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Scarlet Weather
November 15th, 2007, 08:02 PM
Alright, this is a story I've been throwing around for a while. I've been working on it off and on for close to a year now in my spare time, and at last I've got a working first draft of the better part of what will become the first chapter. This preview is only for readers interested in commenting. If you aren't going to comment for good or bad, please wait for the actual fanfiction to arrive before reading. For this reason, I will be placing this preview of the fic in spoiler tags.

Now, since I hate to leave too much blank space in a post box, I'll be adding some background and basic info here. "Thief in the Night" is a working title for a piece of Pokemon fanfiction that is the closest thing I'll ever write to an OT fic. It was inspired, in part, by all of the following sources: The manga series "King of Bandits-Jing" and "Black Cat", certain plot events in D/P, certain plot events in the original Pokemon games, and a vivid daydream I had in which I conversed with some of the characters. Originally, "Thief in the Night" was intended to be a fic in which the titular thief was a secondary character who simply triggered a series of events leading up to the completion of Team Galactic's master plan of D/P, while the main character was slated to be a strong female lead just beggining her Pokemon journey. As I began the story, however, Gale's character kind of developed itself in ways I hadn't quite expected. He went from a cocky, selfish thief to more of a daredevil who stole partly to stay alive and partly because of a thrill-seeking nature. Not only that, but slowly his entire team of Pokemon began to write themselves out- the sensible and logical Augustus, the tough but insecure Laertes, and the Scottish Macho-man Aristophanes. (Yes, there is a plot reason as to why they're named after Shakespearean characters and famous Greek/Roman people, but it will not be explained in this preview. The more of the first chapter I completed, the more I realized that I wanted Gale to take a main role in the story. A back-story sort of just played itself out, and I had my male lead. Since I didn't want to scrap my female lead, I worked on a way to intertwine both stories. At last, I decided that both characters needed to meet. From there, the plot worked itself out. While only what you see here has actually made it onto paper in fic form, the rest is firmly centered in my imagination. Rest assured, it may take me until I'm in college, but one day "Thief in the Night" will be completed.

Finally, some warnings. This preview is mostly appropriate for all ages. However, there are a few things people may or may not have problems with...

-Firearm use.
-Blatant theft of jewelry.
-Indirect cursing (I.E., I will say "XYZ cursed" but will not give you the exact expletive used.)
-Violence
-A first chapter title that's a reference to one of my favorite bands.

Not too bad, right? Here's the rundown for the full fic....

-Pokemon X Human love. (Requitted and unrequitted, nonexplicit)
-Alcohol reference and use.
-Slight romance.
-Sarcastic Humour.
-Death
-Character(s) with religious beliefs (Le Gasp!)
-The theory of special creation.
-A slight parody of evolutionism during one short segment (may later be dropped.)
-Mild to moderate violence

As such, I'll rate this at PG-13. However, I'll be sure to attempt to keep the actual content at a PG level, with the exception of controversial themes.

As a final note, the theory of special creation and the parody of evolutionism are NOT going to be heavy themes in this story. This is an adventure fanfic, something light and airy for you to relieve stress with while reading. It isn't intended to be overly dark or philosophical. As such, while the aforementioned religious themes will be evident, they will only come into play as the plot requires.

Without further ado, I'll just post the fic now.


Chapter One: Fall Out

The tower was the highest point in the region. From its golden spire, it was said; a man could see the coast of Sinnoh, a country nearly two hundred miles away. It had been erected in the year 340 by the king of the region, who wanted something impressive to commemorate the impressive battle he had won against the invading forces from the north. Since then, Phiros Tower had gone through eight hundred separate renovations in its design, resulting in its unique appearance. The octagonal tower was nearly as high as the fabled Burned Tower in Ecruteak had been before a blazing flame had reduced a good ninety percent of it to ashes and driven away the legendary creature said to have roosted there. Phiros tower, when viewed from a considerable distance away, looked like nothing so much as a set of octagon-shaped blocks dotted with oval windows stacked on top of each other in an almost unending sequence, crowned by a golden spire that was nearly lost to sight amid the clouds. The walls of the tower were hewn from the finest marble, and it had taken exactly one hundred years to complete. The only method of ascent along the tower was a spiraling staircase that ran the entire length of the monolith’s height, all the way to the top floor, with a door positioned at every hundredth step, for a grand total of ten thousand stairs. It was said that ascending the staircase in ancient times was used as a means of determining a soldier’s manhood. If he could climb the first thousand steps or more, he was worthy of his post, but if he gave up before then, he was considered weak and useless. The actual total of deaths resulting from falls from the staircase was uncertain, but qualified historians speculated that at least eight hundred people had fallen. Climbing the staircase, which had long since lost its handrail, was considered an extreme sport of sorts among the people of Phyres Island.

Fortunately for Gale, there was an easier way to ascend.

Flicking a lock of his curly brown hair from his forehead, the twenty-year-old reached into one of the deep pockets of his purple trenchcoat. The coat fit Gale perfectly except for the high collar which seemed to swallow his head when he shrugged. It didn’t bother him much. The coat’s deep pockets made storing small objects and tools relatively easy, and it was good practice to learn to move about in such bulky attire. Gale himself had been doing it so long that moving quickly while cloaked was second nature for him. Besides, when your life’s work revolved around making sure you weren’t recognized after you finished a job a coat that obscured your face wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Gale’s leopard-green eyes seemed to spark as he removed a red-and-white sphere from his pocket. His face had an almost impish quality to it when he smiled. A sort of natural charisma surrounded him, giving every single insignificant motion he made a mysterious, intriguing quality. His black-gloved hand clenched the sphere as he clicked a pressure sensor hidden on its back, causing it to enlarge itself from the size of a marble to that of a baseball. Grinning like a madman, he tossed it into the air. “Augustus, come on out! It’s time to go to work!” he exclaimed in a voice that was so soft it was barely audible, yet still charged with excitement.

The ball hovered over his head for a moment before splitting open and releasing a deluge of white light that hovered in the air without obvious form before reshaping itself into a large, brown and tan bird about the size of a grown man with colorful red and gold feathers crowning its head. Gale nodded to the creature, who returned his greeting by staring at him incessantly, as if to say What’s going on this time?

“Time to go, Augustus. Remember, halfway up the tower without being seen. Think you can handle it?” Gale asked, pointing towards the impressive structure in the distance.

Augustus blinked for a moment, as if he didn’t understand the request. Then, with a nod, he grabbed the thief in his talons and within the space of a few moments was already halfway up the tower.

Pokemon: (noun): 1. Contraction of the words “Pocket Monster”. 2. Any member(s) of a species of creatures living alongside humans possessing intelligence and/or inexplicable abilities. (See “Pocket Monster” and “Pokemon Trainer”)

This is the definition that appears in nearly every dictionary printed in the world today. Pokemon are mystical creatures of sorts that live alongside humans. All Pokemon were born in the wild. However, since time immemorial, humans and Pokemon have coexisted, aiding each other. Theories as to why Pokemon allow humans to own them and travel with them are as varied as people on earth. Some believe that the ultimate goal of a Pokemon is to gain strength through battle, and travel with humans in order to take advantage of their superior strategic abilities. Some believe that Pokemon and humans were created as symbiotic races, with Pokemon and humans needing to work together in order to survive. Others say that since Pokemon are essentially human in their intelligence, they don’t really need people, and we are simply enslaving them against their will when we capture them. Regardless of one’s belief, the facts are simple: Pokemon and humans have been working as a team since the middle ages.

All humans who own Pokemon are known as Pokemon trainers, and are officially sanctioned by the league of their home region. Most Pokemon trainers either take part in Pokemon contests, which are essentially competitions designed to show off a Pokemon’s ability to create beauty through its abilities; or league battles, which are the basic one-on-one battles in which Pokemon rely on their human partner to provide them with strategic aid while using their unique powers, sometimes called “techniques” or “attacks”, in order to knock out their opponent. Many Pokemon owners just sit around at home and enjoy life with their friends. Others study Pokemon, in an attempt to figure out exactly what these creatures are.

There are others, people who use the supernatural abilities of their Pokemon to accomplish dastardly deeds. Indeed, the worldwide crime syndicate known as Team Rocket takes in more then eighty percent of their yearly revenue from Pokemon-related exploits according to an undercover survey taken in the last ten years. Other groups, such as the eco-terrorist teams of Magma and Aqua, have attempted in the past to use their Pokemon’s abilities to bring about an apocalyptic scenario. Many other groups have attempted to copy the methods of these two illustrious Hoenn-based teams, but so far none have succeeded in awakening the power of one of the Pokemon classified as Legendary, the ultra-rare and sometimes one-of-a-kind creatures directly in link with the forces of nature themselves. These Legendaries have such power that at one point they were worshiped as gods. Obviously, this has made attempting to deal with any Legendary-related crisis a major factor in the formation of the Global Police Agency, a worldwide group of licensed police officers specializing in halting Pokemon-related capers.

Still, not all who use Pokemon in order to accomplish evil deeds are part of a team. Some work alone, or on the request of another. These thieves are often the hardest to track because of their ability to immediately thrust the blame onto a member of one of the large crime syndicates when they commit a crime, and also because their burglaries are usually low key. Some, however, have a certain flare for the dramatic, making them either a much easier target, or a much more elusive foe.

-Professor Will’s “A Treatise on Trainers”, Page thirty-two

Panting heavily, Augustus the Pidgeot continued to doggedly lift his two hundred pound burden up the side of the Phiros Tower, careful to avoid the strategically placed security cameras. As he flew, the bird thought about his passenger. He and Gale had been working together for years, since he had been a measly little Pidgey in fact. Back then they had mostly stuck to low-key robberies from secondhand stores and conning rich businessmen when they had needed money. This was their first high-security job. Two months ago, the Phiros Tower had been converted into a museum of Phyres history, and among the exhibits were the crown jewels from the days of the early monarchy. Tomorrow was the museum’s opening day, and mere minutes before the jewels had arrived, escorted by armed guard. The guard was probably loading the gems into the case right now according to the current timetable, and they wouldn’t be expecting an attack of the sort Gale planned to deliver. According to Gale, the entire thing was a perfectly worked out setup. They would sneak in on the floor the jewels were kept on, take out the cameras, and grab the jewel before escaping out the window. According to Gale, the escape plan was worked out completely, though Augustus had his doubts. What was to stop the guards from taking them out in mid-air? Oblivious to his friend’s concerns, Gale had stated emphatically that there was no way on earth that they would be caught. Of course, like any job, security had to be avoided, but since the only safe way up was either through the air as Gale planned to go or through a series of trap doors that went from floor to floor, connected by a set of ladders, Gale felt that as long as he didn’t do anything stupid the twosome were set.

Gale had no idea that anything as interesting as all that was whizzing its way through his Pokemon’s head. His thoughts were firmly centered on the prize. The gems of the King of the isle were said to be among the largest precious stones ever excavated. While gold and other precious metals were fairly common, jewels were hard to find on Phyres and a single fragment of semi-precious star piece could net the owner several hundred thousand yen. A single jewel from the King’s crown, therefore, would probably net Gale enough money to live comfortably for quite some time. Of course, he actually had to get to the jewel first. His point of entrance would have to be on the five hundredth floor, or the game was up. Running up the stairs would attract far too much attention, and since guards were stationed on every other floor, using the enclosed ladder stairway was out too. Preferably, he wanted to get there while the jewels were still being loaded into their display case as cracking a reinforced glass cage was never easy and almost always a good way to get caught. However, that didn’t quite seem to be the case at the moment. Slipping his hand once again into the coat pocket designated for Pokeballs and related equipment, Gale removed something that resembled a red handheld computer decorated with the insignia of the Phyres league: A tower with a small carved Dragonite on top. Gale flicked the machine’s flap open, revealing a small keypad and a screen, and called up the clock function. Two thirty. He was a bit late. “Pick up the pace, Augustus,” he whispered to his friend as a sudden gust shook the Pidgeot slightly. Gale struggled with all his might to avoid looking down. If he lost his nerve this early in the operation, there would be no way to regain it, and a great deal of the success of this venture relied on him being one hundred percent sure of himself. To ease the feelings of doubt and anxiety rising in his belly, he counted the floors. Four-fifty-one... four-fifty-two...four-fifty-four.... The numbers began to fall into a rhythm as Augustus continued to lift.

At last, the count reached five hundred. Gale reached up and yanked Augustus’s leg, the signal for the birdlike Pokemon to move in closer. Augustus complied, and Gale found himself standing atop the stairs, directly in front of the door to the room where even now the jewels were being unloaded. In the distance, Gale could faintly make out the shape of an orange, dragon like creature. It was a carrier Dragonite and it had probably been hired to take the guards to the top floor. It was an obvious choice. Gale cursed as his logic caught up with him. If the carrier was long gone, the security guards had most likely already made the transfer into the display case. The plan was already developing serious kinks. Rather then turning back, as he should have, Gale located the small window-hole at the top of the door and discreetly peeked through. His heart skipped a beat. Two security guards stood on either side of a large display case, holding the largest collection of gems Gale had ever seen in his life. Emeralds, rubies, sapphires, diamonds, pearls.... he nearly swooned with ecstasy. Then a different sort of valuable commodity caught his eyes. A set of keys were dangling from the black slacks of one of the guards. Gale took a moment to size the two up. No Pokemon, as far as he could tell, and from the looks of things a baton was the strongest weapon they had. His hand slipped into the pocket containing his Pokeballs before he drew it back and slipped it into the opposite pocket. He felt the handle of his revolver, a modified small-caliber handgun he had purchased from a set of attendants at the Safari Zone. Contained within the gun rather then conventional bullets were a set of darts tipped with the extract of certain berries, as well as remnants of the sleep powder attack used by certain grass Pokemon. A single dart could lay out a charging Rhyhorn, and would be equally effective against a pair of dopy-looking security guards.

Gale decided that a quick entry was the best move. Knock the door down and two shots. He moved his hand to the latch and then stopped. As long as he was going to do something this insanely crazy, he might as well just go all out. Shifting his stance, he raised his leg and delivered a powerful kick to the door, effectively clearing the obstacle from his path. He nodded to the guards, smiling. “Greetings, gentlemen.” The lost initiative was worth it for the one moment that the guards stood in place, staring at him as if he had dropped from the moon. Then his gun was up and blazing. First the guard on the right clapped a hand to his neck, then the one on the left. Both guardsmen attempted to charge, but before they had moved three steps the sedative kicked in, sending them crashing to the floor. Gale raced in, his coat flowing. Stooping down, he retrieved the keys and picked the guard’s pocket without a second thought. Slipping the wallet into a pocket of his own trousers, he began examining the keys. One of them had to fit in the display case’s padlock, he knew. But which one? Racking his brains, Gale grabbed a key at random and inserted it into the case. To his surprise, the door unlocked with a click. “You know, security here is a lot more lax then we thought,” he commented to Augustus, whose enormous tan-and-brown bulk filled the doorway, “I mean, all I have to do is reach into this case and-”

It was, ironically, at that moment that the alarm sounded.

Gale gave a yelp of pain and yanked back his hand, rubbing it furiously. He stared at the jewel he had just been reaching for. On closer inspection, he realized that not only was the pedestal it was sitting on connected to an electrical circuit; two camera-like generators were clearly visible on either side of the case. A laser bar. And like the idiot he was, he had broken it. Cursing himself inwardly, Gale reached into his gun pocket and removed a small multitool. Flipping it open, Gale used the pliers to reach into the case and carefully disconnect the wire from the jewel’s pedestal. Whipping his hand in, he removed the gem just as a group of guards stormed into the room via the trapdoor, batons in hand. Gale cursed one last time before cocking his head, a signal to Augustus. With a nod, the birdlike Pokemon shot into the room. Flapping his enormous wings, Augustus stirred up a miniature whirlwind which sent officers flying every which way about the small space. Without pausing to talk, Gale raced out of the room, his Pokemon in hot pursuit. As they reached the small stairway Gale leaped into the air where Augustus’s receiving claws met his shoulders and began to bear him away from the tower.

. The two flew in silence until Augustus broke the tension by nudging the hand Gale still clutched the jewel with. Gale’s eyes brightened. “I only managed to get one piece,” he said as he slowly unclenched his fingers while still keeping hold of the gem, careful not to drop it, “But it’s definitely the most valuable one.”

As Gale took a closer look at his prime haul, he realized that it wasn’t a jewel to be worn in a crown at all. Instead, the polished blue gemstone was attached to a string of pearls, similar to some sort of necklace. On impulse, Gale strung it out and hung it on his own neck. He lifted up the gem to examine it more closely. The small stone was a beauty indeed. It was blue, but it glimmered with a fire that no ordinary sapphire hoped to equal. In fact, when Gale lifted the stone to the sky he realized that the color of the gem matched that of the cloudless summer heavens almost perfectly. His eyes brightened. The gem was such a beauty that it would almost be a pity to sell it, which was always a good thing. Kissing the stone on impulse, the cat burglar let it hang to slap against his chest. “Easy street, here we come...”

Whatever else Gale had thought was lost to confusion as Augustus staggered in mid flight, wincing. Gale was shaken about roughly, like a rag doll. Craning his neck over his shoulders he barely managed to make out the assailants, a pair of security guards, mounted on a pair of creatures that looked like silver-armored vultures. The beasts seemed more metal then flesh, as if their gleaming armor was their skin. Upon closer inspection, Gale realized that was exactly what it was. They had Skarmory. Oh, joy.

Gale didn’t bother reaching for his gun. The weapon was small caliber and not really meant for long-range firefights, and Augustus was moving too quickly and erratically in his attempts to shake off their dogged pursuers for Gale to get a decent shot in anyway. Once again, Gale cursed. Augustus cawed and stared at his trainer. His eyes said it as plainly as his mouth, had he possessed one, would have: What now?

Gale shut his eyes, concentrating. Finally, a decision came to him. “Act like you’re hurt,” he whispered to Augustus, who was now heaving with exhaustion.

The Pokemon blinked. WHAT?

“I said act like you’re hurt. That way those goons on the metal birds will try to catch up with us and attack. When they do, I want you to go into the steepest dive possible without dropping me or the necklace and then even out once we’re below the tree line.”

Augustus blinked again. And then what?

Gale smiled. “Don’t worry. I’ve got a Plan B, and it’s foolproof. We’ll be fine.”

Augustus rolled his eyes as he prepared to carry out his trainer’s orders. While the Pidgeot knew that his partner hardly ever steered them wrong, he couldn’t shake the feeling that if this “Plan B” were really foolproof it would have been Plan A. Nonetheless, he carried out the orders. Immediately he began dragging his left wing, staggering in mid-air in order to create the illusion that the earlier Swift attack had injured him and he was favoring his right side. The Skarmory launched the expected attack. Augustus felt a hail of star-shaped condensed energy hammer into the base of his right wing. Even with the Pidgeot expecting it, the pain of the impact still made him stagger and added a very convincing dimension to his performance.

“Not yet. Wait for them to move in for the kill.” Gale whispered, one hand clutching the necklace tightly and the other retaining a firm grip on his Pidgeot’s leg.

Augustus nodded in agreement as he steeled himself in preparation for the daredevil maneuver his trainer had conceived.

The opposing Skarmory swept in, their wings glinting in the sunlight, as their riders realized they had scored what they took for a decisive hit. The two metal birds were gaining by the second, the gap between the three closing rapidly.

“Wait for it...” Gale muttered, repeating the phrase like some kind of bizarre mantra. At last, however, the Skarmory drew up alongside and he shouted the word to the winds: “NOW!”

Augustus complied admirably, and without hesitation he folded his enormous, tawny wings and dove toward the trees below with a speed that nearly knocked the prize from Gale’s hand. The trainer was ecstatic. This was probably the reason he and Augustus had become cat-burglars in the first place. The speed and exhilaration, the thrill of a perfectly executed strategy, never knowing when your life or freedom could depend on a single, quick decision, always at the mercy of luck or fate, whichever you favored, and still coming out on top. For better or for worse, the life he had chosen. A grin split Gale’s face as the criminal screamed a battle-cry of sorts: “YAAAHOOOOO!!”

Keep the celebrations to yourself, Eejit, Augustus groaned in his native tongue as the two descended, rapidly followed by the two Skarmory, We aren’t out of the woods just yet.

While the daredevil shot had confused the two guards momentarily, they had caught on quickly, ordering their Pokemon to rapidly descend as well, though not quite so quickly as Gale because of their position on the Pokemon’s back and the uncertainty of their grip. Gale cursed. “Okay, Plan B when we hit the treeline. I’m not liking how this is working out.” He groused.

Augustus dove through the canopy of foliage, and straightened out immediately, abandoning all pretense of injury. The guards were close behind, and evened out just as the Pidgeot did. The gigantic bird looked at his human partner. NOW can I hear what plan B is?

“Yeah, just calm down. This is gonna be a bit dangerous.” Gale muttered in reply, fumbling to reach something in his pockets. His shoulders ached and he was tempted to leap onto Augustus’s back, but this job required that he trust the stronger grip of his Pokemon then his own. “Alright, here’s the fun part.”

Why is there always a fun part with you?

“No clue. Anyway, here’s what we do: Land and act like we’ve given up.”

LAND?

Gale met his partner’s incredulous stare with a chuckle. “Yeah, I know, they’ll call for backup. But not,” he continued, his eyes twinkling, “If I use this.” His hand removed a black cylinder from his pocket. “Communications jammer. Picked it up for a song last month.”

No wonder we couldn’t pay the phone bill...

“Hey! All sarcastic jokes are to be made by me and me alone. No exceptions.” Gale riposted, chuckling. His eyes sparked. “Get ready. If this doesn’t work, we’re totally doomed, by the way.”

With you, it’s always all or nothing. Augustus groaned, but complied nevertheless. Surprised by the sudden compliance of their quarry, the security guards slowed to a snail’s pace as they too descended. One dismounted, moving towards Gale and his partner.

“Alright, hands up, and-ugh!” The guard stated, surprised as a red-armored creature resembling a humanoid mantis with crab-clawed hands swung one of its metallic appendages into his head after emerging from behind a tree, knocking him out. The second guard reached for his radio as the two Skarmory charged at the attacker, but Gale had already depressed the button on his jammer, and all he received in reply to his SOS was static. The guard turned. “How?”

“Good question,” Gale replied, grinning cockily as he rubbed his shoulders. “I hid Laertes’s Pokeball in the undergrowth as ‘Gust and I descended. And that’s not all.” Gale pointed to one of the Skarmory, who was struggling in the grip of a large, bipedal creature that resembled a rocklike rhino with a drill-like horn. To the side, Laertes could be seen holding down the second one with some assistance from Augustus.

The guard was stunned. It was his first time meeting someone so thorough in his planning. “You set this up,” he accused, “You knew that we’d send two men in after you.”

“No-ooo,” Gale replied, shaking his head, “I didn’t plan for this in advance. These plans only work if you do ‘em the minute you come up with ‘em, or they won’t be quite as surprising. Then again, if you’re a security guard, it shouldn’t have been a surprise anyway. When a thief has one Pokemon, chances are that at least two more are lying in wait. Little life lesson for ya there, kid.” He flashed the cocky grin again.

The guard fumed. “Well, here’s my life lesson. When you impede the progress of the law, make sure that you get lost. You won’t be able to sell that necklace anywhere. There’s nowhere you can hide, and now that I’ve got a good look at you you’re going to have a wanted poster as well.”

“Really, now,” Gale replied, interested, “Kind of a pity I’m not planning to let you wake up in time for that.”

The guard paled. “You mean you’re going to kill me? That’s murder!”

Gale shook his head. “Get your crooks straight. I’m a thief, not a murderer. But I don’t need to kill you- all I’ve got to do is get on the next boat off this island before you can send out a warning. G’Night, kid,” His statement finished, Gale fired his pistol nonchalantly. The guard stepped back in surprise before collapsing, another victim of the sedative. Whistling softly, the cat burglar returned to his Pokemon, who were still engaged in holding down the Skarmory, and fired twice. Both vulture-like creatures struggled momentarily before at last sinking into sleep. On impulse, Gale twirled the gun around his index finger before returning it to his pocket. “Laertes, Aristo, good timing. And as usual, Augustus, you’ve definitely more then made up for the trouble we went through to get that HM. You fly like a pro. Great job, you all!”

The rhino-like creature that Gale had identified as “Aristo” lifted himself from the unconscious forms of the Skarmory. Puny Skarmory didnae stand a chance against Aristophanes, he stated, his face flat and inexpressive and his voice deep and gravelly as his build would suggest. If holding is all thou dost require, Aristophanes can easily complete such a task. Skarmory cannae ‘ope ta break free from mah grip wi’out much strugglin’.

Gale smiled at his odd-speaking Rhydon. “Not many Pokemon or humans can get up easily when they’ve got a few hundred kilos on them,” he commented, “Much less a few hundred kilos of rock-type attitude.”

Gale, we should really be making our escape, Augustus reminded his partner. Just because we managed to down a guard or two doesn’t mean that we’re out of this yet.

“Oh, liven up ‘Gust,” Gale chuckled, “I mean, it isn’t as if there were other-“

“Pursuers?”

Gale stared at the owner of the voice which had finished his sentence. It was another security guard, outfitted in the standard Phyres uniform, this one clutching his head with one hand and a red-and-white sphere with the other. Gale whirled on Laertes before berating the red-armored mantis. “I thought you knocked him out already!”

I barely tapped him. I didn’t want to cause any serious damage, after all. Laertes replied, lifting one of his massive crab-like pincers and clenching it furiously. Don’t blame me. You’re the one who calls the shots around here. You’re the shogun, I’m just a humble-

“Ronin, I know, we’ve been through all this before. Give me a break! You blame me every time you mess up these days. Could it just be that evolving into Scizor threw off your precision, huh?” Gale asked, his eyes flashing.

Laertes narrowed his tiny eyes. Oh, and now you’re bringing all that up, eh? Well, Mr. Blameshifter, I’ll have you know that my hits have more precision then ever since evolving, and-

“Could I interrupt your truly fascinating conversation for a moment?” The guard interjected, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “Now where were we? Ah yes, I was just about to bring you in as a thief with some help from my friends,” he continued, the sardonic tone in his voice nearly tangible. “Come out, Nidoking, Weavile, Blissey!” he shouted, tossing first the sphere he had already clutched into the air, then another pair from his belt.

Gale! Hurry up and shoot ‘em down! Augustus exclaimed as he launched himself into flight.

“I Can’t! No more ammunition!” Gale called back. “It’s up to you guys now. Aristo, Hammer Arm on that Blissey! Laertes, see if you can keep that Weavile busy with X-Scissor!”

Aristophanes complied admirably, charging forward while swinging his arm in a circular motion as if attempting to build power behind the swing. As he did so his opponent materialized from the jet of white light emitted from her Pokeball. The creature was almost as tall as Gale, and resembled nothing so much as a large, frilly pink egg come to life. Its arms were tiny, much too small to be any good, and its feet seemed almost impossible to move such bulk about with. Its stomach, if you could call it that, was divided into its pink upper body and a white lower body that seemed to be ringed with a frill of feathery growths of skin. Both halves were joined by the presence of a large, white egg in a pink pouch located just behind the cute, almost cartoony facial features of the creature. The position of its ears was marked by a pair of curling, pink growths resembling hair and its face was screwed into an expression of anger that seemed more cute then menacing. Its trainer shouted his first command just as Aristophanes prepared to bring down his rocklike fist upon the creature’s head. “Blissey, protect!”

Aristophanes rebounded, skidding backwards along the clearing as a translucent blue shield enveloped his target, blocking his attack. Snorting and growling, the Rhydon lowered his head and charged, drill-like horn spinning madly.

Meanwhile, Laertes had squared off with his opponent, a black, impish creature. The Pokemon grinned maliciously as it flexed the sharp claws capping its stick-like arms. The crest of red feathers that crowned its head as well as marking the locations of its ears whistled for a moment as it leapt into the air. The yellow gem on its forehead gleamed as the Weavile released a blue, glowing beam. Laertes, however, read the attack as it was launched and proceeded to dodge with a speed so intense that he appeared to be a blur as he moved, causing the beam to harmlessly impact the ground which was immediately covered by a patch of ice. Raising his pincer-capped arms, the Scizor crossed them and gathered energy, causing both arms to become enveloped with a faint orange glow. Before the Weavile could land, Laertes launched himself into the air, hammering both arms into his opponent’s body with a slashing motion resembling, as the attack’s name suggested, a huge “X” which temporarily hovered in front of his opponent’s body before dissipating into thin air. The Weavile crashed to earth as Laertes landed gracefully. To the Scizor’s surprise, however, his opponent picked himself up, chuckling, before racing forward, claws outstretched.

Augustus, meanwhile, faced a much larger opponent. The Nidoking the guard had released was a large, purple-armored creature with gigantic, mouse-like ears. Its entire body, with the exception of its white underbelly, seemed to be covered with a thick, purple skin that seemed perfectly capable of deflecting most physical attacks, while its fanged jaws were definitely powerful enough to bite through flesh without problem. Raising its horn-tipped head, the Nidoking roared at his Pidgeot opponent in anger before punching the ground with one massive, purple claw. On impact, the ground below the beast’s claws broke into at least a dozen slabs of what appeared to be solid rock covered with a thin layer of topsoil, which then shot into the air over Augustus’s head. Gale was quick on the uptake, spotting his partner’s precarious situation. “’Gust, Detect!” he commanded, before turning to his other two Pokemon. “You guys! Take care of the competition! I don’t care how you do it, just get it done!” he commanded.

Augustus stared at the mass of rocks preparing to plummet upon him before following his partner’s advice. A spark of energy momentarily lit the Pidgeot’s eye as he nimbly corkscrewed away from the path of the falling debris. Panting slightly, he returned to position above the enemy before immediately launching a counterattack. Beating his wings furiously, the Pokemon created a burst of air which threatened to uproot several small saplings caught in its path. The Nidoking staggered a moment, but easily recovered once the gust passed. Lifting its mouth to face Augustus, it released a flurry of tiny needles that Gale immediately recognized as a Poison Sting. “August, pull up!” he commanded, jabbing his finger in the indicated direction. Augustus complied, pulling himself above the range of the stream of needles with a few wing beats.

Meanwhile, Aristophanes seemed to be having some difficulty as he faced the Blissey his trainer had ordered him to combat. No matter what he tried, the pink creature seemed to have some defensive technique in its arsenal that easily countered his shots. Snorting, the Rhydon charged again, leveling his horn at the opponent, the end glinting. His opponent, unfortunately, was prepared for such an assault. Just as her opponent reached her, the Blissey shrank to the size of a small grape. Unprepared for this tactic, Aristophanes was carried well past his target by his own momentum. Returning quickly to normal size, the Blissey then removed the egg from its pouch and threw it at the back of the unprotected Rhydon where it exploded with the concussive force of a small bomb. Aristophanes turned, his eyes red with rage as he began another charge...

Laertes, meanwhile, faced an annoyingly unkillable opponent. No matter what he tried, the small, impish creature seemed to dance out of its way and counterattack. On the rare occasions when one of Laertes’s attacks connected, the creature seemed to simply pull itself to its feet without problem. Already several trees bore large scars left by wild punches. The Weavile grinned as it launched another slashing attack, which Laertes blocked with his armored claw just in time. The Scizor retaliated immediately, launching a claw enveloped with a white glow at his foe. The enemy Weavile merely sniggered at his opponent as he nimbly danced to the side, causing the Metal Claw to leave a small crater in the ground.

Gale bit his lip as he gazed at Augustus. The Pidgeot, he knew, was exhausted after his earlier flight from the tower, and the injuries from his scuffles with the Skarmory were beginning to take their toll. Gale could see what was happening already. The guard didn’t have to win the battle; he just had to delay Gale long enough for reinforcements to wonder why the guards hadn’t radioed in yet and send a search party. With worn-out Pokemon and no ammunition, Gale had a butterfly’s chance in hell of avoiding capture if other guards showed up now. Narrowing his eyes, Gale made his decision. “Augustus, we’re wrapping this up quickly. Full power!” he commanded, his eyes glinting viciously.

Augustus stared at his trainer. You mean....

“Augustus, Hyper Beam!” Gale commanded, pointing his finger dramatically.

Augustus hovered in place for a moment before opening his beak. As he did so a faint, golden glow surrounded the Pidgeot’s body before slowing being collected into the cavity of its open beak. The Nidoking stepped back, surprised, as did his trainer. “What the-“

Augustus released the energy in that instant. A white-hot burst of light cut through the ground creating a deep rut as it headed for its intended target. The Nidoking roared in pain as it was enveloped by the golden glow, which sent it hurtling across the battlefield into a large sycamore. Its trainer stared. “What’s with this? Hyper Beam? That’s a move that only advanced trainers use! Just who are you?” the guard demanded.

Gale smirked, flashing his trademark pearly-white smile to his enemy. “I’m no one in particular,” he admitted. “I’m just a thief in the night, that’s all. Just a thief in the night...”

Saffire Persian
November 15th, 2007, 09:27 PM
Haha. I've been reading too much Shakespeare lately. (Laertes!) But what's in a name? Nice to see you writing, ACC. I haven't read anything of yours for awhile, and I wish you luck on this. I have to admit, I'm fairly unknowledgeable about the D/P storyline, considering I still haven't progressed to anything after the first gym due to my severe lack of time.

I did enjoy the preview, though. The names were very Shakespearian :p. And I must say, the title "A Treatise on Pokémon Trainers" reminded me on "A Treatise on Government" by ... John Locke, I believe, that I had to read for college. Not many fond memories from that class.

Scarlet Weather
November 16th, 2007, 01:00 AM
As far as writing goes, I could say the same for you. My excuse isn't as good, though. XD

Anyway, yeah, I have no idea why I decided on Shakespearean/historic names for Gale's Pokemon. I started with Augustus because I wanted a name that sounded a bit regal, and then Laertes and Aristophanes just kind of seemed... appropriate, I guess. Once I get the fic started, I'll be sure to reveal exactly why they're named that way.

Anyway, don't worry about D/P, since the story has made a shift away from that storyline. While the plot is still there, it's changed in quite a few small ways that I thought seemed.... appropriate. Anyway, you need no knowledge of the D/P storyline to enjoy this fic.

(John Locke? You know, I think it's a testimony to the power of Ender's Game that the moment I read or see that name I always think 'Demosthenes'. XD)

Alter Ego
November 16th, 2007, 01:12 AM
-Pokemon X Human love. (Requitted and unrequitted, nonexplicit)

You knew this was going to make me look, right? xD

Anyways, just a tiny thing that caught my eye:

“Augustus, come on out! It’s time to go to work!” he exclaimed in a voice that was so soft it was barely audible, yet still charged with excitement.

How can you exclaim in a soft and barely audible voice? o.O That seems like a contradiction in terms to me; maybe use a word more suitable for the occasion here? :3

Other than that, awesome work (as much as I dislike Hyper Beam, it does serve a purpose here). Love the way you introduced Gale and his profession of choice, and just...well, good description all around. The philosophical inclination you mentioned concerns me slightly, but I trust you will not turn this fic into a poster-boy for creationism? Fiction is cooler without an ideological payload to go with it. .__. But yeah, looking forward to the rest of the fic all the same.

...and I so need to get more work done on my own. xP Just something that struck me when I saw the quality of this preview.

So yeah, go for it. ^.^

Scarlet Weather
November 16th, 2007, 02:03 AM
Really, as you've said, it's fiction. I don't intend to drop philosophical bombshells or write horribly depressing things. The special creation reference isn't intended to be the point of the story, just a method of advancing the plot and creating character tension.

As for the "Pokemon X Human love", it was kind of a given I'd do it sometime. Former Pikashipper and all that, y'know. XD

Anyway, glad you like the preview. I was a little worried on a few parts, but it sounds like I came through okay. *sighs in relief*

mystletainn
November 16th, 2007, 09:38 AM
Darn it, darn it, darn it. I've been so incredibly lazy as of late due to school and a constant barrage of illnesses that I've slacked when it comes to creative matters and this makes me feel worse. I loved the preview dude. It was simply exquisite. I've been playing around with ideas of my own and it seems you have inspired me to start putting them down on paper (or rather, in a word processor XD). Good job ACC-M.

Astinus
November 16th, 2007, 02:16 PM
(John Locke? You know, I think it's a testimony to the power of Ender's Game that the moment I read or see that name I always think 'Demosthenes'. XD)
*dies in fangirl glee* My favorite book! *huggles her own copy to death*

Ah, right. You wrote a fic. Right.

Might I say that you have a wonderful refreshing way of writing that brings the story to life? I can't put my finger on what it is exactly, but you manage somehow to make the events being told so real that I become a part of the story. Excellent job there. *hands over a can of corn*

I can't wait to see how you handle the philosophical parodies in this without turning the story into a soapbox. All the more power to you if you can pull that off. *hands over a can of coconut milk for good luck*

Um, you might just want to check over what you wrote for grammar errors. You had a few in the first paragraph, and then there was a rogue full stop running around the beginning of a paragraph.

Right. All I can say for now. *runs away with her copy of Game*

Scarlet Weather
November 16th, 2007, 06:04 PM
ZOMGZ so many compliments! *dies*

Actually, philosophy is easy to not make a soapbox out of. It's making everything else entertaining that's the hard part.

As for the something that makes my writing refreshing, call it the "ACC-M fiction-gan", my own personal version of the Sharingan of Naruto fame. I think if my talent is anything, it's that I can observe what makes the styles of other authors good and then give it a slightly personalized spin. It also helps that I always form strong mental images when I write. I make sure that nothing in a story is too over-the-top, and at the same time that the pace of the story doesn't fall behind. In short, basically I try to follow my own advice.

By the way, Gale's surname was a literary reference as well. I wanted to kind of seed my fic with ambiguous references to favorite stories of mine, so I considered long and hard about how to name my characters. Gale's surname is an E.A. Poe reference, specifically a reference to "The Cask of Amontillado". The funny thing is that when I originally picked the name, I was just looking for something that implied chance or luck, hence "Fortunado". It was only ten seconds later that I realized that I had named my male lead after a character who gets walled up and left to die, but the name stuck and I decided to leave as is. XD

- Sigma -
November 17th, 2007, 02:07 PM
This is going good. But for all of your chapters, you should separate all of your paragraphs into even smaller paragraphs. Like so:

Now, since I hate to leave too much blank space in a post box, I'll be adding some background and basic info here. "Thief in the Night" is a working title for a piece of Pokemon fanfiction that is the closest thing I'll ever write to an OT fic. It was inspired, in part, by all of the following sources: The manga series "King of Bandits-Jing" and "Black Cat", certain plot events in D/P, certain plot events in the original Pokemon games, and a vivid daydream I had in which I conversed with some of the characters.

Originally, "Thief in the Night" was intended to be a fic in which the titular thief was a secondary character who simply triggered a series of events leading up to the completion of Team Galactic's master plan of D/P, while the main character was slated to be a strong female lead just beggining her Pokemon journey.

As I began the story, however, Gale's character kind of developed itself in ways I hadn't quite expected. He went from a cocky, selfish thief to more of a daredevil who stole partly to stay alive and partly because of a thrill-seeking nature. Not only that, but slowly his entire team of Pokemon began to write themselves out- the sensible and logical Augustus, the tough but insecure Laertes, and the Scottish Macho-man Aristophanes. (Yes, there is a plot reason as to why they're named after Shakespearean characters and famous Greek/Roman people, but it will not be explained in this preview. The more of the first chapter I completed, the more I realized that I wanted Gale to take a main role in the story.

A back-story sort of just played itself out, and I had my male lead. Since I didn't want to scrap my female lead, I worked on a way to intertwine both stories. At last, I decided that both characters needed to meet. From there, the plot worked itself out. While only what you see here has actually made it onto paper in fic form, the rest is firmly centered in my imagination. Rest assured, it may take me until I'm in college, but one day "Thief in the Night" will be completed.

I used the example by copying and then pasting your 2nd paragraph of your 1st chapter, and then separating it into 4 paragraphs. See, doesn't it look neat?

Scarlet Weather
November 17th, 2007, 03:50 PM
Sigma, let me start by welcoming you to Pokecommunity forums. I have a slight problem with your advice, however. The paragraphs you used are NOT part of the fanfic. Those were introductory paragraphs. Could I see some suggestions on how to divide paragraphs in the actual story? XD

- Sigma -
November 17th, 2007, 04:22 PM
I only used that piece of writing as a demonstration on how to divide paragraphs correctly. It's very simple, just divide the middle of your huge paragraph, then divide the middle of your two paragraphs, then divide the middle of your four paragraphs, and so on.

Scarlet Weather
November 17th, 2007, 07:43 PM
Erm... a paragraph is supposed to form a complete idea, so what if I divide in the wrong place? Just because there's a huge block of text doesn't mean that it's got more then one idea. For example, my first paragraph is all about Phyres tower. If I divide it into multiple paragraphs, my ideas begin to look choppy. I don't want two paragraphs to be about the same thing over and over again. >.<

Still, I'll think about your advice and see if there were indeed places in the story where I could have made a division. Thanks for the edits. In retrospect, the intro WAS a bit too much of a solid block of text.

- Sigma -
November 18th, 2007, 10:11 AM
I see what you mean about dividing an idea, but creating paragraphs is also to create organization in your writing. (go to a Library and you'll never see a huge block of writing that big.)

Alter Ego
November 18th, 2007, 10:25 AM
(go to a Library and you'll never see a huge block of writing that big.)

You, good sir (or madame), have apparently never read the works of Zadie Smith. I flicked up one of her books at random and immediately found a page-long paragraph. xD

Seriously, small paragraphs are all well and good, but it really depends on the narrative style of the story. If you have a wordy narrator then it's bound to create larger paragraphs. And in this case...well, you show me the point where it would be natural to split that opening paragraph up. This isn't intended in a confrontational sense; I tried to look for one myself but I couldn't find any. Splitting up a coherent idea on a pure basis of size isn't really making it more organized (In fact, it may have an opposite effect); it's just questionable aesthetics. x.O Normally you could split that paragraph between the appearance of the tower and its history, but given that one flows into the other it doesn't seem really prudent in this case.

Duncan McNeil
November 18th, 2007, 02:33 PM
Very good. I quite liked this. It was a preview, but it was plenty long and very interesting. I didn't really see anything wrong, save for a couple of small typos (that I'm too lazy to go pick out). You've defintetly gone a different way from D/P, which is good. If I want to know the D/P storyline I'll go play the game. Besides, this is way different anyway.

I really like the story so far. Pretty original so far, and I'm quite liking Gale right now. You also did a good job with Pokemon characterization as well. Augustus is pretty cool so far, but my only problem with the preview was the ending (not the ending, but right here)

Augustus stared at his trainer. You mean....

“Augustus, Hyper Beam!” Gale commanded, pointing his finger dramatically.

Augustus hovered in place for a moment before opening his beak. As he did so a faint, golden glow surrounded the Pidgeot’s body before slowing being collected into the cavity of its open beak. The Nidoking stepped back, surprised, as did his trainer. “What the-“

Augustus released the energy in that instant. A white-hot burst of light cut through the ground creating a deep rut as it headed for its intended target. The Nidoking roared in pain as it was enveloped by the golden glow, which sent it hurtling across the battlefield into a large sycamore. Its trainer stared. “What’s with this? Hyper Beam? That’s a move that only advanced trainers use! Just who are you?” the guard demanded.

This was all a little too dramatic for my taste. Hyper Beam isn't my favorite move purely for this reason. And the guard saying that wasn't very realistic to me. After his Pokemon gets wiped that didn't sound right to me. That's just about my only gripe, though. Oh, and this:

-Pokemon X Human love. (Requitted and unrequitted, nonexplicit)

Heh, that caught my attention. Not sure how that's going to be, but whatever.

Short review, but this was very good. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you have planned for this. Great job! Must have gotten me with your ACC-M fiction-gan...

Scarlet Weather
November 19th, 2007, 06:33 PM
Number One: Dramatic and flashy is what Gale does best, so I created the scene to emphasize that character trait. In addition, Hyper Beam is a High Risk/High Return move, which is exactly the kind that he uses.

Number Two: The Nidoking may or may not be wiped. We are only told it was injured, not whether it was knocked out. In addition, the guard is a proffessional, not an average trainer. His Pokemon are also his partners in law enforcement, so he's learned not to get emotional when they get "wiped" as you call it. Thinking about it, if everyone lost composure when their Pokemon took a hit then it would be pretty easy to wipe out an army.

Anyway, Augustus's knowledge of Hyper Beam is important to the overall plot.

The Pokemon X Human romance is easy to handle. Just write a love story from the perspective of two different beings as opposed to two humans. It's that simple.

Thank you for the nice review. Remind me to drop one for your fic, as well. :3

Dogar The Brave
November 30th, 2007, 07:33 AM
Righto - I have seen some fairly short reviews here, which means there can't be much mistakes - that they spotted. Now it's my turn.

From its golden spire, it was said; a man could see the coast of Sinnoh, a country nearly two hundred miles away.

Now, I don't know about you, but if I was writing that sentence it'd be:

From its golden spire, it was said that a man could see the coast of Sinnoh, a country nearly two hundred miles away.

Not much of a difference there, and optional as well. But I prefer it.

Phiros Tower had gone through eight hundred separate renovations in its design, resulting in its unique appearance. The octagonal tower was nearly as high as the fabled Burned Tower in Ecruteak had been before a blazing flame had reduced a good ninety percent of it to ashes and driven away the legendary creature said to have roosted there.

I'm going to be blunt with you. I don't like this part. You made Ecruteak Tower burn twice:

as the fabled Burned Tower in Ecruteak had been before a blazing flame had reduced a good ninety percent of it to ashes and driven away the legendary creature said to have roosted there.

Now, I would write that as:

as high as the Tower in Ecruteak had been before a blazing flame had reduced a good ninety percent of it to ashes and driven away the legendary creature said to have roosted there.

It just makes more sense instead of spelling something out twice.

Oh, I have to go now - but this is hereby reserved as my reviewing post that I'll edit when I have time.

Scarlet Weather
December 1st, 2007, 06:58 AM
Righto - I have seen some fairly short reviews here, which means there can't be much mistakes - that they spotted. Now it's my turn.



Now, I don't know about you, but if I was writing that sentence it'd be:

I like your edit, but I like the semicolon better as a matter of personal taste. Thanks for the opinion, though.

Not much of a difference there, and optional as well. But I prefer it.



I'm going to be blunt with you. I don't like this part. You made Ecruteak Tower burn twice:

Nyu, have you ever played Gold or Silver version? Burned Tower is the name of the tower in Ecruteak, not its status. Therefore I am not repeating what happened to the tower. *sweatdrops*


Thanks for the review, as always. Actually, right now I'm more interested in how I handled description, characterization, etc. then proper grammar since I can get rid of most errors myself when I edit this chapter before posting the actual fic.

Lady Berlitz
December 1st, 2007, 08:14 AM
This is pretty amazing, ACC-M. I personally wouldn't call this a preview, hence the name, I would call it more of a "starting book", but it's incredible nonetheless.

Good luck, and keep on writing!

Scarlet Weather
December 1st, 2007, 03:55 PM
This is pretty amazing, ACC-M. I personally wouldn't call this a preview, hence the name, I would call it more of a "starting book", but it's incredible nonetheless.

Good luck, and keep on writing!

This is only half of the first chapter of the whole thing, hence its status of a preview of the whole thing. 0.o