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Pokémon Coltar - The Prophecy (Original Region)

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  #1    
Old September 15th, 2017 (4:58 PM). Edited July 2nd, 2018 by Cavespider_17.
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Charlie
     
    Join Date: May 2017
    Location: U.K or D.K depending on where you politically stand.
    Gender: Female
    Nature: Serious
    Posts: 60
    Introduction
    When Marsten Hall is set alight by a wild Charizard James' problems have only just started. Trapped on the island of Coltar, while living in an occupied segment of the north, he has to come to terms with what happened. Fourteen year old James and his friends start to cause trouble and soon find themselves part of something they didn't plan to be...

    I have updated the thread to include a nice scroll-bar for those who dislike seeing text spewed out in a forum-fashion. I have also divided the chapters into sections to make them more manageable.

    Warnings
    ☾ Contains background for the Coltar Project
    ☾ Darker themes touched upon (such as slavery, discrimination etc)
    ☾ Death
    ☾ Fear
    ☾ Mild romance
    ☾ Mild violence/bloodshed
    ☾ Psychological themes touched upon
    ☾ This story is also currently being updated on Wattpad

    Chapters
    Prologue
    Scars of Marsten Hall
    The News
    Hero in Akrat
    The Festival
    The Battles Commence
    The Finals


    Credits
    Spoiler:

    Cover Art:
    * Sploof from "GottaRead'mAll"


    Royalty Free Images & Backgrounds:
    * www.pexels.com
    * pixabay.com
    * unsplash.com

    Sprites & Models:
    * Comipo
    * www.pokestadium.com
    * pokemondb.net
    __________________
    "Even the sturdiest ship can sink if it is built with ignorance" - Aaron Piscar (Fictional Character)
    Coltar:
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      #2    
    Old September 15th, 2017 (4:59 PM). Edited July 2nd, 2018 by Cavespider_17.
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    Cavespider_17 Cavespider_17 is offline
    Charlie
       
      Join Date: May 2017
      Location: U.K or D.K depending on where you politically stand.
      Gender: Female
      Nature: Serious
      Posts: 60

      Prologue Part 1
      Spoiler:

      Date: 24th April 1989

      "Time is precious, as it ticks by events are unfolding, and yet there is nothing to be done. The evening of 24th April had come around quickly that year. The half-moon glowed a creamy yellow, leaving its bewitching light to shine over the fields surrounding the small village of Marsten, in the north of the island of Coltar. The half-moon was significant to many who lived on the island. No. Not just those who lived there, but those who were trapped too. It was illegal and impossible to leave the island. Many had tried over the years.

      Those who attempted a sea escape were doomed to fail. A job fulfilled by that of the island's guardians. Many drowned, were mauled or arrested before managing to set sail. As for those who tried to fly away using their Pokémon, a worse fate awaited. Many were killed by the electrical currents during storms. Others were shot down by an electro-ball attack from those who were sent to prevent anyone from leaving.

      Half jobs were scorned, like the half-moon as it was considered a symbol of a half-hearted attempt to shine a light on the people, half granted wishes, unfinished accomplishments, and unfulfilled promises... to be more accurate, the half-moon represented lies. Its deceptively beautiful colour was indeed enticing to look at. However, to gaze at the moon in such a way that one is without suspicion has the same consequences as to feed a Snorlax a giant meal and not move when it begins to yawn. You might just get crushed. It was a reminder to everyone on the island to be wary.

      This particular half-moon night was a shadow of a night. Despite the beautifully symbolic moon, there was a chill in the air. April 24th the Marsten Hall ball is an accustomed event. This year, however, the atmosphere was more estranged between those citizens and personnel of the North and of the South.


      This year Marsten Hall was not just to play host to the ball, but to something much bigger. It was to play host to negotiations between two of the great powers of the island. The current ruler of the entirety of the island - Gere Filktas was not interested in the tensions between the two Elite Lords who ruled the North and the South. If they were fighting each other, they were in no position to challenge him so he would be able to maintain his strength for a far greater challenger if one ever emerged. Therefore, under the advice of the Head of the Master Guard and Master of Coltar Filktas' right-hand man, Felix Mainstenhill, the two Elite Lords agreed to discuss their demands before taking aggressive actions against one another.

      The presence of the Lords at the ball was a new experience for some of the people of Coltar. Only those by invitation were welcomed inside the hall. Those without were allowed to crowd around the entrance. The ball supported the class system perfectly. Each class avoided the one above and below. The Master would have sat above all, with his Captain and the Rulers below.

      The Young Guard or trainee Guard was the final class of these elites. Children as young as three years old would be ripped from their families with their Pokémon partner to train alongside the Young Guard providing they filled the requirements. If the parents didn't like it. It was tough. They had to surrender their child. Fighting back or rejecting the demand had unspeakable consequences. Either way, the child would still end up as the property of the Guard.

      That child would become a ruthless protector of their Lord until his death. If the Lord was killed by a member of the Guard or civilian, if the child was under the age of fourteen or twenty-five (depending on the territory), would usually be allowed to remain at the Elite Castle and be trained under the new Elite Lord. If by this point they had become a full member of the Guard they would be at the mercy of their own conscience providing the survived. Coltar was a brutal place. It remains a brutal place.


      Marsten Hall was constructed during one of Coltar's most brutal sections of history. Igor Rett's portrait is said to have hung inside the courtroom, something James was desperate to see, as he darted past the walls. Marsten Hall was a courthouse until the middle of the 18th century. The whole building consisted of only a few rooms: the lobby, the courtroom, and finally, the ballroom itself, which was a hexagonal shape. The hall was constructed out of old stone and muddied concrete. The concrete was beginning to look sandy as if it was starting to fall away into an abyss. The stone bricks were worn and beginning to crumble.

      The inside walls of the lobby continued to show little mercy. The walls were mostly bland. Much to James' delight the sight of a Pokémon, Chandelure, floating just below the ceiling with their purple flames added to the eeriness. Upon the walls were metal chains.


      The lobby was previously home to where the prisoners were left to rot before carrying out their sentences or being summoned to court. The metal chains were rusted, some were blood-stained others were not. They were twisted and emitted a chilling vibe to anyone who ventured too close. James was glad to be outside, as he stopped peering into the window. It was no wonder many prisoners were said to have gone insane.

      Across the stoned floor laid a purple carpet. The deep purple felt like nothingness when looked into. That was why purple was so significant. Purple was the national colour of Coltar before the divisions. Purple represents no loyalty to any region but to the whole island.

      Why purple though? The Gastrodon who lived in the centre of Coltar near the Elite Zone were considered to be amongst the noblest of Pokémon. As Gastrodon colours varied across Coltar it was deemed only fitting to use their colour to symbolise the Master of Coltar's flag, as he himself was situated in the centre of Coltar inside the castle in the Elite Zone.

      The courtroom was much more impressive than the lobby. Behind the judge's dock was the grand portrait of Igor Rett. His pale white face was war-torn. He looked beyond stern. He looked as if he had wicked thoughts blooming in the back of his mind. He was rather short in his portrait, but then again he was sitting at the judges' dock. His Pokémon was one that no one had claimed to have seen in many years. No one knew its name. Its paws were black and its body blue. Although Rett had a wicked look on his face, he also seemed to blossom some form of safety and comfort to know he was watching over the citizens of Coltar.

      James had finally crept far enough around the outside of the building to see the ballroom , which by far the grandest of all the rooms.

      The band inside was playing the tune of the anthem of the island of Coltar. Many of the band were playing the Ukuru. An Ukuru was an instrument only affordable to those among the middle class or higher. It was crafted from the bones of a Lairon, cut and curved into a hypnotic spiral. The mouthpiece was created from the melted coat of an Aron. The band members who played the Ukuru had to blow into the spiralled metal mouthpiece, and bend the bone of the mainframe in order to change the notes being played.

      The paintings on the wall were grander still. Their frames were gold. Inside the frames were the portraits of the former Masters and Elite Lords of Coltar. At the helm of the ballroom the portrait of the historic ruler Rustok Nambi, and his Gardevoir partner. His brown skin looked rough and cut. His ocean blue eyes looked sternly at anyone who gazed upon him. He had struck a pose in which he stood in wonder against a forest background. You could see the Ariados and Galvantula lurking in the background. It was terrifying to think that every single ruler in Coltar had a portrait inside of both the Elite Zone castle and Marsten Hall. James considered for a moment the power they had, before focusing back on the portrait.

      Nambi's portrait laid a shadow on all the others in the room. The portraits of the current two Elite Lords were not to be found, however. In order to have a portrait placed in either location, the Lords would have to be dead, although the portraits were to be painted while they were still alive. Usually during their second or third day as Lord or Master. The floor was a dark wooden patterned floorboard. It was diamond shaped from the centre outwards. It was glossed, it shined and appeared to have smiled back at those who looked into it.



      Prologue Part 2
      Spoiler:

      On the outside of the hall in the far left segment of the ballroom, the boy stood on tiptoes peering in on the dance. James' carmine shoulder length hair kept falling in front of his wide Venetian red eyes. He was rather average in terms of height for his age for a boy born in the Northern Territory. His rather smart plain ghost white shirt was now coated in a sandy dust from the degrading concrete. His onyx coloured trousers were well-worn. Despite their old appearance, they had only come into his possession rather recently. He was wearing a russet blazer with only three buttons.

      He could see an orange Chandelure floating around inside the room. Its flames were so wonderfully warm. The Chandelure looked happy. All the other Chandelure were purple, so for an orange Chandelure to even be allowed to light the hall was a miracle in itself. James didn't understand the prejudice against the orange Chandelure that are found. All he knew was they were rather uncommon. Just like Okta, they were special.

      He strained to see further into the hall. He wanted to see Elite Lord Madison, ruler of the North. The man he wanted to be. Instead, James could only see the back of the composer of the band and his Gastrodon. His hair was snow white, short and braided and was blocking the view of nearly everything inside. The rest of the view inside was being blocked by his yellow Gastrodon, who was happily squelching along to the music.

      James could hear the music from the window. He sighed. He listened while his eyes flicked trying to see beyond the back of the composer. Footsteps. He shuffled around the corner to his left and slammed his back against the wall. An adrenaline rush was the last thing he needed right now. He held his breath and reached down with his right hand to his pocket on his trousers.

      Okta was there. She was always ready to battle as was he, he convinced himself. He turned the corner. Horror filled his face. Two men in a midnight blue uniform stood in front of him. Both were ready to send out their Pokémon. They weren't just men. They were members of the Southern Elite Guard. James' heart started to race with fear. He had been caught red-handed peering into the ball when the law had forbidden him from doing such a thing. The first Lord stared at him. His eyes were void black, it was difficult to tell the difference between his pupil and his iris. He smirked and rolled his poké ball behind James.

      The Machamp that had resided inside was now behind him. Its large hands gripped James' shoulders. He couldn't escape. The member of the Elite Guard on the right was still a giant to James. He peered down from what appeared to be too high up. He looked at James. His caramel blonde hair was combed down to the sides. His hat was in his left hand. He had drawn his long sword in his right. James trembled with fear. The taller Guard grabbed James' Okta from his hand. He looked curiously at her for a moment or two. His gaze then switched focus to James, who had been trying to squirm his way out of Machamp's grip without much success.

      "It is very dirty. You should clean it more. Or maybe you Northern children are too irresponsible to keep a Pokémon? Maybe I should take it," he spoke softly. It was as if he was trying not to be so intimidating. He returned his Machamp. "You have ten seconds to get out of my sight." As the Lord dumped the Onix back into the boy's hand, James turned to run back down the hill and was gently prodded by the shorter one's sword. James ran as fast as he could back towards his friends who were waiting for him by the tree at the bottom of the grass strip next to the cobblestone path up to the hall.

      James felt belittled, but His friends were glad to see him back from his excursion.


      Andrew Takui, the youngest of the group stood to greet him, with a nice round and plump Oran berry. His Deino, Nutkio, was lapping it up. His long light cyan-grey shaded hair was pulled back enough so he could see. James raised his arm and the two boy's forearms met. His skin was had a darker shade to it than James'. Andrew's Verdigris green-blue eyes clashed with James' red ones as he delved deep in thought. Despite his age, he was the second tallest. His height was the one thing he did enjoy teasing his brother about.

      Lioa was sitting to Andrew's left. His Timburr, Ruskuo, was tossing a small log in the air for amusement. Lioa had only just turned thirteen and he was proud of that fact. He strongly believed soon he could join his father and fight the South. He got up and shunted James, as he did his light cyan-grey flopped over his eyes, before issuing the same gesture. His Munsell green eyes sparkled, filled with the mischief he would cause and those he would include into his schemes, as he looked up into James' eyes. He proclaimed himself the leader of the group, similarly to James. Despite being best friends they often would squabble over this small detail.

      Finally, Kitiku Bryson sat quietly on the edge of the grassy patch. He didn't really like noise. He was rather shy. He almost needed at least one of the other three to be around him when facing new people or new surroundings. His Klink called Rusto whizzed around him while he thought. His skin was the fairest of the group and burnt easily in the usual tropical Northern heat. His hair was near enough a jet black shade. It was long enough to cover his eyes, but not quite as long as James' shoulder-length hair. He looked up to see James from the ground, too ashamed to stand up, and tower over his friends. His eyes were an ash-grey. When looking into his eyes James' always saw his hopelessness. His father was constantly disappointed in him for being 'defective' due to his massive height and dislike of fighting.

      This was a common reaction to abnormalities in children and adults in Coltar at this time. Nowadays it is more accepted. Coltar was not used to diversity and certainly didn't know how to cope with it. It was rather... cut off... from the rest of the world. Off-islanders who had crashed or were shipwrecked on the island were treated with immediate suspicion and were often thrown in prison for many years in case they carried disease or wanted to overthrow the Lords or worse. Many medical ideas had crept through to the island, but many more did not. However, I wander off topic. Back to the reason why what will happen in three days from now will... Kitiku dressed smartly. His shirt had no pockets and was an ivory white. His cuffs were plain. His soot grey trousers were neatly pressed and would remain stiff enough to lack a crease for hours, even when worn. His eyes widened as Lioa stood up and approached James.

      "What was it like up there? Did you see Lord Elite Madison?" Lioa looked quizzical. His mouth turned into a slight smile. "What was he like? I bet he was amazing to watch. I bet he instilled fear into those Southern jerks."

      "I didn't see much," James replied disappointed. He slumped next to Kitiku and Lioa copied. "Before I could investigate further two of your "Southern jerks" turned up and tried to intimidate me. Those stupid members of the Southern Elite Guard. I showed them."

      "Did not. I bet you came back out of fear!" James gulped to Lioa's accusation. It was true. He did comeback afraid, but...

      "They aren't all bad. You can't just class all Southern Elite Guards as bad people just because they protect a Lord you don't like..." Kitiku whispered.

      "They are merciless. They would have killed me if I didn't beat them. Remember? What I did was technically illegal." He smiled. "Don't worry Lioa, we will see Lord Madison defeat the South. He would never sign such a weak negotiation. Okta and I are counting on it. One day, she and I will be the greatest team to grace this world. All twenty-three thousand people on this world will see the rise of James Spitz and Okta! We will win every tournament we compete in!" He waved his arms as he spoke with excitement. Okta was curled up in her capsule. Her long rock body was a golden colour. She was special and James knew it. Her horn on the top of her head was cut so perfectly. She was his Onix and he wanted the whole world to know it. "Besides," James went to finish his speech, "Cresselia will bless my household so that..."


      "Please. Cresselia isn't real. Besides, Darkrai will bless my household. I will be better than you," Lioa snapped. "Darkrai, after all, is real."

      "No, it isn't. Cresselia is real," James shouted back as the argument brewed.

      "Darkrai!" Lioa shunted against James forcefully. James nearly was knocked over but caught himself. With annoyance in his voice, he screamed back at Lioa. Pushing his friend to the ground and started to try and thump him.

      "Cresselia!" Lioa spat at James as the red-haired boy shouted back. The clouds coated the moon. James' face became harder to see, but that didn't stop Lioa from making his move. He pushed James over onto his back and then shouted even louder.

      "Darkrai!"


      Prologue Part 3
      Spoiler:

      Kitiku started to shuffle and look stressed, as his two friends argued and were fighting. His household was under the grouping that believed in Cresselia. He didn't want to be cursed to nothingness forever after his time was over. He was feeling very uncomfortable. James and Lioa's attention diverted to him. They realised they may have done this.



      "Hey Kitiku. Are you okay? Why don't we go watch the outside Chandelure perform with their masters from the rooftops?" Lioa smiled at him. Kitiku's breathing started to slow down a little. He pondered on the thought for a moment or so before nodding in agreement. "Last one on the roof has to ask a Southern Elite Guard for a bedtime kiss!" Lioa laughed. The drainpipes couldn't support more than one person at a time, so it really was everyone for themselves.

      Lioa started to scramble up the pipe first. Kitiku's height was going to work in his favour, as he grabbed the second nearest pipe attached to the degrading old houses. He pulled himself up towards the roof much faster than Lioa. Andrew and James ran towards the same drainpipe. As James reached for it Ruskuo threw a small rock at James and hit him in the stomach. James was knocked over into the mud.


      Lioa laughed louder. "James guess what? You lose...."

      "Where is that little runt?" A voice called out into the street. James scrambled into the narrow pathway between two of the houses. A shiver crept down his spine. Every rough click of that voice caused a memory to re-arise from the deepest darkest depths of his mind. The aggressive voice was out to get him.

      "James was lurking around the entrance earlier. He is probably already inside," Carla, James' mother, replied.

      "Then let's enjoy the party," Hanson, James' step-father, responded. James couldn't see them from where he was standing. His mother had combed her golden hair into a nice bun. Her fair skin was smooth. She always would give James a hug when he cried or felt lonely. He liked looking into her midnight blue eyes. Hanson on the other hand was a different story. He failed to adopt James into the family once he married Carla, nor did he throw James out of the household-which was common in Coltese culture. He disliked James. He let James know regularly this was the case. James knew of Hanson's Salamence and he didn't like its beady eyes and its snorting nose and its blood red wings and its large stomping feet one bit.

      Lioa waited for Hanson and Carla to go inside the hall.

      "James, you lost, you have to do the loser's thing. Once you have done it we will let you on the roof to watch the show too."

      "Yeah James!" Andrew echoed in an irritating way. James clenched his fist angrily. He had lost because of that monster.

      "Fine. Just fine!" James stormed back up the hill in a rage. "That's the last time we ever lose to anyone Okta! We will be the greatest! I promise. Then no one will make fun of you for your golden colour. You are perfect. Hey, maybe one day we will explore Coltar!" James looked down and kicked a rock. He stubbed his toe in the process. He grit his teeth and continued to rant. "I want to see more than what I am told I can see..." The rock. It had hit something. Something that made a grunt when it did. James looked up into the eyes of a tall man. He rapidly became anxious.

      The tall shady figure shunted him onto the floor with considerable force. He drew his capsule. A Haxorus sat inside. Its eyes were a burning red and it looked ready to destroy whatever crossed its path.

      A loud roar came from behind the shady figure. It wasn't a Pokémon roar though. The figure appeared to be glowing an orange shade. The figure turned and James rose.

      Boom.

      Crackle.

      The once grand Marsten Hall was on fire. A second roar echoed. This one was a Pokémon. A Charizard with scorching red wings flew up through the ceiling.

      James was confused for a moment, but quickly made sense of the situation. The figure in front of him had vanished. This, in James' mind, could mean only one thing – that man, that Southern Elite Guard had started this fire with Charizard to kill Elite Lord Madison. All the Elite Guards were desperate to rescue those inside, especially because Lord Madison wasn't inside. James knew this to be true. Lord Madison was standing a five metres in front of him in a face-off with Lord Piscar. He couldn't see then very well through the smoke. He could see their silhouettes and hear their voices.

      "This is a new low. Even for you," the first said, almost choking from the smoke. He had no accent. This was his first language. To James this was almost proof this was Lord Madison speaking. His voice was smooth and rather deep. "You are nothing more than a mass murdering psychopath". The screams of those inside were crawling through the air. James imagined the souls of the Distortion World desperately grabbing onto whomever they could with their mouths wide open, screaming.

      "You think I am responsible for this? You are a disgrace to your people... and to mine," The second voice responded. It was coarse and higher than the previous one. James paused. This voice had no accent either. Perhaps this was his Captain of the Elite Guard. No, it was impossible James thought. One of these had to be Madison. The other had to be the sworn enemy of the North and mass murderer Lord Piscar. The wind was starting to pick up. The tensions were high, James could tell.


      "Negotiations are over. You brought this upon yourself," A silhouette of a Pokémon James had never seen before appeared amongst the smoke. A second Pokémon, Aggron, appeared as another silhouette. The rainfall started and became a storm faster than James had ever seen before. A flash followed.

      He couldn't see. He was blinded by the light. Darkness. James felt as if death was creeping up on him and was ready to take his soul to the world which Cresselia watched over. He heard a thunderclap and then... nothingness.

      He was dead, he feared.

      If he was dead how come he could still feel the squelchy mud with his hands? How could he feel the vibrations of the earth from the battle raging between the two Elite Lords not five metres away? He couldn't risk sending out Okta to help Lord Madison. He couldn't even see where he himself was, let alone his Lordship. He didn't want to risk squishing himself, or his Lordship.

      A hand seized his arm and pulled him up. Someone was helping him. After a few more moments his eyes began to recover. He could see but only in tunnel vision and even then it was blurred. His hearing was still not back. Before James could react to being able to see again a wave of energy was emitted from somewhere. It coursed through him and his rescuer and nearly everyone around him. They all dropped to the floor. Unconscious. James wasn't unconscious, he could see everything, but now he couldn't move. His body felt like it was being sat on by a thousand Snorlax. He quickly came to the conclusion it was the sound that had rendered many people unconscious along with the wave of energy. A few of the Elite Guard of each side were standing.

      The Charizard was still flying in a rage. The Elite Lords were still standing. They were not fighting anymore. The Aggron looked frustrated by this. One of the Elite Lords turned his back to the other and walked away. The Charizard was flying further and further into the distance. His hearing started to return. He was unsure what he just had witnessed, but he knew one thing for sure... Hanson Rei and Carla Spitz were almost certainly inside when that fire was started. Therefore the worst case scenario crossed his mind. Rei had survived, and his mother had not.

      __________________
      "Even the sturdiest ship can sink if it is built with ignorance" - Aaron Piscar (Fictional Character)
      Coltar:
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        #3    
      Old September 21st, 2017 (5:17 PM).
      Vragon
      Guest
         
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        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Cavespider_17 View Post
        faced few fates
        -- This is worded very weirdly in context of the victims trying to escape. Also, Your shift in the middle of the paragraph from the escapees back to the moon thing was abrupt and not needed.

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Cavespider_17 View Post
        that one is unwilling to be suspicious
        – you can just say “without suspicion”

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Cavespider_17 View Post
        has the same consequences as to feed a Snorlax a giant meal and not move when it begins to yawn
        -- I get what you’re saying, but not everyone will. Why would it matter if it begins to yawn? Plus a Snorlax doesn’t always fall when about to sleep so some more elaboration would be nice.

        Quote:
        This year Marsten Hall was not just to play host to the ball
        -- dependent clause. It needs to be linked to another sentence or cut out. Also, you could split the paragraph at this part. It doesn’t appear to be too related and it would make it easier on the reader to read.

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Cavespider_17 View Post
        The current ruler of the entirety of the island- Gere Filktas was not interested in the tensions between the two Elite Lords who ruled the north and the south. Therefore, under the advice of the Head of the Master Guard and Master of Coltar Filktas' right hand man, Felix Mainstenhill, the two Elite Lords agreed to discuss their demands before taking aggressive actions against one another. The location of Marsten was key to the negotiations. Despite it being in the northern territory it was considered a neutral ground, it was to the south east of the northern capital of Quigk. Quigk meaning founder in the main northern and southern languages-Colrat and Elkrat respectively.
        --First why is the current ruler unable to control them? If the Elite Lords are so tense between each other this implies that the ruler doesn’t seem to be able to control them even if he has power. I’m sure you’ll explain this later, but from a first read it’s kinda weird logical wise.

        --Second the names you drop are of character I assume won’t be talked about soon if not ever along with talking history and details about a city. I get attention to detail, but overdoing it can bore/tire a reader. Without something visually or mentally engaging the reader will be more inclined to stop or skip that section.

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Cavespider_17 View Post
        Once inside the structure of the hall supported the class system perfectly
        – what? This felt splicing 2 sentences together that didn’t need to be.

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Cavespider_17 View Post
        The elites consisted of its own hierarchy. The Master of Coltar, Gere Filktas sat at the top of the hierarchy. Power then descended to his Captain of the Master Guard, Felix Mainstenhill and the two Elite Lords, Madison and Piscar. After that, the Captain of the North and South Guard respectively.
        --Repetitive and later it doesn’t really add anything. You could sum this up with just “at the Hierarchy was Felix Mainstenhill and the two Elite Lords, Madison and Piscar with the North and South Captains just below.

        Okay so this beginning part of this prologue is where the unneeded details start to really slow a reader down. There are ways to explain things without having to actually explain the bluntly. I get it is written from a different perspective, but the lack of interaction does hurt the story’s engagement. You are writing fiction. It can be written in 2nd person, but those attention then focus on the imagery or the narrator. In this it kinda just talks about things so far. Along with it being history lecture focused.

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Cavespider_17 View Post
        4 ft 8 and a half on tiptoes
        -- Redundant considering the former clause.
        Also, there is a lot of pronoun usage in this story. Now that’s fine, but try and space it out with other things or call them by their name or title.

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Cavespider_17 View Post
        after all he couldn't defeat Lioa in battle
        --kinda defeats the purpose if we don’t know who Lioa is. Perhaps either introducing him first or possibly doing it right after this statement ends.

        Impressions:
        1 The first part was a bit rocky, but sets an interest. I am curious about how this all works, but I’m finding it difficult to see how everything in that paragraph fits together.

        2 The second part, However, I think you handled a lot better. While it still was descriptive it did add more of an engagement due it having our protagonist in it. I can say it still had areas lacking of clarity, though from a context standpoint it was interesting.

        Your story I believe is a bit of a harder to follow work, for more experienced readers if you will. I mean, don’t get me wrong, this story has an interest and I get the start and the setting. Your story reminds me of North and South Korea and the straining there.

        So to close, I’d say try and simplify the detailing and history elaboration (even though I doubt that will be used as much since introductions are over) and if you do need to find ways to space it out or rather condense it. Aside some grammar issues I have to say I like it and you have an interesting style that really adds to description.
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          #4    
        Old September 21st, 2017 (10:03 PM).
        Bay's Avatar
        Bay Bay is offline
        Darkinium Z
         
        Join Date: May 2006
        Location: Dani California
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        Posts: 5,328
        Hey, I thought I would drop by a bit to comment a few things on the beginning of your stories!

        So, first off I can see you put a lot of effort into your worldbuilding/history there and you have ideas on how you want to tackle some issues like the divide between classes. However, I feel a lot of that you can slowly reveal throughout your story instead of dumping it all in several paragraphs because I'll forget all that information. The description of the Marsten Hall, while I get its importance in Coltar I feel bogged down the story because there was no action until much later when James get caught with some guards.

        One other thing I want to point out is I feel you went overboard with the descriptions of everyone. I can understand you wanting your readers to paint us a picture of how everyone looks like, but you don't have to give us every last detail (especally the heights, we don't need to know x is 5 feet tall).

        One part of dialogue I feel is very longwinded, and it's when James talked to Okta after he stumbled with his mom.

        Quote:
        "Fine. Just fine." James stormed back up the hill in a rage. "That's the last time we ever lose to anyone Okta! We will be the greatest! I promise. Then no one will make fun of you for your golden colour. You are perfect. Hey, maybe one day we will explore Coltar, or even better! We could go explore beyond Coltar! The Elite Lords always say we can't leave the island. They even use Bronzong to hide the island's existence. Why would they do that if we are the only people in this world? What about the off-islanders. Where do they come from? They don't just appear from nowhere. Right?" James looked down and kicked a rock. "I want to see more than what I am told I can see..." The rock. It had hit something. Something that made a grunt when it did. James looked up into the eyes of a tall man. He rapidly became anxious. The tall shady figure shunted him onto the floor with considerable force. He drew his capsule. A Dragonite sat inside. Its eyes were a burning red and it looked ready to destroy whatever crossed its path.
        While I get you're making James go tangent, I think you could have cut a lot that dialogue out to get a point or two of his straight across.

        I know I went into a lot detail what needs work, but I still see a lot of potential here. The ending with one of the guards going against the lord looks like some cool political stuff will come to play and would be interesting how James will deal with the aftermath of that incident. As I mentioned, some themes like the class divide would be great for James to explore more during his journey, so you should take advantage of that. I'll hopefully try to stick around for more!
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        Old October 18th, 2017 (11:10 AM). Edited July 2nd, 2018 by Cavespider_17.
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        Cavespider_17 Cavespider_17 is offline
        Charlie
           
          Join Date: May 2017
          Location: U.K or D.K depending on where you politically stand.
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          Nature: Serious
          Posts: 60

          Chapter 1- The Scars of Marsten Hall Part 1
          Spoiler:

          Date: 15th June 1989

          Fehahra was beautiful in the summer. It was so peaceful before the incident at Marsten Hall. The wind was always blowing through the greenery. It waved to the trees as it blew past. Soon the answer to the half-moon on the night of the Marsten Hall massacre would reveal itself. As soon as the full-moon rose in fact. Henceforth it would reveal a solution to the problem of the erupted tensions between the two regions of the North and South. It would take much longer however, for the seeds of the solution to grow into a flower and blossom into a thing of beauty. The berries on the trees were starting to ripen. They were plump and looked so delicious it was impossible not to pick one. As the boys creeped past the bushes by the lake Lioa couldn't help but take a few.

          The creamy full-moon was only four days away. There were very few street Lampent. They would hover above the ground at two metres up. Their black body was smooth. Their oval face was clear with their beady yellow eyes with no pupils inside. A purple flame which danced ran through their oval face. So soon Fehahra would buzz with the vibrant moonlight. The cobble paving in Fehahra was old and dusty. It was a grey sandy colour and it looked cold.

          The houses they hovered by were small for the most part like most of the houses in Fehahra. They were stone bricked and rather claustrophobic. The town was pretty flat. There were a few ways into Fehahra, the first was the wooden bridge over the waterfall which was connected to the river that flowed through the town. The wooden bridge was tied together using rope. The drop was sheer and sickly. The water was a green murky colour. Following the river east would lead towards the second way into Fehahra. On the eastern side of Fehahra a cobblestone-dirt mixed route led further east. The final way into Fehahra was lost in the midst of time. It was buried under the ground. The first Elite Lord of the North was said to have been born in Fehahra and he had a tunnel constructed which only a few of his Lord Elite Guards knew about. No one speaks of it anymore, most probably because no one knows where it is. How can I claim to have seen such things? My dear off-islanders, I can see everything with my aura. Please don't be alarmed.


          Andrew squinted his eyes to see the spire of the house of worship for those who follow Cresselia and Darkrai alike. It was situated near the northern edge of Fehahra at the top of the one hill. It stood as a grand building. It had four long twisty pillars cut out of Wailord bones. They were engraved with glorious patterns and painted a quartz-white. They stood holding the balcony with its white stone floor and curvy fences. The brick was also pained a quartz white. It looked like powdered snow from far away. The bricks were smooth and comforting on the outside. Only when you pushed past the light wooden doors could you see the true beauty of the building. The walls were painted in colours of old. Their patterns were intrinsic to those of either household. They swirled and darted into each colour.

          The left side of the building was dedicated to those who followed Cresselia, and the right to those who followed Darkrai. In the middle of it all stood a solid silver statue of what Giratina was rumoured to look like. It had a face with a sharp beak and four stumpy legs. Upon its stumpy legs its bug like body rested before it strained up in the form of a neck to hold its large head. The floor on which the statue stood was a cream concrete. It looked as inviting as whipped cream on a hot summer's day. The glass window was the only window. It was large and circular. Its stained glass colours reflected the light in such a manner that anyone who walked into the building couldn't help but feel as if the tides of fate were looking down on them and smiling.

          The pillars on the inside were silver and reached up to the arched celling where the Chandelure of orange colour only floated. When leaving the building there was a single path to follow. It was cobble and twisted left and right back towards the town. At the end of the path stood the town hall. Its sandy brick walls were dented with sword marks and scratches from attacks of Pokémon from days of old. It had a clock in the centre of the four sandy brick pillars that guarded the arch way. Charizard heads were carved into the walls as a way of frightening off intruders. Inside the building was a sloped set of seats.

          The covers on the seats were a woven fabric. They were a deep Northern green. Those with the poorest of backgrounds would sit at the back to avoid contact with those who were richer. The richest would sit closest to the stage. The stage was made from a carved wood. Spirals and carved images of the fiercest Pokémon battles lay on the edges. Every plank of wood was cut into a jigsaw shape and joined in perfect harmony with one another to illustrate the importance of unity in the North. The walls were covered by plain wooden planks to symbolise the simplicity of the average life of a Northern citizen.

          Opposite the town hall stood a building of three floors. It reached over the pavement and created a bridge between itself and another building. The building on the right was new. Its windows were straight and consistent. Inside there were offices and a medical room underground and below that a jail with closed wall cells and rooms dedicated to solitary confinement. A place which was all too familiar to James, Lioa and Andrew. The building on the left was the town library. Every floor was coated in bookshelves for both fiction and non-fiction. By the exit the librarian's desk was set up. All the shelves were packed.

          The literacy rate in the North was as small as fifteen percent compared to the South where it was a much higher eighty percent. The library floor was wooden with a red patterned rug in each room on each floor. Each book was registered electronically through a Metagross numerical system. Due to the intelligence of Metagross and Metang most technology was advanced beyond your world's technology at this point in time, however, it was only really accessible to the Elites. Most normal citizens were not allowed access to this technology as the Elites feared it may enable them to plot and plan to overthrow them.

          Crouched by the door of one of the shops in the dark fourteen year old James Spitz was planning another one of his hair-brained schemes. Thirteen year old Kitiku Bryson was next to him. His ice-white shirt was glowing softly in the moonlight.


          "James... why did I let you talk me into this?" He whispered. His left hand was resting against the sandy brick wall by the window. He feared the worst. Breaking the rules, to him, was obviously never going to end well. "If we get caught we will be hauled up in front of Charleston. That would be so... so bad... I mean I don't want to be arrested or thrown in jail or given a warning and have a mark against my name in my file... or executed or thrown in jail", he was sweating. The tropical heat wasn't the reason for it. He was so nervous. "It is okay for you to sneak around undetected. You are a normal height."



          "Can you just shut up? Seriously, you can't stop complaining about jail or getting arrested or being executed. You can't even shut up for a few minutes while I am thinking!" James whisper-shouted. He tugged down on his brown blazer. "You know what? Why don't we just hand ourselves in? I have Sutton's number... we just have to shout "hey moron" and he will come running. Handing ourselves is the right thing to do, right? It isn't as if these people are monsters who have invaded our home and set a wild Charizard loose at Marsten Hall that killed my mother and ate your brother and then caused this entire conflict in which Mr Takui died fighting for us!" James hissed.



          James had also grown, but not just in height. He had a massive emotional swelling which was building up, like a balloon that was being pumped with air and no one knew when it would burst. His heart was aching and waiting to breakdown into a waterfall of tears and a puff of smoke and rage. His friends looked at him.



          He had let his mask slip. Usually he would conceal his feelings of sadness to appear strong in the eyes of others. He decided to let his anger guide his mission tonight. He pulled his chocolate brown blazer tight in order to hide his white button up shirt. Kitiku was shuffling a little and was looking down. "Okay, so here is the plan... Kitiku, you and Rusto will open the electronic door which those Southern soldiers supplied. Lioa and Ruskuo you will break open the ration crates. We are going to need all the strength of that Gurdurr of yours tonight! Andrew and Nutkio will be keeping watch. Any sign of anyone we beat them in battle and then run away as soon as possible. Okta and I will be ready to deal with any trouble." He smirked at the thought of being victorious.



          "James? Aren't you scared? I am not scared. We are on our last warning though. Charleston, she cannot execute us. She doesn't have the power to... but the Elite Guards can. I am not scared. I just don't know if we should keep doing this. I miss my father just like you miss your mother and how Kitiku misses his brother... but honestly, can we really afford to risk being caught again?" Lioa was huddled behind Andrew and Kitiku. His shirt was torn at the top and his trousers were muddy. He brushed the hair from his face and then spoke, "How do you even plan on stopping us getting caught again?"



          "I told you we will battle." A determined look crossed James' face. His teeth were gritted together. "This time it will be different. This time we will win." James, Andrew and Lioa were often unsuccessful in their mischief-making endeavours. "Besides, we won't get caught and after the festival I'll break into the offices and replace our records of so called bad behaviour with blank sheets." James had already had to do this thrice already. Charleston was starting to get suspicious, but her poor memory and high stress levels contributed to her ignoring the nagging thoughts in the back of her mind telling her she had done this before.



          The first offence for minors, which in Coltar was anyone under the age of twenty-five (according to Southern law), was a simple talk. It was a straight forward solution. The objective was to scare offenders then and then and deter them from any further actions. This worked in around eighty percent of the cases. Warnings made getting jobs harder and resulted in rations being cut in half. The second offence usually resulted in a permanent mark being held against the rule breaker's name and more often than not, the offender would receive up to a week in jail or Southern service (in which the offender and their Pokémon would be forced to assist a member of the Southern forces in the town as well as have their rations permanently cut in half. The third offence – the final warning resulted in jail time and Southern service, a permanent cut of rations to a quarter and the Southern Guard would be alerted to your actions.



          "I never get in these situations. I don't get in these situations because I don't break the rules... I don't even know why I am here. My father will kill me if he ever finds out. He will do worse to you James." Kitiku tried to back himself up. "I am going home. I am not getting arrested because of you." His voice was squeaking in places as he spoke. "I really don't want to die." Lioa shunted his friend forward. His eyes narrowed until his green eyes were black in the darkness. "I am just scared..." He sighed. "I will open the door and then I'm sneaking home before my father finds out." James nodded, somewhat disappointed with his friend's reaction.



          "After you get home you better cover for me." James sighed. After losing his mother and step-father at Marsten Hall, Tak Bryson had offered sanctuary to him. James quickly learned that living under the Bryson household was hard. They were dirt poor. Tak Bryson, once a glorified and well decorated member of the Northern Elite Guard was now a simple labourer. His ocean blue eyes seemed tired and full of sorrow. His hair was smooth and combed flat. Its colour was jet black. It was obvious Kitiku had inherited his hair colour from his father.



          He stood at 5ft 8 and was considered to be of average height and above average build. He had stubble but no beard and always attempted to look as presentable as possible. He worked ridiculously long hours. He worked every day without break 6:30 am until 8:30 pm. He claimed to only have one Pokémon, Oosho the Octillery. He feared his old profession would risk his family's safety, if ever the South should come. And come they did. He turned to the bottle. He was often sober despite the large quantities he would drink. His old injuries did not help his mood. He was convinced that if he was still a member of the Northern Elite Guard he could have defended Fehahra town. As it was, his injuries had forced his retirement. He had obtained them thirteen years before in a bloody battle with a Southern Guard. He and Oosho had fought bravely and were winning the battle. He never stated what caused the battle. Oosho was so precise with his hydro pump and the rain dance he would use would whip up a powerful storm. Whoever he had fought though was prepared for that.


          In the end Tak did win the battle but at a cost. The Guard he had fought and driven a short-hand sword into his left shoulder and his Houndoom had chomped down on the wound as soon as the blade and been removed, just to reinforce the damage. The burn was agonising. Tak had cut the skin off where the burn was seeping through. The blade wound though was still prominent.

          Tak often took his feeling of devastation out on his youngest and now only son. He was incredibly harsh when assessing Kitiku's performance. Often he referred to his shy, over-tall son as being broken or defective. James was aware of how it negatively affected Kitiku's confidence around people. Despite Tak's harshness he needed his son to be nothing more than an heir. He truly loved his son, even though his actions never seemed to carry a loving tone. He didn't believe in corporal punishment, unlike most families. After losing his eldest son – Pierre Tak Bryson – at Marsten Hall to the Charizard, he was even more sceptical about losing his second. Tak's image played in James' mind for a moment or so, and then he spoke. "Kitiku, do you trust me?"


          "I think so..." He whispered. "Let's just get in, get out, get home and hope my father doesn't notice. Rusto can you shoot an electrical signal along the cables using charge? That was we can release the locking mechanism." His hands were shaking as he released his Klink, who whizzed around and made a sound similar to chirping. It had never been so excited at the prospect of being a rogue in the night. It wound up its small stubby body and started sparking small electric charges into the ends of the copper wires that were powering the door. The boys then waited patiently for the electric charge to pulse through the wires into the locking mechanism. Their hearts beating faster for every second they waited. The door clicked open. James shunted into it. The door budged just a little. It was enough to fit through. "I'm going home now. Let's just pray to Cresselia my father doesn't find out. I don't want to be caught. I certainly don't want to die." Kitiku slipped out of the queue that had formed and started to dart around. He was very conspicuous, a clear novice at being out after hours. Rusto was pretending to be some sort of super spy as he followed Kitiku. He whizzed around in a spectacular fashion. James squeezed his skinny body through the tiny gap he had created. Lioa, who had a slightly bigger build, had to give an additional shove to the door before being able to squeeze through. Andrew stood outside with Nutkio at his side. He was sweating because of the sweltering heat.


          The Northern weather is for the most part skin burning temperatures during the spring and autumn. During the summer it is usually worse. During the winter, the temperature drops to snow cold. Of course, there were days of peculiarities in which the temperature would drop below freezing at any time of the year. No one knew why back then.


          "Okay, we are in." James puffed a sigh of relief. The store opened up into one main room. The tenants were away for the week. The plain grey walls looked as if they were closing in. Lioa stepped heavily onto the wooden creaky floorboards. There was a product island in the middle. It was laced with all sorts of food goodies. However, the golden meats that were available on the shop floor were nothing in comparison to the crates.

          James knew the crates were full of fresh berries which were perfectly ripe. His mouth watered just imagining their bitter taste. He also imagined the tender, full Qwilfish. Such a delicious dish. His stomach rumbled as he crept towards the window. He knelt down on the floor before giving a signal to Lioa. "Four-Seven-Two-Two-Seven!" He whispered. Lioa nodded. He released his Gurdurr from its poké ball. It bubbled out its battle cry as it thudded onto the floor. The shelves shook. The door wire cracked. The window shattered. Broken glass burst into all directions. James covered his face with his hands. He then looked around. He wasn't bleeding. The glass shimmered in its shards on the floor. "Did you have to do that?" James hissed. "Hurry up and break those crates!" Lioa nodded. He raised his left arm and pointed at the crates before giving a whispered command to Ruskuo. Ruskuo thumped across the floor. The glass shards were cracking under his feet. The floorboards squealed a creak in agony. Ruskuo swung angrily at the wooden crates. The wooden was ripped off. Inside the crate was nothing. James looked at Lioa. He had figured out what had just happened. He looked concerned. "This was a trap. That's not good. Sutton is probably on his way here right now. If we are lucky it will be Sutton... if we aren't it will be Charleston." Lioa looked worryingly back at James.


          "Did you wipe our records?" Lioa asked in a hurry.


          "I told you I would do it after the festival..."


          "So no matter what happens... if we are caught that is... the Southern Guard will have us..." Lioa gulped. "Andrew! Any sign of Sutton?"


          "Not yet." He answered. James started to creep upstairs. He steps were soft. The wooden stairs creaked and cracked with every step he took. He was nearly at the top of the stairs. The crooked banister on his left was starting to shake. He took the penultimate step. Crack. The step broke and he slipped.




          Chapter 1 - The Scars of Marsten Hall Part 2
          Spoiler:

          The step wasn't a step at all. It was a wooden safe box. It had been concealed in plain sight. "Lioa...." James heard. He turned around and went to leave. Something stopped him. Perhaps it was curiosity. He couldn't leave without looking inside the safe box. What harm could it do? He pondered before crawling back towards it. He peered inside. The tatty wooden safe box had a few photos in, a couple of Colkara which he pocketed and something else. Something else that glowed. Glowed beyond the normal lights of the Lampent.


          He reached in and pulled it out of the box. It was wrapped up in some sort of tatty old cloth. It was a grey colour. It looked worthless, like an old stone. He couldn't put it down and he couldn't put it back. He shoved it into his pocket and scrambled away from the broken step. Sutton was there. He was outside the broken window. James held his breath. His hair flopped over his eyes for a moment. He pushed his back against the wall and edged towards the door. He couldn't see Lioa or Andrew. They must have gotten away.

          James reached out and pulled himself through the narrow gap in the door. Getting out of the building was the easy part. Getting away without being caught was a little trickier. He was sweating more and more as every second ticked by. Sutton turned to look the other way. James sprinted as fast as he could along the cobbles. He checked back to see if he had been noticed. He had been spotted. He had a little time to find somewhere safe to hide. His heart pumped quicker and quicker. He wasn't afraid to battle if he had to. He turned into one of the side paths.

          As he was running along the narrow path he was grabbed and pulled into a small side alley. Lioa pulled James away from the side path. They both darted towards the tall wooden fence at the end of the alley and clumsily clambered over it. All three boys let out a massive sigh of relief. "What do we do now?" Andrew quivered. "We are in so much trouble..." His hair looked as if it had been torn up by the wind.

          "We keep running. We get back home. If he spots us we run faster. If he catches up Lioa will battle him." Lioa nodded. "If Lioa somehow loses to that moron we play the kid-card. Just sit and cry. Sutton is a sucker for it. He will feel guilty." James smirked.

          "The guilt trip always works." Lioa smiled. They started to run northbound. Andrew was lagging behind. As one of the cross-roads came up James began to pull out a lead over Lioa. He turned back to mock Lioa but was knocked over with a thud.

          "Kitiku?" James blurted out. "Hadn't you gone home?" Kitiku looked nervously at James. Then stood.

          "I decided you may have needed help." He paused. "I think you destroyed the building." Lioa stopped running and patted James' shoulder. The boys looked around. There was a dirty fog around them. The clouds of black fog swirled around. There was no sign of Sutton. "Okay... so... where is Seargent Sutton and the Southern army?" Kitiku said nervously while trying to be funny. James glared at him. Kitiku then looked down and shuffled his feet. James shivered suddenly. It was as if someone had just walked behind him and placed their stone cold hand on his shoulder.

          The fog faded and a chilling breeze whispered through the narrow street where they had been running. The street Lampent's flames, which had been dancing a soft purple, started flickering. Their purple glow started to omit an ominous feeling. "Okay... M-mister Sutton? M-mister Sutton you have caught us now... please j-just come out a-and arrest us... please?" Kitiku squeaked. He was shaking and more timid than before. Something was bothering him and it wasn't the fact they would be in a lot of trouble if they were caught. He was completely petrified.

          James had a sudden realisation. This was not Sutton trying to scare them. This was something else. There were no doorways, no narrow passageways, no drains - no places for Sutton to be hiding – at least on the ground level. James looked up at the rooves. His eyes focused. His breathing was slow and calm. There was nothing. Not even a shadow. There were no stars in the sky. He couldn't even see the moon. The flames of the street Lampent started to flicker faster. The flames were darting around as if they were avoiding some sinister attacker. James noticed their eyes were a deep grey. They appeared to be lost within their own souls. He continued to scan the surrounding area.

          The lighting continued to flicker more and more with every heartbeat. "M-mister Sutton? This isn't funny anymore. Please come out... I-I am sorry. I want to go home." James reached out to Kitiku. He seemed to be having somewhat of a panic attack. His face was discoloured. James pulled Kitiku behind him. James raised his left hand to shoulder height and clenched it into a fist.

          The air wasn't chilled anymore. The air had changed. The air had turned dead. There was still a wind. James thought. There had to be. The flames wouldn't flicker without one. He stared into the flames. Without warning all the flames on every single Lampent in sight went out. They all fainted simultaneously. Kitiku squeezed James' arm incredibly tightly. James could feel his hand tingle from the blood being cut off. He quickly shook Kitiku off and pushed him to the ground. "James? What is going on?"

          "It's Sutton playing a trick. Stupid Sutton." He lied. "Don't worry. I will defeat him and send him back home." He smiled at Kitiku. He could do nothing else. Lioa looked slightly concerned too. He had to pretend it was all okay. Then the smallest of horrors dawned on him. Andrew was nowhere to be seen. He couldn't remember if he had seen him before these strange events had started to occur. James reached out and touched the rough looking wall of the nearest house. He felt nothingness. It was as if the house wasn't there.


          "James? Where is Andrew?" Lioa asked. His voice was filled with fear. James didn't turn around, he was fixated on the wall. He eventually shrugged in response to Lioa's question. The sandy brown wall of the house looked out of place to James. He couldn't put his finger on what it was. Something. Anything. It was the same feeling as he had had maybe a week or so before when he was speaking to someone he knew the name of, but for some reason he just couldn't remember it. It was like that but it was burning his mind. He closed his eyes to try and figure what was out of place. The subtle sound of his friends breathing stopped. He was surrounded by silence. He opened his eyes and was enclosed by darkness. It wasn't pitch black. He could tell because of the shady figure standing two metres in front of him. He didn't recognise them at first. His stomach felt twisted and he wanted to vomit.



          "Who are you?" James asked, taking a single step back. The figure didn't move. Its short hair blew softly. Its hat was tilted and its hand held onto the long thin edge. The figure was looking down and its legs were in a squared stance. "Where am I?" Again the figure remained still. James looked around. He could feel his heartbeat slowing down. "I am not afraid. I am not afraid of anything. This world, it isn't real, is it?" The nothingness around him seemed to be moving. James wasn't afraid, he was curious. The figure remained statuary.



          James slowly reached into his pocket. Okta was ready. If she was ready, he was ready. "Tell me who you are!" The figure suddenly looked up. The eyes James recognised immediately. Hanson Rei. James stepped back a few more steps. Something wasn't right. Rei was dead. Simple as that. He watched the fire rage at Marsten Hall. Rei was inside when the fire took hold. James suddenly smirked. "You aren't real." He blinked. His body felt as if it was twisting and being thrown around.


          James opened his eyes. He was cold. He could feel again. He was now in a cave. The narrowing passageways and low ceiling was frightfully claustrophobic. The walls looked a dingy grey, but it was too dark for him to tell for sure. James was confused. His head ached. It felt as if there were a thousand rampaging Tauros running around inside it. The figure was gone but the air still felt as dead as the trees that loom over the graves of the victims of brutal fates. He stumbled forward in pitch black. "I cannot see where I am going..." he murmured. He could hear himself... "I can hear though." The old stone which was attached to an old blackened piece of thin rope around his neck felt heavier than before.



          He paused. He felt the stone around his neck. Its smooth crisp edges felt like the nothingness around him. "I never put this around my neck... I want to see where I am going you know..." He called out. He continued to walk forward along the uneven grey rocky floor. He heard voices up ahead. They seemed nearby. It was as if they had faded into existence slowly. "Hello?" He then listened with extreme caution. He could still hear the voices. It was a conversation. One was accented to him. Southern – he thought. The other was definitely a Northern accent. As he turned what appeared to be a corner he saw the faintest glow of light. It shimmered a glorious yellow of hope. He ran towards it almost tripping over a Rattata. The Rattata squealed and its purple tail uncurled. Its long sharp teeth snapped viciously at the intruder who had almost stepped on it.



          He continued to run into a subsection of tunnels where the light glowed stronger and stronger. He shot around the corner like an unwavering lightning bolt and slipped. He was horrified by what he saw next. He saw himself. He was silently curled up. An arm was wrapped around him. The arm belonged to a tallish man. He couldn't make out who. Whenever he thought about who it may be his head scolded him with sharp headaches. He looked cold but safe. "Are you my real father?" He asked. There was no response. He turned to see Kitiku, Lioa and Andrew resting against the wall. They looked freezing cold. He closed his eyes and rubbed them. "How can you be? If I am there and I am here..."



          He opened his eyes to a sharp bloodcurdling scream. He was at Marsten Hall. The fire was raging. He felt his blood reach boiling point. His head was pounding. "Sutton just arrest me, please. My head feels like it's going to burst." James clutched his head desperately, "Please, it is hurting. Please arrest me, I think I need a doctor." The ground he stood on felt like the nothingness before. He could feel something touching his shoulder though. He was being tapped. He spun around but nothing was there. "Show yourself!" He cried out in anger. He was in pain. His hands, his head and his elbow. They all felt sore. His face felt tingly. He suddenly jolted forward.




          Chapter 1 - The Scars of Marsten Hall Part 3
          Spoiler:

          James was laying on the warm cobblestone pavement. He could feel the air brush against his skin. Breathing it in was like a luxury. Lioa was staring at him. His face filled with deep concern. His eyes widened as James pulled himself up into a sitting position. Kitiku reached down and pulled his friend shakily to his feet. James' wrists were bruised. They were already a deep purple. "Are they broken?" He asked Kitiku. He shrugged. His right hand was coated in blood. He quickly wiped his hand on his trousers. It stung. The pain felt like it would never end. His face was bruised slightly just above his right cheek. He pressed the bruise with his finger and instantly regretted it. "What happened?" James looked dizzily at his friends. "I cannot remember falling over."



          "James... you just seemed to be in a trance. Then you just collapsed asleep. You also talk in your sleep. You told us all your deepest darkest secrets." Lioa mocked. "Only little babies fall asleep in the middle of a chase." James scowled. "Maybe we should call that moron, Sutton, to come and take the little baby home." He laughed before realising it wasn't the best idea. He heard footsteps behind him. He swivelled sharply to see the unimpressed face of Incaresta Sutton. He was scowling more so than James. He straightened his uniform with his right hand. In his left he was holding Andrew Takui by the scruff of his neck. Andrew was ferociously trying to get away, however, Sergeant Sutton was not loosening his grip at all. Even if he did escape from Sutton's grip, he was handcuffed. He wouldn't get very far. "Run!" Lioa shouted. Sutton lunged forward to grab one of the three remaining boys. Kitiku narrowly avoided being grabbed. Lioa and James sprinted ahead without difficulty only to find their primary exit had been cut off by Sutton's patrol. "Go!" Lioa squeezed himself down the narrowest passage in the town. James followed without hesitation.

          Kitiku was panicked but realised he had no choice but to follow in the footsteps of his friends. The sandy brick walls felt like they were stabbing the ribs of the skinny trio. The passage wasn't very long. They escaped into a wider street. Lioa and James sprinted as fast as they could towards the western quarter of the town. Kitiku was exhausted. He wasn't cut out for running away from the law. He was managing to just about keep up with the pace of the other two. "James, you remember something from what happened don't you?" Lioa panted. His face was sweating.


          "If we live, I will tell you." James quickly replied. It was as if what he had said was a blur of nonsense. A junction was coming up ahead. The cobbles on the street were becoming more and more unstable and cracked. "Turn right!" James shouted. "We can lose them in the alley way!" Sutton was catching up. James was suddenly shunted by Lioa.



          "No. Turn left! We can lose him in the park!" James shunted him back. The street was becoming wider and wider. Kitiku was starting to tire to the point where he was losing ground on his two more troublesome friends. James pondered for a moment about the whereabouts of Andrew. He had probably been tied to a drainpipe, or left in the hands of one of Sutton's patrol. James momentarily looked behind. Sutton's patrol was, for the most part, keeping up with the chase. Sutton's Fearow swooped in on the two leading boys from the sky. Its stick-like legs and sharp claws came close to James' already bruised face. Its brown wings were so densely feathered it looked as if it was made of silk. Its beady eyes focused on James. Its brown beak chirped quietly. Its red head-feathers blew in the wind like a flag symbolising the word attack. "I bet you one Colkara you will be caught first James!" Lioa shunted into James incredibly hard.



          "Electabuzz..." Kitiku heard from behind him. Sutton wasn't far behind now. Neither was his Electabuzz. The amber yellow body of Electabuzz made it seem like a beacon in the dark. It wasn't a beacon the boys wished to head towards though. Its pitch black zig-zags looked as if they had been scorched on by an overheating torch. Its large eyes and small pupils were unsettling. The noise it made was horrifying. It was as if someone was scraping fingernails along a blackboard combined with a low melodic beat. Kitiku peered behind him. Alongside Electabuzz ran Sutton. It was clear to all who would have observed that they had been partnered together for some time, particularly as Electabuzz was constantly looking at Sutton and checking to make sure he was keeping up. Sutton was not much taller than Kitiku.



          Sutton was 6ft 1 at best and considered short. He wasn't muscular, nor was he skinny. His snow-blonde hair was short and appeared to be neatly combed. His face was rounded and clean shaven. His nose made his face look perfect in perspective to his incredibly pale skin. Amongst his pale skin his big dark green eyes seemed to stand out like stars in the sky. His midnight blue jacket was slightly too long for him. It wasn't perfectly ironed. It appeared to have been only ironed on one side. He opened his mouth to speak. His voice was soft and average in depth. His southern accent was incredibly strong. "Come on now boys, don't you think I deserve a break?" He sounded very awkward. "We do this every other night, I am sure. Kitiku Bryson, I am surprised you are involved in this... dangerous game of theirs. I am even so shocked to say I am disappointed." Kitiku felt a sudden sadness grip him. Everyone around him was always so disappointed in him. "How about we make a deal boys? We can make a deal, I am sure. If you give up now I might not electrocute you. I know you are scared. All of you are scared. That is okay." He puffed. "Give up and I may not electrocute you. Being electrocuted is scary isn't it? It sounds like a fair deal. Doesn't it?"



          "No." James called back. "Your deals are always one sided. You are the enemy." James sharply turned right at the junction. He saw Lioa fade into the distance as he ran in the opposite direction. He heard a sparking noise from behind him and a static glow emerged. He didn't stop running. He squeezed down yet another passage away. His arms brushed against the bricks. He was exhausted. His lungs felt like they were burning. He couldn't stop. Stopping meant getting caught. Getting caught meant the unthinkable. He could hear a voice behind him. It was slowly getting quieter and quieter. He peered over his shoulder. No one was following him. He had to keep going though. For his own sake.



          "I did warn you. I offered you a chance to give up but you kept running." Sutton knelt down. Kitiku was wincing in pain. His hands were bloody from when he had skidded along the cobbles after being shocked. His knee was badly scraped. He was so afraid. It was as if he had been left alone in a room of starved dragons. They were circling. Five of the men were circling him, just like those dragons would. His timid nature seeped through. His hands were shaking. "You are slower than the others by some margin. Don't worry, they will both be joining you soon." Sutton reached out and carefully pulled Kitiku back onto his feet. He didn't want to give the locals the impression of him being a twisted monster. In fact he was rather popular. Most people in the town were friendly towards him. They would smile and talk to him. Some would buy him a drink. Kitiku's legs were shaking and he seemed panicked. Sutton thought out loud. "Once we get you in handcuffs, things will be so much easier." Kitiku slumped his head and leaned forward. Sutton felt the boy's head touch his chest. Kitiku rarely spoke to him. It wasn't that he was unfriendly, it was more the fact he didn't like to interact with people outside of his friendship group. In the north bowing your head to someone is usually considered a deep rooted apology.



          Sutton waved his arms in the direction of the park. Several of his patrol set off in the dark after the troublesome Lioa. "Kitiku?" The boy didn't respond at first. It took him a minute or so to feel confident enough to move once again. "I need to handcuff you. I know you don't like to be tugged around but rules are rules." Kitiku's head was upright, but his eyes were looking at the floor. He appeared to want to distance himself from the reality. Sutton said something to his Fearow which Kitiku didn't understand. It then flew off in the direction of the office in which Charleston was currently located.



          Kitiku raised his hands slightly. He slowly ran his right index finger from the top of his left index finger down to his wrist. Then pressed his right hand knuckles into his left palm. Sutton looked curiously. Kitiku was talking using hand signals. Probably because he was too afraid to talk normally, he assumed. "Please..." Kitiku then tapped his left palm on the top of his right knuckles twice. "Against..." He watched carefully. Kitiku made a small circle with both his index fingers, tapped his two knuckles together and then raised his left thumb. "Female trap. Please against female trap." Sutton's blank facial expression said it all. "Kitiku, I don't understand what you are trying to say." Kitiku looked sadder than before. Sutton felt an incredible amount of guilt start to boil inside him. "As soon as I arrest you, we can go to the office and then you can go home." Kitiku repeated his hand gestures.



          Sutton stopped paying attention to his symbols and grabbed his handcuffs from his belt and he brushed Kitiku's floppy hair out of his face. "Stay still. Don't move. Don't even think about escaping. Someone will be here in a minute or so." Kitiku nodded. "If you do the punishment will be much worse. Grab these two bars for me..." Kitiku did as he was told. The design of the southern handcuffs was pretty simple compared to the northern style. The base was a solid I shape with the cross bars at each end. The idea being that the prisoner would hold the bars at either end before having their arms locked into place by the bone material. "You are much easier to handcuff than the others..." He looked at the boy who now seemed more devastated. He tugged the bar and snapped everything into place. He released his Graveller. The body of his Graveller was a light grey and was bumpy looking. Its eyes were filled with determination so strong it could light a thousand torches. The boy was already upset. Sutton wasn't daft, despite his frequent comical accidents. He knew the fine line between kindness and pandering to someone. Kitiku's mind, although brilliant, was very sensitive to fear. He handed the nervous boy over to one of his patrollers before taking off after Lioa.



          Chapter 1 - The Scars of Marsten Hall Part 4

          Spoiler:

          Lioa had reached the lake in the park. He climbed a nearby tree. It didn't take long for a familiar figure to appear at the entrance of the park. Sutton stood firmly. He had a stern look on his face. "Lioa!" He called out, tugging his cap tightly to his head. "Parks maybe large... but they are open spaces! It will be so much easier for everybody if you just handed yourself in. We know how this is going to end... Why delay the inevitable?" He struggled to find the words for the last part. In his native tongue his rhetorical question would have been a single word – rhestokoark. His green eyes widened as he carefully wandered forward. The park's trees were so colourful. They were full of life. Some had flowers blooming shades of pink, purple and blue, others had small berries growing. He could imagine his children playing in a park like this one with their Machop and Oshawott. He smiled thinking about them. The scent of the air was like sherbet, it made his nose twitch occasionally. "Come on Lioa..." He muttered in his native tongue. He looked at the freshly cut grass. It was a smooth pleasant green.



          Sutton felt uncomfortable in the heat. His collar was tight. Northern summers were always extremely hot. His Electabuzz was feeling the heat too and looked at him with discontent. He continued to wander into the park in search of Lioa. "Lioa it isn't too late to surrender to me." His coaxing tactic wasn't working. He changed his tone. "If you do not give in I will punish everyone who has been caught so far twice." He wouldn't really do that. Charleston would. "Maybe even three times over." He sighed. He felt incredibly awkward making these kinds of threats. He wandered over towards the lake. He gazed at his reflection in the calm, gentle waters. He could see Lioa in the reflection too. Lioa was curled up on a long twisting branch. He was wide awake, readying his attack. He moved slowly into a crouching position. His breathing was getting slower. Sutton's back was turned to him. He had opportunity to escape, or to attack.



          He jumped off the branch and summoned Ruskuo to attack Sutton. The dirt spewed into the air as he ordered Ruskuo to use a low kick. Both Sutton and his Electabuzz stepped to the side in a really calm manner. Sutton called out a command in his native tongue. It swung a thunder punch. The sparks flew upon contact with Ruskuo. Ruskuo retaliated using reversal. Before Ruskuo could land the hit a protective shield surrounded both Sutton and his Electabuzz. The ground was quickly becoming worn. Lioa was getting more frustrated. Ruskuo would do a lot of damage if he could hit, Sutton thought. However, Ruskuo is much slower than Vesx. Also Vesx is much more experienced. Lioa started to back away, he commanded Ruskuo to land a wake-up-slap. Ruskuo began charging with its metal pole above its head. Its grey arms twitched as its muscles flexed. Its tiny feet were powered along by its chunky muscular legs. It lowered its pole into a hitting position. Vesx waited patiently for Sutton's command. It was in his interest to hit Lioa. Take out the master and the Pokémon would follow in defeat. Ruskuo swung with a large amount of momentum. Vesx stepped aside and punched Ruskuo directly in the stomach with a thunder punch. Ruskuo crumbled and hit the floor with so much force. The dirt flew up in the air. Ruskuo was still awake. He began to stand once more. He flinched. Sutton smirked, Vesx had paralysed Ruskuo. Lioa turned to run. He forgot to call back Ruskuo. "Forgetting something Lioa?" Sutton called out.



          "I guess I lose." Lioa stopped running. Incaresta Sutton sighed a sigh of relief. He had caught Lioa off-guard, or he had just gotten lucky. "What now?"



          "Well, I arrest you, like usual." One of his Patrollers approached. Lioa puffed his hair out of his eyes but it just fell back into place. Sutton approached him and brushed his hair aside from his eyes. Lioa looked at him with disgust. "Don't touch me!"



          "Take it slow." Sutton smirked at Lioa. "It will be okay Lioa. I know you are scared." He said antagonistically. Lioa started to try and escape. "No, hold still." Lioa was definitely not making things easy. "Lioa calm down. Do I have to electrocute you?" Incaresta's face turned stern. His eyes focused. Lioa returned his expression. "Where is Hamés?"



          "I don't know a Hams. Try house 47, they know a lot of people." Lioa snapped back in the most sarcastic tone he could create at short notice.



          "So my accent is now a joke?" Sutton sighed. Lioa, handcuffed, looked like a volcano about to burst with rage. He reached out and placed a hand on Lioa's shoulder. "Come on Lioa. Let's make this a little easier. Tell me where Hamés is and I might forget you caused trouble. That sounds fair." Lioa shuffled his feet anxiously.



          "I am fourteen. I don't..." He made his voice squeak before attempting to force himself to cry. The kid-card was very effective – if pulled off. "I want to see my father, but I can't because of you. One of you stopped..."



          "Lioa, that's enough." Incaresta was tired. He could feel the energy running from his brain through his body and into the floor. "I am tired. Honestly, you and Hamés and Androx have slowly worn me down." His accent was starting to seep through. Usually James' name was the only one he struggled with. There was no J sound in the southern alphabet. James' name completely threw him. The northern language wasn't a study he had successfully passed. "I am twenty-seven years old but I look fifty. You have given me that much stress." He joked. Lioa's scowl turned into a smile. "Good, now if you don't mind..." Lioa wasn't smiling at his joke. He was smiling at Ruskuo who was standing behind Sutton. "Please recall Ruskuo. I really don't want to ask twice." Lioa's jawline dropped.



          "How?" He blurted angrily. "Ruskuo get rid of him!" Ruskuo swung his heavy arms with the strength of his heavy body. Ruskuo punched without success. His fists planted into the ground as he tripped and was knocked unconscious.



          "Lioa, I have a four year old boy, and a toddler at home. I am used to seeing things everywhere." Lioa slumped against him before muttering something. "Let's get you back to the offices. I have Hamés to still find."


          Meanwhile, James panted as he continued to run down the narrow streets. He was almost safe. He just had a little further, maybe one or two streets to go. He could then break back into the Bryson household and get into bed and pretend he had been there the entire time. After all, after what happened at Marsten Hall Tak Bryson had taken him in. Tak had refused to adopt him or foster him. However, when the southern forces came Tak had noted he was part of the household of Bryson. In the north the term household referred to the family you lived with. That was deemed more important than bloodline. Even so, Tak had assigned James his family name of Bryson during the collection of information. James began to slow to a walking pace. His lungs were burning. His legs felt heavy. He had lost Sutton and he knew it. The thought dawned on him that if Kitiku wasn't behind him, he had been caught. If Kitiku had been caught out after curfew Tak would quickly figure out he had been too. Kitiku was probably having a nervous breakdown right now. Then Tak would answer the door and turn into the physical embodiment of rage. Kitiku would be grounded until he was ninety. James suddenly had a looming feeling he would be thrown out of the household for making Kitiku break the law. He slowly gathered the energy to retrace his steps. As James worried about his friend, Incaresta Sutton was busy hunting him down.

          "Looks like a storm is coming." Incaresta Sutton held his hat with his right hand. The sky had blackened in the time it had taken him to drag Lioa against his will into the cell. Lioa's hair flopped over his face as he slumped against the top right corner of the cell. Andrew shuffled along the ground, nervously, to be next to his older brother. Sutton pressed Kitiku against his left side and rubbed his arm with his left hand in a repetitive format. Kitiku's breathing wasn't normal. He was stuttering breaths through his nose. He was shaking, but frozen in place with fear. "What will we do with you? Don't say let you go. That won't happen." A sharp flash of lightning struck a nearby building. A clap of thunder echoed loudly. It entered the cell from the small grate and filled the room in a deafening manner. Andrew jumped. His heart was racing. Lioa pulled his brother against his right shoulder and wrapped his arms around him protectively. Kitiku collapsed to the ground in panic. He made himself as small as possible and grabbed his hair by his ears. Sutton carefully pulled the stunned and terrified boy onto the lone bed in the top left corner of the room. "I need you to breathe, you want to see your Klink? Here look at what Klink is doing". He released Rusto from its capsule in a desperate attempt to calm the boy down. "I hope Hamés is okay. This storm is not one to get caught in".



          As Sutton worried about James, James had been soaked, as he had retraced his steps. No sign of Kitiku or the others. He could hear whispers. It felt like the sounds were crawling into his ears. He was in an open crossroad. Definitely not the best place to be, might I add off-islander, if you are trying to avoid being seen. Before he could react the dead air surrounded him once more.



          "James..." It spoke. Its lips didn't move. "You don't want to fight me James. You want to be part of my household." Its voice sounded like a hiss, but its shape resembled Hanson Rei once more. "Don't you want to be a part of my household James?" James reached into his pocket without hesitation. His heart was beating steadily. His eyes focused on the target. He took a step back with his left foot before hurling Okta's capsule towards the figure of Rei. She landed with a thud, shaking the ground and letting out an almighty rugged roar. She could barely fit in the narrow street she had been thrown into. Her golden body, glistening in the moonlight, scrapped against the walls of the houses. The storm raged on. James hated storms. They frightened him. He couldn't be frightened right now. He had to focus on the target. The one thing that frightened him more than storms, the one thing that put all other fears into perspective stood in front of him, as a shadow. Hanson Rei. The figure's tone changed. "You don't want to be in my household. You are a traitor. You are born of filth and I shall take over your soul." It screeched, doubling into an echo of itself. As the figure lunged forward it transformed into a Gengar. Using shadow sneak it quickly darted in and out of view. James calmly watched every shadow he could see. He was waiting silently. A lighting strike near him created a blinding light. A thunder clap louder than a thousand drums sounded. He was distracted for a moment. Gengar lurched out of the shadows. It wanted to take his soul he thought.



          "Okta hit it with iron tail!" Okta cried out in anger. She swung her temporarily metal tail aggressively smashing the walls of several houses. Debris spewed everywhere. James carefully moved out of the way of each slice that rained down. His hair was dusty now. Gengar seized the opportunity to lash out at Okta. Gengar chose to use shadow ball. The centre of the shadow ball was a void black and its outside was a curdled purple. James could feel it pulsing as it got closer and closer. Okta couldn't dodge it. She was already off balance too. She couldn't block it. She was hit. She cried out in pain. "Okta use dig!" Okta's eyes turned a burning red as she started to charge towards the Gengar before diving underground in a brown mist of sand. A second or so passed and she reappeared shooting up underneath Gengar. Her aim was to throw Gengar into the air in order to smash him back down onto the ground, or what was left of it.

          Gengar floated higher and higher until he was out of Okta's reach. Okta came crashing back down, destroying several houses. "If dig didn't work I doubt sand tomb will..." A second shadow ball headed straight for James. "Send it right back at it!" He shouted louder than before. Okta swung around again. She dented the destroyed houses even more. They were near enough flat. She was making the ground shake more and more with every turn and twist and every roar she bellowed into the narrow passage way. She struck the shadow ball with tremendous force. The smoke was so thick and it smelt like a fire... and it felt cold at the same time. Before James could react he was knocked over. Gengar had disappeared into the shadows during the shadow ball attack and had attacked James from behind. He felt dizzy. "Okta get it off of me!" She roared angrily at the Gengar what had James in its grasp. Gengar bit James' leg. "Okta help!"

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            #6    
          Old October 26th, 2017 (4:22 PM).
          Bay's Avatar
          Bay Bay is offline
          Darkinium Z
           
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          Ok, I'm going to be honest. The first five paragraphs bore me. Here's the thing, it's great you went into detail how the city and some of the buildings look like, the problem is you went a bit overboard and nothing happens. You described some places that the characters aren't entering, so as I was reading I was like, "when is something happening?" When I had the first chapter of Foul Play posted, I have some people say I went a bit too much on describing Alola and not enough action/thoughts going on, and you're doing the same. So yeah I think what you need to work on is a balance of descripiton and characters doing something. People read for interactions and action, not several paragraphs how pretty the moon is.

          The dialogue where Kitiku says to James he not's 5'9, I feel that's very awkward to say. I don't go saying, "hey you're 5'9." Maybe "you're not that tall" sounds more natural.

          "Jame's eyes were determined" -- This phrase also sounds weird. Maybe "A dtermined look crossed James's face."

          The info dump about James living with the Bryson I feel you could have done a lot more showing then telling there. You can devote a chapter or two showcasing James getting used to the Bryson household and develop some interactions between Kitiku and Tak there. Also, Kitiku I get it you don't want your dad to know you snuck out (I found it too repetitive there).

          The paragraph with the Celsius and Fahrenheit temperatures is too techinical, don't think it's needed. Instead described the humidity in hte air, the sunlight burning one's skin, etc.

          The paragraph where Kitiku and James are together and Kitiku is like, "Mister Sutton you caught us now, please come and arrest us " I feel you can break it down into two or three paragraphs. There's a lot going on and it was hard to keep track in one big paragraph.

          The part where Sutton caught the boys and making a deal with them, while I can see you're trying to have him be awkward I think you can cut some of the repeitive wording.

          The next part where Sutton finds Lio you could break it down into a few paragraphs. Like the paragraph I mentioned of Kitiku and James talking about Sutteon, a lot is going on and not easy to keep track in one big paragraph.

          So the stuff that's going on with the kids sneaking in and then getting caught with Sutton makes for some good material. The end with James and Gengar is also pretty cool there. Biggest thing is rewriting the first few paragraphs so you get to the action as soon as possible and fixing up some big paragraphs and breaking them down into smaller chunks for easier reading.
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            #7    
          Old October 27th, 2017 (6:18 PM).
          Vragon
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            Despite my concurring with Bay on the first five paragraphs being disinterested or disengaging, I found them to be better in terms of exposition. The issues I have with this isn't inherently for it's exposition, but said exposition is more in terms for world building rather than for the chapter's story. I'm a fan of world building and I felt you did the descriptions of it better, but I can't deny that it was a bit long and somewhat unnecessary for the narrative. Though to post a possible solution, include it in the narrative. Have these buildings be things one of the boys (or all of them) see as they go to meet up and have them see the buildings in how they look, memories of them, or just have them recall some interesting things about the culture. It conveys the world through the characters eyes.

            Remaining on the topic of Description, I like how you talked about mon's individual traits in them. Like the Metagross and how the Elite don't want others access the numerical system and the Hitmonlee's with their stretching legs making them ideal for their task.

            Something I'd like to point out is your use of "sigh". I get you what you are going for, but I believe it's past term "sighed" would fit better and be easier to read. It conveys a past action like a bit of the paragraphs in your story that contains "sigh" are written.

            I was really engaged in the rest of the chapter with all the events that took place. Also, this character Sutton seems really likable, though I do like how you kept him sympathetic but still has a job to do, something that was emphasized when the kids would "Pull the sad child face on him".

            Another thing is that I feel you brought out the "2nd person perspective" much better in this one. Having the narrator acknowledge his own character. I can say his little talk with the readers and the followed up "Don't worry" were a bit out of place. While I agree it should be in the exposition I would feel it would have a better affect at the end of a paragraph. After all, it does shift the mood a little.

            I like this chapter more than the last if not for how it's more engaging and better written. I understand word building but something I also need to work on is "incorporation" along with the narrative so we don't have exposition dumps every starting chapter.

            I know this time I focused more on the aspects of your story rather than grammatical, spelling or sentence errors, but I wanted to offer some advice on possibilities to aid in writing your story for less devoted readers. Though I can say your chapter I quit liked and I wonder what will happen to the kids caught and what will happen to James and Okta.

            One last thing,
            that ghost of a chance pun.....why must you torture me so??
            I'm curious as to what exactly it was that James say while in said trance. I assume it is related to Darkrai if not for the sheer fact it happened while in a trace (though Darkrai makes nightmares people in trances can dream I believe) and the thing he saw. It was nightmarish so I wonder if indeed Darkrai has plans for this boy.

            Something I remembered I liked while making this is I liked how you did the Giratina assumption. Considering Giratina is a reclusive being that people rarely see makes it hard to get an exact image of him. So I liked that little attention to detail you put there considering most people would probably not include that little understandable information.
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              #8    
            Old November 15th, 2017 (12:34 PM). Edited January 26th, 2018 by Cavespider_17.
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            Cavespider_17 Cavespider_17 is offline
            Charlie
               
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              Changes made in accordance to feedback for the Prolgoue

              Spoiler:
              were doomed to fail
              A job fulfilled by that of the island's guardians.
              Half jobs were scorned, like the half-moon as it was considered a symbol of half started jobs,
              without suspicion
              you might just get crushed
              //This year Marsten Hall was not just to play host to the ball, but to something much bigger.
              Gere Filktas was not interested in the tensions between the two Elite Lords who ruled the north and the south. If they were fighting each other they were in no position to challenge him so he would be able to maintain his strength for a far greater challenger if one ever emerged.
              Quigk meaning founder in the main northern and southern languages-Colrat and Elkrat respectively one of the few points the rulers agreed on.
              The ball supported the class system perfectly.
              The Master sat above all, with his Captain and the Rulers below . The Young Guard, or trainee Guard were the final class within the elites.
              He was 4 ft 7 inches tall and was struggling to see inside the ballroom.
              His height was the one thing he did enjoy teasing his brother about, after all he couldn't defeat Lioa, his best friend who was waiting for him at the bottom of the hill.





              Chapter 2 – The News

              Part 1



              "Luskt!" A Mightyena jumped from the dark fog onto the Gengar. It viciously chomped down on Gengar's back. As it did its silver and jet black lined fur on its back danced into wavy lines. Gengar howled a dark empty scream. The scream rippled through the streets. James kicked and kicked but the Gengar, despite being in pain, refused to let go. James felt trapped. It was as if with every moment, every heartbeat and every twitch of the pain he was being chained into a smaller and smaller space. Okta cried out for him. Her roar echoed. She felt a deep sorrow inside her golden rocky body. As the Mightyena crunched down on the Gengar once more a shadow peered over James. He could barely see anymore. His vision was blurred and his ears were ringing. Gengar noticed the spectator and broke free from Mightyena with a glorious cry. It charged towards the shadows and disappeared into the moonlight.

              The spectator grabbed James by his shirt and pulled him up. Charleston stared into his eyes. Her Mantis green eyes were stern. She shoved him against the wall aggressively before slapping him across his face. "Gengar..." Charleston said in a dark tone. Charleston slapped James across the face again. "Runt, you dare to challenge my rules?" James squirmed. He attempted to kick her but his bite ached to the extent that moving his leg felt like the after pain of running a marathon. "You have never seen one before? It didn't touch you did it?" She barked aggressively. James looked away from her. "That's fine. You say nothing, but Luskt is hungry. I am sure he wouldn't mind having a bite of you. Call her back into her capsule." James looked back at her. His eyes lit up. He wasn't afraid, he was angry. She smirked, forcing Okta's capsule from his hand and returning her. She then whispered into his ear "Then again, you have less meat on you than a bone. So did it touch you?"

              "No. Now let me go! I didn't need your help! Okta and I had it completely under control!"

              "You are bleeding." She wiped the blood off her fingers on his cheeks in a slow and somewhat unsettling manner. He started sweating.

              "I am not bleeding!" He felt a strange sensation inside his nose. He went to touch it and when he removed his hand sure enough there was a little blood. "A nose bleed? I never have nose bleeds. What is wrong with me tonight? First I start hallucinating and wake up on the floor and then the Gengar attacked me and then I had a nose bleed! Let go of me!" He squirmed a little more but was slapped once more. "You don't scare me. I am not scared of anything. That is why I..." Charleston raised her hand up once more. "Wait..." She glared at him like an Arbok that had cornered its prey. James sighed. He quickly realised his protests weren't going to help him escape. "Please don't hit me again." He hung his head in a shameful manner, although he wasn't ashamed.

              He heard footsteps from behind Charleston. Sutton had just arrived – panting. She turned to speak to him. James seized the moment and kicked Charleston as hard as he could. She dropped him as a reaction and James dove under her arm and sprinted towards Sutton. He knew he could outsmart the somewhat slow Sutton, but that wasn't his plan. His plan was to rescue his friends via the guilt trip. "Don't let her feed me to Mightyena." He said in an intentionally pathetic tone. "I didn't mean it. Gengar started it. I was scared. I don't like the storm." Sutton raised his hands up to his chest to let James know he had just about had enough of excuses that night. James shut up at an instant.

              "Luckily for you I am the one making the decisions tonight." Incaresta Sutton sighed. "Including doing the paperwork..." James looked up at Sutton in a confused manner. "Happily married, two kids sent here to keep an eye on things until Madison is defeated and what do I end up doing?"

              "Wow you are that old?" James laughed. Sutton scowled and grabbed James by the scruff of his neck.

              "I am only twenty-seven. So only thirteen years older than you." Sutton appeared to be in a little bit of a daydream. James started to slowly back away. "No. You are coming with me." He said while still looking up at the stars. He tightened his grip on James. I should arrest you, but honestly it would be a waste of my time. Oh and I know that you passed out even before you mention it." James rested his head against Incaresta Sutton's chest. Charleston stared at Sutton. She was enraged he wasn't going to punish them, although she had lost all power over the town due to a recommendation issued by Lord Piscar himself. "Kitiku told me everything. Let's move." His accent made his words a blur to James' ears. He shunted James forward gently.

              "How bad did he squeal?" James asked, knowing the answer.

              "Like a Rattata with its tail on fire." James rolled his eyes and started to fidget as much as he could. Before he could break free, the grip on his scruff tightened once more, "No. Can you not squirm? I really don't want to cuff you or electrocute you, as it would be a waste of my time. Also you are going to fix the massive amount of damage you did. It will be fixed by the end of the month." James' jaw dropped. He had destroyed a couple of houses completely and had damaged the cobbles.

              "All of it." Charleston smirked. "If one thing is out of place we will ensure the Elite Guard have fun with you. They will probably make you polish the entire castle."

              "I could have been killed and you want me to fix the damage I made defending myself? You give me mixed messages. How am I meant to be a 'good prisoner of the disgusting Southern Army who stole the town in which I live' if you keep telling me different things‽" James started to fidget even more.

              "Yes. Also that attitude isn't going to get you any closer to being out of trouble." Sutton sighed. James attempted to bolt forwards. The narrow streets made his escape impossible. The houses closed in on him as he moved closer to freedom. He was grabbed by the arms in a more ferocious manner. "Okay, I am arresting you formally now. You were warned." Sutton wasn't in the mood for James' games. The storm raged over head.

              "Come on. Please? I'll be good. I won't try that again. I don't like the storm okay? I am scared." James leaned against Sutton's chest once more.

              "I cannot tell if you are lying or not anymore." Sutton shunted James forward in a more aggressive manner than usual. After all tonight was the night before the festival. The festival of Hakahra Liopfar Ha was banned by the southern occupiers. Hakahra meaning courageous, Liopfar meaning transition or change and Ha meaning to finish – the festival's literal translation to your language is Courageous transition towards death. Of course the literal translation is very misleading. It is more of a festival in which the victor is declared a man or woman of warrior status and wiser than the others and those that fall short are considered weak. In fact using Pokémon at all without permission was illegal in most of the northern locations. People who used their Pokémon were more likely to be a threat to the current state of affairs and therefore banning actions such as battling would help lower this risk.

              Sutton had been leaked information of a Captain coming to Fehahra to lower the resistance activity in the area. The entire change had put Sutton on edge. This man had been hand chosen by Lord Piscar himself after all. Sutton wondered what this man would be like. His current boss, Lieutenant Charleston wasn't exactly friendly towards him. She saw him as inferior because he grew up in a small mining village. She was to be sent to Finar town approximately eight miles away from the outskirts of Fehahra. He wasn't pleased at being left in charge while she was away, even for a few days. Especially as the Elite Guard of the south did have a presence in the town. Admittedly their presence was very small. However, it was like leaving a Braviary inside a Ratticate nest inside a Dwebble nest... there was plenty for the Braviary to eat and the size of its meal depended on which ever of its prey made a foolish mistake and revealed itself first.


              "Mister Sutton? Can I go home now?" James asked. Sutton thought for a moment. He didn't want to let the boys off the hook tonight without some formal form of punishment for all the commotion, but he also already had promised Kitiku that he wouldn't do anything to hurt him. Kitiku was terrified anyway and the last thing he wanted to deal with was a child having a complete breakdown, although Kitiku had already come close having one. They had reached the tall building which was occupation headquarters. James stopped walking and slumped down on the cobble but was quickly pulled back up against his will. Gengar had done something to him. He wasn't sure what, but he felt so exhausted, it was as if every piece of life in his body was a candle being blown out. "Mister Sutton?"

              "Hmm?" He sounded irritated. "What is it?"

              "Carry me? I'm tired."

              "You are not five years old. You can walk like everyone else." He said quietly as they approached the cell where the other three were being held. "Ah, okay so now I have all four of you..." He pushed James down onto his knees next to his friends. "Firstly, seeing as three of you are on your final warning I shall allow you one final chance... after all a new Captain is coming here in the next few days. I will inform him of your actions. I am sure he will punish you appropriately."
              Andrew hung his head in shame before getting up and walking over to Incaresta. He pressed his bowed head against Incaresta. "I am sorry, but rules are rules." He nudged Andrew back down onto his knees. He looked saddened by his own comment. "I suggest you clean up the mess your all created and if you do that well enough, I might forget to mention it..." He then said something in his native tongue before sighing. He rested his right hand on his cheek. "I should also inform the Elite Guard tonight of the actions of all three – four of you. You could have killed somebody. I am sure they will find some sort of punishment. They will probably set Kitiku on his final warning immediately. As for you three... I don't know what they will do." Kitiku was shaking. James shuffled over to comfort his friend who had started to panic. He had gone ghost white and flopped to the floor. "Do I need to separate you four while I get a member of the Elite Guard? I think I should. It is probably for the best."

              Before Sutton could make his move to separate them a tall, fair skinned man brushed past. He was in a white lab jacket and midnight blue trousers. His glasses appeared to be sliding off his nose. In usual circumstances James would have made a smart remark to insult the man. This man was no man to insult, however. This man wasn't just a doctor either. He was a doctor in the Elite Guard. He towered over Sutton and stared blankly at the boys. He held a book in his right hand which he clearly had been enjoying as the spine had been broken and the pages were musty. "My Lord," Sutton kneeled down on his right knee and placed his right arm across his left thigh. His left hand was touching the floor by his left boot. His head was bowed down. "These children have broken the laws established here when we arrived. Some of which are on their final warnings. However, there has been an incident involving a Gengar. I believe it is in everyone's interests if you..." The Elite Guard thumped Sutton on the head with his book.

              "I didn't say you could speak yet." His voice was strict and foreboding. As much as James hated Sutton he felt sorry for him. The Elite Guard was much worse, in his opinion, than goofy Sutton. Andrew had also started to go pale. He was squeezing Lioa's arm so tightly that Lioa had lost all feeling from the shoulder down. The Elite Guard approached. He was maybe four or five steps away. "Do you children know no respect?" He straightened himself up in an attempt to make himself seem more fearsome. "Why aren't you bowing to me? It is disrespectful to not bow down to your betters." Kitiku's panic rapidly worsened. His breathing became uncontrollable and unpredictable. "What is wrong with him?"

              "Less than what is wrong with you." James blurted out. Kitiku's nose started to bleed again and he began to cry. "Leave him alone. He didn't have anything to do with this. Neither did the others. The Gengar chased me, I woke them up because I thought it was going to get us all. How did I know it just wanted me?" The Guard ignored James’ protests, and knelt down next to Kitiku. "I said leave him alone. Give me Okta, Sutton. I want to fight this disgusting bully." Sutton remained still in the bow. The man placed his hand on Kitiku's cheek as James tried to get closer to protect his friend.

              "Are you okay?" Kitiku looked for James to answer for him. "I am not asking him. I am asking you. He doesn't know how you are." He man’s voice remained stern. He turned to Sutton, "Get up you pathetic soldier. I suppose I have to do everything?" It puzzled James for a brief moment that this southern Guard was speaking Colrat rather than Elkrat, then it dawned on him. He wanted to be heard so he could instil fear to ensure a positive response. Sutton stood slowly.

              "Do what my Lord?" He seemed confused.

              "Seeing as we have a mute or an idiot, I am not sure which, proceed with punishing them. I cannot be bothered with paperwork and I doubt you know how to spell your own name..." James coughed a laugh. The Lord stood up and whacked James on the head with his book. The thud echoed a little in the otherwise dull and life-less looking cell. "Hit them. Up to you what with. I recommend something hard. Only way to get these minor rule breakers under control. Let's see... ah, I have the perfect solution. Which one of you is the leader?" James raised his right arm, as did Lioa. They both looked at each other with rivalrous eyes. "Maybe not that solution then. Hit these two once," he pointed to Kitiku and Andrew, "and these two twice" he pointed at James and Lioa "for each hour of your time they wasted tonight." Sutton nodded. The Lord lit a cigarette and watched Sutton carefully.

              "I think..." Sutton started.

              "Don't think, soldier. Do as you are told, or dare you question our Elite Lord Piscar?" The Lord's voice turned dark and more serious.

              "This boy isn't very well. Are you incapable of determining the basic signs of illness and stress?" Sutton argued. His voice rose in pitch as if his throat tightened. "Perhaps I should inform Elite Lord Piscar via complaint of your inadequacy." He stood as tall as he could and tried his upmost to appear brave. The Lord, who clearly hadn't been fooled by his act simply scowled for a few moments. He then sighed and took his glasses off.

              "Perhaps I misjudged your stupidity." The Lord spoke softly, "However, considering the circumstances-no, the probability-that the child is suffering with some form of extreme stress I shall investigate. I shall hold you personally responsible if my time is wasted. If my time has been wasted I shall ensure you are sent to the hot-spot. I hear Madison has a decent defence there, only one in ten of our regular soldiers like yourself are surviving." He removed the cigarette from his mouth, "Punish the other two, these two will remain with me. Get out!" The Lord barked.

              Sutton didn't need to be told twice, he handed Okta and Rusto over to the Lord and then ushered Lioa and Andrew out the room. Kitiku shivered and grabbed James. The Lord then crouched next to Kitiku and James. James was tempted to spit on the Lord. The embarrassment for the Lord would make him smile, it was a personal attack on the Elite Guard, by him, someone who they seem to merely refer to as "Runt". "There is something wrong here, with you I mean." He whispered to Kitiku, who squeezed James' arm ever tighter.

              "Leave him alone." James shouted in an aggressive manner. "I will fight you, just leave him alone."

              "As a doctor that would be very irresponsible. I am a member of the Elite Guard, however, I am also a doctor. Therefore healing comes before killing – usually.” He grabbed James’ shoulder, “However, if you don’t stop talking I will make an exception. What are your names? First and last names. Don't think about lying. If you lie I will punish you." James felt sick. He missed Okta already. He felt vulnerable without her. She had protected him and helped him cope with Rei... Without her protecting him anyone could do what Rei did to him once more. "I have all today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow... I have until the day I die. I doubt you can hold on that long. Either way, I suspect this boy needs a drink of water and a lot of rest." The Guard pushed Kitiku's hair so it no longer covered his face.

              "Give me Okta first, then we talk about names." James puffed some air up to move his hear from his eyes.

              "You are not in any position to make demands to me. Do you not want to help your friend? He could be dying and you deny him the medical help he requires for your own selfish need?"

              "Wanting to feel safe is not selfish. I would keep both of us safe from you." James glared. "Your manipulation will not work on me. I have heard it all before. Lies, broken promises, deliberate attempts to trick us into doing what you want."

              "That is what a trick is. You are clearly ill-educated." The Lord snubbed James. "You have courage..." He handed Okta over to mock James. "If you think you can defeat me do it. You lose you get executed. Courage is stupidity unless it is controlled. Do you understand?"

              "I understand you are the enemy, but…” James turned to Kitiku who was motionless “… if Kitiku needs your help I will allow that. I am James. This is Kitiku. We live in the Bryson household. I am fourteen, Kitiku is thirteen. The head of our household is Tak Bryson, his wife is Nashe Bryson. Please don't tell Ta- I mean our father. He will be angry. We are just disappointments to him." James lied about the last part. In the north household name always took preference over family name. That mild oversight by the south often came in handy. He put the sadness face he could on as an act.

              "You two are brothers? You look nothing like each other. Sometimes it happens, and sometimes you get siblings born years apart and they look like twins. I am concerned about your brother's wellbeing. He is showing signs of... damage. You do not mind if I examine you both? I will do so with or without your consent, however, I would much rather you both consent to save me time and to save you both a lot of stress. If you do not consent I would gladly make you stressed to get what I want." James, now deeply concerned for his friend nodded in agreement to the Lord's demands.

              Kitiku didn't answer. His mind fixated on the thoughts of the awful things that would happen to him next. "Let's go to the medical bay. Quickly before I get annoyed with you both." Kitiku tugged at James' arm. The Lord stopped to watch what would happen next. Kitiku clenched his right fist and tucked it into his left hand then clenched his left fist, tucking his middle finger in between his right index and middle finger and raised his left thumb. "Mother? Please don't do that. Begging to be with your mother is a..."

              "Soon." James interrupted much to the doctor’s annoyance. "We can go home soon and then we can be with our mother." He had to keep the brothers act going while keeping Kitiku calm and hiding his own pain. He had no option anymore.






              Part 2


              Once being dragged up the dreary grey stairs and into a small room James started to think of his newest escape plan. Kitiku could afford a warning, he on the other hand couldn't. The walls were painted a ghostly white and an examination table made from a dirty metal rested against the wall on the far side. A table with a leathery brief case rested on the left wall. The Lord was using some sort of holo screen. No doubt some form of Metagross technology, James thought. "I shall be running a few basic tests, if required – mainly testing your cognition and your abilities to resolve minor medical issues. The average times for which I have here. Do not feel under any obligation to meet these times, however, these times will be very relevant to my attempts to discover whether or not I am dealing with an actual issue or whether you are reacting to a fear or whether you are just pretending to be ill. If this is the case I shall ensure some extremely memorable and rather influential punishments are issued, if you are truly ill then I shall ensure that the right treatment is given. However, I just suspect that you are both slightly damaged by your fears of some description – most probably fear of being placed in jail for a short amount of time."

              The Lord finally turned around to face them. "Who is going first?" James stepped in front of Kitiku in a protective manner. His bite was burning, but he had to pretend to be okay. "That was quicker than I expected. Usually I have to grab whomever I need to test against their will." His voice remained serious as he tapped the examination table.

              "What do I have to do?" James asked suspiciously as he pulled himself up with relative ease onto the table. He sat up with his legs hanging over the side. The Guard whispered something to Kitiku, who then quickly closed his eyes. The Guard then released a Pachirisu from his capsule. The Pachirisu’s blue stripe coat added a vast spread of colour to the room, it almost felt homely. The Guard then called out a command and a bright burning light filled the room for a few moments. "I can't see, why did you do that?"

              "Tell me where the red dot is on this sheet." James's eyes stung. All he could see was an ocean of burning light and central to it all was a red dot. "Point to it for me. Don't think about the time it has taken you." James reached forward and touched the sheet. "Eighteen seconds. Much faster than average. Good boy." He said, patting James on the head. James begrudgingly accepted the praise. "Now get off." James slipped off the table. He was slightly dizzy from the light. The Guard tugged him and sat him in the bottom right corner of the room before dragging Kitiku onto the table and repeating the experiment. When James opened his eyes from the second flash he could make out that Kitiku was sitting on the table and the Guard was holding the sheet out in front of him. Kitiku seemed flustered and confused by what was going on. "Where is the dot? Point to it."

              A life time appeared to have passed before Kitiku reached forward and touched the dot. "Six minutes, forty-seven seconds." Pachirisu was then petted gently before being returned. "The average time is thirty nine seconds." The Guard pulled James up gently before sitting him on the table. "Your time suggests there is nothing wrong with you – as a matter of fact, it suggests you have highly developed reactions according to our research. On the other hand, your time was worrying. It suggests that there is something incredibly... odd." He reached out and stroked Kitiku's head. "Do you panic a lot or become easily upset?" Kitiku nodded. "Once you start to panic you can't think of anything else but death or your worst fears coming for you?" Once more Kitiku nodded. His voice softened a little. "You dislike people, noise, bright lights? Do you dislike people or things interrupting what you are doing to the point it makes you stressed?" Kitiku nodded again. "I suspect I know what is wrong, but I cannot be sure without some of your blood. Are you afraid of me? You don't like to speak to people do you? Well I am not like other people. I am going to help. I will need to transfer your medical records onto my personal patient list, however, I need you to verbally agree."

              Kitiku looked at James who was looking at the Guard suspiciously. "If you agree I can find out what is wrong and ensure you get medicine every month. If you don't, I cannot guarantee your doctor will investigate or ensure you get medicine. I will not divulge what is wrong with you to anyone but you once I discover what is wrong, however, the information will be accessible for those who can access the database."

              Kitiku squeaked "I agree..." He reached over to James and squeezed his arm.

              "Fantastic. I will take some blood now and I will no doubt speak to you about the results the day the new Captain arrives. Now I believe the buffoon is back so I will send you on your way. Do not break the rules again. I will let this go tonight because there is something wrong with you. If it happens again however, I will provide double punishment." Is that clear? The boys both nodded as Sutton appeared to take them home.

              As the boys walked alongside Incaresta Sutton along the dark cobble streets James concocted a plan to gather whatever information he could from Sutton about the ‘new Captain’. James needed to know how to get rid of him or her. If he was successful the south would look stupid.

              "So... there is a new Captain?" James asked Sutton cheerfully.

              "Classified". The Seargent provided a dreary response as he tugged his cap harder on his head.

              "So yes?"

              "Drop it Hamés. It is classified information."

              "So this new Captain, is it a man or a woman?" James pressed, knowing Sutton would trip up.

              "If you keep asking questions he will be the next person you see as you will be placed in a jail cell and I will happily throw away the pin number."

              "So... a he? If likes to get stuff done straight away then he will be busy. Does he have lots of strong Pokémon to help? I mean like Machamp? Or Houndoom? What about Hypno? Those things are creepy..."

              "Hamés be quiet."
              "Why won't you talk about it? You are usually one of the only people who actually interacts with us. I hate you but I prefer you to most of them. What is wrong with you?"
              "Hamés I could have been sent away and I would have probably been killed because of what you and Kitiku and Lioa and Andrew did. If it wasn't for Kitiku being a little weak minded brat I would be dead because I stood up for you on a whim." Kitiku shrived up and grabbed James' arm once more. "Kitiku, I didn't mean that. Sometimes people say things they don't mean. I will get you home and then you can be with your mother." He smiled goofily in his best attempt to make up for his comment. He instantly regretted what he had said. "At least there is no storm anymore. Watch where you step. The cobbles are a little slippery."
              "I want answers because... I want justice for my mother..." Sutton paused and stared at James. "Mother's sister." James quickly corrected. The man stopped what he was doing and tried to sound out the Colrat word.
              "Ukara? Ukara-ka? Ukara means mother, what does Ukara-ka mean?" Sutton was confused by the language. "Nashe is your mother isn't she? So let me solve this one...." He paused. "Ka is female because it ends in "a", so mother-female? No.... mother's female sibling?"
              "Yes." James nodded. He felt so relieved due to Sutton's poor understanding of the language he was able to hide his bloodline again.

              "Come on you two," James was suddenly hit by a feeling beyond exhaustion. Sutton grabbed James with his right hand by the scruff of his neck, and Kitiku with his left in the same fashion. Kitiku was silent. He looked worried. "Relax a little, okay?" He walked them back towards the Bryson household. "You have a few days before the Captain punishes you... if he decides to." The door of the Bryson household was a dark wooden colour. The bricks were cleaned on the outside. Tak did his best to make the house presentable to the world on a regular basis. The house was tiny. It had an upstairs. There were four windows only. The roof was slate and crumbling. It was dark inside, perfect for arriving undetected.

              "Now what? You knock on the door..." James was panting from exhaustion. He had never felt so tired. "... and I get kicked out of the household... and Kitiku gets grounded until he is ninety?"

              "Are you okay? I suppose it would be a little harsh. Well, I expect you to remain at home now and not break the curfew again..." He released both the boys, "I wish you goodnight." The boys scrambled up the drainpipe into the bedroom window. The boys shared a room. It was incredibly small. At best it was 2 metres by 1 metre three-quarters. James' bed was on the right when you entered the room by the door, and Kitiku's bed was on the left. James' bed had a musty white pillow at the window end. His duvet was a faded red. It was woven Mareep wool. He pulled his shirt over his head and tugged his shoes off and his socks. He dragged his heavy body into bed and pulled the duvet over his chest. Kitiku's pillow was a fading grey also at the window end. His duvet was a light soft blue, also woven from Mareep wool. The wool was quite scratchy, but it was cheap. He put his pyjamas on and tucked himself in quickly without a sound.

              "Kitiku?"

              "Hmm?"

              "Tomorrow is going to be a big day isn't it?"

              "I am not going. Nothing you can say will convince me to go."

              "I can't find it without you... we can't find it without you. You are the only person I know who can read the old language."

              "I can't read it..." Kitiku sighed, "I can understand fragments and only fragments."

              "So you will help us find the entrance? It is hidden for good reason. I really want to find the festival grounds. I want to be considered more than what I am now..."

              "Fine. Just let me sleep okay? I am tired and I am scared and I really don't want to die when the Captain punishes us for your grand schemes" Kitiku hissed.

              "Are you okay?" James asked. It was really out of character for Kitiku to speak, let alone hiss. Kitiku just rolled over. "I suppose we are lucky..." Kitiku was upset. He didn't respond for a moment or two.

              "James I really don't want to die. At the rate you are going we will all be dead before I turn fourteen." He rolled onto his back and looked at James. "You will win the tournament. I am counting on it." He smiled a fake smile and closed his eyes. James puffed a sigh before closing his eyes.






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                #9    
              Old November 21st, 2017 (5:39 PM).
              Bay's Avatar
              Bay Bay is offline
              Darkinium Z
               
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              So, one of the problems with this chapter is some of the paragraphs there's a lot going on and I wasn't sure what was happening. For instance, the very beginning paragraph you had Luskt and Gengar battle, and then Charleston grabbed James and the dialogue. That part you can have those events and dialogue in a few paragraphs to make the events read easier.

              Another example is the paragraph starting with Sutton saying "You are not five years old." That one has several things going on like Sutton talking ot the boys and then, what I'm assuming, is his superior making his appearance. While the paragraph isn't wrong grammar wise, I lost track what was happening. It's okay to have person A's dialogue be seperated in different pagraphs if a lot of action is happening. So like:

              Person A speak

              Stuff happening

              Person A speak again

              More stuff/monoluge happening

              Person A speak again

              Pattern like that is fine. after that pagraph, you got better balancing the dialogue and actions into several pagraphs, but then near the end you went back to big pagraphs and I got lost what's going on once more.

              Quote:
              "I understand you are the enemy, but if Kitiku needs your help I will allow that. I am James. This is Kitiku. We live in the Bryson household. I am fourteen, Kitiku is thirteen. The head of our household is Tak Bryson, his wife is Nashe Bryson. Please don't tell Ta- I mean our father. He will be angry. We are just disappointments to him." James lied about the last part. In the north household name always took preference over family name. That mild oversight by the south often came in handy. He put the sadness face he could on as an act.
              The part where James introduced himself while I do get him trying to act he's from the Bryson household act, I feel that was slightly robotic and maybe you can make it sound more natural. Maybe something like:

              "I'm James, and this is Kitiku. I'm fourteen, Kitiku is thirteen. The head of our household is Tak Bryson, his wife is Nashe Bryson. (etc)"

              I would personally take out "We live in the Bryson household" since James will mention Tak and Nashe's names there. Burt yeah, seems like the boys are off the hook for now, but James is still focusing on justice for his parents (evident with him almost slip his true parentage) there.
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                #10    
              Old November 30th, 2017 (10:46 AM).
              Vragon
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                This chapter was a bit clearer than the other to me, though yes the beginning was a bit hard to follow with the scenes being mixed.

                I do however enjoy this Doctor's character. Something of a hardish man, but at the same time not completely cold. However,
                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Cavespider_17 View Post
                "Why aren't you bowing to me?" Kitiku's panic rapidly worsened. His breathing became uncontrollable and unpredictable. "What is wrong with him?"
                This seems out of the character you paint him as later.


                I did notice a weird section.
                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Cavespider_17 View Post
                Kitiku clenched his right fist and tucked it into his left clenched fist, tucking his middle finger in between his right index and middle finger and raised his left thumb
                This is a bit well...hard to understand. It took me a few read overs to get the image in my head so perhaps wording a little better would help. Maybe tell how the right fist goes in the left and how the fingers intertwine. Less detailed perhaps, but it still conveys a sense of nervousness.

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Cavespider_17 View Post
                "I want answers because... I want justice for my mother..." Sutton paused and stared at James. "Mother's sister." James quickly corrected.
                "Ukara? Ukara-ka? Ukara means mother, what does Ukara-ka mean?" Sutton was confused by the language. "Nashe is your mother isn't she? So let me solve this one...." He paused. "Ka is female because it ends in "a", so mother-female? No.... mother's female sibling?"
                This section is a bit problematic since the reader doesn't directly see the word is said. It is a nice little addition, but it coming out of the blue does make it difficult since this is all in English. Yeah they are speaking their native tongue, but a prior emphasis or detail would help.

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Cavespider_17 View Post
                needs a drink of and a lot of rest
                probably should either specify a liquid or remove the "of".

                Good chapter and poor Sutton. He seems to get the worse of both worlds. James hatred for the South is definitely there, but I wonder if this will start pushing away Kitiku, Considering you ending is any bit of Foreshadowing.
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                  #11    
                Old December 12th, 2017 (3:04 PM). Edited January 26th, 2018 by Cavespider_17.
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                Cavespider_17 Cavespider_17 is offline
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                  Changes made in accordance to feedback for the Prolgoue

                  Spoiler:
                  were doomed to fail
                  A job fulfilled by that of the island's guardians.
                  Half jobs were scorned, like the half-moon as it was considered a symbol of half started jobs,
                  without suspicion
                  you might just get crushed
                  //This year Marsten Hall was not just to play host to the ball, but to something much bigger.
                  Gere Filktas was not interested in the tensions between the two Elite Lords who ruled the north and the south. If they were fighting each other they were in no position to challenge him so he would be able to maintain his strength for a far greater challenger if one ever emerged.
                  Quigk meaning founder in the main northern and southern languages-Colrat and Elkrat respectively one of the few points the rulers agreed on.
                  The ball supported the class system perfectly.
                  The Master sat above all, with his Captain and the Rulers below . The Young Guard, or trainee Guard were the final class within the elites.
                  He was 4 ft 7 inches tall and was struggling to see inside the ballroom.
                  His height was the one thing he did enjoy teasing his brother about, after all he couldn't defeat Lioa, his best friend who was waiting for him at the bottom of the hill.



                  WARNING
                  This chapter deals with the topic of slavery briefly. From this point on wards it may be brushed upon in a chapter. I will highlight it for those who wish to avoid the paragraph with it in. However, the topic is brushed upon in order to help show what would happen if you did remove a chunk out of society and let it run itself. Differences occur, things abolished in our world may still exist in theirs, and vice-versa.



                  Chapter 3 – Hero in Akrat

                  Part 1



                  Date: 16th June 1989

                  The morning rolled around quicker than James had planned. James tossed and turned in his bed. He was dreaming about flying high above the clouds on the back of a Salamence he had named Gabbia. The clouds felt soft in his hands as he soared. Kitiku lay still dreaming of the latest book he had been reading. He imagined himself as one of the side characters, no one important who had to face the hideous monsters the main character did. Doing so would turn the dream into a nightmare.

                  Tak had been at work for several hours and Nashe was out with her friends. Friday was by far the worst day of the week. It was the day of fasting for those who believed in Cresselia. It wasn't the empty stomach that bothered James, but the lack of energy. His body would feel like it had been chained to the floor. Every step he took felt like a marathon. On top of this, his body was aching from the night before and he had a tremendous headache. He stirred. He could feel the thunderous drums of pain and he felt incredibly groggy.

                  He didn't get much time to slip back into a deep sleep to avoid facing the pains of the day ahead. A few moments later Oosho puckered his way into the room with his long orange tentacles. Oosho was Tak's Octillery and a hero as such. Oosho didn't like anyone in the household very much. He even appeared to have a grudge against Tak, probably due to being summoned during a nap, or perhaps Tak selected one of his other team members instead of him. Tak’s team was a secret, even to Kitiku. Tak was very reclusive about his former Guard life.

                  Oosho looked into the room. His eyes were fixated on his victim. His gleaming yellow eyes with their small pupils were enough to scare anyone. Slowly Oosho puckered his way up to James's bedside wall. The puckering sounded like the pops on an air tight container. James and Kitiku were so focused on their dreams they didn't hear him as he squelched his way along the wall. Oosho waited for them to move, when he was sure they were unaware of his presence he slowly continued his trek along the wall. Puckering. Puckering. Puckering. He then slid down the wall onto James' bed, slowly, slithering his way onto James' side. He waited a moment and then pushed his face into James', resting his big eyes against James'. He snorted.

                  James could feel the warm air against his face. He opened his eyes and saw a hideous dot in a sea of yellow. He yelled in panic and squirmed out of bed. He hit the floor with a thud. Kitiku hearing the scream and the thud jumped up in complete panic. Oosho sjirachied and squelched and puckered his way out of the room once more.

                  "I hate that Octillery." James hissed. Kitiku picked up his watch that had been resting on the end of his bed. He was alarmed.

                  "James..."

                  "What?" He snapped.

                  "It is 9:35! If we want to make it we need to go now. Before my mother gets back or worse, my father." The boys scrambled to get ready. "What are we going to do about Oosho? He will no doubt tell my father in some obscure way."

                  "When I come back a man, your father may actually be okay about the whole thing. Trust me Kitiku, I will win the festival”. Kitiku pulled on a plain white t-shirt over his head. He buttoned up the top button and brushed himself down. James on the other hand put his arms through the unbuttoned white shirt. He carefully buttoned up all but the top button. Kitiku, hurriedly pulled up his black trousers. He wobbled for a moment but survived his minor dressing ordeal without falling over. James sat down rather than try and make a fool of himself putting on his black trousers standing up. He then slowly and carefully brushed his shoulder-length hair. Much to the disgruntled look of Kitiku. He had already brushed his hair perfectly.

                  Both boys grabbed their single Pokémon and ran down the rickety wooden stair case which led to a small corridor towards the front door. The walls of the house were not heavily decorated but there were a few items of interest. There were three pictures of Pierre, Tak and Nashe together, but none of Kitiku. Pierre's sword and knife hung alongside his shield by the front door. The main blade was a shiny silver colour. The helm was golden and the handle itself was bone. One thing Tak was proud of was his deceased son. James and Kitiku both knew if Tak could he would trade Kitiku for Pierre. The boys flung open the door as they charged to escape the house. As the boys attempted to squeeze through the door at the same time they became somewhat wedged. Sutton walked past.

                  "James..." Kitiku whispered nervously. Sutton stared at the boys who were wedged. It took him a moment to realise they were stuck. He burst into a roar of laughter. James rolled his eyes in an irritated manner.

                  "Would you like some help?" Sutton laughed so hard his speech appeared to be a sludge of accent and laughter. "Or would that be a knife to your ego?"

                  "Shut up Sutton. It isn't funny." James replied. "Just help us and go back to being the local pain in the...."

                  "Maybe if you give me this attitude I should just leave you there, but I am too nice to do that." He approached them still laughing. He shunted James' body back and pulled Kitiku forward. "Why did you even get stuck? Going somewhere other than the centre of town to fix the mess you made?" His stare deepened. "You are already late..." James and Kitiku both looked at each other confused and then back at Sutton. "Didn't I tell you to be there at 6:30 am?" Both boys shook their heads. "Why are you lying? Kitiku you should know better..."

                  "You never said any time..." James blurted out angrily. "You know today is an important day of the week for us. Why would you do something that could make us collapse or faint or be ill or faint?" Sutton raised a single eyebrow.

                  "You said faint twice. That means you are up to something because when people lie and they list things they tend to repeat something for emphasis. So... what are you up to?"

                  "That is the stupidest thing you have said." James answered. "You say a lot of stupid things. Nearly everything you say is stupid."

                  "I am too nice I think. I should be angry and put you in jail for that but I won't because you are still little and young and need a lot more guidance in life." He smiled his goofy smile making James feel angrier. "You are trouble. Maybe you should be more like Kitiku who does as he told. That would make the transition easier for us all."

                  "Sorry", James said, "Everything you say is stupid." Kitiku started to tug James' arm. "Can we go and play now? You are in the way." James attempted to side-step Sutton but was unsuccessful.

                  "Why would you do something that could make yourself collapse or faint or be ill?" Sutton smirked. He believed he had managed to outsmart James. "I must be off to do my special assignment. If you haven't started to fix the mess you made before I get back..."

                  "Okay sure, let us play." James quickly interrupted from frustration. They had one day to find the entrance to the hidden festival, register and prepare for the match-ups.

                  "Say please."

                  "I'll let Okta eat you if you don't let me through." James blurted out. Kitiku quickly elbowed James. It was a feeble elbowing. If James didn't know Kitiku was there he wouldn't have noticed it at all. "Fine. Please let us go play now you idiot."

                  "That should do, I suppose". Sutton stepped back and sighed. "One day you will treat us with respect." He smiled.

                  "Let's get Lioa and Andrew," Kitiku whispered. James gently nodded in agreement.

                  "What did he say?" Sutton asked in a puzzled tone.

                  "He said we should do as you say." James sighed before walking past Sutton, who gently brushed his hand against James' head. Kitiku waited a moment before following his closest friend. "That was too close, thank you. Sometimes I just cannot help but say what I am thinking. Lioa should be already waiting for us by Kilok-Fo. One day that old rope bridge will fall apart, hopefully Sutton will be standing on it and be the one to get wet."

                  Kitiku smiled as he pushed his hair from his face. "We also must be extra careful with this new Captain around. He could be exceptionally tough, I mean I could take him on... probably."

                  James' leg started to twinge a little, the wound inflicted by the Gengar seemed to be worsening the more they walked. The walk upon the bumpy streets was at best irritating. The heat from the sun glared down onto the faces of the boys. In the distance James could see Lioa. Lioa was waving. "Lioa!"

                  "James. Kitiku." Lioa answered calmly. "Sutton actually let a Guard punish us last night. Dirty move. We are trying to forget about it, but we will make him pay. Anyway, where are we going?"

                  "The only clue is "Deseto es-k kibro. E mirra nos thero". Deserted the kind. The mirror of the truth. No. "E" means the, so... possibly "a desert of its kind. The mirror of the truth." I am not sure what it means." Kitiku said softly. "My translation is probably wrong... Father always said I wasn't as intelligent as Pierre..."

                  "Kitiku, you are never wrong. Honestly, Tak is an idiot for thinking that." James said reassuringly, thumping his friend's shoulder. "Desert? There is one big desert in Coltar. Just south-west of Akrat. Its maybe if we are lucky we will get to the desert by nightfall. If we are wrong though..." James started to cross the bridge heading west out of Fehahra. "Once we get there we need to hope there are still spaces for competitors."

                  The composition of the competition in the festival, Hakahra Liopfar Ha, was considered strange by most standards. Four-hundred competitors at the start and you only were allowed to enter with a single Pokémon. Each competitor brings gifts to their household figure, either Cresselia or Darkrai or in rare cases both. Then the four-hundred would be ruthlessly eliminated to a mere one-hundred. The fastest four victors wouldn't have to fight in the second round. James smirked at the possibility of eliminating his opponents in the competition. However, there was also a catch, as a person became victorious they could temporarily claim a Pokémon from one of their previous opponents. Therefore the bypass would disadvantage them later in the competition.

                  The second round was a simple three way match, in which the remaining ninety-six would be narrowed down to thirty-two and the four first round victors. This rule was installed around two-hundred years ago when a few competitors tried to cheat by forcing their opponents to over-step the line on to the battle field, (which has since been deemed a valid tactic). From the remaining thirty-six would face off in a four-way battle in which the winners and those placing second would proceed. These eight would then face off against each other to create four, and then face off once more to create the two finalists. James knew his strategy. Okta was his strategy. He felt her heart beat whenever his beat. They could win, James could feel it.

                  "James? Did you hear what I just said?" Kitiku nudged his shoulder.

                  "No? Was it important?" James grunted in a moody fashion. "I was thinking about how Okta and I will beat everyone else so it better be important!"


                  "Akrat is a place where lots of slave trading happens. We need to be careful." Slave trading was a big issue in Coltar back then. It still is an issue in Akrat today but most other areas it is in decline or has been abolished completely. The slaves of Akrat were the mostly people who had planned to visit for a day or so. The slavers were clever in their traps. Even the Lords were extremely wary of Akrat. Kitiku sighed. His great grandfather had been a slave in Graeor City. He was set free after he saved not only his Master but several well-known members of the Master Guard itself. His great grandfather owned an Ariados called Bellacha, meaning woman with a sharp smart mouth. He also owned a Geodude. It was not uncommon for slaves to own Pokémon. It added a so called value to them. James nodded in agreement. "So... I suppose we should start to walk? We still have to walk through Kithuk." Kitiku said. The thought of Kithuk's beauty echoed in his mind.

                  "Who needs to walk?" James smirked. He turned out his pockets to reveal a Poké ball with a rather angry looking Claydol inside. "I stole it off of Sutton a few days ago. You guys remember the key switch we did right? Well I broke into the Pokémon storage room that they have. I was actually looking for snacks for Okta but I found this guy. I thought he would be super useful if we needed to get somewhere urgently. I am an all-powerful trainer. Watch!" He turned the ball so Claydol could see him, "Claydol teleport us to the festival!" Claydol didn't budge from its ball. It looked even more agitated at James.

                  "You are doing it wrong." Lioa snatched the Claydol from James' hand. "Claydol use Teleport". Once again nothing happened. Claydol's dark brown body rested against the inside of the ball. Its big red eyes stared at Lioa. Although Claydol don't tend to have any means of showing expression, Lioa was convinced it was laughing at him. "I said use teleport." Lioa started to shake the ball in a rather violent manner. "Fine! Don't use teleport. I will throw you into the river! You stupid wasteful piece of Tauros ...!" As Lioa went to hurl the ball into the river the enraged Claydol seized the moment to break free of the ball. Claydol used teleport.






                  Part 2


                  The boys quickly found themselves consumed by the psychic field. They were thrust into what the people of the island generally call the Ranubai-the world of nothingness. Different to the Void between the Aether and Distortion World. The transportation to Ranubai was violent and dizzying. James' headache increased in pain. They steadied themselves momentarily as they stared blindly into the dark world around them. The world felt like nothing. They quickly began to panic, they feared they were trapped there forever. There was no air for them to breathe. They desperately gasped. Each breath was harder than their last. Slowly the world around them darkened into a blur of light. Were they dying? They fainted before being thrust back into the normal realm. They hit the ground with a thud.


                  "James..." Kitiku squeaked. “Are you awake? This isn't the festival. This is Akrat." James scanned the area quickly with his eyes. They were in a narrow alley. The ways of the houses were wooden and crooked. Each side was coated with sand. They had clearly faced numerous sandstorms. The ground was clearly concrete at a touch, but it was also coated in sand. The small sand pieces were sharp and dug deep into James' fingers.

                  "Wow, we have an intelligent one. I suppose he is worth a coin or two." A dark figure chuckled. James was startled. This man wasn't there before.

                  "Look at that one. He looks like a real warrior. I suppose with some training he and his Pokémon could fight in the pit for amusement." A second figure leaped from the shadows. A tall skinny man wearing an open top and incredibly short shorts stood in front of the boys. His face was scarred across his lip in three places. He was an albino. His hair was blacker than coal and his eyes were soulless.

                  "I am surprised you haven't been burnt to ciders." James grit his teeth as he spoke. "Albino slaver, rare, burns easily not worth very much". He bulked himself up in an attempt to seem fearless and too much hassle.

                  "Now, now, you shouldn't speak to your new owner like that." The albino man hissed. "Teach them a lesson Kirno." An Aggron appeared behind the boys. Kitiku started to panic. He grabbed James' arm and squeezed it as hard as he could. The Aggron cried out its battle cry. Andrew seized the moment. He leaped up and tried desperately to escape. The first slaver grabbed him. His dark skin was littered with white specks. Burn marks perhaps.

                  "I want my mother!" Andrew screamed as loudly as he could before being slapped. Lioa saw his brother in distress. He nudged James to tell him to think of something. James reached into his pocket and left his hand in there. Something was bothering him. He could hear something.

                  "James...Go on James. Make him hurt for what he has done. Make him bleed. Make him feel pain. What are you waiting for James? Are you too afraid? Kill him James. Use her power. Crush him with the pure power of the rocks of her body. What are you waiting for? Do it!"

                  His head filled with rage. He felt a burning feeling. He wanted to hurt these men. He wanted them to feel afraid. James went to summon Okta to complete the circle of rage within his soul. The first slaver dumped Andrew back down next to Lioa. The albino pushed James to the ground. Lioa threw his Gurdurr forwards. With a thud it shrieked to protect him. It went to charge the Aggron but was quickly tossed to the ground with a thud. It had fainted. Lioa reached for his second team member but was quickly slapped across the face and slammed into the wall by the albino man.

                  "Kill him James." The voice said. James nodded to the sound. He reached into his pocket once more to summon Okta. As he threw her into the air his hand slipped on the catch. He hadn’t released her. This noise had been messing with his mind to the point of affecting his concentration. The slaver reached forward and with a smooth movement snatched Okta from the air.

                  "Let's see, oh, an Onix? That's very rare. What about this? A Klink? That's not so much in value.” The albino scoffed. As he grabbed Kitiku and held him tightly by his scruff of his neck. “Deino? Shame, Zweilous neck is a delicacy. I don't know if I can wait that long. Look Miroko, this little warrior has two. A Staravia and a Gurdurr." He laughed, as he kicked Lioa and Andrew. The albino man smirked as he went to grab Lioa. James' head screamed. All he could hear was the voice telling him to do dreadful things to these men. "Two warriors, one pet and one...freak. Overall value, maybe... 20. Unfortunately, children aren't as valuable... too weak and small." James could see a shadow in the distance as his head dizzied and the pain of his Gengar bite increased. He heard a word. Just one word.

                  "Psychic." James felt a vast wave of energy blast past him. The two slavers grabbed their heads. They could hear something loud. Something fearsome. It was hurting them. He panicked and turned to face whatever had caused them pain. The psychic wave hadn't finished. James quickly found himself pushed over by the sheer physical presence in the air caused by the psychic move. How could he feel a psychic move physically?

                  "Have mercy!" The men screamed. They pulled themselves to their feet and scurried away as fast as they could, dropping Okta. A tall man stood at the end of the ally way. Behind him stood a Pokémon which James had never seen before. Its ears were pointed. Its head appeared to be quite large. It hovered cross legged above the ground. The man said something to the creature and it nodded before returning to its ball. The man then stepped out of the dark and towards James. His zaffre blue hair was tied back into a short pony tail. His steel blue eyes were wide. His skin was fair and not freckled and seemingly without scars.

                  "Are you four okay? I hope they didn't harm you." He smiled and offered a hand to James who looked back at him with a rather puzzling look. The man wore a grey-white shirt and a rose red tie. His trousers were soot black. He wore a beige jumper which appeared to have a knitted pattern over his shirt and tucked was into his trousers. "What are your names?" He asked, smiling only to receive blank looks. It took Lioa a moment or two to pick up the courage to speak.

                  "No one takes down slavers. No one. They are too strong. Even the Lords avoid them. Who are you? How did you do that? You sound weird... like you have a weird accent. Are you from the South? I hate the south. I hate you. Stay away from us if you are a bad person like them. The South is full of evil people." Lioa spoke quickly. He had run out of breath by the end of his rant.

                  "My name is Clarence. I used Psychic because my Pokémon is a psychic type and there is no better way to make a statement to these types of people than by defeating them. I am not a Lord and therefore I will do something about them especially when they go after children. It disgusts me. I am from the border between the North and South. You shouldn't judge people by where they are from."

                  "Where on the border?" Lioa scowled.

                  "Between Kiro and Llirok."

                  "Which Lord is better? Madison or Piscar?" James' eyes narrowed. He was suspicious. This man could be a spy. Or he could be a generic arsehole. Or what scared James most of all was that this man could be genuine. He wasn't sure.

                  "Each Lord has merits and failings. Piscar is younger. He has had to fight hard to survive throughout his whole life and as a result he is quick to make judgements. Be it good or bad ones. Madison is older. He has more experience. He knows when to back away from certain situations. However, he is arrogant. He won't back away if he is convinced he is correct. Hence the war." He spoke softly but he seemed confident in what he was saying. James stared at him. "Now, who am I speaking to? Also where are you going? I do not think it would be wise of me to let you wander off alone." James cautiously answered.

                  "I am James, the short one is Lioa," Lioa rolled his eyes and crossed his arms at his description. "The mute is Kitiku and the other one is Andrew. We are going somewhere near Akrat."

                  "Vague..." Clarence turned his head slightly and squinted for a moment. His expression was of clear suspicion. "I suspect that means you are going to do something you shouldn't. Perhaps going to a certain banned festival? Which also happens to be where I am going." He smiled. Kitiku tugged James' arm before pointing to his knuckle on his right little finger and then running his left index finger along the top of the same little finger. "You can hear but do not speak. How... interesting. You are right. Perhaps that was too open of me." He looked with kind eyes towards James, "However, judging by your attitudes towards meeting me I doubt you would reveal to any Southern solider or Elite Guard my intentions. So..." James shocked, gritted his teeth. He had been out-smarted by a stranger. Clarence stepped forward. Kitiku felt short standing next to him. Clarence, if that was indeed his name, thought James, was around the same height as the doctor. He also had a moustache which was short, somewhat thin and matched the colour of his hair. He didn't appear overly muscular. "It would be definitely safer for you to travel with me."

                  "I could have handled it. Okta and I will win the festival because we are stronger than everyone. Including you." James blurted out angrily. Lioa quickly added to James' volcanic temper.

                  "No, I am stronger than you and I am going to win!"

                  "Yeah. Lioa is going to win James." Andrew joined in. James pushed Lioa.

                  "No I am going to win" James shouted. Lioa shunted back even harder.

                  "No. Me."

                  "No. Me." Clarence started laughing. "What is so funny?" Lioa shouted.

                  "Competition is good. How about focusing on getting there first, however? Time is running out." Kitiku yawned in the background. "Someone is tired already. That won't help you battle. Will it Kitiku?" He reached out a hand to Kitiku, who appeared puzzled by the gesture. Traditionally, my dear off-islanders, it is considered vile to shake hands in the North. Instead crossing the top half of your right arm with that of the person you are speaking to is considered polite.

                  "Kitiku doesn't battle he just sits there and looks pretty." Lioa smirked. "He isn't good at anything. He just tags along with us because he has to. If Pierre was still alive then..."

                  "If it wasn't for Kitiku we wouldn't even know where we are going." James snapped back.

                  "Calm down. Save your fire." Clarence smiled. "You will have plenty of time to use it in battle." James and Lioa both reluctantly nodded. "Follow me." The man led the boys from the alley back into a central street. "The time is 11:32 a.m. There is some time." He smiled at Lioa who seemed to be the tensest.

                  "Hey, mister?" James said softly. His eyes shined with curiosity. "What was that? I mean I know it was something like mind-blast, but what was that creature? I have never seen one before. I know a lot of things and that wasn't one of them". The man paused for a moment allowing James to catch up and stand beside him".

                  "That was Hishrak. My closest, but not oldest, friend. My oldest friend is called Barook. He is a Braviary. What about you? Have any close non-human friends?"

                  "Okta. She is an Onix. She is the strongest Onix ever. We will prove that to this small world. Then people will treat me better and her too. She is yellow-orange. I've never met another Onix like her."

                  "Rusto is my Klink." Kitiku said singularly and incredibly quietly.

                  "You speak too?” James’ eyes narrowed on Kitiku who shied away. “Knowing a non-verbal communication form is useful for keeping secrets. Anyway I have never seen a Klink before. Seen a Klang once. Seen a lot of Klingklangs." Clarence replied. His voice seemed to increase in pitch as he became curious. "Do you and Klink play together?" Kitiku stopped walking. He raised his hand and touched his top lip with his right thumb. He then lowered it, shook his head and began walking again. "That's okay. I am sure you and Klink do whatever you want to do together, together." Kitiku nodded. "What about you Andrew?"

                  "Well mister. I have a Deino. Deino is blind so they need help finding food and things." Andrew answered cautiously. "What else do you have other than Braviary?"

                  "Now that would be telling." He smiled. "Hishrak and I have been through a lot together. We have seen a lot of conflict. Conflict passes with time. Wounds heal, not just physical ones but emotional ones too." Clarence paused. James shrugged quickly as an answer to his statement. "You don't trust me? It is completely understandable. I have seen a Deino before, in case you were curious. When I was growing up they were a pretty popular dragon type, as was Bagon. My friend had a Bagon actually...he named it..." He stopped mid-sentence, he hadn't forgotten its name. The man had to be careful to avoid border-hate. Border-hate was common in the region at this time. People who were born on the border between the North and South often were looked down upon and with suspicion. "...Irkak. He later found out Irkak was more of an Irkaknok. Aaron always was a bit... clumsy with names when he was growing up. Have you boys ever seen a Salamence?" All four nodded with certainty. "Impressive. What about a Samurott?" He asked as the group walked through a rather crowded area. Several members of the Southern Guard were talking in a huddle amongst the rushing people.

                  "Stupid Guards use those." James blurted out and then quickly looked down to the ground in an attempt to prevent the inevitable. A Guard had clearly overheard James. He carefully approached. His left hand stretched across his middle to his sword. His right hand lay on his leading Pokémon. Kitiku quickly bowed to avoid being dragged into the dispute. Andrew followed suit. Both appeared nervous. Clarence was much calmer. He took a deep breath and lowered his head slightly. James clenched his fists. Lioa smirked. "What?" James hissed violently. Lioa could have sworn the air rippled around him. The guard shunted James backwards.

                  "Okay... let's all calm down." Clarence stepped forward. His eyes fixed firmly on the guard's dark grey eyes. "We mean no disrespect. This is my nephew. He has Starly's disease... he is very sad at the moment because his doctor was arrested. Something to do with Houndoom horns."

                  "That runt needs to learn respect, as do you. You didn’t bow to me either, scum. That boy challenged me. He shall face the penalties!" The guard barked attempting to grab Clarence by the throat. Clarence stepped back to avoid the angry swing. A few other nearby Guards had their attention now fixed on the coming dispute. "Unless you want to take his place?" The Southern Guard finished, irritated his grab had just been dodged. He gripped his sword once more.

                  "Why do we not just have a calm discussion about this instead? It is better for everyone that way. We don't die, your Pokémon won't use up energy and your sword won't need cleaning afterwards..." Clarence said softly. His eyes were flicking between the boys and the Guard. He wasn't worried or nervous. James knew those eyes. This man had a plan. The Guard loosened his grip on his sword. "I have many gratitude hearts." Their conversation became quiet. Too quiet for James to hear.

                  "James that made no sense". James looked at Kitiku who was clearly thinking. "Gratitude hearts?" James looked puzzled. His face almost looked as if it was in a stupor. "No one says gratitude hearts. No one. It’s weird. I like him, but I don't trust him. If we could just..."

                  "He seems okay. I am sticking with him. Besides, he actually knows where we are going!" James growled. He felt angry. The emotional swelling inside of him was getting bigger and bigger by the minute. Kitiku returned a saddened look. "You are not a disappointment... it is just good to be around someone who actually knows something... I mean... I... I don't know what to say." James’ words ran into each other.

                  "We are all ready to continue. I just had to do a little explaining." Clarence smiled calmly. His aura was so strong even I could feel it. With every sandy step they came closer to leaving Akrat. Kitiku couldn't wait to be out of there. Every passing minute he became more and more stressed. James sighed as he looked at Okta. Before he could prevent himself he gasped in agony as the bite on his leg issued a sharp burn. "Are you okay?" James nodded. James wished he could scream, but screaming is for those who are too weak to face their fate. He had no choice but to proceed through the gates of Akrat into the wilderness once more with the group.






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                    #12    
                  Old December 13th, 2017 (11:23 AM).
                  Fawful_X's Avatar
                  Fawful_X Fawful_X is offline
                  Monster-hunting Red Mage
                     
                    Join Date: Apr 2017
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                    Unfortunately, I wasn't able to complete my proofreading before this chapter was put up due to working more over this month and dealing with finals this week, but here's what I've finished regardless (which is still relevant, given that I'm putting forth my thoughts)

                    The big thing I'd like to state is how wordy and long-winded your paragraphs tend to be. While it's understandable given you have stated that you are very detail-oriented, I can't help but feel that your writing has quite a bit of purple prose that can easily bore the reader and make the chapter harder to read without accidentally skimming over details or losing interest in the writing. While it is fine to spend time detailing the scene, some moderation is also required in order to retain attention with your audience.

                    Secondly, your writing has the occasional awkward sentence or piece of dialog that detracts from the writing. "Kitiku hearing the scream and the thud jumped up in complete panic" is a difficult sentence to follow, as the relative lack of punctuation and descriptive words could easily imply that the thudding noise itself was startled, and even ignoring that the lack of "pause" a comma could present makes it all feel rushed, winded, and harder to read in turn. Likewise, when Kitiku (I think) said "It is 9:35! If we want to make it we need to go now. Before my mother gets back or worse, my father.", it personally felt as if it had a very awkward and confusing flow thanks to what I feel is too much or wrong pronunciation, while at the same time not really stating who said the line. This also stirs confusion in regards to the line "What are we going to do about Oosho? He will no doubt tell my father in some obscure way.", which I assume was said by Kitiku due to it being in the same paragraph, but "The boys scrambled to get ready." could imply that it's James talking now. Sorry if I kinda lost you there.

                    But that's just my two cents, and from what I've proofread so far. Beyond that, I'm very interested into where the fic will go on from here, and will be sure to keep reading (and proofreading if you want me to) :rambo:
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                      #13    
                    Old December 26th, 2017 (8:41 PM).
                    Bay's Avatar
                    Bay Bay is offline
                    Darkinium Z
                     
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                    The beginning paragraph you probably don't need to mention 9:30am since later on you have Kitiku say it' 9:35am.

                    Quote:
                    Oosho looked into the room. His eyes were fixated. His gleaming yellow eyes with their small pupils were enough to scare anyone. Slowly Oosho puckered his way up to James's bedside wall. The puckering sounded like the pops on an air tight container. James and Kitiku were so focused on their dreams they didn't hear him as he squelched his way along the wall. Oosho waited for them to move, when he was sure they were unaware of his presence he slowly continued his trek along the wall. Puckering. Puckering. Puckering. He then slid down the wall onto James' bed, slowly, slithering his way onto James' side. He waited a moment and then pushed his face into James', resting his big eyes against James'. He then snorted.
                    A couple minor edit suggestions.

                    -Where is Oosho's gaze/eyes fixated at?
                    -I think the "then" bolded parts aren't needed.

                    Quote:
                    "He said we should do as you say." James sighed before walking past Sutton, who gently brushed his hand against James' head. Kitiku waited a moment before following his closest friend. "That was too close, thank you. Sometimes I just cannot help but say what I am thinking. Lioa should be already waiting for us by Kilok-Fo. One day that old rope bridge will fall apart, hopefully Sutton will be standing on it and be the one to get wet." Kitiku smiled as he pushed his hair from his face. "We also must be extra careful with this new Captain around. He could be exceptionally tough, I mean I could take him on... probably." His leg started to twinge a little, the wound inflicted by the Gengar seemed to be worsening the more they walked. The walk upon the bumpy streets was at best irritating. The heat from the sun glared down onto the faces of the boys. In the distance James could see Lioa. Lioa was waving. "Lioa!"
                    This chapter so far I think you're getting better at making paragraphs more readable, but here I think you can separate it in a couple paragraphs since you have a few stuff going on.

                    Oh dear over the situation James and the others were in, but luckily Clarance helped them out. Concerning slavery, I would take uttermost care when bringing that subject up since it's a sensitive topic. For now you brought up a couple slave trainers that attacked the group, but I would be careful portraying them all like that. Looks like we're going to the festival next, which should be fun!
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                      #14    
                    Old December 27th, 2017 (3:42 PM). Edited January 26th, 2018 by Cavespider_17.
                    Cavespider_17's Avatar
                    Cavespider_17 Cavespider_17 is offline
                    Charlie
                       
                      Join Date: May 2017
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                      Fixes
                      Spoiler:

                      -Removed repeating words
                      -Fixed suggested errors
                      -Fixed Sutton’s age
                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Bay Alexison View Post
                      Concerning slavery, I would take uttermost care when bringing that subject up since it's a sensitive topic. For now you brought up a couple slave trainers that attacked the group, but I would be careful portraying them all like that
                      I have added a warning for those who wish to avoid it at the top of the chapter. There is a warning in the first post regarding this particular issue. It is one of those societal things that remained in their “world”, but not (legally) in ours. Sutton and Clarence will explain why they can’t just remove it from the island in this Chapter. I hope throughout the story I am able to handle all concerns regarding the topic.


                      WARNING
                      This chapter deals with the topic of slavery briefly. In particular Part 2.


                      Chapter 4 - The Festival

                      Part 1


                      After a walk, the five stood together looking into what would seem to be the abyssal desert. It was far from it. Clarence raised his hand up and placed it against something. Something that mirrored the desert behind them. James and Lioa looked at him impatiently.
                      “It is a trick-room. A very old kind of trick-room.” Clarence said. “Trick-room is usually used to reverse the speeds of Pokémon. This, on the other hand, is used to reflect speed, time and space. How clever. It is the mirror we seek. The mirror in the desert. Only a very old, very powerful Pokémon could create such a shield. It’s so perfect.” Lioa went to speak but was cut off. “You want to know how to get in, don’t you Lioa? I do too.” Clarence’s gaze remained focused on the invisible field.

                      “Let’s think on it for a moment. The festival is about being courageous. Therefore we need to do something courageous to get inside. Who wants to go first?” James stepped forward, tired and silent. “Excellent. Step forward.”

                      “I just did.” James grumbled before the request clicked. “I understand. By stepping forward I’m being brave because I am stepping into the unknown. Therefore I can enter.” He took a deep breath. “Okta, just you and me forever.” He was transported to a vague dimension. The air seemed thick and he felt dizzied. A few minutes must have passed before Clarence, Kitiku, Lioa and Andrew joined him. The ground was glowing blue and red. A shaded figure approached him, James gulped and readied Okta for combat.

                      “Welcome to the abyss. We apologise for the field, but did you know there is a new Captain going to Fehahra? Apparently Lord Piscar sent him himself. He is going to be brutal, I know it already.” The woman shivered thinking about it. “Are you all friends or family?” She shut down the protective field to display a vibrant area filled with food stalls, games and a large group of people. I would personally estimate around 2000 people.

                      “I would like to think we are friends.” Andrew spoke up. “We are here to win. Well, I am going to win.”

                      “Name is Grektox. If you think you will win runt you also believe Cresselia and Darkrai are real. I am from Kiro, a real town.” A medium height man with a green streak through his brown short hair perked up. He jumped off the barrel he had been sitting on. Smirking. His eyes were cold.

                      “I have never seen you in Kiro. I have lived near there. Your accent is more Southern.” Clarence said suspiciously. Grektox was thrown off by the statement and quickly disappeared into the crowd.

                      “People like him make me sick to my stomach. He would happily throw anyone to the slavers or the Guard to please his masters.” James looked into Clarence’s eyes.

                      “What do you mean mister?” James asked.

                      “He is an Elite Guard or a Southern soldier. You can smell it on him. Also he had a small bulge in his top left pocket on the inside, and second knife in his boot.” James nodded in agreement, pretending to also have noticed.

                      “Do you think he is the new Captain of Fehahra?” Lioa asked.

                      “It is possible. However, why here? Here seems a bit out of the way.” Clarence reached over to sign in at the desk. Upon signing his sheet he folded it up into a triangle and submitted it into the challenger’s box. He handed the pen over to James. James quickly signed in and handed the pen down the line. “I will leave you boys now. I fancy some food.”

                      “So you believe in Darkrai?” Lioa’s face lit up. He could get one over on James by using this stranger.

                      “Those who believe in Darkrai have a massive advantage over the Cresselia group, due to the fast, even though battling starts tomorrow. Good luck. I hope we get to battle each other at some point.” Clarence smiled and walked off in the direction of the food booths. James’ eyes were on all the colours that were painted on the signs. They swirled and expressed emotion, like a dance. He was lost in the moment. Kitiku gently tugged down on James’ shirt.

                      “Huh? Lioa and Andrew are off to get food right? Why don’t we go give gifts to Cresselia?” James walked with his friend along the dusty sandy path past all the shops and stalls. All the food stalls gave off an enticing smell. James could hear the food cooking and crackling as they walked past. The bite on his leg ached and his stomach grumbled. He had to cope, he thought.

                      Kitiku suddenly stopped walking. A man stood in front of them. His back was turned as he chomped down on a Qwilfish that had been cooked and run through with a small pike. His blue shirt had wet patches in places due to his sweat. It didn’t help that his shirt was tucked into his beige shorts.

                      “Excuse me, you are in the way.” James said calmly. The man didn’t appear to have heard him as he chomped into a second Qwilfish on a pike. “Hey, excuse me?” There was still no response. James feeling frustrated at being ignored shouted out as loud as he could, “Excuse me mister. Can you please move out of our way? We are trying to get through to the idols.” James shunted the man forward. The blonde haired man turned around.

                      “You? How did you get here? What are you doing here? Haven’t you got something better to do that follow us?” James blurted.

                      “I could easily return all of those questions.” Sutton was flustered about having his disguise blown. “You are in so much trouble when I take you back to Fehahra once I report the entire activities here to the new Captain.”

                      “Why does he care? Akrat isn’t his responsibility!” James shouted. A few faces in the crowd turned to see what the commotion was about.

                      “Lord Piscar wants this shut down. As his personal favourite soldier in the North he was sent here to resolve all resistance activities in which a person or persons from Fehahra may be participating in. Regardless of the location of the crime. Now please be quiet.” Sutton whispered in a panic. Slurring his sentences into a mixture of Colrat and Elkrat. “Why aren’t you in Fehahra?”

                      “I am competing and I am going to win. Then I will crush the South myself. You are murderers.” James felt enraged that someone, he would consider as dumb-witted as Sutton had made it into the festival grounds.

                      “Is that really the best thing you could think up?” Sutton raised a single eyebrow which enraged James even more. “How about when we get back to Fehahra I hand you straight over to the new Captain? He will have gathered evidence of you being here already. As he is here, somewhere. He will have all of these people thrown in prison. I will get a promotion.”

                      “If you keep talking you will get thrown out.” Lioa said calmly from behind Sutton. He jumped out of his skin. “In fact why don’t I call you out right now? What are you going to do about it? Blowing your cover to some kids is more likely to get you demoted or sent to the front line where Lord Madison will gladly crush and kill you.” Sutton scowled, but his jaw dropped.

                      “Yeah, Sutton.” Andrew added.

                      “So what are you going to do Sutton? Why shouldn’t we blow your cover?” Sutton was still stunned. “I am waiting for an answer Sutton. Why shouldn’t we get rid of you? Andrew and I want payback for yesterday. You let that Guard hit us.”

                      “Lioa, one day you will understand. I was doing my job.” Sutton turned around and gently ushered Lioa and Andrew to the same side as James and Kitiku. “Let’s sit down over there.” He pointed to a piece of ground by the back of the stalls “We can talk there in peace and quiet.” The boys followed him. Lioa crossed his arms impatiently as they walked. Although it took them no more than a minute or two, Sutton had noticed Lioa’s growing agitation. “Do not misunderstand me. I want this fighting to stop just as much as you. I believe the island should be free from war. Do you understand?”

                      “Of course. I am not stupid like you.” Lioa scoffed. “Do you have a point? I want you to pay!”

                      “Lioa, let’s swap our positions for a second. You are twenty-seven years old, you have a wife and two kids. You decide to go against the Elite Guard. If they are feeling generous they will imprison you indefinitely. If not, they will kill you and your family. If I was twenty-four they would punish me, yes, but nothing too extreme as I would still be considered a child. Once you turn twenty-five you are an adult and fully responsible for your actions. I don’t want my family to pay for a mistake I make. Do you understand Lioa? If I disobeyed that doctor…” Sutton fought to keep his voice from breaking.

                      “I understand.” Lioa said. “I am sorry. Did you really have to let him hit us though? Why do you make these stupid rules?”

                      “Lioa.” Sutton’s face turned stern and his eyes narrowed. “We make these rules for a reason. We don’t want any more innocent people getting hurt. This festival is dangerous. People and Pokémon die at this festival.”

                      “That’s why we gift the idols.” James said. “They protect us from that.”

                      “When you have been injured by a Pokémon I don’t want to sit by your hospital bedside and watch the Guard decide your life isn’t worth maintaining.” Sutton looked genuinely concerned. “I won’t let you compete. Kitiku I thought you would have known better.”

                      “Sutton?” James asked.

                      “Yes Hamés?”

                      “When you were growing up did you ever have to prove yourself?”

                      “Don’t be rude.” Sutton reacted to James’ question as if it was a personal attack. “Besides, you won’t make it past the first round. You are kids. Most of these competitors have much more experience than you.”

                      “Okay. Let’s make a bet.” James lit up at the opportunity to try and beat Sutton at his own argument.

                      “Betting is illegal.”

                      “Being here is illegal.” James answered back. Sutton found himself in a position which he couldn’t argue. “We could easily claim you are from Kiro, on the border. I reckon you don’t have your identity on you so you would be in as much trouble as us.” Sutton’s meticulous planning had suddenly blown up in his face. “So here is what I propose. If one of us makes it through the first round you let us compete until we get eliminated and then you forget we were here. If we all lose in the first round you can throw us all in jail and throw away the key. Deal?”

                      “No. If you all lose the first round you fix the mess you made in Fehahra and you set an example in good behaviour for the rest of the North to follow until this war is over.”

                      “Fine.” Lioa said. “We won’t lose.”

                      “I worry about you kids more than you know.” Sutton paused. Kitiku gently rested his head on Sutton’s arm. “In a few hours I think entry will be closed to applicants. I guess until then I should keep an eye on you boys.” James scowled and went to argue but found himself being interrupted before he could rant. “That is when they will call out the names of the competitors and their matches.”

                      Kitiku squeezed Sutton’s arm. “I never asked. Are you feeling better?” Kitiku nodded. “Silent as ever.” Kitiku nodded again. “I guess one day you will pick up the courage to speak to me. That is what your name means right? Courage”. Kitiku nodded. “Incaresta means the shining light. Lioa means berserker, or uncontrolled soldier.” Lioa looked at Incaresta Sutton with intrigue. “Hamés and Andrew are names that were born before even Master Gere Filktas walked upon this world. What a small world it is.”

                      “Sutton?” James asked.

                      “Yes?” He quickly replied.

                      “Something is bothering me about yesterday. What did I see? Everything felt unreal. Why did I faint?” James asked, hoping for an answer.

                      “Gengar. I suppose it trapped you in an unreal world to try and torture you before draining your soul Hamés.”

                      “Hamés isn’t my name you know. My name is James.”

                      “Another border dweller? I don’t trust him, unless you know him.” Clarence was holding the Northern snack of Kikirotiki. Kikirotiki is usually constructed from ice cubes cut into spirals and is dusted with sugar and berry seeds. “His accent sounds too Southern.” His eyes narrowed in on Sutton.

                      “We know this idiot.” Lioa said.

                      “I see. Well, in that case allow me to introduce myself. I am Clarence.” He offered a hand out to shake Sutton’s hand. Sutton declined the hand shake. He opted to raise his arm up to cross the top half with Clarence. “Okay, maybe he is genuine. I doubt the South would employ that many soldiers who care about Northern customs. Kikirotiki?” He offered. Sutton’s heart was racing. He had almost had his cover blown. He imagined what would have happened if it had. Firstly, an angry Northern mob would surround him. They would punch and kick him until he was bleeding and unconscious. Then they would feed him to a hungry Aggron. “I guess you aren’t hungry. What is your name again?”

                      “Incare…” He started. Before finishing his name he realised that if he said his name was Incaresta one of two things would happen. Firstly, he could be called a woman and publicly humiliated, or secondly, and more likely, his Southern nationality would be discovered. Incaresta was an uncommon name. It was also only used in the South. “Incarero”. He finished. James’ jaw dropped. Sutton had just screwed up his own name completely. Not disguised it like he should have. “Incarero Sultan”. Sutton grasped at straws for a last name.

                      “Incarero Sultan, ruler of the lamppost.” Clarence said. Sutton blushed. He felt so embarrassed. His lack of understanding of the Northern language had foiled him again. “Well, I guess we should be off to the battler’s dressing tables. I wish you luck Incarero.” Incaresta, blushing, stood up. He thought back to his first days in the North as a soldier. He had gotten lost on the way to Fehahra after accidentally getting on the wrong Sawsbuck coach. He ended up in Akrat. The slavers took advantage of his nervousness and lack of experience.





                      Part 2


                      It was pitch black all around. Incaresta held his Litwick in a jar close to his chest. The sand was whipping up all around him and the slave song sounds were all he could hear. His Southern uniform made him heavy as he was wearing the uniform’s thick outdoor coat. The coat was deep grey and made out Stoutland fur. Of course, this fur was not ideal for Northern weather, particularly in Akrat. He ventured around the dead town. The sandstorm was starting to pick up. The little shimmering sandy flecks were getting in his eyes. He couldn’t see anymore. In a desperate bid to seek shelter he stretched out his right hand, desperate to feel for a house, or an alleyway. Somewhere he could bunker down for the night until he could get his bearings. He felt something in front of him. He gripped it tightly. It felt like a wooden fence. He eased himself into the alleyway and sat down. All of a sudden he heard footsteps from behind and then a roar. A giant Aggron had been released and had lifted him off the ground. Its master, a slaver, was laughing at the soldier who had been rendered even more useless.

                      The Litwick in the jar fell to the ground and shattered. His lamp had floated away as quickly it could. The Aggron carried him towards a sewage drain and then dropped him inside. The clunk as Incaresta hit the ground was ear shattering. Or maybe that was just the pain in his ankle. He had sprained it badly due to his rough landing. As Incaresta went to stand himself up he was kicked back to the ground. His arms were pulled aggressively behind his back and he was blindfolded before being pulled back to his feet and forced to walk. Every minute of this was torturous. He couldn’t see where he was going and could only feel pain and hear the sounds of the slavers talking Colrat in the background. Back then, my dear off-islanders, Incaresta Sutton’s grasp of the Northern language was much poorer than at the festival.

                      The pushing on his back stopped for a moment and he seized the moment to try and escape only to be pushed back onto the ground. His captors started to strike him. One of the punches had badly bruised his jaw. Another had broken his nose. He then heard the clicking of two metal cords. A slave collar. Incaresta started to panic. He went to cry for help but was punched again before being dealt an electric shock. He remembered every single electric shock he endured for two torturous weeks before he was rescued.

                      Kitiku’s father had found him being loaded onto a ship at the docks. If it wasn’t for Tak Bryson, he would probably be dead or worse. Tak had fought off the slavers using Oosho. That ungrateful Octillery. He thought, if that was his Octillery, it would have released it by now. Incaresta’s thoughts then slipped to what is. Even the Lords won’t touch the slavers who reside in Akrat. Why would Tak Bryson? Maybe he did not know. Maybe he was one of them. Or maybe he has a secret. Incaresta’s mind boggled as he was deep in thought.





                      Part 3

                      “Huh?” Sutton’s arm was gently tugged by Kitiku. It was getting late. He had been in a daydream for hours. The boy yawned a large yawn. Unprepared for the stay, Sutton thought. “All tired out Kitiku?” Kitiku nodded. “Missing your mother too I suspect.” The boy quickly buried his head into Incaresta’s shirt. “Okay. Let’s set up a camp. Where shall we sleep?” He placed his left hand on Kitiku’s shoulder and gently pushed him away from his chest only to have his hand taken straight away. “Kitiku, you can’t be so clingy. You are thirteen years old. You don’t need to hold my hand do you?” Sutton sighed as he accepted the fact Kitiku wasn’t going to let go. This nervous child, Sutton thought, he won’t last five minutes in the world on his own. “You can speak to me whenever you want. You know that.”

                      “Yes.” Kitiku whispered. His grey eyes appeared more void than before. “Mister Sutton?”

                      “Hmm?”

                      “You won’t really let the new Captain punish us, will you?” Incaresta stopped walking. He heard tears in the young boy’s voice. “Please? I am scared.”

                      “You broke the rules. You are very lucky that that doctor yesterday didn’t have you punished. Lioa and Andrew were both punished severely for what they had done. I regretted letting them be punished like that. However, if I was to have argued I would have faced something far worse.”

                      “So you would let the new Captain kill us?” Sutton saw tears starting to run down Kitiku’s face. He had to think of something quickly. The guilt was starting to eat him from the inside out.

                      “Kitiku, why don’t you pick somewhere to sleep? I will keep watch all night. No one will kill you. Okay?” He would have crouched down to make Kitiku feel bigger, but Kitiku was already tall and felt like a freak. Making him feel taller would have had the opposite effect to feeling safe and comfortable. Much to his relief Kitiku drew a circle in the air with his fingers.

                      “Promise?” Kitiku said while signing.

                      “I give you my word.” Both of them let out a large sigh of relief. It was hard to communicate with Kitiku, Sutton thought. The boy rarely talks. In fact this was the longest conversation he had had with him. “You are a good boy Kitiku.” The two sat down together. Sutton pushed his fingers through his hair, which had appeared to have a small dune of sand in. Kitiku shuffled over to Sutton and rested his head on his shoulder. He slowly closed his eyes and yawned once more. “Go to sleep now. Soon the morning will bring new adventures. Also the tournament starts tomorrow. I hope that Lioa, James and Andrew do okay.”

                      “We will.” James responded. Lioa stood arms-crossed on his left and Andrew on James’ right. Clarence stood behind the boys. His hand was resting against his chin. “We were thinking we should spend the night out here with you and Kitiku instead, Incarero.” Sutton scowled for a brief moment as Lioa sjirachied, then he raised his right hand a little to let the group know they had to be quieter. “Kitiku is exhausted. All the excitement from yesterday has really messed his energy up. Even his Klink is tired.” He listened carefully as the boy breathed lightly. His eyes then snapped up to Clarence who was looking suspiciously at him.

                      “I still think your accent sounds too Southern. Incarero. Why don’t you tell the truth? You were raised in Mesk. Your accent says it all.”
                      “What’s Mesk?” Andrew asked.

                      “Mesk is a mining town near Kareja-Fes. The Elite Zone. It is too far inside the Southern border to be classed as a border town.” Clarence calmly answered. “Judging by your thick accent I will also hazard a guess that Incarero isn’t your real name. It is possibly Mylious, or Kirkit or maybe even Incaresta. I think the last one sounds pretty obvious. You boys covered for this Southern imposter.”

                      “You know an awful lot about the South. All your accusations are false.” Sutton said in a panic. He was sweating more so than in the heat.
                      “I am thirty-nine years old. I have fought in so many battles between our Elite Lords. You learn a thing or two. You are a young soldier trying to be a hero. I tell you as someone who has witnessed some atrocities, that being a hero gets you killed.” Sutton sighed. He had lost. “It would be cruel to let you die to a mob.” Kitiku stirred a little at the noise.

                      “Kitiku, go back to sleep okay?” Sutton held Kitiku tightly with his left arm. He watched as the boy pressed his head harder into his shoulder. Clarence sat down quietly and carefully. Andrew wandered over to Incaresta Sutton and sat down next to him. “I suppose you want this arm?” He said, offering his right shoulder as a pillow. Andrew pressed his wrist into his eye to rub them as he nodded. He lent against Incaresta. “What are you going to do?”

                      “Nothing. I want to know about you.” Clarence smiled. “I am surprised you didn’t compete.”

                      “Oh. My Pokémon and I we don’t battle unless we have to. Battling isn’t something I am particularly skilled in.” He laughed a fake laugh quietly and then added, “Seems like most things I do I lack skill in”.

                      “The kids seem to like you. Do you have a family of your own?”

                      “A wife and two kids. My little girl is four and my little boy is two. He has a Machop, she has an Oshawott. I can’t believe how quickly they grow up.”

                      “My eldest would have been twenty-two this year.”

                      “You have a family too?”

                      “Indeed. When it boils down to it, the flag we stand in front of, be it blue or green doesn’t matter. We are all one people united in front of a purple flag. Stand two young children, the age of your little girl next to each other. One from the North and one from the South and they know no difference. Stand two grown men next to each other, one from the North and one from the South and expect some caution to be had.” Clarence allowed Lioa and James to rest their heads on his shoulders. “These kids are exhausted. They have come a long way. They almost got enslaved. Slavers are such a big problem. The Lords need to do something about it.”

                      “It’s none of my business.” Incaresta said hesitantly. “They need to stop the slavery of children for sure. Adults maybe not yet.” Clarence, intrigued listened harder. “I guess if they suddenly removed slavery all together there would be a complete and utter break down of society. It is part of how the world works. It cannot continue, but it is something that has been around our entire lives.”

                      “Over-freeing society too quickly would cause a complete collapse, I agree. Economically there would be a lot of unskilled and uneducated people struggling to find work. Socially it would call into question the authority of our rulers. The rulers would be killed no doubt and we would fall under mob rule. Slavery is awful, but I fear an uncontrolled halt to it would create something just as bad.” Clarence’s blue eyes met Incaresta’s green eyes. “We should get some sleep. You will take first watch.”

                      “You do not fear me running away?”

                      “With those kids pinning you down asleep, and your emotions tied to making them stay asleep? No. Nor do I fear you trying to kill me. Again, you wouldn’t let these children be traumatised. It is clear to me that as a father you wouldn’t want these kids to go through anything your kids could.” Clarence rested his head against a rock and closed his eyes. He wasn’t asleep yet, Sutton thought. He was right though. Three of the children who lay asleep tonight under his watch were on their final warnings. He looked up to see the stars and the moon.

                      “You are so clean tonight. No clouds or darkness, no secrets hidden anymore. Just the clear blue sky and its shining lights in all its glory.” Sutton whispered in his native tongue. “Mehal, I hope our kids are okay. I hope you are okay. I love you.” He closed his eyes and softly whispered. “Giratina, ruler of our fate please forgive me for I have sinned. It has been four years since my last confession. I have betrayed my Lord tonight and the night before. My body is possessed with the need to complete orders, my mind is confused. It hides lies, guilt and treachery. I am a bad man Giratina. I shall offer you the most sacred of gifts as an apology for my betrayal.”

                      Sutton reached into his pocket, carefully avoiding Andrew, who snored a silent snore. He pulled out a photo of his wife and kids and tore it in half. Then tore it again, so it became a quarter of what it once was. “I offer you to share in my heart. I hope that is enough.” Clarence listened to the man speaking in Elkrat. He liked Sutton’s attitude to sacrificial offerings.





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                        #15    
                      Old January 1st, 2018 (10:45 AM).
                      Vragon
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                        Alright so for Part 1 I can say the beginning was a bit lacking in some manners. For one the Pokémon that made the trick room is talked about once and never again (to my knowledge and read-through) We don't get a name. I suspect this was more of an ancient place built and therefore an ancient mon creating it would make sense, but at the same time this is more subtly implied rather than stated, "This is a field created before that is in use now"

                        Second I'd like to point out about this new captain being here. I can understand the captain already infiltrating the place, but I'd expect him to have made a move already or if he's just scouting the place out
                        Quote:
                        Originally Posted by Cavespider_17 View Post
                        “He is an Elite Guard or a Southern soldier. You can smell it on him. Also he had a small bulge in his top left pocket on the inside, and second knife in his boot.” James nodded in agreement, pretending to also have noticed.
                        I'm sorry, but if you have good reason to believe this guy is indeed a spy for the South then I don't think it's something to just easily let slide. Even if it's just suspicion it has been established that the South wants to shut this down and well the peeps here wouldn't like that at all. So I would expect him to at least be apprehended or Clarence point him out. I mean later you do illustrate this reality with Sutton.

                        Although I find Part 1 the least good out of the three I do like it for the dialogue in the latter parts as well as showcasing more of Sutton's dynamic. His dialogue with Kitiku is especially important since it does showcase the shyer but more honest of the kid group talking with Sutton. I do enjoy Kitiku and Sutton's dynamic since it's reality, but brings out the best of intentions from Sutton. I even like how James says in response since it's a display of James not rushing in but keeping his overall anti-Southern mentality. (Also the threatening scene was kinda amusing if not for the immature rubbing in from Lioa)

                        one last thing before I move on. Despite my feelings towards James and viewing his narrow-mindedness I can appreciate the direction you are going. I can applaud sticking James into a realistic situation of a boy his age and showing the affects of his history and the culture upon his person. Sure I don't like him a lot, but I am interested in his overall character and well not every prot. needs to be likable. I mean, he's a character I can appreciate for his demeanor and overall representation of the North and I can't wait to see how he develops.

                        Part 2 is a Sutton flashback I see. Nothing much to talk about save for how Tak plays a part in this and for that I'm curious as to how that affects their relationship today. Perhaps that's one reason why he's patient with the boys aside from his normal tendencies. Though one thing,

                        Quote:
                        Originally Posted by Cavespider_17 View Post
                        His captures started to strike him
                        It's "captors". Other than that nothing much else to say from my end.

                        Part 3 was in my opinion the best one. I enjoy Kitiku and Sutton's dialogue again and while I find Kitiku a bit too teary eyed in this I can understand it too a degree. However I would say that Sutton does need to draw the line and not flip flop around from giving in to resisting. Kitiku doing this is believable so I can get why it would work this time, but I wouldn't believe Sutton giving in to any of the other kids sucking up to him so keep that in mind.

                        The dialogue between Sutton and Clarence is no doubt my favorite part. I liked the talk about them having similar dreams of a untied purple flag and then the talks about the festival. This is a part where I feel you outlined a bit more of the grey spectrum of the North and South. Since now we've only really had Sutton (and to be fair we still only have him still) to outline any good of the South and seeing these intentions of shutting down the festival in a southern perspective really leaves me with mixed feelings. I can appreciate this and the slight political discussion at the end. I can definetly start seeing the flaws in both states much better and for lack of better terms, "the good intentions" of both sides in this struggle.

                        To close I'd like to say sorry for the less grammar checking and I think these collection of parts are my favorite ones so far. Your part 1 was a good set up that while has that annoying plot convenience of time stalling for the North competition I can like the stuff done afterwards with Sutton and the kids.

                        Part 2 was mere backstory but shows a dynamic that wasn't really explored (well started) till now. I wonder if you will go into that dynamic later or just use this to emphasize Sutton as a person that also has suffered.

                        And part 3 the overall driving force for this chapter. The suspicion of Sutton was also a good scene and we got to see more of the "chill" guy that is Clarence. I do enjoy where you are going and I wonder how the Festival will go on (maybe it might be interrupted in the middle as Sutton fears).

                        Either way keep up the good work and I wish you well.
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                          #16    
                        Old January 12th, 2018 (8:55 AM). Edited January 26th, 2018 by Cavespider_17.
                        Cavespider_17's Avatar
                        Cavespider_17 Cavespider_17 is offline
                        Charlie
                           
                          Join Date: May 2017
                          Location: U.K or D.K depending on where you politically stand.
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                          Fixes
                          Spoiler:

                          -Fixed “sigh”
                          -Fixed “captures”




                          Chapter 5 - The Battles Commence

                          Part 1

                          The sun glared down upon those sleeping in the desert. The water that had been left out the previous day had dried up completely. James stretched his arms and legs as he stirred from his deep sleep. Clarence had let the boy sleep on his shoulder all night. James rubbed his left eye with the back of his thumb before stretching out again. He looked at Incaresta. His eyes were sleepy. ‘The fool had stayed up all night’, James thought. Kitiku was still asleep, as were Lioa and Andrew. Clarence, awake, looked at James. Without a word he pushed the hair from Lioa’s face and watched as James got up from the ground and nudged Andrew awake. Both had been selected to compete in one of the opening battles of the tournament. Clarence carefully picked up Lioa, and threw him over his shoulder. Slowly he wandered over to Incaresta, who had lost the feeling in his arm due to Kitiku squeezing it too hard. He crouched down, holding Lioa. Silently he placed Lioa on the soldier’s right shoulder before turning around and facing James and Andrew.

                          “I hope you both slept well. Would you both like to get some breakfast?” Clarence asked, smiling.

                          “With what money?” Andrew snapped, to which the man pulled a few coins from his pocket. “Oh that money.” Feeling his stomach rumble Andrew quickly added, “Yes please, mister.” They wandered in the direction of the food stalls. The smell of food crackling in the morning enlightened the senses. “I slept okay I think. It was really hot last night. Hey mister, is it hot where you come from? Also mister, did you sleep well?”

                          “Definitely not as blood boiling as here. I was born in Kiro. Well, not quite in Kiro. It is beautiful there. The water is refreshing. The city is built upon water. I slept perfectly fine. Thank you.” Clarence stopped to look at some of the food on sale on the stand. The purple and white zigzag banner danced in the wind. It read ‘Fresh Meat Cuts – 1 Colkara each, Brito-Resko 1 Colkara for 2’. Brito-Resko was made from wheat being twisted and entwined into a hex around a single large berry; usually a bitter or sweet berry was chosen as the centre piece of the meal. The golden wheat would be heated until it was solidly in place. The berry, which had been cooked inside of the wheat, would then be pierced carefully to avoid damaging the wheat pattern. Once the berry was pierced the juice would ooze out and create a sticky but comforting taste.

                          Clarence paid for six of the Brito-Reski and handed one to Andrew and James. Both quickly started to chew on the end trying to break the top of the wheat away in order to get the sticky juice to pour out faster. “The wind is starting to pick up.” Clarence noted. “We should probably get back to the other three and get them inside somewhere. The organisers are probably providing sand-cloaks for groups of people to pitch up and get under.” He looked ahead carefully. The sand hadn’t whipped up too much but he didn’t want to take any chances. He could see Sutton setting up the sand-cloak already. “I think you boys should start preparing for your match. They won’t let the match be postponed. Even if there is a sandstorm.”

                          “Okta and I can do this. We are sandstorm proof!” James shouted. “Good luck mister.” Clarence waved at the two boys who ran towards the battle fields. He headed into the sand-cloak which stood at the average height of a Northern citizen and sturdy in the winds. Sutton, who was tired from setting up the cloak and the lack of sleep, sat down under the cloak. Its brown colour and lack of see-through material made it dark inside. He closed his eyes and lent against the wooden pole holding up the cloak. Kitiku and Lioa were sitting down in the corner of the cloak. He could hear Kitiku whisper to Lioa and Lioa would reply.

                          “Would you like a drink?” Clarence asked. Incaresta simply shook his head. Drinking would make him need the bathroom, no doubt. “I have unlimited water, so if you get thirsty let me know okay?” Incaresta nodded. Clarence then sat down in the corner before releasing Hishrak. Hishrak crossed his yellow legs and floated above the ground. “My dear friend, are you ready for all of this?” He asked.

                          His question was met with a simple rolling of the eyes. The creature that appeared agitated was not. Appearances are deceiving. He was, rather, peering into the future of Incaresta Sutton. There are two kinds of future. Those things set in stone, like the past, and those awaiting to be set in stone. The Helobrask and Eaerk. These are words from Kilgorese, the oldest living language of the Coltese people. Hishrak had seen that by the end of the year this poor man would suffer a horrendous fate unless something was to change.

                          Hishrak being his stern, but calm self would never interfere. Although sometimes he would bend his own rules. Hishrak looked slightly to the side. Lioa’s hair flopped over his face as he shunted Kitiku to the ground. It was clear to anyone who was watching that this play-fight was only being enacted by one of the participants. Hishrak lifted one hand and pulsed a small psychic pulse which pushed Lioa off of Kitiku. Kitiku, now freed, scrambled towards Incaresta Sutton who hadn’t managed to drift off to sleep.

                          “Kitiku, please. My arm has only just gotten blood back into it.” He whispered, as his left arm was seized. Upon realising he was making the man unhappy the boy let go. “What to do with you?” The boy shrugged. “Want to have a battle? I will help you win.” Sutton said. He smiled his goofy smile and was met with another shrug. “Missing your mother?” He received a single nod as a response. “You have to be more like your Klink, Rusto. I bet it doesn’t miss its mother.” He took a deep breath as he brushed Kitiku’s hair out of his face. “So Clarence, what are the rules of this death trap?”

                          “Well, 400 hundred competitors start off. Each competitor is only allowed 1 Pokémon. The four fastest victors in the first round get to skip the second round. So the four hundred competitors are assigned a number. One to one hundred. Once four people have that number that is a round. Therefore there are one hundred four-way matches. These matches are free fire.” Sutton paused to try and understand the nature of the competition.

                          “So only one makes it through?” He queried.

                          “No. Two go through from round one. Then they battle each other after all the rest of round one is finished. That makes the field cleaner and fairer.” Clarence explained. “After the victors have had their one on one matches then the fastest victors rule is active. So the four fastest winners from round one, not two, get a bypass. So only ninety-six battlers are in round three.” Sutton looked confused. “Round three is a three way battle. Thirty-two competitors go through. So only thirty-six competitors remain, Round four is a four way battle leaving eighteen competitors. Still following?”

                          “Er… four-hundred to two hundred. Two hundred to ninety six and four. Then thirty-six, then eighteen. I think so.”

                          “Now, eighteen become nine. The fastest victor gets a bypass to the final. There are then two round of four way battles and then the final.” Clarence finished.

                          “Stepping over the line is a disqualification and ties are an instant rematch if caused by the same attack?”

                          “That’s it. You understand it.”

                          “Hopefully it won’t be too dangerous.” Incaresta said, concerned.

                          James sat in the locker room. The white walls had faded into a murky grey. The pain in his leg was clouding his thoughts. Grektox sat a few feet away. He was in the fifth match of the day. Lioa had been drawn for one of the middle matches. Clarence had been selected for the final match. James thought how lucky he was to be picked for the one of the opening matches. The clean sandy battle field would have clear white lines. The sand would be soft to stand on. The crowd would cheer (if they braved the sandstorm). Sandstorm proof. He thought of what he had said to Clarence. Two minutes until he fought. There was no going back, but he didn’t want to go back. He was here to win.

                          James saw Andrew was talking to his Deino. The best case scenario was for him and Andrew to work together to make it through the first round. This best case scenario was never going to happen though. A lady with strawberry blonde hair and green eyes stood a metre away from him. She was wearing a silk brown scarf that danced whenever she walked. Her shirt was white and sleeveless. It ran into her dark red long skirt which covered her ankles and shoes.

                          Despite her somewhat glamourous appearance, her Pokémon was an Aggron. Aggron is a common Pokémon for labourers. His other opponent hadn’t said a word since he sat in the locker room. James didn’t know his name, or what his Pokémon was. A voice called out into the locker room. It was time.

                          James stood calmly in his trainer’s box marked out by a white sticky substance, most probably Galvantula’s sticky web. He looked up. Andrew was opposite him. The Aggron lady was on his left and the mysterious man was on his right. He waited for the signal. The flag was dropped. James threw Okta onto the field and she landed with a thud almost crushing her capsule. Andrew’s Deino snarled and Aggron roared. The mysterious man sent out a Grovyle. Immediately James knew Grovyle was his biggest threat. Grovyle had to go down before the one on one stage. He couldn’t do it with Okta, but he could use Aggron as a shield.

                          The lady called out a command to Aggron who immediately went after Grovyle. It lashed out with metal claw but was easily side stepped and hit with leaf blade. The dust on the field spewed into the air violently. Grovyle’s attention snapped to the dragon raging Deino and used X-Scissor. Nutkio was pushed back by the attack. She struggled to stay standing from the sheer amount of damage. She was dizzy. Her blood was starting to drip from the wound.

                          “Okta, use screech!” James shouted. Okta took a giant breath in and bellowed out an ear piercing screech. Several members of the crowd held their hands over their ears and then cheered upon her stopping. “Okta, Attack Aggron! Use Dig!” Okta burrowed her way deep underground. The lady clearly didn’t hear him as she fixated her clever eyes on Grovyle.

                          Andrew’s Deino was out for sure. It had little health left. He could easily knock it out when he attacked Aggron, but this wasn’t in his interest. He took a deep breath and pushed his hair from his face. Aggron swiped at Grovyle with another Metal Claw and missed again. It was clear the lady was starting to get frustrated. The arena burst into cheer for Grovyle. “Come on Okta… where are you?” James whispered. She was still under the field somewhere. She was waiting for the perfect moment to spring up and gain the element of surprise.

                          In the corner of his eye James saw Aggron was powering itself up for something. It was thudding its feet on the ground. Its white body and grey underbelly were covered in sand. James took a moment to realise what was about to happen. “Okta get…!” Before he could finish his command Okta burst out of the ground below the Aggron. Aggron’s insticts kicked in. It used iron head. In doing so its horn caught her as she followed through with the dig attack. She had sustained some minor damage from Aggron. Aggron on the other hand was one small attack from being out of the game. Grovyle charged towards Aggron to finish the large beast off. Andrew’s Deino, weakened, shot a dragon rage shot at the Grovyle. It singed the Grovyle’s foot causing it to crash into the ground with a thud making it now a sandy brown.

                          Before Grovyle could get back up Aggron issued an earthquake attack. James held his breath as the battle field shook. Andrew’s Deino fainted instantly. Grovyle had taken a lot of damage from the attack due to the screech beforehand. It was badly bruised along one side of its body. The crowd roared because of the first knock out. Okta also had taken a lot of damage from the attack. She panted tiredly. “Are you okay Okta?” James asked, worried. She turned around and roared at him. “Let’s finish this. Use iron tail on Grovyle!”

                          The mysterious man cussed under his breath. Slowly he called out a command to Grovyle. Its eyes narrowed in on James. Without a warning it charged towards him. Okta stood between Grovyle and James. She was going to take a hit. If she took the hit she would be out of the match due to Grovyle’s grass type moves being super effective on her. Saddened, James turned towards the crowd. Sutton was there with Kitiku and Lioa. He had to do this. With a deep breath he shouted out, “Okta, use dig once more!” She dived underground. ‘This is it’, he thought. Either Aggron uses earthquake again and gets a double knock out, which would force a rematch, or Grovyle goes for Aggron. James thought.


                          James was wrong. Grovyle continued to charge him, as its trainer had demanded. The mysterious trainer was trying to force James to step over the line and forfeit the battle. Okta waited patiently. She listened for the sounds of the Grovyle to be right above her. Aggron and its trainer watched intently. Clearly the trainer had decided it wasn’t worth letting her Aggron take more damage.

                          Grovyle went to scratch James across the face to get payback for the damage caused by Aggron due to the screech. Okta shot up from the ground and threw Grovyle into the air. The impact wasn’t enough. James took one last deep breath before demanding Okta to finish the green menace. Okta swung an iron tail attack at the Grovyle and hit it squarely in the chest. Grovyle rolled across the arena into the wall next to where Andrew was standing. Andrew jumped out of his skin from the thud from the Grovyle slamming into the arena wall. It was over, Grovyle had fainted. James had made it through the first round by the skin of his teeth.

                          Sutton slumped back against the seat. He was frustrated his plans had already fallen through. Clarence, who had been watching intently was now talking to Kitiku. Kitiku was giving his usual nod or shake of the head to what was being said and occasionally saying a sentence quietly.

                          “I guess, I lose.” Sutton muttered as Lioa came out of nowhere and shunted him. “Do I need to baby you? Look at you. You are a mess. Your hair is everywhere and you have food all over your mouth! Why can’t you be tidy like Kitiku?”

                          “Maybe because I am not a complete coward. I will stand up to you.” Lioa barked as James attempted to climb over the stadium wall to join the group. Clarence leaned over the edge and pulled the struggling boy up. “So you won. Big deal. I won’t even let you brag. I’m taking you down as soon as I get a chance!”

                          James shrugged at Lioa and took a seat next to Kitiku as he watched Clarence pull Andrew into the stands. Andrew and Lioa slapped forearms before sitting down next to each other. Lioa would be battling soon. James was hopeful his friend would be knocked out of the tournament, just to prove he was better. The sandy seats were not comfortable to sit on. James quickly found himself standing up again. It wasn’t as if he needed to watch anymore battles. He had already decided which Pokémon to take as his victor’s prize.





                          Part 2


                          A few hours passed before Lioa had had to battle. He and his Gurdurr easily crushed the Tyrunt that stood before him, instantly giving him a knock out advantage. Kitiku and Clarence were both watching the match carefully. Lioa had certainly controlled the bulk of it. Tyrunt’s rock typing made it weak to Lioa’s Ruskuo. The Sudowoodo had attempted to land a rock slide on Ruskuo on several occasions without much success. The Bibarel was also weak to Lioa. In the general scheme of things, Lioa had had it much easier than James. Although, the match had lasted for a much longer period of time due to the churned up battleground from the matches prior.

                          “So, let’s see. Currently fifty eight matches have occurred. I am in match one-hundred. So dusk. Currently there are only… 116 people through and 168 left to battle, including myself. I doubt many people will still be around at dusk to watch the final first round match. Most people would be celebrating this fine Saturday night.” Clarence was thinking aloud. Kitiku nodded to his speech to himself.

                          James and Lioa were playing Direo du Biyo in the background. Which roughly translates to ‘death by rock’. Sutton had scolded them several times, but they would just simply ignore him. The scorching heat was clearly bothering Sutton. Clarence had already offered the Southern man several drinks of water.

                          “Hey mister?” James shouted. Clarence, recognising the upcoming question was for him, turned around. “When it’s your turn to battle the battlefield will be a big mess”. Clarence nodded. He had a plan to deal with the difficult battlefield. It would be cleaned up before the next day when the second round would take place. “You got a plan or something?”


                          “Something… something very special.” Clarence said calmly.







                          Part 3

                          Dusk set on the first day of the tournament. Clarence walked towards his battle box. He was calm, as always. His opponents were a young boy, and girl, who were brother and sister, and an old man who had clearly witnessed many battles in his time. Clarence had but a moment to choose who he would rather have left standing. He decided on the girl. She looked the most nervous out of his opponents. She would be his round two opponent.

                          Clarence listened to the referee, but turned to face the stands. Sutton and Kitiku were still there, James, Lioa and Andrew had left. He assumed they were up to mischief. His focus then switched back into the moment. The moment Hishrak hit the floor the battle would be over. He could only do this stunt once and now was the time. He raised the capsule in his right hand and rested it against his left shoulder. Unlike most battlers who threw an over-arm release, he threw at an obscure angle. The battle had begun.

                          Without a moment to waste he hurled his dark blue Poké Ball into the battle. The angle he threw it at forced the ball to bounce back into his hand after Hishrak had been released. It was now or never. He clenched both of his fists. Hishrak didn’t need to look back to see what his trainer was doing. His psychic mind was in sync with Clarence. Clarence pulled his left arm back sharply. All of a sudden the old man was jolted forward onto the battlefield. His Tropius was as shocked as his trainer. They were eliminated without a second thought.

                          Clarence couldn’t revel in his immediate victory over his first opponent for too long. The brother and sister had joined forces against him. Her Heatmor spewed flames and his Durant screeched a loud drilling noise. “Psycho-screech, but not too strong. I want the referee to still be conscious… try and not hit the Heatmor” Hishrak rolled his eyes as he let out an almighty psycho-screech. The psychic waves travelled in an echoing fashion with Hishrak the Alakazam as the epicentre. Clarence quickly covered his ears and closed his mind. He imagined himself switching his brain to mute.

                          Hishrak quickly moved to stand in front of Heatmor. The entire match depended on this move. Durant was resisting the attack but it simply wasn’t strong enough. The boy was screaming. Heatmor went to use will-o-wisp against Hishrak but it had no effect. The crowd could hear nothing. Hishrak had been manipulating a protective field around the crowd. In a few moments the protective field would fade. Durant would be down due to the painful screech though. The girl had fainted but she fainted (luckily for Clarence) inside her battle box.

                          Durant was down. The match belonged entirely to Clarence. No one outside of that arena had been harmed by his attack. Something he deemed a success.

                          James slumped back against the pole under the sand cloak. The bite on his leg was acting up. As much as he wanted to scream out in pain he couldn’t for several reasons; firstly, Lioa would tease him about it for weeks on end; secondly, Kitiku would probably receive the fright of his life and curl up into a corner afraid; lastly, Sutton would be no doubt concerned and start treating him as if he was a baby. Not to mention being scolded for lying about the pain.

                          He reached into his pocket to talk to Okta. Her wounds from the first round weren’t fully healed yet. Some Miltank milk would heal her, or perhaps some synthesis powder. James whispered something to her before looking up to see Lioa desperately trying to play-fight against Sutton, unsuccessfully. Clarence passed around some food he had bought at the stalls. As the group dived into their meals Lioa’s mind started to focus in on the coming match, as he held the berries on a pike in his right hand and attempted to play-punch Sutton with his left.

                          Lioa’s second round battle was the first battle of the next day. He was pretty relaxed about the whole affair. He had had a massive advantage. He had left the Bibarel to finish off in this round. Although, fastest victors had gone to James (and his opponent) and Clarence (and his opponent), Lioa’s first round time was still impressive. Clarence’s battle was fifty-eighth and James’ was twelfth. Overall the group had been pretty lucky in round two. The battlefield wouldn’t be as destroyed as it was for Clarence at the end of this day.

                          The second day of the tournament flew by quickly. Lioa had easily taken out Bibarel with a couple of Karate-Chops from his loyal Gurdurr and claimed the Sudowoodo as his prize. Clarence had claimed the Tropius. The Heatmor was no match for Hishrak’s speed or magic guard ability, which had rendered both its will-o-wisp and toxic attacks useless. A few low powered psychic attacks was all that was required. Clarence had decided from then on to conserve as much of Hishrak’s power as possible.

                          James, on the other hand, had to use all of Okta’s power to deliver the knockout blow against the Aggron. However, the churned up battlefield had made its attacks less effective and more power consuming. Once the Aggron had been defeated James had claimed it has his prize.


                          Lioa was the one surviving competitor from the group who had been dragged into the three way matches. Once again luck had favoured him. His opponents owned a Crustle and a Seviper. By throwing the fainted Crustle on top of Seviper he had easily joined the other two into the top thirty six. This was, my dear off islanders, when the inevitable happened.

                          James was looking at the match up board. He had drawn a match against Allumire Grektox. Kitiku, who had been taking notes, had warned him that Grektox was using a Raticate as his lead. Ordinarily, this would be an easy match. However, this Raticate was holding a poison barb and had the ability of guts. This made its façade attack even more dangerous than usual. Any sort of physical attack would render the attacker poisoned badly. Meanwhile, by poisoning itself, it increased its own attack using façade. His second Pokémon was a Sawsbuck. Kitiku noted it had used both horn leech and jump kick previously. Grektox’s final Pokémon was a Shedinja. Its wonder guard made it a near impossible target for James. His only hope was to aim for Grektox and hope he stepped over the white line.

                          Clarence and Lioa looked at the board. They then looked at each other. Before Lioa could say anything antagonistic, Sutton had dragged him away from the board. Clarence had noted Lioa’s choice of prizes. Bibarel and Crustle (although, Lioa would have preferred the Seviper, he felt as if Seviper wouldn’t have recovered quickly enough). Lioa was too proud to ask Kitiku, and was too anti-South to ask Sutton what Clarence had claimed. The fourth round was tonight. That would leave eighteen competitors to fight in the new day.

                          “I am surprised no one has been killed yet.” Sutton looked over at the battlefield, which had been already destroyed by the battles of the day. “It is an absolute miracle. Giratina is looking over these people here. Yet they don’t believe it ha-”

                          “Belief of Giratina is what your religion demands. To the people here however, they believe something else. They could easily say the same thing to you.” Clarence stood beside Sutton. James quickly walked over to join them.

                          “What do you believe?” Sutton asked.

                          “I believe we should do whatever we can as a people to keep each other safe and free.”

                          “I see. I wish we had met under different circumstances. I mean, rather than-”

                          “Rather than during a time of crisis?” Clarence asked and received a nod. “James, if you had met Sutton outside of war, what would you have made of him?”

                          “He is an idiot, from the South.” James scoffed. James’ tone made both of the men laugh a little. “What is so funny?” James scowled.

                          “You are supposed to say something nice.” Sutton said, continuing to laugh. “Clarence?”

                          “Yes, Incaresta?”

                          “Take care of Lioa. Don’t let him get hurt. I saw what you did to that boy and girl the other day…”

                          “Psycho-screech is a powerful move. I don’t use it often. However, I will take good care of Lioa.” Sutton nodded once before shunting James forward, telling him to go get ready for his matchup against Grektox.

                          “I have never heard of psycho-screech before. Where did your Pokémon learn it? What even is your Pokémon?”

                          “Alakazam.” Clarence answered. The single word made Sutton silent. “Alakazam aren’t what you would call a common Pokémon. It is for the best though. Imagine lots of children with these really powerful psychic creatures.”

                          “Would be chaos.” Sutton said.

                          “Would be artistic, creative and tragic.” Clarence said. “Artistic because the children could explore how they feel more easily. Creative because the children could let their deepest dreams become reality.”

                          “Why tragic?”

                          “What would come if they no longer agree? Children are amazing. They are more gifted and intelligent than are often credited for. I try to spend time with all of my children whenever I can. You can learn a lot from them. Like how James just managed to steal your keys, which were stuck to the cut from a Magnemite’s magnet inside your short’s pocket.” Sutton’s face drew panic as he searched his pockets desperately for his keys. “I’ll get them back later for you. I am sure he will give them back if you ask him.”

                          “You don’t know him.” Sutton sighed as he ran his fingers through his blonde hair.

                          “I do not. I do know, however, he does look up to you in a strange way. He dislikes you for being from the South, but he likes you for not being like most of those from the South. You will get through to his heart one day.”

                          “You rebel against the South by competing here. Yet you talk as if you only ever want peace.”

                          “Rebelling or disobeying? Who doesn’t want peace? Only a mad man craves death and destruction. Only the man from the bad side of the prophecy would want that.” Clarence said. Sutton nodded in agreement. “James’ match should be on soon. Let’s take our seats.”





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                            #17    
                          Old January 12th, 2018 (6:44 PM).
                          Bay's Avatar
                          Bay Bay is offline
                          Darkinium Z
                           
                          Join Date: May 2006
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                          Chapter Four
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                          “Lord Piscar wants this shut down. As his personal favourite soldier in the North he was sent here to resolve all resistance activities in which a person or persons from Fehahra may be participating in. Regardless of the location of the crime. Now please be quiet.” Sutton whispered in a panic. Slurring his sentences into a slurry of Colrat and Elkrat. “Why aren’t you in Fehahra?”
                          Bolded part sounds awkward, maybe "Sutton whispered in a panic, slurring his sentences into a mix of Colrat and Elkrat.

                          Like Vragon, I like Sutton's interactions with the kids here, special mention goes with him and Kitiku. Shows a softer side of Sutton and Kitiku starting to open up a bit more.His conversation with Clarence is also interesting with the whole North and South politics going on. I'm getting some Game of Thrones vibes here how you're approaching the slavery topic so far. A bit amusing how Sutton isn't good at keeping his identity a secret.

                          One comment on Part 2 is Tak's role with saving Sutton. I too wonder if you'll explore more of Tak and Sutton's relationship after that incident.

                          Chapter Five

                          Quote:
                          “Okta and I can do this. We are sandstorm proof!” James shouted. “Good luck mister.” Clarence waved at the two boys who ran towards the battle fields. He headed into the sand-cloak which stood at the average height of a Northern citizen and sturdy in the winds. Sutton, who was tired from setting up the cloak and the lack of sleep, sat down under the cloak. Its brown colour and lack of see-through material made it dark inside. He closed his eyes and lent against the wooden pole holding up the cloak. Kitiku and Lioa were sitting down in the corner of the cloak. He could hear Kitiku whisper to Lioa and Lioa would reply.
                          I would have Jame's dialogue be its own paragraph and then next paragraph whatever Clarence is doing next.

                          Quote:
                          Hishrak lifted one hand and pulsed a small psychic pulse which pushed Lioa off of Kitiku.
                          I noticed sometimes you would repeat a verb, like with the "slurring his stentences into a slurry" quote I pointed out earlier. For this one maybe, "Hishrak lifted one hand and a small psychic pulse pushed Lioa off of Kitiku.

                          Quote:
                          Andrew’s Deino was out for sure. It had little health left. He could easily knock it out when he attacked Aggron, but this wasn’t in his interest.
                          I feel "It had little health left" sounds a bit too technical. I would prefer if you describe how the Deino looks tired/fatigue, almost unable to stand up, etc.

                          That four way battle James and Andrew did reminds me a bit of SM/USUM's Battle Royale, so I wonder if you took some inspiration from that? I take it there is no rule that prevents Pokemon from harming a trainer from how the Grovyle trainer had his Pokemon almost harm James there? That concerns me if there's no safety protocols for the younger competitors.

                          Hey, so apparently you have Part 1 copy/paste onto Part 2 (saved for the last few paragraphs there)? Were there any new material in Part 2? Thought I should point that out.

                          I admit to checking to see if Psycho screech is a move, and apparently it's not. I take it that it's your made up move, or different name to oen of the known psychic moves?

                          I admit, I chuckled when Clarence told Sutton how James stole his keys there.
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                          Old January 26th, 2018 (2:34 PM). Edited February 20th, 2018 by Cavespider_17.
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                          Cavespider_17 Cavespider_17 is offline
                          Charlie
                             
                            Join Date: May 2017
                            Location: U.K or D.K depending on where you politically stand.
                            Gender: Female
                            Nature: Serious
                            Posts: 60
                            Fixes
                            Spoiler:

                            - Fixed verb re-mashing
                            - Fixed paragraphs
                            - Fixed over technicalities



                            WARNING: SLIGHTLY DARK THEME IN THIS CHAPTER AT THE END - Overreaction, resulting in near death for character(s). (PART 3), Avoid if you don't like dark themes/events.



                            Chapter 6 - The Finals

                            Part 1

                            James eyed Grektox.

                            The flag dropped and James threw Okta onto the battlefield with a tremendous throw. Okta landed with a thud, and let out a screech straight away. Grektox’s Raticate took the screech. It didn’t take James a moment to notice Grektox’s smug look. Raticate was already poisoned. The huge vermin like creature scampered across the damaged battlefield towards Okta.

                            “Okta, use dig!” James called out. She obeyed. Grektox called out something to his Raticate that stopped dead in its tracks. Okta sprung up from underneath Raticate. As she came up from under the ground she caught Raticate’s toes. Raticate struggled to stand after the attack. However, the poison barb was now in her rocky skin. She had received the poison. Raticate started fumbling around trying to stand up.
                            James seized the opportunity to land Okta’s iron tail attack but the vermin dodged it. Raticate charged towards Okta using façade once more. “Okta, use iron tail again.” James calmly said. She screeched at James, letting him know she understood and she raised her tail, with a single swipe she lifted the Raticate off the ground and sent him into a wall. To the crowd’s delight the Raticate was out for the count. Its tail curled up. “Now come back to me.”

                            Grektox threw out his Shedinja. James summoned Aggron. Aggron roared and instantly went to attack Shedinja, but was met by the almighty wonder guard. Shedinja then lashed out and landed a will-o-wisp attack on Aggron. Aggron was now burnt, so all its attacks would be much weaker. James started to panic since he had no way of dealing with Shedinja. His battle would be over if he couldn’t find a solution. The sand was starting to rise from the Aggron’s irritated stomping. It charged violently towards Shedinja. Nothing James could say could stop it.

                            Grektox simply started to laugh. James’ Okta was poisoned, and Aggron was burnt. Two status conditions that could leave him in danger of being knocked out of this competition. He had to think of something fast. He thought for a moment, and figured out that he could use Aggron’s dust to his advantage. He could conceal a rock in that. Nothing against the rules saying a trainer couldn’t battle a Pokémon indirectly. James reached down to the ground and picked up as big of a rock as he could find. Shedinja was using shadow sneak on Aggron. Although not doing very much damage in a single attack cumulatively it had done a lot.

                            James hurled the rock at Aggron, who quickly grabbed it in its mouth. It started to violently shake the rock. It was cracking under the pressure of Aggron’s jaw. All it would take is one hit on Shedinja. The rock cracked and was flung at Shedinja that was too busy preparing its next shadow sneak. The rock landed a direct blow on its stomach. Shedinja fell. Aggron was too badly hurt from its burn to continue too. Okta would have to finish this, even though she was poisoned. Sawsbuck was sent out by Grektox. High jump kick was the only way James could think of here. He would have to force Sawsbuck to miss, or risk being eliminated.

                            Clarence sat watching from the stands. Hishrak had shown him what was about to happen and it wasn’t going to be good. Sawsbuck would charge the young boy. James would call Okta to attack the grass type. Sawsbuck would then go for a high jump kick, miss and break the boy’s neck. Hishrak then played the most likely scenario even if the stunners did get involved and the same result would occur James would be considered an adult (by Northern law) since he was over twelve. Therefore the stunners wouldn’t do anything to stop him from being killed by the Sawsbuck’s attack, even if they could. Their poor training would likely make matters worse than better. Hishrak stood in stands by Clarence. He was reading his trainer’s mind. He coated the stand in an invisible protective field, since Clarence never gave the order directly, no one would ever know who did it (if it was discovered to have occurred at all). James had a 50% chance of winning this way as the attack would probably force both trainers to have a reaction at the same time, and a 0% chance of dying.

                            Hishrak let out an almighty psycho-screech. The crowd could hear nothing but inside the battlefield both trainers clutched their ears desperately. The noise was unbearable. It felt as if their ears were being ripped from their heads. Sawsbuck started kicking around in panic. Okta screeched in agony. James quickly shouted for her to go underground, but she couldn’t hear him. The screaming inside her head was too loud. Grektox cursed as he fainted. Sawsbuck quickly followed.

                            Immediately, James recalled Okta to avoid her fainting. He felt dizzy and sick. It didn’t take him a moment to spit up a little blood. Had the dreadful noise done something to him? Or was it the bite on his leg?

                            James sat inside the sand cloak with Sutton, who had insisted on coming. Clarence and Lioa were battling and he was missing it. He rested his head against the pole. Since the battle he had spat up a little more blood. He was convinced it was the noise that had done it, but he couldn’t be sure.

                            “Are you okay? I saw you spit up blood earlier.” Sutton said, as he handed over a flask of water to the boy.

                            “The noise made me sick. It was so piercing and it wouldn’t leave my head.” James answered.

                            “You find crowd cheers piercing? We need to get you seen to by a doctor when we get back then.” The soldier quickly replied.

                            “Didn’t you hear it? There was a noise. It was high pitched. It made the Sawsbuck go crazy.”

                            “No, the Sawsbuck went crazy because its trainer was incapable of controlling it. I have decided. Doctor once we get back. Then you fix the mess you made and explain to the Captain everything.”

                            “Mister Sutton?”

                            “Yes?”

                            “Ever wondered what is out there? I mean outside of the sea.” James asked, trying to change the topic.

                            “That is treason.” Sutton’s face turned sour.

                            “Sorry. I just want to know... I just want things to be back to how they were, Lord Madison wouldn’t have cared if we talked about the possibility of…”

                            “James that is one thing about life that is guaranteed. Nothing is ever the same again.” James, tiredly rested against Sutton. “You rest. You will need it. The rest of your battles should be a walk through. Except if you draw Clarence. You have a type advantage against everyone else for the majority of the time.” James was in a deep sleep before Incaresta could finish talking.





                            Part 2


                            The final was mere minutes away. Clarence had eliminated Lioa, and had easily claimed fastest victory for a second time. James had slogged his way through. Okta was exhausted. His team now consisted of: Onix, Sawsbuck, Aggron, Tyrunt, Fearow and Phantump. Whereas Clarence’s team now consisted of: Alakazam, Tropius, Gurdurr and Tyranitar. In terms of number of team members available James had the advantage. However, according to the betting station’s statistics, James’ team measured up against Clarence’s team as a ‘-1’, compared to Clarence measuring up as a massive ‘7’. James was heavily disadvantaged by type and move match-ups.

                            The two stood opposite each other in the arena. Time for battling was upon them. With this battle, the festival would be over, and one of them would be dubbed a courageous member of Northern society.

                            The flag came down. Clarence smiled at James before sending Tyranitar onto the field. James threw Fearow onto the field. Fearow immediately shot up into the air. Tyranitar watched it carefully as it swooped around.
                            “Use drill run!” James called out. Fearow’s beak started to fill with power. It swooped down and started to furiously peck at the ground. Its brown feathers started to become sandy. The ground in which Tyranitar stood started to become unstable. Its foot slipped and it crashed to create ripples in the ground. Fearow shot up once more into the air. As it came in for a second attack Clarence stepped forward within his battle box.

                            “Stone edge.” He said calmly. Tyranitar pulled itself upright and then spiked up its back and punched the ground with tremendous force. Spiky rocks were torn up from the ground and shot up. Fearow was too close and it became trapped in the avalanche of rocks. Its left wing had been broken as the rocks crushed together as a result of the attack and it let out a scream before fainting. James recalled Fearow.
                            “Good job, Fearow. I can work with that.” James said to Fearow’s ball. “Sawsbuck, it is on you!” James sent out the Sawsbuck, whose summer-like pattern was now in full bloom. Upon seeing the Sawsbuck appear on the battlefield Clarence withdrew Tyranitar, and sent out Tropius. Sawsbuck readied itself for an attack. James was ready to deliver. “Sawsbuck, use high jump kick”.

                            Sawsbuck charged towards the Tropius that still sat on the ground. Tropius, like Clarence, was patient. It waited for Sawsbuck to buck with its back legs. At the exact moment the Sawsbuck went to land its high jump kick, Tropius flew up into the air into a hover, much to the crowd’s amusement. Sawsbuck’s fully extended legs failed to hit the target. It landed on its front two legs before crashing back to the ground. It was hurt. “Don’t give up Sawsbuck, use double edge!” Sawsbuck, angrily got up and charged towards Tropius once more.
                            Tropius was unprepared for this attack. Sawsbuck’s horns landed a solid hit on its unready opponent. However, in delivering such a devastating blow to the bulky grass type, its neck made a crack, as its spine became chipped in places. Sawsbuck had taken recoil damage, and a lot of it. Sawsbuck, now struggling to stand was unable to dodge Tropius.

                            “Air slash!” Clarence called out. Tropius mustered up enough air fast enough to create a small but powerful air slash. It swept the Sawsbuck off its feet so it thudded into the ground. Sawsbuck fainted. Clarence smiled as James withdrew the Sawsbuck.
                            “Never mind Sawsbuck. Aggron, it’s on you!” James shouted. Aggron hit the ground with a thud and a scream. Its white metallic coating was dirty and sandy from its earlier battles.

                            “Tropius, use earthquake.” Clarence said, before James could even prepare Aggron. The circular, torn up battlefield cracked. The field was now vastly unstable. The dust from the attack flew up into the air. As Aggron desperately tried to run from the earthquake attack it backed itself into a corner and fell into a newly founded hole in the field caused by Tropius’ attack. “Tropius, use air slash!”
                            “Wait, Aggron use stone edge when it gets close enough!”

                            “That won’t work! Tropius, use fly instead!” Tropius quickly climbed up in the air. “Try figuring out where I am coming from.” James paused. Clarence was right. Tropius, who now sat in the low clouds, was invisible to him. However, he didn’t have to look at the clouds. The wind was blowing strongest from the east. Therefore, to gain as much momentum as possible Tropius would come from the east. “Now Tropius!” Sure enough, Tropius came swooping down from the clouds towards the Aggron. James was prepared though and as soon as Tropius appeared, and without hesitation he shouted at Aggron.

                            “Aggron, from the east, use stone edge.” Aggron immediately picked up a piece of the cracked ground and hurled it at Tropius. It was a direct hit. Tropius was hit in the head by the flying chunk of earth. It plummeted into the ground unconscious. “Or use rock throw… I am happy either way.” Aggron started to climb out of the hole. It roared with glee. Its happy stomping created a dust cloud.
                            “Gurdurr, you are up. Thank you Tropius for your assistance today.” Clarence released Lioa’s Gurdurr from its ball onto the field. Gurdurr punched the ground when it landed. The damaged battlefield cracked even more.

                            “Aggron, use metal claw!” Aggron charged towards Ruskuo. With great power in its fists it swung and dealt a powerful metal claw attack on the Gurdurr. This was too easy.

                            “Gurdurr, now use hammer arm!” Clarence had sacrificed some of the Gurdurr’s stamina, to entice the powerful Aggron in closer to make it an easier target. It was a critical hit, the Aggron’s jaw had been broken, and the Aggron fell down into a pit on the battlefield unconscious. Ruskuo’s speed decreased as he had left himself open. Ruskuo, Tyranitar and Hishrak were still available for Clarence, whereas, James had Phantump, Tyrunt and Okta.

                            “Thank you, Aggron. Phantump, let’s do this.” James sent Phantump out. However, he threw the ghost-tree a little too far out onto the battlefield which played directly into Clarence’s hands.

                            “Poison Jab!” Gurdurr punched Phantump extremely hard in the gut. Phantump looked sick as it flew backwards from the attack. “Phantump is poisoned badly, James.” Clarence warned, making James grit his teeth.

                            “I know, I know. Phantump, use wood hammer!” Ruskuo, smug about its successful poisoning was too busy jeering up the crowd to notice the little ghost sneak up behind it. It thumped the fighting type with its wood hammer attack. Ruskuo fainted from the hit. Phantump took a considerable amount of damage back in recoil, and was then violently sick from the poison. The ghost type started to phase in and out of reality to please the crowd, who were cheering more so than before.

                            “Crunch.” Clarence said. James was confused. Clarence didn’t have a Pokémon on the field. Did he? Much to James’ surprise the Tyranitar was on the field. It had snuck underground and was hiding. It had probably been hidden for some time. There is nothing in the rules of the festival against it, as long as it didn’t attack anyone it was a perfectly legal move. However, it was rarely done, as it could easily be frowned upon. Phantump screeched out in pain as the giant beast crunched down on it. Its wooden body cracked in places under the pressure of the rock-dark type’s jaw. Phantump fainted.

                            “Phantump, you did great. Tyrunt, it is on you! Tyrunt use brick break!” James shouted as soon as the little dragon came onto the field to replace the Phantump. It started to scamper towards the waiting Tyranitar who was prepared for the attack without needing to take an order from Clarence, it thumped the ground. The thump caused an earthquake. The ground cracked around Tyranitar as an epicentre.
                            Tyrunt was quick on its little feet. It started to run and jump away from the earthquake and the dust that followed. James decided to abuse the situation and concoct a backup plan. Meanwhile the Tyrunt had almost escaped from the earthquake loop when it ran directly into the Tyranitar. Tyranitar thumped the ground once more. There was no way it could miss this time.

                            The little dragon barely hung on through the attack. It swung its tail using brick break, in a desperate attempt to damage the giant. The attack landed and the Tyrantiar, who took the attack, chomped down on the Tyrunt’s tail. The attack by the Tyrunt had made the giant bleed. The monster clearly had wished to return the favour. The little dragon’s tail had been broken. The teeth marks were pouring out blood. The Tyrunt fainted from pain. James now appeared to be in trouble, however, it was time for his backup plan. He withdrew Tyrunt.

                            “Okta, it’s all on you!” James shouted. “Use iron tail!” The yellow Onix came up from underground, like Tyranitar had done not ten minutes ago. “Thanks for the idea!” James called out to Clarence. Who smiled at how the boy had used his own tactic against him.

                            “Crunch! Try and take it out!” Tyranitar desperately tried to crunch down on the Onix’s body but was slammed with an iron tail across the jaw before it was unable to land the hit. The super effective attack sent the Tyranitar backwards hard, so it hit the wall with a thud. The crowd jumped up scared. Tyranitar let out an angry roar before fainting. Clarence returned Tyranitar to its ball. “Thank you my friend. You did well. Rest up now. Hishrak, finish this.”

                            “Use iron tail once more!” James shouted.

                            “Psychic.” Clarence said. James watched as Okta received the powerful psychic attack and crumbled to the ground in pain, James felt the psychic energy push him backwards too. The thought crossed the boy’s mind, ‘if this Pokémon was strong enough to one shot Okta, why didn’t he lead with it?’ The flag was dropped to signify the end of the match. James felt sick inside. He had almost won it. His dreams crushed by someone really powerful. Clarence returned Hishrak to its ball and walked over to James. He extended his arm up. “You will go far one day. Don’t give up.”

                            “I won’t.” James returned the raised arm, disappointed. “Will she be okay?”

                            “Of course. Hishrak’s power is very old, but he can control it. He didn’t harm her severely.” Clarence said to James as he stood tall as he received his trophy on the destroyed battlefield. He waved to the crowd. “This is where we part ways. I wish you luck, James, in your future endeavours.” James nodded. “Incaresta and I have unfinished business. I suggest you head home alone. I am sure you will be fine. Stick to main streets from now on.” James puffed a sigh of relief before nodding once more. James walked away from the centre of the arena, where Clarence was standing.

                            James wandered down to the healing point, where a healer and his Gardevoir were tending to all the Pokémon that had been wounded throughout the competition. Here the Pokémon were well rested. Although, he wasn’t allowed to come down to the point beforehand, as all healing had to occur overnight as part of the rules. The healer had Gardevoir use heal pulse on the Pokemon individually, before wrapping up their wounds. Heal pulse was amazing, but it was also painful. It felt as if your skin is being burned away, once done however, the new skin and energised bone healers in the body get to work. Tyrunt’s tail had been wrapped up in a bandage, as it tried to wander around with difficulty. Okta had been given a cool drink, and nothing more. She got out of the battle rather lightly. Once she had done drinking, James took her back as he watched the other owners of the Pokémon he had borrowed come to collect them.







                            Part 3

                            James, Kitiku, Andrew and Lioa began their long trek home. It had been a rather disappointing, but successful day. James had lost the final, and Lioa had fallen to the champion of the tournament. Thanks to several of the people at the festival they had been given a lift to Akrat. There was no sandstorm due that night. Unfortunately due to the curfew they would have to sneak through the shady town.

                            Judging by some of the conversations on the Sawsbuck coach, the train service from Akrat to Fehahra was still running. Although, it wasn’t a viable option. The boys had no money. Also, James had noted that General Greiss from the South was supposedly heading to Fehahra to assist the new Captain in his work, if he happened to be on the train the punishment of being caught after curfew would be severe.
                            James found it rather amusing that a General would be working for a Captain. However, when Lord Piscar chooses someone himself, that person is clearly not to be messed with. The thought did dawn on him that the new Captain would probably recognise him, if it was indeed true that the Captain was at the festival.

                            The boys ran in between the shadows once they were off the Sawsbuck coach. They shifted along a nearby wall, and James reached for the drainpipe of one of the houses in Akrat. He scrambled up and sat on the roof. Lioa followed him up, pushing the others out of the way. James could hear voices in the distance. He could see a Litwick light glowing. It was getting closer. Andrew, Lioa and James tucked down behind the roof to watch, as Kitiku struggled to pull himself up.

                            A tall man with a broad face stood directly below the roof. He was muscular and his Machoke stood close by. His arms were crossed. James couldn’t see the tie knot he had. In Coltar, my dear off islanders, a person’s rank is observed by the knot on their tie.

                            “James. We cannot get caught. You didn’t replace our files. Remember!” Lioa hissed.

                            “Yeah, yeah, I am working on it.” James snapped back.

                            “No need to work on it! I have an idea to get us out of this.” Lioa crawled over Andrew. Kitiku was panting nervously at the end of the line.

                            “James what are we going to do?” James shrugged to Kitiku’s question.

                            “Lioa says he has a plan. I hope it is worth the wait…” James said impatiently.

                            “It is. See that roof over there?” Lioa pointed into the distance. The sandy roof was hard to see, but the other boys nodded. “We need to get there. Once we get there we can get home. We need to distract this guy though.”

                            “How?” James asked curiously. “I can battle him if needed.”

                            “No need. I have a better idea.” Lioa said, as he looked at Kitiku.

                            “What? I really miss my mother. I just want to get home now. I will do whatever you need. Just get me home. I am worried the South will find out what I’ve done and lock me up and throw away the key. I don’t think I can handle that.” Kitiku said, nervously.

                            “Whatever I need?” Lioa asked.

                            “Within reason.” Kitiku answered.

                            “Sure.” Lioa said. “Can you see that tower in the distance?” Lioa pointed forwards. The tall boy shook his head. “You might need to stretch up a little more, it is really hard to see.” As Kitiku strained to see the tower Lioa was talking about, Lioa took his chance. He shunted Kitiku forward. Kitiku plummeted off the roof and onto the Machoke. “Now is our chance. Kitiku can take a hit, we can’t get caught again, let’s go.”
                            The Machoke didn’t take kindly to being landed on and used vital throw against the boy. Kitiku was thrown across the ground leaving his skin broken into a deep cut and his left Tibia and Fibula were shattered. The man angrily started shouting at the boy who was screaming in pain.

                            “Lioa, what have you done?” James punched Lioa in the face.

                            “Saving our lives. You couldn’t have done better.” Lioa snapped, as his nose started to bleed.

                            “Hey mister!” James called down.

                            “What are you doing?” Lioa hissed.

                            “Saving my friend. What are you doing?” James answered. “Hey mister, up here.” The man scowled at James and beckoned him down angrily. James noted the man’s tie. This was General Greiss. It had to be. “Sure thing mister.” James slid down the drainpipe. Lioa rolling his eyes followed. Andrew puffed the hair out of his face and brought up the rear.

                            “Pick him up, Northern scum.” Greiss barked. His black hair was medium length. He was tall and well built. James didn’t really fancy trying to outrun him at the current time. Particularly as Kitiku needed him. James pulled his friend to his feet. He realised Kitiku couldn’t stand, let alone walk. “We are going to take a walk to there, Greiss pointed to Akrat’s cemetery, which had fallen into disrepair. “Move!”

                            James aided Kitiku step by step to where Greiss wanted them to go. Lioa and Andrew followed. Once they reached the gate Greiss kicked Lioa in the shin and barked at the boys. “Start digging. I will make use of you before you die for attacking me.”

                            “What? No. It was an accident. We didn’t attack you!” James shouted.

                            “Be silent. You will die, and will make this as easy as possible for me. Now start digging!” Kitiku started shaking more than he was already. Both Andrew and he started to sob. “I said be silent.” The man’s Machoke went to punch Kitiku and Andrew in the stomach. “Assassins must die…” He muttered to himself, as he had worked himself up into a paranoid frenzy.

                            “Okay, we will dig, just don’t hurt them.” Greiss smirked at James’ desperate bargaining plea. James started to dig through the sandy ground. He had to get them out of this, but it didn’t look like there was an easy escape route. The younger boys were really struggling to cope with what had just happened.

                            James had dug nearly three feet down. Lioa had dug slightly further. Greiss had pushed the two younger boys into the pits. He was watching their every move. James was desperate for some slavers to turn up and try pick a fight on the General, just so he and his friends could escape. Or at least try. Okta was too tired still to fight, the situation looked hopeless. There was no way Andrew’s Deino would have been able to win here, it was too weak, and as for Kitiku’s Klink… it had ever battled before. If he and Okta could have just worked up enough strength….

                            Suddenly the man’s attention was caught by something. James couldn’t hear the other side of the conversation, but he could hear what Greiss was saying. “Why do you talk in this filthy language? Either way, these criminals… no… assassins need to die. What was that? Was that a threat?” The General waved his arms angrily and started pacing, “I see how things are. I will crush you. Machoke break his neck, this man questions Lord Piscar’s desires.” Machoke suddenly started charging in the direction of the second voice.

                            Before James’ eyes Machoke had been flung backwards into the pit where he and Kitiku were. Kitiku had jumped out of his skin and was crying even louder. The General started to stutter. “Wh-what is this trickery? Who are you? I-I… I will crush you! Miltank show him who is…” Before he could finish he had been flung against a gravestone. He hit it hard enough to become unconscious. A man in midnight blue stood above them.

                            The man extended a hand down to Andrew and pulled him up, before offering Lioa the same. Lioa took the hand with a grudge and was pulled out. The man then came over to James and jumped into the three foot deep hole. His hat covered most of his face but James noticed his tie. It was a trinity knot. Three overlaps at the top. This man was an officer in the Southern army. He picked Kitiku up and started trying to carry him. He realised the boy was in pain and wouldn’t calm down.

                            The officer shouted for his colleague as he placed Kitiku on the ground outside of the pit. He went to pick James up and lift him onto the edge. James shook his head and pulled himself up. The man followed. His colleague was nearly at the gate.

                            “Are you boys okay? That looks nasty, you will be seen to by a doctor as soon as we get to Fehahra. Was anyone else hurt?” The man said, removing his hat and wiping the sweat from his forehead.

                            “No. Not you. How?” James was lost for words. Clarence stood in front of him. He was the Southern Captain who had been chosen by Lord Piscar. “Traitor! Liar! You are the enemy! You are going to kill us. You won’t take Kitiku to a doctor, you won’t take us home. It was all an act. You are the enemy!” James burst out shouting in a panic.

                            “Breathe James. It is okay. Let’s get all of you back to Fehahra in as good as condition as possible. It has been a long day for us all. Let’s co-operate with each other.”

                            “No. I am not working with the South. Leave me alone!” James went to escape but fell with a thud back into one of the pits. Sutton then lifted him up.

                            “James let’s get the train back to Fehahra. Okay? We will be back in Fehahra in around 3 to 4 hours, depending on the weather, and service. Kitiku can definitely not walk. Let’s get him seen by a doctor in Fehahra, since Akrat lacks safety.” Clarence said calmly.
                            “Fine. Then what? You are going to kill us, just like that General. You are all the same inside, even Sutton!” James snapped. Something he instantly regretted. Kitiku’s crying got worse. “What do you want me to do? Just leave him alone! Just take him to a doctor and don’t hurt him…”

                            “James, I want you to calm down. Nothing is going to happen to you. Let’s just get back to Fehahra.” James stared back, angrily.
                            “Kitiku, breathe.” Clarence said, as the boy squeezed Sutton harder. He was inconsolable, the thoughts of almost being killed and being in extreme pain danced in his mind. “Kitiku, come on. Nothing is going to happen. You are safe.” Clarence gently eased Kitiku from Sutton and let the boy rest against him. “Let’s get you all on the train. Incaresta, can you take Lioa and Andrew. I will take James and Kitiku.”

                            “Would you like them handcuffed, sir?” Incaresta asked in a more rigid manner than before.

                            “No. Also please, relax. As I have already said to you, I am no one to be so worried about.” He reached into his pocket and let Barook, his Braviary out of its ball. Carefully he picked Kitiku up and placed him on Barook’s back. “Hold on tight, Kitiku. Kitiku, breathe.” No matter what he could say, the child wasn’t going to relax. He was beyond terrified.

                            “Train station, sir?” Incaresta asked.

                            “Train station, my friend”. The Captain replied.





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                              #19    
                            Old January 30th, 2018 (5:59 PM).
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                            Bay Bay is offline
                            Darkinium Z
                             
                            Join Date: May 2006
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                            Quote:
                            The sand was starting to rise from the Aggron’s irritated stomping. Aggron was infuriated. It was out of control. It charged violently towards Shedinja.
                            While not grammatically wrong, when read aloud it does sound repetitive. "Aggron's irritated stomping" "Aggron was infuriated" and "It was out of control" pretty much says the same thing that Aggron is not happy here. I think a better way to get the action flow more would be, "The sand was starting to rise from the Aggron's irritated stomping, and the steel type charged violently towards Shedinja."

                            I get South and North have different laws/culture, but geez the possibility of James getting killed. No wonder Hishrak did psycho screech there. On Clarance and James's battle I expected Clarance having the advantage despite James making a couple clever calls. I can understand his disappointment.

                            I admit to having the same reaction as James when Lioa threw Kitiku and caused him to get hurt. And welp, that plan would've backfired if Sutton and Clarance hadn't come to check up on the boys.
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                              #20    
                            Old March 26th, 2018 (2:17 PM).
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                            Cavespider_17 Cavespider_17 is offline
                            Charlie
                               
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                              Chapter 7 - The Captain

                              Part 1

                              Clarence held Kitiku tightly as he took his seat on the train. The cabin was small but it was big enough for all six of them to sit in. The glass window reflected a soft reflection. A Litwick floated quietly around the cabin. The doors were wooden and opened outwards. The handles were once a nice shiny metal, but now had been faded with use. The cabin interior was wooden. There was a small slide out table tucked into the wall.
                              “James, sit by the window please. Lioa, I want you next to me. Andrew, please sit next to Incaresta.” Clarence spoke softly, in a desperate attempt to try and relax Kitiku. Kitiku’s panic was as bad as when the incident first occurred. He hadn’t stopped crying due to the pain and his shattered lower left leg had turned a swollen purple.
                              “Sir, may I suggest we find out what happened to Kitiku?” Sutton stuttered.
                              “Of course. Also, please don’t call me sir. Relax, Incaresta.” Clarence replied. “Kitiku, are you going to calm down enough for us to find out what happened?” The boy was shaking. “It is okay. No one will hurt you. Please, calm down.” He brushed Kitiku’s hair from his face. “Incaresta, can you fetch me some water please?”

                              “I still have some in my flask, Captain.” Sutton replied, in a still somewhat rigid manner.
                              “May I?” The soldier nodded and handed over his flask. “Kitiku, I want you to drink something. I know you hated us forcing you to drink Miltank milk, but we had to stop the bleeding.” The officer offered the boy the flask but was met panic.
                              “He won’t calm down. He is scared. Wouldn’t you be scared? You are a Southern jerk.” Lioa blurted out. “If you are going to kill us, just do it. Stop playing games with us. Sutton told us what you would do to us.”
                              “Lioa, as I have already said, I have no intention of killing anyone. I want to get you all back to Fehahra safely. I want to get someone to the medical bay as soon as we get there.”
                              “Oh, I forgot. James has been throwing up blood. I suggest he gets checked out too.” Sutton said. “Captain.” He quickly added at the end.
                              “James, is this true?” The officer asked in a concerned voice.
                              “Does it matter? I am fine. I just felt a little sick after hearing that noise.” James snapped.
                              “It isn’t usual for people to withstand a psycho-screech without training. That is why you are spitting up blood. Your body is reacting to the noise still. It should have stopped by now.” James nodded. It wasn’t true. He had thrown up not that long ago. In the corner of his eye, Clarence saw Andrew swallow. The boy was thirsty. This was his chance. “Andrew, would you like a drink?”
                              Andrew nodded as he rubbed his eyes. He reached over and took the flask from Clarence. He took a swig and yawned before handing it back.
                              “Mister Sutton, can I rest on your shoulder please?” Andrew whispered. His question was met by an arm being wrapped around him. He lent against the soldier’s shoulder.
                              “See, Kitiku. The water is safe, Andrew is fine and he has just drunk some. Would you like a drink? I need you to drink something.” The crying child took the flask and took a few swigs of water before burying his head into the man’s midnight blue jacket. “Good. Now you have had a drink do you feel better?” His question was met with more tears and shaking.
                              “What are you going to do with us?” James asked as he pressed his head against the window.
                              “Once we get back to Fehahra, I will ensure you get home safely. I have read your files. I have read everyone in Fehahra’s files. Your introduction a few days ago was unnecessary. I am surprised you didn’t discover my identity when I failed to report Grektox. I believe it was my only mistake.”
                              “Kitiku noticed something else. Something you said which sounded wrong. Something about hearts. I can’t remember what exactly.” James said. “I feel like a fool. You lied to us.”
                              “Did I? I don’t remember lying. I was born in Kiro. I just moved further into Southern territory as I got older.” Clarence looked away from James for a moment. Both Andrew and Kitiku had drifted off into a deep sleep thanks to an Ivysaur’s sleep powder that he had slipped into the water. “The flask is empty now. If you boys want a drink just ask and one of us will get you one. I would appreciate you boys getting some sleep though. We will arrive back in Fehahra it seems at 3 am.”
                              “Keys!” Sutton blurted out. “Lioa, give me my keys.”
                              “No. I don’t have them. Why should I give them back if I did have them? You and the South are bad people. Lord Madison will beat you and then we will be free!” Lioa shouted. Clarence met his eyes with a cold, hard stare. “Sorry. Don’t be mad, please?”
                              “Lioa, the differences between our Lords does not make half the population ‘bad people’.” Clarence said, calmly.
                              “I’m just really tired and scared… please don’t hurt us.” Lioa faked a squeaky voice.
                              “Fake tears do not work on me. I have been a father long enough to be able to detect when someone tries it. I suggest if you are ‘really tired’ you get some rest. I am sure Incaresta will let you rest on his other shoulder if you wish to be near your brother. That will allow James to sleep on my right shoulder so he can be near his brother.” Lioa nodded and got up and sat next to Sutton. James, who now felt slightly crowded, got up.
                              “I am not tired. I am not going to sleep on your shoulder. Not now, not ever.”
                              “You already have once. What makes things different this time?”
                              “I…” James started, but then left the cabin angrily. Sutton tried to move to go after him, but realised if he got up Andrew would be woken up.
                              “He will be back. He hasn’t got any papers. If a Lord catches him he will be in trouble.” Clarence closed his eyes, as he gently sighed.





                              Part 2


                              Date: 19th June 1989
                              The time was now just gone midnight. James came back from his stroll. He looked calmer. “James, do you feel better?” Clarence asked. James sighed.
                              “I still don’t feel tired.” He lied.
                              “That is absolutely fine. While you were gone I had some water and snacks brought here. Are you hungry or thirsty?” Clarence smiled.
                              “Not really. I just… I just don’t want to die. There is just so much I want to do still.” James looked somewhat concerned and stressed thinking about it.
                              “James, there is plenty of time for you to still do those things. You won’t die. What is this obsession with me killing you? Do I look like the kind of person who would murder four children?”
                              “We aren’t children we are adults. Northern law says so.” James snapped.
                              “Southern law says you need to be twenty-five to be classed as an adult. As you are currently in expanded Southern territory you obey Southern law.” James puffed angrily at Clarence’s statement. “You need rest. I have an idea.” Clarence reached into his pocket and pulled out two tablets. He then handed James a glass of water. “You don’t have to take these. If you do they will help you sleep. I expect you to know what is best for you.”
                              “You aren’t going to drug my water, like you did to Andrew and Kitiku?” James asked.
                              “You noticed my sleight of hand? Kitiku needed it, he was having a major panic attack and was inconsolable. The poor boy would have made himself sick if he kept stressing and the sleep powder was harmless, to be honest the rest has done him some good.” He looked at Kitiku, who was breathing softer and calmer than when he slept at the tournament. James watched, as his friend was smiling in his sleep, completely stress free. “Can you tell me what happened to Kitiku?” Clarence asked as he handed over the tablets. James looked at them intently.
                              “Kitiku fell off a roof. He landed on a Machoke. Machoke used vital throw and the rest you know.” James said. It was near enough the truth.
                              “I see. Fell or was pushed? Kitiku didn’t try to stop himself from falling. If he really did fall I would have expected him to swivel around and try and stop himself.” Clarence pressed for the true answer. James had almost hushed his answer up.
                              “It wasn’t me. It was…” James looked down, and crossed his arms “I am not telling you anything.”
                              “Well, I can assume from that he was pushed.” James sat down next to Clarence.
                              “What do I do with these?” James asked.
                              “Swallow them. It is only Ivysaur’s sleep powder. It isn’t anything dangerous, it’s just a sedative, it’s a little less than what I gave to Kitiku and Andrew. I allowed them both to have a stronger dose.”
                              “Okay…” James replied, nervously.
                              “You don’t have to take them if you don’t want to. I trust you to make your own choice.” James closed his eyes and put the tablets in his mouth. He tried to swallow them without water. Upon realising they weren’t going down his throat he quickly grabbed a glass and poured some water in, before drinking. “Good. I suggest you get comfortable. I will wake you up in a few hours.” James nodded as he curled himself up and closed his eyes and tried to get comfortable.
                              “I threw up again.” James whispered, slightly afraid.
                              “It is okay. We will get that checked when we get back to Fehahra.” James desperately tried to block out the pain from his bite and the shock he had received from spitting up blood in the corridor. “Incaresta, what can you tell me about these boys from personal experience?”

                              “Sir?”

                              “What do you make of them? Any quirks worth noting?”

                              “I don’t understand, sir. Why are we talking in Colrat?” Sutton queried.

                              “We are guests in their region. We may now own these areas of the North, but we are still guests. By speaking their language we can connect with them more. Also, it is a good way to practice speaking their language, by talking to each other.” Clarence answered. He carefully watched James, who hadn’t quite drifted off yet.

                              “Yes, sir. Well, Andrew is the youngest and he follows his brother like a Mareep on fire. Kitiku is very shy as you have detected. Him and Hamés ar-”

                              “James and he,” Clarence corrected.

                              “Oh, sorry, sir. Hamés and he are brothers. They don’t look it though, to anyone who didn’t read the files it would be impossible to note.” Clarence laughed a little.

                              “Yes. Your accent is very strong still by the way, we will work on that. The more we practice the better we get.” Clarence smiled. “I have a point of curiosity about those two, which I need to investigate further. Do they have the same mother or?”

                              “Tak Bryson would never have an affair. It isn’t part of his… how do you say it in this language, sir?”

                              “Personality?”

                              “Yes, sir. I owe him my life.”

                              “Please, don’t call me sir. It makes me feel like I am this terrifying monster.” Clarence scolded, before pressing, “How so? Also how is that relevant to his personality?”

                              “Slavers in Akrat.” Sutton said, “Captain.” He added. “He saved me from them. I don’t know how. That ungrateful Octillery though… Tak is more of the hero who people don’t see or think of. He also lost his eldest son at Marsten Hall and mourns regularly. His bravery is commendable, but I don’t think he would be brave enough to anger Giratina, by having an affair while married.”

                              “I see. What about Lioa?”

                              “Ah, Lioa and Andrew lost their father in the early days of the war from memory. Lioa hates us for it. I just don’t understand, sir, Lioa blames us for something that was just a case of Giratina’s balance in this world.”

                              “You forget, these people do not believe the same religious texts as us. They believe in several different ones.” Clarence stopped and he slowly started to move his hand up and down on James’ arm in a gentle fashion to aid the boy in falling asleep. “Lioa is angry because we, for a better word, destroyed, part of who he is. What about James?”

                              “He causes trouble on a regular basis. He and Lio-, sorry,” Sutton paused to correct his grammar, “Lioa and he are constantly up to no good, for example, James destroyed some houses with that defective Onix of his and Lioa destroyed an entire shop with that Gurdurr. What are you going to do with these children, Captain?” Sutton looked at Clarence, as he asked his question

                              “We are going to help them grow. I don’t believe in hitting or brutal punishments. They should only be used when there is no alternative. There is almost always an alternative.”

                              “I…” Sutton started “Sir?”

                              “Incaresta, these children will be fine. Kitiku just needs to see a doctor about that leg. James needs to be checked. They all need to go home.” Clarence ended the conversation. Sutton watched as the boys slept.





                              Part 3

                              James awoke laying on a doctor’s table. A hand was pressed against his chest to stop him from getting up, making him immediately start to stress. He started trying to kick, but his legs had been pinned down too. James reached for his pocket, but couldn’t find Okta’s ball in there, in response he quickly started looking around the room. Her ball had been placed on the desk two metres away. James started to fidget as much as he could. The doctor who had pinned him down started to scold him, but James didn’t care. He didn’t want to be tied down while examined. He didn’t even want to be examined. Slowly, and quietly Clarence came up behind him and held his head gently in place, mouthing the words ‘it will be okay, don’t worry, take deep breaths’. It was clear to Clarence he was stressed. The doctor then grabbed a rubbery strip of something from the table on his left.
                              “Open your mouth.” He ordered. James tried to shake his head, but couldn’t. “It won’t hurt,” the boy puffed, and did as he was told. “Swallow it,” The green rubber strip didn’t look appealing, and James let out a small whimper, to try and get Clarence to stop his examination, but the man didn’t seem to want to budge. Upon realising he wasn’t going to get his way James started to shout and try to kick once more. The doctor took the opportunity to shove the strip into his mouth, which the boy didn’t take kindly too. Clarence, who was helping hold James still, let go, and the boy spat out the strip.
                              The doctor picked up the spat out strip, with his gloves, and poured some sort of black gunky liquid over it. After receiving a negative result for what he was testing for, he came back with a Durant blood thermometer. He quickly pricked James with a needle and dripped the blood he had just drawn into the thermometer. James jumped up horrified and in a panic at his blood being taken, but relaxed a little the moment it dripped inside the tube. Typically, Durant blood is warmer than human blood, and the two don’t mix. If the boy had a fever the blood in his body would be hotter for a few minutes. Therefore it would sit on top of the Durant blood, elsewise it would sink. Clarence gave James some neutralised Muk venom to put over the small cut, but he refused. He watched as his blood started to sink.
                              The doctor had found nothing wrong. The next step was to get a Luxray and a psychic type to peer at James brain to see if there were any patterns or damage. The Luxray would look into his mind, and the psychic type would relay the image. The idea of having someone look at his brain wasn’t something he really wasn’t too fond of. James sat up and was quickly bored of staying still. He needed to swap the papers in the new Captain’s office. Since the medical bay and Southern occupation office were in the same building he wasn’t too far from his goal. The new Captain, however, was currently watching him like a Fearow hunting a Rattata. Waiting for him to bolt for the door, and then trap him and tear him apart. If Sutton had been right.
                              A Luxray and Hypno entered the room. The doctor pulled out a white, soft stool which the Luxray then jumped up on. The stool stood out in the grey room. Before James could even complain about being scanned by the snarling electric beast and the creepy psychic creature the doctor had noted something down.
                              “The boy is fine. His brain is a little shocked still, but nothing more. He seems to be compressing a lot of irritation as he seems incredibly fidgety. I can give him something for that if you want, I can get my needle out and...” Clarence quickly raised a hand. “In that case you can go home now, boy. Unless he is yet to be punished.”
                              “No need for punishments tonight as this child has been through enough. How long until he stops vomiting blood?” James scowled at Clarence, who was conversing with the doctor. He disliked being referred to as a child when he was over the age minimum for a lower adult.
                              “He should be perfectly fine by midday. I suggest he sleeps in as he needs rest. He should have already stopped, but some people take longer to stop.”
                              “Very well. I shall inform his parents of that fact.” Clarence said.

                              Meanwhile in the next room Kitiku was squeezing Incaresta’s arm in the room next to James’. He had calmed down a little but he was still terrified. The doctor from a few nights before, the Lord, was just finishing up the checks on his blood samples, so he had been told to wait until that had been finished before he would be seen.
                              “Bryson… let’s see. Soldier, leave now.” Sutton scrambled out of the room. He didn’t want a repeat incident with this Lord. “Kitiku, your brain it’s defective.” Kitiku looked saddened. “Have you ever heard of a condition called Emphatziemhara?” The boy shook his head. “I thought not. It is a condition in which a pregnant woman is bitten by an infected Pokémon. The disease then manifests itself in the unborn child by splicing itself into one of their chromosomes. It isn’t deadly, it just means the child is… different… broken if you will. Your brain isn’t like a normal person’s. Certain areas of your brain are… bigger. Not much bigger, but bigger. It makes you intelligent, but it also makes you defective. The time taken to register things is slower for you than a normal child.”
                              The Lord took out a pre-prepared drawing of the brain, as Kitiku looked on confused. “Your limbic system is bigger than it should be. In fact your point at the amygdala is atypically engorged. As is your logical reasoning section. So is your responsive section. You would think that this would enhance your responses. It does not. Your brain spends more focus on your emotional gland and takes longer to send the information from place one to two. Your brain is bigger at the sides, but smaller at the front and back.” The Lord lit his cigarette.
                              “I am broken?” Kitiku whispered, in pain.
                              “Yes.”
                              “Ca-can you fix me?”
                              “No. I can supress some of the effects, but that is all.” The Lord then took out three small tubs from his pocket. “This one is made from Lapras shells. Don’t worry, we only take from the long-dead Lapras. The bones will help slow down the growth side effects of your defection. This one,” He pointed to the second jar, “is made out of Deino hoods. This will supress lingering in the emotional section of your brain for around four-five hours. I would give you a stronger one but I don’t know if your body can handle it yet. Particularly as the side effects can include mood swings during… I am not sure what the word is in your language… in mine it is ‘tenbreks’. I suppose the Northern translation would be the ‘turning of age’.” Kitiku nodded, understanding roughly what was going on. “This last one is made from sacred ash. Torkoal often carry it. This one will help the other two work. You take them three times a day. One each in the morning, midday and before bed.”
                              “My fa-father cannot…” Kitiku started.
                              “Quiet. We believe medicine for such illnesses should be free, the ingredients are not so hard to come by. Your leg on the other hand is another matter.” The Lord prodded it, making Kitiku wince in pain. “Your leg is shattered from the knee down. Your ankle and foot seem to have escaped without damage. Which does leave an interesting case for sure. I could just cut it from the knee down. Since I doubt you can afford to have a metal rod inserted in place of the bone.” Kitiku nervously jumped up into a sitting position. “Or I could just remove the shattered bones. It won’t heal correctly. Some of your bone is missing.”
                              Kitiku looked at the Lord’s hands, which were already holding some medical tools. “It is really up to you. Personally, if it was my choice I would cut your leg. However, it is not. In theory it is your parents’ choice, however, they are not here so the choice then falls to your current guardian. That happens to be Captain Bourbabel, and he believes you should choose. Do you want me to cut your leg, or remove the bones?”
                              Kitiku’s face of horror at the mention of losing his leg was enough for the Lord to know the boy’s decision immediately. “I shall arrange for you to have some crutch sticks. Also, for your Emphatziemhara you shall be supplied with a carer Pokémon. I recommend a Herdier. Herdier’s job will be to help you with stressful tasks and to fetch a doctor in the event of something bad happening to you. Herdier is not a toy. Understand?”
                              “Y-yes, my Lord.” The boy stuttered.
                              “With that, I shall inform Captain Bourbabel of what is going on. I shall then remove the bone shards in your leg, am to I believe you have taken Ivysaur’s sleep powder in the last five hours?” Kitiku looked blankly at him. “I cannot give you that again. I will have to give you some stun spore instead. I apologise in advance, it will stop all pain, but it will be very uncomfortable. You will just be bored stiff, quite literally, unable to move any muscles from your neck down during the operation.” The Lord then pushed his glasses back towards his eyes. He then wandered into the next room to fetch Captain Bourbabel.



                              Part 3

                              James got up from the table. He had been playing sleepy for the last hour. With Kitiku’s doctor summoning the officer out of the room a few minutes ago, this was his chance. He had to get to the third floor from the basement, replace the files with blank paper and get back. Unfortunately, the blank file paper was on the second floor at the opposite side of the building to the stairs. James waited for the Lords who were talking to walk past the door. He crept out. He could see the stairs to the ground floor up ahead.
                              James seized the moment, and he darted along the narrow corridor and up the stairs. Every step he took felt more dangerous than the last. As he reached the top step he could see a soldier in the room nearest the stairs. That soldier was blocking his way up. The stairs were only three rooms down from where he was so he concocted a plan. The nearest room to him on his right was full of Pokémon. They had been confiscated or their owners had passed away. Using Sutton’s keys he opened the door. James side-stepped in a shuffle into the room.
                              The white walled room made it seem huge. Pokémon in balls lined the draws which were stacked up from every angle. He could take two at most as his pockets couldn’t handle any more. He reached into the first draw. ‘Two will have to do’, he thought. He picked up the Cohagrigus and the Dunsparce. He released the Cohagrigus from its Poké ball and it floated down the corridor towards the soldier and it turned into a floating sarcophagus. As the soldier turned around it jumped out. The man quickly went inside the room and slammed the door in panic. James saw this as his chance to advance to the next floor, so he returned the ghost type and crept up the stairs to the first floor.
                              A Lord was at the top of the stairs. He was discussing something with his colleague so James wasn’t going to get up to the second floor that way, he retreated down stairs. The soldier he had scared moments earlier, dashed downstairs towards the basement. James darted across the narrow corridor into an empty room. He opened the window and climbed out. He could see the drainpipe so he reached over to grab it and upon successfully doing so he started to pull himself up. He had to go up a floor.
                              He lugged his body up to the second floor and reached over to the window on his right. Although it was locked, he still had Sutton’s keys. He reached into his pocket while holding onto the pipe tightly with his left hand. It took him a moment to realise the lock was on the inside the window so Sutton’s keys were useless. The window further along was opened, if he could get to it he would be back in the clear.
                              “Why didn’t I steal a flying type?” James said to himself. He swung himself to the window and grabbed on, he then quickly repeated the action to the open window. He dared not look down as he pulled himself inside. There was no one in the room and across the corridor was the supplies room, the place where he could get the blank paper. He just had to cross the corridor, but the Lord was still at the end of the corridor so he would have to sacrifice a Pokémon to get there. “Dunsparce, I need you.” James aimed his roll carefully. He needed the ball to bounce off the wall in the right place and it needed to release Dunsparce. He laid on the carpet and created a groove with Dunsparce’s ball.
                              He slid the ball and it bounced off the first wall, then the second and then once more, but the ball didn’t open. The Lord was curious as to how the Pokémon had gotten there and made an advance up the hall. James hid behind the desk in the room as he heard the footsteps get closer and closer. He held his breath. The Lord entered the room and stepped towards where James was hiding, he then heard the Lord tapping his boot against the floorboards. James closed his eyes and started to pray in his mind to Cresselia for safe passage.
                              The Lord then said something to someone, as if he was reacting and then he walked out the room. James waited for what must have been five minutes before moving from his hiding spot. Once he reached the door he looked out carefully, the corridor was clear, but he had lost Dunsparce. However, he was still free to move around and not in a cell. James quickly raided the storage room for the paper he required. It was dark yellow. Upon going through several draws he found it. He then dashed into the corridor without looking. “Thank you Cresselia.” He whispered at the sight of it being clear and then ran up the stairs to the third floor.
                              The office was the second door on the left, he had made it. The corridor was empty, but the office door looked locked. This was where Sutton’s keys would come in handy once more particularly as he knew which key it was. James wandered casually over to the door and went to unlock it. Upon leaning against the handle he discovered it was open already. “One less… slowing point,” he whispered. The room was pitch black, as he crept over to the filling cabinet.
                              “James,” a voice in the dark said. The light was then switched on.

                              The new Captain sat at his desk. “Before you ask, I took the stairs.” James scowled. “What are you doing in my office? You should be resting.”
                              “Sleep walking?” James said, quickly. “Wait… no I mean I was just…”
                              “You came to switch the papers in your file?” James stared at the new Captain, who seemed to have figured it all out already.
                              “No. I…”
                              “Empty your inside pockets please. Also put Cohagrigus on my desk, inside its ball please.” James removed the blank paper from his pockets and placed the ghost on the desk with a thud. “Good.” Clarence smiled. “Are you hungry?” James nodded. “I thought as much. I asked Sutton to bring up some extra food ready. I knew you were coming you see, a soldier was scared by a ghost, and a Lord swore to have seen a Dunsparce fly across the corridor ground. Naturally I checked on you as soon as I heard. You are a clever boy to have made it up here without being seen directly. You will have to talk me through how you did it at some point, I don’t want you to skip any details.”
                              “Where are Lioa, and Andrew and Kitiku?”
                              Lioa and Andrew are still in a deep sleep, I left them in a medical bay room to dream away, the doctors are monitoring them, also Kitiku’s operation should be over in around thirty minutes.” The man said, softly.
                              “Wait… You think I am clever?” James asked.
                              “Of course. You figured out the direction of my Tropius from the wind. That is clever. Although you can be very inexperienced.” Clarence answered, causing the boy to scowl.
                              “Operation?” James queried, switching his mind to Kitiku.
                              “He has to have the bone removed in his leg.” Clarence said, as he passed over some berries frozen in ice. “Anyway, why did you come to my office to replace the file paper? Done something you shouldn’t have?” James scowled. “All the records I wiped clean in terms of warnings. I don’t think it is fair to hold a judgement against someone for their past, particularly as I wasn’t there at the time to assess the situation. However, I do have a question for you.”
                              “What kind of question?” James scoffed, as he shoved a frozen berry in his mouth while standing.
                              “James A. Spitz, aged fourteen, born 15th February 1975. Correct?” James nodded. “Blood type unknown”. James shrugged. “Is there a reason that your blood type isn’t on record?” The boy shrugged again.
                              “That was your question?”
                              “No, no. I was simply curious about that.” He smiled. “The other thing, the thing, I want to ask you about is this. Excuse me.” Clarence reached into the cabinet and pulled out two files and placed them on the desk. “Please, take a seat.” James scowled, but obeyed. “Kitiku Tak Bryson, aged thirteen, born 27th August 1975. Correct?” James nodded. “Blood type O+. Now, can you spot the problem with your brother and you?”
                              James shook his head. “You see James, I doubt you were born six months apart.” James’ face went white. “That means one of you is not the child of Tak and Nashe Bryson. That child is you.” James gulped.
                              “That isn’t true. I was…” James started.
                              “Oh, but it is. You see, your middle name also is a giveaway. You do not know what it is, neither do I. However, it is stated as an ‘A’. Correct?” James started to back away. “Incaresta, door please.” James turned to see Incaresta Sutton blocking his exit. “I simply want to know the truth. Bryson isn’t your last name. What is?”
                              “I… I am not telling you anything. I am not helping the South!” James stuttered.
                              “James, I am not angry, I just want to know the truth. Do you want me to ask Tak? I am sure he will oblige.”
                              “Wait…” James said in a panic. “My last name is Spitz.” Sutton’s face went just as pale as James’.
                              “Thank you. That is all I wanted to know. Your blood type can be resolved with a simple doctor’s trip. I suggest we do so as soon as…” James shook his head. “I understand why you are nervous. Lord Piscar ordered the execution of any surviving Spitz or Rei after the incident at Marsten Hall. That is why I will only add details to the hard copy of your file. For my own personal reference. So, let’s get that checked. I can ask one of the doctors to come up now if you would like to get it out of the way.” James shook his head.
                              “He did what? W-why are you helping me?” James asked.
                              “I am not just helping you. I am helping my Lord. I am stopping him from making a bad decision and I also believe you shouldn’t pay for the mistakes of your parents. One last question: why Spitz and not Rei?”
                              “Carla was my mother. My father died before I was born.”
                              “I see. Thank you for your honesty.” Clarence made an amendment to the file, he assumed James meant his father’s sanity.
                              “What were you doing at the festival?”
                              “Simply put, I wanted to take part in your culture. There is no greater way to watch over your people than with an understanding of how and why things work. Come, let’s get you back to the basement. I think you and Kitiku should be heading home soon.” He smiled.

                              Kitiku rested his head on the pillow. He was still terrified. At least he believed this Lord was on his side. The Lord had explained, during the operation on his leg, how the blood test revealed small cells in his blood stream that shouldn’t have been there if he was normal. His leg ached from being cut open and having the pieces of bone removed. The Lord took a seat by his side.
                              “Boy, you look pale.” The Lord stated in an abrupt manner. Kitiku looked towards his direction but not at him. “Have you been eating? Or are you playing stupid and fasting like the rest of the Northern rabble?” The Lord didn’t need to wait for an answer before he continued. “Poorly educated rabble. Giratina is the only idol that matters. On the topic of things that matter… your blood type is O+ correct?”
                              “Y-yes, my L-” Kitiku went to answer.

                              “I didn’t ask for you to speak.” Kitiku gulped nervously. “I want you to donate some blood on a regular basis. O+ is very rare on Coltar. It can only be healed by itself. O+ people who have accidents are less likely to live because of these two factors. Defective boy, but decent blood. I will take it even though your blood is… damaged.” He placed a hand on Kitiku’s cheek. “I wish I could make it better, I really do. My mother had it. It is one of the reasons why I wanted to study medicine once I made was selected as a Guard. Of course I could have done medicine as a student instead, at the Southern Lord’s castle. However, I am also good at killing. How did you come by your injury again?” Kitiku went to use sign language but was quickly stopped. “Words, not signs.”
                              “I was pushed of a roof.” Kitiku whispered. “Then thrown by a Machoke.”
                              “Rough day then. Shattered leg, and being told you are defective.” The boy looked down, quietly, as the Lord continued to talk. “Maybe I can cheer you up with this.” He went into his pocket and took out a red bag with berry coated jelly treats inside. He then placed three in Kitiku’s hands, before placing a hand on his head. Kitiku signed the words ‘many thanks’, before starting to chew on them. “Good boy.”

                              “My Lord.” Clarence spoke softly as he entered the room. He was holding James by the scruff of his neck to stop him from running. “Shall I take these boys home?” He lowered his head as a symbol of respect as he was unable to bow fully.
                              “That runt is here too? I demand he be punished severely.” The Lord barked.
                              “No need for further punishment as he has already received some.” Clarence lied.
                              “In that case, take them home. Here is the notes on the boy. Ensure his parents receive it.” The Lord pulled Kitiku to his feet and shunted him forward. Kitiku caught himself on his wooden crutches which he had tucked under both of his arms. “I shall see you next Friday, boy. Do not be late.”

                              James walked slowly as an attempt to irritate the new Captain in to making a mistake. Clarence was no fool. He could see what James was planning. His grip tightened. Kitiku slowly pulled himself along. He was exhausted already and he had only just reached the stairs.
                              “James, stay here.” Clarence said as he picked up Kitiku and carried him up the stairs. James waited for the officer to take the first step. He then made a mad dash down the corridor. Before he could get very far, however, he found himself frozen. “I told you not to move. I will be back in a moment.” Hishrak smirked at the boy who was frozen inside a psychic field.
                              “This isn’t funny. Put me down! I didn’t do anything. Put me down!” James shouted. “I’ll let Okta flatten you!” Clarence came back downstairs and spoke calmly.
                              “Do you want to stay in a psychic field? Or are you going to co-operate with me? I will happily let Hishrak carry you home like that.”

                              “Fine. I don’t care. I hate the South and I hate you.” James shouted louder. Something he regretted quickly upon seeing Kitiku’s doctor appear from a room further down the corridor. “Just let me go! I didn’t do anything.” The doctor slapped James hard around the back of the head.
                              “Be quiet, boy.” The Lord scowled. “Be grateful your punishment is for the Captain to decide, and not me. Do you have something to say? No. Good.”
                              “James, let’s get you home.” Captain Bourbabel motioned for Hishrak to drop James.
                              “Ouch.” James said as he hit the ground. “Why did you…” The Lord shot a stare at James as a warning. “Yes, sir.” James hung his head. He was ashamed he had given in, but he didn’t want to spend the night in a cell, nor did he want the Lord to find out his big secret. The secret the Captain had already uncovered. James’ bite gave off a twinge and he held his breath.
                              The quiet streets gave off an escapists’ vibe. James could easily run away. The Captain wasn’t holding him by his scruff. A thought in his mind danced around like it was at Marsten Hall ball. If he was to make a run for it, would Kitiku be punished for it? He didn’t know how Clarence would react to his attempts.
                              “Are you keeping up okay Kitiku?” Clarence asked. Kitiku puffed. His arms were aching all over. “Would you like Hishrak to carry you? You have done well to make it as far as you have so far. Practicing with those now will help you later.” Kitiku nodded. “Good. Hishrak, psychic.” Hishrak lifted Kitiku in the air effortlessly. “I could have done this earlier, but that would have been unproductive for you. I cannot be around to carry you all the time.” Clarence smiled.
                              “Sir, when we get home, what are you going to tell Tak?” James asked.
                              “I will tell him you have been assisting me, all night. Kitiku, you have been really quiet since you woke up. Are you okay?” The boy looked at James for help.
                              “He is fine. He just doesn’t want to talk right now.” James snapped before remembering how much trouble he was in. “Well, this has been a nice walk and all… but I think I should be going.” James went to run. He couldn’t take it anymore.
                              Hishrak used psychic and dangled James upside down.
                              “Now, now, Hishrak. I don’t want him to be sick.” Hishrak rolled his eyes as he turned James the right way up. “James, Hishrak can out speed you.”
                              “I don’t care. I can’t take this anymore. I hate the South and I hate you and I just want you to leave.” James said in a frustrated manner.
                              “James, I know, you don’t and I won’t.” James went to snap back but realised they were being watched. “Let’s move, quietly. Soon as you are home you can get the rest you need.”
                              “Yes, sir.” James whispered. This man wasn’t going to let him go. James didn’t say another word. It was almost serene.
                              As the group reached the Bryson household Hishrak put Kitiku down. The time was 4:45 am. Clarence reached forward and knocked on the door. Tak had wandered down the stairs to answer. He was stressed. Clarence could tell from the man’s immediate dress. His shirt was hanging out, and wasn’t ironed. He had been drinking.
                              “Kitiku. You are in so much trouble, boy. You.” Tak went to grab James who hid behind the Captain. “I want you out of my household. You harmed my defective son.”
                              “Mister Bryson, please. These boys have been with me. My name is Captain Clarence Bourbabel. I am now in charge in this town.” Clarence offered his forearm, to which Tak accepted. “Kitiku has a shattered left lower leg. He needs to rest it. Also his doctor has prescribed three different medicines he needs to take every day, three times. There is no charge for his medication.” Tak sighed out of relief.
                              “What about the runt?” Tak pointed at James.
                              “He hasn’t been well either. His doctor suggested he rest. That means no trouble. Also, I would like to hold a town meeting. How would I do such a thing?” Clarence asked.
                              “Well, you just need to put up a notice. Although, the South banned our town meetings so I guess…”
                              “From this moment on they are no longer banned. I shall put up a notice for a town meeting.” Clarence said. Oosho had been watching from the steps. He puckered his way over to the door. “Who is this friendly Octillery?”
                              “Oosho. Back.” Tak commanded. The Octillery then let out a grumble and puckered back inside. “Oosho is not friendly. He is moody. Sorry to ask Captain but can you carry Kitiku upstairs to his bed? I unfortunately cannot. Old war wound…”
                              “I understand. Sutton said you saved him from some slavers. Is that true?” Clarence asked, as he picked up Kitiku. “James, come please.” James followed closely.
                              “It is. Poor man. Oosho may be moody, but it comes in handy. He has a wide move set. He could counter everything the slavers owned.”
                              “Did you not fear for your own safety?” The officer asked, as he placed Kitiku on his bed. “James…”
                              “I know, I know. Bed.” James grumbled.
                              “James, be respectful please.” Tak said.
                              “Yes, mister Bryson. Yes, Captain.” James pulled off his shirt, shoes and trousers and lay under his blanket.
                              “I did not. Why fear something which is possible to defeat?” Tak finished.
                              “Why indeed? I wish you a good night. Also, I want to see James tomorrow. I believe he has destroyed some of the town…” Tak scowled at James, who was already pretending to be asleep. “I shall see you at the town meeting.” Tak nodded as Clarence departed.





                              Part 3



                              Date: 20th June 1989
                              James climbed onto the rafters of the town hall. The entire town was present for this meeting. He laid down along the wood to get the best view of the stage as he could. Tak and Nashe Bryson were sitting in the second row. Sutton stood by the side of the stage as if he was awaiting a prompt. The seats were raised higher as one was forced to sit further and further back. The Chandelure floated around the room. The wooden stage was ready.
                              Captain Clarence Bourbabel stepped up onto it. He was wearing the same clothing he had worn the first time they had met. He didn’t wish to intimidate the townsfolk. He wanted them to see him as one of their own.
                              “Good evening, all. I am glad you could make it. I wish to firstly introduce myself. I am Clarence Bourbabel, Captain of the Southern army. I am in charge of the occupation of Fehahra.” The crowd murmured a little. “Now, I am not here to make things miserable. I want to improve your lives. I also want to stop any resistance activity. Resistance activity shall be met with force. Now that is out of the way, let’s discuss the main agenda.” He stroked his moustache. James listened in carefully.
                              “First topic I wish to discuss is the topic of the Pokémon ban. I wish to revoke it. I believe that, with training and support, using Pokémon in day to day life would be constructive. Therefore, I wish to remove the need for a permit inside of Fehahra. In its place, however, I would like every Pokémon to be registered once owned. This is a more effective measure of control than a total ban.” The crowd seemed to be pleased with this proposal. James was pleasantly surprised. He could use Okta wherever he wanted if this proposal was allowed. “All in favour?” All but three of the crowd raised a hand. “All against? It seems this motion is popular. I shall see what I can do.” Clarence took a deep breath. One topic down without the need to get out large amounts of pro-arguments.
                              “The next topic of importance. Currently, the age of an adult in the South is twenty-five. In the North it is twelve. I wish to amend that. I know it is against Northern tradition. However, I believe by extending the age of childhood, the young people of Fehahra have a much larger chance to grow as people. In addition to this, I believe all young people, between the ages of six and twenty-five should undergo education.”
                              “That’s a lie!” James heard one of the women in the crowd shout out.
                              “They want to brainwash the children!” An older gentleman screamed.
                              “Now, that is not what I have in mind at all. Young people in the North have a much harder life than in that of the South, despite our huge weather disadvantage. Northern children and adults, have no means of operating advanced machinery, furthermore, Northern doctors are few. Diseases in the North are much more deadly than that in the South. Not because the strains are different, although it does happen on occasion, but because the doctors in the North are ill-educated and rely on… prayer orientated medicines.” Clarence expected the backlash this time.
                              “Who do you think you are?”
                              “They want to inject our children with their poisons!”
                              “Please, hear me out. Educating your children will help them later in life. It is their right to…” Clarence tried to reason with the angry crowd.
                              “You don’t know what we need!” Someone shouted from the back of the room. To which Tak stood up.
                              “He knows more than what most people here do. I was educated. I know how important knowledge is. I maybe just a labourer now. However, my past tells you all what you can achieve if you are educated. When I was injured in the last war, I was treated by a Southern doctor. Not a Northern one. The Northern doctor was going to allow the Shellos to drain the blood from my shoulder. The Southern doctor, who happened to be my prisoner, advised against it. Rather he offered to use a Chansey egg on it. To which my wound was healed. Education is important. However, you will not, brainwash the young into believing your religion is correct. Our children’s primary language shall remain Colrat!”
                              “I had no intention of forcing a religious change, or a language change. I just believe your children should have the right to access knowledge.” Tak nodded. “All in favour of education for children between six and twenty-five?” Tak raised his arm. To which much of the crowd copied. Once the votes were counted, Clarence felt relieved his idea had passed the majority of the town’s opinion. “I shall, once again, see what I can do.”

                              “The topic of child slaves. I want to ban child slavery within Fehahra completely.” Clarence knew immediately he had stepped too far out.
                              “No. That is part of Master Filktas’ rule.” The old gentleman shouted out. “He is a traitor to Master Filktas!” Tak stood up once more.
                              “He is entitled to an opinion! Shut up. It is an opinion that we all disagree with but it is his opinion nonetheless. Captain Bourbabel, as much as your intentions may be… noble… we are not interested in opposing Master Filktas.” Tak stated as bluntly as he could.
                              “I understand. May I suggest these children be allowed to be educated, however? As a compromise between our points of view.” Tak nodded. “All in favour?” Just under half the room raised a hand. “All against?” It was clear he had lost this point of debate… for now.

                              “Final topic I wish to discuss tonight. I am aware you believe in fasting one day a week in accordance with your idols. In order to make working much more… effective… I recommend those who fast also have that day off of work, as well as the standard Wednesday holy day practice. This will allow everyone to get rest and be able to perform much more efficiently.” Upon receiving no outbursts or complaints, Clarence didn’t feel the need to expand his argument further. “All in favour?” To his surprised the entire room raised a hand.

                              “In summary: children (now classed by those under 25 years old) shall attend school every day, except Wednesday from 8 am until 4:30 pm. Educators will be found. If a child fails to attend without a valid reason, you will be fined. Also, adults shall have their day of fast, and Wednesday off. Finally the Pokémon ban will be replaced by a registration initiative.” Clarence was pleased. Three out of his four motions had gained the support of the town. He now just needed to obtain the supplies and tools he required from Lord Piscar.
                              “This guy just made Pokémon use legal?” James said, slightly confused as to what had happened. James watched on as the townsfolk left the building. He slowly edged his way back to a place from which he could climb down. Once he reached such a location, he carefully climbed down. He had to get back to the Bryson’s home before Tak and Nashe.






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                                #21    
                              Old April 1st, 2018 (10:25 PM).
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                              Bay Bay is offline
                              Darkinium Z
                               
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                              A couple grammar stuff.

                              Spoiler:
                              Quote:
                              “May I?” The soldier nodded and handed over his flask. “Kitiku, I want you to drink something. I know you hated us forcing you to drink Miltank milk, but we had to stop the bleeding.” The officer offered the boy the flask but was met panic.
                              "The officer offered the boy the flask but was met panic" sounds a bit awkward. Also, how is Kitiku showned to be panic?" Perhaps, "The officer offered the boy the flaks but was met with Kitiku's panic scream."

                              Quote:
                              “You don’t have to take them if you don’t want to. I trust you to make your own choice.” James closed his eyes and put the tablets in his mouth. He tried to swallow them without water. Upon realising they weren’t going down his throat he quickly grabbed a glass and poured some water in, before drinking. “Good. I suggest you get comfortable. I will wake you up in a few hours.” James nodded as he curled himself up and closed his eyes and tried to get comfortable.
                              “I threw up again.” James whispered, slightly afraid.
                              “It is okay. We will get that checked when we get back to Fehahra.” James desperately tried to block out the pain from his bite and the shock he had received from spitting up blood in the corridor. “Incaresta, what can you tell me about these boys from personal experience?”
                              This is more of a style suggestion, but I admit to getting confused if the dialogue is James or Clarance here due to those parts having focus on James. Maybe if you break it up like this (and an occassional "Clarance said" here and there):

                              “You don’t have to take them if you don’t want to. I trust you to make your own choice.”

                              James closed his eyes and put the tablets in his mouth. He tried to swallow them without water. Upon realising they weren’t going down his throat he quickly grabbed a glass and poured some water in, before drinking.

                              “Good," Clarance said. "I suggest you get comfortable. I will wake you up in a few hours.”

                              James nodded as he curled himself up and closed his eyes and tried to get comfortable.

                              “I threw up again.” James whispered, slightly afraid.

                              “It is okay. We will get that checked when we get back to Fehahra.”

                              James desperately tried to block out the pain from his bite and the shock he had received from spitting up blood in the corridor. [Maybe something here with Clarance looking back at Incaresta or something]

                              “Incaresta, what can you tell me about these boys from personal experience?”


                              I don't have much thoughts on the first two parts except I don't blame James for not trusting Clarance. I would feel the same way if I saw someone using a sleeping drug or something similar on my friends. The little jab Clarance did on Sutton's grammar/language there is a little amusing.

                              Parts 3 and 4, well the procedures both James and Kitiku had to endure sounds ouch there. I'm not sure how I feel about Kitiku's condition being "broken", though I take it that's the language being used back then. I actually wonder more how it wasn't discovered until now, but I take it Kitiku's family is poor and couldn't afford proper treatment/diagnosis there. Even with James's secret being blown, it's lucky Clarance didn't do anything about it. My impression on Tak's reaction to Kitiku and James there is mixed. While I get him being anry the two ran away, I didn't like him calling Kitiku "defective son" there.

                              The last part, not surprised the reaction to Clarance's proposal over getting rid of child slavery. At least the other proposals the other people were in favor with. With Pokemon being legal to use, wonder how that will affect James and the others now.
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