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  #51    
Old November 4th, 2017 (11:00 PM).
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So, Jackson and Eridian are using remnants of Pokemon to make items and such? That, well, doesn't sound too pleasant of course. I'm mixed with Jackson being the typical take over the world motivation villain, but I'm interested how Eff will fare in that fight.
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  #52    
Old November 7th, 2017 (5:47 PM).
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    The sides in this world that Jack's fighting against have all sorts of advantages, don't they? With Jackson using his father's Pokeballs and Eridan's scientific background, there's a lot for Jack to deal with. And he still doesn't have Luppe, leaving him with really no one, unless Eff makes a decision.

    My one thing about this chapter is that Jackson's speech and Jack's reaction to that speech seemed a little...clichéd. Like Jackson was saying the standard "everyone else is insignificant and I'm the only one who's right" speech and Jack's "you're mad" was just the set response that everyone has for it. Not that there's anything wrong with clichés, but you'll want to be careful to not sound like everything else all the time.

    Still, with Eff now out of his Pokeball and ready to fight against the one who made him feel this way, I'm looking forward to the next chapter. And to see what Jack could possibly do, since even Surge (and the rest of the Gym Leaders that are still living?) doesn't seem like much help.
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      #53    
    Old November 8th, 2017 (1:06 AM).
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    Only one more chapter until the end of the first part of this story. Then we'll move on to bigger and better things in this version of the Pokemon world.

    22.

    Jackson laughed maniacally as he watched the duo ‘ready’ themselves.

    “What do you think you’re laughing at,” Jack questioned.

    “Hope and believe all that you might, Jack. That Timburr has no chance at beating me. As I said before, he already had his chance. He failed, and because of that, I released him. He fared well enough against the others of his type while under the influence of my dark balls, and he did hold some promise. However, all of that is gone from my mind now. He’s not even worthy of becoming a weapon to me. He’s garbage. A torn and tattered hide that should have been torn apart and ceased to move long ago.”

    “You don’t know the things I’ve been through…” Eff gripped the crowbar tightly in his hands as the veins on his arms bulged. “You don’t know the strength that I have hidden within me. You humans are always the same.” The Timburr turned slightly to look at Jack as he spoke. The Pokemon winced in pain as his eyes met with the boy’s, causing him to quickly spin back around to face Jackson. “I may have lost before, but…”

    “He may have lost before, but you were still running through the forest with the fear of Arceus in your eyes back when I first met him!” Jack stepped forward, taking a knee and placing his hand on the Pokemon’s shoulder. “I know you can do it, Eff. I need you to do it so that I can get my friend back from them. If it comes down to it, I’ll… I’ll…”

    Eff smirked and then brushed away Jack’s hand. “Don’t even try it, kid.” The Pokemon shook its head and then flexed its muscles once more, setting aside its concerns about its capture for the moment. “I already freed a number of the Pokemon that they’d captured with the intention of harvesting. It’s my duty to free Pokemon taken in by humans like them. A task that I accepted from Mewtwo himself! I won’t fail to liberate any Pokemon from an unworthy, uncaring, or cruel human!” The Timburr paused for a moment and then slowly took up a fighting stance as it narrowed its eyes. “I won’t let anyone interfere with my duty - human, or otherwise.”

    Jackson smiled wide as the tufts of hair around the sword in his hand grew longer. “Keldeo, awaken.” As he spoke, the weapon began to glow with a bright blue light. Several seconds passed before the blinding light faded, and when it finally did, it was revealed that the sword had fused with the boy’s arm. The hilt of the weapon had elongated, and grown to cover Jackson’s entire arm up to and including part of his shoulder with red, blue, and purple tufts of hair which had formed in tight and compact layers over his skin, giving off the appearance of a protuberant musculature. The clothes had torn away from his body in the area surrounding the transformation, and the blade of the sword had grown even longer than before - now measuring around three feet in length. “I can feel its power surging through me, Eridian. You were right, modifications were necessary to unleash its full power. Alas, I don’t believe I’ll be needing it for this fight… however..." Jackson gave a toothy grin as he stretched his arm out, pointing the blade at the Timburr. "It is always good to teach a lesson when one is due.”

    The young scientist quickly retrieved the case which still held the gloves that Jack had refused to wear. “It’d be a shame if these were unnecessarily damaged during the battle… speaking of, Jackson, would you like to show them the Starmie that they refused?”

    Jackson waved his hand at his companion. “Unnecessary.” The boy lifted the arm which had fused with the weapon up against his chest and then extended it back out a number of times. “I need to get the feel for it still… this sensation is strange, to say the least. However, I will beat down this Timburr and then we’ll be on our way. It’d be unfortunate if my father caught up to us at this point, so we’d best make it a hasty encounter.”

    Surge grunted. “So, you really are the kids from that news program then? I’d been in touch with Lorelei a few times since she left the Elite Four, given that for years she had been an advocate for my promotion. Not to mention the fact that the port falls under my jurisdiction… it would be best for me step in now and send you all back to your families, wouldn’t it?” The Gym Leader laughed quietly to himself. “That being said, I don’t much feel like throwing my all into training this other kid as of yet. With only those two green Gym Leaders to vouch for his strength, it’s hard to really determine if he’s worth the energy or not. So go ahead and fight to your heart’s content. Show me what you’re all capable of and then I’ll make up my mind as to whether or not to call the Police, or your parents.”

    “Are you serious?” Jack turned and called out to Surge. “They’ve clearly been doing inhumane and downright horrifying things to innocent and helpless Pokemon for who knows how long now! Hell, they even went so far as to maim a legendary simply for its horn! How can you just sit there and laugh like nothing’s going on?”

    “Kid,” Surge slowly sat on the ground and crossed his legs. “You’ve got a lot to learn. The world of Pokemon as well as the one of adults isn’t all peaches and cream. Sure, you’ve witnessed firsthand the bombing of a couple of cities. You might have even seen a few people die. That’s nothing, compared to the horrors that I went through in the war. The things that these kids are doing? It’s nothing that I haven’t seen before - nothing I haven’t fought to stop at all costs. So forgive me, if I want to wait it out and see if you’ve got enough guts to stand being put through all that I’ve gone through myself. I won’t tolerate any kind of weakness, whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional. If you’re going to fight against the Republic in this next war, and believe me, it is escalating to a war, then you need to at least be able to defeat these few kids here and now with only that wild Pokemon by your side!” The Leader slammed his fist into the ground and scowled.

    Jack turned deathly white and quickly became silent. His eyes fell to the ground as he crouched down towards it, gripping at the hem of his pants as he bit his lip. “Just go… fight, Eff. I believe in you.”

    Jackson smiled a toothy grin and then lifted his sword. “Well then, Timburr, are you ready? I’ll at least give you the chance to focus, not that it’ll account for much.”

    The Pokemon nodded, taking one final look at Jack before lifting the crowbar up like a baseball bat. The Timburr lunged at Jackson, swinging with the rounded end of the weapon which had suddenly grown alive with flames.

    “Ah, but no such luck. You’ll need to be faster than that.”

    Jackson shoved the blade of the sword into the split of the crowbar’s tip and fired off a rapid burst of bubbles from the point of the weapon. The bubbles flew through the air and exploded in Eff’s face, sending the Pokemon flying backwards from the force. Eff skidded to a halt, digging the crowbar into the ground as he rolled back up to his feet. The Pokemon wiped away a trickle of blood which was flowing from its mouth before rushing at Jackson once more.

    “I know all of your moves. There’s nothing you can do to surprise me. You’ve been weighed, measured, and found wanting. You’re not even worth the air that you breathe.” Jackson slapped Eff in the back of his head with the flat of the sword, knocking the Pokemon over before stabbing the weapon through its hand.

    “Psyduck!” Eff screamed out as Jackson twisted the blade and pushed it deeper.

    The Pokemon’s hand was gripped tightly around the crowbar he so cherished, but it meant nothing in the face of a weapon of such caliber. With nary a grunt, Jackson pressed the blade clean through Eff’s hand and shattered the item in the Pokemon’s hand before the blade breached the earth beneath him.

    The boy pressed the blade deeper into the ground until the hilt was flush against the top of Eff’s hand. Jackson put his knee in the Pokemon’s back and held down its other arm with his free hand as he lowered his head down to its ear. “Do you see now, Timburr? You mean nothing to me. No matter how you tried to play yourself up, you were never going to be a match for our power. You’re just another wild Pokemon.”

    Jackson twisted the Pokemon’s arm which he had been holding down with his free hand, causing it to snap out of place. Eff screamed out in pain as the boy continued to twist on his arm and then began to pull at it, tugging it further from its socket. Jen quickly strode up to Jackson, who had only just begun to acknowledge her presence before he was slapped across the face.

    The boy released Eff, rising from his position as he gently rubbed his reddened cheek. “What the hell do you think you’re doing, Jen?”

    “That’s... that’s enough, Jackson!” The girl’s face was covered in tears and her cheeks were flushed. “There’s no need to go that far… is there? You proved your point, so just move on with what you were doing.”

    Jack stared at the girl who had just slapped sense into the monster in front of him. His jaw hung open as he wondered what was going to happen now. His whole body was shaking in fear now, having lost the only thing that was possibly capable of defending him. The boy fell backwards until he was sitting on his heels and then placed one hand over his mouth, and the other over his stomach as he saw the trail of blood inching towards him from the hole in Eff's hand..

    Jackson scowled and then turned to stare at Jack. “I still don’t understand you, Jen. You’re too particular for my tastes. Honestly. You’re the scariest one out of all of us. Even I couldn’t have done what you did, but still you... in the three months since my parents took you in, I haven't been able to figure you out.” the boy shook his head.

    Jack slowly rose to his feet, his whole body shaking as he did so. The boy looked over to the Gym Leader who sat only a few feet away from him. The man’s eyes were fixed on the Timburr, laying helpless on the ground, but his body remained stiff and still. “Aren’t you going to do something? These people are out of control! Isn’t it your duty to do something here?”

    Surge slowly turned his gaze to Jack before rising to his feet and brushing off his camouflage pants. The leader slowly walked over to the boy and briefly turned his gaze towards Jackson who was wiping the blood off of his sword. “Do you see that Timburr over there? You might as well have been told the exact same words as it was. You’re not worth the time or the energy necessary.”

    Jack’s eyes widened as he watched Surge quickly turn his back and walk away. “So then you’re just going to let me die? Let this innocent Pokemon die?”

    “Innocent?" The Lieutenant scoffed. "Isn’t that Pokemon part of the Republic that destroyed your home? I would expect you to be happy with this outcome. It is a sort of revenge, after all. A short reprieve; a little light given to you from Arceus before you too are beaten down and pass on to the next life. Only the strong survive in this world, Jack. Reflect on that for what little time you have left before that boy flays you.”

    Jackson smiled wickedly as he watched the tears begin to stream down Jack’s face. “How does it feel Jack, to have your one, final chance at salvation just up and walk away from you?” The boy laughed maniacally before squeezing the shoulder which had been fused with the sword, causing the weapon to revert to its original form. “Slumber, my weapon. I can’t wait to take my time with you. I can only imagine what it’ll sound like when you squeal.”

    “Hmph, this is exactly why I only take interest in the ladies of this region. You men are all too harsh for my tastes.” Matt stepped in front of Surge, stopping him from abandoning Jack. “What would compel you to walk away from such a situation? Weren’t you once set to be promoted to Elite Four status? Surely this isn’t something that they would condone, is it? As Jack said, it is your duty to stop this Lieutenant.”

    Jack’s body shook and his mouth quivered, changing between a frown and a smile with each shake. Another lifeline appeared before him, and a seemingly more sensible one at that. Despite the way that he acted around others and what he’d put him through, the boy couldn’t help but feel grateful for Matt's sudden appearance.

    Surge scowled. “Kris and Forrest both contacted me about this boy, saying that he was one of the strongest that they’d ever seen and that I needed to nurture and protect him like some sort of child, chosen by destiny. It’s goddamn ridiculous. He can’t even hold his own in a fight, and you expect me to take him under my wing and pretend to like him? Look at him! He damn near pissed himself already and that other kid hasn’t even approached him yet!”

    “Did you not see what that child did to Eff? What he’s done to Lappe? Surely you haven’t forgotten the Iron-Masked Marauder's arsenal? What these kids are packing goes far beyond that. You can’t possibly expect him to go up alone against something like that, with only a single Pokemon that couldn’t care less about him!”

    “He captured that Timburr. It even said that Jack had started to grow on him. There’s no denying that they formed a connection through… through the you know what…”

    “No. I don’t know, because that’s not possible.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “The ball that captured Eff was one of my own designs. I love Pokemon, Surge. You should know this since we served in the war together! You should know that I haven't changed since then, seeing as how I run the fan club in your very own city. You’ve even come in on several occasions to raise the orphaned! Why would I knowingly give Jack something that could potentially brainwash a Pokemon to do his bidding? Every Pokeball that I own now, I’ve made with my own hands. Each Pokemon I’ve captured, has been of its own desire. I lost every one of my friends in that war, and swore to never take advantage of another Pokemon for so long as I lived!”

    “Then that would mean that… that Timburr…”

    “Dammit Surge! You need to help that child! We can argue about all of this later. Right now, your electric types are our best option to end this battle before something even worse happens!”

    Jack was completely stunned by what Matt had said. He knew that the man had snuck a ball into his bag, but for it to be free of the brainwashing function that he’d been worried about… that could potentially change everything. The boy’s gaze slowly shifted to meet with Eff’s. The Pokemon had pursed its lips and closed its eyes. For a moment, the entire city had fallen silent, and everyone had heard what Matt had said.

    Eff hit his head against the ground and laughed. “Muk, I must be growing soft. Thinking that I actually had grown to like a human? What a psyducking joke. To think there wasn’t even a brainwashing mechanism in that ball he forced me into… I must’ve made a mockery of myself.” The Pokemon slowly rose to its feet, blood trailing from its mouth down its chest and onto the ground below it, mixing with the drops which continued to fall from his hand.

    Jackson looked over his shoulder, staring down the Timburr as he watched it struggle to its feet. The Pokemon was breathing heavily, and its movements were slow and lethargic. “You’re done. Just go to sleep and stay out of my way.”

    Eff wiped his cheek against his shoulder and then shook off the jacket on his back. The Pokemon slowly wrapped the leather around his wounded hand, and then dug its teeth into its dislocated arm. The Timburr raised its head, bringing the arm in his mouth with it. “I’m not done yet,” he said, his voice muffled by the limb clenched between his teeth. His fists sparked with electricity as he stumbled forward. “I have to… defend… my… honor… even if it means that I… that I…”

    Jackson quickly turned, his eyes filled with hate and anger as he slammed his fist into the Pokemon’s face. The Timburr tumbled backwards without any resistance, falling unconscious the second that its head touched the ground.

    Jack clenched his fists and became filled with anger. Sure, they hadn’t been travelling for long. Sure, Eff had put him in the hospital. Sure, they’d both done wrong to the other… but Eff had just been ready to risk its life to fight on behalf of himself, Jack, and Lappe for no reason other than it's own desire to. It only seemed right that Jack do the same, or at least tried his best to. The boy rushed at Jackson before he’d even begun to turn around. Jack pulled his fist back and had grit his teeth, ready to throw everything he had into this one punch in the hope that it would knock Jackson out.

    However, nothing ever goes according to plan. Jackson’s head turned, and with it, the sword in his hand was raised to meet Jack’s fist. The weapon slid into Jack’s hand as if it were butter. The weapon split the boy’s arm in half, starting between his ring and middle finger and running all the way up to his elbow before it slipped out of his flesh. Jack stumbled forward after his attack failed and he screamed out in pain, wrapping his uninjured arm around the split one as best as he could.

    The boy clawed at the skin on his arm as he wished for it to simply grow back together and the pain to fade away. He’d psyducked up, that much was for sure. And now, he was completely out of options. He’d effectively cut Surge and Matt off from himself, putting the much faster Jackson in between them all. No Pokemon, regardless of how fast could have intervened in time to save him now. Jack stared up at Jackson as the boy flung his arm outwards, sending the blood flying from his blade.

    Surge and Matt watched on with eyes wide open and mouths ajar. Surge felt around inside of his pockets for his Pokeballs, but even if the electric types at his disposal were fast, there wouldn’t have been enough time for them to act after coming free of their confinement. The Gym Leader watched helplessly at Jackson raised the weapon above his head. Matt put his hand on Surge’s shoulder and squeezed at tightly as he could.

    “This could have all been avoided, Surge… do you see what you’ve done? You old fool…”

    Jackson smiled wildly as the weapon rose above his head. The boy looked up the blade’s length and then down at Jack. “Don’t worry, Jack. I’ll take good care of your Croconaw once we turn him into a headpiece. And hey, who knows… maybe we’ll figure out how to harvest humans in a similar way and make use of your body at some point?”

    Jack stared up, helplessly as the blade slowly made its descent. It seemed as though time had slowed hundreds of times over. Everything he’d ever done and had ever hoped to do flashed before his eyes. He bit down into his lip, causing it to bleed and trickle down his face as he searched for any way out of the situation.

    But there was nothing. Jack accepted his fate, closed his eyes and awaited the fall of the blade.

    He waited, and waited. Several seconds passed, but there was nothing save for the pain of his lip and his arm which had been split in half. The boy slowly opened his eyes and saw the weapon, frozen in time. Jack’s eyes quickly switched between the sword, Jackson, Surge, Matt, Eridian, Jen and Eff. Everyone, and everything had stopped in its tracks, leaving only him aware of what was now going on. The boy slowly pushed himself away from the path of the weapon and continued to clench his arm as he surveyed his surroundings.

    “Hello? Is… is there anyone out there? I need help… please… it hurts so bad…”

    Jack bit his lip again and fought back the burning sensation that came with tears. He didn’t know what this was, but he did know he shouldn’t be wasting time with crying. Jack attempted to stand, but as soon as he had risen to a single knee he became too lightheaded and dizzy to continue. Jack lazily fell over and then started to scoot his way over to Eff since the Timburr was the closest thing to him. As the boy reached the Pokemon, he placed his good hand over the Pokemon’s chest and felt for a pulse.

    “Nothing… absolutely nothing… what the hell is this… is this… hell? What’s going on?” Jack started to panic, slowly rolling from side to side as he searched for anyone or anything else that could help him. The boy clenched his fist and pressed his eyes close before pounding against the Timburr beside him. “What the psyduck! Psyduck! Psyduck! Psyduck! Muk! Psyduck! Dammit!” Jack rolled over and quickly rose to his feet, closing his eyes as he felt the familiar dizziness. “Psyduck you,” he screamed out as he started running blindly through the city. “Please! Anyone! I need help! Please!”

    Jack ran through the city frozen in time, and then made his way out into the route which lead into it. The world had gone silent, and all that moved or breathed in it now was him. Tears streamed down his face as he slowly lost hope. His eyes fluttered open every so often, but all that he could see when they did were the vague shapes of other trainers, Pokemon, grass and buildings.

    ‘Where are you going, Jack?’ The voice echoed within his head, throwing his head into a vicious throb. ‘I’m back the other way, aren’t you going to come see me? I just barely made it, didn’t I? I know you’re not dead yet. This is the time you sent me to, after all. Why don’t you come back, old friend.’

    The voice slowly disappeared, and with its dispersal his vision slowly cleared. Jack crawled back to his feet and looked all around him. “Who’s there? Where are you?”

    ‘Here. Back here. Come to where I stopped it all so that we can meet. You can’t be dying just yet, you know. There's a destiny to fulfill still.’

    “Who are you?” Jack screamed as he wobbled back into the city he’d just escaped from. “Where are you? Why won’t you answer me?”

    ‘Because, Jack, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. You’d have to see to believe. After all, from your point of view this is the first time that we've had the pleasure of meeting.’

    “What do you mean? Where are you?”

    ‘The clearing. Come to the clearing.’

    Jack stumbled, crawled, and ran all the way back to where he’d started. His eyes scanned the area, but found that nothing was different from when he’d last been there. He stumbled over to a few of the houses which were nearby and peered through the drawn curtains, wondering if the voice was coming from someone within. Most of the buildings completely empty, but one which had been directly behind where he was when he first awoke in this frozen world had a woman clasping her hand over her mouth as she presumably watched the battle unfold.

    ‘There, now, Jack, what say you we fix up that arm of yours? Oh, and I can’t forget Eff either, can I? He still has to grow big and strong before next we meet.’

    “Who are you? Where? I thought you said I could see you if I came back here?”

    ‘You’re right, I believe I did say that. I thought I’d try and keep being mysterious, seeing as how I only have this one chance to make a first impression. Look, up above you.’

    Jack’s eyes slowly rose to the sky. In this world, even the sun had been frozen in place, its rays falling to the Earth like pillars. From between these radiant pillars, a Pokemon began to descend.

    “Y-you’re!”

    ‘Yes, Jack. I am, am.’ The voice chuckled as it landed in front of the boy. ‘I am Dialga, the ruler of Time. Also, it just so happens that I am, or shall be a close acquaintance of yours in times to come. Now, what say you I make good on that promise?’
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      #54    
    Old November 9th, 2017 (5:51 PM).
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    Astinus Astinus is online now
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      Well, that was an intense chapter!

      Not just the fight between Jackson and Eff, but also everything that came after that. Especially that ending there. It looks like this fic has more to explore when it comes to destiny, and I hope that Jack will wonder if he'll even have a choice anymore, or if everything he does is predetermined because he's done it before.

      I have to say that even though I didn't like Surge for what he decided to do, it made sense when you think about why he wouldn't help Jack. Like Surge has a point that Jack won't always have someone there to help rescue him. There will be times when it's just Jack and some random Pokemon, or even less. So even though Surge came off as some jerk (to put it very lightly), he did have a point.
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        #55    
      Old November 10th, 2017 (7:26 PM).
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      Bay Alexison Bay Alexison is online now
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      I'm with Astinus that while Lt Surge did make a point not everyone will helip him, Jack and Eff was having a hard time going against Jackson and him mostly standing there did make him a coward. It makes sense for Matt and Surge to know one another with the both of them residing in Vermillion City, but I'm still mixed with Matt sneaking in the pokeball even if it doesn't have brainwash capabilities.

      To be honest, atm Dialga's appearance seems to be in the left field for me. Maybe I missed some hints of something bigger besides a revolution/resistance going on, so I'll wait and see the importance of Dialga saving Jack there.
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