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 Avon and Marcus - Your unusual adventure (PG-13 or higher) 
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Bug Catcher
Bug Catcher

Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:03 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Somewhere out of arm's reach.
My, this story has been edited countless times (if three times count as countless)

This is a collaboration story, still in the making. If anything, it STILL needs editing, but it's presentable, nonetheless. Well, enjoy.

**********

Kanto Saga: The Legendary birds

Prologue

It was finally that time; Graduation of Middle School.

After seeing so many kids drop out of school at the age of ten to go on their journeys, Avon felt it being unlucky to have to stay in school to not end up a school dropout just to go on an adventure. Avon begged his stepparents day-in and day-out, until they finally submitted to his pleads. However, that came with one condition; for him to go on a journey, he must bring a friend to watch his back.

Avon thought long and hard but eventually came to the one person he shared his dream with. They shared a few classes with each other and talked almost daily. The boy explained to his friend that, one day, he would hope that he'd get out into the world and become a master trainer, one day; while his friend, Marcus, had once said he had hopes of becoming a Ranger.

The very hour after Graduation, Avon explained his position to Marcus. He told him how his stepparents would give him the chance to go on his long-awaited journey, if he brought along a friend. Marcus agreed happily and after all the celebration calmed down, the next day the two started to pack. Their alarms were set and almost everything they ever needed would be packed into their bags for tomorrow's trip to Oak's lab.

However, as the two journey on their adventure, thinking that things will be smooth sailing; the boys realize that it nothing but jagged hills and rocky roads all the way to the top. The boys would realize that the training would be tedious and apart from any rivals and enemies they make, things would be tough. Add in the insane people after Marcus, a meeting with a mysterious girl with an unusual, untapped power and the oddity of unfortunate events that are brought about and the dynamic duo see that their journey will become more than what they see on T.V. or hear about from classmates...

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Chapter 1: The beginning of a new, and dangerous journey


In a room of an ordinary, middle-classed home, a black, digital alarm clock was buzzing, loudly, to wake up an average kid trying to sleep in. The light from the window was also shining down on him; putting all the available elements against him, whom the kid was just trying to turn over and go back to sleep. The kid reached for his alarm clock on his nightstand, just having tried to find the "snooze" button. He gave up and ended up throwing the alarm at the wall. He broke the alarm but it stopped the racket being made. He rolled over to go back to sleep but then sprang up, almost throwing himself out of bed. He had just remembered that that day was an important day, for him- he would be getting his first Pokémon.

"Wha- I'm up! I'm up!" The kid grunted loudly, having jumped out of his bed and threw himself into a sitting position on the side of his bed.

The kid was only fourteen-years old, a late bloomer considering what year he's finally getting his first Pokémon; had been waiting for this day for years; for usually, kids left at ten-years of age. He had to finish up middle school before he could set off for this day, for his parents, or step-parents, didn't want him to go on a journey like a mindless idiot, like an improperly educated individual without a good mind to what was going on around him.

Being that he just woke up, his hair was a mess and in need of a brush. His brown eyes blinked tiredly for a set period as they adjusted to the new day. He was in his white T-shirt, and underwear, as he pulled off his covers, to place his feet on the floor. Though, it wasn't floor he had been stepping on.

He blinks twice, to adjust his eyes to the new morning, and to observe what was in his junky room. There were clothes everywhere. There was so much, the floor was buried from all the linen, cotton, polyester and all other kinds of fabrics the clothes were made of. Though, being lazy, he used this as his advantage.

Merely standing up after sitting off his bed, he saw his dark blue jeans he had been stepping on, slipped them up and then zipped up his fly. A belt right on the dresser, next to the T.V. was used to secure his pants on. He took off some of the socks that were hanging on the antenna of his TV and put them on. At the foot of his bed, was the kid's hamper; which the kid then dug into, for his shirt. After a few seconds of searching, he pulled out his army fatigued shirt, with the word "ARMY" imprinted on the front. He put that on, knowing he didn't match, but didn't care; the excitement of getting his first Pokémon now getting to him.

Being slightly conscious of his Mitch match clothing, the kid figured he needed something to cover up his mismatching clothes. The boy spotted his navy blue jacket hanging from the doorknob and decided to use that. He quickly snatched the jacket from the doorknob, threw it up and then let gravity take hold as he slipped in from the sleeves.

He was nearly completely dressed but saw that his room was messy, as it always was. As a last token of appreciation for his step-parents, he rolled all of his other clothes in a ball and shoved it in the hamper, clearly overflowing it, some of the clothes falling down near the hamper. The room looked much neater, but the rug still looked like it wanted a vacuum cleaning. The kid shrugs, figuring his step-parents would do that later when he left.

"At least they can see my floor and dresser top..." the kid said to himself. He shrugged, caring less, him getting his first Pokémon was all he really cared about.

As he exited his room, he jumped into his shoes which were at the foot of his bedroom door, and tied them. He wandered through the hallways of his house, raring to get out of it. However, as he reached his living room, he saw his mother, knitting, while the father was reading the newspaper. Both of their chairs were turned to the fireplace away from the sight of Avon's constructed path while the light from the window in front of them seeped through the window shutters.

Avon couldn't get a clear view of them, being that their large chairs were blocking their appearances but he could see his blue, three-pocketed bag, resting near the front door. He was about to go get it but had, swiftly, turned back around at the corner, avoiding his stepmother's peripheral vision as she turned, slightly, to see who it was.

Not wanting to be spotted by his parents, the kid stopped to plot. I don't want any of that "We'll miss you" crap, or "Make me proud, son" speeches. I just wanna get the heck outta here! the kid thought.

He looked at his two stepparents, who still appeared to be unwary of their step-son's presence, if not, already known to his presence. The kid had planned to make a run for it. He took some deep breaths, as he counted to three in his head to make his grand escape. When he reached three, he ran for the door.

He managed to reach for it, making a bit of a ruckus to unlocked the locks, turned the deadbolt over and pulled at the knob with a quick turn- thinking he was in the clear. Though the door only cracked a little bit to his freedom, being that the chain was still on. The boy gagged a bit, having overlooked the chain on the door; though before he could close the door and pull it off, he knew it was too late.

His stepmother hadn't had to say a word, but merely cleared her throat, having demanded attention. The kid stopped trying to make a hasty getaway, as he loosened his grip on the doorknob. He whimpered like a dog, a bit, and then went back to kiss his stepmother and manly hug his stepfather good-bye for the time being. The kid grabbed his bag and stepped out the door, closing it behind him and snapped his fingers, as he stepped down from his front porch. Not like he could've avoided them, anyway. They knew him all too well for pulling similar stunts.

*********

The kid took his time, as he headed for the laboratory where inexperienced Pokémon for late blooming beginner trainers were being distributed. He knew he had plenty of time to get there, being that he turned his alarm on a good half-hour early; having hoped that he'd get up before his parents did. As he walked down the road, going down a familiar road with the same houses, big and small, some with square or triangular roofs, others with narrow or wide walkways to their front porches, the kid recognized something; this was the same route to school, where he'd go alert his friend and then head down to school in Viridian. However, he wasn't going to school anymore.

The kid was looking for a certain house, going to pick up the same friend he had been doing for the last five-hundred forty school days, including sick days or absences for both boys. Avon kept track since he was counting the days off since former friends and underclassmen were heading off on their own journeys. As apart of an agreement with his parents, he was asked to bring someone with him on his journey, so they could watch each other's backs. Being that the two went to school almost daily, the boy felt he could probably have walked the route blindfolded and still found his house. Not that he'd try, for he'd probably wander off in the street and get hit by a car.

When he found the house, he turned to it and observed it, as if he had never seen it before- for it would be the last time for a long while. It was larger than most of the houses around, though that being because it was a two-family, two story house- most other houses being small, one story houses. It was a brown color, though a fresh coat of paint was recently put on it. A window was broken on the first floor but that was done yesterday with a baseball by one of the neighbor kids and recently covered with a layer of plastic.

Though, as the kid waits for his friend, a clatter arose, from the side of the house. Something was going through the garbage cans as a few of them were overturned and a small, odd, dark blue Pokémon, of a sort, was inside one of the overturned garbage cans, consuming the garbage. The kid could tell who and what it was as well as who it belonged to, being that that wasn't the first time it had happened.

"Marcus! Munchlax is eating through the garbage!" the kid shouted, to the house. Someone had heard him and a young male's voice shouted back.

"Again?! Munchlax! Get in here! You know not to eat in there!" the voice shouted back.

The Pokémon, obedient to his master, pulled himself out and revealed himself into the light. It was as small as it looked, being only a measly two feet high, but still a bit chubby. It had two short, but stubby ears, at the very top of its head, with a very round face. Its face was half the color dark blue and the other half, from it's bottom jaw, which two fangs were visible from the bottom, around it's entire lower half of it's head, yellow, which some was also on it's short, stubby neck and in a "drop" shape, on it's chest. The rest of his body, its five-fingered hands and short arms included, was a dark blue, the same color as the top of his head; all except his feet, which were nearly covered by his spiked fur, at the bottom, is also yellow, with three claws for toes. The world was filled with all kinds of different creatures called Pokémon, Munchlax being one of so many more.

As it pulled itself out of the garbage can, it let loose a large burp being full. The Pokémon, being called Munchlax, tried to climb back into the window it climbed out of by stacking up some crates to level it up to the window. It appeared to be stuck, as it goes through the window for a minute, then squeezes through with a "pop" sound, and finally, a small thud.

There was a bit of angry shouting seconds after the Pokémon went in, mainly Munchlax's owner, Marcus and then at his Munchlax. After the shouting, however, both of them were sent out the front door. It was okay for the two, though; they were glad to leave. Marcus was, roughly, the other kid's height and age. He was slightly bigger than the kid, in both length and width. Marcus had his long, dyed-green hair in a ponytail, which was originally brown, though his eyes were a lighter shade of green. He appeared to be ready to become a trainer, being that he was wearing a Pokéball holster shirt, over his white T-shirt; or at least he had a place to put all of his Pokéballs. Marcus also wore a pair of brown khaki cargo shorts, which covered more than half of his shin; and below that, on Marcus' feet, he wears a pair of black sneakers, though both sneakers had a red orb on the back of each shoe. Though, apart from the Pokégear, he had on a set of fighting grips, the knuckles of them tipped with leather to protect him from the recoil.

"Ugh..." Marcus groaned. He sounded as if he had probably just woken up and hastily threw on his clothes and dealt with his necessities, "Hello, Avon."

Avon, the kid that had been waiting, and gone through a stunt or two to try to get past his step-parents, was his name. He was a beginner trainer, looking forward to his first win, and long awaited adventure. And while his straight, stern face was saying otherwise at the time, he had that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. However, Avon still had the gut feeling that nothing could possibly go wrong, for this was their journey now. As long as they stuck together, they could get through anything... Right?

*******

"Any ideas on what you might be picking for a starter?" Marcus asked Avon, as the two were on their way down the winding roads to the Pokémon laboratory. The two had already reached the top of a hill, the beige-colored road winding into a descent from a hill, into a thin forest.

"Not a clue. Though, being that we'll both be there early, we can choose whoever we want," Avon said.

"Well, I know I'm getting Charmander."

"But don't you already have a Pokémon? Your Munchlax can be your starter, right?"

"And miss out on an opportunity to get a free Pokémon? I think not!" Marcus's Munchlax was yawning, lazily, as it walked by Marcus' side.

"... Know what? Good point!" Avon raised both of his eyebrows in recognition of the opportunity.

Back when Marcus was 10 years old, Marcus had applied for becoming a Pokémon Ranger. As a commendation for his attempt, Marcus was given an egg. About a few months after receiving it, the egg hatched into what was now following Marcus like his own father- Munchlax. It was times like those that made Avon wish he had gotten an egg, when he was ten, and it hatched into something cool. But no, that happened to Marcus, not him.

Either way, Avon hoped to catch all of his Pokémon, apart from his first one of course. As for his starter, he was going to pick Squirtle, being that it was close to his favorite type; that being Ice. However, even though Ice types was his favorite, he wouldn't see himself stacking his team full of them; for people would easily exploit the weaknesses.

After many winding roads and trees aplenty, the two made it to the laboratory. Surely, the white building up the landscaping wasn't spectacular at all; in fact, it really didn't look much like a lab from the outside, but as long as the boys were getting their first Pokémon, they could care less if it looked like a crack house or an asylum for crazy people. As long as they could go in, get their Pokémon and come out alive and unscratched, it didn't matter to them- or at least to Avon.

As they reached the laboratory gates, they noticed they were early, but not early enough. A black, stuck up spiky-haired, tough-looking kid was waiting at the front gates. The guy was leaning back on the gates, wearing a red vest, opened to reveal his muscles; arms crossed, as if he was waiting for the two to arrive. As Avon and Marcus approached the laboratory gates, the bully figure decided to confront them.

"Hey, chumps!" said the kid, "I'm only gonna warn ya once. Once we get in, I'm choosing first."

"On what ground?" Avon asked, taking a step forward to stand his ground. "So what if you got here first! Go harass minorities, or something."

The bully uncrossed his arms and got up from his leaning position, rearing a fist to get ready to beat Avon into submission. "Shut up kid. You're pushing it."

Marcus and Avon were about ready to get their hands dirty when a voice was heard coming from down the road. "H-hey! Hey!" called an old man's voice, "There's no need for fighting around here!"

Approaching the road, arms waving by his sides, was a gray-haired Professor of the laboratory. He had on a sheepish smile, quickly approaching the gate and opening it, as he felt that conflict was arising if things weren't broken up.

"Oh shut it, Grandpa!" Jason snapped at the old man.

The old man's voice turned from sheepish to serious, "Now hold it, young man. You should treat your elders with some more respect."

The tough guy scoffed. "Whatever, pops." The kid turned to Avon and Marcus, "As for you two. Big mouth and Knuckles over there."

"We have names, dipstick." Marcus back sassed.

"Whatever. If you pick a fight with me again, I warn you now; ol' timer, there, won't save you..."

The Professor cleared his throat, placing one of his hands in the pockets of his white lab coat, "I'm right here, and I can hear you..." the small group walked up the road, toward the laboratory, "I suppose we should get on with the introductions..."

"I'll go first." Marcus said, "Marcus Lamech, previous resident of Johto, but moved to Kanto, about a few years ago." Marcus raised a fist, "These gloves are not for show."

"Avon Lorain, adopted resident of Kanto," Avon stated rubbing the back of his neck, "I know the region pretty well..."

"Jason Bullard." The bully kid said, "Pick a fight with me and you won't feel your legs afterwards."

"Alright. Marcus, Avon, Jason. I am Professor Oak. I study Pokémon as a profession. People often refer to me as the Po-"

"Okay, that's enough rambling, grandpa!" Jason rudely interrupted.

The professor felt offended but appeared to have not let it get to him. "... Well, if we may go on..."

The three boys enter the laboratory and into the lab area. Meanwhile, Munchlax scampered off on his own somewhere. He never was told to stay put or anything so he followed his gut and went looking for food; his gut leading him into the break room for Oak's aids. There were a few scientists there on break, sitting at the tables whether talking to other scientists or resting their heads; there being some sandwiches and a few goodies on their plates. Munchlax, whenever the opportunity arose, stole whatever he could get his hands on and stuff into his mouth. The scientists double-took to their plates, blinking to the disappearance of their food, though never did figure out how their food could've disappeared.

Back with Avon and Marcus, the small group was lead to a glass container that opened up at the push of a button. Inside the glass container were baseball sized balls, resting in recesses about the same size as each ball. There was an element for each ball, a small ember shaped symbol, a water symbol and a leaf symbol; each symbolizing which type ball held which type of Pokémon inside.

"Okay, to the three of you, there are the three starter Pokémon; Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur. You may each take only one! No being greedy, Jason."

"Oh pipe down, ol' timer! I already know what I want!" Jason shouted at Prof. Oak. He saw what Avon was going for then side-bumped him out of the way, knocking down both him and Marcus in one bump. He swiped the Pokémon that he saw Avon was going for and, as a friendly gesture, showed the turtle Pokémon to Professor Oak. "Say, Oak, I want this one."

"W-what?! But I was gonna get that one!" Avon shouted, shocked.

"Well, at least he stopped calling me those old names..." Oak muttered. He spoke louder, for Jason to hear. "Um, yes, okay. I suppose you can have it."

"Oh come on!!" Avon bellowed, shoulder-tackling Jason, to take his spot in front of Oak. "You saw me about to take that one!"

"Sorry, Avon, looks like you'll have to take another one..."

"But, Marcus is going for Charmander. That means..."

Professor Oak shut his eyes, and made a pouting gesture, "Looks like you'll have to take Bulbasaur."

Avon slumped down on his back and groaned. He was glad that Bulbasaur was his second option for he could hear Jason laughing at him as he walked out the front door. He muttered curses to Jason under his breath as he took Bulbasaur.

"Hmm..." Professor Oak appeared to be holding a Jason walked out so quickly, he forgot his Pokédex and Pokéballs..."

"Hey, we can split 'em, right?" Marcus asked.

"Hmm... Yeah, I'm su-"

Before he could finish his sentence, another kid had burst in, nearly out of breath. It wasn't Jason, being that his green hair, short and skinny stature made it painfully obvious that he wasn't; and apart from his stature, he was packed to the teeth with supplies for his journey. He was actually a late bloomer too but from his small stature, he looked like a ten-year-old. He threw his large bag of supplies down on the side, as he nearly stumbled down the stairs, trying to speak.

"Sor... ry!" the kid huffed, "I... sorta... slept in..."

"Wow, do I pity you, kid..." Marcus said, then thumbing to the door that he just came in from. "Some jerk just took the last Pokémon."

"What?!" the green haired kid asked, in shock. After letting it sink in, for a second or two, he groaned.

"Dude, if you want, you can have my Bulbasaur..." Avon said, offering the ball to the green-haired kid.

As the kid saw the ball his enthusiastic blue eyes lit up with a twinkle. "Really?"

Avon withdrew the ball from the kid's reach, "Hell no! Are you crazy?! This is my only means of defense! Sorry, dude, but it looks like you'll have to get your own first Pokémon. As I said, sorry," Avon apologized.

"The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the Pokémon." Prof. Oak said, making that pout again.

The green-hair kid sighed. "I guess that's okay, I suppose."

"Say, kid, who are you?" asked Marcus.

The boy sprang up, suddenly full of life again. "Me? I'm Jimmy Polka, the next best Pokémon Trainer!" the green-haired kid replied.

A few stifled snickers were heard as jokes were automatically filling in both Marcus' and Avon's head, as they were refraining themselves from laughing at Jimmy's last name.

"Well, I can't offer you a first Pokémon, but here," Prof. Oak handed Jimmy Jason's Pokéballs and Pokédex, "Take these. You may need them."

"Thank you, sir! I promise! I'll prove all of Pallet town that I'll be the best Pokémon trainer ever!" Jimmy said, picking up his stuff and heading out the door. As he does, Avon and Marcus couldn't hold in their hilarious jokes about Jimmy any longer and had burst into hideous laughter.

"His last name is Polka!" they both shouted in unison.

"What's the rest of it? Polka-dot?" Avon joked. They laughed even harder. Even Prof. Oak managed a chuckle or two at the Polka-dot joke.

"Here, you two. Your Pokédexs and Pokéballs," Oak said, then had burst another chuckle, starting to get the joke and laughing mid-sentence, "Now run along-" Oak had broken into laugher again, "-you two. I have much work to do-hoo-hoo!" Oak turned over and started laughing, "He said "Polka-dot!" Hee-hee-hee!"

The two boys walked out still laughing at the Polka-dot joke, not even noticing Munchlax rejoining Marcus at his side.
**********

Edit: The prologue and the chapter have been edited.


Last edited by Arctic Master on Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:35 am, edited 2 times in total.



Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:38 pm
Profile YIM
Bug Catcher
Bug Catcher

Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:03 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Somewhere out of arm's reach.
[Told ya I'd get it done. =D Now, enjoy chapter 2. I just split it in half and tightened up the description a bit...]

Chapter 2: A hint into Marcus' past

Later that day, some time after leaving Oak's lab, the boys still found themselves laughing over the "Polka-dot" joke. The joke ran on for almost half the whole road toward Viridian City, until they forced themselves to stop laughing, for a valid reason- that being that the inspiring new trainer was hurrying down the road behind them.

"H-hey! Wait!" shouted a familiar voice. It was Jimmy again.

"Oh look, it's Polka-do-I mean Jimmy! Yes! Jimmy!" Avon chuckled, correcting himself and trying to push back his laughter.

"Hey, I may not have gotten a real starter, like you guys, but I do have my first Pokémon!" Jimmy said. He was holding a Pokéball, in his right hand, thrusting it out to Marcus. There seemed to be a strong aura of pride coming from Jimmy, for he didn't have one of those typical starters.

"So, what? Want a battle or something?" Avon had raised an eyebrow.

"I would but I want to train this little guy first. I just got him, wouldn't be fair to just throw him into a battle. When I feel we've got enough experience, we'll challenge you!"

Jimmy ran off ahead of the two. The boys were done with their Polka-dot joke, not feeling the need to laugh anymore, even though Jimmy was long gone and out of earshot. However they were still snickering here and there.

"Poor kid. It'd be a shame if he always got whupped," Avon said.

"Yeah, I mean..." Marcus started, and then snickered some more, "if his last name wasn't bad enough to tease, imagine if he was just a loser."

Avon nodded. "That would sure blow..."

The two young trainers continue en route to Viridian city. As they pass through the forests and tall grass, they become more alert to a sound nearby. The first few times, it was passed off as a probable wild Pokémon, but as the sounds got louder, they thought otherwise; mainly Avon, for he felt it was more than just a wild Pokémon from the very beginning.

"What was that?" Avon asked, alert to the sound. This was about the fourth time he asked it.

"Probably a wild Pokémon," Marcus replied, also for the fourth time, "Or a random trainer. Who knows, maybe even a stalker, in the worst case?"

Avon was getting anxious. "Let's pray it's not a stalker..."

Marcus shrugged. Though as he did, Avon took a blow from a blunt object to the nose. The pain passed through him so quickly, Avon was soon shouting swear words to the high heavens. So much for his journey starting off on the right foot. Marcus blinked, wondering what was wrong and realized he was stepping on the very object responsible for Avon's pain.

Some sort of paper fan, closed up with wooden ends. Had to have been thrown pretty hard at Avon to have caused such pain, Marcus thought.

"This time... I got you!" shouted a voice from the bushes.

"Who said that?!" Marcus asked, wondering if he was next.

Out of the bushes appeared a blue haired girl, her hair in long pigtails. Being Chinese inspired, she wore an red orange colored dress and wearing wooden shoes called getas. The girl appeared, stepping out with the grace and gentle-like composure as a butterfly, as she walked out of the bushes.

"Come on, Marcus. I thought you were sharper than that!" the girl cooed.

"Cassandra..." Marcus lowered his head, "Why were you following me, you stalker?"

Cassandra scrunched her face, "I'm not a stalker! I'm your fiancée!" she replied.

Avon nearly choked on Cassandra's comment, even though he was downright bleeding from his almost broken nose, "Fiancée?!" he gave a widened-eye look toward Marcus, "You're not even old enough to marry, yet!" he yelled.

"Last I recall, fiancées get married when they come of age or somethin'," Marcus said, though just as confused as Avon was. "Anyway, Cassandra, you must be joking because you know I can't marry you."

Cassandra smirked, smugly, "Didn't we already discuss this? My family bribed yours into getting us engaged."

"And you want me to marry you after you almost killed..." Marcus stopped, to correct himself, "Err... maybe not killed, but you nearly broke my friend's nose, here?" He gestured over to Avon, who was still rupturing about his bleeding nose.

"Yes. Yes I do." She replied, plainly. She smiled afterward, seeming somewhat cheery as she said her next line. "And I'd kill him too, if he gets in my way."

Avon froze, now fearing for his life from the comment. If Cassandra had already batted him in the nose with a fan and made it bleed, he was already convinced that the girl could do worse. His eyes widened until he couldn't open anymore and his pupils shrank. He could only mutter his speech, at the girl's current presence. "We'd better get the f*** outta here..." Avon muttered.

Marcus turned to Avon and waved at him, "I'll catch up in a second, Avon." He said, confidently.

"Alright. Now if you'll excuse me..." Avon reared up and then fled, as if hell was an inch away.

Cassandra laughed at Avon's cowardice. "HA! Your friend is a wise coward for fleeing a fight." She turned her head back to Marcus, turning somewhat serious, "But now back to our issue, Marcus. Accept your fate and let's be together forever."

Marcus' brief confidence seemed to have faded. "He's not a coward. He's just..." Marcus stopped to find the right word, "Normal. Look, Cassandra, let me be. And even if I do accept you, what good will that do? We're both fourteen, we need to be like seventeen or eighteen to get engaged."

Cassandra's appearance turned from graceful to wicked, as she heard those words come from Marcus' mouth. "I want you by my side, now and always, like husband and wife." She appeared to have been hiding something behind her back for she reached for it, keeping a grip on it in case Marcus decided to refuse her offer. "Even if it means by force..."

Meanwhile, Avon had stopped, after getting a good distance away from the two. He pulled out a quick tissue to shove up his nose and then turned to see Cassandra and Marcus. From Marcus' standpoint, Avon knew that he wouldn't accept her terms and whatever that girl had up her sleeve probably wasn't going to be pleasant for Marcus' body to take. He took out his new Pokéball and looked at it. Realizing that Marcus could be attacked, just as he was, he ran back, knowing just how to stop the argument.

"Cassandra," Marcus said, seeing how vicious she was getting, starting to stance defensively. "I just started my journey, I don't want to start my journey by fighting you. So just leave me be and we can settle this later."

Rage was greatly shown on Cassandra's face as she took out what she was hiding; an umbrella made of bamboo and rice paper from behind her back. "I'm tired of waiting! I'll force you into being my boyfriend!" she charged in, ready to strike Marcus with the bamboo umbrella.

As she drew in for the attack on Marcus, he braced himself to take the hit by blocking his face with his arms. Though, as Cassandra drew closer, something she never expected to happen, happened. A round object of red and white was thrown from the side of her and made hard, direct contact with her face, knocking her aside and rolling onto the ground. She was in a daze, trying to recover from the blow, as the object clicked as it hit the ground, at Marcus' feet.

The thrower was Avon, having sensed the incoming conflict and attacked Cassandra in Marcus' pure defense. Marcus looked at the ball and then saw who threw it, smiling afterwards.

"Nice timing man," he commented.

"Heheh," Avon chuckled. He picked up his Pokéball and returned it to it's place on it's belt, "Now let's beat it, before she recovers."

"Amen to that." Marcus replied.

********

The two took off, as fast as they could, to get as far away from the dazed Cassandra as they possibly could. Soon, reaching a rather open area in the forest. They gave Cassandra the slip but their troubles were just beginning. As the two stopped feeling that they got away, the two boys bent over and rested on their knees, exhausted.

"Phew..." Avon gasped, out of breath, "I think... we lost her..."

"For now at least..." Marcus said, not as tired as Avon.

"Alright, I think we're far enough... But... Hold on..."

"What?"

"This is..." Avon's eyes widened again, as he heard shrilled cries from below him. "We'd better get outta here..."

"Why? We're not in Beedrill territory, are we?"

"Not Beedrill territory..."

Avon looked down at his feet and realized what he saw running. Two small Pokémon, one purple and the other light-blue, being terribly frightened by the two outsiders coming in their territory. They immediately fled to alert their elders whom shortly after the small Pokémon, the two boys heard a roar. They both swallowed hard, sensing the incoming danger, and yet, they found their legs hard to move to get out of there quickly.

"Ah... I see..." Marcus swallowed hard, mid-sentence, "Nidoran territory..."

"And it's mating season..." Avon added, adding in a sentence every time they heard a thud of a sort from one of the elderly Pokémon inside a cave that the two Nidoran ran into. "In other words... the little Nidoran don't like to be disturbed when doing so... Which means... When they are... they call in their parents..." Avon twitched an eye, "To expel any intruders... By force..."

As Avon and Marcus spoke with each other, the thuds coming from the cave the Nidoran couple ran off into became more louder and louder as every second passed. Soon after, a purple horn protruded from the horn, as well as another roar. The horn receded for a second and then thrusts out in a blur, revealing all it had into the light outside of the cave.

A large, purple beast of a sort, jumped out of the cave, facing and growling at the intruders, it's spikes about it's elbows and back all proving to be intimidating to that of the two boys' and their teams, even if they managed to call them out. The large beast approached the two, taking one step at a time, silently warning the two that if they don't leave soon, they will be feeling a pain that'll last them for a week or two. However the two were frozen in place with fear.

"So, Avon... From a scale to one through ten, how bad of a situation are we in?"

"Ten, for the highest priority. We're screwed!"

The beast let out another roar, while the boys screamed with terror. However, as the beast prepared to charge, a top-like object, streaking back a blue line of a sort, clocked the beast on the head. It blinked, enraged even more and roared even louder. However, the top-like object reanimated and began streaking behind the blue line. This time, however, it began to circle around the beast. It spun around him faster and faster and faster, until the circling ended and the loops closed in, the beast being veiled in a blue light that calmed him. The boys had been saved and spared mercy upon intruding.

"Rangers." Marcus realized, recognizing the object that calmed down the beast. The top object reared back to the device it came from, which clicks back into the remote device it came from.

"Capture complete!" a man's voice firmly said.

Two shadows, from each side of the captured beast leaped into the opening and revealed their attires to be that of a uniform red, white and black. Both Rangers had blue hair, though the girl's hair was a light blue and in somewhat of a starched bun of a sort while his was a dark blue. Their uniforms had distinct differences between gender but all and all, the girl's was more tighter than the male's, who's attire was more relaxed.

The two were being followed by small, mouse-like Pokémon. One was positive plus red, while the other was negative minus blue. They were native Pokémon of a region called Hoenn, their names Plusle and Minun.

Avon sighed. "Saved by the bell... or..." Avon pouted to think and then pointed to the male Ranger's device as he put it away, "Say, what is that thing you guys use?"

"That's a styler," Marcus educated. He then turned to the Rangers, "And you two took too long with the capture."

"Sorry, would've been sooner but Lunick, here, is behind me." The female trainer turned her head to the male ranger, Lunick, as she mentioned his name.

Lunick looked a bit ashamed. "... Did you really have to mention that, Solana?"

"Then why is he in Kanto? Shouldn't he be getting more training?" Marcus asked. Lunick hunched over even more, his rank in the boy's eyes now dwindled down to a rookie Ranger.

"A bit behind me." Solana emphasized. "He's still good, he just messed up a bit with the capture."

Lunick blinked, recognizing Marcus. "H-hey! Wait a minute!" he pointed to Marcus, almost surprised to have recognized him. "You're Marcus Lamech! Didn't you try out for the position of Ranger a few years ago?"

Marcus turned back to Lunick, both to his amazed shouting and to his own recognition. He was surprised to have been at least given a familiar status of trying out for the position. "Nice to see the Rangers still remember me." Marcus nodded with the statement. "And yes, I am Marcus Lamech and I did try out for that position."

"Though, you didn't get the job..." Avon finished, figuring out the rest of the scenario for himself. It was true, for Marcus sulked his head a bit from the truth.

"Sadly that is the case, as I was told that I lacked something." Marcus rose his head, "So instead I was forced to train myself in order to prove myself worthy and gain this which I lacked. Yet to bitter luck, here I am, still not a Ranger but rather a trainer."

Lunick seemed to realize Marcus' position; however, Solana appeared to be convinced otherwise.

"Hmm..." Solana looked toward the beast Pokémon, named Nidoking, still under Lunick's control. "Well, considering the way you handled yourself back there, I'd have to agree with them..." Solana nodded in disagreement, judging from that situation alone that she'd have to agree with her superior officers in their judgment. "Sorry... But it does seem like you're missing something."

Solana took a few steps out, while Lunick was releasing the Nidoking from the influence of his styler and sending him back to the wild. The Nidoking returned to his cave. "Marcus, I'll say this before the two of us head out. Being a Ranger is more than just having great physical strength. Though what it does mean..." she took a brief pause, ready to tell Marcus what it meant but then stopped, wanting Marcus to figure it out on his own. "...is something you'll have to figure out on your own.

"A sense of justice?" Marcus guessed. He then thought about it. "Hmm... Didn't I earn that during my days in Johto?"

Solana nodded. "I want you to think about what that means... It's more than just a sense of justice..." She turned to Lunick, ready to take off, "Come. We need to report."

"One more thing," Marcus halted them, "Tell the ranger union this. I want my second shot. When- After I'm done with Kanto. I think I'll have that which I lack by then."

Solana nodded. "I'll be sure to mention you."

"And Lunick, I'm warning you; Shape up, or the Johto Mixed Martial Arts Junior division champion will give you a ticket to Kingdom Come."

Lunick swallowed hard at the thought. "Thanks..."

The Rangers and the trainers went their separate ways, knowing that soon enough, their paths will join again. However, Marcus could only hope that their next meeting wouldn't be at either side's expense of having to save each other's lives; or at the most, their side.

**********
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
**********


Last edited by Arctic Master on Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:33 am, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:21 pm
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Chapter 3: The dreaded Nightmare

As the boys progressed through the woods, they finally reached a clearing of the woods. They could see the sky, as it was starting to turn orange from the setting sun. It was getting late, despite all that happened. Then again, the group left around twelve in the afternoon, so it would be no surprise to them how the time flew so quickly.

Avon looked at his watch; it was rolling onto six o'clock right about now. He thanks Daylight savings time- the boys would be walking around blind as bats if it were dark by now. They'd stop and take a break but Avon said he knew the fastest route to Viridian, so they didn't have to take the long winding roads around the wild grassy areas; and it'd also give them a shot to catch some beginner Pokémon. However, after the Nidoking incident, Avon and Marcus were turned off to catching Pokémon that day.

"Okay, after losing one of my favorite Pokémon to a bully, getting attacked by your crazy, possible fiancée-to-be and nearly getting mauled by a Nidoking, I say that things should be getting better for us, at this point..." Avon said, still bitter about the previous mentioned events but appear to be getting better. "Let's hope that no other crazy stalkers are on our tail..."

"Eh... Yeah, sure," Marcus took a quick look around.

Avon halted, surprised of Marcus' comment. "What do you mean by that?"

Marcus sighed. He felt he had to come clean now. "Let's just say I wasn't your average Joe back when I was in Sinnoh or Johto..."

Avon grimaced. "Look, I know about the Johto Martial Art's Tournament, but if it's not that... Please, don't tell me you have other possible crazy people, like Cassandra, after you..."

Marcus gave Avon a stern look, "Well I've met people ten times worse then Cassandra."

Avon stood up in his position, to continue walking, "You don't say..." Avon was still grimacing.

"I'll take responsibility if something happens." Marcus said.

"Then..." Avon gulped, "Let's hope nothing happens, then..." Avon's eyes widened, "For both of our sakes..."

As they get midway into the oval-sized clearing- which only took three seconds, Marcus sensed something and heard something else to boot. The sound was so familiar to him, it gave him a great sense of danger. Having a good idea who it could've been, he held out his hand to stop Avon.

"Stop." Marcus said, plainly. Avon stopped, midway into his step; having grunted as he had stopped. "I sense something wrong, Avon."

Avon backed up a bit. "Oh joy. Can't we get to Viridian city without the risk of getting attacked by some whacko?"

"Not like it's my fault dude." Marcus said, glaring back at Avon.

"I ain't blamin' ya, just sayin'-"

Avon stopped, mid-sentence, something having caught his eye in his peripheral vision. It gave off a quick glare, for only a quick second, but it managed to catch Avon's eye. Something had shifted in the bushes, along side of them and he had received the sudden sense of danger as well. Marcus barely missed sighting the glint of light.

"Something happen Avon?" Marcus asked.

Avon could barely speak at first, overcome by the danger. Instead, he pointed toward where he saw the being pass by. "I heard that thing you were possibly talking about... Shuffling through the grass back there..." Avon said, shallowly. He could tell it wasn't a Pokémon.

Marcus turned to his Munchlax. "Munchlax, stay alert and tackle anything that jumps or moves out of the woods and/or bushes."

Avon regained his nerve and called out his only Pokémon, Bulbasaur, "Stay alert..." Avon uttered, scared out of his wits. The reptile-like creature with the large green bulb on it's back, Bulbasaur, replied by saying his name, the only words it could speak, but agreeing to Avon's command.

Marcus followed up Avon's example and called out his new Lizard Pokémon with a flaming tail tip, Charmander, "Charmander, stay close to Munchlax and use Ember on anything that tries to hurt us."

Munchlax and Charmander both nod, in agreement. The Pokémon surrounded their trainers, all ready to protect them. The Pokémon, as well as both of their trainers, were diligently on the alert; each one of them on the lookout for the sudden movements of the possible attacker. They tried to make their way to the end of the clearing, hoping to possibly lose their attacker through there.

As things seemed to be calming down, something jumped out of the bushes, shouting in a startling fashion, "Lights out, Lamech!" the man shouted, jumping out of the bushes as two katanas were brandished in each of his hands- ready to cut anything in it's range down to size. Currently, in his way were both Avon and Marcus, as well as their Pokémon.

Avon followed his first reaction to jump out of harm's way, getting little visual of the man before dodging the blow. "Oh s***!" He cried as he evaded the blow.

"Crud!" Marcus cried, as he dove out of harm's way as well, though rolled back onto his feet. The katana clashed with the ground, nearly hitting Avon's Bulbasaur. The Bulbasaur soon felt faint and collapsed in front of the blade.

Avon landed hard on the ground, as he jumped out of the way. He groaned as he recovered from the fall. "Crud. First it was a crazy girl with a paper fan and a bamboo umbrella, now it's a psychopath with a katana. What's next?" Avon complained.

Marcus stood up. "Don't complain." He reminded

The two tried to get a good look at the man, but he charged, blindly, at Marcus, with an intention to kill, "Die, Marcus Lamech!" he shouted, swinging his blades madly. Marcus made an attempt to dodge the blows and almost had all of them, except for the final strike, which nailed him good on the torso. Marcus cringed from the pain, and backed away, holding where he was hit as the blood seeped through his hand.

The mysterious man jumped back into his position, the light finally hitting him enough to be seen. He was quite tall, about a foot or two taller than Marcus. He had black, neatly cut hair that outgrew enough to completely cover his right eye. His left eye was black and bloodshot, as he stared at Marcus, with a lust for his blood. Most of his attire was covered by a large, brown trench coat, though the lower sleeves of his pants that were still visible was a sliver color, with armor protected black shoes. The man had stanched back into his place, ready to fight some more.

"You've become weaker, Lamech." He told him, in a dangerous voice.

"How do you know my name, you...?" Marcus stopped, staggering from the pain, though goes on to shout his words. "you... you psychopathic katana swinging bastard?!"

The man straightened up from his stance, "I'll say it once, and only once. My name is Nightmare, but you may have known me as Chase Raghnall."

"Chase? That name sounds familiar, but I don't remember..." Marcus said, trying to ponder who this man was.

The man opened his trench coat, revealing his true appearance as he removed it. An iron glove on his right hand and several pieces of armor cover his torso, Chinese-styled armor; compared to that of samurai armor. All of this above his brown leather shirt, which was his first layer of clothing. Along side of the trench coat were all kinds of swords and weaponry in Nightmare's arsenal. It was somehow a wonder how it could all fit in there.

Avon, mistaking the removing of Nightmare's trench coat as a flasher attempt, covered his eyes. "Oh god!" Avon cried out, shielding his eyes from what he thought was the horror. Though he peeked, seeing as it not being a flasher attempt.

Marcus, on the other hand, recognized all of the equipment in Nightmare's trench coat. "You're... a martial artist of sorts? A warrior... a sword wielding..." Then, it hit Marcus, to who Nightmare was. "Wait... Are you that crazy sword-wielding guy from the Johto Martial Arts Tournament?"

Nightmare smirked, seeing as Marcus finally recognized him. "Glad you finally remembered me. But since you took a while to remember, I'll just let you suffer by killing your friend here." He fazed over to Avon, "Tell me, are you afraid of death?"

Marcus realized what Nightmare was doing. "Not that stupid question! Avon, say no! Those who fear death die earlier than those who don't!"

Of course, Avon was too terror stricken to listen to Marcus, and was surprised of Nightmare's question, "What, are you nuts?! Of course, you crazy psychopath!" Avon shouted.

Marcus cringed, though only to Avon nailing the coffin to his own grave. "Too late..."

Avon turned to Marcus, still with a crazed look on his face, "Well, 'scuse me for living!!" Avon shouted back.

"I see..." Nightmare replied, a sadistic grin sneaking across his face, "You should have taken your friend's advice. No matter... I'll deal with you later..." Nightmare phased over back to Marcus, raising his Katanas for the finishing blow. "Goodbye, Lamech. See you in hell..."

Avon raised his arm to stop the madman. "Wait! Before you kill him. I have a final request for him."

"Make it quick."

As if a reaction to Avon's last opportunity in life, he quickly turned to his Bulbasaur, who was now back on his feet, ready to give the command. "Razor leaf! Go!"

Bulbasaur blinked, and then attacked by letting loose sharp, leaf bladed projectiles from the bottom of his bulb toward Nightmare; however, he leaped out of the range of the leaves, managing to evade them. Bulbasaur applying the pressure with his sharp leaves, keeping Nightmare at bay until Avon reached Marcus, giving it his best to pull him up and try to run. Avon felt a bit sorry for using his team as a scapegoat, but he promised himself, if they got out of this situation alive, he'd make it up to them.

However, even as Bulbasaur kept Nightmare astray with his Razor leaf, the sight of Avon getting away with Marcus didn't go unseen. "I don't think so, pig! You're not escaping that easily!" Nightmare stopped evading and started skillfully, deflecting the leaf attacks with his sword. Once he saw his opening, he jumped out of the barrage of leaves and began charging for the two boys yet again. However, he was interrupted by small orbs, similar to Bulbasaur's Razor leaf attacks, except fire. The fire orbs were coming from Marcus' Charmander's tail, also known as the attack Ember. Nightmare was getting irritated. "You're now getting on my nerves... Gabite! Take care of 'em!"

As the Pokémon tried to keep at their attacks, a shadow of something large overtook them and their progress was stopped. The shadow appeared to be that of a large, land shark of sorts which blocked off their range of attacks with his fin-like arms. The Pokémon, spooked by the intimidating height and face of the Pokémon, felt themselves unable to attack it. All but Marcus's Munchlax, who was brave enough to attempt a tackle upon him, smashing full body into the large land shark Pokémon. However, when Munchlax struck him, Gabite did not even twitch from being hit by the weak attack.

Nightmare stopped his chase upon Avon and Marcus and decided to have his Pokémon, Gabite, deal with his interruptions. "Gabite, spare them no mercy. Dragon Claw!"

Munchlax, backed away, to evade the first strike from the green claw attack and then charged in again for another Tackle. It managed to succeed landing two blows before being hammered down into the dirt, quickly being defeated by the overpowering Pokémon. The other two Pokémon, Bulbasaur and Charmander, backed away, but as his trainer commanded, Gabite wasn't willing to show them any mercy.

Nightmare threw his hand out, his katana still clenched in it, and spat out another command. "Draco Meteor!"

Gabite focused energy into his forehead and then unleashed small rays of energy, in the form of meteorites, hurling toward Bulbasaur and Charmander. The meteorites exploded on contact with the ground or Bulbasaur and Charmander, causing a series of explosions to finish the Pokémon off. Gabite was victorious, despite the odds being three-to-one, Gabite clearly outmatched the other Pokémon.

Nightmare turned off to the fleeing duo, who didn't get very far since Marcus was heavier than he thought. Avon stopped to take a small break, even though he knew he shouldn't have, but Marcus' weight forced him to give into it. However, what Avon soon regretted it for a katana pierced right through his left side. It didn't hit any major organs, but it still hurt like hell.

Avon hissed, only to suppress his ability to scream. Not that it would have mattered, for Nightmare would kill them, regardless of witnesses. "Ack... D-dammit..." Avon rolled over, clutching his wound, leaving the semi-conscious Marcus wide open for Nightmare's sword. He aimed the tip of the blade toward Marcus's heart, ready for the final stab to end Marcus' life.

"Now, as I said before. Good-bye, Marcus Lamech." As Nightmare rose his blade to attack, however, he heard a shuffling in the grass. It wasn't a typical wild Pokémon shuffle, but more of a human's. "What the... Gabite, Hyper Beam."

Gabite unleashed a powerful beam from his gapping mouth firing it into the tall grass. It appeared to be a complete miss. From behind Gabite and his trainer appeared a yellow mouse Pokémon, with red cheeks and a thunderbolt-shaped tail. It appeared to have a small ball chain of a sort around it's neck, an orb of light connected at the bottom of the chain. The ball seemed to have glisten from the light slightly, strengthening the Pikachu's power.

"What? Only a Pikachu? Gabite, destroy it. Another Hyper beam." Nightmare commanded.

"That's not your typical Pikachu," said a voice from the grass, "Mike! Agility, then unleash Iron Tail!"

The Pikachu, nicknamed Mike, dodged the Hyper beam with it's agility, confounding the Gabite with his extreme speed as he made his way toward him. Once he got in range, the Pikachu disappeared and reappeared again above the Gabite; it's thunderbolt-shaped tail glowing as it descended. Upon reaching it's striking range and catching Gabite's attention, it swung it's full body at the Gabite's head, hammering it with his hard tail, forcing Gabite's eyes to bulge out a bit from the impact before sending him from the neck down onto the ground- an instant KO for Gabite. The trainer's Pikachu's strength was surely incredible. The Pikachu landed on top of the fallen Gabite, striking a heroic pose with it's fists upon it's hips.

Nightmare was furious. "What is that thing?!" He exclaimed, "No rodent should be able to knock my dragon unconscious!"

The owner of the Pikachu stepped out of the forest, revealing himself. From his serious, yet prestige look of experience, he was no novice. He had short, faded brown hair and brown eyes behind his D&G designer glasses. While his facial look had experience on it, his white button shirt and blue, slightly worn jeans spoke otherwise. He raised his eyebrow, at Nightmare, a smirk appearing on his mouth.

"You want to see a real dragon, then?" he asked. The trainer thrusts the Pikachu's ball toward him, making the Pikachu turn a transparent red and then get sucked into the Pokéball in his hand. The stranger then tossing up another Pokéball. Out of the light of the Pokéball appeared a light green colored dragon, on all fours, and thin, solid red wings on it's back. The powerful Dragon, known as Salamence, growled in an intimidating way at Nightmare, showing him that the trainer's power was real.

Nightmare groaned. "Ugh...I knew I should've brought along my other Pokémon..."

The teen gave a stern look toward Nightmare, "You can either move along now, or face the wrath of Wyrm," he warned.

"You do know that I didn't capture my Pokémon and I've only had them for so long. My game isn't Pokémon battles, it's combat!" Nightmare dropped his weapons and charged at the stranger, barehanded, "Thousand strikes!"

As Nightmare drew close, Salamence took wing and flew above his trainer. The trainer, calmly, ducked from the blows, occasionally blocking them; to Nightmare's surprise, the trainer wasn't just an ace in battling but in fighting too. Strange how he didn't look anything like the fighter type at all. After the first few blocks, the teen threw out Nightmare's arm and then jumped back from Nightmare. Nightmare huffed and then charged again, though as he did, the trainer's Salamence swept him off his feet by grasping him by his trench coat with his teeth (it's claws weren't formidable enough to grab him) and hovered him in front of the trainer. Nightmare was kicking and struggling to break free, though it was useless- he couldn't even reach the beast's mouth.

The teen huffed, having escaped all harm whatsoever. "Now, listen, you; Fists or not, you obviously don't know me," the teen thumbed toward his chest, "I'm Marc Anthony, one of the greatest trainers ever known. I'll spare you the self-bio, this time, being that we really don't have time for this." The teen, Marc, then swung his arm away, signaling to his Salamence. "So long."

Salamence took Nightmare away, flying at an incredible speed, toward the horizon from the area. It only took him a few seconds after disappearing from sight to have unloaded his load for Salamence came back, obviously having dropped Nightmare somewhere for he was no longer in his jaws, quite proud of what he did as he smiled widely. He could tell that was the last time he'd see him around for a while.

Marcus grunted and then asked the question, "...Are we... safe?" he asked.

"Yeah, you are," Marc replied.

"... Avon... How're you holding up?"

Avon groaned. "Can't believe he f***in' stabbed me... the bastard... f***..." Avon groaned again, a hint of disdain in his voice. "Other than taking a stab wound I won't soon forget, I'm good... Urgh..."

Marcus then grunted his speech, trying to apologize, "...Avon... I'm sorry for all of this... it was my fault that this happened... I'll become stronger for both our sakes..." Marcus strained himself, trying to get up and only curled up, in agony, "...I'm too tired to get up... this wound's worse than I thought... Heh... well Avon... I got the point... I won't work as... the leading man anymore... so you'll have to... just know that... the leading man is nothing... without his... support... night..." And with that, Marcus fell unconscious.

Avon groaned as well. "Will do," he said, cringing from the pain.

Marc, seeing the whole dramatic scene, scratched his head in confusion, "You guys need a ride to the hospital?"

"... Yes..." Avon grunted. "It would be greatly obliged."

Marc shrugged and then tossed out a few more Pokéballs. Out of both of the ball were two bulky Pokémon, summoned to aid Marc in helping Avon and the unconscious Marcus. One was large, gray dinosaur-like Pokémon; it had a crème colored belly below it's chest and it's prize drill on it's nose; while the other was a Pokémon on all fours, much like a large tortoise; on it's shell-like back a large tree on the left and three large spikes on the right.

Marc took out a medic kit from his bag (he never leaves home without it), patched the boys up to stop them from bleeding and then had his Rhydon place the two boys and their injured Pokémon on Torterra's back, leaving the Gabite behind. After leaving the scene, Marc and his Pokémon began their short walk toward Viridian city's hospital and Pokémon center, with quite the story to tell. He wasn't sure how he'd tell this wild tail, but from his experience, it never stopped him before.

**********
~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~
**********


Last edited by Arctic Master on Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:53 pm
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Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:42 pm
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Phew, just got finished reading your first chapter and it was a lot to take in. Yes, it was lengthy, took me about three days to read it all since I don’t have a lot of free time this time of year.

Anyway, on with the review of your first chapter (don’t read if you haven’t read the first chapter yet, or you will be spoiled):

Let’s start with the prologue. It was nice to get a bit of background information on the main character and it set a starting point for the story so the readers know what’s going on. There’s really nothing wrong with it, but all the same it seems like something you could fit in the first chapter instead of making it a prologue, but whatever floats your boat. Some of the wording was confusing, but I think I got the drift of it. I think the problem was you used too many pronouns. I kept mistaking “the boy” for the main character’s friend. Why not use their names?

Now for the first chapter: It starts out with the main character waking up on the morning of his Pokemon Journey. Average start, but there’s already a problem. I can’t tell you how many OT fics I’ve read that start this way. So here I’m thinking “Oh boy, here we go again.” Typically, this scares me away from further reading, but I decided to keep going since you’re grammar and descriptions are above par with most OT fics I’ve read.

So the main character joins his friend, goes to the lab, runs into his rival, and gets his starting Pokemon. Once again, it’s following the mechanical storyline of your usual OT fic. I’m beginning to feel more and more bored. The bully cuts in and takes the Pokemon the main character wants. I don’t see that often, but it wasn’t all that surprising. Heck, I remember that happening in Yellow.

Well, at least the character gets an actual starter and nothing goes wrong that makes him get otherwise. Then you pull in a new character that gets the exception. Same aspect, but at least you approached it differently. I didn’t seem to catch the height of this character they call “Polka-dot”. Is he short and skinny? Otherwise, the joke doesn’t really catch me as funny.

By this time, I’m feeling a bit more hopeful about this story’s plot since there’s a bit of variety. And, boy was I surprised. Now we get a crazy girl stalking the sidekick and Pokemon Rangers (note: I’ve never played those games, so I know nothing about them, so I won’t comment on them). But the problem is: All in one chapter? Sorry, but you’ve got way too much going on now. You should give them, if not their own chapter, than more time than you did. It all just seems rushed to me.

Then there’s the length that you did bring up in the end. Sorry to say, but length does scare away readers when it comes to fanfiction. But then again, if and when you do get readers, you know they’re reading because they want to and they like it rather than out of boredom. I suggest shortening your chapters to about 6-8 pages at most (I got 11 pages when I copy-pasted your prologue and chapter onto Word).

Well that’s all from me for now. I have yet to read chapters 2 and 3 and I’ll comment on them as well as I see fit. I hope these suggestions help. Good luck and keep it up!

P.S. - How dare you put down my favorite Pokemon! (Just kidding.)


Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:02 am
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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:03 pm
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Location: Somewhere out of arm's reach.
FlashOfRed wrote:
Phew, just got finished reading your first chapter and it was a lot to take in. Yes, it was lengthy, took me about three days to read it all since I don’t have a lot of free time this time of year.

Anyway, on with the review of your first chapter (don’t read if you haven’t read the first chapter yet, or you will be spoiled):

Let’s start with the prologue. It was nice to get a bit of background information on the main character and it set a starting point for the story so the readers know what’s going on. There’s really nothing wrong with it, but all the same it seems like something you could fit in the first chapter instead of making it a prologue, but whatever floats your boat. Some of the wording was confusing, but I think I got the drift of it. I think the problem was you used too many pronouns. I kept mistaking “the boy” for the main character’s friend. Why not use their names?

Now for the first chapter: It starts out with the main character waking up on the morning of his Pokemon Journey. Average start, but there’s already a problem. I can’t tell you how many OT fics I’ve read that start this way. So here I’m thinking “Oh boy, here we go again.” Typically, this scares me away from further reading, but I decided to keep going since you’re grammar and descriptions are above par with most OT fics I’ve read.

So the main character joins his friend, goes to the lab, runs into his rival, and gets his starting Pokemon. Once again, it’s following the mechanical storyline of your usual OT fic. I’m beginning to feel more and more bored. The bully cuts in and takes the Pokemon the main character wants. I don’t see that often, but it wasn’t all that surprising. Heck, I remember that happening in Yellow.

Well, at least the character gets an actual starter and nothing goes wrong that makes him get otherwise. Then you pull in a new character that gets the exception. Same aspect, but at least you approached it differently. I didn’t seem to catch the height of this character they call “Polka-dot”. Is he short and skinny? Otherwise, the joke doesn’t really catch me as funny.

By this time, I’m feeling a bit more hopeful about this story’s plot since there’s a bit of variety. And, boy was I surprised. Now we get a crazy girl stalking the sidekick and Pokemon Rangers (note: I’ve never played those games, so I know nothing about them, so I won’t comment on them). But the problem is: All in one chapter? Sorry, but you’ve got way too much going on now. You should give them, if not their own chapter, than more time than you did. It all just seems rushed to me.

Then there’s the length that you did bring up in the end. Sorry to say, but length does scare away readers when it comes to fanfiction. But then again, if and when you do get readers, you know they’re reading because they want to and they like it rather than out of boredom. I suggest shortening your chapters to about 6-8 pages at most (I got 11 pages when I copy-pasted your prologue and chapter onto Word).

Well that’s all from me for now. I have yet to read chapters 2 and 3 and I’ll comment on them as well as I see fit. I hope these suggestions help. Good luck and keep it up!

P.S. - How dare you put down my favorite Pokemon! (Just kidding.)

O_O *sets off a holy hand grenade*

Thanks for showing me that my story's being read. I see views but I feared that the length was scaring people off (which you mentioned). Now to reply.

Thanks for the advice on the prologue. I put it nameless since... well, I didn't want to pull out names so quickly. My goal was to introduce the names while in the story. Sorry that I confused ya. I'll fix that soon.

So you noticed? Ha. Yeah, I did that purposely, to make it SEEM like a generic adventure. Heck, even the main character expected it to be a generic adventure. The whole point of that was to catch readers off-guard. Ninja their brains with a katana and then disappear into the night. *smug smirk* However, I failed in some places, later in the story, for there's still some generic events in the story that... turns people off.

Oddly enough (even though I did play Yellow), I forgot about that event with Gary butting out Red for that Eevee. However, that was just coincidental, I didn't do that one on purpose.

Ah yes, Jimmy. I really didn't put much description in him. Though, as you described, he IS short and skinny. I kinda pictured him as a Wally in Red's clothing, but that's just me. And assumption gets me nowhere, so yeah; That also needs afixing.

And here's where I ninja your brain. *slice.* Though, I see you have a point. I read it over and it does seem kinda rushed. Even my collab partner, Deoxy Warrior, wrote a parody on that and he split those two events in half. Personally, I wanted to add in something in the first chapter that would drive the story away from the "same-old same-old" crap that would scare away the readers. However, if you feel that it's still too much info, I can cut it in half AGAIN.

The length was, actually, shorter than it is now. In the second editing cut, Chapter one and two were one and the same, making the first chapter gigantic. I actually split it in two and made them two separate chapters. If it's still scaring away readers due to length than I'm going to have to edit it again.

If you're going to read chapter 2, be warned, it blows all the other chapters out of proportion... probably for the wrong reasons (depending on your standards).

P.S. - Which one? And thanks for the comment.


Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:43 pm
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Bulbasaur. You kinda portrayed it as the worst of the starters, but whatever.

So you're making it seem bad so it looks even greater later? Interesting idea, dunno how well it will work, though.

Arctic Master wrote:
O_O *sets off a holy hand grenade*

Monty Python ftw?


Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:29 pm
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I did? O_o Oh, sorry... Didn't mean to. I mean, I used Bulbasaur most of the time when I play FR/LG, and he got through fairly well. Does it seem like that was because of him being the last to be chose or because of all the exaggeration that Avon made because of losing his first choice? ^^; Eh, don't worry, Bulbasaur will have his moment to shine. He'll definately prove his worth to Avon.

**********

Chapter 4: When the aspiring new trainers want to play...

The rest of the previous day came and gone, and quickly, the boys recovered enough to move again. After checking out of the hospital, Avon and Marcus expected a hefty bill to pay after having been patched up. However, when they arrived at the front desk, the boys shortly found out that their bill was generously paid off by Marc Anthony. They blinked at the news; that was awfully generous of the guy for he didn't even know him.

The boys went to find and thank Marc, as well as get their Pokémon back; knowing to go to the Pokémon center. Finding it was easy for it had a large "P" on it, and usually, a red roof. However, the hard part was to come. As the two boys reach the center they saw a large crowd blocking the entrance.

"What the..." Avon asked, as they saw the crowd.

The two boys shoved and pushed their way through the crowd. It was hard for the crowd, made up of photographers, girls and interviewers, were all taking up every single inch they could put their foot on. They appeared to be crowded around the lounging area, asking questions and shouting awkward things at the person there. Pushing through and finally getting sight of the person, they see it is Marc.

"Yo, Marc!" Marcus shouted. He had to shout it, being that other people were around, asking questions and shouting obnoxiously.

"Hey! Move it, kid!" shouted someone in the crowd, pushing and shoving.

"Train with me, Marc!" shouted someone else.

"Battle me! I want to test your mettle!" shouted another.

"Marry me!" shouted a fourth, most likely a girl.

"Marc! Is it true that you met legendary Pokémon? If so which ones?" asked an interviewer.

The questions went on. All while Marc was simply trying to have his breakfast. His face looked rather bored, as if this was done routinely. He hadn't appeared to have heard Marcus, for the crowd was very loud and practically drowned out any sounds he threw toward him as he simply continued eating. Once Marc finished eating he turned to the crowd, took a deep breath, and did something completely unexpected.

"Enough!!" Marc shouted at the top of his lungs. The crowd silenced quickly, "Just... Leave..." He said flicking his wrist away, head bend downward, eyes closed.

The crowd, much to Avon and Marcus' surprises, backed off. Most of the crowd cleared except for a select few who were persistent enough to stay along and those who needed to use the facilities resources. Amongst the group were Avon and Marcus, a few boys and a dark blue haired girl in a black hoodie and blue jeans.

The girl stuck out amongst the group like a sore thumb, being that she was the only one with black on. She was cradling a pink and yellow Pokémon of a sort in her arms, it's large blue eye appealing cute to some girls. She appeared to wanted to ask Marc something, but then flinched upon bringing the question up and fled out of the door. Seeing the opportunity after the girl left, the two boys approached Marc, to finally thank him.

"Yo, Marc!" Avon called out to him. Marc blinked upon hearing the familiar, but more robust voice.

"Oh, hey! You two are..." Marc stopped. He snapped his fingers, trying to remember the names, "Avon and... Who are you?"

"Marcus." he replied, feeling somewhat vain. He thought that someone already spoke of his name.

"Right," Marc nodded, "The nurse at the counter has your Pokémon." He said, vaguely.

Marc then turned away and continued dealing with his business of the small crowd of persistent trainers surrounding him, all begging to become apprentices, trainees under his wing. They begged and begged but Marc didn't appear to have an answer for them. It was then that Marcus scoffed, annoyed by these questions that the mindless trainers continued to throw at the expert trainer.

"Really, what's the deal with the whole "apprentice" thing, anyway?" Marcus asked. The crowd gasped, as if he had said a dirty word or had committed blasphemy.

"Are you kidding?!" asked one of the trainers, "He's a living legend!"

"No I'm not." Marc quickly interjected, mid-sentence of the trainer's compliments.

"He could topple the Pokémon league, hands down!" said another.

"He met with legendary Pokémon, before, and helped them!" said a third.

"And, on top of all that, he has almost every Pokémon, minus the legendaries, that's known to the public! And, somehow, he trains them all to an equal degree!"

"It's nothing a little effort can't hurt." The elite trainer directed his speaking to Avon and Marcus. "I keep telling these guys that if they want to become stronger, put some effort into it. Hell, some of the trainers told me they were the best of their region, and yet when they fought me and lost, they got bitter or they wanted to learn under me. I shot them down, saying 'If they were the best then I wouldn't need to train you, then.'

Marc nodded, "And those who I have taken under apprenticeship couldn't take the pressure and bailed on me. I'm not going to take anyone who won't look forward to harder challenges."

"Please take me in!" said one of the trainers.

"No! Accept me again! I promise not to quit!" promised another one.

"I want another shot! Please!" said a third.

"No, no and no! Forget it! I'm done with all you guys. Just go."

The trainers, who were once understudies of the elite, left in disappointment. The crowd was diminished to three guys- apparently new faces to Marc, not including Marcus and Avon.

"We'd better leave him be..." Avon suggested. The boys could clearly see that Marc was about to get more problems on his hands. They walked up to the counter, where a pink haired nurse was waiting to assist them in any way. "Excuse me, Nurse Joy?"

The nurse gave the boys a warm, friendly smile. Apart from mending the wounds of the Pokémon, her friendly smile seemed to ease away any pains and aches that trainers may have. "Yes, how can I help you today?" She asked.

"We're here to pick up our Pokémon, ma'am. A Munchlax and a Charmander for me," Marcus started..

"And a Bulbasaur for me," Avon finished. "They were checked in, yesterday afternoon, right?"

"Oh, right! Coming right up..." the nurse said. She moved into the back room, to collect their teams. As she did, Marcus turned to Avon.

"You remember what I said, right?" Marcus asked, leaning on the counter. "You're leader of this group, Avon."

"Yeah, I didn't forget," Avon replied, "Luckily, I know where to go. But first, we need to decide on what we're to do..."

The nurse placed down the trays with their Pokéballs in front of them. She appeared even more eager to help for she had overheard them talking. "Maybe you should try out for the Pokémon league."

"Pokémon league?" Avon asked.

"I've heard of it. It's a championship involving a series of battles to the top of the region. The Pokémon league is a harsh road to glory, and only one can be champion," Marcus explained.

Avon was surprised of Marcus' knowledge. "How do you know about it?"

"When I was looking up fighting contests in the Johto Martial arts division, that event also popped up from time to time. Though, back to my explanation, apart from actually getting to the league, you have to face a series of trainers called Gym leaders. These certified trainers will hand you badges if you manage to defeat them in battle. Once you have all eight of a region, you can gain access the Pokémon league."

"However, the last tournament was just about a week ago, which means the next one will be starting up next year. If you're planning on getting there, you should train hard and prepare for anything," Nurse Joy advised.

"Thanks for the advice, Nurse Joy."

With the advice from the nurse, as well as their Pokémon, the dynamic duo pressed onward to their next destination, Pewter city. But first, before that, Viridian Forest.
*********

As Avon and Marcus head on out to the next route, the two continued on with their journey, hoping to finish it off on the right foot this time. However, before reaching the city limits of Viridian city, the inspiring new trainers reencounter another inspiring new trainer, back from his training.

"Hey, guys!" shouted Jimmy, approaching from their rear. He sounded slightly out of breath, mainly from carrying that large bag of his, but also due to running to catch up with Avon and Marcus. "I saw you guys in the Center and decided to bring up that challenge you mentioned!"

"Well hola, Jimmy," Marcus said.

"Sup?" Avon asked, "So, think you're prime time, now that you got that training?"

"Sure am, um..." Jimmy paused. He never got their names.

"Avon."

"Marcus."

"Yeah, Avon," Jimmy said, "I'm ready to give you guys a go!"

He stepped up, his bright blue eyes somewhat glistening from the excitement. He put down his overlarge backpack, and took off his lone Pokéball off his belt. He threw it up and the ball opened up and the light beam from the ball formed summoned the Pocket monster.

A cicada-like Pokémon appeared out of the ball, two whisker-like antennas, arched from its mouth to the ground. It's whitish-gray body somewhat blended in with the white road it stood on, it's brown front claws and green, curled up stubbed wings on it's back standing out to the color of the road. Avon and Marcus stood, awestruck by how seemingly weak the bug Pokémon looked.

"A Nincada? Are you for real?" Marcus asked. Jimmy nodded. "Avon, who do you think should face him, you or me?"

"Rock paper scissors, dude." Avon said.

They shook their fists at each other, three times, as they initiated the quick game. Avon shot out two fingers, in the shape of "scissors" as Marcus kept his fist clenched, "Rock." Avon shrugged.

"Alright, then..." Marcus said, turning to his challenger, "Guess you're my opponent, Jimmy. Don't expect me to go easy on you."

Jimmy seemed to have gotten even more inspired when Marcus said that, "That's alright, Marcus!" He wiped his nose with a finger, "We just got started! We can take it!"

Marcus tossed up his Pokéball, calling out his Charmander, from before. He felt good to have it again. "Charmander, show him who's boss."

"Nincada! Scratch attack!"

Charmander waited for the cicada Pokémon to approach to bat him back and away, with a swing of his orange tail. Nincada was knocked into the air and had back flipped many times before landing square on it's feet, in somewhat of a daze. As far as Marcus was concerned, the Nincada was wide open for attack, which now Marcus would try to obliterate it.

"Charmander, unleash Flamethrower!"

Charmander took a deep breath and unleashed a magnificent stream of scarlet flames, as they scorched the gravel in a straight line on it's way to reach Nincada.

"Nincada! Harden!" Jimmy commanded. Nincada stiffened every muscle in it's body to endure the attack; however, that appeared to have failed as the flames died down. Scorch marks appeared all over it's body as it clenched it's eyes shut, still trying to endure and keep it's muscles stiff. Eventually, Nincada succumbed to the powerful fire attack, and collapsed with spirals in it's eyes.

"I think he just rolled a critical," Avon commented from the sidelines.

Jimmy groaned, having lost. "After all the training we did..."

"Don't feel bad. It's not that you suck. It's just that Marcus is better than you."

"Yeah..." Jimmy said. He sounded down, but Avon's words seemed to have gotten to him, "Yeah!" Jimmy pointed to Marcus, "Marcus. Avon. Next time we battle, I'll be stronger! You'll see! I'll beat you one day!"

Jimmy took off to the Viridian City Pokémon center after that battle, though turned back around. He nearly forgot to recall his Nincada back to his ball and retrieve his oversized backpack. After doing both things, Jimmy ran back to the Viridian City Center to rest up before going back on his journey.

The two boys remaining gave each other a rather skeptical look. It was the last comment that Jimmy said that made the previous battle all the more ludicrous. Even Charmander was looking skeptical, raising an eyebrow to the remains that was Jimmy's comment.

"He's not going to beat us..." Avon said, with an incredulous tone.

*************

The two boys progressed to enter the Viridian forest. However, down the road, an old rival decided to block their way. As they approached the entrance, they see Jason, the same way they met him the first time, leaning on something that lead onto their progress; in this case, one of the trees that led into Viridian forest.

"Hiya, chumps." Jason said, seeing the two. He waved. "Well, if it ain't old knuckles and chicken wuss!"

"A..." Avon gasped, flabbergasted, "A chicken what?!"

"Leave us be, Jason. Or else you want me to put these knuckles to good use... On your face, perhaps?" Marcus taunted. Jason didn't seem phased by the taunt.

"Hey, I'm a nice guy. And besides, I don't beat up on weaklings, until after I beat them in a battle. After all, it's no good if you're Pokémon aren't as intimidating as you."

"That's big words coming from a meathead." Avon taunted. However, that seemed to have an effect.

"Shut up, wimp!" Jason snatched one of his Pokéballs off of his belt, "So, Knuckles, take me on! Unless you're just too high and mighty for a Pokémon battle!"

Marcus looked over to Avon, "Should I?"

"Well, you're on a roll, so meh; why not?" Avon said, shrugging his shoulders.

"Alright, then," Marcus turned to Jason, "I'll whup you, like I should've done, back at Oak's lab," Marcus pointed one of his fingers at Jason, "one way or another."

He tossed up Charmander's Pokéball, once again, calling out the orange Lizard Pokémon. Jason cackled.

"Oh man, this will be a snap!" Jason said. He reared back his Pokéball and threw it up, calling out a navy blue colored Pokémon, instead of the starter he chose. It's back shell was a darker brown and it had longer, curlier tails, than the single tail it had as a Squirtle. Needless to say, Marcus nearly choked, at the sight of it.

"You gotta be kidding me!" Marcus gasped.

"What's a matter? Gonna wet yourself?" Jason taunted, "Wartortle! Water gun!"

"Charmander, use Scratch, or something! Just try not to get killed out there!"

Charmander began to charge toward the turtle Pokémon, however, Wartortle inhaled and then squirted a blast of water to attack. Charmander, seeing the incoming water, turned tail and ran for his life, holding his tail in front of him to prevent the water from hitting it. The water was pressing down on his back and eventually made Charmander trip and fall, but his flame was still lit. However, Charmander couldn't take anymore, as it lied on the ground, dazed.

Marcus groaned, as he recalled his Charmander. He still had one option left. He placed back Charmander's Pokéball readying up to call out another one of his team. Jason became surprised.

"What? You're not out of Pokémon yet?"

"I have one more. Munchlax!" Marcus called out his trusted partner from it's Pokéball. He hadn't released it, since he had gotten it back from the Pokémon center.

"Regardless, it's still going to get it's fat butt munched!" Jason said. He pointed to the Munchlax, "Wartortle, use another Water gun!"

"Munchlax, Metronome!" Marcus said.

As Wartortle took his sweet time to attack, Munchlax wagged one of his fingers, as they glow. When the glowing finished, Munchlax fell onto its back and started to flop around uselessly. This surprised Marcus, because Munchlax was now using the most useless move of all; Splash.

"Horse f***..." Marcus muttered, slapping one of his palms to his forehead.

Wartortle unleashed his Water Gun, as it hit Munchlax, mercilessly. Munchlax was blown toward Marcus, flattened, rolled out and tossed aside; defeated.

"Oooh, that was far from a pretty sight..." Avon said, sensing the sting from Munchlax having taken the attack. He was going to make Jason pay. He pulled out one of his Pokéballs, ready for some payback.

"Alright, kid. Now, that my Pokémon have beat yours down, let me do you the honor of letting you feel their pain," Jason said, pounding one of his fists into his palm. As he approached, Marcus held out a hand for him to stop, "Wha-?"

"Say, Jason, I'm feeling generous today and so I'll let you in on a little secret. If you don't wanna lose this fight then simply stay still and let me punch you from there to here," Marcus said. He then pointed a random direction somewhere behind Jason.

"Where?"

Jason, idiotically, looked back to see where he was pointing at. Marcus, on the other hand, charged toward him and delivered a mighty hook to Jason's left cheek. The impact of the blow sent him spiraling a few feet away from the entrance, knocking out a few teeth in the process, as well as putting him out cold for a while.

Wartortle, seeing his trainer downed, had prepared himself for another Water gun, however, staggered, from a hit from behind. Wartortle, paralyzed from the blow from behind, fell forward and revealed a sharp leaf lodged in the back of his shell. A short distance behind him was Avon and his Bulbasaur who look proud of their achievement and hi-fived each other for it.

"Thanks for the assist," Marcus said, then recalling Munchlax to his Pokéball, "So, what now?"

"We heal up and then head on out, to Pewter," Avon said. He was about to turn around, but then remembered Jason and Wartortle, "Then again, we don't need to have another tussle with Jason..."

"So, we move on?"

"Yeah. I have some potions and other items to heal up your Pokémon. Once we get a good distance away from this meathead, we'll heal up your Pokémon."

*********
*~*~*~*~*~*~
*********


Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:21 pm
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Well, I just read chapter 2. It's not bad, but it was kind of odd and I still think you're introducing way too many characters. Especially when they're gone after ten minutes. Give the reader some time to get used to a character or, if it's not a main character, write a bit of an episode (a few chapters) to go with them rather than they show up and something happens to get rid of them right away. I can tell you probably have plans for these characters in the future, but it's just jumbled that you introduced them all at once and put them off to the side for later. Also, I think you might want to do a bit more proofreading, especially the beginning of the chapter. It was noticably rushed to me. It'll be interesting to see how this story rolls out. Keep up the good work!


Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:55 pm
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