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Old September 24th, 2011 (2:02 AM). Edited February 29th, 2012 by dash!.
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dash! dash! is offline
    Join Date: Jun 2009
    Location: Florida
    Age: 26
    Gender: Female
    Nature: Jolly
    Posts: 35
    Author's Note:
    I'd like to introduce my Pokefic, Escalation. My writing is a bit rusty, constructive criticism is, of course, more than welcome. I apologize for any grammatical errors. I'm blind when it comes to proof-reading.

    This is just a fanfic. All rights to Pokemon belong to Nintendo, Game Freak, Etc. If I had created Pokemon myself, I'd be a lot richer.

    Pg-14, due to this story involving bloodshed, Human violence, Pokeviolence, death, and language.

    And so I present to you... Chapter One, and what is probably an annoyingly vague idea of what's going on.

    Escalation: Chapter One
    Preparing for Trouble

    "Mr. Slade has a message for you. Boardwalk Bar at midnight. Do not ignore. Urgent."

    Less than two hours after the note was discovered, having been slipped underneath the door crack of the recipient's home, it was already crumbled, torn, and frail. And for the hundredth time since receiving the note, a small framed and chestnut-haired girl by the name of Cori once again clenched her fist around the little piece of paper, tearing a hole right through the middle. Her grip tightened to an unnecessary level as a pair of emerald green eyes set in a round, youthful face swept around the bar. She was trying to counteract the painful knots her stomach was forming, and search for whomever she was supposed to be meeting.

    What do you do, what are you supposed to think in a situation like this? It’s not a comfortable idea at all…being contacted after so long by someone you had stabbed in the back and threw under the bus. Someone whose trust you abused.

    And yet, Cori couldn’t ignore the note. This wasn’t only because the paper had blatantly ordered her not to, but mainly because she knew “Mr. Slade” would have to have a damn good reason to be hunting her down like that. So Cori knew, as the paper claimed, it had to be urgent… and more likely than not, it wasn’t good at all.

    So here she was, waiting.

    Boardwalk Bar was an interesting place, and personally one of Cori's favorite hangouts. It was an outdoor area of drinking and merriment set up at the very end of the Slateport Beach boardwalk. There was a mechanical retractable roof for times of rain, although at the moment it was folded up against the wall of the adjacent restaurant, giving way to the starry sky overhead.

    Around her, the occupants were shouting, pounding fists, and laughing. Cori ignored them. She raised her hand slightly, catching the attention of the girl behind the bar. Less than a minute later her fifth shot of rum was in front of her. Cori downed it with no hesitation, only just barely showing disgust at the strong taste. She hadn't noticed the man beside her until he spoke.

    "I find it rather amusing that you took that message to meet at a bar, despite how important and urgent it obviously was, as an invitation to get yourself drunk”.

    Cori felt her stomach drop just a little. She was beginning to hope nobody would meet her after all. As an act of defiance she raised her hand again at the bartender, casting a sideways glance at the speaker as she did so. She didn't recognize him. Thank God.

    "Do you even know the whole situation here?" Cori emptied the shot glass for a sixth time. Knowing her old friend, the majority of the information was kept a secret. This man was simply to deliver the note and a measly little message that wouldn't even make sense to him. She wouldn’t like what she was going to hear either. Cori reflected over every single possibility for two hours after finding that note. This was why she was drinking.

    The man chuckled. Cori turned to get a second look at him, noting three prominent characteristics: he was aging, his head was balding, and his mustache was thick.

    "No," he said finally, and Cori nodded, edging the man to continue.

    "What is it then?"

    He sighed, glanced around, almost as if to make sure nobody was eavesdropping, and leaned in a little closer.

    "This is honesty all that I know and was told. But first, are you aware of the situation of Kanto and Johto?" Cori nodded, the man continued, "Good. Besides that, I was told to tell you this: you've been tracked down."

    Cori had no idea how successful her efforts to hide her expression were.

    "Do you know what that means?" the man said apprehensively. Cori turned back toward the bar, raising her hand more urgently this time.

    "Do you?" she answered back. From the corner of her eye, Cori noticed the man shake his head. She let out a smirk in spite of herself, noting she had been right and her old friend certainly had not changed over the past two years. "Of course, it's not your business after all”. She turned back to the messenger with a new shot of rum in hand. She was shaking a little, despite her calm demeanor. "Is that all then?" she asked. Her voice was also shaky.

    "Mostly. All that I have is that your enemies know where you are…you and Faye."

    The shot glass slipped from Cori's grasp. Her fingers found a new hold around the collar of the man's shirt as she jerked him forward. "They found my sister?"

    He coughed, grabbing Cori's wrist and attempted to pry it from his front. The girl held fast.

    "Yes," he said after a few seconds.

    "Then where is she? Are you going to warn her too?"

    He stopped his struggling, taken by surprise. "How would I know? The idea was that you would warn her."

    Cori let go, fuming. Her stomach, which had felt like it was tying itself into tight twisting knots not even ten minutes ago, had now begun to feel empty. Sickeningly empty; nauseatingly so.

    "No. Faye wants nothing to do with me; I don't even know where she is."

    With that she left, her head spinning and mind racing. She needed to leave the city. She needed fresh air. She needed another drink. She needed to find her sister. She needed to strangle this old man who had brought such terrible news. She’s going to be hunted. She’s probably got a hefty bounty on her head. She didn't even pay the bar tab.

    Cori strode down the boardwalk as swiftly as she dared, noting that the noise of the ocean crashing became more noticeable as she distanced herself from the noisy bar. Her arms tightened around her front. She was planning.

    Go home, grab stuff, leave. She swore aloud, ignoring the stares it earned her. She needs to- How? How can she track Faye down?

    Her mind raced even faster as she traversed the streets and side-streets of downtown Slateport. She spoke to nobody, watched the ground, and moved like a robot. It wasn't until she had entered an abandoned alley, a quick albeit sketchy shortcut to her apartment, that she took her eyes off of her feet. Cori instantly noticed two uniformed figures ahead of her. It was then that she realized she’d been stumbling.

    "Evening,” Cori said quietly. The two policemen eyed her suspiciously. One stepped forward.

    "It’s late ma’am,” he stated. Cori rolled her eyes. The blatant sign of disrespect visibly annoyed the two policemen. Yet she didn't care, she had too much on her mind to be courteous right now.

    "How old are you miss?" the other one asked. Cori snorted.


    The other cop furrowed his brows, shaking his head. "I doubt that, you don't look it."

    "I know”.

    "Have you been drinking tonight?" Cori was silent, glaring. She had enough on her plate at the moment; she didn't want to be dealing with pesky police.

    "Why," she finally said.

    The man cleared his throat, "You weren't walking very straight. You're slurring your speech a litt-"

    "Why should it matter?" Cori cut the cop off, causing him to shoot her an annoyed glower. "I'm of age. I'm not driving. Lay the **** off. Can I go home now?"

    "Ma'am," Cori's patience was wearing even thinner, "Please be compliant. This will go more smoothly if-"

    The girl let another vulgar swear. She couldn't help herself. Rum brought up her temper, so did stress and bad news, and also so did cops who enjoyed getting on people's cases. She dug through her bag, found her wallet, withdrew her ID, and flung it at the two policemen. One stooped to pick it up from the ground. "There,” she huffed, "Like I said, I'm not as young as I look. Do you feel like letting me off now?"

    They stared at the card for a bit longer than she found comfortable. One then smirked, his right hand withdrawing an all too familiar red and white sphere from a pocket.

    "Cori Addison," he began. The girl stiffened, narrowing her eyes. She could tell instantly that something wasn't quite right. The Poke Ball in the cop's hands cracked open, the escaping beam of light shaping itself into a Noctowl. "There is a warrant out for your arrest."

    "No there isn't," she answered without thinking. Just more bad news to pile on her tonight. What could she have possibly done? Cori backed up as quickly as she could, opting to run. The Noctowl's eyes glowed, and she felt herself being lifted from the ground as the owl exerted its Psychic attack on her. Floating in the air, she was left helpless to escape on her own. "What am I wanted for? Put me down!" she ordered. The second policeman stepped forward; Cori swore and kicked forward as a hand reached for the hem of her shirt.

    Even as the man stumbled back, grunting in man, Cori knew it was too late. He had lifted her top just enough to reveal the small and simple yet easily recognizable tattoo on her right hip: a bold red R outlined in black. Swearing and kicking her feet at the cop again; Cori plunged her hand into her bag for a second time.

    "You are under arrest for having associations with Team Rocket,” the owner of the Noctowl stated. Cori continued digging viciously through her bag. "We are cracking down more than ever on their attempts to set up in Hoenn. As you should know, they have managed to take control of both Kanto and Johto. You will be taken to the station and questioned for information on their plans here."

    "I left Team Rocket. I can't tell you anything”. Cori found them then: two small ping-pong sized balls. One felt completely smooth, and Cori smirked as she gripped it. They'll get a kick out of this.

    "That’s an unlikely story, especially with that mark. We know enough about the organization to conclude that they only gave those to the most trusted of their members…” he paused to clear his throat, “Noctowl-" the cop began to address his Pokemon. Cori let go of her first choice and opted for the second small sphere, on which she could feel two raised ridges. Saller would be much too recognizable. Cori knew at this point, no matter how much she didn't like it, that she was on the doorstep of being on the run from the law. She swiftly withdrew the Great Ball and enlarged it as the policeman finished his order; "Use Hypnosis, now."

    "Detect! Slash that damn owl!" Cori ordered as she slammed her Great Ball into the ground at her floating feet. The familiar form of her Absol Cala emerged, countering the Hypnosis aimed at her trainer. The owl cried indignantly, spreading its wings. It got nowhere before its opponent swiped the hooked horn upon her head across its chest, breaking the psychic hold it held on Cori. The girl fell to the ground, crumbling on impact. “Crunch,” she addressed her Pokemon again prior to rolling out of the way of another Hypnosis attack.

    The second cop sent out a Growlithe, who sank its teeth into Cala. The Absol snarled, shaking the dog off violently and sending it flying into a nearby wall. The Noctowl circled around overhead before dive-bombing Cori's Pokemon. Cala leapt up, sinking her teeth into a wing, and flung the owl into the same wall the Growlithe had hit. The little fire hound stood and charged as the owl fell to the ground unconscious.

    Cori's Absol easily countered the Take Down attack with one of her own, knocking the Growlithe backwards again. This time, the dog failed to get up. The battle was over as suddenly as it had begun.

    The trainer leapt to her feet immediately, eyeing the two policemen, who were scowling. She gave Cala one last order as she shielded her eyes. Even through her eyelids and both of her hands, she watched the world flash brilliantly for just a second. She heard the two men cry out as they were completely blinded, then opened her own eyes and blinked through the spots in her vision. She recalled Cala and sprinted down the alleyway.

    Go home, grab stuff, leave. She repeated her thoughts from earlier, only much more hastily this time. Somehow, even though it hadn't felt possible earlier, it was much more imperative that she get out of the city and find Faye and as soon as possible.

    That was her first priority…among others.
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    Old February 27th, 2012 (8:44 PM). Edited February 28th, 2012 by dash!.
    dash!'s Avatar
    dash! dash! is offline
      Join Date: Jun 2009
      Location: Florida
      Age: 26
      Gender: Female
      Nature: Jolly
      Posts: 35
      Well... this update didn't take forever at all. :/
      Between a hardly-functioning computer (I now have a new one), college, and work, I don't even know. What an unacceptable amount of time.

      Escalation: Chapter Two
      Old and New Friends

      Cori was planning, still. She planned and ran, and then panicked more.

      I should've known this would happen eventually.

      She reached her building, thinking only of her course of action as she jogged through the door. In her mind, she was picturing everything she needed, where it was located, what she should leave behind, and how long it would take to get in and out of the apartment. After all, she was certain the two cops would have regained their eyesight by now.

      Up the stairs. Floor two.. floor three...

      Reinforcements were quite possibly already on the way.

      Cori reached the forth floor, continuing straight down the hallway rather than taking a u-turn into the next set of stairs. She once again jammed her hand down into her bag, this time extracting a jingling set of keys, which she forcefully and mindlessly jammed into the very last door in the hallway.

      Unlocked. She threw the door open, startling her Jolteon, who had been snoozing on the couch. He jumped, letting out a cry as his fur sparked and stood up, making more clear the burned scar running from the left side of his head and down his leg and body, as that section of hair failed to stand up as tall.

      Initially ignoring her Pokemon, Cori first made way for her bedroom. She threw open her closet doors and snatched up her travelling bag. On her bedside table, Cori spied two generic Pokeballs. Making a mental calculation, she remembered two others were in the bag hanging over her shoulder and the other was in the living room.

      She snatched them up and dropped them in her smaller bag, which she then shoved into her travelling bag as she spoke, "Bolt!" There was a shuffling from the living room, and the yellow fox appreared in the doorway as Cori was emptying her drawers of anything valuable or needed. "Get in your Pokeball." she said simply.

      Money, medicines, extra clothes... Cori traveled to the kitchen opening cabinets and grabbing anything which wasn't spoil-able. She watched as Bolt tentatively pressed the button on his Pokeball and was sucked in. There was a strained silence as Cori stood there in her kitchen, running over a mental list of needed items.

      Luckily for her, the majority of her traveling supplies were permanently kept in her travelling bag.

      Satisfied, she rushed back to her living room, extinguished all the lights in the apartment (not that it was needed, besides they'd be turned right back on within an hour as authorities raided her place.)
      Jogging as she did so, Cori collected one last item, Bolt's Pokeball, and shut her door with a snap.

      She hadn't made it three steps down the hall before someone stopped her.

      Trey; he was one of her neighbors, a tall and scrawny black-haired kid with glasses. He was in his teens and looked in the middle of that awkward growth spurt. He was the only person in the building Cori got along with, let alone talked to. The pair would often travel to the outskirts of town so Cori could help him train. Trey was actually a very decent trainer, though he was stuck at home and unable to travel due to his sick father. He smiled widely.

      "Cori!" The girl swore. No, I can't be held up.

      "Trey, I don't have time. We can talk later." What a lie.

      He furrowed his brows thoughtfully, "You leaving again? It's so late..." Cori grimaced. Any second, she could picture police storming up those stairs. She didn't have time for this. "I really don't see how you can just up and leave at random the way you do."

      "You know me, I'm restless." Cori locked her door for good measure, now that she was being watched. "Besides I got summoned by a friend up north for some help." She bluffed as she headed forward.

      "What about a job? How can you just leave at random like this?"

      "I have thousands upon thousands of stolen money on reserve." Cori said flatly as she went to make her way past her neighbor.

      He chuckled. "That's funny."

      Well it's true.

      "Okay, Trey," she addressed over her shoulder, "I'm sorry but I really must go, now."

      The boy still wouldn't have it. "Maybe I can come?" Cori rolled her eyes, glad she wasn't facing him for him to see. "It would be good for my Pokemon to travel some, I'm sure."

      "Look." She turned to face him, smiling apologetically. At least she tried, "I need to go alone." She stuggled to come up with reasons for that statement as she talked, "I'll be back soon, Trey I promise. And I'll take you next time."

      "Why alone?" Please stop wasting my time.

      "Very personal reasons. I can't talk about it. Just, I might tell you later, okay? And stop being so nosy all of a sudden." She spread her arms out, grinning, "Hug? I'll see you in a week or so."

      Trey frowned and gave in, stepping forward and accepting Cori's parting gift. She promptly let go, gave a quick "See you later," and bounded down the stairs as fast as she dared without looking too suspicious.

      It was by an act of all that was High and Holy that Cori made it from not only her apartment, but the city altogether without running into any police officers.

      And now that she was out of Slateport, all she could think was was what to do next.

      Cori hadn't the slightest idea of how to find Faye. Chances are, her sister wasn't even in Hoenn. She could be anywhere. She wouldn't be easy to find either, she didn't want to be. Faye was a traveler.

      The girl mused over her options, as she strolled along the central Hoenn trail. The road was barren and empty at the time. It was normally busy this close to the outskirts of the bustling Slateport City. However, the hour was late.

      Her most prominent option, Cori figured, would be to keep moving. Trains and other sorts of public transportation were out of the question. Unless she wanted to get arrested, of course...

      Cori scoffed, kicking at a rock. That was her only option at the time; keep moving. And hope that somehow, by an act of unbelievable chance, she would catch word of her sister's whereabouts. Or better yet, run into her.

      If only I had a damn bike. Cori cast an eye sideways, where Cycling Road rose up not too far into the distance. Mauville was a long four-day hike away. A bike would cut that time in half.

      It would make traveling around easier and faster.

      However this wasn't the case. Cori didn't have a bike, unfortunately. She couldn't afford one, despite all the money she had, she simply couldn't put it toward something which was so unneeded.

      The girl grumbled, wrapping her arms around her front and staring at the ground. Behind her, the skyline of Slateport rose from the horizon, bright and glowing, casting her shadow out in front of her and blocking out the majority of the stars in the sky.

      Cori continued walking, pushing through her exhaustion.


      When dawn came, it found the skinny brunette trainer nestled between two large oak trees, sound asleep with her Absol as a pillow and her Jolteon cuddled against her torso. Cori had found a secluded small clearing of woods a small way from the trail as a precaution. She didn't need police or worse, Rocket members, finding her as she slept.

      Bolt awoke first, his sharp hearing picking up the persistent chirping of a nearby nest of Taillow. The Jolteon yawned, standing and stretching. He stopped suddenly, ears pricked as his eyes scanned the woods, looking in the direction of the road.

      Cori was awoken by the metallic-sounding bark let out by her Pokemon. At that moment, Cala jumped from the ground, letting out her own unique, high-pitched sounding growl. Cori lost her headrest and fell backwards as she picked up the sound of footsteps stomping through the undergrowth. A series of loud and excited voices of young trainers followed.

      "Calm down," she whispered, sitting up. Bolt's nose twitched, small hair-line currents of electricity arced across his fur. Two young trainers burst through the shrubs at the opposite edge of the clearing, stopping suddenly at the sight of the trio in front of them.

      "Ohhh," one said, eyeing Cala, "An Absol! I've always wanted one. They're so cool looking..." Cori got to her feet silently as the other trainer commented on her Jolteon. They both looked at her.

      "Hey..." she said quietly. Beside her, Cala let out another low growl, lying down and eyeing the two young boys in front of her. Bolt also let out a small hint of a threat as his fur began standing on the end. Cori's Pokemon were even more distrustful than she herself was.

      "Calm down." she said again, a bit more forceful this time. Bolt stopped his fur from sparking and moved behind Cori's legs, still eyeing the trainers. They were around the age trainers usually started. In fact, Cori wouldn't be surprised to learn that they had only recently received starters from Professor Birch.

      "Are you a trainer?" the shorter boy said. He had unruly sandy hair and freckles, he was as scrawny as Cori, and was clothed in jean trousers and a plain T-shirt. His sneakers were worn and he carried a backpack over his shoulders.

      "Uhh. Yeah." Cori's eyes moved to the second young trainer. His attire was much the same at his friend's, however his hair was dark and short, his face was tanner, and his build was slightly bulkier. There was a Linoon resting upon the top of his backpack and peering over his right shoulder ears pricked upright. Cori realized he was eyeing Bolt, who was probably glaring back.

      She knew what they were about to ask. Young eager trainers only seemed to want to do one thing when they met other trainers.

      The second boy grinned as he spoke up, "You know, those two Pokemon look very strong. I'd say we should battle but..." Cori relaxed a little at those words, "I doubt I would stand a chance. But! My sister should be a fun fight for you." Damn.

      Cori didn't want the extra attention that would be drawn to her by a battle, and she needed her Pokemon in top shape in case she found herself in dire need of their support. She opted to say no. However, Bolt and Cala already seemed stirred and excited by the proposal. Besides, its been a long time since they were last in action.

      Cori frowned a little, however she couldn't suppress the grin growing inside her. She could use a little fun, after all. "Alright, you're on. Where is this girl?"

      On the short walk back to the road, the dark-haired boy had introduced himself as Blake as the lankier one stated that his name was Finn. As she emerged from the row of trees, Cori instantly spotted the dark-haired girl, probably somewhere around her own age, with a light purple Espeon chasing a young Eevee around her feet.

      "Maddy." Blake addressed his sister, who turned suddenly. The two Pokemon stopped chasing eachother, the Eevee breaking away and bouncing toward Finn, who bent down to scope it up.

      "Hey Lindo." he cooed, the Eevee licking at his face. Blake continued speaking with his sister.

      "This girl wants to battle!" he pointed a thumb over his shoulder at Cori, who shuffled a little in place. Maddy grinned, striding over to the trio. Bolt stepped forward, failing to show mistrust for the first time at the sight of another Eevee evolution. The Espeon, showing significantly less shyness, bounded toward the Jolteon and let out a friendly mewing sound as a greeting. Maddy was close behind.

      "Madeline." she said simply, offering her full name as well as a hand to shake. She smiled at Cori and gestured to her Pokemon, "This here's Vee. What's your name?"

      "Ermm. Cori." Bolt had retreated back to her feet, followed by Vee. Cori reached into her bag, grasping a small sack, and withdrew a small snack meant for Pokemon. She knelt down, offering it to the Espeon, who seemed a bit reluctant to willingly approach her. "This is Bolt," she stated, watching as Vee gently picked the snack from the palm of her hand. Cori gestured behind her, where her Absol had again taken to lying flat on her stomach, seemingly still wishing to sleep. "That's Cala, and she probably wants to nap..." Cori pulled the single Great Ball from her belt, withdrawing the Absol.

      Vee nuzzled at the girl's palm, and Cori ran her hand down the Espeon's back. The light purple fur was smooth and soft, so much unlike Bolt's course static-ridden coat, which gave off countless tiny shocks to the skin when touched. Vee's coat, however, seemed to give off a much less obvious form of energy, Cori could have sworn she saw a slight glow trailing behind her hand and felt more warmth than expected. Maddy had knelt down as well, taking after Cori's ideal and acquainting herself with her new friend's Pokemon.

      "What happened here?" She ran her finger along the mottled, dis-even section of Bolt's coat. Cori frowned, not quite wishing to explain it.

      "He was a, umm, training dummy for Team Rocket back when he was a baby Eevee." Maddy's eyes widened. Cori continued, "They were training Houndour on him, planning to beat and burn him to death. I stopped them and nursed him back to health."

      Still looking shocked, Maddy nodded a little, then stood up. Vee let out a purr and turned away, her forked tail waving around behind her. "So Bolt can battle Vee?"

      The Jolteon's fur stood at these words, small sparkles branching away from his body again. Cori smirked, picking up on her Pokemon's excitement. "Let's go then," she stated casually.

      Maddy gave the first order, her Espeon throwing a powerful Psychic attack at Bolt. The Jolteon growled, rolling out of the way. He left a small trail of electricity in his wake, recovered his footing, and suddenly the sparks and tendrils of lightening lifted straight off Bolt's fur, instantly shooting toward the purple feline-type Pokemon. The Espeon responded in just a split second, a small swirling bubble of green energy surrounding it. The Thunderbolt bounced right off of the Protect attack. Unfazed, Bolt charged straight into a Take Down. Vee was caught off guard and knocked off her feet.

      "Hurry Vee, Shadow Ball."

      Bolt was still recovering from the wild tackle as Vee materialized a purple and black orb of energy in from of her. Cori swore inwardly as the orb shot at her Jolteon. Bolt wasn't ready. Vee's attack threw him backwards, the little yellow Pokemon slid across the dirt and into a tree trunk. A second passed, Bolt struggled to his feet, barking defiantly. Vee was crouched and at the ready, tail thrashing wildly.

      Neither Pokemon had time to issue another attack; none of the trainers had time to prepare; they were engrossed in the battle which had only just begun. Behind her, Cori heard a vicious roar; it was the kind of roar which only a powerful dragon could emit. She heard the Hyper Beam even though she couldn't see it. The sound of it was unmistakable, a high pitched charge, growing in tone as it flew ever closer.

      Vee's orb began to glow, eyes on Cori, and suddenly the girl was thrown from her feet. She flew, shocked, toward the woods. She came in painful contact with the ground at the base of the same tree Bolt had slammed into only a moment ago and watched as the beam crashed into the very spot where she had been standing. Maddy's Espeon saved her life.

      Even as she lay there, trying to stop her head from spinning, trying to unblur her vision, trying to grasp reality again, Cori recognized the sound of a second Hyper Beam. It all clicked then, and she jumped to her feet, ignoring the pain which instantly shot through her whole body. Maddy, Finn, and Blake were running towards her. Vee and Bolt stood side by side, eyes on the opponent, each releasing their own signature attack. Cori finally took a second to locate their attacker. She only caught a fleeting glimpse before Maddy forced her into the trees, saying something about injuries and needing cover.

      She'd never seen anything like it before that she can remember, though it struck her as familiar. Possibly a Pokemon from a far off region that she'd seen on television. No small details could be distinguished from this distance, Cori only noted that it was dark blue, purple, and black; it had three heads.

      It was cooler in the shade of the woods. Cori sat on her heels, gripping her head. She didn't remember how she landed, or where she hit it, she only knew she had due to the splitting headache and gash down her forehead. Warm liquid dribbled down towards her right eye. Her blurred vision had no problem recognizing the bright red splotches on her hands. Outside the line of trees, Vee and Bolt fired Psybeam and Thunder respectively. There was an explosion as the duo of attacks met with another Hyper Beam.

      "It's coming at us!" Blake shouted, pointing through the trees. The dragon had given up on the two Pokemon on the ground. They weren't its target, after all.

      "I don't believe it. Do you actually have friends now?" The cool voice cut very clearly through the air even despite the battle raging only twenty feet away; Vee and Bolt were still assaulting the foreign creature, keeping it from attacking their trainers. Cori turned, dropping her hand from her forehead. She couldn't help but note that the crimson on her hand matched the woman's hair.

      "Ariana?" Behind her, Cori heard the dragon unleash another furious attack. Bolt cried out. Maddy gasped. Ariana laughed.

      "Ouch, poor thing." Her tone was mocking. "You like my new toy? He's not mine, however.. he belongs to a friend. Unfortunately. I do want one so badly." The woman's words barely registered. Cori had her back to her, searching for Bolt. He lay limp on the other side of the road.

      Fury. Cori could do nothing about the woman behind her. Unless she truly felt like strangling her with her bare hands, which she did. It wouldn't be smart, though. Worry. She's never heard Bolt make such a horrible noise. Her mind rattled as she tried to comprehend the fact that he might die. Helpless. She's cornered in the trees. She can't even reach her bag here; its still in the middle of the road. She can't recall Bolt. She can't send out another to defend them.

      Vee was still on her feet, facing the dragon alone. Beside her, the trio of trainers were questioning the red-haired woman who Cori had taken to ignoring.

      "What's Team Rocket doing in Hoenn?" Finn sounded aghast.

      "Raising hell." the executive chuckled. "You three want to stand in my way? Fine, you get the consequences." There was the sound of a Pokeball opening, and Maddy was yelling at the boys.

      "You two, run." She sent out her own Pokemon, Finn and Blake suddenly starting crashing away through the trees, and Cori dove from the woods. The dragon roared as she ran beneath him; he let out a column of fire. Cori covered her head as she slid down into the ground beside her bag, expecting an all encompassing burning agony. Instead, Vee leaped in the way, then cried out in much the same way Bolt had. Even as she ripped the pockets open, Cori knew the dragon was preparing another attack. As for Vee, the psychic feline had hit the ground, this time failing to get back up.

      She chucked out the first Pokeball she could find, noting with pleasure that it was the one she'd been hoping for.

      The Pokeball cracked open as it hit the ground, the red beam shaping and reforming into the outline of a second dragon. The Charizard that emerged was breathtaking not only in size and visible strength, but in color. He wasn't orange, but charcoal black. The undersides of his long, scarred wings a deep red.

      "Saller we're under attack do something!" She said the order in one breath as the flame in the tip of the dragon's tail flared, turning blue. With a gust of wind Saller took off, roaring at the other dragon. Cori used the distraction to search for Bolt's Pokeball and withdraw him.

      The area was chaos. Behind her, Maddy was pitching a Manectric up against Ariana's Honchcrow. Above her, the two dragons were roaring and clashing. Fire and lightening and gusts of wind.

      Even as Maddy's canine shocked Ariana's bird out of the sky above the trees, even as Saller gripped two of the three heads of the dragon by the throat and body slammed it into the ground, Cori couldn't shake the feeling of dread associated with a failing battle. Something was about to go awry.

      Saller's opponent hit the ground, a long, bloody gash running down the center face and neck. It struggled to its feet, Cori counted six wings flapping in vain. The Manectric came into view, wildly dodging the Honchcrow's diving tackle.

      Everybody stopped fighting at the sound of the scream.

      Cori raced back towards the woods, cursing herself for forgetting that Ariana doesn't play by the rules. The sight she saw, a knife to Maddy's throat, stopped her in her tracks. The Rocket executive cocked her head, grinning.

      "Will you play along?" Maddy struggled, then screamed as Ariana twisted her arm. Cori was standing stock still. "We need your help, Cori. Come on."

      What an inconvenience. She would have to surrender to keep this trainer, this girl she barely knew, from dying. It was a harrowing choice, and Cori suddenly wished she had simply turned down the battle offer and walked away. At least then, she could have just battled it out with Ariana until she got a chance to escape. Now, she was stuck here.

      How was she supposed to find Faye if she is captured or killed by Team Rocket?

      Ariana must have been following her thought process. Suddenly, she motioned to an area above Cori, somewhere in the tree she was standing right under; she could see the shadowy outline of a large flower balancing precariously on a branch. Cori knew then: Vileplume. Ariana had a Gloom years ago. Now, it's a Vileplume.

      She succumbed to the sleep powder quickly and easily as it billowed down from above.
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      Old February 28th, 2012 (4:26 AM).
      bobandbill's Avatar
      bobandbill bobandbill is online now
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      Don't worry too much about the delay, firstly - a lot of writers have had them like that. I'm one of them. =p

      I liked the battles thus far, and the plot is fairly interesting too thus far. A competent team rocket taking over regions though I suppose is by its nature interesting. =p The characters are fairly well established too and I like your description - it was engaging from the beginning. In short what's here thus far is pretty well crafted. I particularly likes how you showed how the Pokemon did attacks attacks/reacted to events.

      Main things I would suggest to watch out for are how you do dialogue and with the wording of some phrases/sentences, but I'll go on about that with some examples!
      it was already crumbled, torn, and frail looking.
      I feel it sounds better as 'looked frail' or the like at the end but up to you.
      "No." He said finally, and Cori nodded, edging the man to continue.
      My main point I'm raising. With dialogue, you should only treat it as a separate sentence from what follows when both parts can be read as separate sentence. This isn't the case when the part following the dialogue 'flows on' from it, by for instance telling us who said what/how it was said. For instance here, 'He said finally' links with the dialogue as it tells us who said it. Furthermore, 'He said finally, and...' sounds odd read aloud if it was the start of its own sentence which doesn't work.

      Hence you should treat that whole part I quoted as one sentence, and hence use a comma after 'No' and he rather than He. Ie:
      "No," he said finally, and Cori nodded, edging the man to continue.
      Otherwise you're capitalising a word in the Middle of the sentence which looks Weird (like so).

      "Do you know what that means?" The man said apprehensively. Cori turned back toward the bar, raising her hand again, more urgently this time.
      Likewise here, it should be 'the man', not 'The man'. 'The man said apprehensively' would not make a complete sentence by itself. Note that unlike the previous instance in which a full stop wasn't fine, the ? can remain - any other punctuation mark can in fact, just not the full stop if the sentence doesn't finish at the end of the dialogue.

      The last sentence in that quote also sounded odd there with the use of commas. It sounds a bit too clunky and so I would suggest expanding the sentence or rewording into two separate sentences.

      A few more examples of the dialogue thing:
      "Do you?" She answered back.
      she rather than She.
      "Yes." He said after a few seconds.
      "Yes," he said...
      "Cori Addison." He said simply.
      "Cori Addison," he said simply.

      This issue continued throughout both chapters so I'll leave it to you to tend to the rest of them.
      Making a mental calculation, she remembered two others were in the bag hanging over her shoulder, the other was in the living room.
      Another odd-sounding sentence at the end of it - 'the other was in the living room' felt that it was added on as an afterthought worded like that. Try for instance '...her shoulder, and another was in...' Note that commas should be used in separating adjectives/objects in a list (e.g. a cow, cheese, milk, (etc)), before/after a name/nickname, a pause in speech, and also before one of the 'fanboys' (for and nor but or yet so).
      She snatched them up and dropped them in her "purse" bag,
      Not too sure why purse needed the quotation marks there.

      Trey; He was one of her neighbors, a tall and scrawny black-haired kid with glasses.
      Don't capitalise the word after a semicolon although I would suggest using a full stop instead of it.
      Well its true.
      You had a couple of these too. It's = it is, and its is possessive (that was its spaceship). You want the former it's here.
      The road was barren and empty at the time, due to the late hours. It was normally busy this close to the outskirts of the bustling Slateport City. However, the hour was late.
      Watch also for repeating facts. The last sentence is unnecessary as you've already established (not just in this paragraph) that it was late.
      Unless she wanted to get arrested, of course..
      Note that ellipsis should be comprised of three dots, not two (so 'course...', not 'course..')
      Maddy's eyes widened, Cori continued,
      Sometimes you have run-on sentences in the second chapter too like here. Change the comma after widened to a full stop.
      "Its coming at us." Blake shouted,
      It's here as well, and the above comments on dialogue also applies here.
      Above her, the two dragons were roaring and clashing. Fire and lightening and gusts of wind.
      And here the second sentence sounds incomplete and disjointed. (Also lightning - no e).
      Now, its a Vileplume.
      it's or rather it is (I tend to feel "it's" is better reserved for dialogue than serious narration as it is somewhat informal).

      Overall I quite liked what you have here thus far though! Just watch out for those mistakes is all. Good luck with the rest of your fic!
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      Old February 28th, 2012 (1:14 PM).
      dash!'s Avatar
      dash! dash! is offline
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        Why thank you. :p
        It seems I've completely forgotten how to format dialogue. I've fixed some things, I'll fix more later (after homework wooooooo fun).
        I know have this habit of blatantly disregarding some essential writing rules when it comes to creative writing in order to not feel so restricted as I try to describe things, if that makes sense. But again, I'll rewrite and correct soon.
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