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February 25th, 2011 (11:13 PM). Edited February 26th, 2011 by RocketMeowth.
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A side story to Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Team 9 Lives to the Rescue!.
Map of Eucser: Click Here
(Download the image to see a much larger scale of it, you can read the text if you do. xDD)
This is being done to help me try and get back into 9 Lives. I really want to finish it but I am struggling with getting back into the story. Hopefully writing this about my favorite villain in it will help me get my 9 Lives mo-jo back.
II. Nothing Comes After Three
III. Thoughts of a Father (a.k.a Temptations and Consequences)
IV. Life Inside the Tower
Location: Wheel Flame State
Pregnant with her first child, Sapphira the Typhlosion, alongside her mate Volcanous, awaited the joy of bringing life into this world. When the day came and Sapphira went into labor, the only thing they hoped for was the moment to end. The labor was unbearable even when Sapphira was put into a hypnotic amnesia to reduce the pain. Volcanous stayed by her side through the whole ordeal as Father Othereo, another Typhlosion (a high ranking priest), and a few others watched in wonder.
It lasted for hours.
Sapphira's screams echoed throughout their home until finally, the baby was born. Born on March 23rd, 3,518 at 3:33 a.m, the expecting family was blessed with a healthy baby boy. The only problem... he was of the truest unnatural color. Unlike most shiny Cyndaquil, Quilava, or Typhlosion who had a salmon pink backside, this baby's backside was a smoky black while the rest of him was a darker tan. When his fire was tested by the doctor to see if it was healthy, all were shocked when the infants flame was of darker color.
Father Othereo stared at this infant as he was placed into his weakened mothers arms. She'd been drained completely of her strength from the birthing process and needed Volcanus to help support the child in her arms. Smiling, she named the boy Mercury, after her father Memphis who'd died the previous year due to *OverRus. She handed her son to Volcanous who fondly cradled the child in his arms. No longer able to keep her eyes open, Sapphira closed them and fell into a deep sleep. Volcanous gently placed Mercury into the lava rock crib next to his mate and covered him with a *flame blanket. He then turned and escorted everyone out. They all gave their congratulations (though the ones from the priests seemed fairly reluctant) as they headed out.
The only one to not give his congrats was the head priest, Father Othereo. What he gave instead was a word of caution. The boy was so far was unnatural and therefore a threat. His word was taken seriously by Volcanous as he left, and it never once left his thoughts. Two days passed by and the doctor returned to check up on the infant and mother. He never expected what was to await him upon entering the household.
Volcanous was sitting in a corner near the door with bloodshot eyes. He head was elevated so his gaze was locked on the ceiling. Individual smoke rings were being blown out in equal intervals. The doctor tried to talk to him to find out what was wrong, but all Volcanous could say was, "I tried to stop her. I tried to stop her." He repeated these words over and over in a stiff and quiet voice. Worry now pressed into his chest, the doctor ran to the back bedroom where the mother and child were. What he saw threw him for a loop.
Blood was splattered all over the walls and ceiling. The curtains over the window were ripped and pulled from the bar that held them up while the chair in the corner was charred black. Scratches traveled the walls of the room in a way that looked like claws had been jammed into it and dragged. On the bed however was the site that made him throw up inside his mouth. Laying on her back was Sapphira, wide eyed and stiffer than stone. Her claws were locked in a way that looked like she'd been holding a ball in each one while her mouth lay open from what seemed like screaming. Her body was covered in blood including her own claws. The source of the blood... an open wound in her throat and stomach looking to be caused from relentless ripping of the skin.
The doctor knew from just looking at her that she was dead.
He then ran to the lava rock crib to see about the baby. He was shocked even further when discovering the child in perfect condition. Not a single scratch or drop of blood was on him. A further check up on the child said the same thing. There was no sign or trauma or injury on him, no scent or fear and no health issues. The doctor went back to Volcanous to ask him again as to what had happened. Had someone broken in? Were they attacked? What? Finally the father explained, though his words were hard to understand from how shaky his voice was.
"She exploded. Don't know how else to explain it. She slept... she woke... she ate... slept again... then the screams."
"Screams?" the doctor asked. He'd knelt down to try and put himself at eye-level with the father.
"Night terrors. Can't wake up when night terrors come. Jumped out of bed, ran around room... screaming of power. She scratched the walls, tore the curtains, burned the chair, and then... then she attacked herself." The doctor heard his voice now filling with sadness as his eyes became shiny. "Tried to stop her... I tried... couldn't. She clawed her stomach open and then ripped at her throat. Couldn't stop her... couldn't stop her... couldn't stop her..." Volcanous was again repeating his words.
Without any more explanation the doctor ran from the house to get the priests and medics. They returned not even a half-an-hour later with a stretcher, three other medics (including the doctor the went to get them) and five priests with Father Othereo at the head of the whole group. When they got back to the house the medics did what they were there for. They placed Sapphira onto the stretched, covered her with a blanket, and then took her away. Three priests stood outside the house and spoke prayers to it to cleanse it over the ordeal that happened while the fourth and Father Othereo went inside. Father Othereo headed to the child while the fourth helped Volcanous. Enraged, Father Othereo picked Mercury up and took him out of the building.
"W-wait Father... what.. what are you doing to m-my son?!" asked Volcanous as the fourth priest used himself as a leverage to help hold the weakened father up.
"I told you to watch for this boy! He is unnatural! He placed a curse upon your wife and used it to force her to commit suicide! He must be slain at once!" bellowed Father Othereo. Volcanous, though respectful of the priest, pushed away from whom he leaned on and ran out of his house. He fell to his hands upon reaching the holy Typhlosion, his exhaustion from last night still claiming him. He reached up, knowing well to not touch the sacred cloth that the Father wore around his neck and sides.
"No! No it was not him. Sapphira's dad had OverRus a year ago that virus... that virus is contagious! Symptoms... her symptoms... they were like his! My son did nothing! Please!" pleaded the dad. Father Othereo looked to him and squinted in pity as the child in his hands began to cry and wail. "PLEASE!" repeated Volcanous.
"It is true that OverRus can be both genetic, contagious, and spontaneous Father," added the doctor. Father Othereo looked at the baby as he cried out and squirmed around. He stared at it for what seemed like hours before coming to his final decision.
"Virus or not, this child is unnatural and still a threat! He may stay with you but it will be required that upon three years of age that he be taught by me through all his schooling years. He will be moved to a location away from all other children and taught the ways passed down to us by *Pyriss! Until that day comes, you, Volcanous, will not be permitted to leave this State. You will be checked up on weekly by myself and the other priests. Is that understood?" asked the Father as he looked at Volcanous, Mercury still in his arms crying and kicking. Volcanous stared a broken stare as he felt the chains of his sentence being shackled around his ankles. He agreed to what was said though, knowing well and good that he couldn't fight the word of the head priest.
He weakly took his son as he was handed back. He then watched as the priests finished their prayers on his house and gathered back together around the dead body of his wife. With Father Othereo at the head, they walked away with Sapphira to take her to where she could be properly cleansed before placing her in her casket to be buried. Volcanous knew he'd be called when the ceremony of her burial was to be held. Until then, he was left where he was, on his knees with his baby in hand.
February 26th, 2011 (9:36 AM).
Before I say anything else, I want to say that the massive amount of pre-story exposition is unnecessary and distracting. I don't care if this is a side-story of a larger fic, you should put your exposition in the narration, not in a preliminary document that's longer than your first chapter. We don't need to know everything Mercury did in your other story, nor do we need to know every single named character's backstory. And what's with the template that doesn't give any information that we can't tell just by reading the character entries? The bottom line is that it discourages your readers from reading the story because they'd rather find out all of these details by, well, reading the story.
The story itself is interesting enough. You've succeeded in making the priest thoroughly unlikeable, but not so unreasonable as to be ridiculous. I feel sorry for Mercury, even though I'm wondering why he has to be shiny-shiny. My understanding is that shininess is rare enough that regular shiny is highly unusual and likely to frighten the superstitious, but no matter.
As for the writing itself, I wasn't too impressed. The aftermath scene was a little overdone, and I couldn't take "screaming of power" seriously. Aside from that, it came a little too quickly following the end of the childbirth scene. There's one short transition paragraph, and then the father's eyes are all bloodshot. I think the scene would have been more powerful if you had slowed things down coming up to it.
There are a number of grammatical trip-ups that you should have been able to spot with enough proof-reading. For example:
In short, I was turned off by the gratuitous out-of-story information, and though the story proper piqued my interest, there's not much to say about it yet and your writing could use some polish.
My chapter fics:
Kanto: The Disputed Frontier - Indefinite hiatus // Gary Stu's Unpredictable Adventure - Complete // Digimon Campaign - Complete
There's Always Tomorrow (SWC 2009) // A Matter of Stubbornness (SWC 2010) // Left by the Roadside (SWC 2011 1st place) //
Giovanni Destroys the World and Everything in It (2012) // By What Right? (SWC 2013 1st place) // Back in the Day (SWC 2014 1st place) //
Dad's Old Gym (SWC 2016 2nd place)
Family (kind of?): Strange person who calls me strange names
If the pen is mightier than the sword, the keyboard is mightier than the ICBM.
February 26th, 2011 (10:51 AM). Edited February 26th, 2011 by Miz en Scène.
(Which means “hello” or “you’re still alive” in Mandalorian. A fictional language.)
Yes, well, right off the bat I’m noticing a few peculiarities within the way you’ve presented the fic which aren’t really conventional storytelling methods. The first of which, is your use of info-dumping, or giving a description of everything, at the beginning of the piece. Generally, writer’s tend to avoid doing this because it gives the connotation that the writer in question is unskilled at writing. Why? Because writing, as you may know, is painting pictures with words, and the whole point of fiction is for the reader to slowly build a picture of your world and its characters by zherself using the text as a guide. It’s way more effective than outright telling the reader who’s in the fic and what’s going to happen because the reader can then empathise more easily with the characters in question, thus having more of a feel for the story. I won’t go into the philosophical-specifics of storytelling, so I’ll simply say that having the reader be more connected to your story is a good thing just because. Take for example all the major novels out there on the market. They work by drawing the reader in. We laugh and cry alongside their fictional antics. Now contrast that with reading an article on Wikipedia about the same book. I doubt that you’d feel as connected. In short, more showing and not telling.
Now that that’s done and dealt with, on to the review proper.
Overall, your story’s unique in that it deals with an actual Pokémon society, albeit slightly more medieval in nature, without any overt references to this being a PMD fic of any sort, ones that I tire of seeing, especially in the RP section. >_> However, the largest flaw I’m finding with this entire society is the fact that you don’t describe it as much as I’d like in the actual body of the story. I’ve touched on why this is a bad thing, but now it’s worse because for people like me, who skip straight to the prologue, we miss out on this beautifully crafted world just because the author expected the reader to accept the world as a given, canon environment, instead of the author-created realm it actually is. To fixing this, I suggest you remove the larger-than-your-fic author’s notes on the world, and actually focus on adding subtle references to the hierarchy and structure within the world without making everything too explicit. Remember, you’ll want the reader to accept this information by zherself, not slapping zhem in the face with it.
Next, we move on to your characters. The birth scene was credible enough, barring the missing midwife, and the fact that Pokémon lay eggs, but the events following that were a tad overplayed for my tastes. Sooo what? You have the mother giving birth to a special infant, the priest who just happens to be there claiming this newborn to be the devil’s advocate, the parents vouching for the infant’s innocence, and then some form of conflict involving death and the baby being shunned from society… Yes, believe it or not there have been plenty of instances where this exact plot has been carried out, just don’t ask me to list them all. I do know, however, that they’re all not strictly like this. Some of them have soldiers entering the house and killing everyone etc…
Anyway, another point I want to touch on is the aftermath scene with the father (smoking?) in one corner, the wife dead in the room, and the baby unharmed in the same room. This scene was the most overplayed in my eyes because, for one, the father, instead of getting help running and screaming, simply tried to restrain his wife by himself. Not the most logical choice of action, considering that this is a known disease. Next, why is the baby in the same room as the violent mother? Why is he not somewhere safe? Say… with the father who’s calmly on the outside? You know that the disease causes madness, and I don’t care whether or not you’re afraid it’s going to kill you, but parents (the father in this case) will risk life and limb to save their newborn. So yes, him not going for help and or saving the child is incredibly weird.
Finally, I’m just going to touch on your use of footnotes. Never use footnotes or a glossary of terms in writing for the same reasons you shouldn’t slap your readers in the face with information. It’s just not an ideal way to convey information. The only exception to this rule is parody/comedy, where it can be used to extravagant humorous effect, and to a certain extent, historical fiction, where certain references may not be understood by contemporary audiences and it would be too awkward to place it in the narrative. For example, anachronistic expletives. The characters in the story won’t be explaining it to you the same way you won’t explain why the f-word, to mean copulation, is a swear.
So all in all, it’s a good-ish concept, but there were those parts that I felt you needed to go through.
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February 26th, 2011 (11:41 AM). Edited February 26th, 2011 by Bay Alexison.
OMG, RocketMeowth! :D It’s been a while since I read your Mystery Dungeon fic, but I’m glad you’re writing again!
All right, before I get to the review, I’ll say real quick on the pre-information stuff. While I agree with icomeanon6 and Mizan it is distracting and you could have referenced some of those stuff in the narrative, I don’t think you have to take those out. My suggestion is if you still want to keep those info put the pre-story exposition stuff under the spoiler so that the readers that want to just get right to the story don’t have to look at the spoiler and those readers that want to look something for reference can back to spoiler for the info later on. That, and some of those pre-information stuff ARE a bit spoilery for this story. I know you put a lot of thought and planning into this story and Team Nine Lives, so don’t let icomeanon6’s and Mizan’s comments make you feel bad your effort is a waste.
Now, onto the story. First off, I feel you could have done the dialogue between Father Otherero and Volcanous when the priest warned the father Mercury could be a threat. It would give a chance to show the two’s personalities and thoughts over the matter through their conversation. The part about Mercury being a different sort of shiny is quite interesting though. I too am wondering why he’s a totally different shiny, but I’m sure that’ll be revealed as the story progresses.
For the next scene of this chapter I’ll point a couple points I feel you could have expand a bit:
Other than those things, I think you did the next part of the chapter nicely. Sure it’s overdone, but you did well with the priest unlikeable, which is one of my favorite things you did for this chapter. Also, I feel sorry for both Volcanous and Mercury being under this situation. I’m going to have to agree with Mizan though Volcanous could have gone out to get help and that the baby could have been in a safer place instead of with the mother if it’s known she had the disease.
Overall, despite needing to expand some parts of it and the first chapter been done before, I still enjoy this a lot. I'm not turned off of the unoriginality of the scenes in this chapter because I think you have some twists and turns for later scenes planned out and am looking forward to what you came up with. It's been a long time since I read your work, but I know you had gotten better handle with plot and characters, so this shouldn't be too different.
March 2nd, 2011 (6:05 AM).
Thank you very much for such honest responses. People have never mentioned before how the information at the start is more so a distraction and a turn off than interesting. I'll do what Bay said and put it in a spoiler tag, something I've never actually been able to use before at the sites I'm active at. The main reason is because I've actually had some people at other places comment saying how they liked having information like that.
@Kuro: Hehe, thank you for the comment on it's uniqueness. I hope that when I do put my Mystery Dungeon story up you'll find it just as unique. I took a ton of creative liberty with it (especially since the original was written back in 06', before the games even came to america) resulting in it having little to no connection to the games. The only real connections is that it's got a rescue force, rescue teams, and the teams go on missions. Everything else I pretty much created. So yeah, I hope that when that gets put up, you'll enjoy it.
@Bay: God I missed you. XDD
I will take into high consideration what you three have said within your reviews of my story. I've already got the first three chapters typed up (I started this about a month ago) so please bare with the writing. I'm writing chapter four now, so I'll be sure to include the advice you all gave.
Nothing Comes After Three
Location: Wheel Flame State, Pure District - Mid-Morning - Three years later
Young Mercury crept slowly to the front door, stepping lightly and taking his time so as not to alert his father in the other room. The closer he got to that portal into the world of fun, the more excited he became. As soon as he was just mere inches from the door, he took a gander over to his dad to be safe. He smiled when he saw the newspaper blocking his fathers vision, and even more please when he saw smoke rings rising up from behind it. He knew that when his dad was involved with what he was reading he'd blow smoke rings.
Looking back to the door he lowered down to all fours and wiggled his rear end in preparation to jump. Being a Cyndaquil, he was too short to actually reach the doorknob. A nice jump was all he needed to get this portal open.
"You're still grounded young man!" spoke Volcanous's voice from behind the paper, startling Mercury just as he was about the leap up. Tripping from the shock, Mercury fell to his side with a small thump.
"Aw, c'mon pa! That's not fair!" he proclaimed back as he threw himself into a sitting position. He slouched as he sat, his eagerness to go back outside now erupting into a desire. His father lowered the paper onto his lap. He'd been laying on the couch with his direction in direct line of where the hallway to the door was. With one last smoke ring, he responded in a fatherly tone, one normally taken when repeating punishments.
"Don't c'mon pa me. You still have two days left in your grounding." Volcanous pulled the paper back up to his face, trying to find the column he was on as well as where he left off.
"But pa, it's been nearly a week! And I don't remember doing anything THAT bad!" added Mercury as he stood up, swinging his arms downward as he argued. A smoke ring came from behind the paper. Volcanous closed and opened it again, presumably turning a page before finally lowering it again.
"You burned down the map of our district that sat near the bridge connector for the shopping area!" he exclaimed. He didn't really sound angry, just a little shocked that his son didn't find that incident "that bad".
"Yeah well... there's a lot of those map things..." retorted Mercury as he folded his arms and looked away. His father sighed and rolled his eyes before again pulling the paper back up to his face. He didn't respond right away, causing Mercury to turn his gaze back towards him in wonder.
"That map was for travelers. We get them a lot you know. It's not like they live here son. They don't know squat about how to get around in this giant state. Besides, that was the only map for our district on THIS SIDE! The other map is on the other end near the connector bridge for the Tower of Pyriss. Without the one near the shopping area, travelers will have to ask those who live here for directions to the other sign post with the map. And as you know, not everyone likes to ask fire types for directions," explained Volcanous. He hadn't lowered his paper again, but his eyes were once more pulled away from it. Looking to his right he saw his son now standing next to him. He raised a brow at his boy, wondering just what he would do to try and lower his sentence.
"Pleeeeeeease papa!" Volcanous threw his paper onto his lap and threw his head back over the arm rest of the sofa. Spitting out a smoke ring he sighed in defeat. He hated it when hi son used the tiny cute factor on him like that. It always melted his heart and broke him of his command.
"Fine! I guess letting you out two days early wouldn't be that bad... I mean... you did spend three inside following rules. Well, sort of." He looked to his left, through the opening into the kitchen where a brown square table seating four stood. A large chunk of it was black as charcoal from the previous day. Mercury had tried to practice his Flame Wheel and... the outcome wasn't pretty.
Excited to be free, Mercury leapt up and ran to the door. He no longer took it upon himself to hide his steps and move lightly. As he reached the door he turned to his father and gave one last shout of thanks. Nodding in return, Volcanous picked his paper back up to finish reading the article he'd started. His ear flicked when he heard his son open and close the door, shaking his head as a small chuckle emanated from a closed mouth. "Kids," he said to himself.
Once outside Mercury began to feel less agitated. He hated being inside for long periods because of how cramped is always seemed to become. With a deep breath, he took in that brimstone smell and charged away from his home. His destination, the playground! He was going to give Ko-gasu, his closest Cyndaquil buddy, the biggest shock of his week!
A few minutes after he left, a new Pokemon entered the area. Tucked under his right arm was a long black cane that had a replicated golden version of the Fire Orb of Elemental Creation sitting at its top. Slowly he paced himself, dignity in each step he took as he drew closer to the brimstone household. Once at its door he took his cane, and with the orb, knocked twice.
"Hmm?" reacted Volcanous as the knocks were heard. He huffed out a ring of smoke in annoyance as once more he had to put his paper down. As the knocks came once more, Volcanous jumped off the sofa and took one last quick glance at what he'd been reading. "I shouldn't worry about Brokenback. He's 3 and 2 with odds favorable to win." As a knock came once more, Volcanous began to feel the fur on his neck rise. "Hold your freaking Rapidash I'm coming!" he shouted. He stomped towards his door, praying for it to be some low life he could bust his annoyance on. After opening his door, his ears fell back as his visitor was the one he wished would never come...
"You're gonna' be in so much trouble!" remarked Ko-gasu as he pointed his tiny paw at Mercury. "You still got like... two... four... nine... I don't know how long you have left but I know you aren't done being grounded yet!" he finished. Ko-gasu was a normal Cyndaquil around the same age as Mercury, and was also his closest friend. They spent every day together and often played games on the playground near where they lived.
"Papa let me out early for good behavior! Well... sorta. The cute factor kinda played a bit part but hey, I'm out so lets play!" said Mercury as he placed his arms behind his head. Ko-gasu laughed and nodded as a response. The two then ran to where the swing set was, each trying to run faster than the other. Once close enough, Ko-gasu jumped high into the air (more like a foot off the ground) and landed stomach first onto the rubber swing. It bent as he landed, putting pressure on his small stomach. He then called to his friend, and the two began playing as they always did. One would be on the swing while the other would tackle attack them to get the swing moving. Little did anyone know that this play had two purposes.
Once finished, Ko-gasu suggested that now was a good time to start playing their traditional game. Unlike any of the other games they played like tackle tag or spit fire (a game where they threw tiny fire balls at one another), this one was extremely risky. It involved breaking a law of the Wheel Flame State that the priests always held onto strongly. Since the state was named after the great Flame Wheel attack its founder could perform, it was made a law that the Flame Wheel move was to be treated as a sacred attack. Fire types living in Wheel Flame State would have to wait until they reached the proper age of fifteen before learning it. Being between adulthood and adolescence, that number was always seen as an important year by fire type standards. There were other types that also held this thought, but none held it more sacred than the proud flame of the Pokemon world.
"I got better while you were kicking the brimstone!" laughed Ko-gasu as he and Mercury headed to the abandoned mill just a few blocks down. Mercury couldn't help but laugh after hearing that.
"Better? Since when were you ever good?! Your fire has never made it to the head tuck of the roll!" he laughed. When learning Flame Wheel, one had to have a strong flame breath to last throughout a full roll. If it did and it connected with itself, the unique attribute of that fire would help spin the Pokemon even faster until they had enough velocity to push themselves into dash. Once the dash was achieved, an unexplainable trait would kick in that all Flame Wheel learning Pokemon had. They'd begin to move so fast that upon opening their eyes in mid dash, the world wouldn't be spinning, but instead a tiny bit choppier from how it looked normally.
"I was always good! I just never try to out do you! I know though that I'll be the first between us to experience that awesome feeling you get in your first dash!" exclaimed Ko-gasu as he tucked his arms and head in. A gigantic smile lay on his face as he giggled.
"You mean the whole choppy world experience? I heard it's really scary the first time you go through it," replied Mercury as he looked at the ground. He couldn't really imagine reality moving like the footage from a store camera. At the same time his stomach always seemed to churn upon imagining having to spin for so long and so fast. Ko-gasu looked at him and saw his face looking rather pale while his arms seemed pressed to is stomach.
"You really still on about that? My mama already told us that Pokemon who can learn the Flame Wheel have a natural immu... immooneh... um... they don't get dizzy," said Ko-gasu now looking annoyed. He hated when big words escaped him and he had to resort to kid speak. He liked sounding smart, especially when around older fire types.
"That's really hard to believe you know," said Mercury with a sigh.
"Yeah well have you ever gotten dizzy?" asked Ko-gasu. Mercury shrugged, not really able to remember if there had ever been a situation in his long three years of life. Ko-gasu laughed and gave him a push. A challenge now issued to see who could push harder, the two burst into a tackling run as they headed for the mill that sat only one block away now.
Back in Mercury's house, Volcanous had fallen to his knees in desperation as he begged his visitor to rethink this who idea. His voice was shaky and unkept, showing no signs of respect for the Typhlosion that now stood before him, staring down at him with stabbing eyes. Volcanous continued though, his please trying to describe to his visitor how taking what he loved from him would destroy him on the inside. It was a pitiful sight to see him doing this.
Annoyed by the fathers ill reaction, the Typhlosion lifted his cane off the ground and placed its end on the pleading males forehead. Like pushing a pause button, the constant pleas were silenced almost immediately as Volcanous just stared at what was in his line of sight; the sash worn around the priests waist.
"Better. Now get that child of yours Volcanous. The deal was set three years ago that I let your boy live with you until his age where teachings would start. You gave me your solemn oath that this demon would be handed to me and so shall he be!" growled Father Othereo as he pushed forward with his cane, forcing Volcanous to move with it. Forced back onto his feet, the desperate father began thinking up ways to keep his son. Material possessions? Forgiveness? What would be worthy enough to trade to the overpowering priest? As he thought and thought, his delayed response to Father Othereo's demand was starting to set and ill feeling in the pit of his stomach. "Volcanous!" he erupted. Shocked from the yell, Volcanous stumbled back until he fell onto his sofa, heart racing like the derby's he often placed bets on.
"I'm sorry Father but he's not here right now!" he said as he grabbed the part of his chest where his heart sat. He felt the pounding like a drum vibrate in his hand as he perked his ears to hear the Father's response.
"Not here? Well then where is he?!"
"Out playing with his friend. He'd been grounded for a few days because of a small incident where-"
"Where he purposely burned down the map of this part of the Pure District, I know." Volcanous was shocked by what was said. Mercury burning the map post was not an intentional act. Even others agreed, though a lot seemed reluctant to, that it was all an accident.
"Father, you're wrong," he began as his heart slowed to its normal beat. His eyes squinted with resentment towards what was said, and his movement when getting up was very choppy and unbecoming when in the presence of a priest. "Mercury didn't mean to burn it down and as you've heard, others who aren't even friends of mine agreed that it was just an accident!"
"Your son is a demon. They know it, I know it, the entire state knows it. They're just agreeing because they fear the demon may attack them if they do anything to upset it. Now, when will he be back? I have many things to attend to today and I don't have time to just sit around and play watcher." Volcanous felt even more appalled by Father Othereo's tone. Being a priest who often demanded respect, he sure never seemed to want to return what was given to him. However there was one thing that stayed the same through the years.
"He'll be back within two hours. He always comes home at the exact same time for lunch. It's remarkable really..." He couldn't fight the head priest.
"Two hours? I don't have that kind of time! Where is he I'll just pick him up myself."
"I don't know. He's been out playing for around an hour now. After one hour he and Ko-gasu leave the park and walk off to some other location. Mercury always comes home on time and in perfect health so I never felt the need to ask where he goes. If you want him, you will have to wait," answered Volcanous as he turned away, heading into the kitchen. Opening the cold box he began looking at what there was to drink. Out of the instinct of being a good host, he called out to Father Othereo asking if he would like a refreshment while he waited. At first no response came, but after a few minutes the Father answered back with a dissatisfied 'yes'. The two then sat and waited, no words being spoken as the atmosphere in the room began to grow thicker and thicker. The two hour mark was up and as if by clockwork, the voice of Volcanous's son filled his ears with its muffled joy.
The door took forever to open, each inch it moved only a terrible reminder that this would be that last time he saw his little boy enter into his own home.
The last time... the last time... his heart beat those words as his mind grew darker than the hiding moon after a month's cycle.
As Mercury closed the door, he looked into the room to see the Father staring in his direction. It was strange though because the gaze felt penetrating, as if the Father were trying to look right through him. "Hi?" he greeted, confused and uncomfortable. He didn't like the way he was being looked at and how endless it seemed to be. It felt wrong. He didn't say anything though, his papa teaching him early one that the priests were to never be questioned or disrespected.
"Your lunch is in the kitchen son. Go eat up. The Father here wants to talk to you once you finish," said his dad in a very distant voice. It sounded as if he didn't want to utter anything at all, making the son feel even more uneasy. Stepping into the kitchen, he crawled up some portable steps, pulled himself onto the chair they sat against, and grabbed onto the counter top where he again proceeded to pull himself him. Once on the counter, he found his sandwich sitting on a plate with a glass of juice next to it.
"Please Father, he's only three you're going to destroy him emotionally! Please reconsider please! He's all I have left from Sapphira," whispered Volcanous in both a pleading and ager coated voice.
"It's for the good of our state! You keep him here and by the creators, he will show you how sinful your trust in him is!" whispered the Father, his tone full of fury. Volcanous was thankful for the whispered response. It meant that this Typhlosion had some sense of decency in him, however small it may be.
"I told... I told Ko-gasu I was having meat for lunch... this is good... you should have seen how cold he got! It was so funny!" laughed Mercury in between bites. Volcanous laughed as believably as he could to try and keep his son in good spirits. After lunch, he called his son to where he and the Father were. Broken down and beat, his arguments were doing nothing to change the outcome of this dreaded day. He knelt down slowly and grabbed his boy's shoulders tightly, his firm grip almost painful to the small Cyndaquil.
"Know this son. There is no force on this planet, in this universe, that is stronger than my love for you. No matter what happens don't you dare forget that." He then pulled his son closer to him and wrapped his arms around him, his head titled away from his sons. He hugged him tightly in silence, his deep breaths unable to keep his true feelings hidden.
"Papa?" asked Mercury. He felt scared, helpless, confused, and lost all at once. It was like none of his fun with Ko-gasu even happened. On top of that, the emotion his father seemed to be putting out was even worse than everything he currently felt. It was like his mother had been brought back to life, and then painfully taken away from them again.
"I'm so sorry. I'm so very sorry. At that moment... it was the only choice I had! Had I known how painful this moment would be... I swear I would have tried leaving. I was selfish son. Please forgive me for it... please!" begged his father.
"Volcanous," interrupted Father Othereo as he set his can onto the floor, getting up from where he sat. Volcanous looked up at him, the eyes telling him that the emotions expressed were moving but pointless. Never wanting to let go, Volcanous couldn't help deny them what he knew they were trying to get him to do. "Volcanous!" repeated Father Othereo, this time with a more demanding grunt. He watched the father pull back from his boy in reluctancy. Mercury looked to the Father and then to his papa. Darting back and forth he began to feel something terrible in the very core of his stomach.
Knowing it was fully unavoidable, his father felt it was now the time to explain to his son the tragedy that was about to befall him. As he spoke every word, hi son began to react in the way he predicted. Shaking his head, tears filling his eyes, and pushing back, every word seemed to be hitting him like a brick. He responded a few times, screams of denial fueling the fire of hatred inside his heart. The small unnaturally colored Cyndaquil even went as far as attempting an attack on Father Othereo who in turn, blocked every move with a Protect. The little Pokemon was now screaming uncontrollably, his voice alerting the attention of others who were outside, including Ko-gasu whom was still waiting for his best friend to come back.
The screams then silenced and the door to the house opened. Mercury walked out with a hanging head, eyes open so wide they looked as if they would pop out of his head. After him came the Father who seemed to show no real emotion on his face. Brushing the small Cyndaquil with his cane, he gestured him forward. The two then began to walk away, Mercury not once struggling to run back or run off in a completely different direction.
Finally Volcanous ran out, screaming for his son to forgive him. His voice sounded just as broken as it did the night his wife was taken away to be cleansed for burial. He even fell to hi knees in the exact same spot, his heart once more breaking as the last bit of Sapphira was taken away.
As his son disappeared from view, the broken father fell to his hands, screaming in agony as tears poured like a waterfall to the dry ground below him. He'd never hear his sons voice again. He'd never feel his love. The joys of playing with him would never return. He was lost to him, and unless a miracle occurred, that loss was to be permanent.
For Mercury, nothing comes after three.
March 12th, 2011 (5:04 PM).
Despite a couple things I feel you could fix up a bit, this is still a great chapter. You’re much better able to show the scenes instead of telling and the emotions are developed better. I also love Ko-gasu and Mercury’s interaction there, very cute. I so hope Ko-gasu will come again later on in the story. XD Well, looking forward to how the next part of the story will unfold!