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  #1    
Old September 19th, 2013, 01:09 PM
Doctor's Avatar
Doctor
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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SOUNDS IN S E P T E M B E R

rated: K+
Hello. This is a tale of big explosions, a slightly wacko girl and some guys and pokémon. And some interpretation of poké-logic. Fun times. Please review, or at least comment on my style of writing. I kind of want to know if I make people want to read on, or if I'm boring as hell.

Chapter index
  • Chapter 1 - The Pallet Predicament


Chapter 1 - The Pallet Predicament

The explosion happened in the middle of a lazy September Wednesday. Everyone stopped whatever they were doing at the moment, and looked up. There wasn't a single person from Pallet to Pewter who could ignore it. An incredibly loud 'boom', followed by a hardly noticeable gust of wind, some bird pokémon taking to the skies nearby and then silence. When it was over, as suddenly as it had come, everyone were asking themselves or each other - what happened? Did a plane crash? Did someone use a Hyper Beam of never before seen power? Lots of theories surfaced over the course of a few hours, but nobody knew the answer. And the same evening, everyone had forgotten that it ever happened.

Except for some.

---

The day after this unusual sound over Kanto, Pallet Town was bustling with people. This only happened once a year, as normally this smallest of towns in Kanto was as calm as it was remote. It was the Journey Anniversary, a celebration of the day, many years ago, when three trainers had left town to travel the region on a mission to assemble information on all kinds of pokémon. Information on which the very first pokédex was built. A mark in every history book, and a date any child growing up in Kanto learned in pre-school. A three day festival was held in Pallet on this anniversary every year, and people from all over the region traveled there to join the festivities.

This Thursday, the 19th of September, the relatively small plaza that could be considered the town center, and all the alleys and streets connected to it, were filled with families and tourists chatting eagerly, kids sending their pet pokémon out against each other in fake battles, as well as food and franchise stands who made huge profits on this day alone.

In an alley near the plaza, leaning against a brick wall, stood a girl. Her hair was long, brown and straight, and she wore a white beanie hat over it, pressed down deep over her forehead. Her black brace trousers over the long sleeved red t-shirt, baggy beneath the knees and just barely leaving the dirty white sneakers visible, told any onlooker that she wasn't the most girly person in town. Actually, since it was such a close knit community, everyone living here pretty much knew exactly who she was.

"Yulia!"

Someone shouted her name just before bumping into the girl from behind. She stumbled forward and dropped something. The item bounced on the ground and rolled back, towards the one that had startled her. It was a pokéball, and the one who bent down to pick it up from the stone laid street was a boy of her own age.

"Sorry," he said with an apologetic smile and reached out his hand to give her the pokéball back.

It hadn't been dented or anything - pokéballs are extremely durable. Yet, Yulia's eyes narrowed as she snagged the pokéball back from him and put it deep into one of the pockets on her large brace trousers.

Behind the boy, a couple of other guys showed up. His group of friends. He was always with them these days.

"Hey, you coming?" one of them said before spotting Yulia. "Heh, don't bother, man," he then added a bit lower and punched the first boy's shoulder. They all laughed a little before walking past the girl towards the plaza without another word, though the first boy shrugged and made the same smile towards her again before he went. Yulia didn't say anything.

After another minute of gazing after the boys until they disappeared completely in the crowd, Yulia sunk down with her back against the wall and took out the pokéball again.

"I don't care about them," she said, talking softly with the orb in her hands. "I have more important matters to focus on. And we are focused today. Right, Elekid?"

The pokéball, of course, didn't reply. Yulia took out two more and put them in her lap together with the first one. "We are all focused. And strong. Today is the day. He will be here soon."

After a few deep breaths, she stood up again, the pokéballs back in her pockets. Just in time. Applause was heard as the most important character of the day entered the plaza and walked through the crowd towards the wooden stage that was raised on one side of the open space, near the entrance to the only tavern in town. Yulia was rather tall for being a 14 year old girl, but she hardly even spotted them standing on toe, being at the very back of the crowd from there. Miss Oak stepped up on the scene, and after her the world famous, incredibly old and wrinkly man that was her grandfather. Professor Oak.

Miss Oak held a speech. Up until a couple of years ago, the professor always held this speech. He was just too old now. It was difficult for him just to walk out here on his own two legs. Yulia didn't listen to what was said now. She had heard the almost same thing every year and this time she couldn't afford to fall into some dreaming about a better world and things that had made her eyes twinkle when she was younger. She wasn't a little kid anymore. This was real.

So very real. She was doing this. Everyone already thought she was strange anyways.

The first step for her foot was easy. The second too. Then, she reached the tightly packed crowd of sunburned tourists and eager townsfolk. She had to push her way through, stick her hands in between people and press them apart to get by. Some got annoyed, but she didn't worry. They would get more than annoyed within the minute.

She reached the stage, with not a little effort. Now she was standing right below the still speaking Miss Oak. The woman's red hair, painted lips and maturely cut skirt made her look older than she was. Yulia had to act older than she was, too, now. Her heart beat faster than she ever remembered it doing before. An inexplicable sense of thrill, a rush of adrenaline. Would she really? She could still stop. Just walk away. Or just stand there and pretend to listen. And life would go on as usual.

All of a sudden, she realized that she was smiling. Widely. No, of course she wouldn't stop now.

"I am Yulia!" she shouted out, loudly and clearly with her crisp, strong voice.

The woman on the stage in front of her lost herself in the middle of a word at the interruption, and stared down at the crowd to try and spot who had made the sound.

Silence hadn't even fully fallen before the girl shouted again. "I am Yulia! And I am the strongest pokémon trainer!"

For a few seconds, everything was quiet on the plaza.

Then came a few laughs, and Miss Oak smiled nervously and tried to lock eyes with Yulia. But to no avail - the girl only stared intently at someone else. At professor Oak, sitting on a chair behind his granddaughter on the stage. And he looked back, through his large, square glasses and foggy eyes.

"Dear-" the lady begun, but was cut short once more.

"My name is Yulia!" She didn't give up. "I want a pokédex, because it will help me on my journey to become the very best. And I will be. I am strong."

More laughter, and the crowd had started buzzing with gossip. Some people around Yulia who recognized her began trying to push her away. She growled and tried to get away from them by getting closer to the stage, putting a worried look on Miss Oak's face. The woman glanced sideways towards the pokémon trainers who were hired to aid them today. Not that they ever expected turbulence in these calm times, but just in case. Or rather, mostly for show.

One big, burly male trainer in a suit nodded and moved forwards, making the crowd leaving Yulia alone but also grabbing her arm roughly to take her away from the center of attention.

"Let me go! You can't touch me like this, it's taboo! Fight me with pokémon, you coward!" she shouted and struggled with her feet to stay put.

The trainer froze. They had gone a few meters, away from the stage, and Miss Oak had resumed her speech, trying to ignore the interruption with some bad joke to get the crowd to listen again. The people closest to the struggling duo were still more interested in them though.

"That's pokémon trainer code," he said and peered down at her. He was much bigger and more muscular than her.

"I am a trainer!" she insisted. "Battle me and I'll show you!"

The trainer rolled his eyes. "Sure, if you come along with me here-"

"No, right here. Right now. I challenge you. And you know what that means."

The trainer in the suit finally let go of her arm. The people around them raised their eyebrows and stepped back a little. They were really anticipating a battle, as these didn't happen often in Pallet. At least not with proper trainers. Not that anyone thought Yulia could actually put up resistance towards this experienced person, but it was still a thrilling thing to see in little Pallet.

Yulia didn't see the people. Her mind was wild right now and she had to put all of her energy into not running away or falling down on her knees and apologize to the man. She didn't need to apologize. He should.

Luckily, the man merely sighed. "Alright."

He stepped back to put some meters between them, but not overly much. He didn't want Miss Oak to see that they were battling on the side of the stage, like irresponsible youngsters. Plus, he expected this all to be over quickly anyways.

He lifted the side of his jacket to reveal a pokémon trainer belt with six pokéballs fastened. Without as much as a proper callout word, he took one of them and released the pokémon from inside. A Mankey. The pokémon appeared on the stone laid ground between the trainers, not making much noise or movement initially, as if it felt its trainer's mood.

"Elekid, go!" Yulia said, taking up her first pokéball and giving it a quick peck for luck before pressing its button with a shaking finger. A white beam shot out as the ball opened, and the yellow creature appeared in front of them.

The trainer in the suit didn't even wait a second before giving the first order. "Use Seismic Toss," he said simply and pointed with his hand more out of habit than from actual need.

"Quick Attack!"

Yulia's command came even before Mankey had begun moving. Elekid shot forward and tackled the other pokémon in the belly with his full force, throwing it back onto its back on the ground.

The crowd let out an 'ooh!', after which the male trainer gained a strained face and called out a second command: "Low Kick instead."

Mankey got back up and closed in on Elekid with hostility in its eyes, preparing to make its opponent fall, when Yulia quickly countered again. "Swift!"

As the monkey swung its leg low from the side to trip Elekid, the electric pokémon fired up his horns to glow blue. Right when his legs were swooped away from underneath him, the Swift attack fired away. The strange, star shaped bundles of energy shot up into the sky rather than in the direction where Elekid had aimed... For a moment. But then they suddenly turned around and came down again, striking an unsuspecting Mankey hard in its face. Overwhelmed, the monkey fell down. It didn't get up.

"It has lost the will to fight..." Yulia said, thinking out loud on something she had read about pokémon somewhere.

As if someone had pulled the plug in a bathtub, tourists in the crowd suddenly started cheering and commenting on the funny twist - a little lass defeating the trainer who was supposed to protect the famous people at the festival! The people of Pallet Town who had watched the battle and knew who Yulia was and how she cared much more for pokémon than people, didn't quite know what to believe.

But right then, Miss Oak interrupted herself on the stage in her lengthy speech, to throw out a question for what was going on on the side of the stage. The defeated trainer, face turning red, returned his Mankey to the pokéball and stepped onto the wooden platform. Yulia stood still at the side of the stage as the people in the crowd kept talking eagerly with each other. News about the strange battle were apparently spreading across the audience. Elekid was back inside his pokéball already.

Her heart was slowing down, at least a little. She was still incredibly pumped up. Had it worked? Now they had seen. They were talking. Maybe she needed to do more? Yeah. More.

Before the big trainer had finished whispering to Miss Oak, he felt a pat on his back. Turning around, he only saw a glimpse of brown hair whisking by him. Spinning around a full turn and almost losing his balance, he realized that the girl had snuck by him and walked right up to the microphone. Just as Yulia had expected, Miss Oak didn't dare to stop her as she grabbed it. Rather, the woman staggered backwards, a mix of disgust and surprise in her eyes. The microphone stand was just a little too high for the girl, but she bent it down to her mouth and spoke quickly.

"I challenge any trainer in the audience. Up on the stage. Right here, right now. You can't beat me."

Her eyes gleamed and as she paused, her breath could be heard in the speakers. She realized that she had the full attention of what was probably the whole town, and many more from all the region. Possibly foreigners as well. She could even make it to the news on TV.

And the so called bodyguards couldn't stop her, because... She had already defeated one of them. Glancing to the side, she saw that the trainer was standing only a couple of meters away, looking quite confused and shaking his head at colleagues who were closing in from the other side of the stage. He couldn't exactly grab her physically again, since she had proven to be an actual pokémon trainer. And you didn't just grab another trainer. Yulia's gaze wandered on to the old professor, who was still sitting on the stage behind her. He was watching her closely.

Everything fell into place. The crowd was murmuring, and a few people were actually moving towards the stage, pokéballs in their hands. Yulia then realized that her crazy smile was probably back. All the better.

"And if I win all of the battles," she continued into the mic, "I want that pokédex."
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Last edited by Doctor; October 2nd, 2013 at 12:40 PM. Reason: critique accepted!
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  #2    
Old September 19th, 2013, 01:59 PM
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Nolafus
Aspiring Writer, or something...
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Lost in thought... again
Age: 19
Gender: Male
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Alright, I finally get to read this fanfic I've been hearing about. I'll save the things I liked about it for the end as I like to end on a good note.

Quote:
Maybe some bird pokémon taking to the skies nearby.
This is more of a stylistic critique, but this sentence stands as a little weird. There's nothing wrong with it, but it contradicts what the sentence before, and there's nothing here to suggest that. In other words, it's written like it would complement ", and then silence.", but it actually contradicts it. I would change it to something like this:
Quote:
Maybe some bird pokémon taking to the skies nearby, but nothing else moved.
I don't know if that would be a perfect fit, but something there to let us know it's supposed to conflict with the earlier sentence.

Quote:
A festival was held in Pallet Town starting this date, and people from all the region traveled there to participate.
I'm not sure what you meant by "this date". I don't know if you meant the exact date the three trainers left, or some other date when the festival began. If you meant that the festival first started the day the three trainers left, then that's fine. I just thought a festival wouldn't have started until after the trainers had succeeded in their goals.

Quote:
and after her the world famous, incredibly old and wrinkly man that was her grandfather. Professor Oak.
Professor Oak shouldn't be its own sentence. I would replace the period before "Professor Oak", with a comma.

Quote:
"I want a pokédex, because it will help me on my journey to become the very best. And I will be. I am strong."
The last part is a little weird. I'm not sure what you meant by it, and I would consider revising it.

Quote:
The had gone a few meters, away from the stage, and Miss Oak had resumed her speech,
I think you forgot the "y" in "they" at the beginning of the sentence.

Quote:
Maybe she needed to do more? Yeah. More.
Oh no, this can't be good. I would also replace the period after "Yeah" with a comma.

After reading this, I think I have a pretty good idea of what your strengths and weaknesses are. Your main weakness right now is grammar. I know you were worried about this, but don't sweat it. If your biggest weakness is grammar, either your fic is nearly unreadable and riddled with mistake after mistake, or your writing is good and I don't really have much else to say besides grammar. Trust me, it's the latter. Everyone struggles with grammar and it's something that can easily be taught.

What would a story be without its characters? This is where your background with roleplays some in handy, as you're very good at character building. Yulia is a very believable, likable character that makes me want to hear the rest of the story. I can tell you put a lot of effort into creating not only Yulia, but that pokemon trainer that had a short appearance. The characters so far are all charming in their own way and makes me want to read on.

I can tell you do a lot of role-playing, because that's where your strengths are. I've never participated in one before, so I wouldn't know, but I'm guessing you don't spend a lot of time correcting each other's posts. Grammar is something you need to work on, but easily teachable and it's something everyone struggles with. What stands out to me, is your character building. It's spot on and I really like it. Your characters give a certain charm to the story that makes me want to read on. Good job and I look forward to updates to the story.
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  #3    
Old September 19th, 2013, 02:35 PM
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Doctor
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayr231 View Post
Alright, I finally get to read this fanfic I've been hearing about. I'll save the things I liked about it for the end as I like to end on a good note.
Oh, that was fast! So happy here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayr231 View Post
This is more of a stylistic critique, but this sentence stands as a little weird. There's nothing wrong with it, but it contradicts what the sentence before, and there's nothing here to suggest that. In other words, it's written like it would complement ", and then silence.", but it actually contradicts it. I would change it to something like this:I don't know if that would be a perfect fit, but something there to let us know it's supposed to conflict with the earlier sentence.
I agree. Thank you for catching that, I should move the birds, so to speak.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayr231 View Post
I'm not sure what you meant by "this date". I don't know if you meant the exact date the three trainers left, or some other date when the festival began. If you meant that the festival first started the day the three trainers left, then that's fine. I just thought a festival wouldn't have started until after the trainers had succeeded in their goals.
Hmm, no I meant the anniversairy of them leaving town to start their journeys a "long time ago", exactly how long isn't revealed just now. But I could clarify that, good point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayr231 View Post
Professor Oak shouldn't be its own sentence. I would replace the period before "Professor Oak", with a comma.
Actually, this is a stylistic choice. There are a lot of authors who write in special ways, and one of my favorite authors tend to overuse periods where most would put commas. I guess I've been influenced, and I kind of like it that way. It puts a different feeling to the sentence, or sentences perhaps. Making a full stop before saying the last part, kind of. But I shall be careful with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayr231 View Post
The last part is a little weird. I'm not sure what you meant by it, and I would consider revising it.
I can try to reword it, but I don't see what is weird about it :p Maybe it's my bad English skills shining through here, haha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayr231 View Post
I think you forgot the "y" in "they" at the beginning of the sentence.
Yep. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayr231 View Post
Oh no, this can't be good. :P I would also replace the period after "Yeah" with a comma.
Once again, that was a choice. To make it more "choppy" rather than flowing text. Did it work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayr231 View Post
After reading this, I think I have a pretty good idea of what your strengths and weaknesses are. Your main weakness right now is grammar. I know you were worried about this, but don't sweat it. If your biggest weakness is grammar, either your fic is nearly unreadable and riddled with mistake after mistake, or your writing is good and I don't really have much else to say besides grammar. Trust me, it's the latter. Everyone struggles with grammar and it's something that can easily be taught.

What would a story be without its characters? This is where your background with roleplays some in handy, as you're very good at character building. Yulia is a very believable, likable character that makes me want to hear the rest of the story. I can tell you put a lot of effort into creating not only Yulia, but that pokemon trainer that had a short appearance. The characters so far are all charming in their own way and makes me want to read on.

I can tell you do a lot of role-playing, because that's where your strengths are. I've never participated in one before, so I wouldn't know, but I'm guessing you don't spend a lot of time correcting each other's posts. Grammar is something you need to work on, but easily teachable and it's something everyone struggles with. What stands out to me, is your character building. It's spot on and I really like it. Your characters give a certain charm to the story that makes me want to read on. Good job and I look forward to updates to the story.
Thank you so much for analyzing me, really. I need to know what to improve and what to think of. Haha, I guess forum roleplaying for years led to something, then. I originally wrote fanfics and original stories but started RPing because I didn't have the patience to finish my stories. RPs were more rewarding, with the GM deciding things for you and the character interaction and all. But now I find myself needing something else, as I've mentioned in some other thread.

And I hope I won't be disappointing you by spoiling that Yulia won't be the main protagonist, haha... At least not the only one. And at least not yet.

Thank you so very much again for taking your time!
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  #4    
Old September 19th, 2013, 03:34 PM
Nolafus's Avatar
Nolafus
Aspiring Writer, or something...
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Lost in thought... again
Age: 19
Gender: Male
Nature: Calm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red's Hawt Chibi Pelippers
Actually, this is a stylistic choice. There are a lot of authors who write in special ways, and one of my favorite authors tend to overuse periods where most would put commas. I guess I've been influenced, and I kind of like it that way. It puts a different feeling to the sentence, or sentences perhaps. Making a full stop before saying the last part, kind of. But I shall be careful with it.
Sorry, didn't realize it was part of the style you were going for. I'll lay off these kind of style critiques in the future. I have seen this style of writing from authors before, so it's okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red's Hawt Chibi Pelippers
I can try to reword it, but I don't see what is weird about it :p Maybe it's my bad English skills shining through here, haha.
After rereading that part, there's nothing wrong with it. That part just flew over my head for some reason! Oops...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red's Hawt Chibi Pelippers
Once again, that was a choice. To make it more "choppy" rather than flowing text. Did it work?
Yes, it worked. I read it pretty choppily (I think that's a word...), and once again. I'll lay off these parts of the stylistic critiques.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red's Hawt Chibi Pelippers
Thank you so very much again for taking your time!
Yup, no problem! To be honest, I'm kind of sitting at home bored, waiting for college to start up next Monday. I can't guarantee I'll be around to go in depth with the other chapters, if they're posted after Monday, but I'll at least try!
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  #5    
Old September 21st, 2013, 02:17 PM
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Doctor
& time lord
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Gender: Male
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Chapter 2 - The Laboratory

Zeb dramatically opened the lid to the outdoor trash bin and dropped into it the two black bags he had been carrying. With a glare towards the kitchen window, a few meters away, he then put the lid back on and waited for the sign he needed. His mother's face in the window finally nodded with a smart look.

"Yes!"

Zeb danced back, along the gravel path, but only went inside to grab the red backpack that stood packed and ready near the door. With only one last 'bye!', he then went out to the road with almost leaping steps.

Chores. He didn't like them normally either, but on the days of the Journey festival, they were more annoying than usual since his mother made him do them all before he was allowed to even go outside. She knew, of course, that he would be away all day and not do anything fruitful at all otherwise.

The road to Pallet's town center wasn't long - most people who were considered Pallet inhabitants lived on the countryside, in farms or clusters of homes scattered around the core of the town. Zeb and his family were some of them. His mother, his father, his two younger brothers and of course their pet pokémon. Zeb himself was a brisk young man who had just turned 15. He wasn't fully grown yet, at least he hoped so since most of his friends towered him still, and he wasn't the most athletic person either. But that's what you get for enjoying books and the internet more than sports, he supposed. And that suited him fine.

He was well liked, didn't stick out in any particular way, had his group of close friends and a family that was respected and liked by all of town. All was well, bliss really. There were even rumors that some girls in the class below at school really fancied him and his bright brown hair and alert, green eyes. He was on a roll, in other words, and he couldn't think of anything that could make his life turn sour now.

"Hey, man!" someone called out to him when he sprinted through the street. He stopped and turned around to find one of his classmates just coming out of the house where he lived. Before Zeb had the chance to even say 'hey' back, the classmate continued: "Have you heard anymore about Yulia?"

Okay, make that one thing that made his life not blissful right now. Yulia. Two days later, and the main topic on every townsperson's lips was still the events in the plaza.

"Nope," he sighed. "Nothing, Craig. And I won't hear anything either. Why do you guys keep asking me?"

"Whoa, man," Craig said and held his hands up apologetically. "I just figured, you know. You used to be real close, you know?"

"We used to live next to each other. That doesn't automatically imply that you are the best of friends."

"Yeah, man, but you were, weren't you?"

Zeb looked away, as if to find something else to talk about. And he actually did.

"Are those Hitmonlee?" He said and pointed towards the end of the street.

Craig's eyes immediately followed Zeb's finger and then widened. A group of tough looking people and pokémon were walking by, in the direction of the plaza.

"They are! And Hitmonchan! Oh man, it's the Fight Club Show! Didn't know that they were coming to the festival. This is going to be so great, you coming?"

"I'll catch up," Zeb said and let the excited Craig run ahead while he dragged his feet behind him, not sure if he wanted to get to the plaza at all anymore.

It was silly. It had been so long since he and Yulia really talked, she hadn't even seemed happy to bump into him the other day, when he picked up the pokéball for her. Not much seemed to make her happy these days. And last Thursday...

He shuddered when he thought about her smile on that stage, as she beat trainer after trainer with her seemingly simple pokémon team. It had been scary, even. Tourists had been cheering and TV had called her a sensation, but the people of Pallet Town had whispered or just gaped. What had happened to the girl? How had she learned to be such a strong trainer - here, in this town where there weren't really any trainers to learn from?

Eventually, professor Oak had stood up and talked to Yulia on the stage. Their words hadn't been heard by the audience, since she had stepped away from the mic, but everyone saw what they did. The professor handed her a pokédex, straight out of his own pocket. It was said, afterwards, that it wasn't one of the newest models. Some even believed that it was professor Oak's own 'dex he had handed the sensational girl.

And after that, her smiles had disappeared and she had walked away from the plaza. TV tried to follow her, but she made her pokémon scare them into leaving her alone. And the next day, she was gone. Her father said he didn't know where she was, but the rest of town suspected her to have gone north. Like the three pokémon trainers once did on their journeys.

Zeb shook his head from all the thoughts as he reached the plaza anyways. It was full of people, even though it was still before noon. The Fight Club Show people were indeed setting up a temporary arena where they would hold the beloved show with their strong pokémon in the afternoon.

And there, looking like a bunch of little kids on Christmas, were Craig and the others. Four guys who were all pretty simple minded and nice, regarded just like Zeb was in most ways, and the people he hung out with most of his time. Craig was a black guy with little to no hair on his skull and a way of speaking that would make an English teacher cringe. Jim was a tall, slim dude with long blonde hair that everyone told him to cut, but he knew that everyone really though he was pretty fabulous with it, so no scissors would ever come close to it if he had a choice. And there was also Aaron and Alec, the former a redhead with an attitude who had already grown what could almost be called a beard, the latter an Asian guy who was probably the smartest person Zeb knew, and the only one who really shared his interest of spacing out on the web.

He seldom thought about why these particular people, with their differing looks and ways, were his closest friends. They just were. They were nothing like Yulia. Now that he thought about it, maybe that was the reason?

"You look like you don't know where you are, Zeb!" Aaron's voice brought Zeb back to the present as he closed in on them.

He shrugged. "I don't know where I should be, is all," he said with a smile.

Aaron looked like he thought his friend was stupid. No, he sure wasn't the deepest kind of person. Alec, though, turned around and nodded. "You should be here."

"Right, then!" Zeb agreed.

That was when the new boom was heard. Louder than anything he had heard before and definitely closer than was pleasant. The whole town went silent for a second after, then the gust of wind came. It was stronger than last time, maybe because the source of it was closer.

People didn't start talking immediately. Rather, everyone exchanged looks, as if they wanted someone to hold out their hands disarmingly and announce that it was all part of the festivities. No one did.

Zeb stared in the direction from which he believed the sound had come. Somewhere pretty close, yet not inside the town...

"Isn't that the hill where the Oak Laboratory is situated?" he thought out loud.

Craig, Aaron and Jim gasped for no real reason, and Alec nodded. "It is."

He didn't quite know why he ran there - it wasn't his duty or anything. He should probably have told the sheriff or some of the trainers working at the festival what he was thinking. But Zeb did run all the way from the town center to the hill just in the outer edge of it, where the laboratory stood. Reaching the well trimmed park surrounding it, he slowed down. The panting sounds behind him told him that his friends had come too.

"It doesn't look exploded to me," Aaron commented.

"Maybe you heard wrong, man," Craig said.

"No, didn't you guys hear it too? It was definitely from here somewhere," Zeb argued.

"Let's knock," Alec suggested, and stepped up to the front door of the wide, white building to do so. Nobody opened for a minute. "Maybe we should check the park?"

Zeb stepped up and put his hand on the handle. "It's open," he said and went inside.

"Man, you can't just barge into someone's home like that!" Craig said and seemed reluctant about following.

"It's not a home, it's a lab!" Aaron said.

"Have you ever heard of him living anywhere else?"

"Well, no."

"So it probably is the man's home too!"

Leaving the bickering guys at the entrance, Zeb, Alec and Jim moved along the hall. The lights were out, and the switch on the wall didn't work.

"Strange," Alec commented.

They didn't meet any people, going through the wide main hall. At the end of it were two swing doors. Zeb wasn't sure of what they were really doing here. He hadn't stopped to think while they were running, but now that his heart was slowing down, he was starting to wonder if they'd better just leave and call the police already.

With a hand on one door each, Jim and Zeb pushed the swingdoors and entered the large room on the other side. Shelves lined its sides and the floor was checkered black and white. Some desks with computers and a few other large, complicated machines stood here and there in a pattern that resembled an office landscape. This was probably the professor's main working space.

"But where is the professor?" Zeb thought out loud again.

"Maybe he's not home?" Aaron said, just walking into the room behind the others, Craig by his side.

"I thought we just decided this wasn't his home!"

"It's just an expression. You know? When a person isn't where you think they should be?"

"That's not right, man. That's not an expression."

"Easy boys!" Jim said with a bright, calm smile as he stepped in between the guys and pushed them apart.

"This is strange though," Alec said, pressing some buttons on a desktop computer. "Electricity's out, and there isn't a soul to be seen. Isn't the professor keeping pokémon in here?"

"Yeah, so I always thought at least," Zeb agreed.

"Pokémon don't want to be locked inside though," Jim commented. "They could be in the garden, living life more freely."

"You are such a hippie," Aaron grunted.

"Let's check the park," Zeb said and led the group out again.

They went around the building to see the park they heard about as they had grown up, but was always out of bounds for uninvited guests. Which meant most people.

There were big grass lawns, surrounded by wire or fences, there were ponds, groups of bushes and trees, pens with sand or rocks and a lot of differently build habitats for pokémon to enjoy. But no pokémon. The whole hill was strangely empty.

"What is really going on here," Aaron said when they had gone a full round and were back at the front of the lab. "I'm getting the creeps from this emptiness."

"Maybe the explosion really did take place here. And did something really strange," Alec theorized.

"Like making all the people and pokémon vanish into thin air?" Zeb suggested, raising an eyebrow.

Alec faced him. "Stranger things have happened."

"No, man. I don't buy that. You don't just vanish a professor and then... And then vanish yourself so that you can't tell anyone about it," Craig said, arms crossed.

"Why would you want to tell anybody that you teleport-kidnapped away a professor?" Aaron said. "That's like robbing a bank and then calling the police yourself!"

"They'd want people to know so that they can get money for turning him back, of course! Man, haven't you ever seen a movie?"

"Breathe in, and breathe out," Jim said, stepping in and putting a hand on each of their chests to calm them down.

"I think it's more likely that the professor and his people just weren't here today," Zeb concluded. "And they moved their pokémon, too. Or maybe they are just inside pokéballs somewhere in the lab? We should check again."

"No, man. We really don't need to! Let's just get out of here now."

"I agree with Craig," Jim said and smiled.

"Fine, I'll be quick about it then," Zeb said and disappeared in through the front doors again despite his friends' sighing.

This time, he checked the rooms along the corridor. Some were real labs, others just storage units. But all of them were empty. Entering the big room with the checkered floor again, he now noticed an electric light in the corner of the room. One machine seemed to be powered despite the electricity network not working. Walking up closer, Zeb realized that it was a portable case of some kind, laying on a table. A tiny screen on it was blinking, showing numbers that meant nothing to him. And there were some buttons, one of which said "OPEN".

No person with any sense of curiosity could resist that button, to Zeb's defense.

The case plopped open quickly when the button was pressed, revealing three pokéballs laying on red cloth. A sense of relief came over him - so there were actually pokémon here after all. Unless, of course, the balls were empty. To make sure, he pressed all three buttons in quick succession.

If the whole thing with running towards the site of the sound of an explosion didn't testify enough how rash Zeb could be, this should. There could have been any pokémon inside those balls, and an Onix in this office landscape would have been a disaster. Not to mention three of them.

Luckily, they weren't Onix. They were species that Zeb had never seen before. Three pokémon materalized from white lights coming out from the pokéballs, and soon stood in front of Zeb on the floor, looking confused at the darkness and the distinct lack of professor Oak. One yellow fox with large orange tufts in its ears, one brown rodent with some kind of green helmet and one blue frog with what looked like a scarf made of white bubbles.

"Hey!" Zeb said, crouching down to their level. "Cool, really rare pokémon! Do you guys know where the professor is?"

The pokémon glanced at each other first, and then back at the boy, before the rodent shook its head.

"Oh. I'm sorry, then. He's not here, but maybe he's just gone somewhere. Why don't you guys help me look?"

The rodent and the frog seemed happy that Zeb wouldn't leave them there, but the fox was a bit more skeptic as the boy grabbed all three pokéballs and put them into a side pocket of his backpack.

"Come on then! We'll make sure you guys get a place to stay at while we sort all this out."

With varying degrees of reluctance, the three little pokémon walked after him back through the corridor and reached the entrance hall. When Zeb looked up through the hazy window on the front door though, he stopped dead.

On the gravel path in front of the lab, his four friends stood with their hands on their heads. Two police cars had rolled into the park, and behind them some more cars were arriving at this moment, one of them looking a lot like a TV team's car Zeb had spotted downtown the other day. The police had sent out pokémon to make sure that the guys didn't move, and one Growlithe was sniffing in the air towards the front door of the lab.

Zeb backed away, confounding the pokémon around his feet. "Oh no," he thought out loud. "They must think we were the ones making the exploding sound!"

The Growlithe outside started barking. Zeb looked around. He didn't want to ditch his friends, but he really couldn't let the police find him like this. Breaking into the lab, stealing rare pokémon. That was what it would look like. He had to do something.
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Last edited by Doctor; October 2nd, 2013 at 11:41 AM.
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  #6    
Old September 21st, 2013, 11:33 PM
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Nolafus
Aspiring Writer, or something...
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Nature: Calm
Quote:
Eventually, professor Oak had stood up and talked to Yulia on the stage.
I would capitalize the "P" in "Professor Oak", since that's the name he goes by.

Quote:
"Easy, boys!" Jim said with a bright, calm smile as he stepped in between the guys and pushed them apart.
More of a stylistic critique, but hear me out. I would drop the comma in the dialogue because it makes it sound like Jim is going to elaborate more on an idea, when all he is saying is "Easy boys!", if that makes sense.

Did you focus more on grammar mistakes this time? If you did, I could tell. If you didn't, well you're getting better! I didn't really catch a lot, so either I'm clueless and somewhat blind, or you're getting better. For my self esteem's sake, let's agree on the latter.

With some sections of the chapter, I felt like you were telling rather than showing. For instance, when you first introduced Zeb, you were telling the reader that he was popular, instead of showing us as the story progressed. Something that I felt like could easily be shown by having some kids not part of the story say hi as Zeb passed on by, or however you want to handle the story. Just something to think about in future chapters.

Overall, a real improvement. Your grammar was a lot better and your characters are still spot on. A little stereotypical with some of the friends there, but still nice. I like how you keep the mysterious feel, without it getting old. It's hard to explain, but you seem to be good at keeping the questions up in the air, without the reader getting tired of it. Good job and I look forward to future updates.
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 11:40 AM
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Nature: Naive
Quote:
I would capitalize the "P" in "Professor Oak", since that's the name he goes by.
Hmm, do you mean that I should capitalize it because it's a title or because it's a name? Because it isn't a name, as his name is Samuel Oak. Or?

Quote:
With some sections of the chapter, I felt like you were telling rather than showing.
True, sorry :x Another habit from RPing, where that doesn't matter as much. Rather, fellow RPers are thankful if simple descriptions are easy to find, haha. I'll try to stop doing that!

Quote:
A little stereotypical with some of the friends there, but still nice.
Totally meant to do that, actually. If I can piece the story together right later on, you'll hopefully see that it works. Even though I admit the long haired hippie was a bit over the edge xD

Quote:
I like how you keep the mysterious feel, without it getting old. It's hard to explain, but you seem to be good at keeping the questions up in the air, without the reader getting tired of it. Good job and I look forward to future updates.
Thanks! I love not telling everything at once. One of my best written memories is in a RP here when I made all players make up a NPC to chat with, and then I suddenly revealed that their NPC creations were the bad guys and turned them against the players. Oh, the surprise. I loved being the game master then, haha. So yeah, mystery and twists is what I love about stories the most, be it books or movies or games <3

Thanks for reading! I'll continue it soon.
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 12:18 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by Red's Hawt Chibi Pelippers View Post
Hmm, do you mean that I should capitalize it because it's a title or because it's a name? Because it isn't a name, as his name is Samuel Oak. Or?
Sorry, I meant that it's a title, not a name. I went back and realized that you didn't capitalize professor in the previous chapter as well. So, for consistency's sake, I would leave it lower case.
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 12:35 PM
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Chapter 3 - The Parent

Racing back through the wide corridor, Zeb searched for the room he remembered going through a little earlier, one that had a backdoor out to the park. He found it just as he heard a creaking sound from the other end of the corridor and the barking getting closer. He quickly leaped in and shut the door behind them.

"Come on!" he whispered to the three pokémon, holding up the backdoor to the garden outside for them. The fox stopped near his feet and gave him a look with narrow eyes again. Right, they probably didn't have to leave. They were living here, after all. But the frog and the rodent eagerly went outside without hesitation and the fox didn't seem keen on leaving them in the hands of the boy. It seemed undecided.

"Please!" Zeb hissed, noticing people talking in the corridor on the other side of the door.

The fox still gave him distrustful eyes, but then suddenly jumped up onto a desk and pushed out the top drawer, looking inside. Zeb threw a look down and nearly froze when he saw what lay there. Another pokédex? So the professor had several. This one looked shiny new. How did the fox know it was there?

No time to ponder though. After grabbing the new pokédex in one hand and the fox under the other arm, the group raced between the pens and ponds to reach the other side of the park before the barking creatures in the laboratory caught their scent or worse - caught them. Reaching the stone wall that surrounded the whole top of the hill, Zeb climbed over it with some effort, helping the pokémon in the process. Except for the frog, who seemed able to jump over it on its own. As a non-trainer who was mostly used to having pokémon around as pets, it didn't strike Zeb at this moment that he could have put them back inside their pokéballs, which still clanked against each other in the backpack pocket.

Finally outside the garden, sprinting between the trees on the opposite side of the hill from the police and the laboratory, it suddenly dawned on Zeb to wonder where they were going. He was running, perhaps in a wide circle around the road, back towards the town. The pokémon were running alongside him, seemingly just following. Well, where else would he go but home, really? No one would come looking for him... Unless his friends mentioned him or someone had seen him run towards the hill together with them. Zeb gulped at the thought.

Nevertheless, he went homewards. Completely out of breath and nearly powerless to even stand, he finally entered his street and kneeled down on the asphalt. The pokémon around him weren't quite as breathless. Durable creatures, pokémon.

"Zebastian?"

Zeb nearly threw himself backwards and ended up sitting on his butt at the noise. It was someone walking out from the house next to his. A tall man with dark hair, trimmed beard and mustache and an imposing figure. Yulia's father.

"Yeah..." Zeb said, slowly standing up as the man approached him.

Nothing was said for a few seconds and Zeb realized that Mr Reddington was staring curiously at the pokémon at his feet.

"Oh! These. They are, um, they are my new friends. Except maybe for that one. I mean-"

"Can I borrow one?"

The question took the boy completely by surprise. "Sorry, what?"

"I don't have one, but I need one now. At least one."

"What, why? Where are you going?" Zeb asked, only now noticing the backpack and sturdy boots the man was dressed in.

"To find Yulia. I've had enough of this, and she's probably in danger. Don't tell the villagers though, okay? I'm just telling you because... I think maybe it's good if somebody knows."

"You're going north? Out of town?"

"Yes. How about that fox? Looks smart to me," Mr Reddington said and crouched down to look the yellow pokémon in the eyes. They met his without fright. "Perfect. Does he have a pokéball?"

"Wait, they're not really mine at all, okay? I'd be happy to loan you anything, but these are, well... They belong to professor Oak." Zeb blushed. He just admit he'd been stealing them. Pretty much.

Mr Reddington raised his eyebrows. "You came from the lab now?"

"Yeah. I had to run," Zeb said and looked back in the direction of the hill, which was barely visible from this part of town. "I daresay my stamina is pretty great after all!"

"So the police came?"

"Yes, they took my friends and... Hang on, how do you know that?"

"I called them," Yulia's father said, standing up with the fox in his arms. It didn't at all seem as displeased being with the man as with the boy. "News teams and reporters have been stalking me wherever I go these past few days, and after that noise earlier today, I had enough. What if Yulia ends up close to one of those explosions on her journey? We've had two nearby lately, more might come. So I called the police saying that the explosion happened on the hill, and some reporters heard me and alerted everyone else. According to plan, they left me alone for a while. So I got home and prepared to leave. Now, did he have a pokéball or not?"

Zeb just blinked, but then reached back to retrieve the three pokéballs from his backpack. Holding them up, the fox in Mr Reddington's arms nudged one of them and disappeared in a flash of red light. Reddington picked that ball up and put it in his own pocket.

"Thank you, Zeb. Wish me luck, now."

With that, he turned and walked up the street, past Zeb's own house.

"Wait!" Zeb called, half loud out of fear that his mother would hear. He jogged up to the man, who had stopped. "You can't just leave me here! The police will find out that I was there sooner or later, and the pokémon are gone and..." He suddenly looked slowly from the two pokéballs in his hand to Mr Reddington. "And you are an accomplice in crime now. You have one of the stolen pokémon!"

Yulia's father raised an eyebrow, thinking about what the boy said. Zeb smiled. He'd help him. Yulia's father had always been a bit odd, but also always nice enough.

"Okay then. Come with me north."

"What?!"

"I have to find Yulia and you have to escape the police. Let's travel away."

"I can't just do that! What about school, what about my mom-"

"I'll distract her. Sneak in and pack your bag," Mr Reddington said, pushing the boy into his own garden, towards the back door.

"Aren't all parents supposed to be righteous and not mischievous?"

"Your call. See you down the street in 10 minutes!" Mr Reddington said and knocked on Zeb's front door.

"Oh ****," Zeb wheezed and ran around the corner.

10 minutes later, he already stood at the end of the street, on the very edge of Pallet Town, and Mr Reddington came walking calmly towards him.

"Good job," the father said. "Did you get underwear, a warm sweater, a sleeping bag and some food?"

"Food? I didn't think of that!"

"Relax. I am a parent, after all. I have extra of everything."

And so, in the blazing sun of the noon, Zeb left Pallet Town together with his neighbor, trying hard not to imagine how Mr Reddington's underwear would fit him.



((These chapters are fun to write.))

EDIT: but apparently they have been struck by the "so many ideas, omg new ideas rather than will to finish story!" disease so this fic will be put on hold for now.

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Last edited by Doctor; October 27th, 2013 at 11:26 PM.
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