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  #126    
Old September 9th, 2009 (06:47 AM).
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Mm, you make me very happy indeed. *records his mental commentary for Adam's revelations*

Quote:
"The first concerns natural order – biology, really. Among my kind, there are two types of adults. There are monarchs, intelligent creatures born to lead our species. Then, there are drones, mindless, violent servants of the monarchs.
*stares* And it's really fundamentally as simple as that? [And all the drones we've seen yet are equally (un)intelligent?]

Quote:
"Adults of the same type thrive in groups with others like them. We rely on each other to survive, to hunt, and to raise our young, and we can only trust those who share our abilities and weaknesses. Thus, all steel-types like us – drones and monarchs alike – live with each other in the Iron Clan, but this is only one out of sixteen different races within our species.
Yay, a guess made shakily on the basis of names turned out correct!

Quote:
"At the lower end of the court, there are the knights, twelve individuals who govern only their respective elements. They serve the higher circles as both messengers and soldiers. Above them are the guardians, the four strongest clan leaders who not only lord over large swathes of territory but also serve as personal body guards and advisors to the strongest ixodida in existence."

Adam paused for dramatic effect. Glancing at Bill, it found its host still. Adam's eyes moved to its lap, where it folded its hands once again.

"The empress. Or the emperor, whichever the case may be. Our ruler. All of our kind answers to her without question… except people like us."
The functions of Guardians and Knights aren't far from what I guessed. But I'm a little surprised by Adam's handling of the emperor business: In the first case he describes the emperor/empress as the strongest ixodida in existence, which seems a little tribal for the refinedness of monarch ixodida (though this is partially a matter of opinion); in the second and clearer point he actually affords that level of impressiveness to the institution of emperors that he clearly states he's a rebel against; I'd expected more irony and less effect. (All of this isn't so much a concrete inconsistency as just my observations, and I suppose it must be debatable.)

Quote:
Shuddering, Bill closed his eyes. He realized the arms weren't about to let him go. Squirming, he switched to the silent channel he shared with the parasite.

Why…?
Hm, yes, do elaborate on the mental channel. Here Adam actually had to dodge ambiguity in Bill's communication, as though it was exactly the words Bill said that the rogue heard. Is that so: when you think distinct words into this channel the other person gets them, and non-verbal concepts or shades of meaning are ignored? (I prefer my telepathic links clearly defined, you see.)

Quote:
"Bill, you are a unique human," it told him. "By luck, I found someone with impressive intellect and a passion for advancing his species. What I gave you should not be considered a curse. It is a gift. Combine that cleverness and will you possess with my strength and understanding of my species, and together, we will protect the remainder of your kind by stopping the empress herself."
I had to stare at 'and will you possess' for ten minutes before I realized 'will' was a noun here. I'm extremely suspicious of this offer. I'm sure Adam would be quite willing to ditch Bill and the human race if he had no further use for them, which suggests he only needs to lead Bill on this little save-humanity quest for as long as he doesn't find a more comfortable position. (For that matter, I may be being thick, but are we sure Adam can find some other form to exist in if he gets the chance? I don't remember parasites switching human hosts in any of the other chapters, and perhaps there's a block against that too.)

Quote:
Sighing, Adam responded, "There are two ways we may proceed. The first is that you allow yourself to go feral. Your body will dictate what it needs, and your human self and I will live like drones, trapped within your mind until something finally kills our body. The second is that you realize that no matter what happens, as a human, you possess the ability to learn and grow. All of this is you. Conquer it and control it. That is how you will become strong enough to survive."
Let me get this right. Bill's body has fused to some degree wil Adam's alterations, while Bill's and Adam's mind are still largely separate; Bill's ixodida body now has feral behaviour written into its urges, which Bill and not Adam needs to control? (I suppose that makes sense; Adam only rarely takes control of Bill the ixodida.)

Quote:
Adam took a step back. "Congratulations. Perhaps you are not as weak as you seem. I may just be impressed. However, the struggle is hardly over. You drove it back, but that part of you will return. Do not let it control you, and do not exterminate it altogether. It is not entirely bad, either."
Extension: in the same way that the natural responses to danger in our body aren't entirely bad, either? Perhaps the ixodida also face dangers where the body decides not to rely on the mind and reacts as quickly as possible.

Quote:
At once, Veronica's heart nearly stopped as she turned towards the doctor. "What do you mean, 'The wound doesn't match'?"
Curiously enough, I think this is the first moment that Veronica actually begins to panic a little. The writing makes it seem as though she pulled through all her earlier mistakes in a daze, without noticing much.

Ow, the undefiable circumstances strike again. I don't see how better you could have done with this chapter; pulling the rug out from under your characters needs at least an instant and a chapter is fully entitled to covering this instant. We know at least to expect a serious turn in the plot; unless the universe hates even the Littleroot officers enough to waylay their intentions of taking Bill captive and the girls under custody, the journey of the three over fair ravaged Hoenn is at least interrupted indefinitely. I wonder at this Joshua person--I have the vaguest feeling I should not be wondering but rather shouting at my memory for forgetting someone you already mentioned--and can't see yet if he will recognize, or will lead to someone who recognizes what Bill is and where he came from.

*sjirachis again at the scientists' insistence on naming their experiments after ill-fated mythology* What would they have to be smoking not to notice the irony in the names Pandora and Prometheus? It leads to no good, kids. It just makes me laugh harder. Now the one thing that would clinch it is if someone had their liver pecked out.

You stump me, you do, with the Fire Guardian's (I assume it is it) reaction to Professor Oak. Is he really that renowned among the evil aliens? I can't see any reason or way that an ixodida who had just gotten a host a few months ago would get so violent at the sight of a human scientist. My theory (tentative as it is): the professor's arrival wasn't so much a goad as a cue for the Fire Guardian to escape (if it was capable of doing it so well). It forgot the professor as soon as it got out, and busied itself in whatever else; so I suppose that the idea, or the fact, of his appearance was more important to it than the person himself. I just seem to be in some dearth of clues to see further.

I think the idea of watching the Polaris Institute stand the havoc of two loose ixodida, the possibility of approaching Knights and sundry, and who knows what else, amuses me a lot.
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  #127    
Old September 10th, 2009 (07:11 PM). Edited September 16th, 2009 by JX Valentine.
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Luphinid, I'm going to have to apologize if none of this makes sense or is incredibly vague, but goddamnit, you keep guessing things that feed into the other things that would make me spoil the rest of the fic if I actually told you. *fistshake* As in, literally, I've been spending a good amount of time for the past couple of days trying to figure out how to respond just because you're incredibly perceptive, and answering your questions and speculations might actually give away the ending. Which is making me flail because I really, really like what I have planned for it.

Quote originally posted by Luphinid Silnaek:
Mm, you make me very happy indeed.
Thank you. As do you.

Quote:
*stares* And it's really fundamentally as simple as that?
In a way. The Ixodida colony (group on a planet – something I've yet to really define) is divided in the same way as a hive of bees. There's the worker bees who pretty much go around and do all the dirty work, and there's the drones and queen, who are only there to sit around and breed. In that sense, the drones of the colony are there for the dirty work, and the monarchs are meant to continue higher-thinking lines of Ixodida to manipulate the rest of the race in order to keep it going.

Quote:
[And all the drones we've seen yet are equally (un)intelligent?]
No, but Adam's a generalizing dick.

Quote:
Yay, a guess made shakily on the basis of names turned out correct!
*gives you a cookie* XD

Quote:
In the first case he describes the emperor/empress as the strongest ixodida in existence, which seems a little tribal for the refinedness of monarch ixodida (though this is partially a matter of opinion); in the second and clearer point he actually affords that level of impressiveness to the institution of emperors that he clearly states he's a rebel against; I'd expected more irony and less effect. (All of this isn't so much a concrete inconsistency as just my observations, and I suppose it must be debatable.)
You've noticed a bunch of interesting inconsistencies that are inconsistencies, but I can't really explain them without giving away the end of the fic. Let's just say there's a couple of really important things Adam conveniently forgot to tell Bill about the definition of an emperor.

Quote:
Hm, yes, do elaborate on the mental channel. Here Adam actually had to dodge ambiguity in Bill's communication, as though it was exactly the words Bill said that the rogue heard. Is that so: when you think distinct words into this channel the other person gets them, and non-verbal concepts or shades of meaning are ignored? (I prefer my telepathic links clearly defined, you see.)
Well, sort of. For Bill, absolutely, because he doesn't want to actually probe Adam's mind that much (which was stated in an earlier chapter, if I recall correctly). So, what he receives is only what Adam sends. Adam, meanwhile, can actually see into Bill's mind and knows exactly what he's thinking; it only clarifies because it enjoys mocking Bill.

Quote:
I had to stare at 'and will you possess' for ten minutes before I realized 'will' was a noun here.
Sorry. I'll play with it to come up with something better. Even just "willpower" would probably work. (I think at the time, I was trying to make a really lame pun, but Adam isn't the kind of creature to make lame puns. Its sense of humor is dry and ironic, sure, but… uh, no.)

Quote:
I'm extremely suspicious of this offer. I'm sure Adam would be quite willing to ditch Bill and the human race if he had no further use for them, which suggests he only needs to lead Bill on this little save-humanity quest for as long as he doesn't find a more comfortable position. (For that matter, I may be being thick, but are we sure Adam can find some other form to exist in if he gets the chance? I don't remember parasites switching human hosts in any of the other chapters, and perhaps there's a block against that too.)
*whistles and inserts spoiler tags*

Spoiler:
Yeah, Adam really is a dick. You're right in your analysis of the way Adam works. Just keep that in mind for later because you really are supposed to be thinking this entire thing smells like a half ton of fish. The only reasons why Bill buys it are:

1. He's not thinking clearly at this particular instant.
2. He doesn't really have much of a choice anyway.


As for the ability to switch hosts, Ixodida parasites could, but this entails killing off the original host first. In an earlier chapter, Rose was nearly attacked by a parasite that had abandoned a dead male Poison-type and was looking for someone new to latch onto, so it's happened at least once before. It's just not something that happens frequently because this process is more painful and takes more effort than it's really worth, considering the parasite also has to sever the roots it uses as an anchor into its victim's body.

Quote:
Let me get this right. Bill's body has fused to some degree wil Adam's alterations, while Bill's and Adam's mind are still largely separate; Bill's ixodida body now has feral behaviour written into its urges, which Bill and not Adam needs to control? (I suppose that makes sense; Adam only rarely takes control of Bill the ixodida.)
Pretty much. Basically, remember what Bill told Lanette about the difference between wearing costumes and what he's experiencing now? That's what's happening at the moment, although you're also right about the self-defense mechanisms. (This is why Bill felt the need to lop off the hand of a surgeon during his transformation.)

Quote:
Curiously enough, I think this is the first moment that Veronica actually begins to panic a little. The writing makes it seem as though she pulled through all her earlier mistakes in a daze, without noticing much.
It's probably (and I say "probably" because I haven't entirely decided what I meant to portray there other than Veronica's mistakes) because this is the first time neither she nor anyone else around her can fix what she did. Before this, it was Bill who managed to pull the group out of danger, even if Veronica is technically the leader. Now, she screwed up, it drew suspicion to their group, and Bill can only make things worse. Part of the reason why this is such a tricky place to get past for me is because Veronica has every reason to panic: outnumbered and facing down the military means there's not much of a chance to escape.

(This is, of course, ignoring the loss of Mauville, which is definitely a moment where she pulled through in a daze, just because of shock.)

Quote:
Ow, the undefiable circumstances strike again. I don't see how better you could have done with this chapter; pulling the rug out from under your characters needs at least an instant and a chapter is fully entitled to covering this instant. We know at least to expect a serious turn in the plot; unless the universe hates even the Littleroot officers enough to waylay their intentions of taking Bill captive and the girls under custody, the journey of the three over fair ravaged Hoenn is at least interrupted indefinitely.
For the moment, yes. The universe doesn't quite hate the NDF, but the gang's not the kind of group who would just let themselves be held against their will.

Quote:
I wonder at this Joshua person--I have the vaguest feeling I should not be wondering but rather shouting at my memory for forgetting someone you already mentioned—
Well, it's not someone I've mentioned (so don't worry too much about it), but it's someone in canon. Joshua is Professor Birch's assistant. Why he's running the institute and not Birch is something I'll explain as soon as he's introduced.

Quote:
*sjirachis again at the scientists' insistence on naming their experiments after ill-fated mythology* What would they have to be smoking not to notice the irony in the names Pandora and Prometheus? It leads to no good, kids. It just makes me laugh harder.
XD Yeah, they were only really thinking, "Hmm, these things are monsters, so I'll just name them after first people mythology – you know, the ill-fated ones!" Only that really doesn't work for exactly this reason.

Quote:
Now the one thing that would clinch it is if someone had their liver pecked out.
You know, I'm actually not sure why this hasn't happened yet, especially considering what the Ixodida are mining.

Quote:
You stump me, you do, with the Fire Guardian's (I assume it is it) reaction to Professor Oak. Is he really that renowned among the evil aliens? I can't see any reason or way that an ixodida who had just gotten a host a few months ago would get so violent at the sight of a human scientist.
It's not something I explained all that well, so let me see if this makes sense:

Basically, it's not Professor Oak that made him react so violently. It was what was behind Oak. Basically, the pause was because someone new was trying to talk to him, but ultimately, his attention was only diverted from the Ixodida parasite in the tank only briefly. Why he was reacting so violently (and why he left Tracey alone after the parasite fused with him) will be explained soon.

Quote:
I think the idea of watching the Polaris Institute stand the havoc of two loose ixodida, the possibility of approaching Knights and sundry, and who knows what else, amuses me a lot.
Thank you for this and the rest of the review. I hope I continue to amuse you.

That said, chapter sixteen might come a bit slowly. School just started, and I'm working on a few other projects besides. Still, I swear, something will be up in time for the one-year anniversary. (Holy crap, I've been posting this fic for almost a year.)
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  #128    
Old September 30th, 2009 (08:02 PM).
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tl;dr A/N that says we're awesome and made it to the one-year mark, and, oh yeah, there's a revised edition not on this site:

Spoiler:
Seventeen installments. Sixteen chapters. 100,000 words (give or take). Almost twenty major characters. Twelve full months of posting. And somehow, I still don't want to shoot myself.

Technically, I've been planning and writing this fanfiction since January 2008, but it first made its appearance on FFNet and over here exactly one year ago. It's not the most reviewed piece of work or the highest rated, but it's without a doubt the longest and most ambitious project I've taken on thus far that hasn't turned into utter crap ten chapters in.

So, to Anima Ex Machina, happy first birthday, and to the poor bastards reading this, thanks.

Now, for a few updates. The minor edits that have been pointed out to me by Shrike have been fixed, and I'll keep on fixing minor edits without a problem. However, a bit of good and bad news.

The good news? I'm going back and revising the fic, starting from the prologue. I seriously doubt major changes will happen. Just changes in prose and a few names unless something's seriously screwy. (For example, I might do something about those boring chapters.) In other words, the fic is getting cleaned up.

The bad news? While the chapters are online, until all of them are finished so I can post them all in one fell swoop, the revised versions aren't going to be here. Cheap gimmick, but part of the reason why I'm revising is to code everything in XHTML for putting up on my own personal site. Therefore, if you're really intent on seeing a sneak peek at AEM 3.0, you'll have to go to my website and board (*points to sig*) to see it put up chapter by chapter. Or, you know, you could just wait a few months. Whichever floats your metaphorical boat.

With that all said, chapter sixteen, folks. And if you think this bit of AEM pampering is awesome, just wait until Bill's birthday rolls around this coming December.



Sixteen
(Night falls over and over and over again.)

Cinnabar Island had always been known for its warm temperatures year-round with good reason. Most of the island was shadowed by an active volcano that, on a constant basis, sent plumes of dark smoke rising high above its peak to be carried away from the island by seagoing winds. Above it, the sun shone brightly nearly every day, aided in part by the fire-types that made their home in the abandoned Pokémon Mansion. So, the nights, like that particular night, were still warm with the residue of the daylight.

Currently, just beyond a ridge along its southern shore, the shallow water was frozen, leading up to an iceberg floating several feet from the shore. If one looked closely enough – which many people didn't, as this portion of land was separated from the rest of the island by the walled and heavily guarded Polaris Institute – they might see the ice move periodically, as if it rippled and crawled across itself.

Screams rose from the facility not far away, and the moving stopped. Several eyes all over the iceberg opened and stared at the building as a blast of fire rose into the sky. Slowly, one of the pairs of eyes descended and pulled itself from the mountain. As soon as she crawled onto the frozen shallows, the female ixodida rose to her feet. She shivered, the crystals on her white skin catching the moonlight like prisms with each shake of her body. With crystal fingers, she tossed her long, white hair over a shoulder as she narrowed her blue eyes at the fire. Behind her, her arrowhead-tipped tail twisted.

One last ball of flames blasted through the thick wall surrounding the complex, and a blazing figure strolled onto the beach. With each step, the fire died down until it became only flickering embers across red skin. Prometheus strode forward, his blank stare fixed directly on the ice queen. As soon as he touched the frozen shallows, it melted beneath his feet, and he stood in the pools to eye his companion.

"You are the knight of the Snow Clan," he said.

She nodded. "I am. I was sent b—"

"There is no need to tell me who sent you." He straightened, lifting his chest. "I am the empress's chosen of the Flame Clan. Do you really think she would leave me in imprisonment for long? Moreover, I do not need an escort."

Jets of flame burst from his back as a pair of long, broad, orange moth wings grew from his shoulder blades. He flapped them once, and the air rippled around him with heat, lifting him towards the night sky. The ice queen tilted her head back to keep her eyes on the Fire Guardian.

"There is a rogue from the Iron Clan in your domain," she told him. "Your orders are to capture him and bring him to the empress, not destroy him."

The Fire Guardian scoffed, causing flames to ripple from his red skin. "A member of the Iron Clan? I thought we had executed all of those bastards on our home planet."

"Only the majority, if you recall, my lord."

He lowered himself back to the ground but kept his feet suspended an inch above the ice. Already, the layer began to dissolve under the rippling air beneath his claws.

"Yes, I recall," he said in a low voice. "So, one of the remainders has fallen to this planet."

The ice queen kept her chin up as she moved her eyes to glance at the Fire Guardian. "We should hope the Iron Clan's numbers are as few as one here."

"And a rogue, no less. How ironic."

"Very ironic, my lord."

The Fire Guardian nodded slowly and flapped his wings once more. All at once, the ice coating the shallows broke apart, and the ice queen and her entourage screeched and clung to their iceberg. As if unaware of their reaction, the Fire Guardian rose towards the sky and glided through the night air in a streak of flames.

"This," he murmured to himself, "should be very interesting."

---

In the Committee's dark meeting room, First sat quietly. He stared at his companions, but although they bickered loudly enough to fill the room with a low hum of overlapping voices, he said nothing. Instead, he simply listened as they spoke.

"Polaris Institute is lost," Fourth announced. "Much of the complex has been destroyed to the point where we would need billions to come close to getting it suitable for running again."

Second nodded. "A fourth ixodida has been created, and Prometheus has escaped. The NDF have been unable to locate either."

"Sheer incompetence!" Third snapped. "Just as they had protecting the facility in the first place! And Adam--!"

"Located in Littleroot," Fifth replied calmly. "Healthy but disturbed. I vote that we keep him there."

"We've gotten far more information from him when he was in the wild than we could get if he was contained. I vote against," Third answered.

Fifth turned to Third. "So you would condemn him to death? An initial observation from the NDF's retrieval crew reveals psychological instability."

"If I may," Second drawled, "employee evaluations from Polaris indicate a slight psychological instability before the time of infection."

"We are ignoring the main point," Fourth snapped. "Four ixodida have been created in the same institution within the space of four months. Something is wrong here."

"What are you suggesting?" Second asked.

"There may have been inside involvement," Fourth answered. "Someone is trying to interfere with our progress."

"Who?"

Fourth leaned back. "We will need to investigate."

Second turned. "All of the scientists have been split between Saffron's Silph Laboratories and New Bark's Elm Institute. Tracking all of them down—"

"All of them?" Second inquired. "Where is Professor Nettle?"

Another silence lapsed between all five members of the Committee. After awhile, Fourth looked at the table.

"She and a few others are unaccounted for, yes."

"First," Third said, "you've been rather quiet. What do you make of all this?"

At that, First inhaled and shifted in his seat. "We will give the orders for Adam's release. There is nothing we can learn from keeping him captive. His purpose now is to locate the queen for us."

"Sir!" Fifth gasped.

"As for Polaris Institute," First continued, "we will need to contact Professor Westwood to use his laboratory as a replacement. Polaris is gone, and Saffron is located in the heart of Kanto. It would be too dangerous to use it.

"I agree with Fourth. The infections and attacks are far too frequent to be simply accidents. We must contact Professor Nettle. We need the results of her investigations into Prometheus's creation.

"In the meantime, locate the fourth ixodida."

"To catalogue it, sir?" Fourth asked.

"No," he said. "Locate it because Heaven help us if it found its way to the mainland."

---

Delia walked down the sunny hall to the door of the locked room. It had been over a week since Professor Oak had come back with Tracey, the latter of whom was in pain with a strange wound on his left hand. Oak said nothing. All he did was arrange for Tracey to be kept in his bedroom. The locks were reversed to allow the door to be locked from the outside, and, as if that wasn't enough security, Oak's dragonite stood guard beside it.

Since then, Oak, Lanette, and Brigette came and went from the room with boxes and supplies, but not a sound was heard from any of them. Instead, occasionally, Delia would hear screams – loud, sharp yells from Tracey. It made Delia shake. Often, she tried to avoid the room for that reason, but occasionally, when she was at the laboratory to do what she could to help, she found herself wandering right back to the door to stand outside and listen helplessly to his screams.

Presently, she approached the door and stopped near it. She would have stood squarely in front of it, but someone else was already there. The small woman, the wife of one of Oak's colleagues, stood with her hands clenched at her sides as she listened to a new batch of screams. Slowly, Delia made her way to her companion's side.

She hadn't interacted with Riko that often; the woman was far too intense, far too focused on keeping herself busy sorting through e-mails in the laboratory to make friends with the Pallet woman. Delia understood. Ash was her only son. She couldn't imagine losing him to the waves of ixodida, but she knew she wouldn't exactly be friendly to everyone around her either if that happened. Delia could only admire Riko for her strength – the kind of courage to feel the pain of losing a child twice but still want to go on.

After a minute, Riko said, "Mrs. Ketchum, tell me about your son. Professor Oak mentioned him once, and I'm curious."

Delia jumped. She didn't think Riko had noticed her.

"Ash?" she asked softly. Then, she turned her head. "I'm blessed to have him. He's such a good boy. He's very loyal, very generous, and the bravest boy that's come out of this town. You know, he's been in the finals of several league competitions, right? I don't mean to brag; it's just that he loves being a trainer so much."

Riko turned to smile at the other woman. "You sound proud of him."

"Oh yes!" Delia exclaimed. "I'm very lucky to have him."

With that, Riko could only smile. Delia noticed her expression and froze.

"Oh," she murmured, "I'm sorry."

Riko shook her head. "No. I asked, didn't I?"

Delia paused for nearly a minute. Then, she placed a hand on Riko's shoulder.

"The professor is a brilliant man. If anyone can figure out how to bring your children back, it's him."

Riko nodded, but she didn't say anything in response. It took awhile for Delia to realize no words would come from the other woman, and when she saw that, she slowly removed her hand and sighed. She stood back, watching Riko and the door carefully and listening to the screams in the locked room. After a few minutes, the lock clicked, and the door swung open. Briskly, Brigette wheeled Professor Oak out of the room. Oak slouched in his chair, a sight Delia wasn't used to seeing from the normally energetic scientist. The shadows and the lines in his face stood out to her; she could tell he hadn't slept well since he'd returned from Cinnabar.

Behind him, the reason was being pressed into the mattress of the bed in the middle of the room. Glancing around the two, she could see Tracey struggle against the hands of Brigette's hariyama. His skin was sloughing off his arms, revealing a glistening, brown exoskeleton where red flesh should have been. Greenish-brown fur circled his neck, and as he raised his head, Riko could see a flash of a bone-white horn jutting from his skull in a sea of thinning, dark hair. The watcher screamed and twisted, trying to bite one of the hariyama's beefy arms.

Then, Lanette moved into view with her back turned to the door. She leaned over the bed as her hands found a vulnerable spot of skin on Tracey's hip. Carefully, she did something that neither Riko nor Delia could see, but it caused Tracey to scream and thrash. She stepped back, waiting quietly until his movements slowed and became increasingly sluggish. When that happened, she walked out of the room and closed the door behind her. Beside the dragonite sat a waste bin with a cover. Stepping briskly over to it, she pushed the pedal at its base down to force the lid up, and she dropped the used syringe into its depths.

Delia turned away at that point and breathed deeply. Meanwhile, Riko shuddered, but she didn't take her eyes off the door. They both could still hear the moans coming from behind it, although they were far quieter than they had been a moment ago. Riko's body felt cold, but she did her best not to show any emotion. Instead, she clenched her teeth and tried not to think of her own children at that second. Delia, meanwhile, could only lay a hand on Riko's shoulder. She had intended at first for it to be a reassuring grasp, but before she realized what she was doing, she leaned against the other woman for support.

As if he hadn't noticed either of them, Oak slumped in his chair. A large hand rose and waved.

"Brigette, you and Lanette can continue working. I'm sorry. I think I need to lie down for awhile," he said.

She nodded and continued pushing him down the hallway. Oak had been nothing but tired since he and Tracey escaped from Polaris Institute, but neither Brigette nor anyone else in the household knew what to do to help him except let him rest.

In his chair, Oak closed his eyes, and as Brigette led him away, he slipped into sleep.

---

It was difficult for Oak not to think about Bill now. Not that he didn't have his student in mind in one way or another thanks to the ixodida project. Now, however, he thought of him constantly, if only because it was history repeating itself. Each time Tracey's skin slid off his body, he saw Bill ripping his skin on his restraints to let the flesh ribbons fall away and reveal the same kind of exoskeleton. Every time Lanette, Brigette, and Hariyama worked together to hold Tracey down and inject a tranquilizer into the watcher, Oak remembered the teams of chansey holding Bill down as Nurse Joy struggled to get an IV of morphine into his arm. Each scream, each crunch of bones, each splatter of vomit that came from Tracey echoed eerily the same tortures Oak had seen only months ago.

Just be patient, Bill. We'll figure it out.

Oak remembered saying those exact words to him, and months later, what did he have to show for it? Another name to add to the list of victims.

At times, Oak wondered what Tracey would be like after his transformation. Bill had been reasonable – was still reasonable, according to Lanette. That bit of information was comforting, although Lanette had also told him about Adam, the creature lurking in Bill's mind.

Involuntarily, any thought about Adam inevitably led to one specific memory in Oak's head. It replayed over and over again whenever Tracey screamed, more so than any other memory, and with it came a blinding agony where Oak's leg once had been.

Right then, after he closed his eyes while Brigette wheeled him away, Oak saw it one more time. Broken glass rained down on him, and he heard a bang. He twisted, and there, on the linoleum floor of a Polaris observation room, was Bill, eyes closed and blood trickling from the side of his head. Oak could swear he screamed something, but he couldn't remember. There was no time to remember. Already, the rock ixodida came barreling through the white wall next to him, and Oak was thrown off his feet. The stone monster dashed into the room like a runaway train, slamming into both the computer and the bed to send them flying into the opposite wall.

It turned. Oak could see its nostrils flare as it fixed its dark eyes on him. Its mouth opened, revealing long, needle-sharp teeth and a snake-like tongue as it growled, the sound rumbling and grinding into the air. Oak pushed himself backwards, towards the door. The monster took a step forward, crouching down to prepare to leap at him.

Then, Oak saw a flash of silver slam into its back with a shriek. What he thought at first glance was Bill buried a set of glowing claws in the shoulders of the rock beast. His tail wrapped around the stone waist as a hand rose and grasped one of the rock-type's horns. In response, the behemoth roared and twisted before grabbing its opponent and slamming him into the floor.

By then, Oak struggled to his feet, using the doorframe as support. He watched the steel-type on the floor twist and rise to all fours. Plates along the creature's neck rose and fell as a low growl rumbled from his throat. From the way he moved, crouched on the floor, arms and legs flexing as he scuttled like a crab across the floor, Oak realized what he was looking at was far from the gentle, soft-spoken scholar he knew.

The rock-type hunched over, its body gaining a brilliant, blue aura as it dashed towards Bill. It swept itself low, aiming to slam its head into the steel-type, but at the last second, Bill dodged to the side. One of his hands lashed upwards and planted itself on the rock-type's shoulder. With a turn, he shoved, and the twist knocked the rock off its course. Taking advantage of his opponent's sudden lack of balance, the steel-type slid under it and pushed up. It roared, but it followed his movement until it stumbled to its feet.

Without pause, Bill rose and flexed his tail. Oak watched as it turned white with energy just seconds before its master spun. A clang reverberated through the air as the rock-type stumbled backwards with a roar. However, it didn't have much of a chance to recover. Already, Bill faced his opponent with his palms outward. The jewels embedded in them began to glow white with a light that slowly bulged. His lips curled to reveal his glistening fangs as he raised his hands in front of his chest.

There was a high-pitched hum that seemed to drown out all other noise in the room. A beam of light burst from Bill's hands and sailed through the air to hit his target squarely in the chest. Then, the rock sailed through the low wall and the open window, across the laboratory, and into the far wall. Its limbs hung from its flying body as if it was nothing but a rag doll in a hurricane. Oak couldn't even hear the impact of it slamming into plaster or the sound of its rocky body falling to the floor.

Before the professor could react, Bill was in motion again, launching himself on all fours towards the downed rock-type. It opened its eyes and rolled its head on its neck to stare up at the steel-type. Bill padded to a stop, his tail wagging in delight as he pressed a hand to the side of the stone's head to keep it still. The other hand brushed the pulsing, red jewel at the back of its neck.

By then, Oak had managed to push himself a step outward, into the laboratory. Resting against the doorframe, he stared in disbelief as Bill's claws dug into the rock around the stone's parasite.

"Bill?" he whispered. "What are you doing?"

Oak heard a rip, and it took him a second to register what he was seeing. In Bill's hand was a red bulb with tendrils ripping themselves from the stone's body. Blood rained down on the cobblestone creature as it shrieked in pain, a scream that was quickly silenced as the claws on Bill's free hand glowed and came down on its neck. The stone's head rolled off the shoulders neatly, and Bill turned his attention back to the flailing parasite.

When it disappeared into the steel-type's mouth, Oak covered his own as he tasted something sour in the back of his throat. He moved his hand slightly to take a deep breath, but when he looked up, he saw the steel-type staring at him. Blood stained his claws and lips, and a pointed tongue flicked across both as he sat like a cat between Oak and the corpse.

"Bill," he said as firmly as he could. "I don't know if you can hear me, but you've got to snap out of this. Come on. You've got to remember."

The creature rose to all fours and padded forward. Oak could hear a strange rumble, and it took a few moments for him to realize Bill was purring. With a shudder, he lifted his eyes, glancing at the door to the hall beyond the steel-type. Slowly, he inhaled and moved away from the doorway and along the wall. Bill kept his eyes on his former superior, and he moved, twisting to keep himself facing the professor.

"Don't you remember me?" Oak asked. "It's me. Professor Oak. I'm your friend."

The creature stopped. Oak stared at his face, trying to determine whether or not he was getting through to Bill's human side. Cautiously, he took a step forward. A warm sense of hope began to fill his chest.

"Bill?"

His tail took on a white glow again. Before Oak's mind could register what was about to happen, Bill twisted around, whipping his tail towards Oak's legs. Blinding, hot pain ripped through Oak, starting from the knee and spreading quickly through every nerve in his body. He was certain he screamed, but for some reason, he could hear nothing has he toppled over, onto the floor. Blood soaked his pants as he struggled to raise his head.

Bill crept closer, his breath audible as he inhaled the scent of the blood. He licked the remaining blood off his lips as he crouched over Professor Oak. The man turned pale, and he found himself trembling. His blood was everywhere by then, and with that knowledge, he could already feel the faintness of shock setting in. Still, he struggled to remain stable and still, even as the pokémon opened his mouth and leaned over him. Only when Oak could feel Bill's breath and the sharpness of a fang could he finally speak.

"Don't."

Suddenly, the beast stopped. He jolted backwards, scuttling with scrapes across the blood-stained floor. His eyes were wide, and Oak could see his chest heaving with each breath. Then, finally, the steel-type lay down and stared at Oak for awhile like an animal that had just been kicked. Only then, when the creature was far enough away from him, did Oak let himself close his eyes and rest.

When he opened them again, he found himself in his room, laying on his back on the bed. He sat up and glanced out the window, at the dark blue of the evening. His mouth felt cold, and a sour aftertaste lingered at the back of his throat. A groan rumbled from his throat as he reached down to rub the stump of his leg. Pains ran along his nerves, insisting there was something there when all that was left beyond his knee was a stub of flesh wrapped in cloth.

Inhaling, he glanced at the clock on the nightstand next to his bed and realized that only two hours had passed since he'd asked to be brought to his room. Once again, the sandman had only dusted him, and as far as he knew, there wasn't going to be much hope of sleeping anytime soon. He shuddered when he remembered the eyes of the creature staring deep into him, and he wondered briefly if he would be seeing something like them again soon.

With a frown, he reached for the phone that sat next to the clock and picked up the receiver. He quickly tapped a few buttons and waited. A click came from the other end, and he reached upwards to rub his forehead as he spoke.

"Brigette? Could you pick me up? I've got to get back to work."

---

"Look, Rose. Listen carefully. I'm going to tell you exactly what you should do, and you have to be a good girl and do it, okay?"

That was the beginning of the last thing Veronica said to her when they were alone together in a holding cell over a day ago. Since then, Rose had been taken away from Veronica and looked over. The people in suits asked her questions, many of which she couldn't force herself to answer. They watched her cringe and listened when she actually spoke, and after hours of looking her over, they finally decided to let her go. She was given her five pokémon and comforting words before she was escorted into what was the equivalent of freedom there: a place with off-duty soldiers by the shore. That was going to be her home until the NDF approved her transport back to Johto.

Of course, going back to Johto would have been the plan, had she not been brought to Joshua first.

Zachary Joshua reminded Rose of her brother – the one she thought of as her real one, who lived far away in a small cottage just like Professor Birch's laboratory and who wasn't anywhere near Hoenn. Just like her brother, Joshua was kind to her but firm. He never joked, but he never stopped smiling, either. She could tell he was smart, too. After all, he was the one the soldiers called the head of Birch Institute.

The truth was that Joshua wasn't actually a scientist in his own right up until the beginning of the quarantine. He was an assistant – Birch's only one – and a student. However, when strange creatures began appearing around Fortree, the regional professor was the first to volunteer to investigate. So, Birch left with two escorts to the foot of Mt. Pyre, but when a week passed with no reports from the party, the NDF went to search for them. It was a short time after that when Joshua learned about the adult ixodida. The escorts had become two of them, and as for Birch, the NDF could only retrieve a headless body. That was what brought about the quarantine.

Birch's laboratory quickly became a center for ixodida research, one of the several across the nation affiliated with the Committee. While Joshua was considerably younger than Professors Oak and Nettle, he still showed the same signs of weariness they experienced. Lines and dark patches fringed his blue eyes, white streaks appeared among his green hair, and a hurried, quiet tone invaded his voice when he spoke to the scientists working with him. Rose heard that voice a few times, but right then, as he guided her to the laboratory and explained to her things she largely ignored, he spoke softly and gently.

It was probably because, when he asked her more than fifteen minutes ago how she came across the ixodida, she told him it was her brother.

Right then, they were approaching the door of what used to be the main laboratory, situated at the end of a long hall. Just a year ago, Professor Birch used it as a place where he would give away starters or take in new pokémon to study closely. Back then, it was a crowded room with a table dominating most of the space and machines lining only two of the walls. Now, machines lined all of the walls, and the table was replaced by a single pedestal guarded by four NDF soldiers. As soon as the door opened, the four soldiers stood at attention with their guns at the ready. However, when Joshua stepped inside, they relaxed. Joshua didn't seem to pay them much attention.

"All right, Rose," he said. "I'm going to go ahead and release your brother. Don't worry. The soldiers and I will protect you if anything happens. Now, what I want you to do is just talk to him and see if he'll be willing to work with us. Okay?"

Rose nodded. "Can I ask a question?"

Joshua nodded. "What is it?"

"Can I take out my shroomish?"

Raising his eyebrows, Joshua glanced towards the soldiers. Not a single one of them moved. Yet, that was exactly the response Joshua wanted as he turned back to Rose with a smile. His fingers pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his nose, and he couldn't help but chuckle.

"Well, I don't see why not," he said. "Go ahead."

Rose nodded once and unclipped one of the balls from her belt. Her finger hit the button on its face, and with a flick of her wrist, she tossed it upwards and let it open. The light pooled downwards, into her open arms as the ball fell into one of her hands, and soon, she was holding both it and her squirming, yellow mushroom.

"Ready?" Joshua asked.

She nodded as she clipped the ball back onto her belt. He turned away from her, and that was the moment she needed.

Although Veronica had been with law enforcement, she knew enough about how investigations worked, regardless of who did them – enough to know exactly how the one the NDF conducted on the both of them would play out. First, she knew that despite the girl's associations with an ixodida and a woman who was resisting the NDF's interrogations, Rose was harmless. It was a fact in that Rose could barely speak without cringing, and when she did, she didn't have much to say because she didn't know much of anything at all beyond cartoons and coordinating. Hence, the NDF's guard would be down, and sure enough, they were going to let her go.

Second, Veronica knew that Bill was unpredictable, and she had a feeling that the NDF could tell that much just by the way he acted when they first saw him. She also knew that, most likely, anything they could do to get information, they probably would do. It was what she would have done, at least. Hence, if Rose told them the ixodida was her brother, they would try to use that to their advantage. Sure enough, although Veronica didn't know about the fact that Joshua was running on a time limit set by the Committee, the scientist wanted Rose to talk to Bill for exactly this reason.

Third, Veronica knew Rose's shroomish could use Stun Spore.

"I'm sorry."

In Rose's hesitation, Joshua had taken a few steps towards the pedestal. Now, he stood close to the soldiers, but he turned back to her at the sound of her voice.

"What's that, Rose?" he asked.

She looked down and covered her mouth. Her other arm let Shroomish slip from her grip, and she stepped back to watch the mushroom make several hops forward. Then, Shroomish tipped herself towards the group. Seconds later, a billowing cloud of gold dust sprayed from her crown.

Joshua inhaled a gasp, intending on holding his breath, but by then, it was too late. The golden spores engulfed both him and the group of soldiers, all of whom shifted into the cloud in an attempt to dash to the sides. Soon, all of their muscles seized all at once, and rushes of numbness filled their bodies as the spores' toxins worked their way through the exposed skins of their faces and hands. All five adults hit the linoleum floor in spasms.

In the meantime, Rose quickly darted forward and pulled one of her pink sleeves over a hand and wiped down the ball before snatching it and clipping it to her belt. She gave one last glance towards Joshua, who struggled to move his arm towards her but only succeeded in worming his entire body towards her a few inches. In response, she backed away.

"I'm sorry," she repeated.

Then, she darted out the door.
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  #129    
Old September 30th, 2009 (11:21 PM).
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Bay Alexison Bay Alexison is offline
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Have to say, interesting interaction between Riko and Delia. Gives a good insight on how they handle/would handle a huge situation like their children gone missing. Also, interesting Riko is the one bottling up emotions while Delia isn’t afraid to show them.

Hm, the part where Oak reflects what happened back when Bill/Adam went against the rock ixodida is an interesting one. Nice to see Oak’s reaction to when Adam is controlling Bill and also the action is well written too. Despite that, I feel that part would actually work better as a standalone chapter. Part of it is how this chapter is stuffed with a lot of things (the meeting, the two ixodida talking, Delia and Riko interaction, Rose escaping). Another part is how I think it would go well continuing the action of what happened from last chapter (one involving Adam/Bill about to fight the rock ixodida). I know you want to feature that Bill is on Oak’s mind often, but I think you can do that in sparse flashbacks kind of moments instead of a full one, if you get what I mean. ; This is just me, though. XD;

The last scene with Rose is a really cute scene. :3 Heh, nice of her to say “sorry” after doing that incident. XD I would be suspicious why Rose only want to release her Shroomish, but Veronica thought this through very well.

Overall, nice chapter there with a few new juicy developments. HAPPY ONE YEAR BIRTHDAY, AEM! :D
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Old October 1st, 2009 (11:34 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Bay:
Have to say, interesting interaction between Riko and Delia. Gives a good insight on how they handle/would handle a huge situation like their children gone missing. Also, interesting Riko is the one bottling up emotions while Delia isn’t afraid to show them.
Well, Riko is Japanese. I mean, what?

Seriously, yeah. Either way, I've always imagined Delia to be the incredibly emotional, easily excited kind of person, probably in part because she seems very chipper in the anime and partly because that's how Ash is. (I figure when the main adult in your life is like that, you've got to take after their lead, right?) Riko, meanwhile, works on the same principle. Canonically, she just sort of shrugs and goes about her business while her husband skips off without telling anyone to go blow his money in the GC Game Corner, and anyway, her son (who also had her as his primary adult in his childhood) has the self-control of a friggin' rock.

That and opposites are love. (That and it kinda makes the subtle les yay moments even more delicious to screw around with.)

Quote:
Despite that, I feel that part would actually work better as a standalone chapter.
It's an interesting idea, and I definitely see what you mean, especially with all of the events getting crammed into one tiny space. My main concern for right now, though, is if removing it and putting it in its own chapter makes it feel like it's been taken out of context -- as in, as if Oak's just randomly reminiscing about that one event without having the fact that he fell asleep between scenes explain what happened. On the other hand, I could possibly move it to the beginning of the next chapter or, as you've said, lengthen it a bit and "color in" the beginning to explain what's going on while moving Rose's scene up in the timeline. I'll have to think about it, but luckily, I have the time to do that. (Any major revision is probably going to be held off for the mass revision project either way... which is convenient for stalling to experiment.)

Quote:
I know you want to feature that Bill is on Oak’s mind often, but I think you can do that in sparse flashbacks kind of moments instead of a full one, if you get what I mean. ^^; This is just me, though. XD;
Although I'm not sure what you mean here. O.o Maybe I'm just half-asleep, though. Are you suggesting, as an alternative to the standalone chapter idea, to break it up and scatter it a bit as brief flashes of memory surrounded by current events instead of just having it as a whole? If so, then that also actually makes sense and probably would feel more natural. I'd just have to find opportunities to do it, especially since I've put off showing this scene for so long already. It's possible that, in the revision, I could break off pieces and move them earlier so the reader only gets fragments of what happened and has to piece together parts as the story goes along.

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The last scene with Rose is a really cute scene.
Thanks. =D

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Heh, nice of her to say “sorry” after doing that incident. XD
XD She's just that timid. At this point, she's the kind of person who would probably say sorry without even knowing what she's saying sorry for.

Quote:
I would be suspicious why Rose only want to release her Shroomish, but Veronica thought this through very well. :P
Oh yeah. Joshua didn't think too much about it because he figured Rose just wanted to hold it like a plush doll and as some extra comfort. After all, there's four soldiers with guns, and she's just a little girl. Literally. As in, I'm pretty sure someone there thinks she's eight. She certainly acts like it either way. XD;

Quote:
Overall, nice chapter there with a few new juicy developments. HAPPY ONE YEAR BIRTHDAY, AEM! :D
Thanks for the compliments, the critiques, and the review. =D I'll really think about what I want to do with that flashback and try both when the revision comes around.
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  #131    
Old October 1st, 2009 (08:09 PM).
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Congratulations on AEM's first anniversary! I could say 'may it have many more', but I'm not sure that would be a good thing. Is it just me, or was this chapter a bit short? Possibly the lack of Bill gave the illusion that nothing much was happening (though it does seem to be happening).

Bill's released. Very well. (Actually I was being a bit thick in the beginning and assuming Rose and Veronica would be released along, which is stupid. But they appear to have found their way.) I'm not particularly concerned with whether their escape plan works, because for some reason I'm fairly sure it will. Given that the Fire Guardian escaped from Polaris singlehandedly, and Adam is no weak ixodida, he should more or less have his way if he's released.

What is it with the Iron Clan? They seem to be genuinely freaked out by there being a member of that clan within the planet. Is it any more than just the possibility of the Iron Clan member being in fact Adam? *brainstorms about schisms and revolutions and civil war between the organisation and the iron ixodida back in the original planet*

Should I make anything of this?

Quote:
Fifth turned to Third. "So you would condemn him to death? An initial observation from the NDF's retrieval crew reveals psychological instability."

"If I may," Second drawled, "employee evaluations from Polaris indicate a slight psychological instability before the time of infection."
The first part could be put down to the fact that there are three (off the top of my head) not entirely harmonious forces inside Bill's head (and body) at the moment: Adam, who has his bastardly plan, Bill himself, and the natural ixodida instinct. Adam's doing his best to get something of a compromise between them.

May we, however, explain the second part as Bill always being a little... off? And would that develop into anything? I've seen less Bill canon than I should, so I don't have the background any more than I can guess what you plan to do with it, but the mention could easily be an amusing aside and nothing else.

[It'll be a miracle if Tracey too has a weak heart that his parasite can't possess. Eventually he will become a strutting, arrogant (or possibly just feral) ixodida, and what then? It'll be fun to watch (though possibly painful for a few people).]

There are bits of developments that have satisfied my curiosity and ended there; there questions from past chapters that haven't been touched this time and that I still await. For all of that, I won't mention them because I have no profitable speculation on their points, but you can well recognize what they are, I suppose.
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  #132    
Old October 1st, 2009 (10:03 PM).
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Quote:
Although I'm not sure what you mean here. O.o Maybe I'm just half-asleep, though. Are you suggesting, as an alternative to the standalone chapter idea, to break it up and scatter it a bit as brief flashes of memory surrounded by current events instead of just having it as a whole? If so, then that also actually makes sense and probably would feel more natural. I'd just have to find opportunities to do it, especially since I've put off showing this scene for so long already. It's possible that, in the revision, I could break off pieces and move them earlier so the reader only gets fragments of what happened and has to piece together parts as the story goes along.
Actually, I was suggesting do the scene as a standalone chapter and then for this chapter have fragments of that scene. To get a better picture, I actually did something like that in NE:

Spoiler:
Quote:
It was not an easy night for Jacob. He kept rocking back and forth; voices kept repeating to him in hushed whispers.

“I know both of you are fine gentlemen, but Jacob, please be careful of how the plates are controlling your life, too.”

“No,” he muttered in a stuttering tone.

“You heard me! You wanted what we discovered, you wanted them all to yourself! That is why I hid them from you! Just say so, you damn idiot!”


“No.” He rocked more aggressively.

“Cut the crap! Did you want the plates from him while he was still alive? For four years you tried to track him down, right?”

“No.”

“I’m sorry, Bunny. As much as I love you, I can’t risk you going to the police. Speaking of the police…”

Bang!


He instantly got up and his breaths became very deep and fast. His face was flooded with sweat. After Jacob finished panting, he gazed at his window. The snow was still fierce, but at least the weather was better than last night. The former professor stared down at the bed sheets and had one of his hands on his forehead.
The italicized parts are what actually already happened and the character is remembering them.


So yeah, you can just have Oak remember certain scenes from that incident in fragments and go really deep into his emotions (although you did well with his emotions in this chapter) However, I like your idea better, so I suggest do that instead. XD; So sorry for not explaining eariler. ;
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  #133    
Old October 2nd, 2009 (08:06 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Luphinid Silnaek:
Congratulations on AEM's first anniversary! I could say 'may it have many more', but I'm not sure that would be a good thing.
Thanks, and yeah, I get the feeling this is one of those things that really shouldn't go on forever. XD; Especially because I know the ending, and it's nagging at me like no other.

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Is it just me, or was this chapter a bit short?
Compared to last chapter, it actually was. With spacing and the header, it came out to thirteen pages, as opposed to last chapter's nineteen and my average of around fifteen. I'm also still trying to go shorter because I'd like to actually update more than once a month, but with school, a post-college job search, and my personal projects going on at the same time, I won't be able to spend as much time at the computer (at least, for writing) as I'd like. So, it's just easier to work with shorter chapters than long, epic ones like I posted last month. (Although that did get everything done that I wanted to get done.)

Quote:
Bill's released. Very well. (Actually I was being a bit thick in the beginning and assuming Rose and Veronica would be released along, which is stupid. But they appear to have found their way.)
Well, in your defense, you're half-right about Rose and Veronica, so don't beat yourself up too much. You'll see what I mean in the next chapter (which is actually almost finished).

Quote:
What is it with the Iron Clan? They seem to be genuinely freaked out by there being a member of that clan within the planet. Is it any more than just the possibility of the Iron Clan member being in fact Adam?
There's a lot of different things going on there, and I can tell you at least that much. Some of it has to do with Adam specifically, and others have to do with all Steel-types as a whole.

I have to say, though, that I'm actually glad you're still trying to guess what's going on. I thought I revealed it too early when Lilith first realized Adam was on the planet. It's really something best left for later because it has a lot to do with that ending twist I keep going on about.

Quote:
The first part could be put down to the fact that there are three (off the top of my head) not entirely harmonious forces inside Bill's head (and body) at the moment: Adam, who has his bastardly plan, Bill himself, and the natural ixodida instinct. Adam's doing his best to get something of a compromise between them.
You're right on this one. Lieutenant Black made the observation that Bill had attacked his own party members, and on top of that, he wasn't entirely in a stable mindset when he was released in the NDF's medical "tent." The information was passed along to the Committee, and now, Fifth is talking about how releasing him back into the wild could put him in danger (because he seems disoriented and confused).

Quote:
May we, however, explain the second part as Bill always being a little... off? And would that develop into anything? I've seen less Bill canon than I should, so I don't have the background any more than I can guess what you plan to do with it, but the mention could easily be an amusing aside and nothing else.
XD Admittedly, it was just an amusing aside and a reference to how many people I've seen on this side of the fourth wall seem to think Bill's outright psychotic, not simply an eccentric genius. (I'd imagine it translates over to their world as well, given the fact that Bill isn't exactly normal in terms of even the Pokémon world's standards.)

Still, I'm kinda tempted now to figure out how to use this for anything other than "he has a knack for thinking outside the box."

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[It'll be a miracle if Tracey too has a weak heart that his parasite can't possess.
Oh, don't worry. Statistical anomalies don't happen that frequently in my fics. ;D

Quote:
there questions from past chapters that haven't been touched this time and that I still await.
Awesome. Slowly but surely, I hope to answer all those questions.

Thanks for the review!

Quote originally posted by Bay:
So yeah, you can just have Oak remember certain scenes from that incident in fragments and go really deep into his emotions (although you did well with his emotions in this chapter) However, I like your idea better, so I suggest do that instead. XD; So sorry for not explaining eariler. ^^;
Oh! I get it now. That's an interesting third option that I might just try. Not sure if it'll work the same way because part of the reason why the scene's there is to show the reader a few answers to questions that I've set up chapters and chapters ago, so they'd probably have to be detailed little flashes. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
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  #134    
Old October 2nd, 2009 (09:49 AM).
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I'm still not super far in, and my only immediate complaint is that you might be running the risk of being dark for the sake of darkness. All in all I think you're talented though.
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Pokemon Blak-The True Tale of Kanto

Red is just a sixteen year-old teenager from Pallet Town. But when he leaves to defeat all 8 gyms across the region and become the Champion, with his best friend, Blue, he discovers that his Pokémon journey is far darker than what he imagined. Can Red become Champion without losing his life to Rocket along the way?
  #135    
Old October 2nd, 2009 (10:42 AM).
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JX Valentine JX Valentine is offline
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Quote originally posted by DassenSupes:
I'm still not super far in, and my only immediate complaint is that you might be running the risk of being dark for the sake of darkness. All in all I think you're talented though.
If you're still in the beginning and if it's coming off as corny, that might actually be a good thing. XD; Up until around chapter thirteen, the fic was written with a lot of sci-fi anime and films in mind as a bit of a homage. (Namely, the beginning chapters are meant to echo things like Elfen Lied, The Fly, Alien, and the R. Tam Sessions.) In other words, it's actually meant to be pretty gore-filled to the point where you almost want to say it's ridiculous, just because it's a nod to (and a semi-parody of) the old sci-fi trends.

Thanks, though, and thanks for the review.
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  #136    
Old October 3rd, 2009 (04:40 AM).
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Sgt Shock Sgt Shock is offline
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I've been looking of yours. I have been interested in it since your post in the Writer's Lounge. So I'm reading your fan fiction now too along with several of others. I will give my review when I am done. I will be your newest reviewer and I'm off to read. Be back in how ever long it takes me.
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  #137    
Old October 3rd, 2009 (07:07 AM).
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JX Valentine JX Valentine is offline
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Quote originally posted by Sgt Shock:
I've been looking of yours. I have been interested in it since your post in the Writer's Lounge. So I'm reading your fan fiction now too along with several of others. I will give my review when I am done. I will be your newest reviewer and I'm off to read. Be back in how ever long it takes me.
Thanks. Take your time, though. I know the chapters tend to be on the long side.
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  #138    
Old April 1st, 2010 (08:19 AM).
Marek Marek is offline
 
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First off,

Congratulations!! It's just a perfect story. Ok there may be some typing mistakes, but so what. The idea of the story is pure genious. And the style of writing is just wow. From the moment I read the first chapter I was sitting on the edge of my seet and found it very hard to stop reading(took me in 3evenings to read everything).

I will be looking for this story everytime I'm on here and hope the next chapters will be comming soon.

greetings from a huge fan of your story,

Marek
  #139    
Old April 1st, 2010 (05:10 PM).
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Astinus Astinus is offline
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Don't bump threads over a month old. Thread's closed.
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