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Creative Writing Share your fan fiction, stories, poems, essays, editorials, song lyrics, or any other related written work. All written must be your creation. Start a new thread, and keep replying to that thread as you add on more chapters. Anyone can join in at anytime.


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  #1  
Old 11-20-2011, 10:00 PM
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Default Champion Game {Chapter 9}

Unto defeat you must play the game . . . the Champion Game.

Prologue
00 - Sleep Comes Slowly

Arc 1 - Parodos
01 - To Triumph Over Someone
02 - I Will Make a Wish for the Future
03 - The World of Dreams
04 - Television
05 - And Now, Something a Little Magical
06 - Great Power of a Certain Kind
07 - Golden Dream
08 - Approval
09 - I Think The Cat Has a Problem
10 - War of Stone (coming soon)
11 - The Flames of Battle

Arc 2 - Episode the First
12 - My House Is . . .
13 - The Darkest Night
14 - Blitzkrieg
15 - The Warriors of Justice
16 - Total War
17 - As Long As I Live
18 - Peace
19 - Freedom
20 - SolarBeam
21 - More Dreams
22 - Green and Black

Arc 3 - Parabasis the First
23 - Festival of the Sky
24 - Soar
25 - Wings Have We
26 - Every Clap of Thunder
27 - Catch Your Breath

Arc 4 - Episode the Second
28 - Words of Power
29 - It's a Troublesome Life
30 - How Far We've Come
31 - Coruscation
32 - The Gods Wait to Delight In You
33 - The Circus of Circumstance

NB: All chapters you see named here at any given time are completed and ready to go, with the exception of the last one on the list which is usually the one in progress.

Last edited by Misheard Whisper; 01-05-2012 at 12:34 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2011, 10:02 PM
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Default Prologue - Sleep Comes Slowly

Prologue
Sleep Comes Slowly

Five years.

That was how long it had taken him. Just fifty-nine months, nineteen days, and he was the Champion. It was almost a joke.


Ren rolled over in his bed, burying his head deeper in his pillow. It was almost physically impossible to stay awake, and yet something . . . something was nagging at him. He knew he should be happy. He had finally made real the goal of his childhood, the goal of so many thousands of aspiring Trainers the world over. He had done what so few had done before, and all before his fifteenth birthday. Just two days ago, he had stood in the Hall of Fame, head high, as the previous Champion bowed out and inscribed his name upon the hallowed list. There had been a whirl of media attention, cameras and press conferences, interviews and talk shows. In such a short time, he had become Hoenn's favourite teenager.


So why . . . why did he feel so empty?


Frustrated, Ren rolled over onto his back again, glaring up at the ceiling. The room was dark and bare; the only decoration was a dusty chest of drawers under the window. A single light bulb hung from the ceiling, dim and cold, barely visible in the weak trickle of moonlight that spilled between the dust-heavy curtains. Of course there was no sign of life in the room – it was his first time sleeping in it in nearly five years. When he had left on his tenth birthday, he had packed up all his toys, his books and photos, and stored them away in the attic. He hadn't returned once in all that time; never long enough to stay the night, at least.


It was all returning to him now. It wasn't that he'd forgotten his childhood; all he'd done was pack it up in those boxes with his toys. When he'd set out to become a Pokemon Trainer, Ren had put the first ten years of his life behind him, dismissing them as a pointless necessity, a stepping stone to where he wanted to be.


Ren shook his head wryly. He'd come full circle. In five years, he'd travelled all over the Hoenn region and overseas, beaten thirteen Gym Leaders, won the Ever Grande Conference, defeated the Elite Four, and finally taken down the Champion. And now . . . now he was back where he'd started. The irony was almost amusing.


So if I've returned to where I started . . . have I really succeeded in going anywhere at all?


Finally, Ren started to feel the dark haze of sleep overcome him, and he welcomed it gratefully.

Last edited by Misheard Whisper; 11-20-2011 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:16 PM
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Default Chapter One - To Triumph Over Someone

Arc 1 - Parodos


Chapter One

To Triumph Over Someone


Ten hours later, Ren opened his eyes blearily to find his room full of light. Squinting, he propped himself up on one elbow and glanced over at the window. The curtains were wide open, revealing a sharp, crisp azure sky free of clouds. The sun was streaming in through the casement, painting his whole room golden and illuminating the dust motes in the air.

Groaning, Ren flopped back down onto his bed. He had forgotten how passive-aggressive his mother was when it came to getting him up in the mornings. She had probably come in and opened his curtains just as soon as she had woken up herself.


Eyes adjusting to the light, Ren sat up and grabbed his watch off the bedhead. It wasn't even half past eight. With a sigh, he swung his feet out from under the blanket and onto the carpet. Yawning, he stood up to get dressed.


When he got downstairs ten minutes later, his mother was sitting at the kitchen table with a bowl of cereal. She looked up, beaming, when Ren entered the room.


“There's my little Champion!” she exclaimed. Ren rolled his eyes and smiled indulgently.


“I'm nearly fifteen now, mom,” he complained half-heartedly, knowing full well it would make no difference.


“Aww, don't be like that, sweetie!” his mother pouted. “It's like you don't love your mommy anymore!” Shaking his head, Ren grabbed a bowl off the shelf and poured himself some cereal.


“Don't be silly, mom,” he said quietly, looking down at the table. “Course I do.”


“I know, sweetie,” she said, ruffling his hair. “I just wanted to hear you say it. It's been a long time since we sat down together like this, huh?”


“I came back for Christmas last year,” Ren reminded her, splashing milk onto his cornflakes before getting up to fetch a spoon from the drawer. “It's not like I haven't seen you.”


“I mean just you and me, like it used to be.” She fell silent for a moment before speaking up again. “Don't suppose you'll be home for long this time, either, huh?”


“Yeah, pretty much,” said Ren lightly, refusing to meet her eyes. “I've got, you know . . . Champion stuff to do now. Taking challengers, and . . . um.” Ren suddenly realised that he had no idea what was expected of him. Challengers would come infrequently. The Ever Grande Conference was only held once a year, and there had to be some kind of special reason for any Trainer to make a challenge outside of that – for example, if one of the Elites vouched for them personally. That meant he'd be taking perhaps one challenger a year. Other than that . . . what was he to do?


“That reminds me!” his mother said brightly. “Steven rang earlier. He wants you to meet him in Rustboro City today. Can you call him back and tell him you'll be there?”


“Steven?” Ren said. “What does he want? I just got back – can't it wait?”


“Well, I assume he wants to talk Champion business, sweetie. You'll have to go and find out.”


“Sure. I'll call him now, then,” Ren decided, standing up and snatching the phone off its hook. “Be right back,” he said over his shoulder as he headed back upstairs, dialing the number he had been given earlier.


Ren sat down on his bed as he pressed the 'call button', idly staring at the ceiling as he waited for Steven to pick up. He didn't have to wait long.


“This is Steven Stone,” said a familiar voice.


“Steven! It's Ren.”


“Oh, hello, Ren,” Steven said. “I trust you've been keeping well?”


What sort of eighteenth-century greeting is that?
Ren wondered absently. Aloud, he simply said, “I'm all right. A bit tired, but I guess that's to be expected. But what's this about me having to go to Rustboro City?”

“I have to . . . talk to you about something very important,” said Steven. Ren frowned.


“Something important? Is it so important you can't tell me over the phone? I mean, I just got home last night and all.”


“Yes!” Steven said emphatically. “This is a matter of crucial importance, and I need to speak to you about it in person.There should be a train leaving Slateport at nine thirty. Can you be on it?”


Ren glanced at his watch – it was quarter to nine. “Can't it wait?” he asked.


“Not possible,” Steven insisted. “Can you be on the train?” he repeated.


Ren rolled his eyes. “Sure,” he said, shaking his head as he resigned himself to Steven's stubbornness. “Meet me at the station?”


“I'll have someone there to pick you up,” Steven said. “I'm sorry, Ren. This must all seem very confusing and inconvenient, but trust me, there's good reason for it. I won't keep you in the dark any longer than I have to.”


“Alright,” said Ren wearily, biting his lip. “I'll be there.”


“Thank you, Ren. Goodbye, and be safe.” With a click, the line went dead. Ren sighed and flopped back onto his bed, staring at the ceiling. He had been looking forward to spending some time at home, but it seemed that that was not to be.


With another sigh, Ren picked up his backpack off the floor and started tossing things into it. Over the last five years, he had gotten used to travelling light, so he knew exactly what he needed. There wasn't much: just his Pokemon, a few toiletries and a change of clothes.


Out of habit, he straightened the covers on his bed before he left. It might have been a long time since he'd last done it, but it still didn't feel right to leave the house without doing it. He clunked down the stairs again, his durable, hard-soled shoes making an uncomfortably loud noise as he did so.


“Oh . . . you're going now, sweetie?” his mother said, her brow slightly creased – with concern or disapproval, Ren couldn't tell which.


“Yeah, mom,” he said. “Steven wants to talk to me in person, so I've gotta catch the nine-thirty train.”


“Do you have to go now? Can't it wait?”


“That's what I asked,” Ren said wryly, “but he was quite insistent.”


“Oh, I don't like it,” she grumbled. “You come home for one night and then you're off again! I hardly see you these days.”


“I know, mom,” Ren said, “but it shouldn't be for so long this time. I'll talk to Steven about . . . whatever it is he wants to talk about, and then I'll be back. Maybe even tonight, but I can't make any promises.”


His mother smiled and ruffled his hair affectionately. “Don't worry, sweetie,” she said. “I know it has to be important, so you go and do what you have to do, OK? I've managed without you for five years, after all. I'll be fine for another couple of days.”


“Gotcha,” Ren said, nodding as he opened the front door. “See you, mom. Love you!”


“Love you too, honey,” she said quietly as the door closed between them.


Ren took a deep breath of cool morning air before slapping himself in the face. He worried about his mother. She pretended not to be bothered, but he knew how hard it had to be for her. She had been living alone for five years, after all. Ren couldn't imagine how hard it would be to be isolated, which was why he had tried to visit as often as he was able, but being the Pokemon Champion was a demanding dream. As much as he wanted to, he couldn't spend his whole life in Slateport.


He'd thought, perhaps, that things would change after he finally became the Champion. Of course, he'd known that he'd still be running all over Hoenn like one possessed, but he hadn't realised it would start this soon.


I promise, mom
, he said to himself as he looked back at the gate. After this, I'll come home and stay for at least a month. It'll be just you and me.

Sweeping his tousled brown hair out of his face, Ren set his eyes on Slateport City – visible just a couple of miles along the coast, glittering like a jewel in the morning sunlight – and stepped out confidently towards it.


(continued in next post)

Last edited by Misheard Whisper; 11-20-2011 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:17 PM
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Default Chapter One - To Triumph Over Someone (continued)

Chapter One (continued)

Ren's house stood atop a hill overlooking the sea, and the winding, jackknifing road that passed in front of it offered a spectacular view of the sea to the south-east. The sun bore down strongly despite the early hour, and even the cutting breeze that sliced across the cliff-face did little to alleviate the warmth. Ren could only imagine what the heat would be like later in the day.


As Ren made his way along the road, he marvelled, as always, at the ingenuity of whoever had built the road in the first place. On one side, the cliff rose up, almost vertically, just inches from where he walked. Covered in tough grass and hardy flowers, the cliff was one of the most steadfast constants in Ren's world. On the other side of the narrow road, the cliff suddenly dropped away again. Even though he had seen it a thousand times before, Ren took a peek over the rickety barrier that separated the road from the open air. Like every other time, it took his breath away. The land dropped away at a ridiculous angle; he fancied that if he fell off, he might bounce once before he hit the water at the bottom – twice if he was lucky.


With a grin, Ren set his eyes straight ahead again and set off with renewed vigour, the comforting smell of brine in his nostrils.


The walk was mostly downhill, which made the going easy, although there were lots of switchbacks to traverse. Ren made it into Slateport City proper with twenty minutes to spare, and quickly headed for the train station. He kept his head down and his eyes averted from everyone he passed. It wasn't that he didn't
want to be recognised, but at this stage, it could possibly delay him and make him miss his train. He wasn't willing to risk Steven's ire simply because he couldn't deal with a couple of fans.

A couple of times, he thought he saw people pointing at him and whispering to each other, and in each case, he quickly crossed the street or took a different turn. The central train station was near the city outskirts, so he didn't have far to go. He purchased a ticket to Rustboro from a bored-looking attendant, and was just about to climb onto the train when he heard an excited shriek from behind him.


Ren!” With a wince, he glanced around just in time to get tackled head-on by a small, pink blur.

“Oof!” he exclaimed, stumbling backwards and just about falling into the train. “Who- what the-?!”


“Long time no see, Ren!” said the pink blur excitedly, detaching itself from his midriff and beaming up at him.


“Natasha?” Ren queried. “Is that you?”


“Of course it's me, idiot!” his twelve-year-old cousin squeaked, bouncing up and down madly. “Don't tell me you forgot about me after just five years!”


“No, 'Tash, I didn't,” Ren said hurriedly, glancing at his watch. The train was about to leave. “But look, I've gotta go. I'll come visit when I get back, I promise.”


“No! I want to come with you! Where are you going?” she demanded, stamping her foot. Ren started to answer, but he was drowned out by a piercing shriek from the loudspeaker.


Nine-thirty to Rustboro is now departing. All passengers, please board the train immediately. Nine-thirty to Rustboro.”

“Rustboro City,” he tried again. “It's a long way away, but I promise I'll see you when I get back. It's too far for you to come,” he said, climbing onto the train.


“No!” Natasha protested, leaping nimbly past him onto the train. “I'm coming and that's that.”


“'Tash!” Ren hissed, making a grab for her, but it was too late. The door shut with a
clang, and the train began to move. “Oh, damn it!” he sighed, slumping down onto the nearest seat. The carriage was empty but for the two of them.

Natasha giggled happily. “This'll be fun!” she said happily, jumping onto the seat beside Ren and snuggling into his side.


“Not really,” Ren said, taking a deep breath. “You're not supposed to be on this train, are you?”


“Nope! Daddy wanted to take us on holiday to Lilycove, but Rustboro's gonna be much more fun!”


Ren ran his fingers through his hair in exasperation. “So . . . you were going on holiday, but you just decided to jump on my train? Oh, what am I gonna do with you . . .” Shaking his head, he took out his PokeNav and dialled a number. It picked up on the third ring.


“Hello?”


“Yeah, hi there. Uncle Roger, it's me, Ren.”


“Oh, hello, Ren! What are you calling for? Congratulations on becoming the Champion, by the way. Mary and I were going to drop by and congratulate you in person, because I heard you were in town, but we were too busy packing for our holiday!”


“Thanks, Uncle Roger,” Ren said uncomfortably. “But, uh . . . about that holiday. I imagine you're looking for Natasha about now, right?”


“Well, yes, actually, we are,” Roger said, sounding puzzled. “How the blazes did you work that out? We're at the train station, but she's run off somewhere, the little tyke.”


“Yeah, well, um . . . I've got her,” Ren said.


“Oh, splendid!” Roger said cheerfully. “Could you bring her back to platform twelve? The train leaves in ten minutes.”


“Actually, that's why I'm calling,” Ren said, scratching his head and glaring at his cousin, who raised her eyebrows innocently. “Your little bundle of fun just jumped on my train, and now there's nothing I can do about it. It's the express, so it doesn't stop until Rustboro.”


“Rustb- oh, for the love of-” Roger stuttered. “Well, um, I, uh. Huh, what's that? No, Mary, she's fine. It's Ren . . . Yes, I did congratulate him . . . No, she's on the train to Rustboro . . . How should I know? Well, uh . . .” There was a crackle at the other end of the line, and Ren frowned.


“Hello, Ren,” said a different voice.


“Aunt Mary!” Ren said, surprised. “Hello.”


“Natasha's with you, is she?”


“Yeah,” Ren said, shooting another glare at his cousin, who was now rolling on the seat in paroxysms of silent laughter. “I'm sorry, Aunt Mary, but she jumped on board before I could stop her.” A crackle of feedback that may have been a sigh filtered down the line.


“Well, there's nothing to be done about that, is there? Roger and I will catch the next train to Rustboro and take her off your hands at the station.”


“Well . . .” Ren said. “I kind of have to be in Rustboro on business, you see. I don't know if that's practical. But I can't just leave her at the station, and I wouldn't dare put her on a train by herself . . .”


“That
is a problem, then,” Mary said.

“Uncle Roger said you were going to Lilycove for a holiday,” Ren said thoughtfully. “How long was that going to be?”


“Just for the night. Why?” Mary asked worriedly.


“How about this?” Ren said, biting his lip. “I'll take Natasha with me, and you and Uncle Roger go to Lilycove. She'll be fine with me, I promise.”


“Well . . .” Mary said, sounding unconvinced.


“I can't imagine you've had much peace for the last twelve years with this mad creature around,” Ren said frankly. “You could use a break.”


“I guess . . . that does sound nice,” his aunt said. “All right, Ren. You're our favourite nephew, and we trust you, so we'll leave our little girl to you. I know you're grown-up enough to handle it.”


“OK, Aunt Mary,” Ren said. “Catch you later. Enjoy your holiday.” With that, he hung up and leant back in the seat.


“So?” Natasha asked.


“Against my better judgement, it's you and me on holiday in Rustboro,” Ren said.


“Yay!” Natasha squealed, jumping up and racing up and down the carriage. “I'm going on holiday with cousin Ren!”


Ren exhaled heavily, smiling. His cousin was the only relative he knew that was even close to him in age, and they had grown up quite close. She was hyperactive and wore too much pink, but she was still special to him.


“Sit down, you,” he said. “I'm going to go and see about getting you a ticket.” Obediently, Natasha flumped herself down onto a seat and sat as still as a statue, arms crossed. Shaking his head, Ren headed for the door to the next carriage.


It didn't take him long to find a guard. Apologetically, he started to explain his situation, but before he had even mentioned how Natasha had leapt onto the train, the guard leant down and tipped his chin up, examining Ren closely. A grin had spread across the big man's face as he recognised him, and he had continued – much to Ren's chagrin – to announce to the whole carriage, which was much more densely populated than the one Ren had boarded, that it was 'that new Champion kid everyone's been talking about'. When the guard had asked if anybody had a problem with the Champion and his cousin moving up to first class, the other passengers had responded enthusiastically, although one or two had 'demanded' an autograph as 'payment' for class-skipping. Chuckling, Ren had obliged before going back to fetch Natasha. The guard showed them to the carriage at the front of the train and sat them down in much more comfortable seats.


“That was nice of him,” Natasha commented as she excitedly pressed her nose to the juddering window. “Are you really that famous now, cousin Ren?”


“I guess I am,” Ren said bashfully, looking out the window too as Hoenn flashed past. Far to the north, he could see the spire of Mount Chimney thrusting up above the rest of the countryside.


I am
, he thought. Life's gonna be a lot different now that I'm the Champion, but I expected that. The question now, though, is . . . where do I go from here? Is there someone else I can beat? Can I get stronger? Or is there no point now?

Last edited by Misheard Whisper; 11-20-2011 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Champion Game

OH MY GOSH, IT'S MISHEARD WHISPER.

Er, in other news, this was a pretty good first chapter! I find it interesting that you chose to set it in Hoenn; it's generally the least liked of the Regions, so most people would pick something like Kanto or Unova instead. (I'm not complaining, though, because it has Steven in it. Kekeke.) The only thing I find odd is the name Ren; according to Behind the Name it's pretty much an exclusively Japanese name, and next to people from the same family named Natasha and Roger, it doesn't seem to fit. Though really, it's a small complaint, and the plot is definitely shaping up to be something entertaining. Carry on.








Also, don't think I didn't see the title of Chapter 25.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Champion Game

THERE IS A STORY BEHIND THIS.

Okay, first about 'Ren'. I've had a couple of mentions of this, but there's no sort of weird arcane reason behind it. I named my character that on a whim, but basically, he's named after his maternal grandmother, Lauren Goodwin. That's not much of a spoiler.

As for Chapter 25, well . . . I named it that because it sounded cool. Then I thought 'Wait . . . that sounds familiar.' So I Googled it and found your fic here at PE2K, which is what prompted me to post this. XD
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Champion Game

I started reading through this story this morning on my iPod, and I was really enjoying it... er, until my iPod died.... GAR, WHY?! *headdesk* Anyway, I'm going to get to the rest as soon as I can :D Meanwhile, I like the premise so far--I've always been intrigued about what happens after a Trainer becomes he/she becomes a Champion, since it's really not that well explored in the game. Can't wait to see what you've envisioned :D

Oh, and about Ren... I've actually read about someone with that name in a novel before. Wasn't a Japanese name--though actually, it was a shortened nickname for an Indian fellow. But I think it's a neat name ^^
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Champion Game

Ah, I see. As long as you have a good reason for it.

And really! Wow, thanks. I feel really loved and remembered now. >> ...Seriously though, that's an interesting story. I would have thought Bulbagarden or even PokéCom would have shown up before PE2K. Or even... you know... the poem by William Wordsworth. xD

@Charmander009: Still, it was a nickname. 'Ren' as the whole name is Japanese, or at least it is according to the one name site I had time to check. xD
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Champion Game

I've already told you, but I think you're a good writer! There were no spelling mistakes that I could discern, but maybe a couple of comma errors and such. I know there was something. xD But other than that, you're fine!

I'm also interested about what Ren will do from here. Oh! And concerning the name 'Ren', it's actually a perfectly fine name. And you should be able to name your characters whatever you want. As long as it's not such a HUGE jump from names like James to Hideki or something. xD I don't really think stories matter all that much, name wise, but if you wish to go in depth for some of your names, it makes for a better story at times.

Anyway! I'll continue reading this. Melikes, good job. :D
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:28 AM
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Default Re: Champion Game

This was honestly a really good story! It's interesting, because barely any fics involve family ('course I haven't read many)

You got yourself a follower!
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:13 AM
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Default Chapter Two - I Will Make a Wish for the Future

Thanks, guys! I'm happy that you're enjoying what I've put up so far, especially considering how many months ago I wrote it. I must warn you, though, that the first chapter is somewhat deceiving in terms of where the plot's going. There is a significant focus on Ren as a Champion, but also . . . other things. Which you will have to find out about in Chapter Three when I put that up. Also, it looks like this chapter will have to be split again, because it's juuuust too long to go in one post. Curses. And these are the short chapters - some of my later ones are more than twice as long, and they'll need four or more posts. Urk.

Chapter Two
I Will Make a Wish for the Future

The train pulled into Rustboro City with a rattle and a deafening screech. Ren had spent the whole trip split between controlling Natasha and burying his face in a magazine so he wouldn't be recognised. The friendly guard, who had introduced himself as Simone, saw them off the train with a cheerful wave, and Ren grabbed hold of Natasha's hand to avoid her wandering off as he navigated his way out of the station.

Steven said he'd send someone to pick me up, Ren recalled as he scanned the throngs of people packing the bustling station. But who . . . ? There was nobody he recognised, so he shrugged and continued to wend his way through the crowd. Maybe there'll be somebody outside? he reasoned.

Hopefully, he scanned the line of bored-looking drivers standing by the door, checking to see if any of their placards had his name on it. Nothing. Just as he was about to make his way out of the station's grand entrance, he felt a tap on his shoulder and turned, somewhat taken aback, to see a somewhat irate-looking teenage girl in a grey school uniform, her brown hair drawn back, in two bunches, with a large pink ribbon into a pair of ponytails.

“D-didn't you hear me?” she said crossly. “I was calling you the whole time!”

“Ah,” said Ren. “Roxanne. It's been a while.”

“Three years since you won the Stone Badge,” she said, smiling. “You've hardly come by the Gym since.”

“Ah . . . sorry about that,” Ren said, scratching his head. “What, did you miss me?”

“I-I just thought I should battle you again sometime,” Roxanne said. “But come on, we're blocking the path.” She was right, Ren realised as he hurriedly followed the Gym Leader out of the station and down a wide flight of stairs towards a large, fancy-looking black car parked on the road below.

“This us?” Ren asked, gesturing to the car. Roxanne nodded. “After you, then,” he said, opening the door and gallantly waving her inside. Roxanne went a little pink, but climbed in anyway. Ren chuckled and helped Natasha up into the car before following them.

Inside, the car was remarkably spacious. Roxanne was already seated with her back to the driver, leaving Ren and Natasha to sit opposite her. Once Ren had closed the door behind him, Roxanne pressed a small red button on the armrest and spoke into a small microphone embedded into the side of the car: “To the Devon Corporation, if you please.” Without further discussion, the engine of the car purred into life, and Ren felt the slightest lurch as it pulled out into traffic.

“Nice ride,” he commented. “Being a Gym Leader paying well, then?”

“No, ah . . . this car belongs to Mr. Stone. He asked me to come and fetch you from the station, but I think a vehicle of this, uh . . . scale is somewhat unnecessary.”

“I see. That makes sense, I guess,” Ren said, quietly trying to dissuade Natasha from opening the minibar she had just discovered under her seat. The Gym Leader smiled at the younger girl.

“Hello, there,” she said in a friendly manner. “My name is Roxanne. What's yours?”

Natasha tilted her head slightly, sizing Roxanne up. “I'm 'Tash,” she said eventually. “Are you cousin Ren's girlfriend?”

“Wha-” Ren started, taken aback, but he was overriden immediately.

“Absolutely not! That's preposterous!” Roxanne said insistently.

“Then why are you all pink?” Natasha challenged her. She had a point, Ren admitted. At Natasha's comment, Roxanne's face had gone a deep shade of rose that put her hair-ribbon to shame.

“Speaking of pink,” Ren said quickly, trying to defuse the suddenly awkward situation, “why are you still wearing those pink stockings? I mean, it's none of my business, but they're really quite . . . out there, aren't they?”

“What? These? Um, I . . . maybe,” Roxanne said distractedly, refusing to meet Ren's eyes. “But never mind that. I wanted to congratulate you personally for defeating Steven.”

“Ah, thanks,” said Ren.

“I . . . knew, you know,” Roxanne said hesitantly. “Back when you came to the Rustboro Gym three years ago, I could tell that you were going to go a long way.”

“Really?” Ren asked, surprised. “But I only had three Gym badges by then.”

“Still,” Roxanne said, “I could see it. I think it was your eyes.”

“My . . . eyes?” Ren said, confused. “What about my eyes?”

“Well, I think . . . As soon I met you, I saw something in your eyes. I didn't know quite what it was at the time, and I still can't be sure, but whatever it was . . . it told me you were going to keep going. All the way to the top. And look at you now! I'm going to have to start calling you 'boss' soon.”

Ren laughed uncomfortably. “Boy, that'd feel weird,” he said. “But that reminds me . . . exactly how much control . . . no, that's not what I want to ask. What I mean is – how much responsibility does the Champion have?”

“What do you mean by that?” Roxanne asked, frowning.

“Well, all my life, the Champion's just been . . . there. Sitting up there at the top of the heap, unassailable and distant, and . . . well, there was a lot of secrecy. I know very little about what the Champion is actually expected to do, other than, you know, take challengers.”

“That's . . .” Roxanne stared out of the tinted window as if looking for answers in the stone facades of the city. “That's something . . . that Steven will tell you about today, I think. How much did he tell you when he called?”

“Nothing,” Ren grumbled, leaning back and staring at the ceiling. Something nagged at him, but he couldn't be sure what it was. Something wasn't right. “He told me nothing.”

“That's Steven for you,” Roxanne said, “although I probably shouldn't be so flippant. However mysterious he might be, he's still Steven Stone, even before he's the Champion.”

“I met his father when I was here last,” Ren noted. “He seemed like an . . . interesting man.”

“Yes, that sounds about right,” said Roxanne. “Mr. Stone is, of course, still the CEO of the Devon Corporation. He's one of the most respected businessmen in the world, and I think he plans to have Steven take over from him in a few years.”

“He's going to retire?” Ren asked, arching an eyebrow. “But he's only, what, sixty?”

“Sixty-seven,” Roxanne corrected him. “Still, he's in perfect health, from what I've seen, and personally . . . personally, I don't think Steven's going to want to take over any time soon.”

“What makes you say that?” asked Ren, frowning. “It's not like he has nothing to do, or anything, but I still imagine he'll have a lot of time on his hands now that he's stepping down as Champion.”

“When I . . . last talked to Steven,” Roxanne said slowly, looking Ren directly in the eye for the first time, “he seemed . . . restless. I don't know if I should be telling you this, but . . . I don't think he's the sort to just settle down peacefully. Did he ever tell you about his hobby?”

“What, collecting rocks? Yeah, I ran into him a few times in Granite Cave when I was training there,” Ren recalled.

“Collecting rocks? Well, not exactly, though you've essentially got the right idea. Steven has a great interest in the rare minerals and gemstones that can be found all over the Hoenn region. Hoenn has a remarkable geological makeup, and the bedrock varies wildly from one place to another. Because of this, and the huge number of natural and artificial caves that can be found here, I don't think Steven will ever be satisfied with the results of his research. He is a remarkable man, but he appears to have inherited his father's fortitude. I'm not sure if that's a good thing, frankly.”

Ren remained silent for a moment, considering. “I don't know. Is Mr. Stone really looking to retire so soon?”

“Probably in the next few years. It would seem he's quite happy to have Steven available again. At least, that is the impression I get. It makes sense, don't you think?”

“True,” Ren said. “But I can't imagine Steven actually going directly against his father if it came down to it. You know, if he actually directly said 'I want you to take over Devon Corp.' He couldn't turn that down.”

“I suppose you're right,” Roxanne admitted, “but it's still worth keeping an eye on. I don't think that's what Steven wants to discuss with you, anyway.”

“Do you know what he wants?” Ren asked. “Because it seems I'm somewhat in the dark here.”

“No,” Roxanne said, then paused – for a little longer than necessary, Ren thought. “No, I have no idea at all. All I know is that it's something to do with your new role as Champion, but I imagine you will have worked that out already.”

“I'd figured as much,” Ren said, nodding.

“Are you gonna go to a meeting, Ren?” Natasha piped up, reminding Ren of her presence. She'd been so unusually quiet, he had almost forgotten she was there.

“Yeah, pretty much,” he said.

“Can I come with you?” she asked. “Daddy never lets me go to his meetings!”

“Well, ah . . . I guess we'll have to see,” Ren said. “It depends on what Steven thinks, I guess. If it's too secret, you're going to have to wait outside, I suppose.”

“Here we are!” said Roxanne suddenly, as the car came to a gentle halt and fell silent. After a few seconds, the door opened from the outside, and she slipped out gracefully. Ren followed her, nodding his thanks to the driver as he made sure Natasha was with him.

“Wow . . .” Ren breathed. “I see this every time I come to Rustboro, but it's still pretty impressive.” The headquarters of Devon Corporation was a large, brown-stone building that managed to look both ancient and solid at the same time. The facade was intricately carved and set with large, fearsome gargoyles that jutted out into the street. Standing on the cobbled footpath and looking up, the building loomed impossibly high, even though it was relatively small compared to those around it.

“Isn't it just?” Roxanne agreed. “Come on. Steven wanted to see you as soon as possible.” Shrugging, Ren followed her into the building, taking time to admire the classical stone arch as he passed through it.

Roxanne crossed the empty foyer quickly, her buckled shoes clacking briskly on the tile floor. Ren looked around – he had only been inside Devon Corp once or twice. Quite suddenly, everything was modern. They passed through a revolving door into the building proper, and Ren had to rescue Natasha, who wanted to keep going round and round.

“Honestly,” he muttered. “You're twelve years old now, but you still act like a little kid! Would it kill you to grow up just a little bit?”

“But it's so much fun!” Natasha protested, giggling. “I'm not important or famous like cousin Ren, so I can do what I want to and it doesn't matter!”

Ren frowned, but before he could think too hard on it, he was distracted by Roxanne practically dragging him onward. “Will you get a move on?” she said.

“Whoa, whoa! Why the big hurry all of a sudden?” Ren asked, walking faster to catch up.

“Steven told you it was urgent, did he not?”

“Well, yes, but-”

“Then come on,” Roxanne said, chivvying him past the receptionist, who nodded respectfully to the pair of them. Ren followed along as quickly as he could, Natasha trotting happily in his wake. Did I do something to piss her off? he wondered. Nothing came to mind, so he left it.

Roxanne led them into a lift and pressed the button for the top floor. With barely a lurch, the carriage began to ascend, its three occupants standing in awkward silence for the duration. With a soft ding, the doors opened, and Ren stepped out. Roxanne didn't move.

“Are you . . . coming?” he asked, uncertain. Roxanne shook her head. She opened her mouth slightly as if to speak, but then closed it again as if thinking better of it.

“Good luck,” was all she said, after a lengthy pause. Ren nodded and beckoned to Natasha, who followed him out of the lift.

“See you around,” he said, still slightly bemused. Roxanne nodded silently as the lift doors closed and she disappeared from sight. “Well, that was strange,” Ren said aloud.

“She got all worried when we came into the building,” observed Natasha. “Why's that, Ren?”

“She did?” Ren arched his eyebrows. He had noticed something strange about Roxanne, but hadn't been able to put his finger on it. Was it worry he had glimpsed in her face? He didn't really think so, but . . . “Girls are so hard to figure out,” he muttered under his breath.

(continued in next post)
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:14 AM
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Default Chapter Two - I Will Make a Wish for the Future (continued)

“They are indeed,” said Steven from behind him. Ren jumped and spun round to face the former Champion.

“Don't – don't do that!” he squeaked. A flicker of amusement passed across Steven's smooth face.

“Come with me, Champion,” he said, turning and walking away. They were in a hallway, Ren noticed as he followed Steven's shock of silver hair. An ostentatious one, at that. The floor was covered with plush red carpet that seemed to swallow Ren's feet as he walked, and the walls were painted in a similar shade, with gold trim glinting on all sides. Ornate golden chandeliers hung from the ceiling at intervals, glittering with droplets of diamond.

“Nice place,” Ren said quietly.

“Quite. Actually, this floor is the Stone family's personal residence in Rustboro. My father lives here most of the time, as he never likes to be too far from his work. It is a little extravagant for my tastes, but then, I have no real say in the matter as I spend so little time here.”

“So, will you tell me why I'm here yet?” Ren queried, hurrying to catch up to Steven. Steven glanced across at him briefly.

“I will,” he said. “But first, may I suggest that your . . .” He tailed off, seemingly uncertain.

“Cousin,” Ren supplied, seeing where Steven was looking.

“May I suggest, then, that we find some way for your cousin to entertain herself for an hour or two. I apologise for the seeming lack of trust, but what we have to discuss is for your ears only.”

“How exactly do you expect a twelve-year-old to entertain herself in a place like this?” Ren asked, gesturing around at the ornate furnishings.

“I have some idea,” Steven said, before leaning over slightly to address Natasha directly. “Do you like books?” he asked.

Natasha nodded solemnly, which surprised Ren slightly. His cousin had never shown much interest in literature of any kind, from what he could remember. “Yes,” she said. “I like reading.”

“Well,” said Steven, drawing to a halt before a dark wooden door, “would you like to see my library?” Without waiting for an answer, he pushed the door open and gestured her inside.

Ren peeked over Steven's shoulder into the room beyond, and his eyes grew wide. A huge, warmly-lit room stretched out from the door, lined with enormous, floor-to-ceiling shelves packed with books of all shapes and sizes. “Wow,” he breathed. “How many books do you have?”

“Thousands,” Steven said – a touch smugly, Ren thought. “Katrina!” he said sharply, raising his voice a little.

There was a scuffling sound, and a girl poked her head out from behind a bookshelf several metres away. She had mousy brown hair and a small pair of square glasses resting on her nose. She looked to be a few years older than Ren. “Yes?” she said. “Oh, hello, Steven! Did you need me for something?”

“This is our Champion's cousin,” Steven explained, indicating Natasha, who had wandered towards the nearest bookshelf and was scanning it eagerly. “Could you look after her for a little while for us? Ren and I have some business to discuss.”

Katrina smiled. “Sure thing. I'll keep an eye on her – both, if I can spare them.”

“Thank you,” Steven said, smiling back. “We'll be back in an hour or two, I imagine.” With a final nod, he closed the door again. “My sister,” he said, upon seeing Ren's confused expression. “She's studying for her Masters in Anthropology, so she spends most of her time in the library.”

“I see.” Ren followed Steven as he set off again, heading down a different corridor. How big is this floor? Ren wondered. It had taken them a good couple of minutes to get from the lift to the library.

“Your cousin seems like a sensible child,” Steven remarked.

“Strangely, no,” Ren said. “She's usually quite hyper, and I just don't know what's up with her today. Ever since we arrived in Rustboro, she's been . . . pretty strange. Normally she'd have been bouncing off the walls all the way up here, but . . . no. I don't know.” He shook his head. Natasha had been acting strange. Perhaps she really had mellowed out over the five years he hadn't seen her? He was willing to put her initial display of hyperactivity down to excitement at seeing him again, but still . . . there was something strange.

“She'll be fine with Katrina,” Steven said. “She won't brook any nonsense, not while she's studying.” After another couple of turns, he stopped abruptly and opened another door, gesturing for Ren to precede him into the room.

The room was a lot more understated than the rest of the floor, Ren noticed immediately. The red and gold colour scheme remained, but the floor was hardwood and there were no chandeliers. Light came from quietly humming fixtures on the ceiling, and the only furnishings in the room were two low chairs, facing each other across a plain metal table.

“This room is where my father holds his most secret meetings,” Steven said. “The ones where it is absolutely imperative that their contents remain confidential, and the ones with clients who are too pragmatic to be insulted by the lack of an extravagant conference room. I don't know the sorts of people he meets with in here, but it's none of my business . . . yet.”

“It might be, if you have to take over the company from your father.”

“Who told you that?” Steven asked, his eyes narrowing.

Ren inhaled sharply. He had the sense he had said something he shouldn't have. “I . . . assumed it?” he said weakly. “I mean, you're the oldest, aren't you?”

Steven continued to examine him closely as he took his seat and indicated Ren should do the same. “That sounds unlikely. Did Roxanne say anything?”

“She . . . might have mentioned it,” Ren admitted as he sat down on the metal chair, which creaked slightly under his weight. “Hypothetically, that is.”

“Tch,” Steven tutted. “That girl . . . oh, well. It is of no great importance.” He paused, staring at Ren for a few moments, looking him up and down. Ren shifted uncomfortably in his seat, suddenly very aware that his unruly brown hair was sticking up all over the place, a pet hate of his mother's. He was only wearing ratty old jeans and a red t-shirt, too – he hadn't had time to get changed before he left for the train station. He felt very scruffy next to the immaculate Steven in his black pants and collared shirt with its purple zigzags. He sank slightly into his chair, as if it would prevent Steven from seeing him.

“What did . . . you want to talk to me about?” Ren asked.

Steven leant back in his chair suddenly, rubbing his eyes and sighing. “This is an awkward business, Ren,” he said, his voice suddenly carrying an awful lot of gravity. “A most awkward and tiring business. And, setting aside any matters of Champion and ex-Champion for the moment, I'd like you to listen to me as one man to another. Do you understand?”

Ren frowned. Suddenly, Roxanne wasn't the only one acting weird. “What . . . are you trying to say?”

Steven dipped his head slightly and closed his eyes. “I'm trying to say that . . . what I have to discuss with you today is something I'd never hoped to discuss with someone like you. Please don't take offense, but . . . you're still little more than a boy. I always expected to have to tell my successor about this – you can't be Champion forever, after all – but I didn't expect it to be someone as young as you.”

“Will you please tell me what you're on about?” Ren demanded. “You're just confusing me more and more! And just because I'm fourteen doesn't mean you can be condescending!”

Steven nodded. “You're right. I'm sorry. I'm insulting your intelligence if I try to hide anything from you. All I need is your solemn promise that you will take me seriously, because without that this conversation will bear no fruit. Agreed?”

Ren nodded firmly. “Agreed. Now talk, if you have something to say.”

Steven let out a long, slow breath before opening his eyes and looking directly into Ren's. “Let me begin with a question.”
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Champion Game

Yeah, I hear you about the character limit. Many a person I've talked to on other sites has expressed surprise at how ridiculously small it is -- compared to Bulbagarden or something. It's very small. And I'm pretty sure that smallness is what hindered me to shortness when I was just starting out writing, because this was the first forum I joined and I thought that anything more than one post was far too long. xD Them's the breaks, I guess. But don't worry too much about it; there are several other local stories I can think of which average three or four posts a chapter.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Champion Game

Lol a great cliffhanger! This was a funny chapter, especially since I have the feeling Steven doesn't like Ren that much, but that's just me

A great chapter, all in all, and I can't wait to see Ren's Pokemon
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Champion Game

Jeez, way to leave us hanging on your words xD Poor Ren is so out of touch with everything--or rather, everything just seems so mysterious to him right now, including his 12 year-old cousin xD You're killing me, Whisper. I wanna know what's up with Steven! xD I'm very impressed with your writing, so far ^^

Anyway, I'm curious to see Ren's party as well, but I suppose that'll come later. ^^ In the meantime... I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that maybe... he has a Swampert. He strikes me as a Mudkipz guy. LoL, well... maybe not xD
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