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  #1    
Old August 11th, 2008, 03:35 PM
POKEMON_MASTER_0's Avatar
POKEMON_MASTER_0
Above & Beyond
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Seattle area
Age: 22
Gender: Male
*This is rated PG-13, as it features occasional violence and very occasional (practically non-existent) crude humor.*


I will start by saying that this was my first fan fiction and that I completed it recently. I decided that I wanted to post it here in addition to the place where it currently sits at. However, upon looking back on my earliest chapters, I realized that they do not reflect my current writing style. I am in the process of rewriting it.

So let me know what you think of the rewritten version. While reading, though, keep in mind that this fan fiction is complete. If you criticize a major plot element, I will likely not change it. I am writing a sequel to this fan fiction, and changing major plot devices in this fan fiction might cause some major confusion in the sequel. This does not mean that I want you to stay silent about major plot devices. I want to know what works and what doesn't so that I can improve as a writer. Just bare in mind that plot devices in this particular story are not likely to be changed.

That aside, here's the first chapter:



CHAPTER 1: Future Trainer

He raced down the hall, riding a fresh shot of adrenaline. Seconds before, the bell had rang, signaling the beginning of the five-minute transition period.

He dodged clumps of socializing teens that formed in the narrow hall; blood clots in a vain. He weaved in and out of the masses that were moving two slowly for his taste. There was an excess of 500 students roaming the halls right now. All of them were destined for their final class of the day.

He ignored the back-aching pile of books between his shoulders and the sweat that drenched the front of his curly hair. A single thought that took precedence over all else surged through his head: “Get there before the bell!”

He bolted up a flight of stairs, stride enabling him to take two steps at a time. Behind him and before him echoed footsteps as other teens like him trudged up the stairs. He reached the top: lungs gasping for air and legs tingling.

He threw open a heavy wooden door and entered the room. It was drab. White walls and gray carpet were lit by a pale light that came through the shaded windows. A steady hum could be heard, contrary to the footsteps outside. He strode toward a row of tables that housed computers, plopped down on his seat and threw the heavy pack to the floor.

He sat there for a few seconds, feeling the pain in his back and legs dissipate. Then, he glanced up at the clock. The red digits read 12:31. He had arrived well before the five-minute mark. Not even the teacher had come yet.

He turned to the blank monitor, pressed the spacebar to bring it to life, and then input his login information. He gazed blankly into the screen as the information loaded, tired, green eyes staring back at him.

Once the desktop was fully up, he accessed the internet and checked the encyclopedia article that he had viewed hundreds of times. Accompanying it was a familiar picture: a blurred speck of red and white back dropped by a sea of greenery.

“Latias. Possibly one of the world’s rarest Pokémon. There are thought to be less than twenty worldwide. Unlike most Pokémon, their behavioral patterns are not well understood. Their habitat-”

A creak rang out. Hastily, he closed the browser. The door opened and a steady stream of students trickled in. They took their places at the rows of tables and computers in front of him.

One minute before the bell, the teacher finally burst into the room, straight, gray hair bobbing and white unbuttoned coat swaying as he made his way to the front of the desk in the front. The man stooped his lean figure to open and dig through the contents a drawer. He pulled out a paper, slapped it down on his desk, and thrust himself into a metal chair.

“What we doing today, Mr. Hayes?” a kid asked from the front.

The teacher squinted at his student. “Work,” he barked, wrinkled face taking on the guise of a grouchy old man.

“What kinda work?” the boy persisted.

“Tough work,” Mr. Hayes declared.

The student was elbowed by a giggling neighbor.

From behind his computer in the back, he shook his head at the idleness of this conversation while simultaneously unzipping his bag and taking out a pen and a sheet of notebook paper in preparation for the aforementioned work.

A few seconds later, the bell rang, signaling the official start of the class.

Mr. Hayes pushed back in his chair, extended himself to his full height and walked before the white board.

“First of all…any of you who are playing games, or checking your email, or talking to your friends, turn off your monitors. You won’t need them today.”

A wave of clicks and blacking-out screens followed.

“Thank you. Now…for all of you here, this is the first year: you’re fourteen years old and you’re looking forward to getting your first Pokémon. When you get it, naturally, you would want to know everything about it: diet, behavior, physical characteristics.”

“This next project will prepare you for this learning experience. You will choose a Pokémon. Obviously, this is for research purposes only. I would recommend that you choose one that you like, however. You will be writing a paper, a paper that will be three pages in length…”

Five pages of notes and one and a half hours later, the bell signaled the end of the day.

“Remember, you must have your Pokémon selected by next Friday!” Mr. Hayes boomed over the racket of shuffling papers, backpacks, and feet.

Even before the bell rang, the student in the back had all of his work packed away. When the time came, he simply threw his backpack over his shoulder and strode out of the room long before anyone else. His tennis shoes pounded down the steps until they reached the bottom floor. He turned down one of the narrow halls (now free of biological obstructions, thanks to his ability to be the first one out of class).

He thrust open a metal door and walked out into a cloudy, breezy afternoon. It was refreshing after having been in the confines of the building all day. Across the concrete slab he stood on were more multi-story buildings with more students beginning to pour out.

They would assemble in the middle of the slab. They would shout and laugh about their day. Jokes would be told, whiners would whine, hugs and kisses would be exchanged as a sign of a sort of juvenile love. It was an end of the day social hour.

He avoided it all by taking a path that lead away from the slab and down to the street that bordered the school. Tentatively, the boy looked both ways before crossing the carless avenue. The path continued on the other side. He ducked into a forest that engulfed it.

It was a cave that had a ceiling of low-hanging, light-filtering pine bows and a floor of dark-brown dirt saturated from last night’s storm. The floor squished in protest beneath his feet while the pine needles tickled his nose. It was not the most sensually pleasant experience, but he liked it just the same. The forest gave him a strange sense of both solitude and wholeness. In his mind, being part of a group was not the exclusive equivalent to happiness. There were other ways to achieve it.

He emerged from the woods, brushing needles from his orange sweatshirt and pulling filaments of webbing from his hair. Spinarak: that was the reason why his parents didn’t want him to travel this way. He had no way of defending himself from the Pokémon. Still, over the past year he had traveled this path every day without even seeing one Spinarak. He didn’t think that there was reason to worry.

He stepped out of the bushes and into a ghost town of a neighborhood. Boarded up windows, peeling, faded blue paint, overgrown yards, and weed-filled sidewalks were the highlights of this decrepit place. All of the houses looked the same: one-story and box shaped. It was a housing project started during a population boom. For reasons unknown to him, the boom died out quickly. Hundreds of houses were built and then left to rot away. Now all that was left were their skeletons, groaning and howling with the wind.

Perhaps his parents would not want him in this part of town either. However, as with the forest, he had never had troubles with it before. It seemed perfectly safe.

He stepped off of the sidewalk and treaded the spider-webbed asphalt beneath him. He looked down at the cracks, allowing his mind to reach a sort of focus.

“What should I do for that report?” he thought to himself. “Latias? No, not enough information. Eevee? Too overused. Zigzagoon? Too generic-”

The ear piercing shriek of rubber on asphalt rang out.

He jumped back onto the sidewalk and glanced both ways. Nothing was there, no vehicles could be seen.

Then a tremendous boom echoed throughout the entire neighborhood. It was followed up by an equally loud metallic screech.

He stood there, legs braced and fists clenched, waiting for the next sound. Thirty seconds later and nothing stirred. Perhaps it was at the intersection up ahead. He jogged there, eyes darting from house to house in search of the source. Occasionally, he threw a backwards glance to make sure that no one was following him.

For a second, he thought he could sense something. It was a nagging, kind of forceful emotion. Just as soon as it had come, it disappeared. He discarded it as a figment of his imagination.

As he neared the intersection, he heard voices: male and agitated. By the time he had confirmed this fact, it was too late to turn back. He was now standing on the corner, peering down the adjacent street. What he saw defied belief. A white commercial truck was on its side, lying in the center of the road. The first thing that caught his attention was a hole bordered by twisted fragments of metal. Oddly enough it was on the skyward-facing side of the metal box: the side that probably hadn’t touched the pavement at all.

Beside the truck were three figures, all clothed in black. Two of them seemed to be about the same height, the other was a head taller.

“What the heck was that for?” one of the smaller ones whined.

“I-I don’t know,” the other stammered. “One moment, everything was fine. Then this big headache came…but I don’t have it anymore! It doesn’t make any sense! It’s-”

“Shut up,” the taller one commanded in a cold tone.

Both went silent abruptly.

“I don’t care why you crashed the truck. All that I care about is that she escaped.”

He pointed to the hole in the box.

“If the boss hears that we lost her, he’ll be angry and he’ll dock our pay. We need to get her back. She’s still drugged so she couldn’t have gone too far. First, you two-”

The man spun around to face the student who was still a good twenty feet away. The boy cringed.

“That’s not good,” the leader stated, back still turned to his underlings. “You two, go after him. I’ll go after her.”

The man turned and darted away from the boy’s position, leaving the thugs behind.

The student’s face paled, his palms went sweaty, and spots appeared before his eyes. The two reached into their pockets and produced Pokeballs. That was all the galvanization his body needed. Feeling a second, more powerful surge of adrenaline than the last, he turned on his heels and sprinted.
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Last edited by POKEMON_MASTER_0; March 23rd, 2009 at 06:52 PM.
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  #2    
Old August 14th, 2008, 10:48 AM
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txteclipse
Zero
Community Supporter Tier 3
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Nature: Quiet
Yeah. Definitely better than your first first chapter (no, that isn't a typo). Nothing noteworthy critique-wise, but than again you're getting to the point where you don't really need it too much. I'm liking the fresh new feel of this, and I don't really know why no one else has responded...All in due time, I suppose.
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  #3    
Old August 14th, 2008, 08:09 PM
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Phoenix_Mew
Trainer of all things adorable
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Rising from the ashes
Age: 25
Gender:
Nature: Bashful
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Nice intro. I look forward to reading more.
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And so she shall rise from the ashes to battle another day. And despite how the fires may once again consume her, she shall eternal rise.

Previously known as Mew13/Nagoyaka Aikouka
On and off member since April 2004

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Go vote in it!


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  #4    
Old August 21st, 2008, 09:50 AM
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POKEMON_MASTER_0
Above & Beyond
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Seattle area
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Thanks Phoenix_Mew and txteclipse for reading and commenting. As you said, txteclipse, I do feel that this is an improvement over my previous Chapter One. I happened to glance at it the other day and I thought to myself "Wow, this stinks. Description is minimal, dialog is forced..." That being said, I think that this first chapter is a testament to how far I've come as a writer.

Also, I am sorry if this comes across as rude (I don't mean it to), but I'd like to see more comments. I like comments because they tell me that people are taking interest in my writing. This makes me feel that what I am doing is worthwhile and will motivate me to write the next chapter. So if you're a reader, please, please, please comment. I appreciate any feedback that you have: negative or positive.

Now, here is the next chapter:




CHAPTER 2: Guardian

Up ahead, on the other side of the street loomed two brick buildings. He ran for the six-foot gap in between them: an alley. Perhaps he could lose his pursuers in there, or perhaps it would be a dead-end and he would have no way out. He didn’t dwell on the latter.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a flash of blue illuminate the pavement.

“Ariados, stop that kid!” he heard one of the thugs yell.

“You too Stantler! Put him to sleep!” came the other’s orders.

“Why this, why me?” he fumed as he jumped into the gap between the buildings.

The alley had a floor of mud; slimy, slippery mud. It was littered with piles of discarded paper. He jumped a pile, expecting to land unscathed on the other side. He did not. As soon his feet hit the other side, his legs slid out from under him and his rear end hit the ground.

He shot a glance backward and over the top of the pile. He could see them coming: a creeping, spider-like Ariados and a galloping Stantler. He whirled back around. The antlers. Just by catching a glimpse of them he had contracted a trace of nausea. Any more looking and he would likely faint.

He sprung to his feet, adrenaline peaking and vision tunneling. They were catching up. The only thing that mattered was the alley before him. He couldn’t afford to make another mistake. He flew forward with a grim determination, vaulting over piles of junk. A few times he slid and came close to falling. He could hear their scrambling feet and hooves echo off the brick walls.

“Darn it! I’m not gaining any ground!” he thought.

A few seconds later, he was even more dismayed. Up ahead loomed a solid brick wall. Any hope of escape had just been vaporized.

He ran as far as physically possible and turned around to face his pursuers. The two Pokémon were no more than twenty feet away. They were approaching quickly. He squeezed his eyes shut so that the Stantler’s horns would not dizzy him and prayed that Ariados would not wrap him too tightly. His throbbing heart begged for oxygen. He bent down, rested his hands on the muddied knees of his jeans, and gasped for breath. If this was a dream, he had better wake up soon.

Then, completely out of the blue, a voice filled his head “Stay down!”

It was forceful and had a distinctive feminine quality to it. It was presented like a thought, however, unlike a normal thought, this one seemed to have appeared on its own accord: his mind did not generate it. He wasn’t even sure why he would even bother contemplating details at a moment like this.

This contemplation earned him a sharp jab in the stomach. For the second time today, he fell in the mud. This time he was lying on his back. He looked up, the two Pokémon were side-by-side, making the final steps of their chase. Their pace slowed considerably: they were complacent. Their prey was cornered.

He stared at the Pokémon, eyes darting from left to right, trying to gauge who would attack first.

Suddenly, his field of vision was obscured by a red-and-white being. It seemed to have appeared out of thin air. Upon further analysis, it was a floating dragon with claws and a long neck.

“No…way…” he thought to himself.

The being let out an ear-piercing shriek. The Pokémon before it stopped. They hesitated: this was not part of the plan.

The creature held up a red, clawed hand and stretched it as a human would if they were to extend all digits to their full length. Slowly, the stubs began to lengthen until they completed their transition from claws to deadly-looking, four-inch blades. She wiggled the three digits, producing on ominous shower of clicks.

The two Pokémon took a step back.

“Yeah, you’d better run,” the feminine voice echoed throughout his head. It sounded shaky and under-confident. She was trying harder to assure herself rather than her enemies of the strength she possessed.

Ariados decided that it had had enough. It turned and scampered away in a flurry of spindly legs.

Stantler was not as easily convinced. Before she even had a chance to react, the Pokémon sprang forward and knocked her to the ground. She emitted a shriek. For a few short seconds, they tumbled in the mud. She came up from the bottom and thrust the daggered-claw. There was an awful squeal followed by a sickening thud as the incapacitated Pokémon hit the ground, three parallel gashes in its side.

She rose to her original levitating position, mud plastering her fur. She craned her neck downward at the fallen Pokémon, examining the gashes.

“Good…They’re not too deep…I think,” he heard her think quietly.

She then turned to face him. She squinted her yellow eyes in confusion. They were bordered by a flat white face that bore the outline of a crimson triangle.

“Can you hear me?” she thought.

His heart stopped. The Latias had acknowledged him. This was the stuff of legend.

“Yes,” he said blurted out, tension in his voice.

“Try thinking to me.”

“Can you hear me?” he thought, placing careful emphasis on each word.

“Yes,” a stunned voice came back.

His eyes widened. “How…what-”

She shook her head and thought hastily, “I don’t know, I don’t know! I’m psychic, but I’ve never had this happen before, ever.”

She turned and looked back down the alleyway. “They’re coming. I can get us out of this…I think. Stay down and close your eyes.”

Sure enough, shouts and boots squishing through the mud reached their ears. Soon, all three men were upon them: the two thugs in front and their leader in the rear.

One of the underlings pulled out a Pokeball and recalled the fallen Stantler. He mouthed a curse as he put the ball back into his pocket. Both thugs were ghost-white, a color that matched their black clothes and caps. They were scared. That was good.

Their leader even looked a bit startled. Although his skin was not pale, his green eyes did bear a trace of uncertainty.

“You’re drugged, Latias,” he said quietly, almost sympathetically. “You can’t do anything to harm us. So…just come back with us peacefully and we won’t hurt you.”

She snorted and held up her claw. “So you say,” she seethed with her thoughts.

“P-please, can’t we talk about this like…like civilly?” he stammered, realizing that the odds were not in his favor.

“Are your eyes closed?” she asked.

“Yeah,” came the shaky reply.

Suddenly, the red void of his eyelids flashed a bright white. His eyes flew open and he scrambled to sit up. Only Latias was before him now.

“Where are they?” he asked.

She averted her gaze downward. Lying in the mud were the forms of all three men.

“They’re unconscious,” she thought quickly. “They’ll be up soon though. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to leave before they wake up. Here…”

Again, there was a blinding flash of light. He gasped and covered his eyes.

When he looked again, she was standing before him as a slender, brown-haired girl with a pale, straight-nosed face with soft, amber eyes. She was clothed in a pair of blue jeans and a green t-shirt.

“You-you can transform! You really are a Latias!” he exclaimed.

She gave him a thin smile and nodded. “I guess it’s something that goes along with being a Latias.”

Then, she bent down and extended a hand to him. He accepted it gladly and by their combined efforts, he was pulled back to his feet.

“My parents…What will they say about this?” he thought, brushing a clean hand across his back and bringing it forward covered in oozing filth.

“What will they say about me?” the Latias added nervously.

“Well…they wouldn’t know you and-This is serious! You’re a Latias! If anyone finds out-”

“They’ll capture me. Please, please, please promise me that you won’t tell anyone.”

“I won’t,” he shot back.

“Great…I hope. Do you have anywhere we can go to sort this all out?”

“Yeah, my house isn’t too far away from here and my parents won’t be back for a few hours. That’ll give us some time.”

“That might work.”

They started back to the opening, arms linked and shoes squishing through the mud. The philosophy was that if one individual began to fall, the other could stop them.

Even after they reached the mouth without incident, they kept their arms linked. Both were still living in the horrifying incident that had occurred a minute ago. Pulses were still running wild and breathing still elevated as they passed by the fallen truck.

“So…this thought-thing that’s going on. You sure you’ve never experienced it before?” he asked tentatively.

“No, not at all. Do you have any food? I’ve been locked up for…I don’t know how long and they haven’t given me much.”

“I think so.” He wiggled his backpack off of his shoulders, swung it around in front of him, and unzipped it. He produced a wrapped snack bar.

“It’s all I have, but-“

She snatched it from his hand, tore off the wrapper, and shoved the entire thing into her mouth.

He looked at her with shock written all over his face.

She stopped chewing momentarily. “Is something wrong?” she thought with a smile on her bulging cheeks and brown eyes displaying a playful air.

“No, nothing at all,” he replied with a smile of his own. “You just look kind of funny.”

“Really?” she asked, eyes locked with his and pale face taking on a mock-frown.

“Really,” he replied, expression also hardening.

They held this gaze for a few seconds. Finally, they couldn’t take it anymore. Both broke down into a giggling fit with the Latias spewing partially-chewed pieces of snack bar everywhere.

This had proven to be a strange day indeed.

Last edited by POKEMON_MASTER_0; September 3rd, 2008 at 08:33 PM.
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  #5    
Old August 21st, 2008, 10:31 AM
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txteclipse
Zero
Community Supporter Tier 3
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Nature: Quiet
Better better better. Oh so very much better. I didn't even realize it could be this much better until you re-wrote it.

I just said "better" five times...anyways, on to critiquing. Not many problems, again.

Quote:
They alley had a floor of mud; slimy, slippery mud.
Should be "The".

Quote:
She then turned her to face him.
"Her" doesn't need to be there.
Quote:
She turned looked back down the alleyway.
Toss an "and" between "turned" and "looked".

That's all I noticed.

These revisions are making the start of OL more like the end style-wise. Need I say it? Oh, I suppose. It's better.
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Last edited by txteclipse; August 21st, 2008 at 10:39 AM.
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  #6    
Old September 3rd, 2008, 07:26 PM
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POKEMON_MASTER_0
Above & Beyond
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Seattle area
Age: 22
Gender: Male
CHAPTER 3: Binary Refinery

The two proceeded up a concrete driveway that belonged to a blue, two-story house.

“How long until they come home?” her voice echoed throughout his head.

“Three hours,” he thought back.

They ascended a set of creaky wooden steps. When they got to the top, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a key.

As he inserted it into the lock, she thought “Wait a minute…I don’t even know your name.”

“It’s Nadroj,” he replied.

“Nadroj…” she glanced downward and mouthed a series of sounds to herself. She brought her gaze back up to his and thought slyly, “Jordan.”

“Yes, blame my parents. I think that my great grandpa…or great, great grandpa was named Jordan. My parents wanted to honor him, so they thought ‘Let’s name him Jordan…no, that name’s too common…I know! Nadroj!’ So because of their burst of creativity, I got a weird name,” he thought with an ironic grin.

“Mine isn’t too original either. I was named Latias. Not only am I a Latias, I am Latias,” she giggled.

He turned the key, opened the door, and entered, Latias following behind him. He slipped off his muddy sneakers. Latias followed by example.

Nadroj padded across the carpet and deposited his soiled backpack in front of an armchair.

“Here…” he thought as he led Latias through a living room that consisted of two brown armchairs and a mismatched, blue couch.

They arrived in a kitchen and dinning-room area that was joined by a single hardwood floor. He gestured toward the kitchen area.

“There’s food in there…the fridge has mostly fruits, vegetables…yogurt-stuff and the cupboard to the right of it has packaged stuff. I’m going to change my clothes.”

“Alright, thank you.”

He turned on his heels and departed from the room.

Latias’s amber eyes darted to the kitchen. Instantly, a burst of color stood out against the background of brown cabinetry and white appliances. It was a red apple lying in a black-glazed dish that rested atop a granite counter: the dividing line of the dinning room and kitchen.

She strode over to the dish, snatched the fruit with a pale hand, and sunk her teeth in it. Her mouth was zapped by a tangy, juicy taste and her pale cheeks suddenly tingled. She chewed vigorously and swallowed, relishing the sensations with closed-eyes. She pecked at the apple another time, then chewed and swallowed. This bite felt as euphoric as the last. Her stomach growled, demanding more. She took another bite, then another, then another. In less than thirty seconds, the entire apple had been reduced to a spindly core.

Latias proceeded around the counter and into the kitchen, throwing the core into a plastic wastebasket as she passed by. She caught a glint out of the corner of her eye: a stainless-steel sink. It was at that moment that her mouth started to feel dry and her saliva became thick. She turned to it and twisted a knob. A cascade of gurgling water plunged into the basin.

She threw a glance behind herself before stooping down and putting her mouth under the faucet. Instantly, the entire volume of her mouth was filled with the cold, tasteless substance. She swallowed, feeling every inch of her parched throat become coated with the liquid as it slid down. Her mouth was filled with the liquid another time. She swallowed only to have it filled yet another time. She swallowed again and again until her stomach felt heavy, like it carried the weight of an entire ocean.

She straightened up, twisted the knob to the off position, and spun around to raid the refrigerator only to sight the boy standing before it, now wearing blue sweatpants and a white sweater. She flinched.

“Sorry, sorry,” she thought quickly.

“For what?” he enquired with a puzzled look.

“For getting a drink without using a glass.”

“It’s fine. My parents never get mad at me for doing it.”

He opened up the refrigerator and Latias peered over his shoulder.

“Do you have any cheese?” she asked.

“Yes…I think so. He crouched down, opened a drawer, and pulled out a yellow brick.

They went into the dinning room area, where he broke the block into two equal pieces: one for each of them.

They seated themselves at opposite ends of a wooden table and gnawed on their portions, each looking down at the wooden table. This was somewhat of a new experience for Nadroj. He was home alone with a female that was not related to him by blood. Considering the circumstances, he was not sure why he took this odd fact into consideration.

“Where am I?” the feminine voice echoed.

He looked up from the morsel held in both hands to meet her gaze. “Red Ridge,” he replied.

“Where’s that?”

“About an hour from Centrium.”

She drew in an uneasy breath. She expected it, yet her mind did not want to accept it. “And what country is Centrium in?”

“Fortuna,” he replied with a hint of surprise. “Where do you come from? I mean…Red Ridge is just about in the center of the region.”

“AltoMare…Have you ever heard of it before?”

“No. What is it?”

“It’s a tinny island that I think is off the coast of Fortuna,” she said, squinting thoughtfully.

“Then how the heck did you wind up here?”

“I don’t know…it could have been yesterday…or it could have been a few days ago. I can’t remember. There’s this garden next to our house though and it was…sunny…I think. Yes, it definitely was sunny. I curled up on a patch grass and was just about to fall asleep when suddenly, this really sharp jolt hit my wing. Then it spread around my body. It was cold…and painful. I tried to move…I tried to fly, but I couldn’t. My entire body was frozen rigid. The last thing I remember was feeling the pain creep up my neck, then to my face, then to my nostrils. I was looking through a sheet of solid ice. I must have been frozen, literally…”

“For awhile, everything was sketchy, really sketchy. I could sometimes hear voices around me…I couldn’t really see anything…sometimes I didn’t hear anything. However, there was this short period of lucidity when I saw this figure standing before me in a black robe. He said something, I’m sure of it…but I don’t know what it was.”

“And then I wake up, just like that. My senses were restored and I realize that I’m sitting in a pitch-black room and it seems to be rumbling and swaying: I’m in the back of a truck. I sensed people. They seemed…hostile. I’m psychic, so I can do that. I also took my chances and gave them all headaches because again, I’m psychic. The vehicle crashed and I managed to punch a hole in its side…and then I wound up finding you.”

“So you were kidnapped,” Nadroj stated, excitement rising in his voice. “Why-“

“I don’t know why. I would assume that it has something to do with the fact that I am a Latias, but that doesn’t explain how they found me. I keep my identity as a Latias very secret: I always have. The garden that I was in was secret as well, or so I thought.”

“Maybe it could have been poachers?”

“Maybe…that sounds like them, drugging Pokémon so that they can catch them. But poachers aren’t the only ones who can drug Pokémon. And how do you explain the fact that I snapped out of it? Did they forget to give me enough of whatever drug they were using? Who knows, who knows?” she sighed as she threw the last bit of cheese into her mouth.

Nadroj nodded solemnly in agreement before saying, “You have to admit though…this is really convenient,” before chomping on his last piece as well. “Talking and eating at the same.”

Latias smiled. “It is…I guess.”

She then thought hesitantly, “I have a very…odd favor to ask of you. Can you give me a bath? I mean…in my Pokémon form, of course. It’s muddy, and my arms are too stubby to allow my claws to reach all of my fur.”

“I…guess so,” he replied also with a hint of hesitation.

“Thanks, you see…I’m kind of OCD when it comes to my fur. It has to be absolutely clean. Even if I have just a crumb in it, I have to pick it out.”

“So transforming between your Pokémon and human form doesn’t clean you off?”

“Nope. The second I transform back into my Pokémon form, I’ll be muddy again.”

“Alright then…”

A few minutes later, she in her Pokémon form, sitting with her back to the bottom of an empty bathtub. Her long neck would not quiet fit the parameters of the tub. It was bent awkwardly so that it was pressed against a wall at the head of the basin. About three quarters of her body was in the bathtub and one quarter was not. The sides of her body were also pressed to the sides of the tub.

A grin spread across Nadroj’s face and his green eyes lit up.

“I don’t see how this is funny,” she commented.

“Trust me. If you saw it you’d see.”

She rolled her eyes in mock-disgust and conceded, “If you say so.”

He turned the knob at the foot of the tub, sending warm water thundering down and into the plastic basin. As the tub filled, he took a moment to examine his upcoming task. It was simpler than he had originally thought. There was a small patch of dried-on mud on her neck and another, larger one that covered the majority of her belly.

Latias must have sensed his thoughts. “Yeah, just those two patches,” she thought. “The rest is clean.”

He nodded, reached behind his shoulder, and pulled a faded-blue washcloth from the bathroom counter.

Nadroj leaned crouched down and leaned over the side of the tub. Latias’s belly was less than an inch bellow waterline.

He looked inquiringly at Latias. “So…I just scrub this stuff off? I’m not going to hurt your fur or anything?”

“No, of course not,” she declared. “How could a bath be harmful?”

“Just checking, just checking,” he replied hastily.

He immersed the washcloth and began scrubbing away at the patch on her stomach. It produced a cloud of brown that yielded away to a layer of soft, down-like fur.

“I hope it doesn’t stain,” he heard Latias think tentatively.

“If it did, then it was well-worth it,” Nadroj thought with a touch of humor.

“True, very true.”

The cleanup went without incident. The remaining caked-on mud was easily washed away. To Latias’s satisfaction, it did not leave a stain either.

As the dirt-tinted water gurgled down the drain, Latias attempted to wiggle her way out of the tub. It didn’t work. Both of her sides were suctioned firmly against the opposite edges of the tub.

“I’m stuck,” she thought flatly.

Nadroj’s face was blank. “How can you-“

“I’m stuck!” she yelled with her thoughts before her solemn disposition broke down into a hysterical fit of giggles.

Nadroj shook his head like an ashamed parent and grabbed both of her claws: one in each hand. In his crouched position, he pulled.

“I think it’s working!” she thought.

“Good,” he grunted, knees wobbling and back aching.

A long, low-pitched squeal echoed off the plastered walls of the tiny room.

“Almost there…”

Not a second later, she popped out of the basin. She hovered over it and winced, flexing her wings experimentally. They were a bit sore, but otherwise felt okay.

“So you’re all right?” Nadroj asked.

“Yes…and I want to try something…” she closed her eyes as if thinking her next words through carefully. “A pencil. Do you have a pencil?”

“I guess so. Why do you need a pencil?” he asked, puzzled.

“Just get me the pencil.”

“Alright…”

They stepped out of the bathroom with Nadroj and the lead and Latias hovering behind him.

He led her into a room. Its layout was simple: a wood-doored closet on one wall, a bed with a fluffy-looking comforter on another and a computer desk jammed into a corner. The shades were drawn, casting a dark-green glow across the whitewashed walls.

He stopped at the desk and snatched a pencil from a rather peculiar-looking chunk of granite with a hole drilled through it.

“So what’s the pencil got to do with anything?” he asked Latias, who had now made herself comfortable on his bed.

“I’ve been thinking…I’m psychic and I’ve gained the ability to speak with you telepathically. This seems plausible, right?”

“Yes.”

“Then the fact that you can communicate with me telepathically and that you are not psychic does not seem plausible.”

“So you’re saying that I’m psychic?”

“Maybe.”

He shook his head modestly and said, “I’m not. I’ve never been able to move stuff with my mind, I’ve never been able to zap stuff with energy and among humans and psychics are virtually nonexistent…they’re so rare that they’ve been discounted as a myth.”

“But have you ever tried any of that stuff, and do you know that humans can’t be psychics?” Latias persisted.

“No I haven’t, and now that you mention it I would very much like to believe that humans can be psychics. It just seems…cool even though it does sound stupid. Think about it. Are any of those so-called ‘psychics’ that appear at circuses really psychics?”

“No. However…I want you to sit down on the floor, cross-legged. I have a hunch. It may be correct, but more than likely it’s wrong. Just in case-”

“You’re going to have me try to make the pencil levitate?” he asked incredulously.

“Yes,” Latias shot back.

“Ok…don’t expect anything big, though,” he sighed as he sat on the floor and crossed his sweatpants-clothed legs. He felt silly for even bothering with this game.

“Good…now set it in front of you and imagine it levitating. Close your eyes. Visualize it. If you think that it’s levitating, then it will levitate.”

His eyelids slid shut and he attempted to focus, only to hear a crackling noise: his computer in the corner. Every time he attempted to visualize the pencil, his thoughts were interrupted by a cacophony of noises generated by the hard drive.

Annoyed, he opened his eyes, thrust himself to his feet, and punched the power button. The machine groaned as it let out its final breath.

Satisfied, he seated himself again and focused…only to hear the muffled bark of a dog Pokémon from outside his shaded window.

He opened his eyes, shook his head, and looked up at Latias. “I can’t do this,” he stated simply.

She nodded expectantly and then thought, “Perhaps I was setting my hopes a bit too high,” with an embarrassed smile.

“Perhaps,” he replied with a slight smile as well. “It was worth a try, I guess.”

As Nadroj rose, he shot a glance at the digital clock situated on his nightstand. Its digits indicated a time of 4:37.

“My parents will be home at five,” he announced. “If you don’t want them to see you, now’s the time to hide.”

“I will. I’m not saying that they’re bad people…I just think that it would be best for me to keep quiet. Your room. Would that work?”

“Yeah.”


*************************************************


The world swirled before her. It was a bright, blurred collection of color: greens and blues mostly, although other, subtler tones of red and brown could also be seen. They came together to form shifting, liquid-like shapes. Whispers of indistinct conversation faded in and out in timing with the shapes.

The psychedelic experience was not the least bit frightening. In fact, it actually felt soothing. She was gliding through her own ocean.

Then a loud creak rang out. That wasn’t supposed to be there! Instantly, the liquid world vanished and was replaced by a blinding light.

She rolled onto her side and squinted into the light to see a figure.

“I brought you some food,” he thought.

“Food?”

Her grogginess vanished instantly. She rose to a levitating position and pivoted her neck from side to side, feeling each vertebrae crack. Once satisfied, she flew to Nadroj.

“Pizza?” she thought, examining the scrap in his right hand. She snatched it up with a claw and brought it to her mouth.

“Do your parents suspect anything?” she asked while stuffing herself.

“Nope, not a thing. But I wonder…How long can you live like this, hiding in my room and eating and eating reheated dinners?”

She grinned. Although there was a certain element of humor to this question it also had a deeper, more serious nature.

“I don’t know, I really don’t know. I was thinking that I would leave tomorrow…but I don’t know. It’s interesting, the way that we suddenly gained the ability to communicate. I’d like to know more about it. However, if I stay around there’s a risk that I’ll be found and captured. And then there are those guys who had me today…Maybe I’ll sleep on it for a night.”

“But how will you find your way back to-”

“AltoMare? I know where it is…I think. It’s hard to explain…”

She twirled her claw in a circle, searching for the right word.

“It’s like a built-in GPS. I have no idea how it works…it just does. I just have a good sense of direction, I guess.”

“And you trust it enough to lead you back to AltoMare. That’s probably like…more then five-hundred miles away!”

Latias shrugged. “What else do I have?”

“Nothing really,” Nadroj admitted quietly.

“Yeah, my options seem to be limited at this point,” she agreed with a tired yawn.

He yawned as well. “I have school tomorrow, so we should probably go to bed soon.”

“Trainer’s school?”

“Yeah…”

“Interesting. I’ve never been to one before. Do you just go there to battle or what?”

“No. I don’t even have my first Pokémon. Even after this first year, I probably won’t. There’s a lot of studying of Pokémon-related laws and Pokémon-care before they even think about giving you a Pokémon.”

“Really…but can I come with you tomorrow? It would be a lot more fun than hiding out here all day.”

“Sure, but how will you hide yourself once we get to school?” he asked skeptically.

Suddenly, her entire body disappeared into thin air, only to flicker back into existence a second later.

“I can turn invisible at will,” she explained to a wide-eyed Nadroj.

“How?” he squeaked.

“I don’t know,” she replied in a dismissive tone.

“And you never wonder why invisibility is possible?”

She shook her head with a blank expression.

“I don’t believe it,” he said with an exasperated smile. “That’s cool, very cool.”

He turned around, shot a glance at the clock on his nightstand, and jumped.

“Yikes, almost ten! I think that I should really be going to bed now. Where will you sleep? I mean…I have a bunch of pillows and blankets in my closet if you’d like.”

“Actually, I very much like the bed,” she said, shooting a quick glance at it. “However…it is your bed, so that presents a problem unless…”

“We shared it?”

“Yes…as awkward as it may be,” she said uneasily, now feeling a bit embarrassed about her request.

“It wouldn’t be awkward. It’s making the best out of an…inadequate situation,” he assured her.

“So you’re fine with it?”

“Yeah…just as long as you don’t snore.”

“I don’t,” she said with a smile. “And my fur is soft, very soft.”

As promised, snoring was not something that he had to worry about. However, he was faced with another problem. When exhaled, her deep breaths contained the distinct scent of fermented cheese-pizza. While it was true that her fur was soft, Nadroj would not go near it. Instead he huddled on the side opposite of Latias in hopes that he wouldn’t be fumigated in his sleep.

He drifted off quickly in spite of the circumstances. The exhaustion of discovering a legendary Pokémon easily beat-out the smell of the said Pokémon’s breath.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 09:26 PM
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Well I saw your post in the announcement thread, So I figured I whould give it a shoot.

First, mistakes I found:

First Chapter:

When Latias says she has OCD, perhaps she should actually say it. She is a Pokemon, and may not know acronyms and slang.

Quote:
He dodged clumps of socializing teens that formed in the narrow hall; blood clots in a vain.
huh?



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

I really like the end of chapter three, made me lol.

I like it, and will be reading more.

Oh, and what is with the Blue Triangle, I though Latias was red?
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Old September 4th, 2008, 07:24 PM
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I can understand your concern about the OCD-thing. It is true that a Pokemon may not know such acronyms and slang. However...let's just say that I have the meat to back up Latias's choice of words.

And the blood clot comparison. A blood clot constricts the flow of blood in a vain so I thought that it would be a fitting analogy to use for groups of students who constricted traffic flow in a narrow hall: the students being the clot and the hall being the vain. At the time it sounded quite clever but in hindsight, it was kind of confusing.

Even though the majority of Latias's body is red, the triangle on her chest is blue. Latios's triangle color is also the inverse of his body-color. It's kind of a suble detail.

Thanks for reading and taking time to review. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who loled at the end of the third chapter (lol). I'm glad to hear that you like it!
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Old September 4th, 2008, 07:36 PM
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Perhaps if you said "like blood clots in a vein."

What made me lol the most: the breath, and Latias seeming shy about asking to sleep in the bed. Oh and the bath.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 08:44 PM
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Oof. I don't think I could eat pure cheese. That ending was funny, though.

About that blood clot sentence: that was a nice way to structure it as far as I'm concerned. I had to read it twice, but it struck me as well-written.

I don't have the drive to go after the grammar mistakes I noticed, but there weren't many. I'll do it later.
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Old September 7th, 2008, 11:28 AM
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like it so far keep it up
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Old September 9th, 2008, 04:13 PM
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Well, this story is pretty well written. No glaring mistakes (well, a few spelling errors like the 'vein' thing). Overall, good story and I can't wait for more
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Old September 11th, 2008, 12:03 PM
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Very good revision. I remember reading your early chapters on IGN and thinking the same thing you realized yourself. At this moment I have only read it from a casual reader's standpoint since I am not feeling well enough yet to do a detailed analysis, but from what I saw it is written very well.

I wasn't really aware that you were in the process of writing a sequel, but now that I know, I can't wait to read that. I'm sure that it will be written just as good, if not better, than this fiction was.
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Old September 29th, 2008, 08:30 PM
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CHAPTER 4: Prelude

A soft click interrupted the tranquility of the darkened room. It was just enough to stir Latias’s consciousness. A second later, a steady hum rang out behind her head. She sat up, shed the layers of sheets, and turned. The red digits glared back at her.

Suddenly, the whirring was harshly interrupted by a swelling, static-sounding electric guitar rift. She flinched and her eyes widened in horror.

A hand thrust itself from beneath the covers and jammed a button on the clock, abruptly ending the cacophony.

Nadroj groaned and sat up.

Latias stared at him, surprised. “So it’s one of those clock-slash CD-player hybrids?”

“I guess,” he replied, rubbing the gunk from the corners of his eyes.

Although not visible in the dark, she could sense that he hadn’t fully woken up yet. Nonetheless, she had questions about the unsettling noise. “Who was that?” she asked critically.

“Justice,” Nadroj shot back. “It’s a band.”

“Never heard of them before, but ‘injustice’ sounds more fitting if you ask me,” she snorted.

This prompted a chuckle from Nadroj.

“What? What’s so funny? That thing scared me to death! I thought it was going to blow up or something!” she protested, humor in her voice.

“So you thought that my clock-radio was a bomb?” he stated incredulously.

“No, I thought that Justice-I mean Injustice was a bomb!”

This earned another chuckle from Nadroj. Latias smiled and shook her furry head. She decided to end her probing, knowing that the more she pursued, the more delusional she would sound.

A quick glance at the clock revealed a time of five-thirty A.M. Nadroj’s parents would not even think about waking up for another hour. The two tiptoed down a pitch-black stairwell and made their way into the kitchen and dinning room area. They turned on a light to ward off the darkness of the pre-dawn hours.

Latias sat across from him: green t-shirt and blue jeans.Her sharp brown eyes watched him closely. Her face bore an almost-cheerful smile, her loose, amber-colored hair came down neatly behind her shoulders. It contrasted Nadroj’s lopsided, curly mop.

He squinted at the oddity. “Why are you happy?” he asked sourly.

Latias smiled even wider. “Because it’s morning. It’s the start of a new day and…um…It’s the start of the new day! Just think about it. Aren’t you thankful that you didn’t get captured by those thugs?”

In the blink of an eye, memories flooded back to him. Adrenaline pumping, shouts behind him: terror. He brushed them aside and replied, “Yes, yes I am…I’m not a morning person, I guess.”

“I don’t understand your type. I mean…we went to bed around ten, right?”

“Yeah.”

“And we woke up at five-thirty. That’s seven-and-a half hours of sleep…plus or minus…minus more likely. But on the plus side, you did have my ultra-soft fur.”

“I did, but your breath was really…bad. Awful, actually. I shouldn’t have given you that pizza.”

“So that’s what did it! That’s why you’re tired right now!”

“No. I’m always tired in the morning.”

“Oh…” she thought, enthusiasm toning down a notch. “Yeah…I still don’t understand how someone can be tired when they’ve gotten enough sleep.”

“I can see that,” Nadroj said, yearning for the energy of the bubbly Latias.

After finishing bowls of cereal, the two set off into the morning. It was cold, but not bitingly so. Up ahead, above the silhouette of suburbia loomed a pink glow that illuminated a cloud-scattered sky.

“Look at the sunrise. It’s going to be a nice day. You’ll see,” Latias chirped from his side.

“I’m not a morning person, so don’t try to make me into one: you’re wasting your time,” Nadroj thought with a glint of amusement.

“Fine,” she huffed in mock-annoyance.

They walked a solid mile through the concrete maze. It was dead at this time of morning: they didn’t encounter a single car. The drone of vehicles from a distant highway served as the background for an occasional Pokémon bark or whimper.

Nadroj’s morning went as usual only with an exception: Latias. He rushed from one jam-packed class to the next, lecture after lecture, assignment after assignment. There were no Pokémon. In fact, the word “Pokémon” was mentioned just short of a dozen times. More frequently-used words (which also appeared his ink-smeared notes) included “type”, “item”, and “The Law of Battle”. For the duration of the morning Latias sat in back of each class, all but one oblivious to her presence.

Finally, lunch period arrived. Nadroj heaved his orange tray over to an empty table on the perimeter and slammed it down. He took off his pack and seated himself on a circular, plastic chair. Latias took the seat opposite from him.

His face registered shock. “Wait a minute…you’re visible!”

“To you I am but to everyone else, I’m not,” she thought quickly. “I can choose who I’m visible to…kind of selectively.”

“But I didn’t see you in class.”

“Really? Then I guess I’m stealthy like…a Skitty!”

“Must have been.”

He sighed almost exhaustedly. This Pokémon had a habit of pulling out one surprise after another, all of which seemed perfectly normal to her. However, she did not seem like a Pokémon. In fact, putting that label on her was almost offensive. She could speak, she had the maturity of a human adolescent. Most mold-breaking of all, she sat before him in human flesh.

Just what was she? His investigative mind was tormented with this question, her constant surprises only made him even more curious. She was interesting and he liked that.

“Alright...I’ll admit that Skitty analogy was stupid,” she thought, casting her gaze downward.

“No it was fine, really. I hate it when a stray Skitty comes out of nowhere and brushes up against my leg. If you really want to know what’s stupid…” he gave a nod to the contents of his lunch tray: a grilled cheese sandwich and a Styrofoam bowl of steaming tomato soup.

“A grilled cheese sandwich. Come on! Even I could make something that would taste better than melted cheese between two slices of bread, and the soup…I swear that they gave us larger bowls six months ago.”

Latias gave him a thin smile. “Rising food prices. The prices rise by two times and the suppliers raise their prices by three times and downsize the portions.”

“Yeah it does seem kind of scam-ish,” he agreed.

The two consumers decided to split the meal: Latias taking the soup and Nadroj taking the sandwich. Both concurred it was less than subpar before also concurring this was due largely to the fact that the meal was only meant to feed one hungry, growing adolescent: not two.

“So this is it?” Latias asked, shoveling the last of the soup into her mouth. “No battles or anything like that?”

“I never said there would be.”

“Yes, but I thought something a bit more exciting would happen.”

Nadroj emitted a chuckle. “Nothing exciting ever happens here.”

“Yesterday?”

Shouts, mud stained clothes, body sweating, yet frigid while demanding oxygen: it all came back to him.

“That’s not the kind of exciting I envisioned,” he replied, pleasant demeanor downing a notch.

“Me neither,” she admitted while cursing herself for bringing the subject up.

She glanced around the table. They were all alone. If either one were to walk out a few feet, they would have become part of the swirling hive of tables and students, talking amongst their friends, hugging each other for unknown reasons, and scurrying from group to group. It was frightening.

“There are about five-hundred people in here,” Nadroj thought.

“Yeah…that’s scary.”

“I agree.”

“Have you ever had to stand up and give a presentation before…I mean in front of all these people?”

“No, thankfully, although I do have to get up in front of class pretty often. Now that’s scary. Your vision starts tunneling, your face turns red, you start sweating-”

“I know, I know! Like my armpits. Whenever I have to talk in front of class they get really…sweaty, so much so that it soaks through my shirt.”

“Ay, that must be embarrassing,” Nadroj cringed.

“It is, it is. I’ve tried everything. Deep breaths, shirts that are two sizes too-large, even men’s deodorant.”

A quick smile flashed across Nadroj’s face when the latter was mentioned.

“What? You think that’s funny? I’m trying this stuff that they show men wearing in commercials…tall, muscular men who look like they beat people up for a living! It seems to work just fine for them…or so they say. And yet when a skinny fourteen-year old girl tries it, it fails miserably! Something’s screwed up.”

“Yeah, the commercial is,” Nadroj laughed.

“Unfortunately…it’s really a shame that they always have to be blatantly inaccurate,” she contemplated.

Nadroj stood, slung his pack over his shoulders, and grabbed the tray, now occupied by an empty Styrofoam bowl and plate. He shoveled its contents into a nearby trashcan and added it to the stack on its top.

He then turned to the sea of people and tables.

“This is like a video game, it always is,” he remarked ironically before diving in with Latias following. They weaved in and out of the masses, dodged oncoming entities, and sliding between tables, snippets of conversation crowding their audio channels.

Finally, they arrived at the other end of the room where the traffic was much less dense. The background noises faded out behind them.

“That was like a video game!” Latias exclaimed. “There aren’t that many people at my school.”

“So…you go to school?”

“Yes.”

“But you can’t talk. Do you know sign language or something?”

“I tried to learn it at one time, but no, I don’t. It was way too complicated. I prefer paper and pencil, a keyboard…or PowerPoint if I’m doing a big presentation. Usually I have a notepad up at the same time so I can add my little commentary-stuff.”

“Strange. They didn’t force you to learn sign-language or anything?”

“Nope. In their eyes, I’m a frikking prodigy,” she thought with a giggle. “I learned to read at two and write at three. By the time I was four, I was hardcore into writing. Most of my stuff was minimal, kind of poetry-ish. Some of it got published in assorted children’s anthologies. It wasn’t until I was five that I started writing theses for philosophy. They were great for a five-year old but on a broader playing field…not so good. No one ever forced me to learn sign language because I never really needed it to get around.”

“That’s…cool. Do you still do philosophy stuff?”

She stopped in her tracks, turned around, and motioned for him to follow. They stood on the very edge of the chaos.

“What do you notice about the people here…do you see any patterns?” she asked.

He scanned the tables upon tables of swarming students. Nothing was extraordinarily apparent.

“All right. Look at that table,” she pointed.

He beheld a group of black-hooded, sullen-looking boys who held their heads low. They were stooped like a group of dead trees.

She then thrust her finger at another table. Seated at this one were white clothed students with hair that came in every color of the rainbow and every gel-formed shape imaginable. Nadroj could tell that they seemed to be talking as they ate, mouths moving at an incredible speed and bodies constantly swaying.

“Individuals have a tendency to separate out into groups when subjected to an environment where multiple individuals are present. This is because bonding with like people shields yourself from unlike people…That’s the gist of it, anyways.”

They turned and proceeded back down the hall.

“Is it some sort of survival mechanism…I mean…from our primitive ancestors or something,” Nadroj questioned, intrigued by the statement.

“Yeah, it kind of is but-“she paused mid-sentence and shot a glance to the left. The hall branched off into a stairwell.

“How tall is this building?”

“Four stories.”

“And that leads to the top?”

“Yeah.”

“Can I climb it? I’m curious as to what the view looks like.”

He shot a glance at a clock behind him. Twelve twenty.

“Class starts in ten minutes and I want to be there: now. I guess you could go on your own. The next room isn’t too far from here. You just have to walk a little ways more down the hall, exit into the courtyard, then go left down a gap between the two buildings the first door on the right is the room.”

“Ok, got it!”

A few minutes later, he was in the courtyard: a small concrete pad enclosed by brick buildings. Why had she left him to climb a staircase? He did a quick three-sixty. Nobody was here yet: lunch was not officially over. However, he felt anxious, paranoid even.

He passed between two of the buildings. All at once, his worry had become founded. At the far end of the brick-tunnel was a figure with a black cap perched upon his head.

Nadroj’s body tensed up and his mind contemplated whether to fight or to fly. The figure was now barreling toward him. He had reached a decision: fly. He turned on his heels and raced back into the courtyard.

Before him, an all-too familiar blue flicker bounced off the pavement. He was reliving the nightmare of yesterday.

He defied instinct and whipped a glance backward. Approaching was a green-winged bug Pokémon: Dustox.

“That thing’s going to put me to sleep!” he thought desperately. “The door! That’s it, the door!”

He sprinted toward the entrance that he had used just moments ago. For a second he thought that he would reach asylum.

Then at the last dismaying second, the bug Pokémon zipped in front of him. He whirled away from the Dustox and ran, only to find himself facing a brick wall. He turned around yet another time and again faced the Pokémon.

He sidestepped. The Pokémon sidestepped with him. He lunged forward. The Pokémon lunged backward. He was trapped.

“Latias!” he screamed with his thoughts.

“What?” an anxious voice came back.

“Get down to the courtyard right now! Those guys...they’re here for me!”

“How many-“

“There’s no time! Move! Get here!”

“Right,” she thought shakily.

By this time, the trainer had caught up with his Pokémon. The two had Nadroj cornered. Odds were not in his favor.

The thug’s pudgy, upturn-lipped face said in a deep voice, “Boss’d like to talk to you.”

“W-why?” Nadroj stuttered feeling the color drain in his face.

“Don’t know, none of my business,” he growled.

“Well-well you can’t make me come with you!” he shouted, attempting to sound fierce. “I have to do something…but what?” he fumed to himself.

His mind reached a conclusion: it was now time to fight. As foolish as it may have been, it was the only option that he had.

Slowly, uncertainly, he extended a hand before him. He closed his eyes and envisioned himself. He was a being of energy: pure energy. His body trembled, almost as if it was under the influence of a seizure. His energy built and stretched like a rubber band. It grew, and grew, and grew until it could stretch no more, its full potential at the tips of his fingers.

“Put him to sleep!” he heard the thug cried out desperately, voice laced with uncertainty. “Do it-“

From beneath the boy’s eyelids, the world flashed a brilliant white. There was no sound. There was no feeling. There was no smell. The world became dull and listless. His consciousness was lowered into the oblivion.

Nothing was left.
___________________________________________________________________________________


Meanwhile, a man was pounding down the hall, his weight burdening the concrete floor. He had a rather full belly that stretched a solid two inches past his belt and threatened to tear the seams of his blue suit. He was short in stature and yet appeared to be a rather vain individual. A neatly trimmed red mustache sat above his lip and what he had for scalp-hair was combed down neatly.

He was flanked by two black-haired men in sunglasses and crisp suits. They looked sharp, official.

“I must say, sir,” one of them began. “This school is standard…more than standard. While grades and enrolment are on the downswing in the neighboring districts, this one seems to be defying the trend. It makes me wonder why we even have to do an inspection…”

“It really does,” the short man huffed. He himself also wondered why he was wasting his time at this place. There were no policies to be amended, no restructuring, no gangs to deal with. It was boring, or so he thought.

That was until a bald-headed, tall man materialized from around the corner and barreled toward the threesome. It was just enough to evoke a flinch of surprise.

The entity was trembling and his forehead glistened. “Sir…there’s been an…um…incident that could very well be considered a breach in national security.”

“You’re serious?” the red-haired individual barked skeptically at the timid man.

“Yes-yes sir. It was captured on security cameras. However…it may be best for your men to seize the area…We do not want anyone to see it; we do not want emergency services to come. It could raise panic.”

“My gosh…” his jaw dropped. “This must be big! What is it…a rabid Pokémon or something?”

The man locked cold blue eyes with the official and uttered the least-expected word: “Psychics.” ____________________________________________________________________________


She vaulted down the empty stairs, long stride enabling her to take two at a time. With every leap came a new surge of blood. Her heart threatened to pound out of her chest, her mouth was dry.

“Nadroj?” she projected with her thoughts.

No answer: all the more reason to worry. Had he been kidnapped? Was he unconscious? Or even worse…she did not want to envision this possibility.

Upon reaching the bottom, she turned sprinted down the hall that lead out to the courtyard.

She was so blinded by concern that she almost didn’t notice the mound of flesh standing before the exit. It was a black-suited, white man with sunglasses and a solemn face.

“A guard?” she asked herself in confusion.

Thankfully, the man could not see Latias: she was invisible. Even more thankfully, there was more than swinging door. The flux of traffic during passing times was large enough to require multiple doors at main entrances.

She pushed through an unblocked door and witnessed a scene that elicited as much confusion as it did fear.

Sprawled out on the concrete were a brown-haired individual, a bug-looking Pokémon, and a bulky, black-clothed man. It was a battlefield where everyone had lost and yet she saw no signs of carnage. No blood, no blackened pavement, no weapons. There were just three individuals who had passed out…with a black-suited guard standing over them.

She let out a sigh that was dismay, then frustration, and then indecision. What should she do? If she helped Nadroj, surely she would be noticed and surely something would happen. She would get taken in once more by the crime group along with Nadroj. However, if she left she would be free and-

“No! That’s stupid! Stupid, stupid, stupid!” she scolded herself.

And then another fact became apparent. The man on the ground wore a black sweater with black pants and a cap. The guard standing before him wore a black suit. Although the same color, their uniforms as well as current positions did not match. The two individuals were not of the same origin!

As unsettling as this was, she knew that she had to act. She stepped forward shakily and let her invisibility fall. No need to retain secrecy for what was about to be done.

The guard instantly came to attention, shocked at the sudden appearance of the human girl.

“Stop…please!” he stammered.

She drew in a sharp breath and continued to approach the wreckage.

“I said stop!”

She narrowed her amber eyes at him, attempting to appear intimidating while simultaneously inching closer to Nadroj’s body.

The guard’s confidence wavered. Who was this girl who had appeared out of nowhere? Why wasn’t she talking? Why didn’t she show him the respect that he was usually given on the streets of Fortuna? To behave this way, he concluded that she must have something to back it up with. Either that or she was crazy. He would assume the former for the time being. He would have to observe before making a definitive move.

Finally, Latias was hovering over Nadroj’s unconscious form. His face was a ghost-white. She dropped to her hands and knees and focused on his stomach. It rose and fell ever so slightly. Yes! He was only unconscious. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to speed his awakening.

She jammed a hand to his moist forehead, squeezed her eyes shut, and focused, willing every ounce of her being into the connection between their sweaty skin. After a time she sensed that she was getting to him. Relieved, she removed her hand and glanced down.

His now open eyes were vague, distant as they stared up at the overcast sky.

“I guess I am psychic,” he thought with a grim smile.

He sat up and viewed the carnage before him: the thug and his Dustox, cold bodies lying on even colder concrete.

“Did they…die?”

As if to answer his question, a deep male voice replied, “They did not die. However, you did manage to give them a beating…somehow. It would be safe to assume that they will be out for awhile.”

Nadroj’s head swiveled around to see a broad, white man in sunglasses and a black suit. His pulse immediately quickened.

“We-we’ve gotten ourselves into something big. That guy is a member of the Elite Guard…kind of like a police officer, only higher-ranking. He’s an agent employed directly by the federal government.”

“So he’s not a member of that group?”

“No. He still does present a problem-“

“I believe,” the man interrupted the mental conversation. “that my employer would wish to have a discussion with you. Your abilities are ones that are considered…of interest,” he said, giving and nod at Nadroj.

“And I also have a feeling that he may take interest in your ability as well,” he said, giving a nod to Latias.

“You’re visible!” Nadroj stormed.

“Yes…when I saw you lying on the ground, I thought about running away, I honestly did. But then I thought for a moment and realized that if I ran, they would lock you up and run experiments on you for the rest of your life. I don’t think I could live with that on my conscience.”

“But why show yourself…couldn’t you have healed me while staying invisible?”

“Yes but revealing myself…It-it’s the only hope of getting you out of this. Both of us out of this I should say. Alone, I don’t think that you could do much to resist them. With me though, your options are broadened. And besides, I don’t think I could bear the thought of practically turning you into your own government while I get off scot-free.”

Nadroj let out a heavy sigh. “You have some plan to get us out of this, right?”

“No.”

“Thought as much.”

The agent sensed the apprehension among the two. “Perhaps my employer’s request was a bit…bold. Perhaps I should ask him to-“

“We’re fine, we can see him,” Nadroj croaked.

“See, he’s scared,” Latias thought. “He doesn’t know what he can expect to find within us.”

“But how will that help?”

“I don’t know! I’m thinking, I’m thinking! Maybe we could-”

“Run? Then they’ll post our faces everywhere and we’ll get caught in no time. Latias, this is the Elite Guard. There’s no way in heck that they’re going to let us get off the hook. This is serious.”

“Ok…ok…” she gasped, folding hands behind her back and pacing. “Wait…AltoMare. It’s not part of Fortuna: it’s a separate country! If we could just-“

“My employer is waiting,” the polished voice came from behind, now with a trace of impatience.

The two could not put off the ordeal any longer. Latias stepped in front of Nadroj’s sitting form, grabbed both wrists and pulled him to his feet.

Out of the corners of his vision, white spots twinkled in and out like stars in the night sky. Suddenly his limbs had become blocks of lead.

“Are you okay?” Latias asked, amber eyes squinting into his.

“I feel…tired,” he grunted, realizing that his legs were giving out. He fell forward, both hands hitting the concrete. Two arms encircled themselves around his waist and pulled him back to a standing position. She then moved to his side and extended an arm to his far shoulder.

“Just lean on me. Do you feel like you’re going to pass out?” she enquired hastily.

“No and thanks…I’m just kind of weak. Does this happen every time you do psychic…stuff?”

“It did when I first starting using my power.”

He breathed a silent sigh of relief, tension eased ever so slightly. Then, tension spiked again when his arm closest to Latias’s side brushed up against something moist and warm. He looked downward to see that there was a dark-green spot on Latias’s otherwise light-green t-shirt. It extended from her underarm almost to her hip.

She flashed the surprised Nadroj a thin smile that seemed to say, “Told you so.”

Click! A metallic sound rang out. They whirled around to catch the guard sliding a black implement out of his pocket: loaded and ready to deal justice to whomever its master saw fit.

“Standard protocol,” he spoke evenly. “I hope you’ll understand. Although your intentions look benevolent enough, one can never be too sure.”
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Old September 30th, 2008, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POKEMON_MASTER_0 View Post
Just a word of warning before we get started. Weapons will be brandished and (possibly) used. If you're expecting a fan fiction where all conflicts are resolved in nonviolent ways and everyone lives happily ever after, I would suggest reading something different. If not, you've come to right place.
You do realize that you rated your fic PG-13, right? This almost never dictates fairy tale like content, unless you're doing a Zelda or Final Fantasy fic. But even then, they're not so kiddy.

Now, I didn't say that to be rude, just to clarify that most PG-13 fics get away with being violent and dark. My Feral Twilight peice dabbles in that a lot, especially since it involves trainers who lack the "ideals" people are expected to have in Poke World.

Anyways, I must say, your fic is quite good. Now, this is something, because I almost never critique things here anymore. Also, it really doesn't seem like I have to preach to you about your writing style like I used to do to people here a while back (no more than a few people already have), and still do from time to time on other boards. Keep it up, and I'll be back for more!
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Old September 30th, 2008, 11:56 AM
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Hello again. This chapter was another piece of fine work. I'm constantly amazed by the level of contrast between this and the original OL...it's just so different, and I never knew it could be. I laughed out loud quite a few times in this chapter.

Unfortunately, this wasn't your greatest chapter grammar-wise. My critique is actually over a page long in Word...you've been warned.

Quote:
Suddenly, the whirling was harshly interrupted by a swelling, static-sounding electric guitar rift. She flinched and her eyes widened in horror.
Whirring, perhaps?

Quote:
Although not visible in the dark, she could sense that he hadn’t fully woken up yet.

Nonetheless, she had questions about the unsettling noise. “Who was that?” she asked critically.
This can be condensed into one paragraph.

Quote:
They turned on a light to ward off the darkness the pre-dawn hours.
"The darkness of the pre-dawn hours," I'm assuming you mean.

Quote:
Latias sat across from him: green t-shirt, sharp brown eyes watching him closely. Her face bore an almost-cheerful smile, her loose, amber-colored hair came down neatly behind her shoulders. It contrasted Nadroj’s lopsided, curly mop.
This is worded strangely and seems somewhat out of order. I'll redo it:

"Latias sat across from him in a green t-shirt, watching him closely with her sharp brown eyes. Her face bore an almost-cheerful smile; her loose, amber-colored hair came down neatly behind her shoulders. It contrasted Nadroj's lopsided, curly mop."

The t-shirt part is iffy, by the way. Only a green t-shirt? If you're going to describe her clothing, I would recommend describing all of it, elsewise it sounds like she's half-naked.

Quote:
Nadroj’s morning went as usual only with an exception: Latias. He rushed from one jam-packed class to the next, lecture after lecture, assignment after assignment. There were no Pokémon. In fact, the word “Pokémon” was mentioned just short of a dozen times. More frequently-used words (which also appeared his ink-smeared notes) included “type”, “item”, and “The Law of Battle”. For the duration of the morning she sat in back of each class, all but one oblivious to her presence.
You change the subject of this paragraph from Nadroj to Latias in that last sentence without specifying it. I could infer that you were talking about her, but it would be better if you remind the reader who they're reading about if the subject suddenly changes (I.E. exchange "she" for "Latias").

Quote:
Finally, lunch period arrived. He heaved his orange tray over to an empty table on the perimeter and slammed it down. He took off his pack and seated himself on a circular, plastic chair. Latias took the seat opposite from him.
And here is an abrupt change back to Nadroj. You can probably fix this one using what I said before.

Quote:
I’m like trying this stuff that they show men wearing in commercials…tall, muscular men who look like they beat people up for a living!
Bolded word need not be there, unless Latias is suddenly Californian like me. If so, put a comma before and after "like."

Quote:
Some of it got published assorted children’s anthologies.
"In" between "published" and "assorted."

Quote:
“Alright. Look at that table,” she pointed.
"All right" is two words. I know, I know, I do this too.

Quote:
“Alright, got it!”
Again... '

Quote:
“Well-well you can’t make me come with you!” he shouted, attempting to sound fierce.

“I have to do something, have to do something…but what?” he fumed to himself.
Condense-ify.

Quote:
The entity was trembling and his forehead glistened. “Sir…there’s been an…um…incident that could very well be considered a breach in national security.”
I think that's kind of an odd word choice, but it's your decision whether to change it or not.

Quote:
She was so blinded concern that she almost didn’t notice the mound of flesh standing before the exit.
Blinded by concern, I think.

Quote:
Even more thankfully, there was more than swinging door.
More than one swinging door.

Quote:
“I believe,” the man interrupted the mental conversation. “that my employer would wish to have a discussion with you…with both of you. Your abilities are ones that are considered…of interest,” he said, giving and nod at Nadroj.

“And I also have a feeling that he may take interest in your ability as well,” he said, giving a nod to Latias.
This is redundant. Also, the "and" in the last sentence of the first bit should be "a."

Quote:
Click! A metallic sound rang out. They whirled around to catch the guard sliding a black implement into his pocket: loaded and ready to deal justice to whomever its master saw fit.
Did you mean out of his pocket?
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Old September 30th, 2008, 04:53 PM
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Hey Pokemon_Master!
It me Kim62 from the old Nsider. I love how you have re-written One Latias.
It seems a lot better then before.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 06:01 PM
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Wow, P_M_0. People are still finding your fanfic after...what...a year? That's crazy cool.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 06:27 PM
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More than a year, actually. I started this on Christmas break during my freshman year and now I'm a junior. It's incredible though. Welcome back coolcatkim22! I believe that I do remember you.

And ouch...this chapter was hard on me grammatically. I think I've fixed everything up though. Grammar has never been my strong suit, and I think it really showed here.

And about the warning in addition to the PG-13 label...now that you mention it, it does seem to be a bit overkill. I'll remove it and edit the note at the beginning if any major changes happen in the future. I'm glad to see that you like One Latias so far. If you've don't do critiques very often then it most definitely means that I'm doing something right.

Thank you for your comments and criticism. I think I've brought this up before, but I want to reiterate it. For me comments are creative fuel. The more I get, the more motivated I will be to write the next chapter. They also answer the question of "How am I doing on the story?" I appreciate them greatly and I encourage you to keep them coming as I delve deeper into the fan fiction.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by POKEMON_MASTER_0 View Post
More than a year, actually. I started this on Christmas break during my freshman year and now I'm a junior. It's incredible though. Welcome back coolcatkim22! I believe that I do remember you.

And ouch...this chapter was hard on me grammatically. I think I've fixed everything up though. Grammar has never been my strong suit, and I think it really showed here.

And about the warning in addition to the PG-13 label...now that you mention it, it does seem to be a bit overkill. I'll remove it and edit the note at the beginning if any major changes happen in the future. I'm glad to see that you like One Latias so far. If you've don't do critiques very often then it most definitely means that I'm doing something right.

Thank you for your comments and criticism. I think I've brought this up before, but I want to reiterate it. For me comments are creative fuel. The more I get, the more motivated I will be to write the next chapter. They also answer the question of "How am I doing on the story?" I appreciate them greatly and I encourage you to keep them coming as I delve deeper into the fan fiction.
Ah... That first comment brings back memories. I started writing back in my senior year of high school and haven't stopped since. But, this isn't the reason why I'm making a second post...

You really don't have to drop the rating if you don't want to. I was just trying to point out that most readers interpret PG-13 as fiction aimed more at teens and adults in their early to mid twenties a lot more than anyone else. So, you really didn't have to preach the fact was all. Sorry if that came across as a little harsh, dude. That's one of the reason's why I don't critique a whole lot here anymore because I tend to get a little overzealous about stuff.

Also, as far as your grammar is concerned... It helps to build good proofreading skills, but don't go pressuring yourself on other people's account. Some critics here may seem a little fanatical about the usage of good grammar and spelling, but just take their advice for future reference and rewrite things only if they don't seem to sound right to you. If you get into a hype over it, you'll only drive yourself nuts in the end. And, honestly, its stress you really could do without, especially considering how this is only fan fiction.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Also, as far as your grammar is concerned... It helps to build good proofreading skills, but don't go pressuring yourself on other people's account. Some critics here may seem a little fanatical about the usage of good grammar and spelling, but just take their advice for future reference and rewrite things only if they don't seem to sound right to you. If you get into a hype over it, you'll only drive yourself nuts in the end. And, honestly, its stress you really could do without, especially considering how this is only fan fiction.
I second this. I probably would be a prime example of someone that focuses too much on grammar while writing, and you can see the effect it's wrought on my production time (how long has it been since I updated E.C.? A month? More?). I feel like everything has to be perfect, when it's the story itself that really matters. So don't worry about it too much...you can always go back and fix the little things later.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 04:34 PM
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I've been a bit busy lately, so I haven't had much to write or post. It's been so long since I wrote the last chapter that I fear that I may have lost a few readers.

I'm beginning to consider making a messaging list, since the time between chapters may be substantial. I don't want readers forgetting about the fan fic between these times. So, I'd appreciate it if you'd tell me whether or not you want to be messaged when a new chapter comes. I don't think that there's anything in the rules against creating a messaging list, but if there is, please enlighten me. That aside, here's the next chapter:






CHAPTER 5: Ascension

They pounded down an empty hall, heavy footsteps behind them. They didn’t dare turn around for fear of coming face-to-face with the revolver. In minutes, the corridor would be flooded with students making the transition to their next class. The two could guess that the guard didn’t want to be seen with a gun in hand, walking behind the two teens.

“Where are we going?” Nadroj croaked. He still clung to Latias’s side, drawing support from her able body while feeling a warm, moist substance on his side. The sweat from her drenched t-shirt had managed to find its way into his own.

“I do not believe that I am at liberty to discuss that,” the guard replied flatly, from behind.

“Darn it!” Nadroj thought anxiously. It felt like they were descending deeper and deeper, and any break they could get had become less and less probable. “There must be something, there has to be something!”

“I think there might be,” Latias replied, amber eyes darting to his. “It’s…stupid but…”

His green eyes were locked with hers, hungry for an answer. She had committed herself to a response.

“We’re fleeing the country,” she stated.

“What?” he shot back, not entirely sure that he had heard her correctly.

“We’re fleeing the country. You said that if we ran from the Elite Guard, they would catch up with us but if we leave the country…”

“We’ll be outside of their jurisdiction! But wait…that-that’s like leaving behind everything,” he reflected crestfallenly.

“Yes, but do you want them to lock you up for the rest of your life?”

“No, of course not. There has to a better way though. I mean…there should be, right?”

Latias flashed him a somewhat bitter look that seemed to say, “I don’t know. You tell me.”

“Right, right,” he thought in recognition.

“Who’s your employer?” Nadroj stabbed again at the guard.

“Again, this is something that I am not at liberty to discuss,” he replied in the same flat voice.

“Then what are you at liberty to discuss?”

“Ah, we are here,” he replied with a tinge of complacency.

“Huh?”

Nadroj shot a glance to his left. Imbedded in the wall was a solid wooden door: the entrance to the principal’s office. His preoccupation with the matter at hand had distracted him from his surroundings. Of all places, he had managed to turn up here.

The guard stepped forward and turned the heavy bass knob. For the first time, they were able to clearly view the implement of death that he held in his free hand: a compact, shiny, black handgun. All the more affirmation of this situation’s gravity.

The two were shoved into the room and the door was swiftly slammed shut behind them. Before them sat a desk that appeared to shield the girth of a rather large, blue-suited man with fiery hair and traces of a mustache of the same color.

Nadroj’s heart skipped a beat.

“That guy…he’s an official who’s in charge of a governmental division that investigates Pokémon-related crimes,” he thought quickly. “He’s always in the news.”

“And the guy behind him?” Latias questioned, thoughts laced with anxiety. “He’s another one of the Elite Guard?”

Nadroj’s heart sank. It was indeed another black-clothed, sunglasses-clad guard.

“One in, one out,” he thought.

“I think I know how to deal with it though…I think. First, we should probably find out what they want. Who knows? Maybe we’re just paranoid and they aren’t trying to lock us up.”

“Hope so,” he replied grimly.

“Me too.”

The red-haired man looked at them from deep, round eyes whose gaze was surprisingly sharp: observant-looking, even.

He extended a pudgy hand and motioned for them to sit on a couch that was adjacent to his desk. The two sat hesitantly, stirring up a fine cloud of dust that glittered from the dim light. All the while they watched the guard behind him, waiting for him to make a move.

“Now…I am a man of action rather than words,” the official barked more as an imperative rather than a declarative.

“I’ll just get right down to it. We know what you can do,” he said, emphasizing each syllable while leaning forward intently. “You are psychic.” A triumphant smile played across his face. Nadroj and Latias were already beginning to hate this man.

Nadroj began to respond, “We-we’re-“

The man shook his head. “No need to explain. The entire incident was caught on surveillance tapes. However…”

He pointed a pudgy figure at Latias.

“We cannot seem to find you in our records. We ran you through the entire government database and it turned up no matches. This is…unheard of, to say the least.”

“What?” Latias thought in confusion. “Government database-”

“It’s a system. They can run a picture of any person’s face through it and get out potential matches of people who live in Fortuna,” Nadroj thought hastily.

“And what if a bunch of people have similar-looking faces?”

“I don’t know…What do you think we should do?” he asked, changing the subject.

“Don’t know for sure yet, but-“

“I’m here to make you an offer,” the official interrupted their mental conversation. “You are both…objects of interest. We would like to see to it that you are…taken care of properly.”

“What about the guy who attacked us? Is he an object of interest?” Nadroj countered swiftly.

“Yes, actually. He’s a member of a certain group. We do not know much about this group other than the fact that a few of its members seem…psychic.”

“So you’re saying that we’re members of the group?”

“No of course not!” the man snapped. “Why would he have attacked you if were on his side?”

Latias watched the debate intently. She could sense the man’s anger starting to boil. His face had taken on a light-red hue and his intense gaze had become a glare. She was not sure what to think. Would this help their chances of escape or worsen them?

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a flicker of movement from the guard behind the man. Her gaze darted in the opposite direction to sight another guard standing next to the door: the same one that had escorted them to the office. Why did he enter the room? Wasn’t he standing outside a second ago?

Without a second thought, Latias grabbed Nadroj’s arm and dove to the floor.

“What the-“

“Close your eyes!”

He squeezed them shut and witnessed the red flicker a brilliant white. Just as quickly, they flew open again. Latias seized both of his hands and pulled him to his feet.

He did a quick three-sixty and cast his gaze upon two lumps of black-suited guard, and a portly official slumped over his desk.

She grabbed his hand and spun him around to face the couch. Imbedded in its front were two gleaming, silvery objects: needles.

“I saw the guy behind him pull out a gun,” Latias thought, voice wavering in excitement.

Nadroj beheld the scene before him: needles in a couch, three unconscious men, and a Latias. It was at that moment that a realization hit him: life would never be the same again. Not after meeting a Latias and not after engagements with government officials. No longer was he the innocent, ignorant kid whose primary activity was attending school simply for the purpose of attending it.

“Nadroj?”

“I-I…” he averted his gaze downward and shook his head in exasperation. “We’re screwed! Sure we can try to flee, but there’s no way we can outrun them! No way in the world!”

“Are you sure about that?” Latias asked with gravity.

“What? What do you-“, recognition had washed over him: the Pokémon had yet another surprise to pull out. “What is it?”

“I’ll explain on the way there,” she stated, moving to the door and heaving it open.

The two bolted down the hall at full-speed. Thankfully, the bell still had yet to ring. The halls were silent, save for their pounding footsteps and a pulsing of blood at their temples. At each new corridor that their path intersected, they expected a black-suited man to jump out, dart-gun in hand. Thankfully, none came.

“We’re flying,” Latias stated, grabbing Nadroj’s hand and directing their charge up a flight of steps.

“You-you’re kidding,” Nadroj stuttered.

“I am not. I can hold you, I’m sure of it,” she stated confidently.

“You’d better be able to,” he shot back.

“I will, I will,” she assured. “That balcony, where was it?”

“Your left, that way!” Nadroj exclaimed with a nod down an adjacent hall.

In the distance loomed a wall of glass. They were mere feet away from freedom. Latias lunged at a door and pulled the silver handle. Nothing happened.

“It was open before,” she huffed as if it were more of an annoyance than a genuine problem. She stepped back a few pace’s length from the door and examined it critically.

“Get behind me,” she commanded in a whisper.

“You’re going to blow it off its hinges?” Nadroj demanded as he ran for cover.

Latias didn’t reply. Instead, she closed her eyes, planted her feet firmly, loosened the tension in her shoulders, and straightened her back.

“Ok…” Nadroj thought to himself. “Any explosions, any-“

An awful grinding noise rang out, prompting him to cover his ears. A millisecond later, the unhinged door fell outward with the simplicity of grass being blown in the wind.

Latias rushed through the opening, with Nadroj following, stepping around the fallen door and broken glass. Dizziness prevailed as he glanced at the collection of shards on the deck: all angled toward the sky, all reflecting the same white light.

“You’re absolutely sure about this?” he murmured.

“I’m sure, but not absolutely sure.”

He grinned ironically. “I like your confidence.”

“Yours too,” she replied with her own smile, only to realize that he was shaking like a leaf. “It isn’t that bad,” she added softly. “You’ll see. I’m going to transform. You’ll want to close your eyes.”

He did so. Once the white faded from the fleshy red, he opened them. Floating just inches off the ground was the red and white dragon: yellow eyes conveying a quiet sense of urgency to him.

“Your pack…I think that it’ll just weigh us down. We don’t need it.”

He threw the backpack to the ground without a second thought, happy to be fifty pounds lighter.

He strode to her side. “How do I-“

“Just get on like you would a horse. Make sure that your legs are wrapped around both sides and that they aren’t pushed against the spot where my wings sprout out or the stubs in front where my claws are. They have to be right in-between.”

Tentatively, he grabbed her upper neck with both hands.

“That’s fine. Now just swing yourself over,” she assured.

“…Good, good. You shouldn’t slide around too much. My fur isn’t that smooth. Still, you might want to wrap your arms around my neck.”

He sat astride on the Pokémon. Beneath him was a warm, soft mass of red and white. Somehow, the two were floating.

“This is…interesting,” he thought nervously, scanning a horizon beyond the balcony, composed of treetops. To him, this was like nuclear fusion: seemingly-impossible, frightening, and yet strangely enthralling. Although sitting on the dragon Pokémon’s back would seem to suggest that he was the driver, he knew the stark reality: he was only along for the ride.

Adrenaline pumping, ears ringing, he heard her utter the unappreciated words “They’re coming! I can hear them! Hold on!”

“But I-“

The stable mass beneath him lunged forward; he gasped and grabbed its neck for support. He looked down and realized that they were no longer hovering a few inches above a concrete surface. Instead, they were four stories above a grassy yard.

Latias weaved furtively through a spider web of tree branches and leaves. Nadroj could feel her body working with the swiftness of the air: twisting, diving, rising. All of this just to avoid a collision. Every breath she took was deep, with a sense of purpose. She was a machine.

The sunlight flickered, sometimes blocked by foliage, sometimes not. As a result, everything was obscured. He could see the branches, but their exact shape and position were not clear. He pressed his legs to her side and gripped her neck, praying for his life’s sake that she had better vision then him.

Despite the pounding of his own heart, Latias’s words were still fresh in his head. Who was coming? Going against his best instinct, he shot a glance backward. Through a patchwork-quilt of leaves, he caught a glimpse of a mob of black-suited men standing on the now-distant balcony. In the group’s midst were several glints of light. Suits were not made of reflective material, so it had to be-

“Shoot!”

“What?”

“Latias, are you-“

The air above their heads was pierced by a deafening boom. Instantaneously, the smell of sawdust reached there nostrils.

“Are you invisible?” Nadroj shrieked.

“I wasn’t, but I am now!” came the hasty reply. “Almost there…”

They burst from the foliage. Nadroj closed his eyes and breathed a sigh of relief. No more gunshots, no more tree branches. They were safe, for the time being, at least.
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  #23    
Old December 27th, 2008, 05:27 PM
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txteclipse
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Community Supporter Tier 3
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Nature: Quiet
Quote:
The red-haired man looked at them from deep, round eyes whose gaze was surprisingly sharp: observant-looking, even.
I'd replace "from" with "with" here. Otherwise, it looked fine.

It was a fine chapter, although it was slightly dampened from the fact that I knew what was going to happen. The quality from the re-write atoned for that for the most part, though.
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