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Pokemon Trainer Sarah
11-22-2007, 11:13 PM
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I have no eyes, but I can see.
But what is seeing?
Is it sensing objects?
Picturing them in your mind?
Is it knowing when something crosses your path?
Is it more than knowing?
Is it shape? Colour? Light?
Is what I do seeing?
No.
I can feel.
But I cannot see.


The Darkness

I flapped my wings and soared through the narrow corridors of Mt. Moon. I had been born in this tunnel, and had never left it, and because of this, I knew each winding path by heart. I spun in the air, just for fun, and imagined the cool rock surrounding me. Brown, I was told by the Clefairy. But what is brown?

I kept moving forward, back toward the small cavern where I lived. My stomach was beginning to rumble, but I was not in the mood for hunting. I felt a cool breeze and something gushed past me. Watch where you’re going!, the words were formed in the screeching cry that soon followed. I knew I should be relying on ultrasonic waves rather than my own sense of direction, but I hated having to hear where I was going. Why couldn’t I be like the Clefairy? They could see and hear… and they knew what brown was. I dove.

I came to land on my favourite perch on the ceiling of the cave, a small piece of stone jutting out from the otherwise smooth rock face. Just as I had relaxed, I heard the scampering of feet below. Reluctantly, I opened my fanged mouth and let out a screech that only I could hear. Within seconds the soundwaves had bounced off the intruder and back toward me. My ears twitched as the scene below me began to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, but it was not the same as seeing. I was given only shapes and depths and all sorts of useful measurements for hunting prey, but not the light and colour that I so desperately wished to experience.

“Clef…” I screeched; lower this time so that she could hear.

“Good afternoon, Zero,” she replied, and I sent out a few more ultrasonic waves so that I could hear what she was doing.

I stayed silent as the small, fairy-like Pokemon sat down on a smooth, flat rock beneath me. Once on returning to my home, I had found the young creature huddled in the corner of my cavern, lost and afraid that she would become my next meal. After informing the Normal-type that I quite preferred Venonat and leading her out of the maze of tunnels, we became fast friends, and she regularly made her way back into the depths to speak to me about the intricacies of flying, and the wonders of colour and light that my species were blind to.

“Afternoon,” I repeated. No wonder I was hungry. “Clef… tell me what I look like.”

I had asked this question many times before. Of course I knew the shape of my body: my large, pointed ears, my four sharp fangs, two strong, webbed wings and finally two long tails. But the young Clefairy knew what I wanted to hear.

“You’re blue,” she said. “Like the sky.”

The sky, I thought, sounds wonderful, but I had never see the sky, or the colour of it, and so this comment was of no help.

“What else is blue?” I questioned. “Are most Pokemon blue like the sky?”

“Well,” the small Pokemon squeaked, raising a hand to scratch her head. “Water is blue, but Pokemon come in all different colours.”

All different colours, how amazing it would be to see them!

“Like me, I am pink. And you,” she continued, “are also purple.”

“Hmm, purple, another colour,” I thought aloud. “But they all look the same to me.” I sighed. It was a silly idea to ask Clef all these questions. It seemed the more I found out, the more I wanted to know.

“I’m sorry,” the Pokemon frowned. I knew she could hear the sadness in my voice. “We are alike, Zero, for you can feel, but cannot see, and I can float, but cannot fly.” She paused. “Maybe… we can help one another…”

“You have a plan.”

“Perhaps,” she nodded.

And I didn’t need ultrasonic waves to sense the smile on her face.

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

Fifteen minutes later and we were soaring through the tunnels at high speed. Clef had latched herself onto my tails and after a shaky start, I head learned that by flapping my wings extra hard, I was able to keep us both airborne and at a fast pace.

Throughout the flight, Clef was silent with contentment. I knew that she dreamed of flying as I did of seeing, and knowing that I could help my friend to accomplish her wish made my heart feel light. Now I just hoped that she would be able to help me.

“Here we are,” Clef smiled, and even though I couldn’t see anything different, I felt a change in the air. “Ahead is the entrance to Mt. Moon, and for us, the outside world.”

With the help of sonic waves, I soared toward the ground and released Clef safely onto the soft rock of the cave floor.

“Follow me,” she said, and I obeyed.

After a few minutes, I felt Clef stop, and sure enough, there was something different about the air here. It was less dense and moist and it seemed that if I stopped flapping my wings I’d be able to float without falling.

“This is it,” Clef said as she began moving forward again in that strange little hop-skip of hers. “Out of the darkness…”

“And into the light.”

At once we both rushed forward, and suddenly I felt the most amazing sensation on my wings and face. It was a warmth unlike anything I’d ever felt and I dropped down toward the ground to bask in the magnificent feeling.

“That’s the sun,” Clef explained. “The sun is red and yellow and orange. Hot, burning, bright colours.”

And finally, I understood.

The sun was something my species was afraid of, weakened by. I sent out a flurry of ultrasonic waves to try and locate this object, but as I opened my mouth, Clef just laughed.

“No, Zero, you won’t be able to locate the sun like that. It’s much too far away. Even I can’t look directly at it, because its brightness would blind me.”

So, not even those blessed with sight could see the sun. I was amazed. I looked around the area I was now in using my hearing. It was so different to anything I’d ever seen: flat, grassy ground, large trees with spreading branches. In this open area, my hearing only reached so far, and unlike the damp cave, there was much left to my imagination.

“Come with me,” Clef called from before me, and I took to the skies once more. The fairy-Pokemon stopped before a flowing stream and beckoned me down to land beside her.

She dipped a small paw into the water and splashed it into my face. I was startled at first, but soon a coolness began to spread through my body and I relaxed.

“Water is blue,” Clef squeaked. “Blue is a cold colour, like purple.”

“Cold,” I repeated, slotting the shades into the colour wheel in my head. “Red is the warmest, and blue is the coldest.” At last, everything began to fall into place, and the colours that I could finally imagine began to flood into the picture created by my ears.

It wasn’t quite as good as seeing. But it was close.

In a display of ecstasy, I flew at Clef, scooping her up before zipping into the sky.

“The sky is blue,” I recalled, and at once the wide open space in my mind was filled with an icy colour that I took to be the blue that Clef had shown me.

I didn’t have to dislike using my ultrasonic abilities to see anymore. I could use all of my senses to create the picture that Clef had finally revealed to me. As I soared through the colour I could feel it in my wings and I imagined fading into the bright blue, surrounded by colour forever.

“It’s starting to get late,” Clef said after we were both tired out from flying, and were relaxing on the cool grass that I now knew to be green. “Soon the sun will set, making the sky orange and pink before it disappears altogether and the darkness returns.” She paused. “We should go.”

I didn’t like the sound of the darkness, but I knew that I couldn’t return to the cave where I had been trapped all my life, not when I had discovered a whole new world filled with colour.

“I’m staying,” I screeched softly. “There’s too much out here to explore.”

Clef looked at me for a moment. “I understand, Zero. I knew it would be hard for you to return, which is why I neglected to show you this outside world for so long. But even if we must part now, I’m glad that you are finally happy.” She hugged me gently before stepping back toward Mt. Moon.

“I’ll return soon,” I promised, “once I have seen all the colours.”

“What a strange sight it will be to see a Zubat out in the sunshine,” Clef joked, but her voice seemed distant. “Bye Zero, next time we meet I will have learned to fly.”

“I’m sure you will,” I smiled. “Thanks for everything, Clef.”

And with that the small, pink Clefairy turned and skipped, rather less vigorously than usual, back into the dark tunnel.

I wanted to be far from Mt. Moon when the darkness descended, so I decided to head off straight away. It was still warm so I figured the sun was yet to set. I headed off toward the rolling green hills, enjoying the slight breeze.

Suddenly, I heard voices below, but I couldn’t understand what they were saying. Peering down, I noticed that they belonged to large figures that could only be…

Humans, I thought.

“Is that a… Zubat?”

“Out here... It can’t be.”

“But, I’m sure it is. Just my luck!”

Apart from sunlight, these creatures were the other reason my species stayed hidden in Mt. Moon. Before I could find somewhere to hide, it seemed that I’d been spotted.

One of the humans threw a ball into the air and a large butterfly Pokemon emerged. Without Clef to help me, I couldn't fill this Pokemon with colour.

“Go Butterfree! Use Psybeam!”

I watched as the butterfly zipped toward me through the sky. A bright beam of energy shot from the antennae on its head. I could sense the coldness... purple.

My senses flew into overdrive. Using ultrasonic signals I measured the distance to collision. There was enough time to dodge, so rather than preparing myself for the hit, I flapped my webbed wings hard and began to gain altitude. The beam of energy passed below me.

Now was my chance to retaliate. Before the bug could recover from the expenditure of energy, I flew straight for it, spinning right before impact to hit it with a Wing Attack.

“NOW!” a voice yelled out from below.

At the exact moment I struck the bug, it released another Psybeam, hitting me in the wing and causing me to fall toward the ground. It seemed that rather than recovering, the butterfly had been readying itself for another attack. I had underestimated it, but there was no way I would give in yet.

I flapped my good wing hard so that I began to spiral toward the ground. At least this would lessen the impact when I landed.

Finally I touched down on the soft grass. Above me, the Butterfree was panting slightly. I have to hurry before it makes another move, I decided, and began to flap my wings again. My left wing still seemed a bit weak, but I decided I would be able to fly if I relied mainly on my right.

Before the winged bug could attack again, I took off toward it, my mouth open wide and my fangs dripping with poison. The bug dodged downwards, but I merely followed, finally able to sink my fangs into the Butterfree’s neck. It didn’t taste quite as good as Venonat, but as I drained the bug’s energy, I began to feel stronger.

“Quick! Get it off!”

Immediately the bug Pokemon began to shake madly, but my fangs were in too deep – there was no way I’d let go now.

“Use Psybeam to get rid of it!”

The butterfly’s antennae began to glow again, and I knew it was preparing to fire off another energy beam. I couldn’t risk being hit again, so I ripped out my fangs, causing the bug to shriek in pain.

I flew downwards, but I knew it would be impossible to dodge from this angle; Butterfree merely had to turn its head to aim at me. Instead of trying to evade, I opened my mouth wide, releasing a toxic black Haze attack. Immediately I was lost in the darkness.

Maybe I haven’t been giving my special ability enough credit, I thought as I began to emit ultrasonic waves in every direction in order to locate my opponent. After a few seconds I managed to lock on. I opened my mouth wide and this time a large ball of black energy began to form before me.

Just as my cover began to fade away, I was ready. I took a deep breath and then released the pulsing ball right at Butterfree. The orb shot through the air like a heat-seeking missile, and my aim was dead on. The bug was unable to dodge my surprise attack, and I watched triumphantly as it dropped from the sky, unable to keep the wind in its wings.

“Butterfree, pull up with Whirlwind, and get it with String Shot!”

It seemed that the human speech was getting easier to understand – or at least I knew it was calling for another attack. Butterfree began to flap its wings madly, using a Whirlwind attack to stop itself from colliding with the ground.

I opened my fanged jaws wide, but before I could release another protective Haze, the bug was floating angrily toward me, its eyes narrowed in concentration. Just when collision seemed imminent, Butterfree changed direction to soar above me.

The butterfly shrieked shrilly and then released a gooey white substance from its mouth. The String Shot formed a sort-of web that Butterfree immediately dropped on me, to shouts of joy from the humans below. The webbing hit its mark and suddenly my wings were stuck.

No longer being able to fly, I dropped from the sky, this time unable to cushion my fall at all. I landed hard, my whole body aching, but it seemed the humans were not done with me yet.

“Now finish it with Stun Spore!” one of them bellowed.

I was stuck on the ground, and I knew it was the end. I did the only thing I could think of - I opened my mouth wide and released a visible pulse of sound, a Supersonic attack.

The waves struck the surprised butterfly, but it only tottered in the air for a second, before seemingly shaking off their effect. The Butterfree then began to flap its wings wildly, sending a cascade of yellow powder toward me. The Stun Spore was flying in every direction, Butterfree had even seemed to have stunned itself. It appeared that my attack had worked after all – but it did nothing to save me. The yellow powder stuck to the webbing around me and flew into my mouth. I felt my wings stiffen, my ears seemed to be on fire and I was choking on the dust that was burning in my throat.

Before I could even comprehend what was happening, I felt something large and round bounce off my back. In a second my whole body felt like it was burning. Red, the thought flashed through my head as a pulling sensation seemed to separate the very atoms of my body.

Then, as quickly as the sensation had begun, it was over. I was once again surrounded by darkness, a darkness greater than any I had ever experienced. I shot ultrasonic waves in every direction, trying to form a picture in my mind of my surroundings. There was nothing, yet I felt enclosed on all sides.

I tried to feel for colour, but it wasn’t warm or cold, or even in between. It was like I was stuck in a suspended state, void of light and colour and even shape. Just when I had finally found the brightness I had been searching for, it seemed I was destined to be stuck in shadows again.

Even now I must admit it is better to lose what you have found, than to never have found it at all. At least now my dreams will be in the colours that Clef showed me.

With my final strength, I struggled to escape from my new prison.

One day I will leave the darkness behind forever, and I will learn to see again.

Draconic_Espeon
12-02-2007, 05:32 PM
Story/Plot: I really enjoy reading stories that take a different spin on the typical capture. I always like to see stories that are told from the point of view of the Pokemon, rather than a trainer. Though they are being used more often, I feel that it takes more skill to write as a Pokemon, and ultimately makes for a better story. It’s often the best writers that use this plot and do it well. You are certainly no exception.

What I thought was best about this story was how you portrayed Zero’s plight, that he so desperately wanted to see color and the world in all its beauty. Many people take this ability for granted, and the fact that you used it shows that you really think about your plots and make every story, even one for a simple Zubat, the best that it can possibly be. All I can say is, keep up the great work.

Introduction: You did an excellent job of introducing your characters and the plot. The setting and Zero’s past were described very well, and you did well in describing what he looked like, by waiting until he spoke to Clef, and asked her. I thought that it added to the story as well as Zero’s character, and kept you from simply listing his description, which I’ll admit that I tend to do in introductions of my own stories. The only thing it really lacked was Zero’s gender. I’m kind of assuming that he’s a boy, but I’m not really sure. Other than that, though, I have no complaints.

Grammar: Your grammar seemed perfect to me, and your spelling as well. I only noticed one place that I thought was a bit confusing.

“This is it,” Clef said as she began moving forward again in that strange little hop-skip of hers. “Out of the darkness…”

“And into the light.”

I’m kind of confused as to who was speaking in the second set of quotations. I didn’t think it was Zero, because he can’t see light and wouldn’t really know exactly where they were going. But, if it was Clef talking, it should be in with the other quotation, and look something like this.

“This is it,” Clef said as she began moving forward again in that strange little hop-skip of hers. “Out of the darkness… And into the light.”

I may be wrong, but I just thought it was kind of confusing. If it was Zero speaking, I suggest adding ‘I finished’ or something similar after it, to clear things up.

Description: I thought your description was great. I liked how you used how things feel, like water being blue and the heat of the sun being red, to allow Zero to understand what the colors were and what they looked like. You also did a good job in describing how Zero saw, and I could really understand how it was for him to be without color, and without light. I can also understand why he hated using the echolocation.

Length: Fine for a Zubat. Length isn’t important, as I’m sure you know, so long as all your other sections are good.

Battle: It was a nice, lengthy, two sided battle. The description itself was a little different, but that was only to be expected when the story is written from the point of view of a Zubat. Again, you used temperature and how things felt for Zero to see the colors, like saying that the Psybeam felt cold, and so he distinguished that it was purple. You also used the setting to some extent, having the flying fighters hit, or nearly hit, the ground. That’s more than can be said for other stories. Overall, this is another good section,

Outcome: Though I almost hate to say it, for Zero’s sake, Zubat captured! I loved the story, and there was no way I couldn’t give it to you. Enjoy the little bat. ^^