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Thread: New World

  1. #51
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    I've been reading through this lately, and I have to say, I've really enjoyed it! There not being a bullet hole in the wall... It's a huge cliffhanger. I really want to know which one Ashton shot, though I'm guessing that it would be Dust can I be added to the PM List, please?
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  2. #52
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    Chapter XXIII: Safe Landing



    Dust reappeared standing on dry dirt. The long distance teleport had felt like being flushed down a whirlpool and deposited on a beach. His stomach hurt.

    Yoko was held in his arms. It looked up at him with open, intelligent eyes. They were standing inside the gate of Blackmoor Manor.

    "You got us here, Yoko. I knew you could do it."

    The Abra slowly closed its eyes and drifted back to sleep.

    Amelia grimaced and put her hands over her stomach. "I don't feel so good, Dust." She collapsed.

    Dust knelt over her. "Hey, are you okay?"

    There was blood seeping through her fingers.

    "Oh no." He lifted up her hands. "Oh no, you've been shot."

    He scrambled through her pockets, looking for something, anything he could use. His fingers closed around a small vial. He pulled it out. It was the same shape as the one she used on him when they first met.

    He pulled the stopper off and moved her hands out of the way. "Just hold on, it's going to be alright." He poured the viscous liquid into the wound. Amelia's face twisted in pain. "I know it hurts but I have to do this."

    The potion filled the wound and the bleeding stopped.

    "Dust?" Amelia's voice was weak.

    Dust took her hand and held it tight. "Don't worry. It's going to fine."

    "…Dust…I…"

    "Don't talk. Just keep looking at me, okay? Just focus on me."

    "I-… I don't…" Her eyes fell shut.

    "Don't fall asleep, Amelia." Dust pleaded, "Please don't fall asleep on me. Wake up Amelia. Wake up!"

    She didn't move.

    "Amelia?"

  3. #53
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    Heyo. I'm here from the review game. I'll be doing a review of your latest chapter: chapter 23. Now, I was here before and did a review of chapter 21, but only chapter 21. So my context for this story is pretty limited.

    Dust reappeared standing on dry dirt. The long distance teleport had felt like being flushed down a whirlpool and deposited on a beach. His stomach hurt.
    I like that we're getting some description here of how disorienting teleporting much be. Following up a relatively complex description (you second sentence) with a very simple description (your third sentence) makes for a nice sense of contrast and variety.

    Yoko was held in his arms.
    This wording seems rather awkward to me. I'm not sure why we've moved to passive voice here. It seems like the active version of this: "He held Yoko in his arms" would come across much stronger and more natural.

    It looked up at him with open, intelligent eyes.
    It feels repetitive to say “open” here. If it’s “looking up at him” we can assume that it’s doing so with its eyes open. I guess this makes some sense considering Abra generally have their eyes squinted, but if you want to point out the oddness of an Abra having its eyes open wide, I feel like there are more artful sounding ways to do that.

    "Oh no." He lifted up her hands. "Oh no, you've been shot."
    I feel like this should be a bigger emotional deal… but the way it’s stated with such minimal action and description and nary even a rather justifiable exclamation point... it feels very flat and hollow. It comes out in my head as a monotone.

    I don't think the chapter I read last involved Dust, Amelia and Yoko and I can't really get much of a sense of their characters from this small section. I think part of that is the shortness, but I think another part is how spare this is. The prose feels very blunt and short on details that might inform emotion and create atmosphere. I can respect minimalism, and it works in some places in this to create a strong impact (such as: "She didn't move."), however, overall I feel like I'm not getting a strong sense of depth and connection in the scene. I don't feel like I'm given enough here to immerse myself in the moment.

    ...Then again, I'm sure much of that has to do with coming in at chapter 23 without much background. The harsh simplicity of it might be quite emotionally painful to someone who has come to know these characters and already feels for them. Nevertheless, I feel like this could benefit from more development in terms of its detail and its emotional resonance.

    I wish you luck as you continue writing.

  4. #54
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    Chapter XXIV: Maddie's Lost Days



    It had been a long night for Maddie. She sat by the window of the small run down inn room watching the river sludge by. Ashton had gone to do what he called "Jus' some business". She couldn't help noticing he'd brought a gun.

    And then the roaring and the banging of gunshots had happened outside. Whatever he was doing out there had gotten ugly. She hoped he'd been killed.

    After she had been caught and Dust had disappeared into the woods, her hands were tied and she was led back through the mountains. After she kicked a Blackshirt in the groin and tried to run for it, her feet were tied and she was carried back to the valley.

    They took her straight to the manor and placed her alone in a room.

    Maddie looked around nervously. She'd never been in a place like this, with its expensive furniture and portraits on the wall in gilded frames. She imagined that even the cheapest thing here cost more money than she had ever seen in her life.

    After several minutes, the door opened. A Machop came in, and behind it was the Baron himself. Maddie gasped. It was never good news when the Baron came to see you personally.

    "You're Maddie, are you? The tavern owner's daughter?"

    "Y-yes. Um, lord." She stammered.

    "I understand you've been through quite the ordeal, Maddie. Being the prisoner of a deranged criminal must have been quite traumatic."

    Why was he talking to her like this? Maddie knew that he was well aware of what had actually happened, how could he not be?

    "As you might imagine, there has been a bit of a stir here since you were taken away. People have been talking. I have even heard a ridiculous rumor that my son was in fact responsible for the events that occurred that night. Now, you have been in the clutches of a dangerous young man, and your memory may be clouded as to what actually happened that night. I wouldn't want you to go spreading false information."

    "You want me to lie for you?" Maddie said. "We both know Dust was innocent."

    "Strip down, Maddie."

    She took a step back.

    The Baron smiled. "I'm going to check you for injuries, nothing more. You have nothing to fear from me."

    With reluctance, Maddie undid the laces on her bodice let her dress fall to the floor.

    "The undergarments too." The Baron said.

    When she was done, the Machop picked it up and took it out of the room.

    "Good." The Baron said. He walked around her in a slow circle.

    "I understand your mother died some years back. Complications in child birth, I believe."

    "You- you know that?" Maddie said.

    "I know everything that happens in my valley, Maddie. It was a boy, wasn't it?"

    Maddie didn't answer.

    "I imagine after four girls, your father was hoping for a male child. How ironic that his son was responsible for his wife's death."

    Maddie's eyes welled up. She wished he would stop talking. Why wouldn't he stop talking?

    The Baron ran his hand over a bruised area. Maddie winced.

    "Light bruising on the body. Nothing serious. What was his name? Your brother's."

    His name was Zachary. Maddie knew this, but she didn't want to tell him. He wasn't supposed to know this. Not even Dust knew that. She couldn't bear the thought of the Baron knowing. It would be wrong somehow.

    "We didn't name him." She said, choking back a sob. "I don't remember much about it."

    That was another lie. It was the single most vivid memory of her life. Even now, she could see it clear as day; the pained screams, the midwives bringing in the buckets of hot water and the rags and her father outside the door and her hugging her knees and then the screaming stopped and there was no crying baby, just the midwife shouting then she came out covered in blood and there was blood everywhere…

    When it was over and everyone had left, Maddie slowly approached the bedroom door. Her little hand closed around the knob and turned it, and after that her mind always cut off.

    It was summer, so the sun was shining when they buried them. It just seemed so wrong to her, like nature didn't even care. She watched as the men lowered the coffin into the ground into the ground, and then the small coffin after it. She didn't understand why they did that. Why couldn't they have put them both together?

    The Baron brushed her messy hair away from her face. Maddie shuddered at his touch.

    "You look just like her, Maddie. If something were to happen to you, I'd imagine to your father it would be like living that day all over again."

    So that's what all this was about.

    "Is that a threat?" she said.

    "A man in my position doesn't make threats to a girl in your position. There is simply what I have told you to do, and the understanding of what will happen if you do not comply."

    "So I tell your version about what happened, and nobody tries to get revenge on you and we drag Dust's name through the ground even though we both know he did nothing wrong."

    He stroked her hair softly. "You're a smart young lady. I can see that. So consider this. Nobody in your village knows that you are back here. As far as anyone but you, me and those who work for me are concerned, you are still out in the wilderness at this very moment. Now, there is all manner of things that could befall a beautiful young woman out in those dangerous woods, so I ask you this: how much do you want to see your family again?"

    Maddie didn't say anything.

    "Ah, I can still see that little seed of defiance in you." The tone of his voice changed slightly. "You will recall that I mentioned a rumor that my son was somehow the person responsible for your disappearance, rather than the hero who saved you from a violent criminal and brought you back home. I believe it was your sister Bianca who started this. Now, I am not a cruel man, but spreading vicious lies about those whose protection you are all dependent on is against the law, even when the one doing it is a fourteen year old girl."

    "Okay." Maddie said. "I'll do whatever you want."

    "I knew you would do the right thing. For now, you will be guest in this house. We'll make arrangement tomorrow." He turned and walked out of the room, leaving her alone, naked and miserable.

    Shortly after, some female servants came and ushered her to a bathroom. Maddie was ordered to sit in a bathtub as the women poured soap and hot water over her, scrubbing her and washing the dirt and grime of the last few days off her body.

    That done, she was taken to a bedroom to spend the night in. There was a robe on the bed. She put it on and sat down. She felt only despair. Dust was gone, and probably dead, and now she was going to have to live out the rest of her life without him, never knowing if he was still out there somewhere.

    Maddie was not the kind of girl who cried easily, but now she wept uncontrollably. She didn't cry like the quiet, dignified, beautiful heroines in those novels Bianca loved so much, but like an infant, wailing and sobbing, streaming mucus out her nose that she wiped on the sleeve of her robe until it was sticky and disgusting, and still she cried on.

    She cried for Dust, but mostly, she cried for herself. This made her feel even worse, since surely her plight couldn't be as bad as his, so what right did she have for self-pity?

    A hand touched her shoulder. Ashton was standing over her.

    "Don' worry, luv." He said. "I got jus' the thing to cheer you up."

    Maddie tried to move away from him, but Ashton grabbed her arm and pulled her to her feet. He moved in. She could feel his breath on her neck. It smelled like alcohol.

    "Y'know, Maddie, we never did get to finish our little midnight rendezvous."

    "Stay away from me, Ashton." She said.

    "Or what?" He said. "Ain't nothin' tha' can interrupt us now. Everyone else in this buildin' works fer me." She tried to push him away, but he took her arm and wrenched it behind her back until it felt like it would twist off. "Now Maddie, that ain't no proper way fer a guest ta behave."

    He gently pushed forwards, and Maddie's legs hit the bedframe and she fell backward. Ashton followed her down onto the bed. His lips touched her neck, and his hands grasped her wrists firmly.

    It was the single worst night of Maddie's life.

    That morning, she was given new clothes to wear and taken home in a carriage driven by the Blackshirt's leader Cyril. She was allowed to go in and see her sisters while her Cyril talked to her father in the other room. After a bit, Cyril came back and led her out by the arm.

    An arrangement had been made. In gratitude for being rescued from the wild, Maddie would now live and work in the manor. This actually wasn't an uncommon arrangement. It was an honor for a family to have a daughter working in the Baron's house, and the monthly stipend sent to her father would make up for not having her there to help at the tavern. It made sense that her father would agree to such a deal.

    So she was taken back, and instead of being shown to the servant's quarters, she was led back to the room where she had been before. Of course she wasn't actually going to be a maid there. Ashton just wanted a pet, a trophy for his victory.

    And when Ashton decided to leave to go out into the world as noble boys his age were supposed to, he took her with her.

    And now she was here, watching out the window and wondering if he would even return. She looked at herself in the mirror. She was all gussied up like a proper lady now, with her hair piled up and tied in an intricate knot and wearing a fashionable dress. Just a month ago, she would have dreamed about being able to look like this this.

    They had been staying in an upscale hotel, when Ashton had suddenly decided that afternoon that they would be coming here for reasons he didn't feel like explaining. The inn was a dump, filled with degenerates and lowlifes who leered at her and made catcalls as she walked by.

    Ashton burst through the door, cursing loudly. He had a black eye and his clothes were all disheveled. He sank into a chair and sighed.

    "I need a drink." The accent was completely gone. He almost never used it around it her anymore. Maddie had learned a lot more about Ashton. There was an indoor Ashton and an outdoor Ashton. The outdoor one was his public face, loud and brash, with an accent so fake it made one wonder if he even knew what it was supposed to be.

    The other one was quiet and subdued. In many ways, she found even more unsettling when he was like this.

    Maddie pulled a bottle of rum from the rickety table and gave it to him. He took a long drink.

    "I heard gunshots." Maddie said. "What were you doing out there?"

    "Business. Don't worry about it." Ashton said. "Nobody got killed, I think. Just some double-crossing bastard. I was close, Maddie. I was so close. And now I might never know if I succeeded."

    She didn't ask what he was talking about. Whatever it was, she knew she wouldn't like the answer.

    "And if I didn't, I know that I'm ever going to get another chance." He sunk down. "Do you love me, Maddie?"

    "Of course I love you." She lied, "Ashton, you're worrying me."

    "Do you love me more than you loved Dust?" This wasn't the first time he'd asked that. Maddie already had her answer ready.

    Maddie leaned over him and placed her hands on his shoulders, caressing them gently. "I love you more than anyone in the world. You were the one who saved me from him, remember?"

    "Yeah." Ashton said. "Yeah, I did." She suspected that he actually believed that lie now. He had a way of looking at the world from a direction where he was always the hero.

    "I know exactly what you need." Maddie said, and she kissed him, passionately, lovingly, and hating herself for every moment of it. Just placate him, she thought, keep him from being upset. She ran her hands through his hair. "Take a bath, darling. I'll be waiting for you. Once he'd shambled off, she sat down on the bed and breathed heavily.

    Just keep him happy. Because when Ashton wasn't happy, she wasn't safe. She summoned up the energy to look happy and began to undress.

  5. #55
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    This story is great! Is there any chance I can be put on a PM list of sorts?

  6. #56
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    Chapter XXV: Dead of Night

    Dust sat outside the door in complete silence. He stared at the floor with his head in his hands, waiting for the door to open. He didn't know what the news was going to be, and he dreaded it. Whatever happened, he knew this was all because of him.

    Finally, the door opened and Doctor Trotsky came out.

    "Yes. At least for now." Trotsky said solemnly. "But I don't know if that will last. If you hadn't teleported into my house, she would be dead now. Come in."

    Dust followed him into the room. Amelia lay unconscious on the table.

    "Look at her, Dust."

    Amelia had never been big, but she'd always had that kind of strong personality that made her seem to tower over you. Now she just looked small and fragile and helpless.

    "She's too young to die, Dust." Trotsky said. "Only eighteen years old. A girl like her, she's supposed to live long and happy, bear children and die at a tender old age surrounded by family. So you had better have a damn good explanation for why she's lying on my table in the middle of the night with a bullet wound in her gut."

    Dust told him about the note, and everything that had happened that night.

    Trotsky paused for a few moments. "So correct me if I'm wrong. You are some kind of fugitive,"

    "No!" Dust said, "Well, yes, but I didn't do anything wrong. The guy who wanted to shoot me, he's the bad guy."

    "Dust, I don't know what kind of world you come from and I don't really want to know, but you dragged her into it whether you meant to or not. And to think just a few days ago I was keeping you alive."

    "I would have gladly been shot instead of her."

    "But you weren't, were you? She was." Dust looked down. "Accident or not, you're the one who got her into this." He took Dust by the shoulders. "I don't think you're a criminal, Dust. I see a lot of scumbags in this city and I can tell you aren't one of them. But for your own sake, you have to leave now and not come back. I'm going to have to get back to Amelia, and after that, I'll have to tell her parents whether their daughter is alive or dead. I know you didn't mean any of this to happen, but to them, you'll just be some drifter who got their daughter shot, and I don't think that will end well for you if you're still around. Do you have everything you need?"

    Dust nodded.

    "Then get out of here. Get out of Ludlow if you have to."

    "How am I going to know if she's alive?"

    "You won't. That's just something you'll have to live with." He sighed. "Look, if it's any consolation, I think she'll probably pull through. Like a sixty/forty chance, and that's a lot more than she'd have if you hadn't thought to have Yoko bring her here. I don't know if that helps any, but you have to go now."

    He led Dust outside and shut the door. Dust set off down the dark street, not knowing what to do or where to go.

    He walked by an alleyway and felt a blade pressing into his back.

    "Hand over everything you've got." A voice behind him said.

    Dust's eyebrow twitched. After everythin he had been through that night, he was not in the mood for this kind of crap. His hand closed around Beedrill's pokeball.

    Two minutes later, Dust stalked down the sidewalk, counting his newly acquired money. This was a day he wanted to put behind him.

  7. #57
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    I am doing a review for the Review game. Please note that words and I don't go well together, but I'll do my best. Anyway- SketchQueen's review of New World, chapter 24!

    Opening: It definitely hints that either something bad or foreshadowing will happen. I felt like it was a bit rushed, and a little under detailed. (But then again, I've come in late.)

    Dialogue: The conversation between Maddie and the baron is crazy intense and well written. The way the baron is speaking makes it sounds like he's being gentle, but still threatening. And when he says he's not threatening just makes it sound ever more threatening.

    Pace: The pace is perfect throughout the chapter. Personally, I think the small blurb between Ashton and Maddie (in the middle) should have been a little more faster, but that's just me. The pacing in the conversation between Maddie and the Baron is just perfect to give it a threatening, dramatic flair.

    Spelling/Grammar: The grammar and spelling is pretty good and nothing much sticks out, but there were a couple.

    She sat by the window of the small run down inn room watching the river sludge by.
    There should be commas separating "small" and "run down." It just makes it harder to read and disrupts flow.

    "Take a bath, darling. I'll be waiting for you. Once he'd shambled off, she sat down on the bed and breathed heavily.
    Missing the other quotation mark. This is another matter of disrupting flow.

    There may be more, but these two stuck out to me the most.

    Overall, this chapter is really well written. Although I have absolutely no clue what's going on, I really liked this chapter.

    ~SQ

  8. #58
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    Chapter XXVI: The Lake

    The climb was long and treacherous, but he made his way up the mountainside nonetheless. This was a new part of the world, and things were so different here. It was hot for one. Where he was from, tall mountains had snow on their peaks, but here it was as dusty and dry as the desert below.

    He camped in the flat areas he could find, and looked up at the sky, at stars he had never seen before. Then in the morning he would get up and continue, barely eating, only sleeping when he could not go any longer without collapsing.

    And on he went, spurred on by the thoughts in his head.

    Things were so murky now. Ever since he found that creature, that Mewtwo.

    It had been wonderful at first. He'd battled challenger after challenger, crushing their pathetic Pokémon with ease. It was fun and easy, and he reveled in his power. Mewtwo had only grown in power as well. Its form, once skeletal and thin, now had flesh on it so you could hardly see the bones. It followed his commands, and nothing could stand in his way. Money, women, glory: they were all his for the taking.

    And then the dreams began. Dreams of things he couldn't understand; horrible, dark things.

    At first, he ignored them. Such was the price of power, after all. One could hardly expect not to feel the effects of being so close to a psychic Pokémon of such strength, after all. In fact, he began to wonder if he was not gaining some of that power for himself. These thoughts made him happy, and he began to enjoy the nightmares.

    And as they grew more and more vivid, his thoughts became less clear.

    He was gripped by a powerful compulsion. The urge sent him to another corner of the world, in the deserts of another continent. As his mind deteriorated, he couldn't differentiate between his own thoughts and those from outside. There was no resisting the compulsion. That possibility didn't even exist.

    His travels had been long and hard, but he had not slowed down. His body was taxed almost to the breaking point, his hair ragged and his skin sallow. His clothes had been reduced to little more than rags and his eyes were wild like a rabid dog's.

    He did not care about or even notice any of this. All that mattered now was his destination, whatever it was.

    His scrabbling hands found purchase on a ledge and he pulled himself up. He was on a rocky outcropping in front in front of a sheer cliff face that rose far above him.

    The time had come.

    Guided by thoughts he was no longer capable of questioning, he reached for the pokeball that contained Mewtwo and released it.

    Mewtwo went to the rock wall and placed its hand on the stone.

    Yes. This is it.

    The trainer felt the hold on his mind weakening. "What is it?"

    Mewtwo ignored him. There must be door. Some kind of entrance. They would not want it to be easy to find.

    "What are we doing here?"

    Silence.

    He pointed a finger at the creature. "I order you to tell me what we are doing here!"

    Mewtwo turned around. It fixed its cold, cobalt eyes on him.

    You do not order me.

    It turned back around and began examining the rock again.

    "How dare you talk back to me?! I captured you! I am your master!"

    You are not even master of yourself, human. It turned back to him. His knees buckled under him and he was forced into a kneeling position. I have put up with you because I needed to recover. And what did you use my power for? Petty battles for your own enjoyment. Taking all the credit for yourself as if you had actually done something. I tire of you, and now I no longer need you. Leave, and don't come back.

    "No!" he yelled. "You can't leave! I'm the one who's in charge!" He aimed the pokeball at Mewtwo and shot out its recall beam. The red laser stopped short of Mewtwo and went out. The pokeball fell apart in his hand.

    You do not even understand what you are dealing with, human. You don't control me. You never controlled me. I have been the one controlling you all this while. Every action you have taken has been because I willed it. Every dream, every waking thought, dictated by me and me alone. You have no power over me.

    "I do have power!" he screamed. He pulled out another ball and summoned a massive scaly toad. "Venusaur, attack!"

    The Venusaur did nothing.

    A useless effort. I alone command your creatures now.

    "Obey my commands!" He screamed hysterically. "I'm the master! Me! You're nothing! You're just a tool!"

    Mewtwo whirled around. What did you say?

    He opened his mouth to speak, but some unseen force closed them tight. Mewtwo's horrible blue eyes narrowed. The anger hit him like a wave of fire.

    I am not your tool, human! I am not your slave! The rocks on the ground slowly began to rise around them. Mewtwo's feet were no longer touching the ground. It towered above him, beautiful and terrifying. Its voice roared in his head with the force of a hurricane. I was going to let you go, and live out what remainder of your pointless existence remained, but you are far too insipid to let live!

    Venusaur lifted two vines from the big leafy flower on its back. They coiled around his legs like snakes.

    Devour him.

    Mewtwo turned back to rock wall, ignoring the screams. I am not a tool. I am no man's plaything. Bright psychic energy built up on its forehead. Mewtwo stood back. I belong to NOBODY!

    A lance of energy shot from its forehead and blasted the stone.

    Mewtwo sank back to the ground. The rocks suspended in the air clattered around it as they fell.

    Through the cloud of dust and debris, there was a hole in the cliff face. There appeared to be a small tunnel inside.

    Mewtwo entered. The tunnel was narrow and hewn out of rock. As Mewtwo got deeper in, there was no external source of light, but that was no problem to Mewtwo's highly tuned senses.

    This was no ordinary cavern; Mewtwo could feel the power in here. Memories and emotions still lingered here, long after the people they belonged to had faded away.

    Something was keeping them here, or perhaps generating them.

    It had been hours since Mewtwo had entered the cavern. It spiraled down and down, far under the mountain. Things skittered in the darkness, but Mewtwo paid them no heed. Whatever creatures resided down here, Mewtwo was far more deadly than any of them.

    Finally, a ghostly light filled the tunnel. Mewtwo had stepped out into a massive underground chamber.

    The ceiling was illuminated by hundreds of bizarre Pokémon, their bodies made of shaped metal and sporting pale sickly blue flames that emitted the soft light filling the vast chamber. Under the lights, cold, still water created a subterranean lake. Its surface was as flat and smooth as glass.

    Mewtwo placed one finger onto the lake's surface. A ripple went out, perhaps the first time this water had been disturbed in centuries.

    There was a response. Mewtwo could feel it. Something was down there, and it was aware of the trespasser. It called for it.

    Mewtwo stepped out onto the water, and waked across its surface to the very center of the lake. The water moved, covering Mewtwo's feet and climbing up its legs. In seconds, it enveloped it whole.

    Mewtwo did not react in any way. This was exactly what it had been looking for.

    All was still for several seconds, and then Mewtwo vanished under the water's surface. And then, all was as it had been before, save for a few ripples on the lake.

  9. #59
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    Chapter XXVII: Funeral

    The water tasted like it had been collected from a dirty puddle, but sometimes that was the best you could do. Dust guzzled it down and wet his hands. He wiped some of the dirt off of his face.

    "Alright, let's see what we've got." He rummaged through the small bag he'd brought with him and proffered its contents to Totodile. "Stale bread, a couple of carrots. That's mine. A slab of suspicious looking meat. That's yours." He took the meat and tossed it to Totodile, who snapped it out of the air.

    "We're living like kings, Totodile." He took a bite off one of the carrots and poured some water into the croc's mouth.

    Dust leaned back and rested his head on a burlap sack. The whole floor vibrated, but that didn't bother him anymore. He watched the world blur by in front of him. Totodile dragged the smelly meat to him and swallowed it.

    "You're disgusting, you know that?"

    The croc lay down next to him.

    Dust had been moving around the place for a couple of months now. Ludlow wasn't a kind place for someone with no money, and a few nights in the gutter had been long enough for Dust to desire to see open countryside again. So he hopped the first train he found leaving the city, and had been thrown off several hours later.

    That was just part of traveling for free, he'd come to understand. After the first few times, he'd figured out how to properly roll when he landed, and it didn't hurt quite so bad now.

    What was his goal? He didn't know. Somehow, nothing seemed to matter anymore. He wandered into little towns, ate, bathed, sometimes did some work for money, and then left. Sometimes he slept in a bed; most times he slept on the ground.

    This train had been going at breakneck speed for days. Ludlow must have been over thousand miles away by.

    The air was cold. Dust hugged himself as the chilly air rushed by. He could see the snowcapped mountains in the distance. He smiled as he saw them. He was almost there.

    The sound of voices came from the car next door. There was some shouting and then a scream. From the opening of his car, Dust saw a man being flung off the side of the moving train.

    "We gotta go." He recalled Totodile and rushed to the back of the car away from where the voices had been. Before he could open the door to the next car, it opened in front of him, and a mountain wearing a striped shirt stepped through. He grinned at Dust.

    The door on the far side burst open, and three other men entered. Two of them looked exactly the same as the one in front of Dust. The third man was smaller and wearing a beat up looking bowler hat. He carried a billy club.

    "Got nowhere to go, train hopper."

    Dust didn't hesitate for a second. He jumped backward, away from the big man's grabbing arms and threw himself off the train. It was always better to jump off than to be thrown off, and sometimes the crew liked to rough you up a bit before tossing you off the side.

    He hit the cold hard ground and rolled down a short incline. He sat up, wheezing and rubbing the parts of him that hurt. He stood up and checked himself over.

    "No broken bones. I guess I'm good then."

    A couple minutes later, he found the other guy who'd been thrown off. He was laying on the ground.

    "Rough day, huh?" he said. "You need some help?"

    There was no answer.

    "Hey! Are you alright?" He approached the man, and that was when he saw the angle of his neck. "You must have landed wrong." He said solemnly.

    He knelt down and started taking off the man's coat. It was cold out, and it wasn't as if he was going to need it anymore. The coat was small on Dust, but it would have to do.

    Dust felt something in one of the pockets. He pulled out a pokeball whose center glowed with a yellow light. Dust pressed the button.

    A horse like creature with black and white stripes appeared. It looked down at its late master, then up at Dust. It turned away and bounded off into the distance. The pokeball's light faded and went blank. Dust pocketed it. He might need it sometime.

    "Alright, let's see what else you had on you."

    He rummaged through the coat pockets and pulled out a wallet with no money in it, and a closed locket. Dust pulled it open. There was a picture of a woman inside.

    "I wonder who she is." Dust wondered aloud. "Someone you knew, someone you loved? Heh, for all I know you stole this this thing. I wonder who you were anyway. What were you doing hopping trains? See me; I'm on my way to see the Ice Gym. But you, I don't know what you're doing here. Are you on the run? Are you just down on your luck, looking for a new place to call home?"

    He looked at the woman in the locket. "I wonder if she knows where you are. She might never know you died out here. Just spending her entire life, waiting for a man who'll never return. See, I have a girl. Her name's Maddie, and she already thinks I'm dead. But I'm going to see her again, I know that for sure. Of course, you probably thought the same thing."

    He shivered in the cold air. "And now you're dead. And I'm the only person who will ever know how you died, and I don't even know your name." He thought for a minute. "But you know what? I'm going to remember you. If somebody remembers you, you can't really be gone, can you?"

    He released Poochyena from her ball. "Dig a hole big enough to bury him."

    Poochyena clawed through the frozen soil. It took a while, but at last there was a hole large enough to satisfy Dust. He released the other two from their balls as well.

    "I've never been good at speeches," he said, "but I suppose that one is in order here. We are gathered here today to honor a man. A man whose name we don't know whose life came to an inglorious end from being thrown out the side of a train. In the grand scope of the world, he did not rate much, but he still deserved don't eat him Poochyena! a better fate than this. I don't know who you are or where you came from, but I promise you that you will not be forgotten. Normally there'd be some kind of music played at this part, but I guess we'll just have to do this silently."

    He crouched down beside the body, and with some effort and grunting, managed to roll him into the hole. The corpse flopped awkwardly into the grave and landed facedown. After some consideration, Dust decided this was good enough.

    He left a wooden stake with a simple epitaph carved into it as a gravestone. Taking the locket out of his pocket, Dust hung it from the stake and walked off into the cold.

    Unbeknownst to Dust, a long while later more people came to the gravesite. They didn't honor the man it stood for but they did steal the locket.

  10. #60
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    Sigh... Poor guy. I'm proud that Dust made a funeral for him. He's a great guy unlike Ashley- I mean Ashton! That guy needs to be hang from a gibbit for the sport of his own crows.

    Unbeknownst to Dust, a long while later more people came to the gravesite. They didn't honor the man it stood for but they did steal the locket.
    People these days, stealing lockets from gravestones and sh*t!


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