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Old July 30th, 2009 (10:08 PM).
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Thus begins my review-replies…

Originally posted by Duskwire
Sounds awesome to me! Can't wait to read more.
Thank you very much for the review, Duskwire. Chapter 1 is being posted today.

Originally posted by Shiny Mightyena
Well... to comment on the new add-on, a couple of suggestions come to mind:
1. A scene change (***) should have been effected before starting.

What am I supposed to do? You and AdvancedK9 insist on the (***), yet ShinjisLover prefers me not to use them. Do I just put in double spacing or do I do this (*-*-*-*-*)?

2. No matter how much Dragonair pwn, I’d still keep an eye on the giant rock-plated rhino stampede heading my way.
D’ya wanna know what caused them to stampede in the first place? That aside, more will be revealed in regards to that scene later on.

3. Even if I didn't, I’d make it my business to stay out of the way of stampedes, knowing of their frequency in the Safari Zone, and being a 20 year old, somewhat wiser than the average rookie trainer.
Charles is not actually Kantonian-born, but came to Kanto when he was a twelve-year-old. But yeah, you’re right. Being in Kanto for 9 years (he was 23 when it happened) at that point in time, he should’ve remembered one of the basic rules of the Safari Zone.

Other than that, it was interesting to see you come back yet again with yet another rendition of your fic. Your lab scene was much better written this time, i must admit.
Why thank you, AD.

Again one problem (sorry, I’m full of them): the professor's were studying a Growlithe clone in the prologue, right? Unless they had a couple more in say the reject archives for mike to traffick, it'd be rather easier to track a missing Pokémon from the labs... unless they were unwittingly careless.
Yes, they were studying a Growlithe clone in the prologue. And yes, again, they did have a couple more Growlithe rejects.

Well, that's it from me for now! Hope your back pains and writer's block go away real soon!

[email protected]!
Thankies for the review, AD. Sadly, the ****ing back pains still plague me. However, you’ll be pleased to hear that the writers’ block has gone away.

Am looking forward to your review of Chapter 1.

Originally posted by Manaphyman
I think I agree with Shiny Mightyena (Air Dragon) in his assertions about the safari zone and Dratini and such. To me though, it’s just a minor problem that could be remedied with a quick fix in the near future.

I really enjoyed the cloning scene (with Growlithe); although something like vital signs slowly rising should alarm the scientists more. Some parts seemed a bit rushed; the Professor Oak scene could have been elaborated and described a whole lot more, as well as maybe a tiny expansion on the prologue. It ended to fast for me; I felt it was too short, even for a prologue. I liked the sense of impending doom, however.
Do you think you could possibly give me some advice on how to improve these parts, MM? And thanks for liking the sense of impending doom.

This scene was rushed I think. I would have liked to see more face time for Oak and more emotions from him and Mike (great name, btw). Other than that, it looks like you started off on the right track. I'll be reading and reviewing.

Sorry for the short review, next time it'll be longer. :]
So you like Aide Mike, d’ya?

Before ya go saying I took Mike’s name from your Mike, I didn’t. Back when I was younger, Dad had a New Zealand friend called Mike, who’s since gone back to NZ. That’s where I got the name from.

Originally posted by Feathing
Well, I already read this and I told you already it was good, so I'll straight to the new parts.

I didn't get the Zapdos thing, but I guess you'll unveil all of that at its own time, right?
Yeppers, the Zapdos issue will reveal itself in due time.

Besides, I think the paragraph about Charles Harris can be seen as a bit too much, 'cause you already told about Zapdos, about the laboratory and the scientist and about Oak and his aide, so that part could be better seen on the next chapter. Anyway, it’s your story, Im just giving my opinion.
If it was too much for you, Feathing, then I’m sorry. I’ll think about that next time.

Leaving all that behind, I liked. It’s very descriptive (I will learn tones of new words xD) and it was good to see that you changed the Pokemon. Budew, Growlithe, Barboach and Shinx are all really cool. I like them all and its evolutions as well.

I figured you would have been displeased if I’d put the Kanto starters again, so I rapidly scanned my Platinum handbook for two other possible starters. This is how I came up with Budew and Barboach.

So, well done and let me know when the next one is out!
Today, my friend, today!

Originally posted by delongbi
I liked the beginning a lot, but I do have a few suggestions.

1. Spell check. I think you typed "foetal" at one point instead of fetal, and there were a few others...
I seem to get this one a lot. “Foetal” is how we Australians spell it.

2. I really like most of your description. However, to make the story more interesting, try blending the description in with the action. For instance:

Instead of writing: The girl had long, black hair and was wearing a banana-colored dress. She rushed forward to save the puppy.

Write: A girl with long, black hair rushed forward to save the puppy, despite the banana-colored dress hindering her stride.

That was kind of an extreme example, but hopefully you get the idea...
I do, delongbi. Your advice is taken on board. I’ll try harder next time.

3. I found the following a bit strange:
At the same time, he wondered what had been going on in his aide’s head before he had had to repeat himself. But for now, the next Pokémon League season was rapidly approaching and that meant he would have to devote time to drafting up trainer cards.

That evening, the sunset cast long shadows over the town of Pallet. As Charles Ryder Harris, blonde-haired husband of Fiona, sat in his wheelchair on the back patio he reflected on how one incident changed his life forever.

All he had been doing was watching the Dratini evolve into Dragonair in the Fuchsia City Safari Zone. He believed he should’ve kept his eye on the Rhydon herd as well, because all of a sudden there was an explosion. They panicked and started stampeding in his direction. Even to this day he knew he should have gotten out of their way then, but he was still entranced with the evolving Dratini colony and he failed to realize that the herd’s speed was deceptive. Because of that, he misjudged his escape time. They loomed ever closer; he tried to get out of their way, but it was too late. The herd steam-rolled over him and that’s how he ended up the way he is today.
I think you change focuses (or maybe point of views, in a way) a bit randomly. The end bit about why the Charles is in a wheelchair seems out of place to me.

Otherwise, I really enjoyed this writing. Keep up the good work!
Sorry about that. Maybe I’ll implement some sort of scene break.

Originally posted by ShinjisLover
If one was to step down the stairs of the Viridian Pokémon Mart’s off limits area without knowing what was held down below, all they would see to their horror was a row of narrow tubes lined up against all four sides of the large underground area.
There should be a set of commas in the bold after 'see' and after 'horror'. If you read it as is, it sounds like you don't take a breath.
I’ll fix that, don’t you worry.

As I've said about a million times, this is not a good way to make a transition from one scene to another.
How else, SL, am I sposed to initiate a scene break? Could you see my earlier comment to determine if you like my suggestion?

The Professor was old, and the aide young, but Oak still insisted that he was young-spirited.
I don't really see the point to this sentence.
I’ll change it then.

Grammar-wise, you fixed many of the mistakes I've pointed out before (which is why it was so difficult to pick out the mistakes). I gotta wonder how there was a colony of Dratini, though.
Thanks for the compliment. That scene was a flashback to when Charles was 23. Shortly after Charles’ accident, the Warden shipped out all the Dragonair and left a lone Dratini there.

With out further ado, here's Chapter 1...

Chapter 1: Preparing for the Adventure

Saffron City, autumn, 2012…

In the centre of the Kanto region stands the majestic Saffron City, capital citadel to the region. Nestled deep in the forbidding region’s heart and partially concealed by chilly cirrus clouds, this capital's crown jewel was a fantastic castle, not unlike those of fantasy told before. It had been built to replace the old, dilapidated Silph Co. building.

Construction of the brand-new Silph Co., on the eastern side of the metropolis, was set to finish very soon. Standing the test of time, warfare and more, Saffron Castle was the home to the royal family of the land, the Regans, along with their servants and advisors.

With guards and sentries rounding the borders and walkways, it seemed that it would be impossible to enter without permission. The guards who patrolled the walkways were clad in red armour that was representative of the royal military.

"Are you sure there's nothing we can do?" the youngest girl asked from across the large, dining room table. The azure-haired princess looked to the side and at Arthur, waiting for an answer.

Her mother, Eleanor, had no reply. Victoria’s uniform had largely the same scheme as her mother’s; the only exception was that it was adorned with a pattern invocative of deadly beauty in bright red. It was these crimson clothes that indicated the eleven-year-old’s desire to be an officer in the cavalry one day.

“There's nothing you can do," Arthur replied, his fourteen-year-old face creasing in annoyance. It was clear to see he was dressed in navy-blue clothing and an amethyst-coloured cape. An expensive gold chain, the cloak of which was draped over his shoulders, held this together. The truth was plain and simple; he was tired of being bossed around by his sister and parents. He didn't want to do the boring political work they forced 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 convince him. She was determined, but not as much as Arthur was. She was dressed in a white long-sleeved uniform adorned with a cold geometric pattern that embellished an R-shape on her front, the collar scraping gently below her rather gaunt jaw. “You can not go on a journey. How many times have I expressed dislike of this idea of yours?”

Arthur had had enough. "No!" He raised his voice as he slammed his fist down on the table. He rose to his feet swiftly, 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.

Eleanor sat in her chair, upset at Arthur's behaviour. "No worries, Mother," Victoria tried to comfort her mother. "He'll come around eventually." The guards were able to overhear everything that had gone on.

"Out of my way," Arthur commanded firmly, as the guards tried to block him from leaving. "Move or else!"

"I'm sorry, Arthur, but it's our duty to keep you from leaving!" 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 thought.

"Did you hear that?" Eleanor asked Victoria.

Victoria stood up, looking out the window. She watched as the guards tried to stop Arthur from leaving the royal palace. It's all in vain, she thought, he'll get through.

A scream was heard then, but Arthur couldn't be bothered looking back. The guards had tried to stop him, and they had paid the price. Fragments of ice littered the palace's front grounds.

Victoria held back a slight gasp as she recognized the rhombus-shaped patches of emerald-green fur and diamond-shaped ears. He used Iceheart?! That’s against palace rules! She frowned and looked down at her brother in annoyance.

"What happened?" Eleanor asked, looking concerned.

Victoria said “Iceheart,” and simply walked away from the window. The guards were injured, but she knew it would happen.

A figure clad all in black appeared in the palace room in a flash of blinding light. “Your command, Your Majesty?” the person asked telepathically.

"There's nothing that I can do. Just track him. For now," she replied, looking toward the ground in deep contemplation.

The Psychic nodded, before teleporting away, with "As you wish, Your Highness." fading quickly.

“Mother… will he really be okay?" Victoria questioned, looking up.

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


Pallet, a few minutes later…

The town of Pallet was relatively small in comparison to the other cities and townships in Kanto. Most of the houses were built from wood, with the exception of a row of brick houses on the eastern boundary of town, which belonged to the families with lots of money. The sun rose steadily in the sky, lighting up and warming the town as a small breeze wafted along, drying clothes which were hanging on various clotheslines and rustling leaves on trees.

Professor Oak was one of the most highly regarded Pokémon researchers in the world. He had won the Kanto region’s Indigo League – a tournament held every five years at the furthest point north-west in Kanto – twice and had dedicated his life to the study of Pokémon, their habitats, lifestyles and interactions with their trainers. Since he was always known as the most renowned Pokémon expert in the entire world, the citizens of Pallet Town had always considered it an honour that he had continued to work in his home. Visitors felt that Professor Oak’s Pokémon laboratory was the only real attraction in the town. It wasn’t so much a tourist attraction, but more a place where interesting Pokémon events and discoveries occurred.

Pallet Town was hardly ever bustling except when the newest Pokémon trainers graduated from the magnet school – usually at the age of ten. The school taught the core subjects such as math, science, history, reading language arts, and so on, as well as courses involving studies of Pokémon, which ranged from raising, training, breeding and battling of Pokémon. Their journeys would usually start by travelling north to Viridian City, as it was the closest city to Pallet and the only city accessible by going on foot. Nothing but deep forest lay to the east and west, and the south was a large stretch of water where Cinnabar Island resided.

As the sun rose even higher, shouting was heard from within a house on the eastern boundary of town.

“Josephine! If you don’t get out of bed right now and come downstairs, then Eevee will have to go up there and wake you up!” shouted a forty-one year old woman with pale red hair and hazel eyes which burned with fiery impatience. She wore a bright red sleeveless top and blue three-quarter pants. This was Fiona Harris, mother of a Pokémon trainer-to-be. She was a very kind and caring person, but she didn’t want her daughter to miss out on one of the most important days of her life.

“Oh well! Eevee, if you don't mind, could you please wake her up so that she's not late for her big adventure?” Fiona asked the creature standing next to her, who happened to be the family pet. The Pokémon was small and fox-like in appearance; his tiny body was brown in colour with creamy coloured neck fur and his face wore a hardened, serious expression. Two long, rabbit-like ears, which emanated from the top of his head, twitched periodically as he listened to the human’s request.

<No problem. In fact, I would have done it myself even if you hadn't asked,> replied Eevee. He swiftly sprang up the wooden staircase, bounding down the long hallway, and hurled his small body against a door at the end of the hall. He glanced up at it, rushed inside and grumbled to himself, because even after making that entire racket to come to the girl’s room, she still hadn't woken up.

Josephine Harris was born into a rich family as the third child of four. Unlike other children from wealthy families, she wasn’t overly spoiled. As with all of the other children in Pallet, she studied at the Pokémon Trainers’ Academy. However, instead of beginning her journey at the age of ten – which was the minimum legal age – she chose to hang around Professor Oak’s lab for four years, for a variety of reasons. The major one being that she’d studied about the different types of Pokémon and learning more which would, in the end, help her a lot in her upcoming journey.

Three walls of her room were made of brick – which had been painted a light green colour – and were completely devoid of anything, with the exception of a wooden framed unicorn picture on the wall opposite her bed and a painting of a girl feeding some duck-like Pokémon in the country on the right-hand side wall. On the third were posters of her favourite Pokémon. The last wall consisted of a security grill protected sliding door.

It was behind the sliding door that an oddly shaped gray table was positioned with the girl’s laptop and story writing material on it. She had only one laptop – but she badly wanted the Internet on it, so she wouldn’t have to keep going down to the local library. A reasonable sized TV and DVD/VCR combo rested near the printer she owned, with two Nintendo DS consoles sitting on top of a spare old-styled school desk.

<Forgive me for this, Ho-oh, but I've got a lazy person who won't even get off her behind. Bloody hell, Josephine, wake up!> Eevee said loudly.

Seeing that he got no reaction, Eevee's eyes narrowed and an evil sort of smirk appeared on his face, as he said <Sorry, kid, you asked for it!>

After saying that, the Pokémon jumped onto the girl's bed and tore off the covers with his paws. He then placed his fluffy brown tail in front of the girl’s nose and proceeded to tickle the olfactory. Moments later, a loud sneeze ripped through the air, as Josephine sat up and wondered what sort of pollen had drifted through her open window.

Seeing the brown coloured fox sitting on her bed with his tail curled around his body, she asked “Why did you do that?” seemingly appearing to forget that today she was to leave Pallet to begin her journey.

<We have to get downstairs and you need to get ready for your journey. Remember?> the fox-like Pokémon gently reminded the girl.

“You make it sound like the Pokémon Trainers’ Academy. But I know that this journey is going to be a lot better. Okay, let’s go,” Josephine answered, smiling at the family pet.

She moved Eevee off her and jumped out bed, as she headed towards her ensuite. The red-haired girl opened the door, closing it upon entering and then turned on the water.


After showering herself, Josephine proceeded to dry off her thin frame of medium height and build. She then rubbed the moisture out of her hair, allowing the wet strands to fall to her shoulders, and then dried and brushed it until it was in a suitable enough position for her to wrap a hair tie around it, creating a pony-tail look.

She went over to her closet and removed two hangers, one of which held a bright red sleeveless top, with the other holding a sky-blue miniskirt. The teen dressed herself, before slipping her feet into a pair of brown boots, and casually placed her black sunglasses over her hazel coloured eyes. In the past, she had received criticism from her peers as they wondered why she had come to classes with her sunglasses on, but she ignored them, as it was just a strange mannerism of hers to do that.

Placing her digital watch on the wrist of her left arm, she headed down the hall.

Heading into the reasonably large kitchen and preparing herself a bowl of cereal, she spotted her mother relaxing on the cyan sofa. After eating, she then checked to ensure that her bright yellow backpack with the imprint of a Poké Ball on the side was packed. Finding out that everything was in there, she placed the breakfast bowl in the sink, ran some water in it and headed to the door.

“Honey, wait,” the voices of Josephine’s parents spoke up. The girl’s mother rose from the sofa as her father wheeled himself into the room. The masculine toned voice had come from Charles, Fiona’s husband.

Saying goodbye was going to be difficult and sad.

“Yeah?” the teen turned and looked at her parents as tears started to form in her eyes.

“It’s good to see that you are finally ready. Professor Oak rang and said he wants you to meet him at his lab,” Fiona told her, apprehensive that her daughter was finally setting off. She was worried that what had happened to her husband could possibly happen to Josephine as well. Her expression showed narrowed eyes and a slight frown.

Josephine stood there with a puzzled look on her face, wondering what the researcher needed to give her, but then it clicked. “Of course!” Josephine mentally slapped herself for forgetting such a simple thing.

As she was about to run to the lab, she remembered that this would be the last time she saw her parents before she left. She turned around and looked at them. “Mum, Dad… this is goodbye for now. I’ll miss you.”

Her father stared desperately at her, while her mother placed a hand on her shoulder and answered, “Yes, we’ll miss you, too. You have grown up incredibly fast, Josephine, and we understand that you want to go on this journey.”

“All right, I’ll see you later, guys.”

“Goodbye, dear. Know that whatever happens, I’ll always think of you as a Pokémon Master, because you went and attempted to accomplish your dream,” Fiona said, as she smiled at her daughter. Charles manoeuvred his wheelchair backwards, determined to talk to Fiona in private once Josephine had left.

Just before Josephine set off, she gave her mother one last farewell hug, allowing the tears to freely flow down her cheeks.

Wiping away the tears, Josephine started walking towards the research facility that was run by Professor Oak.

After trudging along for about ten minutes, she finally arrived at the location of the building. The lab’s foundations were on top of a hill that was accessible by a long stairway, which took one to the entrance of the lab. It was a two-story ivory edifice that had a maroon roof, which, from the top, allowed one to view the landscape as far as the eye could see.

There was a lake to the east of the hill and to the south was an untamed forest with no paths. The forest was cut short by an open range, which was met in the north by rocks and boulders. There were Pokémon scattered all over the landscape.

Josephine rang the doorbell and waited, because she knew that Professor Oak wouldn’t be able to rush to answer the door. The wooden door opened a few minutes later.

“Ah, Josephine! Come to collect your Pokémon, Pokédex and Poké Balls, have you?” Professor Oak questioned.

“Yes, Professor,” she replied.

“Right this way, then,” he answered, as he turned and led the red-haired girl into the lab. The first thing that was seen when entering was an array of bookshelves that were stacked against the wall, stretching from one corner of the room to the other.

To the right were small computers that blinked with all sorts of dazzling lights, with the monitors scrolling down with data that she could only guess was the research that Professor Oak and his assistants had compiled.

In the middle, between the computers, was a rather large door. It was used to go out to care for or to study 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 guess 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 lined up against the left wall; an enormous computer that took up the entire southern wall and finally, a small dome which was the place where the Poké Balls were kept.

“Professor, there you are! We have everyone here, sir,” one of Oak’s aides appeared when they entered the large room which contained the small dome.

“Very good, John. Any news of the others?”

“Rachel Savina has already been and gone, collecting her Pokémon, Pokédex and Poké Balls along the way. You already know about Paul’s hasty departure,” John answered.

“Good. Now, Josephine, I have a few important things to give you. They are your Pokémon, Pokédex and Poké Balls.”

Taking a deep breath and trying not to become too excited, she asked “Can... can I look at it? Properly, I mean?"

Picking up the last red and white sphere, Professor Oak issued a command. “Go, Shinx!”

Emerging from the Poké Ball was a creature covered in blue fuzz called Shinx. Her stout feline body and short azure fur shivered from the wind, which was coming from the open windows. While her tail and ears glowed bright yellow, useful in dark places, it was hardly noticeable once they were outside. Hissing, the Shinx leaned down on her front legs, her yellow bands gleaming in the sunlight.

Then, the researcher handed her a large red electronic device, which looked like a calculator and five small balls. The Professor allowed Josephine the time to register her partner’s data into her Pokédex.

“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 monotonous voice.

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

“The large red device that you hold in your hands is what I call a Pokédex. A lot of research by my colleagues and I was done and we were finally able to release a small hand-held device. It will record information about any wild Pokémon, including its type and special attacks. Thus, its pages will be filled.”

He then pointed to the five small balls.

“These are crucial to capturing Pokémon, so please pay close attention. If you fail to capture a Pokémon with the same ball five times, it will break. Also, note that you can only carry around six Pokémon with you at any given time.”

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

“About two hundred Pokédollars for each sphere… and I think the Potions are a little dearer,” the researcher answered.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” the fourteen-year-old red-haired girl answered. “I won’t let you down, Professor. I’ve never been more ready for anything else.”

“Very good…” he replied.

She walked back through the building and out the front door, waving goodbye to Professor Oak as she did so. Then, she looked up as she began to walk down the road, away from her house. The sun was now in plain view, almost blinding from where she was standing and the grass was glimmering as the dew dropped from each blade.

Josephine’s Pokémon journey, as well as the day, was just beginning. She had her first Pokémon, and already knew where she was to go next – Viridian City. Now with determination in her hazel eyes, she continued to look at the sky. As an official trainer, she then looked down at the orb which contained her partner.

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