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Old December 2nd, 2011 (2:35 AM). Edited December 27th, 2011 by apenpaap.
apenpaap apenpaap is offline
    Join Date: Oct 2011
    Gender: Male
    Posts: 79
    Originally Posted by Cutlerine View Post
    I'm back, and the first thing I'm going to suggest is that you leave a blank line between each paragraph, purely for the sake of my and the other readers' eyes.
    Okay, I will. And thanks for the comment; it reminded me I needed to post some chapters here or I'll never catch up.

    Nextly, which is not actually a word, I'm going to get onto an actual review of this latest chapter. First off, I liked the way Boreas won; battles are at their best when off-the-wall tactics are used to win them. It definitely marks an upward swing in the way you handle battles, that much is for certain.

    I still think the battle's writing itself was a little wooden, though. You've got short, dull sentences that tell you what's happening without giving any sense of the energy of the fight. I think you can solve the problems by simply making them a bit more interesting; for instance, this:

    could be this:

    Basically, I'm recommending more expressive language and more detail with it. It'll make the battle scenes much more interesting.
    Glad you liked it. And now that I look at your improved version of that sentence, that is indeed much better. I'm not sure if I ever improved on this point myself, but I will try to write the battles more expressively from now on (chapter 42).

    Right. Major complaint out of the way. Now for the little stuff:

    That should be a comma after 'assessment'. You've made that mistake several times.
    I used to be all over the place with commas and periods around quotation marks. Eventually I deducted the proper rules, but that won't be until around chater 20. Not quite sure of the exact chapter, but I know it was before chapter 25.

    As ever, I await the next chapter.

    Thanks, I hope you like it.

    Part Two: The Daycare, the Thieves, and the Scientist

    Chapter Eight: Dire Difficulties at the Day Care, Part One

    The morning after their victorious Gym battles, Black and Bianca left Striaton City immediately, only stopping to leave a message for Cheren with Nurse Despair. For the first day's travel Route 3 was a straight, paved road with short and neatly trimmed grass to the sides. But as they approached the hills it led to, the road roughened, becoming less neat and showing cracks where trees had dug their roots under it. The grassland on both sides of the road gave way for a forest that looked rougher every day. After several days it became clear that Route 3 was hardly ever travelled upon, as not a single vehicle or even other pedestrians passed them. When they entered the hills, the road stopped pretending to be a road at all and just became a rough, unpaved, winding trail between the forested hills. Small streams coming from the hills would cross the trail, and sometimes a dead tree blocked it. They saw a lot of wild pokémon, but neither Bianca nor Black managed to capture any.

    After a week's travel through steadily increasing wilderness it seemed like they were completely in the middle of nowhere. So it was rather surprising when suddenly five people in red clothing jumped out of the bushes around the road. Their pokémon jumped out along with them, surrounding Black, Bianca, and their pokémon.

    “Eep!” Bianca shrieked, “Don't hurt us!”

    “W-what do you want?” Black stuttered.

    Boreas growled at the pokémon, but they growled back, so he stopped.

    “That's just what we were going to ask you.” one of them said.

    “We're just travelling to Nacrene.”

    “Via Route 3?”

    “How else?”

    “If they need to go to Nacrene, most people take the Subway or the highway.”

    “What does it matter? We're just travelling on the road, so let us go!”

    “Come with us.”

    “No. Why?”

    “Because you don't have a choice. If you're not pokémon thieves you have nothing to fear.”

    They could do nothing but follow their captors. They were taken through the forest, and eventually entered a large open estate and seemed to be heading to the large wooden buildings in the middle. A few pokémon and trainers were playing or training on the estate, eyeing them angrily as they passed. Their captors made them enter the largest of the buildings, which turned out to be a large, comfy house on the inside.

    “Nestor! Getrude! We may have caught some pokémon thieves!” the leader of their captors shouted.

    “We're not pokémon thieves,” Black grumbled for the umptillionth time, “we were just passing by.”

    An old couple wearing overalls entered the room. “Well, well, well.” The old lady pointed, “what have we here? Come to steal people's pokémon again, haven't you?”

    “No, we haven't! We were just passing by over the road when these people suddenly jumped out of the bushes and forced us to come here.”

    “What were you doing there if you weren't planning to kidnap the pokémon here?”

    “We are trainers on a journey to defeat all Gym Leaders. We have earned the Trio badge in Striaton
    City, so now we're going to Nacrene, and frankly I had no idea that walking past a place nowadays means you're a pokémon thief."

    “So you're saying you aren't with Team Plasma?”

    “Team Plasma? Have they been stealing pokémon?”

    The old couple nodded. ““I suppose we'll have to consider you innocent until proven guilty.” the old man said, “I'm sorry about troubling you like this, but we have no choice, y'see.”

    “Hmpf,” the old lady said, “I suppose you may be innocent, but we'll keep an eye on you while you're here.”

    The trainers that had captured them apologised and left. “Okay,” Black sighed, “now it's our turn to ask a question: who are you, what's going on here, and what has Team Plasma been up to?”

    “You see, this here's a pokémon daycare. We have been running it for forty years now. Trainers bring their pokémon to us, and we'll take care of them and train them for a while. Sometimes the trainers themselves stay around to help us or to just have a vacation with their pokémon, if they don't stay we charge some fees. Some trainers have us take care of their pokémon to give them some rest, some to train them, and some to breed their pokémon. Anyway, about two months ago an old Dutchman named Rood visited us. I gave him a tour of the daycare and asked if he wanted us to raise any of his pokémon, but then he started arguing with me. He said all these pokémon were captives and slaves, and that the young born here would live their entire lives in captivity unless something was done about it. He asked me to release all the pokémon here, especially newborns, into the wild. Of course, I politely refused and told him that while he made some good arguments I didn't agree.”

    The daycare lady nodded. “That's when the trouble started. A few days after that crazy Dutch bastard had stomped off, he returned with some lackeys. They referred to him as “Sage” Rood, and he said he was one of the leaders of an organisation named Team Plasma, and that he would ask us politely to set the pokémon free one more time before they would take matters into their own hands. So we told him that the pokémon here weren't even ours, so that it wasn't our choice to make and that threats would take them nowhere. A few days later they raided us, took a dozen pokémon and four eggs.” her eyes were getting misty, “It was so heart-breaking when their trainers came back for them and we had to tell them. We greatly improved security around here, and everyone who works here now takes shifts patrolling the estate, but it's not enough. Every week or so, they manage to kidnap a pokémon or steal an egg, b-but-” as though as the daycare lady seemed, she was breaking up in tears now.

    Her husband put a hand on her shoulder. “Calm down, dear. We tried to find their hideout, of course, and to call for help, but they are too good at hiding and we're too far away from everything for much help to arrive. First they only kidnapped the pokémon, but two weeks ago, they actually crossed the line into killing them: an egg disappeared, and we found it's broken and empty shell not too far away. That's happened every night since then: an egg or cub disappears, and we find the remains.” he was breaking up too now, “I-I just don't understand it. Why would anyone kill a young pokémon? Especially when they claim to be setting them free? I-I just don't think we can continue running the daycare if this goes on, it wouldn't be right. If this continue, the only thing we can do is close shop.”

    “Bloody Plasma,” Black seethed, “what they tried to do in Striaton was one thing, but stealing and killing pokémon? I don't care about your inhospitable welcome, I'm not letting them get away with this! I'm going to help you catch them.”

    “Th-thank you, but they cover their tracks well. It won't be easy.”

    “We'll have to try. You said they always come at night. So I'll wait for the early morning, when the trail is fresh. Maybe we can follow them, or perhaps my Eevee can pick up their scent. Bianca, are you helping too?”

    After a moment's doubt, Bianca agreed. “Yes. You're right, we have to catch them. So what do we do until morning?”

    “Feel free to rest and have fun here until then.” The daycare lady chirped, “We'll have dinner ready at seven and you're welcome to join us, other than that you can do whatever you want. That goes for your pokémon too.”

    Octa nudged Boreas. “My dear fellow, don't you think it's odd that Plasma should kill juveniles and destroy eggs? I mean, think about it, it seems to conflict with their stated goals.”

    “What do you mean?” Boreas asked.

    “It seems to me that, while Plasma is quite obviously responsible for the kidnapped pokémon, the dying juveniles don't sound like the work of humans. Why would they destroy eggs and only leave the scales? I would rather attribute those events to a predatory pokémon taking advantage of all the humans here being too busy protecting the daycare from Team Plasma to protect against predators as well.”

    Raging, boiling anger at the predator preying on the young boiled up in Boreas. “You're right! It must be some cowardly predatory monster that preys on those who are too weak to fight back. I can't wait for tomorrow when we go after them, I'll show them!”

    “Calm yourself down, my dear fellow, we aren't going to trail our hypothetical predator, we have to find Team Plasma.”

    “Team Plasma can wait. The predator that killed the young will pay for what they did!”

    “These are not the same pokémon that killed your family.”

    “I KNOW!” Boreas shouted.

    “Seeking a misplaced vengeance against them shan't help us, then, nor would it be advisable to do so even if we didn't have better things to do.”

    “But we can't just let them go, they're the same kind of lowlife murdering bastards as the Zangeese that killed my family! We can't just let those evil cowards go!”

    “To prey upon the weaker members of a species is not cowardice, it is quite simply good tactics. A predator who preyed only upon prey that has a good chance of killing him would not live long.”

    Boreas couldn't believe what he was hearing. “Are you actually defending them?”

    “No, I am merely making you put things into perspective to prevent you from seeking out vengeance. When your parents returned home from hunting with meat, do you think they bravely killed a mighty Salamence? Of course not, they will have preyed upon something weak, like Patrat or Zigzagoon. They will likely have sought out weaker members of those species such as the young and the sick-”


    Octa was getting rather vexed himself. “I am not insulting your parents, I am simply speaking the truth to prevent you from acting like an imbecile. What do you think the meat humans make and feed you is made from? They herd Miltank and Tauros, essentially making the hunt incredibly easy and riskless for themselves. I understand you are upset, but please think about it. One can't live without eating, you can hardly blame them for that.”

    Logic and anger duelled in Boreas' head. While Octa's words were sensible and logical he just couldn't accept them. “No. You're wrong about it all. Whoever is eating those eggs and young is an evil coward, and so were the Zangeese that killed my family, and I will make them pay for what they have done!”

    Octa gave Boreas a disdainful look. “How disappointing. I had thought you were more intelligent than that, despite your uncertain ancestry. But perhaps I was mistaken.”

    “Just shut up, you arrogant git, and stop insulting my family!”

    “Hmpf, perhaps my great-aunt Galaxia is right. Perhaps one blessed with good ancestry such as me really shouldn't mingle with common pokémon like you! Good day!” Furious at each other, they walked off in different directions.
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