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  #1    
Old March 16th, 2012, 10:00 PM
DarkIceForever's Avatar
DarkIceForever
Booted out - don't be like me!
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: California
Gender: Female
Nature: Adamant

“Pokémon are nature’s greatest unsolved mysteries.”





Pokémon Ranger: Gatherings


Prologue


There is something about the roar of a crowd that gets me. A distinct feeling envelopes me whenever when I find myself in the center of tens of thousands. It motivates and inspires me to perform my very best. Those feelings are discomforting, it pressures too much. The only reason I felt that way is because I didn’t want to let my Pokémon down. The fact of even losing in front of an audience filled with thousands only makes a loss much more painful. Hard work and dedication we put in for years were destroyed in a matter of minutes.

Even till this day people question how I got so far. My dreams were solely based competing in fighting competitions. People battle Pokémon to prove who the best is, and it’s a wonder how the best lose easily. Many trainers will continue to chase that dream to become the strongest and many of them will never fulfill it. I don’t blame them for chasing a seemingly impossible dream. Every time someone steps into a stadium filled with thousands of unknown spectators, people and their Pokémon seem to flourish into the very best. Unfortunately that’s about all they can hope for.

But there is much more in this world than battling, training, and badge collecting. You don’t have to be a Pokémon trainer to fully understand the human bond with Pokémon; and you don’t have to be a Pokémon champion to be very powerful. Traveling around my home region made me realize that our world has a natural abundance of beauty and wonder. It strikes me how the most powerful Pokémon use nature to achieve their strength. Nature in itself is the most powerful thing in the world.

That’s why I abandoned the dream every Pokémon trainer lives for. I can learn much more about our natural world than any Pokémon trainer could ever dream by becoming a champion. Some people go through life not knowing what they truly want from it. They follow other people hoping to find a true calling along the way. It was because of this I chose to travel my country. I want to learn as much about Pokémon and nature alike.

Last edited by DarkIceForever; September 1st, 2012 at 08:45 AM. Reason: Old feelings aren't important. :)
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  #2    
Old March 17th, 2012, 08:11 AM
psyanic's Avatar
psyanic
There's Something About Lamps
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: The USA
Age: 18
Gender: Female
Nature: Bold
Good to see you're writing again!

This is a very short prologue and I read it more as a journal entry more than an actual prologue. There isn't much of the plot revealed in this segment, so the story itself is a mystery. However, I did enjoy it and I can clearly look into the character's mind, in particular, her/his views. That's probably because I read it as a journal/diary/whatever.

One thing I will point out is that you use semi-colons when they could easily be replaced by a comma. In a two specific places, it's grammatically correct to use them, however, using a comma would just read better. Maybe this is a tad picky, but I try not to use semi-colons at all since I don't like how they look on the page. For example:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkIceForever View Post
People battle Pokémon to prove who the best is; and it’s a wonder how the best lose easily.
Like here, you use a semi-colon instead of a comma. Either would be correct, but ultimately, it's preferably to use a comma. I'm pretty sure this happens once or twice in your story, so it isn't too much of an issue.

Anyway, I'll definitely follow this. It sounds interesting and a bit religious, given from the prologue. Or soul-searching in a way. I haven't read anything like that in the Pokemon fandom, so this holds promise.
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  #3    
Old August 8th, 2012, 09:02 PM
DarkIceForever's Avatar
DarkIceForever
Booted out - don't be like me!
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: California
Gender: Female
Nature: Adamant
100th Post Woo! After four months of deliberation and 'soul searching' I have come to a conculsion that I'm a crappy writer, but that shouldn't deter me from posting, because I love what I do. Anyhow, I'm finally happy to get this story progressing. I am not planning a very long fan fiction, roughly ten chapters to say the least.

Before you start I'd like to explain a few things so confusion doesn't ensue. I am using real geographical locations. That means the the pokemon regions we all have come to know and love are in Japan. (Except Unova)
(Ex: Kyushu = Hoenn) There's an image at the end if you still don't get it. :)That also means that characters will have names based on their nationalities. So let's disregard that language barrier, it's fantasy after all. Names and cities will be to named to their respective country. I will have spoilers at the end to clarify cities and names. (Thanks Bulbapedia!)

This story includes an orginal character, but the setting of the story is based on the Pokemon Emerald game-canon. I don't want to spoil a specific year, but the events in this story take place less than a decade after the game ends.

-The orginal Chapter One was Beta read by psyanic. Without his insight I wouldn't have thought up of new way to tackle my story.

Chapter One- An Icy Situation

After what seemed like a hour long hike the pair of climbers finally reached the summit of the small mountain that over looked the vast white tundra. The sun had set and hiking in almost pitch-darkness was enough to make even an experienced hiker a little on the edge. The first person that reached the summit grabbed his partner’s hand and helped her up the crag. As soon as she took her first few steps on the peak she fell to her knees and hit the floor in complete exhaustion. The shallow snow and dirt mixture cushioned her fall, a small resemblance to crashing on a bed.


“Haruka, are you okay?” The man questioned.
“I think we should have just made camp at the base of the mountain”, Haruka said slightly winded. The man smiled and shook his head. He placed his hand on her arm and helped her up. Lugging a 40 pound backpack around all day was taking its toll on her.
“Come on, we need to set up our tents.” He said as he pulled out a rectangular and chrome lighter from his pocket. Fifteen minutes later they both sat across from each other, looking down at small dim fire.
“How much wood did you gather from the foothill?”
“Enough to last us a few hours”, said the man as he fed a small dry twig into blaze. Haruka sighed as small embers floated and froze in the cold air. She grabbed her pack that sat beside her and pulled out two aluminum cans. She handed one, from over the fire, to the man in front of her.


“Yum, frozen beans are my favorite!” The man said sarcastically.


Haruka didn’t reply and instead held the can over the fire to heat it up. The man pulled out a small dagger that was strapped on the side of his backpack and stabbed the can from the top. He slowly opened the can of frozen beans.


“We should be reaching the Ranger base tomorrow morning. Hopefully we won’t miss the Articuno.” The man said. Haruka didn’t say anything again and continued to hold the can over the small fire. The man finished opening the second can and threw the dagger into the frozen dirt between his feet. He then held the can out into the fire next to Haruka’s ski-glove covered hand.
"You want me to open that up for before it heats?"
“Izaya,” Haruka said quietly, “I don’t think we’re going to make it.” Izaya placed his head down and exhaled out his mouth. Izaya and Haruka have been lost out in the south Antarctic tundra for three nights now. Not only has the food situation gotten worse, but the weather seems to be getting colder each night.


“How do you know the Ranger base is close?” She questioned hopelessly. “If you didn’t leave the stupid map back in New Zealand we wouldn’t be in this mess!” She exclaimed. “It’s your fault Izaya!” Izaya stood up quietly and turned around to face his tent.


“I know it is”, He said before he went into his tent. Haruka took the warm can of beans from the fire and placed it on her lap. Haruka felt poignant almost instantly.


II



Black soot and charred twigs now lay on the ground where the fire once burned. A very light snowfall began raining down, probably from the altitude. Morning had just begun, although it was still dark the sun had begun to rise over the eastern horizon. Izaya stood a few feet from the edge of the summit and gazed toward the west. Haruka slowly crawled out of her tent and stood up.


Izaya felt her presence instantly. “Sleep well?”

“About last night, I’m sorry it’s just I ...” She disregarded his question and felt that an apology was in order. She isn’t the type of person to snap over something that was far out of her reach.

“I know. You’re frustrated. The worst thing we could do now is lose hope.” Izaya said, cutting her apology short. “We should head west. The Ranger base is near a place called Glacier Cove. It’s near the ocean and if we head west we should reach the it.”


Haruka approached Izaya and stood beside him. She stared off into the western horizon and deeply gazed at the flat tundra, below her. There were small patches of snow, vegetation, and rock as far as the eye could see. She was sure that they wouldn’t reach any form of civilization in the morning. It could be that Izaya might have miscalculated their current position. He’s just now taking his first glimpse of the area.



“Are you sure we should be heading this way?”
“I know it looks like a longshot. I’m sure the sea is this way.”
“We only have enough food for today.” Haruka starkly reminded him.
“It won’t matter. We’ll reach the Ranger base today, I’m sure of it.” Haruka was a little skeptical, but after enduring three nights out in the cold it didn’t matter as long as they were going somewhere. She went back to the small campsite and began packing her things. It was going to be a long day.


III



A freezing chill had begun to sweep the flat snow covered surface as a light powdery snow began raining down. The mountains were nowhere to be found behind them and the sea felt like it was still hundreds of miles away. Haruka was exhausted and trailing a bit behind. Somehow, Izaya still had the strength to keep going, but in truth he was more tired than Haruka. The only thing that kept him going was finding out if he was right.


Behind the thick orange-gray clouds, the sun was already starting to set. He didn’t want to believe that they’d have to spend another night out in the cold. After a whole day of travel the ocean or civilization for that matter was still nowhere to be found.


Izaya stopped dead in his tracks. “Set up your tent”, he said as he threw his pack down and sat on it.


“Izaya you said we’d reach the Ranger base today. We can’t stop here”, Haruka said as soon as she caught up to the exhausted man.
“It’s pointless we’d freeze to death if we tried to travel at night, besides I’m beat up.”
“We aren’t going to give up-” Izaya turned his head toward Haruka and looked onto her blue eyes. They looked a teary, like if she was about to cry, although he was too tired to even care about emotions at that point. He looked away from her and began gazing at the somber clouds above him.



“Get up, we’re not stopping”, Haruka said as she grabbed and pulled Izaya’s arm. Izaya didn’t budge. He was in a state of tranceand self-acceptance. Izaya felt he was going to die out in the tundra. The only thing left to do was to admire the deadly beauty of the snow that landed on him. The snowfall felt like it was getting heavier with each passing second. The tiny flakes of snow could cover his entire body if he sat for a lengthy amount of time.


“Izaya!” Her yell snapped him back into reality. “We have to go.”
“I’m not going anywhere.” He replied blankly. The world he was in felt peaceful. All his troubles seemed to have melted away. He wasn’t lost in that world, he was home.
“Humph, fine, stay here for all I care!” Haruka left him where he sat and continued walking forward. She was angry and she couldn’t bear to look at him for another second. Izaya, tired, fell down on the snow and closed his eyes. It felt good to finally rest, but he knew that if he stayed on the ground he would freeze to death. He reopened his eyes to a dense brume and a strong gust, it was a complete whiteout.


For a split second he couldn’t tell if he as alive or not. He stood up almost instantly and found himself in a heavy blizzard, only able to see only a few feet in front of him.


“Haruka, where are you?” He yelled as loud as he could, unfortunately the sound of the gale force winds made his voice imperceptible. Haruka would barely be able to hear him even if she was standing right next to him. He placed his forearm on his forehead and continued walking forward, fighting the strong snowstorm with every step. A few minutes into the storm he found Haruka laying in the snow face first and unconscious. He ran up to her as fast as he could with knees deep in the snow. He turned her around, placed his finger on her neck, and began looking for a pulse. Her heart was still beating. He guessed she might have fainted out in the blizzard. Izaya then began to violently shake her from her shoulders, hoping to bring her back into conciseness.


“Haruka, wake up! Wake up Haruka!” He yelled. Izaya didn’t receive a response.


“Somebody help! Help, is anybody out there?” Izaya yelled desperately. No response, he’s not sure if anybody could hear him under the powerful gusts that blew around him. He took off his jacket and wrapped it around his hands. Izaya then began digging into the snow, hoping to make a small shelter. After ten minutes the small trench was complete, he then created a small barrier against the direction of the wind so it wouldn’t cave in. He pushed Haruka into the hole then himself. He sealed the entrance with a block of snow, but left a small gap for ventilation.


Their chances for survival would be much higher if they stayed in the snow than on it. Izaya covered himself in his jacket and hugged Haruka to retain each other’s warmth. He closed his eyes in the darkness, fighting off sleep. He didn’t know what to do. The blizzard could last hours, even days, then after that, what then? They would still be lost. If the blizzard didn’t kill them, hunger and exhaustion would.


IV



Izaya suddenly opened his eyes to a yellow light bulb dangling above him. He sat up instantly, realizing he was no longer in the hole he dug.


“Whoa, take it easy.” A masculine voice next to him said. Izaya was dumbstruck. He turned his head to the direction of the voice and saw a man who looked like in his mid-twenties, sitting on a recliner with his feet resting on the end. The man wore a warm-looking green turtle neck shirt made out of what looked like wool. His heavy leather black boots slightly drooped at the end of the chair. This man looked tall, even sitting down.


“Who are you?”


“My name is Dylan”, said the man as he stood up. His anticipation was right, this man was tall, probably past the six foot range. Izaya slipped the warm blankets off his body and stepped out of bed. To his surprise, his hands were tightly wrapped in bandages. Dylan walked over to Izaya and forced him to lie down.


“I said take it easy and lay down. You’re exhausted and your hands have frostnip.”



“Where’s Haruka?”



“Your partner, she’s fine. I would be more concerned about you right now, you’re pale.” Izaya obeyed and feel flat on his back; his head resting on a soft polyester fiber pillow. He tried to pull the sheets back on himself, but couldn’t because his hands were wrapped into fists. Dylan quickly took over and covered Izaya with the sheets of blankets.


“Where is she?”



“Your partner is having a cup of hot chocolate in the kitchen.” The man walked away, sat down on the recliner, and lifted his feet. “Pretty smart to dig that shelter, but in a blizzard like that you wouldn’t have lasted the night.”



“Did you find us?”



“Not even the craziest man in the world would set a single step in that blizzard. Rescue safety rule number one, never endanger the rescuers.” The man said, sarcastically.



“If you didn’t, than who did?”


“My Beartic found you guys. A blizzard like that is nothing for an ice Pokémon. They practically live in dangerous icy conditions.” Haruka walked into the room holding a coffee mug that steamed off warmth.


“Hey you finally woke up! How do you feel?” Haruka joyfully questioned. She walked over to Izaya and sat next to him, bedside.
“Never mind me, what happened? How did we get here?”
“I woke up in almost pitch black. All I could hear was the strong gusts shifting the snow. After a few minutes a Beartic dug us up. At first I thought it was a wild Pokémon trying to eat us. Then I quickly realized Beartic don’t live in the South Pole.” Haruka laughed. “Luckily it was nearby and sensed humans out in the snow. After that the pokemon carried us to this small cabin. That Beartic belongs to this guy here.” Haruka turned to Dylan and softly grinned.


“What about you Haruka? I found you fainted in the snow.”


“I didn’t get far. I tried to find my way back to you as soon as the wind picked up. I was overwhelmed by the blizzard, I guess I panicked and passed out.”



“Haruka was just exhausted. I would be too if I was walking all-day out in the tundra. You on the other hand almost froze the tissues in your fingers making the snow cave.” Dylan said. “I’m quite surprised you guys came all this way looking for the legendary Articuno. They conjure up harsh blizzards so no humans disturb them during their breeding season.”


“Wait, were we near the Articuno?” Izaya questioned.

Dylan nodded.“Yeah. Haruka also told that you were looking for the Ranger base out here.” Dylan chuckled. “There isn’t one established in Antarctica, well at least not yet anyway. I know lost trainers tend to look for ranger outposts when they’re lost in their journeys. This place is a lost cause. I’m not even sure they’re Pokémon trainers who travel down here.” Dylan stood up and stretched his arms above his head.


“Well I’d love to stay and chat, but I got some business to take care of. I’ll work on getting you guys some transport back to Artic Village. Until then rest up and make yourselves feel at home.” Dylan then faced Haruka. “Make sure you dip his hands in some hot water every hour, he should get the feeling back in his hands by tomorrow if not today. Dylan grabbed his grey nylon jacket that was hanging on his recliner and walked out of the room. Haruka frowned and looked down at her hot chocolate. Izaya turned his head over, away from Haruka and closed his eyes.



“I’ll do it myself”, he said bitterly.
“Izaya, I’m sorry . . .”
“I don’t want to hear it, please just leave me alone.”
“What was I supposed to do? Stay there and die? You where the one who said not to give up.” Izaya stayed silent, what she said was true. He isn’t sure why he suddenly felt the urge to just sit hopelessly on the snow. It’s like he didn’t want to continue living anymore. He cleared his mind and anticipated death, a stupid thing to do. She silently shook her head and slowly walked out of the room. She bumped into Dylan on her way out.


“Trouble huh”, Dylan said as he slipped on a black beanie. “Don’t worry he’ll understand.”

“I guess”, Haruka sighed and walked over to sit on the round wooden table. “Where are you heading, if you don’t mind me asking.We’re in the middle of nowhere.”


Dylan smiled, “I’m just going to check up on that blizzard. It's been a whole night since it started and I want to see if it died down a bit.”

“You’re a Pokémon Ranger, right?” Haruka asked.
“Yes I am. Why do you ask?”
“Isn’t a Pokémon Ranger’s job to protect wild Pokémon? I’ve been here four days and I have yet to see a single wild Pokémon. That means you’re here to protect the Articuno. Are they in some sort of danger?” Dylan shook his head, his smile faded quickly. Beartic walked into the small living room holding a chest sized bright aqua blue egg. Haruka stood up and eagerly inspected the egg.


“This egg, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It doesn’t look like a Beartic laid it at all. Beartic eggs are white, so they blend with the mother’s fur.” She said as she brushed it with her hands. “What Pokémon do you think is going to hatch from it?” Dylan wasn’t a very good liar. He hated lying, but at the same time his mission was classified. Nobody, other than Rangers was supposed to know.


“Say, I should’ve asked earlier, but who exactly are you guys, Pokémon trainers? Are you trying to capture an Articuno?”


“Oh no way, I would never try to capture such a majestic and beautiful Pokémon as an Articuno. I’m here on a research trip. My father’s a Pokémon professor back in Japan.” She replied. “I guess you can say I’m a Pokémon professor in training.”

“Wait, is your last name Utsugi?” He questioned almost knowingly.

“No it’s Odamaki, my father is Professor Odamaki .He’s the leading researcher in Pokémon habitual studies in Hoenn. I’m pretty sure Mr. Utsugi is still a bachelor.” Haruka laughed.


“I’ve never been to the Hoenn region before. I hear it’s quite the tropical paradise. It’s a better place to be in than this cold hell. I’ve only been to Alima, Johto, and Kanto. As far as I know Pokémon professors are a huge deal in Japan and I’ve only met Professor Utsugi and Okido.


"Mr. Okido is a huge mentor for my father. He’s the most respected Pokémon Professor in Japan. So where you from?"

"I grew up in Unova, New York. Lived there most of my life until I became a Ranger."

"Wow, America is on the other side of the world. I'd like to go there one day. I have yet to study most of the Pokemon that live there." Dylan smiled and felt pretty proud that a smart girl such as Haruka didn't know much about the pokemon from Unova.


His eyes were downcast, “well, I’m actually on an investigation.” Dylan now felt he could trust Haruka knowing that she’s the daughter of a respected Pokémon professor. "This cabin isn’t mine. It’s borrowed by a man who actually does live out here. I had him relocated, for the time being of course." He made eye-contact with her. "The fact of the matter is you and Izaya aren’t safe out here."



“Why’s that?” Haruka questioned. Dylan walked over to Haruka and gently removed the egg from the Beartic’s arms.


“I’m extremely certain this Pokémon egg belongs to an Articuno.” Dylan said looking down at it uneasily. Haruka was speechless. She was astonished that the Pokémon Ranger actually had a legendary Pokémon’s egg in his arms.


“Beartic and I found this egg lying in the snow four days ago. I’m highly suspicious that somebody might have managed to steal the egg from the mother’s nest. I’m not too sure how they got away with stealing from a powerful Pokémon.”



They were probably on the run from the mother who sought to kill them. Maybe they escaped with their lives entact or maybe they were killed and the mother was unable to find the egg. Whatever the case may be, somebody wants the egg and would do anything to get it back. After Dylan explained this Haruka, she sat back on the chair and sat with a blank stare. She didn’t know what to make of the situation.


“Is the egg healthy?” Haruka asked worryingly.

“Yes, it’s still warm, luckily, and the egg has shaken, so the chick is still alive.” Haruka was relieved and took a sip of her hot chocolate. Dylan gave the egg back to Beartic to keep warm and grabbed a chair next to Haruka.

“I’m telling you this for your personal safety and your friend’s. I need you to go home, this place isn’t safe. You were lucky you managed to survive a three day and night journey out in this hellish ice box. You need to understand the world isn’t a safe place. I think it was a horrible idea you and Izaya came down here without your Pokémon.”

Haruka stood up a bit agitated. “It’s just I; I mean we, we wanted to see the Articuno. We wanted to record them and get to know them.” Dylan looked back at his Beartic and then turned his head to Haruka. He wasn’t anticipating a negative response. He hoped she would have listened to him without question.

“I’m going to try and return the egg to the Articuno. Maybe they might stop blowing the blizzard when they sense I have one of their reggs. I need you to stay here and watch over your friend. He needs your help right now.” Haruka nodded silently. Dylan stood up and waved at his Pokémon, he was ready to go into the blizzard and return the egg. Before he was able to open to door into the icy tundra Izaya walked out of the room and glared at him.

“I heard everything and we’re going.” Izaya urged stolidly.

“You’re not going anywhere, not in your condition and besides, when did I say I was going to allow any of you to go? This is serious business. You can be killed if things don’t go well.”

“You think we don’t know that?” Izaya reminded him.

“I’m not letting you go, that’s final. Don’t argue with me. I’m not going to be responsible if a couple of kids die on my watch.” Haruka rolled her eyes away from Izaya and crossed her arms. She didn’t want anything to do with him, but at the same time his intrusiveness bothered her.


“Izaya listen to Dylan and stop being arrogant. He saved our lives.”

"We came here to see Articuno. We risked our lives doing that. Now that we’re so close to finally seeing the legendary Pokémon up close, you throw in the towel? You think that’s fair?" Izaya angrily questioned. Haruka turned and glanced Izaya’s amber eyes. To some degree she felt he was right, but on the other hand she felt Dylan had more authority in the situation.


Damn kid is stubborn. “I have a moral responsibility to your parents to make sure you’re safe.”



“How old do you think we are? We can take care of ourselves, we’re adults. I’m eighteen and Haruka is nineteen.” Dylan sighed he didn’t know what to do anymore. He was starting to think telling Haruka about the Articuno was a huge mistake. Somehow he thought the kids would stay put if he told them the truth. He never met a person who openly defied his authority whenever he conducted official Ranger business.



Suddenly in an instant the room lit up in a giant white flash. They all turned to source of the light which resonated from the Beartic’s arms. The egg was shaking and glowed in a magnificent bright ivory color. The Pokémon egg was about to hatch.


-End Chapter.





Spoiler:


Haruka Odamaki = May Birch
Dr. Odamaki = Professor Birch
Dr. Yukinari Okido = Professor Oak
Dr. Utsugi = Professor Elm

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Last edited by DarkIceForever; September 3rd, 2012 at 04:17 PM. Reason: Font change; Redundant words removed
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  #4    
Old August 31st, 2012, 04:03 PM
DarkIceForever's Avatar
DarkIceForever
Booted out - don't be like me!
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: California
Gender: Female
Nature: Adamant
2nd Installation or 3rd intsallation in my fan-fiction. All reviews are welcomed.

Anyway that's a taste of my dry humor.

I think it really takes off in this chapter, but let me noe. (Know.) Damn it, I need to stop ammusing myself. lol.



Chapter Two - Not everyone can be a Pokemon Master.

"Your world is nothing more than all the tiny things you've left behind" - from Gran Torino.


I

It took four years before Izaya Saito could qualify for the Saiyu Conference. It was truly a magnificent achievement for any Pokémon Trainer. The ash-blonde boy sat in the locker room deep within the stadium, slowly tying a white wrist band around his right hand. A little bit of sweat slowly flowed from his forehead down to chin as he grinded his teeth.

The only thing on his mind was the crowd outside in the stands. Most people only came to the stadium to see a show, that’s all they care about. To him, the stark reality was that Pokémon battles were just a mere form of entertainment. A bulky bald man wearing a small but noticeable Bluetooth swung the door open to the locker room and approached Izaya.

“Your battle won’t be long now. I hope you’re ready.” He said stolidly. Izaya stood up and didn’t look at the man. He grabbed a brown belt that held three small Pokéballs on each side and wrapped it around his skinny gray jeans. He then grabbed a white shirt and placed it over his sleeveless black undershirt.
“I noticed you didn’t have the television on. Don’t you want to watch the battle that’s happing right now?”
Izaya replied blankly, “no.”
“Well, it’s your lost kid. I think you know this but it helps to know about the strategy of other trainers in the competition.”
“Thanks for your insight.” The man started at Izaya for a second before he turned around and exited the room. Izaya had made it to the preliminary rounds, also known as the round of 32. These battles take place in the Pokémon Stadium and are viewed live by hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of people around the world.

This wasn’t qualification rounds anymore. 256 trainers from around the region registered to take part in the Hoenn Pokémon League.

He liked the qualification battles because they took place in somewhat crowd-less arenas where official Pokémon league judges recorded the winner of the battles. Trainers where randomly selected to battle other trainers in a stadium with ten battlefields. There were nine different battles taking place at the same time. Trainers were only allowed to use two Pokémon. It was something in the range of mass producing Pokémon battles.

A trainer that lost in the qualification rounds at least had there dignity and pride intact. To him, it would be nerve wrecking to lose in front of a large live audience.

He never once thought he would be trying to become a Pokémon Champion or at the very least a member of the Elite Four. Izaya never really grew up wanting to battle Pokémon like most kids. Although, unlike most kids, he received an official starter Pokémon from the region’s famed professor.

The current champion of the Hoenn region also received a starter Pokémon from Dr.Odamaki when he first began his journey. His name is Yuki Masuda, a former child prodigy and hero. He became the Saiyu Conference’s youngest Pokémon champion ever and on top of that he saved the region from being destroyed by the legendary Pokémon Groudon and Kyogre.

If that wasn’t enough he also challenged and became champion of the Battle Frontier (a small island off the coast of Hoenn that was dedicated to the art of battling).

The bulky guard popped his head into the room and yelled. “Kid, let’s go, show time!” Izaya inhaled deeply from his nostrils and slowly exhaled from his mouth. He shut the locker door and walked out of the room. Maybe he could beat the child prodigy. They met before, but it was brief. The bulky man closed the door to the locker room behind him and crossed his arms.

“Good luck Mr.Saito.” Izaya turned his head to the man and smiled nervously.
“Thanks”, he replied. Izaya continued walking straight into the dark blue corridor. His heart began beating faster with every step he took he took on the brown, glossy tiled floor. His mind began flooding with worry.

What if I lose? He couldn’t help but think about his upcoming opponent. As he was, his opponent was also walking a similar walkway across the stadium. Step after step he could hear the cheers of the crowd get louder and louder. Finally he was stopped by another man who wore the same security uniform as the bulky man. He stood in front of a double steel door exit. Izaya could hear the chants of the crowd as they revved up for the next battle.

The man in front Izaya put a finger on his Bluetooth and nodded. He looked at Izaya, before he opened the door. A small chill went down his spine as the warm air from the outside entered the room. Izaya slowly steeped outside and found himself at the far edge of the battlefield. The roar of the crowd was completely clear and louder than he had ever imagined. He took a quick glance around the field and saw cameras around the stadium recording and taking pictures of his entry. It was overwhelming and he hated it.

“Ladies and Gentleman, the third battle of the day will now commence.” The announcer said over the stadium wide speaker. “Standing on the blue corner is a young trainer all the way from Kanazumi City, Izaya Saito!”

The crowd cheered, but Izaya didn’t feel like the cheers were directed at him. It was like the crowd only cheered because the environment demanded they did. Izaya walked over to the battlefield and stood on his trainer box, which was merely a drawing of a box of white paint on the grass. Izaya nervously stared across the battlefield and anxiously awaited his opponent. His attention then briefly shifted up at the stadium battle screen.

On one half his picture was displayed with six empty boxes blow him. The other half was the same, although the picture of his opponent wasn’t displayed since he hadn’t entered the arena. Izaya refocused his attention back across the battlefield and saw the doors swing open. A man quickly ran out while waving and blowing kisses to the crowd. His entrance seemed flamboyant at best, although, to Izaya he didn’t look like the type of guy who played around.

“Introducing our next trainer on the red corner, from the town of Fuen, Jun Kurasaki”, the Announcer said. The crowd’s predictable cheer followed.

The man walked up the judge who stood dead center in the field and greeted him. The both men turned to Izaya and quickly waved at him. In the confusion, Izaya had forgotten he was supposed to greet his opponent before the battle would start. Izaya ran towards the men at fast as he could, he hoped nobody other than the men on the field noticed his awkward mistake.

Izaya bowed to his opponent and the judge.

“I’m . . . sorry, I didn’t . . . I mean I forgot about the thing.” Izaya said nervously, under the sound of the crowd.
“Are you okay kid, you look tired”, said the judge. Izaya became even more nervous after the man told him that.
“No, I mean yes, I didn’t sleep much and I-”. The judge turned to Jun, uninterested in his small talk. In reality though, there wasn’t time to talk, things needed to advance as swiftly as they could, even the battles.
“Okay, you know the rules. No substitutions, so choose your Pokémon carefully. You both will pull out a Pokeball at the same time and throw it. It is my duty to forfeit a Pokémon if it’s badly injured and won’t give up due to the trainer. You have the right to forfeit a match-up or the entire battle.”

The judge turned to Izaya. “A Pokémon will be unable to battle if a stays on the ground for more than five seconds. Keep it clean. There will be no cheap shots while the Pokémon is down. Use good judgment to keep your Pokémon safe, good luck.”

The judge turned from the trainers and walked over to his own box on the side of the battlefield.

“I’m going to pummel you to the ground, kid.” Jun said confidently before he turned around and ran to his trainer box. Izaya was shocked by the man’s statement, but he didn’t care. The only thing on his mind was the crowd of thousands that stared at him from hundreds of feet away, the tens of thousands of eye balls rotating from Izaya to Jun.


II

He stepped in his trainer box and turned to face Jun who stood roughly 100 yards away. Izaya pulled out a Pokéball from his hip as soon as Jun did. Izaya extended his hand backward and stepped forward. Jun thrust his Pokéball as far as he could. Jun’s ball, while airborne, released a flash of white light before it landed. A hefty Golem stood on the field thereafter. The crowd roared.

Izaya took another step to get his aim just right and tripped. He fell to the grass and dropped his Pokéball. It slowly began rolling into the field. The crowd gasped for a moment. Some began laughing while others felt bad for the young trainer. Izaya quickly got his bearings, picked up the ball, stood up, and then threw the Pokéball as far as he could into the field. It landed and popped opened a few yards from the middle, releasing a Blaziken.

The Blaziken lit it’s wrists in a fierce red-orange fire and growled at the Golem ten yards in front of it. The Golem snarled back and stomped the ground, shaking the floor around it. The judge lifted his hands. “Begin!” The crowd roared again, the battle was on.

“Golem use roll out!” Jun swiftly commanded. Izaya froze, he was afraid to do anything. Blaziken instinctively jumped over and dodged the rolling Pokémon. Blaziken then turned to his trainer anticipating a command.
“Blaze-Blaziken!” Izaya’s Pokémon cried. Izaya was trembling in fear, his hands and legs shaking. His heart was beating so hard if felt like it was about to burst out of his chest. The Golem continued to roll, trying to hit the Blaziken as it evaded its maneuvers.

“What’s going on? It seems that Blaziken’s trainer has frozen!” The announcer exclaimed.

“Damn, that Blaziken is a swift one, alright, screw the roll out attack. Use rock blast now!” The Golem stopped suddenly and began firing huge sharp boulders at Izaya’s Pokémon. Blaziken evaded some and kicked the boulders, it couldn’t dodge, out of the way. After the onslaught Blaziken turned to face its trainer again and bellowed. As it was turned a bolder hit the Blaziken, casting it towards its trainer. Izaya didn’t pay attention to any of it as he blankly stared forward with wide eyes.

Blaziken got up and spit an ember to the ground. The Pokémon re-lit its wrists and a faced its trainer hoping for a command, but Izaya didn’t say a thing. He was lost in his mind. Blaziken clinched his fists and became frustrated. It stomped the ground and unleashed a powerful flamethrower at the Golem.

Jun laughed. “Are you really going to try to superheat my Golem?” Golem took the flame attack directly. “Now roll out!” Jun commanded. The golem hid in its red-hot rocky shell and fiercely rolled toward Blaziken. The fire/fighting Pokémon charged toward the rock as it rolled toward. Its feathers began shining a bright and fiery blue hue. Blaziken hit the rock Pokémon head on but was tossed away like a rag doll. It was no match for the one ton of superheated rock.

“Time to wrap this match up, Golem! Use rock tomb to trap it then crash straight into it with a roll out attack!” Golem stomped the ground hard with both feet and emitted a powerful blast wave into the floor. The ground cracked toward the Blaziken and four sharp like rocks suddenly burst out of the ground below Blaziken. The Pokémon was trapped, held in placed by the slender rocks. It struggled to get out and fired a badly aimed flamethrower into the air. The Golem quickly seized the opportunity and rolled full speed into the Pokémon.

It crashed, flinging chunks of rock and dust away. Blaziken was sent spiraling into the wall of the stadium past Izaya. The Pokémon hit the thick stadium wall and fell down to the floor, hard. It didn’t get up.

The judge began counting, “1…, 2…, 3…”, Blaziken on its stomach struggled to get up, its arms shaking violently. It mustered up all it strength and managed to rise up with the help of its knees. It was standing, but barely. Dirt smudges were lined all over its body. Small pebbles were stuck in its beige hair. A significant amount of crimson blood began flowing from its eyes and mouth.

“Call off the match Izaya!” A girl yelled from the front row stands. Izaya turned and looked up. He saw a sandy brown haired girl standing worriedly near the railing. He had enough, he took a few steps backwards and shook his head. Izaya cried out before he ran back into the corridor of the stadium, leaving his Pokémon on the field.

Everybody in the stadium was astonished the boy ran away from the battle. His Blaziken was not only badly injured but also dismayed. His Pokémon battling days ended just like that.


III

Haruka Odamaki sat in the cabin’s living room attending the young baby Articuno. The Articuno had hatched with small bright blue feathers. The Pokémon flapped its young frail wings and happily chirped up at Haruka who held the baby Pokémon in her arms.

“Do you have any Pokémon food?” She questioned Dylan.
“I have Beartic’s, but I don’t think it eats adult Pokémon food.”
“It doesn’t matter just cut it down to size.” Dylan sighed and ran into the kitchen to grab a can of Pokémon food. Izaya looked on. He had his hands in a green bucket of hot water as he sat on the table. He then gazed at the baby Pokémon and smiled weakly.
“Well, we did get to see an Articuno after all.” He said. Haruka turned her head to Izaya and amiably nodded. The baby Pokémon then jumped from Haruka’s arms and attempted to fly, instead it fell on the soft cushions of the sofa. The baby Pokémon began chirping out of frustration but then smothered itself into Haruka’s jacket. Dylan walked into the room holding small bits of Pokémon food in a large gray food bowl.


“It really likes you. I wouldn’t be surprised if it thought you were its mother.” Dylan said.
Izaya chuckled. “Haruka isn’t the motherly type, that’s for sure.”
“Hey that’s not-” Haruka’s statement was cut short when the baby Articuno popped its head out of Haruka’s jacket and fired a very weak ice beam near Dylan’s feet.

Dylan was startled. He leaped backward, letting go of the bowl. The bowl fell to the ground and spilled the bits all over the hardwood floor. The baby Pokémon happily jumped down onto the floor and began pecking on the fallen Pokémon food.

“Hey, you can get cuts on your feet if you stand on the shards!” Dylan exclaimed. The baby Articuno shook its head at Dylan and fired another weak ice beam at him. Haruka laughed as he tried to evade the cold light blue beam.

“Alright, alright you’re the boss.” Dylan said. The baby Articuno joyfully chirped, loudly and puffed out its tiny feathers. It then resumed pecking at the small bits of food. Dylan felt a bit defeated and walked over to sit near Izaya on the table.

“So, what’s next?” Izaya questioned.
“Not sure.” Dylan put his hand to his face. “This complicates the whole situation. I need to get in touch with my operator.”
“Your who?”
“An operator is a person who assists a Pokémon Ranger. Thanks to the crappy satellite coverage I can’t get contact even with the local town.”
“Artic Village” Izaya whispered. “Don’t mean to sound nosy or rude, but how did you get such a delicate and dangerous operation?”

“I’m not too sure myself. I was approached one day by my base leader. He told me they needed a Ranger in Antarctica and so here I am. I first I thought It was just an excuse to get rid of me. At first glance there isn’t much here. It wasn’t until I got here two weeks ago I was informed to watch over the Articuno. Anyhow, never mind me. I’m still scratching my head on how you guys found out Articuno live down here.”


Haruka approached Dylan and said. “My father told me there was a huge possibility that there was some sort of a natural Articuno sanctuary here. We had looked into the idea of months so I decided I’d come down here and experiment our hypothesis. Turns out it was true. Antarctica is secluded, cold, and barren, perfect living conditions for Articuno world-wide.”

Dylan turned his head to Izaya “What about you, kid? Is your dad some sort of Pokémon Researcher?”

Izaya put his face down and stared at his submerged hands in the warm water. “No”, Izaya replied.

“Are you here on research as well?” Dylan questioned.
“No, I’m just here to accompany Haruka.”
“So are you’re a Pokémon trainer?”
“No.”

The room fell silent for a few seconds before Haruka blurted out, “I’m starving! How about I cook us up a nice morning meal?”

“Sorry Haruka, all I have is canned food.” Dylan said.

“That’s alright”, Haruka smiled. Beartic walked into the living room on all fours and began tugging on Dylan’s coat.

“What is Beartic?” The Pokémon looked troubled like it there was something wrong. Beartic walked over to the entrance of the cabin and stared sniffing the floor. It stood up on its hind legs and turned to Dylan. It pointed to the door and grunted.

“I think we might have company.” Dylan said bitterly. He quickly jumped from his chair and pulled out his capture stylus from his under his coat. He slowly crept to the door and waved at Haruka.

Dylan whispered, “Get the Articuno and take it to the room. Stay there until I come back.” Haruka slightly nodded and promptly picked up the tiny bird Pokémon as it ate. The Articuno let out a loud chirp as it was picked up suddenly. It was startled. Haruka tried to calm it as she ran into the room.

Dylan made eye contact with Izaya for a brief second before he opened the door and stormed out into the Arctic tundra with Beartic.
“Wait what about me!” Izaya exclaimed as Dylan ran out. It was too late. Dylan was already out of sight. Izaya took his hands out of the bucket of warm water ran over to the room.

“Haruka, open the door.” Izaya would do it himself but his hands where still tightly wrapped in bandages. Haruka slowly turned the knob and opened the door.

“Hey be quiet somebody could hear you.”
“I need you to un-wrap these bandages from my hands.”
“Izaya that isn’t important right now. Get in here and hide. There could be bad people outside.” Haruka said as she held the baby Pokémon in her arms. Izaya groaned, he turned around and ran towards the open entrance.

“Izaya, where are you going? Stay here!” Izaya ignored her and continued outside into the barren wasteland of sleet snow. What was a cabin in the middle of nowhere doing in an open icy plain? Izaya looked around and didn’t find Dylan. It was like he disappeared of the face of the earth. There was nowhere to hide for miles.

As Izaya took his first few steps outside, a bird shaped shadow fell on him, and as quickly as it came, it left. He looked up at the sky and saw two Articuno looming over the cabin.

“That must be..!” A huge blast erupted a few yards in front of Izaya flinging him backwards. He landed and quickly rose up. The two Articuno landed near Izaya, one in front and one behind him. There was nowhere to escape. The Pokémon had him pinned.

That was a powerful ice-beam. He thought to himself. The Articuno behind him flapped its wings and began hovering over Izaya, its wings stirred up powerful gusts with each flap. The Articuno screeched intensely before it grabbed Izaya with its sharp talons.

Before it ascended any higher another blast exploded near the Articuno. Only this time it wasn’t caused by the Pokémon. A giant net tangled itself around the Pokémon’s wings. Articuno, along with Izaya in its talons, fell to the ground. The Pokémon released its grip from Izaya as it hit the floor. Izaya crawled out from the Pokémon’s feet and got up.

He ran from scene in order to get a better view of what was happening. The Articuno on the floor was struggling fiercely to free itself. Without its wings it could not balance itself let alone fly. The other Articuno flew overhead deeply enraged. It screeched out with such in intense velocity it shattered the windows in the cabin.

The free Articuno turned its wings to steel and swooped down to the captured Articuno. A strong blue electric shock suddenly electrified both Articuno as the steel wings hit the net. Both Pokémon were now on the ground. Before the free Articuno could get up another blast erupted near it. A net wrapped around its wings soon after. Both Pokémon, badly weakened, laid before Izaya. He was completely astounded of what just happened.

Haruka ran out of the cabin with the baby Articuno is her arms. She was shocked at what she saw.

“Izaya, what’s going on? Where’s Dylan.” She said nervously. Izaya stood silently and shook his head.

“Unreal, that couldn’t of just happened.” The tiny baby bird began chirping loudly, reawaking both parents. Somehow the sound of the baby surged more life and energy into the Pokémon. Before they could struggle out of the nets the Pokémon where electrocuted again. This time the legendary Pokémon could not handle the intense blue shock and fainted.

“Who could do such a thing?” Haruka said with her hand over her mouth.

“Honestly they’re just animals.” An unknown man calmly said as he walked toward the fainted Pokémon. “Besides, I just saved that man’s life. That Articuno could have ripped him in half if I didn’t intervene.” The stranger wore a heavy white snow jacket, the hood covered his scalp. The man held a white camouflage rocket launcher on his shoulder, although, it didn’t appear he had any more rounds.

“Release them this instant!” Haruka demanded furiously. The hooded man grinned at Haruka and dropped his weapon on the snow.

“Allow me to introduce myself young lady, I am Katashi Akiyama.” The man removed his hood, revealing a shiny baldness. “I am deeply saddened you had to see such violence occur. Nevertheless, I’m only doing what I was sent here to do, and you are?”

The man spoke very gentleman like. He seemed very professional and elegant. Haruka angrily started at the man, she didn’t say a single word.

The man laughed. “Well I guess they’re some people who dislike you for doing such”, he paused, “rash things.”

“Let the Articuno go!” Haruka demanded. The baby Articuno noticed Haruka’s distress and jumped off of her arms. “Articuno wait!” The baby Pokémon fired a weak ice beam at the man. It hit the man’s chest and covered it in frost. Katashi was appalled. He looked down at his chest and became furious.

“Now you’ve done it! This jacket was a gift from my grandfather! How dare you, you insignificant excuse of a legendary Pokémon!” Katashi’s eyes had turned from tranquil to hostile. The man reached into his jacket and pulled out a diamond crusted Pokeball. “Flareon teach them a lesson!” The ball popped open in mid-air and released a bright red and orange Pokémon.

“I’m going to give you five seconds young lady. Five seconds to hand over that little Articuno, if you don’t . . .I’m going to kill you.”

“You’re a manic!” She exclaimed as she ran over to cover the little Pokémon with her body. Izaya stood helplessly a few yards away, he never felt so useless in his life. It was hard for him to show his anger, in a situation like this it should be the easiest thing in the world to do. Izaya rushed the man and tackled him to the ground.

Flareon turned around to face its trainer and ignited it’s fangs in fire. Katashi quickly kicked Izaya off of him and stood up. He proved to be of better physical capacity than Izaya hoped for. His body was slender and from the outside it appeared like he had no muscle at all. Unlike Dylan he appeared five-foot ten, only a couple inches taller than Izaya.


“I’m done playing games! Flareon, burn that man to a crisp!” Katashi ordered furiously.

-Chapter end

Spoiler:

Ever Grande Conference - Saiyu Conference
Brendan - Yuki
Rustboro City - Kanazumi City
Lavaridge Town - Fuen (Town)

Last edited by DarkIceForever; September 3rd, 2012 at 06:46 PM. Reason: Have you seen the Muffin Man?
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