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  #1    
Old May 5th, 2008 (11:28 AM). Edited November 4th, 2008 by Acrutheo.
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note
The following may not be suitable to all ages.
The following is suitable for 13 years and up, mainly for violence.


Hello. Quite simply, I've decided to start a fanfic. As I've already shown above, I'm planning this to be about PG15, so, if you're not comfortable with that level of violence, then this may not be the best fic for you. Also, please be brutally honest in your reviews; I'm wide open to suggestions any of you may have. Now, for the dialogue key:

"This is speech by a human"

"<This is speech by a pokémon>"

"[This is telepathic speech, either by humans or pokémon]"

----------------------

Table of Contents
Prologue
Chapter One: Loneliness
Chapter Two: Blackmail
Chapter Three: Prey
Chapter Four: Defeat
Chapter Five: Pain
Chapter Six: Hell
Chapter Seven: True Power
Want to receive notification of new chapters via PM? Just PM me and from I'll add you to the mailing list.

----------------------

Prologue
Walter Whittaker was your successful politician: witty, well-dressed, and a conscience small enough to lose down a drain. And this is exactly what happened to Hoenn as a result of his regime, and to this day, the few that know his name daren’t speak it in public. He rose to power in a typical election with relative ease: a popular politician, due to him having his name engraved twice on the Hoenn League Champion Cup.

President Whittaker also had close connections with Devon, the largest pokémon technology company in the country, which gave him a considerable deal of public support. And now Whittaker had the opportunity to officially announce the release of arguably the most groundbreaking technology in the history of pokémon.

The master ball.

This purple device had the capability to capture any wild pokémon without fail, although it hadn’t quite perfected the capture of the fabled Legendary Pokémon. Devon was not the first to develop such a device – another company named Silph developed the first. However, after Silph was infiltrated and the prototype was nearly stolen by a large crime syndicate, development by Silph was stopped by the Kanto government, and other companies took it upon themselves to develop the first one for release to the public. However, the master ball was invariably unstable, and as such this goal hadn’t been met.

Until now.

But Whittaker loathed the idea of Devon releasing a master ball. He saw it as removing all skill from the capture of pokémon, and felt it to be betraying his values as a trainer – as a League Champion! Whittaker was torn between his hermit morals and political killer instinct: does he dare betray the sacred art of capturing pokémon to win the election? Blocking the release of a master ball would have a catastrophic effect: Devon would withdraw support and donations from Whittaker, and then explain to the public why they couldn’t receive master balls in Hoenn. And on the floor would lay the cadaver of what was once his political career.

He leant back in his leather chair, straightening his grey hair and fiddling with his bushy moustache, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Devon Representative. His azure eyes widened as his mahogany door crept open. A familiar, young, brunette-haired suit entered the room. The President rose to meet the corporate executive in the middle of the room to shake his hand, a genuine jubilance on the Representative’s face, a feigned smile on the President’s.

“Take a seat,” Whittaker gestured to a comfortable leather sofa at the edge of the lavish, alizarin wallpaper, which matched the President’s large suit.

Sitting down together, the representative began to jabber excitedly, “Your Excellency, this will be an excellent opportunity to show the cooperation of government and private enterprise, and will be a brilliant booster to the popularity of both your administration and our corporation. What are your thoughts on the time of the announcement?”

Whittaker kept his cool and showed his palms, speaking his twisted truth with confident fluency. “I’m very sorry, Mr. Nola, but the Testing Department had a computer issue when testing your product and, I’m sorry to say, sent you a report that may or may not represent the accuracy of your product’s viability for release.”

However, the Representative was intelligent, picking up on words like “issue” and phrases like “may or may not” with the accuracy of a Pidgeot. “With all due respect, Your Excellency, that is the type of speech you use when you want to avoid giving a straight answer,” pushed the Representative, his hazel eyes piercing into the President’s mind. “Let me ask you a question, what is the reason that you don’t want master balls to enter the market?”

The President averted his gaze for a fraction of a second towards his golden, laminated certificates recognising him as a Hoenn Champion. Rookie mistake. The executive’s eyes flared with immediate understanding when he turned to examine what had momentarily captured the politician’s vision.

“Surely you’re not going to let that get in the way?”

The President sighed, annoyed at how perceptive the Representative was. He was uncharacteristically losing his cool, speaking inarticulately, and nervously adjusting his ebony tie and pulling at his collar every few seconds. Soon his nervousness turned to anger; the Representative was being irritatingly logical and increasingly condescending.

Soon, he could think of nothing to say but, “how dare you try to ruin what has been a great tradition for centuries? Catching pokémon is a divine art, and I will not have it ruined by mundane technology! Not if I have anything to say about it, no! If I hear another word about this master ball from you, expect to have some tough regulations hitting you squarely where it hurts!”

Big mistake. The executive left angrily, and Whittaker had just dug his own political grave. Perhaps history would be kind to him? Possibly remember him as the politician who stood up for his values? The Last Catcher, maybe?

The Devon board of directors was furious when it learned of the President’s reaction, but didn’t want to start a political war. Instead, they resolved to reconcile, but this wasn’t enough for the Deputy HBD (Head Ball Developer). He found it outrageous that the President should stand in the way of progress, and, in his anger, released some on the black market.

There were several eager customers, but one stood out by his large budget. His face was always hooded, and his voice cold and sharp. He bought these master balls, and ordered more. The Deputy HBD had no idea where they were going, and any use of them certainly wasn’t made public. Not yet, anyway.

Suddenly, the cold-voiced orders stopped. The Deputy HBD guessed why: he’d managed to reverse engineer the device; decipher its inner workings and learn how to make one himself. He was right.

Assassinations followed. Routes, train stations, and airports were seized. Many lost their lives. All at the merciless hands of a group of revolutionaries that called themselves the Seekers, with the power of master balls at their fingertips. The Devon Laboratories were some of the first buildings to be destroyed, so the Seekers had a distinct advantage over everyone else; they could catch any pokémon they desired, while Devon lacked the capability to supply master balls to the general populace.

The Seekers gained support from the fearful who wanted protection, and the skilled who desired power. After two years of vicious struggle, the now-deranged Whittaker was overthrown. As was the Republic itself.

And this marked the beginning of the viciously tyrannical Hoenn Empire.
  #2    
Old May 5th, 2008 (03:14 PM).
Mistress Darkrai Mistress Darkrai is offline
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This is very good! I'm 13, but some of these words you have in your story are VERY confusing, because I have never either heard them, or used them! Let's just say I don't have the best vocabulary every invented, but this is'nt bad! Good job!
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Old May 5th, 2008 (03:49 PM).
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I had a feeling, after seeing you name pop up a few times in other people's stories (including mine), that you'd soon appear with a story.

Well, so far quite good - an interesting concept to have Master Balls being the decline of a civilisation. The description was good enough not to distract from the importance of the events here to give us the set-up, and I am definately looking forward to seeing how this will develop further.

In terms of critique - well, the first half of the story felt more in the present time frame, but after the 'insults' from the Presidant, it started to move more into a summery - a slight change, but maybe would have been better if one of the feelings was slightly more evident throughout... minor and probably opinionated but. Would have also liked some more detailing to who far the world as suddenly sunk, but you may be leaving that for later chapters.

Quote:
Walter Whittaker was your successful politician: witty, well-dressed,

Nice alliteration there.
Quote:
The President averted his gaze for a fraction of a second towards his golden, laminated certificates recognising him as a Hoenn Champion. Rookie mistake.

Hmm, I don't know if a successful (until now) politicains would have made a 'rookie' mistake - he seemed to have gone down a bit too easily. Also, at the beginning you stated his small conscience, but then he seems to have a large one concerning Master balls and the implications in the meeting and the lead up to it, slight contridiction there.

One other thing - not really a mistake, but Master Balls are usually capitalised as an important item, and this fic does imply that they become quite important... but it's an optional thing and really is up to you - some do it, some don't.

Still - nice work, generally solid prologue, and I look forward to your next chapte
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Old May 5th, 2008 (05:29 PM).
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I've read a few fanfics, and I'd have to say that this one is the best written. I like the words that you use like "inarticulately" and other descriptive words. Another thing I liked was how you used one sentence paragraphs to emphazise a thought. The plot seems well thought out and appears to be promising.

As for the negatives....I think you should try to use those one sntence paragraphs a little more.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the fic. Good job!
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Old May 5th, 2008 (08:13 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Mistress Darkrai:
This is very good! I'm 13, but some of these words you have in your story are VERY confusing, because I have never either heard them, or used them! Let's just say I don't have the best vocabulary every invented, but this is'nt bad! Good job!
Thanks for the comment. It was originally going to be far more magniloquent (using complex words), but I toned it down a bit. xD; Did you still get the concepts, though?

Quote originally posted by bobandbill:
In terms of critique - well, the first half of the story felt more in the present time frame, but after the 'insults' from the Presidant, it started to move more into a summery - a slight change, but maybe would have been better if one of the feelings was slightly more evident throughout... minor and probably opinionated but. Would have also liked some more detailing to who far the world as suddenly sunk, but you may be leaving that for later chapters.
Originally it was a summary, but then I thought, "as a reader, there's no way I'd swallow this without an explanation" for the first half, so I expanded upon it. And yes, how far the world sunk will become very evident in the first few chapters. But I see what you're saying, and it probably is a little out of place. If I ever rewrite the prologue (probably), I'll definitely take this into consideration.

Quote originally posted by bobandbill:
Hmm, I don't know if a successful (until now) politicains would have made a 'rookie' mistake - he seemed to have gone down a bit too easily. Also, at the beginning you stated his small conscience, but then he seems to have a large one concerning Master balls and the implications in the meeting and the lead up to it, slight contridiction there.

Yeah, I thought about this, and considered changing it, but decided to leave it as it is. This is because I wanted to show that the glory of pokemon ran so strongly within the blood of Hoenn trainers before the takeover, that it could bring out the consciences of even the seediest politicians and reduce them to raw, irrational emotion even in the face of political death.

This will be expanded upon in Chapter One. You'll see why when I've finished writing it. [/tension]

Quote originally posted by bobandbill:
Still - nice work, generally solid prologue, and I look forward to your next chapte

Thanks for the compliment. n_n

Quote originally posted by Mewtwo42:
I've read a few fanfics, and I'd have to say that this one is the best written. I like the words that you use like "inarticulately" and other descriptive words. Another thing I liked was how you used one sentence paragraphs to emphazise a thought. The plot seems well thought out and appears to be promising.
Thanks very much, Mewtwo42. :D

Quote originally posted by Mewtwo42:
As for the negatives....I think you should try to use those one sntence paragraphs a little more.
I'll take that into consideration if and when I rewrite the prologue, and when I'm doing my next chapters. Thanks for the suggestion.
  #6    
Old May 5th, 2008 (08:54 PM).
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my critique of your prologue is that it's too short

near the end it seems like you were rushing to get your ideas down and the prologue seems to be a skeleton of what it could be. The plot is there but your insight into the reactions of the president and the tension in the room at the time of the argument quickly jumps into an explosion with no build up.

there is no time spent explaining formalities of government officials. It is not explained why this man has such close ties with devon what created these ties and why they are forcing his government to fund, and allow a patent for a peice of technology without the consent of the public.

It is however completely logical that a company that is refused this kind of funding will release its product anyway to make money. It is also just as logical that the technology will be bought and used by evil people.

its a mixed bag but its a good start to a story. I just wish you spent more time dealing with the personal struggles of the protagonist and the antagonists as well as better explaining the circumstances of the tragedy. Instead of creating a rough outline of everything that happened.

i apologize for nitpicking. If I insulted you in any way.
  #7    
Old May 5th, 2008 (09:18 PM).
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Oh no, of course not, it's good feedback aimed at improving my story. While I must admit it's must nicer for my ego to receive positive comments, it's far better for my story to receive negative ones.

As for your comments on the developments of these characters, I agree fully that they weren't developed in full detail. The reason for this is that they are characters that are important only for the prologue, and I feel that developing many of them would be fruitless to the overall effect of the story. The only character in the prologue that will appear later in the story was intentionally underdeveloped to create a sense of mystery about him.

This is a similar issue with the detailing of government formalities - how the Empire operates will be a major focus later in the story, but the operations of the Republic are ultimately irrelevant to the story.

However, I will bear in mind your advice about the danger of rushing and will aim to not repeat this mistake in my future chapters. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old May 6th, 2008 (05:43 PM).
Radish Radish is offline
 
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I hope i take negative comments as well as you do in the future
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Old May 6th, 2008 (05:49 PM).
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I'm excited to see what happens when the story actually begins. The character of Whittaker intrigues me. Everything about this prologue makes me want to read the first chapter.
  #10    
Old May 7th, 2008 (12:58 AM).
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Acrutheo Acrutheo is offline
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Quote originally posted by Radish:
I hope i take negative comments as well as you do in the future
A tip for taking it well: remember that if they didn't give you that feedback, you'd be continuously making the same mistake.

Quote originally posted by BigfootTheUnbeatable:
I'm excited to see what happens when the story actually begins. The character of Whittaker intrigues me. Everything about this prologue makes me want to read the first chapter.
Thanks for the positive comment, BigfootTheUnbeatable. Do you have any suggestions for improvement?

As for when the next chapter will be released, I aim to have it done by Sunday (which will be Saturday for many of you).
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Old May 7th, 2008 (01:02 PM).
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It's a good fanfic. I love the hoeon region.
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Old May 8th, 2008 (12:08 PM).
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Your story here is quite awesome, keep it up.
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Old May 9th, 2008 (02:51 AM). Edited May 10th, 2008 by Acrutheo.
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I am incredibly pleased to announce that Chapter One is ahead of schedule. Once again, please be brutally honest with your comments; I want this story to improve as much as it can. Also, thanks Taylor5 and The Beast for your comments on the prologue.

---

Chapter One: Loneliness
Twenty years.

Nobody was entirely sure on the accuracy of this figure, but nobody dared to question it. Nothing was questioned in Hoenn these days, especially the purported length of its reign. Not that it really mattered; time lumbered along slowly and painfully nowadays.

Under this regime, there were four classes of people. The first were the Citizens: ordinary people at the mercy of the Empire, which rarely practiced anything remotely similar to mercy. Most of these would perform manual labour or repetitive office duties, and were expected to be “the hands of the Empire”.

Then there were Suits. They were fortunate citizens who the Empire had recognised as intelligent, and worked for the upper ranks of the Civil Service. Rather than destroy the intellectuals, like many other tyrannical regimes, the Empire instead made them superior members of society. This gave them a favourable inclination towards the Empire, and allowed it to be run relatively efficiently.

The third class, the Guards, were professional pokémon trainers, a rare breed these days. Guards would sadistically enforce the law of the Empire, using their powerful pokémon caught with master balls to injure and kill dissidents, and frighten the innocent into fearful submission.

However, the class of people that was undoubtedly the most feared were the Hoods. The Hoods were the elite, and dressed as one would expect the Grim Reaper to. This induced fear and a sense of preternaturalness about them, giving them psychological power over the inhabitants of Hoenn. They didn’t give speeches, nor did they even appear in public.

The faceless tyrants.

******

Watson Young was a fifteen year-old teenager, ready to enter the world of work. He stared out the train window, into the faint reflection of his blue eyes, excited. He, along with the others on this train, was about to begin his career with pokémon. It wasn’t how people in other regions would do so: the friendly professor, the complementary items, and the exciting journey ahead. To get a journey like that now in Hoenn was virtually impossible, what with years of paperwork and fierce restrictions on the strength of your pokémon. The last thing the Empire wanted was a group of trainers powerful enough to stand up to the Guards.

Thus, the only way one could become a trainer was to become a Guard. The two terms seemed to be interchangeable nowadays.

To become a Guard, provided you received reasonable “effort” grades at school (translatable into “level of subservience”), all you had to do was succeed in an interview. This was the Empire’s way of seeing whether the candidates are sadistic enough.

He ran his pale, slightly muscular hand through his short, light auburn hair, struggling to remember why he loved pokémon. Since a young age, he had been fascinated by them: their aesthetics, their power, and most curiously of all, he had always suspected that they would have the capacity to be friends with their trainers. This is of course contradicts the Empire’s official position that pokémon are dangerous and should only be handled by trained professionals.

People across Hoenn knew this to be true.

Before the Empire, and for a few years after its rise to power, Hoenn’s trainers professed incredible passion for pokémon. Passion turned to respect from a distance. Respect from a distance became mild caution. Mild caution mutated into fear. All because the grip of terror that the Empire had over the Citizens was so powerful, that they found themselves truly changing their beliefs.

Fear bred fear.

Looking down at his grey, uniform dogi, he thought about what kind of pokémon he’d like. He didn’t know how much choice he’d have; choices weren’t abundant in the Empire’s regime. He couldn’t help but dream, though, of owning a growlithe. Fiercely loyal, powerful, agile: the perfect pokémon.

His uniform was temporary; as soon as he qualified to become a guard, he would receive an intimidating armour that would drown passing citizens in fear. But for now, this monotone uniform was to instill a sense of conformity within him, and the easiness of penetration was to allow the qualified Guards' strikes to him to cause maximum pain. All in all, it was to remind him that he wasn't a Guard yet; still a lowly Citizen.

Nothing now to do but rest.

******

Woken from their slumber, the future Guards of Hoenn were being ushered out of the train and into their new academy. Six weeks of rigorous training, simply to prepare their pokémon to become vicious killers.

He gazed upon the academy. It was a dominating, arsenic fortress, dominating over the oddly cold desert, and the air seemed to be tinted a light grey, which matched the recruits’ uniforms. The sand was dark and the skies were shrouded in menacing clouds, with nothing visible for miles upon miles: an endless, lonely crepuscule.

Two Guards directed the group of about a hundred inside. They were in full Guard uniform: a dark metal armour with their faces masked behind thinly-spaced flexible metal rods running horizontally past their faces. Master balls were immediately visible at their waists, and on their chests they bore the Crest of the Empire: a battle-scarred zangoose standing over a fainted seviper.

The room the cadets entered was bare: black marble walls and black marble floors, intensely lit by lights from an invisibly high ceiling. Silent Guards lined the walls of this circular atrium. Watson stared across the room with a silent contempt for how pointlessly large this room was; he despised things without reason. This, of course, got him beaten in his early years at school: the authorities didn’t like being asked questions. He still had the scar on his thigh from the deep gash a malicious Guard’s scyther had inflicted on him.

From that moment on, he learned that questions are best thought, not asked.

One would expect a speech before the trainers were issued their pokémon, but the Empire officials never gave speeches. Nobody knew exactly why, but the unspoken general consensus was that the Empire wanted to shroud itself in mystery. The greatest fear, after all, is the fear of the unknown.

Instead, the cadets were ushered into single file by a Guard standing in the middle of the room, with Watson at the front: the place he felt most comfortable. The Guard in the middle gave a brief instruction.

“Cadets! I will give you your houndour, and you will walk directly forward. Then, you will enter the dormitory, take the nearest bed, and unpack.”

He then gave a sharp gesture to Watson to move forward. The Guard held a small black device in his hand that materialised a master ball, containing Watson’s standard issue houndour. Watson swiftly swiped this ball with an almost greedy expression crossing his face, and rapidly proceeded to the dormitory.

******

Everybody was in the ebony marble dormitory, performing various actions: some reading books, others intimately looking at photos of their loved ones, and some consulting with their new weapons. The light noise was abruptly interrupted by a loud voice coming from an intercom at the end of the room.

“Lights out in ten minutes!”

Watson, staring up at the ceiling, decided that he’d like to observe his new pokémon – get a feel for it. He was one of the few that hadn’t already. It was quite odd; Watson had wanted his first pokémon more than anything, and now that he had it, he was fearful of opening it. His intuition had advised him throughout his life, against all his observations of the Guards, that he’d fight side by side with his pokémon, a true companion. Something that he’d only ever had once before in his life.

His intuition had retracted this position.

He twisted the ball in his hands, and made a split-second decision, clicking the button at the centre to release his pokémon. It was a small, black canine that was intimidating for its size. It had skeleton-like protrusions from its fur, and a fiery orange belly. Probably the perfect pokémon for a ruthless agent of a dictatorial regime. Barking its name once, it looked straight into Watson’s eyes. a determined look flaring in them.

Watson lulled his head to the side, like a curious child. What could he say to this pokémon? He couldn’t appear weak, but he didn’t want to seem abusive.

“Hello, there houndour,” Watson said in an unsure tone.

“<Is that all you have to say?>”

Watson squinted at the Houndour, as if the act would help him understand what it had just said. A flicker of amusement became apparent for a second in his pokémon’s eyes. This houndour understood that Watson didn’t understand.

“You’ll know what it’s saying when you train with it more,” a pompous voice lectured.

A short, black-haired girl sauntered up to Watson with her Houndour. Watson stared into her russet eyes, trying to decipher her intentions. Watson was naturally suspicious of others: was she trying to help him, or intimidate him with her knowledge? He instinctively brought his hands in front of his body, slowly, his right fist held in his left hand.

“Are you going to respond? A simple ‘thanks for the tip’ will suffice, you know,” she explained, thrusting the right of her forehead slightly forward.

Watson spoke his words with caution, “How long will it take?”

Shrugging, she said, “Depends on the trainer and the pokémon. You’d better hope it will be quick, because your houndour won’t be much of a fighter if you can’t understand each other.”

He immediately took a disliking to her: she was one of them. He couldn’t expect much more, though – after all, he was struck many times for even suggesting that pokémon could be more than battlers.

The houndours, meanwhile, were having their own conversation. Or, they were for about ten seconds, after which time they began playfully tussling on the floor. The girl noticed this, and suggested a pokémon battle.

“I don’t think the Guards would be happy with us battling,” Watson noted.

“You’re afraid of the Guards?” the girl challenged.

She’d struck a raw nerve. Watson was simply terrified by the Guards. He never used to be; he had an air of defiance about him as a young child. But the taunting of the Guard with the scyther, the one that slashed his thigh open… he would never be the same again. He constantly questioned, then: why did he wish to become that which he feared?

“If you’re afraid, then,” the girl shrugged, and turned to leave, assuming herself the victor by default.

Watson wasn’t going to let himself be defeated. Not this time. She had lectured him, played on his fear, and then demeaned him, in front of several people that were watching their conversation from the moment the word “battle” was mentioned. He wasn’t going to be considered weak.

His anger channeled into his right arm, and he clenched his fist, his knuckles immediately whitening. And then, he rapidly released it into her face. She fell, a look of horror, disgust, and surprise etched into every detail in her face. He had hit a girl. Violently. And he stood there, contemplating what he had done in that second of raw anger.

And felt no remorse.

The entire room, including his own houndour, looked at him with surprise on their respective faces; a cold shock hanging in the air. Some gestured angrily, looking as if they were about to repeat Watson’s action on him. Retribution for his crime.

“Five minutes until lights out!”

Watson returned his houndour to its ball and climbed into his bed, not bothering to change into his pyjamas. Once again, he would be the outcast. Once again, others would despise him.

Loneliness.
  #14    
Old May 9th, 2008 (05:34 PM).
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Quote:
He couldn’t help but dream, though, of owning a growlithe.
I must be psychic or something because I was thinking of the main character getting a Growlithe when I started reading the chapter...

Anyway- Chapter one was better than the Prologue...much better. It seems that you've put a lot of thought into the plot, so far. I also liked how you gave little bits of info on Watson's past.

I see that you're using the one line paragraphs pretty often. I really like that because it puts more emphasis on an important idea or something like that. One thing that didn't make sense to me was that from when Watson first took out his Houndour to when he punched the girl(that was reallyunexpected(unexpected is good)) was 15 minutes. might want to fix that - but, it doesn't matter much.

Great job!!!
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Old May 9th, 2008 (05:38 PM).
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Thanks for your comments, Mewtwo42. ^^

I have a question. How well do you think I captured the emotions of everybody at that punch? That was an incredibly telling detail of Watson's character that I wanted to show well. I probably sound a bit insecure saying this (and I don't mean to), but, did I do well in that part?

And I've reduced the figure a bit. :P
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Old May 9th, 2008 (05:43 PM).
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I believe that you'd showed it pretty well. If there's one thing I learned from English class this year, it's that a good storyteller always touches the readers' emotions in some way. I believe some emotion was invoked with that punch. I'm not really sure what it was, but I think it added to the story's depth pretty well.

btw: I was expecting a Pokemon battle when the girl mentioned it.
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Old May 9th, 2008 (05:46 PM).
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So was I (when I was writing it). But then I decided on this, because (a) it was unexpected, (b) it told a lot about the semi-protagonist, and (c) it'll add some real emotion in their first battle.

(b) being the most important, because I've fleshed out Watson as a character really well in my head, and this was the perfect opportunity to show some of him.
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Old May 9th, 2008 (05:53 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Acrutheo:
So was I (when I was writing it). But then I decided on this, because (a) it was unexpected, (b) it told a lot about the semi-protagonist, and (c) it'll add some real emotion in their first battle.

(b) being the most important, because I've fleshed out Watson as a character really well in my head, and this was the perfect opportunity to show some of him.
Wait, so did you just say that they're going to have a battle?(well it sort of inevitable but...)
You just kind of gave away parts of some of the chapters to come.

What sort of character is Watson? because it seems like the Empire's regime has hardened him up a bit. He punched someone without thinking twice(it was a girl, too.(If a girl is reading this - I didn't mean to offend you if you were.)).
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Old May 9th, 2008 (05:58 PM).
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In an academy that trains pokemon (or, more accurately, trains people to use pokemon), every cadet will face every other cadet at least once in a battle to get their own pokemon stronger, as you'd expect of such an institution. So you're right, it is inevitable. While I'm definitely not going to mention every single battle, the one between him and the as-of-yet unnamed girl will be focused on for obvious reasons.

As to your question of the character of Watson - you'll have to wait and see. ;D
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Old May 9th, 2008 (07:46 PM).
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Nice work, again. A good chapter, and as this IS the more important setting and all, it was well established. Pacing was alright, and you did well in establishing the character of Watson as well. Overall I also agree that this felt better then a prologue - porbably the atmosphere and pacing accounted for some of this.

Houndour, eh? Interesting Pokemon to be given out to Guards, feel it's a good choice. And not too far from the mark of a Growlithe as well. Although one wonders how many Houndour they have to issue to soon-to-be Guards... hmm.

With the punch - although good and unexpected, you half-gave it away eariler:
Quote:
He instinctively brought his hands in front of his body, slowly, his right fist held in his left hand.
Although I wasn't certain that he would, it immediantely told me there was a good possibility of such a thing happening. And it did, but the instance of it happening was still sudden and well done. A bit given away beforehand - but then again, a good knowledge of martial arts helps one to recongize such things...

Quote:
They didn’t give speeches, nor appear in public.

Sounds just a bit hasty, the second part - maybe 'nor did they even appear in public'.
Quote:
This was the Empire’s way of seeing whether the candidates are sadistic enough.

Heh, liked this sentence. Good somewhat-sarcastic way of keeping up the 'doom and gloom' atmosphere.

Quote:
Master balls were immediately visible at their waists, and on their chests they bore the Crest of the Empire: a battle-scarred zangoose standing over a fainted seviper.

I rather liked that image - good notion for a crest for an evil Empire there.
Quote:
Watson spoke his words with caution, “how long will it take?”

Erm, not enitrely sure, but pretty sure that the first word after the quotation mark should be capitalised (and there another sentence after this as well). Might need some clarification.... somewhat debatable but leaning towards the capitalisation.

Quote:
Looking down at his grey, uniform dogi,

'Dogi' didn't quite work for me... meh. Does seem a tad unnesserary though.

Rather good though - nice sentence structure, with the occassional separated sentence - works to good effect and the atmosphere, again, was quite convincing. Looking forward to more.
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Old May 9th, 2008 (08:02 PM).
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Thanks for the comments, bobandbill. ^_^

Quote originally posted by bobandbill:
Although I wasn't certain that he would, it immediantely told me there was a good possibility of such a thing happening. And it did, but the instance of it happening was still sudden and well done. A bit given away beforehand - but then again, a good knowledge of martial arts helps one to recongize such things...

You picked it up. :D I like to leave hints in my story. Originally, I said something about him shuffling back, but changed it and decided to see if anyone would notice. I've dropped a few other subtle hints throughout both this chapter and the prologue as well. ;D (And a few red herrings)

Quote originally posted by bobandbill:
Sounds just a bit hasty, the second part - maybe 'nor did they even appear in public'.

Good point. I'll edit this.

Quote originally posted by bobandbill:
Erm, not enitrely sure, but pretty sure that the first word after the quotation mark should be capitalised (and there another sentence after this as well). Might need some clarification.... somewhat debatable but leaning towards the capitalisation.

Really? In my experience it would start with a non-capitalised letter. o.o;

Quote originally posted by bobandbill:
'Dogi' didn't quite work for me... meh. Does seem a tad unnesserary though.

I actually quite liked it: it gave a good mix of drab same-colour and sense of fighting. Why didn't you like it?
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Old May 9th, 2008 (08:21 PM).
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Quote:
Really? In my experience it would start with a non-capitalised letter. o.o;
Yeah... I recall seeing both used before, and for the life of me can't recall which is the 'right' one, or if they are both right...
Quote:
I actually quite liked it: it gave a good mix of drab same-colour and sense of fighting. Why didn't you like it?

Meh, just doesn't quite fit in - I don't really think that a dogi (which is a sort of 'gi', or uniform for martial arts generall) really quite suits the uniform for guards, and considering the Pokemon world. This one is changed though, and it is more an 'opinion' thing.
EDIT: Saw sig - Beta reader? Am interested...
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Old May 9th, 2008 (08:24 PM).
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I see what you mean, now. It's just a misunderstanding; that's the uniform for cadets, not the qualified Guards; the cadets don't get full uniform yet. Here's the description of the qualified Guard uniform:

Quote originally posted by Me (in chapter one):
They were in full Guard uniform: a dark metal armour with their faces masked behind thinly-spaced flexible metal rods running horizontally past their faces.
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Old May 10th, 2008 (04:32 PM).
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I agree with bobandbill. The Dogi uniform doesn't do much for me. If it's a temporary thing, it's fine but it just seems out of place in pokemon. It's hard to imagine a pokemon trainer wearing a gi with a pokeball belt.
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Old May 10th, 2008 (05:45 PM).
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Yeah, it's definitely just a temporary thing; qualified Guard uniform is too expensive for Cadets, and still leaves them exposed to attacks from qualified Guards. Should I make this more obvious?
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