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Thread: Operation GEAR: The Angel of Reckoning (R)

  1. #76
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    May 2007
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    Illinois, USA
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    673

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    As you can see, this story has an R rating, which has been approved by Dragonfree after some rigorous testing. It will be tackling some darker material than what I usually do; among these subjects are cults, extremely unethical scientific experimentation, various types of discrimination, strongly implied sexual content and homelessness. In addition, war and mental illness may be touched on, there’s a plotline about a serial killer, and a plotline will have discussion of a character who was raped – before anyone jumps to conclusions about this just from reading that, I have literally put months of work and research into ensuring that the subject will be handled tastefully and respectfully, and I can promise that it is relevant, not simply included for edginess.
    This sounds like my kind of fic already.

    The young doctor, dressed sharply in an immaculate white lab coat, adjusted his glasses nervously as he surveyed the computers surrounding him. Many of the machines bore the same logo that was stitched onto the man’s breast pocket, a letter ‘P’ formed out of the red-and-yellow strands of a double helix.

    All around him were monitors of the situation unfolding in an operating room directly linked to his lab. He was in charge of what was happening in the other room, and had to address the scientists under his command through a microphone affixed to the desk. Large machines, many of them at least the size of a refrigerator, were clustered in one portion of the lab, while a small kitchen unit sat opposite them. There was also a lounging area that consisted simply of an old, rotting bookcase, drab sofa and decrepit television set; on the wall right next to the bookcase was a framed document assigning a doctorate to the man, whose name was Gabriel Zager. A tiny yellow spider Pokémon, Joltik, skittered hyperactively around the room.

    He knew the operation in the other room was going horribly simply from the barrage of noise coming back at him through the terminal’s speakers. The sounds of several men rushing about the room could be heard, but even louder than that were the alternating sounds of a woman screaming and then briefly gasping to try and catch her breath.

    “Just keep at it, all of you,” the doctor said in an attempt to encourage his men, while nervously eyeing the screens monitoring the woman’s heart rate, blood pressure and temperature. “We’ve come too far now. There’s no turning back.”
    You used “nervously” and “simply” very close together in just these few paragraphs. I’m sure that you can find a better way to portray these things than using the same word, no?

    “Are you alright?!” This was a bad sign, and the doctor knew it. He had been assured that the team he was commanding was comprised of very well-trained scientific and medical professionals, so to see one of those very same people unable to handle their own job struck him deeply.

    “It’s… it’s horrible...” The scientist was clearly deeply disturbed by what he had seen. He spoke in a shaking, terrified voice, and did not even turn to face his boss. “That thing is a monster… it’s parasitized the very fibers of her being… we never should have played God and done this…”
    Same here with “deeply”.

    I also want to add that I haven’t read your other reviews so sorry if I repeat anything. And I’m liking your dialogue a lot so far here.

    The first of the two women to speak was the one with flowing purple hair. “When the vast white flame of truth burns out…” she said in a breathy, flat voice, “…and the deep black thunder of ideals dissipates into nothing…”

    “That gray void of nothing…” her counterpart, distinguishable by her green ponytail, completed. “That is the Day of Reckoning.”
    I really like these pieces of dialogue here. Very poetic and full of imagery.

    “Watch it, Jeunes,” reproached the number-four executive, a woman whose nearly-full head and shoulder armor left her slightly-aged-looking nose and mouth areas as the only indications of her gender.
    What about her voice?

    His complacence was directly the reason why he did not notice the infiltrator who slipped into the museum.
    And this is exactly why I could never work in a place like this at night… I’d be so scared…

    Also like how you separated this one sentence from the other paragraphs. Adds a lot more suspense.

    However, he was too slow to act, and when the power system shorted out, the museum went into automatic lockdown – which included the door in and out of his small room.
    This guy should be fired, effective immediately.

    Both were dressed in plain brown clothes, and the male half of the duo had blue hair of a moderate length. The only unusual characteristic between the two of them was the extremely long ponytail worn by the woman.
    Yeah, because blue hair isn’t unusual or anything…

    Outside, the building Jessie, James and Meowth lived in exploded in flames. All three of them gasped, and much to her frustration, Jessie’s Wobbuffet escaped from its ball to join the chorus of dismayed groans.

    “What do you think you’re doing, you punk?!” Meowth screeched.
    I think this portion could have been done better. This is, to me, a part that’s supposed to contribute to all the suspense that’s going on, but I’m not feeling it. First, the first sentence sounds really awkward. Try saying it out loud. The word “outside” seems misplaced because it indicates to me that only the outside of the house exploded. The two “in”s so close to each other also makes it hard to read. I had to read it a couple times to stop being confused. Also, there’s no other description here, and you’re very good at description, so I know you can describe more. I’ll leave the Wobbuffet thing alone since that’s just very likely to happen even in a not-funny situation LOL.

    “Oh, he’s probably off jerking around somewhere, probably literally.” Nekou sighed and sipped her beer before adding, “Don’t worry about it. We’ll get some pizza and leave him out of it. **** him if he doesn’t want to hang out with us.”
    God, I like Nekou already. Just saying.

    Feeling a spike of sorrow, the man adjusted his glasses and brushed aside the lock of his shoulder-length blonde hair that hung over his right eye.
    You seem to like pointing out hair/masks/whathaveyou that hangs out someone’s left or right eye(s). I wonder if that has any significance?

    They were unable to leave until Nekou and Matt joined them, so they were conversing further between themselves.
    I just wanted to point out that I like the name Matt… because every Matt I’ve ever met is a wonderful person. Woohoo.

    I have to say that I am very intrigued by your prologue/chapter 1. You introduced an awful lot of information all at once, but not enough to deter me from the fic or make me think “oh god I’m going to have to struggle to remember all of this.” I hope to see more development in the future, which I am sure you will provide. I also liked where you ended each part of each introduction. It felt perfect in all places. I also like your descriptions, though it gets a bit wordy at times. You seem to like to describing every little thing, which isn’t exactly necessary. Focus on description that matters, descriptions of characters, description that adds to the current mood. My favorite part so far I think, though, is your dialogue. Very realistic on the girls’ part and very suspenseful (though a bit dramatic) on the scientists’ part.

    Turning her frustrated anger on Matt, Olivia threw his hand away and yelled, “You’re not my dad, so don’t tell me what to do!”
    Olivia sure has a lot of daddy issues…


    “Please, Olivia, I ask that you give these two a chance,” requested Juniper. “They, along with the Grass-type Pokémon Snivy, are the starter Pokémon of the Unova Region. Tepig is a dependable partner who will ultimately evolve into the powerful Fire-and-Fighting-type Pokémon Emboar…” Tepig responded to Juniper’s praise by snorting enthusiastically, snorting out some small embers. “…while Oshawott fights with the shell on its stomach, and as it passes through evolutionary stages toward its ultimate form, Samurott, it first gains a second shell and then a pair of formidable shell swords.”
    Oshawott kicks *** with his razor shell attack, Olivia. Just saying.

    Also, I think the proper format for showing actions in between dialogue would be this:

    “Tepig is a dependable partner who will ultimately evolve into the powerful Fire-and-Fighting-type Pokémon Emboar”—Tepig responded to Juniper’s praise by snorting enthusiastically, snorting out some small embers—“while Oshawott fights with the shell on its stomach, and as it passes through evolutionary stages toward its ultimate form, Samurott, it first gains a second shell and then a pair of formidable shell swords.”

    “I guess,” she answered bitterly. “But don’t expect me to decide quickly. My starter Pokémon was supposed to be something that could stand right alongside me, Minccino and Roselia as we won badges and Ribbons, which would force my dad to notice me again. It was never supposed to start like this.”
    I thought the whole idea was that she wanted a water-type pokémon. What’s wrong with Oshawott, then? Is she just being a baby? Seems like it.

    Time had not been kind to Doctor Gabriel Zager.
    You said something along the lines of “Time had not been kind to the researchers” or something in the first chapter. Seeing the same sentence is kind of jarring.

    The other was a curvaceous woman in a white blouse and skirt, an outfit accented by bits of black around her neck, midsection and wrists as well as down at the end of the skirt, near her knee-high white boots. Her bright red hair stood out like a spotlight against the rather droll surroundings of the laboratory, and in her boredom, she was lounging in a chair next to a coffee table away from Zager’s work space, her feet up on a torn ottoman.
    Just wanted to say that I like how you have at least one distinguishable feature per character appearance. It might help a lot since there seems to be a ton of characters I’ll have to keep track of.


    “Ah, medicine you have to take with coffee instead of water. A miracle of modern science.”
    Interesting. Wonder what medicine she’s taking? Must be important or you wouldn’t have taken the time to point it out.

    However, she then remembered a trainer to whom she’d given a Snivy some years ago; at the time, he kept saying that he only wished to become stronger at any cost, but eventually, he learned to understand his Pokémon more and eventually became a respected Gym Leader in Unova.
    Wonder if this is a reference to Cheren? Haha

    Nekou opened her Poké Ball, releasing a Sneasel.
    Senori doesn’t like you right now.

    Olivia strode back to her battle position while eating the roll one bite at a time. She felt like things were happening incredibly fast – the day wasn’t even over yet, and she’d already met a professor, suffered a setback in her quest before it even began and received a substitute for the starter Pokémon she wanted. Now she was in her very first battle as an official trainer and halfway to fully winning it, and it excited her beyond her original goal of impressing her father. Winning, she was quickly coming to discover, felt good.
    Sounds like a long day indeed. Question—why isn’t Olivia an official trainer already since she has Minccino and Roselia? Are trainers only official once they receive a starting pokémon from a professor or what?

    Someone who should not exist has no right to consider themselves entitled to anything more than the air they are lucky enough to breathe! Now… Drowzee, leave port!”
    She shouldn’t even exist? Geez, this guy’s harsh.

    Second chapter was good too. I appreciated the retelling of events that I assume happened in your other fics. Even if it didn’t happen in your other fics it still brings your characters to life by giving them a past. I also like your battles, though I feel they’re lacking a bit in description. They remind me of the anime in the sense that there’s a ton more dramatic dialogue than needed. But I like the strategy you put into it and the fact that the cloaked guy kept saying Olivia reminded him of her father. I really can’t wait until she finds out he’s dead, as evil as that sounds. She’s going to go crazy.

    God, just glancing over your past reviews, I hope that mine at least helped you out a little bit or told you something new. You have a great following for this fic so far, which tells you a lot. I’ll be back for more.


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


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


  2. #77

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    “You had him right in front of you and YOU LET HIM GO?!” Ghetsis picked Chaos up by the neck again, much like how he had done before throwing him, and slammed him into the barrier a second time. “That warped boy is key to my rise!”
    Ghetsis Harmonia! I never knew you were that.... strong.

    Whipping around, Ghetsis flung Chaos across the floor, leaving him in a crumpled heap. He then lurched over to the ninja and pinned the white-haired man’s head under the end of his cane
    ...and that violent... (well actually I can kinda believe that, just never pictured him)

    Having breached the fence on the edge of the school’s property, the crowd of protesters who had been picketing Violet Gym earlier in the day advanced toward the battlefield. Leading them was a stout, elderly man wrapped in a thick purple coat whose heavy boots left deep footprints behind in the ground. At his side walked a Jynx and a Weavile, and Cryogonal soon joined them.

    “Zinzolin…” Nekou quietly seethed, her voice not rising above a whisper.
    Never really pictured him, with a jynx though. so he's the master of ice types in this world?

    While he was not quite as eloquent as Ghetsis,
    No one's as eloquent as Ghetsis... lol

    “We will battle, then…” Amanda growled at the strangely-clothed old man, “…and when I defeat you, you will leave.”
    is that a threat?

    “Don’t count your Torchic before they hatch, girl.” Zinzolin had begun plucking more of his Poké Balls from the black bands wrapping around his coat. “I am not the right hand of Polaris’s spokesman for nothing!”
    Not as good as Ghetsis but I CAN picture him making comebacks like this;

    “Gladly! I’ll make you regret asking for it! Zoroark, use Flamethrower, and Arcanine, use Wild Charge!”

    “Cryogonal, bring in Hail! Glalie, follow with Blizzard!”

    Amanda’s Arcanine shrouded himself in sparking yellow electricity and forcefully tackled Empoleon, who made no effort to dodge. This was to buy time for Cryogonal, who was flying overhead, to cry out to the sky. That cry caused dark clouds to gather, which in turn soon gave rise to a steady hailstorm.

    These conditions made it ideal for Glalie’s move, as the hailstorm gave greater range to his icy blast. Zoroark dropped her budding Flamethrower and instead formed a shield of glowing hexagons of light in front of herself. Despite this, Amanda’s other Pokémon still were subject to the harsh attack, but they all weathered it well, at least on an immediately apparent level.

    Meanwhile, Nekou, Bunny and Olivia clustered even more tightly around Matt, who was shivering and beginning to lapse out of consciousness from the persistent cold.

    “Don’t you black out on me!” Nekou yelled at him. “You can’t just let a little ****ing cold stop you!”

    “Zoroark, stay over by big brother and use Protect to keep him from getting colder,” Amanda said, having heard Nekou’s shouting. Zoroark immediately followed this direction, freeing up Amanda’s attention so she could once again focus on the battle. “Snorlax, Heavy Slam! Vanilluxe, Signal Beam!”

    “Don’t get overconfident! Jynx, use Sweet Kiss!”

    A glowing light in the shape of a pair of lips emerged from Jynx’s face and washed over Amanda’s Snorlax as he stood, leaving him wobbling in confusion. He overcame it, though, and managed to leap high into the air. Alongside him, Amanda’s ice cream-like Vanilluxe gathered energy at the tip of her straw and fired a rainbow-colored beam from it.

    Seeing these two attacks barreling toward his Pokémon, Zinzolin hastily ordered, “Weavile and Empoleon, block those with Blizzard and Drill Peck!”

    Weavile opened her mouth and exhaled an icy gale right into the Signal Beam heading her way, while Empoleon leapt into the air while spinning rapidly, hoping to deflect Snorlax away from Jynx. Neither counter worked, however, and both Weavile and Empoleon were struck down. Snorlax then landed squarely on Jynx, crushing her under his immense weight. His weight, combined with the fact that Heavy Slam was a Steel-type move and thus super-effective on the partially Ice-type Jynx, left her completely unconscious when Snorlax rolled over off of her.

    Zinzolin grunted, then recalled Jynx while Amanda called Snorlax back herself. “Well played, curious trainer. But, this is not yet over. It’s about time I showed you the true power Polar…”

    “Gothitelle, attack Empoleon with Thunderbolt!” Amanda called out, interrupting Zinzolin’s attempt at a lecture.

    “Goth-ii!” Gothitelle shrilled in her deep, womanly voice. Lightning shot out from her body and arced through the air, ultimately making contact with and electrocuting Empoleon. Due to the accidental damage Empoleon had suffered during his attempt at stopping Snorlax, he couldn’t weather Thunderbolt, and he collapsed.

    “You were saying?” Amanda taunted a moment later.

    “You will not stand in the way of progress, abomination!” fumed Zinzolin as he recalled a Pokémon for the second time in less than a minute. “It’s time I opened up another front in this battle,” he stated, turning his head to Amanda herself. “Cryogonal, Flash Cannon. Weavile, Glalie, use Blizzard. Vanillish, Ice Beam. All of you, target that monster brainwashing these children!”

    Amanda immediately gasped in horror; this was what it took to finally cause her to panic. “You won’t hurt my students!!” she screamed, apparently misunderstanding Zinzolin’s intentions and not realizing that he was targeting her. “Arcanine, Hariyama, Gothitelle, Vanilluxe, stop them!”

    Amanda’s Pokémon, however, were too slow to respond. Zinzolin’s four remaining Pokémon all powered up and released their attacks simultaneously in the blink of an eye.

    Seeing the combined strength of two Blizzards, a Flash Cannon and an Ice Beam going towards their teacher, some of the students began fleeing while screaming in fear, while others froze up and didn’t know what to do. Dominic pulled Avril, Helena and Monroe close, intending to shield them himself if he had to.

    Thankfully, it never came to that. Hethna lurched in between Amanda and Zinzolin’s assault, taking all the power infused in the four attacks itself. Hethna couldn’t stand up any longer after taking so many powerful hits at once, and wobbled back and forth briefly before falling forward, its front completely covered in ice.

    Amanda’s Pokémon charged forward at their enemies, who were now left wide open. Hariyama attacked first by sending a barrage of jagged stones at Weavile. He then played a second use when Arcanine leaped off his head to gain the altitude necessary to hit Cryogonal with the blazing body slam of Flare Blitz. Glalie ended up the target of both Gothitelle and Vanilluxe, who double-teamed him using Psyshock and a red, pulsing Hyper Beam.
    Okay...

    that WAS a pretty awesome battle. Especially for a kid up against the sages.

    When Zager started coughing, Ariana ordered, “Jessie, put him down now or I’ll have you written up for insubordination.”
    She can do that? And yay~ Zager.

    “Dr. Colress Antimony, as I live and breathe,” Polaris’s financier greeted him. “Welcome to the Adenosine Base. We shall help you finish your work on Pokémon strength here.”

    “So you’re Finansielle, then?” Colress asked, twirling his finger through the long curl of blue hair that wrapped around his head. “I’m looking forward to getting to work. The key of the latent potential of Pokémon…”

    “Did you bring those objects I requested?”

    “Yes, I did.” Upon Finansielle’s request, Colress held up the briefcase he’d been carrying and opened it, revealing two sharp pins colored in stripes of blue, black and white preserved in orange fluid.

    Immediately upon seeing them, Finansielle breathed heavily. “The DNA Splicers… finally, after so long, the key to Polaris’s promised world is finally in our possession…”

    “I’ll be more than happy to help you reach that world, too. My expertise will be necessary to create the perfect DNA that we both seek.”
    and Colress appears with the slicers. This is getting good.

    But yeah, this is really good so far and I do apologize for the lack of commentary.
    岩根雅明=♡

  3. #78
    Join Date
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    Somewhere in Unova...
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    Well, here we are. (side note: love the "restore auto-saved content" button. XD)

    And, right off the bat, more fun times with Ghetsis. Is no one aware of what happened in Unova? Because I would think that Ghetsis' use of speeches to trick people would have been public knowledge by this point. Unless Polaris has more influence than I initially suspected...there's a disturbing thought.

    “Olivia, you can’t think like that.” Matt tried to put on a strong face, masking his own unsettled emotions over the recent events. “Look, tomorrow you’re going for your first Badge, right? Focus on that. You finally made it to your first Gym.”

    “Matt’s saying something smart this time,” Nekou added, putting some sarcasm in her words to lighten things up a bit. “I can tell you that Ghetsis is not a man worth listening to. I disgust myself even using the word ‘man’ to refer to a piece of **** like him.”
    Have to agree with Nekou on the subject of our favorite Plasma head.

    However, Olivia’s loud declaration attracted the attention of the Pokémon Center nurse, who had been standing nearby at her desk. She stepped over to the group and interrupted, “I’m sorry, but I overheard that you want to go to Violet Gym?”

    “Yeah, why?” Olivia questioned.

    “With our luck, she’s about to say it’s…”

    “Sorry, but the Gym is closed right now. Nobody can get to it.”

    “…I ****ing knew it,” Nekou finished her thought.
    I see Nekou has a decent understanding of Murphy's Law. XD Also, the fact that people are protesting the Gym is kinda bad news. Have to say this for Ghetsis: he always did know how to deliver a convincing speech.

    And Dominic returns. I'm still not sure about this guy, but after meeting his kids I may be wrong.

    “Is that good old Dominic I hear?” The voice echoing down the hall was loud and rich, giving itself such strength that it shook the walls. A large man in a blue suit came bounding out into the lobby with heavy steps; his boisterous demeanor surprised all of Dominic’s guests. “Welcome back, my dear Dominic! I see you’ve brought guests, just as you said earlier!”
    Oh, dear...this guy.

    Didn't Earl Dervish wear a tutu in the anime, or does he only wear it when it is summoned by the power of anime gag physics? XD Been a while since I've seen that episode.

    And then more Ghetsis. What else can be said about this guy? Nasty, cruel, downright insane...the list goes on.

    The eldest of the three, Helena, towered over her siblings. She stood calmly by, running her hand through her red hair, not speaking at first.

    It was then that Matt finally realized that Monroe was signing rapidly to her, communicating everything going on in a flurry of masterful hand motions.

    “She’s deaf?” Bunny spoke, putting words to the feeling of surprise the group of four shared.

    “Since birth.”

    Each of Helena’s steps was slow and measured, carrying a dignified air. She directly approached Matt and extended a hand to him.

    “I am honored to meet you, sir.”

    The mere fact that Helena was able to speak was enough shock Matt still, but beyond that, her voice was surprisingly smooth and refined, capturing her ladylike demeanor perfectly. Matt eventually did manage to shake her hand, but his surprise didn’t wear off, and he directed a puzzled gaze over toward Dominic.

    Understanding immediately what Matt was confused by, Dominic beckoned him over and quietly explained, “She didn’t want to let her disability stop her from speaking normally, so I got some Psychic-type Pokémon to help me teach her how. It wasn’t easy, and either Avril or Monroe signs for her when they can, but I’m very proud of her and all the work she did to overcome it.”
    Hmm...have to wonder if there's more here than what we're seeing. I have a feeling that Helena's going to be important later, especially given her sister's new rivalry with Olivia.

    Speaking of which...

    Avril scoffed at the praise Olivia was heaping upon her brother. “If you think that thing is a good Pokémon, wait until you put your eyes on what I’ve got. Servine, go!”

    Much like his trainer, the green, vaguely serpentine Pokémon that emerged from Avril’s Poké Ball had a haughty, arrogant air about himself. Balancing on tiny legs, he stretched his body to its full height and cast a scornful look downward upon Klink and Vanillite.

    “Servine, the Grass Snake Pokémon. Type is Grass. Evolved form of Snivy, When it gets dirty, its leaves can't be used in photosynthesis, so it always keeps itself clean.”

    “Wait a minute…” Remembering something, Olivia hesitated. “Snivy was one of the three Pokémon Professor Juniper said she could offer me, but it specifically was missing. Are you the one who got Snivy?”

    “The one and only.” Putting her hands on her hips, Avril leaned forward and smugly asked, “Did you get stuck with one of those inferior ones that were left?”

    “He is not inferior!”

    “Then let’s see him.”

    Without a second thought, Olivia pressed the button to open Oshawott’s Poké Ball. He materialized looking sleepy and still missing his shell, prompting both Avril and her Servine to laugh.

    “Wow, you didn’t even take the good one,” she taunted, “but then again, someone who’s childish in both body and spirit taking a childish Pokémon makes sense!”

    “Avril!” Dominic snapped, showing a seriousness that he hadn’t before. “Behave yourself!”

    “Fine, fine. But let me ask one thing. What happened to its shell?”

    “It got broken in a battle with a Gurdurr yesterday.”

    Avril managed to suppress another outburst of laughing into little more than a snicker, and she walked toward the door with Servine. “You better pay attention outside and learn something, because you’re gonna need it.”
    And of course Snivy goes to the utter snob. XD Avril's going to be one worth watching, I can tell.

    I have a sudden urge to create a Tepig trainer, now...as if I didn't have enough characters already. XD

    “Please, accept my apologies,” Dominic hurriedly said as he too went for the door. “I’ll deal with her.”

    “Is she always like this?” Matt questioned once Dominic was out the door.

    “It wouldn’t be proper of me to discuss that in front of so many people,” Amanda replied.
    And this is why I said that Avril would be one to watch. Amanda's line here doesn't just indicate how well she goes about her job, it may actually be hinting at some deeper issues that Avril may have which cause her to act the way she does.

    ...or, then again, I could just be reading a little TOO deeply into this. XD Maybe I should just save that for when we meet Renzo again.

    Moving on, Matt and Amanda's battle was quite well-done. Interesting tactic Amanda's Hariyama used to beat Tanya, and Arcanine's use of Close Combat was a decent surprise move.

    And then comes Zinzolin. Amanda VS Zinzolin was satisfyingly intense, although I have to wonder one thing.

    “You will not stand in the way of progress, abomination!” fumed Zinzolin as he recalled a Pokémon for the second time in less than a minute. “It’s time I opened up another front in this battle,” he stated, turning his head to Amanda herself. “Cryogonal, Flash Cannon. Weavile, Glalie, use Blizzard. Vanillish, Ice Beam. All of you, target that monster brainwashing these children!”

    Amanda immediately gasped in horror; this was what it took to finally cause her to panic. “You won’t hurt my students!!” she screamed, apparently misunderstanding Zinzolin’s intentions and not realizing that he was targeting her. “Arcanine, Hariyama, Gothitelle, Vanilluxe, stop them!”
    ...how did she misunderstand Zinzolin's intentions? He pretty much blared out that he wanted to kill HER, not necessarily the students. Not really a major flub or anything, just...a little odd.

    Next, Olivia and Avril at Sprout Tower.

    “I shouldn’t have expected a kid like you to know,” Avril scoffed. “They won’t let you challenge the Violet Gym in the first place unless you get approval from the Elder here.”

    “And I suppose that’s why you’re here, because you already got permission?” Olivia’s sarcastic taunt was said with full realization that Avril actually hadn’t done so either.

    Briefly at a loss for words, Avril hissed back, “I’m more than you’ll ever be, wait and watch. Have your laughs while you can.”

    “Oh, whatever. Let’s go.”
    “Greetings,” a bald-headed monk wearing a black robe said to the two young women as they entered the pagoda. “Welcome to Sprout Tower. Please state your purpose.”

    “I want permission to battle Falkner!” Avril demanded.

    “Hey, me too!” Olivia added.

    “Very well. If you wish to earn our Elder’s permission to battle Falkner, you must reach him on the third floor of our temple. Each of you, take one of the flights of stairs in the back of this chamber. On the above floor you will find a series of chambers where the monks here will test your worthiness for an audience with the Elder. May the gentle luck of the Bellsprout be with you both.”

    “I’m going to get up there and win before you even come close,” Avril boasted, putting her hands on her hips.

    “As if! I’ll leave you in the dust!”

    “You’re on, washboard!”
    Ah, the glory of interactions between rivals. Love both reading and writing about it. XD

    Nekou was watching Matt, Amanda and Bunny verbally spar over the Light Stone and Reshiram from a vantage point that mostly obscured her behind a bookcase. She was waiting for when she felt comfortable that they would not notice what she was doing.

    Several minutes passed before that feeling finally came. Nekou slid into the narrow aisle defined by the bookcases and removed her glasses, tossing them into a nearby garbage bin with a sharp flick of her wrist. She then took out a new pair that was more rectangular in shape with frames that didn’t cover the tops of the lenses, put them on, and tapped the left-hand stem. This activated a computer built into the glasses, and she used them to scan the shelves.

    “Where are you…” she uttered to herself. There was one particular book she wanted to find, and all of her attention was focused on locating it. After covering several rows of books, a signal on her computer glasses flashed. “Well, that wasn’t so hard.”

    Nekou switched off her glasses and pulled the book from its place on the shelf. It was not particularly thick, but she knew that it was nevertheless important despite its size.

    “A Documentation of Ancient Cultures and Peoples,” she read off the book’s heavy brown cover, “by Sutter Chiaki and Jacob Alexison.”
    When her eyes glanced down to the last entry, Nekou’s blood ran cold. It was written in a different style than the others, coming across as panicked and terrified.

    “December 8, 1953 – It’s a disaster… the village elders decided to exile Jacob and I, and Saeko was sentenced to burn at the stake as a witch. But it’s not that simple. She tried to run. She ran, and in her desperation, she swallowed that little stone they hid away in the village, and now it’s burning and everyone is dead. Should anyone read this in the future, let it be a warning to you. Stay away from that accursed thing… that Jewel of Life… all it brings is despair! It is cursed! We should never have searched for it in the first place!”

    Rattled, Nekou closed the book, tucked it under her arm, and quietly headed to leave the library. “This changes things,” she thought to herself. “I have to find out more about what this means...”
    THE PLOT THICKENS! XD Heh, always wanted to say that. Seriously, though, have to wonder what Nekou's up to. Is she doing this for Matt's benefit, or for someone else's...?

    “I am. My name is Li, and I welcome you to the Sprout Tower! What have you learned from your training here? I would like the two of you to reflect on that. Since you came here, you must wish to challenge Falkner. I’m the final test before Violet Gym for the two of you. Which one of you will go first?”

    “I will!” Avril loudly declared, pushing Olivia aside.

    “You’re clearly very eager. What is your name, girl?”

    “Avril! And I’m going to be the Champion!”

    Li smiled under his thick white moustache. “Very well, Avril, I accept your challenge. Go, Bellsprout!”

    As soon as the Bellsprout emerged from Li’s Poké Ball, Avril took out and threw her own, a variant with a green top. The Nest Ball burst open, revealing a small, dinosaur-like Pokémon with a stout blue body and black fur growing on its neck and head.

    “That Pokémon is so cute!” Olivia squealed as she scanned the growling creature.

    “Deino, the Irate Pokémon. Type is Dark/Dragon. Lacking sight, it's unaware of its surroundings, so it bumps into things and eats anything that moves.”

    “Yeah, none of your Pokémon can measure up to her,” Avril snidely boasted regarding Deino. “Deino, open strong. Use Work Up!”

    “A wise tactic. I think I shall copy it. Bellsprout, Growth!”
    Hmm...I wouldn't think one would find a Deino in the vicinity of Violet City. Have to wonder where she caught it.

    Jessie didn’t let go of Zager as much as she simply dropped him, and he came close to falling down once he landed. She then fumed back over to rejoin James and Ariana. Meanwhile, Galvantula was hiding under the laboratory table.

    “Explain what you’re saying,” the doctor demanded.

    “The Team Plasma members who are in Polaris attacked us and we got into a fight with them. During the battle the Meteonite became destabilized, and when Meowth touched it, it changed him. Ariana came to take Jessie and I to you before things got any worse.”

    “So help us, Doctor!” Jessie added.

    “I’m…” It was difficult for Zager to accept what he was being told. Beneath his occasionally gruff demeanor, he did genuinely care about those under his command, so he felt a strong desire to get Meowth back as well. On the other hand, though, he knew far more than Jessie, James or even Ariana just how hard defeating Polaris would be. “I’m afraid I can’t do anything right now but contact the boss for help. Do you have the R-Pad?”

    “Right here,” Jessie said as she held the computer up.

    “Then we shall get to the data analysis right away.” Zager narrowed his eyes, and his face became darker. “What could Polaris actually be planning?”
    I like how Zager is shown as caring about his underlings, rather than just being the mustache-twirling mad scientist the anime generally showed him as being. Expansion of canon is always great when done right.

    Polaris’s Adenosine Base stood in the Johto ocean like a massive iron monolith supported by legs on four small islands. The brisk sea breeze blew over the structure as it sat under the bright moonlight.

    On one of the four islands, a vast landing area was set up. Several scientists were there, as was Finansielle, the winds blowing the sheer cape running down from her armor to cover the nightgown she wore underneath.

    Soon, a large, military-grade helicopter came from over the surface of the sea and settled into hovering over the ring of lights on the landing pad. Its pilot carefully guided the craft downward, landing with little fuss.

    A staircase emerged from the side of the chopper and descended in front of Finansielle and the scientists. The cabin door opened, and a blonde, bespectacled man in a flowing white lab coat stepped out. He walked calmly down the stairs and only stopped once he was face-to-face with Finansielle.

    Dr. Colress Antimony, as I live and breathe,” Polaris’s financier greeted him. “Welcome to the Adenosine Base. We shall help you finish your work on Pokémon strength here.”
    ....COLRESS! YESSSS! XD

    As you know, I freaking love this guy, and I'm happy to see him here. I already can't wait for him to enter a battle so I can start playing his awesome music as I read. XD

    “So you’re Finansielle, then?” Colress asked, twirling his finger through the long curl of blue hair that wrapped around his head. “I’m looking forward to getting to work. The key of the latent potential of Pokémon…”

    “Did you bring those objects I requested?”

    “Yes, I did.” Upon Finansielle’s request, Colress held up the briefcase he’d been carrying and opened it, revealing two sharp pins colored in stripes of blue, black and white preserved in orange fluid.

    Immediately upon seeing them, Finansielle breathed heavily. “The DNA Splicers… finally, after so long, the key to Polaris’s promised world is finally in our possession…”

    “I’ll be more than happy to help you reach that world, too. My expertise will be necessary to create the perfect DNA that we both seek.”
    How did I know he would be working with the villians. How did I freaking know that he would ally with the WORST POSSIBLE PEOPLE just to get what he wants. That's very in his character though, and even if it was a little predictable, it's still good to have. And his bringing in the DNA Splicers can only mean problems.

    More fun times shall follow, I can tell. Avril is here, Nekou's got something going on, and of course COLRESS HAS ARRIVED! Can't wait to see what happens next!
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    Proving Grounds

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  4. #79
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    chapter 3

    “Oh, be quiet!” his hot-tempered female companion snapped back. “The boss wouldn’t have selected us for this mission if he didn’t trust us to get it done.”
    Man, I don’t know why Giovanni trusts them to do anything at all.

    Having reached into her blouse and produced a Poké Ball, Nekou opened it to free her Zorua.
    That’s an interesting place to keep her pokéballs.
    Shaking off the small amount of injury she’d received – which amounted to little more than being shaken up at most – Zorua barked and flipped over in the air, drilling downward until she disappeared beneath the ground.
    Seems redundant to say there was a “small amount of damage” and then “it amounted to little to…” It’s even more jarring when you use “shaking/shaken” so close together.

    Little did they realize they were being watched. At least a dozen pairs of yellow eyes glistened in the darkness within the foliage just off the main road, carefully observing the movements of the new invaders in their territory. Behind them, a single pair of larger, triangular white eyes watched as well.
    That’s not creepy at all.

    Jessie, James and Meowth had moved south, just as Pierce had directed them, and now had a makeshift encampment set up in the woods just off of Route 29.
    They’re all around the same place. Wonder if they’ll run into each other? Would be interesting.

    He hastily raised up his arms to protect himself, resulting in a loud crashing sound when Bisharp’s steel blades hit the metal of his prosthetic limbs.
    Seems redundant to say “raised up” when raised automatically means “up”. You tend to do things like this a lot. You should try to be as concise as possible and as clear as possible, unless redundancy is important.
    “I’d like to take you apart,” Nekou wryly commented at the exact moment Matt finished speaking. “Your insides sound fascinating.”
    Exactly what I was thinking. Always have found multiple personality disorder fascinating, too, so I’ll be interested to see if Janus happens to show up ever again.
    Nekou did not have much of a visible reaction to Dante’s warning, but Matt noticeably shrunk back and tensed up. He didn’t need any reminders of how difficult or risky his goal was, and even though Dante meant well, the comments he’d made only served to unnerve Matt even further.
    Matt seems to be incredibly bold and incredibly nervous-like all at the same time. It’s an interesting combination. I like it.

    “Let’s dig in!” Meowth added. “Before a big mission, a big meal does the trick!”
    Yes, I just ate before tackling the next monstrously large 2 chapters. I agree with Meowth entirely. edit: only doing this 1 since next 2 are in parts

    All I have to say is that chapter 3 was very action packed and crazy. I think you have quite a knack for alternative POVs, and you are very good at deciding the right times for when it’s appropriate. So kudos on that. I think my favorite part was also the talk between Matt and Nekou. It was very heartwarming and deep. I’d like to see their relationship delve a bit farther. And it tells a lot about Nekou’s character seeing that she’s getting so drunk so often; I wonder why that is. What exactly have they all seen? It makes me wish I had read your other fics.

    The scene where the Bisharp/Pawniard also attacked was very intense, though I think it could have been better if… well, if you have written it better. You are very good at description and such, so that’s not a problem, but when it comes to describing battles, it seems like you lose the very fast-paced and suspenseful feeling that I feel I should get when reading a battle. Your style of writing seems to slow everything down. I would argue that you should try to make your writing style more battle-oriented during battles… Shorter, intense sentences, and not drawn out explanations of what’s happening bit by bit. Only describe what’s important. I’m not very good at battles myself so I’m not sure what else to say, but it was something I thought I’d touch on anyway.

    I’d also watch out for making too many bad things happen to your characters at once. Not only will that have a crazy psychological impact on your characters when the time comes that they actually need to act rationally and calmly, it just risks you making look desperate to try to make your characters look more… tragic. You have a lot going on, but you can’t make it seem like TOO much, you know?


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


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


  5. #80
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    Well, it sure looks like I've got quite a bit to respond to. I'm going to get diamondpearl876's two posts first, then make a second post to reply to Gothitelle K and Morpher's reviews.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    This sounds like my kind of fic already.
    I'll admit, I was rather nervous that you'd be turned off right away by seeing all of that.

    You used “nervously” and “simply” very close together in just these few paragraphs. I’m sure that you can find a better way to portray these things than using the same word, no?



    Same here with “deeply”.
    I see what you mean.

    I also want to add that I haven’t read your other reviews so sorry if I repeat anything. And I’m liking your dialogue a lot so far here.
    It's fine, though if you don't mind, I'm going to avoid repeating myself by not replying to all of the word choice-related ones. I'll reply to your larger point about the description at the end.

    Thank you for the compliment on the dialogue.

    I really like these pieces of dialogue here. Very poetic and full of imagery.
    I really had a vivid picture in my head of how that scene would play out, so I like how it ended up.

    What about her voice?
    ...that's a really stupid oversight on my part. Looking at it now, I don't even know how I messed that up.

    And this is exactly why I could never work in a place like this at night… I’d be so scared…
    Who knows, maybe I'll decide to revisit the Pewter Museum much later.

    Also like how you separated this one sentence from the other paragraphs. Adds a lot more suspense.
    I felt it added a bit of emphasis, and I'm pleased to see that it appears to have worked.

    This guy should be fired, effective immediately.
    I'll admit, I was kind of going for a darkly comedic angle with him.

    Yeah, because blue hair isn’t unusual or anything…
    Not in this world it isn't.

    I think this portion could have been done better. This is, to me, a part that’s supposed to contribute to all the suspense that’s going on, but I’m not feeling it. First, the first sentence sounds really awkward. Try saying it out loud. The word “outside” seems misplaced because it indicates to me that only the outside of the house exploded. The two “in”s so close to each other also makes it hard to read. I had to read it a couple times to stop being confused. Also, there’s no other description here, and you’re very good at description, so I know you can describe more. I’ll leave the Wobbuffet thing alone since that’s just very likely to happen even in a not-funny situation LOL.
    Yeah, the way that scene came out isn't my proudest moment, I'll admit. Sometimes you just get something where no matter how hard you try, it just doesn't come out quite right.

    Wobbuffet here was intended to be another darkly comedic moment.

    God, I like Nekou already. Just saying.
    Oh boy, you know not what you are in for.

    You seem to like pointing out hair/masks/whathaveyou that hangs out someone’s left or right eye(s). I wonder if that has any significance?
    The masks worn by the Sacred Helix of Polaris do have significance. The rest is coincidental.

    I just wanted to point out that I like the name Matt… because every Matt I’ve ever met is a wonderful person. Woohoo.
    Interesting.

    I have to say that I am very intrigued by your prologue/chapter 1. You introduced an awful lot of information all at once, but not enough to deter me from the fic or make me think “oh god I’m going to have to struggle to remember all of this.” I hope to see more development in the future, which I am sure you will provide. I also liked where you ended each part of each introduction. It felt perfect in all places. I also like your descriptions, though it gets a bit wordy at times. You seem to like to describing every little thing, which isn’t exactly necessary. Focus on description that matters, descriptions of characters, description that adds to the current mood. My favorite part so far I think, though, is your dialogue. Very realistic on the girls’ part and very suspenseful (though a bit dramatic) on the scientists’ part.
    I think I'll address the description issue more as we go on, but right here in response to this, I want to admit I'm probably overcompensating. My descriptions used to be so bare-bones that they literally meant nothing, and I swore I'd stop doing that.

    I'm glad to hear that you think the introductions were effective.

    Olivia sure has a lot of daddy issues…
    Yeah, she does. Those issues aren't going to help at all either.

    Oshawott kicks *** with his razor shell attack, Olivia. Just saying.
    She'll come to know that. Eventually.

    Also, I think the proper format for showing actions in between dialogue would be this:

    “Tepig is a dependable partner who will ultimately evolve into the powerful Fire-and-Fighting-type Pokémon Emboar”—Tepig responded to Juniper’s praise by snorting enthusiastically, snorting out some small embers—“while Oshawott fights with the shell on its stomach, and as it passes through evolutionary stages toward its ultimate form, Samurott, it first gains a second shell and then a pair of formidable shell swords.”
    I can see what you mean here, though I have to admit, I don't think I would have thought of it on my own.

    I thought the whole idea was that she wanted a water-type pokémon. What’s wrong with Oshawott, then? Is she just being a baby? Seems like it.
    She really is just being a baby, but in her mind, she's upset because she had a very particular plan in mind for how it all was going to go and it got disrupted.

    Some have guessed before that Olivia isn't entirely all that well, and I think I would agree with that.

    You said something along the lines of “Time had not been kind to the researchers” or something in the first chapter. Seeing the same sentence is kind of jarring.
    Here's something else that I'll probably find more to say about later on, but I admit that finding words to keep my language diverse is something that I have difficulty with, even outside of writing. I'm working on trying to fix it.

    Just wanted to say that I like how you have at least one distinguishable feature per character appearance. It might help a lot since there seems to be a ton of characters I’ll have to keep track of.
    I think this is something you can expect in general. The characters all will hopefully stand out as their own unique selves.

    Interesting. Wonder what medicine she’s taking? Must be important or you wouldn’t have taken the time to point it out.
    You're right.

    I'll say nothing more.

    Wonder if this is a reference to Cheren? Haha
    Yes, it is actually.

    Senori doesn’t like you right now.
    Considering where they are right now, that's a particularly keen observation...

    Sounds like a long day indeed. Question—why isn’t Olivia an official trainer already since she has Minccino and Roselia? Are trainers only official once they receive a starting pokémon from a professor or what?
    Yes and no. While anyone with a Pokemon of their own can be a trainer, going through the formalities of getting a starter and a Pokedex from a professor is generally considered a rite of passage, plus it affords financial benefits that you'll come to find out about quite soon. It's better if I let you see those play out instead of trying to explain the entire system all at once, I think.

    She shouldn’t even exist? Geez, this guy’s harsh.
    He has his reasons. He has his reasons.

    Second chapter was good too. I appreciated the retelling of events that I assume happened in your other fics. Even if it didn’t happen in your other fics it still brings your characters to life by giving them a past. I also like your battles, though I feel they’re lacking a bit in description. They remind me of the anime in the sense that there’s a ton more dramatic dialogue than needed. But I like the strategy you put into it and the fact that the cloaked guy kept saying Olivia reminded him of her father. I really can’t wait until she finds out he’s dead, as evil as that sounds. She’s going to go crazy.
    One thing about the battles is that additional text is necessary when using a written medium, I feel, because you don't have the luxury of visuals to easily convey what is going on. I agree that streamlining the description (as you've alluded to both before and after this individual point) would be beneficial, though.

    You're right to look forward to how Olivia will take it.

    God, just glancing over your past reviews, I hope that mine at least helped you out a little bit or told you something new. You have a great following for this fic so far, which tells you a lot. I’ll be back for more.
    Oh, don't worry at all. Every review has something to contribute, and you did a really good job. ^^

    I'll edit in the second of your posts and get to the other replies tomorrow.

    EDIT:

    Man, I don’t know why Giovanni trusts them to do anything at all.
    He's short on manpower right now... and they did do a pretty good job annoying Team Plasma for him.

    That’s an interesting place to keep her pokéballs.
    She's very practical-minded when it comes to things like that - anywhere or anything that she can use to her own convenience, she will.

    Seems redundant to say there was a “small amount of damage” and then “it amounted to little to…” It’s even more jarring when you use “shaking/shaken” so close together.
    Good point. Like I've mentioned before, wording issues are a significant challenge for me, so pointing them out is always helpful.

    Exactly what I was thinking. Always have found multiple personality disorder fascinating, too, so I’ll be interested to see if Janus happens to show up ever again.
    Oh, he will, but not entirely in the sense you might be thinking.

    Matt seems to be incredibly bold and incredibly nervous-like all at the same time. It’s an interesting combination. I like it.
    He gets bouts of boldness that eventually sputter out, because most of it is just a front of bravado he puts on so things get done. He's not the most comfortable person with showing himself outwardly all the time.

    His personality being unbalanced is a natural outcome of having certain parts of it messed with.

    All I have to say is that chapter 3 was very action packed and crazy. I think you have quite a knack for alternative POVs, and you are very good at deciding the right times for when it’s appropriate. So kudos on that.
    Thank you! I'm not especially fond of scene cutting from one scene involving certain characters to another scene involving the same characters, so when I can, I try to play out an entire scene involving one set of characters and then use a scene involving another character or characters to add a little variety before going on to the next scene with the first set of characters. It's especially helpful with villains, because it makes it possible to show small scenes involving the villains' movements and plans so they can be developed slowly instead of having to be infodumped whenever they make a major move.

    I think my favorite part was also the talk between Matt and Nekou. It was very heartwarming and deep. I’d like to see their relationship delve a bit farther.
    And your wish shall be granted.

    I really do love writing them together, because they're so opposite and yet so very much alike at the same time that their interactions just seem to click. I've definitely got some things planned for the future that ought to work out.

    And it tells a lot about Nekou’s character seeing that she’s getting so drunk so often; I wonder why that is. What exactly have they all seen? It makes me wish I had read your other fics.
    On some level, she does it just because she simply likes doing it, but there definitely are some deeper underlying reasons that I can't get into too much right now.

    The previous two stories she was in do have some overarching narrative, but their actual plots were largely stand-alone, so you haven't missed much in terms of importance, I think. Most if not all of the stuff they've seen that's important here will be brought up here.

    The scene where the Bisharp/Pawniard also attacked was very intense, though I think it could have been better if… well, if you have written it better. You are very good at description and such, so that’s not a problem, but when it comes to describing battles, it seems like you lose the very fast-paced and suspenseful feeling that I feel I should get when reading a battle. Your style of writing seems to slow everything down. I would argue that you should try to make your writing style more battle-oriented during battles… Shorter, intense sentences, and not drawn out explanations of what’s happening bit by bit. Only describe what’s important. I’m not very good at battles myself so I’m not sure what else to say, but it was something I thought I’d touch on anyway.
    I understand everything about what you're saying. I don't want to slip back into my old bad habit of not describing enough, but just coincidentally enough, I've got a battle coming up that I'll try to incorporate some of your suggestions into.

    I’d also watch out for making too many bad things happen to your characters at once. Not only will that have a crazy psychological impact on your characters when the time comes that they actually need to act rationally and calmly, it just risks you making look desperate to try to make your characters look more… tragic. You have a lot going on, but you can’t make it seem like TOO much, you know?
    I think this may actually be because the first chapters are more heavily focused on this main group of characters, thus leading to more about them coming up in a shorter amount of time. Going forward, the focus should balance out.

    Thank you for your reviews so far, and I hope you'll enjoy it going forward!
    Last edited by The Great Butler; 8th January 2013 at 6:03 AM.

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  6. #81
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    Alright. I'm going to go through a long chapter-by-chapter review. Okay...here goes something:

    Chapter Four:

    Pierce is a Tenganist? That's certainly intriguing. I do wonder who the woman meeting with him is and what Ghetsis has done to her people. It also makes me wonder if the reason why Ghetsis treats Anthea and Concordia so poorly is because they have Tenganist backgrounds; from what I can see, he clearly has prejudices against those poor people. ...Or maybe they don't have those backgrounds. If they were, I could see him murdering them because of it. This is a lot more complex than I would have guessed.

    Oh my goodness. I laughed so hard when the nurse said that Matt would be charged money for healing his Pokemon because he didn't have a Pokedex. That certainly explains why they're free in the games. XD

    I think you accurately captured why Ghetsis was so dangerous in the B/W series. The fact that his speeches can cause some people to think about what he's saying - even if he doesn't mean any of it - immediately transports my mind to the 1930s, where another madman captured the attention of an entire nation with nothing but words. That, my friend, is an incredibly scary portrayal of Ghetsis. Major kudos to you. I do wonder how Nekou knows him, though. Hmm...

    Pierce giving away all of that information to the group in that fashion is...very odd, to say the least. Why in the world is he helping Matt, and why wasn't the group suspicious of his motives instead of justifying them by saying that "he did nothing to hurt us"? If some guy walked up to me when I was eating and told me about someone as bad as Ghetsis under the guise of an information broker, I'd be pretty suspicious of the guy's motives. Forgive me for saying this, but it doesn't make much sense.

    And the fact that he's mistreating them because they're Tenganists is confirmed. Doesn't make him any less scary. I think that the fact that he's going to use N and their own prophet to bring about their downfall is the most frightening part of all of this. This version of Ghetsis is more frightening than Everton and Nixon combined, which is saying a whole hell of a lot.

    I quite liked the battle of Nando against Dahlia. It was a good pace, the description of the moves was superb, and I loved their respective battling styles and how they seemed to fit the trainers in question. I'm not quite sure why Nando has a Dragonite if he's a master of bug and grass types as well as Pokemon that are influenced by sound, but that's a minor quibble compared to the whole. Well done.

    This time, I loved your portrayal of Silver. You've done a lot of work to accurately portray his character, and I have to give you all sorts of props for that. His Pokemon fit his battling style, and I enjoyed this battle even more than I did with Nando and Dahlia. I quite enjoyed seeing Silver's perspective as well. I do wonder who his source is, though...

    Chapter Five:

    Oh, man. I quite enjoyed the battle of Matt versus Dahlia. I love how you created new ways for the moves to be used, and I loved how the battle styles of Matt and Dahlia contrasted. It's this kind of creativity that makes your battles so enjoyable to read. Having Patrick use earthquake when Zapdos was forced to the ground was a stroke of pure brilliance on Matt's part.

    Team Rocket trying to convert Matt over to their side...well, I guess it's worth a shot, even if that plan doesn't stand a chance of working out.

    Hmm...Dahlia's right, though. Matt's going to have to start out with a plan in his battles. He will eventually be defeated if he keeps going in blind. Chance is a lot more fickle than luck. Dominic seems like an interesting character, but the Angel Corporation sounds suspicious when you think about it. Lots of references to angels...

    The TR interactions between Pierce, Zager, Ariana, and Giovanni were awesome, and Ariana's line about ignoring the suggestion was full of epic win. I wonder if Proton and Petrel will come into play, though... Also, Giovanni and Stacia's relationship was nicely developed as well. You can tell that he has a certain soft spot with her, even if he won't admit it.

    Darkness, Chaos, and Pestilence...those are awesome names for the Shadow Triad members. I have to say, I love the way you're mixing perspectives, comparing and contrasting them. Moving from the insanity of Ghetsis to the relative calm tension between Matt and Nekou was nice. The scene between them was very sweet, I must admit.

    Chapter Six:

    A mobile home/lab combination? Where can I get one of those?

    Oh, you're using the dreaded Pokerus virus? Yeah, you were right about Polaris. Every single time you go into their perspective, they freak me out just a little bit more. And an expert on Pokemon strength? I think I knew who he was before that last chapter.

    Well, you certainly did a good job with Renzo's character. Before, he just seemed...crazy and not all that interesting to me. With his interactions with the Cottonee and the children, though, he's more of a sympathetic character with a Freudian excuse for his actions. I still think that Renzo is batshit insane, and I don't like him much, but at least he seems like he has a reason for it. I'm starting to think that Rich really did kill - or badly hurt - someone that was close to him. And the fact that he has a Drowzee certainly increases my opinion of him. ;P ...But the fact that he brutally hurt Olivia's Pokemon immediately lowers it again. Thank you, N, for stepping in. Although...Nikolai? That's a new one.

    Transcendence? And Sheena...I know I've heard that name before. Was she in the first fic of the Gear series?

    N's right, though (even if he was a little over the top with his reaction); Matt really hasn't used Charlotte much. He should make a conscious effort to interact with her. I absolutely love the way you're portraying these canon characters, as well as your original characters. I wonder what Matt'll name his new Roggenrola, though...

    So Chaos finally makes his appearance...but why would he be fooled by the sincerity in N's tone? Surely he remembers him, right? ...And Nekou is also called Black Cat? Um...that actually fits her. And why is nobody questioning the fact that her eyes occassionally turn yellow?

    So Chaos' Bisharp is the leader of its pack, huh? Fitting. I definitely consider the whole species to be some of the most dangerous Pokemon on the planet. And Chaos is such a little punk for using a poison dart. Ninjas, I tell you... -shakes head-

    Tobias...is that the same Tobias who had the Darkrai and Latios against Ash? If so, who is Gabriella? And now the Angel Corporation pops up again. Curious...very curious...

    Holy crap...Mercury is Matt's mother?! And Mr. Pokemon is a Polaris spy?! Wow. I did not expect those twists. ...So Jessie and James evolved their Pokemon? About time; it's a shame that the last time both of them had evolved Pokemon was when Arbok and Weezing were still on the team.

    ...Oh no. Meowth...Polaris, you (censored for twenty-four minutes). Just when I think that I can't hate them more, they always manage to one-up themselves. Damn you, Polaris... Still, Ariana just proves how utterly awesome she is by being the big damn hero and saving the...I was almost going to say "trio"...again, damn you, Polaris.

    Chapter Seven:

    Oh, man, I can't stop laughing. Zager and Pierce + Internet = winning on a scale so epic that it defies everything. And Slowpoke Tail? You really do think of everything...

    It's good to hear that N (I just can't call him "Nikolai") will recover from the poison. Not so good that Ghetsis is whipping people into a frenzy. The fact that he actually got a mob to protest against the gym is really frightening...and that's nothing compared to what happens later in the chapter.

    Seduire is really starting to creep me out. She's clearly obsessed with Matt. It makes me think that she knows him from somewhere and that she thinks that she's in love with him or something like that. It's like having a psycho-ex stalker, and it's really creeping me out. Mercury's words at the end didn't help either.

    And Ghetsis. Oh my fate, Ghetsis. What he's doing to Chaos is sickening. I don't even like the Shadow Triad, and I feel completely sorry for the poor guy. Ghetsis, you complete monster...

    Avril, Monroe, and Helena have really distinct personalities. I think Helena is my favorite out of the three because of the way that she overcame her disability. Major props goes to her for that and kudos to you for the way you're handling her character. And Amanda is awesome as well for overcoming her disability. The fact that she's a teacher just makes it even better.

    Am I sensing another rival for Olivia in Avril? I can't believe she already managed to evolve her Snivy. She must be a pretty good trainer...but her arrogance is going to end up costing her someday. Right now, she's on a roll. She has momentum on her side; I doubt that she's lost yet. It'll be interesting to watch Avril when she gets soundly defeated by someone who's much better than she is (like Olivia was with Renzo) - and it will happen. Something I learned from sports: those who thrive solely on momentum and the high points are the least prepared to face the low points.

    The battle between Amanda and Matt...well, he wasn't lying when he said that she was better than him. She is. He's just a lot more unconventional - and that tends to win him matches more often than not.

    Zinzolin...and he's leading a mob against the school. All that's missing is the pitchforks and torches. I can see why you didn't want to post this chapter immediately; this is a very frightening scene in its own right. I must admit, though; the Torchic hatching-maturing-laying-eggs line was seriously cool.

    ...Zinzolin's just as crazy as Ghetsis (and apparently went to the same public speaking/debate school). Ordering his Pokemon to target Amanda is terrifying. I don't get why she thought he was targeting her students, though. Maybe you could justify it as the heat of the battle getting to her head, but Amanda (from my limited perspective of her) doesn't seem like the type who would lose her head like that.

    I loved this battle, not for the description, but for the way Amanda completely took Zinzolin to task. I certainly wouldn't want to face her in a Pokemon battle.

    ...And again you do a nice job contrasting the scenes and creating a whiplash between the attack on the school, and the budding rivalry between Olivia and Avril. Their interactions are adorable. Enough said.

    Again, the reason why Polaris hates Matt and Amanda is the reason why I hate Polaris so much. There's no damn reason why they should be opposed to disabled people who have no other options try to improve their quality of life. Seriously, don't get me started on how I feel about that backwards thinking.

    The Jewel of Life notes are freaky in their own right...wow. I can't even imagine what kind of disaster this must have been...

    Colress Antimony...what a seriously awesome name for a seriously awesome scientist. He's just as awesome as I thought he'd be, and he looks like he's in-character.

    Overall, I'm loving how where this story is going, and I love speculating on it, even if I'm wrong. I do wonder when the Kiss of Death will show up, though...ah, never mind. Hope this review has helped. Sorry for the late reply~

    Sincerely,

    Mem.
    Last edited by SilentMemento; 7th January 2013 at 4:24 PM.
    COMING SOON

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

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gothitelle K View Post
    Ghetsis Harmonia! I never knew you were that.... strong.



    ...and that violent... (well actually I can kinda believe that, just never pictured him)
    Won't say much about his strength at the moment, but keep in mind that the events of both BW and B2W2 have happened in the past here, so his mental state is... rather delicate right now.

    Never really pictured him, with a jynx though. so he's the master of ice types in this world?
    He uses exclusively Ice-types in B2W2 and a lot of his dialogue suggests a strong dislike of the cold coupled with an almost masochistic enjoyment of suffering, so just extending his canon use of Ice-types seemed natural. Jynx came from me wanting to use a more rarely-seen Pokemon, and Empoleon - his only non-Ice-type - comes from its similar stature to him as well as its royal appearance.

    No one's as eloquent as Ghetsis... lol
    Of course they aren't. XD;

    is that a threat?
    Less of a threat and more of a fact. You don't mess with Amanda.

    Not as good as Ghetsis but I CAN picture him making comebacks like this;
    Right. I loved that line.

    Okay...

    that WAS a pretty awesome battle. Especially for a kid up against the sages.
    She ain't no kid. Zinzolin was way out of his league - Ghetsis chose the Sages for their intelligence, not necessarily for their battling skill.

    She can do that? And yay~ Zager.
    Of course she can. She's the #2 of Team Rocket and an elite agent (at best) just got physical with Team Rocket's top scientist.

    and Colress appears with the slicers. This is getting good.
    Of course, I think everyone who knows what the DNA Splicers are knows what their presence likely means...

    But yeah, this is really good so far and I do apologize for the lack of commentary.
    Thank you for the compliment, and don't worry, you have nothing you need to apologize for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morpher01
    Well, here we are. (side note: love the "restore auto-saved content" button. XD)
    I can only imagine what the fact you needed it means. :P

    And, right off the bat, more fun times with Ghetsis. Is no one aware of what happened in Unova? Because I would think that Ghetsis' use of speeches to trick people would have been public knowledge by this point. Unless Polaris has more influence than I initially suspected...there's a disturbing thought.
    It's already been hinted at by Pierce in a past chapter - with help from how far away Unova is, the government covered up anything about Team Plasma's actions from reaching Johto and Kanto, thus, nobody actually knows.

    Have to agree with Nekou on the subject of our favorite Plasma head.
    I think a lot of people would agree with you on that. XD;

    I see Nekou has a decent understanding of Murphy's Law. XD Also, the fact that people are protesting the Gym is kinda bad news. Have to say this for Ghetsis: he always did know how to deliver a convincing speech.

    And Dominic returns. I'm still not sure about this guy, but after meeting his kids I may be wrong.
    Oh yes, yes she does. And the whole thing is, Ghetsis always did know how to tell people just what they want to hear to play on their fears and concerns.

    Dominic's sincere, just really, really eager a lot of the time.

    Oh, dear...this guy.

    Didn't Earl Dervish wear a tutu in the anime, or does he only wear it when it is summoned by the power of anime gag physics? XD Been a while since I've seen that episode.
    He does, but he also doesn't have his bizarre speech patterns from the main series games. For this depiction, I mainly used his portrayal from Pokemon Stadium 2, where he's straightforward, because I didn't want his speech patterns to be the same as Looker's.

    And then more Ghetsis. What else can be said about this guy? Nasty, cruel, downright insane...the list goes on.
    And we're not even ten chapters in yet!

    Hmm...have to wonder if there's more here than what we're seeing. I have a feeling that Helena's going to be important later, especially given her sister's new rivalry with Olivia.
    I can always count on you to pick up on things.

    And of course Snivy goes to the utter snob. XD Avril's going to be one worth watching, I can tell.

    I have a sudden urge to create a Tepig trainer, now...as if I didn't have enough characters already. XD
    I knew I was going to give Avril Snivy from the very beginning. That's always been why Juniper didn't have a Snivy anymore.

    And go ahead, it could be neat to see.

    And this is why I said that Avril would be one to watch. Amanda's line here doesn't just indicate how well she goes about her job, it may actually be hinting at some deeper issues that Avril may have which cause her to act the way she does.

    ...or, then again, I could just be reading a little TOO deeply into this. XD Maybe I should just save that for when we meet Renzo again.
    The first rule of The Angel of Reckoning is always read into things. XD;

    Avril will be someone to watch, yes.

    EDIT:

    Moving on, Matt and Amanda's battle was quite well-done. Interesting tactic Amanda's Hariyama used to beat Tanya, and Arcanine's use of Close Combat was a decent surprise move.

    And then comes Zinzolin. Amanda VS Zinzolin was satisfyingly intense, although I have to wonder one thing.

    ...how did she misunderstand Zinzolin's intentions? He pretty much blared out that he wanted to kill HER, not necessarily the students. Not really a major flub or anything, just...a little odd.
    I might go back and revise that part. I admit I had to make it up on the fly after changing a big part of that scene. If there's any explanation I can offer, it's that she simply got overwhelmed.

    Next, Olivia and Avril at Sprout Tower.

    Ah, the glory of interactions between rivals. Love both reading and writing about it. XD
    If you only knew...

    THE PLOT THICKENS! XD Heh, always wanted to say that. Seriously, though, have to wonder what Nekou's up to. Is she doing this for Matt's benefit, or for someone else's...?
    Who says it can't be both?

    Hmm...I wouldn't think one would find a Deino in the vicinity of Violet City. Have to wonder where she caught it.
    Diglett's Cave. They usually live in Viridian City.

    I like how Zager is shown as caring about his underlings, rather than just being the mustache-twirling mad scientist the anime generally showed him as being. Expansion of canon is always great when done right.
    Thank you. I think it's important to show this, because here, he's fueled by his regret for the actions he took as a member of Polaris in the past.

    ....COLRESS! YESSSS! XD

    As you know, I freaking love this guy, and I'm happy to see him here. I already can't wait for him to enter a battle so I can start playing his awesome music as I read. XD
    That can be arranged. XD

    How did I know he would be working with the villians. How did I freaking know that he would ally with the WORST POSSIBLE PEOPLE just to get what he wants. That's very in his character though, and even if it was a little predictable, it's still good to have. And his bringing in the DNA Splicers can only mean problems.
    Everything you're saying here is right on target, especially since Polaris can give him the resources he needs to reach his goals.

    More fun times shall follow, I can tell. Avril is here, Nekou's got something going on, and of course COLRESS HAS ARRIVED! Can't wait to see what happens next!
    Thank you once again! And yes, things are going to follow...
    Last edited by The Great Butler; 9th January 2013 at 8:57 AM.

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  8. #83
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    “Do you have a Pokédex, young lady?”

    “Huh? Oh, yeah…here.” Carefully reaching into a pocket within her cape, Olivia produced her pink Pokédex and handed it to the nurse, who promptly scanned it with an electronic device.

    “So you met up with Professor Juniper, Olivia? She’s a great person,” the nurse said, handing back the device before setting out a second empty tray. “You’re lucky to know her. Now, who’s next?”
    I’m really not sure why Nurse Joy asked for the pokedex?

    As soon as Matt said those words, the smile on the nurse’s face began to slowly fade. “Then in that case, the charge will be three hundred dollars.”
    …Nevermind. Matt just got owned.

    Matt curtly nodded to the elderly scientist, indicating his agreement with the proposal.
    No reason for the second part of the sentence. You have to trust the reader in knowing that nodding means “yes”. It’s almost as if you’re force feeding readers with information because you feel they’re dumb or something.
    “Good morning, people of the Tohjo Continent. My name is Ghetsis Harmonia, and I would like to speak to you today about a very important subject. More and more in this day and age, young trainers are suffering. The ideals we as older generations push upon our successors in this world are forcing our children to put themselves in dangerous, difficult positions. All Pokémon trainers are born equally, as are all Pokémon. It is this world, this system we have created that leads to inequality and suffering! It saddens me to the bottom of my heart to see young men and women suffer with no money on the road because they lost all of it in battles.” Ghetsis’s voice was actually losing its composure at this point, as if his sadness was sincere. “We must ask ourselves, what is the best way to help make this world a more equal and fair place? Polaris is pursuing that truth. We will find the way to bring about true equality and fairness in the world! Please, continue listening to what we have to say as we work for a better tomorrow! Thank you for your time.”
    I’m interested to know why Ghetsis was chosen to make this speech. Even though this is Johto, wouldn’t he be recognized from Unova? Or do the regions not communicate? I certainly wouldn’t listen to this loser if I knew who he was.




    Though he was equally as disturbed by Ghetsis’s speech, Matt pondered questioning why Nekou was so overtly agitated by it. He decided against doing so, however, and instead offered, “Let’s just forget we saw that and get our Pokémon.”
    I have a feeling that Matt won’t really be forgetting it himself…
    Matt, Nekou, Olivia, Bunny and Dante walked back toward the counter to retrieve their Pokémon. However, there was something else they weren’t aware of.
    Not sure why Dante’s walking back when you already said he had no pokémon to heal.

    “Do you now?!” exclaimed Dahlia, the Frontier Brain’s energy boiling over. “Zapdos, don’t hold back! Show him what you’ve got! Heat Wave!”
    Makes me wonder yet again how Frontier Brains like this get legendary pokémon. What the hell.
    “Someone got their cornflakes pissed in this morning,” Nekou groaned, following behind Olivia into the room.
    Lol, yes, yes they did.
    “And Feraligatr is the final evolution of Totodile,” Olivia added, somewhat bitterly. “I wonder how much I missed out on…”
    Lol, I was wondering if Olivia would point that out.
    A glint in the churning murk of the hailstorm caught Matt’s eye, and he knew immediately what he had to do. “Ninety degrees to your right! Scald!”
    It seems odd to me that a pokémon—who I assume, you know, has had no teachings in the mathematical area—who ALSO has had little to no training with its trainer knows what ninety degrees really means.

    “Ghost-types fight completely differently than users of brute force like Feraligatr and Mamoswine,” Nekou explained. “I’m interested to see how Matt handles one…” She then abruptly added, “Strictly from a knowledge standpoint, of course. I just want to know what he’s capable of.”
    Nekou seems to have quite the interest in Matt. I’ll be wanting to know why. WHY DAMNIT WHY?
    “Do what you must to win, with no rules or limits… that’s the way of the world and the way I battle. Your Seismitoad’s name is Patrick, right? Patrick, thank you for being a useful training partner.”
    I’m surprised Silver is kind enough to refer to Patrick by his name. Cute. Unless he’s being sarcastic, then he’s a dick.
    “It’s Guillotine!” Bunny finished. “If this hits, it’s all over!”
    Lmao, lucky. If it hits, anyway. Okay, it didn’t. But still, that was scary.

    The long coffee table near the room’s television was covered by a combination of two pizza boxes and a myriad of beverages As was becoming familiar to Matt, Bunny and Olivia, Nekou’s unstoppable appetite earned her a pizza all her own, while the second was mainly divided up between Bunny and Olivia.
    Pizza party! I wanna join. But only if you add that period you forgot after “beverages”.
    “Don’t you worry, Olivia, you’ll recover soon,” Nekou assured the younger girl. “Once you do, the Pokémon will still be here for you to play with all you want. I don’t want to see you stressing out over anything, so let’s just enjoy the pizza, okay?”
    So cute how they all try to take care of her. Though it may not be so healthy for Olivia when it becomes overbearing.
    To be honest, I wasn’t sure why you included the battle between Dahlia and Nando. Was it to give a preview of what was to come? Is Nando going to be a character that shows up more often? Then I’d understand, but this still didn’t seem like the place to introduce them. I would have much rather read about Dahlia’s introduction with Matt’s battle with her. Or I would have rather seen Nando with Olivia and the crew. At this point, the reader doesn’t care about either character, so it made me disinterested in the battle as a whole.
    I’d also suggest giving... personality to the pokémon while they’re fighting. With the way you have it, it is the trainer’s personality reflecting in the pokémon’s attacks. There’s some distance from this, for example Aggron plays defensively because his species is meant to do so. Is that intentional? Still, pokémon have their own personalities, and I’d like to see that reflected. This isn’t a pokémon-centric fic, though, so I guess I can’t complain too much. It would just make battles more exciting, and I feel that there will be a lot more battles, so…
    Another complaint I had is that you made it so the battlefield can be changed, but then you didn’t show that in the fic. Ie. you made the battlefield a forest but the forest didn’t give any effect on the battle aside from Mamoswine’s climbing the rocks, but that failed miserably on his part. Basically I think you could have made more use of the trainer’s house and its options.








    A blazing orange crept over the land as the sun rose the next morning, spreading peals of warm light over the autumn trees of the Tohjo Continent. Cherrygrove City glittered in the shine; for as depressing a place as the city could be, the first minutes of daylight brought even Cherrygrove’s dull streets to life.
    How can Cherrygrove be depressing? Even the name implies “CHEERY”. Get it?

    For now, this is your assignment – continue monitoring the group involving Matt Chiaki, Olivia Mistbloom, Bunny Spruce and Dante Fantomos.
    What about Nekou?
    Dante, finally, remained distant from the three young women, walking stiffly with his cane in one hand and the briefcase containing the Meteonite fragment in the other.
    Man, he really likes to carry that thing around with him everywhere he goes.
    Never feeling all that comfortable in front of a crowd in a closed setting, he started breathing deeply and pacing in an attempt to ward off the attack of nerves that he felt coming on.
    I was wondering if he’d be able to deal with that, considering how shy and quiet he seems to be. Nice. Poor guy. I know how he feels.
    The referee raised his arm toward Dahlia and announced, “Aggron is unable to battle! The winner is Togekiss!”
    Hmm, I would have thought you would have pointed out Aggron being more effected by the rain, with water pulse being twice as damaging, but you didn’t.
    “As for you, I’ve gone easy on you until this point. Do you understand what that means? That means you must step up your efforts even further if you think you’re going to win this, because now I’m going to get serious.” Tearing the Master Ball from her belt, Dahlia threw it and shrilled the words Matt knew he’d have to face even though he didn’t want to, “Show yourself on the dance floor, Zapdos!!”
    Geez, I’ve always had a disdain for trainers who say they go easy on the other trainer. Why would they do that? Above all, why would they do that to their pokémon? To say they did such a great job when their full potential wasn’t used… That’s deception right there. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Ignore me.

    “Did you see that purple glow? Your Seismitoad’s ability must be Poison Touch, which means that that Drain Punch would have poisoned Zapdos if it wasn’t already burned. Unfortunate for you, isn’t it?”
    I like how you bring abilities into play. They add a lot of life to your battles. Though I never really understood the whole “one bad status at a time” thing. It works as a game mechanic, but who is to say in real life that someone can’t be burned and poisoned at the same time?

    “Thank you, Stacia,” he answered, showing a rare moment of gratitude before slipping back into the dour mood that was already consuming him.
    Funny that you use “dour” to describe both Giovanni and Silver. Like father, like son.

    Overall, a good two chapters. The battles were well described and full of mesmerizing tactics that make your battles come to life. I also love Nekou/Matt’s interactions. Ugh. And now I’m going to go nominate this for some 2012 award stuff before I forget.


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


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


  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilentMemento View Post
    Alright. I'm going to go through a long chapter-by-chapter review. Okay...here goes something:
    Good to have you back. ^^

    Chapter Four:

    Pierce is a Tenganist? That's certainly intriguing. I do wonder who the woman meeting with him is and what Ghetsis has done to her people. It also makes me wonder if the reason why Ghetsis treats Anthea and Concordia so poorly is because they have Tenganist backgrounds; from what I can see, he clearly has prejudices against those poor people. ...Or maybe they don't have those backgrounds. If they were, I could see him murdering them because of it. This is a lot more complex than I would have guessed.
    Concordia and Anthea are indeed Tenganists, but the reason he hasn't killed them already is purely because they're necessary.

    That's something worth noting about Ghetsis - for all his insanity, he is incredibly pragmatic about what he needs to accomplish his goals and he has no hesitance to use what he must. He does have hatred for the Tenganist people, but everything he's done to them has been carefully calculated. That's one of the reasons why this man is so terrifying: he knows exactly what he is doing at all times.

    Oh my goodness. I laughed so hard when the nurse said that Matt would be charged money for healing his Pokemon because he didn't have a Pokedex. That certainly explains why they're free in the games. XD
    Precisely. That was exactly my thinking behind it.

    For the record, just while we're here, I'll add that the rule doesn't apply to Orre, where the Pokedex doesn't exist, because Orre is a largely lawless country very far away from the Tohjo Continent.

    I think you accurately captured why Ghetsis was so dangerous in the B/W series. The fact that his speeches can cause some people to think about what he's saying - even if he doesn't mean any of it - immediately transports my mind to the 1930s, where another madman captured the attention of an entire nation with nothing but words. That, my friend, is an incredibly scary portrayal of Ghetsis. Major kudos to you. I do wonder how Nekou knows him, though. Hmm...
    I hate to essentially Godwin myself, but that's actually not all that bad a comparison. He's theatrical and fiery in his speeches, and while he isn't sincere about his means, he knows exactly how to ply the concerns of his target audience in order to get them to act. I have plans for a later chapter where this will become clear to a terrifying degree.

    Anything I say about Nekou might give something away, so you'll have to be patient. XD;

    Pierce giving away all of that information to the group in that fashion is...very odd, to say the least. Why in the world is he helping Matt, and why wasn't the group suspicious of his motives instead of justifying them by saying that "he did nothing to hurt us"? If some guy walked up to me when I was eating and told me about someone as bad as Ghetsis under the guise of an information broker, I'd be pretty suspicious of the guy's motives. Forgive me for saying this, but it doesn't make much sense.
    It will soon enough, trust me. It won't be long before you can look back on this and see it in a different way.

    And the fact that he's mistreating them because they're Tenganists is confirmed. Doesn't make him any less scary. I think that the fact that he's going to use N and their own prophet to bring about their downfall is the most frightening part of all of this. This version of Ghetsis is more frightening than Everton and Nixon combined, which is saying a whole hell of a lot.
    It's not just the downfall of the Tenganists that Ghetsis is after. If it was that simple, the way he's blown away most of them with probably just a few bombs and his Pokemon (try looking at Hydreigon the same way again!) would be all he would need to finish them off. No, his ambitions are much, much larger.

    His hypothetical voice actor isn't Mark Hamill for nothing.

    I quite liked the battle of Nando against Dahlia. It was a good pace, the description of the moves was superb, and I loved their respective battling styles and how they seemed to fit the trainers in question. I'm not quite sure why Nando has a Dragonite if he's a master of bug and grass types as well as Pokemon that are influenced by sound, but that's a minor quibble compared to the whole. Well done.
    Thank you. I thought showing a musician trainer and a dancer trainer would be interesting to try.

    He has Dragonite because the one that he has knows Heal Bell (which Dragonite gets through Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness), thus fulfilling his usual musical theme.

    This time, I loved your portrayal of Silver. You've done a lot of work to accurately portray his character, and I have to give you all sorts of props for that. His Pokemon fit his battling style, and I enjoyed this battle even more than I did with Nando and Dahlia. I quite enjoyed seeing Silver's perspective as well. I do wonder who his source is, though...
    Developing and clarifying his motives since his last appearance really did wonders for my portrayal of him, I think.

    You mean his source for suspicious, possibly-Team-Rocket-related activity? If that's the case, it's Looker. Silver got shanghaied into helping Looker's investigations in exchange for basic freedom to go all out on any Team Rocket members he finds.

    Chapter Five:

    Oh, man. I quite enjoyed the battle of Matt versus Dahlia. I love how you created new ways for the moves to be used, and I loved how the battle styles of Matt and Dahlia contrasted. It's this kind of creativity that makes your battles so enjoyable to read. Having Patrick use earthquake when Zapdos was forced to the ground was a stroke of pure brilliance on Matt's part.
    Thanks. Writing this battle was a blast, it really was.

    Team Rocket trying to convert Matt over to their side...well, I guess it's worth a shot, even if that plan doesn't stand a chance of working out.
    Don't count anything off the table!

    Hmm...Dahlia's right, though. Matt's going to have to start out with a plan in his battles. He will eventually be defeated if he keeps going in blind. Chance is a lot more fickle than luck.
    Good to see that you learned something yourself from that battle! XD;

    Dominic seems like an interesting character, but the Angel Corporation sounds suspicious when you think about it. Lots of references to angels...
    From my perspective, what makes angel motifs being used often so good is that they could mean any of a range of things.

    The TR interactions between Pierce, Zager, Ariana, and Giovanni were awesome, and Ariana's line about ignoring the suggestion was full of epic win. I wonder if Proton and Petrel will come into play, though... Also, Giovanni and Stacia's relationship was nicely developed as well. You can tell that he has a certain soft spot with her, even if he won't admit it.
    Team Rocket have such a great variety of personalities that bringing them together always promises to be fun. Admittedly, that particular line of Ariana's was meant to be a shout-out to a similar line from Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in The Avengers, since I felt like throwing in something there.

        Spoiler:- Proton and Petrel:


    There's more to Giovanni and Stacia too, but on a basic level, you're absolutely correct about their relationship. That's going to be explored a little more.

    Darkness, Chaos, and Pestilence...those are awesome names for the Shadow Triad members. I have to say, I love the way you're mixing perspectives, comparing and contrasting them. Moving from the insanity of Ghetsis to the relative calm tension between Matt and Nekou was nice. The scene between them was very sweet, I must admit.
    Giving them names instead of merely calling them all "Shadow" like the games do at least makes it easier to distinguish them, not to mention that they're pretty menacing-sounding names and thus suitable for three nameless ninjas who are all blindly loyal to a mad dictator.

    Chapter Six:

    A mobile home/lab combination? Where can I get one of those?
    You'd have to build it, I'm afraid. That's where he got his.

    Oh, you're using the dreaded Pokerus virus? Yeah, you were right about Polaris. Every single time you go into their perspective, they freak me out just a little bit more. And an expert on Pokemon strength? I think I knew who he was before that last chapter.
    I'm actually kind of surprised he didn't have anything to do with the virus in B2W2. Oh well, maybe in XY.

    Well, you certainly did a good job with Renzo's character. Before, he just seemed...crazy and not all that interesting to me. With his interactions with the Cottonee and the children, though, he's more of a sympathetic character with a Freudian excuse for his actions. I still think that Renzo is batshit insane, and I don't like him much, but at least he seems like he has a reason for it. I'm starting to think that Rich really did kill - or badly hurt - someone that was close to him. And the fact that he has a Drowzee certainly increases my opinion of him. ;P ...But the fact that he brutally hurt Olivia's Pokemon immediately lowers it again. Thank you, N, for stepping in. Although...Nikolai? That's a new one.
    You're probably right that he's insane, but he really isn't a bad person. He just has a grudge to settle and he's not going to let it go. Ever.

    As I've alluded to earlier, N doesn't even remember his own identity anymore. Why that is will be revealed later.

    Transcendence? And Sheena...I know I've heard that name before. Was she in the first fic of the Gear series?
    She appeared in XD^3, but she was also mentioned in The Firestorm Rebellion, yes. She is originally from the Arceus movie.

    N's right, though (even if he was a little over the top with his reaction); Matt really hasn't used Charlotte much. He should make a conscious effort to interact with her. I absolutely love the way you're portraying these canon characters, as well as your original characters. I wonder what Matt'll name his new Roggenrola, though...
    Thanks for the compliment on the characterization.

    Matt will be making some progress on Charlotte soon, I hope.

    So Chaos finally makes his appearance...but why would he be fooled by the sincerity in N's tone? Surely he remembers him, right?
    He's more surprised that N genuinely doesn't remember anything from the past; maybe I phrased that a bit poorly.

    ...And Nekou is also called Black Cat? Um...that actually fits her. And why is nobody questioning the fact that her eyes occassionally turn yellow?
    There's more backstory to that nickname than you'd think, but that'll come with time...

    It wasn't addressed this time because nobody really paid it any mind. It won't be long before someone takes notice, though.

    So Chaos' Bisharp is the leader of its pack, huh? Fitting. I definitely consider the whole species to be some of the most dangerous Pokemon on the planet. And Chaos is such a little punk for using a poison dart. Ninjas, I tell you... -shakes head-
    Dangerous Pokemon for dangerous people, right?

    You might have picked up on this, but that wasn't just any poison dart.

    Tobias...is that the same Tobias who had the Darkrai and Latios against Ash? If so, who is Gabriella? And now the Angel Corporation pops up again. Curious...very curious...
    Yes, it's him.

    Gabriella, despite her loopy behavior, is the Angel Corporation's president.

    Holy crap...Mercury is Matt's mother?! And Mr. Pokemon is a Polaris spy?! Wow. I did not expect those twists. ...So Jessie and James evolved their Pokemon? About time; it's a shame that the last time both of them had evolved Pokemon was when Arbok and Weezing were still on the team.
    It's worth noting that while Mercury is part of Polaris's leadership structure, Mr. Pokemon is simply a regular member who subscribes to their ideology.

    Jessie and James are going to be treated rather well when it comes to Pokemon.

    ...Oh no. Meowth...Polaris, you (censored for twenty-four minutes). Just when I think that I can't hate them more, they always manage to one-up themselves. Damn you, Polaris... Still, Ariana just proves how utterly awesome she is by being the big damn hero and saving the...I was almost going to say "trio"...again, damn you, Polaris.
    Well, in all fairness, Meowth getting brainwashed likely was a complete accident. You can, however, fault them for taking full advantage of it.

    Ariana's just the type who's completely over-the-top in everything she does, but when she does it, she really sets her mind to getting it done.

    Chapter Seven:

    Oh, man, I can't stop laughing. Zager and Pierce + Internet = winning on a scale so epic that it defies everything. And Slowpoke Tail? You really do think of everything...
    In The Victory Star of Fate, there were even more of those usernames, such as "Troll of Nugget Bridge" and "RAGECANDYBAR."

    It's good to hear that N (I just can't call him "Nikolai") will recover from the poison. Not so good that Ghetsis is whipping people into a frenzy. The fact that he actually got a mob to protest against the gym is really frightening...and that's nothing compared to what happens later in the chapter.
    And it's really nothing compared to the kind of scene he's going to kick up later.

    Seduire is really starting to creep me out. She's clearly obsessed with Matt. It makes me think that she knows him from somewhere and that she thinks that she's in love with him or something like that. It's like having a psycho-ex stalker, and it's really creeping me out. Mercury's words at the end didn't help either.
    You should be afraid. At least you know why, though...

    And Ghetsis. Oh my fate, Ghetsis. What he's doing to Chaos is sickening. I don't even like the Shadow Triad, and I feel completely sorry for the poor guy. Ghetsis, you complete monster...
    That's about right, I'd say.

    Avril, Monroe, and Helena have really distinct personalities. I think Helena is my favorite out of the three because of the way that she overcame her disability. Major props goes to her for that and kudos to you for the way you're handling her character. And Amanda is awesome as well for overcoming her disability. The fact that she's a teacher just makes it even better.
    Thank you. Getting this right was very important to me.

    Am I sensing another rival for Olivia in Avril? I can't believe she already managed to evolve her Snivy. She must be a pretty good trainer...but her arrogance is going to end up costing her someday. Right now, she's on a roll. She has momentum on her side; I doubt that she's lost yet. It'll be interesting to watch Avril when she gets soundly defeated by someone who's much better than she is (like Olivia was with Renzo) - and it will happen. Something I learned from sports: those who thrive solely on momentum and the high points are the least prepared to face the low points.
    She is pretty good, and you can credit that to how driven she is. We're far from done with her (and her siblings for that matter.)

    The battle between Amanda and Matt...well, he wasn't lying when he said that she was better than him. She is. He's just a lot more unconventional - and that tends to win him matches more often than not.
    Amanda's battling style is a good example of turning her disability into an advantage - because she cannot see, she's dedicated to making herself aware of every single detail she can possibly know about her surroundings. As soon as that battle started, she probably knew exactly how it would go.

    Zinzolin...and he's leading a mob against the school. All that's missing is the pitchforks and torches. I can see why you didn't want to post this chapter immediately; this is a very frightening scene in its own right. I must admit, though; the Torchic hatching-maturing-laying-eggs line was seriously cool.

    ...Zinzolin's just as crazy as Ghetsis (and apparently went to the same public speaking/debate school). Ordering his Pokemon to target Amanda is terrifying. I don't get why she thought he was targeting her students, though. Maybe you could justify it as the heat of the battle getting to her head, but Amanda (from my limited perspective of her) doesn't seem like the type who would lose her head like that.
    In a way, Zinzolin really is as insane as Ghetsis, but in a different way. He's completely under Ghetsis's control and acts only to spread the messages of Ghetsis's speeches, but the thing is, he's in that position purely by choice.

    I've come around to the idea that I probably want to revise that scene somehow. Maybe I can change Zinzolin's line in some way to make it fit better?

    I loved this battle, not for the description, but for the way Amanda completely took Zinzolin to task. I certainly wouldn't want to face her in a Pokemon battle.
    She's strong already, but if Zinzolin getting wrecked taught you anything, don't piss Amanda off.

    ...And again you do a nice job contrasting the scenes and creating a whiplash between the attack on the school, and the budding rivalry between Olivia and Avril. Their interactions are adorable. Enough said.
    The original plan I had for Avril was to make her a lot meaner than this, but now that I have it down, I'm glad I went with this instead.

    Again, the reason why Polaris hates Matt and Amanda is the reason why I hate Polaris so much. There's no damn reason why they should be opposed to disabled people who have no other options try to improve their quality of life. Seriously, don't get me started on how I feel about that backwards thinking.
    To play devil's advocate for a moment, the logic behind their belief here is that such measures, in their minds, aren't the only option to people with such injuries or disabilities. They strictly believe that all solutions for the repair of biological matter must be themselves biological in nature.

    The Jewel of Life notes are freaky in their own right...wow. I can't even imagine what kind of disaster this must have been...
    Oh, it was freaky alright. Once this Gym battle is out of the way, we'll be able to revisit what happened, too...

    Colress Antimony...what a seriously awesome name for a seriously awesome scientist. He's just as awesome as I thought he'd be, and he looks like he's in-character.
    And he's got something to actually work with this time. Watch out.

    Overall, I'm loving how where this story is going, and I love speculating on it, even if I'm wrong. I do wonder when the Kiss of Death will show up, though...ah, never mind. Hope this review has helped. Sorry for the late reply~
    Speculation is fun, isn't it?

    It's not time for Kiss of Death to make a big appearance just yet. But rest assured, she hasn't been forgotten.

    It's okay, don't worry about being late. Your reply was excellent.
    Last edited by The Great Butler; 11th January 2013 at 10:04 AM.

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  10. #85
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    The alcohol took its toll on Matt, though, and he soon felt tired. It was not long after that that he simply fell asleep.
    What a wimp. I’m 5’0 tiny little girl and I never crash from alcohol.
    The bright morning sun cast golden light over the flowing grass stretching out beyond the borders of Cherrygrove City; it also warmed the earthy red leaves of the autumn trees surrounding the route.
    Cute description. I like it.
    Olivia smiled when Nekou patted her on the head, and in response to the question Nekou posed, she said, “You might be right, I guess. I’m not concerned about it.”
    Your characters have an odd way of pushing away weird situations. Guy comes up and gives secret information about Ghetsis to Matt? Oh, let’s just ignore it. Olivia magically heals overnight? Oh, who cares. Why is this? How can it possibly be part of ALL their personalities? Surely someone must be paranoid.
    It can serve as a place to stay if we ever need such a thing, and I can call it to me no matter where we are!”
    What the hell? I want one of these things.
    Lowering himself so he wound not appear as intimidating to the small Pokémon, Renzo extended a hand and waited as Cottonee nervously examined it.
    “wound” should be “would”
    Well, let me tell you right now, the power of love is a lie! I’ll prove it to you right now!
    Don’t know why, but I liked this bit of dialogue. Pretty powerful.

    They joined Lillipup, who had been hiding behind Olivia’s legs for some time, only coming out once the other Pokémon were present.
    It just hit me that Lillipup was injured when he was found. Why did Olivia send him out at all? Has his injury been forgotten? Or was it healed?





    “You don’t have anything to worry about,” Matt said, dismissing Nikolai’s incessant concern while he picked up the Poké Ball that now contained his Roggenrola. Turning his head, he asked, “Nekou, what are you doing?”

    “I love how the trees look in autumn…”

    “I guess she’s just being herself again,” he conceded, sighing.
    Lmao, so random, but cute.

    “Governor Tobias, President Gabriella, is there anything I can get either of you fine folks?” Mr. Pokémon was standing hunchbacked next to the couch and held his hands together as he tried to be polite to his guests.
    I like how… weird and peculiar you make Mr. Pokémon out to be. This guy has clearly not gotten any fresh air in a very, very long time.

    Overall, a lot of interesting twists in this chapter. Meowth and Mr. Pokemon are with Polaris? Not what I would have expected at all, but it's good. Nikolai (I really wonder if he is N or not, had my suspicions at first but I am not so sure) and Sheena and their powers are interesting, and I hope to see more of them. And I hope that's not the last we see of Renzo, because he's seriously got a story to tell and I want to hear what it is. All I've got to say is that you've taken canon and expanded it greatly and in an interesting way. Hope to see more. One more chapter to go and I'll be caught up, too.


    | she will get the truth out of him, whatever it may be. |
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  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    I’m really not sure why Nurse Joy asked for the pokedex?


    …Nevermind. Matt just got owned.
    Big problems often start in small ways.

    No reason for the second part of the sentence. You have to trust the reader in knowing that nodding means “yes”. It’s almost as if you’re force feeding readers with information because you feel they’re dumb or something.
    You're definitely right on this one. Looks like all I was doing was extending the sentence for no real reason.

    I’m interested to know why Ghetsis was chosen to make this speech. Even though this is Johto, wouldn’t he be recognized from Unova? Or do the regions not communicate? I certainly wouldn’t listen to this loser if I knew who he was.
    It's more specific than that. Because Unova is so far away from the other regions, there is already some isolation, but as Pierce alludes to, some shady business is going on to suppress the information of what Team Plasma did. Chapter 9 will have a bit that revisits the subject with a little more elaboration.

    He was chosen within the organization for his skills in stirring people to action with his words and playing upon public sentiment.

    I have a feeling that Matt won’t really be forgetting it himself…
    That would be something very hard for him to do.

    Not sure why Dante’s walking back when you already said he had no pokémon to heal.
    Poorly worded on my part. He's sticking with them instead of peeling off from the group, but I see exactly where I worded that in such a way that it says he was getting his Pokemon healed.

    Makes me wonder yet again how Frontier Brains like this get legendary pokémon. What the hell.
    It would probably be beneficial for me to mention now that when it comes to the subject of Legendaries, I'm operating under rules more along the lines of the games and Pokemon Adventures instead of the anime. This means that while Legendaries are rare and very difficult to find and capture, they are attainable, and only exceptional cases are one-of-a-kind.

    Also, it may seem to be a trivial detail, but note that Dahlia sent Zapdos out from a Master Ball, which means she caught it in one.

    Lol, yes, yes they did.
    I'm almost wondering what the story would be like if told through first-person perspective of Nekou's POV now. XD;

    Lol, I was wondering if Olivia would point that out.
    She can be observant and opinionated. Very, very observant and opinionated. If you're wondering if she's going to comment on something, she most likely is.

    It seems odd to me that a pokémon—who I assume, you know, has had no teachings in the mathematical area—who ALSO has had little to no training with its trainer knows what ninety degrees really means.
    You know, that's a rather keen observation, and it makes a lot of sense. I never thought to approach this question in such a way. It certainly gives me ideas for newer Pokemon in later chapters.

    Nekou seems to have quite the interest in Matt. I’ll be wanting to know why. WHY DAMNIT WHY?
    She literally absorbs knowledge like it's food, so latching onto him lets her collect all the different things she observes and learns from being around him.

    But maybe that is only one reason?

    I’m surprised Silver is kind enough to refer to Patrick by his name. Cute. Unless he’s being sarcastic, then he’s a dick.
    He was being a dick, but not in a sarcastic way. He was doing it more to be smarmy while still genuinely thanking them for the training experience.

    Lmao, lucky. If it hits, anyway. Okay, it didn’t. But still, that was scary.
    I found the image of a Gengar sprouting Guillotine blades oddly funny in a way too, strangely enough.

    Pizza party! I wanna join. But only if you add that period you forgot after “beverages”.
    I think we can arrange for that. XD;

    So cute how they all try to take care of her. Though it may not be so healthy for Olivia when it becomes overbearing.
    We're right about to get to some development for Olivia that I think everyone will find very interesting. Part of that will include an examination of Olivia's relationship with her caretakers, and reevaluation of what each of them thinks actually is best.

    To be honest, I wasn’t sure why you included the battle between Dahlia and Nando. Was it to give a preview of what was to come? Is Nando going to be a character that shows up more often? Then I’d understand, but this still didn’t seem like the place to introduce them. I would have much rather read about Dahlia’s introduction with Matt’s battle with her. Or I would have rather seen Nando with Olivia and the crew. At this point, the reader doesn’t care about either character, so it made me disinterested in the battle as a whole.
    My goal with the battle there was to introduce details of Dahlia's battling style, thus allowing for there to be hints Matt would later pick up on and incorporate into his own method of defeating her. Nando will have a much more substantial appearance, but you're right, I could have worked in having him meet up with them in some regard.

    I’d also suggest giving... personality to the pokémon while they’re fighting. With the way you have it, it is the trainer’s personality reflecting in the pokémon’s attacks. There’s some distance from this, for example Aggron plays defensively because his species is meant to do so. Is that intentional? Still, pokémon have their own personalities, and I’d like to see that reflected. This isn’t a pokémon-centric fic, though, so I guess I can’t complain too much. It would just make battles more exciting, and I feel that there will be a lot more battles, so…
    I totally understand where you're coming from on this one. It's actually something I've had some concerns about myself. Hearing it from someone other than myself, though, really helps me frame in my mind what I can do to work on it.

    Another complaint I had is that you made it so the battlefield can be changed, but then you didn’t show that in the fic. Ie. you made the battlefield a forest but the forest didn’t give any effect on the battle aside from Mamoswine’s climbing the rocks, but that failed miserably on his part. Basically I think you could have made more use of the trainer’s house and its options.
    I'll keep that under my hat for next time. Could you elaborate a little more, like, what kind of things would you have wanted to see?

    How can Cherrygrove be depressing? Even the name implies “CHEERY”. Get it?
    It's what the Guide Gent was upset about. The city's been overdeveloped into an urban cluster since the events of the games.

    What about Nekou?
    You really have a sharp eye. That was not an accident.

    Man, he really likes to carry that thing around with him everywhere he goes.
    It's very important.

    I was wondering if he’d be able to deal with that, considering how shy and quiet he seems to be. Nice. Poor guy. I know how he feels.
    Once he focuses, he does alright.

    Hmm, I would have thought you would have pointed out Aggron being more effected by the rain, with water pulse being twice as damaging, but you didn’t.
    Since the end result was going to be the same either way, I didn't really think there was much need.

    Geez, I’ve always had a disdain for trainers who say they go easy on the other trainer. Why would they do that? Above all, why would they do that to their pokémon? To say they did such a great job when their full potential wasn’t used… That’s deception right there. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Ignore me.
    It's mostly saber-rattling, at least in this case. Dahlia's way too into this battle, and she's trying to intimidate him.

    I like how you bring abilities into play. They add a lot of life to your battles. Though I never really understood the whole “one bad status at a time” thing. It works as a game mechanic, but who is to say in real life that someone can’t be burned and poisoned at the same time?
    You're right when it comes to real life. The thing is, as far as the battling in this story, I wanted to depict them as having dynamic action as in the anime but following the game mechanics as much as possible, because it's my opinion that there's a lack of such a thing.

    Funny that you use “dour” to describe both Giovanni and Silver. Like father, like son.
    Now that, that was an accident.

    Overall, a good two chapters. The battles were well described and full of mesmerizing tactics that make your battles come to life. I also love Nekou/Matt’s interactions. Ugh. And now I’m going to go nominate this for some 2012 award stuff before I forget.
    Thank you very much!

    What a wimp. I’m 5’0 tiny little girl and I never crash from alcohol.
    Yeah, nobody ever accused him of ever being anything but a wimp, so it makes sense XD;

    Cute description. I like it.
    Thanks.

    Your characters have an odd way of pushing away weird situations. Guy comes up and gives secret information about Ghetsis to Matt? Oh, let’s just ignore it. Olivia magically heals overnight? Oh, who cares. Why is this? How can it possibly be part of ALL their personalities? Surely someone must be paranoid.
    I need to tread carefully here because if I give too much information to respond to this point, I might accidentally blow a major plot point. Because I'm being cautious all I'm going to say is that I do see what you're saying.

    What the hell? I want one of these things.
    He's used to spending long periods of time doing things in the field; he created the original version of this machine for that purpose and replaced it with this one.

    “wound” should be “would”
    Sharp eye. I slipped on that one.

    Don’t know why, but I liked this bit of dialogue. Pretty powerful.
    It really cuts to the bone of what drives him, so that makes sense.

    It just hit me that Lillipup was injured when he was found. Why did Olivia send him out at all? Has his injury been forgotten? Or was it healed?
    Lillipup was healed at the Cherrygrove Pokemon Center earlier.

    Lmao, so random, but cute.
    Precisely.

    I like how… weird and peculiar you make Mr. Pokémon out to be. This guy has clearly not gotten any fresh air in a very, very long time.
    See above.

    Overall, a lot of interesting twists in this chapter. Meowth and Mr. Pokemon are with Polaris? Not what I would have expected at all, but it's good. Nikolai (I really wonder if he is N or not, had my suspicions at first but I am not so sure) and Sheena and their powers are interesting, and I hope to see more of them. And I hope that's not the last we see of Renzo, because he's seriously got a story to tell and I want to hear what it is. All I've got to say is that you've taken canon and expanded it greatly and in an interesting way. Hope to see more. One more chapter to go and I'll be caught up, too.
    Well, Meowth's not exactly a willing participant, but yes, some surprising people are subscribed to Polaris's beliefs.

    Nikolai, the Tenganists and Renzo all have stories to tell that I hope you'll enjoy. Going forward ought to be very interesting for both of us.
    Last edited by The Great Butler; 13th January 2013 at 7:14 AM.

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  12. #87
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    Chapter 3

    This was definitely a bit of an eventful chapter, much action and set-up. The Team Rocket interactions were actually really entertaining and nothing felt forced or wrong about their dialogue, it was great. The training scene managed to be well written and fairly engrossing. You did a nice job off Olivia's inquiring nature when faced with an adverse situation, i.e. the use of the holes and Water Gun. Good to see Olivia is warming up to Oshawott, though I couldn't help but be annoyed at how cold she was to him. But it's a process and the change doesn't happen overnight. The whole Pawniard gang encounter was well-written and had a battle royale feel to it. Nekou's close combat with the Pokemon was interesting, she seems to have quite notable athleticism and acrobatic skills. The scene where Olivia was in peril did a good job of showing off just how urgent the group seems to be for Olivia's safety, I mean she is the highest priority and arguably most "valuable" group member. Matt's Reuniclus doesn't have a nickname, unlike Patrick? Dante is a very known scientist, eh? I actually wondered how he could or would impact the plot. Olivia's leg is injured, that certainly does throw a wrench into the beginning of her journey. That info dump during the discussion was a convenient way to throw in some backstory on Matt for others who haven't read your other stories. Onward to the Battle Arcade for Matt and we had a bit of a heart-to-heart scene with him and Nekou, which cements the fact that Nekou is more of a teasing person than her insults toward Matt holding any true water. Thus they decide to travel with Dante, wonder how things will take off from here, the ingredient of a very enticing story are being set-up and there, I can feel it. I just wonder how you'll run things from here on out, the story really hit the ground running.

  13. #88
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    Many threads on RChannel talked about Pokémon training and collecting, but there were a vast number that focused on other things, ranging from discussion of television programs to bizarre posts such as a recently popular urban legend about an Aerodactyl in a graveyard.
    Ugh, Serebii and every other forum in the world would be so much cooler if pokémon were real. Also like the touch about the Aerodactyl, brings the scene to life.
    “Holy ****, it’s Admin!” the next post, by ‘Slowpoke Tail,’ said. “And she’s got another crazy conspiracy theory!”

    “Posting in epic mod thread,” added an anonymous poster.
    Lmao, this would really happen if the thread were real. Nice.
    “And don’t forget me,” Nekou chimed in, tossing herself over Matt’s shoulders, much to his visible discomfort. “Remember what I get there. Books. One of my six basic food groups.”

    “And what are the other five?”

    “Bacon, hamburgers, potato chips, chocolate and beer.”
    I like her style. We could be twins.
    “Promise me that. Mercury, promise me I’ll see Matt again soon… I have to save him…”

    “Focus on the task at hand, Séduire. Remember that one day we’ll all be saved.”
    Interesting dialogue. Hope to see it expanded on soon. The second part makes it all the more powerful.
    “He is not inferior!”

    “Then let’s see him.”
    Ohh, so Olivia is sticking up for Oshawott. Making improvements, I see.
    I didn’t comment much on this chapter, but it was still a good one. I’m enjoying the new characters that you have brought into play. I’ll be interested to see how Avril and Olivia help each other grow or how they hinder each other, particularly. I’m also interested in what Nekou is up to; the journal entries were peculiar. Something tells me that I’d probably be understanding this a lot more if I had read your previous work? Haha. Either way, I am all caught up now.


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


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


  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doryuzu View Post
    Chapter 3

    This was definitely a bit of an eventful chapter, much action and set-up. The Team Rocket interactions were actually really entertaining and nothing felt forced or wrong about their dialogue, it was great.
    Thank you very much! As I've said before, they were characters I really felt needed to be done correctly.

    The training scene managed to be well written and fairly engrossing. You did a nice job off Olivia's inquiring nature when faced with an adverse situation, i.e. the use of the holes and Water Gun. Good to see Olivia is warming up to Oshawott, though I couldn't help but be annoyed at how cold she was to him. But it's a process and the change doesn't happen overnight.
    She's actually pretty intelligent, people (in-universe) just need to give her a bit more of a chance. If that happened, I think she would start to be a little less combative in return, too, but as you said it's a process. Oshawott's story in particular is nowhere near finished.

    The whole Pawniard gang encounter was well-written and had a battle royale feel to it. Nekou's close combat with the Pokemon was interesting, she seems to have quite notable athleticism and acrobatic skills.
    She does indeed have those skills. They aren't refined skills, but she is not the person you want to get into a street fight with.

    The scene where Olivia was in peril did a good job of showing off just how urgent the group seems to be for Olivia's safety, I mean she is the highest priority and arguably most "valuable" group member.
    That's a curious way of looking at it. I'm tempted now to examine more deeply the roles each member of the group play within their self-contained group dynamic.

    Matt's Reuniclus doesn't have a nickname, unlike Patrick?
    He got it in a trade.

    Dante is a very known scientist, eh? I actually wondered how he could or would impact the plot.
    He will. Oh, he will.

    Olivia's leg is injured, that certainly does throw a wrench into the beginning of her journey.
    It certainly isn't the most auspicious start, that's for sure.

    That info dump during the discussion was a convenient way to throw in some backstory on Matt for others who haven't read your other stories.
    Yeah, it was handy for me, too.

    Onward to the Battle Arcade for Matt and we had a bit of a heart-to-heart scene with him and Nekou, which cements the fact that Nekou is more of a teasing person than her insults toward Matt holding any true water.
    Yes, that's right. Nekou's a bit more complex than she might initially appear; there are a few layers to her character that will take some time to peel back.

    Thus they decide to travel with Dante, wonder how things will take off from here, the ingredient of a very enticing story are being set-up and there, I can feel it. I just wonder how you'll run things from here on out, the story really hit the ground running.
    Thank you for the generous compliment, and for the time you've taken so far to review! I will definitely try to get to the review you requested from me soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    Ugh, Serebii and every other forum in the world would be so much cooler if pokémon were real. Also like the touch about the Aerodactyl, brings the scene to life.
    Fun fact: the Aerodactyl bit is based on a meme that was very widespread on 4chan's /vp/ board during 2011. It started with a serious creepypasta story about a pair of root-like hands reaching out of the ground in a graveyard and grabbing the feet of an Aerodactyl flying overhead, then slowly dragging it underground and killing it. A comedic fanart based on this story was made that depicted the event, and soon it grew into a joke involving the feet of various Pokemon (usually Aerodactyl and Archeops) getting grabbed followed by the phrase "got yer feets" being said.

    I suppose that in a world such as this that actually has Pokemon, the original creepypasta about the Aerodactyl being killed by getting dragged underground could be seen as a Slenderman parallel, too.

    Lmao, this would really happen if the thread were real. Nice.
    Another fun fact: the "Posting in epic mod thread" and "Hey Admin, Asuka or Rei?" posts are directly inspired by what transpired in an /a/ thread that moot randomly appeared in some time ago. It ended up having something like 1,500 posts before getting deleted.

    I like her style. We could be twins.
    Awesome.

    Interesting dialogue. Hope to see it expanded on soon. The second part makes it all the more powerful.
    One thing that's going to become much more clear over the next stretch of the story is that Polaris isn't a traditional villain team like Team Rocket or Team Plasma, they're an outright cult. When they talk about "saving," they really mean it.

    Ohh, so Olivia is sticking up for Oshawott. Making improvements, I see.
    Yeah. We're not there yet, but it's a start.

    I've got what I hope should be an interesting little arc planned for Oshawott's development at this stage.

    I didn’t comment much on this chapter, but it was still a good one. I’m enjoying the new characters that you have brought into play. I’ll be interested to see how Avril and Olivia help each other grow or how they hinder each other, particularly.
    They're going to have quite an... interesting relationship, let's say.

    I’m also interested in what Nekou is up to; the journal entries were peculiar. Something tells me that I’d probably be understanding this a lot more if I had read your previous work? Haha. Either way, I am all caught up now.
    No, you're fine without reading the previous two on this regard. What just happened with Nekou is a picture that's meant to develop slowly, but when the big picture arrives...

    Thanks for taking the time to catch up! I'm sincerely very happy that you enjoyed what I've completed thus far. That's the real reward for me, knowing that people are entertained by this story I want to tell and are anticipating what will happen next.

    And with that, I've finally caught up on responding to all my reviews, so back to work on the next chapter!
    Last edited by The Great Butler; 14th January 2013 at 9:55 AM.

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    The chapter is taking a bit longer than I had hoped, so to whet your appetites here's another teaser like last time. I don't have a stable estimate for when the next chapter will be done, that's why I'm doing this.

        Spoiler:- teaser:
    Last edited by The Great Butler; 14th January 2013 at 10:10 AM.

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    Chapter 4

    Again, I'll go more in-depth with the reviewing when I've caught up since I can't really go blow-by-blow completely. Ghetsis is a member of Polaris I see, that's an interesting spin on his character. Dante's presence honestly felt kind of pointless to me, it's not meant to be bad criticism but he doesn't seem like he's really going to or is contributing much to the story at all. I almost forgot Olivia has four Pokemon, nearly a whole team with Minccino, Roselia, Lillipup, and Oshawott. The former two having quite a bit of experience already and the last two being rather lukewarm in strength thus far.

    "I do think I owe you an apology, though, Olivia." Unlike Nekou, Dante did not turn at all while he spoke. Instead, he simply kept walking. "It was my experiment on the Meteonite that caused the Bisharp and Pawniard to go wild. If not for my experiment, you would be perfectly fine right now. I'm sorry."
    Feels a bit redundant for him to apologize at the ending when he did so pretty much at the beginning.

    "I guess I forgive you, then…"
    I'm starting to think Olivia has a defeatist attitude. This scene right here, she's been pretty drab and gloomy since the Bisharp attack. Which makes me wonder how does Olivia feel? Is she upset because her leg is broken or more so saddened because she failed? Same thing with Oshawott who she was pretty cold toward, she was mainly upset because she couldn't have Totodile. Again, I hope there's some development in store for her for the future. Of course it's logical someone would be upset over breaking a bone since it hurts like a *****. Even despite Olivia's behavior I find myself enjoying how you make her feel human.

    "Only trainers who have obtained a starter Pokémon and Pokédex receive free service at a region's Pokémon Centers," explained the nurse.
    Really like this expansion.


    He was once the number one criminal on the International Police's most wanted list for an array of crimes in Unova including kidnapping, forced servitude, Pokémon abuse, child abuse, burglary, assault and murder, both attempted and successful, all as the leader of an outfit called Team Plasma.
    So, this takes place after the BW games & series by a few years? Didn't you have a cameo of Trip and Georgia facing the Subway Bosses in one of your previous fics. however? Are you just taking liberties throughout the story? Just curious.

    The Goddesses are here I see, they've apparently went through hell and Ghetsis is very temperamental. I have to wonder why they're there and where is N of all things if his step-sisters are suffering.

    Was Guide Gent suppose to be a play on the Video Games? I noticed his rather awkward appearance and just showing up out of the blue to help like that. :P

    Nando getting a cameo was nice, you did a nice job retaining his Sound & Nature based battling style and translating that into Fanfic form. The battle was amusing to read as well. It was a fitting cameo given Olivia is striving for Contest and Gym Battles and Nando being an inspiration for her fits. You also had some nice set-up for Dahlia and the Matt knows her Pokemon are Togekiss, Ludicolo, and Zapdos. Though the first two fit to a tee given the former's use of elegance sky-dancing and the latter's use of happy-go-lucky jumping around dancing, Zapdos sticks out like a sore thumb in a sense without a dancing theme. Regardless I think it's good you gave her a Zapdos given their rare status and the fact it will provide a nice challenge for Matt once he does indeed face the Arcade Star and it shocks the reader somewhat.

    I had nearly forgotten about Matt's team, Heatran, Reuniclus, Aggron, Seismitoad, Golurk, and Salamence. I know the Seismitoad has had little battles as well as the Golurk. Never knew the Salamence existed until now. So, it's going to be interesting to see what he chooses to face Dahlia. I think Seismitoad and Aggron seem likely no doubt. Both good match-ups to Dahlia's Pokemon, nothing in particular seems overly exceptional for Dahlia aside from Reuniclus.

    Pierce got a revelation as a Tenganist, which is surely leading somewhere.

    Any who, I thought the battle was enjoyable. Silver having animosity with Matt is another plot-line I'm wonder what you'll do with as well as Giovanni. Silver came off as kinda similar to Renzo in a way. His dialogue came off as overly-formal which is akin to Renzo's in a sense, given they both show a stuck-up nature it makes sense. Though I wonder if these two are related? Just throwing a little something out there.

    I liked how innovative you were with Snow Cloak and Metronome in the battle, it was paced well and your description was spot-on for the most part.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doryuzu View Post
    Chapter 4

    Again, I'll go more in-depth with the reviewing when I've caught up since I can't really go blow-by-blow completely.
    Totally fine, this is a good review here.

    Ghetsis is a member of Polaris I see, that's an interesting spin on his character.
    I'll elaborate a bit more on him when I get to the Concordia and Anthea point below. It's better if I collect it all at once there.

    Dante's presence honestly felt kind of pointless to me, it's not meant to be bad criticism but he doesn't seem like he's really going to or is contributing much to the story at all.
    He'll have a bit more to do once they leave Cherrygrove City. I wanted to introduce him early and I felt I had an opening to do so - I based his house's location on the berry tree on that route in the games. It struck me as a good place to put a house.

    I almost forgot Olivia has four Pokemon, nearly a whole team with Minccino, Roselia, Lillipup, and Oshawott. The former two having quite a bit of experience already and the last two being rather lukewarm in strength thus far.
    It's probably going to stay that way for a while, at least in terms of numbers.

    Feels a bit redundant for him to apologize at the ending when he did so pretty much at the beginning.
    Yes, isn't it odd why someone would be so apologetic?

    I'm starting to think Olivia has a defeatist attitude. This scene right here, she's been pretty drab and gloomy since the Bisharp attack. Which makes me wonder how does Olivia feel? Is she upset because her leg is broken or more so saddened because she failed? Same thing with Oshawott who she was pretty cold toward, she was mainly upset because she couldn't have Totodile. Again, I hope there's some development in store for her for the future. Of course it's logical someone would be upset over breaking a bone since it hurts like a *****. Even despite Olivia's behavior I find myself enjoying how you make her feel human.
    I don't think it's as much defeatist as it is fragile. In a sense she's like a porcelain doll - everything looks good on the surface, but if you put too much (read: not all that much) pressure on her, she breaks.

    There is more development in store for her, yes. And I'm very glad that you are pleased by my efforts to make her feel human. That's something I wanted to try, showing characters that have both good and bad aspects to their personalities.

    Really like this expansion.
    I knew that would be a well-received bit.

    So, this takes place after the BW games & series by a few years? Didn't you have a cameo of Trip and Georgia facing the Subway Bosses in one of your previous fics. however? Are you just taking liberties throughout the story? Just curious.
    That cameo wasn't really anything meant to really be canon to the actual storyline. It was just a little Easter egg I threw in.

    I haven't really solidly clarified in my mind how long after the fifth generation this is, but your idea of "a few years" is accurate enough for what needs to be known.

    The Goddesses are here I see, they've apparently went through hell and Ghetsis is very temperamental. I have to wonder why they're there and where is N of all things if his step-sisters are suffering.
    Okay, this subject is one where B2W2 completely jammed me up. I planned backstories for Concordia and Anthea before it became known that they are N's stepsisters/guardians in the games, and I was too far along to change it. Because of that, I'm going to have to go with an original story for them.

    Was Guide Gent suppose to be a play on the Video Games? I noticed his rather awkward appearance and just showing up out of the blue to help like that. :P
    Yes, I wanted to include him as a nod to his role in the games. I'd like to keep doing that, including lesser characters in cameo appearances. The character "Dude" from GSC who teaches you how to catch Pokemon was one I wanted to include, but I couldn't work out his role effectively.

    Nando getting a cameo was nice, you did a nice job retaining his Sound & Nature based battling style and translating that into Fanfic form. The battle was amusing to read as well. It was a fitting cameo given Olivia is striving for Contest and Gym Battles and Nando being an inspiration for her fits. You also had some nice set-up for Dahlia and the Matt knows her Pokemon are Togekiss, Ludicolo, and Zapdos. Though the first two fit to a tee given the former's use of elegance sky-dancing and the latter's use of happy-go-lucky jumping around dancing, Zapdos sticks out like a sore thumb in a sense without a dancing theme. Regardless I think it's good you gave her a Zapdos given their rare status and the fact it will provide a nice challenge for Matt once he does indeed face the Arcade Star and it shocks the reader somewhat.
    Thank you for the compliments.

    Regarding Zapdos and Dahlia's team: the three are Pokemon she has between her two teams in the fourth generation games. Ludicolo comes from her first team, and Togekiss and Zapdos come from her second (the others are Dusknoir, Medicham and Blaziken.) I selected Zapdos because I wished to show the kind of challenge Dahlia represents, as well as to establish that "lesser" Legendaries can be seen under a trainer's ownership in this story.

    I had nearly forgotten about Matt's team, Heatran, Reuniclus, Aggron, Seismitoad, Golurk, and Salamence. I know the Seismitoad has had little battles as well as the Golurk. Never knew the Salamence existed until now. So, it's going to be interesting to see what he chooses to face Dahlia. I think Seismitoad and Aggron seem likely no doubt. Both good match-ups to Dahlia's Pokemon, nothing in particular seems overly exceptional for Dahlia aside from Reuniclus.
    He has some other Pokemon as well, those are merely the ones he has on him at the moment.

    Your predictions are good.

    Pierce got a revelation as a Tenganist, which is surely leading somewhere.
    Yes, yes it is.

    Any who, I thought the battle was enjoyable. Silver having animosity with Matt is another plot-line I'm wonder what you'll do with as well as Giovanni. Silver came off as kinda similar to Renzo in a way. His dialogue came off as overly-formal which is akin to Renzo's in a sense, given they both show a stuck-up nature it makes sense. Though I wonder if these two are related? Just throwing a little something out there.
    They're not related.

    That's something I'll have to work on when it comes to Silver, the dialogue. I've had some struggles when it comes to writing him, but I think with some advice like yours I'll improve as we go.

    I'm still putting together a storyline for Silver and Giovanni, but I have the basic outline planned. I think it should work well.

    I liked how innovative you were with Snow Cloak and Metronome in the battle, it was paced well and your description was spot-on for the most part.
    Thank you once more. When I brought those up in the battle, it was because of my desire to show off some lesser-used, more unusual moves and tactics.

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    *waves* Hey there. I'm here from the review game and I'll be reviewing chapter 7 as requested. Now, I know I did a review for this in the review game in the past (I want to say for chapter... 3?) But other than that past one and this, I haven't read the rest of the story (though I did read the summary you left). So... I'll probably be a little muddled with this, which is why I'm going to focus on other things besides the overarching plot in my critique.

    The low hum of his many machines provided a constant source of quiet sound in Dr. Zager’s laboratory.
    Nice opener. “Quiet sound” is a lovely little contradiction that, to a person who turns on a fan at night whether it’s hot or cold to cancel the noise of snoring or loud television from the other room, makes perfect sense.

    “How dull,” Zager said to himself as he absentmindedly scanned past multiple post threads.
    Allow me to split hairs for a moment here—wouldn’t just “threads” suffice? Why does it need to be “post threads?” It sounds a bit redundant to me.

    The random off-topic posts on the forum provided a nice amount of verisimilitude. *grin*

    A somber tone hung over the group’s rented room at Violet City’s Pokémon Center.
    I’m not sure if “tone” really feels like the right word here. “Mood” or “atmosphere” feels more correct.

    The heavy, aged wooden door of the room produced a loud creak as Matt slowly entered.
    A bit of an adjective pile-up there. Is the door really important enough to warrant that much description? Especially since lobbing three descriptors in there at once makes the sentence feel overloaded.

    Ghetsis’s speech is appropriately fraught with ambition, passion and guile. Nice work with him.

    “With our luck, she’s about to say it’s…”

    “Sorry, but the Gym is closed right now. Nobody can get to it.”

    “…I ****ing knew it,” Nekou finished her thought.
    Hmm. Not sure how I feel about this kind of dealing with labeling who’s thinking. Unless Nekou is the only one whose thoughts are delivered to the audience (and I don’t know because I’m coming in right here) then from the first line, it could be anybody thinking, so I can’t associate the line with anyone until the thought is finished. It’s not a huge thing, because it’s only two lines later, but it kinda creates a disjointed feeling and a lack of clarity.

    “Well, the speeches by Polaris have really opened my eyes. I never really considered before just how many people have it bad, even though we all work hard for everything we have. There are those who have it too easy if you ask me, getting Pokémon and medical care for free while others pay for it. I want Falkner to come out here and tell us how he can participate in this. That’s why I’m here.”
    I like the idea of socialized medicine becoming an issue here because it feels like it would be a hot-button one in any climate with a vigorous political discourse. What strikes me as slightly unreal is the idea that this person apparently never thought about this before and was persuaded by the speech. Now, it could be that this is extremely believable due to the level of persuasion that’s been hammered into people by Polaris’s previous speeches (I’ve only seen one) but… well, at least from what I’ve observed: people don’t change their very minds easily. Being challenged about something they believe in, usually leads to people being all the more defensive about what they think and how they've lived. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see people camping out who have been “against their taxpayer money” going to fund these things from the get-go and just glad that someone’s speaking up which galvanized them into taking action, or even already existing pressure groups that have tried to legislate or get some kind of action on this in the past. All her “my eyes have been opened” speech is doing is making me feel like she’s been planted to be honest.

    Dominic’s overflowing gratitude was a little off-putting to Matt, and even though he didn’t know it, Nekou and Olivia were a little nervous themselves. Bunny was the only one who saw him right away as the overly eager but kindhearted man he truly was.
    I’d be happier if these emotions were conveyed through body language instead of just told to us. It’s much more subtle and real-feeling that way.

    “Remember what I get there. Books. One of my six basic food groups.”

    “And what are the other five?”

    “Bacon, hamburgers, potato chips, chocolate and beer.”
    I think she forgot “sassy oneliners” there

    “The one and only.” Putting her hands on her hips, Avril leaned forward and smugly asked, “Did you get stuck with one of those inferior ones that were left?”
    We got a little warning flag that this kind of trait was going to come up earlier and I almost wish we didn’t. THIS tells me that she’s arrogant much more than ascribing arrogance to her earlier when she basically hadn’t done anything but say a greeting.

    “Wow, you didn’t even take the good one,” she taunted, “but then again, someone who’s childish in both body and spirit taking a childish Pokémon makes sense!”
    …I’m highly confused about where this random bullying is coming from. I get that she’s meant to be kind of… um… bratty. But you’d think there’d be at least something to set her off. Like, I could get it if she was trying to make some sort of joke about Oshawott to make herself look better, and then maybe Olivia responds angrily, seeing this as a shot at her, and THEN Avril launches in with the mean girl stuff. Or maybe Avril pretends to be nice, but lobs in a bunch of backhanded compliments to make herself look high and mighty while simultaneously goading Oliva into anger. As it is it feels a little… unnatural and stereotypical. Like, “Hello, we just met and the first thing I want to say is that you have no boobs and your Pokemon sucks!” It’s kinda coming off 2D.

    In the very back of his head, behind how much he admired Amanda’s courageous attitude, he actually felt somewhat intimidated by having to face her.
    I resisted picking out some other examples previously because I kinda already mentioned this, but since it’s repeating, I might as well bring it up again. There’s a great deal of emotion-calling in this and I think it’s cheating you out of a lot of real emotional connection. I don’t want to be told that Matt is intimidated; I want to feel intimidated with him. In a lot of these instances you can use body language or dialogue to convey emotions instead of just naming them. Here you might want to record his thoughts directly—especially since what you basically have here is a summary of his thoughts. So instead of just saying that he felt “intimidated” you could say, “He wasn’t nearly as sure as he’d like to have been, especially in front of the watchful eyes of the crowd, that he even had a chance of winning this—or even, he thought with a grimace, of avoiding utterly embarrassing himself.” It’s not a great example, but hopefully it should be able to get my point across that you can convey these emotions without resorting to “He/She felt…” statements.

    “I wonder how she got to be so much more powerful than Matt is,” Nekou scoffed, taking a bite out of the frosted croissant in her hand.
    The specificity there made me smile.

    Ask any of my students, who until you ruined it were having quite a pleasurable class today!”
    *squirms uncomfortably* I have to say that I think “pleasant” would get the idea of this across without the umm… fleshy connotations that “pleasurable” brings.

    “You won’t hurt my students!!” she screamed, apparently misunderstanding Zinzolin’s intentions and not realizing that he was targeting her.
    I think Earl used two exclamation points before and I didn’t bat an eye because… well, because he’s Earl. But I think the general rule is that you’re only supposed to use one.

    With their concerns largely soothed by Zinzolin’s explanation, the protesters slowly dispersed, heading back into the city one by one.
    Hmm… that’s… easy. No hard-headed protesters remained? This is a controlled little mob.

    So, coming to the end of this I think it's obvious that you have a lot of intrigue going on here. Maybe a little too much intrigue if anything because I felt like I got a lot thrown at me in this chapter--but part of that is simply because I'm jumping in here and don't have the context to appreciate everything that's happening. But it's clear that you've got a lot of plates spinning here to give you plot a strong form and complexity.

    The highlight of this, for me, was probably Polaris's speech-making because I thought it was very well handled. Very politic. Very something that can be thought of in terms of our world. Good stuff.

    My main problems (which I've somewhat already touched on) are these:

    1. I feel like there are a lot of places here where you take shortcuts in conveying the emotions of the character. This has the effect of making me feel locked out, emotionally, from the characters, which is, I think, the opposite of what you wanted to do in highlighting these emotions. It is hard to get across emotions without directly telling them, I know. But it's worthwhile.

    2. I don't honestly buy Avril. The problem is not that I don't like her--I get the distinct feeling that I'm not supposed to. It's just that I don't believe her as a person. She feels more charicature than character. I suppose you'll have your chance to deal with her as you go on and hopefully she'll gain a bit more depth, but as it is, I think you could've kept her brattiness, but tamped it down to a believable level and given her more nuance--and a catalyst to make the introduction of her bad behavior feel less forced.

    3. Despite the fact that this is a somewhat long chapter (sue me, I have a short attention span), I think you managed to do a pretty good job at keeping the action up and therefore things didn't lag for too too long. But I still do think you could've cut this baby down and that it would be better, cleaner, stronger if it was trimmed. Some scenes go on longer than they have to, some start before they need to, and some are just a little bit bloated with unnecessary descriptors. And scenes like the ones where Olivia and Avril go to Sprout Tower could've been greatly diminshed--cut out entirely even, until the point where something of real importance happened. Those scenes were frustrating not only because little was happening in them, but because they felt like they were interrupting scenes where something was happening.

    So those are my thoughts. And whether you agree with me or disagree with me on my points, I hope something I said is helpful and I hope you have good luck as you continue writing this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    *waves* Hey there. I'm here from the review game and I'll be reviewing chapter 7 as requested. Now, I know I did a review for this in the review game in the past (I want to say for chapter... 3?) But other than that past one and this, I haven't read the rest of the story (though I did read the summary you left). So... I'll probably be a little muddled with this, which is why I'm going to focus on other things besides the overarching plot in my critique.
    I'm glad to see you back. Hopefully I gave you something worth reading. Let's get started, shall we?

    Nice opener. “Quiet sound” is a lovely little contradiction that, to a person who turns on a fan at night whether it’s hot or cold to cancel the noise of snoring or loud television from the other room, makes perfect sense.
    I like little visuals like this, because I think it helps the reader settle into the story more. It gives you a little look into the character in a way, too, I think.

    Allow me to split hairs for a moment here—wouldn’t just “threads” suffice? Why does it need to be “post threads?” It sounds a bit redundant to me.
    I did that deliberately as insurance. My feeling was that not all readers would get the references to imageboard functions right away, so I wanted to specify that they were threads of posts to avoid any potential confusion.

    The random off-topic posts on the forum provided a nice amount of verisimilitude. *grin*
    Who said they were off-topic?

    I’m not sure if “tone” really feels like the right word here. “Mood” or “atmosphere” feels more correct.
    Hmm. I had to look at this a few times and really think about it, but I think I'm beginning to come around to see where you're coming from on this one. I'd lean toward "mood" being the best word to stitch into that sentence, personally.

    A bit of an adjective pile-up there. Is the door really important enough to warrant that much description? Especially since lobbing three descriptors in there at once makes the sentence feel overloaded.
    Well, I kind of think that the door can help set some imagery for the rest of the room, or at least stimulate the reader into thinking about what the room looks like by providing a small detail to start off with. So in that sense, a little more description than actually necessary works, I think.

    How would you rewrite the sentence to lighten it up? I'm curious, because I'm not really picking up on exactly where the problem is.

    Ghetsis’s speech is appropriately fraught with ambition, passion and guile. Nice work with him.
    Thank you. At this stage, his speeches are a very, very important element. They're the fuel for the fire that's building up to erupt.

    Hmm. Not sure how I feel about this kind of dealing with labeling who’s thinking. Unless Nekou is the only one whose thoughts are delivered to the audience (and I don’t know because I’m coming in right here) then from the first line, it could be anybody thinking, so I can’t associate the line with anyone until the thought is finished. It’s not a huge thing, because it’s only two lines later, but it kinda creates a disjointed feeling and a lack of clarity.
    I would definitely agree if there was a large amount of space between the two thought segments, but I really don't think that simply having the thoughts bookend one line is really all that bad. I guess I can kind of see where you're coming from, but I think this one is something we'll just have to agree to disagree on.

    I like the idea of socialized medicine becoming an issue here because it feels like it would be a hot-button one in any climate with a vigorous political discourse. What strikes me as slightly unreal is the idea that this person apparently never thought about this before and was persuaded by the speech. Now, it could be that this is extremely believable due to the level of persuasion that’s been hammered into people by Polaris’s previous speeches (I’ve only seen one) but… well, at least from what I’ve observed: people don’t change their very minds easily. Being challenged about something they believe in, usually leads to people being all the more defensive about what they think and how they've lived. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see people camping out who have been “against their taxpayer money” going to fund these things from the get-go and just glad that someone’s speaking up which galvanized them into taking action, or even already existing pressure groups that have tried to legislate or get some kind of action on this in the past. All her “my eyes have been opened” speech is doing is making me feel like she’s been planted to be honest.
    First off, I should preface this comment by mentioning that while this is the second speech that's been seen in the story, they have been going on for an indeterminate amount of time before the events of the story as well, which means they've had more time to take hold.

    Now, with that aside, the fact that you're considering the possible motives behind the example protester who was interviewed is actually itself a great thing. Different people from different backgrounds are involved, so the point is that that one person could essentially be anyone. Was she planted? Maybe. Perhaps she was just a citizen who was apathetic and didn't have an opinion on the matter until the speech put it in her mind, or maybe she's someone who really was galvanized to action as you suggest. This specific one probably is one I'd lean toward 'apathetic' for, but the larger point is that by considering all the possible motives someone involved in a Polaris protest, you've hit on the purpose of the whole: they are a movement bringing together individuals with varying motives.

    I’d be happier if these emotions were conveyed through body language instead of just told to us. It’s much more subtle and real-feeling that way.
    I think we'll have to take discussion on this matter to PM or VM, because there are probably several bits of advice I should hear on it. I didn't know how to get that section done without getting bogged down in endless unnecessary description.

    I think she forgot “sassy oneliners” there
    Aha, good catch. We'll have to stick that one at the top of her food pyramid. XD;

    We got a little warning flag that this kind of trait was going to come up earlier and I almost wish we didn’t. THIS tells me that she’s arrogant much more than ascribing arrogance to her earlier when she basically hadn’t done anything but say a greeting.
    Well, this is a little difficult to communicate via text, but what I was trying to get across with the greeting was that she was saying it in a stuck-up way. Like she was almost bothered by having to do it.

    …I’m highly confused about where this random bullying is coming from. I get that she’s meant to be kind of… um… bratty. But you’d think there’d be at least something to set her off. Like, I could get it if she was trying to make some sort of joke about Oshawott to make herself look better, and then maybe Olivia responds angrily, seeing this as a shot at her, and THEN Avril launches in with the mean girl stuff. Or maybe Avril pretends to be nice, but lobs in a bunch of backhanded compliments to make herself look high and mighty while simultaneously goading Oliva into anger. As it is it feels a little… unnatural and stereotypical. Like, “Hello, we just met and the first thing I want to say is that you have no boobs and your Pokemon sucks!” It’s kinda coming off 2D.
    I have a few things I want to say on this one.

    I was actually intending to start Avril off as a bit of a stereotype, to be honest. What I was going for is probably best summed up by TVTropes' Alpha Bitch; also, before this point the primary personal conflict for Olivia has come from Renzo, who has some sort of a personal score to settle with her. I wanted to introduce a personal conflict that occurred independently of her story to show that not everyone will necessarily like her, hence Avril, who is mean just because she is.

    Now, picking my words carefully to avoid giving things away, I do have more planned for Avril that will flesh her out well beyond what she is now. The reason for her bad attitude will be addressed, and part of why she acts the way she does is an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy. She isn't just mean to Olivia, she's mean to everyone, and it's all for the same reason.

    EDIT:

    I resisted picking out some other examples previously because I kinda already mentioned this, but since it’s repeating, I might as well bring it up again. There’s a great deal of emotion-calling in this and I think it’s cheating you out of a lot of real emotional connection. I don’t want to be told that Matt is intimidated; I want to feel intimidated with him. In a lot of these instances you can use body language or dialogue to convey emotions instead of just naming them. Here you might want to record his thoughts directly—especially since what you basically have here is a summary of his thoughts. So instead of just saying that he felt “intimidated” you could say, “He wasn’t nearly as sure as he’d like to have been, especially in front of the watchful eyes of the crowd, that he even had a chance of winning this—or even, he thought with a grimace, of avoiding utterly embarrassing himself.” It’s not a great example, but hopefully it should be able to get my point across that you can convey these emotions without resorting to “He/She felt…” statements.
    I think I understand your point, though I also think we should probably also continue discussing this in private along with the other point from earlier. I feel there is probably something I can learn here if we talk it out a bit more.

    The specificity there made me smile.
    It's the little things, you know? Sometimes it takes a million little things to paint a visual image.

    *squirms uncomfortably* I have to say that I think “pleasant” would get the idea of this across without the umm… fleshy connotations that “pleasurable” brings.
    I'm... not sure I can understand that at all. That was the farthest thing from my intention when I wrote it - I used "pleasurable" because I felt it fit Amanda's speech patterns and personality. "Pleasant" wouldn't have been an impossible option, but it's a little plainer sounding than "pleasurable" and I was trying to go for a simultaneously 'proper' and slightly wordy speech to reflect Amanda better.

    I'm not saying you're wrong, I just genuinely do not understand the point on this one.

    I think Earl used two exclamation points before and I didn’t bat an eye because… well, because he’s Earl. But I think the general rule is that you’re only supposed to use one.
    Well, I did that for emphasis, but this is something I do understand your opinion on. I think I will scale back use of the double exclamation points for emphasis just to the characters who have personality exceptions, such as Earl. I thank you for some good advice here.

    Hmm… that’s… easy. No hard-headed protesters remained? This is a controlled little mob.
    I admit, I did feel a bit stuck in a corner when I arrived at that part. But once I worked it out, I felt satisfied with how it went. My logic was that the crowd saw Zinzolin, who was leading the protest, get completely wrecked by Amanda right in front of their very eyes. None of them were foolhardy enough to want to cross her after what they saw. But also, this was the very first time Polaris's cause organized beyond Ghetsis's speeches into an in-person protest, so the movement has not yet fully solidified and radicalized within the public yet.

    I still need to finish responding to all you've said. Please forgive me.

    So, coming to the end of this I think it's obvious that you have a lot of intrigue going on here. Maybe a little too much intrigue if anything because I felt like I got a lot thrown at me in this chapter--but part of that is simply because I'm jumping in here and don't have the context to appreciate everything that's happening. But it's clear that you've got a lot of plates spinning here to give you plot a strong form and complexity.
    I have to compliment you, because I think you really did well given that you were jumping in for the first time in several chapters. Obviously, to have an expansive, ongoing plot as I'm aiming to do, some accessibility has to be sacrificed to facilitate continuity. But given that you showed a good-to-excellent grasp of most of the bits going on, I'm fairly confident I managed to hit that narrow target decently well.

    This story arc, which ends with the next chapter, is probably the more overwhelming one to come into, too, since it has to set up a lot of worldbuilding and characterization details. The next one will shift into a bigger focus on direct action/plot advancement as well as focused development for the characters.

    The highlight of this, for me, was probably Polaris's speech-making because I thought it was very well handled. Very politic. Very something that can be thought of in terms of our world. Good stuff.
    Thank you. That is what I was intending to do, to examine issues in the Pokemon world that lead to controversies and movements as you saw here.

    My main problems (which I've somewhat already touched on) are these:

    1. I feel like there are a lot of places here where you take shortcuts in conveying the emotions of the character. This has the effect of making me feel locked out, emotionally, from the characters, which is, I think, the opposite of what you wanted to do in highlighting these emotions. It is hard to get across emotions without directly telling them, I know. But it's worthwhile.
    This is something that, as I've alluded to, I will need to speak to you further about outside of this thread. I want to try and learn more from you about what I can do to address this.

    2. I don't honestly buy Avril. The problem is not that I don't like her--I get the distinct feeling that I'm not supposed to. It's just that I don't believe her as a person. She feels more charicature than character. I suppose you'll have your chance to deal with her as you go on and hopefully she'll gain a bit more depth, but as it is, I think you could've kept her brattiness, but tamped it down to a believable level and given her more nuance--and a catalyst to make the introduction of her bad behavior feel less forced.
    I bolded that part within the quote because it is specifically related to my response, which is that that is precisely the plan. I intended to introduce her as flatter than she actually is so I could pull back the curtain over time to show just who she really is. That catalyst you've asked for is there, too, it just hasn't been shown yet.

    I will admit that I was planning to make her much more serious about her personality at first, but then the characters began to write themselves once she got introduced into an environment where she acted as a foil for Olivia. Olivia being the way she is escalated Avril's traits.

    3. Despite the fact that this is a somewhat long chapter (sue me, I have a short attention span), I think you managed to do a pretty good job at keeping the action up and therefore things didn't lag for too too long. But I still do think you could've cut this baby down and that it would be better, cleaner, stronger if it was trimmed. Some scenes go on longer than they have to, some start before they need to, and some are just a little bit bloated with unnecessary descriptors. And scenes like the ones where Olivia and Avril go to Sprout Tower could've been greatly diminshed--cut out entirely even, until the point where something of real importance happened. Those scenes were frustrating not only because little was happening in them, but because they felt like they were interrupting scenes where something was happening.
    I have to admit there was material that got dropped after the initial planning stages, such as Olivia going to a class in the school that Amanda would have asked Matt to give a try teaching for a day.

    I think I need to break down your points here to address them, because there are several.

    -Scenes go on longer than they need to/begin too early: I may be misunderstanding exactly what you mean by these, but if I'm not, the reason why these may be coming up for you is because I am not fond of rapidly cutting directly from important event to important event. When I do that, I feel like I'm writing less a story than a simple chain of scenes (this is one reason why I found Zero Dark Thirty so terribly overrated as a film, for example.) When that occurs you can lose sight of the fact that the events of the story are events happening to people who live in a bigger world.

    -Unnecessary descriptors: I think I understand this one, so I'll see what I can do. I am admittedly nervous about stripping away too much description by mistake.

    -Unnecessary scenes: I must disagree with at least that one specific example. I feel showing them going to Sprout Tower was necessary, because if I didn't show what they were doing, how would anyone know where Olivia was during the scene with Matt, Nekou, Bunny and Amanda in the library? I'm certainly open to hearing another example under this subject, however.

    So those are my thoughts. And whether you agree with me or disagree with me on my points, I hope something I said is helpful and I hope you have good luck as you continue writing this.
    I thank you sincerely for your efforts, they truly were helpful and insightful. I hope I'll be able to learn even more from you should we continue our conversation, because I think there are some great things that could lead to.
    Last edited by The Great Butler; 3rd February 2013 at 10:01 AM.

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  20. #95
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    Well, I kind of think that the door can help set some imagery for the rest of the room, or at least stimulate the reader into thinking about what the room looks like by providing a small detail to start off with. So in that sense, a little more description than actually necessary works, I think.

    How would you rewrite the sentence to lighten it up? I'm curious, because I'm not really picking up on exactly where the problem is.
    My problem is that we're expounding a lot of words on what is... to me, functioning in the narrative as just a door. I don't see it as creating versimillitude or setting the mood in any way. To be honest, in the course of this scene, I can't find much of a reason to care about the door. And, in my opinion, description should be more than just an end unto itself--it should tell us something about the scene, or foreshadow, or set the mood, or provide symbolism. If it's just there to provide an image, then it should do so quickly and concretely without getting itself bogged down.

    That is my philosophy on description, but I want to stress that even if you disagree with that general statement and we assume that extra description for the door is warranted, I would still dislike the three adjective pile-up going on here.

    Your sentence:

    The heavy, aged wooden door of the room produced a loud creak as Matt slowly entered.

    I think just taking out one adjective would make the sentence flow much better and smooth out this knot we have in it. I'd personally take out "aged" because it sounds a bit sagely for a door anyway. Heck, I think you'd be fine taking out wooden too and just leaving us with heavy because that seems to be the real detail of note. Though honestly the creak seems more worthy of description than the door. (And really, there's nothing wrong with the sentence as: "The door of the room produced a loud creak as Matt slowly entered" Aside from maybe the fact that "produced" isn't the strongest verb you could use--something like groaned would come to mind as better, but it's not the only option).

    If you find all these details too important to leave out, then, again, I'd still prefer they weren't all clumped together in one knot. You could move them around to make them less localized by the noun--maybe split the concept into two sentences if you decide its worth all those adjectives.

    I think we'll have to take discussion on this matter to PM or VM, because there are probably several bits of advice I should hear on it. I didn't know how to get that section done without getting bogged down in endless unnecessary description.
    Feel free to PM or VM me on thing kinda stuff, sure. I'm just responding here because I don't want to fight the VM character limit with all this to respond to, but if you want to talk about specific examples then we could absolutely talk further about this.

    Well, this is a little difficult to communicate via text, but what I was trying to get across with the greeting was that she was saying it in a stuck-up way. Like she was almost bothered by having to do it.
    Hmmm. I didn't get that sense of her being bothered to have to do it at all, to be honest. Maybe if you'd portrayed some reluctance to leave off whatever she was talking about with her Dad to greet new people then I'd get the sense she was discounting them. Right now, it just seems like it's more set up as the first hammering in of "Avril's a brat."

    And while I'm on that subject, I suppose I should comment a bit to what you've come back with about Avril. It was basically the response I expected to hear. I'm sure you can pull of turns with her character and create some surprising moments and more depth with a reveal. I will say, however, that I think you should be careful with the idea of writing anyone as a pure stereotype in any stage because people can read it the wrong way and because characters always need to earn their keep. And I will say that even if you do have big plans for her coming up, I think you've overplayed the brattiness in places right now. That said, I do not have all the information--but that shouldn't be something that makes you completely discount what I'm saying on her. Readers are going to make up their minds about things in your story without complete information all the time.

    I'm... not sure I can understand that at all. That was the farthest thing from my intention when I wrote it - I used "pleasurable" because I felt it fit Amanda's speech patterns and personality. "Pleasant" wouldn't have been an impossible option, but it's a little plainer sounding than "pleasurable" and I was trying to go for a simultaneously 'proper' and slightly wordy speech to reflect Amanda better.

    I'm not saying you're wrong, I just genuinely do not understand the point on this one.
    When I hear the word "pleasurable" I do not get any kind of proper or wordy connotation from it. "Pleasurable" has much more of a sexual connotation (and I have double checked this with other people who said the same thing--so it's not just my filthy mind) which you don't really want hanging over a sentence talking about the classrom.

    If you wanted to pick a word that would show off her big vocabulary and would fit in that sentence, there are dozens of others you could've used. "Edifying" or "Enriching" would be the ones that immediately come to my mind and those thankfully don't have any... coital connotations.

    Oh my GOD. "Coital Connotations" seriously needs to be a band name!

    -Scenes go on longer than they need to/begin too early: I may be misunderstanding exactly what you mean by these, but if I'm not, the reason why these may be coming up for you is because I am not fond of rapidly cutting directly from important event to important event. When I do that, I feel like I'm writing less a story than a simple chain of scenes (this is one reason why I found Zero Dark Thirty so terribly overrated as a film, for example.) When that occurs you can lose sight of the fact that the events of the story are events happening to people who live in a bigger world.
    I'm not saying you need to rapidly cut all the time or that transitions aren't important--because they are. But... well, let's use movie parlance here, shall we? Sometimes you need to cut to the chase.

    Let's say I had a characters I had some important plot-related things to do with at... the big-top of circus. Unless I have a really good conversation-based reason to do so, there's not a reason to show their car trip to the circus or standing in line for tickets or trying to find their seat. I could more or less just start with the action.

    Again, certainly there are pacing reasons to slow down the action sometimes, but learning when to dive in and out of a scene is part of learning that sense for pacing--when to speed things up and when to slow them down. Right now, I don't really get that from this.

    Something else to consider: in the free (and unpaid) world of fanfiction, you can do whatever you want. But in more professional settings you're probably going to be asked to budget your words and that... absolutely sucks, don't get me wrong. But it's something worth learning. Sometimes the shorter way really is best... often, actually.

    -Unnecessary descriptors: I think I understand this one, so I'll see what I can do. I am admittedly nervous about stripping away too much description by mistake.
    I understand that feeling, but something you can do is go back and evaluate the descriptions you've made. Ask: What are they doing for the story? Do they disrupt the flow of the narrative or do they fit in nicely? Is what the descriptors add worth the extra weight on the scene?

    -Unnecessary scenes: I must disagree with at least that one specific example. I feel showing them going to Sprout Tower was necessary, because if I didn't show what they were doing, how would anyone know where Olivia was during the scene with Matt, Nekou, Bunny and Amanda in the library? I'm certainly open to hearing another example under this subject, however.
    Ummm... has anyone ever actually said, "I don't know where the characters are at all times--UNFAV, UNSUBSCRIBE!" to you? I would kinda doubt that. We can be kept in suspense as to where they are for two seconds and it's fine--especially in this case where there are so many characters to deal with at once. You obviously disagree, but I don't see much of a reason to start the scenes with Olivia and Avril anywhere before they reach the top of Sprout Tower. I don't think you need to have scenes that pretty much just are there to inform the reader that a character continues to exist and is in a fixed location. That's something a reader will probably assume. As for the details, they can be filled in at the point they become relevant in a lot of cases.

    Well, that's my response to your response to my response. You mentioned PM/VMing about portraying emotions and I'm totally cool with that.

  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    I think just taking out one adjective would make the sentence flow much better and smooth out this knot we have in it. I'd personally take out "aged" because it sounds a bit sagely for a door anyway. Heck, I think you'd be fine taking out wooden too and just leaving us with heavy because that seems to be the real detail of note. Though honestly the creak seems more worthy of description than the door. (And really, there's nothing wrong with the sentence as: "The door of the room produced a loud creak as Matt slowly entered" Aside from maybe the fact that "produced" isn't the strongest verb you could use--something like groaned would come to mind as better, but it's not the only option).

    If you find all these details too important to leave out, then, again, I'd still prefer they weren't all clumped together in one knot. You could move them around to make them less localized by the noun--maybe split the concept into two sentences if you decide its worth all those adjectives.
    I apologize, but I'm still just failing to connect with what you're saying. I've read the sentence out loud to myself several times now, and it sounds fine to me. I think at this point that this is merely a personal preference issue we're going to have to agree to disagree on.

    Feel free to PM or VM me on thing kinda stuff, sure. I'm just responding here because I don't want to fight the VM character limit with all this to respond to, but if you want to talk about specific examples then we could absolutely talk further about this.
    I will have to do that tomorrow, then.

    Hmmm. I didn't get that sense of her being bothered to have to do it at all, to be honest. Maybe if you'd portrayed some reluctance to leave off whatever she was talking about with her Dad to greet new people then I'd get the sense she was discounting them. Right now, it just seems like it's more set up as the first hammering in of "Avril's a brat."
    I think you may have taken the wrong sense of 'bothered' from what I said. I meant it in the sense that she regards them as below her and was annoyed to have to acknowledge them.

    So yeah, the assessment of "the first hammering of "Avril's a brat"" is fairly accurate to what was intended, in a sense.

    And while I'm on that subject, I suppose I should comment a bit to what you've come back with about Avril. It was basically the response I expected to hear.
    Forgive me, but I'm a little confused as to why you didn't just say so in the first place if you knew I was going to say it?

    I will say, however, that I think you should be careful with the idea of writing anyone as a pure stereotype in any stage because people can read it the wrong way and because characters always need to earn their keep.
    Not that you're wrong - because you aren't - but not all characters can earn an equal keep at the same time, to be honest. Characters need to have defined roles and sometimes, some characters just have smaller roles at certain times. Avril's role here was simply to introduce her character and her relationship with Olivia to get the ball rolling for her larger roles.

    Of course, that's merely my opinion, so you might have any sort of opinion on it, which is of course perfectly reasonable.

    And I will say that even if you do have big plans for her coming up, I think you've overplayed the brattiness in places right now.
    Not disagreeing with you here, at least in principle. Characters are open to interpretation at all times, as they should be.

    That said, I do not have all the information--but that shouldn't be something that makes you completely discount what I'm saying on her. Readers are going to make up their minds about things in your story without complete information all the time.
    I think I may be missing something here, because the idea that conclusions will be drawn without complete information doesn't sound like something that is bad to me. In fact, it almost sounds like something that would be fun at times - leave a plot detail open to interpretation, take a character in a direction other than what some readers may have concluded... quite frankly, if nobody made speculations and early conclusions that could end up wrong, things would be a little bland, would they not?

    When I hear the word "pleasurable" I do not get any kind of proper or wordy connotation from it. "Pleasurable" has much more of a sexual connotation (and I have double checked this with other people who said the same thing--so it's not just my filthy mind) which you don't really want hanging over a sentence talking about the classrom.

    If you wanted to pick a word that would show off her big vocabulary and would fit in that sentence, there are dozens of others you could've used. "Edifying" or "Enriching" would be the ones that immediately come to my mind and those thankfully don't have any... coital connotations.
    To be quite honest I'm not seeing it at all. Out of curiosity, would you be willing to at least hint at who you asked about it? I suspect the entire difference of opinion on this one may simply be because it's a word that different people approach differently.

    Oh my GOD. "Coital Connotations" seriously needs to be a band name!
    Now THAT, on the other hand, is something I don't think anyone would disagree with. XD;

    I'm not saying you need to rapidly cut all the time or that transitions aren't important--because they are. But... well, let's use movie parlance here, shall we? Sometimes you need to cut to the chase.

    Let's say I had a characters I had some important plot-related things to do with at... the big-top of circus. Unless I have a really good conversation-based reason to do so, there's not a reason to show their car trip to the circus or standing in line for tickets or trying to find their seat. I could more or less just start with the action.

    Again, certainly there are pacing reasons to slow down the action sometimes, but learning when to dive in and out of a scene is part of learning that sense for pacing--when to speed things up and when to slow them down. Right now, I don't really get that from this.
    I don't want to sound short, so please forgive me if this comes off as more abrupt than I'm intending it, because I really don't want this to come out the wrong way: there is a reason I am doing it this way. I'm using these scenes for lighter, more casual character development so such matters don't need to fight with heavier plot details by happening at the same time. For example, if you really think about it, the big action in this chapter is the conflict in the schoolyard, first between Matt and Amanda and then between all the protagonists and Zinzolin. That isn't interrupted once it gets going, and I don't think the lighter events elsewhere in the chapter are harmed by having fluff around them here and there. Next chapter, Olivia's Gym battle will be one static scene once it begins until it ends. My point is, I think I have a bit of a grasp on pacing, I'm just using it in a way that you (as you have every right to) disagree with.

    I understand that feeling, but something you can do is go back and evaluate the descriptions you've made. Ask: What are they doing for the story? Do they disrupt the flow of the narrative or do they fit in nicely? Is what the descriptors add worth the extra weight on the scene?
    The exercise I use when I'm unsure of this is to read the sentence out loud, probably a number of times. Obviously, that doesn't catch every single instance where there might be problem (as we've discussed already), but it does have its uses.

    Ummm... has anyone ever actually said, "I don't know where the characters are at all times--UNFAV, UNSUBSCRIBE!" to you? I would kinda doubt that. We can be kept in suspense as to where they are for two seconds and it's fine--especially in this case where there are so many characters to deal with at once. You obviously disagree, but I don't see much of a reason to start the scenes with Olivia and Avril anywhere before they reach the top of Sprout Tower. I don't think you need to have scenes that pretty much just are there to inform the reader that a character continues to exist and is in a fixed location. That's something a reader will probably assume. As for the details, they can be filled in at the point they become relevant in a lot of cases.
    Well, let's continue to use that scene as an example. My reasoning was this: first, Olivia and Avril had been with them in all other scenes since the two groups met until the library scene. I felt that suddenly having them disappear with no explanation would indeed be confusing, and look more like an oversight where I forgot to put them in the scene instead of deliberately excluding them because they were elsewhere. Language clues - such as someone in the scene indicating where they were - were something I considered, but I didn't think they could be worked in without feeling awkward. Secondly, if I simply showed them at Sprout Tower's summit without any setup, I would have to get in where they were, why they were there and what they were doing there in a scene where the context would force such things to effectively thin the fourth wall (as in, if Olivia, Avril or the Sages suddenly started explaining what Sprout Tower was and why they would be there in a situation where Olivia and Avril logically already know those things, it would be painfully obvious that those facts were being disclosed directly to and for the reader.)

    Well, that's my response to your response to my response. You mentioned PM/VMing about portraying emotions and I'm totally cool with that.
    Thank you. We've had a good exchange of ideas so far, so I'd like to see where it keeps going.

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  22. #97
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    Chapter 5

    “You know, James has got a point here,” Meowth concurred with his human companion. “Say we go after that chunk of space rock and Polaris shows up. Then what?”
    Spot-on line for Meowth, I can see you have their characterization down since that is a line I recognized from the anime along with others I read as I went along.
    “This is going to be a lot harder than it has to be if you don’t put some effort into it, James!” she yelled, straightening her back to give herself a height advantage over her partner.
    Some nice detail in that straightening her back line. It shows off Jessie's leadership role of the trio and how matriarchal she can be.

    Jessie, James, Meowth and Wobbuffet – all disguised in their trenchcoats – slip in right behind them.
    Wobbuffet is here, that was a nice surprise.


    “I guess so,” Nekou answered. She puffed up her cheeks and exaggerated her facial expression to act like she was frustrated at being told to go somewhere, even though she fully knew this was normal and to be expected. “Don’t **** it up out there, or there’ll be hell to pay. I’ll see to that.”
    Nekou certainly does like to play devil's advocate in the sense she seems to tease Matt in a manner that doubles as encouragement as well.

    While Tony nursed the burn-like wound that the Water Pulse had left on his hide, Matt was left to reassess his opponent in a silent panic.
    Burn-like wound from a souped-up Water-type move against a Rock-type, that's a funny thing to think of. Nothing wrong with, I just think of it as being similar to Ice being so cold it burns.

    Not content to simply defeat the Rotom, Zapdos pinned its victim under one of its talons while cawing loudly, all to show off its dominance over the battlefield.
    Nice job characterizing Zapdos' wild and badass aura.

    Anyway, this was a very entertaining chapter. You excelled well at writing the battle between Dahlia and Matt and portraying Dahlia's sense of luck as well as how unnerved she was getting as the battle progressed in Matt's favor. Though she kept a cool head when battling Nando and remained her usual bubbly self which begs the question of what that says for Matt's battling skills. You made it very clear that Dahlia isn't the type to share the spotlight in a way, specifically during the Zapdos battle. She gives him hell and removes to back down even a little bit. I really liked your use of the Rain and how, like Trick Room, it effected the battle in more ways than one. Powering up the Pokemon's moves as well as activating Ludicolo's Swift Swim were the huge stand-outs in the battle that presented a more than heavy challenge for Matt and I really liked how you made him struggle. You really did your research on things and I could realistically picture it all. The use of Psychic to pin down her opponents was a nicely thought out approach as well as the Hail-making Blizzard. Your description also was, once again, exceptionally well-done, Pressure fit the bill as well. I was expecting Patrick to have Swift Swim as a way to deal with Zapdos better, since it had been used early by Dahlia's Ludicolo I guess it was better you went with Poison Touch instead, despite its ineffectiveness. I also like your colorful pallet of synonyms and ways of giving details so nothing came off as repetitive. I also noticed your lack of referring to Zapdos by a gender, are you mirroring the games where Legendaries, most at least, don't have genders?

    “You don’t worry, Olivia,” the dark-haired woman reassured. “Even if he can’t come through for himself, he’ll do it for you. The amount of strength one can gain just by knowing their actions mean something to someone else is unbelievable.”
    More characterization and dimensions being added to Matt's character is great. I like how his ability to come through for others is that and not him coming through in the midst of things because of heavily-based friendship and support. It's hard to explain, in a sense it's a way of doing something that's usually generic but in a unique way given Matt's lack of huge care for his own well-being in-comparison to the other members of the group. Specifically Olivia.

    “Come on, don’t you blow this now!” Olivia called out with her hands cupped around her mouth. “If Nando could do it, so can you!”
    I dunno why, but it does seem like the first line from Olivia is a cryptic hint at the idea that Olivia is being influenced by Nekou's wild demeanor. Though I might be looking into that a tad too much.
    “What a bother, Zapdos’s electrical attacks won’t work… but that just means this will be all the more fun! Get started with Drill Peck, Zapdos!"
    I can't tell, was that "electrical" part meant to show off Dahlia's bubbly nature in a subtle way rather than referring to the attacks as Electric or was that an error? I'm guessing the former given it probably would have been capitalized if that were the case.
    “Is it too much?” taunted Dahlia, leaning forward while waving her right hand’s pointer finger in the air. “Tell me when you’ve had enough. I’ll stop whenever…”
    The lines Dahlia makes at this point when she's clearly mentally drained from the battle spiced lightly with tad *****y remarks like that make her antagonistic in a good way. Not in the Paul from Pokemon Anime way, but in the Zoey's annoyance with trainer/coordinator way.

    “What are you talking about?” Matt skeptically asked, noting to himself that engaging Dahlia in a discussion would afford Patrick a chance to rest momentarily.
    I'm just loving the subtle little moments we're getting on Matt's characterization, right here his cunning, without it being in your face and a text dump.

    “Did you see that purple glow? Your Seismitoad’s ability must be Poison Touch, which means that that Drain Punch would have poisoned Zapdos if it wasn’t already burned. Unfortunate for you, isn’t it?”
    Still loving the subtle catty lines from Dahlia, despite the fact her Zapdos is already under a status effect she still tries to make herself look good in a sense.

    I also meant to point this out earlier, it felt like it was a bit rushed during the moment Dahlia was acknowledging her Zapdos wouldn't last much longer when Pressure had only recently activated. I feel as though a little battling and then Dahlia facing that revelation would have given the scene more impact. Dahlia using head-on attacks in a frustrated panic to win and losing her original nature and style of battling just conveyed very well her much she had been shaken at that point. I enjoyed the use of Earthquake at the end and it felt quite fitting as the finishing move for a Legendary, saving it for the end made it feel all the more special. Thus with the end of a fierce battle for Matt, Olivia somewhat losing her drab and upset demeanor and her flame is reignited in a way. Killing two birds with one stone.

    Ariana, a Rocket Executive. Didn't expect that, Zager and Pierce having a scrap was nice as well. Especially when TRio don't like being lead by Pierce. You gave Matori a name I see? Stacia? If she were to be given a name in the show at some point would you ignore that or maybe play Stacia off as Matori's middle name?


    “You’re both wrong,” Giovanni intervened. “Jessie, James and Meowth failed me more times than I can remember. But, they have proven their worth through their actions during our operations in Unova. They are some of Team Rocket’s top operatives and I have full confidence in their ability to get the mission done. That said, however, I do not object to dispatching an Executive to assist them. Ariana, do what you must to accomplish the mission.”
    Nice Easter egg.


    The ending with Matt and Nekou was a fitting end to the chapter, I'm somewhat glad you're not having Matt and Nekou fall for each other. I think they work better as friends, plus relationships tend to drag down a lot of stories.

  23. #98
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    And here it is – Olivia’s first Gym battle, and the end of the first major story arc. I won’t put it off any further with more comments, so let’s just get going…

    -:-

    CHAPTER 8: The End of Innocence

    -:-

    With their feet loudly banging against the hallway’s metal floor, Finansielle and Colress trekked deep into the Adenosine Base. She led him well into the tower at the center of the complex, and eventually they arrived at their destination, a cavernous laboratory as dark as the hallways outside.

    As they entered, Finansielle walked over to a vault in the wall and swiftly entered a passcode on the keypad next to it. A gust of cold air drifted out of it as it slowly opened.

    “Put the DNA Splicers in this freezer,” she instructed. “They’ll be safely preserved until we need them.”

    “Yes, my lady.” In accordance with Finansielle’s direction, Colress placed his briefcase on the nearby desk and opened it. He took great care, deftly grasping each of the fluid-filled cylinders containing a DNA Splicer with his gloved hands as he moved them into the freezer.

    Once the DNA Splicers were safely stored away, Finansielle sealed up the cold vault again, then slowly walked to a wide bank of computers sitting in the middle of the lab. “Have a look at this, Dr. Antimony,” she said, typing with one hand.

    In response to the command Finansielle entered, a holographic projection of several computer windows materialized. Colress’s eyes widened and his mouth contorted into a grin when he saw what they contained.

    Lines upon lines of complex genetic codes filled the windows, along with diagrams of how the codes would fit into an already-existing molecular structure.

    “Is this it?” he excitedly exclaimed. “Could this be… the key to the ultimate DNA? The one that will make the truth about Pokémon strength reveal itself?”

    “I see you like this,” Finansielle coolly observed. “This is the incomplete DNA structure for a new strain of Pokérus our scientists are working on. We have a large part of it finished, but we just can’t get the last part right, and as a result, we can’t get it to function.”

    “And you want me to fill in those gaps?”

    “Exactly. You’ll find all the relevant data on the project in the computer’s databank, so please read it before getting started. I am giving you this facility and its staff and resources to have at your full disposal.”

    “You will not be disappointed, Lady Finansielle,” Colress promised with a grand bow. “I can have the work of completing this virus’s genetic sequence in no time.”

    -:-

    “Begin the data retrieval!”

    In his decrepit lab, far from Colress’s modern research facility, Dr. Zager initiated the extraction of the data stolen from Mr. Pokémon’s servers out of the R-Pad. Jessie, James and Ariana stood alongside him, watching as his computer screen filled with the information.

    “Excellent!” he exclaimed, putting his hands on his hips. “The data is flowing nicely.”

    “What exactly are we looking for, Gabriel?” Ariana sighed. “Not all of us are science whizzes like you.”

    “We’re looking for something that’ll get us Meowth back,” James coldly interrupted before Zager could answer. “That is what you’re going to say, right?”

    “Team Rocket has a lot of priorities,” the doctor offered as a feeble reply, though once he saw the death glares Jessie and James were shooting him, he hurried to correct himself by saying, “but one of those certainly is getting Meowth back, no doubt. What we want to find is something that can counteract the effect the Meteonite had on Meowth. Computer, is there anything of the sort in there? Anything that can counteract the Meteonite’s effect?”

    “Comparison of the data from the R-Pad and existing data on the server indicates one possible solution,” the computer’s female voice answered. “The super-electrical energy of the Chargestone Cave rocks has a signature opposite that of the Meteonite. The two forces should cancel each other out.”

    “Now that is most excellent!”

    “What’s got you so excited?” Jessie asked Zager, as she was confused over his sudden outburst.

    “I just happen to have some Chargestones left over in storage from the mission in Unova. I can quickly construct a weapon that will get both Meowth and that Meteonite piece back.”

    “Then get on it,” Ariana ordered. “Giovanni wants this done as soon as we can.”

    -:-

    Matt yawned and slowly roused from his slumber. After everything that had happened the previous day, a good night’s sleep was very refreshing to him.

    Barely awake, he reached toward the table to his left, trying to collect his glasses so he could use the mask attached to them to replace his eyepatch. He got a sudden chill and froze up, though, when he felt like someone was watching him.

    “Look at me.”

    Turning his head to the right, he jumped when he discovered Nekou lying on the bed next to him, close enough that he could see her fairly clearly without his glasses. She seemed to have no concern about doing this, instead treating it as perfectly normal as she ran her fingers over his face.

    “W-what are you doing?!” Matt choked, utterly terrified at this bizarre situation.

    Ignoring his question, Nekou said to him, “Remember what you promised me? You’re going to tell Olivia about what happened to Rich after she wins her Badge today.”

    “I-I remember,” he nervously confirmed. “Now can you get out of my face?”

    “Just make sure you keep your promise,” she insisted, moving to within an inch of his face instead of moving away. “That would make me happy. And trust me, you want me happy.”

    -:-

    Over the next ten minutes, Matt hastily pulled himself together, with Nekou asking him sarcastic questions the whole time.

    When the two of them came out of the room and entered the Pokémon Center’s lobby, Olivia and Bunny were already there. They had been spending their time discussing the upcoming Gym battle, but immediately took notice when their two missing companions finally joined them.

    “You’re late,” Bunny said while running a hand through her hair. “What were you doing?”

    “Yeah, Matt, why don’t you tell her what we were doing?” Nekou’s teasing came with half-closed eyes and a catlike grin.

    “Were you two doing things together?”

    Olivia’s question, as sweetly and innocently as she’d asked it, made Matt freeze. Between Nekou’s ribbing, the fact that he was still hurriedly adjusting his rumpled coat and shirt, and the sight that both he and Nekou had come out of the room at the same time, he realized exactly what the implications suggested.

    “No! Nothing of the sort!” The exaggerated way Matt’s face contorted during his denial made both Olivia and Nekou break down laughing, and Bunny even chuckled a bit.

    “Relax, we’re just teasing you.”

    Somehow, Nekou saying this didn’t make Matt feel any better at all. He simply sighed and shrugged.

    Olivia, on the other hand, was persistent. “I want to get to the Gym right away! If that Avril gets there before me, we’ll be held up!”

    “We have to eat, though…”

    Intervening between Olivia and Matt, Bunny suggested as a solution, “Compromise. What about we grab some food but take it to go, and head right to the Gym with it?”

    “I’ll go for that if Matt’s up for it,” Olivia consented.

    “Nothing wrong with that to me. Let’s do it.”

    -:-

    With the sunlight dwindling behind them, the Polaris team led by Mercury and Séduire delved into the Ruins of Alph. Cold stone walls covered in ancient runes framed the path taken by the two women, who were accompanied by Mercury’s four followers and the still-brainwashed Meowth.

    “Any readings yet?” Mercury called over her shoulder.

    One of the four men, who was holding a tablet computer connected to his backpack via a thick cable, responded, “Only very faint traces of Meteonite resonance are coming up right now, Mercury. We’ve got to go deeper.”

    “Alright, forward we go.”

    “You know the stories they tell about this place, right?” Séduire mused. “They say that sometimes the Unown get angry and take people visiting the Ruins away. Some of them wake up in random places in the Tohjo Continent. They never find others.”

    “I think you might be starting to crack from observing RChannel,” responded Mercury. “Isn’t that just an urban legend?”

    “Just imagine if it’s true, though. The Unown were powerful enough already, but then a meteor with special powers crashes in the Ruins from space? There’s a reason why they closed the Ruins to the public after the impact, a reason that has nothing to do with us.”

    “Now!”

    “What was that?” Séduire looked around, unnerved by the fleeting, high-pitched voice she heard ring in her ears.

    “What are you talking about?”

    “Uno!”

    “Mercury, tell me you heard that!” The second hint of the mysterious voice left Séduire shaking.

    “I heard it this time,” Mercury responded, raising her hand in a prompt to her men to stop walking. “See anything?”

    “There!” Séduire exclaimed, pointing forward into the murky depths of the corridor.

    At that point, a black creature shaped like a circle with a wide, white eye at the center floated out from the darkness to confront them, followed shortly by several more of its kind. Each one had a different shape, with the circular eye being the only trait they all shared. Floating around each other like a cloud, the Pokémon chirped loudly at the ones invading their home.

    “The Unown…” Mercury observed before thrusting her right arm forward. “Meowth, you’re like them, tainted by the Meteonite’s power. Get them out of our way!”

    Moving with labored, heavy steps, Meowth dragged himself before the angry cluster of Unown and said in a flat voice, “We aren’t trying to hurt you. We want only to find the rock that crashed into this place and drove you all up the wall. We’re trying to save you.”

    The Unown slowed their movements somewhat, as if considering what Meowth had said to them. After chattering amongst themselves for some time, they all turned to the Polaris team at once, and an Unown shaped like the letter ‘L’ floated down.

    “Nown, uno. Unown now.”

    “Yes, let us go past and into the Ruins. We are not your enemy.”

    “Nown nown!”

    Having become convinced by Meowth’s explanation of Polaris’s motives, the Unown withdrew and faded away. The brainwashed cat Pokémon then returned to the ones controlling him.

    “They say that we can go in,” he revealed to Mercury and Séduire. “They trust us inside the Ruins.”

    “Good. That’ll make our job easier.”

    Mercury signaled her followers again, and the team advanced further into the Ruins of Alph.

    -:-

    Positioned neatly on the edge of the lake and flanked by four finely-trimmed trees, Violet Gym stood as a reflection of the traditional culture the city still clung to. The earthy-colored, dome-shaped building loomed above everything but the Sprout Tower, yet blended into the central area of Violet City nearly seamlessly.

    Matt, Nekou, Bunny and Olivia were walking up the stone road toward the Gym when they spotted Dominic, Avril, Helena and Monroe already standing outside.

    “Hey, Mr. Chiaki!” called the businessman, waving to them as they approached.

    “Oh, it’s Dominic,” Bunny pointed out to Matt, even though he had already heard and saw the second group of four. After speaking, she took a handful of cereal from the travel container she’d picked up at the Pokémon Center earlier.

    “So you decided to show up,” Avril taunted Olivia once the two groups came together. “Are you ready to see what a real challenge is like?”

    “I’d be tempted to ask you the same question,” Olivia shot back, “considering you’re the one who’s going to have trouble here.”

    “You tell her, Olivia. Stick up for yourself.”

    Matt briefly grimaced when he considered how early Olivia and Nekou were getting started for the day, but he quickly realized that they were actually right in the situation. Shaking his head, he took a bite of his bagel, which had an egg and a slice of cheese on it.

    “Oh, whatever. You’ll see when I get the Badge and you don’t.”

    “Avril, that’s enough,” Dominic sternly interrupted. “Stop being rude to her.”

    “Yes, sister,” Helena added after a short pause while Monroe signed the conversation to her. “You should aim to strengthen yourself to honor your peers, not to shame them. If rivals cannot be friends with each other at the end of the day, what is the point of it all? That’s what I think.”

    Feeling a spike of anger directed at her older sister, raised a finger to Helena and opened her mouth as if to say something, but she abruptly gave up. Deciding to keep her attention on Olivia instead, she said, “I’m not wasting any more time. Let’s go.”

    “You’re on! When I have that Zephyr Badge, I’m sticking it in your face instead of Matt’s first!”

    Olivia and Avril ran for the Gym’s door together, their minds consumed by their shared spirit of competition. Avril’s siblings and the older members of the group were left to catch up.

    “Watching them makes me feel old,” Matt mused to Nekou and Bunny as they approached the Gym’s entrance. “They’ve got everything in front of them still… I wish I had that chance when I was their age.”

    Intrigued by what that comment could mean, Nekou wanted to ask Matt about it, but as they had already entered the Gym by then, she didn’t get the chance.

    The inside of the Violet Gym was a vast space resembling the interior of a wooden clock tower. A clockwork elevator waited right inside, allowing a means of access to the upper level, where the battles would take place. Waiting in front of the lift was a brown-haired boy wearing a blue suit and thick, gray falconer’s gloves.

    “Welcome to the Violet City Gym!” the young man recited, smiling broadly at the collection of visitors. “You’re the challengers, right? Avril and Olivia?”

    “You bet!” Olivia confirmed.

    “Let us through to see Falkner!” demanded Avril, showing far more directness in her attitude than Olivia did. “Or, just let me through. I don’t care about her.”

    “Aw, what’s the matter?” Olivia teased. “Don’t want me to see you lose?”

    “If anyone’s losing, it’s you! You could learn something from watching me!”

    While Olivia and Avril continued their bickering with the others as a kind of captive audience, they failed to notice the gatekeeper of the Gym taking action. He rang the bell hanging from the nearby wall twice, and mere moments later, the elevator began to descend, carrying a second man as its passenger.

    Bunny was the first to spot him, when she briefly moved her gaze off the still-arguing Avril and Olivia. After giving him a quick look-over as he stepped off the platform, she uttered, “You must be…”

    “Falkner, the Gym Leader!” Dominic finished.

    “So the man really exists,” Nekou sarcastically said. “I almost thought you were a myth after you didn’t show up for that protest yesterday.”

    Ineffectively brushing aside his blue bangs from his face, Falkner sighed and answered, “Don’t think I didn’t notice them. I inherited this Gym from my father, but… as the Gym Leader, I am responsible for listening to the opinions of the people of my city. Polaris’s stunt yesterday made me begin thinking, and I decided I have to train to get stronger. That’s so I can be a better role model for the young people such as those in your sister’s class,” Falkner turned his head, “Matt Chiaki. Amanda’s become a good friend of mine since she came here to teach.”

    “It makes me happy to know that she’s reaching out and connecting with others in such a way,” Matt admitted, casting a glance downward at the floor. “She’s grown up from the days when I had to shelter her from everything.” Looking back to Falkner, he then asked, “What do you mean about getting stronger, though? What will you do?”

    “I am going to temporarily resign my post as Gym Leader and go on a journey to train, much as my father did before me.”

    “Does that mean I can’t get my Zephyr Badge?!” Olivia shrilled, pouting intensely.

    “Forget her, I’m the one who needs the Zephyr Badge!” Avril exclaimed in an attempt to one-up Olivia again.

    “Now, now, there’s no need for you two to get so worked up,” Falkner said with a smile. “I’m not going to leave until I’ve battled both of you, so you each get one shot at beating me. So which of you will be going first?”

    “Me!” both Olivia and Avril blurted out at the same time.

    The two young women shot each other angry looks, while the others looked on and allowed the issue to play itself out. Much to their surprise, however, Avril took a step back only a few seconds later.

    “Actually, let her go first,” she dismissively said, referring to Olivia. “I’ll watch how you battle her and then I’ll know all of your secrets.”

    “Gee, aren’t you generous?” Olivia remarked, shrugging her shoulders.

    “Avril, thank you for resolving that yourself,” sighed Dominic.

    “Olivia, you do your best out there, okay?”

    “I will!” Olivia smiled widely after hearing Bunny’s words of encouragement.

    “Alright, so how about we get started?” Falkner suggested. “Olivia, you follow me on the main elevator. Everyone else, take those stairs to my right. They’ll get you up to the spectator area.”

    -:-

    Giovanni was sitting in his chair in his office, scratching Persian’s head and observing the urban wasteland Viridian City had become through the grand bay window. As a native of the area and a longtime resident, he no longer recognized the once-verdant city. Viridian’s urbanization, much like that of Cherrygrove City in Johto, had come on after an increase in public demand for goods and services related to Pokémon training and battling following the announcement of the Frontier Society. The Angel Corporation, headquartered not far from Giovanni’s residence, had responded to this need by funding the development of resources related to these necessities, in turn leading to the overdevelopment of many areas as they transformed into hubs of industry.

    While he did not dislike big cities, Giovanni found himself bothered by what Viridian had become. Even in his status as the head of Team Rocket, his hometown and the surrounding areas retained a soft spot in his heart, so Gabriella’s eager efforts to transform the city were something he could not abide, even if she meant well.

    He felt his anger starting to rise due to his thoughts on the matter, and he subconsciously began squeezing the whiskey glass in his hand. Just before he could repeat his bad habit of smashing them, though, he was interrupted by the sound of his office door creaking open. Persian meowed, and Giovanni turned his chair around, discovering Stacia walking slowly toward his desk.

    “Mister Giovanni, sir…” Upon reaching Giovanni’s desk, Stacia nervously handed him the black file emblazoned with the Team Rocket logo she had been holding in her arms. He opened the folder immediately to apprise its contents, and Stacia continued speaking. “This is intelligence we received from our undercover operative who has infiltrated Polaris.”

    “I see,” Giovanni answered. “So Goldenrod City is one of their major targets.”

    “Yes, it would appear so. I can draft potential responses.”

    “Do that immediately. I want to have courses of action on my desk in under twenty-four hours.”

    “Yes, sir.” Stacia bowed, then turned around and went to leave.

    -:-

    Olivia and Falkner stood facing each other from opposite ends of the Violet Gym’s elevated battlefield, a wooden construct with two large gaps in its floor. Matt, Nekou, Bunny, Dominic, Helena, Monroe and Avril all were crowded into a small spectator area off to the side, and overhead, a vast dome allowed a clear view of the blue sky.

    Holding the lapel of his sky-blue vest, Falkner addressed Olivia, “Young lady, confirm for me how many Badges and Pokémon you’ve brought here today.”

    “I don’t have any Badges yet, but I do have four Pokémon,” she replied.

    “I see. Because of League rules, which do not allow me to use more than three Pokémon against a trainer with no Badges, this will be a three-on-three Single Battle. I will not be permitted to switch out, and the winner will be the one who defeats their opponent’s final Pokémon. Are those rules acceptable to you?”

    “Of course they are! Let’s do this!”

    “Olivia, go for it!” Bunny called out from the sidelines. “That Badge is in your reach!”

    “Well, this is unusual,” Matt quietly joked to his companions, “usually you’re the quiet one, Bunny.”

    “Shut up,” Nekou coldly said. “This is serious time now.”

    Before returning to the soon-to-begin battle, Matt briefly turned his eyes toward Dominic and his children. All four were watching intently, but Avril showed a particular fire in her eyes, leaning forward and staring at the battlefield while almost seeming not to blink.

    The young man who previously had guarded the Gym’s entrance stepped up on a platform just off to the side of the battlefield, roughly halfway between the two trainers. “This Violet Gym battle between the Gym Leader, Falkner, and the challenger, Olivia of Sootopolis City, shall now begin! The rules have already been laid out and agreed upon by both parties. The Gym Leader shall be the first to reveal his Pokémon!”

    “Challenger, I will now show you the power of the magnificent Flying-type Pokémon!” Falkner cried out, tossing off his vest. He was wearing a darker robe underneath, and his Poké Balls were attached to the white sash around his waist. Pulling one off, he threw it and called out, “Taillow, take flight!”

    Olivia shrank back from the blue-feathered swallow Pokémon, recalling how she’d underestimated the Taillow owned by Harold, the boy on Route 30. “Take this seriously,” she mumbled to herself. “All right, you beat one once, so you can do it again! Lillipup, let’s play!”

    Upon releasing from Olivia’s Poké Ball and landing on the gritty wooden floor, Lillipup stole a single glance at his opponent and recognized her species immediately. He attempted to sound intimidating by growling and barking at the Taillow, but he succeeded only at making himself look cuter than he already did.

    “The first round shall be Olivia’s Lillipup versus Falkner’s Taillow! And… begin!”

    “Taillow, get in close and use Peck,” Falkner calmly directed, wasting no time in taking the first move.

    “Counter that with Bite, Lillipup!”

    Taillow’s beak took on a bright glow as she darted toward Lillipup, but he was ready. Baring his teeth, he attempted to clamp onto Taillow’s beak and stop her attack. However, he missed, and instead bit into her wing while she jabbed him with Peck. The two Pokémon tumbled backward before separating, each slightly wounded from their clash.

    “Not bad, Olivia. Try this… Echoed Voice!”

    Pulling back to put some distance between herself and Lillipup, Taillow took to the air, rising several feet above the curving battlefield. She inhaled deeply, an action that puffed out her chest, and cried out, producing an earsplitting sound wave.

    “Lillipup, get away from that! Don’t get hit!” Olivia’s plea was for naught, however, as the sonic wave washed over Lillipup just as he turned to run. He was reduced to a shaking wreck, trembling all over as he slowly turned his eyes back up toward Taillow. “Don’t give up now. I know you’ve got more fight in you! Take Down!”

    Lillipup built up what resolve he had left and charged toward Taillow, fixating on the Normal-and-Flying-type more and more with every step. Conveniently enough, she happened sink down enough to allow Lillipup to reach her, but right before he struck, Falkner issued another command.

    “Taillow, Growl.”

    With literally a scant few inches separating the two Pokémon, Taillow breathed in once more and forcefully voiced her name. Lillipup still collided with Taillow, but she wasn’t terribly shaken by the blow. Her attacker, on the other hand, fell back to the floor and stumbled backward, once again trembling under her gaze.

    “Lillipup, what’s wrong?” Olivia called out.

    “You have to think on your feet in the heat of a battle,” Falkner explained, spreading his arms. “I’ve already figured out the range of your abilities in this matchup. When I attacked Lillipup directly, you tried to use my attack to enhance your counter, but when I attacked from a distance, you attempted to escape before making a move in response. That tells me that Lillipup has no long-range techniques, and now that I’ve used Growl to weaken your physical attacking strength, I can strike you with impunity. Taillow, Quick Attack!”

    Before Olivia could even register what was happening, Taillow had used her speed to tackle Lillipup like a bullet. She then pulled back while Lillipup rolled across the floor, whimpering all the while.

    “Lillipup is totally overmatched…” Bunny observed, her face completely blank in terms of expression. “Was Olivia not ready for this?”

    Matt looked from Bunny to Nekou, and then over to Dominic, Avril, Helena and Monroe. Noting that they were all fixated on the battle, he decided against saying anything and continued observing it himself.

    Seizing on the opening Lillipup’s stunning presented him, Falkner gave another direction to Taillow. “Peck!”

    “Lillipup, focus! Use Bite when Taillow gets in range!”

    Much like how it had played out in their first exchange, Taillow approached Lillipup and Lillipup bit down on her wing. The difference this time came in that Peck did not make contact, and as a result, there was no force of impact to drive the two to eventually separate.

    “Bullseye,” Falkner said to himself. “Taillow, lift off and use Quick Attack to wrap this up!”

    With Lillipup still hanging on to her wing, Taillow launched herself into the sky. The additional weight presented by her Normal-type passenger did not affect her flight in any way. Reaching a point high into the rafters of the Gym, near the ceiling, Taillow lashed around and rocketed downward in a straight line. She turned only once she had nearly reached the floor, just to slam Lillipup into the floor without crashing herself.

    This time, after all the beating Lillipup took, he did not rise again.

    “Lillipup is unable to battle!” the referee announced before the shocked looks of Olivia and the audience. “The winner of this round is Falkner’s Taillow!”

    “So that’s it, Olivia couldn’t manage to take out Falkner’s Pokémon without losing one of her own first,” Matt muttered into his clasped hands. “I don’t blame her, but…”

    That wasn’t the same sentiment Olivia held as she stared down at the Poké Ball she recalled her fainted Lillipup to. “Did I not train enough?” she thought to herself. “I won’t underestimate his Pokémon anymore!”

    Without a single spoken word, Olivia threw another Poké Ball forth, sending out her Minccino. Unlike Lillipup, the more well-trained Minccino did not regard Falkner’s Taillow with fear, instead dropping to all fours and glaring at the Normal-and-Flying-type intently.

    “Another Normal-type, I see,” Falkner said, standing with his hands on his hips. “Let’s begin the game again. Echoed Voice!”

    “Minccino, stop it with Swift!”

    Minccino met Taillow’s earsplitting attack by lashing her tail, sending a wave of star-shaped energy bursts flying in Taillow’s direction. The two met midway between their users, largely diffusing their power. What did get through of each move barely rattled their targets, but Taillow was beginning to breathe heavily, tiring out from having fought Lillipup first. Both Falkner and Olivia picked up on this.

    “Try not to get caught, Taillow! Use Quick Attack!”

    Olivia smirked, then yelled out simply, “Tail Slap!”

    Though she attempted to sidestep Taillow’s dive, Minccino still got grazed by it. While visibly hurt – some of her fur had been sheared off by Taillow’s beak – she held firm and somersaulted forward, catching Taillow with her tail and smashing Falkner’s Pokémon across the floor. Before Taillow could recover, Minccino ran forward and used her tail to deliver a second blow, this one tossing Taillow out of the battlefield and into a nearby pillar, where she slunk to the ground in defeat.

    “Taillow is unable to battle! The winner of this round is Olivia’s Minccino!”

    “And you were worried,” Nekou scoffed at Matt. “She’s doing just fine for herself.”

    “I guess.”

    Meanwhile, none of the others took notice, but Avril was staring intently at the battle and mumbling to herself.

    “She took out one. Okay, that’s no big deal. I can still handle this.”

    “Come on back, Taillow.” Falkner recalled his defeated Pokémon and quickly switched out the Poké Ball for another on his sash. “That was good work turning that around, Olivia. Let’s see how you respond to this test! Mantyke, take flight!”

    “A Mantyke?” Olivia exclaimed almost instantly upon seeing the small blue manta ray that emerged from Falkner’s Poké Ball. “But that’s a Water…” Olivia managed to catch herself and correct her error, “…a Water-type and a Flying-type. I was expecting a Pidgey, to be honest.”

    “Always think on your feet, especially in a Pokémon Gym. You never know what surprises your opponent might pull out. Anyway, let’s get started again! Mantyke, Bubble!”

    “Gladly. Minccino, get going and show them another Tail Slap!”

    Despite having stubby arms and legs, Minccino was able to spring up at Mantyke as the latter floated in midair. Before Mantyke could respond, Minccino whipped the Water-and-Flying-type four times with her tail. The potential of a fifth strike was blocked by Mantyke finally rousing to action, washing Minccino away with a stream of bubbles.

    “Aqua Tail!”

    Minccino turned to the use of her tail once more, this time coating it in water and swinging it through the field of bubbles, creating numerous small, flashy bursts.

    “That looked like a Contest move,” Monroe said quietly.

    “That’s because it is one,” Nekou answered. “Simple but effective.”

    “Impressive, Olivia!” Falkner called out. “Now I want you to try facing this! Wing Attack!”

    Having barely just landed after dissipating the Bubble field, Minccino could not react quickly enough to escape the dive-bombing Mantyke. She loudly squealed in pain, having been hit in the stomach by Mantyke’s wing, but quickly regained her composure.

    “Are you going to take that, Minccino? Hit that thing with Tail Slap, now!”

    Much to the surprise of both Olivia and Minccino, however, Mantyke kept flying forward until she reached one of the openings jutting partially into the battlefield, at which point she dove underneath the wooden floor.

    “What?” Olivia exclaimed, bringing her hands to the sides of her face.

    “Mincci…?” Minccino mimicked her.

    “I inherited this Gym from my father, who taught me everything about the glory of Flying-type Pokémon. It is that claim I have to this Gym and its emblem – the Zephyr Badge – that gives me strength, so of course I would have developed ways to use the potential of my Pokémon here! Mantyke, show her what I mean! Bubble!”

    “Tyke!” Mantyke cried, popping back up from the opening on the other side of the battlefield. She quickly spit out another stream of bubbles at Minccino, then dove back to her cover underneath the floor.

    Olivia gritted her teeth and watched in frustrated silence as Minccino tried and failed to outrun the stream of bubbles. Just as her Pokémon fell forward, an idea hit her.

    “We’re gonna have to get Mantyke out from under there to win this, so use Swift!”

    Falkner hesitated, though his facial expression indicated that he had at least some feeling that Olivia would use Swift. Mantyke got thrown up from one of the openings in the floor by the star-shaped energy rays that Minccino sent under. She regained control of her flight rather quickly, but cuts were visible all over her body as the stress of the battle accumulated.

    “Mantyke, wrap this up with Wing Attack!”

    “Wait until it gets close, then use Tail Slap!”

    There was no opportunity for Falkner to warn Mantyke off to avoid Minccino’s attack, as she had already gotten very close as part of her own attempt. Minccino sharply turned and smashed her tail into Mantyke, with the speed of the two opposing forces only strengthening the force of the blow.

    Mantyke fell, and Minccino did not let up. She leapt upward and spun, whipping her stunned target repeatedly. By the time she finished, Mantyke was lying on the ground and twitching.

    “Mantyke is unable to battle!” the referee declared after a brief moment. “The winner of this round is Olivia’s Minccino!”

    “Olivia, go for it!” Nekou called out from the stands.

    “She’s only one away now…” Avril quietly observed, her eyes widening. “I don’t believe it. She might actually win…”

    Nodding his head in respect, Falkner raised up the Poké Ball and recalled Mantyke to it. “I respect you for coming this far, Olivia. To this point you’ve been passing every test I’ve thrown at you by solving the ways to fight back against my strategies. Now let’s see how you deal with my ace.” Having taken one more Poké Ball off his robe, Falkner continued, explaining, “This Pokémon was descended from my father’s partner. Take a look at the grace and wonder of the Violet Gym’s pedigree in full! Pidgeotto, take flight!”

    The third and final of Falkner’s Pokémon entered the battle with a fierce display of dominance. Pidgeotto stepped forward from the ball’s burst of light on strong, sharp talons and spread her wings, as if challenging Minccino to even try fighting her.

    Olivia could tell, though, that Minccino’s energy was failing; bringing down both Taillow and Mantyke had taken its toll on the Normal-type Pokémon, but despite being noticeably short on breath, she stared back at Pidgeotto’s attempt at intimidation with defiance in her eyes.

    Inspired by what she saw in her Pokémon, Olivia approached her opponents in the same fashion. “Don’t ever give in!” she ordered. “Tail Slap!”

    “Mirror Move!” Falkner instantly responded, sweeping his arm through the air.

    Just as Minccino lunged into the air, Pidgeotto copied the motion using her own tail feathers. While Minccino’s movements were swifter, Pidgeotto was more agile, and thus was able to just barely swerve aside.

    Having escaped Minccino’s attack attempt, Pidgeotto went on the offensive, lashing the smaller Pokémon with her stiffened tail feathers. Pidgeotto only managed to get in three hits as she followed Minccino downward, but it was more than enough to ensure that Minccino fell in defeat.

    “Minccino is unable to battle! The winner of this round is Falkner’s Pidgeotto!”

    “One against one now,” Dominic observed. “It’s certainly getting interesting.”

    “Too interesting if you ask me,” Matt thought. “This is too close…”

    “Thanks, Minccino…” Olivia stared at the Poké Ball in her hand for what felt like forever to her. She had hoped to get more out of Minccino before going to her last Pokémon against Pidgeotto, as her last two choices were Roselia and Oshawott. Oshawott wasn’t very ready for a battle, she pondered, but on the other hand, Roselia carried a critical weakness to the Flying-type through her own half-Grass-type.

    Sighing, Olivia chose to go with what she considered the lesser of two evils, and threw the Poké Ball necessary to release Oshawott. Unlike Minccino, he shrank back in fear from Pidgeotto.

    Avril scoffed when she noticed Oshawott’s shell still hadn’t grown back. “There’s no way she’s winning this now. That thing doesn’t stand a chance.”

    While she did not hear what Avril said, Olivia happened to turn her head in the direction of the stands. Seeing Avril watching fired Olivia up again.

    “Oshawott, don’t get intimidated now! We’ve got to win that Badge for my dad and show Avril a thing or two!”

    At first upon hearing his trainer’s voice, Oshawott looked around and chattered frantically. However, he quickly regained his composure and, despite his fear, faced Pidgeotto in an attempt to please Olivia.

    “I see you’re not going to hold anything back,” Falkner asserted, meeting the furious gaze of his challenger. “But answer me one question… what happened to your Oshawott’s shell?”

    “It got broken when I battled a Gurdurr the other day.”

    Falkner narrowed his eyes, and the tone of his voice changed. “I see,” he gravely said. “If we’re going to finish this battle, let’s finish it quickly. Pidgeotto!”

    “Pidge!” the bird Pokémon shrilled, flying near her trainer.

    “Don’t get freaked out, Oshawott! Use Water Gun, now!”

    Oshawott swiftly complied, but Pidgeotto used all of her speed to push cleanly through the stream of water he blew at her. He had no chance of stopping the impact of Pidgeotto’s tackle and fell backward when he got hit.

    “Try Water Gun again!” Olivia commanded through gritted teeth.

    “Now use Gust, Pidgeotto!”

    By flapping her wings rapidly, Pidgeotto created a vicious wave of wind that washed over Oshawott, slashing him all over. He cringed under the harsh assault, attempting to shield his head with his stubby arms while the feelings of fear started to return.

    “It’s time we put an end to this, Pidgeotto,” Falkner said out loud to his Pokémon. “Go use Pluck to finish this up!”

    Both Olivia and Oshawott were so overwhelmed by Pidgeotto’s relentless attacking that they froze up, becoming unable to even mount any kind of a countermeasure. Olivia could only stare emptily at the battlefield as Oshawott lay on the ground, staring up at Pidgeotto in the same way. What took only seconds seemed like hours to them as Pidgeotto approached, but when she struck Oshawott with the force of a speeding train using her glowing beak, it all ended swiftly and abruptly.

    “Oshawott is unable to battle!” the referee called while the Water-type Pokémon lay completely still on the wooden floor. “The winner of the round is Pidgeotto. All of the challenger’s Pokémon have fainted, so the winner is the Gym Leader, Falkner!”

    “She… she lost…” Matt weakly whispered, stumbling to his feet. “After all of that…”

    While Matt, Nekou, Bunny and the others climbed off the stands to approach the battle’s aftermath, Olivia simply stood rigidly still on her side for several long moments. She finally stepped forward and recalled Oshawott just as Falkner came forth as well, clapping as he walked.

    “Well done, Pidgeotto,” he said to his winning Pokémon, who responded with a happy chirp before he recalled her. Falkner then turned to Olivia and, picking up on what he perceived as intense sadness, said, “Do not be sad, Olivia. You fought bravely. All you need to do is train more.”

    “I won’t get the Zephyr Badge now, since you’re going away,” she spoke straight into the floor. She didn’t keep her head down long, though, and when she lifted it she had a surprising expression on her face.

    Olivia was smiling.

    “But really, it’s not a big deal!” she continued, her voice cheery but shaking. “I’ll just go to another Gym and get a Badge there. Thanks for battling with me.”

    “That’s very mature of you, Olivia,” Bunny complimented.

    “Yeah, I’m proud of you,” Matt added. He was trying to work out in his mind exactly how to keep his promise to Nekou, since Olivia losing wasn’t something he’d factored into it at any point.

    “Thanks. Like I said, we’ll just look for another Gym and I’ll get the Badge from there instead. I mean, if I’m going to show my dad that I can get eight Badges, does it really matter which eight they are?”

    “Isn’t it kind of hard to show things to a guy who’s not around anymore?” Avril blurted out.

    “Oh, **** no…” Nekou thought as her blood and that of everyone around her ran cold.

    “What are you talking about?” Olivia responded, her features crunched into an expression of confusion.

    Completely unaware of what she was actually doing and the circumstances around it, Avril kept going, saying, “I’m tempted to ask you the same thing. Showing Badges to a dead guy? If I’m going to consider you my rival, you can’t be crazy.”

    “What are you talking about, ‘dead guy?’” Olivia laughed openly at Avril. “My dad just walked out on us, but I’m going to get him to come back.” Turning, she asked, “Right, Matt?”

    Silence. Matt was shaking, and the words were lost in his throat. Only one thought ran through his mind – “Why did she have to find out like this…”

    The dead silence between Matt and all the others besides Avril gave Olivia a strange chill.

    “…Avril’s lying, right?” Her voice was becoming influenced by the fear, and it was shaking.

    Still more silence.

    And then. Matt answered.

    “Avril’s telling you the truth.”




    END of CHAPTER 8

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  24. #99
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    The first two scenes looks like both sides wasted no time getting whatever projects they’re doing. I laughed a little when Zager had to correct himself after noticing James and Jessie glaring at him.

    Nice brief appearance of the Unown there. The urban legend mentioned is one reason why you don’t want to mess with them, heh.

    Feeling a spike of anger directed at her older sister, raised a finger to Helena and opened her mouth as if to say something, but she abruptly gave up.
    Minor, but I think you’re missing “Avril” between “sister” and “raised”.

    “Avril, thank you for resolving that yourself,” sighed Dominic.
    Another minor nitpick, but I don’t think you can sigh while speaking. You can have Dominic sigh after speaking, so something like “Dominic said and sighed” or “sighed Dominic after saying that” works in my opinion.

    Bunny cheering for Olivia is very cute. :3

    Conveniently enough, she happened sink down enough to allow Lillipup to reach her, but right before he struck, Falkner issued another command.
    This sentence is a bit awkward in the beginning. First off, you have “enough” twice, so I think “Conveniently enough” isn’t needed. Second, I think you need “to” after “happened” to make the sentence flow better. So She happened to sink down enough to allow…” would make more sense in my opinion.

    I enjoyed reading the battle a lot and I admit to being slightly surprised Falkner using a Mantyke. I felt bad Olivia lost, but glad she was thinking positive. As for Avril revealing Rich’s death, I’ll be honest and say finally the truth is revealed. Even though the way Avril said it is harsh, I was left wondering how long Matt and the others will keep that secret from her. I have an idea how Olivia’s reaction will be next chapter, but I’m still interested how all of this will play out (and still looking forward to the next chapter just so you know!).

    Edit: Forgot to mention Giovanni's scene with his thoughts on Viridian City is a very nice moment of him there as the others had mentioned after I posted this review, haha.
    Last edited by Bay; 4th March 2013 at 5:53 PM.


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  25. #100
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    I’m gonna get to this now since this week will be pretty busy. Looks like a relatively short chapter compared to the rest, anyway, so that’s kind of nice.

    “Just make sure you keep your promise,” she insisted, moving to within an inch of his face instead of moving away. “That would make me happy. And trust me, you want me happy.”
    Lmao, this scene was both creepy and amusing. Way to go, Nekou.

    Feeling a spike of anger directed at her older sister, raised a finger to Helena and opened her mouth as if to say something, but she abruptly gave up.
    I think you’re missing a word before “raised”.


    “Well, this is unusual,” Matt quietly joked to his companions, “usually you’re the quiet one, Bunny.”
    Wouldn’t use “quietly” and “quiet” so close to each other.


    “You have to think on your feet in the heat of a battle,” Falkner explained, spreading his arms. “I’ve already figured out the range of your abilities in this matchup. When I attacked Lillipup directly, you tried to use my attack to enhance your counter, but when I attacked from a distance, you attempted to escape before making a move in response. That tells me that Lillipup has no long-range techniques, and now that I’ve used Growl to weaken your physical attacking strength, I can strike you with impunity. Taillow, Quick Attack!”
    Wouldn’t expect anything less from a gym leader. Nice explanation and demonstration of strategy here.


    “Isn’t it kind of hard to show things to a guy who’s not around anymore?” Avril blurted out.

    “Oh, **** no…” Nekou thought as her blood and that of everyone around her ran cold.

    “What are you talking about?” Olivia responded, her features crunched into an expression of confusion.
    I know you were trying to go for confusion on Olivia’s part, but with the way Avril’s dialogue is worded, it just make it sounds like Olivia’s dad really could have just walked out on them, and not died. Hope that makes sense.

    Overall, a good chapter. There’s still a lot of mystery going on, and the biggest one of all is Olivia’s reaction to her father’s death. I feel terrible for her, but I’m eager to see what her reaction is and I want to see what her demeanor will be like after this.


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