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Old March 15th, 2010 (03:04 PM).
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Legendarian Mistress
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APOCALYPTIC DAWN... the rewrite

A/N: Apocalyptic Dawn’s influenced by a combination of my very first fic and all of my other fan-fics. I will also be using human-ized Legendaries in this fan-fiction.

Disclaimer: This fan-fiction, “Apocalyptic Dawn”, is rated M for violence, character deaths and moderate language. Pokémon is © Game Freak and Nintendo; 1995-2010. All other characters are © Legendarian Mistress.

Arc 1: The Beginning

Prologue (this post)

Summary

Apocalyptic Dawn is fundamentally the first part of a two-part fan-fiction created by me, Legendarian Mistress. Moving on, AD starts off rather positively, but mutates into something darker when life doesn’t seem as good as what it was originally. Blood will be spilled against the wishes of many. In one trainer’s struggle against a tainted Alakazam, a renowned Psychic comes to her aid and gives her special training to combat the forces of evil. The social order of the Pokémon world is crumbling, one piece of dust at a time. A heartless establishment, known as Johto Destroyers, as well as the newly resurrected Team Rocket and their Johton-based allies are determined to cause havoc.

Lurking underneath it all is a scheme – P: P.

Rating

Apocalyptic Dawn has been rated M for violence, character deaths and moderate language. Don’t lose any hope you may have, though. I’ll do my very best at putting humour into Apocalyptic Dawn. Just because it is dark, doesn’t mean people can’t have funniness in their lives.

Analysis

Please review. Feel free to review the chapters whenever you have time. In advance, I’d like to say thanks for the help. I’m deadly serious about getting this fic past Chapter 2 (Just so people know, I’ve gotten out of that mindset where I’d give up on my stories if I disliked negative reviews). Despite the fact that I have a preference for the positive, I will accept the good with the bad. All constructive criticism will be accepted in stride.

Fic-related Updates

Ultimately, I decided that every 3-5 days is a good time to update my story due to the varying length of each chapter. So that's about one a week. It also gives me time to write the rest of the chapters and edit them. So, now you know when to expect the sections. Thanks goes out to all of my reviewers.


*****

APOCALYPTIC DAWN

A/N: A very BIG thankies goes out to Fuyu for providing the description of Darkrai and to AdvancedK47 for the description of Spear Pillar.

Prologue

Pre 2012...

Since the dawn of time have creatures called Pokémon existed in each of the four major regions; the landmasses being Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh. It is within the “Mount Olympus” of Sinnoh, known as Spear Pillar, that the Legendaries meet to discuss the happenings of their respective countries.

Hundreds of shining, light blue crystals stuck out of the ground as that great entrance, appearing perfect and big, approached more, and thus becoming only greater and marvellous. Some crystals stood as tall as a good human height, some peeked out smoothly and like an ordinary rock. The truth was the lustrous crystals were well wedged into the ground. The simple thought of pulling one from the others would make one’s fingers' sore.

When close enough to see within the great cavern, the crystals look plain compared to what is inside. When exiting from the depths of darkness, the sun stands out in extreme brightness from the sky above, after the hellish amount of time inside Mount Coronet. Many pure stone pillars, of many heights, stand tall and glorious, and shine with their soft cherry blossom finish. Many of the pillars are speared at the top, some pillars are plain, some look like the top was blown off, and a few are gone, only their base left standing. In the middle of the largeness lays a peculiar small elevation with a triangular figure. The elevation is circled by many pillars, in perfect form, height, and only speared. Those pillars stand out with an extra silver glare under the great light of the sun.

Arceus stood before his gathered brethren. The God of all Pokémon was a white, four-legged creature about two-thirds of Lugia’s size, with a yellow energy ring on his body, perpendicular to the middle of his back. His ring was in the same colour of all of the elemental plates that could be found in the world.

<How are you adapting to my gift?> the Alpha Pokémon asked in his deep booming voice, before changing his form. A light similar to the evolutionary glow of a maturing Pokémon overtook his body. By the time it faded, he was a human-ized legendary. Apollonir, for that was the name he’d chosen, put his head at an angle, as his green eyes glared at Pandora from his tall frame. His slicked back hair was almost pure white, but there was a faint tinge of grey in the normal lack of colour. A professional-looking white shirt and same colour formal trousers was his outfit. He wore a gold belt to support his pants and yellow boots protected his feet.

Like Apollonir, Pandora was also very tall. She turned her back on him, placing her right glove-covered hand in the pocket of her white trousers. Running the fingers of her other hand through her straight white, with purple foils hair, she eyed him as her head faced back slightly. The woman had a body-building look about her, aside from the fact that she was in white attire. It was a clean pale coloured shirt which had cerise shoulder pads, a pair of white trousers with two mauve stripes, and an amethyst scarf.

Her eyes bore a hole into Apollonir’s glare, as she considered what to say to him. As she observed Apollonir, they had a particular glow about them, the red in them becoming intense even under the black protection of her sunglasses.

She turned to face him properly, allowing her knee-high boots – black leather with white fronts, to make a ‘clop thunk’ noise.

“I’m not entirely sure about my brothers and sisters, but I think you giving us this present will do us a world of good.” Pandora, the human form of Palkia, answered. “Though, I’m more than sure there will be some of my brethren who disagree... right, brother Desmond?”

A creature cloaked in shadow emerged, his ice blue eyes glowing ominously. On his small head was a white fog and surrounding his neck was a crimson collar of sorts. The long skinny arms hung limply from his body which was shaped like an hourglass. <I’m only in this so I can find my Chosen,> Darkrai replied in a husky tone.

A loud roar filled the air inside Spear Pillar. It came from a large cat-like creature, coloured yellow with black stripes on his legs. Distinguishing him as none other than Raikou was his un-naturally long claws and fangs. Combine that with the fact that his face was hidden by a black triangular plate, which covered the forehead and nose, as well as four metallic-looking whiskers which spread out from the front of his face and the beast looked very scary. As Raikou paced up and down through a pebble-strewn pathway, the creamy white tufts of fur — which were on the sides of his head — ruffled slightly in the breeze.

<Moving onto the issue of the Chosen,> Raikou began. <As some of us have already found them, how do we go about marking them?>

Ho-oh’s companion — a huge bird-like leviathan — flapped his gigantic, arm-like wings as he came down to the ground. His downward direction caused a tornado-like wind to appear beneath him with every gust of his mighty wings. A loud, haunting cry came from the creature as he landed, and his elongated white tail was tipped with two black, pointy feathers. The sea guardian had two backwards facing black feathers over his eyes and his black eyes radiated as much exhilaration as Ho-oh’s did.

<Have you any brains at all, Raikou?> Lugia asked. <It’s really quite simple. You have to be in your human form to be able to mark your Chosen human.>

<Hey!> Raikou’s body crackled with lightning as he took offence to his brother’s comment regarding his intellect.

<This meeting is now over!> Arceus’ voice boomed out among the gathered Pokémon, who were scattered between the many pillars. <I will not have my brethren fighting over a simple issue. Raikou, you have received Lugia’s response; go about your business now. Lugia, try to take care in not aggravating your brother next time.>

<As you wish, Lord Arceus,> the sea guardian replied and watched as Raikou left.

A number of years have passed since the Legendaries met. The history of the Chosen, however, has been around for many thousands of years. It was around the time of 100AD that humans and Pokémon became united in spirit and the humans were able to understand Pokéspeech — the natural language of their partners.

Yet, the resurrection of an organization has begun. Will they be able to end this before it's too late?
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  #2    
Old March 15th, 2010 (03:35 PM).
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I think this is quite a good start. Intersting story that makes me want to keep Reading. The personalitys of Pandora interests me somewhat too. Can't wait for the next part of the fic, keep it up.
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Old March 15th, 2010 (05:50 PM).
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Well you've already heard my opinion about the fic the first time around but I do enjoy the new beginning this brings to us. You've brought the Legendaries into more of a perspective to those of us familiar to them yet have not left newbies out of the loop. Very good and I am looking forward to the edited chapters as they come.
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Old March 16th, 2010 (09:55 AM).
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Konnichiwa, Legendarian Mistress. I’m your reviewer for today. Before you start on the fact that I said ‘hello’ in Japanese, and accuse me of being a weaboo, don’t. I’m trying to use different ways of saying hello in my reviews each time like when I used bonjour a few weeks ago.
Review Starts
Quote originally posted by Legendarian Mistress:
In the middle of the largeness lies/lay a peculiar small elevation with a triangular figure.
Many people get confused between lies and lays so let me clear this up.
· Lays
Lays is more synonymous with the past-tense verb places. “He places/lays the bricks on the sidewalk in order to trip up pedestrians.”
· Lies
Lies is the non-continuous form of the verb ‘to lie(the action of lying down)’ and is usually confused with lays because the past-tense of ‘lie’ is ‘lay’.
Non-Continuous – “He lies on the bed every night in order to dream of electric sheep.”
Past-tense – “He lay on the bed last night, but did not manage to dream of electric sheep.”

Quote:
“I’m not entirely sure about my brothers and sisters, but I think you giving us this present will do us a world of good.” answered Pandora, the human form of Palkia, “Though, I’m more than sure there will be some of my brethren who disagree... right, brother Desmond?”
As you can see, I’ve rephrased that dialogue tag to make it flow better. I don’t think there was anything wrong with the previous version, but it’s just that I had to read it a few times to understand what was happening.

Quote:
his ice-blue eyes glowing ominously.
Compound adjectives are always hyphenated.
Eg: Fiery-red hair, chromium-metallic-glare, never-to-be-eaten cheese cake.

Quote:
Combine that with the fact that his face was hidden by a black triangular plate, which covered the forehead and nose, as well as four metallic-looking whiskers which spread out from the front of his face and the beast looked very scary.
It’s not a good idea to combine both a passive sentence and an active sentence in one whole sentence because it makes it sound awkward. You may however, think of splitting them to become two sentences.
Eg:
Quote:
Combine that with the fact that his face was hidden by a black triangular plate, which covered the forehead and nose, as well as four metallic-looking whiskers which spread out from the front of his face. Also, it looked really scary.
Quote:
<Moving onto the issue of the Chosen,> Raikou began,<As some of us have already found them, how do we go about marking them?>
When writing a dialog tag interrupting a quote, use a comma instead of a period.
Eg:
Quote:
“I killed him,” said Tricia, “ because I was bored.”
You’ve made the same mistake here:
Quote:
<Have you any brains at all, Raikou?> Lugia asked. <It’s really quite simple. You have to be in your human form to be able to mark your Chosen human.>
Plot Notes
I can’t say I’m extremely intrigued at the plot so far, but that just depends on how well you write this and expand the plot. At a glance, I’m gonna say “meh, Chosen One plots.” But I have faith in you so don’t disappoint me…
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Old March 16th, 2010 (04:38 PM).
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Good job on the redone prologue. The prologue is a difficult thing to be accomplish since it is thing that his going to draw (or oppositely repel) readers towards your story. I think you started off strong with the Legendary Council however you are really going to have to show (like Mizan said) that this is not just another Chosen One fan fiction. I have confidence that you will do so again.

Keep yourself motivated and don't be afraid to get innovative.
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Old March 20th, 2010 (12:26 PM).
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Happy birthday, Kyuu-chan!
Looking pretty good so far, interesting concept, having "humanized legendaries". =D

Quote originally posted by Kael:
the landmasses being Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh.
Slight nitpick here, Johto and Kanto are the same land-mass. I suppose it's just poetic license, hmm? XD

Quote originally posted by Kanto Lover:
It is within the “Mount Olympus” of Sinnoh, known as Spear Pillar, that the Legendaries meet to discuss the happenings of their respective countries.
This is spelled correctly, grammatically great (unlike most of my reviews), but after "Mount Olympus" and "Legendaries", "countries" seems a bit tame. Realms or domains, perhaps?

Quote originally posted by Katie:
Hundreds of shining, light blue crystals stuck out of the ground as that great entrance, appearing perfect and big, approached more, and thus becoming only greater and marvellous.
This sentence just doesn't make sense to me. It just about worked up until "...and thus becoming...", but after that it sort of... stops making sense altogether. It looks like you're trying to say that the shiny things got bigger and more magnificent as the entrance approached.

Quote originally posted by The fic...:
In the middle of the largeness lays a peculiar small elevation with a triangular figure.
What is this triangular figure doing? Is it alive, or embedded in stone, or screaming its head off while Darkrai forces it to do the Mexican Hat Dance? =P

Quote originally posted by Palkia is awesome:
She turned to face him properly, allowing her knee-high boots – black leather with white fronts, to make a ‘clop thunk’ noise.
I think that it would work better without the use of the word "allowing" here, so maybe something like:
Quote originally posted by may work better, then again, might not. XD:
She turned to face him properly, her knee-high boots - black leather with white fronts - making a "clop thunk" noise.
Again, it's entirely up to you whether to act on my ideas or not. =D

So, happy birthday once again and good bye.

- Liam
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Old April 1st, 2010 (02:27 PM).
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You decided to rewrite? Whew...Now I have to review. I think this prologue is excellent, as it shows us a bit more of the legendaries' personalities than it did last time. I especially enjoyed the interaction between Lugia and Raikou, I liked how it gave us a bit of a rivalry so early on. I really don't know what else to say, other than this: keep doing as well as you are, Keep moving forward. Even if the next path (of the story) may not be clear, just keep on keeping on and you'll be able to succeed at anything. Your Abilities will continue to increase in skill, and you will become greater than you ever were.

Wow....that was deep. anyway, I'm back and better than ever. obviously, you are too.


The innovation of this story shouldn't be too hard for you to accomplish, and if you get stuck, just remember, we're all backing you up!
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Old April 2nd, 2010 (05:48 PM).
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Thanks for all of the reviews, everyone. Chapter 1 should be up sometime early this month.
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Old April 7th, 2010 (04:34 PM).
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Foreword

The Kanto region is only a year away from falling prey to Team Rocket’s most immoral plan yet. Compared to the tranquil, undisturbed region you used to know, the Kantonian Police and Defence Forces have significantly increased their patrols in the hopes of catching the criminals off-guard. Each of the major landmarks — Pewter, Cerulean, Vermillion, Celadon, Fuchsia, Seafoam, Saffron and Viridian — will break away from the Pokémon League to become an independent state, all of which are led by individuals who are now known as SOTA.

Harmony will be an exotic phrase, and Kantonian residents will live in endless terror and mistrust. The incident that will be known as the Downfall will occur at the end of that year, but whether it is Kanto’s defeat or that of Team Rocket remains to be seen. One member of SOTA already knows, but has wisely — or unwisely, depending on how one views the situation — decided not to tell her companions...



Chapter 1: The Journey Begins

Viridian City, 2012...

“... a mysterious fog has settled over Goldenrod City and won’t lift. We encourage you to stay indoors until authorities are able to learn of the fog’s origin. This is Emily Tucker of the Johton News — back to you, Alice.”

“Thanks Emily. As you all may know, the Pokémon League season is preparing to get under way here in Kanto. Professor Oak received the shipment of starters —“

He pressed the remote control, shutting the television off. It was almost 10 AM and he hadn’t gone for his usual mid-morning walk around his new hometown.

Casually strolling outside, he glanced around before deciding to lean against the wall of the building.

As he looked out over the city of Viridian, he really thought his life would be different after his Choosing. He was wrong, he decided, as he stared up at the sky and smiled upon seeing the grey clouds. Staring at them, he remembered why he liked overcast, rainy days; it was a “playing field” for electricity, especially the waterways and he just so happened to have an Electric-type on his team.

The seventeen-year-old pondered on how his lust for power caused a split in the Kantonian bird trinity. He now had a position of command and, with this in mind, put his thoughts of the past behind him as he walked back inside to enjoy the cold chips that were sitting in the fridge.

*****

She couldn’t define him in words. Every word that came to mind she seemed to reject almost effortlessly when they came to mind, leaving her thoughtless at the end of the train of thought. But there she sat; observing her Chosen like an astrologist would do a star — from afar. Cresselia, also known as Cassandra, pushed the blonde bangs of her hair from her amethyst eyes as she watched the gruff teenager walk on the cracked concrete of Canalave City.

From the moments that she could actually get a glimpse of him from the street lights, he appeared to be a rather stocky individual. Toned muscles could be seen sketched in his paler coloured skin; his arms were long and meaty almost reminding her of a gorilla. The gorilla comparison also continued in the way he stood, almost slumped over like an animal. His shaggy hair was a dusty blonde colour, and his eyes a dark brown that seemed to fade into black the more that she observed it. He simply wore a black t-shirt, torn and faded cargo pants, and tattered white tennis shoes. She almost had second thoughts if it was him — not because she didn’t like him, it was more that she didn’t see the mark of the Chosen — but, it soon came into light once he walked under the streetlight once more.

That is definitely Jagger Marshall… Cassandra thought as she folded her arms allowing her purple and blue dress to shift and shimmer. He just looks so cute. She smiled. She couldn’t define how amused she was by him. She had to meet him personally. There was no avoiding that.

Cassandra allowed herself to float down from the roof of the Canalave library. She landed majestically into the shadows with a clicking sound of her heels to avoid from being seen falling from a building. Her long dress swayed back and forth as she moved as though she was being blown away by a wind that only she felt. The ribbons attached to her wrist from her frills of her shoulder gleamed brilliantly under the streetlights. It was a bit cold so she could feel her exposed shoulders break out with goose bumps.

She managed to follow him unnoticed for majority of the walk. This was rather difficult in the way that she was dressed yet she managed it through timely teleports to avoid his sight. Cassandra played this little game of cat and mouse until he entered his home on the edge of the docks. The home itself was rather small to the point that she casually thought that it would just tip over. No lights until he got there, so she assumed that his parents were asleep.

The thought of feeling like a stalker finally crossed her mind so she thought that this would be the perfect time to introduce herself. As soon as she was about to knock on the door, it swung open revealing the gruff teenager staring blankly at her with a frail Abra around his neck. Cassandra flashed a smile.

“Who are ya?” Jagger sniffed.

“Someone that will be vital in your future,” Cassandra spoke simply. Not comprehending, Jagger raised his eyebrow. “Can I see your arm?” she asked.

“I don’t even know you and ya ask to see my arm? Hell no.” Jagger folded his massive arms defensively.

“It seems like I need to convince you of such. Convince you that our fates are bound together as chain,” Cassandra replied as she allowed herself in while grazing his face with her hand.

Cassandra surveyed the room as though she was buying it. Her eyes wandered around the plain white walls littered with posters of rock bands, trucks, and women. Other than that it was simply a small battered table with a couple of recliners. Her purple eyes didn’t stop tracing the edges of the room until she was forcibly interrupted with Jagger stepping into her line of vision.

“WHO ARE YOU?” Jagger demanded.

“We can’t talk without something to drink or we will be parched…” Cassandra waved it off. “I’ll go fix some.”

And there she went, searching going through the kitchenette for something to drink. Jagger frowned as he followed her. She poured herself some tea that she found in the refrigerator. Afterward she tossed him a cola.

“Your favourite I presume, most appropriate for the discussion we are about to have.”

“You know me somehow. That’s the only reason I am not…”

“Reaching behind the sofa to pull out that bat,” she finished the sentence for him as she brought the cup to her lips.

“Who the hell are you?”

“Hmm… sit down Jagger Marshall. We have much to discuss.”

Weary about the matter, Jagger forced himself to sit down beside the mysterious lady that appeared in front of his doorsteps. He had to admit that he felt uncomfortable around this stranger. Any other person, he would have slammed to the ground while pulling their limbs out of their sockets; however, she was different. The air that she brought around her was nothing more than dangerous yet decorated with an unknown gracefulness.

“I am Cresselia,” she said simply. “And I am your Chosen Legendary.”

Jagger’s eyebrow rose so high that Cassandra thought that it would tear from his face. Out of all the tougher legendary’s that could have chosen him, he was met with this — quite possibly the most girly Pokémon ever to grace this world. Just look at her. She didn’t exhibit anything that he was. She didn’t look tough, she wasn’t a fighter, and…

“Will you stop with that deluded thought process?” she interrupted suddenly. Cassandra had saved Jagger before when he was once affected by Darkrai's nightmare upon seeing him.

“Stay out of my head,” Jagger muttered.

“So you believe that I am Cresselia?”

“Can’t say that it doesn’t make sense…”

“Then why do you look so down?” Cassandra interlocked her fingers, seemingly amused by the upcoming answer.

“WHY COULDN’T I HAVE A COOLER LEGENDARY?”

“Define cool.” Her purple eyes dashed to the sides of her sockets.

“Like Registeel, Regirock, Entei, Raikou…”

“I can’t do anything dealing with any of those legendaries. I can only deal with myself and the person of my choosing. That person,” she leaned her head toward Jagger, “is you.”

A roar of frustration erupted from Jagger’s mouth like a dragon almost waking the small Abra dangling from his back. Cassandra gave a rather unique look towards the small Pokémon before continuing with her conversation.

“Team Rocket is spreading… I need you more than ever to help our cause.”

“Why should I?” Jagger asked. “It don’t have nothing to do with me.”

“It does not have anything to do with you,” Cassandra answered, giving a more grammatically correct structure to that butchered sentence. “It has everything to do with you. What if they take over?”

“Then I’ll deal with it.”

“Deal with oppression?” Cassandra queried, looking astonished.

“Speak English.”

“That was English unlike what you said earlier.” Cassandra responded, defending herself and calmly insulting the boy at the same time. “Anyway, you would really just ‘deal’ with it.”

“Why fight something you can just deal with what’s going to happen anyway?”

Cassandra dropped the conversation and closed her eyes in a meditative way. It was hard to instil morale in someone that was apathetic towards situation. Yet, it was essential that he would join. There was no choosing another child. She had to speak with him. There was no other way. She didn’t expect to use her trump card this early, though. She sighed.

“What if I told you that your past might be involved in all of this? Would you come?”

“Like my….”

“Like your parents….”

“You know something about my parents?!” Jagger sat up attentively at this.

“I’m not sure. Yet all I can say is that your future and Team Rocket’s future are definitely bound together.”

With that, she arose from the couch while draining the remaining of the tea. She awaited Jagger’s reaction. It was indeed the truth that she told him. The visions of Team Rocket as well as Jagger often littered her dreams — they were meant to clash. His parents were involved within this yet the pieces that she did care had been faded to just white jigsaws in a coloured picture. She knew not where they went.

“I’ll be leaving you now. If you believe me, you will meet me at the docks tomorrow morning.”

“What if I don’t come?”

“I cannot say the show will go without you. You will just be delaying the performance. Good night, Jagger. Good night, Zane.”

“How do you…?” Jagger stared at his Abra who was contently asleep.

“Zane? Hmm… he too is a part of all of this. Good night and choose your road well.”

As quickly as she came, she left leaving a bottomless void of questions unanswered.

*****

RING RING! RING RING!

Having received her Pokédex yesterday, in advance of obtaining her partner Pokémon and Poké Balls today, Josephine floundered for the device as it fell from her bedside table — still vibrating — and moved under her bed.

Muttering “Stupid ****ing thing!” she climbed out of bed and searched blindly for it, before finally pin-pointing its location and grabbing it. She peered at the sender’s number in the video-messaging list. The word ‘Rachel’ flashed on and off with an unopened envelope next to it. Pressing the play button, the teen waited.

Her best friend’s face materialized on the display screen.

Josephine?!” the violet-haired girl asked as her voice rose. “Where the hell are you?!

“At home,” the redhead answered. “Why?”

Because Paul and I have already left Pallet with our starters,” Rachel replied. “Professor Oak wanted to know where you were.”

“Starters? ****, I’m late!” Josephine responded. She whipped her head around frantically, looking for the clock that sat on her bedside table. Her hazel eyes spotted it. It read 10:30 AM. Rachel was right, she was late. The redhead was about to change that, though.

Yes, **** is the word,” the other girl said matter-of-factly.

“Uhh... will you wait for me in Viridian, Rach?” the teen questioned hurriedly.

You know what Paul’s like, Jose. He always wants to be on the move. Even if he keeps going, I’ll stay and wait for you; that much I guarantee.”

“Okay, I’ll leave Pallet as soon as I can. I’ll see you when I get there, bye for now.”

Bye,” the lavender-haired Rachel Savina breathed and terminated the call.

Josephine scrambled out of bed and turned her interest to the gift bag nestled at the bottom of her bedside table. Half poking out of the yellow bag was a lacy gift card. On that gift card was her older sister's loopy handwriting.

Happy Birthday, Baby Sis!

I know everyone's telling you this, but I have to say it too: I am so proud of you. You hung around Pallet for four years, you're growing up into a beautiful young woman, and you're setting out on a journey with so much knowledge that I wish I had before setting off on mine.

I can't wait to see you at the Battle Frontier; I know you can make it!

That is an attitude that you need to have on a trip like this. Don't ever give up. Sometimes the road will be dark and stormy, and other days, it will be bright and sunny — but that doesn't change the fact that there is a road there and you need to get to where you want to be.

I love you so much, Josephine. Please take care during your journey and remember that I'm just a call away, and maybe a few towns or regions.

P. S.
Tell Dylan I still say, "No."

Love,

Tara


Her Pokédex had previously been inside the bag, but was now located in her hand. When she had seen it earlier, Josephine's eyes lit up with joy and she bounced around the living room. It was a Shinx model, one of the newest releases from the Pokédex line. Aside from important things such as a digital map of the Kanto region and phone service, there was plenty of room for games and music. She planned to take advantage of that feature when she left home.

She picked up the gift bag and stood observing her room; her parents’ house of which was situated upon the hill that overlooked the tiny little town of Pallet. Today would be the day that she left her hometown, and there was no telling when she would ever be back. Tara had departed from the town nine years ago and still had not returned.

Having already had a shower earlier, she inspected herself in the mirror. Her hair had a scrunchy around it, creating a ponytail look. The teen’s outfit consisted of a grey sleeveless top and a yellow miniskirt. Lavender slip-on shoes each with a yellow stripe adorned her feet and black sunglasses had been placed over her eyes.

After placing her digital watch on the wrist of her left arm, she headed down the hall. Josephine had had the obligatory goodbye speech with her parents last night. It was as she was heading out that she realized her mother wasn’t present. “Where’s Mum?” she asked her father, who had just wheeled himself into the room.

“She had to go to the grand opening of the new Silph Co. building in Saffron,” he replied gruffly. This reminded the girl that her father was indeed the cousin of the former Sunyshore City Gym Leader, Volkner. “Professor Oak was snowed under by lots of paperwork today, but you were lucky I obtained your starter from him yesterday.”

From his shirt pocket, he withdrew a ball scarlet and white in colour. Scores of individuals acknowledged Charles Ryder Harris, and hardly any gave the notion of being unimpressed with him. Had his disability not come to pass, he would have remained as tall as Lt. Surge, and that’s conveying something. Josephine’s father had biologically short, wavy russet-coloured hair, somewhat critical cerulean eyes, and fair skin.

Handing the sphere to his daughter, he questioned, “What Pokémon are you imagining it to be?”

“I really don’t know. I’m excited, though,” she answered. It was at that point that her hyperness showed itself and she began jumping up and down in one spot.

“Then don’t just wait, open it!” Her father’s command was interrupted mid-way when he started laughing upon seeing his daughter so eager.

The teen released the Pokémon. Emerging from the Poké Ball was a creature covered in blue fuzz. Her stout feline body and short azure fur shivered in the breeze that drifted in through the open window, while her tail and ears shone bright yellow. That would be useful in dark places, but hardly noticeable in sunlight. Hissing, the cat leaned down on her front legs, her yellow bands gleaming in the sun’s rays.

Josephine exhaled audibly and covered her mouth with one hand. “It’s...” She faltered, unable to accept this as the truth.

“A Shinx,” her father completed the sentence. “It’s no common feline, either. And while we’re at it, it’s not an ‘it. The Pokémon is a female.”

“Are you two nearly done?” A young voice called out from the kitchen. “I’m sure Josephine wants to head over to the lab and pick up her Poké Balls.”

*****

While that was happening, a dispute had broken out in Saffron Castle. In the centre of Kanto stands the ceremonial Saffron City, capital citadel to the land. Located deep in the forbidding country’s focal point and moderately hidden by frosty cirrus clouds, this first city’s crown jewel was an extraordinary castle, not unlike those of fantasy told before. It had been constructed to take the place of the long-standing, ramshackle Silph Co. building.

Composition of the brand-new Silph Co., on the eastern side of the metropolitan area, was set to come to an end very soon. Remaining in place against the test of five years, war and more, Saffron Castle was the residence to the Sinnohian-born royal family unit of the land, the Regan clan, along with their servants and advisers.

With knights and sentries rounding the battlements and walkways, it looked as if it would be unrealistic to come in with no permission. The guards who traversed the paths were clad in crimson armour that was symbolic of the noble military.

“There's nothing you can do!" the light brown-haired Arthur snapped, his face expressing acute aggravation. It was clear to see he was dressed in navy-blue clothing and an amethyst-coloured cape. A luxurious gold chain held the cloak together. The reality was clear and straightforward; he was weary of being given orders by his sibling and parent. He didn't want to do the uninteresting political work they enforced upon him. “I want to leave the castle and travel around Kanto.”

"It won't be so bad, Arthur," the cerulean-haired Eleanor tried to persuade him. She was single-minded, but not as much as Arthur was. She was dressed in the white long-sleeved outfit, which was her royal clothing. It was decorated with a cold geometric pattern that overstated an R-shape – that represented the first letter of her last name, Regan - on her front, the collar rubbing softly below her rather bony jaw. “You can not go on a journey. How many times have I articulated dislike of this idea of yours?”

Arthur had had enough. "No!" He raised his voice as he banged his fist down on the table. His princely self rose to his feet rapidly, his royal cape flowing around him. The other hand fished a Poké Ball from an inner pocket and he held it close to him. This is it, old friend. It's time, he thought as he stormed out of the living room and hurried towards the only way in or out of the castle.

Eleanor sat in her chair, distressed at Arthur's behaviour. “What did I do to deserve this?” she moaned, her eyes downcast.

Victoria’s azure-haired figure soothed her mother as best she could. “Don’t concern yourself, Mother," Victoria spoke pleadingly. "He'll return soon." Victoria’s clothing had mainly the same design as her mother’s; the only exception was that it was decorated with a pattern invocative of lethal loveliness in brilliant scarlet.

The guards were informed about everything that had gone on.

"Out of my way!" Arthur ordered decisively, as the sentries tried to hinder him from leaving. "Move or else!"

"Forgive me, Prince Arthur, but it's our obligation to keep you from going!" One of the guards shouted as he continued to block Arthur from leaving.

Don't make me resort to using my Pokémon, the royal teen reflected.

"Did you perceive that?" Eleanor questioned Victoria.

Victoria rose to her feet and gazed out the window. She bore witness to the guards trying to stop Arthur from exiting the palace. It's futile, she thought, he'll get through.

A shocked shout was heard then, but Arthur wasn’t going to be interrupted in his escape. The knights were unsuccessful in stopping him, and they had paid the price. Fragments of broken ice littered the palace's front grounds.

Victoria withheld a slight intake of breath as she identified the rhombus-shaped patches of emerald-green fur and diamond-shaped ears. He used Iceheart?! That’s against palace rules! She scowled and glared down at her brother’s fleeing form in irritation.

"What came to pass?" Eleanor queried, looking worried.

Victoria said, “His Glaceon,” and straightforwardly sauntered away from the window. The guards were injured, but she knew it would happen. “Mother… will he really be okay?" Victoria enquired, glancing up.

Eleanor took a breather for a moment, before finally speaking up, "… we can only hope."

*****

Back at the Harris’ residence, Josephine was surprised to see her sibling still hanging around the house. “Nat, what are you doing here?” the fourteen-year-old questioned her younger sister. "You're supposed to be at the Academy."

“I couldn't...” Natalie spoke softly, tripping over her words. “I couldn't just let you leave without saying goodbye.” Natalie Riviera Harris shares a couple of things in common with her father. She inherited the short, wavy trim — with the only difference being that hers is crimson. Along with the short hairdo, her eyes mirror that of her dad’s, but with a bit more hazel from her mother.

Charles broke in at this point. “Natalie, you know this will result in a detention. Say your farewell and then go straight to the Trainers' Academy.”

“But Dad...” Natalie paused. She knew better than to talk back to her father. “I'm going...” she sighed. “Goodbye, Josephine. Please keep yourself safe for my sanity.”

“I will, Nat. Don't worry,” the older sister answered. Watching her younger sibling exit the house reminded her that she needed to go to the lab and pick up her Poké Balls before finally leaving.

“Well, you shouldn't be late.” Charles spoke, watching Natalie leave over Josephine's shoulder. “You don't want to be waiting too long at Oak's office. I know that you are eager.”

“Late? Dad, don't remind me. I'm already late,” came the reply. “As Rachel reminded me...”

Charles laughed warmly. “This is true. So, you better get ahead before Rachel jumps down your throat.”

“She and Paul are already ahead of me, so what's the point?” the teen replied in a sarcastic tone. “But I see your point, so I'll call you when I get to Viridian.”

“I'll be looking forward to that. Now get ahead,” Charles wheeled himself to the door to open it for his daughter. The door swung carefully under his control and he bowed courteously. “Be safe, my child.”

“Yeah, yeah. Bye, Dad.” With that, the teen left her parents’ house and headed to the lab on the dirt road.
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Old April 7th, 2010 (04:44 PM).
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Hello LM,

Great job on this chapter. I think we have gotten a good look into many of the characters thus far within the story. I'm looking forward to see if your characters develop any differently than that other makes of the series. Be careful with explaining to many characters in one chapter--in terms of physical appearance. You can do it gradually. When you introduce them, you don't have to explain how the look like right there. That's a habit that I'm trying to kick as well. I want people to visualize what they look like when I write that that moment. However, if you are careful, you can build up a better description as the story goes along.

Anyway this chapter is a great start and I am looking forward to your next chapter.
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Old April 8th, 2010 (04:04 PM).
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Gah SS, you stole my lines. ANyway, be careful of those who will (inevitably) confuse your previous and current versions of AD and keep up the good work.
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Old April 8th, 2010 (04:38 PM).
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Nice job LM. (btw, It was easier to call you kyuu...) Anyway, Nice job. I really enjoy how this has started, And I can see how your skill has improved so far.(Comparing it to the last AD.) I honestly can't wait to see how this all plays out, as I never finished the first one...And I wish you good luck for future posts. Oh, and as Fuyu said, keep up the good work!
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Old April 8th, 2010 (05:20 PM).
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I wish my fic got as many reviews so I knew where I went wrong. XD
Regardless, here's that review you requested...

Quote originally posted by Legendarian Mistress:
The Kanto region is only a year away from falling prey to Team Rocket’s most immoral plan yet. Compared to the tranquil, undisturbed region you used to know, the Kantonian Police and Defence Forces have significantly increased their patrols in the hopes of catching the criminals off-guard. Each of the major cities — Pewter, Cerulean, Vermillion, Celadon, Fuchsia, Seafoam, Saffron and Viridian — will break away from the Pokémon League to become an independent state; all of which, are led by individuals who are now known as SOTA.
The term ‘landmark’, in the aforementioned context, is normally only used for a single object that distinguishes itself from its surroundings in a way. Normally, they’re not used to refer to a collection of objects (i.e. a city) or to a specific place. A few definitions, taken from thefreedictionary.com


1. A prominent identifying feature of a landscape.
2. A fixed marker, such as a concrete block, that indicates a boundary line.
3. An event marking an important stage of development or a turning point in history.
4. A building or site with historical significance, especially one marked for preservation by a municipal or national government.

The semi-colon was to avoid a comma splice and the comma after the semi-colon was to set off a ‘sort off’ introductory phrase.

Furthermore, since ‘SOTA’ is an acronym, when you first mention you should write out the meaning of the acronym and then put the acronym in parenthesis. You can use the acronym when referring to it later on.

Quote:
Viridian City, 2012...
Lol, 2012...

Quote:
He pressed the remote control; shutting the television off. It was almost 10 AM and he hadn’t gone for his usual mid-morning walk around his new hometown.
Comma splice otherwise. A test you can use to check for comma-splices is to replace the comma with a period and check to see if the two new sentences make dependent or independent clauses. If they make independent clauses, the comma has created a comma splice in which you can either replace it with a period or use a semi-colon.


Quote:
As he looked out over the city of Viridian, he really thought his life would be different after his Choosing. He was wrong, he decided, as he stared up at the sky and smiled upon seeing the grey clouds. Staring at them, he remembered why he liked overcast, rainy days; it was a “playing field” for electricity, especially the waterways, and he just so happened to have an Electric-type on his team.
The word ‘staring’ was redundant since you used stared in the previous sentence. The comma was to separate a non-essential clause; as in, the sentence would still make sense with the omission of the ones in between the commas.

Quote:
The seventeen-year-old pondered on how his lust for power caused a split in the Kantonian bird trinity. He now had a position of command and, with this in mind, put his thoughts of the past behind him as he walked back inside to enjoy the cold chips that were sitting in the fridge.
This is more of a logical nitpick, but do people really put chips in the fridge? It could be a western thing that I’m not aware of, but I usually just leave them in the cupboard or something. Otherwise, it could be just a weird quirk that your character has...

Quote:
“Someone that will be vital in your future,” Cassandra spoke simply. Not comprehending, Jagger raised his eyebrow. “Can I see your arm?” she asked.
That was really a bit awkward. Maybe use a more conventional word and or sentence structure? Something like, “Having not really grasped the entirety of the situation, Jagger raised his eyebrows.” Or, to be simple, “Confused, Jagger raised his eyebrows.”

Quote:
“Define cool.” Her purple eyes dashed to the sides of her sockets.
I lol’d.

Quote:
“Why should I?” Jagger asked. “It don’t have nothing to do with me.”

“It does not have anything to do with you,” Cassandra answered, giving a more grammatically correct structure to that butchered sentence. “It has everything to do with you. What if they take over?”
The only thing I find wrong here is why Cassandar/Cresselia would give two cents about grammar since she’s a legendary. Unless of course, you’re trying to promote that as her personality in which case, by all means proceed.

Quote:
RING RING! RING RING!
Personally, I find it better to use descriptive text instead of outright wording out the sound effects. The call is yours to make though.

Quote:
Muttering “Stupid ****ing thing!” she climbed out of bed and searched blindly for it, before finally pin-pointing its location and grabbing it. She peered at the sender’s number in the video-messaging list. The word ‘Rachel’ flashed on and off with an unopened envelope next to it. Pressing the play button, the teen waited.

Her best friend’s face materialized on the display screen.

Josephine?!” the violet-haired girl asked as her voice rose. “Where the hell are you?!

“At home,” the redhead answered. “Why?”

Because Paul and I have already left Pallet with our starters,” Rachel replied. “Professor Oak wanted to know where you were.”

“Starters? ****, I’m late!” Josephine responded. She whipped her head around frantically, looking for the clock that sat on her bedside table. Her hazel eyes spotted it. It read 10:30 AM. Rachel was right, she was late. The redhead was about to change that, though.

Yes, **** is the word,” the other girl said matter-of-factly.

“Uhh... will you wait for me in Viridian, Rach?” the teen questioned hurriedly.

You know what Paul’s like, Jose(who?). He always wants to be on the move. Even if he keeps going, I’ll stay and wait for you; that much I guarantee.”

“Okay, I’ll leave Pallet as soon as I can. I’ll see you when I get there, bye for now.”

Bye,” the lavender-haired Rachel Savina breathed and terminated the call.
If this is a video message, how is she able to respond to her friend? It would make more sense for it to be a video-call. Also, Rachel appears to have both violet and lavender hair? I remind you that lavender is more purplish and violet is a shade of purple-blue.


Quote:
Having already had a shower earlier, she inspected herself in the mirror. Her hair had a scrunchy around it, creating a ponytail look. The teen’s outfit consisted of a grey sleeveless top and a yellow miniskirt. Lavender slip-on shoes each with a yellow stripe adorned her feet and black sunglasses had been placed over her eyes.
You mean she wasn’t asleep before this? Well, you didn’t explicitly state that she had just woken up, but you didn’t state the converse either. I suggest you go back and rework that part.

Quote:
“I really don’t know. I’m excited, though,” she answered. It was at that point that her hyperness showed itself and she began jumping up and down in one spot.
I don’t think hyperness is a word. Hyperactivity yes, hyperness no.

Quote:
Composition of the brand-new Silph Co., on the eastern side of the metropolitan area, was set to come to an end very soon. Remaining in place against the test of five years, war and more, Saffron Castle was the residence to the Sinnoh-born royal family unit of the land, the Regan clan, along with their servants and advisers.
It’s either Sinnoh-born Royal Family or Sinnohian Royal Family. Sinnohian-born implies that they came from a place called Sinnohian and not Sinnoh.

***

Plot-notes: Well, it may turn out to be another chosen-one plot, but at least it’s a well-written chosen one plot. Haha... In all seriousness, you haven’t done anything to distinguish your plot from all the other chosen-one plots as of yet so I’ll still assume that it is one. Not that that’s a bad thing considering it’s generally well written and you only have slight problems with commas and language. Also, I recommend re-reading the fic from a reader’s perspective to catch most logic mistakes. In some places, it’s hard to make out what’s happening (like the one with the phone) so you know, rework that part a bit. Basically, you could work on commas and language(usage and not grammar-wise) a bit more. Look back and with the knowledge from this review, check to see if there are any mistakes I missed.

So anyway, an excellent new chapter with plenty of exposition and I look forward to the next.
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  #14    
Old April 8th, 2010 (05:27 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Mizan de la Plume Kuro:


The only thing I find wrong here is why Cassandar/Cresselia would give two cents about grammar since she’s a legendary. Unless of course, you’re trying to promote that as her personality in which case, by all means proceed.

Since I helped LM write this part, I can say why she would care for grammar. The reason that I can tell you is that it show the difference in personalities and how the two presents themselves. Cassandra as a formal and graceful kind of person while Jagger as the rough around the edge informal kind of guy. Hope that cleared up some of the grayness.
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Old April 8th, 2010 (05:42 PM).
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Yep, I did state that it could be part of her personality, but thanks for the explanation anyway. ;D
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Old April 8th, 2010 (05:49 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Mizan de la Plume Kuro:
Yep, I did state that it could be part of her personality, but thanks for the explanation anyway. ;D
You did and I was just reconfirming. I'm weird, I know. XD
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Old April 20th, 2010 (04:55 PM).
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Chapter 2: Danger Surrounds

The tension was high no matter which room this lady travelled within. Men and women alike would often clench their right fist and salute her, even before she could get one foot within the doorway. She was authority, pure authority that concreted itself into the shape of a human. It was in the way that she stood, the way her bangs swayed within this stiff breeze, and in the way her face remained in this hardcore expression as she marched down the hallway. Lt. Colonel Haley Clemons was her name and she alone controlled the Kantonian Defence Forces.

“Report, Colonel Wagner,” Clemons spoke, expecting a clipboard to flop within her hands.

“Here, Ma’am,” the colonel answered, fulfilling her expectations.

Clemons cleanly observed the papers one by one, quickly at first and then reviewed it slowly. The sound of her boots hardly lightened. In fact, one would believe that they had gotten louder as though she was upset about something. She was indeed upset about something. That something was Team Rocket and she hated every moment that she had to deal with this nonsense.

Lt. Colonel Clemons brushed the bangs of brown hair from her face as her dark coloured eyes focused on the door of her office. She wasn’t pleased with the current report. Her forces hadn’t advanced at all with their fight against Team Rocket. The main officers, including Wagner, had been nothing but optimistic regarding the next reports. This was a disgrace to call this progress. Clemons tossed the clipboard aside aimlessly causing the papers attached to spew upon the ground.

“You honestly think,” she spoke smoothly, “that this is acceptable?”

“I presume that it isn’t by the way you are acting, Lt. Colonel,” Wagner spoke almost playfully.

At least Colonel Wagner has a sense of humour,” muttered one of the officers.

Almost like she was wielding a knife, she held out a sphere. Recognizing this action as an indirect threat, the soldier looked down hastily and mumbled an apology.

“You will never mutter anything in my presence!” Clemons barked as she returned the Poké Ball to her belt. “It’s already foolish enough that I have to deal with incompetence from him.”

She shot this gaze at Wagner, whom seemed to be the only person in the world immune to its deadly powers. That smile on his face was constant, even with his very intimidating build and shaven red hair — he was nothing more than a teddy bear filled to the brim with plush. As much as Clemons wanted to think that he wasn’t meant to be a top commander, she couldn’t deny that he was definitely strong on the tactical front, as well as the battle one. Her eyebrows narrowed almost angrily as she continued.

“Six months and we haven’t made the slightest damage in their forces! You cannot tell me that we are making progress when there is no progress to be seen, Colonel!” Clemons soothing voice was now in an upsetting shout. Wagner’s face finally fell to a serious expression — which looked just as intimidating as Clemons especially with his cave-man like eyebrows.

“Lt. Colonel Clemons, we are doing the best that we can with the resources that we have. As much as you want us to crush them with our power, it is simply impossible in the way that they are spread at the time. Thinning our forces would be nothing more than playing into their hands and you know that,” Wagner explained, folding his massive arms.

There was a bit of silence followed by the prompt sigh of tension from Clemons. She brushed the bangs from her eyes again before continuing to her office. Even with that said, it still wasn’t appropriate that an elite defence force could not handle a simple crime organization.

*****

It was a dark, blustery mid-morning in autumn and subsequent to traipsing along for about ten minutes, Josephine arrived at the location of the building. The lab was on top of a hill that was reachable by a time-consuming set of steps, which took one to the entrance hall of the lab. It was a two-story ivory structure that had a burgundy roof which, from the top of, allowed one to view the scenery as far as the eye could see.

The overcast weather had the red-haired teen on edge, and she kept looking up at the oppressive cloud formation irately as she trekked up the steps leading to Professor Oak’s front door.

Josephine pressed the doorbell and waited, because she knew that Professor Oak’s aide wouldn’t be able to respond straight away. The timber entranceway opened a few minutes later.

“Ah, Miss Harris! Come to collect your Poké Balls, have you?” the aide, known as Mike, questioned.

“Yes, sir,” she replied.

“Right this way, then. You’re very late, I might add,” he answered, as he turned and led the girl into the lab. The first thing that was seen when coming inside was an arrangement of bookshelves that were aligned with the wall, spread out from one corner of the room to the other.

To the right were small workstations that flashed with all sorts of stunning lights, with the screens scrolling down with information that she could only presume was the research that Professor Oak and his associates had accumulated.

In the centre, between the computers, was a fairly large door. It was used to go out to care for or to examine the Pokémon that were kept at the lab.

To the left was a very large storage room in which the Poké Balls that contained the Pokémon were kept. One could only deduce how many were amassed there.

At the top of the staircase to the right of the Poké Ball storage room, the upper level was desolate except for three bookshelves that were stacked up against the left wall; a gigantic mainframe that took up the entire southern wall and finally, a small dome which was the place where the Poké Balls were kept.

“So when did Rachel and Paul leave?” the redhead asked.

“About an hour and a half ago. What were you doing? Professor Oak was surprised that you weren’t with your friends.”

“I’d been awake at the time, but I was just lying on my bed, wishing I didn’t have to leave.” Josephine answered.

“Yes, I fully understand. Now, Josephine, I have something important to give you. They are your Poké Balls.”

Then, the aide handed her five small balls. He allowed Josephine the time to register her partner’s data into her Pokédex, as she hadn’t yet done so.

“Shinx, the Flash Pokémon — a Pokémon of the Electric type. Shinx’s forelegs have a muscle-based system of generating electricity. Their bodies shine if endangered,” the device reported in a flat feminine-toned voice.

“Let me explain what I handed to you before,” the aide began, just as the newbie trainer recalled her starter.

He pointed to the five small balls.

“These are critical to catching Pokémon, so please pay particular interest. If you do not succeed in acquiring a Pokémon with the same ball five times, it will shatter. Also, note that you can carry around no more than six Pokémon at any given time.”

“How much do these items cost?” Josephine asked.

“Two hundred Pokédollars for each sphere… and the Potions are a little dearer, coming in at three hundred,” the aide answered.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” the girl responded. “I won’t let the Professor down. I’ve never been more ready for anything else.”

“Very good…” Mike replied.

She sauntered back all the way through the edifice and out the front door, waving goodbye to Mike as she did so. Josephine’s Pokémon adventure was just beginning. The teen had her first Pokémon, and knew where she was to go next — Viridian City. Now with resolve in her hazel eyes, she persisted in looking at the sky. As an authorized trainer, she then glanced down at the orb which held her partner.

“Shinx, you are my key to becoming one of the best,” the teen muttered, smiling proudly.

As the red-haired teenager unrelentingly walked the path to Viridian City, she did not see this coming. A pigeon swarmed in out of nowhere on the Route and pecked her repeatedly on the head. Next thing she knew, she was surrounded by jabbing beaks and talons. "What the hell?!"

The single Poké Ball on her belt wiggled and burst open. A red light settled on the ground to come into view as Josephine’s first ever Pokémon. “I require your support, Shinx,” the teen whispered, whilst patting the lion-cub’s soft fur.

All the while, the small Pidgey flock continued to aggravate the redhead by diving down and pecking at her. Losing her patience, she released an annoyed scream and pointed at the brown and cream birds while attempting to shoo them away with her other hand. “Do something, Riley! Please?!”

Shinx could see Josephine's desperation, which threw her stifled laughing out the window. The Pokémon even recognized that the trainer had given her a nickname. Riley hesitated briefly, before leaping up and bringing down one of the tiny birds. With her paws planted firmly on the Pidgey’s wings, as the ‘pest’ was lying on its back, the feline shoved her face at the pigeon and growled: <You’re obviously the leader behind the dive-bombing of my trainer. I would suggest that you call off your fellow Pidgey, otherwise I will do something that is totally against my nature.>

<Ha!> squawked the Pidgey, appearing to sound very confident. <What’re ya gonna do?>

<I happen to know an elemental fang attack; it’s one that will leave you chirping for mercy,> Riley replied, as she bared her teeth. She licked her lips before electricity began crackling on her fangs.

The wild Pidgey’s feathered eyebrows rose quickly, as his eyes widened in horror. Immediately, a frightened screech was issued: <Fall back! I am pinned down!> Following their leader’s order, the four other Pidgey ceased annoying the hell out of Josephine and settled quietly in a nearby oak tree’s branch.

Closing her mouth, Riley moved away from the brown and cream bird. <At least they listen to whatever you tell them.>

<Why wouldn’t they?!> The pigeon snapped, clearly still shaken. <I’m their older brother.>

The redhead opened her mouth to address her partner, but cut short her thoughts after observing a Pokémon stagger into her line of vision. It was a small yellow and white shrew, which was noticeably shaky. The Ground type had black eyes, a short inward curving tail and short, pointed ears. As it uttered squeaky cries of “Shrew!” Josephine became aware that the weak creature was troubled and had no idea its path had brought it to a trainer.

“That’s a Sandshrew!” Josephine spoke quietly while referring to her Pokédex. “According to the Pokédex, they’re not even meant to be on Route 1.” She flipped the apparatus closed and glanced at the Sandshrew, prior to turning to her Pokémon with a resolute expression on her excited face. “We can’t just abandon it. We must make an effort to acquire it and take it to the Pokémon Centre in Viridian City for a health check.”

The Sandshrew took notice of Josephine. Glowering at Riley apathetically as if to say <You aren’t worth my time.>, he all the same straightened his stance and held up his claws, ahead of springing at the Shinx.

“Riley, evade and then use Tackle!”

<I can’t let them have died for nothing. I must remain unbound,> the shrew thought.

Riley swiftly eluded the emotion-spurred assault. The Electric type ran forward, with her claws extended. She then delivered a single strike to Sandshrew’s chest. Dismissing the Tackle attack, as if it hadn’t struck him at all, the clearly distressed shrew advanced once more. It was at this instant that Josephine understood that it was more than just emotion that had motivated the Ground type into battle. She knew that he would exchange blows to the end to defend more than just his honour.

<Take that, rat!> Riley’s vocalization was yet again out of nature for the mischievous, Kantonian-born Sinnoh Pokémon. The Electric type’s speech had accomplished its premeditated objective, though. His anger intensifying, the morose Sandshrew leaped up and fell onto Riley, forcing her to use her claws to protect herself.

Jeez, that’s gotta hurt, Josephine shook her head a little and grimaced at the scene of her Pokémon crashing into a nearby tree.

<Ow!> Riley thought, breathless, before recuperating adequately to rise to her clawed paws. Sandshrew had endured the ‘crash landing’ as he had curled up into a ball before contact. Uncurling himself, he strode over to where Riley was and shoved a paw at the Electric feline’s throat, the cat of whom stiffened at the action.

Comparatively unforthcoming as he was, his lone sentence that day would be what stood out in the Shinx’s mind for many a day to come. <Don’t… insult… shrews.> Sandshrew’s breathing was strenuous and raspy, as if just saying those three words hurt that seriously.

Oh-kay, I think it’s time I kicked it up a notch, Josephine believed it was time to rack up a capture and be on her way to Viridian. “All right, Riley! Let’s go! Give it all you’ve got!” the girl yelled, before Sandshrew could organize a counter-attack.

<What did you think I was doing?> the female Shinx looked sideways at her trainer, before determinedly replying: <Here we go!> Riley let out an irritated cry and used a fierce lunge attack that in every respect caught the Ground type by surprise. She barrelled into the sandy coloured shrew and secured her minute fangs on his throat. Clamping down, a bit of blood squirted out.

Wha-? Whoa! I didn’t think Riley had it in her! Josephine looked stunned.

<You’ll pay for that,> the shrew declared mentally, as he looked himself over after shoving the cat Pokémon away. One paw rebelliously wiped away a small quantity of blood and he was beginning to decline, thanks to the throat wound. He stiffened, his arms raising his sharp claws as he prepared for another attack.

Bugger, what now? The red-haired trainer thought, panicking slightly. That Sandshrew is still going strong, he’s not slowing down at all! I suppose I could make use of Scratch, but still…

“Riley! Here’s what we’re gonna do! Sidestep Sandshrew’s present attack and respond with a Tackle and Leer combination!” Josephine shouted.

<The will of the mistress will be done,> Riley answered, even though Josephine couldn’t understand her.

For what she expected was the last time today, Riley took a step forward and enlarged her yellow eyes. The Sandshrew opened his mouth in a silent gasp as the effects of the Leer attack seized him and he quivered involuntarily. Then, as the shrew made a great effort to salvage his poise, Riley hurried in and, with a few well-placed physical heaves, was able to decrease his liveliness even more.

<I’ve failed them,> was the shrew’s final thought before collapsing to the grassy ground. One paw was all that was held him up as he inhaled with difficulty.

Josephine threw an empty Poké Ball at the yellow and white being that was doubled over on the ground. After a number of seconds of resisting, Sandshrew irrevocably submitted himself to capture.

“YEAH! WE CAUGHT SANDSHREW!” Josephine cheered, grabbing her newest Pokémon’s containment device and smiling widely.

At that precise instant, as if it had deferred reacting on purpose, Josephine’s Pokédex turned itself on and recorded Sandshrew’s information. “Sandshrew, the Mouse Pokémon – a Pokémon of the Ground type. To protect itself from attackers, Sandshrew curls up into a ball. They live in arid regions with minimal rainfall.”

<Huh?> Riley queried, while the redhead face-palmed.

“HONESTLY, PEOPLE!” the teen screamed in exasperation. “Why the hell didn’t my Pokédex tell me that before I tried to catch Sandshrew?!”

As the trainer and partner Pokémon continued on down the path towards Viridian, neither of them noticed the motionless, bloodied bodies of two Sandslash.

Behind a particularly wide cedar tree, a yellow-haired woman wearing black sunglasses monitored the teen’s progress. She looked powerful, despite the meagre clothing. Her stance, which was her hands on her hips, indicated a dominant personality. The woman’s expression was unreadable as she continued to stare at Josephine with a shrewd look. On the right side of her shirt were the letters ‘BM’ and the number five. Standing next to her was an Electric humanoid Pokémon called Electabuzz wearing a strange collar around its neck.

Concluding that the teenager wasn’t a threat at the moment, the woman turned around, only to bump into a black-clad man. She had heard his obvious footsteps on the ground, but ignored them until now.

“Who are you?!” the man demanded, quickly recovering.

Equally as fast, the woman answered: “I am a member of Blood Mavericks. You are obviously a Team Rocket grunt.”

“Am I?” the man questioned, appearing to lack intelligence.

“You can’t trick me,” the woman replied. “That there says it all.” She pointed to the large crimson ‘R’ imprinted on the man’s otherwise completely black shirt. “Who is your leader? I’m going to report your interference to my boss.”

“Uh... my boss...? His name starts with R, but that’s all I can remember,” the grunt half whined.

R, hmm? Interesting, I will make sure to look that up when I get back to headquarters, the woman thought.

Apparently remembering his mission, the grunt yelled “I’m off!” before high-tailing after Josephine.

What was that Rocket grunt doing before I turned and bumped into him? The woman wondered. Watching him follow the girl as quietly as possible alerted her to the fact that the grunt’s leader had obviously given him orders to tail the teenager, but the incident in itself still had her stumped as to why that command had been given.

Pressing a button on the head-set fixed over her ear, she spoke into the mouthpiece. “Number five to headquarters.”

“Headquarters to number five, go ahead,” a voice on the other end replied.

“A Rocket has already started interfering. Permission to take him out?”

“Permission denied. Your job is to trail the trio, no matter how annoying the Rockets become. Headquarters, out.”

“Understood, sir. Five, out.”

*****

Temporarily, the red-haired teen had at this time stopped. Josephine didn’t even pause to consider how Professor Oak had acquired her Shinx.

Crouching down, the teen tenderly rubbed the feline on her head; in response, the female Shinx purred contentedly and cuddled in closer alongside the girl’s soft touch. This moment of happy friendship continued for some time, until Josephine glanced at her digital watch and exclaimed in surprise: “Look at the time! I believe we better keep heading towards Viridian City. I don’t wanna keep Rachel and Paul waiting too long.”

In holding up the red and white ball in front of her partner’s face, the unsaid query of ‘did she want to go back inside?’ was brought up. Shinx shook her head, signifying that she didn’t want to return to its confines at the moment.

An hour later, Josephine was mercifully approaching Viridian City — her already-meagre provisions were diminishing. She heaved a sigh when she saw the city and its lights. Josephine came to a decision to spend the hours of darkness at the Pokémon Centre and buy her supplies in the morning. The red-haired girl caught a glimpse of a building with a scarlet roof and quickly ducked inside, before halting briefly to catch her breath.

It was at that point that she flipped open her Pokédex, switched it to video-call mode and rang her parents.

Her father answered. “Hello, Harris residence. Charles speaking.”

“Dad, it’s just me,” the girl replied, giggling slightly. “There’s no need to be formal. I made it to Viridian City.”

Josephine? How are you, honey?

“Aside from being tired, I’m good. A small flock of Pidgey decided to annoy the hell out of me, but Riley, my Shinx, sorted them out. I then went on to capture a Sandshrew; I don’t know what it is, but something’s wrong with him.”

Charles laughed. “Yeah, Pidgey can be annoying, can’t they? You say something’s wrong with your Sandshrew? May I see him?

“Sure, Dad,” came the reply. Pausing to retrieve the sphere of the first Pokémon she caught, she released the shrew and picked him up, holding him up to the inbuilt camera all Pokédexes have.

Hmm,” her father deliberated. “By looking at him, and judging his expression, it seems that you’ve broken his spirit unintentionally. Was he distracted when you caught him, upset about something?

“Yeah, he was distracted, but I didn’t know what from.”

Turn him around so you can have a look. You’ll see what I mean,” her father spoke firmly.

Doing as her father instructed, the redhead turned the Sandshrew around in her arm with difficulty. Glancing down into his black eyes, she felt like she’d hit a brick wall. His ears almost lay flat, as if he was in pain, and his eyes were expressionless.

I’m no expert on the Sandshrew evolutionary line, but I’d hazard a guess as to say something happened to his family members and he was grieving for them when he ran into you.”

There was silence for a few moments, as the revelation left Josephine blinking in surprise. “Oh,” she muttered. “Should I release him then?”

No, the damage has been done. You’ll just have to work on trying to get him to snap out of the state he’s in.”

“I see, thanks Dad. I’ll go now; I have to think about this.”

Alright... oh, by the way,” Charles hastily added.

“Yes, Dad?”

Natalie graduated today, so she’ll be following in your footsteps as a trainer.”

“But, there aren’t any starters left!” the red-haired teen exclaimed mildly.

She won’t be travelling in Kanto, silly,” her father laughed. “She wanted to try her luck in Hoenn.”

“Hoenn? Is she mad? That place is nowhere near Kanto!”

Nevertheless, that’s where she wants to go.”

Josephine snorted dismissively. “I’m still concerned by her decision,” she stated, looking very worried. “Haven’t you heard the reports that an evil organization is over there?”

Don’t worry, she’ll be fine. Anyway, Natalie wants to leave in the morning... and I’m sure Sorrel will be able to protect her once he’s strong enough.”

“Sorrel? What Pokémon’s that?”

Professor Birch sent over a Treecko via the Transport System; he said something about having been in touch with Professor Oak and Birch had said that the other two starters were unavailable.”

“Wow,” was all Josephine could really say. The sound of a wooden door closing caught the teen’s attention.

Your mother’s just arrived back; no doubt she won’t be pleased that dinner’s not prepared. Talk to you when you get to Pewter?” her father questioned.

“Sure thing, Dad. Thanks for the advice with Sandshrew before, bye now.”

With that, the call was terminated.

Gazing around, her gaze fell upon Rachel who was stretched out on one of the burgundy sofas, with Paul on the Internet. Who knows what he’s looking up, Josephine reflected.

A nurse behind the counter spoke up. She had cerise hair and wore a white nurses’ uniform with pink lacing. “This is the Viridian City Pokémon Centre. How may I help you?”

Walking speedily over to the desk, she passed the two occupied spheres to the pink-haired lady who was Nurse Joy. “I’m Josephine and I’m a beginning Pokémon trainer. Could you please look at my Pokémon? My Sandshrew needs some additional attention,” the teen clarified, and Joy indicated agreement, before taking the two orbs out to the back room.

Perceiving Josephine’s voice made Rachel get a fright to some extent. “Huh? Oh hey, it’s Josephine!” She got off the sofa and hurried over to her friend. The tall girl walked forward, her long lavender-coloured hair flowing behind her. She looked relaxed and comfortable in her outfit — a zip-up skin-tight jumper and shorts.

“What took so long?” the lavender-haired girl asked.

“Ah, I got caught up,” Josephine answered.

“Caught up how?” Paul questioned, coming over from getting off the Internet. The boy was of an average height and had spiky, auburn-coloured hair. He wore a shirt and baggy pants. On each of his wrists was a sweatband and cupped in his right hand were two red and white spheres.

“I captured a Sandshrew,” the teen responded, not going into too much detail.

Paul raised an eyebrow, but said nothing further.

Nurse Joy then spoke up in her trademark quiet voice. “Your Pokémon are ready, Josephine.”

“Thanks,” she replied, taking her Poké Balls and attaching them to her belt. Yawning wearily, Josephine turned to Nurse Joy and enquired if there were any extra rooms vacant. At this, Paul and Rachel went to their own rooms. Upon receiving a confirmatory response, Josephine struggled upstairs to room B625. She unlocked the door and the worn out trainer simply clambered into the bed, falling asleep almost straight away.


Josephine’s Pokémon:

Riley (female Shinx, level 6): Tackle, Leer and Thunder Fang
Sandshrew (male, unnamed, level 5): Abilities unknown
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  #18    
Old April 20th, 2010 (05:26 PM).
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I know that this is going to seem random, but I think I'm going to like Paul a bit more on this one for some reason. I don't know he just seems like he is a much better character in this one. Overall, I think that your writing is definitely improving. I'm curious because the world that you created before is a bit different. I'm looking forward to see how you are going to evolve these characters because I feel like I think you have a much better grasp on them before.

Keep at it and I will continue to review any time that you put up a chapter. Keep going for us, LM.
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  #19    
Old April 21st, 2010 (04:14 PM).
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Okay, let's get started!

The first thing that I have to say is that I love the new details that you've added. The conversation with Oak/Mike has been altered, as has the battle scene with Sandshrew. I definitely see a difference between this version and the past; Your work has improved greatly. You have mixed a balanced amount of humor seriousness and emotion to create what I believe is your greatest work.(So far) And I have to agree with SS^, You definitely improved your characters.
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  #20    
Old April 26th, 2010 (05:02 PM).
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Chapter 3: The Trio as One

Josephine awoke to find Riley jumping up and down on the bed. It seemed clear to the teenager that the feline wanted to proceed with the journey, waking her trainer up in the process.

“Settle down, Riley,” the redhead mumbled. She sat up and rubbed her hazel eyes to try and properly come to. Her red hair was matted down, evidence that she had had a rough night sleeping. The girl glared at the small cat, who simply stared back at her.

<It’s been raining outside,> Riley announced, before shaking the wetness off her azure and black coloured fur.

I can understand her now...? Josephine wondered.

“Riley! No!” the red-haired teen hissed, but she’d spoken too late. What will the cleaners think?

Just then, she realized something. “Riley...” she began. “If it’s been raining, why did you go outside?”

The female Shinx purred contentedly as she rubbed against her trainer’s arm. <I went outside before it started and was caught off-guard by how heavy it was while trying to get back to safety,> the Electric type responded.

“Not now, Riley,” the girl gently pushed the feline away, before glancing towards Sandshrew — whom she had nicknamed Juri. “Well you two, we’ve got a long journey ahead of us that’s known as the Viridian Forest. Work as a team, and try not to get into any fights with random wild Pokémon, okay?”

<I understand,> the cat answered.

<......> Extended silence came from Sandshrew.

“Not this morning, Juri, please,” Josephine begged, emphasizing the word please. She was tired of getting silence from him all of the time.

The red-haired girl got out of bed, upon receiving silence as her answer, collected her clothes and entered the shower.

*****

<Greetings, Juri,> Riley purred a hello, stopping to lick a ruffled lock of fur back into place afterwards.

Nothing but silence in response came from the sandy coloured shrew. Eventually, there was a short answer: <Hi.>

<I can understand it if you didn’t want to be caught,> the female Shinx meowed. <But... you’re a Pokémon, and that’s what happens to the wild ones.>

<... I know,> answered the clipped tone of the male Sandshrew. <And others... sometimes aren’t so lucky.>

Sensing that something was bothering her newest companion, Riley questioned him. <What happened to you?>

<I don’t wanna talk about it!> he snapped in response and, from that moment on, stayed resolutely silent.

*****

"What's taking this GIRL so long? It's been like a century since she's been in there." Paul studied the door a while later, waiting for some sort of ruffling behind it. The auburn-haired boy had gotten up half an hour ago and had eaten his breakfast, before going downstairs to collect his Nidoran.

Impatiently pacing back and forth throughout the hallway, Paul waited for Josephine to exit the bathroom. She’d been taking quite some time. He had begun to be worried — no; that wasn't it, it was more that he was irritated on how long she was taking. "Get out now, Josephine." Paul folded his arms.

From outside, she heard Riley meow in concern as Paul demanded that she get out of the bathroom.

"I'm giving you three seconds to get out of there before I pummel your Pokémon to a bloody pulp. ONE!"

"PAUL! TOUCH RILEY AND YOU'LL BE SORRY!"

"IF YOU DON'T, I WILL. SO GET THE HELL OUT OF THE BATHROOM!"

"ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT! GIVE ME TEN MINUTES! I'M NOT EVEN DRESSED!"

"Fine..." Paul clenched his fist. He could at least give her THAT.

Hurriedly turning off the shower, Josephine dried herself and got dressed. Upon opening the door of the bathroom, she glanced at Riley, making sure her starter had not been harmed.

"Heh. You're such a wuss, Josephine," Paul noted. "Why do you look so down on your sorry arse?"

"You sounded like you were serious," she replied to his first statement. "You know why I'm down. Or in your stupidity, have you forgotten?!"

"Tsk. You haven’t fought anyone yet. What's the big deal? I can easily beat you any day."

"It's a matter of pride, thank you! But with you being oh so cocky and arrogant, you wouldn't understand that!"

"Ha. I'm much better than you so I can be as cocky and arrogant as I want. Unless you want to PROVE me otherwise?!"

"Fine!" she yelled, getting more and more pissed off by Paul's attitude. "If you want a battle, then so be it! The question is can you wait until Pewter to have the battle?!"

"Yeah. Do you really want that, Josephine?" Paul eyed Brute's Poké Ball. "You’re asking for a loss on your luxurious record? So be it; Pewter it is."

"I'll meet you downstairs," the teen answered.

She became aware of the weird-looking organism beside her rival’s feet as the two trainers headed down the staircase. Paul’s starter was a seed-like creature with a rather simplistic looking face. His body was a deep forest green fading into a light grass one. Spiralling upward were two vines upon his head. This Pokémon was a Budew, the pre-evolved form of Roselia and Roserade.

“Jeez, what’s with your starter? That thing is your starter, right? Why’s it got an insolent expression on its face?”

"My starter is a Budew, if you’re knowledgeable enough to understand that and it doesn't have an insolent expression. You should check out a mirror if you want to see one of those," Paul said guffawing in amusement of his own joke. "His name is Scarlei, remember it."

"I'm serious, Paul," the girl protested. "His expression reminds me of a cold-hearted person."

"Maybe that should tell you something about him, now don't it?" Paul smirked. "Things aren't always as cheery as they may appear, Josephine."

With that he was off. "Pewter City is when I'm going to crush you without room for success."

<Hmm... That was very careless of you Paul,> Scarlei's voice echoed almost coldly in the air. It had that similar aura of loneliness and solitude. Almost like another cloned Pokémon — the original cloned one, Mewtwo. They shared that trait. Both from the same mould of being abandoned by the very people that created them.

“We better go in,” Josephine said as confidently as she could a little while later. She and Paul had met up with Rachel, who was eager to enter the Forest. As the teens and their partners entered the Forest, they were amazed at all of the plant life there. There were trees as far as the eye could see, bushes were everywhere and flowers could be seen on the ground wherever one walked. “This is amazing…” Josephine murmured, staring at all of the plant life.

<Yeah,> the female Shinx answered back. <My mistress is right. This IS amazing.>

“What are your goals, Rach?” the redhead asked.

Sighing while looking up at the canopy, the lavender-haired girl then focused her attention on her best friend. “I really want to become a Gym Leader, because I like how the Leaders train their partners with tough exercises. In fact, I’m going to sit the Gym Leader qualifying exam when we arrive in Cerulean City.”

Josephine snorted through her nose in amusement and smiled at her friend. She’d known that Rachel was enthusiastic on becoming a Gym Leader, but didn’t realize that she was going to attempt the qualifying test.

They continued on until they noticed a young boy up ahead. He was wearing a large hat and had a net with him. As they approached, he turned around, saw them and ran over to greet them.

“Jeez… too many Bug Pokémon,” he laughed and then sighed.

“My name’s Dustin, I am a Bug Catcher. Do you want to battle?” As he directed those words at Josephine, he seemed eager. “I just caught a Caterpie,” he grinned. Dustin took the red and white Poké Ball off his belt and started tossing it up and down.

“I’m Josephine Harris from Pallet Town. These are my friends — Paul Johnson and Rachel Savina,” Josephine introduced herself and the other two.

“Hey! I can introduce myself, you know.” Rachel retorted, before engrossing herself in the book she was reading every so often. It was called the “Kanto Saga” and it was the work of an older trainer.

Then the redhead informed her starter it was her turn to battle, appearing to ignore the interruption.

<Obviously I was told to battle, but where’s my opponent?> the female Shinx wondered.

“Let’s go, Caterpie!” Dustin raised the sphere, clicked the centre button, and a worm larger than the usual size appeared in a flash of light. The green Pokémon had two large black eyes and a segmented body. Its underside, feet, mouth and tail were yellowish, and there were yellow circles framing its body. A pink antenna ending in two tips was on the top of its head and it looked strong as it aggressively showed off.

“I’ll get its Pokédex entry,” Josephine said, taking out the red coloured device. “How experienced is it?” the girl cooed, wanting so much to pick the little caterpillar up and pat it.

“Caterpie, the Worm Pokémon — a Pokémon of the Bug type. It releases a stench from its red antenna to repel enemies. Caterpie grows by molting repeatedly,” the device reported.

Putting a finger on the paragraph she was at, Rachel glanced up. “You know they evolve into Butterfree, don’t you?” she questioned the Bug Catcher.

“I was lucky to catch it; it’s quite experienced! And it hasn’t evolved into Metapod either. Yes, I knew that. Now, Caterpie! String Shot!” Dustin called out. Caterpie quickly listened and started shooting silk out of its mouth.

“Ohh, but it must be close. Anyway, enough chatter. Riley, use Tackle!” Josephine instructed her Pokémon, but the female Shinx just sat there, a look of reluctance on her face. The feline was unwilling to harm her opponent as it was smaller than her.

<I will NOT harm that Caterpie, unless I’m absolutely forced to,> Riley thought, looking pointedly at her trainer.

The silk quickly covered the female Shinx’s face and the lion-cub still sat in one place.

“This is a great chance! Let’s go Caterpie — a Tackle this time!”

Like the first time, Caterpie was quick to listen and rushed straight at Riley. Thanks to her stubbornness, Riley was hit.

<That hurt a bit,> the female Shinx grunted.

“Riley, COME on! You’re pure Electric, for crying out loud — Electric types are meant to be fast. Do something! Otherwise, you’re going to lose!”

“Hehe, you should call an attack. Riley is just sitting there trembling. Don’t you know how to be a real trainer?” Dustin said with a smirk. “Alright Caterpie, use Tackle one more time!”

Caterpie rushed at Riley once more, but it missed. Tackle didn’t have a one hundred percent accuracy rate.

<THAT does it! THAT Bug Catcher will pay for what he just said!> the female Shinx mentally yelled.

Galvanized into action by the Bug Catcher’s scornful words against her trainer, Riley scratched the gooey silk off her face and lunged at Caterpie, biting it around the neck area. A thin line of blood trickled down the green exoskeleton.

“Well done, Riley. Now we’re getting somewhere. Use Thunder Fang!”

“It doesn’t matter now. I’ll easily win this. Caterpie, use String Shot!”

Riley had been determined not to attack, but now she had no choice. No Bug Catcher was going to insult her mistress and get away with it. Her teeth tingled with pent-up electricity as she charged at the worm Pokémon and bit it once more.

“Damn it! It’s a critical hit! Return, Caterpie!” Dustin sighed, unhappy with his loss. He touched his Pokémon lightly with the Poké Ball and it was drawn back into the sphere as red energy.

“Your Shinx is pretty good. Here’s the money you won,” Dustin tried to sound happy as he handed Josephine three hundred and fifty Pokédollars for beating him. “I hope to see you again one day, when we’re both stronger.”

“Me too,” Josephine replied, as she shook Dustin’s hand and went off deeper into the Forest, with her friends and their partners following her. It’s amazing that I won that battle… she thought. “You know something? He was right — you are getting stronger Riley, as far as speed is concerned anyway.”

Riley replied, <I don't know whether to take that as a compliment or an insult, but thanks, I think...>

"Let's get going before I see any other wretched Caterpie!" Paul spat. "Wait... did you hear that?"

“What?” Rachel asked, looking around dumbly.

“That,” Josephine answered, tilting her head as she heard a faint scream.

"It's coming from this way. Follow me," Paul barked as he took the lead. Of course, he would do this. He liked being in the limelight. Paul quickly focused himself on the sound. It was coming from the northwest; it sounded like... a human’s cry. It was in pain like it was struggling for its life. He ran further into the forest.

“Paul, in case you haven’t noticed, Scarlei is getting left behind!” Rachel yelled at her best friend’s rival. If there was a type of person she didn’t like, it would have to be cocky and arrogant individuals.

Paul turned quickly to allow his Pokémon to catch up with him. He hated when he got ahead of himself; however, this was urgent. That scream wasn't getting better, in fact, it was getting worse.

<Did you want to leave me here? Just like my creators?> Scarlei remarked as he stared up to his master. <You know I hate being left behind. My legs can only go so far...>

"I had no intentions of doing that, Scarlei," Paul pleaded. For a Budew, he appeared to want to wring Paul's neck. Because of that, Paul scooped Scarlei up. "Better?"

<You may continue...> Scarlei commented.

The trainers and their Pokémon had travelled through the majority of the Forest, seemingly without realizing, and were nearing the end when they heard a scream.

“AARRGGHH!”

It had startled all of them.

<What was that?> Riley questioned, turning her head in about every direction it could go.

“AARRGGHH!”

<There it is again. I think it came from this direction!> Kyga growled.

The trainers and their partners ran until they saw several Bug Catchers trying valiantly to protect their Metapod from being pecked and clawed by a bird. Josephine took out her Pokédex and it said: “Pidgeotto, the Bird Pokémon — a Pokémon of the Normal and Flying types. This falcon-like predator flies over its wide territory in search of prey, downing it with its highly developed claws.”

Pidgeotto’s body was larger than that of her pre-evolved form. The feathered crest was not only a shade of red but it was longer, as well, and the tail was now red and yellow. Her wingspan had also increased, with the bird using that to her advantage in striking the terrified Bug Catchers and the look in her brown eyes was fierce.

“Riley, we have to help them. Go!”

Riley went towards the bird and released a Thunder Fang attack at her, but it didn't have much effect due to the Shinx's exhaustion. It did get Pidgeotto's attention, though, and she turned to face her attacker. She sent a huge burst of wind towards Riley and she was knocked out the instant it hit her.

“Riley, NO!” Josephine screamed.

<Ah’d advise y’all to recall yah pardners,> the Pidgeotto squawked. She had a husky, city-drawling tone of voice. <Ah don’t wanna hurt anyone else.>

Surprised, Josephine blinked. Had she heard correctly? Had the Pidgeotto said for her to recall all of her Pokémon?

<Y’all heard me correctly,> Pidgeotto answered, sensing her doubt.

“But... how am I meant to capture you?” The girl was desperate for a solution to her problem.

<Y’all not. Ah’ll catch mahself,> came the reply. With that, the Pidgeotto flew directly at the third orb which the redhead had hastily plucked off her belt and held up in the air. Just like that, the red beam of light came from within the sphere and ensnared the Normal/Flying type. Not once did the containment device wriggle in protest.

“Alright, I caught Pidgeotto! Well, she caught herself really... I think I will call her Breona.”

<Ah’ll thank y’all later,> Breona’s hoarse voice could be heard coming from the ball. In hindsight, the falcon-sized bird had allowed herself to be captured because she knew it was time for her to experience new environments. The Bug Catchers knew they were in the wrong, because they had been the ones to provoke the Pidgeotto in the first place. That aside, Breona had been living in the Viridian Forest for the last six months and wanted to explore the Kanto region.

Looking back at the trio, Josephine saw their guilty expressions and wondered what they’d done to anger her newest Pokémon.

“Well then, let’s go.” the teen responded, not bothering to ponder on the scene anymore. As she was followed out by Rachel and Paul, they were completely unaware that a Team Rocket grunt was still on the redhead’s trail. Aforesaid grunt, likewise, was oblivious to the fact that he was being tracked. The duo following him looked to be in their early twenties, and both had white hair. They wore varying outfits that bore a resemblance to ancient Chinese kimonos.


Josephine’s Pokémon:

Riley (female Shinx, level 14): Spark, Thunder Fang, Charge and Leer
Juri (male Sandshrew, level 9): Metal Claw, Rapid Spin, Crush Claw and Iron Tail
Breona (female Pidgeotto, level 18): Brave Bird, Steel Wing, Vital Throw and Swift

Rachel’s Pokémon:

???? (Starter unseen; unknown level, gender and attacks)
???? (Second partner unseen; unknown level, gender and attacks)
???? (Third partner unseen; unknown level, gender and attacks)

Paul’s Pokémon:

Scarlei (male Budew, level 13; unknown attacks)
???? (Second partner unseen; unknown level, gender and attacks)
???? (Third partner unseen; unknown level, gender and attacks)
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  #21    
Old April 26th, 2010 (05:26 PM).
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Great chapter! I liked how you started it by giving a basic layout of Josephine's(Cautious, protective) Riley's(Noble, Relaxed) and Juri's(Quiet, melancholy) personalities before continuing on with the main point of the chapter. I really like how Paul's personality is coming along, and how the conflict between him and Josephine continues to grow. The argument for the bathroom was one of my favorite scenes in the whole chapter. It was a great chapter over all, and the only part that disappointed me was the bit with Breonna. It was a bit short... Basically, Josephine went over to the bug catchers,(Who should have RETURNED their Metapods) Tried to get Riley to defeat Breonna, and just caught Breonna.

Other than that, it was a nice chapter. good job.
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  #22    
Old April 27th, 2010 (04:29 PM).
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Overall, I think that this was a wonderful chapter. You displayed your characters very well with this chapter and I found myself impressed. You're definitely learning how to explain your scenery better and develop your characters more. Keep at it. I'm very excited to see your thought processes flow form your fingertips in the next chapter.

Just keep at and I will keep reading.
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Old May 17th, 2010 (04:17 PM).
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A/N: I’d like to thank Alakazam17, or A17 for short, for providing me with a description of Suicune.

Chapter 4: Brock’s Beast
Part 1: Josephine VS Brock


A loud roar filled the air outside of Mt. Moon. It came from a large cat-like creature, coloured yellow with black stripes on his legs. Distinguishing him as none other than Raikou was his un-naturally long claws and fangs. Combine that with the fact that his face was hidden by a black triangular plate, which covered the forehead and nose, as well as four metallic-looking whiskers which spread out from the front of his face and the beast looked very scary. As Raikou paced up and down through a long patch of grass, the creamy white tufts of fur — which were on the sides of his head — ruffled slightly in the breeze.

Snarling his annoyance at the tiger’s pacing was a hefty auburn-coloured, lion-like Pokémon. An object resembling a star surrounded his face; it was yellow at the top, white at the bottom and red on the sides. A greyish-white cloak, which somewhat resembled smoke, kept changing its form on the Fire-type’s back. Stalking away from the creature of thunder, Entei released a burst of flame on some grass which instantly started a fire.

An Ice Beam doused the small fire. The third was a large, canine-like creature, with a lush coat of fur of a pale blue colour that nearly outclassed the very sky above, along with various white markings, all in the form of diamonds, seemingly emphasizing the Pokémon’s rarity and value. She stood there, with her deep red eyes scanning her surroundings, as that magnificent, royal purple mane rustled with the wind, encompassing the Pokémon’s three metre length. And from behind, two thin, snow-white tails waved majestically from either side of the creature, almost as if held in place by the wind itself. This could very well be the case, seeing as Suicune was said to be the embodiment of the north winds.

<It is known inter-regionally now,> Suicune stated with composure.

<What is?!> Entei snapped, quite clearly agitated.

<Do you even have ears, Entei?> Raikou’s voice crackled with laughter at his joke. <Suicune said it is known inter-regionally that Team Rocket has resurrected. Our role as Legendaries is to begin the Uprising.>

<Raikou’s right. As the Johton Beasts, we need to select our own humans, so that they can help the Rising Chosen.> Suicune added.

<Who do you have in mind?> Entei questioned, starting to settle down.

<Lt. Surge,> Raikou answered. <Because he’s a master of Electric types. What about you, Suicune?>

<Misty,> came the response. <And you, Entei?>

Entei looked in his companions’ eyes before replying. <The firebrand, Blaine.>

<It is done,> Raikou concluded. <Let us go to Cerulean, Vermillion and Seafoam Islands. There we will bond with them and battle for them if need be.>

With the meeting finished, the three beasts raced off in different directions. Suicune headed towards Cerulean; Raikou, Vermillion City and Entei bee-lined for the Seafoam Islands which was Blaine’s new place of residence since the volcano erupted years back.

*****

Since emerging from the Viridian Forest the previous day, the three trainers had gone their own ways.


“This place sure is... grey,” Josephine said as she entered Pewter City.

“That's why it's known as the Stone City,” a voice said from behind her.

She turned to see a girl, who appeared to be a year or two older than her, patting a Rhyhorn. He was a rhinoceros-like creature. His skin was layers upon layers of slate-coloured rock with a single horn jutting from the tip of his nose.

The Rhyhorn trainer stood proudly, her long brown hair flowing behind her. A skin-tight short-sleeved top and a pair of slim-fitting denim three-quarter pants was her outfit. Her huge socks, almost like leg-warmers, perfectly matched her shirt, while her sporty shoes were accented with a solitary streak.

“I’m Serena, cousin of the Pewter Gym Leader, Brock Stone. This is my partner, Rhyhorn; I call him Rhyne.”

“Wow... he’s an impressive Pokémon,” the redhead said. “Could you please tell me where the Pewter City Gym is?”

“It's in the northern part of town, but I recommend that you heal your Pokémon first at the Pokémon Centre, seeing as how you just got out of the Viridian Forest. The Pokémon Centre is just ahead if you follow this path,” the girl pointed down the dirt road.

“Thanks for the information, Serena.” Josephine answered.

She walked towards the Pokémon Centre, arriving at the Centre and went up to the Nurse to heal her Pokémon. The teen noticed that the Nurse looked very familiar.

“Nurse Joy, you remember me. It's me, Josephine!”

“I'm sorry; I don't believe I've seen you before,” the Nurse said, looking at her.

“You were at the Pokémon Centre in Viridian City...” she said.

“Ohh, you must mean my cousin. She is the Nurse in Viridian,” she said happily. “There is a Nurse at every Pokémon Centre in the region. We're all identical and we're all named Joy.”

“Oh, okay...” I said, imagining all the Joys out there.

Just then, a tall woman with blue hair, in a dark blue police officer's uniform, walked up to Nurse Joy.

“Hello Officer Jenny; what brings you here?” Joy asked the policewoman.

“My department is trying to find Team Rocket. They've been stealing Pokémon from trainers,” Officer Jenny said.

Nurse Joy brought Josephine her Pokémon, and the fourteen-year-old trainer thanked her. She bowed and Josephine exited the Pokémon Centre and went to the Gym.


Pewter City, Serena’s home, wasn’t beautiful by any standard, being dwarfed by Celadon’s tranquillity, and the fast paced metropolis of Saffron. Originally a mining community, Pewter’s buildings were old and constructed primarily of wood and simple materials that made the town look makeshift.

The surly, almost backwater vibe that was instilled in the atmosphere of the city was only a vibe.

A little further down the road was the Pewter City Gym. It was a large building, like all Pokémon Gyms, built specifically for housing the most intense Pokémon battles. Like every other building in Pewter, the Gym was constructed from badly cut stones that were probably quarried from the Pewter mines.

Having already seen the splendour of the Gym, she rushed inside, racing up the steps that led to the Gym’s spectator stands. As she climbed, she heard chanting, which meant a Pokémon battle between Josephine and Brock was about to begin.

“I am Josephine Harris from Pallet Town and I challenge the Gym Leader here!” The trainer declared in a strong voice. Or as strong as she could get, considering that this was her first Gym battle and she was nervous.

“Another one from Pallet, huh? I just had one this morning,” said a voice from the shadows. “Beat me pretty good too...”

“WHAT?! You battled another trainer from Pallet?!” Josephine yelled. “Was his name Paul?!”

“Yeah, as a matter of fact it was,” the leader stepped out of the shadows. A teen stood on the opposite side of the arena. He wore baggy trousers and a t-shirt that covered his tanned torso. The teenager’s perpetual squint hid the dark eyes that matched his spiky brown hair. With the crowd filling the dark stands above at his back, he raised a muscular arm and smiled, as he released his Pokémon.

“Paul is one step ahead of me, but that won't last for long,” she muttered. “Anyway, will you accept my challenge?!”

“I do accept your challenge. Instead of the standard three vs. three, let's make it a two on two. I forgot to introduce myself. The name's Brock — I'm Pewter's Gym Leader,” Brock said as he enlarged a Poké Ball. “Go Geodude!”

A small, round rock-shaped creature burst out of the red and white sphere, landing on the rocky arena and becoming still. The nose-less face was staring valiantly ahead, with both muscular arms having their fists closed. Punching the rocky floor in an attempt to intimidate, a deep, extended cry of “Dude…” was heard.

“Go Juri!” As Josephine threw the Poké Ball towards the centre of the arena with precise aim, the red and white sphere hit the ground and parted, separating the two different shades of colours. An extremely bright flare of light was emitted from that parting in the ball. As the light from this flare faded, a shadow of the Pokémon could vaguely be seen. As the final particles of light disappeared, the full figure of the Ground-type could be seen.

“Juri, Metal Claw!” She felt proud of her efforts to learn which attacks her Sandshrew knew; she had researched his moves the day she’d captured him.

Juri refused to move an inch.

“Geodude, Rock Slide!”

Geodude shot for the rocky floor, slamming the earth. His action loosened a rain of boulders, each the size of a large beach ball. The boulders rose a few metres straight into the air and then began to fall like immense raindrops upon the small Mouse Pokémon’s form. Juri squeaked in pain as the deluge of stone pummelled and scratched every inch of his body they hit.

“Juri, why didn’t you dodge?!”

The Sandshrew only stared at his trainer, with a blank expression on his face. Geodude continued attacking and, again, Juri wouldn’t move.

Brock saw that the battle was pointless, so he decided to end it. “This isn’t going anywhere. You clearly need to bond better with your Sandshrew, Josephine. Geodude, use a Rock Throw this time!”

Geodude hovered over to where Juri was and threw his hands out, sending out a pile of small rocks towards the male Sandshrew. Juri simply stood and took the attack, managing to push a couple of the rocks off him, before he fainted.

“Juri!” Josephine cried out when she saw her Pokémon on the ground.

Oh man… what am I gonna do? Juri’s gone… and the only Pokémon who can effectively attack is Riley. Breona knows Steel Wing, but Rock types are strong against Flying Pokémon. What good is Riley against a Rock type…? I’m gonna get creamed… she almost panicked.

“This is just the first round, Josephine.” Brock said, as both trainers returned their Pokémon. “The next one will decide the battle. Go, Omanyte!”

The creature that emerged from the red and white sphere was one from Kanto’s past. A small spiral-shaped white shell rested on the Pokémon’s blue body. Below its two large eyes was a mass of writhing tentacles, and hidden underneath two of the front appendages was a beak-like mouth.

The red-haired trainer took out her Pokédex and pressed the scan button. “Omanyte, the Spiral Pokémon — a Pokémon of the Rock and Water types. Omanyte was resurrected from a fossil using modern science. It swam in ancient seas.”

“Well Riley, this opponent is a Pokémon from when Kanto was newly formed, so I hope you can take him down!”

With that, she sent the female Shinx out and the cat looked ready for anything.

“I’m sure that you can beat him if you put your mind to it,” Josephine said this mainly to reassure herself.

Riley stepped up to face the spiral Pokémon. For a moment, there was nothing but silence, then… “Omanyte, Tackle it!” Brock yelled.

Omanyte rushed towards the feline but, at the last second, Riley only just dodged it due to her agile reflexes.

Phew, that was a close call, Josephine thought, breathing a sigh of relief.

“Try your Thunder Fang attack on it, Riley!” She yelled, thankful that her partner hadn’t been hit.

The dual Rock and Water type was still in close proximity, due to being a slow mover, so the female Shinx seized the opportunity. She bit the tentacled section of Omanyte and electricity coursed through the fossil Pokémon’s body, which led to a grimace been seen on Brock’s face.

The teenaged Gym Leader knew he would have to up the ante if he wanted to win this battle. “Rollout!”

With these words, it became Josephine’s turn to look concerned. If Omanyte were to hit Riley with Rollout, especially after taking the time to use Defence Curl without anyone noticing, a fact that caused her to rub her forehead in frustration, the female Electric type would be felled like a sackful of Meowth.

Omanyte began to roll around the giant area, slowly at first, but faster and faster as he skimmed across the smooth bedrock that made up the Gym floor. Riley could only stand uncertainly and wait for him to make his move, which would undoubtedly be an attack. Rocks exploded beneath Omanyte as he circled the stadium in an effort to gain enough momentum to launch himself towards the feline and hit Shinx directly. It was only a matter of time until Josephine would have to deal with the onslaught that was Omanyte’s Rollout and she knew that.

The entire crowd watched the circling Rock and Water Pokémon with hushed silence; they were anxious to know what Josephine would do to counter Omanyte’s attack.

“Riley,” Josephine began uncertainty in her voice. “Thunder Fang.”

Seeing the opportunity Omanyte presented to him, Brock acted without hesitation. “Now!”

At the sound of his master’s voice, Omanyte dashed forward, spinning dangerously close to Riley at an angle that left the cute lion-cub with nowhere to go. The entire crowd joined Josephine in gasping when Omanyte struck the feline, knocking her backwards to the hard stadium floor.

Riley struggled to get moving after she recovered from the initial shock of being knocked between rock and rock. The black and blue feline looked desperate to get out of her current situation, aware of the ever-present Omanyte who was lining up for another Rollout attack. Since he had successfully hit with the first attack, his speed had increased even more, so hitting Shinx again would most likely result in a knockout. Both Brock and Josephine knew this and the two of us were frantic to protect our interests.

It was pure luck that Josephine protected her interests more thoroughly, as Riley somehow managed to get herself away from the rocks, narrowly avoiding Omanyte’s attack, but avoiding it nonetheless. With his rhythm ruined, Omanyte had to begin again, so he made one quick circle of the room, while Riley fought for breath.

It was then a bright white glow overtook Riley.

Josephine watched in amazement as her Pokémon started to glow! Could it be that all of the hard work finally paid off, and she was being rewarded? She could only stare as the light became brighter, and her friend grew in size.

Riley’s body had elongated into something more streamlined. The blazing light faded enough for me to see. Standing roughly at a human teenager’s knee, the bigger feline had slightly larger rounded ears and she now had two yellow bands on each of her front legs. The blue spike of fur that had been on top of Shinx’s head was now a more pronounced black mane, her yellow eyes were half closed from tiredness and she had traded in her cute and cuddly look for a more serious one.

Wordlessly, Josephine took out her Pokédex and tapped the scan button. “Luxio, the Spark Pokémon — a Pokémon of the Electric type. Luxio rests its forelegs on others to communicate with rhythmic electric pulses from its claws.”

WHOA! Like… WOW! Riley finally evolved! Josephine felt as though she were on a sugar high, and wanted to dance, but she became serious. She was, after all, still in a battle.

“No way… she evolved…” Brock was surprised, as was Omanyte. But neither was more surprised than me. The redhead checked her Pokédex for a second time to discover that this was Riley’s first evolution.

“Riley, use your Thunder Fang attack again!”

“Omanyte, watch out!” Brock warned his Pokémon. Omanyte tried to avoid the clone, but it was no use. Riley was much faster and stronger, as Omanyte was about to find out. She went up to Omanyte and, with her teeth crackling with electricity, bit his tentacled blue body. In a matter of seconds, Omanyte fell on his side, defeated.

Prompted into announcing the victory by the crowd’s clapping, Jerry, the match official, stepped forward. “Omanyte is unable to continue. Shinx… uh, I mean Luxio… is the victor.”

“I can’t believe it — you won Josephine,” Brock said, amazed that a Luxio had defeated his Pokémon, Omanyte.

It took a few seconds before Josephine realized what had happened. “WE DID IT! WE WON OUR FIRST GYM BATTLE!” She released her other Pokémon, Breona. Breona stayed where she was. After a little celebration, the teenager stopped and asked Breona to come over and celebrate the victory.

Breona flew over to her and said, <You’ve earned my respect, Josephine.>

She smiled at her Pokémon, knowing that their friendship was growing.

And from his pocket, Brock produced a small badge of carefully cut rock. It was grey, almost silver, and octagonal in shape. Although plain, it meant a lot to Josephine.

She accepted it, too happy to express herself. “Well Brock, it was a pleasure to battle you, but I really must be going.”

The trainer left and went to the Pewter City Museum.

Later that night, she was in her room at the Pokémon Centre with all of her Pokémon healed and sleeping, except for Riley. They were talking about the battle, as well as the Museum they saw afterwards.

<I can’t believe that some Pokémon came from outer space!> Riley said, recalling one feature from the space exhibit.

“I’m more interested in the ancient Pokémon,” the girl said, remembering the bones she saw at the glass display. “I wonder if I’ll ever see one.”

<Maybe in your dreams, Josephine.> Riley yawned, but Josephine could tell that she was making fun of her.

“You evolved today, Riley, but your personality hasn’t changed from when you were Shinx.” Josephine said, also yawning.

<Let’s argue in the morning – I battled a tough one today, and it’s taken a lot out of me.> Riley said, yawning longer this time and finally put her head at the end of the bed.

As they settled down for the night, the female Luxio’s mind drifted almost unwillingly to a memory that had floated up to her relaxing mind, hidden beneath a layer of what had previously happened and the possible outcomes of what could.


She had been sleeping with her pride, which consisted of two alpha Luxray (one male and the other female), nine Luxio and seven Shinx — she was one of them. The night passed without anything major happening. It was the next day, however, that would turn out to be the most traumatic.

Her Luxray parents had just brought down a Staraptor and were ripping it to pieces, when an armoured truck pulled up alongside the hungry pride. Two men dressed in long white robes stepped out of the vehicle; one scanned the Shinx cubs, while the other aimed his rifle at the two Luxray.

“Rob, here,” the first one said, picking one of the Shinx cubs up. “It’s a female, she’ll do just fine. Well, we got what we came for — let’s go.”

“Sure thing, Dave,” the second man answered, returning his weapon to a neutral position and getting back into the truck.

When Dave clambered back in, he became aware of the Shinx cub meowing pitifully. He was unaware, however, that the female cub was communicating with her parents.

<Mother, Father — help me!> was what the cry said.

As the armoured truck sped away, the haunting, calling roar of her mother was to be the last thing she’d hear in regards to her pride ever again — at least, until she returned.

Summoning all of her energy, she managed a pathetic sounding roar, but it was one that said thus: <I will return one day, that much I can promise.>



“Yeah, good night Riley, and thanks for helping me win my first badge.” Josephine said with a smile, before falling asleep. Not knowing, though, that she would need it because of the perils that her path would present to her. As she slept, an entire gang of men and women could be seen near Pewter City’s edge, running towards a mountain known as Mt. Moon.
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  #24    
Old May 17th, 2010 (04:27 PM).
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That was an impressive battle for you, LM. I knew that you could do a battle of you sat down and just thought about it. Very impressive. I think it was done particularly sweet and you kept the Brock's character this time around. Since I gave you some constructive criticism before you posted the chapter, I find no need to criticize this chapter. I think that you done really well and I am looking forward to the second part of this. Keep working at it because I like what you are doing.
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  #25    
Old May 24th, 2010 (03:52 PM).
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Part 2: Paul’s Win

While Rachel and Paul had gotten up before first light the next day, and despite the fact that Rachel had left immediately, Paul chose to remain behind for some reason. It was almost as if he wanted to keep an eye on Josephine while, at the same time, being one step ahead of her. He turned and looked at the two red and white orbs on the bedside table and thought of how valiantly Scarlei and Brute had fought against Brock, the Rock type Gym Leader of Pewter City, two days ago.

All three of his partners were nearing evolution, he was sure of that. But what he wasn’t sure of was how long it would take them and where the miracle would happen. He imagined Josephine asking him “Where did you come up with the name Scarlei?” the next time she saw him. Fortunately, he had had enough foresight to come up with a reasonable excuse. The fact that he had a knack for nicknames, even though he didn’t normally do it, surprised him slightly.

He also knew he couldn’t stay in Pewter forever, as Rachel now had the lead badge wise. The auburn-haired teen was aware that Rachel was a born and bred Pewterian, so it naturally made sense for her to know her way around the city and the surrounding area. Paul attached his partners’ spheres to his belt, scrutinized his backpack, and then hefted it onto his back, before leaving the Centre for good.

Just as he was leaving the place of healing, he saw Josephine having breakfast out of the corner of his eye. He couldn’t be bothered going over there and saying hello to her; he just wanted to be gone from this boring old city of grey rock. Paul wondered how she was going to train three Pokémon but, by the time he was halfway through that thought, he’d already exited the Pokémon Centre and was headed towards Route 3.

Whilst doing so, he slowed his mind and remembered back to his successful victory over Brock.


At first, he’d had to watch some noob challenge the Rock type Gym Leader. But, fortunately for him, the battle was over quite quickly.

“Rattata, Tackle it!” A boy cried frantically at his Pokémon.

The sight of the small purple rat facing off against the giant mountainous snake of stone which was Brock Stone’s Onix would have been almost comical if he did not know the dangers of the Rock Snake Pokémon.

The arena itself was made of a huge slab of slate, common to all of Pewter City. Topsoil hid the rock formation the city was built on; however, instead of constructing a battlefield, the local Gym Leader had chosen to dig up the ground, exposing the stone below and giving his exclusively Rock Pokémon an edge in battle.

“An unwise strategy.” A teen, standing on the opposite side of the arena to the boy with the Rattata, advised. An long-sleeved jumper, which covered his trademark shirt, and russet-coloured trousers were his outfit. The teenager’s perpetual squint hid the dark eyes that matched his spiky brown hair. With the crowd filling the once empty stands above at his back, Brock raised a muscular arm and smiled. “Onix, Harden!”

While the tiny lavender-coloured rodent charged valiantly towards its enemy, Brock’s Onix remained still, conserving his energy. Although Paul was too far away to see the effects of Onix hardening his already stone skin, he could imagine the rock contracting, closing any imperfections on the outside of his body to leave nothing but smooth pewter in its wake.

Rattata hit Onix’s side and rebounded off, leaving not even the tiniest of scratches on the Rock Snake’s flank. As it darted to its feet, Onix bent low to look into the rat’s eyes, then whipped his tail around and into the purple rodent. The fifty spectators in the stands met the attack with awe. Rattata’s trainer, on the field below the masses — a little boy not even ten-years-old — could only sniff away his tears as his Pokémon hit the wall of the ring and slumped to the floor.

Brock withdrew Onix and consoled his opponent privately, before escorting him off the field and returning to his post across the arena. Paul began his mission; he had no intention of competing in the Indigo League, instead only wanting the badges to increase the strength of his Pokémon. The hushed murmur that had begun the moment Rattata was defeated died down when Brock raised his hand in a command for silence. Paul left the stands behind him as he made his way down to the arena.

“You have seen my power!” Brock shouted to the crowd arranged around the pit the arena was situated in. “Are there any among you who would dare challenge it?”

For a time, nobody spoke and Brock sat cross-legged at his post. Serena suspected that Paul had seen the ten metre long stone Onix and decided he could benefit with some training before facing her cousin.

But it was not to be.

The auburn-haired boy’s shadow fell on the arena from the large rock cut entrance across from the Gym Leader. Serena suddenly realized that, in her heart, she had been hoping Paul wouldn’t face Brock, because she felt that he was too inexperienced to be capable of defeating him. To her dismay, she saw the teen casting the shadow, Scarlei and Brute at his side. He marched into the stadium and took up his position where a challenger should.

“You are young.” Brock spoke, his deep voice echoing throughout the Gym. “What is your name?”

“I am Paul Johnson from Pallet Town.”

His tone was suddenly very cold. “Is this your first Gym challenge, Paul?”

Paul frowned, but dared not speak against the Gym Leader. “Yes.”

“Then there will be plenty of time to talk if you can best my Pokémon.”

His tone indicated he seriously doubted that he stood a chance at beating the Pokémon inside the two spheres the Leader threw to the ground. Once more, the crowd was hushed and waited expectedly for Brock’s other aces, which could only be two Rock types.

The first of these Pokémon to exit was a rhinoceros-like creature which slammed into the ground upon emerging. This creature was a Rhyhorn, a predictable choice of Pokémon. His red eyes tried to stare into Paul’s; however, he appeared to be more steadfast since the rhino turned his eyes before Paul hardly blinked. Brute could handle him, the teenager deduced.

The second Pokémon was a bit of a surprise for a person who was foolish enough to bring a Water Pokémon in the hopes of defeating Master Johnson. It was a Kabuto, a Rock and Water type. His entire body consisted of a thick brown shell as well as yellow legs that pierced through the darkness of his body. The only other thing that could be seen from the inside of the shell was that he too had red eyes, circular ones that glowed when he turned his body. He was a distinctive shock for any other person; but not Paul. Grass will hurt him not only once but twice.

“As you can see, this is a double battle. You’ve seen mine...”

“And you will see mine,” Paul answered.

“Now show me how strong you are, trainer Paul.”

The Pallet-born trainer yanked the two Poké Balls containing his Pokémon of choice from his belt. He stared at them; they haven’t failed him to this point so they wouldn’t now. He tossed them vigorously to the floor allowing the two Pokémon shoot from the white light to the ground. Scarlei and Brute was his choices and they were his key to victory. Paul calmed himself down. If he got too overconfident he would lose — no, he would be defeated utterly. However, that wasn’t going to happen. He was Paul, and he is the best there is.

“Let the battle begin!” Brock shouted.

“Double Kick the Rhyhorn, Brute. Handle the Kabuto with an Absorb, Scarlei.” The words just came out of his mouth. Both were super effective on their respective opponents.

“A little hasty there don’t you think, Paul?”

Without any notice, Brock’s Pokémon suddenly dashed out of the way of their opponents and counter attacked with a Horn Attack and Scratch from the Rhyhorn and Kabuto respectively.

Scarlei seemed to take the Scratch well, while Brute took the attack with too much damage from Paul’s haste. The Rhyhorn had achieved first blood; as seen by the red liquid on Brute’s stomach. This wasn’t the situation that he wanted to be in.

“You have to slow down... in your battling, Paul,” Brock gave some advice.

“Don’t lecture me.” He couldn’t help himself.

<What the HELL, Paul?> Brute spoke, already frustrated. The Nidoran male gave his trainer a dirty look.

“Concentrate, Brute. The battle just started,” he reconciled.

<Though it was obviously a miscalculation on your part...> Scarlei chastised his trainer. He was the only one who could do that without retaliation.

“Focus on the battle both of you.”

“Horn Attack again, Rhyhorn. Scratch Kabuto.”

<Is he foolish enough...> Scarlei started.

<To think we will fall for the same damn trick twice?> Brute finished.

“You know what to do.” The teen stated — they knew what he meant, it went without saying.

The Rhyhorn dashed towards Brute, while the Kabuto suddenly leaped towards Scarlei. Both of them dodged the attack effortlessly at the last moment. Brute attacked back with a flurry of Pecks as he jumped over his opponent while Scarlei stunned his enemy with yellow spores from the vines on the top of his head. Brock appeared thunder-shocked — it was a good indication that he, too, had underestimated his opponent, if even only slightly.

“Don’t look too confident,” Brock mentioned.

“Because I’m in the driver’s seat, I’ll keep driving. Crush them. Double Kick and Absorb.”
Brute effortlessly executed his attack, aiming two powerful Double Kicks to the Rhyhorn’s body. In terms of defence, the Rhyhorn could best Brute. However, in speed, it was obviously lacking. Paul planned to milk that of all that it was worth to take this rhinoceros down – piece by piece.

Scarlei, despite the Kabuto’s paralysis, missed the double super effective hit with Absorb. It was pathetic really, how the Kabuto would do anything not to take a blow from the Grass type move. However, the paralysis was a factor on how much he was squirming right now. Master Johnson wasn’t too worried about that outcome.

“You’re getting comfortable. Don’t,” Brock continued.

“You’re between a rock and a hard place, if you can pardon the cliché.” Matter of fact, Paul was getting pretty comfortable.

“Confidence... I enjoy that. Let me tone you down a bit.” Brock shook his head. “Stomp, Rhyhorn. Spin off the Stun Spore with a Rapid Spin, Kabuto!”

Rhyhorn’s massive leg slammed into the ground sending the much smaller attacker flying to the other side of the gym. Kabuto began spinning his body in such a rapid pace that the spores that stuck to his body dissipated leaving him limber once more.

“Scratch it.” Brock said blankly.

Before Paul could give a proper direction towards Scarlei, the Kabuto jumped towards Scarlei to strike him with Scratch. The attack was then followed by the rest of Kabuto’s claws, causing blood to be seen on the outside of Scarlei’s body. He now looked as irritated as Paul did.

<This Kabuto is... annoying...> Scarlei mentioned.

“Let’s end this. Brute, can you battle?” Paul continued.

<Hell yeah...> the Nidoran brought his body up off the ground. His face was covered in a crimson mask of his own blood. <Let me at ‘em.>

“Tough Pokémon you have,” Brock complimented.

“Likewise.” Respect deserved respect.

“I assume that we should finish this,” Brock spoke, looking at the Gym’s ceiling. “Rock Slide, Rhyhorn. Icy Wind, Kabuto.”

Those were indeed the two most powerful moves that he was probably saving in his arsenal. Rock Slide and Icy Wind can be taught at an early age each to Rhyhorn and Kabuto. At this rate, both of Paul’s Pokémon would faint. The teen clenched his teeth at the thought of failure. Not here. Not now. He wouldn’t lose.

“BRUTE! SCARLEI! POUR YOUR HEARTS OUT!!!” Paul shouted.

The Rock Slide came raining down towards Brute. Brute’s adrenaline began pumping through all of his veins. He began swerving in and out of the falling rock, moving as fast as lightning to avoid all of the attacks. Out of nowhere, he became empowered with speed to get close to the Rhyhorn. Once close enough, he pelted the Rhyhorn’s legs with Double Kicks breaking him down to the point that the Rhyhorn fell over in pain. With one last attack, Brute hit him with a critical hit on the last kick sending the Rhyhorn to unconsciousness. One was down.

The second came soon after; Scarlei had developed a plan long before the Icy Wind had left the Kabuto’s mouth. The Budew had managed to multiply the last remaining Stun Spore across his entire body. When the attack started, Kabuto’s guard was down, giving Scarlei the opening he needed to infect his entire body. As Kabuto lay helpless, Scarlei stood over the Shellfish Pokémon.

“Absorb...” Paul said with a smile on my face.

With that the battle was over. Every ounce of the Kabuto’s energy was drained from him, causing him to faint seconds later. The battle was over and Paul was the victor. There was no denying it.

From the stands above the arena, the crowd went wild. Despite all expectations, Paul had learnt a lot in just four days, which included managing to defeat Brock the Rock — the renowned student of Bruno of the Elite Four. The battle had been long and hard. In the end, Paul’s victory was a stupendous win, nonetheless.

An hour later, the Gym Leader had a discussion with Paul about the trainer who had come before him. “You want to know about Rachel Savina, right?”

“I figure I have a right to know,” he answered. “She’s a friend, after all.”

Brock’s silence prompted him to try again. “What was the battle like?”

“Short,” the Leader replied.

“Was she that difficult to beat?” Paul questioned tentatively.

“It was a one-on-one. She completely overwhelmed me, I was forced to forfeit.” Brock admitted, as he strapped his tool belt around his waist. “If you truly are her friend, then I advise you to train a lot harder, because she will overpower you as well.”



Paul played with his newly acquired Boulder Badge, as he wondered what other adventures would come his way.
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