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Old December 8th, 2007 (11:23 AM). Edited April 8th, 2008 by Elite Overlord LeSabre™.
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Elite Overlord LeSabre™ Elite Overlord LeSabre™ is offline
On that 'Non stop road'
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Hey, everybody, thanks for all the reviews. Sorry I can't reply to each of them individually, but I have been making major edits to the Prologue and Chapter 1 to hopefully make this thing a bit better, so check out the changes if you want.

If it's seemed like I've been dead on this forum, it's because of impending finals, so, yeah...

Anyway, I've got Chapter 2 ready! Enjoy!

Chapter 2: My Rival is a Parolee?

Lisa turned to take one last look at the town, when she noticed something gleaming hurtling right toward her. She had to dive into the grass, just barely avoiding a tire iron flying past. “What in the heck?! Why is someone trying to kill me?!” she yelled out as she hit the dirt.

She got up, picked her hat off the ground and put it back on. Dusting herself off, she took a look at her legs. “Good. At least I didn’t rip my stockings.”

Then she noticed a figure emerging from the town. Whoever it was, they were laughing like a madman. As the figure approached, Lisa got a closer look at it, and recognized it immediately. The figure was an old man, in his late sixties. He was bald, with a scruffy white beard. He removed his sunglasses, revealing a pair of sinister eyes that glowed bright red. He wore a black suit with red tie, as well as a nasty smirk on his face.

Lisa knew this man as Tommy Junger. He used to work for her father, but then attempted to commit health insurance fraud against the company. Upon his release, Tommy then proceeded to kidnap several of her father’s employees and held them for ransom. Once he was captured for that, Tommy got fifteen years for kidnapping and extortion. Her jaw dropped. This was the last person Lisa ever expected to see again.

Tommy spoke up. “So we meet again, little missy. You’re probably wondering how I’m free. Let me just say that those stupid parole hearing board members are easily bribed and/or intimidated. And now, it is time you repaid some debts that your parents were responsible for. I’ve been stalking you, and I hear you’re starting on a Pokémon journey. Well now, I couldn’t just let you do that, now could I? Since Mommy and Daddy can’t save you, I think I’ll have fun tearing you apart!”

Shaking, sweating, and wide-eyed, Lisa took a step back from her attacker. “How’s he been getting away with this?! Man, I am gonna regret this!

Pulling out a pistol, the elderly man cackled. “Thought I wouldn’t be armed? Wrong! Time to die now, you stupid little… Ow! What the hell?”

Acting on instinct, Meowth leaped up and gave Tommy a hard scratch to the left hand, causing his grip on his gun to loosen.

“You damned little…” The enraged felon grabbed the Pokémon and struggled with her. While he was distracted, Lisa picked up the gun and threw it as far as she could.

“What the hell did you do with my gun? Oh, whatever. There’s more than one way to exterminate a pest!”

Seeing that Tommy had pried Meowth’s claws away from his arm, she ran headlong at him. “NO!” Lisa tackled Tommy before he could throw her Pokémon to the ground, and the three of them hit the dirt. “You’re not hurting my Pokémon! She had nothing to do with you!”

Furious, Tommy threw Lisa off of him. “How dare you! Houndour, Oddish! I will tolerate nothing less than total annihilation! Destroy her!” Tommy ordered his Pokémon around with all the pleasantness of a drill sergeant. “I didn’t waste all that time stealing you for you to turn out to be useless!

Don’t tell me this guy started training Pokémon just to get at me…

Tommy released two red and white orbs. A flash of red energy released a black dog- like creature with a red snout. It snapped and barked loudly, revealing sharp white teeth with drool dripping from them. Upon seeing that its opponent was the diminutive Meowth, the canine began salivating even more, with extra slobber leaking from its mouth. Crouching down on all fours, Houndour prepared not only for a battle, but a tasty meal as well.

His other Pokémon was a short blue Pokémon with green leaves sticking out of its head. This round Pokémon walked around in a meandering manner on two stubby feet, nearly tripping over them. Its eyes were merely dots on its deep blue form, and its vacant look wasn’t all that intimidating.

Jeez… I think I’m in way over my head here…” Staring down her elderly nemesis and both his Pokémon with an angry glare, she yelled out, “Grrr… Two against one isn’t fair! Why don’t you battle like a man?”

“All’s fair in love, war, and revenge, sis. And I think the last two apply equally here!”

Great, my first official Pokémon battle, and I am painfully outmatched… but he’s not getting away with this!” Turning to her tiny Pokémon, Lisa said, “Okay, Meowth, I guess this we have to take this guy on now. Watch yourself, this guy’s tricky and doesn’t play by the rules. Let’s target that Houndour with your Scratch!”

Meowth nodded, then the small cat Pokémon leapt at Houndour, with claws bared. Before she could strike, however, the Oddish rammed into her at full force, knocking Meowth aside.

“Oh, no!” Lisa cringed as Meowth was came crashing down on the grassy plain, barely avoiding hitting a tree.

Then Houndour started to gather flames at its mouth, and then fired a series of small orange fireballs at Meowth, who couldn’t get out of the way in time. The velocity of the assault knocked the Pokémon over, while the intense heat of the attack left her body with black scorch marks.

“Not another hard hit!” the worried girl cried, tugging at the lace trim that adorned the bottom of her dress. “Meowth, are you okay?!”

“In a few seconds, it won’t be!” her adversary proclaimed, going after the tire iron. “Damn! I would have rather had the gun, but this’ll have to do…”

The girl’s knees began to shake as she nervously fingered the hem of her dress. “Please be okay… I don’t want it to end like this…

After a few tense moments, Meowth struggled to get to her feet. Meanwhile, Houndour launched another series of bright Embers at Meowth. Before the Pokémon could recover from the first devastating hit, the Oddish drew a ball of green energy from the tiny cat Pokémon and then absorbed it into its own body. Then both of Tommy’s Pokémon charged headlong at Meowth, knocking the small cat Pokémon backwards and sending her skidding along the dirt path before the Pokémon finally fell onto her back. Scarred and scratched, Meowth was now in a bad way, but she had a look of determination on her face.

“I can’t take both of these Pokémon on at once… I’m gonna need some serious help… Meowth, try Scratching the Houndour again, but this time watch out for Oddish, too! I know you're hurting, but this guy's a bad seed and we can't lose to him!” Lisa was breathing heavily. She knew that her life was riding on this battle. If Meowth fainted, Tommy would not hesitate to bludgeon the both of them.

The elderly man began to cackle sadistically. With a low, booming tone, he issued one final command to his Pokémon. “Finish her!”

Uh, oh, this is bad, really bad…

Meowth once again jumped toward Houndour. Lisa could see the Oddish rushing in toward her Pokémon to knock her off balance. Just then…

“Kofff!”

A blob of poisonous slime came flying at Oddish. The purple goop knocked Oddish to the ground, allowing Meowth to land a strike on Houndour. A round purple Pokémon, floating a couple feet off the ground, appeared seemingly from out of nowhere. Lisa activated her Pokédex. The newcomer wore a smile on its face and a skull and crossbones symbol on the lower part of its body. Its spherical form was laced with numerous crater-like openings, which loosed puffs of gray smoke at regular intervals.

“Koffing, the Poison Gas Pokémon. The gases that are mixed in this Pokémon’s body are less dense than air, causing it to float. The chemicals inside can ignite or explode without warning.”

“Koffing, huh? Are you here to help me?”

“Koff!”

Meowth nodded. “Meowth, meow, meow!”

“Okay guys, let's get him together!” Looking at the newcomer, the newbie trainer thought, “I might stand a chance now… I hope…

Tommy just sneered. “You think some gas-bag will stop me? Attack, you two incompetents!”

Lisa thought to herself, “This guy needs to learn a lot about training. I may be new at this, but even I know to treat Pokémon with care and respect.

“Let's go! Meowth, continue using Scratch on Houndour! Koffing, use that last attack...”

Lisa consulted her Pokédex. “Koffing now can use Tackle, Sludge, and Smog.”

“Okay, so it's called Sludge. Use Sludge on his Oddish!”

Despite being injured, Meowth leapt in for another attack. Houndour began to flame at the mouth again. “Watch out, it's gonna shoot fire at you! Try to dodge the strike!”

Using a series of acrobatic moves, Meowth darted left and then right, dumbfounding the Houndour as to which way to fire its attack. The kitten Pokémon landed a direct hit to its head, which seemed to do serious damage, as the strike disrupted another Ember attempt and caused the black Pokémon to cringe.

Growing a small smile, Lisa observed, “The head must be the weak point. Quickly, Meowth, and use a series of Scratches to its head!”

Meanwhile, Koffing and Oddish were exchanging attacks, but it appeared that Koffing was gaining the upper hand. Oddish was becoming more exhausted and disoriented with each strike, as the purple filth from Koffing’s attack was accumulating on its small form. The little Grass-type was stumbling about, barely able to stay on its feet.

“Meowth, let’s keep up the attack on Houndour, just watch out ‘cause you’re already hurt!”

Meowth was continuing her tactic of quickly jumping in for Scratch strikes then jumping away before Houndour could inflict serious damage. A few errant Embers still hit her, but it was clear the tables had turned. Then Meowth went in for the final strike, swiping at Houndour several times with her claws until her canine foe collapsed out of exhaustion.

Now I’ve got a chance to even the score…

“Nimrod!” Tommy screamed as he called Houndour back into its holding device. “What the hell am I paying you for?!” He raised his weapon in a threatening manner.

I didn’t know you could pay Pokémon – aw, whatever…” the girl thought to herself. “Good, Meowth! Now help Koffing put the hammer down on Oddish!” Lisa was able to give this command with more confidence now.

Meowth then bared her claws and hit Oddish square on the head, then jumped aside as Koffing fired another heap of purple sludge at the plant Pokémon, finally doing it in.

“Yes! We won! I'm so proud of you guys! Take that, Tommy!” Lisa and her two Pokémon cheered, but the celebration would be short-lived.

The old man withdrew his Pokémon, then raised the tire iron, muttering, “I’m surrounded by idiot Pokémon…” Then he turned his focus on Lisa, with a look of pure hatred. “You may have beaten my Pokémon, but I will inform my son about you. Once I tell him about you, he'll be happy to destroy you in battle. On second thought, why don't I save him the trouble and just bash your face in now...”

The girl began backing away from the man as he kept approaching her, murderous intent clearly in his eyes.

Suddenly, he turned tail and ran into the bushes, just out of sight of a passing Ford Crown Victoria.

Oh, man,” Lisa thought, breathing heavily, “he sure arrived at the right time! I thought I was gonna die!

The person in the car pulled up next to Lisa and rolled down the window.

“Hello, there, I am Officer Perkins. Is everything okay?”

Lisa nearly collapsed but was able to use the car as balance. “Now it is. My name’s… Lisa Northwood. I… just started my Pokémon journey but got ambushed by this guy I knew from before. He… he tried to kill me,” she answered.

“Whoa! Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah,” the girl replied, struggling to her feet. “I just… need… to regain… my composure…”

“Well, don’t push yourself. Were your Pokémon injured?”

“Y… yeah…”

“Here, give both Pokémon these Potions. They’ll tide them over until you can get to the next Pokémon Center.”

“Wait! Any chance you could drive me to the next town first?” She looked up at the officer with a hopeful expression on her face.

”Sorry, but I’m headed in the opposite direction. I could take you back to Fort Barnes if you’d like.”

Lisa considered the offer, but realized that backtracking wouldn’t save her any time. “No, that’s okay,” she replied, trying to hide her disappointment. “Hopefully the cop scared Tommy off so he won’t be coming back after me…

“Are you sure about that?”

“Yeah. Thanks for your help. Bye!”

As the car sped off, Lisa used the potions on the Pokémon. “Man, if he was just headed in the other direction, I would’ve gone with him!” She looked north, dreading the long way it would be until she reached the next town. Letting out a sigh, she thought, “This is way more than I bargained for…

“Koffing koff koff!”

Meowth looked at Koffing then jumped and grabbed for Lisa's supply of empty Pokéballs. “Huh? Do you want to join us?”

Koffing smiled at Lisa and so did Meowth.

“Okay then! Welcome to the team!” Lisa took out a Pokéball and placed it in front of Koffing. With a flash of red light, Koffing disappeared into the Pokéball.

“Boo-yah! We caught a Koffing!”

“Meowth meow meow!”

Weird…” thought Lisa before continuing on her way.

Hiding behind a large tree, Tommy pulled out a cell phone. “Listen, there’s a girl coming your way that knows about the lab invasion. That is already too much information. Intercept and eliminate her. She’s got on this ridiculous hat and some butt-ugly blue dress. You can’t miss her. Just make sure you get the job done. I’m off.”
********

After several uneventful minutes of walking through the grassy plains, Lisa saw a tiny purple Pokémon with buck teeth. Smaller than Meowth, the little rodent-like creature let out several high-pitched squeaks with its curled tail standing nearly straight up. Every time the teenage newbie tried to sidestep to get around the Pokémon, it ran in the same direction to block her path.

Looks like I have no choice but to battle…” She activated her Pokédex. “Rattata, the rat Pokémon. Rattata travel in large groups and feed off anything they can find.” The Rattata charged in at Lisa and if not for her quick movement would have taken a bite out of her foot.

“Hey, watch it! These are open-toed shoes, and there's only a thin layer of nylon protecting my feet! Meowth, shall we teach it a lesson?”

“Meowth!”

“Alright, we'll lead off with a Scratch attack! Let's get it on!”

Meowth charged at the small purple Pokémon but the target quickly jumped aside. Rattata turned to taunt Meowth but it gave the little cat enough time to deliver a hard claw strike. Rattata retaliated by tackling Meowth full force with its small body, knocking the cat Pokémon aside. The kitten quickly got back up and growled at its purple adversary.

“Use it again!”

Meowth charged in as before, and Rattata jumped out of the way, causing the beige Pokémon’s lunge to go wide left. Undeterred, Meowth leapt in again, this time landing a strike that caused the Rattata to collapse. Before it did, it let out a loud squeak. Lisa turned around and saw a huge purple mass headed right toward her at a high rate of speed. Her eyes grew wide and her jaw dropped. “Okay… this is definitely NOT good…

“Meowth, return! We've got to get out of here before its friends eat us up!”

Man! I did NOT sign up to be chased down and torn apart by rodents! I cannot believe this stuff is happening to me!

Meowth returned to her Luxury Ball and Lisa started to run. Well, she ran as fast as a girl in a dress and heels could run, which wasn’t all that fast. Panting heavily, she ignored the pain in her feet. She continued looking back and saw the group of Rattata approach her. Just then she spotted a building with a red roof and quickly ducked inside seconds before she would have been ambushed. Lisa stood inside the door, heart still racing. “Geez, I’m gonna get killed out there!”

An attendant behind the desk spoke up. She had blond hair and wore a white button-up blouse and black skirt. “Welcome to the Chromo Town Pokémon Center. Are you okay?”

“Wow, this is Chromo Town? I guess you… get places fast when there's… a pack of Rattata chasing you... Oh, sorry. I'm Lisa Northwood, and… I'm a beginning Pokémon trainer. Could you look over my Pokémon and heal them up?” she asked between heavy breaths, handing over her two Pokéballs. “Any place where I can get cleaned up?”

“There’s some showers upstairs.”

“Thanks.” Humble as this place was, Lisa was glad to finally be in some sort of shelter – a place where neither wild Pokémon nor crazed fanatic could get to her.

The girl had elected to simply rinse herself off and put on the same clothes rather than shower with soap and change clothes. She would just be headed back out again in a few hours.

Waiting for her Pokémon to finish healing, Lisa began to think about her chance encounter with the Koffing, and why it was hanging out near Fort Barnes. “It didn’t seem like the normal area for wild Koffing to hang out, and if it was owned by someone else, wouldn’t it have waited around for its trainer?” She suddenly yelled out, “I can’t get my thoughts straight with all that’s happened!”

The teen decided to step out to get some fresh air. This would turn out to be a mistake as two men in black jumpsuits and ski masks were waiting for her. One of them grabbed the girl and covered her mouth while the other pulled out a handgun.

“Hey, what are you… Mmmmmffff!” As the girl struggled against the burly thug, she thought, “This is the third time TODAY that my life’s been put in danger! Why did I have to go on this journey, anyway? I’m just gonna get killed!

“Well, well, well, looks like someone stumbled upon a crime scene she shouldn’t have. And now, you must pay the price. Blame this on your own bad luck!”

“I suggest you let that girl go, now!” a female voice commanded.

Whoa… who’s that?

As Lisa continued to struggle, three people approached. All looked like they were in their thirties. The first was a tall man with red hair. He wore shades and a long red and gray robe. The second man was shorter, wearing a black suit and sporting slick black hair. The third person was a woman, wearing a black blouse and purple skirt. She had short red hair that she had tied up in the back, and she had on wide-rimmed glasses.

“Who the hell are you three, and how dare you interrupt our important discussion?!”

“We do not feel that is important to discuss. Now, let that girl go, immediately!” the woman answered in her own way.

“Fine then!” the man holding Lisa spat. “Let’s show these losers who they’re dealing with!” He took out a gun and approached the mysterious trio along with his partner, Lisa firmly in his grasp.

“Okay, guys,” the woman said to her partners, “as much as I’d like to get my hands dirty, I’ll let you two go all Walker, Texas Ranger on them.”

Both nodded as they prepared to face off against the criminals. In the time it took for both thugs to aim their weapons, they found themselves disarmed. The man in the robe had smacked one of the thugs’ guns out of his hand, while the one in the suit had performed a roundhouse kick to dislodge the other weapon. Lisa, along with both men, hit the dirt.

Getting back up, one of the men yelled, “What the hell… Fine, we’ll settle this the old fashioned way!”

Still on the ground, Lisa watched as the men began their fight. The redheaded man ducked to avoid a sucker punch, then performed a leg sweep to knock the rogue onto his back. The one with black hair jumped to the right to avoid a spinning kick before punching his adversary right in the lip. Both crooks got back to their feet, not finished yet despite having bloodied faces.

“Argggh… Who are you, anyway?”

The men responded not with words, but with simultaneous roundhouse kicks that knocked their opponents out cold, just as a police officer arrived on the scene. The enigmatic trio then approached the officer and flashed some badges. Nodding, the officer picked up and restrained the criminals. As they were being shoved into the squad car, the woman helped Lisa to her feet.

“Come on, let’s get back inside. Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine, thanks to you,” the girl answered as she dusted off her dress. The two of them then returned to the lobby of the Pokémon Center, followed by the two men.

Adjusting her glasses, the woman spoke up. “Are you perhaps from Fort Barnes?”

“Um...yes, yes I am...” Lisa stammered, a bit intimidated by the young woman. She had an air of elegance and power about her as she stood nearly erect, arms folded across her chest.

“Do you know about what happened to Professor Amy Sequoia in the town's research center?”

“I know she was attacked. I was the person who found her and untied her. I got my first Pokémon from her.”

“We would like to speak with you about her. There's a Denny's across the street. We'll buy lunch and discuss what happened last night. It is of the utmost importance.”

“Okay, you got it!” Lisa didn’t know what to make of these three, but she figured she would at least hear them out.

The center's attendant spoke up. “Your Pokémon are ready.”

“Thank you.” Lisa took her Pokéballs, then let Meowth out of her Pokéball. Then she went with the three strangers out of the Pokémon Center and toward the restaurant.
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  #27    
Old December 8th, 2007 (03:13 PM).
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Haruka of Hoenn Haruka of Hoenn is offline
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Quote:
Dusting herself off, she took a look at her legs. “Good. At least I didn’t rip my stockings.”
NOOOO! ANYTHING BUT THE STOCKINGS!!! XD
Caring for your stockings more than your own life? I'd never be up to do that myself... (Actually, the first thing I would say in that situation would be "Good thing that didn't hit me!" or something else like that.)

Quote:
“Nimrod!” Tommy screamed as he called Houndour back into its holding device. “What the hell am I paying you for?!”

I didn’t know you could pay Pokémon – aw, whatever…
Neither do I... lol! It would have also been funny if he had said "What the hell am I feeding and taking care of you for?!

Quote:
“Okay then! Welcome to the team, then!”
When I read that sentence, it didn't really sound too good to me for some reason. Maybe you could have either wrote it like: “Okay! Welcome to the team, then!” or “Okay then! Welcome to the team!”

Quote:
Lisa turned around and saw a huge purple mass headed right toward her at a high rate of speed.
Eeek! I can imagine how Lisa must have felt at that moment... If that had happened to me, I'd shriek and run out of that spot faster than a rocket! I do not like huge packs of rodents...

Well! So far, Lisa's adventure is getting to be really exciting! She had just started out on her journey, and already she has people who are out to kill her! This was a very action-packed chapter and you described it very well, especially the battles. Some of the events occur a little too suddenly, though. Example:

Quote:
The teen decided to step out to get some fresh air. This would turn out to be a mistake as two men in black jumpsuits and ski masks were waiting for her. One of them grabbed the girl and covered her mouth while the other pulled out a handgun.
You could have had her stay outside for a moment, breath some air, and suddenly see two men in black jumpsuits jump out from the bushes, etc. and grab Lisa. It seems better than having her step outside and suddenly be grabbed by men IMO.

Example 2:

Quote:
Lisa turned to take one last look at the town, when she noticed something gleaming hurtling right toward her.
Seemed a little too sudden for the first line of the chapter... Maybe you could have her turn around, walk for a few seconds, and then notice the gleaming object? Or, you could have done it this way also:

Quote:
Lisa turned to take one last look at the town. Just as she was about to turn around, she caught a glimpse of something gleaming hurling in her direction.

Overall, you did a really nice job with editing the chapter! Can't wait to see Chapter 2!
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  #28    
Old December 13th, 2007 (01:38 AM).
Elite Overlord LeSabre™'s Avatar
Elite Overlord LeSabre™ Elite Overlord LeSabre™ is offline
On that 'Non stop road'
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Quote originally posted by Haruka of Hoenn:
NOOOO! ANYTHING BUT THE STOCKINGS!!! XD
Caring for your stockings more than your own life? I'd never be up to do that myself... (Actually, the first thing I would say in that situation would be "Good thing that didn't hit me!" or something else like that.)
Actually, this is what she said first:
Quote:
“I’ve already got people trying to kill me! Why didn’t anyone say I would be putting my life in mortal danger?!” she yelled out as she hit the dirt.
Quote originally posted by Haruka of Hoenn:
Quote:
“Nimrod!” Tommy screamed as he called Houndour back into its holding device. “What the hell am I paying you for?!”

“I didn’t know you could pay Pokémon – aw, whatever…”
Neither do I... lol! It would have also been funny if he had said "What the hell am I feeding and taking care of you for?!
Just goes to show you how he treats his Pokemon- as employees who can be let go if their performance isn't up to par.

Quote originally posted by Haruka of Hoenn:
Quote:
“Okay then! Welcome to the team, then!”
When I read that sentence, it didn't really sound too good to me for some reason. Maybe you could have either wrote it like: “Okay! Welcome to the team, then!” or “Okay then! Welcome to the team!”
Oy, word repetition will be the death of me :/

Quote originally posted by Haruka of Hoenn:
You could have had her stay outside for a moment, breath some air, and suddenly see two men in black jumpsuits jump out from the bushes, etc. and grab Lisa. It seems better than having her step outside and suddenly be grabbed by men IMO.
Quote originally posted by Haruka of Hoenn:
Seemed a little too sudden for the first line of the chapter... Maybe you could have her turn around, walk for a few seconds, and then notice the gleaming object? Or, you could have done it this way also:
Quote:
Lisa turned to take one last look at the town. Just as she was about to turn around, she caught a glimpse of something gleaming hurling in her direction.
True, things do happen quickly... I suppose I wanted to make this a fast-paced chapter where this sort of stuff happens without warning.

Quote originally posted by Haruka of Hoenn:
Overall, you did a really nice job with editing the chapter! Can't wait to see Chapter 2!
Thanks, but that was chapter 2 Chapter 3 will be coming sometime...

Thanks for the advice, and I'll try to slow things down and add more detail. Guess I have to get out of my "things have to happen quickly" mode...
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  #29    
Old December 18th, 2007 (09:47 PM). Edited April 8th, 2008 by Elite Overlord LeSabre™.
Elite Overlord LeSabre™'s Avatar
Elite Overlord LeSabre™ Elite Overlord LeSabre™ is offline
On that 'Non stop road'
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Chapter 3 is finally up! Hopefully you'll enjoy it!

Chapter 3: A Life-Changing Lunch and Lisa's First Loss

Lisa walked to the restaurant ahead of the three enigmatic people. She didn't notice them finishing up a call on their cell phones. “Well, looks like Miss Northwood's background checks out,” whispered the red-haired man. “Should we tell her the situation?” He received a nod from his two companions.

Lisa and the three mysterious entities sat down at a booth inside Denny's. After ordering their food, the woman began to talk.

“We've conducted a background check on you and everything checks out, so I feel confident we can reveal this information to you. But first, please allow us to introduce ourselves. My name is Lorelei, highly regarded as the cool ice mistress. I was born on a remote island called Four Island, and until recently I trained in the Kanto Region.”

The man in black told her, “My name is Giovanni, from the Kanto Region, as well.”

The man in red was the last to speak up. “My name is Eldes, and I hail from the Orre region.”

Okay, but why are these three approaching me?” The girl looked around nervously. She tried to smooth out the wrinkles in her dress. She ran her hand through her hair, trying to get the dirt off it and get rid of some of the tangles. Her face turned red and she began to sweat.

The three of them flashed badges, seemingly ignoring Lisa’s obvious nervousness. They read, “Pokémon League Enforcement Team.” Eldes then explained. “All three of us are part of the Pokémon League's crack investigative group, commonly referred to as the Pokémon G-Men. Giovanni and I were both top officials in dangerous criminal organizations, but we have given up our evil ways. We are now working with the Pokémon League to repay our debts for the evil tasks we had orchestrated.”

And the League trusts you? Ah, I guess I'm not one to judge...

Lorelei added, “And I was once part of the Pokémon League Elite Four that served the Kanto and Johto regions. However, after a certain incident on my home island,” she said, glaring at Giovanni, “I decided that my position on the Elite Four was compromising my ability to keep my home island safe. The Pokémon League allowed me to give up my position as long as I served on the G-Men and found a suitable replacement for the Elite Four. I eventually found such a trainer. His name was Will. Weird dresser, but he's got major skills with Psychic Pokémon. Well, why don't you formally introduce yourself?”

“My name is Lisa Northwood. I'm fifteen and originally from Anderson, South Carolina. My parents recently took a business trip back to the States and sent me off to train Pokémon. I was set to receive my starter Pokémon when the lab was attacked. Fortunately, the thugs missed one Pokémon- my little Meowth, so I was given her as my starting Pokémon.” Lisa was softly petting her Meowth between bites of the rolls that were on the table.

With a distinct Italian accent, Giovanni spoke up, in a low-pitched yet commanding voice. “We were sent here to investigate the attack on Dr. Sequoia. With her being a Pokémon Ambassador, one who distributes Pokémon to starting trainers, this attack on her was top priority. Also she had been doing research on Shadow Pokémon. I better let Eldes explain that.”

Shadow Pokémon? What's that all about?” wondered the teenager. “Oh, wait, looks like this other guy is gonna explain.

The mysterious man in red talked in a low, solemn voice as he reflected on his past actions.. He was perhaps the most enigmatic of all “In the Orre region, a group called Cipher found a way to seal off a Pokémon’s heart and turn them into battle machines called Shadow Pokémon. Cipher had planned on using the Shadow Pokémon to take over the world. However, that would not come to pass. A young man captured back all of them, defeated Cipher, and restored their hearts. But then the second Cipher wave happened, and this is where I was involved, along with my brother and father. We had captured a legendary Pokémon, Lugia, and turned it into our “Shadow XD Project,” which we believed could not have its heart restored. But we were wrong.”

Lisa’s eyes grew wide. She had only been half paying attention, but this latest bit of information caught her interest. “Really? Sounds like y’all were involved in some really intense stuff. But closing a Pokémon’s heart sounds like a horribly cruel act.” With a hint of anger in her voice and on her face, she told Eldes, “I cannot believe that anyone would try something so despicable.”

Letting out a sigh, Eldes replied, “You are right, Lisa. I realized that fact too late… Anyway, like before, a young boy broke us up and restored the Pokémon, including the XD Lugia, before setting them all free. My father and I learned the errors of our ways, and turned ourselves in. I was given a chance to redeem myself by joining with the Pokémon League and helping them to stop others who have had similar goals of malice involving Pokémon. My brother still vowed never to give up the plan. I fear that the research on Shadow Pokémon was what those criminals were after, and that my brother is somehow involved.”

Giovanni then explained his past, and like Eldes seemed to look at his past actions with regret. “I am the former head of Team Rocket. In the past, it was a highly organized gang of criminals. Though most of our activities focused on making money and obtaining Pokémon illegally, our top scientists and I were involved in a most sinister plan to create the world’s most powerful Pokémon.”

Lisa looked intrigued. “Well, what became of that plan?”

Looking down at his plate, Giovanni answered, “The result was Mewtwo, a Pokémon of incredible power- too much for us to control. It escaped and destroyed our lab, and reportedly nobody has seen it since. And for the sake of everyone I hope nobody does. Anyway, the team was dismantled by a young trainer, and I took to training in secret until my conscience took over and I turned myself in. After serving some time, I was made an offer, like Eldes, to join the Pokémon League to battle against those who wish to use Pokémon for evil. It is something I should have done long ago… Oh, and let me warn you that on more than one occasion, some fools have tried to resurrect Team Rocket. All of these attempts have failed, and each “rebirth” of Team Rocket has been more feeble than the last. But rest assured that I have severed all ties with any group that calls itself Team Rocket.”

The food then arrived. While enjoying her burger and fries, Lisa continued to listen. Her Meowth, meanwhile, was grabbing for her food. “Aww, does my cute little kitty want a fry? Does she? There you go! Enjoy!”

“Meow meow!”

Meanwhile, Giovanni just finished a conversation on his phone. “That was the professor. She told us that she had sent the research documents to Fourtix University before the attacks and also that the only Pokémon that were stolen were starters and a few of her personal Pokémon.”

Lisa looked up, a bit puzzled. “Wait, she has Pokémon besides her own?”

Lorelei fielded this question. “Yes. As a Pokémon Ambassador, she also holds on to all Pokémon that belong to trainers that she gave out Pokémon to, whenever they're not in the trainer's party. They're kept at her ranch on the outskirts of Fort Barnes, where the criminals failed to strike. That's why I suspect that the Shadow Pokémon research was the real goal of the attack. Oh, and yes, if you ever get more than six Pokémon, they are automatically transported to Dr. Sequoia's ranch in your name. You will be able to swap out Pokémon at any Pokémon Center.”

Eldes finished up a chicken strip and started to speak. “Lisa, while the Pokemon League does not like to put new trainers in mortal danger, I fear that this time we have no choice, unless we take drastic actions that will change who you are. The organization that orchestrated the invasion apparently knows that you've had contact with the professor after the incident. And regardless of how much information Amy Sequoia might have told you, they believe that the knowledge you have threatens their operation, and so they will stop at nothing to eliminate you.”

“But she told me next to nothing!” the girl shrieked, eyes growing wide.

“Please keep your voice down. I understand that fact, but the criminals think that you do. Therefore, like it or not, you've been recruited to fight against these criminals. It isn't a matter of choice, but a matter of survival. I apologize that you've been dragged into this against your will, but it's too late to turn back now.”

The teenager visibly tensed up and began to quiver and sweat. “No way... NO WAY! This can't be happening! My parents - and I - thought that this would just be a fun little adventure... Now it's a fight for survival! I can't believe this! How did all this happen so fast!?

Giovanni continued, “If it is any consolation, the trainers who uprooted Team Rocket and Cipher were younger than you, so age shouldn't be a factor. With that said, I understand that it's still a dangerous situation, so you will have the assistance of the three of us if you need it. May I see your cell phone?”

“Sure,” she answered, handing the phone to the Italian gentleman. After working with the girl's phone for a few minutes, he handed it back to Lisa.

“Our numbers are registered in your phone, and yours in ours. If you need us, we will try to get to you as fast as we can, though obviously we can't show up immediately. With this said, are you up to taking on this challenge? Or would you prefer to cease training and enter our Witness Protection Program?”

I have the perfect chance to give up this training right here and now... but what would Meowth and Koffing think? And what would my parents think? ‘Oh, your daughter ran afoul of some terrorists and now she’s in hiding under some fake name?’ No, that ain’t gonna fly with them. They expect me to train Pokémon, but maybe there’s some way ...” Lisa put on a poker face. “Well, I really don’t want to commit to fighting a group of terrorists, but I would like to see I can somehow keep training but stay out of this whole mess,” she answered, even while wishing she wasn’t backed into this corner. Her fidgety hands would have told the story if they had not been concealed under the table.

Giovanni answered, “Fair enough, but please be aware that your chances of remaining incognito for very long are slim.”

“Yeah, but I can’t picture myself being put somewhere where I won’t be able to live my daily life. And I’m worried that if I do enter witness protection, my life as I know it will be no more.”

Lorelei spoke up. “That is understandable. Moving on, you are aware that, by virtue of receiving a starter Pokémon and Pokédex upgrade from Ambassador Sequoia, that you are officially inducted into the Pokémon League? There are ten Gyms throughout the region, and each will be vital to improving the skills of you and your Pokémon. We’ll be contacting each of the leaders, so you’ll have people you can turn to if you get in over your head.”

“Okay,” the girl mumbled, her eyes darting around the room to see if Tommy was in getting a meal. She was half hoping he was, just so her companions could go all Chuck Norris on him.

“The first gym is in Bluefield City, which is north of here, through Chromo Forest. It's also where Fourtix University is so you may want to check in there and make sure there isn't any sort of attack happening there. But now, we need to be heading to the lab. We will be in contact if anything comes up. Farewell.”

The three of them paid the food bill, then got up and left the restaurant and headed south. After finishing up her lemonade, Lisa sat back in the booth and began to take a nap. Despite trying to forget about Tommy and the other attackers, memories of them kept coming back into Lisa’s mind. Tossing and turning in the cramped booth, she soon attracted the attention of a waitress. “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but unless you’re going to place another order, I’ll have to ask you to leave.”

“I guess I’ll head out now,” she muttered as she groggily rose and stumbled out of the restaurant.

Reluctantly, Lisa headed out of the restaurant. Seeing nothing except modest residential houses and an apartment building, she decided to head on north with Meowth in tow. She had contemplated spending a few more hours in town, but figured that she better keep moving so she could hopefully make it to the next town by nightfall.

As she walked past two-story ranch after two-story ranch, Lisa began thinking about the whole deal with the criminals, and she had her doubts. “Why did I have to get involved in this mess? Why would three powerful trainers believe that I, being a mere rookie, would stand a chance? True, they did tell me that the trainers who broke up Cipher and Rocket were young like me, but still… Why should I even bother? It just doesn’t make sense… Maybe I should've taken them up on their offer to just quit... I wouldn't be risking life and limb that way...” With these thoughts firmly in her mind, Lisa and Meowth headed to the dirt path that led out of the small community. Before she could get out of town however, someone jumped out in front of her.

“What the…”

The burly man wore a red jumpsuit, his face obscured by a black hat. On his chest was a large white “T”. With a wicked smile on the lower part of hidden face, the man cackled. “I saw you talking to those three Pokémon League dimwits and I know you're working with them. That will NOT be tolerated, little missy. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Buster, part of the glorious Brotherhood of the Thrash, commonly known as Team Thrash. I don't know why people call us that though. It's not like we play basketball or anything...”

Thrash? Is that what this group is called? What a stupid name...” she mused. “Um... maybe it's because you guys operate as a group or, in other words, a TEAM?” Lisa replied with a sarcastic tone, just in case Buster couldn’t take the hint.

“Hmm, maybe that's why. But, Brotherhood does sound a lot cooler... Bah! Enough of this! I’m going to nip this little problem in the bud!”

Buster then threw a black sphere at Lisa’s Meowth. The ball opened in midair, and red energy beams emerged from it, striking Meowth with powerful blasts of energy. The suffering feline began to cry out in pain.

“No! What do you think you’re doing?!” Lisa shouted out, concerned for Meowth’s safety. “What's that thing doing to her?!

“What I’m doing, little girl, is destroying your Pokémon so you have no chance to stand against us!” Buster proclaimed, smirking as he placed his hands on his hips.

How dare you do that to Meowth! She had nothing to do with this! Grrr... I just can't stand here doing nothing...” The girl then pulled out a Pokéball, shouting, “I won’t let you! Koffing, go! Use Sludge on that device!” Lisa quickly sent out her levitating gaseous Pokémon, who quickly hit the sinister ball with thick purple slime. The machine stopped emanating its red beams, and Meowth fell to the ground.

“Meowth! are you okay? Let me help you!” Worried, Lisa ran over to her injured Pokémon and quickly used the last of the healing potions she had received on it. Meowth sprang to her feet, but had dropped the “cute kitten” image. It now glared at Buster with a look of sheer hatred in its eyes. But the criminal matched Meowth with a look of equal rage directed at Lisa.

“How dare you! That energy-sapping device was a lab prototype! I’ll get majorly chewed out… unless I eliminate you and redeem myself! Growlithe and Mankey, attack! Destroy her!”

One of his Pokémon was a canine Pokémon, but this one was different from Tommy’s Houndour. Orange fur covered most of this creature’s body, with white tufts on the tail and on the muzzle. The little dog barked ferociously and bared its teeth, with its tail rapidly moving back and forth.

The other creature was monkey-like in looks and movement, jumping about violently. Its off-white fur was apparently hiding its mouth, as only its eyes and a pig-like snout were visible. Growing angry, the Pokémon began shaking its fists and jumping around even more frantically.

Now I'll make you pay!” the teenager thought. “Finally we get to battle! Meowth, Koffing, you're up! Now you’ve made me mad, pal! Okay, guys, let's use Sludge and Scratch, both on Mankey!”

Mankey leapt up to avoid Meowth's claws but a purple blob of sludge hit it from above, knocking it back to earth. There, Meowth got in a few strikes before Growlithe fired small embers from its mouth, making contact with her. The cat retreated a bit but then bared her claws again.

Lisa then remembered something from Koffing's Pokédex description, about how the gases could ignite and trigger an explosion. “Let's try a little spontaneous combustion!

Buster laughed. “Ain't you gonna strike? Growlithe, use Ember again! Trigger them to come at us!”

Growlithe began to gather flames at its mouth.

“Koffing, Smog now!” After issuing this command, Lisa hung back and waited for the pyrotechnics.

The gaseous purple Pokémon released a cloud of purple gas right at Growlithe. The instant it touched the flames, a huge cloud of black smoke emerged and both Growlithe and Mankey went flying.

Both of Lisa's Pokémon were far enough away that they only felt a little force on them and were able to stand their ground. Mankey landed hard on a rock and appeared incapacitated. Buster held up Mankey’s Pokéball and called it back, bellowing out something unintelligible.

“Now that’s what I call an explosive development!”

Growlithe landed in some bushes, then burned a hole through them and emerged. It was panting heavily, but had a look of anger and determination on its furry face. Flames dripped from its mouth like drool.

“Ember again, and finish them both off!”

“How stupid can this guy be? Another Smog, then after the explosion, Meowth, give it a Scratch if it hasn't gone down!”

Once again, the mix of fire and putrid gas triggered a big explosion, but somehow Growlithe managed to withstand it.

“Okay Meowth, finish it!”

As Growlithe struggled to its feet, Meowth rushed in and with a few well-placed swipes of her claws managed to knock Growlithe out. The Thrash agent recalled both Pokémon. “Hear me well, little girl! You have not heard the last of us!” Then he ran off toward a dark, mysterious forest that loomed on the horizon.

Lisa called back to him, “And I'll be waiting!”

The girl then turned her attention to her Pokémon. “That was great work, guys. Although I have a feeling this Thrash group may be behind the lab attack, so I better keep an eye on them. Koffing, return!” After summoning Koffing back into his Pokéball, Lisa continued north out of town, passing by a rusted out old route marker that read “502.” Leaning against the sign, she looked for any sort of bench or table where she could rest up. Seeing nothing of the sort, she sulked and threw her hands up in anger.

“It’s like they make no effort to make these routes user-friendly! I mean, come ON!”

Grudgingly continuing her long hike, thoughts of the recent ambushes flowed into her mind. Her face was visibly contorting into an angry expression just thinking about the group. Lisa had an answer to one of her questions, and that made the other two questions moot. She now had a reason to battle the Thrash organization. They had tried to hurt her Pokémon one too many times, and there would be no forgiving that.

Lisa continued to walk the dirt path toward the foreboding forest entrance, just a short distance away, when suddenly, a small brown bird dove in and snatched her hat. Flapping its tiny wings to gain altitude, the feathered creature's flight was slowed by the extra weight of the hat.

“What in the heck was that?” Lisa jumped up in surprise. “That hat had been a gift from her best friend before she moved out to Phoenix. Lisa had always thought it looked cute on her. Getting down to business, the girl commanded, “Meowth, jump up and Scratch it! Help me get my hat back!”

Meowth used her speed to leap high into the air, then descended on the thieving Pokémon with her claws extended. The surprised bird dropped the white wide-brimmed hat, and Lisa quickly ran over to pick it up and put it back on. “Now that THAT'S settled, I suppose I better find out more about this birdie...” The girl activated her Pokédex. “Pidgey, the Tiny Bird Pokémon. Pidgey are typically docile and would rather not fight.”

Pidgey landed and began cooing at Lisa and Meowth angrily.

“Guess this one does wants a fight, though. Not everybody fits the mold, I suppose…” Lisa said as both Pidgey and Meowth stared each other down.

“Okay, I think we'll start by weakening it with a Scratch attack. If we target the wings, we may be able to ground the bird and keep it from taking to the skies. Let's go!”

The brown bird Pokémon attempted to take flight, but Meowth was able to leap up, then slam Pidgey's wings with her sharp claws. Pidgey landed, then countered by whipping up a blinding cloud of sand. Meowth used her tail to gain height and jump over the sand, finally landing with several quick swipes at Pidgey. The nimble cat then landed aside.

Suddenly, Pidgey started to glow a bright white. The trainer could visibly see it change form. When the glow wore off, the bird had grown in size and changed in appearance, now sporting a plume of red feathers atop its head, not to mention a more confident look in its black eyes.

Oh, snap...” Lisa used her Pokédex to identify the newly evolved Pokémon. “Pidgeotto, the Bird Pokémon. Pidgeotto are not only more powerful than their less-evolved form, they are more aggressive as well.”

Well, this ain’t good…” Trying to hide her doubts, the girl put on a façade of confidence and shouted, “Don't back down, it may have evolved but we can still take it on. Use a Growl to weaken it first, then go for another Scratch to the wings!”

The little cat let out a surprising loud growl, which seemed to disturb the Pidgeotto. While it was reeling, Meowth jumped in the fray and delivered a hard Scratch strike to the bird's wings. At this time, Lisa observed that the scratches and opened wounds that the bird had sustained before evolution had carried over to its current form. “Well, at least we're not starting from scratch...” She then called out, “Okay, we'll use another Scratch on it and maybe that'll do the trick!”

This time, however, the Pidgeotto flew right at Meowth for a high speed Tackle. Both Scratch and Tackle struck the other Pokémon and both combatants were sent flying off. Both Pokémon looked severely weakened.

“It’s go time!” Lisa pulled out one of her Pokéballs and threw it at the injured bird. The Pidgeotto was drawn into the Pokéball with a flash of red energy, then the red and white orb landed on the ground. It wobbled for a few seconds, but it seemed like hours. Finally the ball clicked shut, emitting a low tone confirming the capture.

“Yes! I caught Pidgeotto!”

“Meowth meow meow!”

Lisa walked through a small building and entered a dark forest. The trees branched out so far it was nearly impossible to see the sky above the green foliage. The dirt path was almost completely overrun with weeds and grass.

“Great. Doesn't the DOT do highway maintenance around here?” The girl threw her hands up in exasperation and dread. She figured that this dark, dense forest probably had more than its fair share of surprises.

“I better let Pidgeotto and Meowth rest for now...”

Suddenly she felt something crawl up her leg.

“Eeew! Get off me!” She shook off a yellow worm Pokémon with a large red nose. The tiny white stinger was aimed threateningly at Lisa, though the insect's vacant black eyes showed no indication of its disposition.

“Weedle, the Hairy Bug Pokémon: Weedle uses its stinger to defend against predators. It contains a strong poison.”

Lisa looked down then saw something she did not want to see at this point. “Gah! You lousy bug! You put a run in my pantyhose! I really liked this pair! Now you'll pay!” Grabbing her Pokéball, the girl said, “Sorry, I was gonna let you rest, but I need your help! Pidgeotto, go!”

Lisa released her newly caught bird Pokémon. “Use Sand-Attack so it can't aim its stinger at you!”

The brown Pokémon eyed the girl carefully, in particular focusing on her hat. It took a flurry of needles whizzing past to snap it back to reality.

Pidgeotto landed and used its wings on the dirt to blow up a large cloud of sand directly at Weedle. The bug Pokémon hurled itself stinger-first but missed and hit a rock, its pointed stinger caught in a crack in the gray stone.

“Now, hit it with Gust while it's immobilized!”

Weedle could make no move to avoid the blowing tornado. It instead managed to take the attack. In a fit of desperation, it fired some white silk out of its rear at Pidgeotto.

“Fly up to dodge it then use Gust for the final KO!”

Again staring quizzically at its trainer, the bird didn’t notice the incoming String Shot until the last minute. However, the agile Pidgeotto easily gained enough altitude to avoid the attack then delivered a final Gust to incapacitate the bug Pokémon.

Oh, yeah! Lisa Northwood the exterminator racks up another win for cute outfits everywhere!” Lisa recalled Pidgeotto then watched the Weedle retreat back into the high grass with its remaining strength. “That's what you get for trying to mess with a girl's outfit!”

Pidgeotto landed and began to coo at its new trainer, looking expectantly at the white hat atop her head.

Bending down, Lisa commented, “Wow, you must really like this hat, huh? Maybe later I’ll let you try it on…”

Just then another girl appeared from the grass. She had long blond hair and was wearing a red blouse and a black skirt. She was quite a bit taller than Lisa. “Hmm, I wonder what this girl wants?

“I saw your battles earlier, and I must say I'm impressed. My name is Alexis and I live here in this forest.”

“My name is Lisa and I just started training my Pokémon after I left Fort Barnes.”

“So you got a Pokémon from Professor Sequoia! So did I! I was wondering if you would battle with me using only our starting Pokémon.”

“Sure. I'll lead off with my Meowth,” Lisa said as she recalled Pidgeotto.

“Let me introduce you to my Squirtle! Go!”

Lisa looked at the little blue turtle and activated her Pokédex. “Squirtle, the Tiny Turtle Pokémon. Squirtle prefers defense, often retreating into its shell before launching powerful blasts of water.”

The reptilian creature rubbed its round head with its stubby left hand while staring at Meowth with its big brown eyes. A small curled tail stuck out from beneath its small brown shell.

That shell could be a problem... Meowth's claws probably can't penetrate that,” the teen realized. “Okay, we must hit it before it retreats into its shell. Quickly, use several Scratches on it!”

Meowth was able to hit Squirtle a few times with its claws before the small Water-type ducked into its shell. The cat looked at her trainer expectantly, but both were baffled as to how to penetrate the turtle’s protective covering.

“Water Gun now!” shouted Alexis at the small brown shell that held her Pokémon.

Squirtle then used a shot of water to force Meowth off it. Meowth went flying into a tree. Bouncing off, the cat stumbled a bit before shaking her head to regain her balance.

Ouch! I hope she's okay!” the girl grimaced as she watched the attack hit her Pokémon.

Before she could recover, Squirtle blasted its opponent with more water before shrinking back into its hard, protective armor.

Grrr... As long as it remains inside that shell, I can't do a thing about it...Unless I try to chip away at its strength slowly...” Finally coming up with a plan “Okay, go in for another Scratch!”

Meowth jumped on top of the shell and continued to scratch away at it. Squirtle once again used Water Gun to force Meowth off it. However, this move also forced the shelled Pokémon out of hiding. Meowth took advantage, rushing in and swiping at her enemy. A swift punch to the face ended her assault. Both Pokémon were breathing heavily, both becoming exhausted.

“Next attack will settle it! Use Scratch!” Lisa commanded.

“Now use Water Pulse!” Alexis yelled.

The small turtle released a long, continuous stream of water, with ripples of energy running through it. The powerful long range attack hit Meowth before she could strike, causing the cat Pokémon to fall to the ground out of exhaustion.

I... I lost...?

“Oh, no!” Lisa cried, running over to her fallen partner. Lisa dropped to her knees and started to cry. “I… I can’t believe I lost… I’m so stupid! I’m pathetic… I can’t do this…” she whimpered. Lisa, with her head buried in her dress sobbing uncontrollably, was a sad sight indeed.

How could this happen? I... I never lost at anything... I... I failed... I'm useless... I... I'm sorry... Meowth...

After about a minute she realized that Alexis was still there. “No!” Lisa thought to herself, “She probably thinks I’m the world’s biggest idiot for breaking down like that!” Attempting to save face, Lisa then stood up and turned to the girl that had beaten her, still fighting back tears.

“Wow, you just creamed me! You must be really good! Though you probably think I’m some sort of crybaby…”

“No, not at all. And you were pretty good, too. If you were just a bit faster, you would have had me. But, Lisa, you do realize that everyone loses sometimes, don’t you? It’s a fact of Pokémon training that someone’s going to defeat you. It’s hard to swallow at first, but you have to get used to it and accept that fact. Sorry if that sounded like a lecture, but I don’t want you getting hurt and embarrassed later on. You seem like a pretty nice person. Why don't you come to my place and rest up?”

Lisa took a moment to think. “There's something about this girl Alexis. Even in victory, she didn’t get up in my face and brag about it. In fact, she went out of her way to help me feel better about losing. I can tell she’s a really nice person. Of course, losing till feels like crud, but…” Lisa then realized that she still hadn’t answered Alexis. “Crud, I've gotta say something!

“Oh… Okay, sounds good,” she stammered quietly.

The two girls walked back to Alexis' house, Lisa carrying her injured Meowth, still holding back tears. “I'm sorry for battling you so hard... Don't worry, we'll get you healed soon...”
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  #30    
Old December 19th, 2007 (06:26 PM).
Lash Lash is offline
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If I must say, bam. That chapter was awesome. I was hanging off the edge of my seat while reading it D: My favorite part was the Pidgeotto battle/capture sequence. It was awesome.

One thing did manage to capture my attention. When Buster sent out Mankey and Growlithe, the image I got was the two Pokemon coming out of no where, since I didn't read anything about them coming out of a Pokéball.

Other than that, I saw nothing else wrong- From my view anyways. Keep up the great work. I really like this fanfic!
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  #31    
Old December 21st, 2007 (06:32 AM). Edited January 5th, 2008 by Alter Ego.
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Alter Ego Alter Ego is offline
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Ah-hah! Thought you had escaped me, did ya'? DID YA'? Well, no dice; I've come to review once more. x3 First off, chapter two:

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Lisa turned to take one last look at the town, when she noticed something gleaming hurtling right toward her. She had to dive into the grass, just barely avoiding a tire iron flying past. “I’ve already got people trying to kill me! Why didn’t anyone say I would be putting my life in mortal danger?!” she yelled out as she hit the dirt.
Umm...no offense, but this seems very verbose for an initial reaction. I mean, she's been an inch away from being hit by a tire iron, sure, but rather than holding a small speech about it, wouldn't she be more interested in finding out where it came from? This just...well, it just doesn't look like a natural reaction to me. I mean, if someone threw a tire iron at you, would your first exclamation be something like "I've already got people trying to kill me...blah, blah, blah" or closer to "What the *insert explicative here*?!"? Erm...yeah, I'm really rambling here, aren't I? Point is that I think she could use a more compact way to express her indignation. x3

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
She got up, picked her hat off the ground and put it back on. Dusting herself off, she took a look at her legs. “Good. At least I didn’t rip my stockings.”
Talks to herself a lot, does she? xD Well, this looks more natural in terms of length, and...I suppose worrying more about her stockings than her personal health is part of who she is, huh? x3

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
How is he free again?

Tommy spoke up. “So we meet again, little missy. You’re probably wondering how I’m free. Let me just say that those stupid parole hearing board members are easily bribed and/or intimidated. And now, it is time you repaid some debts that your parents were responsible for. I’ve been stalking you, and I hear you’re starting on a Pokémon journey. Well now, I couldn’t just let you do that, now could I? Since Mommy and Daddy can’t save you, I think I’ll have fun tearing you apart!”

Shaking, sweating, and wide-eyed, Lisa took a step back from her attacker. “He’s been stalking me?! And nobody even noticed?! Man, I am gonna regret this!
Okay, a number of things here. First off, something her smells of needless repetition. I mean sure, it's plausible that Tommy would guess what Lisa is wondering, but do you really need to quote both the thought and the "You're probably wondering"? You've got a similar thing with the "I've been stalking you"/"He's been stalking me?!" bit. Having one character's words essentially echoing what the other has just concluded just feels so redundant. >.< I'd say don't quote Lisa's first thought her directly but add a comment after the words to signify that Lisa had been thinking something along those lines herself. To illustrate my poor explanation with a poor example:

Quote originally posted by Crappy example of doom:
Before Lisa could pose the inevitable question, the parolee forestalled her, “You’re probably wondering how I’m free. Let me just say that those stupid parole hearing board members are easily bribed and/or intimidated.
See what I mean? It essentially covers the same information content but in different ways. (Though of course you'd want a more graceful formulation than my slapdash job here) I'm also not too fond of the slash in the middle of a quotation. I mean, if it's in writing sure, but in what's supposed to be speech it just seems weird. At least type it out as 'slash' rather than '/'. On the stalking front...well, here's another thing that struck me, actually: how many stalkers call anything they do stalking? It goes against human nature to apply such a negative term to yourself, I should think that something like "watching" or "observing" would be a more natural choice. That way Lisa's "he's been stalking me?!" would be more than just an echo of what the guy already said. (Because honestly, it's making her look just a bit...slow, for lack of a better word)

There's a number of other odd things with this guy too. First off, his method of attack. If he just wants to go for the kill then why didn't he walk up to her and then smack her down with the tire iron from behind instead of throwing it? Better yet, why didn't he just bring a gun? Throwing away your only weapon so you'll have to rush over to collect it again just doesn't make sense; even murderous loonies know enough to hold onto their weapons.

In the second scenario: if he wanted to toy with her, why make his presence known without being properly prepared? I mean, this guy has been plotting revenge in jail for fifteen years and stalking Lisa for goodness knows how long; it makes no sense for him to just toss away his biggest advantage (the fact that she doesn't expect him) on a slapdash ambush like this. Having an obsessive stalker for a rival character has potential, but not if he's limited to "Hi, I'm a stalker. Let's battle.". Long-term plotting the likes of which I'm lead to believe that he's engaged in would indicate that he's capable of keeping a low profile until he manages to set up the right time and place for an attack.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
His weapon had landed near Meowth. The old man ran over to retrieve it. Tommy raised the heavy tire iron above Meowth, preparing to smash her head in. “NO!” Lisa tackled Tommy before he could strike her Pokémon, and the both of them hit the dirt. Once again the tire iron flew out of the aggressor’s grasp. “You’re not hurting my Pokémon! She had nothing to do with you!”
I have to wonder, what the heck was she doing when Tommy bent over to pick up the iron? You'd think that that would be an optimal time to kick him in the balls and run for it. I also don't see why Tommy would go for Meowth first. I mean, by all counts his primary goal here should be Lisa; I can't see someone this...obsessive just going for "Hey, I'll kill the cat first. Animal cruelty is fun.". If Meowth made some kind of move to interfere with his plans, tried to scratch him when picking up the iron or made a move to protect Lisa or something, then I could see him swinging at her for interfering. If Lisa had given some kind of indication of being very attached to Meowth I could see him threatening the pokémon to get to her ("Do as I say or the kitty gets it"), but like this? I'm not convinced. :\

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Furious, Tommy threw Lisa off of him then rose to his feet and dusted himself off.
So the raging madman has just been tackled to the ground and his target is fighting back, so the first order of business after getting up is...dusting himself off? I didn't really picture Tommy as this appearance-centric before. o.O

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Jeez… I think I’m in way over my head here…” Staring down her elderly nemesis and both his Pokémon with an angry glare, she yelled out, “Grrr… Two against one isn’t fair! Do you have no honor?”
Because when we're dealing with a guy who has already committed insurance fraud, kidnapping and extortion and has recently been stalking a teenage girl with the intent of clobbering her with a tire iron, appealing to his inherent sense of honor is obviously the best way to go. Seriously, if Lisa is as smart as she's made out to be in chapter one, why does she waste her energy on stuff like this? You'd think that she'd at least come up with something a bit...smarter. You know, something that would actually provoke some kind of reaction other than glee from her and possibly create an opening for escape or attack?

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“All’s fair in love, war, and revenge, sis. And I think the last two apply equally here. Wahahahaha!”
And we have the evil villain laugh, oh dear...sort of weird how Lisa's suddenly shifted from "little miss" to "sis". o.O

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Not another hard hit!” the worried girl cried, tugging at the lace trim that adorned the bottom of her dress. “Meowth, are you okay?!”

“In a few seconds, it won’t be!” her adversary proclaimed, his hands on his hips.
And the dirty fighter is just standing there? You'd think that with his opponent's pokémon down, this would be the perfect time to grab that iron and go for the trainer. I also find it odd why he's just letting Meowth lie there and regain her strength. At the very least, I'd expect this guy to be the type who kicks an opponent when they're down.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“I can’t take both of these Pokémon on at once… I’m gonna need some serious help… Meowth, try Scratching the Houndour again, but this time watch out for Oddish, too! I know you're hurting, but this guy's a bad seed and we can't lose to him!” Lisa was breathing heavily. “Could this be the end of me? If Meowth fainted, Tommy would not hesitate to bludgeon the both of us."
Umm...given that she's thinking it, shouldn't the underlined bit be in present tense? (If "Meowth faints,...blah blah blah". I really don't see a need to quote her thoughts here, though; you could just make it a line about how she's worried about the situation or whatever and then have the "if Meowth fainted" bit like it is now but without the quotes.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
A round purple Pokémon, floating a couple feet off the ground, suddenly launched a blob of poisonous slime at Oddish. The purple goop knocked Oddish to the ground, allowing Meowth to land a strike on Houndour. Lisa activated her Pokédex. The newcomer wore a smile on its face and a “skull and crossbones” symbol on the lower part of its body. Its spherical form was laced with numerous crater-like openings, which loosed puffs of gray smoke at regular intervals.
I really don't see why you've got skull and crossbones in quotes. Also, the whole "purple pokémon" thing at the beginning just seems sort of...odd. I mean, this is supposed to be a surprise attack, right? So the first thing that people would notice would be the sludge striking Oddish; the source of the attack would come later as they turn to see where the heck that thing came from.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Koffing, huh? Are you here to help me?”

“Koff!”
Talk about deus ex machina. I hope there's some kind of explanation for a random wild pokémon sticking up for a trainer when the natural thing would be to stay away from such a dangerous situation? An explanation other than, "she needed a hand"? I also can't see a wild pokémon being used to being ordered around just like that. Wanting to help is one thing; becoming a random servant of total comprehension and obedience is another. You'd think it would just...you know, do whatever? xD I mean, if it's a pokémon who used to have a trainer or something (and thus knows the drill) then it would make sense, but as it is...it's sort of making Lisa look like a Sue for her magical pokémon taming skills. :\

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Meowth was continuing her tactic of quickly jumping in for Scratch strikes then jumping away before Houndour could inflict serious damage. A few errant Embers still hit her, but it was clear the tables had turned. Then Meowth went in for the final strike, swiping at Houndour several times with her claws until her canine foe collapsed out of exhaustion.

Looks like the tables are finally beginning to turn…
Once more, Lisa's thoughts and another part of the narration create an echo effect. That metaphor isn't so awesome as to bear an encore like this.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
The old man withdrew his Pokémon, then picked up the tire iron, muttering, “I’m surrounded by idiot Pokémon…” Then he turned his focus on Lisa, with a look of pure hatred. “You may have beaten my Pokémon, but I will inform my son about you. Once I tell him about you, he'll be happy to destroy you in battle. On second thought, why don't I save him the trouble and just bash your face in now...”

Suddenly, he turned tail and ran into the bushes, just out of sight of a passing Ford Crown Victoria. The person in the car pulled up next to Lisa and rolled down the window.

“Hello, there, I am Officer Perkins. Is everything okay?”

“Sort of. My name's Lisa Northwood. I just started my Pokémon journey but got ambushed by this guy I knew from before. He tried to fight me two on one. Fortunately, this Koffing came to help me out,” she answered. “I’d really like to have him pick up that Tommy, but since there’s no evidence he actually did something illegal…”
I'm sort of missing the human aspect here...I mean, what's going through Lisa's mind when Tommy raises the iron, only to turn tail and run? What about the arrival of the officer? What's she feeling? Surprise? Relief? Gratitude towards the lucky stars that seem to be throwing all these strokes of good luck her way? I was sort of missing the same throughout the battle. With the exception of a few quotations and mannerisms here and there, there's really nothing on her at all. She also seems a bit too...adjusted to the situation. I mean, it's her first pokémon battle ever and the lives of both her and her pokémon are at stake here yet she really seems to have no inhibitions at all. She also has no issue with sending her very much wounded Meowth (whom, we are led to believe, she's supposed to care about) straight into the fray, burns in tow. Considering her initial reaction to Tommy's appearance, she has regained her composure way too quickly imo.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Here, give both Pokémon these Potions. I was investigating the attack on Professor Sequoia's lab but I just got word that the Pokémon League is sending some people of their own in to investigate so I was instructed to pull out. You take care and try not to get yourself in too deep.”
Wow, who asked for this guy's life story? A simple response and the next thing you know he's blabbering out his whole assignment to a random civilian. This just doesn't seem very professional. I'm also slightly surprised that Lisa -- who, earlier on, complained about the prospect of traveling on foot and has now just barely made it through an ambush from a lunatic who wants her dead and is still out there -- doesn't even try asking for a ride. Sure, it's a big, official policeman and all, but given the situation it seems weird to let the only safeguard against the loony just speed off when you know that said loony could still be skulking around the bushes, ready to smash you over head with a tire iron when you least expect it. :\

“Thanks for your help. Bye!”

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Okay then! Welcome to the team, then!” Lisa took out a Pokéball and placed it in front of Koffing. With a flash of red light, Koffing disappeared into the Pokéball.
Yeah, the wrong here is the double 'then's. One of those is all you need here.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Looks like I have no choice but to battle…” She activated her Pokédex. “Rattata, the rat Pokémon. Rattata travel in large groups and feed off anything they can find.” The Rattata charged in at Lisa and if not for her quick movement would have taken a bite out of her foot.
Okay...please, pretty please don't tell me that she's going to keep doing this with every pokémon she runs across? This approach didn't work for Satoshi either, you know. T_T

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Meowth charged at the small purple Pokémon but the target quickly jumped aside. Rattata turned to taunt Meowth but it gave the little cat enough time to deliver a hard claw strike. Rattata retaliated by tackling Meowth full force with its small body, knocking the cat Pokémon aside. Meowth quickly got back up and growled at the Rattata.
Too much pokémon names in a row. Try rephrasing this somehow to avoid the repetitiveness. :3

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Meowth returned to her Luxury Ball and Lisa started to run. Well, she ran as fast as a girl in a dress and heels could run, which wasn’t all that fast. Panting heavily, she ignored the pain in her feet. She continued looking back and saw the group of Rattata approach her. Just then she spotted a building with a red roof and quickly ducked inside seconds before she would have been ambushed. Lisa stood inside the door, panting heavily. “Geez, I’m gonna get killed out there!”
Repetitiveness again. You've got a bad habit with these, really.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Lisa began to think about her chance encounter with the Koffing, and why it was hanging out near Fort Barnes. “It didn’t seem like the normal area for wild Koffing to hang out, and if it was owned by someone else, wouldn’t it have waited around for its trainer?

The teen decided to step out to get some fresh air. This would turn out to be a mistake as two men in black jumpsuits and ski masks were waiting for her. One of them grabbed the girl and covered her mouth while the other pulled out a handgun.
This just seems like a really sudden leap in subject. I mean, first she's going through what I think (though given the lack of emotional description I can't be sure) is relief over having made it to Chromo Town, and the next thing you know she's speculating about the Koffing and then she just randomly decides on a walk. I think some kind of bridge -- for lack of a better word -- between the subjects is in order here. Given what happened, she could sort of be calming down after her wild dash and finding some place to sit to satiate her aching feet. I mean, after running like heck, in high heels no less, is a walk the first need you experience? Really? Then she could sort of go over how lucky she was to have made it through the ordeal, and BAM! That's when the weirdness of Koffing's intervention strikes her. Then the walk...well, if walking helps clear her head the need to figure out the Koffing mystery would create motivation for it, no?

See what I mean about bridges? Most people's thought processes don't just randomly skip from one subject to the other; they...well, more like flow from one subject to the other through more or less obvious connections and I think it's the lack of these connections that makes this look odd to me. But yeah, I'm still weirded out about the walk. After what she's just been through, you'd think that going outside without her pokémon for backup would be the last thing on her mind.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Fine then!” the man holding Lisa spat. “Let’s show these losers who they’re dealing with!” Throwing the teenager to the ground, he took out a gun and approached the mysterious trio along with his partner.
So yeah, we're going to fight...so the obvious first move is to throw away the hostage/human shield. Again, this behavior is counter-intuitive. Wouldn't placing a gun against Lisa's head and using her to navigate a path out of the situation be the first thing a vicious thug would do in a situation like this?

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Um...yes, yes I am...” Lisa stammered, a bit intimidated by the young woman. She had an air of elegance and power about her as she stood nearly erect, arms folded across her chest.
Finally some emotion on Lisa's part. Considering that two people (even people who tried to abduct/hurt her) have been beaten to a pulp in front of her eyes, I find it odd that Lorelei's appearance is the only thing she's intimidated by, though. If that was me, I'd be just a bit worried about the two men who kick people's asses in such a carefree fashion. :\


General impression of this chapter: not enough of the human aspect. Lisa is plunged into no less than three life or death situations yet emotional description (the likes of which I'd like to see a lot of) is very scarce. You'd also think that someone who's used to a fairly sheltered, upper class lifestyle would not be so adjusted to stuff like this. Where is the fatigue? Where are the bodily complaints (aside from the occasional mention of her feet)? Where's the fear? Where's the shock? Are you seriously telling me that a run-in with an obsessive psycho who's still after her hasn't shaken Lisa up even a teensy-weensy bit? I'd also like to see her being a bit more unaccustomed to this type of traveling (like she's made out to be in the first chapter). You'd think that after such an ordeal, the first thing on a spoiled rich kid's mind would be to go take a shower and do something about those sweaty, dirtied clothes, yet they don't even get a mention here (beyond Lisa's caring for her stockings).

I dunno', the combination of dumb villains and pokémon who have exhibited very little personality beyond the 'defiant underdog fighter' and 'pokémon happy to help/join' stereotypes just brings back memories of the pokémon anime that I'd rather forget about. It shouldn't be anything that a few changes to behavior and a healthy dose of emotional description couldn't cure, though. Oh, and a bit more description of the environment would be nice. I really have no mental image of the lovably scenic Chromo Town and only a vague grasp of what the wilderness Lisa is traveling through looks like, and that's sort of off-putting, especially standing next to the meticulously detailed descriptions that most characters receive.

So yeah, that's about it for the criticism on this chapter. Sorry for the heap of negatives, but I've been very sensitive to that stuff today. Good call on adding Koffing to the team, though. It's a lovely pokémon who rarely gets any fanfic spotlight. I take it, Lisa's wondering about the Koffing's appearance also means that you have an explanation for the pokémon being so obedient? If that's the case, that's one worry off my chest. :3

Okay, finally got my keyboard recharged. Chapter three comments, go!

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Lisa and the three mysterious entities sat down at a booth inside Denny's. After ordering their food, the woman began to speak up.
"Began to speak up" just seems needlessly complicated. Just say that she "spoke up".

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
The man in black replied, “My name is Giovanni, from the Kanto Region, as well.”
'Replied' implies that he was addressed and posed a question of some sort, but right now that isn't the case. Please reword that.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
The man in red was the last to speak up. “My name is Eldes, and I hail from the Orre region.”
This 'speak up' is a bit too close to the one associated with Lorelei. I'm also a bit concerned by the fact that these three are near-identical in terms of speech patterns. (Particularly Eldes and Giovanni). Maybe make the difference between them a bit clearer?

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Okay, but why are these three approaching me?

The three of them then flashed badges. They read, “Pokémon League Enforcement Team.” Eldes then explained. “All three of us are part of the Pokémon League's crack investigative group, commonly referred to as the Pokémon G-Men. Giovanni and I were both top officials in dangerous criminal organizations, but we have given up our evil ways. We are now working with the Pokémon League to repay our debts for the evil tasks we had orchestrated.”
So she's just realized that she's having dinner with a member of the elite four and two criminal masterminds and that is the only thing that crosses her mind? And she's completely buying into that even before the badges are brought out? Again, more on her mental and emotional processes, please. She seems to be accepting some very bizarre turns of events very easily. It's also odd that, in such esteemed company, she's not getting even the least bit self-conscious. I mean how presentable are you after running through the fields and being tossed to the ground? And with not even having taken a shower or change of clothes after it? o.O

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Lorelei added, “And I was once part of the Pokémon League Elite Four that served the Kanto and Johto regions. However, after a certain incident on my home island,” she said, glaring at Giovanni, “I decided that my position on the Elite Four was compromising my ability to keep my home island safe. The Pokémon League allowed me to give up my position as long as I served on the G-Men and found a suitable replacement for the Elite Four. I eventually found such a trainer. His name was Will. Weird dresser, but he's got major skills with Psychic Pokémon. Well, why don't you formally introduce yourself?”
The 'she said' there is not really necessary. I think just saying "she glared at Giovanni" would do. We already know that she's saying these things.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“My name is Lisa Northwood. I'm fifteen and originally from Anderson, South Carolina. My parents recently took a business trip back to the States and sent me off to train Pokémon. I was set to receive my starter Pokémon when the lab was attacked. Fortunately, the thugs missed one Pokémon- my little Meowth, so I was given her as my starting Pokémon.” Lisa was softly petting her Meowth between bites of the rolls that were on the table.
Again, I'm missing the emotion. You'd think that she'd at least take a moment to think about how she should introduce herself (and maybe give a word or two about the whole running two companies bit? I mean, this is a big introduction to very important people, shouldn't she be flaunting her credentials around a little? x3)

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
In a low-pitched yet commanding voice, Giovanni spoke up, with a distinct Italian accent. “We were sent here to investigate the attack on Dr. Sequoia. With her being a Pokémon Ambassador, one who distributes Pokémon to starting trainers, this attack on her was top priority. Also she had been doing research on Shadow Pokémon. I better let Eldes explain that.”
Wouldn't the accent and tone of his voice be the first thing Lisa notes? This would have been good at the time he first spoke up; here it looks a little lost.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Shadow Pokémon? What's that all about?” wondered the teenager.
This is so...well, disconnected. If she wants to know, shouldn't she speak up? Or shouldn't there at least be some explanation as to why she's not speaking up?

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
The mysterious man in red was perhaps the most enigmatic of all. He talked in a low, solemn voice as he reflected on his past actions.
Again, tone of voice and accent should have been introduced with the first words.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Really? Sounds like y’all were involved in some really intense stuff. But closing a Pokémon’s heart sounds like a horribly cruel act.”
Again, no reaction at all outside of dialogue? This is just screaming for some emotion and you're not supplying it. D=

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Letting out a sigh, Eldes replied, “You are right, Lisa. I realized that fact too late… Anyway, like before, a young boy broke us up and restored the Pokémon, including the XD Lugia, before setting them all free. My father and I learned the errors of our ways, and turned ourselves in. I was given a chance to redeem myself by joining with the Pokémon League and helping them to stop others who have had similar goals of malice involving Pokémon. My brother still vowed never to give up the plan. I fear that the research on Shadow Pokémon was what those criminals were after, and that my brother is somehow involved.”
Okay, background check or no, the notion of divulging all of this to Lisa seems pretty far-fetched. I mean, I could picture them asking her for the things they'd want to know, but involving a random rookie trainer in a plot of this magnitude and giving her all this information? It just doesn't seem plausible. At most, I'd imagine that they'd warn her to be careful and not get involved in the matter. Come to think of it, two people going "Hey, I used to be the leader of an evil organization" as a means of introduction seems rather...off. Even if they're officially on the good side, spreading that sort of information is not exactly inspiring trust or co-operativeness among the public, you know?

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Looking down at his plate, Giovanni answered, “The result was Mewtwo, a Pokémon of incredible power- too much for us to control. It escaped and destroyed our lab, and reportedly nobody has seen it since. And for the sake of everyone I hope nobody does. Anyway, the team was dismantled by a young trainer, and I took to training in secret until my conscience took over and I turned myself in. After serving some time, I was made an offer, like Eldes, to join the Pokémon League to battle against those who wish to use Pokémon for evil. It is something I should have done long ago… Oh, and let me warn you that on more than one occasion, some fools have tried to resurrect Team Rocket. All of these attempts have failed, and each “rebirth” of Team Rocket has been more feeble than the last. But rest assured that I have severed all ties with any group that calls itself Team Rocket.”
Egads, Giovanni, you aren't going soft on me, are you? *Flail* Please tell me that my favorite villain in the franchise (manga version only, mind you) hasn't gone goody two-shoesy for real. ;.;

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Eldes finished up a chicken strip and started to speak. “Lisa, while the Pokemon League does not like to put new trainers in mortal danger, I fear that this time we have no choice. The organization that orchestrated the invasion apparently knows that you've had contact with the professor after the incident. And regardless of how much information Amy Sequoia might have told you, they believe that the knowledge you have threatens their operation, and so they will stop at nothing to eliminate you.”
Umm...yes, they do have a choice. If a kid is getting targeted by an evil organization, what is a more likely course of action for a responsible government: put her on the group of people meant to disband that organization (and practically paint another giant bullseye on her in the process) or shut her in some maximum security safehouse as far away from their reach as possible, under false identity to keep her hidden while the real trainers tackle the evil org? -.-

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Our numbers are registered in your phone, and yours in ours. If you need us, we will try to get to you as fast as we can, though obviously we can't show up immediately. With this said, are you up to taking on this challenge? Or would you prefer to cease training and enter our Witness Protection Program?”
Excuse me, wouldn't the witness protection program be their first alternative? Heck, would they even seriously consider giving the other one?

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
I have the perfect chance to give up this training right here and now... but what would Meowth and Koffing think? And what would my parents think? No, I can't give up now... even though I'm not sure I can do this, I'm not gonna let everyone down...” Lisa put on a poker face. “Well, I wasn't counting on this, but I suppose I can handle it... Don't worry about it. You can count on me to get it done,” she answered, even while doubting herself. Her fidgety hands would have told the story if they had not been concealed under the table.
"Lessee'...would my parents want me to go out adventuring under the noses of a criminal organization that wants me dead or would they want me to give up training and go hide somewhere safe while this blows over? Oh, I know! Let's go for evil team takedown!"

...

I wonder about this girl's reasoning sometimes, I really do. o.o

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Lorelei then spoke. “You are aware that, by virtue of receiving a starter Pokémon and Pokédex upgrade from Ambassador Sequoia, that you are officially inducted into the Pokémon League? You seem like you could go far. I urge you to take the League challenge. Across the region are ten Pokémon Gyms. Go to these facilities and battle the trainers and the leaders within. If you are victorious, you will be awarded a Badge. Collect all ten to qualify for the Pokémon League tournament. If you do well enough there, you'll be invited to battle this region's Elite Four. It's not an easy road, but I am confident you'll be able to rise to the challenge.
Okay, no offense but this sounds like something straight out of a pokémon game. First they're asking whether she wants to stay trainer and the next thing Lorelei is prompting her to shoot for league champ? I mean, I could understand motivating it by, say, the fact that the gym challenge is the fastest route to strengthening your pokémon and that she should do it to be prepared for fighting back against the ebil henches that will be sent after her, but the "you seem like you could go far" just doesn't look natural.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Thank you. It sounds interesting so I think I'll take the challenge,” Lisa replied. “Well, actually, some nice multivariable calculus would be a bit more interesting, but whatever…
Again, emotions, and tone too. She's agreed to something she really isn't convinced about, shouldn't that be reflected in her tone of voice and emotions/thoughts? I mean, the way that thought is going on makes it sound like she's been posed with a tedious little chore like mowing the lawn, not a desperate struggle against a group of bad guys where she and anyone associated with her can be killed in any way. Come to think of it, doesn't her parents' situation concern her in the least? If she's being targeted, wouldn't her family also be in danger due to their value as hostages for luring Lisa out?

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Very good. The first gym is in Bluefield City, which is north of here, through Chromo Forest. It's also where Fourtix University is so you may want to check in there and make sure there isn't any sort of attack happening there. But now, we need to be heading to the lab. We will be in contact if anything comes up. Farewell.”
Again, it looks a bit game-like. It's like, rather than normal conversation these people are going through a series of small speeches with the occasional one-line confirmation from Lisa. I just can't see conversation between actual people going without a bit more interjection (or at the very least attempts to get response from her).

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
The three of them paid the food bill, then got up and left the restaurant and headed south. After finishing up her lemonade, Lisa headed out of the restaurant. Seeing nothing except modest residential houses and an apartment building, she decided to head on north with Meowth in tow. Lisa thought about the whole deal with the criminals, and she had her doubts.
So...just what happened to her aching feet and stalker problem? Not enough to motivate her to take a rest or anything, apparently, or even prepare for another journey.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Lisa then remembered something from Koffing's Pokédex description, about how the gases could ignite and trigger an explosion. “Let's try a little spontaneous combustion!” She then whispered to her two Pokémon, “Okay, new strategy. Meowth, stay back for this round. Koffing, watch Growlithe's mouth carefully. When you see flames start to emerge, quickly launch a Smog cloud at it before it can fire. It's gonna be a blast!”
Well, it's about time for her to come up with a new plan of attack. I'm not too fond of the way you're hand-walking your reader through the plan, though. You could just mention that she recalled something from the pokédex data and then let the actual maneuver play out for itself. Surprise attacks are a lot cooler when the reader is made to guess a bit too. Okay, it's not that hard a guess to make in this instance, but still...

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
The gaseous purple Pokémon released a cloud of purple gas right at Growlithe. The instant it touched the flames... BAM! A huge cloud of black smoke emerged and both Growlithe and Mankey went flying.
Meh, I'd say avoid onomatopoeia unless you're quoting someone using expression of that type. You can describe the explosion without resorting to this method, I'm sure.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Now that’s what I call an explosive development!”
And that's what I call a line that would make anime dubbers proud. Someone tell Lisa how lame it is to say things like this. Now. xD

Erm, yeah...I do hope you made that pun groan-inducing on purpose. x3

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
The girl then turned her attention to her Pokémon. “That was great work, guys. Although I have a feeling this Thrash group may be behind the lab attack, so I better keep an eye on them. Koffing, return!” After summoning Koffing back into his Pokéball, Lisa continued north out of town, passing by a rusted out old route marker that read “502.”
I really don't see why you bother describing the sign. Unless it has some bearing on the story, it's just a needless detail.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
When I saw that guy use that device to try and kill Meowth, I knew right then and there that they have no respect for Pokémon. And that’s something that I won’t tolerate. I may not have the strength to stop them, but I will not be able to live with myself unless I give it my all! So hear me well, Team Thrash! Lisa Northwood is on your case!
Again, this feels so...animesque. She's barely spent twenty-four hours of her life with pokémon and she's already harping on about respect and all that shizzle. Her whole bond with pokémon just seems to have developed a bit too fast, especially since she had no intention of even considering the trainer's career before she was forced into it. It feels a bit too early for a speech like this, even if it's only within her own head.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Lisa continued to walk the dirt path toward the foreboding forest entrance, just a short walk away, when suddenly, a small brown bird dove in and snatched her hat. Flapping its tiny wings to gain altitude, the feathered creature's flight was slowed by the extra weight of the hat.
I know that you're using 'walk' in too different ways here, but they still don't look too happy that close to each other. I'd say replace the second walk with something like "distance". :3

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“What in the heck was that?” Lisa jumped up in surprise. That hat had been a gift from my best friend before she moved out to Phoenix. Plus, it looked so cute on me!
You're entrusting to internal monologue what would look far more natural in the narrator's mouth here. (I.e. "That hat had been a gift from her best friend[...]Plus, Lisa had always thought it looked cute on her") I mean, sure, this probably how an anime would handle it, but in a fanfic it looks a bit...off.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Guess this one does wants a fight, though. Not everybody fits the mold, I guess…” Lisa said as both Pidgey and Meowth stared each other down.
Repetitiveness again.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Great. Doesn't the DOT do highway maintenance around here?” The girl threw her hands up in exasperation and dread. She figured, “[I]This dark, dense forest probably has more than its fair share of surprises.[/I]”
Again, the inner monologue just looks out of place.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Pidgeotto landed and used its wings on the dirt to blow up a large cloud of sand directly at Weedle. The bug Pokémon hurled itself stinger-first but missed and hit a rock, its pointed stinger caught in a crack in the gray stone.

“Now, hit it with Gust while it's immobilized!”

Weedle could make no move to avoid the blowing tornado. It instead managed to take the attack. In a fit of desperation, it fired some white silk out of its rear at Pidgeotto.

“Fly up to dodge it then use Gust for the final KO!”

Pidgeotto easily gained enough altitude to avoid the attack then delivered a final Gust to incapacitate the bug Pokémon.
And the instant obedience spell strikes once more. Given that she had the Pidgeotto beaten into submission mere moments before, I find it very odd that the pokemon is not only handling the battle situation so well but also not expressing the least bit of reluctance to following orders.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Oh, yeah! Lisa Northwood the exterminator racks up another win for cute outfits everywhere!” Lisa recalled Pidgeotto then watched the Weedle retreat back into the high grass with its remaining strength. “That's what you get for trying to mess with a girl's outfit!”
And here I thought she was supposed to support respect for pokemon. Doesn't seem to have kept her from random pokemon cruelty. =P

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Just then another girl appeared from the grass. She had long blond hair and was wearing a red blouse and a black skirt. She was quite a bit taller than Lisa. Hmm, I wonder what this girl wants?
Again with the internal monologue. It's not the answer to everything, you know.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Meowth was able to hit Squirtle a few times with its claws before the small Water-type ducked into its shell.

“Water Gun now!” shouted Alexis at the small brown shell that held her Pokémon.

Squirtle then used a shot of water to force Meowth off it. Meowth went flying into a tree.
Ehh...too much blow-by-blow mechanic here. I mean, first Meowth scratches with no retaliation, then Squirtle Water Guns with no retaliation...fanfic battles should be more dynamic than that, really. Remember, they're not tied down by a silly turn system here. :3


Aaaand I'm officially exhausted. x.x So yeah, big issues here would be as follows:

1) lack of emotional description as well as description of expressions and such. This does a world of harm to your characterization. The pokemon in particular have gotten a harsh deal. Since pokespeech is not an option, you should focus on bringing out their personalities through their behavior. Devote a bit more time to describing what Lisa's pokemon are doing outside of battle. Guess that would be mainly Meowth, since she's the one who usually stays outside, but please give them all some quality out-of-pokeball time. As it is, I really don't have a fix on the personalities of any of them, and if I'm supposed to buy into Lisa caring for them when I myself don't...well, that's going to cause problems.

2) Repetition. You have a tendency to use the same word and same/similar phrases in close proximity to each other. At some places, you also repeat the same piece of information twice (The "I've been stalking you"/"You've been stalking me?!" part in chapter two is a case in point). Avoiding needless repetition is a basic of style.

3) Irrational villains. I mean, sure, they don't need to be rocket scientists and they can all make mistakes, but a lot of the things your bad guys are doing go so directly against human intuition that it's cheapening the conflict (Throwing away your only weapon and discarding a potential hostage/human shield come to mind). Give us a situation where the villain doesn't do something moronic to give Lisa an edge, please. It will make the main conflict in this story a lot more interesting.

4) Lisa's personality. As it is, her pampered background is too much of an on/off thing. When she's starting her journey, when she worries about her stockings, when she encounters the Weedle, and when she loses to Alexis she has that spoiled touch to her, but when she's fighting for her life against the evil villains, running away from Rattatas, and having lunch with two former criminal masterminds and one ex-elite four member, none of this manner is apparent and she's just your average kid hero. I love the way she was in the first chapter, so please, pretty please, gimme' more of that. *Puppy-dog eyes*

5) Reality issues. The g-men recruiting a random rookie trainer just because she happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time doesn't really seem feasible. Aching feet miraculously ceasing to ache makes no sense. Going off into the wilderness without stopping for rest seems a dubious choice for someone like Lisa who isn't used to covering large stretches of land on foot. The more of these irregularities you have, the weaker your plot will become, so please be very careful with these matters and make regular reality checks to ensure that your explanations measure up to what they're trying to explain.


So yeah, that would be it. Despite this mountain of negative points, I feel like saying that this isn't a bad fanfic, it's just that these chapters lack polish. I'm the kind of reader who likes to see a lot of delving into characters' minds and motives, so the lack of long scenes that are really just intended to give more depth to characters is a big turn-off for me. I'd actually like to see the big plot move a bit slower to give me more time to get acquainted with the protagonists. Caring about them is, in the end, what makes me care about the plot. ;3

This is of course only my personal take, laced with my personal biases, so treat it in accordance and keep at it, yes? ^_^
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  #32    
Old December 21st, 2007 (07:13 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Lash.:
If I must say, bam. That chapter was awesome. I was hanging off the edge of my seat while reading it D: My favorite part was the Pidgeotto battle/capture sequence. It was awesome.

One thing did manage to capture my attention. When Buster sent out Mankey and Growlithe, the image I got was the two Pokemon coming out of no where, since I didn't read anything about them coming out of a Pokéball.

Other than that, I saw nothing else wrong- From my view anyways. Keep up the great work. I really like this fanfic!
Thanks for the compliment, though I still have a quite a bit of work to do still before I'll be happy with this (see below)

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
Ah-hah! Thought you had escaped me, did ya'? DID YA'? Well, no dice; I've come to review once more. x3
Actually, I've been waiting for you, purple_drake, Bay, and/or Hanako to get your hands on this. Sad as it sounds, I really have a hard time finding the problems in my writing without someone pointing them out:/

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
1) lack of emotional description as well as description of expressions and such. This does a world of harm to your characterization. The pokemon in particular have gotten a harsh deal. Since pokespeech is not an option, you should focus on bringing out their personalities through their behavior. Devote a bit more time to describing what Lisa's pokemon are doing outside of battle. Guess that would be mainly Meowth, since she's the one who usually stays outside, but please give them all some quality out-of-pokeball time. As it is, I really don't have a fix on the personalities of any of them, and if I'm supposed to but into Lisa caring for them when I myself don't...well, that's going to cause problems.
Okay, this is definitely one of my big problems. Even in my latest chapters, I still haven't fleshed out their personalities all that well. I don't know, it's really hard for me to do that considering the Pokemon don't speak, but Pokespeech just annoys me to no end. Later on I do have scenes with Pokemon at dinner time, but I'm still not completely satisfied with the job I'm doing with them:/

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
2) Repetition. You have a tendency to use the same word and same/similar phrases in close proximity to each other. At some places, you also repeat the same piece of information twice (The "I've been stalking you"/"You've been stalking me?!" part in chapter two is a case in point). Avoiding needless repetition is a basic of style.
Honestly, this is the one mistake that I have full control over correcting, so my not doing it is inexcusable.

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
3) Irrational villains. I mean, sure, they don't need to be rocket scientists and they can all make mistakes, but a lot of the things your bad guys are doing go so directly against human intuition that it's cheapening the conflict (Throwing away your only weapon and discarding a potential hostage/human shield come to mind). Give us a situation where the villain doesn't do something moronic to give Lisa an edge, please. It will make the main conflict in this story a lot more interesting.
Truth be told, I suck at this. I simply cannot figure out how to write in a way
that's realistic, yet doesn't result in a two-chapter fic that ends with Lisa lying in a pool of her own blood. Besides, in real life these guys would be toting around guns, and, short of some fancy acrobatics or full-body Kevlar body armor, would get the kill every time. Heck, I don't know how any typical Pokemon trainer would combat realistic villains without being shot to death upon sight.

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
4) Lisa's personality. As it is, her pampered background is too much of an on/off thing. When she's starting her journey, when she worries about her stockings, when she encounters the Weedle, and when she loses to Alexis she has that spoiled touch to her, but when she's fighting for her life against the evil villains, running away from Rattatas, and having lunch with two former criminal masterminds and one ex-elite four member, none of this manner is apparent and she's just your average kid hero. I love the way she was in the first chapter, so please, pretty please, gimme' more of that. *Puppy-dog eyes*
I'll try my best at doing that, without making her too whiny and annoying... perhaps a call home to Mom and Dad in the next chapter would work?

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
5) Reality issues. The g-men recruiting a random rookie trainer just because she happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time doesn't really seem feasible. Aching feet miraculously ceasing to ache makes no sense. Going off into the wilderness without stopping for rest seems a dubious choice for someone like Lisa who isn't used to covering large stretches of land on foot. The more of these irregularities you have, the weaker your plot will become, so please be very careful with these matters and make regular reality checks to ensure that your explanations measure up to what they're trying to explain.
Heh, before, it was just the three of them just recruiting her out of the blue... I don't know, what would be an acceptable way to get her roped into the whole conspiracy? Having her randomly stumble onto the plot seemed like the best idea at the time. Since the whole concept of a Pokemon journey is rather unrealistic, I guess I find it hard to come up with suitable reasons...

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
So yeah, that would be it. Despite this mountain of negative points, I feel like saying that this isn't a bad fanfic, it's just that these chapters lack polish. I'm the kind of reader who likes to see a lot of delving into characters' minds and motives, so the lack of long scenes that are really just intended to give more depth to characters is a big turn-off for me. I'd actually like to see the big plot move a bit slower to give me more time to get acquainted with the protagonists. Caring about them is, in the end, what makes me care about the plot.
Thanks, but I think I'm gonna try to get some help with my next few chapters at least, until I get a better feel for what I'm supposed to write and how. Therefore, if anyone stumbling upon this wishes to help BETA my fic, please let me know.
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  #33    
Old December 22nd, 2007 (09:35 AM).
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Finally, here's that long-awaited review! (not really that long-awaited, but...)

Quote:
"But rest assured that I have severed all ties with any group that calls itself Team Rocket.”
So Giovanni has finally given up his criminal ways, eh? (Thought that would never happen, anyway but...)

Quote:
The teenager visibly tensed up and began to quiver and sweat. “No way... NO WAY! This can't be happening! My parents - and I - thought that this would just be a fun little adventure... Now it's a fight for survival! I can't believe this! How did all this happen so fast!?”
I can imagine how she feels... Nice job with showing Lisa's thoughts in the chapter too!
Quote:
I don't know why people call us that though. It's not like we play basketball or anything...”
“Thrash? Is that what this group is called? What a stupid name...” she mused. “Um... maybe it's because you guys operate as a group or, in other words, a TEAM?”
L.O.L!

Well, this chapter seeed pretty action-packed! You did a nice job in describing the battles that occured, but when you put four battles in a row in one chapter you might want to space them out a little. Example:
Quote:
Yes! I caught Pidgeotto!”
“Meowth meow meow!”
Lisa walked through a small building and entered a dark forest. The trees branched out so far it was nearly impossible to see the sky above the green foliage. The dirt path was almost completely overrun with weeds and grass.
“Great. Doesn't the DOT do highway maintenance around here?” The girl threw her hands up in exasperation and dread. She figured, “This dark, dense forest probably has more than its fair share of surprises.”
“I better let Pidgeotto and Meowth rest for now...”

(Insert some more events here)

Suddenly she felt something crawl up her leg.
“Eeew! Get off me!” She shook off a yellow worm Pokémon with a large red nose. The tiny white stinger was aimed threateningly at Lisa, though the insect's vacant black eyes showed no indication of its disposition.
“Weedle, the Hairy Bug Pokémon: Weedle uses its stinger to defend against predators. It contains a strong poison.”
Lisa looked down then saw something she did not want to see at this point. “Gah! You lousy bug! You put a run in my pantyhose! I really liked this pair! Now you'll pay!” Grabbing her Pokéball, the girl said, “Sorry, I was gonna let you rest, but I need your help! Pidgeotto, go!”
and
Quote:
“Fly up to dodge it then use Gust for the final KO!”

Pidgeotto easily gained enough altitude to avoid the attack then delivered a final Gust to incapacitate the bug Pokémon.

Oh, yeah! Lisa Northwood the exterminator racks up another win for cute outfits everywhere!” Lisa recalled Pidgeotto then watched the Weedle retreat back into the high grass with its remaining strength. “That's what you get for trying to mess with a girl's outfit!”

(Insert some more events here)

Just then another girl appeared from the grass. She had long blond hair and was wearing a red blouse and a black skirt. She was quite a bit taller than Lisa. “Hmm, I wonder what this girl wants?

“I saw your battles earlier, and I must say I'm impressed. My name is Alexis and I live here in this forest.”

“My name is Lisa and I just started training my Pokémon after I left Fort Barnes.”

“So you got a Pokémon from Professor Sequoia! So did I! I was wondering if you would battle with me using only our starting Pokémon.”

“Sure. I'll lead off with my Meowth.”

“Let me introduce you to my Squirtle! Go!”
It will sound a lot better if you space out your battles like this, and will help add some more stuff to your chaper besides Lisa walking down the road and battling trainers and pokemon along the way.

Well, that's about all I noticed! Your are improving with every post, and I bet Chapter 3 Chapter 4 will be even better!
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  #34    
Old December 22nd, 2007 (11:41 AM). Edited December 22nd, 2007 by Alter Ego.
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Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Actually, I've been waiting for you, purple_drake, Bay, and/or Hanako to get your hands on this. Sad as it sounds, I really have a hard time finding the problems in my writing without someone pointing them out:/
That's quite ordinary, actually. (the other extreme being those who get over-sensitive and tear up their own writing as 'worthless', regardless of the quality.) Well, glad to know I was waited for. ^.^

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Okay, this is definitely one of my big problems. Even in my latest chapters, I still haven't fleshed out their personalities all that well. I don't know, it's really hard for me to do that considering the Pokemon don't speak, but Pokespeech just annoys me to no end. Later on I do have scenes with Pokemon at dinner time, but I'm still not completely satisfied with the job I'm doing with them:/
Mmmhmm...I know what you mean about that problem. (It's why I'm so prone to taking the easy way out and including pokespeech xD) But yeah, basically having Lisa let her pokemon out a bit more often and having her pay more attention to what they're doing should help. (The importance of doing facial expressions and mannerisms really can't be over-emphasized here) Also, having the pokemon take a more active part in resolving conflicts will help. As it is, they are mostly following orders save for Koffing's intervention, but having one of them improvise something (like Meowth scratching Tommy in self-defense or the like) could show off their personality.

Reactions in battle situations can also work: if you want a gentle or pacifistic personality you may have the pokemon exhibit reluctance towards harming their opponents or be more focused on protecting Lisa. Aggressive ones could attack recklessly, possibly even against orders to keep their guard up, while exceptionally mellow, submissive, or calm types would be more likely to sit back and just go with orders without really taking initiative in battle. Cowardly ones would be careful in attacks, primarily watching their own backs and trying to strike from behind or such, and probably try to avoid fighting altogether if necessary etc. Small things like how you describe the pokemon performing an attack, what expressions they make, and how much enthusiasm they show all add up towards generating personality.

But yeah, what they're doing out of battle and how they react to different situations are also important. Dinnertime with the pokemon sounds like a good step in that direction. :3

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Truth be told, I suck at this. I simply cannot figure out how to write in a way that's realistic, yet doesn't result in a two-chapter fic that ends with Lisa lying in a pool of her own blood. Besides, in real life these guys would be toting around guns, and, short of some fancy acrobatics or full-body Kevlar body armor, would get the kill every time. Heck, I don't know how any typical Pokemon trainer would combat realistic villains without being shot to death upon sight.
Well, here's where we get into how professional we really want these guys to be. I mean, word of Lisa's movement got about fairly recently, no? This would mean that they would not have had time to mobilize their top-level assassins and get them onto the scene. Heck, given that there's a gruesome threesome on the case, their best would probably be tied up with other tasks, and thus it seems logical that they'd send whatever operatives they have posted in Chromo Town. Given that their target is a lone rookie trainer who has no idea what's heading her way, sending two armed guys (even if they're pretty standard fare as hired killers/abductors go) would seem like more than enough. I mean, inconvenient witnesses must pop up all over the place, so even their usual employees would be competent enough to deal with them. They would not, however, be prepared to handle two ex-team leaders and one former member of the elite four, which is what they're put up against. Given the fame of these people, it wouldn't be unheard of that one of the thugs would recognize either Giovanni or Eldes and get just a little bit surprised and/or freaked by the prospect. (running into the closest thing to a mafia boss that the pokemon world can offer can do that to you) Then, experienced in this sort of thing as they are, they could seize on the opportunity to disarm them by some sort of surprise maneuver, after which the battle scene can ensue. :3

As for Tommy...well, cats have pretty sharp senses, so I'd imagine that if he's trying to sneak up on Lisa (and looks all menacing like that), Meowth could notice and alarm her trainer, or at least get her to move aside by some other means. Him being a parolee (probably still under some kind of surveillance which he must have side-tracked for a while) and assuming that this is not a place where you can buy unregistered firearms, him not going for the obvious murder weapon that is a gun could be explained. And of course, if he is a 'likes to toy with people' type, he might approach for some 'pleasant conversation' before swinging that tire iron he's hiding. ^.^

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
I'll try my best at doing that, without making her too whiny and annoying... perhaps a call home to Mom and Dad in the next chapter would work?
Oh yes, calling her parents sounds like a human choice in this situation. (I mean, they could be targeted, after all, so at the very least I imagine she'd want to check...though probably in a way that wouldn't worry them too much. Going 'hey, imma' fighting a big, evil team that wants me dead' probably wouldn't go over well.' xD) Mind you, given the starting note of her journey, being whiny and annoying is not necessarily a bad thing since it does coincide with the way she started out, and with all that's happened she does have reason to whine as well. It doesn't need to be all-pervading (like, when she's stepping in to protect Meowth she obviously wouldn't be concerned about getting her outfit dirty or getting hurt because the need to protect is taking precedence), but as a part of her personality it should be there and come out to play quite often since it's still so early in her journey. (like, changing clothes and taking a shower at the pokemon center before continuing on, for instance, or -- after having found herself in calm and at least relative safety -- start going through internal complaints about how unfair this is and how this wouldn't have happened if her parents would just have let her take the flippin' Caprice. xD)

Having her slowly shed her habits and start getting more practical/professional about the pokemon training thing (Maybe even consider sneakers over heels at some point, goodness forbid) would be a lovely part of character development. A bit of annoyingness isn't bad for a character, it's when they're only annoying and nothing but annoying from start to finish that we run into a problem. Her spoiledness is actually part what makes me like Lisa as a character. xD

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Heh, before, it was just the three of them just recruiting her out of the blue... I don't know, what would be an acceptable way to get her roped into the whole conspiracy? Having her randomly stumble onto the plot seemed like the best idea at the time. Since the whole concept of a Pokemon journey is rather unrealistic, I guess I find it hard to come up with suitable reasons...
Well, having her stumble into the plot is a start, but getting taken aboard the official team so quickly still seems like a bit too much of a leap of faith. I'd say have them explain the situation, sure, and offer her the witness protection program. (Given that Lisa is still a law-abiding citizen and all, she would have a right to refuse protection, ne?) She might feel like it would be betraying Meowth and Koffing to just abandon them after they risked their lives protecting her, or she may not relish the prospect of being cooped up in some safehouse -- goodness knows for how long -- under false identity and with no contact to her business ventures (which would be very easy means to trace her) or any other sensible thing to do, or it may be something completely different. That way, she could start out under the 'well, at least stay out of it.' period and get the phone numbers so that they can at least check up on their important witness from time to time. Once that grunt harms Meowth, it really starts getting personal, no? This would in turn create incentive for her to rebel against the order of staying out of it and actively start pursuing the team, and once it starts getting painfully obvious that she'll do it regardless of whether they approve of it or not, the trio may agree to take her on simply because it would at least become easier to keep watch of her that way.

Of course, that's only the way I would handle it. I have no right to dictate how your plot should go and I shouldn't do it either. So yeah, treat this as such: inspiration at most, m'kay? I'll try to limit myself to saying what doesn't make sense to me and why as far as possible. x3

Mind you, that is an improvement from just random recruitment. :3

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Thanks, but I think I'm gonna try to get some help with my next few chapters at least, until I get a better feel for what I'm supposed to write and how. Therefore, if anyone stumbling upon this wishes to help BETA my fic, please let me know.
That's the spirit. The content thing will come to you in time as long as you keep working with it, I'm sure. I've got to say I'm impressed by how well you took such a large amount of criticism...I was seriously afraid that I had gone overboard with this one. x3

Good luck with the writing...and your search for a beta. ^.^ I'd so apply for that myself, but with half a year of minimal forum activity ahead of me I won't have the time. Hope you get a good one. ^^
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  #35    
Old December 24th, 2007 (08:21 PM).
Elite Overlord LeSabre™'s Avatar
Elite Overlord LeSabre™ Elite Overlord LeSabre™ is offline
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Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
That's quite ordinary, actually. (the other extreme being those who get over-sensitive and tear up their own writing as 'worthless', regardless of the quality.) Well, glad to know I was waited for. ^.^
Yeah, I spazzed before on a review on Sppf, and that got nobody anywhere. Decided not to do it again and get more people mad at me.

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
But yeah, basically having Lisa let her pokemon out a bit more often and having her pay more attention to what they're doing should help. (The importance of doing facial expressions and mannerisms really can't be over-emphasized here) Also, having the pokemon take a more active part in resolving conflicts will help. As it is, they are mostly following orders save for Koffing's intervention, but having one of them improvise something (like Meowth scratching Tommy in self-defense or the like) could show off their personality.

Small things like how you describe the pokemon performing an attack, what expressions they make, and how much enthusiasm they show all add up towards generating personality.

But yeah, what they're doing out of battle and how they react to different situations are also important. Dinnertime with the pokemon sounds like a good step in that direction. :3
Some good ideas there, especially trying to show their personality in battle. Now I just need to think of what personalities to give the Pokemon... Koffing might be a bit hesitant to enter battle, for reasons that will be revealed along with his backstory- some 20-odd chapters into the fic Though I'm not really a fan of Pokemon traveling outside their Pokeballs for long stretches of time, I might be able to have it happen in moderation.


Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
Well, here's where we get into how professional we really want these guys to be. I mean, word of Lisa's movement got about fairly recently, no? This would mean that they would not have had time to mobilize their top-level assassins and get them onto the scene.

They would not, however, be prepared to handle two ex-team leaders and one former member of the elite four, which is what they're put up against. Given the fame of these people, it wouldn't be unheard of that one of the thugs would recognize either Giovanni or Eldes and get just a little bit surprised and/or freaked by the prospect. (running into the closest thing to a mafia boss that the pokemon world can offer can do that to you) Then, experienced in this sort of thing as they are, they could seize on the opportunity to disarm them by some sort of surprise maneuver, after which the battle scene can ensue. :3

As for Tommy...well, cats have pretty sharp senses, so I'd imagine that if he's trying to sneak up on Lisa (and looks all menacing like that), Meowth could notice and alarm her trainer, or at least get her to move aside by some other means. Him being a parolee (probably still under some kind of surveillance which he must have side-tracked for a while) and assuming that this is not a place where you can buy unregistered firearms, him not going for the obvious murder weapon that is a gun could be explained.
Maybe that would have worked better... him trying to sneak up on Lisa, then getting a nice Scratch in the face from one enraged kitty. And for the record, the first "admin" that Lisa encounters is purposefully stupid, and hopefully this should be obvious from when the person first shows up So he'll spill a few beans. As I continue on, the admins get more and more competent, though. While on the subject on villains, is it unreasonable for an overly narcissistic scientist-like bad guy to explain the science behind his invention without revealing how it works?

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
Oh yes, calling her parents sounds like a human choice in this situation. (I mean, they could be targeted, after all, so at the very least I imagine she'd want to check...though probably in a way that wouldn't worry them too much. Going 'hey, imma' fighting a big, evil team that wants me dead' probably wouldn't go over well.' xD) Mind you, given the starting note of her journey, being whiny and annoying is not necessarily a bad thing since it does coincide with the way she started out, and with all that's happened she does have reason to whine as well.

(like, changing clothes and taking a shower at the pokemon center before continuing on, for instance, or -- after having found herself in calm and at least relative safety -- start going through internal complaints about how unfair this is and how this wouldn't have happened if her parents would just have let her take the flippin' Caprice. xD)

A bit of annoyingness isn't bad for a character, it's when they're only annoying and nothing but annoying from start to finish that we run into a problem. Her spoiledness is actually part what makes me like Lisa as a character. xD
Thanks It's actually part of the "Mary-Sue counter-characteristics" she has, and I should really be fleshing it out in the early chapters. Heck, I can even reflect on that one hellish week I spent at summer camp for inspiration for some of Lisa's reaction (constant whining calls home, my complaining to the camp counselors, trying to come up with any excuse possible to avoid the camping trip into the woods). By Chapter 6, I plan to reveal why it was important for Lisa to have a steady stream of income, and it does relate to her being spoiled. In the meantime, I have a bit of additional whining to put in my fic

And yes, the Pokemon journey would be a lot easier with the convenience of a full-size automobile. Unfortunately for Lisa, this is meant as a challenge, not a leisurely drive in a V-8 powered sedan XD

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
That way, she could start out under the 'well, at least stay out of it.' period and get the phone numbers so that they can at least check up on their important witness from time to time. Once that grunt harms Meowth, it really starts getting personal, no? This would in turn create incentive for her to rebel against the order of staying out of it and actively start pursuing the team, and once it starts getting painfully obvious that she'll do it regardless of whether they approve of it or not, the trio may agree to take her on simply because it would at least become easier to keep watch of her that way.
Since the next couple chapters will have a situation that practically requires Lisa to take an active role in the getting her slowly involved should work- it only requires a bit of change in that dialogue, since I've yet to get around to starting the chapter 4 edits :/ AFAIK, it's highly unrealistic that any 10-15 year old would be placed in a situation like this, so it can be hard to justify them getting involved. A combination of "stumbling onto it" and "slowly becoming wrapped up in the scheme as a result of the chance encounter" seems like one of the few remotely plausible ideas, though.


Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
That's the spirit. The content thing will come to you in time as long as you keep working with it, I'm sure. I've got to say I'm impressed by how well you took such a large amount of criticism...I was seriously afraid that I had gone overboard with this one. x3

Good luck with the writing...and your search for a beta. ^.^ I'd so apply for that myself, but with half a year of minimal forum activity ahead of me I won't have the time. Hope you get a good one.
Yeah, I plan to PM Hanako asking if I can put an "ad" in the Lounge advertising a need for a BETA. No pay, but the lucky BETA gets to see new chapters before anyone else and gets a say in the direction of the fic!

Quote originally posted by Haruka of Hoenn:
So Giovanni has finally given up his criminal ways, eh? (Thought that would never happen, anyway but...)
Once you defeat him in R/B/Y/FR/LG he mentions disbanding Team Rocket and embarking on solo training. Then, during the Rocket resurrection in G/S/C, Giovanni never returns to lead the team, so safe bet to say he's abandoned the team.

Quote originally posted by Haruka of Hoenn:
Quote:
The teenager visibly tensed up and began to quiver and sweat. “No way... NO WAY! This can't be happening! My parents - and I - thought that this would just be a fun little adventure... Now it's a fight for survival! I can't believe this! How did all this happen so fast!?”
I can imagine how she feels... Nice job with showing Lisa's thoughts in the chapter too!
Does ANYONE expect a simple Pokemon journey to be so perilous? I'd say most of them are uneventful, but fanfic writers usually don't write about a simple badge-collecting trainer...

Quote originally posted by Haruka of Hoenn:
Quote:
I don't know why people call us that though. It's not like we play basketball or anything...”
“Thrash? Is that what this group is called? What a stupid name...” she mused. “Um... maybe it's because you guys operate as a group or, in other words, a TEAM?”
L.O.L!
This time around, I'm thinking "THRASH" might actually be an acronym instead of some random name the boss pulled out of his rear...

Quote originally posted by Haruka of Hoenn:
Well, this chapter seeed pretty action-packed! You did a nice job in describing the battles that occured, but when you put four battles in a row in one chapter you might want to space them out a little.

It will sound a lot better if you space out your battles like this, and will help add some more stuff to your chaper besides Lisa walking down the road and battling trainers and pokemon along the way.
I'm not sure what kinds of things should happen in between battles, though. It's not like Lisa can battle, grab a burger, battle, shop at Prime Outlets, battle, give a talk on the Sieve of Eratosthenes at a university, and so on... Perhaps some of the Pokemon interactions, or Lisa stopping and whining about her aching feet, though...

Happy holidays, everyone, though my next chapter is still a ways off:/ And anyone who wants to BETA is still welcome to take the position!
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  #36    
Old January 3rd, 2008 (01:08 AM).
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Hey, DarkPersian! Sorry for the review took a while. Busy with a few things. Also, sorry in advance that I didn’t break the story up too much like I did with Duncan’s review or not much indepth like purple_drake or Alter Ego: suddenly stuff came up I need to take care of. ^^; Okay, start off with Prologue and Chapter One.

Prologue and Chapter One (Again XD)

Yeah, decided to read both of them again to see the changes. ^^ This one's going to be short because this one is more comparing and contrasting the orginal and the revision.

I like the changes you made on the prologue and Chapter One. I like how you put more indetph on the professor' thoughts in the prologue and how you gave the parents more limelight in Chapter One. Here's hoping the journey will change Lisa! ^^

There were a couple things that are iffy to me.

Quote:
“Looks like I don't have any choice!” She motioned with her body toward a large black metal desk in the back of the lobby. The leader ran over to it, opened a drawer, and shoved about a dozen red and white spheres into a bag. “There must be more here! Tear this room apart until we find them!”
I was a little bit confused what happened in that quote. So the professor was about to go to that desk to get the pokeballs but then the leader beat her to it? If it is, then I also thought you could have maybe go a bit more indepth on the leader. Maybe he was very excited or just glad to find a few of those pokeballs?

Also, in Chapter One, it seems Lisa wasn't worried when she heard the professor talking about how the thugs were inside her lab. I don't know, if I were her, I would at least be worried that there are some criminals outside and would be either totally scared for my life or not sure if the journey is a good idea at first. If Lisa is the person not scared of anything though, then you can regard this comment. XD

Chapter Two


Pretty much I agreed with Alter Ego that Tommy could probably have a better villainy entrance. Like Alter said, probably more suspense would come if he suddenly smash that tire iron on her or sneaking up on her. Maybe it would leave readers more suspense in the beginning of Chapter Two if he had somewhere behind the bushes and then attack her straight on later? (It would be hilarious if one of the bushes Meowth scratched earlier was one of the ones he was hiding. That’s just me, though. XD)

Koffing’s appearance does leave me with a “woah” moment. I don’t know, it just felt so sudden that Pokemon came and helped Lisa. I guess if Koffing was keeping an eye on her for a bit and then decided to rescue her then that would have been a bit more reasonable. Also, it’s good you have her worry about if Koffing belongs to someone and why he came all of a sudden. However, it seems of a long stretch until her mind suddenly realizes that. Probably it would be better if she thought about the Koffing during or the instant the battle had finished? (Don’t worry too much about this as I sometimes have this problem too and still trying to fix it. XD )

Lastly, I was surprised that Lisa used Meowth to battle the Ratata, especially the cat Pokemon being injured. Shouldn’t she run to the Pokemon Center as fast as she can? Maybe if Lisa still found a Ratata that wanted to bite her, probably use Koffing instead or use the Potion the officer gave her if she still insists on using Meowth?

ChapterThree

I pretty much also agreed on Alter Ego that there’s not much emotions on Lisa when talking with Eldes, Giovanni, and the Lorelei. For instance when she introduced herself she seemed to just say it straight out. Since the three already introduced themselves, she probably would be a bit worried that her introduction might not be really interesting, for example. Also, it seems she’s not that worried too much about the possibility of Shadow Pokemon running around and whatever team is out probably going to get her.

Also, so far in the story you did put her emotions in italics but not much body or facial expression shown after. Here’s one example:

Quote:
“Oh, yeah! Lisa Northwood the exterminator racks up another win for cute outfits everywhere!” Lisa recalled Pidgeotto then watched the Weedle retreat back into the high grass with its remaining strength. “That's what you get for trying to mess with a girl's outfit!”
I admit, I love the part when she said that in her mind! XD On the other hand, you could have put more meat in the emotions and some physical indicators would work. Probably after she finish that thought she pumped her arms up in the air or is staring dancing. XD

Pidgeotto’s catch and him battling Weedle is a bit too sudden. The birdie doesn’t seem a bit curious or outrage with her. Like Alter, it weird that she already has Pokemon listening and helping with her without knowing a bit more about their trainer.

Another thing is she seems to suddenly forget about Tommy and what those three G-men told her about the Shadow Pokemon and the League. Seems there’s no mention of those things after she left Dennys (unless I missed something…^^; ). Since many things were happening to her at once probably a couple of things would still be stick in her mind.

There were a few things I liked about this chapter though. For instance, ouch on that Weedle did a “run” on her shoes. At least she took care of that business. XD Also, Lisa was a bit too dramatic of her first lost but it’s reasonable as it seems she never failed at anything before and wouldn’t know how to react.

Overall so far

So far this story is interesting though emotions and the Pokemon’s personalities could be worked a bit more. I’m looking forward though to Lisa’s character development and how Shadow Pokemon will play a role. This story still has some potential to be great. : D

Pretty much this review is what Alter Ego said, shorter version (though he/she said a few other stuff I didn’t think of). XD However, I still hope though this review is somewhat helpful. Well, good luck on the next chapter edit!
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  #37    
Old January 4th, 2008 (06:42 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Bay:
I was a little bit confused what happened in that quote. So the professor was about to go to that desk to get the pokeballs but then the leader beat her to it? If it is, then I also thought you could have maybe go a bit more indepth on the leader. Maybe he was very excited or just glad to find a few of those pokeballs?
Well, she was just motioning to where the Pokemon were stored, as the other operatives were still holding her (and she's tied up, so she can't exactly point, either) And I'm striving to keep the big-time villains rather cold and distant for right now.

Quote originally posted by Bay:
I don't know, if I were her, I would at least be worried that there are some criminals outside and would be either totally scared for my life or not sure if the journey is a good idea at first. If Lisa is the person not scared of anything though, then you can regard this comment. XD
I have no idea either. It's these types of things that make writing math papers SO much easier... Let's say she's still in a "Why are Mom and Dad making me do all this?" state of mind and is just blindly nodding and saying, "uh, huh" at whatever the professor says. Delayed reaction... yeah, Lisa's bad at that...

Quote originally posted by Bay:
Pretty much I agreed with Alter Ego that Tommy could probably have a better villainy entrance. Like Alter said, probably more suspense would come if he suddenly smash that tire iron on her or sneaking up on her. Maybe it would leave readers more suspense in the beginning of Chapter Two if he had somewhere behind the bushes and then attack her straight on later? (It would be hilarious if one of the bushes Meowth scratched earlier was one of the ones he was hiding. That’s just me, though. XD)
He's an old man, not a ninja. Crouching behind a bush would not be good for his arthritis XD It's more of a grassy plain with a few wayward bushes and trees here and there.

Quote originally posted by Bay:
Koffing’s appearance does leave me with a “woah” moment. I don’t know, it just felt so sudden that Pokemon came and helped Lisa. I guess if Koffing was keeping an eye on her for a bit and then decided to rescue her then that would have been a bit more reasonable. Also, it’s good you have her worry about if Koffing belongs to someone and why he came all of a sudden. However, it seems of a long stretch until her mind suddenly realizes that. Probably it would be better if she thought about the Koffing during or the instant the battle had finished? (Don’t worry too much about this as I sometimes have this problem too and still trying to fix it. XD )
Delayed reaction, like how I can't think of any of this stuff until someone points it out to me. After all, she's still catching her breath after the attack, so where Koffing came from isn't going to be a primary concern until things have calmed down. But, as I said, the definitive revelation for why Koffing was on the route is still a good 20 chapters away.

Quote originally posted by Bay:
Lastly, I was surprised that Lisa used Meowth to battle the Ratata, especially the cat Pokemon being injured. Shouldn’t she run to the Pokemon Center as fast as she can? Maybe if Lisa still found a Ratata that wanted to bite her, probably use Koffing instead or use the Potion the officer gave her if she still insists on using Meowth?
She did use the potions:
Quote:
As the car sped off, Lisa used the potions on the Pokémon.
Ha! I have a defense for this one!

Quote originally posted by Bay:
I pretty much also agreed on Alter Ego that there’s not much emotions on Lisa when talking with Eldes, Giovanni, and the Lorelei. For instance when she introduced herself she seemed to just say it straight out. Since the three already introduced themselves, she probably would be a bit worried that her introduction might not be really interesting, for example. Also, it seems she’s not that worried too much about the possibility of Shadow Pokemon running around and whatever team is out probably going to get her.
I am honestly having the hardest time with this emotion stuff. I can't write this stuff to save my life and it's really getting to me...

What sort of reactions are expected? Does she stutter? Does she sit up straighter than usual, staring intently at the other speaker without blinking? Does she shake nervously and fidget? I don't know- what DO people do when they're face to face with people of authority and power?

Quote originally posted by Bay:
Pidgeotto’s catch and him battling Weedle is a bit too sudden. The birdie doesn’t seem a bit curious or outrage with her. Like Alter, it weird that she already has Pokemon listening and helping with her without knowing a bit more about their trainer.
Pidgeotto felt sorry for stealing Lisa's hat LOL! Next Pokemon, however, will NOT be warming up to her so easily, I assure you

Quote originally posted by Bay:
Another thing is she seems to suddenly forget about Tommy and what those three G-men told her about the Shadow Pokemon and the League. Seems there’s no mention of those things after she left Dennys (unless I missed something…; ). Since many things were happening to her at once probably a couple of things would still be stick in her mind.
Well, she does mention something about the whole plot:
Quote:
“Why was I chosen to fight them? Why would three powerful trainers believe that I, being a mere rookie, would stand a chance? True, they did tell me that the trainers who broke up Cipher and Rocket were young like me, but still… Why should I even bother? It just doesn’t make sense… Maybe I should've taken them up on their offer to just quit... I wouldn't be risking life and limb that way...”
As for Tommy - well, being told about a big bad criminal syndicate kinda takes precedence over some old dude in his 60's...

Quote originally posted by Bay:
There were a few things I liked about this chapter though. For instance, ouch on that Weedle did a “run” on her shoes. At least she took care of that business. XD Also, Lisa was a bit too dramatic of her first lost but it’s reasonable as it seems she never failed at anything before and wouldn’t know how to react.
That is one of her little quirks- the poor girl can't handle a loss.

Quote originally posted by Bay:
So far this story is interesting though emotions and the Pokemon’s personalities could be worked a bit more. I’m looking forward though to Lisa’s character development and how Shadow Pokemon will play a role. This story still has some potential to be great. : D
Wait, SOME potential? Well, okay, I guess can live with that, as long as this thing's not a total loss.

Still, I don't know- barring some MAJOR help with emotional reactions and stuff, I can't do much more with it, at least not until someone points out where I'm messing up. It's frustrating, because I KNOW that something's lacking, but I can't put my finger on how to correct it.

What does everyone want to see? More thoughts? More involuntary body motions? All of the above? Well, all I can do is try to work on that, though it's gonna take awhile...

I do have one beta on board, but if anyone else (particularly reviewers) wants to lend a hand, I'll take the help with open arms, cause I need it!

As a note, I will be editing chapters with new changes periodically, though hopefully I will begin to improve and it won't be needed with later chapters.
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  #38    
Old January 21st, 2008 (01:21 AM). Edited April 8th, 2008 by Elite Overlord LeSabre™.
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Wow, it's been a long time, hasn't it? Well, in any event, Chapter 4 is now up!

Thanks to Oni Raichu for BETAing this chapter for me.

The song that Lisa sings is "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now," by Starship.

Chapter 4: Relaxation Before the Fire

At the house, Alexis prepared a meal while Lisa took a shower in the bathroom. “Sorry, but I gotta get this gunk off me!

Finally free of the dirt that her body had accumulated, Lisa emerged from the bathroom wearing a green dress underneath a blue jacket – the reverse of the colors she had worn before. Placing her white hat back on her head, she opened up her cell phone.

“Mom, Dad, we got a problem…”

“Now wait a minute, how is this our problem?” was the response of the man on the other end.

“Well, part of it involves a former employee of yours; Thomas Junger, does the name ring a bell?”

“Yeah, that was the scumbag that tried to con us and kidnap our staff! But what does he have to do with your journey?”

“He tried to end my journey early by knocking me over the head with a tire iron. Fortunately he wasn’t able to hit me, but still… Nobody told me I would be risking my life here!” the girl shouted into the phone. She had purposely left out the detail of the gun; she didn't want to hear her parents' reaction to that fact.

“Everything all right in there?” called Alexis from the kitchen.

“Yeah, just talking with my parents!” Lisa answered. Turning back to her phone, she continued, “And apparently there’s a whole gang of criminals after me. I had to fight one of them earlier today. I don’t want to have to go through all this! This is too much to ask from any teenager, let alone me!”

“Lisa,” Mr. Northwood sternly responded, “you’re trying to hype up the situation so you can come home, aren’t you?”

“But I…”

“Don’t interrupt, young lady! Listen, I’m sure the ‘criminal gang’ you speak of is like the old Team Rocket, mostly harmless. And I’m fairly sure that your meeting with Tommy was only a chance encounter, so I wouldn’t worry about him too much. You are not weaseling your way out of this like you did summer camp. You’re older now and should be able to handle this. I mean, jeez, you handled four years of college in just two.”

‘But this is totally different!” the girl protested.

“Yes, and different is good. Just stick with it for awhile, you’ll soon warm up to it, just like your uncle Bill did.”

“But, Dad… I… lost… a battle today…”

“Well, good for you, Lisa!” was her father’s elated reply.

“Wait, losing’s a good thing? How do you figure that, Dad?!”

“Lisa, losing forces you to acknowledge your weaknesses and shows you what you need to do to get better. I know it’s a major blow to your ego, but honestly, you need some challenges in your life. Best thing for you to do is to recall how you lost and try to use that to help you better your skills.”

“Well, I’ll try, Dad. Anyway, guess who I ran into today.”

“Yeah, yeah, Tommy, I know. Listen, we’re in the middle of Charlotte-Douglas Airport and this isn’t a good time to call. So, we’ll call back later. Bye!”

“Yeah, bye…” the girl muttered. “I was going to tell you I met members of the Pokémon League but you won’t ever let me talk! Why do I even bother calling you?

Lisa covered her mouth to try and stifle the loud, sustained scream of anguish that followed. After she finished yelling, the teen gathered her wits and put on a façade of contentment as she got ready to have some lunch.

Stretching out and yawning, the girl made her way to the kitchen, where the blond-haired girl had fixed some turkey sandwiches.

Sitting over lunch, the two girls started a conversation. “So, Lisa, tell me a bit about yourself.”

Moving her hand to her face and stroking her chin, she started, “Well, I’m originally from South Carolina, and I’ve currently got a college degree in math.”

The other girl stood up with a surprised look. “College already? And you’re how old?”

“I’m fifteen,” Lisa replied, now rubbing the back of her neck, face turning a bit red. “This is the one thing I hate about being a child genius… Everyone’s in awe at the fact I’ve got a degree – well, except the Pokémon League officials, I suppose. Maybe I should just tell people I’m a really smart math nut, and leave out the college degree thing…

“Man, I’m only eleven, but I’ll admit I’m no good at math! Still…” she pondered as she took her seat again, “what’s a girl like you doing something like Pokémon training?”

Lisa sighed. “It’s my parents, but especially Dad. He doesn’t think I’m being ‘challenged’ enough,” she explained, making air quotes with her fingers as she said the word “challenged.”

“Well, you do have to admit, training does challenge you to step outside the box…”

“Doesn’t anyone think being a Resident Assistant for a bunch of freshman students is a challenge, especially when I’m younger than any of the students?! It’s hard juggling twenty-one hours of coursework, being a member of Student Senate and RHA, and keeping the quiet hours and alcohol policies enforced!” The girl was clutching clumps of her brown hair in her hands.

Once again, Alexis rose out of her seat, this time holding up her left hand. “Whoa, whoa, calm down there! I admit all of that sounds challenging; maybe that’s something you need to explain to your parents.”

“I’m sorry for that. But it’s too late to tell them now. After all, they’re already back in the Carolinas. Anyway, Alexis, are you taking the Pokémon League challenge? You should, you're very good,” Lisa started while taking a sip of a glass of fruit punch.

“I've been thinking about it. I think I'll set out in the next couple days or so. By the way, I noticed your Meowth doesn't have any long-range attacks. When it gets better I'll teach it how to use a Water-type attack called Water Pulse.”

Lisa cracked a smile for the first time since her loss. “Cool, thanks! I think it would help me a lot. I've been up against criminals who use Fire-type Pokémon.” She wasn’t expecting this other girl to do so much for her.

Alexis sat upright in her seat. “Team Thrash? Those guys have been skulking around the forest here lately. It’s hard to do anything with them patrolling the forest. Makes me think they’ve got something going on here.”

“Yeah, probably. I suspect they were behind the attack at Professor Sequoia's lab as well.”

“Yeah, I heard about that. From what I've heard, they are armed with guns as well as Pokémon and won't hesitate to shoot to kill. Better watch out. Oh, wait, hang on, let me check on your Pokémon.”

“I’ll come with you.” The two girls made their way to a back room in the house. Sitting on a brown leather sofa, the cat was happily eating some food that was laid out for her in a red dish.

“See, as long as the injuries aren’t too serious, a nice little rest is sometimes enough to get Pokémon feeling at a hundred percent again. Okay, I think your Meowth is feeling well enough. Let's teach her Water Pulse now.”

“Okay, sounds like a plan.”

Outside, the two girls had set up a mock firing range with empty cans of Mountain Dew and generic grape soda. For most of the afternoon, the girls set out to work with Meowth to try to get her to unleash large amounts of water in one concentrated shot. The first few attempts were feeble, as they amounted to little more than random spitting. The Pokémon let out a whimpering cry as she lowered her head.

“Don’t worry about it; it’s not easy for a non-Water-type to master a Water-type attack. From what I understand, your Meowth has to learn to store large amounts of water in its mouth and release it all in one concentrated blast.”

“Yeah, don’t worry, Meowth,” Lisa said, kneeling down and petting her Pokémon. “We’ll work hard so you can master that attack. Ready for another try?”

Perking up her ears, the feline Pokémon smiled and winked at her trainer. “Meow!”
********

On a stretch of Interstate 85 near Gaffney, South Carolina, a burgundy Buick Lucerne made its way down the southbound lane. As the four-door car moved to the left to pass a truck marked “D.M. Bowman” the woman in the front passenger seat spoke up. “Honey, Lisa sounded just a bit concerned when she called us back at the airport. You don’t think she’s in any sort of danger? I mean, she did mention Tommy, and you know how much trouble he’s been lately.”

“Well, she also mentioned that all he did was try to knock her around with a tire iron. If he had a gun, I’d be somewhat more concerned. But you know Lisa. She’s always trying to make things out to be worse than they actually are. Remember that summer camp incident? We had to foot a $290 hotel bill for that girl simply because she couldn’t be bothered to camp outside for one night!”

“I don’t know, she sounded awfully concerned. Now I know she has a tendency to be a drama queen, but there was something about her tone this time. And what you said about Team Rocket – you were really downplaying them. That girl who ended up defeating them did have an easy time of it, but she was incredibly strong. My point is, our daughter might really be in danger.”

Calmly, the man said, “Look, I told Lisa she was going to train Pokémon, and I’m not going back on that. She’s a smart enough girl; I’m sure she can handle it.”

His wife let out a heavy sigh. “I hope you’re right…”
********

By nightfall, Meowth had learned how to store enough water to shoot out Water Pulses of decent size and power. “It’s not yet a full-powered attack, but don’t worry,” Alexis assured. “It’ll get stronger with time. Oh, and do you see those rippling pulses that accompany the shots of water? I’ve heard that they contain psychic energy that will sometimes cause the target to become confused.”

“Confusion? Huh… What’s that like?” inquired Lisa, a puzzled look on her face.

“It’s a very strange thing indeed. The confused Pokémon doesn’t know what to attack. It may go after the target as normal, or it may attack itself, its allies, or even the trainers. It’s a really bizarre condition, but it’s short-lived. It may last long enough to turn the tables in battle though, so it’s a fairly useful tactic.”

As Meowth’s proficiency with the attack progressed, it started to unleash its water blasts with more intensity and speed. It also learned how to aim the attack with a good deal of accuracy. Not once did it accidentally drench the girls while aiming for a can, though a few bushes in the yard did get soaked.

“Your Meowth’s a quick learner!” Alexis complimented.

“Thanks. I think this one’s got a lot of determination after what she’s been through. Two trainers tried to do some serious harm to her. The first was a guy that used to work for Dad. He had already had been convicted of serious crimes. The second one was part of that Thrash group. So, I think Meowth just wants to do her best to stop these criminals.”

Alexis looked up and noticed the sun was beginning to set, creating a vivid sky colored in hues of yellow, orange, and red. “Wow, what a lovely sunset. But I guess that means that it’s time to call it a day. Let’s head inside and get some dinner!”

“Hey, that is a pretty sky. Okay, Meowth, you ready to take a break?”

“Meow, meow!” Wearing a weary smile, the cat motioned towards Lisa’ bag.

“Yeah, I guess you do want a rest after a long day of training. Okay, return!” Lisa took out the Pokémon’s Luxury Ball and recalled Meowth in a flash of red light. “Okay, we’re ready.”

After stretching out in front of the television for a bit, the two girls ate dinner. “My parents are out of town at a wedding. They’ll be back tomorrow afternoon and I’ll ask them then about going on the League challenge,” said Alexis while eating a slice of turkey from her microwave dinner. “And I really can’t cook all that well, so that’s the reason for the lousy meal.” The girl was running her blond hair through her fingers. “But I can cook well enough to sustain me if I go on this journey.”

“No, it’s perfectly fine… It’s not like I can cook either.”

“Really? How do you expect to eat while you’re on the road?”

“I’ve done some research,” Lisa answered, “and if I can keep a steady pace, I think I can manage to pass by a restaurant at least once a day. Only question is, is there going to be a hotel at the end of the day?”

The other girl nearly fell out of her seat. “Whoa, whoa, whoa! You may be this rich girl with all this money, but don’t you think that staying in hotels and eating in restaurants takes away from the ‘journey’ aspect of the ‘Pokémon journey’?”

“Wait… wha… What?” Lisa stammered. “I can’t be expected to do stuff like that! I thought this was all just about the training, that a system would be set in place to make sure trainers were properly fed and housed!”

“Well, according to my parents,” Alexis answered, a slight hint of annoyance in her voice, “this is also a journey to build your strength and character. It’s not enough just to make your Pokémon battle. You’ll be engaged in a battle of sorts as well. Only your battle will be providing for yourself as you try to make it through this region. And if you cop out and take the easy way out, do you really gain anything in the end?”

“I… I… really don’t know…” Lisa trailed off.

“Well, I shouldn’t hold that against you. I mean, sounds to me like you were thrown into this situation out of the blue, instead of actually wanting to set out training Pokémon. But, I do think that the whole journey will be a lot more rewarding if you try to challenge yourself to do new things.”

Lisa decided to throw her clothes into the washing machine before settling on the couch to watch some anime DVDs with her new friend. She had taken yet another shower and now wore a pink nightgown. “Well, at least for one night, I’ll be able to relax a bit.

For awhile, the two just sat silently on the couch watching several different series, becoming engrossed in the action on the flat-screen TV in front of them. When Alexis had put in her DVD of ‘Cardcaptor Sakura,’ Lisa finally spoke up. “You know, this version of ‘Cardcaptor Sakura’ is so much better than the one they showed on TV back home,” she commented while taking a bite of some potato chips.

“Yeah, from what I heard, they completely butchered the show in the US. At least in this region, they decided to leave well enough alone.”

“You know, once this journey thingie is over, I may need to look into buying some of my anime from stores around here!”

Silence once again took over as the girls once again became absorbed in the show. Both were sitting casually, with their heads resting on one of their hands. “Alexis seems like a nice enough girl, but I really can’t think of anything to talk with her about…

Yawning, Alexis told her companion, “Okay, I think I’ll head to bed. Don’t stay up too late.”

“Okay, Mom!” Lisa joked, before letting out a yawn of her own. “Well, scratch that – I guess I’ll be headed to bed, too.”

“All right, see you in the morning.”

The next morning, Lisa had put on her favorite blue floral dress. Along with it, she also wore her green cardigan, white hat, and, of course, a pair of white pantyhose. Slipping her feet into her black heels, she made her way downstairs to the dining room.

Stretching out as she entered the large room with cream-colored walls, the girl made her way toward the table, where Alexis had laid out a few strips of bacon for breakfast.

“Wow! Looks good!” Lisa exclaimed as she took her seat.

“Thanks!” her new friend replied as she also sat down.

“You know, I think I’ll set out today. The next town isn’t too far away and I’m hoping I can make it there by nightfall.”

“Well, Lisa, I’ll be a couple hours behind you, hopefully. But I think I’ll get the okay from my parents; it’s been a year since I got my Squirtle and I’ve had a lot of time to train it!”

After they finished eating, Lisa gathered her bags and both girls walked out to the main forest path. “Okay, looks like I’m off! Good luck on your own journey! Though next time we battle, I’m gonna win!” shouted Lisa as she began walking off.

“Well, I've got to return to the house and prepare to set out on my adventure. Hopefully I'll see you soon!”

“Bye! Take care!” The two girls waved at each other before heading their separate ways.

After making a new friend, Lisa was re-energized. She began to sing quietly to herself.

“And we can build this dream together
Standing strong forever
Nothing's gonna stop us now...”

But upon seeing the hike ahead, her excitement - and her singing – were abruptly cut off.

The teen sulked as she looked at the path that lay before her. It was no different from before – a jagged, uneven dirt trail flanked on both sides with forests of towering green trees. The arcing branches and full leaves allowed little sunlight to reach the walkway below. “Oh, wonderful!” she shouted, throwing her hands in the air. “More stupid forest to work my way through! They could’ve built a mall here, but no…”

As she reluctantly began her hike, the girl’s mind began to wander. Inside her head, thoughts of her aching feet were fighting with the conversations from yesterday for Lisa’s attention, but her meandering train of thought was interrupted by a shrill voice.

“Hey girlie, I see you got Pokémon! What do you say to a battle?” A young boy, wearing a ball cap, white T-shirt, and blue shorts had jumped out in front of Lisa.

The girl gasped and took a step backward before recovering her wits. Frowning and placing her hands on her hips, she replied in an annoyed tone, “Excuse me, I have a name, you know, and that was rather rude of you. But, if it's a battle you want, I'll be glad to work out that equation. Koffing, you're up!”

Once the Poison-type was released from its holding device, it looked at its trainer apprehensively, frowning and staying close to Lisa’s side. The teen whispered, “Don’t worry, I won’t let anything bad happen. Just try to do your best.”

With those words of encouragement, the purple sphere gave Lisa a small smile before taking its position a few feet directly in front of her, ready for the battle.

“Hah! As if that's any match for my Rattata! Go!” The rodent-like Pokémon was an all too familiar sight, especially considering the Rattata mob from the previous day. It opened its mouth and squeaked, showing off two short teeth. Standing on all fours, the tiny creature glared at its airborne opponent. Though the end of its tail was still curled, the appendage itself stood straight up.

The two purple Pokémon were ready for combat. “Okay, we'll start out by using Sludge!”

Koffing began spitting out large chunks of dark purple slime, but the Rattata easily darted around all of them and used a jumping Tackle on the airborne Poison-type. Although Koffing was hit directly, it simply brushed off the attack.

“Ha! Like that speed?”

“It's pretty fast... We'll have to find some way to slow it down. Let's let loose a Smokescreen to conceal ourselves then move in with another Sludge!”

A cloud of thick black smoke soon surrounded Rattata, and Lisa lost sight of it. “All right, let's launch some Sludge directly into the smoke cloud!”

“Koffing!”

Several large blobs of Sludge were fired into the cloud surrounding Rattata. The smoke eventually cleared, revealing a severely weakened foe, but one that was still willing to fight. The rodent-like Pokémon continued to squeak at

“Rattata, we have one more chance! Quick Attack!”

“Koffing, use Smog at the incoming Rattata!”

As Rattata ran toward Koffing, the purple orb prepared a poisonous cloud. The second after Rattata slammed into Koffing's expandable body, he let out a cloud of Smog. The tiny Pokémon suddenly developed a pained expression on its face and came crashing back to earth. Sluggishly tumbling about and gasping for air, it was unable to continue battling.

“Oh, no! Rattata!” The boy recalled his Pokémon, hung his head in shame, and muttered, “Beaten by a girl... no, worse, a girly-girl in a dress! I'll never live this down! Please don't tell anyone about this!”

“Fine, as long as you stop it with calling us 'girly'. I think you've found out that girls are not to be taken lightly.” With her arms folded across her chest and a scowl on her face, Lisa was clearly annoyed at this brat’s attitude.

“Ummm... okay... I'm sorry...” The boy ran away and disappeared into the forest.

“Rude much?” scoffed Lisa as she walked off in the other direction. She felt her handbag begin to wobble and vibrate, and without warning her Meowth appeared in front of her. “Well, hi, there! Do you want some fresh air? Okay, let’s go. I really want to get out of this forest as soon as I can…”

“Meow meow!”

The pair attempted to make their way through the forest as quickly and quietly as possible, not making any noise that would disturb the Pokémon hiding within. Soon, trainer and kitten were presented with a tough choice. The path forked in two directions. The road to the left appeared to be the main one, as it was essentially the same as the path they had been on. In contrast, the route to the right was narrower, darker, and had much taller grass.

However, Lisa noticed something on the main walkway – Pokémon. A small purple Rattata was fleeing from a slightly larger yellow rodent who was launching electrical sparks at its prey. Eventually, the predator managed to strike down its hapless opponent with a bolt of electricity. The aggressor began punching its stunned foe before throwing its entire chubby body on the unconscious Rattata.

“No way am I getting involved in that mess… looks like a couple rats fighting over cheese. Let’s take this other path, even if it doesn’t look as nice. Careful, Meowth, the grass looks pretty thick and tangled here.”
However, it did not take long for the dark, sinister path to end in a clearing. But something was weird about it – the grass in this location appeared to be freshly cut. After observing the neatly manicured green grass for a moment, the girl looked up to see something just as suspicious. Her eyes grew wide as the sprawling sight spread before her.

Lisa was faced with a mysterious complex in front of her. It was surrounded by high stone walls topped with barbed wire. At the corners of the facility were what appeared to be guard towers. Oddly enough, despite the high security measures, Lisa found the front gate to be unlocked. “Well, doesn’t this place look rather suspicious…” Letting her curiosity get the better of her judgment, the girl entered the sinister installation.

As Lisa tried to pass the open gate of the facility, she felt something pull her back. “What’s that?” She spun around and noticed that one of the loops on the decorative tie on the back of her dress was caught on a wire.

Wiping her brow, Lisa whispered to herself, “Oh, man, that had me scared for a minute!” She freed herself then took a closer look at the complex.

On either side of the complex stood a row of wood barracks. Between them was what appeared to be a boot camp or basic training camp. A fence of barbed wire was mounted horizontally about a foot off the ground. A high wall with three ropes draped over it was behind that. Beside the wall was a rock-climbing wall. The facility also boasted a weapons firing range. At the forefront, however, was a large red brick building flying the Team Thrash flag. A large Ford van was parked in front. Lisa watched as people and Pokémon alike were using the facilities for intense training. “Looks like some sort of boot camp. I better get out of here before something happens…

Suddenly Lisa felt two sets of arms grab her and cover her mouth. She started to let out a muffled scream, but stopped when one of the two uniformed men revealed a gleaming blade. Her heart stopped beating momentarily as she was taken by surprise. “What’s going on?

“I can’t believe you fell for that! You know, you really are a dumb girl. With those heels on we could hear you coming from a mile away!” cackled the man holding the knife.

Great… now I’ve been captured by these guys… what else could go wrong? And where’s Meowth? She better be okay!” The girl began to squirm again, but she stopped as soon as the knife was placed on her neck. “Well, that’s it, I’m gonna die here…” she realized as she submitted to her captors. Lisa tried to suppress tears as she silently walked toward the brick building, with the guards dictating her every move.

As they approached the structure, Lisa tripped on a small rock. One of her captors removed her shoes and flung them aside. “It’ll be easier walking you to your holding cell without those cumbersome things on. But first…”

Both guards placed handcuffs on Lisa’s hands and feet, then slipped on gas masks. One of them took out a Pokéball and sent out the same plant Pokémon that Tommy had used against her. “Oddish! Use Sleep Powder on the girl!” The short blue Pokémon used its stubby feet to jump, releasing fine white particles from the plume of green leaves atop its head. That was the last thing Lisa remembered before blacking out.

“Meow?” Behind some bushes, the tiny cat had witnessed the whole incident. She kept herself hidden until she could see no guards. Once the way was open, she began making her way toward the main building.
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Old May 9th, 2008 (06:49 PM).
Elite Overlord LeSabre™'s Avatar
Elite Overlord LeSabre™ Elite Overlord LeSabre™ is offline
On that 'Non stop road'
Gold Tier
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Shimoda City
Age: 89
Nature: Quirky
Posts: 9,530
Wow! After three and a half months, I FINALLY have Chapter 5 posted! See, I told y'all I would continue this eventually...

This was not beta-approved, so I'm expecting there to be tons of little niggling things that I need to go back and correct. Unfortunately, I will be without internet for most of the summer and will be VERY slow in replying... Anyway, here's...

Chapter 5: The Sinister Camp and the Dog Master

When Lisa came to, she found herself seated on a concrete floor, still restrained by handcuffs and chains, in a cold, dark prison cell. Her bag, purse, and hat had been placed on a table outside the cell, with imposing steel bars and two burly guards preventing Lisa from getting to them. Accompanying the guards was a yellow mouse-like creature. its beady black eyes moved back and forth in a shifty manner, with its bolt-shaped tail sticking straight in the air.

Lisa did a quick look- over of her outfit. Her clothes were left wrinkled but undamaged. Her stockings, while filthy on the bottom of her feet, had no holes. She sighed in relief, but was perfectly aware of the fact that the condition of her hosiery did nothing to improve her situation.

Another man rushed in. Lisa recognized him as Buster, the first Thrash member she battled. “You!” he announced, pointing to one of the guards. “The boss sent me to relieve you. You and your Pikachu may leave.”

“Right, Buster!” The man whipped out a Pokéball and summoned his Pokémon back into it before heading up the stairs.

“Oh, what irony is this?” Buster gloated. The very girl that handed me my most embarrassing loss is now caged under my direct supervision. We’re going to have a fun ol’ time!” He walked right up to the prison door, smiling wickedly at Lisa. The girl slid her body backward, not wanting to be anywhere near the man.

“Well, I guess you don’t want to play right now. Fair enough.” Buster noticed his partner beginning to rifle through Lisa’s backpack. “Stop that!” he commanded.

“Ah, come on, let me have some fun, too. Besides, ain’t nothing in here but a bunch of clothes and some fancy electronic stuff.”

Buster instructed, “I was told by the boss that he wants to be the one to go through her stuff, and nobody else!”

“Fine…” the other guard muttered.

Inside her dank cell, Lisa thought to herself, “Great... How am I gonna get out of this sitch? However, that one guard may be right. With those heels on, they can hear my footsteps coming and prepare for it. So the whole unlocked gate was just a ruse to trap me... Man, I’m stupid!” Lisa bowed her head and began to sob. “I… can’t believe this…”

“Shaddup! We’re not going to listen to your crying crap all damn day!”

“Yeah, just keep quiet and don’t bother us, or there’ll be hell to pay!”

The two men began conversing among themselves. “Hey, I caught a glimpse of the boss’s Pokémon. Call me crazy, but didn’t he used to have much stronger ones?”

“Yeah, but his boss, the guy in charge of everything, made all of his top officers turn in their Pokémon for some sort of experiment. Apparently the Pokémon he gave as replacements are first evolutions… Wonder what the heck he was gonna do with them in his experiments, though…”

Lisa turned away from the men and faced the gray concrete wall in front of her. She had no idea how she was going to get out of this. Her efforts to lay low had failed, and this was the price she would pay. The girl began praying silently, hoping her calls would be answered. Buster took notice and sneered. “Don’t waste your time. You ain’t got a prayer! Ha, I’m funny!”

Not in the least…” Gritting her teeth, Lisa’s growing anger gave her the strength to ask her captors, “So, what is it that you intend to do with me?”

“To tell you the truth, that ain’t for us to decide. Whenever the boss gets done with hi important work upstairs, he’ll come fetch you himself. But I can imagine it’ll likely involve torture and finish up with your death. Have fun with that!”

Lisa shuddered, curling herself into a ball. So her fate would be death – that is, unless some sort of miracle happened to save her from this fate.

Suddenly Lisa heard the footsteps of someone in heels. The guard looked up, yelling, “What the hell’s that noise?”

Suddenly a pair of black dress shoes came flying at him followed by a barrage of coins. Both shoes hit him square on the head, knocking him down. Then Lisa spotted a familiar Pokémon. “Meowth! How’d you get in here?”

“Dammit! That cat’s gonna die!” growled Buster as he pulled a butcher knife from a holster on his belt. “Get up and help me catch this mangy fleabag!” he yelled to his partner, who was still rubbing his head in pain.

From inside the cell, Lisa watched nervously as the two guards lunged toward her Pokémon. Her entire body was shaking and her forehead was drenched in sweat. “Meowth, watch out!”

Using its jumping skills, the cat barely avoided being clocked by a guard’s right fist. As Buster tried to make his way toward the alarm switch, Meowth gave him several scratches to the face before jumping aside, narrowly dodging a swipe with the knife.

“Dammit, Pete, get your gun out!”

“A gun? Oh, no!” Lisa shrieked, her eyes opened as wide as they would go.

The second guard, now identified as Pete, fumbled for the handle of his gun. But Meowth would have none of that. The wily Pokémon planted her foot squarely in the man’s face, sending him falling backwards and crashing through a table.

“We can’t let that girl escape! The boss’ll be really mad if we do, and I don’t want to listen to his barking all over again!”

Still with gun in hand, Pete took aim at Meowth. But with the kitten constantly on the move, he couldn’t get a clean hit on her. One errant bullet missed his partner.

“Wha… Watch where you’re aiming that damn thing! Hit the cat, not me, nimrod!”

“Sorry, but that thing’s so fast… And I’m out of bullets!” As Pete reached into his pocket for more ammo, Meowth pulled off her version of a roundhouse kick, slamming her foot right into the face of the armed man. A bloodied Pete fell over backward, tumbling over a chair during his descent.

Though one of the men had been knocked unconscious, Lisa still looked on worriedly. Meowth wasn’t outnumbered anymore, but she was still out-muscled by the remaining guard. With Lisa still in handcuffs, she couldn’t begin to even wipe the sweat that now drenched her forehead, much less aid her tiny Pokémon.

“Why has nobody else come down here? Why the hell’d the boss make this room soundproof?” Buster wondered aloud as he lunged for the security alarm once again. Meowth leaped into the air and landed hard on Buster’s back, causing the guard to scream and fall to the floor only a few inches from his goal.

Getting back up, Buster took a look at his left arm. During that last hit, he had accidentally cut his own arm. Now boiling over with anger, he bellowed, “You little impudent! Now the gloves come off!”

Ripping open his shirt, the thug revealed his chiseled body. “I’ll beat you into submission, you fu-”

His threat was cut short when Meowth landed on his head and dug her claws deep into his face.

Buster clutched his face with both hands and yelled out in pain. Meowth delivered one final kick to his rear. The big man’s body slammed against the wall and his body slowly fell to the ground after the painful impact.

And just like that, there was silence. The two men lay on the floor, not moving. Lisa perked up. She knew this was her one chance at freedom – if the locks to her cell could be undone.

The cat Pokémon quickly jumped onto the cell door and used one of its claws to pick open the lock. After about a minute and a half the lock clicked open. Lisa, still restrained, struggled to her feet and hobbled to the cell door and forced it open by using the weight of her body and her handcuffed hands. As soon as the door was open, Meowth worked on picking the handcuff locks. As soon as she was free, Lisa bent down and hugged her Pokémon.

“Wow! You really are a great little Pokémon! Thanks a lot for your help! Wait, those look like my shoes!” Lisa said, looking at the two strappy black heels that had aided her escape. “Did you wear them all the way down here?”

Meowth nodded. “Meow meow!”

Lisa had to chuckle a bit at the thought of her Meowth wearing her shoes. But then she got back to business. She returned her shoes to her bag and pulled out a pair of soft white ballet slippers. She then slipped them on. “These won’t make nearly as much noise as my dress shoes. I’m going to take these guys by complete surprise. Sorry, Meowth, but until I find a way back outside, I’ll need you back into your Pokéball.”

After recalling her Pokémon in a flash of red light, Lisa put on her bag, purse and hat and started walking down a dark corridor, then up some stairs. Just then she heard footsteps – most likely belonging to a couple of Thrash guards making their way down the stairs. Silently, Lisa sent out her Koffing.

“Okay, I need you to blow a Smokescreen in that direction,” Lisa said, pointing up the stairs. "But I need you to do it silently, without alerting those two guards heading toward us.”

Without making a noise Koffing blew a thick black cloud up the stairs. Lisa could hear the guards coughing. “Hey, what is that?!”

Lisa quickly summoned Koffing back into its ball then ran up the stairs while the guards were still blinded. As she headed up the stairwell she heard the guards. “Stupid leaky pipes! Why doesn't the boss keep this place maintained?”

Lisa reached the top of the stairs and burst through the door. She found herself in a plain-looking office. The muscular man at the desk jumped out of his office chair. “What?! You!? How did you escape? No matter. So, you are Lisa, the girl who's been snooping around Team Thrash's business. I am Fred, the team's Mission Commander! I am also the most incredible dog Pokémon Master you will ever meet! Awooo! Ruff! Ruff!”

The oddly barking man approached Lisa. Wearing all black except for the trademark red “T” logos on his helmet and shirt, it appeared as if he was wearing body armor underneath his clothes. He also wore a mysterious metal device on his back. As Fred continued to talk, Lisa pressed two buttons on her PDA – a voice recorder and a panic button.

“In case you were curious, we were the ones who headed up the attack on Sequoia’s lab. But the boss put those two newbies in charge instead of me… No! I've said too much! Whatever! You will battle me now! They call me the Dog Master, and I shall show you why! Growlithe and Poochyena, attack! Destroy her! Arf! Arf! Arf!” He called forth two dog- like Pokémon, one being the fiery orange Growlithe and the other being a small gray Pokémon with unusually large teeth. Both canines snarled and bared their teeth, a look of pure anger in their eyes.

“I hope you don't think you will get away with this. Meowth and Koffing, let's get started! Aim for Growlithe with Smog and Fury Swipes!”

The quick Meowth landed four harsh blows by slashing its claws, then jumped out of the way. Growlithe readied an Ember, but then Koffing's Smog hit, triggering a large explosion that rocked both opponents.

“Get a taste of Thrash technology!” Fred yelled, sticking a large syringe into Poochyena. The gray Pokémon began to glow. When the light wore off, Lisa could see she now faced a fully evolved form of the little wolf Pokémon, growing significantly in size. It started to bark and snarl furiously. Its red eyes immediately struck fear into Lisa, as she began quivering. Her Pokémon, however, stood strong.

“Like that? With this serum, we can force evolution whenever we like!”

“You creeps! You're fooling around with the natural biology of Pokémon! There's no telling what consequences it will wreak on its body chemistry!”

“Ah, go tell it to your lab professor, brainiac!” Fred sneered, arrogantly flexing his muscles.

“Koffing, continue using Smog on that Growlithe. Meowth, give Mightyena a wake up call. Use Pay Day, then Water Pulse to accelerate the coins.”

“Foolish girl! Growlithe, use Ember! Mightyena, Bite! Arf! Arf!”

Mightyena charged in at Meowth with teeth bared, but was sent backwards by a blast of water and coins launched by Meowth. It landed next to Growlithe just as Smog ignited another Ember attempt, triggering another explosion. When the smoke cleared, Growlithe was lying on the ground, completely spent. Mightyena was still in the fight. The hulking hothead recalled his fiery orange dog.

“Attack, Houndour! Get your dinner!” As soon as Fred sent his third dog-like Pokémon out, he injected another chemical into it. The Pokémon didn't evolve but it suddenly developed an extremely angry look on its face. Snapping its jaw furiously, the little Pokémon fired multiple Embers – right at Lisa. Only quick jumping kept her from getting torched.

“Hey, watch where you firing that!” she shouted, her face red with anger. “What did you do to that Pokémon?”

“Meet our Rage Inducer! It instantly raises the level of rage and hatred in a Pokémon, enabling me to do this! Houndour, Frustration! Awooooo!”

The vicious black dog rushed in, knocking both of Lisa's Pokémon and sending them flying.

“No!” Lisa looked on in horror as her Pokémon slammed against a wall. Lisa’s heart was racing and she was nervously fingering at her dress, trying desperately to figure out her next move.

Wearing scars from the recent hits, both of them looked badly hurt, but also had a look of determination on their faces.

“Yes! Wahahahaha! Like that, loser?!”

Both of Lisa's Pokémon eventually struggled back into contention. Lisa quivered as she stammered, “We can't take another hit like that... Okay guys, we need to hit that Houndour with a Water Pulse and Smog!”

Meowth was the first to strike with a Water Pulse, doing some serious damage to Houndour.

“Ember followed by Frustration! Ruff!”

Man, this guy is stupid… and his barking is getting really annoying...” Lisa thought to herself as Koffing's Smog triggered yet another explosion. Out of the smoke Mightyena came running and slammed into Koffing, followed by a barrage of small flames that struck Meowth.

All four Pokémon were severely weakened by the last few attacks. Each was breathing heavily. Both Lisa and Fred were tense, their fists locked and staring at the battling Pokémon with unwavering concentration. The battle had been deadlocked, and it was anyone’s game.

“Use Frustration and finish her! Awooo!”

“Dodge that then go after Mightyena with Scratch and Sludge!”

Both of Lisa's Pokémon jumped aside right before impact and went after Mightyena. After Scratch hit, Mightyena jumped aside but started to glow white again. This time, it reverted to its Poochyena form and promptly fainted.

“Ha! See ya!” Lisa taunted, pointing at her adversary.

“Gah! No! Houndour, finish her with a supercharged Frustration!”

As Houndour rushed in, Meowth launched a watery blast at Houndour, stopping it in its tracks. The Houndour fainted out of exhaustion, and Fred recalled it. “Damn you! You defeated my glorious dogs, you little bi-”

“Yes! We defeated him!” Lisa cheered, pumping her fist in the air.

“Don't be so sure! My little rapid-fire friend says otherwise!” Fred growled, reaching under his desk. He emerged with a Mac-10 machine gun and pointed it at Lisa. Suddenly he looked out of his window and noticed a large police truck smash through the base's front gates. A large group of police cars quickly followed. Fred quickly ran over to a console on the far wall. He flipped a red switch, opening up a skylight in the roof. He then pressed a button on his gear. Two wings came out of the pack as well as two exhaust pipes. Using his jet-pack, Fred made his escape, but not before telling Lisa, “You have not seen the last of me... Unless I get chewed out so badly I break down...”

Just then a SWAT team broke down the door, followed by an investigator. The investigator walked up to Lisa. “I understand that you are the girl chosen by the Pokémon League to combat the Thrash threat. I am Agent Morgan. Once you are ready, meet me by my police cruiser.”

“Okay. Wait, which one's yours?”

“Mine is the Chevrolet Caprice. The rest of these officers use Plymouth Gran Furys.”
“Wait, I thought both the Caprice and Gran Fury were discontinued.”

“Yes, but there is a man who specializes in restoring those old police cars and... Just meet me at my car, okay?”

“Right.”

After recalling her Pokémon and putting her dress shoes back on, Lisa made her way past the old Plymouth police cruisers, eventually finding the one Caprice, an older, box- style one. Lisa figured it was probably an '88 or '89, similar to hers. Agent Morgan motioned for her to step into the front passenger seat. As she got in, she saw other officers escort the other Thrash agents out of the facility in handcuffs. She saw that one of them was the man named Buster, and she gave him a sly smirk as he was led past. He shot back an angry scowl before being shoved into the back of a Gran Fury police cruiser.

Inside the Caprice, Lisa immediately pulled out her PDA. “I just so happened to get a voice recording of the leader, Fred, during his pre-battle rant.” She played back the recording for Morgan.

Fred's voice came on. “In case you were curious, we were the ones who headed up the attack on Sequoia’s lab....”

“Thank you, um... what's your name?”

“Oh, sorry, It’s Lisa Northwood.”

“Anyway, thank you, Lisa. This recording is very incriminating.”

As he was taking notes the recording kept playing. Just then something caught Morgan's attention. “Wait, play that last part back.”

Lisa rewound the digital recording a few seconds. “Don't be so sure! My little rapid-fire friend says otherwise!”

“Excellent. We got him down for attempted murder as well. Lisa, let me download this into my laptop, then I'll send you on your way. I don't want to hold you up since I believe they'll try again to get that research data.”

After the download was completed, Lisa bid farewell to the investigator, then made her way north. Emerging from the forest on a dusty dirt road marked “Route 503”, she could see the next town in the distance. “That must be Bluefield City, the home of the first gym and the region's university.”

Then Lisa noticed a bulletin board. One flyer caught her attention. It read: “Fourtix Region Calculus Challenge: To be held Oct. 28 at 9:00 AM. Registrations accepted until start of event. Event to be held in New Math Building in Fourtix University.”

“That's tomorrow! I guess I should take a little break after what I've been through at this base.” Lisa released her Meowth from its Pokéball. “I see you're all rested up, sweetie. Let's get you a little exercise now.”

Lisa and Meowth headed down the road to the next town, Lisa once again singing.

Meowth just rolled her eyes as Lisa continued singing those cheesy songs she seemed to like so much.

Lisa walked down the short path to the next town. The city’s taller buildings loomed on the horizon as large gray blocks. The path into town was a desolate dirt path with tall weeds on either side, along with a few large leafy trees. Not much was there and she believed she would just be able to stroll into town…

But that would not be the case. A group of cute, small Pokémon appeared, a mixture of blue and purple ones. The purple ones appeared to have larger ears and horns. The Pokédex identified them as male and female Nidoran. Before she could take another step, a larger purple Pokémon jumped out between the Nidoran and Lisa. It let out a loud cry and began waving its head angrily. A sizeable horn was located on its forehead. Lisa flipped on her Pokédex.

“Nidorino, the poison pin Pokémon: Nidorino is known for its aggressive nature. It prefers attacking with its horn, which can inject a poison into an enemy.”

“It’s probably trying to defend those Nidoran. Well, since I don’t feel like being poisoned, guess I better fight Poison with Poison. Koffing, you’re up! Use Smokescreen then Tackle!”

Koffing created a thick cloud of black smoke, and Lisa completely lost sight of the Nidorino. It let out another loud cry, and the other Nidoran retreated into the thick brush. Meanwhile, Koffing had already struck Nidorino with a Tackle. It attempted to retaliate with a Horn Attack but Koffing floated up and out of the way.

“Good work! Now, hit it with another Tackle while it’s still blinded!”

Koffing attempted another Tackle but was stopped short when Nidorino jabbed its huge horn into Koffing’s expandable body, which sent Koffing hurtling backwards. Koffing quickly recovered and came headlong at Nidorino again. Nidorino once again used Horn Attack, and both Pokémon were sent reeling from the attacks. As both Pokémon struggled to continue the fight, Lisa realized that Koffing could not sustain another direct hit like that, even with Nidorino weakened. Even though she already had a poison type, it was time…

“Go, Pokéball!” Lisa threw the spherical capturing tool at Nidorino, who was drawn into the orb by a flash of red energy. After wobbling for a few seconds, the ball clicked shut.

“All right! I caught Nidorino!”

Having caught another Pokémon, Lisa recalled Koffing and took the final few steps into Bluefield City.
******

*looks up* It wasn't too bad, was it?
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  #40    
Old May 25th, 2008 (05:10 PM).
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Wooo! First one!! Yes, I'm late but... Okay, lets get this lame ol' intro outta the way, (Quote:Rena) and ONTO TEH REVIEW!

Oh em geee, I found a GRAMMAR ERROR!!!!!! You already said that this chapter wasn't beta-approved, but you did a good job since I found only one error...

Quote:
its beady black eyes moved back and forth in a shifty manner, with its bolt-shaped tail sticking straight in the air.
Forgot to capitalize here.

Quote:
Lisa did a quick look- over of her outfit. Her clothes were left wrinkled but undamaged. Her stockings, while filthy on the bottom of her feet, had no holes. She sighed in relief, but was perfectly aware of the fact that the condition of her hosiery did nothing to improve her situation.
Her pantyhose isn't gonna get her out of jail... lolz

Quote:
The girl slid her body backward, not wanting to be anywhere near the man.
Correction: Mentally ill man who barks waaaaay too much and drives me nuts! lolz

But wooooow, Lisa's really in a mess this time! First of all she's in jail which isn't the best of places to be, and second, she's stuck in there with Fred! I feel sorry for her lolz :/

Quote:

“Shaddup! We’re not going to listen to your crying crap all damn day!”
“Yeah, just keep quiet and don’t bother us, or there’ll be hell to pay!”
Hey, I just noticed... those two lines rhyme! They could make a wonderful song!

Shaddup!
We’re not going to listen to your crying crap all damn day!
Yeah, just keep quiet and don’t bother us!
Or there’ll be hell to pay...

(Don't listen to me, I'm really random! Lolz....)

Quote:
Ripping open his shirt, the thug revealed his chiseled body. “I’ll beat you into submission, you fu-”
His threat was cut short when Meowth landed on his head and dug her claws deep into his face.
Buster clutched his face with both hands and yelled out in pain. Meowth delivered one final kick to his rear. The big man’s body slammed against the wall and his body slowly fell to the ground after the painful impact.
I think what he meant to say was that HE'LL be beat into submission.... How ironic... A big, togh guy gets PWNED by a Meowth!

Quote:
But I can imagine it’ll likely involve torture and finish up with your death. Have fun with that!”
LOL! This reminds me of science class when we were joking about the electric chair... It was something like this: We shall now take you to the electric chair, Ol' Shocky! You will hve an enjoyable experience of electric current running through your body, followed by death. Have a nice day!

Don't ask me how it started, I have no clue! xD


So Fred the Dog Idiot has been charged with murder AND attacking the lab? Wow, I real do wonder what'll become of him eventually...

Overall, very enjoyable chapter! Especially with the entire 'jailbreak' thingy! Sorry for begin so late again! I try to be on time, but schoolwork has other plans for me... Hopefully in the summer I'll be able to squeeze in some more stuff. Chao!
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  #41    
Old May 25th, 2008 (06:11 PM).
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Bay Alexison Bay Alexison is online now
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Oh dear, sorry for this very, very, late review! Been busy with schoolwork and then a few other things happened. Seems like I've a lot of time on my hands (yay for Memorial Day! ^.^) so I'll do this review right here, right now. :D

Chapter Four

Nothing too much happened in that chapter but the readers were able to a glipmse of Lisa better. I think this is my favorite part:

Quote:
“Doesn’t anyone think being a Resident Assistant for a bunch of freshman students is a challenge, especially when I’m younger than any of the students?! It’s hard juggling twenty-one hours of coursework, being a member of Student Senate and RHA, and keeping the quiet hours and alcohol policies enforced!” The girl was clutching clumps of her brown hair in her hands.
Aw, poor her. Man, the college life. XD

There's one part I'm confused.


Quote:
Several large blobs of Sludge were fired into the cloud surrounding Rattata. The smoke eventually cleared, revealing a severely weakened foe, but one that was still willing to fight. The rodent-like Pokémon continued to squeak at
Squeak at what? Seems like you're missing a noun there.

Chapter Five

Haha, quite like how Meowth saved Lisa. Also laugh at the thought of her wearing those shoes. Must be hard for her, huh? XD

Fifth chapter and already Lisa's dealing with breaking out of a building. Sweet. Also, agree that Fred guy is an idoit. He would get slap by other woman if he keeps howling at them. XD I found it interesting he would use chemicals to mess around with evolution, but hehe on that plan being backfire.

As for the emotions, you're improving on that department nicely. There were still a few places you could have maybe put more body indicators to show their emotions instead of telling, but overall you're getting better. For instance:

Quote:
“No!” Lisa looked on in horror as her Pokémon slammed against a wall. Lisa’s heart was racing and she was nervously fingering at her dress, trying desperately to figure out her next move.
I like how you're showing how she's nervous about her Pokemon and really trying hard to think of another attack to use.

Overall I enjoyed Chapters 4 and 5 and you're improving nicely. Again, so sorry for being very late. I hope this summer I'll be able to come in a more timely fashion.
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  #42    
Old May 31st, 2008 (06:23 PM).
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Elite Overlord LeSabre™ Elite Overlord LeSabre™ is offline
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Quote originally posted by Haruka of Hoenn:
Oh em geee, I found a GRAMMAR ERROR!!!!!! You already said that this chapter wasn't beta-approved, but you did a good job since I found only one error...
Quote:
its beady black eyes moved back and forth in a shifty manner, with its bolt-shaped tail sticking straight in the air.
Forgot to capitalize here.
Oops! Actually I like to get my fics betaed for characterization and word usage, but occasionally they catch the odd typo. Thanks!

Quote originally posted by Haruka of Hoenn:
Quote:
Lisa did a quick look- over of her outfit. Her clothes were left wrinkled but undamaged. Her stockings, while filthy on the bottom of her feet, had no holes. She sighed in relief, but was perfectly aware of the fact that the condition of her hosiery did nothing to improve her situation.
Her pantyhose isn't gonna get her out of jail... lolz
Indeed they won't.. She still has to look her very best, though

Quote originally posted by Haruka of Hoenn:
Correction: Mentally ill man who barks waaaaay too much and drives me nuts! lolz
One must wonder how his subordinates have put up with the guy for so long, lolz

Quote originally posted by Haruka of Hoenn:
Hey, I just noticed... those two lines rhyme! They could make a wonderful song!

Shaddup!
We’re not going to listen to your crying crap all damn day!
Yeah, just keep quiet and don’t bother us!
Or there’ll be hell to pay...
Hey, that song could be a number one hit, lolz!

I think what he meant to say was that HE'LL be beat into submission.... How ironic... A big, togh guy gets PWNED by a Meowth! [/QUOTE]
The guy never saw it coming... Who knew Meowth could go all 'Walker Texas Ranger' on someone at least ten times her size... Actually, chalk that one up to her speed and agility

Quote originally posted by Haruka of Hoenn:
Overall, very enjoyable chapter! Especially with the entire 'jailbreak' thingy! Sorry for begin so late again! I try to be on time, but schoolwork has other plans for me... Hopefully in the summer I'll be able to squeeze in some more stuff. Chao!
Don't worry too much about it, especially seeing as how infrequent my updates here are...

Quote originally posted by Bay:
Nothing too much happened in that chapter but the readers were able to a glipmse of Lisa better. I think this is my favorite part:
Quote:
“Doesn’t anyone think being a Resident Assistant for a bunch of freshman students is a challenge, especially when I’m younger than any of the students?! It’s hard juggling twenty-one hours of coursework, being a member of Student Senate and RHA, and keeping the quiet hours and alcohol policies enforced!” The girl was clutching clumps of her brown hair in her hands.
Aw, poor her. Man, the college life. XD
Indeed it is tough, especially when you spread yourself too thin with employment, classes, and extracurriculars... oh, and writing fanfiction.

Quote originally posted by Bay:
There's one part I'm confused.
Quote:
The rodent-like Pokémon continued to squeak at
Squeak at what? Seems like you're missing a noun there.
Well, I guess it was squeaking at either Koffing or Lisa... And that chapter was written way back when my eyes were good... Can't believe I missed that one...

Quote originally posted by Bay:
Haha, quite like how Meowth saved Lisa. Also laugh at the thought of her wearing those shoes. Must be hard for her, huh? XD
Meowth in heels, anyone?

Quote originally posted by Bay:
Fifth chapter and already Lisa's dealing with breaking out of a building. Sweet. Also, agree that Fred guy is an idoit. He would get slap by other woman if he keeps howling at them. XD I found it interesting he would use chemicals to mess around with evolution, but hehe on that plan being backfire.
Still no love for Fred... Well, that's understandable since he IS a moron. I think the idea of chemical-induced evolution dates back to my old RPGing days (which is also where my character Lisa and the region itself originated)

Quote originally posted by Bay:
As for the emotions, you're improving on that department nicely. There were still a few places you could have maybe put more body indicators to show their emotions instead of telling, but overall you're getting better.
Thanks! I'm still trying to improve in that regard, even with my new chapters over on the other forum. Someday, I'll get it

Quote originally posted by Bay:
Overall I enjoyed Chapters 4 and 5 and you're improving nicely. Again, so sorry for being very late. I hope this summer I'll be able to come in a more timely fashion.
Thanks, though like I said, I don't know if I'll be updating regularly here myself:/

Thanks for reading and reviewing! Hopefully I'll update... someday!
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  #43    
Old June 29th, 2008 (04:43 AM). Edited June 29th, 2008 by Alter Ego.
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Well now, I went and promised you a review, didn't I? Better get to it then, eh? :3


Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Mom, Dad, we got a problem…”

“Now wait a minute, how is this our problem?” was the response of the man on the other end.
Woah, thats a...pretty cold reaction from the old flesh and blood. Now, I'm assuming that her father's skepticism stems from her weaseling out of that summer camp thing mentioned later on? To better conform to that, I think that it would make more sense for him to flat out not believe the whole 'I'm being hunted by criminals' thing rather than downplaying the danger of the criminals in question, but whatever floats your boat. Regardless, got to love how her past comes back to bite her here. xD

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Moving her hand to her face and stroking her chin, she started, “Well, I’m originally from South Carolina, and I’ve currently got a college degree in math.”
And we've heard this...how many times now? Yes, I know that this is the first time Alexis is hearing it, but you don't necessarily need to run it past your readers for the umpteenth time since this could have been handwaved off as having been explained during the timeskip between this chapter and the last with Alexis starting up the conversation with 'why did you chose to become a trainer' question instead. Just as a thought.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“I’m sorry for that. But it’s too late to tell them now. After all, they’re already back in the Carolinas. Anyway, Alexis, are you taking the Pokémon League challenge? You should, you're very good,” Lisa started while taking a sip of a glass of fruit punch.

“I've been thinking about it. I think I'll set out in the next couple days or so. By the way, I noticed your Meowth doesn't have any long-range attacks. When it gets better I'll teach it how to use a Water-type attack called Water Pulse.”
Don't ask why, but for some reason I found myself expecting some kind of expression/mannerism from Alexis at that response to go with the speech. Anyways, that last bit just sounds a bit too much like game talk to me ('Hi, I'm a move tutor. I can teach MOVE X to your pokemon.=D'); maybe you could have had Lisa get all defensive about it and then have Alexis be all 'no, no, no, I just thought I'd share my super special awesome move with you. ;;'. Ehh...just, you know, something to make it sound a bit more natural.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Don’t worry about it; it’s not easy for a non-Water-type to master a Water-type attack. From what I understand, your Meowth has to learn to store large amounts of water in its mouth and release it all in one concentrated blast.”
Again, some narration to balance out the quoteiness would be nice.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Well, she also mentioned that all he did was try to knock her around with a tire iron.
Ooookay...Lisa's dad is freaking me out just a little bit now. "Well, a psychotic, kidnapping old man with a grudge against our family did try to beat my daughter to death with a tire iron, but he didn't have a gun so it's all approved by 4kids okay. =D". Dunno' what kind of person he is, but I know my parents would be a little bit more concerned if someone tried to knock me around with a tire iron. This is sort of why I thought disbelieving the entire story instead of belittling the danger of these people would be preferable.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
By nightfall, Meowth had learned how to store enough water to shoot out Water Pulses of decent size and power. “It’s not yet a full-powered attack, but don’t worry,” Alexis assured. “It’ll get stronger with time. Oh, and do you see those rippling pulses that accompany the shots of water? I’ve heard that they contain psychic energy that will sometimes cause the target to become confused.”
Well...I'm a little bit weirded out as I try to figure out how the flarp a Meowth learned to create psychic pulse. I've always been partial to the school of thought that insisted on Water Pulse being more of a 'Supersonic with water around it' type thing, but good on you for giving an explanation all the same.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Well, according to my parents,” Alexis answered, a slight hint of annoyance in her voice, “this is also a journey to build your strength and character. It’s not enough just to make your Pokémon battle. You’ll be engaged in a battle of sorts as well. Only your battle will be providing for yourself as you try to make it through this region. And if you cop out and take the easy way out, do you really gain anything in the end?”

“I… I… really don’t know…” Lisa trailed off.

“Well, I shouldn’t hold that against you. I mean, sounds to me like you were thrown into this situation out of the blue, instead of actually wanting to set out training Pokémon. But, I do think that the whole journey will be a lot more rewarding if you try to challenge yourself to do new things.”
Ohh...Lisa got told! xD I was sort of waiting for some closing remark on Lisa's part, though, as the scene - currently - just sort of drops off after this.

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
The teen sulked as she looked at the path that lay before her. It was no different from before – a jagged, uneven dirt trail flanked on both sides with forests of towering green trees. The arcing branches and full leaves allowed little sunlight to reach the walkway below. “Oh, wonderful!” she shouted, throwing her hands in the air. “More stupid forest to work my way through! They could’ve built a mall here, but no…”
Oh, I sympathize here. Untouched forests may look all nice and beautiful, but they're a right pain to march through. XP Also, love the 'could have built a mall here' remark. ^^

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Inside her dank cell, Lisa thought to herself, “Great... How am I gonna get out of this sitch? However, that one guard may be right. With those heels on, they can hear my footsteps coming and prepare for it. So the whole unlocked gate was just a ruse to trap me... Man, I’m stupid!”
That last thought had occurred to me as well, provided that we switch the 'I'm' out. Remember, kiddies; when you find a mysterious complex in the middle of the forest that just happens to have an unlocked gate, walk away. ;D

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Why has nobody else come down here? Why the hell’d the boss make this room soundproof?” Buster wondered aloud as he lunged for the security alarm once again. Meowth leaped into the air and landed hard on Buster’s back, causing the guard to scream and fall to the floor only a few inches from his goal.
Hmm...soundproof room, only two lowly grunts for guards, no-one allowed to touch her stuff or kill her outright...do I smell an elaborate setup of some sort? xD

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Both of Lisa's Pokémon eventually struggled back into contention. Lisa quivered as she stammered, “We can't take another hit like that... Okay guys, we need to hit that Houndour with a Water Pulse and Smog!”
Hate to nitpick, but...water and poisonous gases aren't the best of bedfellows. I'll confess to not knowing the specific chemical process involved, but a lot of gases just flat out won't work if there's too much humidity in the air. I know, because the educators on our last army camp were having a major fit over how they couldn't tear gas us during the attack simulation because it rained all the time. :3

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Don't be so sure! My little rapid-fire friend says otherwise!” Fred growled, reaching under his desk. He emerged with a Mac-10 machine gun and pointed it at Lisa. Suddenly he looked out of his window and noticed a large police truck smash through the base's front gates. A large group of police cars quickly followed. Fred quickly ran over to a console on the far wall. He flipped a red switch, opening up a skylight in the roof. He then pressed a button on his gear. Two wings came out of the pack as well as two exhaust pipes. Using his jet-pack, Fred made his escape, but not before telling Lisa, “You have not seen the last of me... Unless I get chewed out so badly I break down...”
Kind of makes me wonder why he didn't take the additional three seconds or so to fire the gun and shoot her dead anyway...unless this is all part of some big scheme of his that will be revealed later on? x3

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
Just then a SWAT team broke down the door, followed by an investigator. The investigator walked up to Lisa. “I understand that you are the girl chosen by the Pokémon League to combat the Thrash threat. I am Agent Morgan. Once you are ready, meet me by my police cruiser.”
Again, this seems like a bit too much of a game situation. You'd think that they'd, you know, be checking up on her condition and all? Not to mention that Lisa should be at least a little surprised by such a timely rescue and maybe have a thing or two to ask this 'Morgan' before he even gets that far with the explaining part. =P

Quote originally posted by DarkPersian479:
“Excellent. We got him down for attempted murder as well. Lisa, let me download this into my laptop, then I'll send you on your way. I don't want to hold you up since I believe they'll try again to get that research data.”
Soo...she's just been captured by the big bads and gone through goodness knows what, so the cops look after her for...oh, five minutes to get the info then just dump her? Pretty cold police force they've got there. Besides, the good officer seems to have forgotten that Fred can still plead insanity...or 'arf', as he'd probably put it. xD


Overall, you show clear improvement from before. There are still points that could do with a bit more emotion/mannerisms (I quoted the ones that stuck out to me), there are some points of suspended disbelief (walking into such an obvious trap, Fred not firing the gun, and the physical problems of a jetpack come to mind( and the battle with the Nidorino seems a bit...anti-climatic after the events that preceded it, but it's an enjoyable read overall. You're also reaching a suitable level of spoiledness on Lisa's part (prevalent, but not all-consuming), so good job with that. I also like the fact that you followed up on the situation with her parents rather than just leaving them absent like OT fics tend to do. ^^

Oh, and should our dear moderator deign to look at this:

Spoiler:
*Poke*


I finished this before the month rolled over, so no paperbacks for youuuu!

I win. =P *Pokes*
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  #44    
Old June 29th, 2008 (08:56 PM).
Elite Overlord LeSabre™'s Avatar
Elite Overlord LeSabre™ Elite Overlord LeSabre™ is offline
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Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
Woah, thats a...pretty cold reaction from the old flesh and blood. Now, I'm assuming that her father's skepticism stems from her weaseling out of that summer camp thing mentioned later on? To better conform to that, I think that it would make more sense for him to flat out not believe the whole 'I'm being hunted by criminals' thing rather than downplaying the danger of the criminals in question, but whatever floats your boat. Regardless, got to love how her past comes back to bite her here. xD
Quite true, actually. White-collar criminals are underestimated by the public in general, and nobody expects them to turn violent. From what I've heard by following crime cases, often times judges set ridiculously low bails or allow the criminals to bond out because they don't think they're a flight risk...

And parents NEVER forget...

Oh, and BTW, whenever I need to beg my parents for money, I always start off the phone call with "Mom (or Dad), we got a problem" XD

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
And we've heard this...how many times now? Yes, I know that this is the first time Alexis is hearing it, but you don't necessarily need to run it past your readers for the umpteenth time
Then again, I like the "WTF" reactions when she reveals she's a genius. Of course, Lisa doesn't like those reactions, so look for her to curb her boasting in the future - unless someone really prods her for her life story, lol.

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
Well...I'm a little bit weirded out as I try to figure out how the flarp a Meowth learned to create psychic pulse. I've always been partial to the school of thought that insisted on Water Pulse being more of a 'Supersonic with water around it' type thing, but good on you for giving an explanation all the same.
Meowth can learn Dream Eater so as a species they are capable of using offensive Psychic-type attacks. Though admittedly, things would be much simpler with RBY movesets when I could just have her learn Bubblebeam...

idk, 3rd gen games animates Waler Pulse one way, 4th gen does it another, as do Colo/XD and PBR... I don't know what Water Pulse "officially" looks like...

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
Oh, I sympathize here. Untouched forests may look all nice and beautiful, but they're a right pain to march through. XP Also, love the 'could have built a mall here' remark.
My parents' house is surrounded by forests and countryside. ANY place up by here would be a good place for a mall XD Or even a Wal-Mart, for that matter.

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
That last thought had occurred to me as well, provided that we switch the 'I'm' out. Remember, kiddies; when you find a mysterious complex in the middle of the forest that just happens to have an unlocked gate, walk away. ;D
In the early stages when you're trying to avoid mix-ups with these sorts of characters, that's definitely true. Later though, when you're actively seeking out these places to shut them down, you'll probably just barge right in

Perhaps the thugs could've pulled the ol' 'hide in the bushes and grab her from behind' trick, but then again...

Lisa's spoiled. She's naive. She likely hasn't had too many situations where she's been lured into a trap, no matter how obvious. At most, she's seen it on TV shows. I might edit that scene, but then again it does demonstrate that Lisa's a newbie to the whole "enemy base stealth infiltration" game.

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
Hmm...soundproof room, only two lowly grunts for guards, no-one allowed to touch her stuff or kill her outright...do I smell an elaborate setup of some sort? xD
It's basically an execution chamber but big-ego Fred wants to have all the fun to himself, lol

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
Hate to nitpick, but...water and poisonous gases aren't the best of bedfellows. I'll confess to not knowing the specific chemical process involved, but a lot of gases just flat out won't work if there's too much humidity in the air. I know, because the educators on our last army camp were having a major fit over how they couldn't tear gas us during the attack simulation because it rained all the time. :3
Maybe I should retake Chem 101... Granted, I did ace the class, but that was back in '02. In any event, something like Sludge might have worked better in retrospect(except that the water might have diluted the poison content in the attack). Now, that's something that I'm unsure of... whether the composition of a Sludge attack would make it vulnerable to being diluted by water. Maybe I can get the chemistry department at my school to sink millions of dollars into researching that. Hell, they wasted millions on redoing the campus entrance so it's now a big mess of roundabouts, so why not waste more of our tuition money?

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
Kind of makes me wonder why he didn't take the additional three seconds or so to fire the gun and shoot her dead anyway...unless this is all part of some big scheme of his that will be revealed later on? x3
With the cops approaching, he wouldn't have had time to kill her AND hide the body, clean up the mess, and come up with an alibi. Fred may be a barking idiot, but even he knows that if he kills her now, he has a murder charge hanging over his head, and the cops would be likely to pursue him more aggressively. Of course, he didn't know his little death threat would be recorded and he'd be facing attempted murder...

Quote originally posted by Alter Ego:
Again, this seems like a bit too much of a game situation. You'd think that they'd, you know, be checking up on her condition and all? Not to mention that Lisa should be at least a little surprised by such a timely rescue and maybe have a thing or two to ask this 'Morgan' before he even gets that far with the explaining part. =P
Well, I forgot to do it:/ I was gonna add a part where Lisa calls the police in hopes they could trace her call to the camp (explaining how the police found the place) but apparently I forgot:/

In any event, would something to the effect of, "After allowing Lisa to catch her breath and for her heartbeat to slow, Morgan began to interview her..." work? Maybe have him check her over for injuries (or get a female cop to do it XD) as well?

In any event, sometime I'll edit these chapters and stick in more emotional reactions, particularly in some of the places you pointed out. As for the "cliched bad guy plot" things, I'm still a bit rusty with them, and sometimes I need to be told of the cliches before I go all facepalm and like, "Why didn't I think of that?"

But the key word here is "sometime" and that goes for the next chapter as well. I really want to focus on getting this completed on the green forum first so I can slowly remove myself from the drama over there. Then there's eye surgery, looking for work near/at my school, and the horror of AOL dial-up.
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  #45    
Old July 22nd, 2008 (09:01 AM).
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I love it so far! it's a story where you can kinda fall into it. It's very detailed & compelling. Lisa is a very well put together female character. No sugar-coating or anything of the sort here! She's the ideal trainer that a few girls I know would kill to be. (sorry this is so short for now but I have to run to work! >.< I'll be sure to pst more later!)
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  #46    
Old August 5th, 2008 (05:00 PM).
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Elite Overlord LeSabre™ Elite Overlord LeSabre™ is offline
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Quote originally posted by Ambellina:
I love it so far! it's a story where you can kinda fall into it. It's very detailed & compelling. Lisa is a very well put together female character. No sugar-coating or anything of the sort here! She's the ideal trainer that a few girls I know would kill to be.
Thanks a lot for the comment! Glad you liked Lisa's character! Next chapter will be coming... sometime, I guess? XD
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  #47    
Old September 2nd, 2009 (01:11 AM).
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ZOMG, could it be? After over a year and a name change, I can has brought my fic back from the dead?

Chapter 6: University Infiltration

The first thing Lisa saw was a red-roofed building that was the Pokémon Center. Next to it was another red-roofed building with a sign in front that read, “Red Roof Inn.” It was the first of a series of hotels and restaurants. To her right Lisa could see a clock tower. She remembered it as the symbol for Fourtix University and figured the campus must be over there. On the north end of the town’s main drag was a strange building with a gray stone façade.

“Well, better get my Pokémon rested up.” Lisa headed into the Pokémon Center. She handed her Pokémon to the attendant, who asked, “I assume you’re a traveling trainer. We offer rooms for trainers to rest in and they’re free. Would you like to check them out?”

“Sure, sounds okay.”

She led Lisa upstairs and showed her a room. The girl’s jaw dropped upon seeing the living quarters. The room was tiny, hardly bigger than the holding cell at the Thrash camp. It had bare white walls and a tile floor. The place had a bunk bed on one side and a long desk on the other, with an ancient TV, rusted lamp, and antiquated rotary phone on it. Hardly enough room, and the place was somehow dull and dreary. “No thanks, I’m fine,” she told the receptionist after seeing the inadequate room.

“Well, that’s fine. I think your Pokémon are ready. Have a safe trip.”

“Thank you.” Lisa took her Pokémon back and headed outside. “Gah! As if I would ever stay in such a deplorable room! It’s worth shelling out $65 or $75 a night if that’s what ‘free’ rooms look like!” She walked right past the Red Roof Inn, as she noticed it was an older motel with outside room entrances. It didn’t take long, though, to find a hotel that would suffice. She approached a large, four story building with a white stucco façade. On the hotel’s canopy was a blue sign that read “Comfort Inn” and featured an updated version of the chain’s ‘sunset’ logo. In front was a Cracker Barrel restaurant.

The lobby was a bit on the small side, but clean and nicely appointed. Across from the walnut-trimmed desk were a dark burgundy couch and a few upholstered chairs. The tiled floor was of a light cream color with black accents. Overhead hung a faux brass chandelier. Off to the side was a buffet table and about a dozen tables set up for breakfast.

Lisa checked in to the hotel and looked for her room, 157. Upon sliding her card-key into the lock mechanism, she entered the room and dropped off most of her belongings in her spacious king room. The TV and coffee maker rested on a credenza made of dark walnut veneer. The floral comforter matched well with the navy blue carpeting. Paintings of two country landscapes were placed on the wall above either side of the bed. The room even had a hot tub, though Lisa wasn’t the type to use them. Of much more use to her was the mini-refrigerator.

She called her Pokémon from their Pokéballs and laid out some food for them to eat. All of them started eating except for Nidorino, who just stood there, apparently not happy with being captured. After trying to coax it to eat for several minutes, she finally gave up on that. She took off her shoes, then her pantyhose, and spread out on the bed, TV blaring.

“In U.S. college football news, the twelfth-ranked Tigers completely dominated the thirteenth-ranked Yellow Jackets, 31-7 last Saturday…”

“About time they started to step up their game,” Lisa thought aloud.

While the girl watched the news, her Pokémon began to strike up some conversation.

“Look, why must you be so uncooperative,” Meowth asked, glaring at Nidorino.

The horned Poison-type matched the kitten’s hard stare. “That human disturbs my young, then snatches me from them, and I’m supposed to just brush it off and say, ‘Oh, well?’ If it wasn’t for my wife, who fortunately was out gathering food at the time, those kids would be out on their own! How’s she gonna tell those kids that daddy’s gone and won’t be back?”

Lisa’s other Poison-type weighed in on the debate. “You knew when you appeared in front of a human, you ran the risk of being captured. Every parent warns their young about that. Besides, being with a trainer isn’t all bad. After the situation with my previous trainer left me wandering out in the wild, I was looking for another trainer to take me under their wing… um, no offense intended,” she said as she faced Pidgeotto.

The bird flapped her wings. “None taken. In fact, I wanted her to capture me. Why do you think I went after her hat? Though it is a fine-lookin’ hat. Anyway, I’ve grown tired of life in the wild, having to battle poisonous Weedle for every meal. Though I really wish I was in a situation where I didn’t have to battle at all, at least this is a step in the right direction.”

Nidorino scoffed. “You think it’s all fun and games now, but I’ve heard stories from other Pokémon. She seems nice now, but wait until you can’t defeat another human’s Pokémon. Then she’ll go ballistic, screaming at you, blaming you, and sometimes even physically assaulting you. That’s when you realize that life with a trainer ain’t so grand.”

Koffing replied, “But you don’t know that yet. Yes, I’ve had experience with a trainer who was like that, but so far, I haven’t seen this one react like that. Give her a chance before you pass judgment.”

Meowth added, “I’ve known that girl since long before she began traveling. While she isn’t a perfect saint – I know personally she has issues with certain species of Pokémon – she’s always treated me kindly, as well as most of the Pokémon she’s met. But a word of advice – keep her and me away from dog-like Pokémon. Neither of us can stand them.”

“Fine,” said Nidorino. “Cling onto your blind faith in that human. But don’t come crying to me when she shatters that faith.”

********
After resting up, Lisa headed out and went into a nearby Target store, passing by several restaurants and shopping plazas in the process. Once in Target, she bought a few items: extra pairs of pantyhose, some healing items, and a pair of black ballet slippers, identical to her white ones except for color. Lisa was stocking up and getting prepared for whatever life would throw at her next.

On her way back from shopping, she decided to stop and get dinner at Cracker Barrel, as it was nearing nightfall. As she anticipated, there was a long line to get into the restaurant, and Lisa spent a good half hour browsing the store before she was called to her table. After enjoying a chicken dinner, Lisa headed back to the hotel. On the way back she saw a Thrash member talking on his cell phone. She quickly hid herself and listened in on his phone conversation.

“Okay, in two hours we’re to invade Baxter Hall. Got it.”

After the grunt walked out of sight, Lisa quickly entered the hotel lobby and up to her room. She quickly changed clothes, emerging in her ‘little black dress,’ a pair of black tights, and the black slippers she had just purchased. “The little black dress. Perfect for dates and undercover espionage.” She decided to wait for two hours before making her way to the university grounds. Lisa started to get all nervous and fidgety as the time approached. She wasn’t be sure what to expect in there. She went online and looked up a map of the university’s layout. It would still be difficult to find the building in the dark, though. Lisa looked outside. The sun had completely set now, and it was pitch-black outside except for the streetlamps in the Comfort Inn parking lot. She turned to the in-room alarm clock. “8:53”, it displayed in red digital numerals. “Still nineteen minutes to go!

When it was time, Lisa gathered up her Pokémon and healing items, leaving her clothes and other personal items in the room. She left through a back door of the hotel and proceeded toward the university. As Lisa started searching for Baxter Hall, she suddenly realized she had forgotten the layout of the campus. “Dang! Looks like I’ll have to hunt for it the hard way.

Lisa passed by a fountain, the clock tower, two highrise buildings that appeared to be residence halls, and the newly built campus student center. Not finding Baxter Hall there, she backtracked toward where the academic buildings were. After hunting for a few minutes she found a large brick building marked “Baxter Hall.” She entered through the front door, which had been obviously picked open. As soon as she was inside she heard loud heavy metal music. “Geez, these guys aren’t very quiet…

Lisa made her way down the dimly lit corridors and toward where the blaring music was coming from. She found a room with the light on and kicked open the door. She found four Thrash agents, two male and two female. The females wore the same red outfit as the guys, except their pants flared a bit at the bottom. The other person in the room was a woman in her late twenties with black spiked hair. She wore a black leather jacket, red plaid skirt, big black leather boots, and fishnet stockings. This woman then spun around, revealing a face with lots eye shadow and thick black lipstick. She had a look of complete shock on her face.

The woman spoke up. “Huh?! Who the hell are you? Oh, wait, I see now. You’re that annoying little brainiac that’s been causing us problems. I am Betty of the Thrash Brotherhood! You may have walked all over that idiot Fred, but I don’t have kibble for brains like the ‘Dog Master’! You must think you’re hot stuff by taking us on! That ends here! Get her!”

Lisa dashed to the right side of the room as all four thugs tried to grab her. As Betty made a move to block the door, her subordinates moved in a line facing Lisa and pulled out .357 Magnums. The agents started grinning and laughing like madmen. “There’s no place for you to go now, you annoying little piece of crap!” one of the females boasted.

Betty goaded Lisa, “I know you’re skilled at Pokémon. Let’s see if you can dodge lead as well.”

“Should we blow her away, boss?” one of the male thugs asked, obviously with an itchy trigger finger.

“Not yet. Perhaps this girl simply doesn't understand our grand objective. Our boss has promised us that he will lead the Thrash Brotherhood to victory. We will reclaim the land in our name and create a new society!” Noticing Lisa’s skeptical look, Betty continued, “I see you are not yet convinced. Turn that music off!”

One of the guards turned off the boombox while Betty picked up a telephone on the desk.

“Finally you turn off that awful music,” Lisa said.

As Betty was dialing, she turned to Lisa. “WHAT? What kind of music do you listen to, huh?”

“I'll show you.” Lisa took out her PDA and started playing an MP3.

“And I... remember how you loved me
Time was all we had until the day we said goodbye
And I... remember every moment
Of those endless summer nights...”

As Lisa stopped the music, Betty just looked on with a stunned expression. “You actually listen to that junk?”

“Um, yeah, because I'm not a wannabe punk-rocker skater girl. Oh, and it's spelled S-K-A-T-E-R, not S-K-8-R. Apparently skaters aren't masters of grammar.”

Steaming mad, Betty roared, “YOU'LL PAY FOR THAT REMARK!!! Boss, pick up! ... Yes... I have that annoying brat here in the office... Yes, understood.”

Betty turned her attention back toward Lisa. “Our boss wants to speak with you. I'm putting him on speakerphone. You four, out! This is a private conversation!” Betty sent her subordinates outside the room and closed the door.

A man’s voice began speaking to Lisa over the phone. It had a deep, almost demonic tone. “Greetings, Miss Lisa Northwood. I am the glorious leader of the Thrash Brotherhood. I have been graced with the divine moniker Bart Sy, but my adversaries also know me as the Red Pit Bull. I see that you do not understand the concept behind our brotherhood, so let me enlighten you. The Brotherhood of The Holy Religion of the Ancient Society of Hirojuto was founded based on the teachings and prophecies of the ancient noble, Lord Ryuotoji Hirojuto. He preached the true purpose of Pokémon and prophesized a future in which they are purged of the corruption that currently plagues them. As the great Lord Hirojuto’s direct descendant, I have been charged with fulfilling destiny, regardless of what ‘laws’ of ‘modern society’ must be violated in the process.”

“And what of the Shadow Pokémon?” Lisa demanded, crossing her arms and scowling at the phone that linked her to her adversary.

“I see that my subordinate Fred was unable to keep silent. However, that is on a need to know basis, meaning that you do not need to know. That is, unless, you join us and work your way through the ranks. Our prophecy will be fulfilled, with or without you. I will personally guarantee it. In the end, there truly is no other choice.”

“Sorry, but I don’t believe in that drivel!”

”Fine. Don’t say you weren’t warned. Betty, eliminate her.”

Betty started laughing manically. The punk slammed down the phone and walked over to the door. She opened the door and her four grunt agents rushed back in the room with their guns aimed right at Lisa. “There is no escape! Troops, blast her!”

Betty’s four thugs cocked their weapons while Lisa trembled in fear. “Is this truly the end of me…

“GLALL!”

A stream of ice suddenly struck the hands of all four grunts, instantly freezing their weapons.

“WHAT?! Who did that?!” Betty demanded.

A familiar face stepped in the room. It was Lorelei, accompanied by an icy face Pokémon with two black pointed appendages that were either ears or horns. It gritted its teeth as it stared at the men with icy blue eyes. Lisa consulted her Pokédex. “Glalie: The face Pokémon. Glalie uses it powers that it commands over ice to flash-freeze its opponents.”

Lorelei spoke up. “On behalf of the Pokémon League, I cannot allow you to commit such violent acts. Why don't you fight with your Pokémon against us? You know, at least make this somewhat honorable.”

“Fine! You four, take on glasses lady! Little Miss Perfect is mine!”

“Lorelei, can you take on four at once?”

“I should be okay. You just focus on that punk girl,” Lorelei answered in a cool, calm manner. Lisa admired the fact that she was able to stay composed even against foes this strong.

“Gotcha.”

Betty grabbed two Pokéballs from her pockets. She sent out a muscular gray Pokémon with a humanoid shape, and a small bird with a short beak. The muscle-bound creature smiled confidently and flexed both arms, while the avian Pokémon squawked loudly as it furiously flapped its short wings. “Attack her, Machop and Spearow! Now you will pay for defying us!”

“Doubt it. Koffing, Pidgeotto, you're up! Give Spearow a taste of some Sludge and blow Machop's mind with Gust!”

Koffing hit Spearow with its trademark purple slime, and Gust lifted Machop airborne. But Machop turned it to its advantage, jumping down and hitting Koffing with a full-body slam.

“Eat this! Wahahahaha!” Betty injected a chemical into Spearow, causing it to glow and evolve into the much larger bird Pokémon called Fearow. With huge brown wings and an elongated beak, this one looked like it had a lot more confidence with flying. The girl figured it might be trouble. “Now, show that bird a real Peck!”

Legs shaking, Lisa commanded, “Move to the right to avoid it then send a Gust toward it!”

Pidgeotto quickly dodged right and released a Gust that hit Fearow in the tail feathers. Machop delivered two rapid punches followed by a kick right to Lisa’s gaseous Koffing, who emitted some puffs of smoke as she withdrew. Another punch attempt by the wily fighter went wide left and missed Koffing.

“Koffing, use Smokescreen and Tackle at Machop!”

A cloud of black smoke quickly engulfed Machop, and Koffing floated in for a direct strike while Machop was blinded. Meanwhile, Fearow had landed a hard Peck attack on Pidgeotto. Pidgeotto was sent crashing hard against the wall, putting a hole in the drywall.

“No! Pidgeotto!” Lisa yelled, nervously grabbing a chunk of her dress and gripping the cloth tightly.

Betty was growing frustrated, stomping the floor with her leather boots. “I would have expected you chumps to have finished that little runt off by now! What is your major malfunction?”

Pidgeotto was struck by Fearow’s huge beak again, but managed to knock the rival bird back with a well-aimed smack with her wings. Machop retaliated against Koffing with a series of quick punches ending with an uppercut. Koffing recovered from the hit and attacked with Sludge, splattering the putrid purple substance all over the muscular little Pokémon. Undaunted, Machop delivered a kick to the poisonous Pokémon.

A smirk formed on Lisa’s face. “I have an idea. Pidgeotto, dive in toward Machop and grab it with your talons!”

“I'm on to you! Seismic Toss!”

Machop grabbed Pidgeotto and leapt high into the air. Out of the corner of her eye, Lisa noticed Fearow flying in.

Pointing at the swooping bird, Lisa was ready to put her plan into action. “Okay, let's block Fearow with Machop!”

Pidgeotto quickly spun around, exposing Machop to an incoming Fearow. Machop, so focused on striking with Seismic Toss, didn't realize that Fearow was closing in until it got a taste of Fearow’s beak on its backside.

After impact, Machop crashed to the tile floor hard. Betty recalled it, yelling, “How dare you, you little punk! Rattata, get that girl!”

“Use Smokescreen and Smog on that Rattata!”

But the rodent wasn't sticking around, dodging back and forth to avoid the attacks. Clouds of purple and black clouds filled the room, but it didn’t stop Rattata’s charge. Fearow struck Koffing while she was distracted with trying to strike her agile foe.

“Okay, Pidgeotto, use one last Tackle on Fearow!”

Using a high speed airborne Tackle, Pidgeotto caught Fearow off guard. The bird turned around and gave Pidgeotto a hard jab in the face. Pidgeotto reeled, but came back and knocked Fearow silly with her wing. As the huge bird plummeted to the floor, it started glowing and reverted to its Spearow stage. Betty recalled it and sent out Poochyena. The tiny wolf immediately leapt up and sank its fangs into Koffing. Koffing began to lose altitude as Poochyena jumped off of it.

”Uh, oh, this looks bad!” Lisa could see that Koffing was in trouble. Sweating and glancing around nervously, she pulled Koffing out of battle and replaced her with Nidorino. “Okay, it's our first battle, but let's start with Leer then follow up with Double Kick on Poochyena!”

Instead, Nidorino attacked Rattata, using his huge horn as a lance to stick it to the smaller purple foe. “Hmmm...I still need to train that one more...

Meanwhile, Betty approached her Pokémon, a syringe in both hands. Pidgeotto blew a Gust at her and blew both injectors out of her hands. “ARRGH! You'll regret that!”

Poochyena started digging its teeth into Nidorino, but suddenly pulled back, looking like it was in pain. Enraged, Nidorino quickly struck it with Horn Attack and Double Kick, followed quickly by Pidgeotto's Gust. The gray furry creature started stumbling around but nonetheless continued its assault, charging in and knocking Nidorino over before biting into its hard, pointed skin. Enraged, the larger Nidorino kicked Poochyena repeatedly with its forelegs. That was enough to do it in.

Betty angrily withdrew Poochyena. “How dare you fail me! Rattata, Frustration!”

The rat Pokémon quickly hit both of Lisa's Pokémon with a harsh blow. Pidgeotto came crashing to the floor, but the flying Pokémon wasn’t out of this battle by a long shot. The rat was fast, however, and quickly darted past attacks, looking for all the world like a little purple running back scurrying to avoid tacklers. It jumped up and bit down hard on Pidgeotto, causing the bird to cry out in pain before falling.

Lisa called Pidgeotto back, a panicked expression on her face. “Oh, no! Pidgeotto! Return and rest! Good job, though…”

It was now down to Nidorino and Rattata. Both purple creatures charged at each other, but Nidorino’s horn proved to be the deciding factor, as it succeeded in finally subduing the overactive rodent. As Betty called it back, Lisa pumped her fist in the air. “All right, we won! Good work, Nidorino!” In response, the purple Pokémon snorted and turned his head away from his trainer. “Okay, not the response I was expecting…”

Glancing to her right, the girl noticed that Lorelei's Glalie was using a final Ice Beam attack on a lone Zubat. The flying creature quickly went down and a female grunt recalled it.

“No! I'll never live this down! But, I've already uploaded the research to the boss. The only thing hurting is my pride, but I'll get you back for that, brainiac! But for now, we're pulling out!” Betty and her four underlings jumped out of an open window.

Lorelei started to speak. “Very impressive, Lisa. Not only did you defeat a top Thrash agent, you also avoided being led astray by their leader. Believe it or not, that Red Pit Bull guy can be very charismatic, which is probably how he's able to recruit so many underlings.” Lorelei walked over and picked up the two syringes that Betty dropped. “I'll have the League's lab take a look at these. Oh, yes, I have a gift for you. Inside this Pokéball is a Spheal, a Pokémon that can use both Ice and Water element attacks. I trust that you will treat it with care. I figure he’ll be an asset to your squad.” Calmly, she handed Lisa a Pokéball.

Accepting the gift, Lisa replied, “Yes, I will. Thank you Lorelei.” Lisa bowed before the distinguished trainer in front of her.

“Now, I must be off. You better get back to your room and get some rest. You'll need to be at your peak to defeat the town's gym leader,” Lorelei advised.
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  #48    
Old September 2nd, 2009 (11:23 AM).
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I already know what’s going to happen and all after reading the original version, but I really enjoyed this story a lot, so it should be fun reading it again. Also, want to see what changes you made here.

Hehe, Lisa’s reaction to the Pokemon Center’s room is priceless. XD

Hm, you didn’t have the conversation between Nidorino, Pidgeotto, Koffing, and Meowth from the original version. However, it’s a very interesting conversation nonetheless. Like how the Pokemon debate over trainers and that a couple of them actually want to be captured and be trained. Also, shows a bit more of the personality of each of them, especially Nidorino and why he hates humans.

The university scene I enjoyed a lot before and I’m liking it again. I just love Lisa and that woman arguing over which music is better. XD Also, I like the revised version of Bart explaining to Lisa a bit about the brotherhood. Last version is a bit long winded and making Bart too cocky while this version is more straightforward and Bart more having this mysterious air surrounding around him.

I like the battle as not only you showed the Pokemon’s emotions but the trainers too. My favorite is Lisa her holding her dress when her Pokemon was in trouble. XD

I know we already talked about this long ago in the original version, but I feel you still need to work on your description a bit. It’s not that it’s bad and in fact you’re improving. The thing is a few parts I think are unnecessary. For instance:

Quote:
After resting up, Lisa headed out and went into a nearby Target store, passing by several restaurants and shopping plazas in the process. Once in Target, she bought a few items: extra pairs of pantyhose, some healing items, and a pair of black ballet slippers, identical to her white ones except for color. Lisa was stocking up and getting prepared for whatever life would throw at her next.

On her way back from shopping, she decided to stop and get dinner at Cracker Barrel, as it was nearing nightfall. As she anticipated, there was a long line to get into the restaurant, and Lisa spent a good half hour browsing the store before she was called to her table. After enjoying a chicken dinner, Lisa headed back to the hotel. On the way back she saw a Thrash member talking on his cell phone. She quickly hid herself and listened in on his phone conversation.
I don’t think you need to mention too much on her going shopping and having dinner like that. Those scenes doesn’t really advance the plot that much (well, maybe the black ballet slippers ). Maybe it’s just me, though.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this chapter again and also the rewrite is much better than from the original version. Looking forward to the changes next chapter!
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  #49    
Old September 3rd, 2009 (01:34 PM).
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Haruka of Hoenn Haruka of Hoenn is offline
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I've read this chapter numerous times
Welcome back to PC, Lisa! I've really enjoyed this story over the howevermanymonthsivebeenreadingit...

Can't wait for more! Sorry for the lame review, btw :/ This is all I can manage... stupid HW.
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  #50    
Old September 3rd, 2009 (04:35 PM).
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Elite Overlord LeSabre™ Elite Overlord LeSabre™ is offline
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Bay: Yeah, I remember that. I don't know though, I kinda like having those extra tidbits in there, unnecessary as they may seem. Might have something to do with me being a detail-oriented person (and wanting to sneak in as much product placement as possible ) I also feel it also hints a bit at her character; i.e., what she does with her spare time, where she likes to shop, eat, stay, and so on.

But I am happy you enjoyed the rest of the chapter, though Yeah, that speech needed a MAJOR overhaul. And arguing over music tastes FTW!

Haruka of Hoenn: Hey, don't worry about the short review... all of us get bogged down with homework sometimes:/

Anyway, glad to see you back on board

Thus ends my brief review reply of DOOM! Next chapter,,, could come anytime XD
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