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Thread: Central: A Metaphysical Odyssey (PG - 15)

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    Default Central: A Metaphysical Odyssey (PG - 15)

    Central
    A Metaphysical Odyssey

    Author's note: Hello fellow fic-men! It is my great pleasure to return to you as a writer here after a long year's absence. This story is a revival of Pokemon Central, a story that I originally posted here before I left the site. I wasn't satisfied with where it was going and pulled it. So, before I continue, I want to thank some of the members on the forum here, specifically, EonMaster One and Ysavvryl whose remarkable stories first inspired me to write my own fan fiction, and also to Shadow Lucario, whose undying support brought me back to give this another shot.

    As for what follows, this is a trainer/journey fic that is about the bond between Pokemon and humans. It's a drama fic set in a universe of my own creation. It is not in any way, shape or form related to the anime/manga/game-verses or any other existing canon. However, this story will from time to time reference those canon. It'll include elements of romance, science fiction, comedy, surrealism, and whatever else falls into place. I'm not really setting out to do anything "different", instead I'm writing a story that subtly addresses the cliches of Pokemon journey fics, and from there, taking my own spin on the genre.

    One last note before you read, the Prologue is an optional read. It isn't required for you to understand the story, however it does give some decent history on my world...and, for anyone who is interested, each chapter of this fic will be named after a song. If you can tell me who the song is by, I dunno, I'll give you a high five. Disregard this. The preceding mini-series has been discontinued for the time being.

    Lastly, this story is rated PG-15 for language, some sexual content, violence/gore, and drug use/reference by the PFFRA (Pokemon Fan-Fic Rating Association)
    Not every single chapter will include these elements, I'm just giving myself some room to breathe later on. The fic as a whole is probably closer to being strictly PG/PG-13, but there will be moments when I feel like I'd be stretching that rating too far, so it's PG-15 for safety's sake. I'll let you know in a note before a chapter if there will be anything a bit too graphic.

    Read, Review, Enjoy


    Chapter 1
    “Night Train”

    “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re nearing the conclusion of the 2013 graduation ceremonies,” the Dean of the academy stood before a crowd of at least a thousand, all friends and family of the three hundred or so graduates seated behind him. The Dean continued, “It’s been a tradition here to end the ceremonies with a small tournament of our most promising graduates. It’s my pleasure to introduce the host of this year’s UA Graduation tournament, last year’s winner, Casey Pierce!”

    As the Dean stepped away from the microphone, a young woman straightened her red-skirt and white polo as she walked steadily to the center of the stage. Before she addressed the audience she brushed her short black hair out of her eyes and a look of confidence appeared in her light-blue eyes, “I have to say, after a year abroad it feels great to be back home.”

    The crowd roared with excitement, leaving Casey feeling a bit indisposed to continue, however she quickly collected herself, “Every year a panel of judges examines the graduating class to determine which departing students will participate in the tournament. The graduating classes here average between two hundred and three hundred students, however only the six brightest and most skilled are chosen. It can’t be an easy job, but knowing these six students from my time here, I can say with certainty the judges made the right choices. So, without further ado, the participants!”

    The crowd bellowed once again and Casey proceeded to announce the participants for the tournament. Once the six names were read, Casey stepped off-stage and the Dean instructed the audience to move into the stadium-area while the participants changed out of their caps and gowns and prepared their Pokemon for battle.

    ~~~

    “Knock, knock,” Casey announced as she pushed open the cracked door of the stadium locker room. Standing in the room was a teenaged boy and a small bear cub. The boy was wearing black jeans and a red t-shirt with the logo of the Opelucid gym emblazoned on the right side of its chest. The cub was mostly snow white, with the exception of the icy blue fur covering his head. It looked towards the door as it sniffed a large drop of snot up its tiny black nose. The boy only looked at her with a fairly stupid look on his face.

    “Well, don’t just stand there with that stupid look on your face, Ahlberg! Say ‘Hi’, give me a hug, do something!” Casey aggravatingly exclaimed, and not a second later the boy rushed her with a hug.

    “Yo,” he began to pull away and continued, “I’ve missed you.”

    “I’ve missed you, too, Lucas,” she said sincerely, just before shouting in a cutesy tone, “and the little booger bear over there!”

    “C’mon Case, you know he hates that,” Lucas replied as the tiny cub scowled at the girl.

    “I bet you’ve missed your friend, as well.” Casey pulled a tiny red and white spherical capsule off of her belt and pressed the center button. As she did, it enlarged, opened and released a bright white light onto the floor. The light faded, and a green snake-like Pokemon with a yellow neck-line and leaves protruding from its back appeared.

    “Serv!” The Pokemon stretched, and once it noticed its friend, the two began to chase each other around the locker room.

    Besides the sounds of the Pokemon playing, the room fell quiet for a moment as Lucas put on his black leather belt with a Pokeball attached to it.

    “So, how was Sinnoh?” Lucas broke the silence.

    “It was really amazing. I didn’t make it far in the League, though.”

    “Yeah, I saw your match on TV. You didn’t really stand a chance going up against that Darkrai.”

    “I know, right? It was bad enough just being on television, and once I saw that damn Darkrai come out of that guy’s Pokeball...I don’t know. I just knew it was the end.” the tone in Casey’s voice became a bit melancholy as the image of the Dark type Legendary appeared in her mind.

    “Where are they sending you?” Casey quickly changed the subject

    “Ughh...Johto,” Lucas replied unenthusiastically, and perhaps, even a tad bit in disgust.

    “You aren’t even excited?” Casey asked a bit confused

    “Of course I am, but I was hoping to go to Hoenn.”

    “Why didn’t you get Auggie to pull some strings?”

    “He did. He wants me in Johto,” Lucas said very sternly.

    “What for?”

    “One of my dad’s old friends has a daughter who is about to begin travelling. Apparently, she isn’t much of a trainer, so they asked me to escort her out of town,” Lucas explained.

    “Did he ask you before he set it up?”

    “Of course he did,” Lucas replied with a bit of irritation.

    “Then why the hell are you complaining? You really can be a whiner, sometimes.”

    “Whatever,” Lucas responded calmly, “I have to get out there. Avey, it’s clobberin’ time!” The small bear cub was rounding the corner and as he heard his name, he rushed to his friend and cheered.

    “Wait,” Casey stopped, “let’s toke before you go out. It’ll help,” she said as he pulled what looked like a hand-rolled cigarette from the pocket on her shirt. The two Pokemon looked at their trainers confusedly as if to ask, “What is ‘toke’?”

    “You’re holding here?!” Lucas snatched it from her and clenched it in his fist, only to conceal it. “Are you dense, Case, what if someone sees you with this?”

    “What are they gonna do, arrest me?” She was clearly being sarcastic, and quickly pried the joint from Lucas’s hand, “I needed it to make that damn speech. I’m out on my anxiety prescription so I brought some fine-grade Sinnoh Mary J,” she replied very cutely as she pulled a lighter from the same pocket as the joint, lit it, and took a drag. “Here; smoke up.” She smiled and handed the joint to Lucas. He accepted it and took a slightly prolonged hit.

    “Been awhile, huh?” Casey laughed.

    Lucas laughed and replied, “Yep. Time to get out there. Let’s go, Avey.”

    “Cuuubb!” the tiny cub cheered and followed Lucas out of the locker room.

    As Lucas headed out the double doors at the end of the hall, he shouted, “See ya out there, Case!”

    ~~~

    The crowd exploded with excitement as Avey dodged the embers of its opponent, a small orange pig with large, brown rabbit-like ears.

    “Tepig, try’da hit it with Ember, again!” Tepig’s trainer, another graduate who stood at about six feet and had jet-black hair, commanded. The tiny pig launched a barrage of tiny embers at Avey, who managed to dodge most of the attack.

    “Use Fury Swipes, Avey!” Lucas shouted.

    The cub charged its opponent, baring it’s claws just as it began to slash at Tepig’s face. Taken aback, Tepig shrugged off the damage and launched itself into Avey’s midsection, sending him stumbling to Lucas’s feet. Both Pokemon quickly picked themselves back up as they awaited their orders.

    “Icy Wind, now!” Lucas took control of the match while Avey followed his command and sniffed a glob of sticky snot up his nose as he inhaled and let loose a powdery gust of wind towards Tepig.

    “Counter it with another Ember attack!” Tepig let out a loud snort as it launched another Ember attack, stopping Avey’s offense dead in its tracks and resulting in a direct hit. More susceptible to the fire being an Ice type, Avey looked finished.

    “Hang in there, Avey!” Lucas called out to his friend as he struggled to stand up.

    In the audience, Casey sat with Lucas’s kid sister, Natalie, who watched with an expression of worry as Avey struggled, and then with relief as he stood.

    “Alright, let’s wrap this up.” Lucas called to Avey who began bracing himself for Tepig’s next attack. Avey’s expression became a lot more intense and focused as he stared down his opponent across the field.

    “Well, if you’re that ready to lose; Tackle now, Tepig!” Tepig’s trainer shouted.

    The tiny pig began to charge Avey, who stood firmly in his position. Tepig bound into the air, blasting Avey with a hard tackle. Avey stumbled back, and then without a second to lose, Lucas shouted a command, “Strike back with Bide,” and Avey, clenching his fist, thrust it into Tepig’s snout, sending it careening toward the center of the battlefield.

    “Finish him off with a Brine attack!” Lucas issued his final order as Avey began collecting the moisture in the air. The water formed into a ball a tad smaller than Avey’s head, and once he collected all he could, he launched a series of sharp needle-like bullets at Tepig.

    When it was clear it was finished, the referee stepped forward and held up the green flag in his left hand.

    “Tepig is unable to battle. The match goes to Lucas and his Cubchoo!” announced the ref.

    The crowd roared with approval as Lucas returned Avey to his Pokeball. He looked to the front row where he saw his sister shouting at him. She was barely audible amongst the hundreds of screaming attendees. Lucas walked towards his sister when he thought he heard a horn, or siren of some sort, in the distance. He started again towards his sister and could make out the words, “wake” and “train”.

    “Wake--before--the train!” Natalie continued shouting but little of it was getting to Lucas.

    “I can’t hear you! What about a train?” The noise of the horn grew louder and with it brought a rumble. The ground began to steadily shake...

    “Wake up, Lucas! We’re going to miss THE TRAIN!” Natalie yelled as she leaned over the banister.

    “Wha--,” and before Lucas could ask “What train?” the rumble became a yawp, and a loud crash came from the southern end of the arena as a freighter came roaring through the stands. Lucas looked on, horrified, as the engine, staind in the blood of the dozens it swept through, roared on a vertical path adjacent from where he was standing.

    ~~~

    As the curtains left of Lucas’s bed were opened, a burst of light washed across the dimly-lit room. He looked at the digital clock on the nightstand to his right; it was almost noon. The pleasant aroma of eggs and bacon resonated from the kitchen into the guest room. When he turned over, his sister stood over him with a gleaming look of agitation.

    “Morning, Nat.”

    “Afternoon. Get ready now, or we’ll miss our train home.”

    ~~~

    Later that afternoon, Lucas, Natalie and Casey were on a train departing Aspertia City, Casey’s hometown and the location of the Unova Academy. Their destination was Lucas and Natalie’s home in Opelucid City,where their guardian, Augustus, was waiting for them.

    “Is there such a thing as reverse déjŕ vu?” Lucas, feeling his question to be a bit silly, asked a bit hesitantly.

    “What is THAT?” Casey replied trying not to laugh.

    “Y’know, like, instead of dreaming of something that happens later, you dream of something that already happened, sort of.” Lucas explained.

    “I’ve never heard of that. Why do you wanna know?” Casey asked.

    “I dreamt of the UA Graduation tournament last night, except I actually won, and then...” Lucas paused, finding it difficult to continue.

    “And then...” Casey said, trying to get Lucas to continue.

    “It’s nothing. Forget I said anything.” he poked at the emblem on his shirt as he spoke.

    “Lucas, you really shouldn’t beat yourself up about losing to Henry and Tepig. They had the type advanta-” Casey spoke, but was interrupted by Lucas.

    “You mean the same way you stopped beating yourself up about losing in the Sinnoh League?” Lucas asked spitefully. Casey was visibly upset.

    “That’s different,” she said quietly, “I’m going to check on Nat. She’s been in the bathroom for a while.”

    Casey left her seat and walked down the hall towards the bathroom, where she assumed Natalie was. She approached a door with a woman's restroom sign and knocked.

    “Nattie, you in there?” Casey asked as she leaned on the door.

    “...”

    “Nat?” Casey was about to look for Natalie elsewhere when she heard a voice...

    “Yeah, I’m in here,” Natalie responded very timidly. She cracked the door, “I’m...I’m hemorrhaging.”

    Casey looked at her confusedly before having an awkward moment of realization, “Oh...OH!” She slipped into the bathroom and locked the door.

    ~~~

    Back in the boxcar, Lucas was watching out the window as the train passed by Mistralton City. He watched as herds of Bouffalant grazed in the nearby fields, and as he sat and thought, he thought of what he said to Casey and began to feel like an asshole.

    “Man. I really can be an asshole, sometimes.” he thought to himself as the train continued towards Opelucid.

    ~~~

    At about quarter ‘till 8, the three travellers had finally arrived in Opelucid. The walk from the station to their house wasn’t long; it only took about fifteen minutes. By 10 o’clock, Nattie was settled in bed and Lucas and Casey were talking to Augustus in the kitchen.

    Augustus was a towering, burly hulk of a man; he was more than six and a half feet tall and had a very grisly look about him. He never shaved and his brown hair was always a bit mussed up.

    “How’ve things at the gym been, lately?” Lucas directed his question towards Augustus

    “Things have been slow. It seems like there are less and less trainers coming through these days,” Augustus replied, “Are you going to be ready to leave tomorrow? You know we can have your flight rescheduled without a problem.”

    “No, we’re ready.” Lucas looked to Avey, who was sitting on the floor eating berries, as if to get some sort of confirmation from him. He nodded, sniffed a big, liquid booger up his snout, and went back to stuffing his face.

    “If you say so,” Augustus then directed a question to Casey, “What are your plans?”

    “Oh, actually, I’m thinking I’ll hang around here for a while,” she replied

    “So, you’ll be heading back to Aspertia, then?” Augustus had assumed.

    “No, I mean, here in Opelucid. In fact, I was wondering if I could have Lucas’s room while he’s in Johto...” she paused and waited for a response

    “I have no objections, but why exactly do you want to stay here?” Augustus asked.

    “For Natalie. She’s nearly thirteen and she’s entering a stage in her life where she’ll need a constant female presence.”

    “Since when do you know so much about child rearing?” Lucas laughed a bit as he pictured Casey being motherly.

    “Shut up, you ***,” she snidely retorted and turned her attention back to Augustus, “There is only so much you can do for her.”

    “Well, I can’t argue with you there,” Augustus laughed and then shifted to a more serious tone, “But, if you’re going to stay here, you’ll have to pull your own weight. Playing big sister for Nattie won’t cut it.”

    “Okay, so, what, do house chores? I think I can handle that,” Casey assured him.

    “Nah, Nattie does that stuff. And, she even kind of likes it. It’s weird,” he replied rather confusedly and, then once again, became a bit more serious, “I want you to work at the gym with me. I could really use a trainer with your skill, show my trainees a thing or two, yeah?”

    “Um, sure, I guess that’s fair,” she agreed.

    “Well, now that that’s settled, I think it’s time I go to bed. I have some errands to run before I leave tomorrow and I want to train with Avey before we head to the station,” said Lucas.

    “I’m pretty exhausted myself,” Casey said, “‘Night, Augustus.”

    “Night, kids,” Augustus replied.

    The two teenagers left the kitchen and went up the stairs to Lucas’s room. Augustus stayed in the kitchen a little longer, thinking to himself when suddenly, something occurred to him.

    “Wait. They both went upstairs...we don’t have a guest room...,” he thought to himself, thinking it was rather suspicious, “Hah, crazy kids,” he laughed it off and then turned in for the night.

    ~~~

    The next night, Lucas and Avey stood outside the train station, holding his ticket for the night train to Mistralton City. Casey, Servine, Natalie and Augustus were there to see him off.

    “Be safe out there, kiddo. Your parents would be so proud of you,” Augustus said

    “I know.” Lucas smiled.

    Natalie hugged her brother. “Call us as soon as you get to New Bark Town.”

    “I will,” Lucas replied and gave his attention to Casey, “Well, don’t just stand there with that sad look on your face, Case! Walk with Avey and me to the train.”

    Casey smiled, and as she walked into the station with Lucas, she grabbed his hand. The two ‘friends’ walked slowly across the platform as they approached the train. The porter, who was standing on the platform, kept yelling “All aboard, the night train departs for Mistralton in seven minutes” and repeated himself every time a minute was up.

    “Look, Case, I know I’ve been an ass since you got back, It’s just that --” and before he could finish his thought, Casey threw her arms around his neck and kissed him.

    “You don’t have to say it. I know exactly how you felt then, when I left.” she began to pull away, and reached into her pocket, “There’s something I wanted to give you. A special Pokeball I picked up while I was in Sinnoh.” She placed the ball, which was entirely cherry red with a grey horizontal stripe, in his hands. “Oh, and uhm, there’s a little something inside of that you’ll want to dispose of before you get on your plane,” she whispered.

    The two laughed and shared one more kiss while Avey and Servine said their goodbyes. Casey stood watching as Lucas boarded the train. The train was relatively empty, and Lucas took a seat with windows on the platform-side. Casey and Lucas shared one last moment as the train departed.

    “Until we meet again, Ahlberg,” she began to cry as the train proceeded to move out of her sight.
    Last edited by fixthe_fernback; 17th August 2013 at 12:41 AM. Reason: edits edits edits
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    The return...we welcome you. If you want to start up a PM list then I shall be number one! Now here we go.


    “Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re nearing the conclusion of the 2013 graduation ceremonies,” the Dean of the academy stood before a crowd of at least a thousand, all friends and family of the three hundred or so graduates seated behind him.
    Lowercase since it's not a proper noun. Just like man, or boy. Now since there is no said, announced, shouted, and so on in this, the comma at the end quotation should be a period.

    “And the little booger bear over there!”
    Lowercase and since you have a comma before the quotation.

    “He did. He wants me in Johto,” Lucas said very sternly.
    Ha. I like this Auggie already. :P

    “Whatever,” Lucas’ responded calmly
    I think I know what happened here. You were going to put, "Lucas' response was calm," but decided against it and forget to get rid of the apostrophe. If not then unneeded apostrophe. :P

    “Let’s toke before you go out. It’ll help,”
    At first I didn't think I read it right, but I did. XD

    The cub charged it’s opponent
    As this is, the word means it is. For the possessive form, that would be its. No apostrophe.

    “You mean the same way you stopped beating yourself up about losing in the Sinnoh League?” Lucas asked spitefully.
    That hurt me. So mean Lucas!

    She approached the a door with a woman's restroom sign and knocked.
    Just left an A in there.

    Augustus was a towering, burly hulk of a man[HERE]he was more than six and a half feet tall and had a very grisly look about him.
    A semicolon would do wonders where I indicated. It will connect the two related, yet separate thoughts.

    “Be safe out there, kiddo. You parents would be so proud of you,” Augustus said
    Your.

    A whole lot different from your last first chapter! One thing I did notice was that there were a lot of commas. I think I said this to you before too. Haha. When you start dialogue, a comma isn't needed unless the sentence goes as such:

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lucario's example 1
    Preston said, "I love pie."
    I'll pull an example from your first chapter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fern's sentence
    Natalie hugged her brother, “Call us as soon as you get to New Bark Town.”
    See how there is no form of said before the quotation? Since she is hugging him, there should be a period instead of a comma. Now I also noticed that there were commas at the end of quotations as well when there shouldn't be. It's the exact same rules as before the opening quotation; if there is no said, declared, wondered, or any other form of the word, it should be a period. I'll provide another example below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lucario's example 2
    "Man do I love pie," Preston told his mother.
    Other than that, there were little to know mistakes. The characters are being set up as well as the plot. If it's anything like the other version then I can't wait to get this train rollin'! See what I just did there? Train? Because the...oh you get it! Anyway, love the prologue and the first chapter. Just the start so not much to judge on just yet. But keep it goin! Until next time.
    Credit goes to MagicMochi. Check out their shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder
    While it is very reminiscent of a lot of journey trainer fics, it held my attention. It stands out among a lot of the other fics I've read lately and I'm excited to continue the story.

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    Thanks for pointing those out to me, SL! I put in the edits and I think I got them all, or at least most of them. I'll make up for it in the next chapter. It seems I especially need to give myself a lesson on comma placements in dialogue :P

    As for gettin' the train rolling, things won't really pick up 'till about the fourth chapter. Reason being, the next two chapters will be introductory chapters for the other two main characters.
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    It seems no one loves Johto in any continuity (and yet people keep saying that Gen 2 was the best). It's a good start of a story so far.

    And I wouldn't worry too much about pace. I'm nine chapters into my story and I've only introduced HALF of the main characters (and it's not like I have a lot of them).

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Teller View Post
    It seems no one loves Johto in any continuity (and yet people keep saying that Gen 2 was the best). It's a good start of a story so far.

    And I wouldn't worry too much about pace. I'm nine chapters into my story and I've only introduced HALF of the main characters (and it's not like I have a lot of them).
    The irony there being that I actually love Johto and the Gen 2 games; their remakes being my favorite in the entire series.

    Thanks for reading, Teller. If you're interested, I'm currently working on a mini-series that acts as the prologue/prequel to this series. Part one is already posted, with a link in my sig.
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    Default Finally, The Fern Has Come Back to Serebiiforums!

    The long gestating second chapter to my neglected fan fic is finally here! Originally, there was a lot more I had hoped to accomplish in this chapter, but I think there's a pretty good introduction for a new character and good progression for Lucas. Also, for future reference, anything in green color font is in the diary of the female lead.

    Chapter 2
    “The Hands That Thieve”

    Entry #057

    Just two more days and I’ll finally begin my journey! My parents said they’re throwing a party for my birthday tomorrow, but really, they just want to show me off to all of their ‘friends’. It’ll be a gruelling evening of having other rich kids thrown at me as suitors, their parents hoping I’ll fall for one of them so that their family will marry into more money. Honestly, I would rather kiss a Muk than be anywhere near those pampered bourgeois wanna-be trainers!

    Anyways, Daddy is still insisting I use one of the Pokemon he had bred for me, but I’ve told him a thousand times, I’m getting my starter Pokemon from Professor Reid just like everyone else. Even though that’s what I want, I may have to pick one of my father’s, that is, if the rumors about the starter shortage here are true. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow morning, but for now, I’m going to get some sleep.

    ~ Maya


    ~~~

    “A delay?” Lucas was wrought with aggravation as he received the bad news from the receptionist in Mistralton City.

    “I’m sorry, sir, but due to the severe thunderstorms moving in from the northwest, all flights are delayed until further notice,” the young woman responded. “If you leave a name and a number we can contact you as soon as we have an update on your flight.”

    Lucas looked back at Avey who was sitting on a couch in the waiting area attempting to read an old Char Man comic. Turning back to the receptionist, he grabbed a pen and a piece of notepaper and began to write down his contact information, “I don’t have a Xtransceiver or anything, but I’ll be at the Pokemon Center in town; dunno the number, but I’m sure you can find it.”

    “Oh sure, that won’t be any trouble at all.” As she took up the paper and noticed the name she started off. “You aren’t relat--”

    “Nope, just a coincidence.” As he cut-in, he and Avey were almost out the door.

    ~~~

    It wasn’t a mistake for the airline to delay the flights. Lucas was caught in a violent downpour in the middle of Mistralton, he returned Avey to his Pokeball as he darted off towards the Pokemon Center. The dark expanse of clouds looming overhead blocked out all light from the sun, and as Lucas ran, the wind began picking up to speeds that were almost painful for him to work against. Not really seeing a choice in the matter, Lucas ducked into a small abandoned shack not far from the airport.

    The inside of the shack was dank and too dark for Lucas to see. He fumbled about, feeling the wall for a light switch that would prove useless as the building had been devoid of electricity for years. Finally, realizing his situation, Lucas removed the emergency flashlight from his bag and started to look around the shack.

    Shelves filled with expired and molded food lined the walls of the shack. Lucas walked down a small aisle between the two center shelves when he noticed movement in the back of the store. He readied his hand to release Avey from his Pokeball as he moved towards the figure crouched on the floor. Lucas was hesitant to shine the light on whatever it was, as he expected it to attack him, instead he only saw fear in the large blue eyes of a scared young boy.

    ~~~

    Lucas managed to build a fire out of some of old wood and newspapers littered about the former mom and pop shop. The child with short brown hair, who couldn’t be anymore than seven or eight years old, sat on the other side of the fire, staring blankly into it. He wore a plain yellow t-shirt and blue shorts, but no shoes. Lucas offered him his jacket for warmth, as well as his sleeping bag for the night. Lucas made several attempts to talk to the boy, but the child just sat and stared at the burning embers of the flame.

    “What’s your name? I’m Lucas.” Lucas continued his attempts to get a response from the boy, when suddenly, he had a thought. “Hey, do you wanna see a Pokemon?” Lucas asked as he pulled his Pokeball from his belt and called Avey out.

    Avey quickly took notice of his surroundings, and the young boy perked up at the sight of the small cub. As the two began to run around and play, the boy seemed like a completely different person. Lucas sat back with a smile on his face as he watched them play.

    ~~~

    Meanwhile, in the New Bark Town mansion of the famous Pokemon breeders, the Day family, Maya Day stands in front of a full-bodied mirror as she prepares for her sixteenth birthday party, or as she puts it, a celebration for her parents’ stuck up rich friends. Despite her feelings for the party, she still tries to look her best, not for her parents, but because she enjoys the process.

    She took one last look as she smoothed out her leaf green dress, and tied back her shoulder length brunette hair, making sure every wavy curl was perfectly in place. Finally, she cloaked herself in a white shawl and pinned it across her chest with a pin that resembled her family’s emblem, an outline of a green leaf.

    The family butler, Joff, knocked and entered the room. He was middle aged, at least forty but no older than fifty, he wore a typical butler’s uniform with coattails and all. His hair and physical traits strongly mirrored those of the butler of the popular comic book superhero Zubatman.

    “Your madame mother requests your presence in the lobby, m’lady,” Joff proclaimed very stoically.

    “Oh no, are people showing up already?”

    “Indeed, m’lady, the guests have arrived.”

    “Whatever happened to being fashionably late? I thought rich types loved those kinds of idiotic tropes.”

    “I couldn’t say, m’lady.”

    “Uff, this whole affair is completely deplorable. All I wanted was a simple home-cooked meal for my birthday, but instead Daddy turns it into an opportunity to brag about me to his boring rich friends.” Maya sighed as she picked up an empty Pokeball and made her way to the door. “If you see Munch, put him in his ball,” said Maya as she placed the ball in Joff’s hand.

    “Certainly, m’lady.” As Maya made her way down the hall, Joff stood in the doorway studying the Pokeball in his hand before turning out the light in Maya’s room and shutting the door.

    ~~~

    “So, I hear you got your Pokemon from Reid. Is that true?” A young dapper boy with slick black hair and dressed in a tux asked Maya as she boredly listened to him talk. “Hello, are you even listening to me?” He snapped as Maya stared into the distance.

    “Oh, ummm...yeah, I stopped by his lab this morning to pick it up.” Maya answered quickly.

    “Why on Earth would you want one of those whelps when you could have a far superior Pokemon bred by your parents?” The boy asked sounding slightly humored, yet also disgusted.

    “What do you mean “whelp”? A Pokemon’s a Pokemon, it doesn’t matter how it was bred.” Upset by the boy’s comment, Maya was about to burst into a rant about training Pokemon when Joff tapped her on the shoulder.

    “M’lady, there is a situation in the kitchen that requires your attention.”

    Maya had assumed Joff was simply saving her from having to talk to the boy any longer and simply smiled and excused herself as she followed Joff to the kitchen.

    “Thanks for saving me from that Joff. I don’t know how much longer I could have stood having to talk to that spoiled little --”

    Joff quickly interrupted, “Oh, I’m afraid that’s not the case, m’lady. There truly is a something that needs attending to.” Joff continued toward the kitchen pantry as Maya followed as quickly as she could in her heels. As she approached she saw a plump teal colored creature lying flat on its back in a pile of empty containers that once held their food. It scratched the cream colored spot on its stomach as it lifted its head with its large pointed ears and stretched its cream colored bottom jaw with a long yawn.

    “Oh no, Munch, I told you to stay out of the kitchen! How were you still even hungry after eating that cake earlier today?” Maya looked disappointed as she asked Joff for Munch’s Pokeball. “Munch, return!”

    “Laaax?” The Munchlax sighed as it fell onto its back, faded into a red light and was beamed back into it’s capsule.

    “I tried that several times myself, m’lady. He just swatted the light away and continued lying there.”

    “He really isn’t what I pictured for being my first Pokemon, but it was all Professor Reid had. Part of me wishes I had just taken one of Daddy’s Pokemon, but I promised myself I wouldn’t allow my parents’ wealth to give me any advantages over the other beginning trainers.”

    “I’m sure everything will work out quite alright, m’lady. I shall have this mess handled before your parents know. You should return to the party before you’re missed.” Joff motioned for some attendants to clean up Munch’s mess.

    “Thanks, Joff. I owe you!” Maya shot off at a brisk pace, but still taking the scenic route back to the party outside. She looked at Munch’s Pokeball in her hand as she walked around the side of the house. Unexpectedly, she came upon a small group of kids she had seen around the party that night. They were somewhat crowded in a circle, passing around a joint and a bottle of liquor.

    “Heeyy, birthday girl! Wanna join us,” One of the boys asked snidely as the girls chuckled at her.

    “No, thanks, I have to get back to the party.” She awkwardly retorted as she continued walking. One of the girls, a snarky blonde with cleavage practically hanging out of her dress, grabbed Maya by the arm.

    “Hey, you aren’t going to tattle, are you birthday girl,” The girl asked as she noticed the Pokeball in her hand. “Looking for a fight, or something?” Maya could smell the obnoxious mixture of marijuana and liquor on her breath, doing her best to ignore it.

    “I had to deal with something, not that it should matter to you. If you’ll excuse me, I have to go now.” Maya pulled her arm away from the girl and continued back to the party.

    “Whatever, freak.” Maya clenched Munch’s Pokeball and just kept walking.

    ~~~

    Maya returned to the party after putting Munch’s ball away and applying perfume to mask the scent of the pot from earlier. She stood next to her father on the stairway as he gave a speech, rambling through bad jokes that incited awkward laughter from the sprawling crowd of guests. Her father, Robert, was about six feet tall and a bit slim. He had greying brown hair and wore a tux and black rimmed glasses.

    “...But, really, folks, let’s get a little serious. When I was Maya’s age, I was just leaving my father’s Miltank farm to become a trainer. I had no guidance, no direction and back in those days, it was gruelling to be a new trainer out on your own. I struggled a lot in my first few months as a trainer, until I met Lillian.” Robert gestured towards Maya’s mother who was standing to her left. She looked a lot like Maya, slightly taller and more developed, but she didn’t look a day over thirty, despite being in her mid forties.

    “Meeting her, falling in love. It really made all of my previous suffering worth it. When Maya took her final exams just before the summer, it hit me. She would be alone. I couldn’t bear the thought of my daughter having to go through what I went through, so I made some calls, particularly over to my friend Augustus in the Unova region. His god son, the son of former Empyreal Islands champion Logan Ahlberg, is coming to Johto tomorrow and he has agreed to travel with my daughter through our wonderful region!”

    The crowd erupted with cheers and applause, as Maya looked on with a fake smile plastered over her face as she struggled to hide her anger and confusion.

    ~~~

    It was after midnight and the storm had finally passed. Lucas was leaning against the shack outside as he gazed into the clear night sky, smoking the last of the pot Casey had smuggled into the Cherish Ball she gave him. Inside, Avey and the nameless boy were asleep next to the smoldering ashes of what was left of the fire.

    After finishing his joint, Lucas went back into the shack and attempted to get some sleep. He laid awake for at least an hour, just staring at his Cherish Ball, before finally falling asleep.

    ~~~

    Entry #059

    I can’t believe him! He went behind my back and got some big shot to come all the way to Johto to be my bodyguard?! Jerk isn’t really a word I like to throw around, especially when I’m referring to Daddy, but, y’know, he is being a real ass!

    Oh, and Munch somehow got out while Daddy wasn’t shutting up and being dumb. He ate the cake...again! I am at the point now where I don’t even want to leave, but all I want to do is leave! I don’t know who cares, I’m tired, goodnight!

    ~ pissed and angry
    Wait, no that was silly, I can’t sign off like that.

    ~ Maya


    ~~~

    The next morning, Lucas woke up and the boy was gone, but so was his Cherish Ball. Lucas cleaned up the mess he made making the fire and then waited about an hour, just in case the boy returned. He never did, not while Lucas was there. Feeling somewhat betrayed, Lucas woke Avey and the two set off to the Pokemon Center.

    The roads were still pretty bad from the night before, most of the road having the viscosity comparable to that of a slushie. Lucas didn’t care, knowing he would have to shower and do laundry when he got back to the Pokemon Center. Avey on the other hand, found it much more difficult to wade through the muck and quickly opted into returning to his Pokeball.

    Lucas finally arrived at the Center, having kept his eyes out for the boy, but not having any sight of him. He knew Casey would be disappointed in him losing the ball; he also knew he couldn’t avoid telling her.

    “Lucas? Hey!” Natalie had answered the phone excitedly, not expecting a call from her brother for another day or two.

    “Hey, Nat. Is Casey around?”

    “Um, no, she went to the Gym with Auggie. Do you want me to tell her something for you?”

    “No, that’s fine, just let her know I’ll call when I get to New Bark.” Lucas was somewhat relieved, but only somewhat.

    “Okay, well I’m in the middle of making my lunch, so...” Natalie trailed off as Lucas quickly responded.

    “Oh, I need to find out what’s going on with my flight, we’ll talk in a few days, alright?”

    “Okay...be safe.”

    “Always am.” Lucas hung up and got his flight information that was left with the receptionist at the Center, then spent the rest of the day preparing for his flight. That evening, Lucas made his way to the Mistralton airport hoping he would see the boy from the night before, but he never did. However, the boy wasn’t far behind...

    ~~~

    Expect the next chapter within the next seven months :P two - three days.
    Last edited by fixthe_fernback; 14th August 2013 at 9:21 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Default I like to keep my appointments, son...

    As promised in my last post, here's chapter three. It may be a bit late, but it's worth it. This chapter is my longest yet, as a result, a lot is happening! Hopefully you'll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. So, like, if you like, you know, like, it just, like comment and subscribe! (or just ask to be on the vm/pm list)

    Chapter 3
    “I Remember”

    He awoke faced by the smoldering ashes left of the fire Lucas had built the night before. The young boy crept from the warmth of the borrowed sleeping bag as the cool chill of the early morning breeze swept gently through the dimly lit shack. Light swept through broken sections of dirtied windowed glass as the sun rose on the horizon. The boy lifted himself onto his feet and headed towards the door when something caught his eye.

    Resting in a small hole in the floorboards was a cherry colored ball with a gray horizontal stripe wrapping around the capsule. The boy felt compelled to hold it in his hands, examining it very briefly when he heard Lucas mumble, stirring in his sleep. The boy quickly shoved the ball into his pocket and swiftly, but quietly, left the shack.

    ~~~

    The early morning dew hadn't yet settled into the grass, the boy rejoiced as it soothed the pain from walking on the gravel in his bare, tattered feet. He trekked through the woods alone, searching for food or a companion. He'd take whichever came first. Growing slightly tired, the boy took a moment to rest in a small clearing. As he approached a small stump, he noticed his reflection in a puddle. He stopped and stared at himself with a look of sadness and longing.

    After a moment, he plopped down on the stump and removed Lucas' Cherish Ball from his pocket. He sat with his face propped in one hand and the ball in the other, just looking at it. He continued examining it and started trying to open it. He tried pulling it open, throwing it at a tree, then after a few more frustrating failed attempts, he pressed the button on the center of the capsule. It opened, but nothing happened. He fell to his knees, his eyes stinging, but no tears would flow.

    The boy stared blankly at the open capsule when he noticed a bush rustling in the distance. He quickly closed the ball and put it in back in his pocket, as a trio of brown rat-like creatures with large red eyes came marching from the forest. Suddenly, the boy forgot his pain as a smile spread across his face.

    “Pat!”

    “Paaatt”

    “Raaat!” The trio of Patrat sounded off one by one as they made their way to the boy.

    “...” The boy had never spoken a word in his life, and he didn't need them to express his happiness as he began playing with the Patrat.

    ~~~

    After hours of romping through the forest and games of tag and hide-and-seek, the Patrat darted back into the woods after saying their goodbyes and left the boy in the busying streets of Mistralton City.

    The familiar stares and murmurs of disgust from passersby taunted the boy as he walked silently down the sidewalk. Shop owners shooed him away, mothers motioned their kids away from him. It was obvious these people had not wanted this child around and the boy knew, yet he made this trip every day.

    He stood on an empty street in a familiar neighborhood. It was early in the evening and twilight was beginning to blanket the town. Before him was a beige two-story house. A lone tree sat in the front yard, a swing half hanging from its branch. There was a for sale sign in front of the white picket fence, and the boy looked on the house as he placed his hand on the mailbox that once read “Corey”.

    For a moment, he filled this lonely view with memories. The boy happily swinging as a small gray fox with large azure eyes and a tuft of soft red fur between its ears ran about the yard. A green four door pulls into the driveway. A father steps out of the car, and both boy and Pokemon rush to greet him and follow him inside.

    Now, this is just a shell of the place that was once his home. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the Cherish Ball. He gazed at it intently, realizing what he had to do, he took one last look at his former home and set out to find Lucas.

    ~~~

    Maya had just returned from her morning run. Her typical summer workout gear consisted of a plain white tank top, leaf green shorts with spandex underneath, and white running shoes with soles matching the green of her shorts. She padded her forehead damp from sweat with a moist towel as she walked down the hall towards her bedroom. Behind her was her glutton of a Munchlax, appropriately named Munch, slowly and exhaustively following her after being forced to join her on her run.

    “C’mon, Munch just a little more to go and I’ll give you the third breakfast I promised before.” Maya teased as Munch perked up and picked up his pace.

    ~~~

    After cooling down with a shower, Maya dressed in a white t-shirt, tan colored capris and a green jacket with an outline of a leaf that she embroidered herself and let her wavy brunette hair down hanging on her shoulders. As she walked into her bedroom, she noticed Munch napping peacefully on her bed, having already devoured the food she bribed him with.

    Maya walked to the oak wood desk on the other side of her room and untaped a key from the back of a photo frame containing a picture of her and her parents. She used the key to unlock the top right drawer of the desk and pulled out a medium sized book with a red leather cover. She sat at her desk and flipped through the pages of her diary. The pages were filled with her personal thoughts, stories, dreams, and doodles. She picked a green pen from a cup on her desk and turned to a fresh page. Just as she was about to write, she heard a knock on her door.

    She left her diary on her desk and walked over to answer the door. It was her mother, Lillian, wearing blue jeans and a pink shirt, and holding a shoe box in both hands.

    “Do you mind if I come in?” Maya’s mother smiled and asked very sweetly.

    “I guess not.” Maya wasn’t happy with her mother for keeping secrets from her, but she had never been able to tell her no. Maya plopped down onto her bed next to Munch, and her mother did the same.

    “Your father says you were giving him the cold shoulder this morning,” her mother stated. Maya simply sat and listened, not wanting to fight with her mother about her father. “I have something to show you; pictures.” Maya’s mother opened the shoe box she carried in and handed her a picture of two children playing in a sandbox, a girl that was undoubtedly Maya and a boy with light blonde hair who she only had a vague memory of. After looking at the photo for a moment, Maya spoke up.

    “Well, that’s me there, but who’s the boy playing with me?”

    “You really don’t remember? I know you were young, but you weren’t THAT young,” her mother said slightly surprised and continued, “The boy is Lucas Ahlberg. The two of you were inseparable.”

    Suddenly, Maya began to remember those pieces of her childhood she had forgotten as time had passed. “These pictures are from when we lived on the Empyreal Islands. You and Daddy were in the Elite Four there.”

    Maya’s mother fished through the box for another photo and handed it to Maya. It was a group of people, Maya had recognized her parents, as well as herself and Lucas. Lillian moved closer to Maya and began putting names to the faces Maya had forgotten.

    “That man there is Augustus Bellamy, Auggie. He was Logan’s number Four. Anyone who was skilled enough to beat him would go on to fight Three, a title your father and I shared.” Lillian pointed out another man in the photo, he had long dark hair and a very slim physique. “That’s Professor Yuuto Mori. He was number Two.” She pointed out another boy with similar looks kneeling next to Maya, “That’s his son, Dante. His mother, Bea, isn’t in this picture. She must have been on Cinnibar at the time.” Lillian paused for a moment as her longing nostalgia turned to sadness. Maya, not wanting to press her mother, quickly pointed out the other two people in the photo.

    “Those two there, are those Lucas’s parents?”

    Lillian quickly collected herself and pointed at the woman, she had caramel colored skin, long dark wavy hair and big, beautiful brown eyes. “That’s Janelle Belrose, Lucas’s mother, Logan’s wife and the Elite Four’s number One, and for good reason. She and Logan were the last two finalists in the Global League. Logan won, obviously, but Jan always claimed she lost purposefully. She said it would be easier to be the wife of a champion, rather than the champion herself.” Lillian smiled and pointed out Lucas’s father. He looked a lot like Lucas, except he had lighter skin and he was much more burly, being only a few inches shorter than Auggie. “That was the champion himself, Logan Ahlberg. He held the islands for five terms, only ever battling a challenger twice. Along with his father, Samson, he’s considered to be on the of the greatest Champions to have ever lived.”

    Maya had to take a moment to digest everything her mother had told her. For years, her parents had almost never talked about their time in Elite Four. It took her by surprise her mother had decided to share this with her now.

    “Mom...why are you telling me all of this now?” Maya asked hesitantly, being weary not to upset her mother.

    “These memories have always been painful for your father and I. Most of the people in that photo died or disappeared shortly after we left the islands. Jan was the first to go, dying from complications during her second birth. Her baby, Lucas’s sister, Natalie survived, thankfully. Shortly after that, Yuuto and his family were killed when the dormant volcano on Cinnibar Island erupted unexpectedly. Logan...Logan lost himself after that. He left his children with Augustus and came here, asking your father to go with him to Kanto, but he couldn’t leave you. That was the last time anyone ever saw him.”

    “I don’t understand, what does this have to do with me?” Maya wasn’t seeing the connection.

    Maya’s mother began to tear up as she answered, “Your father and I have done everything we could to protect you from the pain we felt. We’ve always kept you close, homeschooling you and giving you everything you ever needed right here at home. But, we also took something from you. You’ve never had the chance to find friends or fall in love. You’ve been alone ever since we came here to Johto.” Tears began flowing down her mother’s face as Maya watched in awe. “I’m so sorry, sweetheart. I’m so sorry.” Her mother sobbed.

    Maya took her mother in her arms as she searched for the words to comfort her. “Mama...I’ve never been alone. I’ve always had you and Daddy and even Joff, and now Munch. If it weren’t for all of you, there would be no meaning in my life.”

    Her mother looked up at Maya’s face, searching for any bit of sincerity in her words, and finally she said, “Maya...you’ve always been such a good daughter.” As mother and daughter held each other in a loving embrace, the sleeping lard on the bed begin to stir, enough to fall off the side of the bed. The two erupted in laughter as Munch bounced up in distress.

    There was a knock on the door and the butler, Joff, entered. “Madame, m’lady. Your guest has arrived. He’s taking a phone call in the foyer.” Joff spoke somewhat sardonically, almost with a biting, humorous irony.

    “Well, sweetie, are you ready to meet Lucas?” Lillian asked as she held her daughter’s hand.

    “I don’t know...what if he doesn’t remember me? What should I say?” Maya was still unsure of how she should feel. She had only remembered who Lucas was for about five minutes, but suddenly, she felt as if she knew him her entire life.

    “Just be yourself, dear. If he’s forgotten and Augustus hasn’t told him, it’s simply not your place to tell him. Don’t force anything, and something will happen naturally.”

    “Okay. Go ahead without me, I’ll give Munch a minute to wake up and we’ll be down.” Maya smiled and waited for her mother and Joff to leave the room before going back to her desk and picked up where she left off before.

    Entry #060

    I’ll have to come back to this when I’m not feeling so emotional. I will say one thing though; Mama was right about being too protective of me.

    ~ Maya


    ~~~

    Maya had made her way downstairs to the foyer, she stood at the foot of the stairs, waiting for Lucas, who was still on the phone, to notice her. Maya couldn’t help but notice how much Lucas looked like his mother, barring his father’s blonde hair, everything was there from the big brown eyes to the fair colored skin.

    “Look, can we talk later? You’re making me be rude to people.” Lucas talked himself off the phone and turned his attention to Maya, who was very patiently waiting to speak to him. “I’m really sorry about that. It was...angry girlfriend stuff, it doesn’t matter. Hi, I’m Lucas.” Lucas reached out to shake Maya’s hand, and in a nervous, excited reaction, she wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him.

    “I’m Maya. It’s really nice to finally meet you,” Maya responded while Lucas slowly reciprocated the hug.

    Maya’s parents stood watching as Lucas and Maya made small talk, introducing each other to their Pokemon. Avey and Munch took to each other well, and the soon-to-be trainers were excited to see Pokemon from other regions. After a few minutes, Maya’s father, Robert, chimed in.

    “It’s after noon, you two. If you want to reach Cherrygrove by nightfall you’ll have to leave now.”

    “Oh! Let me get my camera, I’ll take some pictures before you go!” Lillian rushed off to find her camera while Robert made sure the kids had everything they needed.

    “You’ve got your flashlight?”

    “Yep.”

    “Food rations?”

    “Uh-huh.”

    “Extra clothes?”

    “Of course!”

    “Bank cards?”

    “Oh...umm...yeah, I have those.”

    “Lucas, you’re trained in first-aid right?”

    “Yeah, I know the basic stuff.”

    “Good, good. Where is she with that damn camera?” Robert walked to the stairs and shouted for Lillian, “Honey, did you find the camera?”

    “No, it’s up here somewhere, I just know it!”

    “Sweetheart, the kids gotta get going, it’s not their damn prom you don’t have to take pictures!”

    “Not the pro-- Nanna asked for pictures, I promised Nanna pictures, Nanna’s gonna get some pictures!”

    Maya buried her head in her hands slightly ashamed while Lucas tried his best to contain his laughter. Joff walked in from the kitchen holding something in hand.

    “I’ve found the camera, Master Rob.” He held the camera out for Robert, who took it and called Lillian back down to the foyer. Joff walked towards Maya, grabbed her hand and kissed it. “I have work to attend to in the east wing, thus I’m afraid I must say my goodbyes before you’re riveting photo-op,” Joff quipped somewhat sarcastically, before becoming much more sincere, “I wish you the best of luck on your journey, m’lady. Live everyday to its fullest.” Maya hugged Joff and said her goodbyes. Just before leaving, he turned to Lucas, “Please take care of m’lady in my place.”

    “Of course. I’ll do my best.” Joff bowed and Lucas felt compelled to bow back, despite never bowing to anyone in his life before. Lillian finally came down the stairs and began taking pictures of the kids and their Pokemon. After half an hour and a few dozen photos later, Maya said goodbye to her parents and she departed for the New Bark Town Pokemon lab with Lucas.

    ~~~

    Around two o’clock, the duo arrived at the Pokemon lab where they would officially register as trainers in Johto and receive their Pokedexes. The outside of the lab showed it’s age, having been built nearly sixty years ago. On the interior, everything was modern and completely up to date. It was a plain white expanse with a few attendants working on strange machines and a receptionist in the back.

    Maya walked with Lucas to the reception desk and inquired about registration. “Hi, we’re here to register as trainers.” The receptionist said nothing, instead she pulled out two forms and slapped them onto the desk.

    “I assume you’ve both already got your starter Pokemon.” Both trainers nodded and the receptionist continued, “Filling out these forms will allow you to participate in Gym battles, any local or regional tournaments, beauty contests, and the Johto Silver Conference. You can fill ‘em out here, or sit in those chairs, or whatever.”

    Lucas scanned the form and something caught his eye, “Excuse me, what exactly is the difference between a ‘Trainer Name’ and a ‘Birth Name’?”

    The receptionist looked up, sighed and answered very reluctantly, “Your birth name is a private record kept simply for legal matters and official what-have-yous by the Johto Trainer’s Association. You can use your birth name as your trainer name, obviously, but it’s also a system used to let young trainers such as yourself to make a name for themselves.”

    “Oh, okay, thanks.” Lucas was excited at the notion of being able to avoid any kind of confrontation over his last name, something that irritated him since he began school. Naturally, he decided to use a different last name.

    Maya had already begun filling out her registration form when she heard someone call her name.

    “Maya Day! It’s good to see you back! Are you here for registration?” It was a man who looked to be in his mid-twenties with scraggly dirty blonde hair, and glasses that gleamed from the bright overhead lights, making it difficult to see his eyes.

    “Professor Reid! It’s good to see you again!” Maya looked up at the Professor excitedly and walked over to talk to him. The height difference was pretty obvious here, the professor standing at least half a foot taller than Maya.

    “How’s that Munchlax of yours doing?”

    “Oh, you know, he just eats. A lot.” She answered about as honestly as she could.

    “Well, I’m glad it’s your food and not mine!” The professor laughed, “I swear that Munchlax could go through a month’s supply of food in just a few hours. Actually, I know, because he did once.”

    “I wouldn’t put it past him. I hope he’ll have the same appetite for battle.” Maya responded, revealing her inexperience.

    “You’ll find out soon enough.” The professor noticed Lucas turning in his form and walked up to greet him. “Lucas Ahlberg?! Wow, this is a huge surprise!”

    Lucas was surprised to have been recognized by a total stranger, “Umm, exactly how do you know me?”

    “Are you kidding? Any Pokemon historian would recognize the only son of Logan Ahlberg and Janelle Belrose. There’s been a lot of talk about you amongst my other historian friends. We were curious to see where a trainer of your caliber would go, frankly, I’m shocked and humbled you’re beginning your career as a trainer here in Johto!”

    “Oh, well, Maya’s parents are old family friends, I’m mostly here as a favor. I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be staying yet.” Maya had heard Lucas and was slightly upset by his clear lack of memory concerning their childhood.

    “Of course!” The professor bopped himself on the head as had a moment of realization that he seemed ashamed by. “How did I not see it? Your parents were in the Elite Four together, it’s only natural the two of you would travel together!” The professor directed his attention to the receptionist, “Mary, you go ahead and take a break, I’ll take care of these two.”

    “Bless you, professor, you’re a saint,” Mary the receptionist said very dryly as she grabbed a pack of cigarettes from her coat pocket and walked out the back door of the lab.

    “If the two of you would follow me, we’ll get your pictures taken and print out your trainer cards.” Reid motioned for Maya and Lucas to follow him while they loathed over the idea of taking another picture.

    ~~~

    Once the process was complete, Professor Reid handed the duo their ID cards. He also gave them each a Pokedex and a handful of Pokeballs. There was a peculiarity with Lucas's ID card that Reid that piqued his interest.

    “Lucas, I noticed you’re using your mother’s last name. May I ask why?”

    “Your mother’s last name?” Maya was equally intrigued, especially after the lecture Reid had given on the Ahlberg family while making their ID cards.

    “Honestly, I’m just trying to stay under the radar. Belrose doesn’t really ring out the way Ahlberg does. Plus, I get a lot of special treatment from people just for my last name, it’s a little agitating,” Lucas answered and then talked to Reid specifically, “In fact, I would really appreciate if you didn’t mention to your...historian friends...that you ever saw me.”

    “I could do that, under the condition you promise to give me an exclusive interview once you become the Global League Champion,” the Professor replied with a sly, begging tone in his voice.

    “Yeah, sure, we’ll do that.” Lucas smiled as he and Maya said goodbye and left the Pokemon lab.

    “Are you really going to give him that interview?”

    “No way, I don’t want to be the champion.” Lucas replied somewhat crudely.

    Maya was a bit disheartened by Lucas’s lack of ambition, and as she started following him towards Route 29, she heard an annoyingly familiar voice.

    “Hey, you! Maya Day, it’s me, Kevin!” He was a few yards away and Maya had barely heard him. Lucas, who was already a few feet ahead of Maya, had walked back while Kevin ran as fast as he could towards them, his oily black hair flapping around in the wind, occasionally smacking him in the face.

    “You know this guy?” Lucas asked, slightly humored.

    “Ugh, yes, he was at my birthday party the other night.”

    “It was your birthday?” Lucas asked while Kevin continued running towards them.

    “Huh? Oh, yeah, it was last Friday.”

    “Happy birthday!”

    “Oh, thanks.” Maya smiled

    Kevin had finally caught up to them, panting worse than Munch after his morning run and spots of sweat covering his white dress shirt. “Maya Day...I challenge you to a Pokemon battle,” He shouted, barely able to breathe.

    “What? No way!”

    “What do you mean? You can’t say no, I was waiting in those bushes for you all day, I had binoculars and everything!”

    “You were stalking me?!”

    “No! I was just...waiting.” Kevin realized he was, in fact, stalking her.

    “Yeah, dude, that’s basically what stalking is.” Lucas replied.

    “What the hell do you know...you...you...random!” Kevin stumbled over his words as he searched his innermost self for a better insult.

    Lucas and pulled Maya to the side and tried convincing her to battle him.
    “What? There is no way I’m battling that guy.”

    “Have you ever been in a battle before, Maya?”

    “Well...No.”

    “So, this is the perfect chance for you and Munch to get your feet wet. I mean, seriously, look at this guy, do you really think it’ll be that hard for your to beat him?”

    “You know I can hear you, right?” Kevin chimed in as he listened in on their conversation.

    Maya finally gave in. “Fine,” she sighed and gave her attention to Kevin, “I’ll battle you. Lucas, can you judge the match?”

    “Gladly.”

    Moments later, the trainers had taken their stances and their Pokemon were ready for battle. Maya was on Lucas’s left with Munch at her side, irritable from missing his fourth lunch and itching from a rash so vicious, the most softboiled egg of a Chansey couldn’t heal it. On Lucas’s right, Kevin and his Marill, a round blue mouse with a ball for a tail and a white tummy stood ready to battle.

    “The following contest is a one-on-one bout!” Lucas was ready to start the battle when Kevin interrupted.

    “Hey, hey! Say that if I win, I get to travel with Maya and protect her on her journey!”

    “What,” Maya shouted from across the field. “That wasn’t a part of the deal!”

    “Well the ref said it was, so now it is!”

    “I never said that,” Lucas shouted at Kevin. “You did!”

    “Well, the battle doesn’t start until Maya agrees to my terms.”

    Maya thought for a moment and finally shouted back, “Fine, but if I win, you can’t ever talk to me or look at me or be within 500 hundred feet of me ever again!”

    “Well...that’s...that’s just mean!” Kevin retorted.

    “So what, you’re creepy and obnoxious!”

    For a moment, and only a moment, an awkward silence crept across the battlefield.

    “GYUUU---Quick, Maya, use bubblebeam!”

    “Sneak attack! The battle begins,” Lucas shouted as he waved both flags in his hands.

    “What?! You named your Marill after me?!”

    Meanwhile, Munch had barely managed to dodge Maya’s -- err, the Marill’s not the human’s -- bubblebeam.

    “Try a rollout, Maya!”

    The Marill quickly responded to it’s trainer’s command, jumping a foot into the air as it curled itself into a ball and began rolling towards Munch at dangerously fast speeds. Munch stepped out of the way and Maya rounded back around even faster.

    “Munch, brace yourself and Tackle Maya head-on!”

    Munch was surprised by Maya’s bold command, as well as Maya’s perseverance in it’s rollout attack. Nonetheless, Munch stood firm in his place, tackling Maya just as it’s Rollout connected. Both Pokemon staggered back, but Maya clearly took the bigger hit.

    Avey stood on the sidelines cheering for his new friend as he charged at Maya for another tackle...and another...and another.

    “Maya, doesn’t Munch know any other attacks?” Lucas asked.

    “N-no, I mean, I don’t know! I guess not.” Maya was slightly embarrassed.

    “Maya, double-slap that Munch!”

    Maya pulled back its right hand as it dodged another Tackle, bringing the front of its hand directly into Munch’s face. Silence fell across the battlefield as spectators and trainers alike awaited Munch’s reaction. Shocked at first, Munch bucked up and stood his ground as Maya continued its assault on the glutton. Hit after hit, Munch took it like it was nothing to him, until finally, he began acting strange. Munch’s body began to balloon up, and the Big Eater Pokemon started to panic.

    “Maya, keep slapping that thing until it pops!”

    “What the hell is happening? Did it use its Metronome or something?!” Lucas had never seen anything like this before, especially not from a Munchlax.

    Maya continued slapping the rotund Munch around as his body expanded beyond its own limits and finally, it let loose all of the angst it was building up in the form of a massive, gaseous explosion. When the dust had settled, both Munch and Maya were down and unresponsive. Lucas was ready to call a draw when Munch lifted his thumb in the air, signaling he could continue.

    “Kevin’s Marill is unable to battle. Maya and her Munchlax are the victors! By the agreement made before the match, Kevin can no longer be anywhere within 500 feet of Maya!” Lucas looked towards Kevin. “I suggest you run.”

    “GYUU--You guys are so mean! Mark my words, I’ll have my revenge!” Kevin quickly returned Maya to her Pokeball and took off towards New Bark Town.

    Lucas and Maya the human walked towards the center of the field where Avey was attempting to help Munch onto his feet.

    “To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t think Munch actually could have continued that battle.”

    “So, why’d you call our victory?”

    “Call it a late birthday present.”

    Maya smiled and returned Munch to his Pokeball and the duo began their journey towards Cherrygrove City en Route 29.

    ~~~

    Later that night, Lucas and Maya had set up camp off the road a few miles out of Cherrygrove. They were sitting at a fire with Avey and Munch curled up together a few feet away.

    “So...you mentioned angry girlfriend problems back at the house...” Maya was fishing for things to know about Lucas all night, specifically, she was curious if he had remembered anything from their childhood together, but couldn’t bring herself to ask him directly. “What’s her name?”

    “Casey,” Lucas said while staring into the fire. “I lost something important that she gave to me. Well, it was stolen, but I should have been more careful with it.”

    “Is she a trainer too?”

    “Yeah, she had just gotten back from Sinnoh before I came here.”

    “Wow, so you guys really haven’t seen much of each other for a while, have you?”

    “No, I guess not. It’s okay though. It makes the time we have had together much more meaningful, y’know?” Maya had a feeling Lucas was talking about more than his relationship with his girlfriend, so she continued pressing him.

    “Why didn’t she come with you to Johto?”

    “She and I considered it, but she decided it would be best for me to go alone. Plus, my little sister really looks up to Casey. We figured Nat needs her more than I do. After all, Auggie can’t be everything for Nat.”

    “Who’s Auggie?” Maya was partially playing dumb, though she had somewhat forgotten Augustus went by that name.

    Lucas looked a bit disappointed as he stared through the fire at Maya. “You really don’t remember anything from then, do you?”

    “What are you talking about?” Maya’s heart began beating faster as she realized what Lucas was talking about.

    “From when we were kids. On the island?”

    “No, I remember. I just...I didn’t think you did.” Maya smiled shyly as she avoided Lucas’s gaze, staring quietly at the ground.

    Lucas smiled. “I remember.”

    ~~~

    The story will continue sometime in the next week or so. If you liked the read, let me know in the comments. If you hated, I beg of you, please let me know why so I can improve upon my writing!
    Last edited by fixthe_fernback; 4th August 2013 at 7:41 PM. Reason: edits, doe
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  8. #8
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    Lucas was hesitant to shine the light on whatever it was, as he expected it attack him, instead he only saw fear in the large blue eyes of a scared young boy.
    Just forgot 'to' after the it and before attack. I expected a Pokemon as well. Humans are a nice surprise too.

    “Not the pro-- Nanna asked for pictures, I promised Nanna pictures, Nanna’s gonna get some pictures!”
    My favorite part hands down.

    For some reason I was kind of rooting for Kevin in that battle so we could have more awkward situations later on in the story. Guess not. A nice two chapters to start the story off with. Hardly any mistakes were made. Even if the second chapter didn't have much happen, it felt very effective to me. I dunno why. Maya is a nice addition to the cast and I can't wait to see more of her. It seems to me like she's jealous of Casey already. Bow chicka wow wow! Keep it up. Until next time.
    Credit goes to MagicMochi. Check out their shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder
    While it is very reminiscent of a lot of journey trainer fics, it held my attention. It stands out among a lot of the other fics I've read lately and I'm excited to continue the story.

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    Mistake corrected! Thanks for reading, SL!

    It's just how I imagined a mother would act in that situation. It came very naturally, and it's one of my favorite parts as well.

    I actually intended for Kevin to win, originally, but Lucas and Maya have other plans. This isn't the last we'll see of Kevin though...
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    Here for the review game, and my review will deal with Chapter 1

    a young woman straightened her red-skirt and white polo as she walked steadily to the center of the stage. Before she addressed the audience she brushed her short black hair out of her eyes and a look of confidence appeared in her light-blue eyes,
    This portion stood out to me because of the colors you used. The ones I bolded are pretty basic and easily distinguishable colors. Don't be afraid to flex your color muscles and throw one's out there that make the reader envision something a bit more powerful. Like scarlet instead of red, or sapphire instead of blue. We make associations with our approximations of different colors automatically with simple colors like that, and by using ones that are bit more abnormal and slightly more powerful, it can create a better picture

    It looked towards the door as it sniffed a large drop of snot up its tiny black nose
    I liked how you added description of the Pokemon by using a physical action. Nicely done

    You didn’t really stand a chance going up against that Darkrai.
    Yeah probably not lol. I like the next passage as well where he describes how screwed he was afterwards. I'm glad this isn't one of those fics where a Cubchoo can take down a legendary as I've had my fill of stuff like that

    “I needed it to make that damn speech. I’m out on my anxiety prescription so I brought some fine-grade Sinnoh Mary J
    OMG if I knew you IRL I would bro-hug you. I may have forgotten one or two times when drug use has been mentioned in other fics, but I know it has been as blatant as you put it here. Drug use, recreational or not is a huge part of our culture and one that shouldn't be ignored, especially when it comes to youth. I'm excited to see where you take thi as a lot of people are afraid to toe the drug line when it comes to a subject like Pokemon and I'm glad that you have the courage. Awesome

    and sniffed a glob of sticky snot up his nose as he inhaled and let loose a powdery gust of wind
    I feel like that may have been a missed opportunity for some added description there. When you're in a battle, especially one as fast paced as this one, take the time to choose your words carefully to emphasize the seriousness of an attack. Not only that but you have many chances to describe what the attacks do to the environment as well. Like when the battle started, did the Ember attack just vanish into this air when Cubchoo dodged, or did it keep going and light the stands on fire or leave a scorch mark in the earth? You dig?

    “Finish him off with a Brine attack!” Lucas issued his final order as Avey began collecting the moisture in the air. The water formed into a ball a tad smaller than Avey’s head, and once he collected all he could, he launched a series of sharp needle-like bullets at Tepig.
    When it was clear it was finished, the referee stepped forward and held up the green flag in his left hand.
    Formatting issue there

    Back in the boxcar, Lucas was watching out the window as the train passed by Mistralton City. He watched as herds of Bouffalant grazed in the nearby fields, and as he sat and thought, he thought of what he said to Casey and began to feel like an *******.

    “Man. I really can be an *******, sometimes.” he thought to himself as the train continued towards Opelucid.
    Since you rated your fic PG-15, I don't see why you let them be censored. You know you can cover that by italicizing the first letter, right? If you're uncomfortable with swear words I can understand, but because of your rating I was a little disappointed when I saw them asterisked out. Curse words can add a lot of gravity to a situation and really get profound points across. Keep that in mind

    All in all it was a great chapter. Despite the battle it had a really relaxed feel to it, almost like you were trying to gently coax people into the story instead of doing something really in your face, and I enjoyed it. Calming. Usually I would comment more on the characters but the interaction I had with them wasn't particularly strong and I feel like I would need more time with them to have a firm opinion. Though I can say that you've set them up relatively nicely and you have a lot of room to grow them. So, besides the things I commented on I have no real complaints and I think it was a nice read

    An Ancient Treasure, a Terrible Price. Take the Risk, Eat the World
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Here for the review game, and my review will deal with Chapter 1



    This portion stood out to me because of the colors you used. The ones I bolded are pretty basic and easily distinguishable colors. Don't be afraid to flex your color muscles and throw one's out there that make the reader envision something a bit more powerful. Like scarlet instead of red, or sapphire instead of blue. We make associations with our approximations of different colors automatically with simple colors like that, and by using ones that are bit more abnormal and slightly more powerful, it can create a better picture
    Description has never really been my strong suit, but I'm slowly improving. I'll definitely work on showing more attention to detail in future chapters.



    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder
    I liked how you added description of the Pokemon by using a physical action. Nicely done
    Well, shucks. I try!



    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder
    Yeah probably not lol. I like the next passage as well where he describes how screwed he was afterwards. I'm glad this isn't one of those fics where a Cubchoo can take down a legendary as I've had my fill of stuff like that
    If anything this shows I might need to work on the flow of my dialogue. They were discussing Casey competing in the Sinnoh League, not Lucas. Reading it again, I can see where someone could get confused. The message still got across though, so it's all good.



    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder
    OMG if I knew you IRL I would bro-hug you. I may have forgotten one or two times when drug use has been mentioned in other fics, but I know it has been as blatant as you put it here. Drug use, recreational or not is a huge part of our culture and one that shouldn't be ignored, especially when it comes to youth. I'm excited to see where you take thi as a lot of people are afraid to toe the drug line when it comes to a subject like Pokemon and I'm glad that you have the courage. Awesome
    I agree, drugs, and youth culture as a whole, are topics I plan on exploring more in-depth throughout the series. I don't have any kind of message I'm trying to communicate, I just feel like it'll strengthen the story in the long run, and like you said, it's something that isn't really ever used with Pokemon and I felt like it was about time someone did it proper. So far, I feel like I'm doing a pretty good job in that respect.



    I feel like that may have been a missed opportunity for some added description there. When you're in a battle, especially one as fast paced as this one, take the time to choose your words carefully to emphasize the seriousness of an attack. Not only that but you have many chances to describe what the attacks do to the environment as well. Like when the battle started, did the Ember attack just vanish into this air when Cubchoo dodged, or did it keep going and light the stands on fire or leave a scorch mark in the earth? You dig?
    I'll definitely take note of this when writing future battles.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder
    Formatting issue there
    Corrected!


    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder
    Since you rated your fic PG-15, I don't see why you let them be censored. You know you can cover that by italicizing the first letter, right? If you're uncomfortable with swear words I can understand, but because of your rating I was a little disappointed when I saw them asterisked out. Curse words can add a lot of gravity to a situation and really get profound points across. Keep that in mind
    I actually didn't know you can do that, and I'm glad you've told me because the censor has always bothered me. It's all fixed now, though! Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder
    All in all it was a great chapter. Despite the battle it had a really relaxed feel to it, almost like you were trying to gently coax people into the story instead of doing something really in your face, and I enjoyed it. Calming. Usually I would comment more on the characters but the interaction I had with them wasn't particularly strong and I feel like I would need more time with them to have a firm opinion. Though I can say that you've set them up relatively nicely and you have a lot of room to grow them. So, besides the things I commented on I have no real complaints and I think it was a nice read
    I'm glad you enjoyed it! Character progression is another part of writing that I'm not particularly great with, but I'm getting better with it as the story moves on. I feel like I know these characters really well, and I've been very meticulous up to this point in making sure they don't become extensions of myself.
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    "Maya Day." I see what you did there. Oh, and always remember, Munchlax are over 200 pounds. So no princess is going to be able to lift one up like a puppy.

    Munch's final move in the battle confused me. Was it an Explosion or Bide? Well, same result, I guess. Bend the rules, teach it Trick Room, and have Maya laugh maniacally as it decimates everything in its path.

    Having everyone (important) be children of the best of the best of the best strikes me a little of Mary Sueism, but if written well, that won't be a problem. It's just that, to many people, characters being the son/daughter of the Champion (especially the Champion of Champions) often leads to bad stories.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the drug use in the story. It's not a major thing and it's not like you're writing a huge, story-distracting rant about drug use (do not do; this is a Pokemon story, first and foremost. We're not here for a political debate).

    It seems you're worried about character progression. Don't try to force too much too quickly. Don't infodump when you can instead show progression through actions over a period of time. If Miss Princess wants to experience the world as the (filthy) commoners do, show her amazement at how they get by on so little rather than have her proclaim "I just want to see the world just like everybody else does because I had a sheltered life and I somewhat resent that and I'm probably acting out a little bit of late teenage rebellion against my parents by doing so and I'll probably never explain how such a mindset manifested in my head to begin with!" every other paragraph (please don't ever do this).

    So, umm...that's all from me. Great start, and I'm so sorry about my own hiatus.

    Credit for picture: "Emma" (littlebuster-k2); Credit for signature: 9dragonsbreed
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    Oh yes, and you should read my story Happenings Between Goals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Teller
    Munch's final move in the battle confused me. Was it an Explosion or Bide? Well, same result, I guess. Bend the rules, teach it Trick Room, and have Maya laugh maniacally as it decimates everything in its path.
    It was Self-Destruct, a move that was unique to Munchlax caught on the Pokewalker. It'll be addressed further in the next chapter, including how it's somewhat different from the Self-Destruct used in the main series canon.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Teller
    Having everyone (important) be children of the best of the best of the best strikes me a little of Mary Sueism, but if written well, that won't be a problem. It's just that, to many people, characters being the son/daughter of the Champion (especially the Champion of Champions) often leads to bad stories.
    Your concerns of Mary Sueism are well-founded. It felt necessary at the time I conceived the series in order to have the characters have a past with one another, but I recently realized there were at least a few other routes I could have taken and still gotten the same result.

    Rather than beat myself up for it, or let the story suffer for it, I'm confronting the cliche head on, and that's what a lot of this series will be about for me. Confronting cliches and manipulating them in a way that makes them more tolerable, and hopefully, refreshing.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Teller
    I'm not particularly concerned about the drug use in the story. It's not a major thing and it's not like you're writing a huge, story-distracting rant about drug use (do not do; this is a Pokemon story, first and foremost. We're not here for a political debate).
    Fear not, there'll be nothing political or in-your-face about my approach to drug use. I'm approaching it from a neutral standpoint so as to show all view points concerning teens and drug use, whether it be recreational or abusive.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Teller
    It seems you're worried about character progression. Don't try to force too much too quickly. Don't infodump when you can instead show progression through actions over a period of time. If Miss Princess wants to experience the world as the (filthy) commoners do, show her amazement at how they get by on so little rather than have her proclaim "I just want to see the world just like everybody else does because I had a sheltered life and I somewhat resent that and I'm probably acting out a little bit of late teenage rebellion against my parents by doing so and I'll probably never explain how such a mindset manifested in my head to begin with!" every other paragraph (please don't ever do this).
    I knew from the start I wasn't going to reveal too much about the characters right out of the gate. At this point, Lucas and Co. are all sort of blank slates. We don't know much about them, but I feel like I've presented them well enough at this point that my audience, and especially myself, are willing and wanting to learn more about them.

    The next chapter will give us more on the flaws of Lucas and Maya, and we'll also get to see how their different upbringings/lifestyles/ideals will affect their relationship. The excitement of meeting a childhood friend after years of being apart can fade pretty quickly, especially once you realize how different that person has become. That's the dynamic we'll be exploring in the next few chapters of Central.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Teller
    So, umm...that's all from me. Great start, and I'm so sorry about my own hiatus.
    Thanks for leaving some feedback, Teller. It was good hearing from you, and I'm still holding out hopes we'll get some more Happenings Between Goals soon.
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    Default If it takes time, it's never late...

    So, I was working on this pretty sparingly this past week up until about two or three days ago when I went on a writing kick and really got into the process of deciding where this series was going to go. Honestly, this isn't the direction I expected the story to take, at least not so soon, but I'm glad things turned out the way they did.

    Stay tuned after the read for more spoiler-free info on what my overall plans for the Centralverse are!

    Chapter 4
    “Good Intentions”

    The sun was glaring through the roof of the forest. The only audible sounds were splashing in a nearby stream and the gleeful cheers of a group of small, round pink Pokemon. They drifted through the air as the dandelion-like leaves on their head rustled in the wind; their dark beady eyes sparkling as they spun in the air.

    A chilling powdery snow broke over the breeze, bringing one of the Pokemon to the ground. It landed softly in a patch of grass as it shivered, sneezing slightly as it came to a stop. It was in a stupor as a red and white capsule came careening directly into its face.

    The ball opened, shooting a beam at the Pokemon, diminishing it into a red light that spiraled into the ball as it closed shut. A red light was blinking on the center button as the ball shook once, then twice, then a third time. It came to a stop. Maya’s first catch was a success.

    Maya kneeled down as she picked the ball off of the ground and pulled the Pokedex given to her the day before by Professor Reid from her back pants pocket. She opened the red sliding cover and a red sphere appeared on the screen as the machine booted up.

    “Hello, Maya. I am Debra, the Pokemon Index Artificial Intelligence unique to this system. I was created specifically for your needs and desires.” The monotonic computer programmed voice echoed through the air, scaring a flock of Pidgey from a nearby tree. “My sensors indicate you have captured a new Pokemon. Would you like me to share my knowledge of its species with you?”

    Maya was taken aback by the complexity of the system’s technology, but agreed to hear about her new Pokemon.

    ---
    Pokedex Entry: #187
    Hoppip, the Cottonweed Pokemon. Its body is so light, it must grip the ground firmly with its feet to keep from being blown away.

    It has notable attacks such as Synthesis, Splash, and Tackle.
    ---

    Maya thanked Debra and closed the cover over her Pokedex, slipping it back into her pocket. She then turned her attention to Avey who had assisted her in weakening Hoppip. “Thanks for helping me out, Avey.” The tiny cub smiled and nodded in response. “Munch still isn’t feeling well after our battle yesterday. I guess I’ll just have to let him rest until we get to Cherrygrove.” Avey patted Maya on the leg in a subtle act of compassion and reassurance and the two made their way back to the campsite where Lucas was cleaning up.

    “Wow, it looks like we never camped here at all!” Maya was surprised by Lucas’s efficiency in tidying up.

    “Yeah, well, my sister is a total clean freak. I guess it’s just kind of rubbed off on me over the years.” Lucas shrugged and changed the conversation. “So, did you guys manage to catch anything?”

    “Why don’t you see for yourself?” Maya unclipped a shrunk Pokeball from her belt and tossed it into the air as it enlarged and popped open. A flash of white light burst onto the ground and began to take the form of the Pokemon from before.

    “Hoppip!” The Pokemon smiled as it hovered to its new trainer.

    “A Hoppip, huh? I remember seeing a few of these guys at the Academy,” Lucas said, sounding slightly unimpressed. “Have you thought of a name for it?”

    “I was thinking...maybe, Zephrya?” She looked to the Hoppip who cheered in approval, gleefully nestling her new friend’s face. “Hey, you know, you should catch something, Lucas.” Zephrya began floating into the air as a small breeze passed, she clung to Maya’s head and let out an exasperated cry. Maya gently patted her as she looked to Lucas for a response.

    “Maybe once we get passed Violet City. I’m not exactly planning on losing any sleep to catch a Pidgey.”

    “Well, what’s wrong with catching a Pidgey?”

    “They aren’t exactly the rarest or most powerful Pokemon, Maya, especially for a Flying type. They’re a dime a dozen and Avey and I just aren’t interested in having something like that on our team.” Avey looked at Maya who was clearly offended by Lucas’s stance.

    “Rare or powerful? A Pokemon’s a Pokemon, it shouldn’t matter how rare or powerful it is! That’s such a shallow way to be, even for the son of a legend.” The two long-lost friends found themselves in the heat of their first real argument, barely a day into their journey together. Zephyra, upset by the yelling, drifted down onto Avey’s head in search of more comfort.

    “You, of all people, are going to make some snide remark about who my father was? I’m sorry, but you’re not exactly the daughter of some poor fisherman, Maya, your father is the world’s most famous Pokemon Breeder and a multimillionaire. You aren’t entitled to shove your ideals down other people’s throats just because you’re some rich kid who had an easy upbringing!”

    “Easy upbringing?! You have no idea what I had to go through growing up!”

    “Go through? What, was it too nice and clean for you in your giant mansion?” Lucas had calmed down considerably, but his tone was becoming increasingly aggressive. “One butler waiting on you hand and foot wasn’t enough for you?”

    “No, I mean, that’s not how I meant it...it was big, empty and lonely,” Maya answered somberly, feeling somewhat dejected and nervously pinching her arm. “That’s how it felt anyways.”

    “Whatever. Everything’s packed and I wanna get to Cherrygrove by noon.” Lucas knew he had spoken out of term, but wouldn’t admit it. He picked up Maya’s bag and handed it to her somewhat aggressively. “We’re leaving.”

    ~~~

    It was an hour before noon and Cherrygrove was only a mile ahead, the small town perfectly visible from the hills outside of the city. Maya was following a few feet behind Lucas, the duo divided by Avey and Zephyra who had become quick friends on their morning trek. Maya still was visibly upset and Lucas had no intention of apologizing, despite knowing he should.

    With only a half hour until they reached town, it would be a bit trivial for the duo to take a breather, but something caught Lucas’s eye that stopped him dead in his tracks. Maya, her head hanging low and not paying any particular attention to where she was walking, bumped into Lucas.

    “Oof -- Why’d you stop?”

    “Did you see that,” Lucas asked, shouting excitedly.
    “I see the Cherrygrove Pokemon Center, exactly the place you said you wanted to be by noon. It’s ten ‘till, we should keep going.”

    “You can go ahead if you want, but I’m going to catch that Pidgey.”

    Hearing those words, the despondent Maya felt a somewhat confused rage rising within her.

    “A WHAT?! After all of that stuff you said earlier, you’re all...giddy about catching a Pidgey?!”

    Lucas turned to her, and very calmly and seriously said, “Maya; this Pidgey had golden feathers. Golden feathers.”

    “You can’t be serious?” Maya was dumbfounded by Lucas and decided it was best just to walk away from him. “Fine! Have fun chasing the birds. I’m checking into the Pokemon Center. Let’s go Zephyra.” The cottonweed Pokemon drifted on to Maya’s head, holding on carefully but with a tight grip as they walked the last short stretch to Cherrygrove. Lucas and Avey, meanwhile, had run into the woods where Lucas had seen the golden Pidgey fly to.

    ~~~

    “Any idea what’s wrong with him?”

    Maya had waited nearly an hour, Munch lying on the cold steel of the table, groaning as the doctor, an average, middle-aged man, pressed his stethoscope against the Pokemon’s bloated stomach.

    “Hmm.” The doctor said nothing, instead, he flipped through some sheets on a clipboard. Grabbing the black ink pen from his pocket; the doctor scribbled something onto a slip of paper and handed it to Maya.

    “We’re going to need to keep him overnight to treat him for those stomach pains,” the doctor said, then called out into the hall for a nurse to bring a gurney.

    “Keep him overnight?” Maya was genuinely concerned for Munch’s health, but also to how Lucas would react to this news. She looked at the slip the doctor gave her; it was a subscription for some kind of medicinal Pokemon food. “Pokemon food? Why does Munch need this? I thought he was just being a drama queen because of our battle yesterday.”

    “No, your Munchlax’s pains are very real. The incident you wrote in the paperwork; that was a Selfdestruct attack.” One of the nurses opened the door to the examination room and wheeled the gurney next to the table Munch was lying on. “Munch, here, is too inexperienced to perform the attack properly. We won’t know exactly what the problem is until we do some tests, but, if it’s what I think it is, Munch should be back to one hundred percent health tomorrow morning.”

    The nurse tried rolling Munch on to the gurney, but his weight and noncompliance to move made it very near impossible. Munch swatted at the nurse, and rolled onto the gurney, the suspension barely holding the weight of his body. The nurse struggled to get the gurney started out of the room, but nonetheless, she was successful.

    Maya was slightly embarrassed by the whole ordeal, feeling somewhat responsible for Munch’s behavior. The doctor gave her instructions on where to to get the subscription filled and where she could find Munch afterwards. Maya was so flustered and caught up in her thoughts that she had forgotten to ask the doctor to clarify why Munch needed the special Pokemon food.

    ~~~

    It was still early morning in Unova, the sun hadn’t yet come out and the sweet smells and sounds of the night still lingered outside. Casey had been awake for nearly an hour; she had just finished preparing for her first day working at the Opelucid Gym. She was in the kitchen searching for food to pack for her lunch when she opened the fridge and discovered a bento box with a note attached.

    Casey,

    Today’s a big day; your first day working for Auggie at the Opelucid Gym!
    You mentioned you acquired a taste for the oriental cuisine they have in Sinnoh,
    so I did some research and spent the night making this for you.
    Don’t heat it for any more than 30 seconds or you’ll ruin it!
    And be sure you aren’t late for work. Auggie expects a lot from you.

    P.S.
    There are marked barrels of food for each of your Pokemon in the food closet at the gym.
    I got them on discount at Poke ‘N Stuff!

    Love,
    Nattie

    Casey grabbed her lunch out of the fridge and her car keys from the hook next to the front door. She walked out the door and onto the driveway where the burgundy four-door sedan her parents bought for her was parked. As she took a whiff of the fresh morning air, she considered walking the back roads to the gym, which would had afforded her the opportunity to smoke a joint on the way. Realizing she only had fifteen minutes before she was supposed to be at the gym, she got behind the wheel of her car and backed out of the driveway.

    The drive from the house to the Opelucid gym was quick, but also calming for Casey. It eased her anxiety over the expectations she felt she absolutely had to fulfill on her first day. Sitting in her car parked outside of the gym, she grabbed a pill bottle from her backpack and popped it open, downing two with a sip from a bottle of water. Her tensions slowly beginning to ease, she got out of the car and went inside.

    ~~~

    Casey entered through the side door of the gym, just as Augustus had instructed. The area she entered into was the locker room where the gym trainers left their belongings and sometimes hung out when they weren’t working. The room was completely empty, the other gym trainers not expected to arrive until closer to eight or nine o’clock.

    Casey removed her belt from her bag, studded with six Pokeballs, three attached to each side. She left her bag in her locker, designated by the number twenty-seven. She locked it and headed out into the hall. Along the way, she passed the kitchen and the food closet Natalie had mentioned in her note. She left her lunch in the refrigerator and peered inside the closet, where four large barrels of food had been left, each one specific to her Pokemons’ liking. She heard the clattering of the overhead lights switching on in the arena and headed down the hall to check it out.

    Augustus was sitting in the dirt, cross legged, on the far end of the arena. On the ground around him were six basic-style Pokeballs. The glare he gave Casey made her tense up as she realized why she was asked to be at the gym so early. She was going to battle Auggie.

    Casey walked down the bleachers onto the ground below. Of all of the gyms Casey had battled in, this was surely the most intimidating. The arena was massive in size, the rows of fluorescent lighting hanging overhead barely able to light the entirety of the floor below. There was a certain mystique to be held by the darkness in the ceiling above the lighting fixtures.

    She studied every inch of the field as she walked towards the end opposite of Augustus, surveying areas where her Pokemon may be at a disadvantage...but, the only problem would be the areas of darkness where a Ghost or Dark-type may be able to take advantage of the field.

    She stood ready as Auggie picked himself off of the ground, grabbing one of the Pokeballs as he got to his feet. Her first reaction was to reach for her belt, but she wasn’t sure who she would send out, instead waiting to see what Auggie would do. Silence and tension crept over the battlefield as the two combatants stared each other down, waiting to see who would make the first move.

    Suddenly, Auggie’s serious mannerisms exploded as he burst into a hysterical cackle.

    “Boy, you really do take this seriously, don’t you,” he asked, fighting through his laughter to continue, “Oh, man. That’s a good trait to have. Most of my trainees go running scared when they find me here like this.” Auggie calmed himself, finding a balance between seriousness and playfulness.

    Casey loosened up as well as she responded, “God, you had me all worked up! I thought you were going to make me battle you for the job.”

    “No way, you’re more than qualified for the position, a lot more than my other trainees.” He jested as he tossed the Pokeball in his hand into the air. Casey’s anxiety was rising as she watched it carefully soar towards the ceiling, disappearing in the darkness for a few seconds before it began plummeting down towards Auggie. “But, we are going to have some friendly competition. The rules are simple, so listen up. It’s two versus two, no substitutes.” Without thinking, Casey quickly grabbed a ball from her belt and tossed it to the center of field, while Auggie caught his ball and did the same. “I won’t hold anything back, so give it your all!”

    On Auggie’s side appeared a bipedal husk with a slender, curved, beige-colored head spouting a slithering tongue made of flame. Sheer golden claws extended from the center of the steel cuffs on its arms, and pipe-like bands seemed welded onto its molten red body, leading to its tail, the tip non-existent and agape as it expelled a gaseous fog.

    From Casey’s ball appeared a weasel-like Pokemon with two tails. It had light-blue fins on it’s arms, just above its cream padded paws. It posed, ready for battle, as it twitched its tiny, thin whiskers protruding from the button-like nose on the end of its snout. The yellow sac around its neck expanded and collapsed as it attempted to make itself look more intimidating.

    “Buizel, start things off with an Aqua Jet,” Casey commanded and the Sea weasel Pokemon complied, a bubbling geyser forming beneath its feet. After a moment, it lurched forward encapsulated in a bullet of water and almost immediately made contact with its opponent.

    Heatmor staggered but managed to keep its footing. As Buizel landed in front of it, she immediately trapped the Water-type with a crushing bear hug.

    “Heatmor, use Giga Drain!”

    A crimson aura enveloped the two combatants as Buizel’s life force was siphoned through Heatmor’s tail. Buizel cringed, but quickly reacted as he let loose a cascading blast of water from his mouth, sending Heatmor spiraling towards the ground with Buizel still in his grasp. The water from the Hydro Pump followed them as Heatmor reeled back, and the fountain of water fell to the arena floor in the form a gentle rain. Heatmor released her grasp on Buizel as she collided into the ground. Buizel hopped up and quickly put some distance between himself and Heatmor.

    “Nice escape, Buizel!” Casey praised him as he smirked cockily in agreement. For a second, his confidence went limp as the damage from the Giga Drain became more apparent and Heatmor lifted herself up, virtually unscathed. Casey worried for Buizel, but quickly devised a counter attack. “Alright, keep your distance and try a Sonic Boom!”

    “Bwee!”

    Buizel collected himself, hopping into the air and spinning 90 degrees as his two tails whiplashed around his body, the impact breaking the sound barrier and sending a roaring blast across the arena towards Heatmor. Auggie clasped his hands over his ears and closed his eyes tight to protect himself from the sand kicked up by the blast. He shouted something, but it was barely audible through the ringing in the air caused by Buizel’s attack.

    As the dust settled, it was clear Auggie had commanded Heatmor to attack, as it shot forward and immediately began charging at Buizel. Buizel flipped into the air, narrowly dodging the vicious Anteater Pokemon.

    “Buizel, use Aqua Tail, now!”

    Auggie responded almost immediately, “Counter with Flamethrower, Heatmor!”

    Buizel, still mid-air above its opponent, charged down toward Heatmor with its tails glowing as bright and vibrant as cobalt. Just before Buizel made contact, Heatmor launched a deadly, lashing flame from her mouth. The flame made contact just as Buizel crashed down onto Heatmor, sending both Pokemon careening to the ground. Both Pokemon lay still on the ground, blackened from stray embers of the Flamethrower.

    Neither attack gained enough momentum to deal a finishing blow, but the strain of battle began to show on both Pokemon as they picked themselves up, especially on Buizel.

    Casey considered forfeiting the round , but knew Buizel would never forgive her for pulling him out of a fight like this. They’d been in situations like this before; Buizel taking on more than he could handle. It irked Casey to no end that Auggie and Heatmor’s experience outweighed their type advantage.

    “Your Buizel is looking pretty worn out. You should consider calling back before it gets itself seriously hurt,” Auggie taunted them in hopes it would give his opponents another push.

    “Your Heatmor isn’t looking that great either. And you should note that we have the type advantage...we can still win this,” Casey retorted.

    “We’ll see! Heatmor, burrow into the ground!”

    That was it. Casey was kicking herself for not picking up on the fact that the arena floor was all dirt. Any Pokemon capable of digging could easily take advantage of that.

    “Stay alert, Buizel! Heatmor’s going to try to hit with another Giga Drain!”

    “Bweez!”

    Buizel stood his ground, waiting to react the moment Heatmor came up. Buizel waited for any sign of his opponent, any sound or vibration that might give away Heatmor’s position.

    “I’m not surprised you figured out part of my plan, Casey, but I doubt you saw this coming. Heatmor, attack now!” Just as Auggie called out, Buizel noticed the ground moving in at least eight different directions. Not knowing what to do, Buizel jumped into the air just as several Heatmor came tunneling out of the floor below, some disappearing as they failed to catch Buizel, until finally the real Heatmor had him in her grasp once again.

    “Put more pressure on Buizel’s sternum! We don’t want a repeat of last time!”

    Once again, Heatmor had Buizel within its Giga Drain attack, and a Hydro Pump wasn’t going to get them out of this one. Casey had to think fast, she considered every possible defense as she watched her friend slowly fading in front of her. Finally, she noticed the the pools of water that had collected on the ground from Buizel’s water type attacks.

    “Use Whirlpool, Buizel!” Casey had a ‘eureka’ moment as she proudly called out to Buizel.

    Buizel nodded and looked up as its tails began spinning in propellor-like fashion. The water from Buizel’s earlier attacks began pooling from the ground, forming a rapid vortex beneath the two Pokemon. Spiraling into the air, Buizel could feel himself fainting as Heatmor drained what was left of his health. Finally, Buizel gave out, and the Whirlpool diminished into a waterfall as both Pokemon came crashing down to the ground below.

    Casey ran out into the field to check on Buizel, while Augustus stood still in his place, waiting to see if Heatmor would get up. Casey cradled Buizel in her lap as she praised him and returned him to his Pokeball. Heatmor, meanwhile, had attempted to pull itself up before succumbing to the injuries sustained by the near twenty foot drop. Round one was a tie.

    Augustus said nothing, instead just returning Heatmor to the peaceful stasis within her ball and dropping it onto the ground. The ball rolled a few feet away before coming to a stop, Auggie ignoring it as he plopped down on the floor and started fiddling with his Pokeballs, examining each one as he if he were wondering what was in it.

    Casey got the sense that Auggie didn’t have the emotional connection with his Pokemon that she did. It was surprising to her; to see such a powerful trainer with his background behave this way towards his Pokemon. She walked through the scars of the battlefield, avoiding the holes in the scorched, damp earth, as she returned to her post.

    “It’s your move, Case. Hopefully you’ve got something more impressive than that stubborn Buizel of yours.” Casey thought Auggie was bitter due to the outcome of the first round, but he was in fact, pushing her into using her strongest Pokemon.

    Casey, now on her side of the field and aggravated by Auggie’s attitude, held a Pokeball in each hand. She looked at both, considering the strengths and weaknesses of both. In one hand, she held the capsule containing her most trusted and well-trained ally, and in the other rested the ball of her most consistent and dependable companion.

    She hesitantly chose the latter, launching the ball into the field.

    “You haven’t let me down yet, Lickilicky!”

    A light flashed onto the field, the Pokemon appearing resembling a chubby pink baby. It gallantly twirled as it materialized, slicking back the tuft on its head and letting its long, slender tongue roll out of its mouth and over the ivory bib-like pattern under its chin and the three amber bars on its belly.

    For Lickilicky, showmanship was just important as its battle prowess. As he looked around, he quickly went from showing off his dazzling choreography to slumping his chunky body in disappointment, realizing there was no audience to impress. He looked back at Casey slightly aggravated.

    “Don’t look at me like that! We’ve talked about this, you left that circus to compete in battles, just like you wanted. There won’t always be an audience for you to woo with your dashing, good looks.” Casey was equally stern and flattering, just as she knew she needed to be with Lickilicky.

    Licklicky quickly shapened himself up, looking back towards Auggie’s side of the field as he waited for his next move.

    However, Auggie was in a hysterical fit, once again, rolling around on the ground as he cupped his stomach with his hands.

    Casey become flustered as she realized Auggie was laughing at Lickilicky.

    “What exactly do you think you’re laughing at?!” Casey confronted Auggie for blatantly offending her friend.

    “THAT thing is the best you’ve got?” Auggie continued laughing as he ridiculed both Casey’s choice in Pokemon and Lickilicky’s apperance. “I’m sorry, really and truly, but, is a Lickiwhatever really the best you can do?” Auggie’s attitude was surprisingly unprofessional, especially for being one of the most well respected Gym leaders in the region.

    Casey’s aggravation fully kicked in, and it showed well through her response. “Why don’t you stop acting like a child, get off your ass and find out!”

    “Wow. Well, I guess I deserved that. Still, I am your boss, so I suggest you restrain that tongue of yours from here on out.” Auggie lifted himself up with a Pokeball in his hand. It felt like deja vu for Casey, but this time, she was angry and ready for a fight.

    Auggie very nonchalantly tossed a Pokeball into the field, yawning as the light materialized into a massive beast with a Godzilla-like frame. It heaved its armored skull back as it roared, shaking the very earth beneath it. Its heavy black tail was beating the ground, an intimidation tactic that Lickilicky naturally ignored.

    Casey and Lickilicky looked on at Aggron, both standing their ground in the face of the mighty iron plated beast. They refused to let the stoic glare of Aggron’s sharp icy eyes put them off. At this moment, both Casey and Lickilicky were in perfect sync with one another, ready to take the fight as they waited for Auggie’s first move.

    “Stand your ground, Aggron. Use Iron Defense if this blob tries anything funny.”

    “Don’t...CALL HIM THAT!” Casey shouted in anger as she gave her first command, “Hit that hulking hunk of metal with a Gyro Ball!”

    Licklicky started a slow run towards Aggron, beginning a spin midway that accelerated rapidly as he moved across the field. A ring of aqua tinted energy formed around Lickilicky as it spun in Aggron’s direction.

    Aggron held its ground, its body slightly glowing as it used Iron Defense in preparation for the rotund blur moving towards it. Licklicky made contact, first bouncing off of Aggron, then hitting it again, and then again. This went on for a moment, Aggron unflinching until the fifth or six hit when Auggie finally ordered it to counter with Iron Tail. Aggron quickly batted its opponent away with the massive appendage extending from its rear.

    Lickilicky spun out into the distance, landing on his large bottom and quickly recovering at Casey’s request. Both Pokemon seemed unharmed as they stood eagerly awaiting their trainers’ next command.

    “Show them your Dragon Tail, Lickilicky” Casey shouted triumphantly as she remembered the many battles Lickilicky’s Dragon type attack had gotten them through.

    “Liiicc,” he shouted a triumphant battle cry as he once again charged his opponent. About eight feet away from Aggron, Lickilicky jumped forward, using the girth of his stomach to launch himself at Aggron’s iron coated head. Lickilicky’s stubby tuft of a tail extended as it glew a light energy the same as the ring that formed around its Gyro Ball. Auggie was too busy laughing to issue a counter, thus the Dragon Tail made contact, staggering Aggron a bit before he swatted Lickilcky away with his heavy plated arm.

    Casey watched the events unfolding before her with mixed emotions. She was pleased by the damage done by Lickilicky’s Dragon Tail, but fed up with Auggie’s persistent mockery of her Pokemon.

    Auggie quickly collected himself after seeing Aggron take the hit, responding with an offense typical of large Iron Armor species.

    “Beat it down with Metal Claw, Aggron!” Aggron roared, and in a rush of aggression reared its gigantic claws back and reaped them across the loathsome pink blob. Thankfully, Lickilicky was quick to dodge, only being grazed by the attack. Had he been a second later, he would have been caught in Aggron’s relentless onslaught caused by its obvious lust for blood. Aggron was in strong pursuit of Lickilicky, its sharp metal claws either missing or barely grazing the dodgy Lickilicky.

    “Lickilicky it’s time to finish this! Use Power Whip, now!”

    Licklicky nodded as it reared its head back, its long tongue extending and glowing with hot violet brilliance. Its tongue lashed down on Aggron’s head and across its chest, leaving a sizable dent in its armored head. Aggron reacted quickly, grabbing on to Lickilicky’s tongue and pulling it in.

    “Lickilicky,” Casey shouted for her friend, remembering what happened to Buizel when Heatmor had him within her grasp, and fearing what may come next.

    “Crush it, Aggron. Use Metal Burst.”

    Casey’s heart dropped hearing Auggie’s command. Metal Burst countering against an attack as powerful as Power Whip meant this battle was over for sure, but it was the pain Lickilicky would experience that concerned her the most.

    Lickilicky was in a panicked struggle as Aggron raised its other arm in the air, forming a flashing ball of energy in the air. Just as Aggron was about to finish the fight, Casey called out to Auggie.

    “Wait! Stop, we forfeit!” Casey was nearly in tears as she imagined what would happen next.

    Auggie was in somewhat of a shock, hearing Casey give up at the mere thought of what would happen to Lickilicky as a result of the Metal Burst.

    “Aggron, hold it!” Auggie called the beast down, who shot back a defiant look of frustration at his trainer. Aggron was just waiting for the moment it would send Lickilicky into oblivion. “Casey, are you sure you want to quit?”

    “Yes, you win, just, please, tell Aggron to let Lickilicky go!” Casey’s emotional turmoil was reaching its peak. She was barely able to hold back her tears as she waited for Auggie to call Aggron off.

    “Aggron, you heard her! They don’t want to fight anymore. Let Lickilicky go!” Aggron roared at his trainer, attempting to communicate, but it was hopeless. Aggron was hell bent on sending a message. It was a wild beast. It wasn’t meant to be here, held in captivity by some buffon. It brought the massive glowing sphere down on to Licklicky, the flash blinding both Casey and Auggie as Aggron released its grip on Lickilicky’s tongue and sent him rocketing to the far end of the area.

    When Casey finally regained her sight, she saw Licklicky lying motionless in front of the heavily cracked and damaged plaster wall. Auggie was also down, apparently a victim of Aggron’s vicious rampage. However, Aggron now stood motionless with a blank stare as the jackal-like figure in front of him held out its spiked paw. Casey noticed one of her Pokeballs had opened up, and recognized the creature immediately as her Lucario.

    Lucario, shrouded in an aura as blue as the oceans and the fur on his body, looked determinedly at Casey, who was trying to digest everything around her.

    “Go to him.” Lucario’s head motioned towards Lickilicky as Casey heard the voice in her head. “The human is fine.” Casey had heard this mysterious voice in her head many times before. It was what brought her and Lucario together initially, and what has kept them together since their meeting.

    She looked towards Auggie as he sat up, blood trickling down his temple from when his head met the ground after being smacked down by Aggron. Auggie noticed Casey watching him as he grabbed Aggron’s Pokeball, preparing to return him now that he had been calmed by Lucario’s aura.

    “I’m fine! Check on Lickilicky,” Auggie shouted to Casey as he returned Aggron to its Pokeball and immediately set the locking mechanism to prevent it from escaping from its ball later on.

    Casey ran to Lickilicky’s side, while Lucario finally relaxed, the aura he emitted before now dissipating. Auggie looked down at Aggron’s Pokeball, wondering what had gone wrong. A silence had fallen across the room, each individual wrought with emotion and trapped within their thoughts.

    ~~~

    The peaceful region of Johto was shrouded in a calming twilight. Maya had just returned to her room in the Pokemon Center after checking on Munch, who had been sleeping since he was checked into the Center’s hospital. She opened the window on the far side of the two-bed room and a cool chill rushed in, crawling up her spine and sending shivers through her body. She quickly closed the window, and as she turned around, she noticed Lucas’s backpack kneeling against the leg of one of the beds. He must have come into town while she was with Munch, but now, he was nowhere to be seen.

    At first, Maya wasn’t too concerned, until she noticed his burgundy Unova Academy jacket lying on the bed. Without hesitating, Maya pulled on her own plain ivory hoodie and grabbed Lucas’s jacket as she turned off the light and headed out the door.

    ~~~

    Maya found Lucas sitting in the woods, right where the trees met the road. He had his knees pressed to his chest, shivering until he noticed Maya and he attempted to mask it. Avey was sitting next to Lucas, staring attentively at the road, and looking a bit tuckered out. The sun had set, and moon sat high in the sky, as bright and full as can be. It shone enough light on the road for Maya to notice Lucas had laid out bird feed in the dirt.

    “You know it’s in the low sixties tonight,” Maya said cutely.

    “Really? I hadn’t noticed,” Lucas replied sarcastically. “What are you hiding behind your back?” He asked curiously and peered around as Maya moved so he couldn’t see.

    “I’ll tell you under one condition.” Maya held her pointer finger out, almost directly in Lucas’s face as he gently swatted it away.

    “Fine, what is it?” It was hard to tell whether Lucas was asking what the condition was, or what Maya was hiding.

    “Accept my apology for how I acted earlier.” She held out Lucas’s jacket as he sat looking sort of bewildered. “I’m sorry.”

    “Oh, yeah, of course. I didn’t realize you were still on about that.” Lucas took the jacket from Maya’s hand and quickly put it on, zipping it up as Avey began acting erratically, attempting to draw Lucas’s attention to the road. “Thanks for th-- What is it, Avey?” Lucas had completely forgotten that Maya was there when he saw the golden feathered Pidgey pecking away at the feed on the road.

    Maya tried getting his attention, but her attempts were fruitless as he and Avey quickly and silently prepared a battle strategy. Instead, she slowly and somberly started walking back into town. She felt rejected by Lucas, not even getting an apology in return.

    Meanwhile, Lucas and Avey failed to notice the large caravan truck coming down the road into town. The Pidgey flew away out of sight as the truck passed Lucas, the look on his face frightening Avey as he be buried his face in the ground.

    Maya watched as the truck drove by, thinking she had saw someone peeking out from the back of the truck. She assumed her mind was playing tricks and continued into town as Lucas had a nervous breakdown over losing the Pidgey again.

    ~~~

    There you have it! As I stated before the story, I'd quickly like to go through how the rest of the series is going to work. From here on out, you can expect the standard chapter of Central to be 10 - 13 pages/4500 - 6000 words, as the last two have been.

    The story itself is going to be divided into four major arcs, each one focusing on a different plot point and occurring within a different season. In between these arcs, I'll be taking a publishing hiatus from Central to work on tie-ins for the series, after which I'll begin releasing Central again.

    I've yet to decide exactly how long Central will run, right now, I don't really have an end game in sight, but I'm anticipating it to run anywhere between 45 - 60-ish chapters.

    So, yeah, I'm going to start working on the next chapter now. Oh, and also expect a chapter list and character bios in my original post in the near future.
    Last edited by fixthe_fernback; 7th October 2013 at 2:34 AM. Reason: laundry list of mistakes taken care of
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  15. #15
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    Chapter four. Here we go!

    The only audible sounds were that of the running of a nearby stream and the gleeful cheers of a group of small, round pink Pokemon with yellow beady eyes and dandelion-like leaves growing from the top of their bodies.
    The first part just sounds awkward to me. I can't say exactly why, but it deals with the placement of the running. I don't know if that's just me.

    “They aren’t exactly the rarest or most powerful Pokemon, Maya, especially for a Flying type. They’re a dime a dozen and Avey and I just aren’t interested in having something like that on our team.”
    Jayden is also offended!

    “One butler wading on you hand and foot wasn’t enough for you?”
    Waiting. Waiting refers to being a waiter ie serving food, drinks, and such while wading refers to walking through water.

    Buizel cringed, but reacted with a massive Hydro Pump
    With this you could have easily described the attack. Unless it's an attack that does exactly what the name is (Scratch, Bite, Tackle) then it would be better to describe it. It gives a better picture to the reader.

    Casey considered calling Buizel back, but knew he’d never forgive her for pulling him out of a fight like this.
    That and it would be against the rules.

    and glowing with hot violet brilliant.
    Is this supposed to read differently?

    Avey was sitting next to Lucas, starting attentively at the road
    Staring.

    She felt dejected by Lucas, not even getting an apology in return.
    Rejected would be what you're looking for.

    The Pidgey flew away out of site as the truck passed Lucas
    Sight. Homonyms are your friends.

    A great chapter, I think. The battle was well done and a reasonable length. Auggie's personality change somewhat worries me. Is this what he is actually like? Or is there something bigger going on? I wish there could have been more of Maya and Lucas. I guess they'll be featured in the next chapter. Now who could that be in the truck? Was it Kevin? Team Rocket? Or some other organization? Sorry this was late. Worked last night and got home around midnight.
    Credit goes to MagicMochi. Check out their shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder
    While it is very reminiscent of a lot of journey trainer fics, it held my attention. It stands out among a lot of the other fics I've read lately and I'm excited to continue the story.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lucario View Post
    Chapter four. Here we go!



    The first part just sounds awkward to me. I can't say exactly why, but it deals with the placement of the running. I don't know if that's just me.
    Re wrote the opening paragraph. It flows a bit more nicely now.



    Jayden is also offended!
    Let's hope Lucas grows out of that elitist-like mindset, or else his journey in Johto is going to be pretty boring.



    Waiting. Waiting refers to being a waiter ie serving food, drinks, and such while wading refers to walking through water.
    Such a silly mistake...corrected.



    With this you could have easily described the attack. Unless it's an attack that does exactly what the name is (Scratch, Bite, Tackle) then it would be better to describe it. It gives a better picture to the reader.
    Description added!



    That and it would be against the rules.
    I meant to suggest she would forfeit the round; re-wrote it to reflect that.



    Is this supposed to read differently?
    It should have read "...and glowing with a hot, violet brilliance."

    and, now it does!



    Staring.
    Another small mistake...now I'm really getting frustrated with myself, haha. Corrected!



    Rejected would be what you're looking for.
    I remember meaning to change that, but I guess I just kind of forgot. Fixed now.



    Sight. Homonyms are your friends.
    Again...silly me. Corrected!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lucario
    A great chapter, I think. The battle was well done and a reasonable length. Auggie's personality change somewhat worries me. Is this what he is actually like? Or is there something bigger going on? I wish there could have been more of Maya and Lucas. I guess they'll be featured in the next chapter. Now who could that be in the truck? Was it Kevin? Team Rocket? Or some other organization? Sorry this was late. Worked last night and got home around midnight.
    Auggie has a very different attitude in his work than he does at home. It'll definitely be fleshed out more in next 2 - 3 chapters. This was a very Casey-centric chapter. It felt important to start telling her story, but next chapter will largely feature Maya and Lucas.

    Hmm...well there was a certain character who wasn't really mentioned this chapter. Maybe it was him?
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