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Ionem
June 25th, 2005, 08:11 AM
IONEM
.consumbed by ambition.

Goal

My goal with this story is to show pokmon in the real world. How things would be. This isn't any trainer fic. This story is meant to be dark, depressing, and on some levels, a bit disturbing. My aim is to show that the world of pokmon can be just as realistic and dark as this one. What would happen if pokmon were real and not just in some fantasy world?

Synopsis

When Jake Lake was twelve years old, his mother went out one normal night to help a sick pokmon. She never came home. The last conversation that Jake had with his mother stuck with him, and became his one obsession.

His name will be known.

Lake is driven by the constant desire to never be forgotten. He wants to become a legend. He needs to become a legend. To him, life is worthless if his name is not known after he is gone. He sees his chance in the form of a group called Team Rocket. They take him in under their wing, train him. He is promised great things, great victories. Team Rocket promises him immortality.

But in one night, they take it away.

For the second time in his life, Jake Lake feels alone and abandoned.

However, his destiny is going to come under his control. A mysterious scientist named Sebastian Dale approaches Lake with a secret project of his. A project that will give Jake what he wants. It promises the glory of legends.

Jake Lake must make many choices, between dark and darker, until at last he is consumed completely by greed and evil.

This is his story.

=====

Oh, and before anybody asks (if anybody asks), I will be introducing one and only one original new pokmon in this story, but it won't be revealed until the very, very end. And despite any all too common original legendary cliches, yes, he will be the type of all-powerful uber-legendary. And that's all I'm saying about that.

Ionem
June 29th, 2005, 08:24 PM
IONEM
.consumed by ambition.

Prologue

Sundays were Jake's favorite days. Not only was there no school on weekends, but every Sunday his mother let him come to the clinic. He woke up every Sunday morning with a broad smile and ran to his mother's van in the front driveway. She'd always come out and tell him to come back in to have breakfast first. She was always smiling.

Jake ate his breakfast fast and scrambled back outside. His mother was always close behind. The van was huge, made to fit most sizes of pokmon, and on the sides and back were large logos in the shape of the silhouette of the pokmon eevee with the words "Amethyst Wild Pocket Monster Injury Clinic" underneath. Jake's mother would always open the back doors and help him in, letting him sit in the back where the injured pokmon would be carried. The musty odor of countless monsters hung stale in the back of the van, but it was a smell that Jake relished. It reminded him of his best times, at the clinic, with his mother and all the pokmon. The van rumbled down the road out of amethyst, toward the clinic on the outskirts of the small town.

They would arrive in the late morning, and his mother would put her hands under Jake's arms and help him jump out of the back of the van. Immediately a group of pokmon would rush over, led by the family pet, an eevee. The little brown fox was the first wild pokmon that the clinic had taken, and it had decided to stay. The eevee had been abandoned by an abusive trainer on the road, and Jake's mother had picked it up and nursed it back to health. The pokmon wasn't alone. A whole family had decided to stay. Eevee would run to the van followed by a vaporeon, a jolteon and a flareon, two of which were helped out of similar situations as Eevee. The third, Vaporeon, was bought from captivity, to give it a better home with pokmon of its family.

As years went on, Sundays became less special, but Jake valued them nonetheless. By the time he was twelve years old, his mother no longer needed to help him from the back of the van. Most of the times, he actually sat next to her in the front on the way to the clinic. A fifth eevee pokmon had joined the family, an espeon, donated by a wealthy breeder. Jake's mother was proud that she had five of the six eevee pokmon, and they were at the very heart of the clinic. It was clear, though, that she wished that she would obtain an umbreon as well.

On her birthday when Jake was twelve, he decided to give her one. He saved up all his money that year to buy an eevee from a breeder. He planned to raise the eevee until it evolved into an umbreon, and would present it to his mother on her birthday. He got the eevee, and raised it, after months of hard work and trying to keep it a secret from his mother, it finally evolved into an umbreon. It was late at night, and he was battling a wild tangela just outside of the town. He beat it, and the eevee evolved at last into an umbreon.

But he was never able to give it his mother.

He hid the umbreon's pokball in his pocket on the next Sunday's trip to the clinic. It was his mother's birthday, and Jake was so excited to give her such a present that he knew she wanted. She wasn't in a good mood that morning, but he knew that his gift would cheer her up. In the car ride to the clinic, he sat next to her. She usually had the radio on, but today she didn't. Her mind was on other things.

"Three years in a row," she said. "Three years. Can you believe it?"

"What happened?" Jake asked.

"Ruth Gregors from Cinnamon Town won pokmon lover of the year by the national pokmon fan magazine. Again! Three years in a row." She sighed. "It's not that I want to win, you know? I just want to be...I don't know, recognized. I spend my whole life working at this clinic. I quit my job at Prism to work full time helping wounded pokmon. We run on donations, you know that. It's hard. I'm raising a son along with thirty pocket monsters at the clinic at any given time. I get at least four calls a day, usually a lot more." She moved to touch the radio, but stopped and pulled her hand back quickly. She glanced at Jake with tender eyes for a second before looking back to the road. "I don't do this for fame or anything", she continued. "But I don't think I've ever once ben mentioned, anywhere. I mean...Ruth Gregors's pokmon day care is terrible. Have you seen it? No, you haven't. In the magazines it looks all nice and great. That's only for the pictures. I've been there. It's trash. The monsters are kept in these tiny little cells all day long. Hah! And she gets poklover of the year!"

She turned a corner hard, causing Jake's seatbelt to dig into his shoulder. The equipment in the back of the van rattled.

She sighed again, slowly. "I'm sorry, Jake. I am. I don't want to dump all this on you. It's just hard, that's all. It's frustrating, really."

"You want to be on the magazine really bad, don't you?"

She shook her head. "No. I'm not like that. I don't care about being famous or getting rich. But I'd just...I just really want to be...recognized. Thanked, for all that I do. In the years since the clinic was open, I've saved the lives of over three-hundred pokmon. Did you know that? And that doesn't even count all the trainers who have come in quick just to heal, and the food I leave out for wild pokmon." Her voice trailed off. She looked at her son one more time and smiled softly. "Let's turn on the radio, shall we?"

They drove in silence, listening to a dull meldoy on the radio for the last five or so minutes of their trip. As soon as they pulled into the driveway of the clinic, however, Jake's mother's cell phone went off. She pulled it off her belt urgently and flipped it open. "Rosemary Lake," she answered formally with her name. She paused, nodded. Jake noticed that her face lost some color. She thanked the person on the other end and shut her phone before turning to her son.

"Jake," she said. "I've got to go. There's a hurt pokmon. It's not far away, but it's really bad. And it's a big pokmon, too. This won't be easy. It might be dangerous, it's thrashing like mad." She forced a smile. "You wait here. Play with Eevee and the others. I should be back in a few hours, at the latest. I'll call the clinic if anything happens."

Jake opened his door and hopped out onto the gravel. He turned and looked back at his mother before he closed the door. "Mom?...happy birthday."

She smiled. Some color returned to her face. "Thanks, kiddo," she said, and blew him a kiss.

He watched as the van faded into the horizon. The eevee silhouette on the back of the van was the last he ever saw of it, or of his mother.

= = =

Edit:

I recently came to the conclusion that not all instances of pocket monster names should be capitalized, so I changed the story accordingly.

I mean, if it's used as a species (ie. it was a magikarp) then there's no need for capitalization. However, when used as a name (ie. it was Graveler!) should be accordingly.

Casual Billy
July 1st, 2005, 09:27 AM
Hey, this is quite an interesting fic you've got here. I do like the way the story started; with a history of the main character, the event that set in motion who he would become throughout the rest of the fic. I only have a couple of things to criticize:

Your sentences are, for the most part, much shorter than they could be. It often times gives a kind of choppy flow to the work. Here's a passage that I think could've benefited from a different sentence structure:

I spend my whole life working at this clinic. I quit my job at Prism to work full time helping wounded pokmon. We run on donations, you know that. It's hard. I'm raising a son along with thirty pocket monsters at the clinic at any given time.

I spent my whole life working at this clinic, even quitting my job at Prism to work full-time helping wounded Pokemon. It's hard running on donations while, at the same time, raising a son along with thirty pocket monsters at the clinic at any given time.

(unless, of course, you were trying to show like a pause in between these different thoughts. In that case, though, a little bit of description in between them would've helped create that effect.)

That was just an example of how you might change it (if you were to change it). Having said that, though, I didn't really see it as that big of a problem with this fic. For some reason, these short sentences did not quite create the choppy feel that really short sentences usually do. I guess this was just a warning for future chapters then.

Overall, I'm glad that I stopped to read this. It looks like you have a good story that you're ready to share, and I'm gonna stick around to see where this goes. PM me when chapter 2 comes out.

Ionem
July 1st, 2005, 01:24 PM
Hey, thanks. I'll try to remember to PM you (and I probably will remember, too, when I come to the thread to post it and see your reply.

As for the choppy sentences, you might have a point and I'll be careful in the future, but the example you took was from dialogue, in which case the choppy sentences weren't my fault at all, but Jake's mother's.

She was upset, and rushing to explain herself. Then apologized, and rushed to explain herself again, but was still upset, etc. I was trying to create the feeling that she was just rambling.

It must have worked a bit, because you said "For some reason, these short sentences did not quite create the choppy feel that really short sentences usually do." Lol.

Guess that means they drew your attention because they were short and choppy, but at the same time worked out in the diagloue.

Thanks. :D

Casual Billy
July 1st, 2005, 02:50 PM
Yeah, I thought that's what you were going for with the dialogue, but wasn't sure so decided to say something anyway. I noticed a couple of examples in it from your non-dialogue passages, though, so yeah. I am genuinely interested to see your storyline come to fruition, though, and I'll be back (<arnold voice)

Act
July 2nd, 2005, 06:13 PM
Alrighty. Here I be.

Jake. Hah, that's my brother's best friend's name.

Anyway.

Hm, well the first thing I want to comment on here is word usage. Case in point:

...but every Sunday his mother let him come to the clinic. He woke up every Sunday morning with a broad smile and ran to his mother's van in the front driveway. She'd always come out and tell him to come back in to have breakfast first. She was always smiling.

Jake ate his breakfast fast and scrambled back outside. His mother was always close behind.

Even in extremely small doses, repetitiveness is tough on the reader. And regarding what I italicized, I think "quickly" would be a better choice (as opposed to "fast"), as it's much less sing-song. 'Breakfast fast'. Hn.

"Amethyst Wild Pocket Monster Injury Clinic", hm? Tad wordy. Somehow I don't think that would help advetising much, as apposed to something fast such as 'Amethyst Pokemon Clinic'. Just a thought.

The van rumbled down the road out of amethyst...

Amethyst should be capatalized, ne?

Immediately a group of pokmon would rush over, led by the family pet, an eevee.

Hm, I'm inclined to say 'omit the first comma'. The way it is, it sounds like a group of pokemon would rush over an eevee.

Your sentences get a bit choppy in the eevee paragraph. Be careful to vary sentence structure, or it begins to sound very odd.

As years went on, Sundays became less special, but Jake valued them nonetheless.

The first comma here should be omitted.

I really can't stand eevee. I have yet to discover why people seem to use them in every fic under the sun.

Ah, very good. I really liked this. It was hard to get into, and admittedly I slacked off on the grammar check at the end there as I began to get into the fic -_-. Ah, well.

Your dialogue is very real, which is something most fics lack.

I do have to file a complaint about sentence structure. It's not bad, but you have more short, basic sentences than complex ones, which can end up making for an annoying read. It;s not a problem in quotes, as people tend to talk that way, but watch out for narration. Some areas got me.

Overall, one of the best in a long time. With ol' Negrek gone, I need a good fic >.>

Ionem
July 2nd, 2005, 06:27 PM
You're right about the word overusage. I usually reread my stuff really quickly looking for large glaring errors, and that kind of thing is hard to catch that way. Sometimes I read over stuff out loud, and I catch it easily that way, but not often. Thanks for pointing that out. I'll take more care in the future. :)

You're right about the clinic, too. I was trying to be more descriptive with the name rather than trying to make a decent one. :P I don't think I ever use the name again in the story, but if I do I'll change it and come back to change it.

And the capitalization at the en was probably a typo. Be warned, I probably have lots of those. I tend to write fast when I get into my "flow", and like I said, when I reread, it's usually really quick.

Anyway, I'll let you continue. I gotta go finish up chapter two.

Thanks. :D

Act
July 3rd, 2005, 04:43 PM
And the capitalization at the en was probably a typo. Be warned, I probably have lots of those. I tend to write fast when I get into my "flow", and like I said, when I reread, it's usually really quick.

Aye, ditto. I think faster than I tpye, particularly when I'm on a spree, so I tend to omit or duplicate words (The the snail is slow./The snail slow.). Then I have awfult typose where I add or omit several letter, as can be seen in this message (I think indivdlly was one, or something that. I know groooup was). And I don't reread well, because I know what I want to say, regardless of whether or not it's actually there, you know?

Lily
July 3rd, 2005, 05:04 PM
By the sagely advice of ActOnThat.

FFOTW. ^^;.

Act
July 3rd, 2005, 05:08 PM
Aw, I'm sagely. How sweet :P

See all, this is what happens when you please your resident concrit-flamer. So no more crapfic, now! :P XD

Ionem
July 3rd, 2005, 05:51 PM
FFOTW. ^^;.

Wow. I guess this is good.

And I thought there was a limit. All I have so far is a prologue...

Guess I gotta hurry up and finish chapter one.

Ionem
July 3rd, 2005, 09:14 PM
And here we go. Enjoy. 1679 words, for those who care. My goal is to keep chapters between 1400 and 1800 words, preferably in the 1600 range.

One

"Nobody's home," Jake shouted, watching with mild amusement as a large chunk of microwaveable burrito flew from his mouth and landed on the tan carpet. He absently gazed back to his television, where some characters were trying to show themselves through thick static. He thought that it was some sort of action movie, but in truth he had no idea what it was, and he didn't want to get up to adjust the antennae on the TV, or to change the channel.

The knock on the door repeated itself.

"I said nobody's home!" Jake shouted again, louder this time. He took another bite of his burrito, muttering to himself. He felt a soft nudge at his shin and looked down. A small brown fox rubbed itself against his leg. The eevee looked up at him with its large black eyes. They were a deep black, but not an empty, cold one. Rather, the black eyes seemed to be pools of endless emotion, rather than pits of endless, empty depth. "Fine, okay," Jake growled. "I'm coming!" he added to the persistent knocker.

He pushed himself out of the old musty chair, brushing off crumbs from his white tee-shirt. He looked at the half-burrito in his hand and shrugged, dropping it onto a pile of magazines on the small coffee table between the chair and the television. Jake headed toward the door, stumbling over a thick book on the ground. Eevee kept running through his legs, chirping almost like a bird, practically forcing Jake to dance his way to the door.

He reached it and leaned an elbow on the wall, quickly fiddling with the latch on the door with his left hand. "Okay," he said through the wood. "It's open."

The door opened slowly and Jake stepped back to let it swing. A young woman, looking to be in her late teens, peered inside. "Jake?" she asked, her voice hesitant.

"Yeah," he replied. "Jake Lake. What's up?" he asked. "Did the man send you to ask for the money in his place? Well, it's not gonna work. Just because you're a girl-"

"No," she interrupted. She shook her head and quinted her eyes. "Why's it so dark in here?" she asked. "Jake, I can hardly see your face? Why don't you turn on some lights? The only thing you have is your television." Jake watched as her eyes focused on the blurry screen. "It's not coming in, either," she said.

"Really? Great observation."

"Jake, do you recognize me?" she asked. Jake sighed and flicked the light switch, allowing himself a better view of the young woman. She stepped gingerly inside, making sure not to touch the shirt lying on the floor in front of her. Jake looked at her, seeing something in her that he recognized. She had black hair, styled short, no longer than her jawline. Her face was very clear and clean, symmetrical and slender to the point of almost being too nice. She wore no make-up, and looked good. It seemed as though make-up would have lessened her natural beauty. Her eyes, though, were a deep, dark gray that he knew he had seen before. They reminded of the eyes of his eevee; dark and deep, but not in a cold way. They were very warm...and familiar.

"Kayleigh?" he asked, skeptical.

She nodded and a smile spread across her thin lips. "You remember me."

"Of course I remember you," he said. "Come in, come in. Please ignore the mess. I...erm..." he searched his mind for some reasonable excuse. "I don't know, hoenstly. I've been having a tough week." He turned and started walking toward an even darker part of the apartment, on the opposite side. It looked to be a little kitchen.

Kayleigh stepped over a large pile of clothes. It seemed as though they were everywhere in here. She had to choose her footing as though she were walking across rocks in a stream. "Do you want to talk about it?" she asked.

Jake shook his head. "No, it's okay, really," he said. He flipped on another light switch. The lamp in the corner of the kitchen flickered, then went out with a buzz. He winced. "Sorry," he muttered, turning back to look at her. "I was gonna fix you something to eat."

"Without even asking?" she asked, smiling. He seemed to be trying hard to make her feel welcome. "It's okay," she said warmly. "I just had dinner at a friend's house."

"Okay, good," he said. "Want to sit down?" he gestured to the two chairs in front of the still-fuzzy television. Both chairs were old and stained, and the fabric was torn in places. Not wanting to be rude, though, Kayleigh only smiled at him and sat down.

Jake slammed the top of the television with his fist and the screen went black. He sat in the other chair. "You have to hit it to turn it off," he explained. "The on/off button's busted." There was an awkward silence between the two of them, in which Kayleigh examined him. He seemed a lot different than the last time she had seen him. His face, for one, was much thinner, and his chin was covered in thick, ugly stubble. His light lilac hair was shaggier than she had ever seen it, and though he always wore it slightly long, it was messy and unkempt, rather than the straight lines she was expecting. The only thing about his appearance that seemed clean was the pair of glasses that he wore, with lenses so perfectly clear that she could easily see his faded blue eyes behind them. He looked tired, and he looked old. Had she just med him for the first time, Kayleigh would not have guess that he was only eighteen years old.

"So, what brings you here?" Jake asked. "Last I saw you, you were passing through town on your way to the Gakuen pokmon league." He smirked. "Are you a champion now?"

She nodded. "Yeah. I did it. I have my rapidash to thank for that."

"I remember when it was just a little colt," Jake said. "Your first ride on the ponyta."

Kayleigh laughed. "Yeah. I was twelve then. Wow, was it really six years ago? I guess that's right. You came to live with us that summer," she said. "Because-Oh. I'm sorry, Jake."

He shook his head. "No, it's fine. It's been six years. I'm okay." He smiled. "Yeah, six years since that summer. I'm glad I moved in with your family, though. It was nice. You were nice. I was a bit devastated when you set out on your pokmon journey, though."

"I told you to come," she said, reminding him with a smile. "But you wouldn't. You said that you wouldn't take the path of every other trainer, and that you wanted to make a name for yourself." She giggled. "You said that you would make yourself a legend. So, have you?" she asked simply.

Jake's smile faded, but he quickly replaced it with an obviously fake one. "You asked me the same question two years ago when you passed through this city and got your league badge," he said. "And the answer's the same. Still working on it, but it'll happen. Just you wait."

"Okay, okay," she said. "I will. But in the meantime, I'd like to take you out sometime this week."

Jake blinked and stared at her. "Excuse me?"

She laughed. "No, not a date or anything. Unless you want to call it that. But I'm done with my whole pokmon adventure for now. I beat the elite four and Salvatore. He was a tough fight, but he was nice. I did it, though. I've got my certificate in my car outside. I was going to bring it in, but decided not to."

"You should have, I'd like to see it," Jake said, the fake smile starting to burn his cheeks. In truth, he had no desire to see the certificate. It only would hae proved to him that she had done something- something!- while he came to waste his life in Crimson City. Working odd jobs for the past five years since he moved from Amethyst, his life hadn't been very good at all. In fact, the only thing that kept him from just giving up was his persistent desire to make a name for himself. He knew that he would, somehow. To Jake, it was more than glory or fame. He wanted to be a legend. He wanted his name to be immortal. His mother died feeling that she wasn't recognized for all that she had done. Jake wanted to repay that, to make the name of Lake a legend.

"I'll pay," Kayleigh said, shaking her old friend from his thoughts. "Don't worry about that."

"It's okay," Jake said. "I can. You don't have to pay for me."

Kayleigh's eyes wandered around the small, dirty apartment without her meaning to. She shut them fast when she realized what she was doing. Jake sighed. "Okay, you're right. I'm not doing so hot right now."

"I'm-"

"No need to apologize," Jake interrupted her. "I'm just between jobs, that's all. I was fired from Prism last week."

"I'll pay," Kayleigh said with a smile. "I'll be here...hmm...Thursday?" she asked. Jake nodded. "At eight. No, seven's better. Okay, see you then," she said. She stood up and turned to leave the apartment. Jake sat still in his chair, watching her pick her way to the door. When she stood in the light of the hall outside the apartment, she turned back to him. "You might want to shave first, too." She smiled, and shut the door.

Jake bowed his head. He felt another soft nudge on his leg and knew that it was his pokmon. He bent and picked it up, cradling the eevee in his arms as he lay back in the uncomfortable old chair. "Okay," Jake said to the brown fox. "Are you happy? I answered the **** door."

And he almost wished that he hadn't.

Casual Billy
July 6th, 2005, 01:08 PM
I liked this chapter. It was fairly uneventful but necessary for character introduction/development, I guess. I didn't find many mistakes, and though I wasn't looking for them, I doubt there were any really major ones as your previous chapter proved that you're proficient in the G/S departments. Here's what I did find, though:

She shook her head and quinted her eyes.

You meant squinted?

Gotcha! j/k. Well, I don't really have much else to say but that I'm looking forward to the next chapter and am interested to see you develop the interactions between Jake and Kayleigh. Yeah, so, I'll be back!

Ionem
July 6th, 2005, 02:23 PM
Heh, you caught yourself a typo. ;)

Thanks for reading. And liking. Lol.

Ionem
July 16th, 2005, 01:50 PM
Sorry for the extra long wait. Cable was down because we opted to pay a college bill instead. Priorities. ;)

I'm back now.

1905 words. And on top of that, it was originally 2116. I went over my limit. :(

Two

Lloyd's Grill certainly wasn't the fanciest or most expensive place in Crimson City, but at the same time, it was on the higher end of the spectrum. As far as restaurants went, it was a pretty decent place. The atmosphere was very warm and embracing; in each corner of the square dining room was a fireplace, with a chimney and everything, complete with a warm fire. The tables and chair were of mahogany, but the wood wasn't new or shined. Rather, it was usually charred and very rustic-looking. It was a loud, boisterous place, with waiters and waitresses rushing about and laughter at every table. Lloyd's was the kind of restaurant with a feeling of real comfort.

Jake and Kayleigh sat across from each other at a table by one of the walls. Jake finally looked like the young man Kayleigh used to know. His face was clean-shaven now, and his light hair hung neat and straight in front of his forehead. The red light inside the restaurant made it hard to see his eyes through his glasses, but Kayleigh caught some glimpses during the evening, and though his eyes still had an aged look to them, they seemed a lot less cloudy.

He smiled. "So, Kayleigh. Tell me about your pokmon journey," he said. "Last time you were here, you got the Cinderbadge from the Crimson Gym, I remember. What happened next?"

"Naw, nothing too much," she said. "Got some more badges as I went along, found my way to the Elite Four. The fights there were tough, but I got through it. I was lucky, too. Beat it all on my first go. Here," she added, ruffling through her bag on the floor by her chair. "Here's my certificate. Check that out: Pokmon Champion."

Jake took the blue sheet of paper and looked it over. He smiled to Kayleigh, though he felt a painful tingle in his heart. He handed it back to her. "Congratulations, then." He opened his mouth to say more, but a waiter approached the table.

"Are we all set to order?" he asked, his little blue pencil hovering over a small pad of paper.

Jake nodded. "I'll take a grille miltank burger. Medium-rare, please, and with a side of seasoned fries."

"Very well," the waiter said, jotting it down. He turned to Kayleigh. "And you, miss?"

She was staring at Jake with a shocked look and didn't seem to hear him. The waiter cleared his throat and she turned to him. "Oh, I'm sorry. I'll have a chicken strip basket, please. And could you replace the coleslaw with a small side salad?"

"Of course," the waiter said with a nod. "I'll bring your orders out to you as soon as I can." He turned and walked toward another table.

Kayleigh looked back to Jake, again with a shocked look. He looked back at her, puzzled. "What is it?" he asked.

"Miltank?" she echoed his order. "I just can't believe you ordered that. Miltank's a pokmon!"

"I'm sorry. I guess I didn't think of that."

Kayleigh sighed. "Forget about it. If you hadn't ordered it, someone else would have anyway." She took a sip of water from her glass. "You know that they're fighting to pass a law against that?"

"Against miltank burgers?"

"Eating pokmon in general. It's a real controversial issue. Most places won't serve them anyway. I was actually surprised to see miltank, goldeen and magikarp on the menu." She looked at Jake, who seemed a bit disappointed. It seemed really hard to pinpoint his emotions, though. He really did seem different than the boy who had moved in with her years ago.

"But you ordered chicken. Isn't that an animal?"

"Animals and pokmon are different," Kayleigh said. "Pocket monsters are smarter than typical animals. A lot smarter. In fact, researchers have developed a lot of studies to show that pokmon are far closer to humans than animals on just about every level. It's at the heart of the debate, actually. People are saying that eating pokmon is close to cannibalism."

Jake laughed weakly. "I wouldn't go that far," he said. "But I guess you have a point. I'm not a trainer, and I wouldn't really know. I don't think I've ever really seen a miltank, not even on my mother's...at the clinic."

Kayleigh reached across the table and grabbed Jake's arm. She squeezed his hand. "Come on," she said. "Let's just enjoy dinner." They sat in silence together for a minute or two, until the waiter came back with their food. He expertly placed the plates in front of them with a flashing smile.

"If you need anything more, don't hesitate to ask." He turned to wait on another table. Jake watched him go, staring almost rudely as he began to take the order of a young man sitting all alone at a corner table. Kayleigh squeezed Jake's hand hard and brought his gaze back to his dinner.

"So," she said, trying to start a good conversation. "What have you been up to all this time?"

"Not much," Jake replied, contemplating the juicy burger on his plate. The meat was a pinkish color, but he knew that it was just a dye. Pokmon meat was almost always dyed to look special and stand out from other types of meat. He popped a fry into his mouth, suddenly not wanting to eat the burger. "I've been having a bit of a rough time. As you know from your last visit, I had to sell the clinic and all the pokmon."

"You still have the eevee family, though, right?" she asked. "I saw Eevee at your apartment the other night, and last time I was here, the others were all still with you."

"Yeah," he admitted. "I still have them. They're in pokballs at home on my bed."

"Don't tell me you leave them in there all day?" Kayleigh asked.

Jake shook his head. "No, no. Usually they're out with me, like Eevee. They make good pets." He forced a smile and wrapped his hands around the large burger. He brought it up to his mouth for moment, before setting it back down and picking up another fry. "I don't feel so lonely with them around."

"You're not working?" Kayleigh asked. "You said Prism fired you."

Jake nodded solemnly. "Two weeks ago. They got a new computer system that would do my job for me, faster and cheaper than I ever could have. They offered me a job in the mailing room to compensate, and I tried that out for a few days, but it really didn't work for me, so I left."

"Jake, you've got to do something," she urged. "Don't you want to do anything with your life?"

His eyes flashed. "I will do more with my life than you can ever hope to imagine," he said, his voice suddenly louder and more intense. He raised himself slightly out of his chair. "I will do something with my life, with my name. You mark my words, Kayleigh Stratton, the name of Jake Lake will be immortal!"

"Jake, sit down!" Kayleigh hissed. "People are starting to stare."

Jake glanced to his sides. She was right. The young man sitting alone in the corner table was looking hard at Jake. He wasn't hiding it either. Jake's eyes locked with his for a second, and Jake sat down in his chair. "Sorry," he said, looking back at Kayleigh.

"Just eat your dinner," she said. Jake apologized again. "Don't tell me that," Kayleigh snapped. "You've got do something. You'll never become a legend if you just sit around all day watching fuzzy television." His eyes jumped to hers. Her voice was suddenly serious and scolding. "You have all these dreams an high hopes, Jake, but you're not doing anything about them. You want to become a legend? Fine, then do it. Don't just sit around waiting for it to come to you. Things don't happen that way."

Jake was taken aback. "Kayleigh...? What happened? You've changed."

"I'm not the only one," she retorted. "I really care about you, but I also really don't like this path you're taking. Straighten yourself up. You've been living here for five years, and you're still in the same tiny apartment you moved into when you left Amethyst. Do something about it."

Jake's eyes narrowed behind the lenses of his glasses. He started to say something back to her, but looking into her eyes, he saw a sudden flood of emotion. A tear seemed to well up, but she blinked it away. "Kayleigh, you really care, don't you?"

"Yes, Jake, I do," she said. "I came back to Crimson City to be with you. I could have gone home to Amethyst after the championship. I could have gone and gotten a place on Cobalt Island, which was a beautiful area. But I came here, to Crimson City. Because I knew you'd be here." She brushed her cheek with the back of her hand. "But I get here, and what do I find? Your apartment's a mess, you haven't shaved in a week, you don't have a job, and you wouldn't even come to the door without your eevee urging you to. To tell the truth, I'm disappointed."

Jake picked up another fry. "I'm sorry," he said. "but you're right. I-I'll do something, okay? I won't let you down."

"It's not me, Jake," Kayleigh said. "I don't want you to let yourself down."

They finished their dinners in relative silence. By the time the check came, Jake didn't have a single bite of his miltank burger. The waiter wrapped it in a box for him to take home. He muttered a weak "thank you" and followed Kayleigh outside. The night air of the city was chilly, but not to cold. It was bright, despite the time, as lights were on in all the buildings, and streetlights spotted the road every couple of yards.

"Do you need a ride home?" Kayleigh asked. "I saw that you took a cab to get here."

Jake shook his head. "It's nice out tonight. I think I'll walk."

"Are you sure?" she asked. She moved close to him and put a hand comfortingly on his shoulder. "I'm sorry if it sounded like I was yelling at you in there," she said. "I'm just-I'm just worried about you."

He nodded. "I know, Kayleigh. I'm sorry."

She gave him a tight hug and turned to walk to her car. "Are you sure you don't need a ride?"

"I'm okay," he said. "Thank you." He stood on the sidewalk and watched as she pulled out of the parking lot and drove out of sight. The night was quiet.

"Excuse me?"

He turned around. The man from inside the restaurant was standing there. He wore a gray beanie over his tan hair and had on a thick green jacket.

"Can I help you?" Jake asked.

"How about a trade?" the man answered with a coy smile. "I'll take that burger off your hands for you. You don't seem to be the kind of man to eat miltank. I'll give you this in return." Without waiting for an answer, he took the boxed burger out of Jake's hands and slipped a small card into his pocket.

"Think about it," he said before turning away from Jake, heading down the sidewalk into the lights of the city.

Lily
July 17th, 2005, 04:20 PM
Wow. When I first ventured near Ionem, I kind of procrastinated reading this for a while now, but now I'm glad I didn't. Although, I still don't feel like assuming what happened to the mother.

Oh, and I love how you put the whole Pokemon besides animal issue thing. XD It always bothered me when Pokemon was classified in an alternate dimensions where they supposedly ate Pokemon. >___>

I seriously do love this story. ;_; Continue whenever you can! (That came out wrong o.o)

Ionem
August 14th, 2005, 01:27 PM
Update:

I updated the first post with a "goal" and got rid of the character descriptions.

And the moment I'm finally working on the next chapter, and am about halfway through it. I'll be posting it later today.

Edit:

1387 words. ;)

Three

Team Rocket. The words flashed through Jake's mind over and over. Team Rocket.

Rocket was a criminal organization, known worldwide. Team Rocket was known to be the pokmon black market, stealing and selling pocket monsters. It was rumored that it was Team Rocket behind the creation of the legendary all-powerful pokmon, Mewtwo.

Jake read the card over again, squinting in the dim light of his apartment. He wasn't mistaken. The words were printed plainly enough.

"Wendler Young. Rocket junior executive, Crimson City." At the bottom of the card was a phone number. The card was white with simple black text. There were no logos or designs on it at all. It was short and straight to the point.

Team Rocket.

Jake didn't know what to do. He had mixed feelings. On one hand, Team Rocket could offer him great things. He had heard all sorts of stories about Rocket, many of which were about the group's limitless wealth. If he joined them, he wouldn't have to worry about finding a job. He'd be able to work for the group. For moment, he pictured himself climbing the ranks and becoming a Rocket executive.

He quickly shook the thought off. As promising as the offer was, he knew that Team Rocket was bad. The group was constantly in the news for all sorts of criminal mischeif. Often, the trouble was serious. He thought back to a story he had heard a few years ago, when Team Rocket took over a radio tower in the Johto region. Jake faintly recalled that the tower director was held at gunpoint and even tortured by some members of the group. Eventually, a strong pokmon trainer broke up the operation, but the director wasn't able to sleep for weeks. The last Jake had heard, the director still refused to go to the tower alone in the mornings.

He rested his head back against his chair and closed his eyes. His mind drifted back to dinner with Kayleigh. She had told him to get a job. To get his life back on track. It seemed that this Young and his Rocket offer came at the perfect time.

But would Kayleigh be proud of him for doing something, or would she be appalled at him for joining the group?

He stood up and stumbled into the small kitchen area of the dark apartment. He opened his refrigerator and pulled out a thick bottle of dark liquid. Unscrewing the top, he opened a cabinet and squinted in the darkness to reach a glass. He shuffled his hand back and forth until he felt one and slid it out.

Something brushed against Jake's leg. He let out a yell and dropped the glass. It shattered into pieces on the ground.

"****!" he cursed. "Eevee, are you okay? I'm so sorry." He crouched and squinted his eyes, trying to make out the glass pieces all over the ground in the dark. He felt the pokmon's paw on his knee and turned to it. He could make out the creature's small silhouette and reflections that showed its eyes. Jake sighed and sat on the ground, sliding his hand on the tile to gather the shards of glass.

A quick pain shot through his thumb and he brought it up in front of his face. A long triangular piece of glass was wedged deep into the tip. He slowly and painstakingly pulled it out, putting his thumb in his mouth to suck out the blood.

"Okay," he said with resolution. He rubbed Eevee's head with his other hand. "I'm doing it. I need the money. I can't even pay my own **** lighting bills." The eevee made a noise and Jake chuckled. "Haha, right. I don't even know what they'll pay, if anything. Guess I...guess I should call, shouldn't I?"

Jake picked himself of the ground, careful not to put any weight on his left hand. He gingerly walked across the floor, luckily avoiding the glass, and made his way to the front door of his apartment. He knew that his phone wouldn't be working; it was yet another bill he hadn't paid, but he picked it up nonetheless. No ring tone. "Figures," he said. "Come on, Eevee, we're going for a walk."

Eevee hopped up happily and bounded after Jake as he left the apartment. It was late, nearing ten o'clock, and there was nobody at the front desk as Jake and his pokmon walked by and out the door.

The night was cool, and there was a thin mist over the city. The streets didn't look busy at all; in fact, the place seemed to be strangely dead. Jake watched as a pair of car headlights sped past him, and that was it. He turned and started following the sidewalk. The nearest pay phone was outside a gas station a block away. He'd walked to it before, though he didn't even remember why. He hadn't even used a phone in weeks. He hadn't had any reason to.

Eevee was excited to be outside for the first time in days. It trotted happily in front of him, bouncing and playing on the empty sidewalk as though it were the middle of the day. Jake couldn't help but smile at it. After all these rough years, the little fox still was full of pep and happiness. For a moment he was reminded of playing with it back at the Amethyst Clinic. He smiled warmly, but it immediately slid off his face when he was reminded of his mother.

"Stop," came a rough voice from Jake's side. He spun around quickly to look straight into the black hollow of a pistol. He gulped and put his hands up, looking over the weapon at the person holding it. It was a man with a dirty and dark face. He looked old, with wrinkles in his forehead and long stringy hair matted to his head. The man smiled, revealing grotesque teeth. "Gimme yer wallet," he said.

Jake couldn't help but crack an ironic grin.

"What's so funny?" the robber demanded in a hoarse yell. "I'll blow yer head off!"

Jake erupted with laughter. He fell to his knees on the hard sidewalk, feeling a jolt of pain rack through his legs. It only made him laugh harder.

Here he was, facing death, and he was laughing. Laughing, loud and clear and honest for the first time in what had to have been years. He fell to his side on the wet concrete, laughing so hard he couldn't even breathe. "Go...go ahead," he managed to spit out between hearty guffaws and gasps for air. "I don't have any money! Haha!"

The man kicked Jake hard in the side, only provoking even more laughter. "Yer a frickin' wierdo!" He ran off down the road and disappeared.

Jake was literally rolling with laughter. He didn't even know why at first. But as the minutes passed and his laughter began to fade, he started to come to the realization that he had been so close to death. It was funny, really. All these years, he'd lived a terrible life. He'd been living from paycheck to paycheck in the city, and at times, he lived for weeks at a time without any job. And now, that he gets this offer to join Team Rocket, he goes, seeing a chance to try and do something with his life, and het gets a gun in his face.

"Looks like somebody really doesn't want me to succeed," Jake said to Eevee, who sat in front of him with a quizzical look on its little brown face. Jake pushed himself to a sitting position, grimacing at the pain that echoed throughout his body. He smiled. "Okay, buddy," he said. "From now on, we're turning things around."

He slowly worked his way to his feet and continued down the sidewalk. Once again Eevee went to bouncing playfully ahead of him, like nothing had happened.

Jake was suddenly serious again. Behind his glasses, his pale eyes shimmered with determination. Ever since the day his mother died, he had been obsessed with the idea of making his name- his mother's name- legendary. Now, he wasn't dreaming anymore. Now, he was going to actually do something about it.

He picked up the telephone and dialed the number.

Negrek
August 14th, 2005, 11:34 PM
I missed most of this due to my away-ness, but I've heard that it's good and good fanfics are always attractive to me, so I thought I'd stop by and review.

Hmm, Act and Billy got most things from the first chapter. I must say that I was a little put off by the Center's name, too. I had to read it a couple of times to get all of the words registered right. I thought that the first chapter was good but just a tiny bit dry, a little hard for me to get into, I'll admit. Very realistically done, though.

I'll start going more indepth this chapter...

Firstly, just a small thing that's sorta questionable. I'm just wondering whether, if Jake's mouth is full of burrito, his speech might be a little garbled? Speaking around a mouthful of ground beef, ya know. The syllables that are used when he's speaking and he's got food in his mouth aren't the ones that are usually most garbled as a result of speaking with your mouth full, but I was just wondering if you'd envisioned him sorta ending up with muffled or mumbled speech as a result of burrito consumption. If it is, you might just want to note it... for some reason I kept thinking that you would expect to see it in that scene.

Jake, I can hardly see your face?

Typo, yes?

The only thing you have [
COLOR=red]on[/COLOR]is your television.

We know already that he has at least a chair, a burrito, a book, some magazines, and a half-eaten burrito, so I assume that word goes there.

I don't know, hoenstly.

Why are you not spellchecking? I can understand word substitution mistakes and the like as a result of quick writing and quick proofing, but spellcheck is, you know, basic.


Kayleigh stepped over a large pile of clothes. It seemed as though they were everywhere in here. She had to choose her footing as though she were walking across rocks in a stream. "Do you want to talk about it?" she asked.

Choppy alert. Just thought I'd point those out, since you said you were trying to watch out for such things.

Jake has purple hair? Funny, what with this being very realistic up to this point, I hadn't expected anime-style hair coloring, unless he dies it (though he doesn't seem in much of a state to be caring about dying his hair at the moment).

Had she just med him for the first time, Kayleigh would not have guessed that he was only eighteen years old.

It only would have proved to him that she had done something- something!- while he came to waste his life in Crimson City.

Working odd jobs for the past five years since he moved from Amethyst, his life hadn't been very good at all.

Oops, misplaced modifier. In this sentence, it's actually his life that's working odd jobs--see how the participial phrase is tacked on right in front of life? Generally, phrases modify the nearest noun. Actually, what should be modified here--Jake or the pronoun him--doesn't even appear anywhere in the sentence.

Overall, nice chapter. You made a pretty smooth time jump here, making it apparent just how much time has passed slowly rather than going into it with an abrupt lurch. You also did better in the choppingess aspect.

The tables and chairs were of mahogany, but the wood wasn't new or shined.

Also, I think wood is usually polished, not shined.

Here," she added, ruffling through her bag on the floor by her chair.

I believe you mean rifling there.

I'm not sure if, when Jake orders, he means a grilled Miltank burger or a grille one, as you have written down. It could be either, depending on your intentions. I'm more used to seeing grilled, but... *shrug*

She looked at Jake, who seemed a bit disappointed. It seemed really hard to pinpoint his emotions, though. He really did seem different than the boy who had moved in with her years ago.

Seemed-seemed-seem. It's not a big repetition, but something to be aware of.

You've got to do something.

You have all these dreams and high hopes, Jake, but you're not doing anything about them.

The way you phrase the part about Jake not eating any of his miltank burger, it looks as though the sentence is just missing a "left" on the end. I think you should change didn't have to hadn't had, though I can't say why grammatically. It just looks better grammatically, to me, for what you're trying to say with the sentence.

The night air of the city was chilly, but not too cold.

On the whole, I liked this chapter. I think that the pacing is very well done. The piece is building up slowly, and though things have happened, we've never actually seen them happen yet. Everything important's gone on off screen, and what we see now is just the fallout and response to those events.

For a moment, he pictured himself climbing the ranks and becoming a Rocket executive.

He shuffled his hand back and forth until he felt one and slid it out.

Shuffled doesn't really seem like the right adjective to use there to me. I'm flat out of ideas for replacements at the moment, though.

It shattered into pieces on the ground.

That's redundant because shatter already means "to break or burst into pieces". Also, you've been flirting with choppiness over the last few paragraphs. Watch it.

And now, that he gets this offer to join Team Rocket, he goes, seeing a chance to try and do something with his life, and het gets a gun in his face.

There should be no comma after now. Also note the tense changes in this sentence.

I sort of like your practice of keeping chapters short. Mine turn into monsters with suprising ease. The chapter length seems to be helping your pacing as well, which is good.

I really like this. It is well-written (aside from your occasional typo) and most certainly fresh and different. Your characters seem real and multifaceted, and you don't have a lot of problem with their consistency, either.

I like dark stuff.

Ionem
August 15th, 2005, 03:06 AM
Shuffled doesn't really seem like the right adjective to use there to me.

That's because it's a verb, haha!

But seriously, thank you so much. You needn't have pointed out all the typos, but thanks for all that. I absolutely love it when people go through my stories like that. Makes me really feel like people want to help me improve.

I'm happy now. ;)

Edit:

Oh, yeah, as for Jake's hair...

Well, to tell the truth, I can't explain it too much. It's simply that I sorta based him off the character (Ionem) in my avatar. The hair's meant to be light like that, in a way not to e a striking purple.

One could say he dies it, one could go with the whole suspension of disbelief. That's up to the reader.

Deathspector
February 20th, 2006, 05:54 AM
Yay! Ionem is back! Or technically, you're not back, never mind. I love this story. You do remember me, don't you? Off PE2K?

Anyway, the typos get out of hand, I know. Same thing always happens to me when I type quickly, especially when typing a story. Try typing it on Word or other programs like that, they automatically know if you've made a spelling mistake and such...you must know that...XP.

DS

Despain
February 21st, 2006, 12:11 PM
Word's a pain in the ***, too much **** for just a teext program. I tend to use Wordpad- which might explain not fixing the typos.