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Synthrâx
September 13th, 2009, 06:06 PM
Hi all, this is my first story in months, but I've had the basic storyline in my head for years... please comment, both positive and constructive criticism is appreciated (:

I wrote this section to help explain the events prior to the storyline, as well as some questions many might have:

Taven grew up in a small village known as DragonSpine. He and his father, Rhykor, never saw eye to eye. The disappearance of his mother induced the last of the tension that was needed for Taven to run away at the young age of 14. This further angered his father. However, Taven soon found himself in the gigantic city of Darmaska. There he met his friend Dominic at his job as a messenger boy. Dom introduced him to Pokémon training, and together they became very powerful. They soon joined a group of trainers called Team 27. Once they attained full membership, Dominic, Taven, and two other new members were sent to corners of the world to gain Pokémon training notoriety for their group. The other two members mysteriously died in their adventures, and the Team 27 leaders ordered Dominic and Taven to return to Darmaska. Both of them succeeded in gaining attention, but returned to Darmaska to find only a horrible surprise.

In this story, Taven's PokéGear is much more advanced than in other Pokémon series. It serves as a video phone, PokéDex, mp3 player, and more (as upgrades are added throughout the story).




Chapter 1: The Phone Call

A large water droplet plopped directly onto Taven's head, causing him to wake up suddenly.

"Ugh," he groaned after checking his PokéGear for the time. "5:26?" He shook his head; it was way too early.

Darmaska's trade district was just opening up, market stall owners were busy stocking their shelves for the day. Although Taven loved the bustling labyrinthine city, he wasn't enjoying his latest return. Since he had become a revered Pokémon trainer, it was much harder to simply sit back and enjoy the sites. People noticed him more often, asking for autographs, pictures, or even worse, a Pokémon battle.

"The price of fame," he thought to himself as he slipped his reflective aviator shades into his shirt's neckline. The sun was just barely peaking over the horizon, he wouldn't need them so early in the day.

As he walked out of the alley he slept in the night before, Taven gawked at how many people were out and about the streets so early in the morning. Old men doing their shopping for the day, young messenger boys sending notes to or from their masters, traders both male and female carrying their goods on large Pokémon, and this was nowhere near the peak hour of activity in the city. On each side of the large, cobblestone street were large two-story buildings; most were shops on the first level and homes on the second.

Taven, realizing how much he forgot about the city, picked a direction at random and began walking down the sidewalk. It took him much longer than expected to find a vacant second story and walked up the stairs to reach the balcony of it. Leaning on the edge of the balcony, he looked for a map kiosk, finally finding one near the edge of the trade district. Looking all around him, it was almost like a kingdom rather than a large city, with all of it's diverse areas and the colossal walls stretching all the way around the circular city.

He slid down the railing of the stairs, landing gracefully down onto the sidewalk.

Taven knew that he shouldn't bother trying to cross the street yet, as there was way too much human and Pokémon traffic. Instead, he walked towards the kiosk on the opposite side of the street. It took him nearly ten minutes of sifting through the fellow pedestrians to reach the kiosk, luckily reaching the crosswalk just as there was a hiatus of giant Pokémon that would otherwise crush him in the middle of it all. He ran carefully across, dodging all the busy people and sighing softly as he reached the other side.

"The only downfall of the city," Taven thought to himself as he walked to the map kiosk, "it's pretty damn stressful just to walk a quarter mile without getting pancaked."

He gazed at the small kiosk; the blue, rectangular sign on top read 'CITY MAPS.'

"That will be ¥10, my friend," the man at the booth's counter said with an odd accent Taven couldn't place.

"Sure thing," Taven responded after a slight hesitation, handing the man his PokéGear.

"Ahh, a Pokémon trainer, eh?" the man asked, exchanging the Gear for the map. He scanned the screen of it on a machine in the back and returned, handing it to Taven. "We get a lot of you in the city."

"Yeah, I figured that out in my first hour here. Well, have a good day."

"You too!" the shop owner called after him as Taven walked away, plopping down a bench just a couple hundred feet away.

He scanned the barcode on the top-right corner of the map with his Gear, causing the image of the map to pop up on the screen. Taven typed restaurants in the search bar and hit enter. Multiple fork and knife icons popped up all over the town. It took him a few minutes just to decide, and when he did, Taven landed on a quaint breakfast café on the other side of Darmaska.

The bus on the corner of the street was able to drive him to the Vintage District, disorientating him as he got off. It wasn't a very pleasant ride, as a few people in front of him were gazing back at him. Each of them stared for a second, then whispered into the ear of the person sitting next to them. Taven was still not used to the attention he got from strangers. The worst part was that he went completely unnoticed by those who didn't follow Pokémon training, but those who did could recognize him instantly. It was a constant change of attention. He stumbled onto the sidewalk, looking at his PokéGear. The map explained that he was a stone's throw from the café.

Although it was a bit cloudly when he woke up an hour before, Taven realized that it was shaping up to be quite the perfect day. The clouds dissapated, leaving nothing but a warm, blazing sun and a pure blue sky. He threw on his aviators as he finally reached the restaurant, the sign on the corner reading 'Café la Jaune.' Feeling the warm air on the back of his neck, he decided to sit on the bench outside. In the center of the table was a circular parasol. The pretty, young waitress walked towards him soon after he sat down.

"Hi there," she said with a smile, "can I take your order?"

Taven ordered an omelette, ate it quickly, paid, and left. Checking his PokéGear once again, he saw that it was almost 7:30. He sat on a bench near the breakfast café, pondering what to do, when a large yawn snuck up on him.

"Better check into a hotel now, I'd rather not sleep in the alley again," he thought to himself as he got up and found one with his PokéGear.

The hotel, more like a skyscraper than anything else, was gigantic - with 65 stories, the front was made mostly of tinted glass. As he walked in through the revolving doors, Taven was greeted by a large red-carpeted lobby with an intricate fountain in the middle.

He checked into a suite on the 31st floor, not realizing how overly lavish it was until he walked through the door. Nevertheless, he decided to open up a window for a breeze, shower, and climb into the comfortable bed...

He awoke on his own accord a few hours later, which was a nice change of pace. Taven never felt so relaxed and refreshed. He got dressed, and then stuck his upper body out of the window. A chill soon ran through him. He walked over to his backpack, putting on a hoodie and packing the rest of his clothes in the dresser. Just as Taven was about to walk towards the door, he felt a vibration in his pocket. He pulled out his PokéGear and looked the screen: Dom was calling. He clicked the answer button and said hello to his old friend.

"Hey man," Dom replied. Taven was alarmed by the solemness in his voice. "Can you come over to the HQ now?"

"Dude wait! Did something happen?" Taven asked, fear and alarm in his voice.

"I'll tell you when I see you... meet me at my house." Dom replied, and hung up before Taven could reply.

Taven immediately went out the door. He was hoping that he'd have two extra days to reacquaint himself with the city before getting down to business, but it didn't look like that was going to happen anymore. He had friends to take care of.




Well, there ya go. Have fun reading and (hopefully) reviewing.

-Syn...

Synthrâx
September 14th, 2009, 06:01 PM
Just got done reviewing and retouching Chapter 2! Kinda disheartening that no one has even bothered to comment on it, despite like 60 views... I don't know, hopefully this new addition with breathe some life into the thread. Here ya go:




Chapter 2: And So It Began

Taven frantically wandered the city for almost an hour, finally remembering where Dom's house was after a seemingly endless search. He ran up the steps and knocked on the door. Dom opened it within seconds, clearly waiting for him, and led Taven back down the steps and onto the sidewalk.

The human traffic on the street was finally dieing down, but the panic that Taven felt had yet to; he had a nagging feeling that the panic would be staying with him for awhile. Dom pulled out two cigarillos and a Zippo lighter, handing one of them to Taven and lighting it for him.

"Here," Dom said with a noticeably deeper voice than Taven had remembered, "calms your nerves."

"Just like old times..." Taven replied shakily as he took a puff.

They smoked as they walked quickly down the sidewalk.

"So now would be as good a time as any to tell me what happened..." Taven began within seconds of walking.

"The rest of Team 27... their dead..." Dom said.

Taven stopped as Dom continued walking. "No..."

"I'm sorry... I haven't gone down there yet, figured we could find out what happened together," Dom explained.

Taven caught up to Dom and slipped on his shades. His face was solemn as he inhaled the smoke. "How'd you find out?" he asked after an interminable period of silence.

Dom pulled out an envelope from his pocket. "Someone sent me it a few hours ago; freshly written. They told me that you got into the city early, and where you were staying... they knew. And whoever they are, Taven... they're deliberately keeping us alive. I'm scared to find out why."

"Whoever 'they' are... they're dead," Taven said coldly.

No one said a word until they reached the secret entrance to Team 27's headquarters. The entrance looked no different from the rest of the brick wall in the back of the abandoned warehouse. Even Taven and Dominic were fearful of venturing so far into the Vintage District of the city, but still they walked slowly downstairs, reaching depths of hundreds of feet below ground level. The headquarters themselves were anything but decrepit; very modern and expensive. However, there were over 20 dead bodies strewn over the place. Bodies with faces that Taven recognized all too well. Those who he had grown to know as family. Both were fighting back tears as they examined the blood pooled around each one, all had gunshot wounds in their head and bodies. Team 27 had become Team 2...

Something caught Taven's eye just seconds after entering the expansive underground room. On the bar counter sat a small, red video player. He motioned Dom over wordlessly and turned it on. A grinning face popped onto the screen that instantly filled Taven with hate; his father's.

"Greetings gentlemen," he began. "If you're watching this, you've discovered what my men and I have done." He paused for a few seconds, and then sighed. "I'm sure this leaves you with many questions; the foremost being why I've kept you two alive, Dom and Taven. However, if you two decide to come and find me, I'm positive that you'll find the answer yourself. Consider what I've done a challenge, especially directed at you, son. Let's see if you have evolved on your own, or, as I expect, have done nothing but waste time. Good luck..."

The screen went black, and the two did nothing but stare, stunned. Taven then hastily grabbed the top of the screen of the player and threw it up against the wall, shattering the player into pieces and putting a hole through the wall. He stormed up the large staircase wordlessly, leaving Dom to decide whether or not to follow him. He did.

It took Dom half an hour to find Taven, and when he did, he was surprised to see him in an alley. Taven was sitting up against a wall, so deep in his thoughts that he failed to even acknowledge Dom's presence. He startled Taven when he finally spoke.

"So what're you going to do now?" is all he could muster to ask his friend.

"I'm going to find the bastard... and when I do, he'll pay," Taven replied with the same coldness that he spoke with when Dom told him what happened. They both had to talk over the rustling wind, which had picked up since they entered the headquarters.

"You can't do it alone, dude... you need someone to help y-" Dom began.

"He said it himself!" Taven snapped. He sighed, then continued with a slightly softer tone, "It's my challenge... but he's going to regret what he did."

"Well... at least let me help you with what I can if you're going alone," Dom suggested.

"Let's go then; no time to waste," Taven said as he got up and started for Dom's house. Dominic faltered, then followed his determined friend reluctantly. He jogged over to catch up, but still they walked to the house without speaking a word to one another.

Dom led him in through the front entrance; Taven leaned his back up against the wall near the door.

"I'll go pack the stuff you need," Dom said blankly, leaving the living room. When he returned with a duffel bag a few minutes later, Dom noticed that Taven's stance and lost-in-thought facial expression remained the same as when he left. "So where are you going to start?" he asked as he passed the bag over to his friend. Dom once again pulled out two cigarillos, handing one to Taven and lighting it for him.

"I guess I'll take the bus out of Darmaska, then fly out to Anterna City on Zapdos," Taven explained, not looking up from his PokéGear. "The Gear says the thunderstorm should fly in by then, I'll slip in unnoticed."

Dom stood there, arms crossed, hiding the fact that he was surprised at how quickly Taven planned his route. He had trouble finding the words to say to Taven, and simply shrugged and raised his eyebrows. Taven took out his earbuds and plugged them into the PokéGear.

"Are you sure you don't want me to come along, man?" Dom persisted.

"Yep," Taven answered. "Like I said, it's my battle now."

"And what am I supposed to do here?"

"Isn't it obvious...?" Taven replied. Dom just stood there blankly, expecting further explanation. Taven sighed at the denseness of his friend. "Rebuild. Rebuild our Team, I'll be done with what I gotta do before you know it." He groaned softly as he threw the bag's strap over his shoulder. "And with that, man, I'm out... keep me posted!"

"Peace!" Dom yelled out as Taven was slipping out of the front door.

After another uneventful bus ride to the outskirts of the city, Taven jumped off and walked past the road sign that read 'Darmaska City Limits.' It felt like forever since he'd released one of his Pokémon. He pressed the button, bringing the Poké Ball to full size. The white beam that shot out filled Taven with a strange feeling of exhilaration, a feeling that was greatly intensified when Zapdos finally solidified and let out a long shriek. Zapdos ruffled it's feathers, then allowed Taven to jump on its back, waiting for command.

"Anterna, Zapdos!" he yelled, surprising himself with a cheerful call to his old majestic friend.

And with that, Zapdos leaped out, flying southwestward towards the executive building of his father's company, Marrob Co.




Hope you all liked it!

-Syn...

Sgt Shock
September 15th, 2009, 09:16 AM
Let me give you the pleasure of your first comment if that is okay with you. :)
Honestly, the story is generally amazing. Your style is rather crisp and it was very unique of you to jump into the storyline so cleanly. Not many people can achieve a very interesting dive. But one thing I do want to point out (it's not a bad thing so don't get shocked), it kind of left me wondering what does Taven's and Dom's looks like. I generally want to know what they look like.

Other than that, the story was swell. Very nice executions of flow and you especially had me indulged in the environment. Your story kind of reminds me of mine when it progressed.

I think you should keep going. :) I enjoyed it very much.

By the way: If that is going to be Taven's team in your signature. That is going to be really cool! I never thought of putting a Legendary for a main character's pokemon.

Synthrâx
September 15th, 2009, 04:47 PM
Let me give you the pleasure of your first comment if that is okay with you. :)
Honestly, the story is generally amazing. Your style is rather crisp and it was very unique of you to jump into the storyline so cleanly. Not many people can achieve a very interesting dive. But one thing I do want to point out (it's not a bad thing so don't get shocked), it kind of left me wondering what does Taven's and Dom's looks like. I generally want to know what they look like.

Other than that, the story was swell. Very nice executions of flow and you especially had me indulged in the environment. Your story kind of reminds me of mine when it progressed.

I think you should keep going. :) I enjoyed it very much.

By the way: If that is going to be Taven's team in your signature. That is going to be really cool! I never thought of putting a Legendary for a main character's pokemon.

Thank you for the review! : D

First off, my old style was to generally give all character's physical descriptions right when they were introduced, but everyone who read my stories said that I should slip it in gradually as the story progresses. I've kinda trained myself to do that, but I'm afraid that in the first 2 chapters it slipped my mind :S

I will give character descriptions later, I plan on this being my longest story ever so I'll have plenty of time.

The team in my sig is Taven's team, and Dom's will be introduced later as well.

So, again, thanks so much for the review, I'll check out your stuff to see if I can notice our similarities : D

-Syn...

Lycaeus
September 15th, 2009, 05:17 PM
Hmm, the story is indeed interesting. I'd suggest maybe legnthing to chapters though, they were really short, it only took my like 10 minutes to read both. That said, add more detail. It seemed like Taven was awake, across town, and in the hotel in like 5 minutes. Otherwise, this looks like it's gunna be pretty good!!

Synthrâx
September 15th, 2009, 05:23 PM
Hmm, the story is indeed interesting. I'd suggest maybe legnthing to chapters though, they were really short, it only took my like 10 minutes to read both. That said, add more detail. It seemed like Taven was awake, across town, and in the hotel in like 5 minutes. Otherwise, this looks like it's gunna be pretty good!!

Thanks for the tip, I do have a tendency to 'speed up' my writing...

I'll keep that in mind.

-Syn...

Sgt Shock
September 16th, 2009, 04:48 AM
Thank you for the review! : D

First off, my old style was to generally give all character's physical descriptions right when they were introduced, but everyone who read my stories said that I should slip it in gradually as the story progresses. I've kinda trained myself to do that, but I'm afraid that in the first 2 chapters it slipped my mind :S

I will give character descriptions later, I plan on this being my longest story ever so I'll have plenty of time.

The team in my sig is Taven's team, and Dom's will be introduced later as well.

So, again, thanks so much for the review, I'll check out your stuff to see if I can notice our similarities : D

-Alex...

Oh, I see and completely understand now) If you were going to do it like that, I shouldn't mentioned it. But thanks on the review on mine. Kind of takes a while to start up, around about chapter 3 is when mine get really started.

Can't wait until the next update man.

kacqn
September 16th, 2009, 05:01 PM
I like the story so far can't wait for the next one!

Synthrâx
September 16th, 2009, 07:04 PM
I like the story so far can't wait for the next one!

Thanks so much! : D

I should have Chapter 3 up by tomorrow, if not, I guarantee it'll be up Friday... to give you a little sneak peak, it will be measurably longer than before. Also, it'll include the stories first Pokémon battle!

Have fun reading everybody, keep the comments coming!

EDIT: Sorry guys, the 3rd chapter might be postponed till as late as Wednesday. D : However, it could get to over four times as long as my other ones!

-Syn...

Synthrâx
September 24th, 2009, 04:37 PM
Today in a football game I hurt my hand pretty badly, I can only type with my left hand as my fingers and wrist can barely bend.

That being said, it could be days before chapter 3 is done.

However, it will have:
- well over 4000 words
- the first Pokémon battle of the story
- an amazing ending (in my opinion)

Look out for it, everyone : D

-Syn...

kacqn
September 24th, 2009, 04:38 PM
Great for the story and I hope your hand gets better.

Sgt Shock
September 24th, 2009, 04:43 PM
Today in a football game I hurt my hand pretty badly, I can only type with my left hand as my fingers and wrist can barely bend.

That being said, it could be days before chapter 3 is done.

However, it will have:
- well over 4000 words
- the first Pokémon battle of the story
- an amazing ending (in my opinion)

Look out for it, everyone : D

-Syn...

I'm looking forward to it. I hope that your hand gets better. :( Anyway, I'll be looking for it.

Synthrâx
September 24th, 2009, 08:19 PM
Well, I said that it would be postponed a few days because of my hand, but I worked through the pain for you all (your welcome) : D Yeah, I worked really hard on this chapter so I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it... well, you know, aside from being slightly delirious from the unbearable wrist, hand and finger pain (; Oh, and in case anyone cares, the final word count on this chapter: 4501




Chapter 3: One Does Not Love Breathing

Taven jolted awake, the fast-tempo beat of Zapdos' wings and the powerful crackling of electricity had been causing him to drift in and out of sleep for the past few hours. He checked his PokéGear, and upon realizing that he was only about a two hours away from Anterna City, decided to stay awake for the remainder of the journey. The two were in the center of the black storm clouds that were to provide cover. However, by Taven's estimation, they were over the outskirts, where there were few inhabitants that would notice them anyway.

"Zap!" he yelled over the crackling of lightning and beating of wings. Zapdos looked back, awaiting command. "Come on back Zapdos, a legendary like you will attract way too much attention," he explained with a quick wink to his Pokémon.

He pulled out Zapdos' Poké Ball and retrieved him, free falling in the sky before releasing his Staraptor. Taven landed on her back just a few hundred feet above ground.

"Good girl!" he said, patting her on her black, feathered head. Staraptor let out a high-pitched, deafening war-cry... well, war-screech. "Let's go down just a bit lower."

She slowly descended, pulling up to become level when the children playing near their shacks were easily seen.

"Full speed ahead, Staraptor!" he yelled. "We don't want anyone flagging us down, now, do we?" he said sweetly to her.

The scenery throughout the flight was monotonous; patches of high grass, with the occasional barren area where an encampment of shacks was located. These became more and more frequent until the city entrance peaked over the horizon. Staraptor's sleek, mostly dark-feathered body seemed almost impossible to see on such a dark night. The beating of her wings stayed at a very quick pace, seeing as she had to carry a load almost four times her weight.

Although Staraptor was not at all tired (she had the uncanny ability to carry Taven far distances), Taven decided to let her rest and walk the final mile. Staraptor flew down onto the dirt path quickly, allowing Taven to jump off of her and put her back in the Poké Ball.

The short distance of light brown road seemed to go on forever from Taven's point of view. Lush, dark green jungle stretched on from either side of him; he could almost sense the dangerous forest Pokémon glaring at him, waiting for the perfect time to strike. He slowly and reluctantly began walking trying his best not to show the fear on his face, as if one of his friends was with him. Splash! His foot sank into the wet mud under the large rain puddle. He panicked, jerking his foot out of it quickly and jogging a few feet back from it. He sighed, shoulders hunched, ashamed of himself for his cowardice. Just as he was about to continue walking, determined to get to the city, a piercing cry, one he immediately identified as a Honchkrow's, reached his ears. He turned hastily to the side of the forest from which it came, his keen eye noticing the trees rustling unnaturally.

Once again, the piercing cry was heard... this time, it seemed to be closer to Taven. Seconds after the screech, the giant, black bird appeared, heading straight for him. Taven ducked as Honchkrow reached it's talons out for him, the razor sharp tips scraping against his black and gray fedora. He needed no further motivation - Taven sprinted towards the city. It felt as if he could feel Honchkrow's body heat on the back of his neck. For a moment, he thought about looking back, then realized that doing so would probably mean a quick death by impalement. His long, powerful legs couldn't move fast enough, but fatigue was beginning to set in. Once again, the Honchkrow shrieked, letting Taven know that he was inching ever closer. The city's entrance was barely visible now, but a sixth sense told him that he would be within the tormenting bird's grasp very soon.

This time, his action was not proceeded by any thought; he leaped for the ground, rolling over his shoulder while simultaneously picking up a large rock. Honchkrow couldn't stop fast enough, halting yards in front of Taven. With no time to aim, he simply flung his arm forward, the brown rock striking the bird directly in its pointed beak. It squawked as it dropped onto the ground, flopping momentarily as Taven stomped it while running past. Apparently, not forcibly enough. Honchkrow recovered within seconds, now more determined to make Taven his prey. He could hear the wings flapping near his ears as the gate approached him. As he crossed through, sure that it would be his last steps, the Honchkrow faltered, wavering just before the gate. Taven turned around slowly, completely dumbstruck. Honchkrow gave one final scream, then flew back into his forest.

Taven's vision faded to black, and he collapsed onto the ground in the middle of the night, exhausted.

He awoke to a warm, pleasant setting; one that he was certainly not used to. Slowly, the haze in his vision was retreating backwards, like the tide at the beach near his hometown. Taven sat up in the comfortable bed, unsure what to do. Looking around, he saw that he was alone in the room. As he fully regained awareness of his surroundings, he recognized some of the machines around him. Most importantly, he recognized the Pokémon Recuperation System, his six Poké Balls resting in the semispheric slots. A blacklight slowly pulsated over each one. Finally, he decided to call someone, although he had no idea who he was about to summon.

"Hello...?" Taven asked hesitantly.

At first, there was no response. Then he heard faint footsteps, muffled as if the person was stepping on carpet. The door opened, and a pretty young nurse walked in. Her beautiful blond hair bounced as she walked, synchronized with various other parts of her body.

"Hey..." she said in a sweet, fluttering voice, "look who's up!" She stood over the counter, taking the caps off of a few small canisters.

"Where am I?" he asked her groggily.

"You're in Anterna City, this is the Pokécenter," the nurse explained. "They said that they found you a few feet in front of the city gate, does any of that ring a bell?"

He paused, thinking about what he should say. "Not really," he lied. Taven wanted to make sure that he didn't have to explain himself to her, his low profile was one of the top priorities.

"Aww, don't worry, it'll come back to you," she smiled at him, glancing at him from the counter.

"So what's your name?" he asked, trying to maintain the conversation.

"You can call me Lorelene," she said, walking over to him with a small plastic cup of pills. "Here, take these." Lorelene walked over to a clipboard, thumbed through a couple pages, then looked back at him. "Hmm... says here that you just had a minor case of exhaustion... it's somewhat common with trainers. How do ya feel uhm... Taven?"

"Fine, am I free to go?" he asked quickly.

Lorelene laughed. "You seem pretty anxious for a guy who doesn't remember anything," she said with a wink.

-------

As Taven stepped outside into the noon sunlight, he breathed in the fresh air. The city was similar to his hometown of DragonSpine in the sense that it wasn't a giant bustling city, but wasn't a tiny little village either. It was a mid-sized city, perfect. Businessmen, out to lunch, walked by in every direction. He slipped into the crowd unnoticed, wandering and completely unsure where to go. He decided to find a quiet, secluded place where he could regroup his thoughts. Bingo.

Two large department stores stood on either side of the short, stone stairwell leading into the sub-level alley. Taven sat up against the wall, deep in thought. Time seemed to fly by, although in the back of his mind he was rather confident that it had only been a few minutes. He sat there, frustrated; it seemed that he had exhausted all of his options, there was no way to find his father. Or, at the very least, someone who could help his cause.

-------

At first, Taven couldn't figure out why he jolted awake so abruptly. Then he felt the second series of vibration in his pocket. He reached into his jeans, pulling out his PokéGear and clicking the answer button on the touch screen.

"Dom," he answered. "What's goin' on man?"

"Look man," he began, so excited that he was out of breath. "I know you wanted to do this solo, but I just got a big tip over here on where you're father is. So, that being said... I got good news and bad news."

"Let's hear the bad first then..." Taven said with a sigh.

"The hideout is heavily guarded with the best of his guys, not gonna be easy to get to him," Dom explained. "The upside is, if you're in Anterna, you're in the right place."

"So where the hell is it then?" he asked sternly.

"In the dead center of the town, there's this huge department store, slash battle center, slash god knows what else. The top few floors are vacant... so they say," Dom explained sinisterly.

"So who's up there?" Taven asked, already getting up and following Dom's direction.

Dom began speaking quickly. "I figure either the executives or your dad, either way they've soundproofed everything, the door is sealed off through the wall, no one knows a damn thing. The employees are just as clueless as the general public, for Christ's sake."

"Thanks," Taven mustered, now sprinting towards the town square.

"Good lu-" is all Dom got through; Taven's phone was already in his pocket.

--------

His feet barely touched the ground as he reached the Wurtherin's Dpt. Store, a massive building that towered over anything else near the town square. It seemed almost out of place.

Taven did not know what to expect as he entered the lobby through the revolving doors in the front. Would it be a huge ordeal, or would he just be able to go to the elevator and get to the top floor? The news Dom gave him left Taven feeling bold: he decided to try to do just that. The elevator door was a small opening near the lobby's counter, nearly camouflaged by the light yellow wall that stretched all around the ground level. He pressed the button to summon the elevator, awkwardly smiling at the old desk clerk when he realized that she was studying him. The damned door couldn't have slid open fast enough. He slipped in nonchalantly and hit the 'close door' button.

He paused for awhile, studying the button pad next to the elevator door. The massive building seemed to have 12 floors, but as Taven gave it a second gaze, it seemed that the top four floor buttons were scratched off, the buttons removed and covered by some caulk-like substance. He decided to scope around the top floor, trying to find this fabled secret entrance that Dom spoke of earlier on the phone. The elevator hummed as Taven clicked the 12th floor button, lifting him up to his mission.

When he reached the destination, he was instantly shocked at the sight before him. It was nearly an empty room - a few near-bare circular clothes rails - long abandoned chairs and other dusty furniture stood lonesome in the darkened corner of the room. It was an expansive room, reminiscent of Team 27's old hideout where he discovered the bodies of his fallen brethren. It was hundreds of feet wide and hundreds of feet long, the floor completely bare. Even with his all white, low-cut basketball shoes on, Taven could notice how hard the bare stone floor was. Aside from a very dark-skinned man in a full black suit who was busy tidying the racks up, he was completely alone in the room.

Taven walked over to the nearest rack, sifting through the clothes while trying not to look conspicuous; a difficult task when one is the only other person in the room. He met the black man's glance, then quickly looked back at the clothes. He could hear the man's squeaky dress shoes coming towards him.

"So," the man's deep voice startled him, "you're here to see Marrob?"

"Wha-!?" Taven hushed.

The man chuckled deeply. "How'd I know right?" he said, a hint of aggressiveness in his tone. There was a devilish half-smile on his face.

Taven could barely muster a grunt in response. He'd been discovered, and without even saying a word!?

"So what business do you have here with our organization?" the man asked.

Taven was surprised by the lack of hostility in the question. "Uhh... I'm here to see my dad. Rhykor?"

The man turned his head and furrowed his brow, as if he did not understand. Then his expression quickly changed into one of surprise, gasping as he said, "You're Taven! So sorry, sir! I'm sure you're here for... informal affairs with the CEO. Please, go right ahead. My name's Rick if you need anything."

The man pulled out a small, black piece of plastic with a red button on it, clicking the button. Nothing happened at first, then a space in the wall shot upward, revealing a tiny, ten foot hallway with another door on the other side. Taven smiled and waved, barely able to contain an expression of sinister happiness.

-------

The door on the other side was a steel trap, no one got in or out it seemed at first. Then Taven noticed the small access panel to the right, consisting of a keyboard, keypad, and a small screen. The screen flickered on, lighting up the otherwise dark room. The interface that popped up read: 'Connecting..."

Rhykor's face appeared suddenly, causing Taven to shoot backwards a few feet in sheer surprise. He noticed the scar stretching across his left eye, the one that Taven put there before he left home.

"Ahh... Taven. I've certainly been expecting you," his calm expression changed momentarily, "but not so soon. So I assume you had a bit of help finding the place then?"

"I guess you could say that," Taven said through clenched teeth.

"Hm... well, are you ready to meet with me? Let me tell you, the road there won't be easy. Filled with trainers and many other obstacles, you see. I'm sure you'll have lots of fun on the way, and I hope you can make it, my boy... hmm. May I ask you how you got here so quickly?" he asked, his bushy, white mustache moved up and down as he moved his mouth to talk.

"You're so-called 'employees' don't exactly know the truth about our relationship, do they?" Taven shot back at his father, his words laced with venom.

Rhykor opened his mouth, as if he was about to say something, then closed it again. He furrowed his brow, his shiny bald head wrinkled with it. The screen clicked off, an action simultaneous with the door opening. Taven stepped through the opening, happy to be out of the narrow hallway. What he stepped into was a room similar to the one before; almost completely empty despite being rather large, barren floors, no windows, and one other person already accompanying Taven in the room. It was then that Taven realized that the ceilings were much higher than any other room before it, thirty feet by Taven's estimation.

"Hello, Taven," the man said. He was very pale, with bright white hair which contrasted his all black suit, which was identical to the one he saw on the black man earlier.

"Ahh... one of my dad's so-called executives, I presume?" Taven asked.

"Quite. Allow me to introduce myself: I am Eugene Engrim," the man replied coldly, tossing a Poké Ball up and down in his hand. "And today, I plan on showing you how a real trainer battles..."

Taven pulled out a Poké Ball abruptly, tossing it out into the battlefield. "Let's see if your old moves are still fresh."

http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/69/exec1.png

To match Taven's Charizard, the old man sent out his Drapion. Engrim wasted no time.

"Drapion! Sludge Bomb attack!" he commanded.

"Charizard, hit 'em back with Fire Blast!" retorted Taven.

The two opposing Pokémon both tilted their heads back in unison, then shot them forward with their mouths open. As Drapion expelled the brown sludge from its mouth, Charizard responded with a burst of fiery red and orange energy. It melted right through the bomb of mud, striking Drapion right in its face. It draped its neck back, then slammed into the ground.

"Oh yeah, critical hit! Nice one Char!" Taven cheered. Charizard let out a beastly, vigor-filled roar.

"Hmph," Eugene complained, throwing out his next Pokémon. "I'll show you yet, young man."

A gigantic serpentine Pokémon formed out of the white light, letting out a roar that dwarfed the power of Charizard's.

"Gyarados," Taven whispered.

"Hydro Pump!" Eugene commanded.

A blue sphere formed at the back of Gyarados' mouth, jetting out powerfully when he lurched his head forward. It struck Charizard right in her gullet, knocking her off of her feet and backwards. She hit the ground and barrel rolled, stopping at Taven's feet. He knelt before Charizard, soothing her pain with the back of his hand before putting her back into the Poké Ball.

At first, Taven's instinct was to throw out his Zapdos and annihilate Gyarados with a few quick moves, but he pulled back. He knew that Eugene would have more up his sleeve, and that Zapdos' talents and stamina would be useful later in the battle. Taven reached for another ball and threw it out.

"Flygon, go!" Taven yelled as the green, bug-eyed Pokémon flew out into the battlefield. "Dragon Claw!"

Flygon flew higher into the air, choosing a direct path towards Gyarados' face. He got near and reached his arm back, his claws glowing with a green hue.

"Dodge it, Gyarados!" Eugene commanded.

It was just in time. Gyarados ducked, narrowly missing a sharp claw to the head.

"Now, Iron Head!" he continued.

Gyarados' head glowed with a bright white light, then smashed into Flygon. He was sent flying through the air, landing ungracefully in the center of the room.

"Fine," Taven decided. "Time for a more direct approach."

Flygon wavered up off the ground, his wings fluttering hastily just to keep him off of the ground.

"First, use Quick Attack!" Taven began.

Flygon's hind legs and tail began to glow white as he sped through the air, smashing into Gyarados right below his head. The blue serpent staggered backward slightly, but it was enough of an opening for Taven.

"Now follow it up with ThunderPunch!" he continued.

Flygon once again threw his arm back, slamming a spark-covered fist into Gyarados, right in between his eyes. Gyarados groaned, then fell sideways into the ground, defeated. His fall shook the whole room slightly. As Taven glanced over at Flygon, he was debating on whether or not to keep him in the fight. Flygon was weakened from the powerful Iron Head he received from the Gyarados. But there was no time to switch, as Eugene's new Pokémon was already materializing on the field.

"Oh no..." Taven said, shuddering.

A powerful-looking Abomasnow glared at the already weakened Flygon.

"Ice Shard!" the man confidently commanded.

Abomasnow opened her arms, creating a giant shard of ice aimed at Flygon. She then put her hands together, sending the ice shard flying towards the green dragon.

"Duck, Flygon!" Taven yelled in a futile effort to save his Pokémon.

The ice shard shattered as it made contact with Flygon's light green belly. He instantly fainted, which came to no surprise to Taven, who swapped him for a new Pokémon.

His next Pokémon was thrown out into the field before the large snow monster, but this one would not be intimidated.

"Go, Arbok!" Taven yelled.

"Bad idea," the man said smugly. "Blind it with Mud-Slap, Abomasnow!"

Abomasnow turned around and stood on all fours, furiously swiping dirt towards Arbok's eyes.

"Dig!" Taven hastily commanded.

Arbok raised her head toward the sky and slammed it into the ground, wriggling her body into the earth. Abomasnow jerked his head around in all directions in an effort to find the missing snake. Arbok popped up behind the ignorant Pokémon, as she was trained to do.

"Now use Poison Fang!" Taven screamed across the room.

Arbok opened it's mouth wide, revealing deadly and razor sharp fangs. They began to glow with a purple hue as Arbok sank them into the shoulder of her opponent. Abomasnow screamed in both pain and terror, but could not figure out how to get Arbok off of him. He began to thrash around violently.

"Abomasnow, calm down! Grab the Arbok and use Stomp," said Eugene, making sure not to lose his head.

Abomasnow followed orders, stopping his tantrum to reach for Arbok's neck. He threw the snake onto the ground, then stomped on her with his heavy, white foot as Arbok attempted to slither away. The attack did a decent amount of damage to the purple snake, but Abomasnow was becoming noticeably weaker by the minute. Taven noticed the snowman's sluggish movement and pain in his face.

"Nice job, Arbok," he whispered to his scaly ally. "It's just a matter of time before the poison attack takes him down... just keep evading his attacks and use quick hits back. But only when you're sure you have an opening. Okay, girl?"

"Arrrbok!" he replied.

"Charge, Abomasnow! Charge and use Rock Smash!" Engrim commanded.

Abomasnow sped towards Arbok despite his pain, his arms back and head down.

"You know what to do, Arbok!" Taven yelled.

As Abomasnow reached for Arbok's torso, the snake dodged the arm in a diagonal motion. The poison was spreading faster than anyone could have thought, as Abomasnow then began staggering back and forth. Once again, Taven saw this as a slim opening.

"Arbok! Poison Jab attack!" Taven quickly screamed.

Arbok squirmed her glowing tail in front of herself. She then jabbed it into Abomasnow's chest, sending him off of his feet and onto his back with such great force that the ceramic tile was pulverized. Arbok coughed and hacked as the dust cloud wafted near her.

"Damn... my last Pokémon," he whispered to himself. "Don't think this one will sit down to your mongrels like the others... you see Taven, there's a reason why I saved Hippowdon for last!"

"Arbok, snap out of it, his next Pokémon is coming!" Taven commanded.

But Arbok couldn't stop her coughing attack in time. Hippowdon was called out onto the field.

"Sand Tomb!"

Sand shot profusely from the holes in Hippowdon's back. It sifted towards Arbok, slithering up her cylindrical body and encasing her from the neck down. No matter how much Arbok wriggled, she simply could not break free.

"Earthquake attack!"

Hippowdon stood on his back feet, then slammed his front feet back onto the ground, sending shock waves through the ground. When they reached Arbok, they sent her flipping back through the air, breaking her sand enclosure in mid air. Arbok could not even summon enough energy to twitch as she laid limp on the ground.

Once again, Taven swapped in for a new Pokémon.

Walrein gave a loud bark, flapping his heavy blue flippers together repeatedly.

"You'll need more than a type advantage to take Hippo out," Eugene muttered smugly.

"Hmm... you're soundin' pretty cocky for a guy who's down to one Pokémon," Taven said through an evil grin. "I have no more time to talk, Mr. Engrim; Walrein! Water Pulse!"

Walrein opened his mouth as far as he possibly could, then a small blue water ball formed in the back of its mouth. As it grew, he released it towards Hippowdon, and a ring of water shot out behind it. It flew threw it the air, striking Hippowdon in the lower jaw with a splash. He groaned in pain as it struck him, but he was still in a well enough condition to fight.

"Hippowdon, Earth Power!"

"Hmm... not familiar with that move," Taven said to himself.

Hippowdon began to glow a faint yellow-orange, and a strange energy seemed to permeate from him; both Walrein and Taven could sense it. The energy grew with every moment passed, until the very ground beneath them began to crack. The cracks traveled towards the blue walrus, the same yellow-orange glow shooting from them. A ring of cracks in the ground formed around Walrein, the glow shot up from the ground, striking him with a powerful force. Even Eugene, who was many feet away from Walrein, could see the fury burning in his eyes.

It seemed that Taven was losing the battle, but he was on a clever hunch.

"Walrein," Taven whispered. Walrein shot him a quick glance. "Charge up the Ice Beam and wait for my cue."

"Hippowdon, now! Finish him off with Giga Impact!" Engrim commanded.

Hippowdon once again glowed with a yellow-orange hue, but this time it engulfed his whole body. He was then covered with a purple, transparent energy sphere as he sped towards Walrein.

"Now, Walrein!" Taven blurted out as Hippowdon was fast approaching.

Walrein again opened his mouth, three light blue beams of ice zig-zagging out. They hit their mark, the first two greatly slowing down the speeding hippo. The third beam struck Hippowdon the hardest; a critical hit. He flipped over on his back, but his giant red eyes were no longer open.

"Looks like this is the end, Mr. Engrim," Taven said with a triumphant and eager smile on his face. He walked across the battlefield with Walrein, meeting Eugene in the center.

"It would appear so..." Eugene muttered, pulling out a silk cloth and wiping his glasses. "A few hints: on each floor, there is an automated Pokémon healing machine, so be sure to reach one before you start the next battle. You should be able to avoid the weaker trainers by simply moving stealthily... something I'm sure you've learned in your travels."

Taven began to wonder why Rhykor's employees were helping him. He realized that a puzzled look was stretched across he face, so he quickly regained his composure. "Thank you," he said gratefully, making his way to the first office floor of Marrob Co.

"Oh, and before you go, I have a question." Taven turned around, waiting for Eugene to ask it.

"I want you to look deep down inside yourself and ask: do you really love battling Pokémon?" Eugene asked.

"No," Taven said blankly. Eugene was slightly thrown off by his sudden and unexpected answer. Alas, Taven continued his answer as he made his way towards the door, "one does not love breathing, Mr. Engrim."




Please comment ;)

-Syn...

Sgt Shock
September 25th, 2009, 02:18 PM
Very nice battle scene. I think it went very well, may I say so myself. I truly enjoyed the trainers emotions while they performed the battle. Pokemon battles are fast paced and I think you captured it well. Good job man.

Synthrâx
September 26th, 2009, 12:29 PM
Very nice battle scene. I think it went very well, may I say so myself. I truly enjoyed the trainers emotions while they performed the battle. Pokemon battles are fast paced and I think you captured it well. Good job man.

Thanks, honestly though I don't really like writing them, although I'll have to do it a lot. It's kind of repetitive, but its nice to see it all come together I guess. No word yet on when I'll have chapter 4 done. Keep posting everyone !

Oh, and today I'll be releasing the first of many PokéUpdates, posts in between chapters that let you know what's going on with the Team 27 storyline, among other misc. things.

-Syn...

Synthrâx
September 26th, 2009, 05:06 PM
PokéUpdate!

• with the release of Chapter 3, I've decided to lengthen my chapters from here on out. I'd say that most, if not all, will be well over 3000 words.
• before each battle scene, there will be a spoiler box that shows the upcoming trainer's party. Only click if you want to know beforehand! (; this feature has been implemented into the scene in Chapter 3.
• I've just put the finishing touches on a custom sprite of Taven, which will be soon posted in my avatar and grouped with his Pokémon in my sig.
• Chapter 4 is now underway, not sure where I'm gonna go with it though so I guess I'll have to leave you all in complete suspense : D The only thing I can say about it now is that I'm 500 words in. EDIT: Tonight, I got to 1500 words so I'm gonna stop. At this rate I'll have it up early in the workweek.

-Syn...

Lycaeus
September 26th, 2009, 05:52 PM
Impressive! A great improvment from chapter two, if you ask me. The detail in the battle scene was excellent, and the story line itself was supreme. Can't wait for the next installment!

Synthrâx
September 26th, 2009, 05:54 PM
Impressive! A great improvment from chapter two, if you ask me. The detail in the battle scene was excellent, and the story line itself was supreme. Can't wait for the next installment!

Thanks so much! That's really the boost I need to focus hard on the next chapter. I hope you like the next one too! (:

-Syn...

Synthrâx
September 27th, 2009, 08:13 PM
PokéUpdate!

• today I worked hard with a few hours of nonstop writing, and have finished Chapter Four! I still need to review it thoroughly and decide on a title, so it won't be released until the 28th of September.
• currently, in its raw state, it is just under 4000 words (3908)
• I am officially announcing a new projcet that will begin shortly after Team 27's first book is finished. I plan on creating a series of one-shot side-stories, each of which explaining how Taven acquired one of his Pokémon. Some might contain how he acquired multiple ones, depending on whether or not I decide to make changes in his party later in the story. I might make a post in the writer's lounge about it later this week to see what people think about the idea.
• be sure to go here (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=195847) to post your favorite Pokémon party, thus getting a chance to see it in the next of Taven's battles.

-Syn...

Synthrâx
September 28th, 2009, 05:23 PM
Here it comes, Chapter 4! I'm pretty proud of myself that I was able to write a 4404-word chapter in under two days, while the other one took me over a week. I so pose it just depends on how busy I am. Anyway, here it is...




Chapter 4: A Forgotten Acquaintance

The door to the first office floor: Taven stood in front of it, not knowing at all what to expect. Unlike the previous door, this one was not locked. A simple press of a button shot it open with a large whoosh! Despite the circumstances of his dire mission, the scene he walked into bored him. It was just a typical office at first glance, to the uninformed eye it would be the perfect cover. Just as Dom had explained to him earlier on his PokéGear, no one would suspect a thing.

Each row of cubicles made a path to walk through, and there was a group of cubicle rows on each side of the floor. The fifty foot by fifty foot section in the middle was completely empty, leaving space for regulars there to converse and look out through the rectangular windows that projected a panoramic landscape view of Anterna. The giant, transparent portals were on each wall of the office, stretching across half of each of them. Taven took a quick test step, and he was happy to see his agile feet made no sound as they stepped across the padded, dull gray carpet.

He tip-toed over to the prodigious window, peering out at all of the diversely shaped roofs. Most were yellow and made of a fortified sandstone, just as the rest of the buildings were. A hot air balloon dawdled lazily over the city, and Taven envied its carefree existence. The thought of abandoning his mission, his friends, or his lust for retribution never crossed his mind. However, the yearning for freedom was ever growing in the pit of his soul, like a schoolboy impatiently waiting for summer vacation. The noise of copiers, keyboards clacking, and people answering telephones filled the room.

And yet, it did not sound like there were all that many people with Taven. Considering the size of the room, it seemed rather empty, a fact that Taven certainly found to be virtuous. He began to wonder where all the other workers were, as they were certainly not in their cubicles. Upon remembering that all of those absent office workers knowingly worked for his father, Taven shuddered. Muzak silently played from the flat, circular speakers connected to the ceiling. The air conditioning gave Taven a slight chill; he was much more used to sunny, ninety degree weather. Although he was well aware that his mind was wandering to more trivial subjects, he did little to stop it. At that point the time seemed right for a break.

The thin, short hairs stood up on the back of his neck when Taven heard two distinct voices coming closer. The faint, pleasant aroma of coffee filled Taven's nostrils. He ducked behind a cubicle wall, waiting for them to step out into the large middle clearing. A man and a woman stopped feet away from the end of the cubicle row. Both were holding steaming, dark blue mugs. Taven was crouched behind the wall just fifteen feet away, craning his neck around the bend and eavesdropping on their conversation.

"Yeah, send the reports out to Jenkins and he can make the final ruling," the woman said, sipping her coffee.

"Alright, will do," the man said, leaving to follow her orders. When he realized that the conversation offered nothing to the advancement of his cause, Taven scurried over to the other side of the group of cubicles. His head swivelled from side to side as he peered out for the hidden Restoration Machine.

-------

Taven finally hit pay dirt in the southwest corner of the office, where it was wedged between a cluster of computers, copiers and fax machines. He placed his six balls in the slots, and patiently waited. As he glanced over at a shelf, the word 'Pokémon' caught his eye.

He walked over to examine the large, manila folder more closely. It was absolutely crammed with documents, making it about half an inch thick. He silently plucked it off the shelf and placed it on the large plastic conference table in the middle of the room. By the time the Automated Restoration Machine stopped humming over an hour later, signifying that the Pokémon were fully healed, Taven had reached the last page in the folder. Disappointed that he had found nothing of importance to his mission, he flipped the last page over, expecting to see another useless document he could not understand. He gasped softly as a blue sheet stared back at him.

Taven scanned the blueprints to the office floors with his PokéGear, then retrieved his Pokémon and put the balls in his belt slots. Creeping back to the middle of the office was simple, he just looped around the back side of the cubicles. A short sprint across the middle section led him to a nearly identical group of cubicles. Taven sat up against it, catching his breath and looking at his Gear. According to the blueprint, the door was just around the bend and on the other side of the wall.

Once again, he sprinted around the bend and whipped his head around, scanning the wall for the doorway. The front door stood there as promised, but Taven's heart suddenly sunk into his stomach. The man he eavesdropped on before stood in front of it, his arms crossed and a scowl on his face. The goateed businessman was older than Taven, but didn't look quite as muscular. He pulled a ball out of his jacket pocket and walked towards Taven.

The man noticed Taven's shocked expression as he came closer. "Oh come on now! You really thought I didn't see you hiding behind the wall?"

Taven's expression changed to one of great anger, his gloved hands clutched into fists at his sides.

"I have no time for a battle," Taven thought to himself.

Taven's impulsive personality seemed to reach a peak at that moment. He sprinted towards the man, who was still holding his Poké Ball. When Taven was a few feet in front of him, he reached his fist back, throwing it into the businessman's face. The crunch of the man's nose served as instant gratification for Taven; he considered the blood that spattered all over the man's face, neck, and expensive-looking suit a bonus. Taven stepped on his victim's stomach as he ran towards the stairway, knowing that the man would be rather incapacitated for the remainder of Taven's stay at Marrob Co.'s Executive Offices.

-------

He stopped at the top of the stairs, not yet opening the door that was twenty feet ahead of him. Preparation was the key to success; at least, that is what Taven had always believed. However, he knew not how much he would truly need it.

Taven pulled out his PokéGear, and he began to map out his path on the next floor before realizing that it was identical to the floor before it. And if that were true, it meant that the executive would be on the other side of the door, waiting for him on the battlefield. This time, Rhykor wasn't there to open the door for him electronically, but Walrein's powerful fangs worked just as well on the four inch thick steel. He tilted his head back and smashed his powerful, light yellow tusks into the metal. The door was cut open and weakened, but would need quite the push to knock it through the doorway.

"Back up, Walrein," the elderly woman on the other side of the door overheard, "Good. Now, use Iron Head!"

Despite being so fat, Walrein could move surprisingly fast. This, combined with his Aggron-like brute strength, was more than enough to send the large metal door flying at the old lady's purple dress shoes.

"Taven!" she said with a cheery voice that almost made Taven sick to his stomach. "I'm sure you don't remember me..." she trailed off.

"No, I don't, seeing how we've never met," Taven said cruelly.

"But we have... many times. My name is Miss Avery, I used to babysit you when your dad was still an ambitious young businessman," she explained.

At first sight, the woman's appearance had fooled him. Taven could sense the building realization that she was the second executive. He pulled a ball out of his belt. "I hope you know that it won't make it any harder for me to kick your ass and then walk away without remorse."

http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/8961/exec2.png

"Of course not," she said, with a sudden and surprising anger in her face. "I'll start with my favorite. Go, Espeon!"

Espeon let out a loud hiss, the red jewel on her forehead glowed bright.

"Psybeam attack, Espeon!" she commanded.

Taven knew that Walrein wasn't fast enough to dodge the attack, and that he was too far away to strike first at that point. He thought frantically for a moment, then decided to go with a more defensive strategy.

"Substitute! Then follow it up with Aqua Ring!" Taven told the blue walrus as a multicolored beam shot out of Espeon's forehead.

A puff of clouds appeared in front of Walrein, dissipating to reveal a model identical in appearance to Walrein. The beam struck the substitute, which remained unfazed by the attack. A vortex of water began to surround Walrein, which like the cloud, eventually dissipated. Walrein was left with blue rings of water surrounding him, perpetually spinning around in circles. Some of the damage done to Walrein from summoning the substitute was healed, which helped fortify him for his next attack.

"Take her out quick, Walrein. Blizzard!"

"Swift, Espeon!"

Naturally, Espeon's super fast move was able to strike first. Yellow stars flew out of her mouth, smacking into Walrein. He shook his head, then regained focus and fired an icy wind out of his mouth. It was released with such great force that he was pushed backwards slightly. As the freezing wind reached Espeon, small snowballs pelted her, pushing her back and eventually knocking her over on her side. She attempted to stand, faltered and fell back over, then stood up weakly. Walrien looked upwards in relief as the blue rings healed him slightly once again. However, the substitute randomly disappeared, leaving in the same manner that it was summoned.

"Grass Knot, Espeon!"

"Wha-!? How!?" Taven yelled, baffled. Espeon's eyes glowed green as pieces of grass grew out of the ground. They began to tie themselves in a knot.

"Believe it or not, she can learn the TM," Avery explained as the knot of grass shot out, tripping Walrein and slamming him into the ground. He groaned, struggling to get up in the same matter that Espeon did. However, he did not succeed, closing his eyes on the ground with a final, deep groan from the deepest part of his gullet. Taven switched out for a fresh new Pokémon, pushing the button in the middle to enlarge the Poké Ball to full size. It popped open upon hitting the dirt battlefield.

"Go, Charizard. Crunch attack!"

Charizard materialized from the white beam that shot out of the ball, then leaped into the air. She flew towards Espeon with great speed, swooping down to snap her jaws around Espeon's body. Her teeth glowed with a dark light. She swung Espeon back in forth in her grasp, then slammed her into the ground. Espeon didn't budge.

Miss Avery also had to switch for a new Pokémon; a pink, scaly creature stood before Charizard with a dim, blank expression on his face.

"Slowking, use Water Pulse attack!"

Slowking pulled his hands back by his right hip, creating an ever enlarging ball of water in his hands. He threw them forward, launching the ball towards Charizard. She tried her best to dodge it, jumping diagonally into the air. Half of the ball splashed into the edge of her wing, while the other half crashed into the tip of her tail. She was severely weakened when the flame of her tail was temporarily doused. It soon flickered back, the heat of its blaze matching the anger that Charizard held for her opponent.

"Follow it up with Zen Headbutt," Miss Avery continued.

"Charizard, quick, fly back towards me!" he answered, trying his best to evade the powerful psychic attack. The shell crown on his head turned bluish-white as he ducked down, running awkwardly but quickly towards Charizard. Charizard was able to fly up and towards Taven just in time to avoid it. Slowpoke stopped, standing just a few feet from Taven. A few feet above Taven flew Charizard, slowly and rhythmically beating her wings to hover above the ground.

"Now quickly, use Air Slash!" Taven commanded.

Charizard swooped her wings in a large circle several times, creating a giant sphere of twisting wind in front her. She picked up the ball in mid air with her wings, then hurled it towards Slowking. It struck the ground a few feet in front of her target, then bounced, striking him in the chest. He flew backwards, barrel rolling when he hit the ground. Slowking stopped in the middle of the battlefield, slowly getting up and dusting himself off.

"Use Aqua Tail, Slowking!" Miss Avery yelled, noticing how ready her Pokémon was to fight.

Slowking got on all four limbs, his tail sticking straight up in the air. He spun his tail around in rapid, tiny circles, creating a whirlpool of water that drifted towards Charizard. Her effort to fly above it failed as it hastily floated below her, catching her lower body in and sucking her in. The fast-moving water whipped her in her neck and face, then threw her into the air as it dissipated into mist. She was dizzy and confused when she staggered upward on her feet.

"Now use Brine," Miss Avery called out as Slowking turned his back to Charizard. He shook with tension, then powerfully released a blast of water in the opposite direction of the powerful, orange fire lizard. Slowking catapulted into Charizard, a high-pressure water trail following him. His body was tossed into Charizard, and Slowking smacked into Charizard's upper torso, blasting her into the ground. She was out cold.

"Damn, I wasn't even close to taking that Pokémon out!" Taven worried silently; he wasn't use to such frustration, most of his battles were a breeze. This time, he spoke out loud. "Time to pull out the big guns... Zapdos, go!"

Zapdos' long, orange beak opened as it let out a loud, high pitched screech. Its pointed, yellow and black wings gave off crackling electricity each time they were beat.

"Use Zap Cannon, take him down right off the bat!"

Zapdos did just that. It beat its wings more rapidly, creating a spherical electrical field in front of him. It launched the lightning ball towards Slowking in a matter more swiftly than the Air Slash, blasting into pink Pokémon. He instantly fell backwards, violently twitching each time a bolt of lightning ran through his body. Slowking was no longer in a good shape for battling. He was promptly swapped out for another psychic type.

"Fine then," Miss Avery decided. "I did not want to use my most powerful early in the battle, but if you do, so will I," she said with a tone of frustration. The old lady pulled out her third ball, tossing out a rare, shiny Alakazam.

"Wow... if only an alternate color did anything for you in battle," Taven said sarcastically.

"Alakazam," she said in a rich, deep voice. The Alakazam had a much shorter mustache than the male ones did, it extended only a few inches out of her face.

"Ice Punch!" Miss Avery yelled in a loud, shrill voice.

Alakazam pulled back her yellow fist, which began to glow a bluish-white. Snow and small chunks of ice fell to the ground each time she moved her hand. She lowered herself, sprinting towards Zapdos, occasionally jumping diagonally to avoid being evaded. She jumped, doing a front flip in mid air and striking Zapdos with her snowy, frozen fist. A layer of frost covered Zapdos after it fell to the battlefield, stretching towards the ground and causing Zapdos to be frozen in place. It was left defenseless to the next attack.

"Now use Shadow Ball attack," she continued in the same, shrill voice.

Alakazam crossed her spoons, forming a black ball of energy. Small black bits gravitated into the ball, gradually increasing it in size. As she separated the spoons, the black ball shot forward, striking the unprotected legendary bird. The ice cracked, but Zapdos could not recover from the powerful series of attacks.

Once again, Taven's Pokémon had to be swapped for a fresh one. "Flygon, go forth and use Dragon Pulse."

Flygon's mouth opened wide, revealing a glowing, green ball of energy. He shot the energy sphere forward, blasting Alakazam in the mouth. She slashed her hide to the side, then dropped to her knees. Her head bobbled slowly in a circular motion before she was layed out on her stomach. Flygon looped around and back towards Taven as Miss Avery debated on which of her last two Pokémon to send out. She chose Grumpig. A short, fat purple and black pig stepped out onto the field.

"Dance, Grumpig! Hypnotize your opponent!" Miss Avery called out.

Grumpig teetered around, hopping from one foot to another. His eyes turned fully black, and Flygon's big red eyes soon faded to black as well. He dropped to the ground and landed on his feet, unresponsive to the loudest of Taven's barking. Flygon's face was blank, his mouth slightly agape.

"Icy Wind!" Miss Avery told Grumpig.

Grumpig took a very deep breath, his large gut pulling inward slightly. He exhaled with great power, light blue sparkles of ice in his breath. They knocked Flygon backward, freezing parts of his body in place. Grumpig raised his wide, black arm in the arm. It glowed red, along with his stubby, purple fingers. The red beam slowly wafted towards Flygon, half of the energy that Flygon lost was sucked back into Grumpig's body. The pig let out an invigorating roar as the red power revitalized him. Flygon was slowly regaining consciousness, shaking his head to jerk himself awake.

"Flygon, great to have you back!" Taven cheered. "Use Hyper Beam!"

A yellow-orange beam of energy shot from Flygon's mouth continually, hitting Grumpig in the face and gradually forcing him backward into Miss. Avery. He ducked suddenly, evading the rest of the attack. Grumpig somersaulted backwards to get back on his hoofed feet. Flygon twitched when the yellow-orange energy surged through him; Taven recognized this as the recharging period that always came after using the powerful Hyper Beam attack.

Grumpig had a few serious injuries, along with plenty of fighting spirit left in him. "Now use Bounce attack!"

In a way similar to Walrein, Grumpig possessed a surprising ability to quickly sprint short distances. He ran a few steps toward Flygon, then leaped powerfully into the green dragon. The psychic Pokémon bounced gracefully off of Flygon, landing in a spot nearly exact to the one he started in. Flygon flew backwards into Taven, the young trainer was forced to dodge his dragon as he was pushed into the wall. The score was once again settled; both powerful trainers had but two Pokémon.

Taven stood with the two remaining Poké Balls resting in his hands, pondering which to release. Arbok had powerful poison moves that could gradually bring down a Pokémon, but was very weak to Psychic moves. Staraptor had powerful attacks that could end the battle, she would have to be saved for last.

"Go, Arbok!" Taven yelled enthusiastically. "Use Dark Pulse, now!"

Arbok materialized and uncoiled herself. A purple beam filled with black rings were shot towards her enemy. Grumpig groaned as the beam drained him of life force when it engulfed him. He fell to his knees, his arm reaching out to support himself off of the ground. Grumpig was breathing heavily, but glared at Arbok with an uncontrollable anger. The stubborn Pokémon had a reputation for attacking without orders, and the blind fury caused him to do just that.

He threw himself up right and raised both his arms up. Grumpig raised his head to look at the glowing, brown ball that was increasing in size. When he stepped forward with his right foot to throw the ball at Arbok, the sphere solidified into a dense, dark brown rock that rolled into her. Her long, thin body straightened out when she glided backwards through the air. Arbok landed awkwardly onto the ground, winced in pain, then recovered to poise herself once again. Her long, menacing fangs were revealed when she opened her mouth to hiss.

Despite the success of the attack, Miss Avery was not pleased at her Pokémon's disobedience. "Grumpig, get back here right this instance and wait to be called upon!" she screamed in her grating voice.

However, her creature was still too enraged to listen. Grumpig growled as his fat face turned red, and he began to spin around in a tornado-like fashion, arms out stretched. A landed Frustration attack would be a very damaging move, on account of Grumpig's low happiness. Arbok slid to the side, dodging the spinning onslaught.

"Poison Sting!" Taven commanded.

Arbok opened its mouth shooting glowing white darts in extremely rapid succession. Because her target was at such a close range, each and every one of her darts hit its mark. Grumpig softly groaned in fatigue as the poison worked its way through his body. His eyes were getting ever lower, but Miss Avery was sure to get everything out of Grumpig before he fainted.

"Quickly, while you have the chance, Grumpig; use Psychic attack!" Miss Avery hastily commanded.

There was not a very reliable way to dodge the attack, so Taven knew that he would have to ride this one out. Grumpig's eyes and forehead pearls glowed with a concentrated blue. The same blue energy glowed around Arbok; Grumpig lifted his hand in the air, sending Arbok high above the ground. He then threw his arm down near his thigh, smashing Arbok into the ground. Just as Arbok fainted from the powerful psychic-type move, Grumpig fell from the high-powered poison Arbok shot into his veins.

Mrs. Avery sighed with her eyes closed, pinching the bridge of her nose while furrowing her brow.

"From what I've heard, you could learn something from Grumpig's situation... his temper is his downfall, more often than not," she explained to Taven after looking up at him.

"Yeah... but one difference: I don't plan on being taken down... not now, not ever!" he shot back as he pulled out his final usable Pokémon from his belt.

Both trainers swapped in their last line of defense in unison. Taven's majestic Staraptor glared at a confident Mr. Mime.

"Mime," he proclaimed with determination, pumping his gloved fist into the air.

"Staraptor, fly up a few feet!" Taven began.

Staraptor flapped her wings with power, lifting herself into the air.

"Then use Ominous Wind!"

She then flapped them to the side, spinning herself around.

"Psybeam, Mr. Mime," Miss Avery uttered desperately.

A dark purple vortex of wind surrounded the dark-feathered bird, its intensity increasing as the moments passed. Mr. Mime lifted his hands up, moving them in small circles with his eyes closed. He pushed them forward, releasing two multicolored beams towards the spinning, dark purple ball of wind. The beam reached the edge of the ball, but its effect backfired. The beam merged with the spinning vortex, increasing the power of the jets of purple wind that shot out towards Mr. Mime. The first two jets hit him in the shoulders, sending him staggering back. He winced each time they struck his bright pink body. The third and final wave was sent out, it struck Mr. Mime in the lower half of his torso. The mime was promptly knocked off balance and shoved into the ground hard. He lifted his head up weakly and slowly, groaning in severe pain.

"Finish him off, Staraptor! Use Brave Bird!"

Staraptor flew as high as he could; his black, feathered head almost scraped against the very high ceiling. She let out a powerful, hawk-like screech as she was surrounded in a blue aura. Staraptor tucked her wings into her body, crashing into her foe with a speed never before seen by Miss Avery. She gasped, both her mouth and eyes wide open. Mr. Mime could not move; he was covered in bruises and scrapes from head to do. Reluctantly, Miss Avery was forced to retrieve her final Pokémon and admit defeat. Staraptor spiraled downward, perching gracefully onto the ground right in front of Taven. Taven wrapped his toned arms around Staraptor's neck in a compassionate hug, whispering his congratulations in her gray, pointed ear. He then put her back into her ball, giving her some well-deserved rest. With his head held high, Taven strutted over towards the old lady, who was spaced out in thought.

"A mere child... one that I used to look after... has defeated me," she muttered with a tone of devastation in her low voice.

"I wouldn't fret about this battle... I may be stronger than you at the moment, but I'm also stronger than the man you work for," Taven explained coldly.

"Tell me, what is this consistent problem you have with your father?" she asked with a concerned voice.

Taven paused for a second, debating on whether or not to supply an answer to the question. For a second, he considered lying. Truthfully, she had no right to ask such a question; he barely knew her. But Taven sighed, then answered in the most honest way he could.

"He's taken everything from me; my confidence, my faith, my mother, my childhood... my family... it's time that I take something from him... something that he will never get back," he said with an obvious pain in his voice.

Miss Avery no longer knew what to say to Taven, but Taven didn't need any consolation. He could never reach a true state of peace as long as Rhykor drew breath. On the way up the staircase, Taven grew to regret answering the old bat's prying question. Throughout his mission, not once would he feel that his actions truly needed a verbal explanation."





So, with that, I have two questions, which I hope you will all answer if you review:
1.) Do you click the spoiler before the battle?

2.) What do you all think will happen in the next chapter?

-Syn...