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Thread: Caught in the Moment. (PG)

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    Default Caught in the Moment. (PG)

    Disclaimer: I do not own pokémon or any of its related enterprises. They are the property of their respective owners. The first five chapters were beta'd by the amazing Farla. (Yes, that Farla.)

    Author's Note: I started this story back in 2005 and have been working on it, albeit slowly, ever since. My aim was to create a fun and realistic story that centred around an OT. I don't know if I succeeded, but it's been a fun ride so far. You'll notice that the chapters improve drastically as we go along - though all chapters have been extensively edited time and time again - but they could always be better, so I appreciate comments.

    -------


    Chapter One: No Questions Asked.




    The soft sound of footsteps made its way across the path, voices following suit. Two figures moved under the scorching sun, both talking avidly and obviously disagreeing over something. One was male, tall and lean, the other female, much younger and a lot shorter. They were closely followed by a rattata, the thing desperately trying to grab onto the hem of the male’s coat. The man, looking about twenty, glanced down at it and laughed at the critter’s attempts before reaching down and allowing the rattata to climb onto his shoulder.

    The argument continued, with comments thrown back and forth but nothing particularly informative. The rattata tried paying attention to what its owner was doing, but soon sleep seemed just as interesting and it closed its eyes. Seconds later it could be heard snoring quietly.

    Nothing could keep it awake, not even the buzzing of life around them. Pidgey could be seen flitting through the trees, striking up conversation with each other and occasionally swerving out of the way of a stray branch. Bugs, sprawled across the rugged bark of trees, watched with large, blinking eyes as the strange humans wandered through their home. A dusty road twisted through the trees, never in a straight line, and curled around everything in its path as sentret bounced alongside They ducked behind bushes every time the humans glanced their way, constantly out of their reach. As the road continued – its uneven width suggesting pokémon had created it through endless months of following its course – so did they, watching with keen eyes until the tall ones were safely out of their territory.

    The two paid no attention to this, however, as they had been in the forest quite a lot and knew everything by heart, even the sounds of elusive pokémon. The forest, lying on the edge of Sunbark Town, had been their training ground for years and both knew their way around quite well. Its rocky patches and long, endless roads made it ideal for practising moves, or enjoying a run. Even better, they wouldn't have to worry about accidentally hurting someone, for the forest was vast and Sunbark Town very small.

    So every day at noon they went up there to train the young man’s pokémon, with the little girl watching and the pokémon steadily growing stronger. It was a good thing, as it would be for any future pokémon trainer, that the young girl had such a wonderful role model. A role model very much annoyed with his sister's constant badgering.

    “Amy, I am not going to visit Mum and Dad any time soon.”

    “It’s a ten minute walk!” the girl whined, eyes pleading.

    “You know that’s not the problem. They’ll ask me to stay longer and I always have trouble refusing them,” the man snapped. “I have to train this rattata before its owner returns and I really don't have the time to go visit our parents and risk having to stay there for another two weeks.”

    “But, Derek!”

    The man turned towards her, arms crossed. “Don’t 'but' me, Amy; you will have to wait 'till Mum’s birthday.”

    “But that’s another three weeks!”

    The young man sighed, mentally cursing his parent’s wish to have another baby ten years after they had conceived him. He loved his baby sister, of course he did, but she was the epitome of little girls: annoying, whiny, and possessing the most innocent brown eyes he had ever seen. He had to make sure that he didn’t look into those eyes right now, or he’d be sold, he knew it. She was giving him stiff competition, though, for he heard soft sniffling coming from behind him and felt a light tugging on his arm.

    “Don’t start, Amy, I’m serious. For once you'll have to wait or do it yourself.”

    He knew that comment would have an effect on her. After all, she wasn’t known for her outgoing personality, especially when it came to their parents. Why she wanted to go on a pokémon journey was beyond him, for she never fared well alone and had the amazing ability to give up the moment something went wrong. He gave her two days before she'd call him to come get her.

    No doubt she had a vision of heroic deeds, or catching legendary pokémon and winning every battle, as opposed to the reality of days of travelling, seeing more weedle than you had ever hoped to, and losing constantly to trainers more experienced than you. Perhaps this would be a good lesson for her and make sure she started seeing things in perspective. He'd always hoped she'd learn to appreciate the life she had with her parents, for it included many things that he'd missed while he'd been away. It was a life that did not include pokémon overly much, but they their parents were certainly loving and would no doubt welcome her starter pokémon with open arms.

    “All right,” came the soft reply, mumbled though lips that were no doubt pouting again. He knew it. How he managed to deal with her, he’d never know, but then she was his sister, so giving up on her was unthinkable.

    “Come on, sis, you can carry rattata for a bit.”

    Knowing it would cheer her up, he handed the sleeping form to her, seeing rattata’s paws tangle in her dark hair to steady itself. A yawn left it as eyes opened just a bit to see what this sudden change was. Assured that it could do no harm, it closed them again, continuing a favourite activity with relish. Sleeping after a long day's work – especially under the soft cover of long, brown hair – had never felt so good.

    ~

    Quietly removing chocolate bits from her dress, Amy made no attempt to be social. The candy she'd been munching down had stained her clothes horribly, but nothing compared to the idle chatter going on around her. Her mother, clad in a garishly yellow garment that stung at Amy's eyes, had somehow decided to spend the entire afternoon talking about the new flower shop in town, as opposed to more important matters. Matters that included Amy and her going away.

    She had been waiting tirelessly for Derek to ask her to leave the room. She knew that if he really planned to talk to them, then he wouldn’t want to have her there. It was a special talk after all and special talks were always done without the person being discussed present. Perhaps they would even agree on a gift for her. Something special to give her when she left. A Great Ball, maybe, or perhaps even an Ultra Ball. She knew Derek owned a few, so perhaps she’d receive one of those to carry with her and catch pokémon with. It wasn't like he needed them these days, busy as he was with other people's pets.

    So there she was, waiting patiently for the wonderful events that would no doubt change her life. After all, she knew these things tended to do just that. She'd heard many a tale of young boys and girls going out into the world and becoming famous. She just didn't yet know what she'd be famous for.

    “Father, Mother, if I can interrupt for a moment?” Derek said calmly, taking his spot next to Amy on the couch once he'd grabbed a cup of coffee. Knowing that some chocolate bits would no doubt now adorn his backside, Amy quickly looked the other way.

    Her parents, happily absorbed in their story about kind Miss Milden and her flower arrangements, looked up at them and smiled.

    “Of course, what’s the matter?” her mother asked, curious.

    “Well, Mother, Amy came to me with a request. She wanted me to ask you if she could start her own pokémon journey.”

    Amy stared at her brother with huge eyes. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go! She wasn’t supposed to be there and he shouldn’t have mentioned that she had asked him. It was all wrong! His request was wrong too! He should have asked nicely, with a flourish, and charmed her parents with the wonderful ways of pokémon. Or maybe all the adventures she’d embark on, once a true pokémon. Instead he hadn’t. Now what should-

    “Of course, we expected she would want to,” her mother interrupted Amy's train of thought.

    “I see no problems with that, unless you do, Derek?” Her father this time.

    Derek looked slightly uneasy about something, but still managed a smile. “Not particularly, Father. Every ten year old mildly interested in pokémon goes through this; it’s a vital part of their growth.”

    That was what Derek should have said during his request, but apparently it wasn’t even necessary to roll out those kinds of guns. Unlike the way she had imagined it, her parents had agreed to it far sooner than expected. Instead of making a fuss about their baby girl leaving, they simply nodded their heads and discussed various options with Derek regarding a starter.

    Amy was dumbfounded. If she’d known it would be this easy, she might have asked herself. The daunting part of the whole wish to become a pokémon trainer had always been convincing her parents, but obviously they didn’t seem to mind. Perhaps those conversations they’d had with the neighbours had changed them a bit, or maybe they chose to live without pokémon for a reason other than hatred for the creatures. She'd never really thought about it, but it made sense, otherwise they wouldn’t own Growlithe. Amy suddenly realised how little interest she'd shown into her parent's lives and how little she actually knew.

    It was all too confusing, but at least she was allowed to go on her pokémon journey. Scratching her head, she smiled at her parents, appreciating their trust in her. Even if she hadn't expected it.

    “Well, then, I’m going to New Bark Town in two days, seeing as I have to deliver that rattata to its owner, so that would be the perfect opportunity to take you there,” Derek commented, smiling at the eager look on his sister’s face.

    “As long as you come back to stay with us for a while, son. We haven’t seen you in months,” their mother responded, as they had predicted. Amy didn't feel an ounce of regret at putting Derek in such a position - he'd been less than forthcoming about this, after all - but she did feel slightly grieved that he was going to spend time with Mom and Dad while she would be alone. Somewhere deep down she'd hoped Derek would accompany her for the first couple of days, at least, but it seemed she'd be truly on her own for the very first time. Jitters ran up her spine at the very thought.

    Catching the roll of the eyes her brother sent her, Amy could do nothing but think of the journey ahead. She had no idea what to expect, but she knew it'd be adventurous. She couldn't wait.

    ~

    Her brown eyes – bright with fascination – rapidly followed the movements in front of her, as her mind assessed the situation with practised speed. Derek had asked her to stay with him the last two days, adamant as he was that she should learn more about pokémon care. Two hours trying to mould disgustingly smelly pokémon food into blocks had left her needing some fresh air.

    So they'd headed outside and back into the forest, ending in her watching a short training session Derek was having. Both his pokémon were being trained to power-up their existing moves and it was rather fascinating to her.

    He had the rattata with him again and the purple menace was trying desperately to overpower the bellsprout facing it. It was no use, however. No, indeed, Derek had trained the grass pokémon expertly, so it absorbed all the attacks aimed its way and turned it back on the poor opponent with equal force. As the rodent darted around, the grass pokémon remained stoic and relaxed.

    The rattata was getting tired from all the running it had been doing, but the bellsprout only seemed to become more confident. Biting and slashing, the rattata tried its all to do damage to the plant, but Amy noticed that none of the attacks really seemed to hit. Instead they glanced right off and the rattata was bounced back.

    “See, Amy? Pokémon battles are not all about power, it’s also about strategy and defence. There are several ways to train a pokémon, but the most important thing is to enhance their strengths and improve their weaknesses,” Derek yelled, waving a hand at the two in front of them. “For instance, I have taught this bellsprout to rely on his expert blocking skills, yet also told him how to shield himself against fire attacks. He still has the disadvantage, but his expert defensive manoeuvres could prove to be useful in any battle.”

    Amy nodded, absorbing the data and trying to remember all the things he had said that day. All information had revolved around pokémon, of course, mostly centering on food and pokémon health. She had even received some of the pokéblocks they had made together. They caused her bag to reek of wheat and grain, but were more than worth it if she could improve her pokémon's diet.

    Stretching her legs, she watched as her brother recalled the bellsprout and gave the rattata a pat on the head. The pokémon had improved drastically over the two month period he’d been with them, but even Amy could see that he was still a long way from being ready to evolve, which was all its owner cared for. The rattata was cute, but its evolved form was so much more powerful and Amy could appreciate the dilemma.

    Her brother walked up to her, face suddenly very serious. “Now, just some theoretical questions. You have a battle against a rock type and you have the choice between a bulbasaur, a squirtle, or a charmander. Which would you choose?”

    Amy bit her lip. “Either the bulbasaur or the squirtle, seeing as they are grass and water and therefore more effective against rock.”

    “And which of those two?”

    It was a tough question. What was the difference between the two? They were grass and water, both would be excellent against rock. Amy frowned, trying to remember what she’d been taught. At the same time her brother was eyeing her calmly, petting the pokémon on his shoulder. He didn’t seem nearly as frustrated as she was.

    “Squirtle?”

    “And why?”

    “Because water is more effective than grass?”

    “But, Amy, a starter pokémon like squirtle wouldn’t know any water attacks yet. It learns those at a later stage.”

    That was right, she had forgotten all about that! But then it would be the same with bulbasaur and charmander. None of them would know any elemental attacks, so then what was the difference?

    “Squirtle, because rock pokémon rely on their defence and squirtles can lower that with a tail whip.”

    “Correct, but not quite. Not all rock pokémon rely on their defence. Not solely, that is. Squirtle is the right answer, not only because he has a defence-lowering move, Tail Whip, but he also has a better defence, at that time, than bulbasaur does.”

    Amy nodded, trying her best to remember it, but she knew that would be a problem. Whenever she needed to remember something, she forgot. It had happened often enough that she'd been sent out to get something and had to return half an hour later to ask what she had to get again.

    “It’s important you think about these things, Amy. The same goes for your choices: cyndaquil, totodile and chikorita. You can, of course, choose the pokémon you like best, but you could also try to see what lies ahead of you. What is the first gym you will come across on your journey?”

    “The gym in Violet City. Falkner and his flying type pokémon.”

    “Correct. Now, none of those pokémon have an advantage against bird pokémon. In fact, chikorita would have a disadvantage, so it would not be a good pick, especially seeing as the gym following that houses bug pokémon and it would have a disadvantage to that as well.” Derek sat down beside her. “That leaves us with totodile and cyndaquil. Now, you know how popular cyndaquil is, because he looks cool and is a fire-type pokémon, however my favourite would be totodile. Yes, cyndaquil has an advantage over the bug pokémon later on, but cyndaquil’s only other strength is his speed while totodile’s attack and defence are so much stronger than those of cyndaquil. Not to mention that he tends to have better endurance, so he can take so much more.”

    Amy pictured the creature in her mind, complete with gaping mouth and sharp set of teeth. Chikorita, or even cyndaquil, were so much more elegant, but she didn't want to end up stuck in Violet City forever, or forced to challenge bug pokémon – of all creatures – forever. Maybe she would have to take a different route instead and not rely on the one suggested by the officials. It wasn't against the rules to have a different approach, after all, and it wouldn't change much.

    “So you would choose totodile?” she asked, a bit unsure. Derek seemed exactly the opposite.

    “I would, he is so much more versatile. He may be the slowest of the pokémon – and only a little when it comes to chikorita – but he has an excellent defence that makes up for that and any hit will count with such an attack force. Plus, he'll be able to ferry you across water once he grows up. Wouldn't that be amazing?”

    “But totodile turn into those ugly croconaw.”

    She could see Derek glare at her for that statement, not that she hadn’t expected it. Both cyndaquil and chikorita were so much cuter, not to mention their evolutions didn’t turn into a dumb looking pokémon like croconaw. No, in fact all of chikorita’s evolutions were downright adorable, with their huge eyes and lovely plant-like features. And cyndaquil and quilava had such lovely faces.

    “This isn’t a beauty contest, Amy. If you’re planning on being a serious pokémon trainer then you’ll choose with your mind instead of your eyes. Otherwise you might as well become a coordinator. There's nothing wrong with that, but then you should forget about gym challenges altogether.”

    She knew he was right, of course. With pokémon it wasn’t all about appearance, but she just didn’t know if she could love a totodile. She wasn’t a big fan of water-pokémon as it was – the cold and dark depths of the ocean weren’t particularly appealing to her – and a totodile wasn’t exactly cuddly.

    She'd considered becoming a coordinator, too, but had decided against it when she saw Derek's beaming face after she'd won a mock-battle. His dream had been to become a champion and she would try to finish what he'd started. Even if he was happy where he was, she knew he still thought about those days on occasion.

    Amy had high plans. She wanted to be like her brother, an excellent trainer, and catch hundreds of pokémon. She wanted to travel to every known city and meet countless people on the way. Thinking about it, she realized that perhaps she would have to make choices she didn’t like if she wanted to achieve that. According to her brother – and he knew his stuff – totodile would be the best starter pokémon, so shouldn’t she trust him?

    “All right, totodile it is, then,” she muttered, shrugging slightly.

    Derek smiled down at her. “Good girl.”

    They continued training for another hour, this time with some of Derek's own pokémon, before returning to Derek’s house to have dinner. As they went Amy could hear rustling and the occasional twig breaking, but whenever she turned nothing was there. Derek, on the other hand, seemed to know exactly what pokémon had made what sound.

    “How can you tell?” Amy asked curiously.

    He shrugged. “If you spend enough time here you can hear the difference between rattata and the heavier sentret. Or what bird-call is from a pidgey instead of a spearow. It just takes time.”

    Amy nodded, listening intently in the hopes of figuring things out. However, no matter how hard she tried, all sounds kept sounding the same. Sighing, Amy followed her brother down the path and towards his little cottage.

    Enjoying the meal and the comforts of a warm and pleasant room, Amy set herself in front of the fireplace. She could feel the excitement roar through her, knowing that she only had to wait another day before setting out on a journey that might define. Just one more day.

    Feeling two soft forms press against her side, she looked up to see rattata and her brother’s own typhlosion nestling themselves next to her. Their fur felt soft under her fingertips as she softly petted them, though she could also feel the slight warmth coming from typhlosion's back. If she wanted to, the creature could scorch the entire house.

    Amy petted the fire pokémon’s head calmly, reminding herself that even though she adored cyndaquil and its evolutions she’d choose the totodile. She could always come home and borrow typhlosion, couldn’t she? Derek had never made much of a problem of it that she took typhlosion for a walk now and then. Or maybe she could take Bella with her, the nidoqueen that had been her constant protector whenever she went into the forest alone. Derek's pokémon had always been kind to her, so she didn’t foresee any trouble whatsoever

    She knew Derek had gotten himself in quite some trouble when choosing cyndaquil as his starter. The little fire-pokémon had done its best to win every battle, but their first gym battle had been a disaster. Cyndaquil had received blow after blow from the strong beaks of Falkner’s pokémon and the stories her parents told her about the guilt her brother had felt while watching his pokémon lie in the pokémon centre made her doubt if she could manage such a thing at all.

    He had returned home for a while after that, visiting his mother and newborn sister while he filled the empty spot his father had left when he'd gone to the Kanto region on business. During that stay he had trained cyndaquil, exhausting the both of them, which had resulted in a clear victory two months later. He had finally beaten Falkner and with his father back home, he could continue his journey. Amy still remembered the smile on her mother’s face when she told her the story of his victories. She had been most proud, even when Derek returned for good a year later. Gym battles hadn't been for him.

    Yawning lightly, Amy looked at the pokémon next to her, both sound asleep. An image of herself with her own pokémon in front of the fireplace flashed through her mind, though the image didn’t include a totodile. Maybe tomorrow she would work on appreciating the pokémon. Now all she wanted was to sleep, and so she did.

    She didn’t notice Derek put a blanket over the three of them, while shaking his head sadly and walking to his own chair. Looking at his sister, he sat down and pulled a blanket over himself, closing his eyes.

    ~

    The next morning Amy awoke to the smell of freshly picked berries and deliciously crispy bacon. Hurrying to the dinner table, she saw that Derek had already prepared breakfast and was now busy feeding his pokémon. Hearing her pull a chair back, he turned his head, smiling.

    “Ah, I was about to wake you. Food got to you, eh?”

    “Yes, that’s the thing I will miss most when travelling - your amazing cooking.”

    Her brother laughed merrily, giving her a pat on the head as he ambled past her and into the kitchen. She could hear him rummaging around while she ate, but had no idea what he was up to. She figured it out soon enough when he left outside with a large bucket in hand and started bathing a rather reluctant rattata.

    Amy enjoyed the breakfast very much and at first didn’t notice the small bundle of papers next to her plate. As she picked them up and skimmed through them, she saw it was all centred on totodile. Apparently Derek had printed some information out for her, so she could learn about her new companion.

    ‘Wouldn’t it be a laugh if they didn’t have any left,’ she thought, but immediately scratched that thought. After all, totodile were not popular pokémon and no doubt there would be plenty left to choose from. The professor would make sure of that.

    “Read it through, I’ll test you on it in a few minutes.”

    She did as told and finally discovered the world of totodile and its evolutions. Impressed by its wide range of attacks, she no longer doubted that choosing the water pokémon would be the way to go.

    The day was spent much in the same way as the day before it had. Derek had brought out some of his water pokémon and pitched them against some of the pokémon Amy might encounter. Though Derek didn't own a totodile, a whooper was as close as they could get and certainly did the job. He even allowed her to have a go herself, but his pokémon won every single time. Amy wasn't surprised.

    Eventually, tired from a day filled with quizzes and vital information she had to remember, Amy said goodnight to Derek very early and jumped in bed at a quarter to nine. Information was buzzing through her head, begging to be remembered and put to good use. It was only after she fell asleep that this stopped and was replaced by wonderful dreams of herself winning battles and catching legendaries. For the first time since she’d decided which pokémon she’d take these thoughts and dreams actually included a young and cheerful totodile. Licking her hand, its eyes were big with merriment and its tail pounded the ground.

    Derek was left preparing the things for the next morning, knowing that all he had tried to teach her still wasn’t enough. All those years of taking her with him had only resulted in knowledge slumbering in the back of her mind, knowledge she hadn’t used or didn’t want to. Hopefully she would find it soon enough, for he was worried that even with his help he could not keep her from feeling an utter failure. Like he had.
    Last edited by Silawen; 8th April 2010 at 2:36 PM. Reason: Chapter edited and updated.

  2. #2
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    It's written well, its a shame its run-of-the-mill, and according to you, not going to last.

  3. #3
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    I'm sorry. It might last, but I doubt it. I'm just informing people of it. I wouldn't want them to get their hopes up or feel disappointed. (Not that I'd assume that, mind you.) Realistically speaking, this story is a fun, a good distraction and creative outlet, but it's not special enough to me to spend a lot of time on.

  4. #4
    My_Innocence Guest

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    This seems pretty good. It is the basic jounrey type fic but you said you are making ti creative so im looking forward to see how you do that. Amy seems like a pretty fun girl and can't wait to see what else you do with her character. Ill be looking forward to more.

    -Danny

  5. #5
    Chaos Absol Guest

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    I hope it makes it through and that the guy will show his pokemon soon >.>.I wonder what pokemon she will get, but by how she acts l think she will get chikorita for some reason.Geuss I'll just have to wait and see.

  6. #6
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    It wasn't bad, actually. It was written well, though there were still some mistakes. There wasn't much description, but I think if you had added too much in it would have interrupted the flow. Still, I don't quite remember you describing Derek and Amy, and their surroundings also lack description, which isn't so great. Good character development-I like how you portrayed the two siblings. Their personalities and relationship are very well-done.


    I'll go over all the mistakes I found. Here we go:
    However, the two paid no attention to this,
    Never start off a sentence with 'however'. It should be 'The two paid no attention to this, however.'


    Training pokémon, battling others, showing the world how great he was.
    HE was or SHE was? I wasn't so sure on this part, because I thought you were talking about Amy, no Derek.


    Why she wanted to take a pokémon journey
    You don't 'take' a Pokémon journey, you go on one.


    After all she knew these things tended to do that.
    There should be a comma after 'After all'. Otherwise the sentence would have a totally different meaning.


    “I see no problems with that, unless you do Derek?”
    There should be a comma before 'Derek'. Or maybe you should break the sentence in half, because it sounds odd. 'I see no problems with that. Do you, Derek?' sounds much better, don't you think?


    Mother interrupted her chain of thought.
    It's usually called a 'train of thought'.



    It was quite good, otherwise. Keep it up,
    ~Psychic

  7. #7
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    Thank you, Psychic. Those ruttin' commas always get to me, it's so different in my language! I will have to work on that. Thank you for pointing them out to me.
    About the last one...what was I thinking? O_O

  8. #8

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    English is your second language, then? What's your first if I may ask?

    Anyways, for this not being your first language, you are doing quite well - amazing really. Your prose is nice, but as Psychic comments, a bit more description here and there (not a lot) could be put to good use. You also seem to be using Present Tense here... which always most often sounds awkward to me, but the tense is very hard to do. 0_o... Kudos.

    Derek and Amy have an interesting relationship, and you flush it out pretty well - very polite kids, that's all I have to say.

    One thing I'd like to point out:

    “But Derek!”
    It should be "But, Derek."

    You have this comma mistake many times in your story. You always need a comma when a character is directly addressing someone by their name, title, whatever.

    Ex:

    "Hey, Amy."

    "Listen, Derek, can I hold the Rattata?"

    However, if it was an indirect address (Somebody talking to somebody about someone else) you wouldn't. Example:

    "Did you hear what Derek did yesterday?"

    As the character's speaking /about/ and not /to/ Derek you don't need a comma before his name.

    Otherwise, very nice job. Keep it up!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saffire Persian
    English is your second language, then? What's your first if I may ask?
    I'm from The Netherlands. So, Dutch. While a lot of the rules are the same there are also some that aren't, which is the problem.

    Anyways, for this not being your first language, you are doing quite well - amazing really. Your prose is nice, but as Psychic comments, a bit more description here and there (not a lot) could be put to good use. You also seem to be using Present Tense here... which always most often sounds awkward to me, but the tense is very hard to do. 0_o... Kudos.
    *blushes* Thank you, that's a great compliment. I will perhaps edit chapter two to include some more information, if I can find the time.

    Derek and Amy have an interesting relationship, and you flush it out pretty well - very polite kids, that's all I have to say.
    Yeah, well, I've always thought that brother-sister/brother-brother/sister-sister relationships would be different in the pokémon world. After all in this case Amy would have been two when Derek left for his pokémon journey, and after that he was busy training pokémon. I'd say that such a 'far-off' relationship, where her brother did something as 'cool' as being a pokémon trainer might put a bit of a strain on their relationship. Hence the somewhat polite tone and Derek's annoyance at her behaviour.

    One thing I'd like to point out:



    It should be "But, Derek."

    You have this comma mistake many times in your story. You always need a comma when a character is directly addressing someone by their name, title, whatever.

    Ex:

    "Hey, Amy."

    "Listen, Derek, can I hold the Rattata?"

    However, if it was an indirect address (Somebody talking to somebody about someone else) you wouldn't. Example:

    "Did you hear what Derek did yesterday?"

    As the character's speaking /about/ and not /to/ Derek you don't need a comma before his name.

    Otherwise, very nice job. Keep it up!
    Thank you. I will edit out all the mistakes somewhat later today. (I'm feeling a tad bit lazy and need a refreshing shower first.) ^^
    Last edited by Silawen; 17th December 2005 at 2:59 PM.

  10. #10
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    Well, I'll be interested to see how it turns out. Certainly Derek and Amy seem believable. A little stereotyped and undeveloped as of yet, but the potential shows!

    I liked the way Derek let his sister hold the Ratatta. Very cute. ^^

    Eh, it's late so I won't go into an in depth review at the moment. Just know that I reckon this'll be great. Anyway, let me know when the next chapter is up, hmm? Thanks!

    Piney.
    I wish you peace and love. God bless us all.

  11. #11
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    Whoah! Fantastic! You picked a theme that I've been toying with for ages now - a trainer picking a pokemon for the 'correct' reasons when they feel attached to another. It's great!

    My only concern is that there's not a whole bunch of personality coming through from the pokemon - they're more like animals than characters. Eh, mebbe we'll se more of that when Amy gets her pokemon?

    Anyway, I like the moderate feel of ths fic. It seems so realistic. Amy's parents aren't the totalitarian 'YOU MUSHT NOT GET A POKEMON' types you get in some fics. They all seem so middling. ^^ I like it!

    Yah... great work. Sorry this review isn't longer. Can't think of anything else to correct and I like the content so... congratulations on a brilliant chapter. That'll do, I think.

    Piney.
    I wish you peace and love. God bless us all.

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    *blushes* Thank you! Oh yes, you'll see that Amy's pokémon has a rather nice personality. ^^
    Ehm, middling? What's that?

    Thank you for the nice review.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silawen
    Ehm, middling? What's that?
    Middling? ^^; Actually, I'm not even sure it's a proper word. Sort means average. Used as a colloquialism in the context of 'middling to large-ish sized something or other'. *sweatdrop* But as I said, I'd be doubtful that it appears in any proper dictionary....

    And you're welcome for the review. Great story! PM me when the next chapter goes up?

    Piney.
    I wish you peace and love. God bless us all.

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    Nice - I like Amy's reluctance to go with a Totodile - I hated Croconaw's looks, too.. XD... I can connect to that. I went with Chikorita despite the type advantages. I'm guessing she's going to choose Chikorita anyway, despite her brother's advice.

    As with 'Piney', I don't see a lot of personality coming out with either Pokemon - but I don't doubt the fact that they'll come out more in the future, when we get to know the Pokemon a bit better - right now, it seems the humans are the main-main focus - Amy, especially.. since she's going to be getting her starter Pokemon. ^_^

    .. Right now, I don't feel like criticizing anything. Good job, keep it up!

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    I'll be sure to let you know when the new chapter is up. ^^

    The pokémon will have personality, not to worry, though to me they're also animals in a way. They have instincts and will act on them. I always try not to humanize them, since they're not and that makes them special. But you'll see that the main pokémon characters will have their own personality nonetheless.

    Thank you, Saffire.

    I never really liked any of the Johto starters. If I had to choose? Probably Chikorita, mainly because I like her look, but I hate training her. Same with all the others. That's also why I chose to do this region, I wouldn't favour one over the other and fall into the predictable pit of choosing those I like over those that would be sensible.

  16. #16
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    I don't really like how her brother made the choice for her, I mean yeah totadile is the best starter but it doesn't mean she has to use it.I like how you said that cyndaquil is usually choosen because it looks cool cause my friend wont believe me when I say that totadile can beat cyndaquil.

    although I liked the match.Are they actually keeping the rattata or are they just training it?Because it just seems a nuisance around them in a way to me.Bellsprout wwas fighting how I think a real one would fight, because it has ok defenses and it doesn't have a good strong attack without swords dance which it won't learn for awhile.

    Overall I liked this chapter because it has detail where needed and I saw no mistakes.I like the discription you have given the characters and I hope that the next chapter is up soon.

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    Yeah well, that Derek's character. His own failure is the cause of that, I think. Derek is training the Rattata for someone else.

    I'm glad you liked it. I have the next chapters at hand, so I'll probably update in a day or two.

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    Disclaimer: I do not own pokémon or any of its related enterprises. They are the property of their respective owners. This chapter was also beta'd by Farla.

    ----

    Chapter Two: Disillusioned.



    Waiting was a pain. Here she was - all ready to leave - with her bag packed and her clothes neatly folded, but her parents were nowhere to be seen. And she wanted to go, she really did, but they were late and she absolutely refused to leave without saying goodbye to them. The thought of being out there for such a long time and not having said goodbye was enough to make her stay put. Journey or not, her family was more important than the few minutes she would gain. It was taking a long time, though. Derek had left to see what was keeping them, but he’d been gone for about thirty minutes already and it was only a ten minute walk.

    Plucking at some of the loose threads on her backpack, she sighed, and looked down the path again. Hoping to see familiar forms coming towards her, she was dreadfully annoyed that wasn't the case. No, still nothing. Instead a spearow soared high above, clearly mocking her with its shrill calls. Amy pouted, this was taking entirely too long.

    Beside her sat Typhlosion, casually staring up at the small bird flying above them, having been left behind by Derek to keep her company. The pokémon seemed calm and collected, unlike her. She felt worried sick, yet also annoyed that it was taking her parents way too long. Already they were ruining her perfect day.

    After what seemed like an eternity – but really couldn't have been more than ten minutes – she finally saw several figures walking towards her. Three, to be exact, both taking an excruciating long time walking up the driveway. Leaping to her feet, she heard Typhlosion make a chortling noise and getting up as well as it hobbled over to Derek to be petted.

    “Amy, hun! Sorry we're late, but we had to wait for your present to arrive!” her mother called as they came closer.

    “My present?”

    “Yes, dear, we ordered it from the Goldenrod Department Store two days ago, right after we heard you wanted to become a pokémon trainer. Derek told us about this device and how convenient it would be, so we decided to get you one.”

    Her mother handed her a small package wrapped in gloom-adorned paper and with a few quick moves Amy had ripped the present clear of anything obstructing her from seeing what she'd gotten/ She was left with a shiny pokégear in her hands. A brilliant smile lit the girl’s face as she examined every inch of the thing, enjoying the different functions it had and pleased to see it looked terribly useful. Clicking it to her pokébelt – she had received one from Derek as a starter present – she noticed that it was as light as a feather and didn’t get in the way at all. Pushing a few buttons she heard the thing make beeping noises and soon several compartments opened, images showing what went where.

    “You will be able to listen to the radio through it, it has a map and you can record phone-numbers, too. Be sure to add my number and that of Professor Elm when we get there,” her brother advised. “You'll have to get a phone-card to actually call us, but Pokémon Centres are free, so there's nothing to worry about.”

    “Who says I want to keep in touch with you, bro?”

    “Your fear of being alone and not having someone to rely on,” Derek retorted, smiling. Amy stuck out her tongue, but couldn't suppress a giggle.

    ~

    It took almost ten minutes to say goodbye, and yet another five to assure her mother that she had everything she needed. Derek was being surprisingly supportive through it all, sharing all his knowledge on the matter with his mother and showing her that everything he’d packed had its reasons. It wasn’t that he had made her take her whole room, but some things that he'd added had come as a surprise. She had thought about the pokéfood, her own food, the sleeping bag, and such, but the lighter, pocket knife, medicine kit and rain coat were things she wouldn’t have thought about bringing.

    So she had added them, filling the bag more and more. She had stuffed the rest of it with food and even more food - which had resulted in Derek taking it all out again, explaining that she would have to buy food at towns instead. Food didn't last that long, it was a sad fact. Besides, it would make her bag considerably lighter and easier to manage. The only really heavy thing was the sleeping bag they had tied on her bag, and the small cooking pot her mother had handed her. With a few twigs and a fire she would be able to heat some soup or dried meat and make it somewhat edible.

    Feeling a tug at her arm, she saw Derek standing next to her. Knowing that he meant that they should leave, she sighed, and hugged her mother again, pressing back the tears that threatened to spill. Suddenly, something she hadn't expected, she was suffering from last-minute jitters. She knew she was ready for it all, but not necessarily what ‘it’ would bring. But that was something she couldn't worry about now, or she would never leave. With a final goodbye to her parents she took her spot on the back of one of Derek’s pidgeot. Holding on tightly, she didn’t have the chance to wave, but knew that her parents didn’t care, for they would continue to wave till the two birds were well out of sight.

    At first Amy didn’t notice any of the scenery passing by beneath her, so absorbed in her own thoughts she was that she barely managed to hold on, but eventually she saw the trees and lakes far below the rustling feathers. Holding on tighter, she gazed down, eventually learning to enjoy the trip. Enjoying such voyages didn’t happen often - Derek wasn’t one to allow ‘field trips’ - as he was always too concerned for her safety. This time she could actually enjoy the pleasure of flight. Being so high, up and above, was a luxury Amy didn't often get to enjoy.

    Officially she wasn’t allowed to fly pokémon, she knew this, but Derek had trained his pidgeot wonderfully and had made a few exceptions along the way. Often because she had begged, of course. This time she hadn’t. No, this time she had behaved like a good little girl. Deep down she knew the only reason for that was because she knew Derek would have offered for them to use his pidgeot anyway. After all the trip would have taken at least a day otherwise, now they’d be able to get there in less than four hours.

    Still, it was a fairly long flight and Amy was starting to feel hungry about halfway there. Pidgeot didn’t seem to notice that they’d been flying for two hours; instead he seemed to enjoy the freedom and would now and then surprise her with a sudden dive, making sure she held on tight all throughout the journey. She had a feeling Derek might have had something to do with that.

    Derek was flying ahead of her, his pidgeot somewhat bigger than the one she was sitting on. It was the first pokémon Derek had ever caught – he had told her that – after receiving Cyndaquil, and had also been the first to evolve. Thus they had built a remarkable connection. Derek often complained that he couldn’t take his buddy out enough, seeing as he had work to do on the ground. That was probably another reason for Derek to choose the pidgeot to take them.

    All in all, the entire journey went by rather quickly. The things below were always interesting to see and now and then Amy could swear she saw a moving form. A trainer perhaps, or a large pokémon, crossing streams and wandering through meadows that seem to billow in the wind. She enjoyed the freedom flight gave her and fervently tried to remember which badge she would need to obtain to be allowed to. It wouldn’t come to her and she stored the question in her memory to ask Derek later. If she remembered.

    The following two hours passed much the same. Now and then Derek would slow his pokémon down to fly next to her and ask if she was all right. Obviously she was – otherwise she would have fallen off the huge bird – but every time he asked she just answered to reassure him. In a way he was trying his best to protect her while he could, even if the only thing that could go wrong was her letting go or the pidgeot doing something wrong. Either way there wouldn't be much Derek could do about it, but big brothers were big brothers and she enjoyed the attention he gave her.

    As they neared New Bark Town she could visibly see the forest trim down. The trees became smaller, less cluttered together, and their colour lightened. Now and then she could even distinguish houses through the roof of leaves. The two pokémon were flying lower now, allowing Amy to see the roads more clearly and even notice the difference between human and pokémon. Some turned their head when they flew past, others were too engrossed in their own journey and didn’t even notice the birds of prey swooping past. Soon she hoped to be engrossed much like them.

    Much too soon Derek ordered his pokémon to slow down and a groan left her as she saw a group of houses, neatly tucked between water and forest. A large building stood near its center, roof glistening, and Amy realised that could only be New Bark Town's laboratory. The little town wasn’t particularly known for anything else.

    Professor Elm resided there and new trainers from all over the region flocked towards the little town to register for their pokémon journeys. He housed the starter pokémon of the region, too; Chikorita, Cyndaquil and Totodile. Grass, Fire and Water; the three major elemental types. A lot of people had started out there when they couldn't find a fitting starter on their own. Elm, though frazzled and easily distracted, had been very important to many.

    As the pidgeot landed a couple of meters from the first house, Amy felt her heart skip a beat. It was finally time. Absently patting Pidgeot on the head, she waited for Derek to join her. After a thank you from him both pokémon disappeared back into their pokéballs. Taking a deep breath Amy followed her brother as he walked up the path into the town.

    Little was enough to describe it. Except for the pokémon laboratory - which she knew belonged to Professor Elm - everything was small. Small houses, enriched by dark green plants climbing up the wall, with small paths, small ponds and a bunch of small trees enclosing it all. Heck, she almost expected the people to be small. They weren’t, of course, she realised as some walked by, but she wouldn't have been surprised. Some were easily identified as beginning trainers, like her, but most seemed to be townspeople going about their daily business.

    A hand on her arm reminded her that she was supposed to follow Derek. Trotting after him with quick steps, she hurried to follow him before finally halting in front of the laboratory. It looked immense, tall windows allowing her to see inside and watch several people pass by. Next to her, Derek cleared his throat.

    “Now, Amy, I’m going to deliver the rattata and give you the chance to talk to Professor Elm. Choose your pokémon wisely,” he said, grabbing one of the pokéballs currently hanging off his belt.

    “You're not coming with me?” Amy asked, completely stunned by this revelation.

    “No, it would be best if you went through this alone. After all, most new trainers do. Don’t worry, I’ve heard Professor Elm is a nice man. I might not have met him, but what I heard was encouraging. Don’t worry, Amy, I’ll wait out here for you.”

    “And if you’re not back by then?”

    “Then wait, I want to say goodbye. I doubt my errand will take long though.”

    Nodding in understanding, but feeling slightly abandoned, she watched Derek walk off. As he entered a nearby house, Amy stepped forward and entered the laboratory herself. Butterflies wrestled around in her stomach as she tried to keep her cool.

    Strange sounds and scents assailed her the moment she set foot on the clean stone floor. The laboratory seemed more homey than she had imagined it to be, but still it reminded her a lot of the doctor’s house she had visited quite often as a child.

    The room was filled with odd devices and shelves carrying pokéballs. A few aides were busy on computers and another was studying a pokémon nearby. The dark bird, yellow beak snapping at the man at odd intervals, was making all sorts of noises and was obviously not a very willing test subject. The aide, however, didn’t seem fazed at all and diligently continued his work.

    “Can I help you?”

    Amy turned to face one of the aids that had sat behind a computer when she'd walked in. Blushing slightly, she nodded.

    “I’m here to receive my first pokémon.”

    “A new trainer, splendid! Professor Elm is in the back. If you give me a moment I’ll bring you to him.”

    Nodding again, she watched the aide walk away and turn off the pc he’d been working on. He motioned her to follow and she was taken to a room in the back, separated from the earlier one by a large wooden door. This room was filled with shelves containing pokéballs, much like she'd seen when she'd entered the lab, but these were neatly divided into three groups. She assumed these were the chikorita, cyndaquil and totodile the professor kept. Glancing at them – itching to grab one – she kept herself in stride with the aide as they passed the rows of red and white.

    They came to a table, papers littering it, and behind the table stood a man in a muddy lab coat. He wore glasses and his hair was tousled. This had to be Professor Elm, there could be no doubt. He even looked like a professor.

    “Professor? A new trainer has arrived.”

    The man turned, pushing his glasses up with ink-stained fingers. As his eyes rested on Amy she felt oddly insecure. This man was a pokémon professor; he had probably seen more pokémon in his life than she ever would. He was to change her life. How could she, a ten year old girl from a town he had probably never heard of, compare to him?

    “Ah, good, good, welcome! My name is Professor Elm, and who might you be?”

    “I’m Amy Kingsby. I live in Sunbark,” she answered, bursting with pride that she'd been able to speak without a stutter. She even dared to smile.

    The professor nodded at this and returned it with a wide grin, wiping his hands on his already dirty lab coat. He reached one out and Amy shook it, trying to ignore the stains she knew would now cover her hand. With actions that betrayed his experience, the professor grabbed an ID card from a stack of papers, and wrote her name down in practised and clear letters.

    “There you are, ID 63427, up and coming pokémon trainer,” the professor said before handing the thing to her.

    “Make sure to keep it with you at all times. Your pokédex will serve as an ID too, of course, but the ID card is much easier to use. Now, if you’d follow me, I’m sure you’re very eager to receive your first pokémon. Jason, if you’d be so kind as to grab a new pokédex for me? I’m sure they brought me a few new ones recently.”

    Of course Amy didn’t mind following the professor. In fact, she couldn’t wait. As she had thought the pokémon were kept on the shelves she'd seen earlier, dozens lying in wait to be given to a new trainer not unlike herself. Strange how such rare pokémon were given out so readily to anyone that would come by to claim one.

    The professor grabbed three, one from each shelf, and placed them on a nearby desk. The pokéballs all shone, adding to the importance of it all. Her first pokémon, her very own, she couldn’t wait.

    “Now, here are the pokémon you can choose from. Cyndaquil, totodile and chikorita. Do I have to tell you about them?”

    “Ehm, no sir. My brother has told me all about them, he’s a trainer.”

    “Good, good, then you must have chosen already?”

    “Yes, I’ve decided on totodile.”

    “Excellent, excellent, that saves us a lot of time.” With quick steps the professor stepped back towards the desk, grabbing one of the pokéballs. He handed it to Amy and she couldn’t help but stare at the red-and-white ball in her hands. It was heavier than empty pokéballs, she noted, but not by much. Just enough to alert the person bearing it that it was occupied by something.

    The aide that had been sent off returned with a red device in his hands. She knew that to be a pokédex. Her brother owned one – an older model – and she had been allowed to look at it now and then. Now she thought about it that might come in handy, after all she knew how to work with it better than most beginning trainers would.

    Professor Elm added some information to the thing, quick fingers dancing over the buttons with enviable ease. It only added to the feeling that she was just another job for the professor. Not that she could blame him, of course, he couldn’t talk and get to know every new trainer that came to meet him, but for some reason she hadn’t expected it to be like this. He was trying to hurry things along so he could get back to work, while for her it was the single most important thing in her life.

    “There we go, all set. Now, the pokédex has information on all pokémon found in the Kanto and Johto region, along with most of the Hoenn region. Some might not yet be recorded seeing as they’re fairly rare, but you would be able to find data on most of them. Not that you’d come across many of the rarer ones in this region, but there will always be some trainers carrying them around. It will record which pokémon you have seen, caught, and currently own. It displays basic information, attacks and type, and has the function to request more in-depth information. As said before, it can also serve as an ID card. Keep it safe, it is an invaluable and rather expensive trinket.”

    Amy nodded again, feeling like that was all she could do. What could she say? Nothing. Could she add something to it? No. So she stayed quiet. With her pokéball in hand and about to receive her pokédex, she felt strangely devoid of the floaty feeling she had imagined would accompany the receiving of her things.

    “If there’s anything I can help you with then feel free to ask. My phone number is enclosed in the pokédex, so you can always call me.”

    Another nod. Professor Elm smiled pleasantly at Amy before patting her shoulder.

    “Don’t worry, dear, everything will be fine. Good luck on your adventure. I would love to stay and chat, but I have some very interesting research to perform and I really cannot put it off any longer. Pokémon trainers have been stopping by almost all day, you see.”

    Hearing the obvious request to leave, Amy kindly thanked the professor and followed the aide to the exit. All in all it hadn’t taken more than twenty minutes. For some reason Amy felt dejected about it, but she couldn’t quite figure out why.

    ~

    As she closed the door behind her, she noticed Derek lounging against a nearby tree. He was staring off into the distance while softly patting his typhlosion on the head. It was an endearing sight and she didn’t seem the only one to think so. A group of young children, around the age of seven, she guessed, was staring in awe at her brother. Then again, perhaps they were only in awe because her brother owned a fully evolved typhlosion. After all, there was little to no reason to expect that these children had seen anything except the first stage.

    With slow steps she walked towards her brother, deep down unsure what his reaction would be. After all, she hadn’t been gone long and he probably hadn’t been waiting long either. There was no way of telling what he thought about her unusually short stay with the professor. She tried to seem inconspicuous and simply watched the two enjoy each other's company.

    Unfortunately, the typhlosion noticed her soon enough and a smile spread across Derek’s face. Both trainer and pokémon got to their feet, typhlosion's large body stretching and teeth bared. The children twittered excitedly at this, but the fiery pokémon paid them no heed as it followed its owner. It kept its eyes on Derek, seemingly perfectly content with hovering in the background.

    “Amy! How did it go?” Derek asked cheerfully. He seemed much happier now than before he'd left Amy behind.

    “Good,” was the tentative answer. She didn't know what else to say. Was there anything she could say about the way professor Elm had brushed her off and sent her away? Not really.

    So she showed him the pokédex and the pokéball she'd received, an unsure look on her face. Would he ask her why she was back so soon?

    “Great, looks like you’re all set then. When I was about to leave mother practically forced me to stay longer. When she was finally ready to let me go it was late in the afternoon already and I had to sleep here with a bunch of strangers because she didn't want me sleeping on the ground. It wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences, I assure you, but at least our parents weren’t there when I left.”

    Amy laughed at this, though inside she wished something like that had happened to her. It sounded interesting, eventful. But no doubt she’d go through something equally adventurous and one day, hopefully soon, she’d be able to tell Derek her own thrilling stories.

    Looking around, she noticed the children were still there, though in smaller numbers, and one of them was avidly telling the others a story. She couldn’t hear what exactly he was sharing, but it seemed to include a pokémon battle. Indeed, the boy was making huge motions, portraying a flying pokémon diving down, then waved his arms frantically like he was being chased. The children clapped as he finished his story and Amy felt curious as to what he had told them. Before she had time to ask - or nudge Derek - her brother brushed her shoulder.

    “It would be better if you left, Amy. Due to the pokégear trouble we were already late and you wouldn’t want to be stranded like I was. The journey to Cherrygrove City takes a while as it is and along the way there are countless of things that may interest you,” Derek said, looking all too calm about this. Next to him, Typhlosion regarded both of them with inquisitive eyes, and Amy petted the pokémon's head out of mere habit. She'd miss him too.

    It felt as if Derek wanted her to leave, though, and that nagged at her. His presence was comforting and the hand on her shoulder solid, but his eyes spoke of something else. Of his wish to see her enjoy her adventure, or maybe finish his. Amy sighed. Perhaps he did want her to go. It felt like he was living his old dream through her and wanted everything to go perfect, unlike his own experiences of simply not being good enough. Even though she wasn’t quite sure if she was ready to leave yet, she nodded, and received a comforting smile from Derek.

    “You’ll be all right. I must admit I doubted it at first, but you’ll be just fine. You know my phone number, sis, if there’s anything I can help you with. Please don’t hesitate to call. I'll fly out immediately, or send Typhlosion over to you if it's really urgent.” His hand brushed her hair. “I'm there if you need me.”

    Grabbing one of his pokéballs he let one of the pidgeot out. With a quick hop he jumped on the big bird’s back, hands gripping a handful of feathers. Righting himself, he looked down at his sister and smiled reassuringly.

    “So this is goodbye, I guess,” he said, still smiling as he returned his typhlosion to its pokéball.

    “Yeah…”

    “Take care of yourself and your pokémon, Amy, and make us proud.”

    After a quick pat on the head, Derek urged his pidgeot to fly upwards. With a few strong beats of massive wings the pokémon soon soared high overhead. Waving frantically, Amy watched them leave with mixed feelings. Soon they were nothing but a distant dot in the clear blue sky, leaving her, abandoning her. Now she was all alone.

    ‘Well, Totodile, that leaves us,’ she thought, looking at the gleaming pokéball in her hand with mixed feelings.

    As she looked around again she saw that the children had vanished. Rightly so, for it was near lunch time. That reminded her, she had been hungry during flight. Strangely enough she no longer felt the need to eat, too distracted by the sudden fear of abandonment that gripped her. Shaking, she checked her bag, placed the pokéball on her belt and pushed the pokédex in a deep pocket. Without looking back – there wasn’t anything to look for anyway – she made for the road she knew lead to Cherrygrove City.

    ~

    The road to the city wasn’t particularly long or dangerous, Amy knew, as it stretched across the grasslands. Now and then she would see ridges on the horizon, speaking of things to come, but not many. The road was man-made, too neat and tidy to be anything else. Not far off she could see the contours of trees sticking out against the blue sky, or the slightest hint at mountains, but as of yet it all reminded her too much of the oft-walked paths of Sunbark. She was faintly interested in entering those forests, anyway, but knew that close to Cherrygrove City there would be enough forest to satisfy her curiosity. Her chat with Derek – and a somewhat childlike fear of the dark - had reminded her that she really had to reach her destination before nightfall.

    Totodile had been out for a bit before, but because the pokémon had refused to walk alongside her, Amy had resorted to recalling him so she could pick up the pace. Not exactly a great first meeting, but then she didn’t know the pokémon yet. Something, she wagered, a good meal could probably remedy.

    Wiping her brow, she stared at the road ahead, trying to calculate the distance between herself and Cherrygrove. Clucking her tongue as she noticed the time on her pokégear, she looked around to find a good place to take a break. To her satisfaction she had made good time and had taken fewer breaks than expected. After all, she wasn’t particularly used to travelling all day, so she'd been rather pleased with herself for keeping up the pace. Maybe those endless walks in the forest had been good for more than just knowledge on pokémon. Finding a nice patch of grass to the side of the road, comfortably located in the shade of a tall pine tree, she dropped her bag and sat down, stretching muscles and yawning as she did.

    Grabbing her pokéball, she let her pokémon out, immediately noticing Totodile’s disorientated look.

    “We’re on the road to Cherrygrove, Totodile. I thought we should take a break and have a snack.”

    The water pokémon made noises in reply, but Amy wasn’t exactly sure what he was trying to say. Probably something along the lines of him wanting to receive food. Shrugging, she opened her bag and grabbed a small container of pokéfood. Derek had prepared it and insisted she keep it dry and cool so it wouldn’t disintegrate.

    As Totodile came towards her ,she handed him some of the food, watching him gobble it down and make – what she guessed to be – rather pleased noises. He was practically begging for more and Amy indulged him, though mentally scolding herself for giving him more than he needed. However, he was a male totodile and, like any other male, he’d probably respond best to the prospect of food.

    “I haven’t come across any pokémon yet, Totodile. Except a few pidgey flying overhead.”

    She sighed, staring moodily down the road. She'd hoped to come across a variety of pokémon she'd been told about – a rattata, or a spearow, or any of the common critters that inhabited forests all across the land – but none had shown up so far. All she could see was, in the distance, a silhouette, probably a trainer. She had seen a few, but all took one glance at her and continued on their way. Either they were scared of her – which she doubted – or she wasn’t worth their time. Amy had hoped to come across one of the trainers Professor Elm had mentioned earlier, as she was itching for something to do and really wanted to test Totodile’s skills, but those hadn't shown up either.

    No, for some reason the path she had been walking on was devoid of both pokémon and people. Pidgey she saw, but only high up in the sky where she would not be able to attack them, let alone catch them.

    The rustling of a few rattata or sentret in the high grass was the only sign that there were in fact pokémon nearby, but whenever she walked their way and let out Totodile, the small rodents were gone. It was beyond annoying and she had given up on pursuing them. Hopefully she’d be able to catch some pokémon later on.

    She knew that up ahead a perimeter house was located, leading to the end of the mountain road. She wouldn’t be able to climb the road that lead to Blackthorn, but at the base of the mountains was a huge patch of high grass in which many a pokémon hid. The chance of catching a pokémon would outweigh the loss of time because of the detour she had to make, she was sure. Unfortunately, she wasn’t there yet, and would take at least another couple of hours or so. Or longer, if she extended her break. She opted not to.

    “Well, Totodile, we’d better continue. Derek would kill me if he found out I was wasting precious time trying to fill my abnormally large stomach.”

    Smiling at the memory, she got to her feet, motioning Totodile to follow. With an indignant ‘dile’ the pokémon did as asked, his large hind legs pulled up high with every step. His feet crushed the grass as he muddled on, sulking.

    It didn’t take long before he managed to fall behind. Amy, persistent that he’d make an effort for once, waited patiently. Totodile, seeing his trainer standing there, walked even slower. Trying hard to fight the urge to recall him, she walked up to him and frowned. The totodile eyed her, crossing his paws defiantly. Apparently he was not ready to cooperate.

    “Totodile! If we want to go to the Mountain Road and still reach Cherrygrove City in time then we need to speed up a bit, your stalling really isn’t helping.”

    But nothing she said seemed to help, for all the totodile did was take small steps, very small steps, and pause every time she did. Sighing, Amy tried pushing her pokémon forward, but soon found that those teeth weren’t there for decoration. Indignant that he was being urged along, the water pokémon snapped at her, teeth grazing the sensitive skin of her hand. Quickly pulling back, she stared at the pokémon with big eyes, her lips trembling slightly. This was not what she had expected, at all. Perhaps she should have chosen chikorita or cyndaquil, or another totodile. This one seemed quite a lazy bum and that was not what she had had in mind for her first pokémon.

    Her skin felt raw as she touched it, but luckily there was no blood. Swallowing nervously, she looked down at her unwilling starter.

    The totodile, eyeing her defiantly still, was making noises now as she glared at him. His paws were still crossed and his hind legs were digging in the earth, trying to show his displeasure. Its strong tail was banging on the road, dust and small rocks jumping up and flying away at the pounding. She looked at the pokémon, unsure what to do. She shouldn’t give in to this, she knew, but perhaps this totodile just wasn’t used to walking? Or built for it? After all, he was a water pokémon and they weren’t known for their mobility on land.

    Turning her head towards the horizon, she could just see the contours of trees closing in on the path. She knew that there the nicely placed roads would end and they would resume in a curving motion. If she was lucky she would find the direct route to the Mountain Road instead of dwindling along and finding herself lost in an unknown forest. Knowing that she really had to get going, she glared at her pokémon some more and grabbed his pokéball. A pleased ‘toto’ was all she heard before the creature was nothing more than energy in a ball.

    Cursing soundly at the stubbornness of her new-found ‘companion’ she trudged along; her feet beating heavily on the sand. If she had ever had the hopes of finding a pokémon then now that hope had been crushed, seeing as no pokémon could ignore the sound of a rhyhorn charging down the path. An adult man, venomoth on his shoulder, was passed, but she did not care. For one she had no interest in anyone’s company save her own, and second if he owned a venomoth then she was hardly competition.

    The trainer seemed to disagree with her thoughts though, for he pursued her at a small run. Amy groaned inwardly. At first she really wanted to meet and battle a trainer, but even she wasn’t as stupid as to think that this trainer was beatable. At least not for her.

    “Hey! Miss! Wait a moment!”

    Amy turned abruptly, eyeing the man in front of her. She pushed back the tears that had threatened to spill, but knew her eyes must be red. She just hoped the man wouldn’t notice.

    The trainer in question had to be a few years older than Derek, but not nearly as tall. His hair was a dark brown, nearing black, and pulled back into a pony-tail. He wore the most curious of glasses and his backpack was torn and near break-down. But all in all he seemed a real trainer. If there was such a thing.

    The venomoth on his shoulder was making noises, annoyed by the sudden change of pace. Flapping its wings, the pokémon adjusted its stance on the man’s shoulder and was now glancing down in curiosity, looking what had caused its master to suddenly take off like that.

    “Are you all right? You seemed a bit distraught. Have you been crying?” the man asked, a concerned look on his face.

    “No! Well, yes.” Her hand brushed her eyelids, moisture left on them. “You see I started just recently, this morning actually, and my pokémon won’t cooperate.”

    She sniffed slightly, finding it hard to keep from crying at the concerned and helpful look the man was giving her. She always had a hard time not breaking down whenever someone showed compassion.

    “That can be tough. I can remember that my starter pokémon was just as bad. It was a squirtle and as soon as he had learned to shoot bubbles he would soak me every morning, begging for me to wake up. He didn’t mean any harm, but still it wasn’t exactly comfortable. What kind of pokémon did you get?”

    “A totodile.”

    “And he’s being stubborn?”

    “Yes, he refused to walk with me and when I urged him along he tried to bite me!”

    “Yep, that sounds like a totodile. You see, water pokémon aren’t very interested in long walks, they’d much rather swim around. My squirtle wasn’t big on walking either, though it got worse when he evolved. It’s just not their thing. And the biting, well, it’s a common trait with Totodile. It’s even listed in their pokédex description.”

    “It is?” Amy wasn't sure if she could believe him. He seemed reasonable enough, but then he willingly allowed a venomoth to nibble on his head and leave dust all over his shoulders.

    “Yes, sure is. Why don’t you check it out, the pokédex is truly invaluable when it comes to information on pokémon.”

    Nodding, Amy dug in her pocket and grabbed the pokédex. Opening it, she swiftly searched for the information on totodile. As soon as the pokédex had found the right entry a metallic voice cut through the air.

    Totodile: Despite the smallness of its body, Totodile's jaws are very powerful. While the pokémon may think it is just playfully nipping, its bite has enough power to cause serious injury.

    So the biting was just playful nipping? That couldn’t be. It had been his reaction to her poking, instead of a reaction to her proposition of a game. He didn’t seem that happy with her either, so she had to conclude that it couldn’t be a ‘playful nip’. It did mean that she’d have to be careful next time; it seemed that her totodile was much more than it seemed. Of course she knew totodile had strong jaws, but she had never thought about it fully.

    “But it wasn’t meant as a game, he looked mighty annoyed,” she said, hoping that this stranger could help her.

    “It could be that he was just angry at something. Pokémon have their own personalities, it seems that you received a rather cranky one. Don’t worry; he’ll come around soon enough. Just get to know him.”

    “Thank you, I’ll do that.”

    Amy felt somewhat better. It wasn’t uncommon to have a somewhat odd pokémon. No, in fact most had a side to them that was less than appealing. If this totodile was a bit lazy and snappy then she’d have to live with that and try to train him to behave differently. It would only be another task she had to fulfil. It would be adventurous!

    “Very welcome. Glad I could help. I’m Jason, by the way,” the man introduced himself, a kind smile on his lips.

    “Amy, nice to meet you.”

    “I take it you’re heading for Cherrygrove City?”

    “Yes, but I wanted to take a detour to go visit the end of the Mountain Road.”

    “Aaah, yes, it’s quite a nice spot to catch pokémon. Be careful not to stay out there at night though, you could find yourself trapped in a swarm of beedrill or dragged down by a geodude.”

    The thought wasn’t exactly pleasant, and she wasn’t sure which of the options she disliked most, but she wasn’t about to back down. After all, she didn’t plan to stay there during the night.

    “I’m not planning to stay,” she said, her voice sounding slightly restrained. For the first time on her journey she realized how alone she’d be.

    Derek wouldn’t be there to help her when a caterpie entangled itself in her hair, Growlithe wouldn’t be around to scare the pidgey off when they tried to steal her food, and she wouldn’t have her parents to back her every decision. It was a scary thought.

    “Good, you shouldn’t.”

    She looked up at the man, watching him pet the venomoth out of habit. She wasn’t a big fan of bug pokémon, let alone any this big, but she could understand the appeal this one held to its master. He – or she, she didn’t know – was a fine specimen, obviously well trained and strong. The venomoth’s head was moving from side to side as Jason scratched its belly, making Amy smile. This seemed to be a recurring ritual, for the venomoth obediently lifted its legs when Jason continued scratching its belly, as if they’d done it countless times before.

    “That’s a lovely venomoth.”

    Jason looked up from what he was doing, smiling at her.

    “She is, yes. I trained her from a very young venonat and we’ve been best friends ever since. She isn’t as strong as most of Bugsy’s pokémon, but she can put up quite a fight and training under him has done her good.”

    “Bugsy? Isn’t he..”

    “The leader of Azalea Gym, yes. I’ve been training under him for close to a year now. It’s been fruitful.”

    “But he’s..”

    “Young? Why yes, he is, but they don’t call him the bug pokémon encyclopedia for nothing. He really knows what he’s doing and I respect him for that. He teaches a lot of valuable things,” he said, finishing another of Amy's sentences. She frowned, but didn't say anything.

    To study bug pokémon all day, Amy felt the chills run down her back at just the mere thought. How could anyone stay around them for that long? They crept where they weren’t supposed to, they stung without provocation, and they left slimy trails of String Shot on the outside furniture. Heck, weedle and its evolutions could even poison you! And here was someone who spent time with them everyday. She could appreciate bug pokémon such as butterfree – though not its pre-evolutions – venomoth and scyther, but there were very few bug pokémon she'd gravitate towards. In fact, there were none.

    So it wasn’t so strange that she found the words of this man to be very surprising. He appeared to be a bug pokémon trainer, yet not one of those puny bug catchers Derek had told her about. According to him most bug catchers caught small bug pokémon, a bunch of them at the same time, too, to overpower their opponents by sheer numbers instead of power, and hopefully get their pokémon to evolve. Bug catchers, she hoped to never meet one. Jason, however, didn’t seem the type in the slightest, yet he owned a venomoth and trained at the bug pokémon gym. How odd.

    “Do you own any other pokémon?”

    “Yes,” Jason answered. “I own quite a few, but I prefer to fight with Venom while I try winning more badges. I can always use my other pokémon when things go wrong. At the moment though I’m just trying to train my venomoth so she can get stronger.”

    “That sounds interesting.”

    Amy wasn’t sure what else to say. In fact she felt the urge to get away from this trainer. Not because she was scared of him or because he looked unpleasant, but simply because she felt small and young compared to him. Here she was, almost crying over an unwilling pokémon, when he had several pokémon yet was trying to beat gyms with just one. She couldn’t compare.

    As she was pondering this the man looked at the horizon, dark eyes scanning the sky. Amy could just faintly see the green of the trees up ahead, but not what was so interesting to the man.

    “I would hurry if I were you, a storm’s coming. It shouldn’t hit till later tonight when you’re in the pokécentre, but you never know,” he said, patting the venomoth on the head as the bug pokémon made uneasy noises.

    “How can you tell?”

    “See how the clouds up ahead are cluttering together? The wind is growing, soon too much pressure will be put on the clouds and they’ll darken; starting a pour.”

    A storm? Well that was just great. A storm on her first day out, of all the rotten things to happen, she had to end up in a storm. Perhaps she should go right past the Mountain Road and return there after a good night's sleep in the Pokémon Centre. For one she didn’t particularly like dark murky nights with rain pounding down on her. She was even a bit afraid of the dark – or a lot – if she admitted to it. Yes, staying at the pokémon centre suddenly seemed like a wonderful idea.
    Last edited by Silawen; 6th April 2010 at 12:30 AM. Reason: Edited and updated.

  19. #19
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    Urk. How disillusioning. Not exactly the way to make a new trainer feel special, is it? Needless to say, the atmosphere and description you've got here is gorgeous. You can really empathise with Amy - it's great to read a fic where the main character is so developed.

    As for the plot, I was a little disappointed not to meet her pokemon this chapter. Possibly you could have kept writing (this chappie wasn't THAT long. Or it didn't seem that long to me. Meh. Time flies when you're having fun.) but I suppose you wanted to leave us with a little cliffie, hmm? Just careful you don't drag it out too much.

    And the thing that strikes me most about this is the level of realism. You've really created this little world beautifully and with a lovely sense of probability. Derek's raising someone's pokemon for them - it seems like the sort of thing that would happen, but you rarely see it in fics, cause people like to focus on their own trainer and their own trainer's ability to raise their own pokemon. Amy actually had to wait to go on the journey - and waited with patience to say goodbye to her parents. Again, not something you often see - I find a lot of writers are too eager to have their character get out there as a trainer that they forget what the character would actually want.

    I like the way people are moderate - as I said before. There are restrictions and mundane problems in a trainer's life and you don't avoid them for the sake of getting to the action.

    There were, however a few points that confused me a little. Derek had two Pidgeots, right? They were both his? Eh, I'm a sloppy reader, so I probably missed where it said.

    But also in that section, you said
    The two pokémon were flying lower now, allowing Amy to see the roads more clearly and even notice the difference between a form of a human and a form of a pokémon.
    To me, it reads better if you say "The two pokémon were flying lower now, allowing Amy to see the roads more clearly and even notice the difference between the form of a human and the form of a pokémon."

    Also, I'd try to avoid repeating the same word to frequently. For example,
    She had thought about the pokéfood, her own food, the sleeping bag and such, but the lighter, pocket knife, medicine kit and rain coat were things she wouldn’t have thought about bringing.
    I'd change the 'thought'. Maybe instead use "She had thought about the pokéfood, her own food, the sleeping bag and such, but the lighter, pocket knife, medicine kit and rain coat were things that wouldn't have occured to her to bring."

    Apart from a few sticky points like that, this chapter was thoroughly awesome. Especially the flying part. ^^ So great work and as one of your readers I ask you to continue that work swiftly so that we can finally meet her pokemon! (But no need to rush. No pressure here. Take your time... but take it quickly! ... meh. @_@) Have fun!

    Piney.
    I wish you peace and love. God bless us all.

  20. #20

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    Ah - so you prefer Pokémon less humanized, and more Animalized, eh? I respect that, and hope you continue to do a good job with it. I was wondering if she was going to go with a Chikorita, here, I thought she might just because she likes the thing, but I still do like how she went with a Totodile, instead.

    Makes it more original, that.

    And I can feel Amy's disappointment - yes, certainly a way to make a Trainer feel special... I guess it's not that much of a monumentous event, poor girl.

    Since it's Christmas Over here.. or tomorrow, to be more precise, I've made you a banner for your story.. XD I did have this Chikorita one, as I was betting she was going to choose it, but since it's that cute little crocodile.. I made a Totodile banner instead.

    Caught in the moment

    I hope you enjoy!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinecone Tortoise
    Urk. How disillusioning. Not exactly the way to make a new trainer feel special, is it? Needless to say, the atmosphere and description you've got here is gorgeous. You can really empathise with Amy - it's great to read a fic where the main character is so developed.
    Aww, thank you. I love Amy too. She's a lovely character to work with.

    As for the plot, I was a little disappointed not to meet her pokemon this chapter. Possibly you could have kept writing (this chappie wasn't THAT long. Or it didn't seem that long to me. Meh. Time flies when you're having fun.) but I suppose you wanted to leave us with a little cliffie, hmm? Just careful you don't drag it out too much.
    I know, I know, but I have the next chapter dedicated to her pokémon, plus I wanted to keep this chapter focused on the journey there and the way she felt, as opposed having it clouded by her pokémon.


    There were, however a few points that confused me a little. Derek had two Pidgeots, right? They were both his? Eh, I'm a sloppy reader, so I probably missed where it said.
    Yes, they were. The first, the one Derek was flying on, was the first pokémon Derek ever caught. The second was also his.

    Thank you for the comments, I'll change them around.

    Apart from a few sticky points like that, this chapter was thoroughly awesome. Especially the flying part. ^^ So great work and as one of your readers I ask you to continue that work swiftly so that we can finally meet her pokemon! (But no need to rush. No pressure here. Take your time... but take it quickly! ... meh. @_@) Have fun!
    Oh wow, thank you! I love the flying segment too, I had so much fun writing it. And, again, I have the following couple of chapters ready, but at this rate I'll run out of them in a week, haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saffire Persian
    Ah - so you prefer Pokémon less humanized, and more Animalized, eh? I respect that, and hope you continue to do a good job with it. I was wondering if she was going to go with a Chikorita, here, I thought she might just because she likes the thing, but I still do like how she went with a Totodile, instead.
    I do. I tend to see the pokémon world as a 'real' world, where pokémon live in the wild much like animals live in our world.
    Chikorita, yes, well I thought that Totodile would give it originality, and realism. See, I would choose a Totodile too, not because I love it, but because it's sensible.

    Since it's Christmas Over here.. or tomorrow, to be more precise, I've made you a banner for your story.. XD I did have this Chikorita one, as I was betting she was going to choose it, but since it's that cute little crocodile.. I made a Totodile banner instead.
    Oh, wow, it's gorgeous! Thank you so much! That's, like, fan-art! I've never had fan-art. ^^ I'll definately use it, thank you so much!

    Oh, and, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    Thank you, Saffire Persian, for the lovely banner.

  22. #22
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    Oh yeah! This is luuuuuuurverly!! It's not often you see a trainer fic get this great this quickly! The key to what you've got here is REALISM, I think. You actually take care to accurately portray what WOULD happen on a journey, not just what you WANT to happen in the fic. And IMO, you've done brilliantly.

    Totodile - so cute and yet so stubborn. Funny, I'd kinda thought of them as cuddly li'l things. Y'know, the whole 'chubby little squeaking critter' thing. ^^;; Meh. And I like the way we don't really know whether Totodile is actually unhappy with his trainer or just being provocative.

    Amy - you capture her fears and hopes so well. She's a truly believable character and it's easy to relate her.

    Y'know what? I can't really find anything to criticise properly. Just a bunch of things to mention that you've done really well. ^^ So basically, I'd say PLEASE write the next chapter soon! I really wanna see what happens! Especially if Amy is going for her first capture! So great work, ton of congratulations on your latest masterful production and muchly urging to post again soon!

    Piney.
    I wish you peace and love. God bless us all.

  23. #23
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    Disclaimer: I do not own pokémon or any of its related enterprises. They are the property of their respective owners. This chapter was also beta'd by Farla.

    -

    Chapter Three: Capturing Greatness.



    It was dark outside, and she could see nothing except the lights of the house at the other side of the road. They flickered faintly under the force of the storm. Rain was beating heavily against the window, drops gliding down in remarkable patterns=, as her eyes followed them and she rested her elbows on the windowsill, head in hands. Now and then she could see a form make hastily its way across the road, most heading for the door a few meters away from her. Every time someone entered the centre she could feel the chill make its way through the room, as well as adding to the scent of wet person. It wasn't pleasant, by a long stretch, but the soaking mess that was the outside world didn't invite either. So she stayed where she was, grateful for dry clothes and the prospect of a bed.

    Lightning flashed somewhere in the distance, showing Amy that the worst was over. It wouldn’t be dry any time soon, but at least the chance of getting fried by lightning was ebbing away. Shifting at the sound of footsteps, she gladly accepted the warm meal Nurse Joy handed her. Placing the food on the table in front of her, she immediately started eating, eyes following Nurse Joy as she made her rounds through the pokémon centre.

    It was busy, not surprisingly, and she could see trainers everywhere. Some were literally soaked; others – like her – had managed to reach the centre just in time to outrun the storm. Had she stopped at the Mountain Road she would now be clutching a hot drink and wrapped in blankets like some of the others. Thank heavens for Jason and his good advice. Jason himself had decided to continue on through the forest, something which had both surprised and unnerved her. Apparently he was used to rain and knew how to deal with it, staying under the protection of leaves and hoping fervently that no lightning would strike. Amy couldn’t understand why anyone would take such a risk, but frankly didn’t care either. He was a big boy, he could take care of himself.

    Their talk hadn’t continued for long. Amy had felt the need to journey on; scared as she was that she’d be caught out in the storm. And so she had; practically running the last bit. She had asked for a single room, but soon found out that none were available. The weather had herded all sorts of trainers in, from rookies to experienced veterans, and most rooms were occupied, so she would have to share with two other trainers. Apparently she was going to bunk with two brothers, one her age and one some years older than her. She just hoped none of them carried any bug pokémon. Just the thought of them escaping their pokéball and coming for a ‘visit’ was enough to make her shudder.

    As she finished her meal, she noticed the talk in the centre becoming less. Most trainers seemed to get ready for bed and some were handing their pokémon to Nurse Joy to spend the night with her. They'd require some special attention, or just a good night's sleep, and would be picked up again in the morning. A few trainers were still avidly talking about something or another, their pokémon – an oddish and a striking marowak – talking as well, amused chattering in their pokélanguage showing how much they were enjoying their time together.

    For a second Amy felt sad that she hadn’t let Totodile out to get to know her, but she wasn’t sure whether or not she wanted to risk a disgrace. After all if Totodile refused to acknowledge her or listen to her then all the trainers here would know that. No, she was convinced she'd made the right choice. It was way too late for someone her age to be storming after a misbehaving lizard pokémon and she doubted the sleepy occupants of the centre would appreciate that.

    Yawning slightly, she stared outside again, eyes trying to pierce through the darkness. All she could see now were the dim sights of light on the other side of the road, showing that houses were situated there. It almost looked like candles were flowing in mid-air, burning through the rain. She hadn’t had a chance to investigate the town yet, but she was planning to do so before going back to the Mountain Road. It should be a charming little town, as far as she could tell, and the water nearby made for a rather picturesque scene. Something to look forward to, she decided.

    After a few minutes Amy realised she should probably go to bed. The next day would be quite tiresome and she planned on doing quite some tiring activities, such as returning to the road she'd passed earlier. It had been annoying, realising she'd have to journey backwards, but no doubt worth it.

    As she reached her room for the night, she heard soft talking; obviously her room-mates. A young boy with sparkling blue eyes looked up as she entered, while an older boy – perhaps a year younger than Derek – sat up from his bed.

    “Ah, good evening. We heard we would have company overnight,” the older boy stated, reaching out his hand and shaking Amy’s.

    “I’m Carl and this is my brother Damian,” the young boy quipped, also shaking her hand.

    “I’m Amy.”

    “We were just talking about going to bed, but if you want to stay up just tell us.”

    “No, no, I better go to bed too. I’m tired.”

    In silence the three made their beds, all too aware that they had nothing to discuss as of yet. When she crept in bed and listened to the beating of the rain on the window, Amy could not help but think of home and her own, small – but comfortable – bed. Would Mother miss her already, or worry about her safety? And what was Derek doing, now that she was gone? With images of home tormenting her dreams, Amy fell into a fitful sleep.

    ~

    The ground was still muddy from the night before, puddles littering the path and leaves floating and rippling every pool she saw, and it made walking difficult. Totodile was trudging along next to her, making happy noises as he jumped in every muddy hole he saw. His blue coat was now a striking grey because of the mud and the water clinging to it. Amy - happy as she was that the totodile was cooperating - smiled every time he hopped around with glee.

    The sky was still somewhat grey, though the clouds had vanished, but that could also be attributed to the early hour. It was nine o’clock and Amy had just left the houses of Cherrygrove City behind her. After an early breakfast and a refreshing night's sleep, she was now enjoying the cool morning air. The boys she had stayed with had still been resting when she’d left, making sure not to make a sound as she carefully dragged her things out. She wanted to get an early start so she could take her time at Mountain Road and still make it to Violet City in time. Only, she had no idea how long it would take to reach the place.

    A short tour through Cherrygrove City had shown her that the city was nothing special. A few houses, a pokémon centre, a pokémart – where she bought several pokéballs and two antidotes – and a connection to a lake. Or maybe a sea, she wasn’t sure. All in all, it was far from remarkable, so instead she was focusing her attention towards the Mountain Road.

    Cursing softly as she lifted a drenched foot from a puddle, Amy looked ahead, seeing the by now familiar contours of trees. Yesterday she had taken the wrong road once and ended up at the guard post for the Mountain Road. Now she knew where it lay – and could actually enter it – she was able to go to it directly instead of wandering around aimlessly. While swerving around pools she whistled a happy tune and followed her pokémon down the path and onto clear patches of grass. The tufty green ran parallel to the road - straight up to the mountain's base - so she only had to follow it. Brushing fingers over the lone pokéball she had put in her pocket – the others neatly placed on her belt and the remaining two kept in her bag – she thought of the adventures ahead.

    After an hour of walking, albeit at a slower place than at the start, she finally reached the perimeter house and with a quick show of her ID was let out of the guard house and onto the Mountain Road. Or the end of it, anyway.

    There the mountain was. Its peaks rose up in front of her, small dots of bird pokémon circling around the tips and soaring past the edges. Small rocks dropped down now and then and rolled down gradually, taking with it bigger rocks. The result was a collection of boulders - big and small - sticking up from the grass and littering the ground, every heavy drop causing small dents in the earth.

    Tawny trees grew at the edges, some of their branches resting against the rock walls. Small, resilient flowers had risen and were adding some colour to the otherwise dull environment. The only downfall to the area was that everything was wet and the grass patches were incredibly soaked, thus making it hard to get across. Totodile followed happily, enjoying the water that jumped up whenever he let his heavy hind legs down. Obviously the water pokémon felt much better now the ground was more suited to his appearance.

    “Come on, Toto,” Amy urged every time the pokémon stopped to gleefully roll around in a muddy pool.

    Her totodile listened for once and danced his way across the field, kicking up water as he went. Amy made sure to stay a couple of steps behind him and not get soaked in the process.

    It was a fresh day for her and she hoped it would go better than the one before. Enjoying the morning air, she neared a few small trees and noticed they looked remarkably withered for such young things. No doubt they had to deal with attacks from both mountain and pokémon on an every day basis. She could actually just make out a pidgey sitting on a tree branch, but as Totodile stormed through the grass the small bird pokémon flew off with a few alarmed calls.

    “Really, Toto, how are we to catch any pokémon if you’re acting like a tauros with a toothache?”

    The water pokémon eyed her for a moment, then simply continued on, kicking stones against trees as he went. Following him, Amy could do nothing but grumble a bit. She couldn’t help but feel slightly annoyed at his behaviour. She desperately wanted to catch some pokémon there, but none of them would be caught with her stomping totodile around. And if she could find one that hadn't run away, then that one would be appallingly stupid, no doubt.

    Totodile, in the mean time, continued to bang his tail against trees and threw rocks at random branches. He seemed to enjoy it immensely, since he wouldn’t stop dancing and making noises. Amy watched her pokémon as he launched his body against a tree, making the thing quiver. It wasn’t a particularly large tree and thus it moved wildly as Totodile did so. Looking rather pleased with the result, Toto stepped back and again bounced against the tree, with even more force this time.

    “Toto, leave that poor tree alone,” Amy tried, but the pokémon ignored her and resumed his game.

    Moments later Amy could swear she saw something fall out of the tree and a form landed on the ground with a heavy thud. Disconcerted at first, she thought nothing of it. That is, until Totodile moved closer to it and stopped to look. Deciding she might as well see what lay there, she stepped forward and looked down to find a creature struggling on the wet forest floor. A bug pokémon; Weedle, to be exact. The creature appeared disorientated for a while, but as it looked up at the totodile, an angry look appeared on its face.

    Its tail whipped around and lunged at Totodile, making the water pokémon jump back. Amy was surprised as she saw the small bug pokémon get back on its many feet and narrow its eyes. The light body moved forward, noises following the critter as it went, and forced Totodile backwards.

    “Come on, Toto, let’s catch it!”

    Here was her first real opportunity at catching a pokémon. True, it had been a lucky encounter, but luck was what a pokémon trainer needed and so luck she'd received.

    “Don’t let the weedle get to you, Toto, be careful,” Amy warned while grabbing her pokédex.

    Weedle; Often found in forests, eating leaves. It has a sharp stinger on its head that injects poison.

    “Well, that’s useful,” she muttered as she put the pokédex back in her pocket. Being told that the critter had a stinger on its head sounded pathetically obvious. Even she could see that being stung by the thing would cause trouble.

    “Be careful of the stinger, Toto! Start off with a leer to confuse our opponent,” Amy instructed, watching her pokémon begin to stare at the small weedle menacingly.

    Totodile’s eyes seemed to grow in size as he focused his full attention on the weedle and tried to scare and confuse the thing. The weedle seemed unaffected at first, but Amy could see it start to move uncomfortably before stepping back a bit. Suddenly the weedle countered the move and strings shot from its mouth, covering a surprised Totodile in a white web-like substance. The pokémon started clawing at the sticky material and easily rid itself of it, but became annoyed nonetheless. The weedle, however, didn’t stay in one spot during the attack and hurried over to where the totodile was standing, aiming for the water pokémon with the poisonous barb on its head.

    “Watch out, Toto, jump to the side, quickly!”

    The weedle flew past, landing rather hard on the forest floor. Totodile made happy noises before concentrating on the enemy again, seemingly resolving not to get distracted. The bug pokémon got back to its feet and turned, looking fairly disgruntled and annoyed. More strings were shot Toto’s way, but his sharp claws were able to claw through most of them.

    “Scratch him, Totodile. Let’s see how he manages that,” came Amy's instructions and she saw her totodile lunge at the small Weedle, claws at the ready.

    At first the weedle was able to evade the attacks, but the moment it let its guard down to shoot more string shots, Totodile caught it and threw it away with a well aimed scratch. The weedle landed hard again and seemed to struggle with getting up, blinking rapidly and making faint noises. Amy didn’t wait long, and soon a red-and-white pokéball flew through the air. It landed on the weedle, de-materializing it into energy and capturing it inside.

    A few weak bobbles were all it took before the weedle gave in and the pokéball stopped moving. Happy with the capture, Amy gingerly walked closer and grabbed the pokéball, looking at it before clipping it to her belt. No doubt the Weedle would be quite unhappy with what had happened, so she better heal it before letting it out.

    “Good job, Totodile. It might be just a weedle, but it is a pokémon," Amy praised. "You have to start somewhere, I suppose.”

    Totodile was long gone, however, once more happily scratching at trees and bumping his heavy tail against them. Amy sighed before following him closer to the base of the mountain.
    Last edited by Silawen; 8th April 2010 at 3:29 PM. Reason: Chapter edited and updated.

    Thank you, Saffire Persian, for the lovely banner.

  24. #24
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    Whoah. For the SECOND time, I came across this chapter when I thought I'd already reviewed it! >< My memory appears to be shot.

    ANYWAY, great chapter. No typos/grammar/punctuation errors to be found (at least not by me). Lovely description, wording etc.

    The only thing that annoys me a bit is a slight blandness - her first pokemon capture was a Weedle that behaved exactly like a Weedle would. It was a fraction predictable and in keeping with the norms of fanfiction. (At the same time, I realise that it was a Weedle because a Weedle is the only thing she's LIKELY to find in that spot with a Totodile like that.) I suppose I'd have liked to see a bit more INTERACTION between Amy and Totodile. (The action was great. ^^ Awesome battle!)

    I'm really starting to get a sense of Totodile's belligerant nature. ^^ For a chubby blue lizard, that thing has guts. I'm still not quite sure what he thinks of his trainer, but I suppose we're going to get a better sense of that in chapters to come. Amy, on the other hand, is highly recognisable character and very easy to relate to. Great work there.

    This bit I really liked:

    Its tail whipped around and lunged at Totodile, making the water pokémon jump back. Amy was surprised as she saw the small bug pokémon get back on its many feet and narrow its eyes. The light body moved forward, noises following the critter as it went, forcing Totodile backwards.
    I'm getting 'Really Angry Millipede' vibes here. A Really Angry Millipede that flows silently over the terrain, its many-jointed body moving like some creepy sort of slinky. *shudders* Gah. Freaky thing! (But excellent job portraying it...)

    Anyhoo, sorry I haven't reviewed before now. >< Such a patient person you are! Hope you're well and, since it's New Year's Eve, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! All the best for 2006!

    Piney.
    ;324
    I wish you peace and love. God bless us all.

  25. #25

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    Very nice, you have a very possible, interesting relationship going on between Amy and her Totodile (Every time I see her say 'Toto' i can't help but think 'Wizard of Oz'. Odd, I know) Still, you did a bang up job here - very nice. Hats off to your Beta, too. XD Poor Weedle - though it fascinates me, rather.

    Again, as Piney said, a bit more interaction would have been nice, but you portray Amy's feelings about the subject well, so it doesn't bother me that much.

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