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  #1    
Old September 3rd, 2009, 06:41 PM
txteclipse's Avatar
txteclipse
Zero
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This was my entry for the Pokécommunity Small Writing Contest, shown here exactly as I entered it. I wrote this rather quickly and have not corrected it, so there's bound to be mistakes. Point them out if you care to, just be advised that I will not revise this version as that would kind of defeat the purpose of "as entered."

________

The Perfect Team

“Pidgeot, this is it!”

A blinding white flash, and suddenly all of my senses come alive, as though I‘m waking up from a long night‘s sleep. At my appearance, the spectators in the Champion’s Stadium let out a tremendous roar, their shouts and applause so loud that I can feel the sound as vibration in my bones. I shuffle my wings, blink hard against the harsh stadium lights, take a calming breath, and size up the opponent. It’s Blastoise, the fully-evolved form of your rival’s starter. Behind the massive turtle stands Blue himself, now Champion, with his arms crossed and an intense glare chiseled into his expression. I’m your single remaining pokémon, and Blastoise is his: the next few moments will decide which trainer is truly the best.

Of course, I know it’s you. I’ve known ever since Blue’s Squirtle surprised you by defeating your Charmander with its newly-learned Bubble attack, and you brought me out to replace him. Even during our first battle together, I could feel how well we meshed as master and pokémon. Every command you gave me felt not only right, but also inspired. Your uncompromising drive to be the best you could be was contagious. When Squirtle fell before our combined efforts, the victory seemed to be nothing more than a formality. It served only to establish what I’ve known from the second you delivered your first order: we’re a perfect team.

The times between then and now were not always easy, but the bond we formed that day always pulled us through. And now it has brought us here, to the most important battle of our lives, where it will be tested to its utmost. I look back at you through the screen for a nostalgic second, remembering what we‘ve been through together, and then return my attention to the present as the referee holds a green flag in the air. He swings the banner to his side with a flourish, signifying the start of the match.

“Blastoise, Hydro Pump!”

“Pidgeot, Fly!”

The orders come simultaneously, and I take to the sky amidst twin jets of water. One grazes my chest, but some quick wing work leads me away from any true harm. Blastoise pauses for a moment to recharge his water cannons, and I seize the opportunity to dive down and slam into his head, talons-first. The opposing pokémon bellows as I immediately take wing again, leaving behind a row of bloody slashes in his azure skin.

“Rain Dance!”

Blastoise points its cannons straight upwards, and unleashes what seems to be a small lake’s worth of water. The liquid streams high into the sky, and then begins to fall back to earth in the form of a torrential downpour. My feathers are quickly saturated, adding weight to my slight body and making flight difficult.

“Pidgeot, use Double Edge!”

“Skull Bash, Blastoise!”

I flap my wings hard to gain height, and then tuck them flat against my body as I enter a vertical dive. Down below, I can see that Blastoise has withdrawn into its shell. Gathering tremendous speed, I squint as I begin to plummet faster than the rain, causing it to land in my face. Moments before impact, I close my eyes tight and tense every muscle in my body, aiming for one of the crevices formed where two of the plates on Blastoise’s armor join.

The darkness under my eyelids explodes into light as I strike, and I feel the hard shell crack under my beak. Blastoise screams in pain from within his breached fortress. Clearing my reeling head with a shake, I hop a few feet away and then take to the sky again. Suddenly our foe is rocketing through the air right behind me, using its water cannons for propulsion. I try to fly out of the way, but the turtle’s body is simply too big: the creature angles itself into a spinning Skull Bash attack and careens into my fragile form, causing the world to go black for a moment. I open my eyes seconds before slamming into the hard earth, open my wings, and land as gently as I can. Blastoise lands a handful of yards away, and we both stare at each other, breathing heavily.

“Blastoise, use Blizzard!”

We’re both paralyzed by shock for a split second. Since when did Blastoise know an ice move? This will spell disaster for me if it hits, and with the arena already filled with freezable rain, the odds of that occurring are very high. You decide to lower them, if only slightly, and input the command into your gameboy. “Pidgeot, Double-Team!”

My muscles come alive with energy, and I begin to fly so fast that I leave ghostly images of myself behind. Everything around me seems to move sluggishly, including the whirling storm of snow and frost that is spreading from Blastoise’s now-glowing body. The battle takes a turn for the surreal as I begin to dodge shards of ice, slipping between them as they swirl by in slow motion. After what seems like hours, the blizzard subsides, and I land exhausted but otherwise unhurt in the snow, looking to you for my next order.

“All right, this is it! Sky Attack, Pidgeot!”

You found the TM for this move on Victory Road, and taught it to me in compensation for not letting me out of my ball while we traveled through the rock-pokémon-filled locale. Retreating deep within myself, I close my eyes, and begin to fly as high as my wings will carry me.

Sensing the danger, Blue screams for his pokémon to use Hydro Pump in an attempt to finish me off before I can unleash the attack. One of the streams hits me square on, but only succeeds in blasting me higher into the air. I recover my breath, balance mid-air on weak wings for just a moment, and then slowly open my eyes. The stadium below is illuminated brilliantly as my feathers are consumed by pure energy, my eyes shining like stars. I let out a fearsome cry, and then streak towards the earth like a comet. My eyes focus in on my target, magnifying my vision tenfold. I can see the fear written on Blastoise’s expression just before he retreats into his shell, and know that even that won’t save him from this.

The blast wave knocks over spectators and instantly vaporizes the snow on the ground, filling the stadium with haze. You wait anxiously as the steam clears, unable to tell whether or not my attack has succeeded. Then, slowly, you watch as my silhouette appears: I am standing proudly on Blue’s defeated starter.

As you collapse to your knees and the stadium erupts into frenetic cheering, I know that we are both thinking the same thing. Nothing has changed since that first day: we still make the perfect team.

***

I waited excitedly for you to power up your gameboy today, ready for us to travel across Kanto as the new Champions. There have been days and even weeks when you haven’t played, however, so I guess I shouldn’t have been so anxious. I’m ready whenever you are.

***

Come on, it’s been three days! Let’s go adventuring! I heard that there’s something really amazing in the Unknown Dungeon: we could go there, if you’d like.

***

It’s been a week, and I’m still waiting for you to play again. I don’t want to bother you if your busy, but you have time on the weekends, don’t you?

***

I…don’t understand. What do you mean “you’re too old for pokémon?” We’re the perfect team, remember? Stop teasing me, and let’s go fill your pokedex! I still need to reach level one-hundred, as well. It’s already been a week since you played last! Let’s get to it, already!

***

Two weeks? Were you really serious when you said you weren’t going to play anymore?

Was it something I did? Did I not fight hard enough during our Championship tournament? If so, I can get better, I promise! Just come back, please?

***

Hello?

***

It’s been a month now. I’m still in the first slot of your party, ready to go, if you ever want to play again. It’s lonely being in my pokeball all the time…If I ever did anything bad, and that’s why you left, I’m really, truly sorry. Just please come back sometime, even if it’s just for a few minutes, okay?

***

Remember that time I got poisoned by that trainer’s Grimer near the east coast, and you carried me all the way from there to the pokecenter in Lavender Town since you were out of Antidotes? Neither of us thought I was going to make it by the time we arrived, I was so sick, but you seemed irritated at first.

…That’s not why you left, is it?

***

I…um…I miss you…

No, these aren’t tears, I’m just…

***

It’s been six months. I know you may not come back, but I don’t want to be unprepared in case you do. I’ve been exercising as much as I can in my pokeball. The space is too small to move a lot, but I can flex all my muscles at least. I’d love to stretch my wings and maybe even fly around again, though…

It’s a bit like the first time we tried to go through the Rock Tunnel, before you had a pokémon with Flash. It was so dark that we kept running into things, and we couldn’t remember our way out. Luckily you found that Escape Rope, or the Zubats would have probably eaten us for lunch.

***

A year has passed. I’m still ready for us to start being the perfect team again, although I’m probably a bit out of practice by now.

I was just thinking about when you first caught me, how excited you seemed then. I was your first wild capture, if I’m remembering correctly, and after the pokeball locked closed you ran to show your parents. They didn’t seem all that interested, or to even know what you where talking about for that matter, but I remember you flipping through my stat pages and pausing to look at my pokedex entry every half-hour or so. I felt so appreciated, it’s hard to describe…

***

…Come back?

***

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  #2    
Old September 3rd, 2009, 07:22 PM
Bay Alexison's Avatar
Bay Alexison
Not a Baygel
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Dani California
Age: 25
Nature: Sassy
Congrats on winning second place! :D All righty then, my scores and the review:

Grammar:10/10
I tried, but can’t find any grammar mistakes or at least ones that distract me. ; Well, just one part where you put “your” instead of “you’re,” but that’s minor.

Literary Elements (plot, setting, characterization, etc.): 9/10
I have to say, love how you have the beginning part, the battle, be in the Pidgeot’s POV. I also love how the Pokemon is able to describe both its and its trainer’s emotions. Nicely done there. There’s more I want to say, but it’s in the Prompt section.
There’s one thing I want to mention, though. Even though I love this loads, it’s a bit weird having the battle described fully as if I’m watching a battle from the anime show when it’s about a boy losing his interest in playing the Pokemon game and the Pidgeot feeling lonely and unwanted. For instance, even though I said I like the emotions you put there, the part after Pidgeot said about the trainer using the gameboy took me by surprise. Like seriously, how is a Pidgeot able to read his trainer’s reaction if he’s actually playing the gameboy? XD; Then again, this is the Pokemon’s POV, so it’s not that serious.

Prompt:10/10
Dayummm…just wow. Love the way you have the Pokemon being stuck in this “game world” without any progress after the Championship related to the prompt. I also like the little references here and there (like at the Rock Tunnel). I actually almost cried at the end. Seriously, no one is too old for Pokemon! XD; Great, now you’re making me feel sorry I haven’t played my Pokemon games in a long time! I blame real life stuff and one other fandom that is still holding my interest. XD;

Overall score: 29/30
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  #3    
Old September 3rd, 2009, 09:42 PM
txteclipse's Avatar
txteclipse
Zero
Community Supporter Tier 3
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Nature: Quiet
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay View Post
Congrats on winning second place! :D
Woo! Thankies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay View Post
I tried, but can’t find any grammar mistakes or at least ones that distract me. ; Well, just one part where you put “your” instead of “you’re,” but that’s minor.
No. Freaking. Way. Where did I do that? I knew I made some grammar mistakes, but that? D:

EDIT: I found it. Bah!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay
There’s one thing I want to mention, though. Even though I love this loads, it’s a bit weird having the battle described fully as if I’m watching a battle from the anime show when it’s about a boy losing his interest in playing the Pokemon game and the Pidgeot feeling lonely and unwanted. For instance, even though I said I like the emotions you put there, the part after Pidgeot said about the trainer using the gameboy took me by surprise. Like seriously, how is a Pidgeot able to read his trainer’s reaction if he’s actually playing the gameboy?
I do believe I mentioned somewhere around the third paragraph that Pidgeot could "see" through the screen. On that note, I admittedly cheated a bit here and there in terms of staying true to game mechanics.

...Okay, I cheated a lot. But it wouldn't have been much of a story if I couldn't personify Pidgeot. And who knows, perhaps the pokémon really are alive...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay
I actually almost cried at the end. Seriously, no one is too old for Pokemon! XD; Great, now you’re making me feel sorry I haven’t played my Pokemon games in a long time!
Yes, wallow in shame, you horrible horrible person! Really, that was my intent. I wanted to take the nostalgia for the older games that a lot of people have and stab it through their heart use it to construct a story that would make them a bit sad, yes, but also help them fondly recall and possibly even replay the oldies. I know I am: I'm working through Crystal again at this very moment.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 05:53 AM
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Redstar
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I applaud you. Never have I ever read a work done in first-person so well. Not only that, but at times you seem to seamlessly slip into second-person to express the Pidgeot's thoughts of its trainer. You've succeeded at the two most difficult character perspectives to undertake.

As per your request I wont comment on the technical side of your writing, and will only base my review on opinion. (Which isn't hard to skip over, considering the only mistake I found was pointed out by Bay already)

As I said above, your use of perspective was brilliantly-done. My only suggestion is for the first sentence to have specified that the speech was by the Pidgeot's trainer, like "yelled my master." This would have established that the perspective is both first-person and that the trainer isn't the character. Otherwise we're left with nearly an entire paragraph before either becomes especially obvious.

I really enjoyed the battle. It's how I wish I had done mine and I can see it as a strong-suit in your fic-writing. The way you casually slipped in that Pidgeot received his next command via Gameboy was also good. There's a dozen ways that could have been told rather than shown.

When I first skimmed the story and I saw all the single lines separated by scenes I was put off. Luckily what those lines contained more than made up for it. The ending was heart-wrenching.

This is a favorite. I'm honoured to have been out-placed by you.
  #5    
Old September 5th, 2009, 06:21 AM
solovino's Avatar
solovino
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I so desperately wanted to review this. Really... But, before...

You are a mean, mean, mean, mean, mean person. What's worse! I knew where your story would strike but it started so beautiful and, to a point, idyllic that I completely forgot and let you hit me, hard! Well done!

From all of the [SWC] entries posted so far, this one is my favourite. And I think that's not going to change.

I recall that when you first offered us some insight in your story, I was like, "no, please, don't make me feel so sad". Also, for some other reason everyone wanted to write sad stories, but that's another matter entirely... However, the way you wrote this, the way you presented the protagonist's perspective, made me completely forgot the emotional threat that would have to follow. Somehow I forgot, yes, and I thought the following sentence would set up the general mood for the story:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pidgeot
I look back at you through the screen for a nostalgic second, remembering what we‘ve been through together, and then return my attention to the present as the referee holds a green flag in the air. He swings the banner to his side with a flourish, signifying the start of the match.
After all, what's more encouraging and reminding of the goodness of life than a heated battle of destiny? Even when one is only sitting behind a screen and rhythmically pressing some buttons, the importance of the moment can not be denied. A Championship battle is, by purpose, an all-or-nothing event, something that can not be escaped.

Therefore, I felt happy and thrilled, enjoying a particular use of "time" (building the magnitude of the event), up to this point:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pidgeot
As you collapse to your knees and the stadium erupts into frenetic cheering, I know that we are both thinking the same thing. Nothing has changed since that first day: we still make the perfect team.
It was too good to last, however...

I don't remember exactly what happened later because the sudden turn of mood in the later paragraphs left me half-numbed. Pidgeot is well, is happy and is simply recalling this "trainer absence" through the perspective of someone who has gone through similar events in life before, with a primordial perception that things are going to change for the better anyways.

Which is why the reality and the remembrance of what you had posted hit me so hard and I started to cry when I read the fourth (or fifth) part:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pidgeot
I…don’t understand. What do you mean “you’re too old for pokémon?” We’re the perfect team, remember?
I have to say the "too old for Pokémon" rant hits me too close to home (is that the right idiom?). Everyone around me here thinks one is not playing real games unless it's GTA or DMC or MOH, where essentially one has to go through stealing, killing and raping as a show of "fun" (or worse, "maturity"). Despite having earned the third place in this contest (quite a feat for me) I haven't been able to celebrate at home or with friends, I could only explain I "fared well" at an "English writing test", with the same face and tone an anchorman describes a trainwreck, period. So reading the sentences next and seeing how Pidgeot's mood starts to change, first through simple hesitation and then with him feeling guilty, when the problem lies outside its very universe, was too much to bear.

I tried, a couple of times, to stop reading and turn away, but I couldn't. Maybe I wanted to desperately see things change; however, remembering what you had announced, I knew that wouldn't be possible. Maybe I wanted the story to have at least a bittersweet sense of closure, a final goodbye, something. But as I saw things change, evolve, in an aging yet at the same time timeless fashion, I was compelled to stay to the end. I had the hope that time inside the cartridge wouldn't have to come to an end...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pidgeot
…Come back?

***

...and now I could only shudder at the thought of what that last ellipsis means. I have heard many stories of people who wanted to retry their GSC times only to find the battery of their cartridge gone, its record of time and its ability to record and sometimes to create more, destroyed. I simply don't want to think what that means for an RBGY cartridge...

I sensed your use of the prompt was sublime, and that you managed to touch a concept, an after-effect of time, that I couldn't grasp: the evolution of time as a cause, and means, of the loss of identity. How when faced with the prospect of endless ticking, we somehow force ourselves to ponder the "forever" as a worse.

A wonderful story I must say, and well worth of the concept of a downer ending. What's more: a social critique to those of us who have, even slightly, left behind what gathers us together here only because we have ha to "outgrow" goodness.

I can't say much more since I couldn't be able, for example, to help with your grammar. I haven't even found that "your" Bay talked about. Heck, I even think this review has more mistakes than your own work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by txteclipse
Yes, wallow in shame, you horrible horrible person! Really, that was my intent. I wanted to take the nostalgia for the older games that a lot of people have and stab it through their heart use it to construct a story that would make them a bit sad, yes, but also help them fondly recall and possibly even replay the oldies. I know I am: I'm working through Crystal again at this very moment.
And I feel so guilty...

Granted, I play emulator (except LG that I haad *for real*). That makes me dirty, as well, because it means I can go back whenever I want, no excuses, but I just have been lying to myself... Thanks you very much, txt! I'll send you the bill from my psychotherapist.

Now, if you excuse me, I'll pick up dad's laptop and my old flash drive, and hide in the corner of my room, focus on the fun good times and the bits creatures waiting for me, and ignore the rest of the world. At least for a while.


And someone who commented in your VM section was right: you've earned the "Make You Feel Guilty" badge. Heck, with four rank stripes!
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  #6    
Old April 2nd, 2010, 08:14 AM
eveelution's Avatar
eveelution
RolePlay Minion
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Age: 16
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You just crushed my pure, pokemon addicted, eleven year old heart. I hope your proud.

Seriously though, this is a great story. Really toughes me. Like Redstar said, you handle the point of view amazingly. Redstar also pointed out the trainer calling out the pidgeot at the beginning is a bit confusing.

I'm going to go get my FireRed game now, and say that I'm sorry.
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  #7    
Old April 2nd, 2010, 01:35 PM
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Astinus
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Don't bump threads over a month old. Double-check the rules to avoid this again.

Thread's closed.
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