that. I’m sorry.” He squeezed the Friend Ball, and crimson energy shot forth from the ball’s outlet, releasing the blue-and-black cub onto the grassy floor of the Celestic woods. As usual, sparks danced off of her yellow, star-like tail in her own personal display of happiness to be out. The rest of the world outside her ball was seemingly irrelevant to her as she intertwined Sam’s legs, rubbing her head on his shins. If Sam had any designs on intimidating Cynthia and Professor Carolina into submission, those were clearly just nixed.
    Chispa is awesome. That is all.
    It was a rock, and much more than he would describe a Geodude as a rock. It was a blank, cracked stone. It didn’t move. Still, it was impossible to just catch a plain rock in a pokeball, so it had to be some kind of pokemon. Sam nudged Chispa out from between his legs. “Be careful, but investigate that for me, Chispa. Can you investigate the rock for me?”

    Chispa yipped back in happy reply, her tongue sticking out the side of her smiling mouth. She sneaked up on the rock, but given that neither she nor Sam could know where its eyes--if it even had any--were, it seemed futile. The earnest Shinx got within mere feet of the stone, and it still had not moved.

    “Shadow ball!” Cynthia cried out, causing Chispa to flinch when the trainer’s words broke her silent concentration.
    Again, with the other men already at the cave, it seems unusual that Cynthia would use tactics that involve waiting and lulling Sam into a false sense of security.

    From out of the crack in the stone emerged something Sam could only describe as a colorful, jaggedly round shadow. It was mostly a deep violet, but there were lightning--like flashes of green energy inside it. While most of the flashes swirled about in the shadowy body, two remained steadily in place. They were crescent-shaped and floated in the middle of the strange form like the crooked eyes of a jack-o-lantern. Sam recognized it immediately as a pokemon he’d heard of but thought was only an urban legend.
    “there were lightning” just doesn’t sound right, but otherwise I like the description of Spiritomb.
    “Chispa, come back,” Sam said, wincing at his friend’s agony as her held up her Friend Ball and squeezed it twice. The ball made an electronic humming sound as Chispa reverted to her kinetic energy transport form and was absorbed back to safety. If physical attacks were not going to cut it against Spiritomb, he’d try another path. He grabbed another of the balls in his pocket and released Vlam.

    “Mr. Stark, my granddaughter defeated your Shinx fair and square! Stand aside and let us into the cave to get your friends out of there.”
    I can see why Sam’s still there, as he’s basically stalling for Carlos’s crew, and you suggest that Cynthia is more interested in the battle than the cave, but why is professor Carolina still standing around? Why are they taking their time with a single trainer when there’s a whole group already inside the cave they’re protecting?
    “You can’t hurt Mouri, Sam. Please let us pass.

    Sam ignored Cynthia’s plea. Carlos and his men had been in the cave for several minutes now; he just needed to buy them a little more time. “All right, Vlam. If it wants to hide in the rock, we’ll just knock it clear out of the forest. Use a double kick on it!” Vlam rushed forward. Sam may not have been able to hurt the Spiritomb, but as long as it was bound to the rock, he could at least get rid of it.
    And these two points in bold, when taken together, are why I just don’t find this set-up very believable, sorry to say. I’d find Sam’s attempts to get past a Spiritomb’s nearly impenetrable defenses much more engaging if not for the distraction of how unusual the cave’s protectors’ behavior is.

    As Vlam approached, Mouri emerged from its crack and shot its anchored, spiritual body towards her. As with Chispa earlier, the crackling energy the made up the Spiritomb caused Vlam great agony as it enveloped her.
    I think you mean the crackling energy that made up the Spiritomb.
    “Flamethrower!” He called out. Again, she shot a stream of fire towards her enemy. Sam heard Cynthia cry for Mouri to withdraw, but this time it was too close, and the defensive order came to late. The flames tore through the shadowy body, and Mouri let out a piercing, echoing shriek. The sound was so inhuman and loud, Sam instinctively cupped his hands over his ears. “Keep it up, Vlam!” He yelled over the wail. “You’ve got it on the ropes!”
    Too is missing an o, here.
    “I’m sorry, Vlam,” he said as she was absorbed safely into the ball, “I thought you could do it.” He had only one option left, but this time he also had a plan. “I know you can, though.” With a squeeze of the Nest Ball, Bree appeared in the clearing. Sam expected another demand of surrender from Carolina, but none ever came. Perhaps she was acquiescing to her daughter’s apparent desire for the match to continue, or perhaps she just thought Sam did not have a chance and was not worth bothering with. That was fine by Sam; people had been underestimating Bree his entire life.
    And at this point, I’m starting to wonder if their illogical politeness is actually because the cave is a red herring or a trap.
    “Bree, that’s what we needed, girl. I want you to cover that rock in sleep powder now!” In the air above Mouri’s stone, Bree shook her wings fervently. Powder-fine scales broke loose and fell to the area below. With nothing to interrupt her, Bree let the scales fall for several seconds until everything below was covered in them. “That’s good, Bree. Come back over to me.” Sam looked across the field and saw Cynthia grimacing; she must have figured it out. “That’s right. Your Spiritomb’s protective home just became its prison. Bring it out now, and it’s going to absorb all the sleep powder.”
    A clever strategy indeed. I love how in fanfic you don’t necessarily have to defeat opponents so long as you can incapacitate them, and am glad when I see this idea isn’t overlooked.
    “Last chance, Mr. Stark,” Cynthia offered. There was an edge to her voice that Sam had not picked up on before. Maybe she really was just fooling around at first. “Give up and let us go get those gentlemen.”
    Finally the patient waiting game is coming to a close. Garchomp licking its lips really adds to the intimidation here.
    An explosion behind him stole the rest of his command. The concussive force of the blast barreled out the opening of the cave and knocked Sam off of his feet. He rolled over onto his back to steal a glance upwards; thankfully, Bree was still aloft, albeit shakily. For her own safety, he quickly withdrew her back into her ball. Looking over, he saw that Cynthia had grabbed her grandmother to hold her up, but both were still on their feet due to being further from the opening than Sam had been. Other than an obnoxious humming in his ears and a pair of bloody forearms from impact with the ground, everyone appeared to be all right.

    “What was that?” He found himself shouting in unison with Cynthia. The look on her face revealed she must have been surprised that he did not already know.

    “They weren’t supposed to do anything like that!” Sam shouted over the squeal in his eardrums. “I promise, this wasn’t my intention at all!”
    The Cult of the Thick Facial Hair loves explosives, it seems. Sam has bitten off more than he can chew on two fronts.
    Cynthia began rushing to the entrance of the cave, and Sam instinctively decided to follow her. He had no idea what had just happened; he did not even think anybody on the crew brought anything capable of such a blast. They were just as reckless and foolhardy as they had been at Verity lakefront and on the cargo ship. Before Sam and Cynthia could enter the cave, they were stunned to see three small figures exit it in a blur.
    So they were there after all. Hmm . . .
    From near him, he heard Cynthia give an order. “Perang, Kelaparan, block the entrance to the cave so the guardians can escape!
    You seem to be missing the end quotes from Cynthia’s sentence.
    In the distance of the sky, one of them came to a halt. Sam could faintly make out the crest that marked it as Mesprit. Perhaps something in his voice got through to the small guardian. “Please, I will do anything--anything--for my brother! I would never hurt you or try to catch you, but he means everything to me and nothing will stop me from saving him. Please come back!” With those words, he saw a second stop; this time it was Azelf. As Azelf floated down to its brother Mesprit, Uxie also came to a stop, if only due to curiosity as to what had gotten the attention of the other two. They hovered in the air far from Sam and stared at him. “Please...,” Sam muttered, as he fell to his knees. “Help me.”

    Much slower and more cautiously than the trio had flown into the sky, they began coming back down. Above the ruckus from the entryway to the ruins where the crew must have been trying to get past the Garchomp and Snorlax, Sam heard Professor Carolina let out a startled gasp; she obviously did not expect the guardians to stop their flight to freedom. Sam felt her approach his side, but he did not care. All that mattered was convincing the guardians that he meant what he said. The professor put a hand on Sam’s shoulders, but there was no anger in her grip. She was merely lightly comforting him.
    She’s not the only one surprised. Also, good job in conveying their distinct personalities through these small details.
    The din of mayhem disturbed the moment, and Sam turned to see that a gang of pokemon--led by Carlos’ Hariyama--had battled their way past Cynthia’s Garchomp and Snorlax and had cleared the way of the ruins’ entrance. Carlos himself was right behind the pokemon, and he pointed at the legends and yelled something in Hoennese back to the crew.

    “No!” Sam yelled. He knew they would ruin everything, but it was too late. The battle spilling outside the cave, the frantic yelling of the Phoenix workers, and the sight of them charging towards Sam were all too much for the legends. They took back off into the sky as swiftly as they had fled the cave. Well before Carlos and the others reached Sam, the guardians were out of sight.
    I think this scene works especially well because the guardians turned back at Sam’s plea at first. Had they just left, it would have been one thing, but the fact that they came closer before taking off makes the scene all the more emotional because Sam’s hopes are raised and dashed in such quick succession.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Chapter 16

    Sam was determined to make the trip back to Canalave City as miserable as he could for Carlos. It was not even a small percentage of payback for what Carlos had cost him, but it was the only way Sam could stop himself from putting his own fist through the windshield in frustration.
    Here the decision to provoke Carlos seems more reasonable than the previous occurrences did, as Sam’s anger is much fresher.
    Carlos, who was breathing heavily and audibly, glared at Sam for a few seconds before simply clearing his throat and turning back to the wheel. Sam was quietly thankful; he was more angry than he could ever recall being before, but once Carlos’ crew realized their foreman was being attacked and came to back him up, Sam would really not have liked the way that confrontation ended. For the moment, though, he had successfully alpha male’d Carlos, and that would have to do.
    I have to agree with Knightfall – angrier.
    Sam turned to stare out the window at the feeble guadrail and the valley below.
    Guardrail is missing a letter here.
    He would not be in Canalave for several hours at best, and the last thing he wanted was to be once again cooped up in that truck with Carlos. He had been so close; the trio had been right in front of him, and they seemed to be willing to help him out. Over a year of searching had brought a solution to his fingertips, and it was gone again to who-knows-where over the bumbling of some idiots with whom Sam had been stuck. Sam rubbed his eyes so hard that when he pulled his fingers away, black spots danced in front of him. The construction crew made Barry look like a baron of foresight and careful planning; when Sam got back to the Phoenix Shipping Corporation offices, he was going to insist on a new group of men to work with, or he was going back on his own. The choice might have been out of his hands anyway since he no longer had anything to offer Mr. Alonzo in exchange for their help (help of course being a term used extremely loosely in their case). Now that the guardians were on their own, Sam had no insight into where they could possibly be.
    Really, I though he earlier reasoned that the guardians would likely return to their home Lakes if they weren’t being kept elsewhere . . . or is he doubting that reasoning now?
    He would liked to have depended on the professor and her lovely granddaughter, but they would surely only seek to dissuade Sam from his purpose. Just like Rowan.
    You’re missing the word “have” in between here.
    When they opened again, the first thing Sam noticed was the large cranes. He thought he’d somehow slept all the way to Canalave and its piers, but he also knew he could not have been that tired. When he looked over to Carlos for a clue, he saw that traffic on the other side of the road was a string of dump trucks. A look out his passenger side window showed him a large, rocky hillside with a what seemed to be a covered waterslide jutting out of it.
    There’s also an extra “a” here.
    “So we’re close to the strait then,” Sam noted rhetorically. It was going to be a chore getting all of the Phoenix Corporation equipment back onto a cargo ship just to get across to Canalave, but it was hardly his concern; Carlos and his men would handle that. Sam briefly wondered if they resented him for that but discounted the thought. It was probably fine with them that he did not touch anymore of their stuff. They tended to end up in fissures or at the bottom of the sea when he did.
    I’m not sure, but I think any more should be two words here.
    Sam’s eyes wondered back out his side window.
    Wandered.
    Sam’s phone rang when the truck was mere feet inside the tunnel; it was Rowan’s name on his display again. Sam thought it over--Rowan did not seem the sort to call just to mock him for failing to get the legends. Maybe Professor Carolina told Rowan about Sam’s encounter and what she witnessed; maybe Rowan knew now that Sam’s heart was in the right place. He decided to answer.

    “Professor?”

    “Sam? Sam, you answered. Thank goodness. Sam, we need to talk.”

    “Is this about Celestic Town? Do you know what happened?”

    “Celes-- --No, I-- --were even there--.”
    Ah, cell phone garble at what is probably the worst of moments. Can you hear me now?
    “Well I’ll-- --then. I-- --voicemail and I need-- --Barry-- --home. He-- --and I-- --is. I don’t think-- --with it-- --Phoenix--”
    Here’s hoping Sam didn’t just delete the earlier voicemail out of disgust. Somehow I think he’s wondering about what happened to Barry after Snowpoint, not that Sam will come to that conclusion.
    Chispa’s attention was grabbed first; she immediately forgot about her enemy pebble and rushed to Sam’s legs, winding herself between them. Bree chirped a response in the air, though the sudden, darting movements of her antennae told Sam she still thought the Garchomp was around. Vlam let out a huff of air and did a circle on the sidewalk before lying down.
    I like the reactions the three have, all distinct.
    Chispa and Bree seemed contented enough, but there was something off about Vlam. She lay inattentively on the sidewalk, moving only enough to look from left to right and let out a yawn.

    “All right, what’s the matter with you?”

    Vlam dodged Sam’s attempt at getting into her line of sight by turning away from him. He moved over to where she shifted her head, but the fox pokemon turned to face the other direction. She was clearly giving him the silent treatment. “Oh, whatever it is, I’m sorry,” Sam sighed. “Just let me know, okay?”

    Vlam slowly pushed up to her feet and butted the crown of her head into Sam’s left pocket. He felt Barry’s pokeballs bobble there. “Is that what it is? You want to see Barry’s friends?” Vlam continued staring intently at him. Sam shrugged. “All right, fine.” He reached in his pocket with mild trepidation; he had no idea how Barry’s pokemon would react to him. Still, it was not as if he was gambling on their battling for him, so they should be safe to just let free for a bit. With a gentle squeeze to each red-and-white sphere, he released them.
    I also like Vlam’s reactions here. The ninetales has been shown to be insightful before, and the trend continues.
    Monferno emerged much like Bree had, with his head shooting from left-to-right and obviously wound up. He seemed disoriented at first, but upon noticing Sam, that faded. He leapt upwards, causing Sam to have to catch the fire-type in his arms to avoid a collision. Monferno grunted in a high voice and patted Sam’s face. Bree, seemingly perturbed by Monferno’s playfulness, flew off of her trainer’s shoulder. Barry’s Empoleon and Torterra were apparently less excited to be with Sam. They each stood stoically next to the other shooting Sam looks that he could only discern as unpleasant disdain.

    “So... hi there.” Sam rubbed Monferno’s chin more for the benefit of Empoleon and Torterra than for Monferno. He wanted them to see that he was not an enemy. “Sorry that you haven’t been out for a while.” Empoleon replied with a throaty cackle that didn’t sound happy and caused some of the on-lookers to turn their heads to them.
    Sam’s in for an awkward moment or two.
    “Sorry, Vlam. I know you were trying, but they clearly weren’t buying what you were selling.” Vlam cooed in response and wiped her muzzle with a paw. Monferno, at least, was not swayed by his family’s reaction; he continued crawling around Sam’s shoulders and trying to find a comfortable position. “I’m going to get you guys back home, I promise,” Sam pointed out to the fiery monkey, “I just need to find the opportunity. I’m not sure Barry would love seeing me right now.” Monferno grinned and clapped his hands together, and Sam could only assume he was just happy to hear his trainer’s name.

    A few yards ahead of him, he could see that the bus was finally mobile again and was getting pulled off the road. He promised the four friends around him that when he was out of the stuffy truck, he’d let them free again and recalled them into stasis. With that, he rushed to the truck before Carlos could leave without him.
    Well, Sam’s probably in for more trouble while he figures out his next move.

    Overall, I liked these chapters, especially Sam’s interactions with Tommy in his memory and with Barry’s pokémon at the end. The encounter with the Legends before losing them again was well done as well. There are also sufficient hints of future plot points to keep me interested and curious about what’s next.

    The main weak points were Sam’s spiteful treatment of Carlos when he first found he’d be working with him. After the Celestic Town incident the hostility makes sense, but before it when he’s angrier with Rowan than with the crew he fought before, it seems misplaced. The other weakness was Cynthia and Professor Carolina’s asking Sam to move aside politely when the men he was with were clearly closing in on the Lake trio. If they had been stalling because the cave was a ruse to keep Sam and the others away from the real area the legends were hidden it might have worked, but since they seem to have been in the Celestic Ruins after all, the slower, more polite approach becomes more of a distraction to the battle because of how illogical it seems. If you rework or better build these scenes (especially the Cynthia part), the effect would be much more engaging.
    Oh, look! I wrote a fanfic! Weak (One-Shot. Rated G). Can Iris convince Bianca that she can't just avoid her problems?

    And another one: Mischief (One-Shot. Rated G). A little fun for October.

  24. #149
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    All right, I'm going to TRY to start replying to some of your comments here, even if briefly, since you all put so much effort into reading and commenting and deserve recognition of that!

    #1 Zibdas: Yeah, I'm getting a lot that Sam's not very likable right now, and he's not supposed to be for the moment. He's certainly veering off track!

    #2 Ememew (first time): First of all, I am admittedly an awful (AND ONE FINGER!) typer, so yeah...typos tend to abound. Even after editting and re-reading, I really have a lot of inattentive blindness. I believe I fixed most everything you noted. I think it's a bit GOOD for Sam to be around some as impulsive as he, since it has forced him to reconsider his actions a bit more, but he usually needs his own guiding hand! And yeah, NOBODY seemed to like the placement of world history back in chapter 11 (or 12...I forget), so...alas. I dug it, but it must just be me. I'll be honest...I never bought the concept of pokemon totally supplanting animals in the world (I have a few times referenced "Starly and birds), so I think that there could be pokemon AND, say flies (for the analogy). sam DOES tend to be repentive of his anger at Barry and his reaction, but he was still blinded by rage at that moment. If he had it to do over again, he'd like to, and he certainly blames Rowan more for the deceit than Barry. But he was REALLY mad initially and just flew off the handle. He's got anger issues compounding his desperation. He wasn't really in his right mind during the Snowpoint outburst.

    #3 diamondpearl876: Sam's still fairly young and really stressed and desperate. In his mind, all of his outbursts (aside from actually assaulting Barry) have been justified. So he doesn't view them as weakness because he's not that forward-thinking. I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter!

    #4 Sidewinder: Welcome back! I'm glad you liked the Sam/Barry battle; I enjoyed writing it! I dig that you can see your own characters in mine; I think there's a lot of correlation. I see mine in your story nowadays, too. I guess I could have used a LOT of negatives to society in that line, but I decided to stick to the ones more thematic to the story. I have NOT seen Gone in 60 Seconds, though. Maybe some day. It's good to have you back reviewing!

    Okay, lunch is about over, so I'll get to Mem, Skiyomi, Knightfall, Azurus, and Ememew (again!) when I get time later! Sorry I'm not replying more in-depth, but...time constraints and a crappy training work computer are not my allies.


    Sid87's Gen 6 Igloo Shop!

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  25. #150
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    ASDF AND NOW I AM CAUGHT UP.

    Seriously, why is it that anytime I say I'll do something "soon" I end up getting to it weeks later? Argh. It didn't even feel that long, either.

    Anyways! Chapter 14!

    Her partner was significantly younger, and Sam found her to be one of the most attractive young women he had ever laid eyes on. Her wavy blonde hair hung just below her waist, and she was dressed in all black: black pants, a black blouse, and a black, fur-rimmed jacket.
    It wasn't until the very end of that passage that I found myself going "...wait. ...WAIT. NO."
    Sam enjoyed briefly imagining that she was defending him from the lady who must have been her grandmother because she thought he was charming, but he realized it was a wasted thought. She probably would not be too impressed with him shortly.
    Ffffff, it's amusing to thought like this from Sam, as it's something that hasn't had an opportunity to come up yet.
    “I told you, Cynthia.”

    “We’re not here to hurt anybody or anything. It’s just research. I certainly don’t want to be upsetting anyone.”

    “Mr. Stark, we really can’t have anyone in that cave.”

    “I understand that, Cynthia, but we really need to get in there.”

    “Cynthia, there’s no more time for talk! Those men are in the cave already!”
    I know that you prefer to keep the dialogue tags sparce, but it gets a bit suspect when you have a three person conversation like this. I was able to follow who was saying what fairly easily, except for Sam's second line being addressed to Cynthia, which implies that the third line was said by her rather than Carolina. The brief moment it took to interpret that succeeded in breaking the flow for me, so I'd advise at least one action marker or dialogue tag on the third line.
    Cynthia frowned and pulled a ball from inside her coat. Sam recognized it as an Ultra Ball from its yellow-and-black design. “Please stand aside and allow us to get those gentlemen out of the cave, Samuel. It is imperative.”

    Sam chewed the inside of his lip in frustration and pulled Chispa’s Friend Ball from his pocket. “I can’t do that. I’m sorry.”
    Ohhhhhhhh crap. xD Sam...uh, Sam? Don't do this, Sam.
    Cynthia’s Ultra Ball released a burst of concentrated energy, as well. Sam braced himself for the appearance of her friend; he had no idea what it could be or what it was capable of. The energy coalesced on the ground and formed a rock. It did not appear to be a rock-typed pokemon--at least not one Sam had ever heard of living in the Sinnoh region--it was merely a cone-like, gray rock with a crack in its top. Sam waited a few seconds that felt significantly longer for the stone to do something, but it did not.
    Phew. Well, okay, at least the rampaging engine of hate known as Garchomp isn't descending upon him.
    He was shocked back to attention on the battle by a roar that made the blood in his veins feel chilled.
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    Nice battle by the way. I like how you addressed different strategies for physical or special moves depending on what "state" Spiritomb was in. I also like what it said about her character that she didnt just demolish him right away. However, the battle felt a bit backwards as a result. By having the emphasis be on how hard it was for Sam to hurt her Pokemon, it casts Cynthia as playing the defender in the fight, despite the fact that Sam is the one desperately stalling for time.

    And was that a chapter ending, or what?! Whew! I wasn't expecting him to actually get a chance to address the legends! Maybe see them, but not talk with them. But what on earth is he going to do now? That was his only lead. Methinks this is going to require a plot twist in the near future to give Sam a new direction to follow.
    Carlos snorted. “We thought they was attacking you.”

    “Oh, you’re about five seconds away from seeing what an attack looks like so next time you’ll know.”
    Oosh, pushing this a bit hard, aren't we, Sam? Don't want to make more enemies.
    He felt the multitude of pokeballs bulging in his pocket and wondered if any of Barry’s pokemon would have fought for him should it have come to that. He suspected the high-energy, affectionate Monferno might have, but Empoleon and Torterra were bigger x-factors. It was probably for the best to keep them all contained for the moment. Eventually Sam knew he’d have to make his way to Twinleaf Town and drop the three of them off. At the moment, he could not bring himself to think of facing Barry, though.
    Whoa, that's right, I had actually forgotten that he still had them. I mena, I remember him taking them after the fight, but thought he had given them back at some point.
    Professor Rowan was not calling about how Sam had gained the trio’s trust at all. He was talking about Barry and the Phoenix Corporation. He was just calling to talk Sam out of this again. No faith. No trust. Just another lecture. “Are you still there, Professor?”

    He heard Rowan still talking right through the question. Rowan must not have been able to hear Sam any longer, either. “--please, I-- --help and-- --care for-- --doesn’t deserve--” Finally, Sam’s phone emitted a beep, and he knew the call was lost entirely.
    Mmm...I'm sensing that's not the case here.
    Angry foreign voices shouted through the walkie talkie, and Carlos responded to them in kind. For all Sam knew, they were exchanging pie recipes; everything in their native language sounded harsh and bitter.
    *Snrk* That's hilarious. Reminds me of a time a firend of mine made a series of completely innocuous statements in German come out overly angry. xD

    Not much else to comment on, since 16 was a short chapter. I am finally caught up, woohoo!

    ~Chibi~
    Last edited by Chibi Pika; 26th September 2012 at 4:58 PM.


    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.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8/30/12: CHAPTER 7: “Into the Fire” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 8 progress: 9/12 pages


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