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Old November 15th, 2017 (8:34 PM). Edited November 15th, 2017 by 0bs1d1ankn1ght.
0bs1d1ankn1ght 0bs1d1ankn1ght is offline
     
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    [Author's Note: Before you read the chapter, I just wanna say one thing: the only reason I'm uploading this chapter is that I've been writing it for months, and I've been getting pretty antsy to release it. What I had planned was not to upload any chapters until I have them all done- written and spellchecked- and then upload one chapter at a time in a weekly or bi-weekly schedule. I only have this done so far, the other chapters will still probably take another year or so to write up.]

    Prologue
    A bloodied roar howled out loud for all the Árido region to hear.

    The blaring desert sun beat down on the valley-carved face of the Excadrill Guild witnessing three of its former members be exiled into the afternoon elements: a Gabite, and two young Gible.

    The Gabite flailed and squirmed in pain, screaming as he covered his left eye, kicking up a fog of loose gravel and sand. The pain was precise, like a nail being driven through the back of his head from the eye socket.

    “Damn that Excadrill,” he cursed out in agony. “Muk, my eye! I can’t see out of my eye!” Even the gods’ names weren’t safe from his tongue, it didn’t matter to him which name he uttered- Arceus, Dialga, Palkia- they were all tainted the same.

    His two Gible pups tried approaching him with caution, wanting to calm him down, but his body flailed on its own each time they got close. Fearing his backlash more than his outrage, they stepped back to safety.

    “Wh-what are we gonna do?” The sister asked her brother, tears collecting under her eyes. “Papa can’t control himself; we need to help him somehow!”

    Her brother ignored her. He stood like a stone statue in suspended sickness while his navy-blue scales turned a pale ghostly white. Not once in his short life had he seen another living being bleed so much, and be in so much pain; it scared him.

    “Lono,” she screamed at her brother with concern, “help him!” Even with his sister’s pleas becoming more tearful, he refused to open his mouth out of fear he might spill his contents out.

    Some yelling caught the injured Gabite’s ear from behind, enough to distract him from his rage.

    “There they are!”

    “Get them before they escape!”

    With his remaining eye, he counted at least 10 guild members running toward them, even more as they breached through the entrance.

    He had to think of something quick, something that would cut his pursuers off while he escaped, or else they would capture him. In desperation, his little dragon mind cooked up a simple plan. “Get behind me,” he told his kids. Just as they were told, the two Gible huddled behind their father and latched on to the back of his legs.

    The Gabite cloaked himself in a faint orange aura. By swiping his arms, he kicked up a vortex of dust and sand, aiming it towards his adversaries. The mob stopped dead in their tracks with only enough time to brace themselves for the incoming storm.

    His Sand Tomb continued roaring towards them, growing in size and strength as it devoured nearby sand from the valley floor. What was a meager breeze turned into a fearsome tornado able to lift a Golem like a leaf in the wind. Several of the guild members deployed a light blue Protect barrier, hoping to avoid being shredded from the growing windstorm. They passed through the Sand Tomb without a scratch, but the feeling of weightlessness overtook them. Next thing they knew the storm raised them several feet into the air, tossing and throwing them all across the valley with a malevolent force.

    All the yelling and noise caught the attention of Guildmaster Excadrill. Poking his head out from the orbit of his guild’s face, he investigated the valley below. “Hey,” he yelled, “What’s taking so long? Capture them al-!”

    Peering out of his open window he met the force of nature face-to-face. It was wide enough to block his entire peripheral of the valley and town below, the howl of its wind was like a Mismagius’ scornful wail. A strong force pulled at him as it slithered closer, attempting to yank him from the 9th story floor.

    Thinking quickly, he dug his sharp claws into the ground in an attempt to pin himself in place. His tactic worked momentarily, but he raked across the ground as the storm neared and its suction became stronger.

    “Damn that Gabite, I bet he did thi-!”

    The vortex crashed into the building, flooding it like a hurricane passing through a small island, engulfing everything in a maelstrom of sand.

    After the winds died off, and the chaos simmered down, all but the underground mining site located several stories below the ground floor was blanketed in a dense fog of tan dust. A mass evacuation was called so everyone could get fresh air, but the dense earthy haze made it difficult for the members to see no more than a meter in front of them. While searching for the exits, everyone kept bumping into each other, and stepping on each other’s feet.

    Everyone just shrugged and assumed it came from some freak dust devil. Living in the desert, it was a regular occurrence for something like this to blow into the guild. The resident Castform, though, would usually issue a warning in advance for sandstorms, allowing everyone as much time to bar and block their windows and doors to keep as much of the desert out of their homes. This was sudden, without any kind of warning.

    A crowd of coughing and gagging guild members emerged from the haze, standing around the front of the entrance, still smoking with dust.

    Guildmaster Excadrill plowed through his members like a maniac, and fell to his knees. He coughed louder than everyone else combined, scraping mud from his tongue with furious fervor. No matter how much he managed to clean off, he couldn’t get rid of the irritating taste of dry, earthy sand lingering in his mouth.

    “Ach, disgusting,” he huffed to himself.

    There was a hole in front of him big enough to fit a medium-sized Pokémon through. He crawled toward it and peeped down its wide opening. From what he observed, it was dug at a slanted angle heading East, reaching about 20 meters deep before going completely pitch black.
    Getting back up to his feet, he dusted himself off and turned to his members, and said, “Everyone all ri-?”

    He paused from shock. The monument that adorned the entrance to his establishment- a carving of his own face- had been sanded completely down to obscurity by the storm. There was a clear indentation in the building where the vortex itself made contact, surrounded by thousands of scratches varying in size and depth carved into its stone surface.

    Seeing the destruction for himself, he had no words to say, though everyone could feel the air around him burn with anger. Seeing his own monument defaced and vandalized offended him to his core.

    He barked at his onlooking crowd, catching their attention, “Where’s our municipal officer?” He saw a lone hand from a Pawniard be raised, and said, “Report back to Bisharp Guild, and tell them to issue out a search for an outlaw by the name of ‘Gabite Ku’, along with his children: ‘Gible Lono’, and ‘Gible Pele’! Set them as S-rank outlaws, with two-hundred thousand poké on their heads!”

    “Yes, sir! I’ll be on my way!” Tapping the badge tied around his neck, Pawniard disappeared in a flash of light.

    Excadrill turned back to the rest of the crowd and pointed at the hole, saying, “As for the rest of us, we’re on an outlaw hunt: anyone who wants that reward can start by forming teams, and track where this hole leads. You must capture that Gabite, and those delinquent Gible with him, before they escape for good! Anyone who decides not to take part will stay and help repair the guild!”

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ku burst from the ground like a Sharpedo jumping out of water. Lowering his arm into the hole so his kids can latch on, he pulled them from the underground tunnel.

    A gentle, yet warm breeze brushed against his scales, a gale unlike those from the valley. A sea of grass dancing to the influence of the wind welcomed the trio everywhere they looked, tanned and dried up, with patches of lively green. A range of mountains loomed across the horizon, too far to walk to. Ku knew he was still in Árido, but in a more “livelier” part of the region not dominated by harsh desert terrain. If he had to guess, he dug about eighty kilometers away from the guild in no less than ten minutes, nearing the border between the Árido and Gaul regions.

    As beautiful and serene the sight was, he had to keep moving. Taking one step forward felled him to his knees. Now that his initial adrenaline wore off he huffed heavily, his body was heavy and stiff from overexerting his strength to dig his getaway tunnel.

    Lono and Pele immediately jumped to their father’s side, crying, “papa!”

    “It’s, I’m fine, children,” he said in a worn tone. The blaring pain from the left side of his head flared up until it became one big migraine. To a dragon this was nothing, he shook it off with relative ease. He knew, though, it needed to be relieved at some point. “We, we have to keep moving.” He lowered himself even further, and told them, “Here, climb on my back.”

    The Gible pups did as he said, climbing up his back until they’ve positioned themselves on his shoulders. Ku lifted his heavy body up, and began moving toward Gaul. With his muscles wanting to lock in place, instead of running as he intended, he was brought to an aggressive walking pace.

    “Papa,” his son said, “where are we going?”

    “I don’t know,” he responded in a pained grunt, “but we need to move as far away from here as possible. I don’t know when they might show up for-” he hasn’t even moved five meters away from the hole before collapsing on all fours, and dropping his children on the ground.

    His children cried, “Papa-!”

    “Don’t worry,” he responded with a stubborn growl. A wave of fatigue overtook him, but it was a different kind of fatigue than before. Where last time his body ached, and refused to budge another inch, this time, his head was light as air, and his vision grayed out. He felt blood run down his cheek as it drained from his injured eye, but even with his face inches away from the ground, he could not tell where the drops landed. “I-I’ll be-”

    He fainted.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Lono and Pele lifted their father by the shoulders attempting to drag him to freedom; they had no other option, other than panicking.

    “Lono, pick him up a little higher,” Pele ordered, “you’re making it harder on us!”

    “H-he’s too heavy,” he complained. He wasn’t as strong as his sister, who he mostly relied on carrying their papa for him. His blue face turned the same shade of red as his underbelly from trying to bear the weight of Ku’s unconscious body trying to squash him.

    “No, you’re just weak,” she replied back, “as expected from the runt of the family!” She exerted herself more than her brother, lifting the unconscious dragon well above her head, and even then, she struggled to keep the Gabite elevated.

    They moved at a Shellos’s pace, one baby step at a time. In a minute they’ve only moved a few inches; this was harder than they first thought.

    “When do you think he’s gonna wake up?” Lono asked.

    “I dunno,” Pele said, “just keep dragging him.”

    “I-I don’t think I can take any-”

    Lono collapsed under his father’s shoulder, causing Pele to also drop her side of him.

    “Now look what you did,” Pele barked in frustration, “couldn’t have held him for a few more seconds, could you?”

    “He slipped out of my hands,” Lono replied, matching her frustration, “there wasn’t anything I could do!”

    “You could have caught him,” his sister replied. She scoffed, “You’re pathetic.”

    “Am not!”

    Ku woke from his unconscious stupor on his own, though he wished he hadn’t woken up in the middle of his kids arguing in such close proximity.

    “Kids, can you please stop arguing?” he asked in a weak voice.

    The Gible stopped fighting amongst each other and tackled him by the neck, absolutely thrilled he was finally awake.

    Aside from his splitting headache, he was in a complete daze. He didn’t feel like he forgot much; he knew who he was, and he knew who the little Gible hugging at his knees were. He also knew where he was, and why he was there. But what he couldn’t recall was how much time had passed before he regained consciousness.

    “How long have I been out?” he asked his children.

    “About two minutes,” his daughter responded with a teary voice. “We were trying to carry you the whole time, and Lono kept dropping you.”

    “No, I didn’t-!”

    Ku barked, “Enough! I don't need you two to bicker the first thing I wake up!”

    Just like that they were silenced.

    His migraine flared, its pain distracted him from thinking to himself. He pondered on the time he spent while unconscious.

    Two minutes; I can’t waste any more time.

    He stood up very carefully, though his muscles were still tense with fatigue and won’t let him move freely. There was a wobble in his posture from trying to keep from fainting a second time.

    There’s got to be something here, he thought to himself, frantically scanning the scenic landscape. The only thing that caught his eye was a flowing stream nearby. It snaked towards the mountain range for as far as he could see.

    “Look, do you see that, kids?” Ku asked, pointing towards the cerulean stream. “There could be a fishing village nearby. We should follow it straight ahead. We’ll get some supplies, and maybe even some food, while we’re there.”

    “But what if there isn’t a village?” Lono asked.

    “Don’t jinx it now, Lono,” Pele screamed while pushing her brother, “I’m starving!”

    “Hey, knock it off, you two!” The father put himself in between the pups before they had a chance to fight. “We’re going to find that village, and we’re going to get some food. We just need to keep moving.”

    “Are you sure you can keep moving?” Lono asked. “You fainted last time.”

    “I’d stay and rest if I had the choice,” Ku replied. “Right now, I don’t think we have even that option. I’ll be fine this time.”

    He picked them up and held them under his arms. “Let’s go, that village won’t find itself if we just stand around.” Following the course of the river, he ran as fast as his still tight muscles would allow.

    “What kind of food do you they’ll have at the village?” Pele asked.

    Her brother quipped, “Fish, obviously.”

    “Anything sounds good to me right about now,” the father said. “Hadn’t had anything since this morning; I’m starving.”

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A team of explorers had been following the trio of dragons for several minutes.

    After several minutes of treading through the tunnel with caution to avoid any potential traps the outlaws might have laid out for them, they were finally welcomed by a ray of warm sunlight marking the end of their pursuit.

    “Go on, then,” one voice said in a harsh whisper, “get up there.”

    A Sandslash peeked his head out from the tunnel with caution. He made a broad visual sweep of his environment, seeing nothing but endless Áridan plains and mountain ranges. Just as he was about to conclude the area was clear, he caught an odd figure from the side of his peripherals. It was the Gabite, running along the side of the running river with his pups, and they had a mile-long head start on them.

    “I spotted them,” he told his two colleagues: a Marowak and a Krokorok. “They’re following the Azul River Northeast, toward the Gaul region.”

    “There’s a fishing village nearby, about ten kilometers away,” the Krokorok added, “you think they’re planning to attack it, captain?”

    “I don’t think they’re planning to attack it,” Captain Marowak replied, “but whatever they’re planning to do there will mean trouble for the residents. If we try reporting back to Excadrill, we might lose them for good; now’s our only chance to catch them and bring them to justice. Let’s continue the pursuit.”

    “Yes, sir.”

    Hopping down from the ledge, Sandslash slashed at the dirt wall in front of him, digging a new tunnel to stealthily follow the bandit trio.
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      #2    
    Old November 17th, 2017 (6:06 PM).
    Astinus's Avatar
    Astinus Astinus is offline
       
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      Your author's note makes me feel as if we're the same sort of writer. I've been working on writing and rewriting the same story over and over to get it perfect before posting it. So you're much braver than I, for posting this!

      You have a pretty interesting start so far. I already have a lot of questions. Like what did Ku do to be exiled, especially with two small children. Excadrill seems like a leader that's only worried about himself, especially with his reaction to the statue that was destroyed, and I wonder if anyone else sees that side of him.

      One grammar thing that I noticed about your writing is that you tend to have sentences combined together when they sound better separated. Right from the beginning, you have:
      Quote:
      Even the gods’ names weren’t safe from his tongue, it didn’t matter to him which name he uttered- Arceus, Dialga, Palkia- they were all tainted the same.
      The first part of "Even the gods' names weren't safe from his tongue" flows better as its own sentence, with the rest as another sentence.

      It's rather noticeable with the dialogue. I noticed that you tend to combine the dialogue together instead of letting the characters say shorter sentences. Like with Pele's dialogue here:
      Quote:
      “Lono,” she screamed at her brother with concern, “help him!”
      It could be
      Quote:
      "Lono!" she screamed at her brother with concern. "Help him!"
      Same thing here with this dialogue:
      Quote:
      “Lono, pick him up a little higher,” Pele ordered, “you’re making it harder on us!”
      It works better with
      Quote:
      "Lono, pick him up a little higher," Pele ordered. "You're making it harder on us!"
      Like I said, what you have here is a really interesting start, and I'm looking forward to more. There are just some small mechanical parts that you can work on while writing the rest.
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        #3    
      Old November 21st, 2017 (5:18 PM).
      Venia Silente's Avatar
      Venia Silente Venia Silente is offline
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      You dare?

      You dare! To be bold and daring enough to upload and publish a sort of preview, a sort of trailer, more like a teaser, a big waving flag of HEY UPCOMING FIC HERE!!! and we have to wait a whole year, probs. It's certainly a cool and rad move.

      You good sir and or madam, jest good. Do keep us informed of how the writing for the new content goes!

      As for the actual content of this teaser trailer prologue itself, I don't have much to say about the mechanical aspects that Astinus has not already made into fine soup, likely. At most I mostly noticed a couple of places where you do not make a proper para break when switching from an action or speaker to the next:

      Quote:
      From what he observed, it was dug at a slanted angle heading East, reaching about 20 meters deep before going completely pitch black.
      Getting back up to his feet, he dusted himself off and turned to his members, and said, “Everyone all ri-?”
      Unsure if this is mostly a matter of formatting it into the forum tho.

      Now, I do find it a hint of a potentially entertaining work that this team we are seeing here is a family team, we all know how those ventures tend to go. Wondering where mom is, and I have to say were it not because of the implications of having a couple of tagalong kids, this main character makes me think of mid-Android Arc Vegeta.

      The prologue is sprinkled with some worldbuilding vectors and hooks that I hope build up to something in the upcoming episodes / final product. Like cursing over a number od gods not including Giratina, or the fact that these names are well pointed out as gods in the first place; the updrifting effect of the Sand Tomb; and the fact that apparently Ku is able to dig a beeline, basically undetected, over a distance in the range of 100 kms and at a speed of ~450 km/h ( =~ 300 mi/h)!; oh and the fishing village that I feel like I recall from a couple of Discord conversations.

      (I think that speed one might merit some care; not as much because of the speed but because of the distance covered with that speed, which should IMO have made his movement perfectly detectable by other Ground-types in the area; moreover, at an arc distance of 80 km and assuming a planet with Earth-like circumference, if he dug deep enough to be somewhat hidden yet made the time described in the prologue, he was then moving in more like a U-shaped path and thus his actual digging speed is even faster than the singular calculation carried out above)


      You get also an extra point from me for calling your region Árido, with like the ´ in the Á, and a pretty relevant word in Spanish for... well... an arid place. Feels always good to see people taking cues from Glorioso Español here and there.

      But hey, good luck with this one! And hey, do keep us posted, even if we have to wait the entire year.
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        #4    
      Old November 21st, 2017 (5:40 PM).
      0bs1d1ankn1ght 0bs1d1ankn1ght is offline
         
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        @Astinus
        @Venia Silente

        Thank you both for the very helpful reviews. Sometime I'll pm you separately with my response to your critiques.
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