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Stories Write a story to catch Pokemon. A Grader will then decide if it catches or not.


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  #1  
Old 08-29-2009, 07:59 AM
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Default Mirror, Mirror; Chapter Three [WWC]



Mirror, Mirror
Graded

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Author's Note; This is my fourth story and one obviously independent of The Struggling Scientist. This story is more like that of "Breeze", so I hope you enjoy the wonderful detail and unique plot. :3
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Large aquamarine eyes stayed somber as they looked down. A reflective pool lay below, mirroring the image it saw. Short hair the color of hay, luscious lips the color of bubblegum and skin as carnation as it comes. This Smoochum was considered the epitome of beauty in her small clan. However, this wasn't enough. She wished to be different. Unsure of why she had these feelings, Smoochum ventured from each glaze's reflection to another. It is said that Smoochum decide their likes and dislikes by kissing the object in question. Her reflection always tasted of dirty salt.

One day, she sat near a patch of ice at the cave's entrance. A gentle breeze blew into the cave, bringing with it the scent of beautiful flowers and sweet aromas. Smoochum assumed they came from a Bellossom. A few days ago, a trainer wandered through the cave with a small Pokemon in a grass skirt. With each step and utterance of its name, an indescribable smell radiated from the tiny flowers fixed on its head. Smoochum's mind filled with all sorts of colors and feelings when presented with Bellossom's scent. Since then, every time she smelled flowers - she thought of that Bellossom.

Looking into the new mirror, Smoochum closed her eyes and wished inwardly that when she kissed her reflection, a pleasant taste would suffice. Closed eyes opened to a miraculous taste. It was that of lavender and mint. Her eyelashes fluttered and opened to look at her new reflection; long hair the color of gold, an onyx complexion to rival the blackest of nights and a gorgeous red dress that flowed into oblivion. Smoochum couldn't believe her eyes. Was she now all she longed to be? "Am I... perfect?"

"Hardly..." A tall Jynx peered down at the pink Pokemon. She sashayed to Smoochum's position and pushed her on her back. "If you think you rival my beauty, you are sadly mistaken."

Smoochum felt as if her soul had been crushed. Tears began to well in the corners of her eyes. "How? How can I be as pretty as you?" She begged the Jynx for the secret she held.

"You'll never be as pretty as me," Jynx spat. Without another word, she turned and walked away with hips swinging left and right.

Smoochum bawled. She didn't understand why she couldn’t be perfect. However, she did understand that in order to taste of lavender and mint, she needed to evolve. Evolution had to be the key. She vowed that the next Pokemon she saw, she would battle.


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Meringue stood at the entrance to Ice Path, shivering. She pulled her garnet colored evening coat around her small frame to keep in the warmth. The Azumarill at her side reached into the matching backpack it was carrying and pulled out a pair of earmuffs. It handed them to her, causing a smile to creep on to Meringue’s face.

"Thank you Azul." Meringue smiled sweetly. She quickly took the earmuffs presented by her partner and placed them over her chilled ears.

Azul only nodded, zipping the backpack. "Azu, azu?"

Meringue shook her head. "No, I'm fine. I might not have Thick Fat, but I'll be okay." She tugged at one of Azumarill's ears in a tender, affectionate way. "You'll be fine though, right?"

"Rill!" The water mouse replied, replacing the backpack to its former position. He moved closer to his trainer as the duo entered the cave.


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Smoochum was waiting for a Pokemon to enter the cave. Anything would to as long as she gained enough experience to evolve into the ever elusive picture of beauty; that's when she saw two beings wandering through the cave's maze. One was a tall human. The other was a spherical Pokemon called Azumarill.

Smoochum thought she would get the upper hand by ambushing the Azumarill. To do so, she would need to watch from high ground. Little pink hands pulled the Smoochum's weight up the side of a small plateau in the cave. Once there, she crawled to the drop and stationed herself, ready for combat.

"Azumarill!" Two large, floppy ears twitched. "Azu, Azu!"

"Hm? What is it?" Meringue asked. She stopped, halting their trek further into the cave.

Azul shook his head, passing the sound off for an echo coming from deeper within. He tugged at the hem of Meringue’s coat to continue on.

Smoochum looked down from the edge she had been perched on, waiting for her prey to pass. She watched, edging closer and closer to see if they had passed the mark. As soon as she saw the backs of the duo, Smoochum threw herself off the cliff and attached herself to Azumarill's back. As he struggled against the attack, she lifted a large ear and began to sing a sweet melody.

Meringue looked startled. In her years of being a Pokemon trainer, she never would have guessed a Pokemon would attack in this manner. "Ignore the Sing, boy! Throw her off!"

Azul grunted in concurrence. The tune had no effect as he picked Smoochum from his back and threw her into the same plateau she had jumped from.

"Now Azul, Rollout!" Meringue called from the side, while pointing at the dazed Smoochum.

Discarding the backpack, Azul instantly rolled into a ball at his master's command. With his tail and ears locked safely within the innards of the ball, he began to roll towards Smoochum at an increasing pace. Within seconds, he was speeding along the rocks as if he were an all-terrain vehicle.

Smoochum stood, trying to recover from the throw. When her vision cleared, she spotted Azumarill speeding to her. Smoochum had never seen such a move and didn't understand how to react to it. When an idea popped into her head, it was too late. Azul smashed into her and continued rolling to the opposite wall.

He used the wall as a pin-point to turn on his axis and start another charge at his opponent.

Smoochum glared, regaining her stance. She began to concentrate, attempting to form a psychic pulse.

Azul didn't give her the chance to launch an attack. He barreled over the Smoochum, pummeling her to the ground.

As she lay there, Smoochum tried desperately to figure a way to combat the onslaught of another attack. Then an idea rushed into her mind. Her lips parted in a small "o", letting out cool breeze. As soon as it hit the surroundings, the breeze turned to jagged stalagmites that rose from the ground.

Azumarill was making his attempt at a third hit when the icicles battered him from underneath. Instantly, he uncurled scrambled out of the way.

"Azul, Double-Edge!"

Hearing these new orders, he rushed at the bewildered Smoochum and smashed into her in a reckless tackle. Both were lying injured where they had fallen.

"Come on, boy! Defense Curl!" Meringue was doing her best to encourage her partner.

Instantly, his tail was being held by two front paws and a grey barrier was erected around Azumarill.

"Smoochum!" She jumped up and down in protest.

As the barrier faded, Azul felt as if he were wearing an armor of gravel. He stood triumphantly, raising both arms to the cave top. It was time for his signature combination. The ice which clung to the stalactites began to melt. It began as a slow drip, mounting into a full on monsoon. Azul had performed a Rain Dance indoors!

Water swelled around Smoochum's feet. She closed her eyes hard, hoping the water would be gone when she opened them. Her eyes fluttered open, only to realize that the water had climbed to her waist.

Azul was getting ready for the final hit. His tail twitched in anticipation before it hit the water. Waves bounded towards the little Smoochum, ready to knock her over.

Smoochum didn't know what to do. She was beginning to panic. Just as the first wave was about to crash down, a violet pulse emanated from the little ice Pokemon. It shattered the onslaught of waves and caused Azumarill to cower.

Meringue was now the one who didn't know what was happening. She looked to her dear Azul, who was curled up on the ground in an eerie purple light. She then glanced to the attacking Smoochum, who was panting and out of breath. This was Meringue’s chance to end the battle. She quickly fished around in her backpack for a Pokeball. Grabbing the desired object, he lobbed it at Smoochum.

Smoochum was hit between the eyes with a large, round object. As soon as she touched it, a force erupted from the capsule and pulled her inside. Smoochum looked around. She saw nothing but an endless crimson void. She flailed in the anti-gravity environment, struggling to get out.

Meringue rushed to the side of the fallen Azul. She cradled Azumarill in her arms and the two watched the thrown Pokeball wiggle twice before...


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End Note; If Smoochum isn't captured, she'll continue wandering the Icy Path, trying to evolve. If she is captured, look for an unexpected Chapter Two. =D
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Pokemon Attempted; Smoochum.
5-10k Character Range
Character Count (Without Spaces); 6,841
Character Count (With Spaces); 8,306
((All character counts do not include Author's Notes or Divider Bars.))
Graded.

Last edited by Sequentio; 12-29-2009 at 03:24 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2009, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Mirror, Mirror

XD I got this done a lot sooner than I thought I would.

Introduction: Poor Smoochum. The story opens with her wanting nothing more than to be pretty, and the subsequent (and cruel) taunts of a cold-blooded (forgive the pun) Jynx. This hook isn’t one of the action variety, but of the drama (or angst) variety. A nice touch, indeed.

Plot: Interesting. I’ve seen stories where Pokemon want to evolve to become stronger, or want to evolve into a certain form if they have different evolutions possible, but I don’t think I’ve seen one where a Pokemon wants to evolve for the sheer reason of becoming prettier. It’s not overly complex or anything, but it’s fresh and is definitely good enough for a little Smoochum.

Length: A solid length for Smoochum, so no problems here.

Detail: ^^ This was good, to be sure. However, you could have fleshed our the surroundings and all just a bit more; how dark was the cave? What did Azumarill look like? What did Meringue look like? How did the water after Azumarill’s Rain Dance feel to Smoochum? The more details you provide, the more vivid the story becomes, the more real. And the more real a story is, the more people will care for its characters. Also, keep in mind that other sensory details are vital to stories. Things like touch and scent are relatively easy to include, while taste (which you included rather craftily in this story) can be one of the harder things to include. Also, the surroundings at any particular moment in the story can affect which senses can be employed. In a pitch-black cave, it’s pretty much impossible to describe how anything looks until something changes (such as the darkness lifting, or lights appearing, or something like that).

At any rate, this was good for a Smoochum, so I’m not really complaining. I’m just giving you some advice for your future stories, which I’m sure will only get better.

Grammar/Spelling: Not bad, not bad at all:

Quote:
Smoochum was waiting for a Pokemon to enter the cave. Anything would to as long as she gained enough experience to evolve into the ever elusive picture of beauty; that's when she saw

Smoochum thought she would get the upper hand by ambushing the Azumarill. To do so, she would need to watch from high ground. Little pink hands pulled the Smoochum's weight up the side of a small plateau in the cave. Once there, she crawled to the drop and stationed herself, ready for combat.
~There are two things here I want to point out. The first is the bolded “to”, which I believe should actually be “do”.

The second problem is bigger. The end of the first paragraph just cuts off, and then when the next one picks up, it’s obvious we’ve missed something. I think maybe you either accidentally left out a part of the paragraph or maybe deleted it on accident. I gathered from the second paragraph that Azumarill and his Trainer had come into Smoochum’s sight, but what’s missing is exactly how this came to be.

Quote:
Instantly, he uncurled scrambled out of the way.
~You need an “and” between “uncurled” and “scrambled”.

And really, that’s about all I noticed XD. Nice job.

Battle: Hm. This was a bit one-sided, really. Azumarill totally kicked poor Smoochum’s butt, while the latter only managed to get off an Icy Wind (or was it Ice Shard?) and what appeared to be a Psychic. And a failed Sing lol. Even though Smoochum is Simple and everything, I feel it could have really done a bit more damage to Azumarill. I was glad to see a few non-damaging moves, but Azumarill’s Defense Curl left me confused. Why did Meringue have him use that move? It seemed kind of random >>…I know you said she was trying to encourage him, but Defense Curl just seems so…well, random lol.

Anyways, the battle could have been a bit better, but as it is, I’d say it’s good enough for a Smoochum. The fact that you used the surroundings a bit only helps you (as it always helps the author). Try to make your battles a bit more two-sided in the future and you’ll probably have no further problems.

Outcome: I totally wanted to say “OMFG NOWAI U PHAIL LOLWTFBBQ?!?!” but then I got attacked by a rabid Alucard who said he’s the only one who’s allowed to cause misery and depression. So I have to say Smoochum Captured! And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get treatment for rabid Vampire bites.
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2009, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Mirror, Mirror



Mirror, Mirror; Chapter Two.
Graded

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Author's Note; This is number six and a sequel to Mirror, Mirror. I thought this would be an interesting follow up with the beloved Smoochum getting a surprise and our old pals Azul and Meringue make a guest appearance. Everything in italics that lack bolding is Pokemon speech. Oh! And if you haven't read the first chapter - do so. It's important. x3

Warning; This chapter is a lot darker and more menacing. Blood, stabbing and possible death. Voila!
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"To be enclosed in darkness... That is the life of a Zubat."

He lived in an endless void for all of his life. He knew not what sight was, nor understood what sort of significance it held. He only assumed that like himself and the other Zubat, they all lived in a black hole - nestled amongst the dew ridden warmth of ceiling rock. It was where he was, in a flock of his own kind.

"Bat!" A voice called from the other end of the cluster. It was soon returned with a similar projection.

He was tired of the continual echoes from screeching family. Every time someone moved, the large, fan-like ears he possessed would pick up the sonic waves and remain in his ear canals for several minutes. Such calls would momentarily deafen him, causing the poor Zubat to cry in pain. The yelp would echo and bounce off the surrounding cave walls and affect the other family members. It was a continual cycle of screeching and painful blows to the ears. He had to get away.

Wisps of feet that had previously hung on to a deformed stone let go from the current position. Their owner lifted off with a quick flapping of scaly wings in search of a silent solace.


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Where am I? It's so cold...

Gentle green eyes opened to observe their new surroundings. There was noting but darkness, accompanied by an icy chill. The small Nidoran shuddered, trying to pull himself up into a standing position. Aching legs crumbled beneath him, disobeying the master command. Pearls of water began to collect at his desperate eyes. He could not move. He was in pain. He was going to die. Nidoran let the tears flow freely.


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Zubat called out in front of him with silent bursts of air. When nothing was returned to him, he continued forthwith through the endless void. He paused momentarily to let out another quick echolocation. This time, it returned with a brisk puff of air to his clammy skin. There was something ahead. Zubat twitched anxiously. All the pent up anger from his noisy clan would soon be unleashed. There was going to be a battle.


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A small cough rattled the injured Nidoran. It caused a hiccup of blood to pour on the smooth ice. Nidoran closed his eyes and laid his head on the ground.

Fight me!

Nidoran blinked once and looked around. The darkness was enveloping him. He saw no one.

Fight me! Zubat was searching around for the huddled mass. He knew something was there.

I can't see you... Nidoran cried.

...See? What is see? Zubat ventured. He had never heard this word before.

See. To see you with my eyes.

The bat was utterly confused. He had never heard of eyes. Sweeping down to the cave floor, Zubat halted. He dropped all intention for battle and pushed his inquiry forward. This time, Nidoran could see who had called him to battle.

You are a Zubat! Nidoran exclaimed. He remembered now. He remembered how he had ended up in the horrible cave with serious injuries. He was out of his den, searching for berries when an out of control Zubat had flown into him. It knocked him several yards across the outside meadow. Unfortunately, Nidoran's roll resulted in hitting a Donphan. The Donphan was outraged and began a full-on attack. Nidoran ran into the cave to escape the brutal assault... but it was too late. Donphan had managed to get in a few good hits before he lost sight of the smaller Pokemon. Nidoran must have blacked out, only to awaken to a new, feisty Zubat.

Yes. I am a Zubat. He smiled.

All Zubat are blind. You don't see anything, do you? Nidoran asked, remembering the flight pattern of his first batty encounter.

I still don't know what 'see' is! Zubat was becoming frustrated.


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Meringue brushed locks of gold away from her childish face as she helped Azul off the ground. "That was a good battle, you know."

Azul smiled and nodded. He was very proud of himself to have returned from battle victorious.

"It was good practice for Clair, was it not?" Both she and her partner laughed. To fight Clair and receive her eighth badge was the reason they had traveled so far from their home in Cherrygrove. Icy Path was the last stretch of the journey and a battle with Smoochum wasn't going to hinder their goal.

Meringue pulled her garnet colored bag from the ground and rummaged through it for a quick heal. Her hand returned with a large violet spray bottle. Her index finger twitched, resulting in a blast of soothing liquid hitting Azumarill. She counted to five and placed the bottle back into the bag. Instantly, Azul was looking better. "Shall we continue?"

The water mouse nodded and once more tugged at the hem of Meringue's coat. He was ready to go.

Meringue flashed pearly white teeth at her partner and motioned with her hand for him to lead.

Azul hadn't taken a step before his large, rabbit like ears twitched. He was picking something up near the exit. His small round feet began to race as he scurried towards the sound. "Azu! Azu!"

Meringue gasped at her fleeting Pokemon and quickly ran after him.


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I still don't know what 'see' is! Zubat was becoming frustrated. His pointed white teeth showed in anger.

You hear things, right? Nidoran was starting to pant. He was tired… so, so tired.

Yes. I hear things. Zubat responded.

But do you know what shape those things are? How they feel? If they have fur, big mouths, paws, feet, hand, wings?

I... He was at a loss for words. He didn't understand all that he was missing. Sight is that important?

I thi- Nidoran didn't finish his thought. Both he and Zubat turned in the direction of oncoming noise.

Meringue! Meringue! I see something! Hurry up! Azul huffed as he ran towards the wild duo. Sadly, Meringue was only human All she heard was, "Azumarill! Azu! Marill! Marill!"

What? Azul came to a roaring stop. There was just enough light leaking from the cave's exit to illuminate the area. Finally, the Azumarill could see the situation before him.

Meringue's pointed shoes clapped against the icy floor as she tried to catch up with her fleeting Pokemon. She gasped in horror as she saw the poison-pin Pokemon. He was still covered in scrapes and bruises... but this time it was accompanied by a constant blood drip from his muzzle. She had to help the dying creature. Meringue reached into her backpack to pull out a Pokeball. As she held back her hand to throw it, a piercing scream came from Zubat.

No! He wasn't going to let his one source for 'see' to be taken away when he was only beginning to grasp the concept. His wings fluttered as he attempted to guard the ailing Nidoran.

Azul saw the protective maneuver and leapt into battle mode. As his ears flattened to his head, he readied himself into a defensive stance.

"No, Azul! You should reserve your strength for the battle with Clair. I'll use our new Smoochum, okay?"

Azul was upset at not being able to prove himself, but he took the order and resumed position at Meringue's side. She fiddled around for Smoochum's Pokeball. She quickly tossed it on the ground. With a blinding flash of crimson, a bamboozled Smoochum appeared.


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She had been sucked into the red and white ball, only to find herself in some sort of grey void.

What's going on? Where am I? Help me! Get me out! I don't want to be in here! She flailed and thrashed about for several seconds before giving up completely. It seemed she was trapped and the void would be her home. Her small lips puckered to get a taste of the void. Nothing. This left Smoochum confused. She usually determines if something is okay by taste. If there is no taste, how can she choose whether to accept her fate or leave it alone?

She sighed gently and crossed her small pink arms. What do I do now? There is nothing to eat. Nothing to look at... Smoochum pondered at these statements. For one, she did not feel very hungry. In fact, she felt nothing at all!

Perhaps this is a magic place? Although Smoochum didn't quite understand the concept of a Pokeball, she was beginning to enjoy it. Not only was her hunger kept in tow but she did not hurt. Most importantly, she did not have to be constantly reminded about how hideous she was.

Just as she was about to rest, another light enveloped her being. It closed around Smoochum with a demanding force and pulled her away from her precious void.


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Last edited by Sequentio; 12-03-2009 at 08:28 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-10-2009, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Mirror, Mirror

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With a blinding flash of crimson, a bamboozled Smoochum appeared. She looked around, snapping her head in varied directions. She recognized her surroundings. She was back in Icy Path.

"Hello, Smoochum dear! My name is Meringue." The girl of nineteen bent down and patted the humanesque Pokemon on the head. "I caught you earlier. Do you remember?" She didn't wait for Smoochum to respond. "Now, you have a chance to battle that Zubat over there. Can you do it?"

No! I don't want to battle! Let me inside my void again! I liked it there. I was pretty there! Please! Smoochum began to wail as tears flowed freely down a bubblegum face.

What is pretty? Zubat, who had been idle for the most part, spoke for the first time since the party's arrival.

Smoochum whirled around to face the questioning bat. Pretty is everything! She yelled. Pretty is how you look!

But I don't look, Zubat said. I do not see. I do not know what pretty is.

You... You cannot see my ugly? Smoochum asked. She finally registered that visual stimuli when talking to the blind were not very important.

No. What is ugly?

She smiled. Smoochum had never felt so confident. If no one could see her, then she could not possibly be called ugly. This was her chance to gain experience and evolve. She was not going to throw it away. It's something I won't be anymore! Now let's battle!

Zubat cawed in response to Smoochum. He was more than ready to fight. He faced the Smoochum, sending out quick puffs of air in all directions. The third one returned, indicating Smoochum was stationed in front of him. With a quick nod of his head, he dipped downward and began a summersault. It was a very admirable feat.

Smoochum stood, astonished. She couldn't move, she was so impressed with Zubat's aerial skills.

The flying blue wonder laughed, releasing a multi-waved echo. It was aimed at the stunned ice Pokemon.

Smoochum blinked several times, trying to remove the awe of the Astonish from her mind. On the fourth blink, she looked up. Glossy circles were being thrown her way. She had to stop them from hitting... but how?

"Smoochum! Use Sing!" Meringue called from behind.

Sing! Of course! Her small mouth began humming a tune. Soon, she belted a song out into the surrounding air.

Zubat recoiled from the intense sound. It drummed in his ears as if it were an orchestra. He couldn't stand it. He had to distract his opponent to get her to stop her dreadful song. His mouth opened to twice its normal size. Suddenly, a crystal haze poured from the infinite blackness and out into the cave. In no time, it covered the area in a hot, damp mist. Zubat slipped into oblivion.

Smoochum couldn't see anything. All she was subject to was a periwinkle paradise of thick haze. There was no way she was going to be able to spot her opponent using her eyes. Her mind however, was a different story. Smoochum closed her eyes and concentrated with all her might. Beads of sweat pooled at her golden hair line as her mind raced to find the retreated bat. With an inward twinge, she locked on to him and fired a psychic pulse.

A bright flash of purple appeared before Zubat, pushing its way into his body. Sadly, he never saw it coming. Instantaneously, he was crippled by a terrible pressing on his mind. It was a deep, dull press that was starting to hinder Zubat. It produced not only an ache, but a ring. The ringing became louder and louder as the attack went on. Wings went limp as he crumpled to the ground in a heap. He lay there, twitching in agony until the pressure on his mind was released. Smoochum had become too tired to continue the attack! Zubat moaned, attempting to collect himself for a final go. His wings straightened to help him back into the air. They flapped several times before his frame was lifted off the ground. He waited, hovering... gaining strength for his next attack.

Smoochum was exhausted after such a powerful psychic. She wanted to sit down. She wanted to let her eyes close and drift into a deep slumber. Before she knew it, an immense wind brushed her face. It became stronger and stronger until a cerulean wing smashed into her face. She yelled out in pain, dropping to the cave floor as the haze evaporated.

"He’s going to go in for another attack! Use Avalanche!" Meringue was doing all she could to help her new friend. Remembering Azul's battle from earlier, she offered up the first attack she could remember.

Smoochum arched her back to get off the ground. A bright white glow surrounded her as Zubat dove for another attack. He screeched, latching on to one of Smoochum's arms. His pointed teeth dug into the pink skin with unbearable pain. A purple liquid began to ooze from the bite marks. It sizzled like an egg under the heat of the sun.

Smoochum wailed, twisting her arm in odd directions to avoid the seeping wound. With a cry of her name, the ice that had gathered on the stalactites began to rumble. With each ice crystal that fell off, the mounds began to crack. They shook with fierce tremors before finally unleashing the fury of an avalanche.

Zubat screeched as the ice pummeled his tiny frame. Cold blocks pelted the bat as he slammed to the ground. He writhed in agony under the freezing blanket of rocks.

Although it felt like her arm was dissolving, Smoochum forced a grin. She had won. She had defeated her foe! Smoochum had never felt so happy or fulfilled. It was almost as if she were glowing. Her hands began to twitch. Her hair began to grow. She didn't understand what was happening.

"What? You're evolving!?" Meringue rushed to her new friend, who was rapidly changing sizes.

With a veil of white mist, Smoochum disappeared. As it faded, a new figure was revealed. She stood slightly taller than Meringue's hip at 3 foot with a velvet gown of silken wine. She looked at her hands and uttered, "Jynx?" in a soothing, melodic voice. Her eyes drifted to a new reflection in the ice. She touched it gently with a violet finger and traced the edge of her face. This was the beginning of a new found respect for Meringue. Her master was the one she could thank for her evolution. I am pretty now...

Are you? The crushed Zubat coughed.

Meringue was startled by the noise from Zubat. She snapped her head to look at the ailing creature. "You poor thing!" She had momentarily forgotten the situation at hand. A second Pokeball found its way out from her bag. With a toss, the Pokeball smacked open on the ground, sucking a pinned Zubat from his confined space.

"Now, for yo-" Just as she was about to throw a fourth Pokeball at the forgotten Nidoran, the ground shook with a vigor. All those standing fell to their feet.

WHERE IS HE? A loud roar sounded through the cave. Azul, Jynx and Meringue turned to the cave's exit. The outline of an elephant stood silhouetted by the shining sun. Donphan had given up on his sense of sight. There was no way for him to track the pest on sight alone. His massive trunk sniffed the ground, searching for any scent that resembled that of blood. The bitter scent led him to this part of the cave where he instantly spotted his target.

Please! Help me! Nidoran quivered as the large Donphan began a charge.

I WILL KILL YOU!

Nidoran squeezed his eyes shut, hoping it would all be over soon. He was tired of the pain.

Donphan let his trunk trail on the ground. His large, clumsy feet tangled, sending him into a roll. The spinning became faster and faster until the original mistake became a Rollout.

"No!" Meringue wasn't going to sit idly by and watch Nidoran die if she could do something about it. She dove into her bag for a third Pokeball. When her hand clasped around a firm object, she pulled it out and threw it at the ailing Pokemon. Meringue prayed it would hit.

The ball closed with a snap, enclosing the hurt Nidoran. Donphan didn't notice. He continued to roll right on by.

Meringue rushed to the site to pick up the Pokeball. She held it firmly in closed hands.

Donphan uncurled himself, realizing that he had missed his target. A wild head swung about, looking for his prey. He spotted a red and white Pokeball in the hands of a young girl. With a grunt, Donphan began a second charge.

"AZU!" Azumarill leaped in front of the blonde human. He was not going to let his master be harmed.

Donphan stopped in his tracks, enraged something would stand in his way. IGNORANT BEAST!

Meringue collapsed to the icy floor, clutching the Pokeball to her chest. She had been frightened before, but never to this extent. Her heart pounded in fear as her dear Azul jumped into battle to save her.

Azul growled with a deep tongue roll. His tail wagged back and forth, as if it were dancing.

Donphan suddenly felt weak, as if his strength was being pulled out of his being.

"Now turn that Tail Whip into a Rain Dance!" Although still upset from the Donphan scare, Meringue felt the need to guide her friend to victory.

After hearing Meringue's voice, Azul's body began to move with his tail. He danced a waving hula as the ceiling ice began to melt. For the second time today, he created an indoor Rain Dance.

The cool raindrops splashed onto Donphan's rocky exterior. They drizzled through the cracks in his armor, causing the sensitive skin underneath to be hit. He roared in frustration, shaking left and right to throw off the water. However, he was beginning to get carried away. With a twist to the right, Donphan began to flail about the cave.

"You have to avoid it, Azul!"

The Azumarill nodded. His last glimpse at Nidoran told him to be careful with the behemoth. As Donphan barreled down on the water rabbit, Azul took hold of his tail and squeezed into a small ball. He took off in a spin as the flailing elephant neared.

Donphan crashed into the limestone wall as Azumarill rolled out of the way. With a shake of his massive head, Donphan was on his feet again, charging the azure Pokemon. Large, ivory tusks jabbed continually at the fleeting opponent. He was going to gut the running mouse.

Azul tried to dodge the continual Fury Strikes, but the fifth hit him square in the chest. The sharp point of the tusk was like a harpoon to a whale. Azul yelped, doubling over and covering his wound. It had punctured his blue hide, spilling a warm, metallic liquid onto the icy floor. As Donphan raised his foot to end the battle, Azul looked up and opened his mouth. A bright, foamy spray pelted the attacker.

Donphan screeched, backing away. The salt from the foam was almost blinding.

The water Pokemon had one last trick up his sleeve. He carefully dipped his head down and began to charge the Donphan. When Donphan finally regained his sight, it was too late... the Double-Edge had hit. Azul dropped to the ground next to his fallen opponent. The recoil was hell. The attack and sucked the energy from him. Azul was getting dizzy from the fatigue. As a cold darkness fell, he hoped the battle was done.

The elephant grunted, heaving his massive body up into another standing position. He may only have one more chance to kill Nidoran. He gave his last breath, charging for a final time.

The Donphan was galloping in Meringue's direction. She looked around wildly for any sort of protection but her stomach dropped as her legs began to loose all sensation. She couldn't move and Azul was in no condition to help her. All she could do was scream.

Jynx, who had been admiring her new reflection for so long, had been oblivious to the fight. However, her head snapped around when she got wind of Meringue's scream. Meringue had been the one to help her evolve. It was time to repay the favor. Jynx flew through the air as if she were a Fearow, throwing herself in front of Donphan's Slam.

Donphan reared, smashing into Jynx's frame. She tumbled continually until a grotesque hit of the floor was heard. She lay bleeding with Zubat's infectious poison rampaging through her system. The elephant fell over from exhaustion, expelling his last breath. Meringue lay unconscious. Although Jynx deflected most of the blow, she felt the aftershock. The tremendous pressure caused her to crack her head on the back wall. When the small Pokeball Meringue held hit the floor, the injured Nidoran popped out. No one was moving. Everything was still.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
End Note; So... Nidoran was badly injured. I don't think a full fight would have helped. So I made Azumarill fight the Donphan. It works, right?

If captured permanently; Everyone lives! =D
If Dophan succeeds; Everyone dies! D:

And... Maybe a third chapter to come, starring a Luvdisc.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Pokemon Attempted; Zubat & Nidoran (M).
10 - 20k Character Range.
(5 - 10k each).
Character Count (Without Spaces); 16,699
Character Count (With Spaces); 20,372
((All character counts do not include Author's Notes or Divider Bars.))
Graded.

Last edited by Sequentio; 12-03-2009 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Mirror, Mirror

MINE! >:O
Lol, I'll grade this after dinner :]

Edit: Something came up, so I'm gonna get to this tomorrow after school :]
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: Mirror, Mirror

O_O This started out as such a cute story! Why did everybody have to like… die at the end? Naw, I actually really enjoyed this story! I’m very sorry that this is late =/

Introduction:
Like I said, this started off as a really cute story! Smoochum is still ugly, Nidoran is hiding from a big monster, and Zubat is trying to figure out what sight is; the beginning is all full of drama which really entices the reader to continue reading, so great job of pulling me in and making me want to keep reading! You manage to introduce all of the main characters of the story right away and set up the situation for the Donphan attack later on so more good jobs! Nice intro, great success here!

Story/Plot:
Your story is very focused on drama rather than the action oriented stories that we usually see around here. It’s kind of refreshing to see something so different. Most of the story was really cute and some parts were even funny, it made this very enjoyable to read and I commend you on that! It’s great how everything in this story has a purpose, if that’s the right way to word it… what I mean is that everything seems well thought out and there are no random events. A well thought out and original plot passes in my book!

Spelling/Grammer:
Thanks, Seq. Way to make my job hard by not having poor grammar! Haha, just kidding, your conventions are exceptional, making the story very easy and enjoyable to read. Nothing is worse than a story that you can’t read! So once again, nice job. There were a few things that I noticed but they’re kind of nitpicky; you probably wouldn’t even notice them unless you’re specifically looking for them like I am.

Quote:
The girl of nineteen bent down and patted the humanesque Pokemon on the head
Humanesque actually isn’t a word; I had no idea until I just looked it up! Human-like, or something like that, would work in its place.

Quote:
Large, ivory tusks jabbed continually at the fleeting opponent. He was going to gut the running mouse.
You really shouldn’t use a comma with adjectives unless there are t least three; when there’s two it’s technically improper. Again, nitpicking, most people wouldn’t even notice or care.
Also, you refer to Azul as a mouse here and a rabbit somewhere else. What exactly is it then? :P

There really wasn’t anything big I could find, your grammar and spelling are almost flawless. Great job here too!

Detail:
After reading your first chapter and then reading this I must say, my what a difference! The setting, the characters, the attacks, the itty bitty things that don’t even need describing; they’re all described in great detail. I have not the slightest complaint about your detail, it’s more than good enough for two easy level captures.

Length:
Length is 20,000 and 20,000 was your max required length so great here as well!

Battle:
How’d you do on your battles? Guess! Just guess… I’ll give you a hint; it’s the same result you’ve gotten for every other category. You used some fun moves, your environment, I think I saw a few nice combos, and my my was the description great for this level. I think the fight with Zubat should have been a tad longer but other than that, no problems here. Your battling Donphan instead of Nidoran was fine. :]

Outcome:
You fail because your story was too good. Write a worse one and MAYBE I’ll give you ONE of the Pokemon…
[Nidoran and Zubat Captured!]
Your story was wonderful, exceeding expectations for an easy level capture in every category. Enjoy your blind bat and whatever the heck Nidoran is xD!
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:23 AM
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Default Re: Mirror, Mirror; Chapter Three [WWC]



Mirror, Mirror; Chapter Three. [Entry for the WWC].
Graded

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Author's Note; Even though I wish I could be more menacing in the story, this chapter is more light hearted than the last (well, near the end, anyways). It would also be beneficial to read the first two chapters, although I do review them in here a bit. Not to mention, this chapter switches perspectives - again. Chapter one was Smoochum. Chapter two was Zubat and Nidoran M. Chapter three takes the perspective of a human cast, to give everything a bit more of a realistic twist.

Again, the Pokemon talk in italics, so don't be thrown off by lack of quotation when it comes to the inhuman cast.

Last note; this is my entry for the WWC. I hope it's something special.

WARNING;
The following material may not be suited for younger readers. Reader discretion is advised.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

She had been admiring her reflection in a pearl encrusted mirror for the better part of the day. It was now time to embrace the beauty that was simply known as Clair. Long strands of cornflower hair cascaded around caped shoulders while luminescent moons hung from pierced ears. Rosy lips pursed together to join the shimmering glass. She truly loved herself… Not to mention, she also loved the varied perks that went along with her title. Far be it for Clair to say that being the Gym Leader of Blackthorn City was enough, but she was also the one true Dragon Master. Clair held the title proudly, almost like a badge of honor. Of course, there was always Lance... Lance; who always seemed to get the better of her. Lance; who went out of his way to upstage her… How she hated the man with an intense passion!

"Damn him," the woman growled, throwing the expensive mirror across her decorative sitting room. Clair, in her early thirties, had always been in close rivalry to her cousin, Lance. Both were famed dragon tamers, known all over the Kanto and Johto regions. The one small difference between the two consisted of one continually beating the other. Clair had never won against the famous Lance and it irritated her to no end. Years had been spent training in the Dragon's Den, but they were to no avail. She had always made an attempt to suppress her raging emotions, but the anger currently bubbling to the surface was too much to bear. In a blinding fury, she hurled the first object her hands could clasp onto with a violent roar. First went her brush, followed by a handful of expensive perfume bottles from varied admirers.

Unknown to the raging woman, there stood one Draco Tom outside of her dressing room. Draco was a student of Clair's who had been training at her gym for the last few months. He and his Kingdra were progressing nicely, although he was still labeled as the resident newbie. This being the case, he was often assigned the most mundane of tasks. They usually consisted of running errands to the local PokeMart or retrieving whatever food was the flavor of the month. Yet today of all days, he was told to alert Clair about the disaster that happened within Icy Path. With shaking knees, he crouched outside the door. It was slightly ajar, so as each object hit the opposite wall, he clearly heard them crash. Draco paused momentarily to summon the courage necessary to peek into the sitting room.

"M-Master Clair?" the blonde began. "There's something going on at the PokeCenter. Nurse Joy asked for you an-" The stuttering boy of fourteen ducked as a crystal bottled labeled, 'Bellossom Beauty' shattered near his head.

"What's her problem, now?" Clair asked through gritted teeth. She didn’t like being interrupted when in one of her fits, let alone for something as ridiculous as one of Nurse Joy’s tasks.

"A trainer and a bunch of Pokemon were found in the Icy Path! Something's dead, too. And I hear th-"

"Dead? Oh good God..." The Dragon Master had snapped out of her selfish demeanor and gained a new perspective on the situation at hand. She marched out the door with her belt of Pokeballs in hand, ushering the apprentice to follow.

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

It took the duo about fifteen minutes at a sprint to reach the destination. When they did, all they could do was gasp at the horror laid out before their eyes. The once pristine glass doors of the residential PokeCenter were caked with blood. It had been a hell of a struggle to bring in Pokemon and trainers a like, especially after carting them all the way from the Icy Path. Since Blackthorn was a relatively small city, the PokeCenter was empty on most days. Today however, they had four Pokemon in critical care as well as two trainers. The first was a woman in her early twenties, adorned with strawberry blonde hair and a dark garnet coat. Her trainer card read, ‘Meringue Limmon’. The second was a girl who barely looked thirteen. She was bawling uncontrollably at the sight she stumbled upon in the chilly cave. When she had reached the PokeCenter, she burst into tears, explaining what she had seen. Nurse Joy, a woman who looked twenty or so with braided crimson hair, immediately sent out an army of Chansey to round up the survivors.

The Chansey, who were the resident caretakers of the facility, returned with plenty of injured patients. This led the little girl to let out a wail. Seemingly traumatized, the young trainer was being consoled by a small, round woman with frayed grey hair. She smiled sweetly, the wrinkles on her face coming together as she patted the girl's knee. She was too old to be the head nurse. Perhaps she was Nurse Joy's grandmother?

"I'm here, Nurse Joy!" Clair's voice echoed through the PokeCenter, reaching all corners of the waiting area. The old woman and the girl, apparently named Gina, turned to look at the Gym Leader. The elder stood from her position of kneeling by Gina's side, and waddled across the stained linoleum floor to the flushed duo.

"I am Nurse Janine," she said. "You're Clair, right? I remember your grandfather used to run the Blackthorn Gym back in the day. He was quite the-"

"Please, ma'am," Clair groaned, regaining her breath slowly. "I need to see Nurse Joy. There was an emergency, yes?"

"Oh dear, call me Janine," the woman smiled. "But yes. My granddaughter Joy is in the back. I'd show you the way, but this little girl here," she pointed to the raven haired child currently sobbing in badly patterned chairs, "needs my help."

"Draco here will help her." The Gym Leader shoved her apprentice to the side. She stepped forward, taking the hand of the elderly woman to pull her away from the scene. With a slight tug, the two left the crying girl in the incapable hands of Draco Tom.

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

"This way, dear," Janine said, motioning for the Dragon Master to follow.

Clair obeyed in silence; taking more interest in her surroundings than the orders she was given. In mere moments, they passed through an ugly pink hall on the way to the trauma ward. It was littered with diamond shaped tiles the color of a summer's eve. The fluorescent lights above flickered as Clair's pointed boots made gentle clacking sounds, echoing with each step. It had been a long time since she had stepped into the back of the Pokemon Center... and by the dilapidated looks; it had been longer than she remembered.

"Keep up," the old woman commanded, gesturing forward with her hands.

The Dragon Master shook her head violently, as if to snap out of a terrible dream. With an unsteady gulp, she attempted to regain a brave posture to follow her guide down the hall.

"Here we are," Janine whispered, pointing an arthritic finger into the next room. From the door way, a bright light - one almost blinding in nature, poured into the hall.

Clair stepped forth, listening to the commotion to get an idea of what lay ahead. She didn't dare look... not quite yet.

"HERE! I NEED THE BANDAGES NOW! NO, NOT THE CAUTERIZING GUN, CHANSEY!" A frantic voice, filled with frustration and impatience echoed into the hall. It was a woman's voice; one that was cracking under the intense pressure.

"Chansey," a second voice wailed. This one sounded as if it were going to break and turn tearful.

"They've been at this for hours," Janine explained, letting her curved back rest against the salmon plaster of the wall. "I know you're not trained medically or anything... but I think my sweet Joy could use an extra set of hands at this point. Mine are too old to do much good."

Clair only nodded before taking a step into the unknown. As her deep set eyes adjusted to the light, all she could do was try to swallow a scream. The hideous pink walls were coated in a film of dark crimson. The once white cabinets that lined the walls were stained yellow and orange from the excessive splatter. Five gurneys had been shoved into the small room, and in an attempt to make them fit, they were positioned in varying angles. Limp bodies hung over the sides, often entangled with the discolored sheets. Three of the four Pokemon looked to be conscious. A blue rabbit, curled into a fetal position was rocking back and forth while loose bandages hung over his left eye. This Azumarill was closest to the door, and seemed to be the most unharmed.

Nurse Joy and the highly unsteady Chansey were focused on a battered human-like Pokemon. She was breathing heavily, her torn dress heaving up and down with each intake. Her right arm was being held by the Chansey, who had one stubby paw on the Jynx and one on the adjacent stainless steel cart. Joy, whose hair had fallen from the usual two plaits, had a pair of dirty gloves covering her hands. They held a large glass container as well as a strand of surgical tubing.

"Hold her down," Joy screamed, twisting and turning with the flailing Jynx. "I need to get the poison out of her THIS INSTANT!"

Rapid tears poured from the protesting Chansey's face. It was obvious she hadn't been under this sort of pressure before.

Jynx's only response was a wheeze of her own name as she struggled to break free.

"NOW, DAMNIT!" Joy pushed Chansey aside, only to plunge the thin surgical tube into a swollen purple arm. In seconds, milliliters of thick, oozing poison crawled up the tube and emptied out into the glass jar which had found its way to the steel cart.

Jynx instantly stopped her retaliation and allowed the milky green substance exit her wounds. Her large, fuchsia eyes closed in relief.

"ZU-ZU!" It seemed that the small blue bat had awoken; and he too, began to thrash around. Piercing screeches echoed in all directions, causing those conscious to cover their ears. Lacerations covered the lithe body, creating a burning sensation which riddled the bat whenever he touched another surface. Bright purple wings flapped continually as the exhausted Nurse ran quickly to attend to the patient. It was only then that Nurse Joy noticed the other woman standing in the door way.

"Come help me," she said with irritation. Nurse Joy motioned with bloody hands to come help hold Zubat down.

"I..." Clair stuttered. She had never been struck so speechless in all her years of Pokemon training.

As the screeching continued, Jynx and Azul tried desperately to understand Zubat's cries. All they could manage were garbled words and the repeat of to see.

What is it? Jynx asked, furrowing her brow in pain.

I... ZUBAT. I WANT. PLEASE.

I don't understand...

Neither do I. What do you want? We'll try to help. Azul said in a soothing voice. He was trying to comfort the distressed Zubat, but it had little to no effect.

"Damnit, Clair!" Joy grunted, holding onto the struggling wings. They were slipping from her moist gloves, often slamming back into the gurney.

The Dragon Master was battling internally with herself. The brave, fearless Gym Leader within urged her to step forth and take charge - while the timid girl she once had been, begged her not to move an inch.

"Please," the Nurse moaned through gritted teeth as she attempted to maintain a steady grip on Zubat.

SEE! SEE! The little bat screamed, using the last of its strength to lift off from the table and squirm in the varied cardinal directions.

We don't understand, Azul said, sighing.

For Arceus' sake, can you just stop screeching? Jynx lifted a swollen purple hand and laid it to rest on her forehead. You're giving me a headache.

Joy's hands couldn't hold on much longer, eventually releasing the Zubat into the air.

To Clair, this was when everything slowed to a halt. Everything was going at one one-hundredth of the appropriate speed when she finally decided to help. It seemed as if the beings of space and time had conspired with one another to slow the clock down to prevent Clair from taking action.

The Zubat was poised in the air above the stressed nurse. Silent tears trailed down Chansey's face as dirtied gloves grasped for the escapee. Zubat wasn't having any of it, avoiding the human hands at all costs. He swerved to the left, smashing into the stained cupboards. They opened purely from the colliding force, spilling varied cotton swabs and tongue depressors onto the granite counter top. Each fell as if they were feathers, attempting to stay airborne as long as possible.

Clair looked at Nurse Joy, who was mouthing something, though she couldn't pinpoint what exactly what it was.

Blood found its way to the cluttered counter as Zubat tried to lift off. He heaved, adding to the mess in a slow motion splatter. His thin, pencil like legs held him up as the battered wings seldom used outside of battle, supported him while swaying in a hunched over manner.

Joy thought it was an opportune moment, figuring that she should leap for the bat, rather than clamor around aimlessly. The red headed nurse looked like a gruesome Superman as she jumped, flying over the numerous gurneys in her attempt for capture. Her fingers itched with anticipation as they neared Zubat's shuddering back. However, her dreams of grabbing Zubat were crushed as he took off again.

This time, the bat tumbled head over heels through the room, trying to get out.

Nurse Joy looked as if she was screaming obscenities but Clair was utterly deaf. The rabid woman clamored up the varied drawers to the slovenly counter as she readied herself for a second jump. What had once been white heels were now rose colored as they angled themselves on the edge. It was to allow Nurse Joy quite a distance as she took off from the familiar counter.

The waddling, weeping Chansey, who had previously been covering her eyes, looked up to see her master readying a jump for the dying Zubat. She waved her chubby hands frantically in vain, as Chansey was the last of Joy's concerns.

Well sculpted legs propelled the nurse over the fallen Nidoran M, as well as Zubat's abandoned gurney. Unfortunately, this was the point that all everything rushed back to Clair, making her realize the true extent of the damage. Sound came pelting back into her deaf ears, slaughtering the silence that once had been.

Zubat's finale would come with his final movement. His back arched, allowing him to swoop into a downwards spiral. Down and down he went, knowing that it was his last hurrah. The tiny fangs in Zubat's mouth shattered with a gruesome sound as they hit the linoleum. He twitched twice before the damaged body began to glow an unusual white color. The Pokemon's structure was changing at a rapid pace until a whole new Pokemon replaced the fallen Zubat. His wings were larger, spanning an extra foot in each direction. His ears shortened, giving him the appearance of a horned owl. However, the most noticeable difference was the addition of two, sharp eyes – located in the center of the indigo body. It was then Zubat understood what the Nidoran had tried to tell him in the Icy Path.

SEE... The former Zubat coughed, allowing more warm liquid to drizzle down the side of his open mouth. I UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS TO SEE; ALL THESE WONDERFUL COLORS. THESE… THESE THINGS! I LIKE TO SEE. I LIKE…

Azul turned away, carefully tugging the yellowed bandages over his small, beady eyes. He didn't want to watch the Golbat drown in its own blood. The crinkled tail adorned with a sapphire orb wrapped around the water rabbit's body... as if it were offering some sort of protection.

"NO!" Joy screamed, flailing about as she began her descent. Her young body flattened as it hit the gurney below, crushing the one patient who was human. The nurse didn't bother to check Golbat at this point. Instead, she quickly peeled herself from Meringue Limmon's body after hearing a sickening crunch. "My God..." Joy gasped. "What have I done?"

After all the time spent idle, Clair finally reacted. Although years had been spent training to be the top fighter, the ultimate warrior; she couldn't have prepared herself for this. The woman turned and ran out of the chaotic room, falling to her knees when she reached the lobby.

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

Last edited by Sequentio; 02-12-2010 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Mirror, Mirror; Chapter Three [WWC]

Draco Tom had spent the better part of ten minutes trying to console Gina, yet anything he did was willfully ignored. Finally, he placed a young hand on her rose colored jumper in a last ditch effort to prove he cared. It only caused her to jerk away.

"I don't want your help! LEAVE ME ALONE!" she shouted, using her hands to push forward.

"Gina, dear," an elderly voice cooed. Janine had reappeared next to the two pre-teens after leaving Clair and her granddaughter to their own devices. She knelt once more by the girl's side, giving her shoulder several reassuring pats.

Gina smiled at the elderly woman, instantly attaching herself emotionally. She was about to tell her how Draco hadn't done a thing to help properly when a horrified Clair burst from the back rooms, her gloved hands grasping desperately at her temples. She squealed, watching the Gym Leader act as if she had gone insane.

"C-Clair?" Her apprentice dashed foreword, in an attempt to figure out what the problem was.

Thick streams of tears poured down her pallid face, smudging the make-up she had lovingly applied less than an hour earlier. Every time she tried to tell young Draco of the horror, her throat became caught with a mixture of mucus and fear. She coughed each time she tried, rattling her entire frame.

"M-M-Master..." The boy's eyes stood wide, not believing the scene he was witnessing. His hero had broken down into nothing more than a fragile little girl. He once had a dream of standing proudly by her side, reigning over a sea of Dragon Pokemon. Now, this is all he could think of when recalling the image of Clair.

"URGH!" Suddenly, Nurse Joy slid out into the lobby, her hands balled so tightly into fists that they looked ghostly. Her teeth were barred in frustration and anger. One could say, that covered in such mass amounts of blood, Joy might have been mistaken for a serial killer.

Gina took one look at the ghastly nurse before fainting. Her emotional state just couldn't process what had unfolded before her eyes. On the other hand, Draco just buried his head into his hands to avoid being seen. It was the ostrich reflex of; if you can't see me, I'm not here.

Clair simply refused to turn around and face the wrath of a crazed nurse.

Janine could only manage a gasp, raising an extended hand over her aged mouth. "My dear," she muttered. "W-What happened?"

"She..." Joy raised her hand, allowing the slimy glove to drip off her hand and fall to the floor with a disgusting splash. It lay in a puddle of ooze as she glided foreword. "She didn't help. I needed it. I BEGGED HER FOR IT!"

Chansey, who had followed her master into the lobby, threw herself at Nurse Joy's feet. Pudgy pink hands wrapped themselves around frail ankles as she wept uncontrollably. "C-CHAN-CHANSEY!"

Everything was silent, save for Chansey's blubbering and the frantic heaving made by an insane medical professional.

"Just... just hush dear," Janine quivered, resting Gina on one of the side benches in the appropriate recovery position. She stood, holding her back in pain as she scuttled past the fallen Gym Leader. Within moments, the old woman graciously extended a hand to the flailing pink blob attached to her granddaughter's legs. With a caring smile, she lifted Chansey up from underneath her arms.

"C-Chansey," she muttered, letting her balled fists dry away the muddled tears.

"What happened? Come now..." Arthritic hands grabbed a hold of Joy's shaking shoulders, turning her away from the scene. Janine escorted her down the hall and into the dreadful room. Perhaps there, she could make heads or tails of the situation.

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

Grey eyes surveyed the area as her slipper clad feet shuffled farther into the emergency ward. Again, nothing could describe the horror that was in the back of the Pokemon Center. Joy simply turned away, refusing to look at the scene she left moments ago. Janine on the other hand, though distraught at what she was seeing, approached several of the gurneys with caution. She first spied the aching Azumarill, bandages remaining draped over glassy eyes. He was moaning his name gently with ragged breaths - pausing only occasionally to glance back at his owner.

Meringue Limmon looked worse than she had several hours ago when she had first been brought in. Her pale skin seemed to be stretched over pointed cheek bones, yet it was a skewed at odd angles - as if something were broken underneath. Her garnet coat had been removed so the medical staff could wrap her wounds but it looked as if there were more which had been neglected. There was no outward sign of movement in the poor girl, giving her the look of a broken china doll.

After several minutes of inspection, Joy summoned the courage to glance at her patient. "Is she...?"

Janine stayed somber. "No, not yet my dear," she answered, fully predicting the disturbing question. "However, we need to do something fast. Her pulse is weak and unsteady. We need to stabilize her. Do you have any ground Luvdisc scales? I know they’re rare, but…”

Joy quickly hurried to one of the splattered cabinets, ripping open the doors in haste. The bloodied gloves were cast aside as she plundered through the varied glass jars. "I don't..." Several more containers were tossed aside. "I don't see any!"

The old woman sighed, gripping the edge of the nearest gurney in frustration. "We need it to cure them. There's no other way around it, unless you want more deaths on your hands."

Nurse Joy turned a deep shade of red, "It was not my fault! I asked for help! I begged for it! I had to chase that damned Golbat myself and Chansey wasn't any help and then it started to fly, so I went after it! That's my job, right? And I-"

"Shush, dear." Janine had moved over to her granddaughter's position and carefully wrapped her in a hug. She stroked the braided strands of ruby as Joy began to sob. Her heart ached at the sound of each cry but now wasn't the time to give up. "They need you, dear."

Joy glanced up from her position in her grandmother's arms to look at the quiet battlefield. The tiny Nidoran, bandages around his feeble sides, was gasping for air. His small emerald eyes were closed with labored breaths. Jynx was still pushing the deadly poison from her system, but she seemed much more relaxed than she had earlier. Perhaps the Ice Pokemon was in a haze of relief. Joy's next target was the deceased Golbat on the floor of the Pokemon Center. His body looked grotesque from the angle of which he had fallen. A slight shudder went up her spine as her eyes drifted to the next contender. Meringue might as well have been dead, from what she could see. The trainer was hardly moving, giving the appearance of a discarded corpse.

"Azu...?" The last Pokemon was Azul, who had pushed the dirty bandages from his eyes to stare longingly at his master. With some heavy movements, the injured water rabbit had gotten down off his gurney and waddled over to Meringue. His fingerless paws stroked her hair.

"Help them," Janine whispered.

"I don't know what to do!" Joy cried.

"Get some Luvdisc scales so we can begin treatment. I don't think the girl - or Nidoran for that matter, will last much beyond the day. You need to hurry. I'll look after them here. You take Chansey and Erutis here."

"E-Erutis? But she’s your Togekiss!"

Janine held out a small Pokeball for her granddaughter which she had fished out from her ceremonial healing garments. Janine was more of a traditional healer than the modern day nurses. She was one who cured ailments with varied plants and prayers, rather than relying on machines to do the work for her. It was why she had a Togekiss, rather than a Chansey or Blissey. Those Pokemon were trained to read machinery and do mundane tasks. Togekiss on the other hand, was a free spirit who healed in its own way. This was what drew Janine to it quickly.

"Yes, dear. You'll need to fly to find Luvdisc, right? I don’t know of any close by."

"R-Right..." Joy looked down into her hand, gripping the multi-colored sphere. It was her turn to shine now - to make up for the mistakes she had already made. The woman headed for the door, looking back only to mouth a heart-felt thank you to her grandmother.

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

"Please, Clair..." Draco looked torn between his silent master, the unconscious Gina and the quivering Chansey. He was still a young teenager and didn't fully understand the situation. Perhaps he didn't want to. "I don't really know what to do... What do you want from me?"

Chansey, hearing the apprentice's confusion, attempted to help. She wandered over on rose colored feet, patting Draco's capped head. An uneasy smile formed on her face as she then turned to help Gina.

Even if it wasn't very reassuring, it gave the boy just enough hope to continue pressing Clair. She had gone completely silent after Joy had left. Her usual strong eyes seemed to glaze over, as if she were detached from reality. If Clair had been lying down, Draco would have presumed she was in a coma. There were no outward signs of life coming from the Dragon Master, save for the light puffs of air streaming from the slightly agape mouth. He lifted both hands around to support Clair's back as he heaved upwards. "Come on!"

Clair's legs refused to listen to Draco's pleas. They only twisted in a rag-doll fashion while he lifted her body.

"STAND," the boy commanded. However, Clair's weight was too much for a scraggly teenage boy to hold up by himself. The Dragon Master was about to fall when Joy appeared. She helped hoist the other woman to her feet, where Clair stood as if she were a zombie.

"T-Thanks," Draco muttered in embarrassment.

"I... I need you to stay here and watch over that little girl over there. If my grandmother asks for help, do whatever she says. I need to go and get Luvdisc scales before time runs out," the Nurse explained.

"Luvdisc scales? Why do you need those?"

"There's not enough time to explain!" Joy threw up her hands in frustration. It seemed the nurse was prone to mood swings. "Chansey? Chansey! Come here. We have to go on a mission. Grab your coat and mine, okay?"

The round healer nodded sadly, abandoning Gina to fetch the light jackets Nurse Joy required.

"Azumarill! Azu, Azu." In the doorway, was Meringue's battered Azumarill. He was panting from rushing to Joy's side so quickly. I want to go with you! I'm well enough to go and find whatever it is you need for Meringue. Please.

"You shouldn't be out of bed," the nurse gasped, crouching down to fix the awkward bandaging.

"He wants to go, dear." Janine also appeared from the back of the Pokemon Center. She smiled her old, gentle smile. "Can't you see how determined he is to go?"

"I want to go too," Draco said, stepping forth. "Staying here won't do me any good. Gina doesn't like me and I'm not much use to Clair... You'd be better staying here. You're the Nurse after all, right?"

"I'm not leaving such a task to a child!" Joy squealed, causing Chansey to drop the coats she had finally pried off the rack.

"Let him go," Janine said, nudging Azul into the open room. "Draco, you and Clair take this Azumarill and bring back two Luvdisc. We need them to help the ill. Can you do that? If so, my granddaughter and I will stay here - doing our best to mend what we can."

"I'll do it. Come on Clair," Draco said, tugging his mentor out the door - Azumarill bringing up the rear.

"I hope they catch them on time," Janine smiled sadly, giving a slight wave to them as they passed through the dirty glass doors. "Because there's not much we can do without them..."

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

It hadn't taken long for the comatose Clair to recover once her pupil led her outside. The fresh breeze had been welcomed by the trio, as it provided a smell which didn't linger with death. The spring air was crisp and light, even perking up the somber Azul.

"Master Clair," Draco began, one hand still supporting the woman. "Where do we even find Luvdisc here in Johto? I thought they were native to Hoenn. Unless you have some stashed away somewhere, I don't know how we'll get this done!"

"Azu..." Upon hearing the boy's questions, Azul looked down in defeat. He didn't know what he would do if Meringue couldn't be saved in time. He had spent his life next to the girl currently awaiting a cure. In fact, he was Meringue's eighth birthday present; back when he was a tiny Azurill. All of his life, he had lived with her. What am I going to do if she is taken away from me?

"You don't think there are Corsola in Johto?" It was the first thing she had said in about an hour, causing her voice to alter with new use.

"Wh-Corsola? I asked about Luvdisc..." Draco said, trying to understand where his mentor was coming from.

"Pull out your PokeDex. Look up Luvdisc," Clair commanded.

"But you were just talking about Corsol-"

"Now."

With a sigh, he relented. The boy reached a hand to the back of his denim shorts, lifting up an oddly bright yellow shirt to get access to the rear pocket. Draco fished out two items. The first was his leather wallet, which he assumed he didn't need. The second was a red, rectangular device, almost like that of a phone. A crafty thumb flipped open the top, only to have the boy give a vocal command. "Show me Luvdisc."

"Luvdisc, the Rendezvous Pokemon. Luvdisc are small heart shaped Pokemon that are known to travel with Corsola. This is because they make their nests in the same type of coral reefs. Much like Chansey, anyone who finds a Luvdisc is said to have extreme luck - although in Luvdisc's case, it usually regards chances with love." The mechanical voice finished with an upbeat tone. Clearly, it was not as worried as the trio were about locating the crafty fish.

"So... we need Corsola, then? But we're in Blackthorn! The closest Corsola are in Olivine City! It'll take hours to get there - even by flight!"

"You obviously don't know your geography well, either. Corsola are said to live in warm water."

"And we're in the Northern part of Johto - next to an ice cave," Draco shouted in protest. He was fed up with the numerous riddles.

"Of course we are. However, you foolishly managed to forget we have a warm body of water here in the city," Clair said, crossing her arms.

"The only body of water we have is the lake behind your Gym, and it's freezing cold - especially in spring!"

"I'm not talking about that one."

"Then what one are you talking about?" The boy was getting exasperated over something as ridiculous as water. "Because I certainly don't see one. Unless it magically appears or falls from the sky, I don't know what you're talking about!"

"I'm talking about the Dragon's Den," Clair explained, a tight lipped smile appearing on her face.

"The Dragon's Den," the boy gasped. He had only heard rumors about the Dragon's Den. Most of them were hushed whispers from Clair's other apprentices. Only those who had beaten her were able to enter - and not many had that privilege. It was rumored to be a large cave, guarded by a silent man. Inside, according to legend, were the most fierce and untamable dragons!

"Yes, the Dragon's Den. It has a decent sized body of water, which is isolated from the rest in the area. Underneath the Den, there is a small hot spring, allowing the dragons to bathe in warm water while simultaneously allowing for coral growth. My grandfather added several Corsola and Luvdisc to accelerate the coral expansion."

"Are you serious?" Draco asked, eyes widening in surprise.

"Does this look like a time I would lie?"

"Rill," Azul responded, for Draco's sake.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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  #9  
Old 12-29-2009, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: Mirror, Mirror; Chapter Three [WWC]

It wasn't long before the trio reached the Blackthorn Gym. It towered above all the other buildings in the small northern city and it was the only one to be built out of slate, rather than steel or iron. It was one of the oldest gyms in Johto, having been maintained by members of Clair's family for several generations. However, the gym was not the main attraction which was being sought. Behind the massive training facility was a small lake - one so small it could be considered a pond, with the exception of its depth. Yet beyond its frozen waters was the entrance to the Dragon's Den.

Draco stood next to Azul on the shore line, raising a hand to cover his eyes from the sun. He squinted across the gloomy waters in an attempt to spot the cave. Behind him stood Clair, with a magnificent smirk on her face.

"Come forth, Melee!" With a quick flip of her hand, a Pokeball detached from the violet belt and flew into the air. It popped open at the peak, letting go of the Pokemon who had been sleeping peacefully inside.

"RI-AAA!" The voice poured over the water in a haunting melody. Feathers turned to cotton, as they wound into knots around the slick blue body. Her long neck gracefully bent downwards, ivory beak plucking at her tangled wings.

"She's very pretty, isn't she?" Clair let a gloved hand trace over her Pokemon's lithe antennae. "I do like to take care of my Dragon Pokemon."

"Of-of course, Master," Draco stuttered, looking upon the Altaria. He had never seen his master use such a Pokemon, but in retrospect, he hadn't seen many of her Pokemon, save for Dragonair and the Kingdra of her own.

"Azu!" The water-mouse stamped his foot in protest. With this action, his bandages fell loose and floated into the lake.

"Er... right. How are we supposed to get there? My Kingdra can’t hold me, and well - I'm pretty sure this Azumarill can't fly," the boy groaned. "What are we going to do?"

"What do you mean?" Clair said, with a voice as sharp as ice. "Why else would I bring my Pokemon?" It seemed her attitude was returning at a rapid pace. Once she had exited the PokeCenter, her reflection was clearing. She was no longer a frightened little girl. Instead, she had reverted into her old, obnoxious self. "Melee is more than capable of getting myself, you and that Azumarill to the Dragon's Den."

It seemed Clair was forgetting that Melee was only three feet high and weighed less than Azumarill. Draco turned to his teacher with a skeptical look etched on his face.

"You don't believe me?" the Dragon Master scoffed. "Fine. I'll show you. Melee!"

The Altaria puffed out her chest in pride at being acknowledged by someone so high in the dragon taming world as Clair. She was more than glad to stand at attention for her.

"Melee, use Attract. I want to see what sort of dragons will arise from the depths today."

"ALTARIA," the creature responded. Clawed feet moved her to the edge of the lake. They dug into the cool sand as the long neck craned over the water. She cried her name several times before light pink hearts began to appear. They danced around the waving antennae before sinking into the cold depths like the S.S. Titanic.

"I don't see the point o-"

"Shut it and wait!" Clair snapped, crossing her arms. Impatience was not going to help them on this journey.

Everything was silent, save for the calming breeze which ran over the shore line. It seemed as if Melee's attack was in vain. Draco was about to voice another protest when a deep rumble ran through the ground. There was an unnerving roar, causing the boy, as well as Azul, to stumble backwards. The once calm lake shuttered with each impending wave. Several forked crowns began to peek above the water. They were soon followed by penetrating eyes, cast in anger at whoever had awoken it.

"GYARADOS!" From the bottom of the cold lake emerged an upset Gyarados, his cerulean skin giving a lighter quality to the dark waters. His Koi mustache hung down over the Altaria while he glared, as it was she who had awoken it from its slumber... but suddenly the intense anger it held melted away. The crimson eyes of the massive water snake turned gentle, showing great affection for Melee.

"Al, Altaria," she flirted. Would you mind helping my Master out?

"GYA! Gyarados, Gyarados," he replied, gazing longingly at the graceful bird. My dear, I would do anything for you. What do you require from me?

"Ria, Ria. Altaria." My Master, the young one and the Azumarill need a lift to the Den at the other side of the lake. I would fly myself, but...

"Ra! Gyara. Gyarados. Gyarados," he replied, winking at Melee. Don't trouble yourself, pet. I would be more than honored to help a pretty young girl such as yourself with such a simple task.

"Ria? Al. Altaria." Really? Thank you. I may have to repay you later. She turned to look at Clair before giving the nod of approval. Once more, the mystic bird had proved that looks can take you just as far as power.

The mighty Gyarados smirked, leaning forward out of the water to place his head on the sand. His curved face provided the leverage needed for footwork, welcoming the party to climb board.

Clair smiled at Melee for doing an excellent job with their transportation needs. She swiftly kicked a boot to Gyarados' nose while both hands clasped around a navy colored crown. She hoisted herself up without much trouble, ushering Draco and the Azumarill to follow suit.

Azul went next, having much more difficulty than Clair. His round, pudgy body wasn't built for climbing. Yet, with the use of his tail and a bit of maneuvering from the dragon below, he joined Clair who was perched on his head. A large white fin jutting from the calloused backside of the Gyarados was providing rear support. He climbed in front of Clair, to take position at the head of the ride.

"Are you coming? We haven't much time."

Draco was still in shock at seeing the massive water snake arise from the murky depths. Gyarados was quite an intimidating force. He was certainly one of the last Pokemon the boy would climb upon like a jungle gym and ride on off into the sunset with.

"Ra..." Although he was busy taking casual glances at Melee, it was beginning to look like the Gyarados was getting impatient.

"Well?"

"C-Coming," Draco replied, edging closer to the beast. He placed a hand on the large nose, propelling himself upwards. A thin leg swung over the left eye while his probing hands tried to grab onto Clair's cape for leverage. However, he missed the cape by miles and began to fall down the water snake when an oddly shaped rescue rope came to his attention.

Azul had graciously extended his tail to Draco. "Azumarill."

"Thanks," the boy replied sheepishly before taking a position behind his master. He grabbed a hold of her waist and nodded - giving the sign he was ready to go.

Clair removed a hand from Azul's waist to signal her Altaria.

Melee took off, soaring about the lake. She gave a final call to the Gyarados, to tell him to follow. He graciously complied.

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

After several minutes of complete silence during the ferry service, Draco took it as his chance to inquire about the mission. "So what is it that Luvdisc do, again? Do they have like... some sort of magical liver in which the inner mucus stuff is a cure all or something?"

"Hardly," the woman said, rolling her eyes. "That doesn't sound very scientific, now does it?"

"Well, no. But -"

"But nothing," Clair interrupted. "You obviously weren't paying attention in school. Luvdisc are covered in small, heart shaped scales. Many of these are very valuable, as Luvdisc scales don't grow back. Once they fall out, they're gone for good. It's why they're sold for a high price in the Market and why many Move Tutors demand them as payment."

"But why do they make good medicine?"

"Azumarill!" It seemed Azul was tired of Draco's interruptions as well.

"I like him," Clair spat, pointing at the water Pokemon. "He has manners."

Draco sighed, throwing his hands up into the air as a sign of surrender.

"Good. Now as I was saying, Luvdisc scales are rare to come by. Many people attempt to catch Luvdisc as a means of selling Heart Scales, but there's one fatal flaw in that plan. The Heart Scales can only be removed by the Luvdisc's mate. Even killing the Luvdisc and attempting to pry off the scales does no good. They'll be there for eternity, unable to be used. The ones trainers find are Heart Scales washed up on the shores from mating rituals. They can get pretty intense."

The boy flinched, trying to push the image of Luvdisc sex from his head.

"Anyways, being able to find and track down the exact pair will be difficult - but since the water in the Dragon's Den is isolated, it's fairly obvious that there’s a pair in there together. They can't quite escape in a confined area, now can they?"

"I suppose not, Master."

"Indeed," she responded, pointing ahead.

Before the triad was a colossal mountain range which wrapped itself snuggly around the neck of the city. Nestled between two particular crag was a shallow indent. As they approached the entrance, it became obvious to see that was the 'check in point' of the Dragon's Den.

"That's it, Melee."

"Ri," she responded, coaxing the Gyarados to stop just shy of the entrance, yet still allowing the passengers the possibility of getting off on dry land.

"Gyarados," the creature announced, as per arrival. With another great dip of his head, he let the trio off at the shore line.

Azul was the first to depart, squeezing his way through the three large crowns on the beast's head, only to use his nose as a makeshift slide. Clair joined the rabbit in his descent from the Gyarados. Last but not least was Draco, who didn't seem to have as much difficulty getting down as he did getting up.

Overhead, Melee gave a screech. "Altaria!" I owe you one, kind sir.

Gyarados smiled as he returned to the depths of the small lake. Small pink hearts appeared over his head before the shattered like glass as he sank deeper and deeper into the water.

Clair waved a final goodbye to the Gyarados, before recalling Melee to her side. The wondrous bird cooed in appreciation as she landed next to her master. It was then that the group was met by a stout man. He was standing guard next to the Dragon's Den entrance. Dressed in what could be considered medieval peasant clothes, he didn't seem particularly scary, let alone an effective guard.

"What's his deal?" Draco whispered to Azul, who nudged him gently.

"Azu..." One should never judge a book by its cover.

"Ay, Clair! I's nice ‘ta see ya again, lassie. I ha'nt been seein' ya aroun' lately! Ya come ‘ta getcha some more dragons?" Behind the thick beard of red was a smile. It was rare that the man had company, so to see anyone for any period of time was welcome.

"It must be lonely out here, Rudolph. I'm sorry I don't visit more often," Clair said, returning the man's kind gestures. "However, I'm here on important business. We need to enter the Dragon's Den immediately and return to the PokeCenter before sunset. May we enter?"

"Of course ya may!" Rudolph grinned, stepping to the side. A thick hand was extended to the quartet as both humans and Pokemon alike ventured into the darkness of the Dragon's Den.

"I can hardly see," the boy muttered, squinting into the unknown.

"Mar," Azul agreed.

With a sigh, Clair snapped her fingers. Without as much as a second warning, Melee's cotton coat began to shimmer distinctly gold in color. It seemed as if it were drawing in light from an invisible source. In no time, the Altaria was functioning as a walking lantern.

"You see? I have it covered. Safeguard can do more than just protect from status ailments, you know," the woman smiled. "It would do you good to see what Kingdra can do when it's not in battle. It does have other abilities rather than just surfing. In fact, a well done Flash Cannon is better than Melee's Safeguard."

The Altaria scoffed at that accusation, rousing a chuckle from the Dragon Master.

"Come now. Let’s find us some Luvdisc." Clair motioned foreword, ushering them farther into the cave. The only sight for at least a hundred feet was simply cave.

"I thought this was a den, not a tunnel," Draco muttered, eyeing the walls suspiciously.

"What is it with you and patience?"

"Well, you were the one who said that it's an emergency!"

"Azu," the water rabbit sighed, as if to say, 'Oh no you didn't.'

"Don't get pissy with me! You didn't have to come. In fact, I think I already regret bringing you into what is considered the most sacred cave in Johto," the woman retorted.

"I'm sorry, Master Clair."

She said nothing, only continuing forward to pursue the point when the tunnel emptied into the den.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2009, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: Mirror, Mirror; Chapter Three [WWC]

It didn't take long for the group to reach the end of the tunnel. As they stood in the entrance to the actual den, Draco understood what Clair had meant when she said it was an isolated body of water. They stood on what seemed to be a bank, which turned into a U shape as it lined the square innards of the den. Where the ground abruptly cut off was a body of water. Draco knelt, dipping his hands in to test the temperature. Even though Clair had said it was going to be warm, he hardly expected it to feel like tropical water.

While the apprentice was checking on the environment, Clair clapped her hands together twice. The sound echoed off the surrounding walls. It seemed to do nothing until lines of torches lit at the audible command. Adorned in five foot increments along the bank were wicker torches, dancing with a newly lit blaze. Melee smiled, allowing her collective glow to fade in favor of the provided lighting.

"That's amazing!" Draco said, looking up and down the bank. "How do they do that?"

"Well now, it's pretty amazing wiring. That one guy who works with electricity - from Sunnyshore? Yeah. He and his Ronald McDonald pal set this up. We did pay them well for it, so I'm glad it looks this nice," she explained.

"Yeah. It looks pretty nice... But even now that we can see, how are we supposed to find Luvdisc in this water?"

"And that is where the problem lies. I haven't seen any Luvdisc in here in years," Clair explained. "The last time I saw one was when I was seven or eight. Grandpa brought Lance and I here to bond with the Dratini. When we were fishing, we accidentally caught a Luvdisc."

"So we need to fish for it?"

"Do you have a fishing rod under your hat?" The woman paused, as if to give a dramatic effect. She was answered with silence. "I didn't think so... Besides, we don't even know how long it would take to snag one of them."

"You have a better idea on how to catch one?"

"Don't be a fool! I just explained to you that we don't have a fishing rod!"

This time around, it was Draco who had the upper hand. Instead of being pulled around by Clair's numerous riddles, he had one of his own. With a smug look of satisfaction, he threw a thumb over his shoulder towards Azul. The small orb on his tail was resting in the water, somewhat like -

"A lure," she gasped, arching an eyebrow in curiosity. "That's... innovative. I didn't expect something like that from you. Good job, kid."

"Er... Thank you, Master," the boy replied. "Azul, think you could uh... fish for a Luvdisc?"

"Azu," he replied, forcing the buoyant ball to sink deeper in the water. It danced quite elegantly under the surface, occasionally popping to the top before sinking again.

"We're not getting anywhere," Draco sighed, tapping his foot in impatience.

"We've only been here for five minutes," Clair scoffed. Her Altaria mimicked the motion, as if to give it more importance.

"And that's five minutes that those poor Pokemon have been suffering back at the Center!"

"I understand your concern, Draco. However, whining like a child isn't going to make a Luvdisc appear any faster."

"I know that," he said, stubbornly. "But we need the Luvdisc now!"

"Azumarill!" I'm trying... As if to make his point, Azul pushed his tail down as far as it would go. He tried to pull up so he could use the momentum on the way down to sink deeper, but he was caught on something. The end of his tail acted like velcro, having something deep under the surface stick to it. As the water rabbit pulled up, he winced in pain. It was tearing the rubber hide of his tail!

Draco seemed to notice the Pokemon's struggle and promptly took residence by his side to help yank the tail free from its prison. "Come ughn, on," he grunted, pulling with two hands.

Azul cried, trying to remove himself from the water.

Just as Clair noticed the struggle, there was a surge of bubbles erupting from the small indoor lake. Something was coming up! "Could it be...Luvdisc?"

"I... UGHN! I don't think..." Draco gave a final tug with all his might, pulling Azul from the shallow depths and onto the shore. Imbedded in his tail was an odd looking piece of coral. Instead of the usual red coloring and flat body structure, this one was shaped like a ball and was painted a myriad of pink and white polka dots.

"Corsola," it glared, tiny peg-like feet flailing. It looked as if it were trying to dislodge its antlers from Azul's tail.

"A Corsola," Draco groaned. "That's certainly not what we came for..."

"Then you're missing the most important part of the discovery!" Clair's eyes light up, excitedly pointing at the hooked Pokemon. Attached to the hind end of the Corsola was the object of desire. Entwined within the gnarly coral was a small, heart shaped fish.

Azul raised his tail, smashing down to the wet sand. He was struggling to break free from the Corsola. Hit after hit, the multi-colored coral still held on - yet the small Luvdisc buried in the back flew off in another direction. After another powerful blow, Corsola tore off from the bulbous tail and returned to the water, grumbling in annoyance.

The Azumarill sat, nursing his wounds when Clair rushed by to corner the Luvdisc.

"Melee! Get over here! I'm not loosing this chance! Besides, if we take one, the other can't be far behind. Now!" the Dragon Master commanded.

The Altaria nodded, stepping up to the plate. Melee glared at the intruder, not welcoming the heart-shaped fiend. She growled menacingly, obsidian eyes staring at the other. However, no amount of tension would allow her to slack off in the ensuing battle. She was determined to succeed for her master. With a smile of her own, large cloud like wings clapped together in a fearsome Astonish. The sound that was produced mimicked thunder, driving the water Pokemon closer to the shore.

The Luvdisc couldn't move. His eyes were glued to the noisy bird in astonishment. He quaked in fear, not being able to turn and flee into the water as the angry Corsola did.

It was then that Melee saw her chance to launch an ambush. A thick haze began to seep from underneath the bird. It filled the cave almost instantly, rendering the torches useless. Both Draco and Azul coughed from the intrusive Mist but Clair, having seen Altaria use such an attack in previous battles, yanked her cape upwards to cover her mouth.

Yet even through the deep fog, Luvdisc saw his chance to escape. He leaped into the air, displacing the surrounding Mist and tumbled head over heel into the small body of water.

The Altaria looked around wildly, wondering where her opponent had gone.

"Clear the Mist! I want to see where it's gone!" Clair shouted through the white haze.

Melee obliged, batting her wings as fast as she could. It was a valiant attempt to produce a large gust - one just powerful enough to clear the area. Intense winds flooded the area, dispersing the Mist. The group scrambled to find the missing Luvdisc, only to spot more bubbles coming from the enclosed body of water.

"Damn it," Clair shouted. "It's retreating! Go get it Melee! Bring it back to the surface with an Attract!"

She stuck her head under the water, holding a large breath in her puffy cheeks. Her porcelain colored beak pursed as if she were giving a kiss to a suitor. As she blew outwards, several heart shaped bubbles appeared, sinking downwards through the twisted reefs.

Unknown to Melee, the Luvdisc was waiting. He hadn't retreated to flee, but to launch his own ambushed attack. Tiny eyes watched the aimless hearts, swirling in the warm waters. Even if they had hit, it wouldn't have done any good. This Luvdisc was bound to another emotionally - and no Attract would hamper his undying love. He was just about to emerge from his hiding spot when another Luvdisc appeared. It was his mate!

"Luvdisc," she smiled. What are you doing?

"Luv, Luvdisc," he responded. "Luvdisc?" Something attacked while I was taking a snooze among the Corsola. Care to help?

"Disc." I'd love to.

The two grinned, sidling up next to one another. They counted internally to three before rising on a jet of bubbles to the top. Melee, who had finally come up for air, didn't see the two Luvdisc speeding towards the surface. They erupted from the dark water, hitting the Altaria with an intense Waterfall. The trail they left behind soaked Melee to the core. She cried, flapping her wings in protest from the unexpected attack.

"There are two now!" Draco cried, pointing at the newly discovered Luvdisc pair.

"Excellent!" Clair shouted, taking a battle position. "Do you hear that, Melee? Two for the price of one! Go get them!"

"Azu!" Azul, who had spent the last few minutes caring for his wounded tail stood to fight. He wasn't going to miss out on the only opportunity he had joined the group for. Cerulean hands balled into fists as the rabbit like ears bounced up and down. Yes, he was ready for a fight.

"Fine," the Dragon Master said. "It will be a doubles battle. Go, Azumarill!"

The twin Luvdisc stood idly by, already in sync with one another. They knew just what attack to launch before the others had a chance to team up correctly.

"Luv," cried the male.

"Disc," shouted the female.

"What are they doing?" Draco asked, watching the two water Pokemon begin a dance. They sashayed around one another, as if it were a courting ritual. Left and right the two lovebirds went, waltzing about the shore... However, one couple turned to two. Two turned to four. Four turned to eight. Before Melee and Azul could react, there were dozens and dozens of Luvdisc everywhere!

"It's a Double Team!" Clair groaned. "Hurry up and find the originals! We need to get back soon."

You get rid of the copies! Melee told Azul. If you do, I'll launch a Twister.

"Azu!" Right! The Azumarill thought carefully about what to do. It wouldn't be possible to hit the numerous copies with just one attack, even with something as expansive as a Surf. He needed something that could reach in all directions, rather than just one or two.

"Ria!" Now! the Altaria demanded.

He was at a loss for ideas. None of the attacks he knew would be effective against the Luvdisc copies... unless it was one of the Luvdisc's own attacks! Although he didn't know Waterfall per say, he had watched when the massive spray generated from the attack flew in all directions. Perhaps the same sort of spray could eradicate the copies. Azul leapt into the air, somersaulting over the bank to get into position. As he came down onto the lake, his tail broke the surface with a powerful thrust. It was as if a wave machine had been turned on, as numerous waves crashed against the shore. They went one after the other - rising higher with each hit. Soon, they pelted the cave walls - sending the desired spray over the makeshift arena.

Draco and Clair watched on the other end of the shore, amazed at the power exuded by the injured Azumarill.

"Altaria!" That Aqua Tail was impressive! Melee crooned over the damp battlefield. It was now her turn, as she took flight.

The Luvdisc were taken completely off guard with the downpour, rendering all their copies useless. They were still in shock when Melee, who saw a perfect opportunity for a strike, soared towards them at an incredible speed. She halted about several feet away, to prepare for a weather based move. The Altaria then began to move in rapid circles, stirring up sand from the shore. She was attempting to create a Twister from the warm waters and cool winds produced from her flight pattern.

"Luvdisc!" The female Luvdisc, who had recovered from disbelief, saw the beginnings of the Twister. She tried to think of a way to counter the swirling terror - when she was reminded of a rogue Dratini she had once encountered. The last time something had sent a Twister her way, she counter-acted the rotation with a Whirlpool. With a smile on her lips, she dove into the water and began her own 'Twister' of sorts.

Arising from the depths, like Neptune on a war path, emerged a giant Whirlpool. It was just as tall as the Altaria's Twister and just as vicious. Both towers, one of wind and one of water, clashed as if it were a battle of the titans. The resulting explosion sent all four battlers to the shore. They had been blown back from the intense scuffle and all were strewn about the sandy bank, motionless for a short period of time.

Melee was the first to stand from the aftershock. There had to be a quick way for retaliation.

"Come on, girl!" Clair called. "Use Ominous Wind!"

Taking the advice from her master, the Altaria began to concentrate. Normally, her plumage was the color of freshly allotted snow. Yet now, it was turning a deep violet, almost onyx in color. Melee began to hum, bringing her puffy wings closer to her chest. She closed her eyes on the inhale, readying the attack. On the exhale, her coal eyes snapped open. It was then that her wings opened fully. Melee had released the pent up energy, the darkness leaving her form. A strong tailwind arose from nothing, carrying the dark energy across the cave in the form of an Ominous Wind.

The Luvdisc had nothing to stop such a brutal attack, as they were pelted by strong winds. The pain brought about by the Ominous Wind doubled as the violet color began to dislodge from the wind - and in a ghostly manner, took on a life of its own. It wrapped around the Luvdisc pair in an unfortunate struggle. They moaned as if having an endless nightmare, slowly sinking into the hands of the devil. The male Luvdisc grunted, trying to pull away. With a twist of his body, he succeeded in evading a nightmarish hand to retaliate against the Altaria.

"Watch out!" Draco cried, seeing the Luvdisc weasel his way out of the attack.

The male Luvdisc only smiled, taking aim at the large, blue bird. His pointed mouth opened, revealing a swirling ball of mist. Soon, the mist solidified, creating a narrow thread of crystal ice. It shot towards Altaria, burning with the intense passion of a scorned lover.

Melee, finally looking up from the Ominous Wind, saw the Ice Beam heading her way. She cried out for help, knowing she wouldn't be able to move out of the way in time.

Azul noticed the Altaria was still trying to gather enough energy to move. It seemed the Ominous Wind had taken a lot out of her. Although he couldn't risk being hit by the Ice Beam himself, he could help deflect the blow. He spat at the incoming beam twice, the first producing a small ringlet of water. The second was much more powerful, as if the first was merely for practice. The Water Pulse collided with the Ice Beam at the last second, sending a few rays of ice in different directions, though the majority still ravaged Melee.

Seeing that both Azul and Melee were occupied by the Ice Beam, the female Luvdisc decided to pull a move rarely seen by water Pokemon. She used her small body as a spring, crouching down before jumping into the air, where she remained on pure power. Bounce was her last chance against the dueling duo - as the odds were falling into their favor.

The male Luvdisc glared at Azul, having been interrupted enough by the last minute Water Pulse. The second Ice Beam was going to hit the target. He opened his small beak, releasing another frigid gust of air. It was soon accompanied by a bolt of ice, weaving through the crisp air to strike the haughty Altaria. It struck hard, ice crusting over the delicate wings, covering them in a nice glaze.

The Altaria groaned, trying to get the ice to fall from her wings. Most of it cracked and fell to the ground without much problem, but several pieces clung tight. As if to prove to her opponent she wasn't damaged by the second Ice Beam, Melee bent forward, using her strong beak to pick away any remaining chunks. She looked flustered from being hit twice, but Clair had trained her well in the Icy Path. Her downy wings expanded as she lifted from the ground. Higher and higher she rose, gathering power with each foot she soared. An impressive Fly was in store for the male Luvdisc who had continually used the Altaria as his target.

Azul too began his own attack. The water rabbit started to pull in a massive breath, his balloon-like body swelling with the intake of air. He smiled, body becoming as round as his pre-evolution, Marill. While Melee was launching an aerial attack, he figured she'd be able to dodge anything coming her way, therefore reassuring him of his decision to aim for the female Luvdisc who used Bounce. All the air which had built up inside had become a pressure system for a massive Hydro Pump. A swirling cascade of water shot like a cannon up at the ceiling of the Dragon's Den when Azul opened his mouth.

The female Luvdisc was focused on the Altaria, who was flying towards her mate. Seeing how intent Melee was on hitting him, she felt confident that the bird wouldn't notice her own Bounce. Yet, in watching out for her mate, she neglected to see Azul, who had fired an intense Hydro Pump her way. Waves of freezing water pounded the Luvdisc into the top of the cave. If she hadn't been able to breathe underwater, she may have drowned. Though once the onslaught of water had subsided, she fell to the ground with no fight left in her.

"Good job, Azul," Draco cheered from the sidelines.

Melee saw out of the corner of her eye that the Azumarill's attack had hit. She smiled, knowing that her attack would be the one to end the intense battle.

The male Luvdisc was going to attempt another Ice Beam when he noticed his mate was no where to be found. She wasn't up in the air as she had been a few seconds ago! He looked around wildly for the other Luvdisc.

The momentary distraction was just enough for Melee to strike. Soft, cotton like wings turned to iron as Fly collided with the opponent's rosy frame. Luvdisc cried out as he hit the shore, Melee following close behind him. She landed gracefully, looking no worse for the wear.

"Marvelous, Melee," Clair smirked, always having full confidence in her dragon Pokemon. She quickly pulled two Pokeballs from her belt, tossing them in separate directions. One hit the sand, opening to absorb the male Luvdisc. The other bounced off the cave wall as it pulled the female inside.

"We... We did it, Master! We captured the Luvdisc!" Draco Tom leapt up and down in excitement.

"Of course we did! I-" Clair was abruptly cut off when a low rumble wracked the den. It seemed to be coming from above. The quartet glanced upwards, trying to locate the source of the sound. That was when a few pebbles began to fall from the ceiling, near the wet spot Azul had created with his Hydro Pump.

"It's alright," she said, curtly nodding - as if to assure herself. "It's just a few rocks and pebbles."

"Yeah," Draco laughed nervously, watching a few more rocks come loose and slide into the water. "We should get going now, right?"

"Of course," Clair agreed. She gathered the fallen Pokeballs from the ground, holding them tight. It was only then that she noticed an odd feeling... as if something were starring at her.
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  #11  
Old 12-29-2009, 03:30 AM
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Default Re: Mirror, Mirror; Chapter Three [WWC]

Several pointed heads appeared from the water, accompanied by glaring faces. It was apparent that a few sleeping Corsola had been awoken by the falling debris.

"Corsola," one bellowed, simultaneously glowing white in color. It seemed to be extremely angry at the fact someone had disturbed its sleep. It glared, eyes furrowed as it shook a peg leg to those on land in what was a crude gesture for a Corsola to make.

"What's it doing?" Draco asked, eying the coral Pokemon as it became a blinding light source.

"Oh no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no!" Clair whined.

"What? What are they doing?"

"Get down," the woman called, throwing herself to the floor of the Dragon's Den. She pulled her navy cape up to cover her face with her left hand, while the right grasped desperately onto the two Pokeballs containing the Luvdisc.

Draco took the advice of his mentor, copying her retreat. Both Melee and Azul joined him.

BOOM!

An earth shattering sound blast through the cave, followed by waves of water rushing over the sandy banks. Draco, being closest to the shore, was fully drenched. He lifted his head up from his arms, only to start coughing. A dusty smoke covered the area like a heavy winter blanket. "Wh-What was that," the boy choked.

"Explosion," Clair responded, sounding muffled. She must have still had her cape covering her mouth. "We need to leave, now befor-"

BOOM! BOOM!

Two more Corsola exploded like car-bombs. It seemed that just one had started a so called 'suicide cult'. It also looked to have an endless supply of recruits. Through the thick haze, one could still see the bright outlines of Corsola in the water, preparing to explode.

"WE NEED TO GET OUT, NOW!" Clair stood, fumbling in the smoke for her apprentice. As soon as she grabbed Draco's wet shirt, she stumbled towards the exit, Melee and Azul following close behind.

BOOM!

The explosions were getting closer.

"Oh you've got to be kidding me!" Clair growled.

"What? What is it now?" Draco moaned, trying to grope the walls to lead him outdoors.

"They're following us. Out of the water and," she paused to cough. "And out onto land."

"You've got to be kidding me," the boy cried, following his master.

"I'm no-Ah!" Clair found the exit. The long tunnel they had entered the Dragon's Den through was now the long sought-after exit. However, even after a few yards, the explosions didn’t stop. In fact, even more were beginning.

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The Corsola had followed the group into the tunnel, leaving no place to hide. Several smiled as they too, prepared for an Explosion. They hoped that this one would leave an impression, as the small, narrow path would provide for a hefty aftershock.

BOOOOM!

The sound was so low and deep, that it didn't occur for seconds after the initial explosion. A huge rush of wind came first, pushing the four out of the Dragon's Den. It was effortless, as if the group were made of paper. Along with the ruthless gusts came pebble-like debris, scratching and imbedding itself into exposed skin. Next came the wave of heat, rushing over the ravaged quartet. It singed wherever it could reach. Last but not least, was the billowing smoke. Thick, black smoke ran the length of the cave, smothering anything it could wrap around. Luckily for Clair, Draco, Azul and Melee, Rudolph was waiting at the exit with his Milotic, ready to transport them back to Blackthorn's Pokemon Center.

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

The door of the PokeCenter slid open with its signature 'swoosh'. Janine was still patting Gina's hand as she lay unconscious on one of the entrance benches. It would be a while until the Hariyama with Smelling Salts arrived to wake her, but she would be alright in the mean time. As the door opened, Janine swiveled around to see four figures standing in the frame. They were covered in soot and ash, panting heavily. It looked as if they had also suffered minor burns.

Clair was the first to stumble into the main lobby. She held out a singed glove, palm facing upwards. In the shaking hand were two, minimized Pokeballs. They dropped to the tiled floor, rolling in separate directions. "Take them," she said with a hoarse voice.

Draco was once more acting as a prop stand to his master, but he was happy to do so. After such an ordeal, he was just glad it was over. Although one hand was supporting Clair, the other motioned for the weak Azumarill to step through the doors, followed by the burned Altaria.

"Chansey," Janine called, groaning as she attempted to stand.

Hearing her name, Chansey scooted down the hall and entered the lobby. She was just as out of breath as the quartet, despite the fact she only had to walk a few yards. As soon as she saw the Pokeballs, her fingerless hands bent downward to scoop them up. She cradled them against her round frame like precious eggs before returning to Nurse Joy.

Step by step, Chansey made her way down the hall, eying the Pokeballs cautiously. She didn't want to be blamed for anything that went wrong. As she neared the back room, Chansey could hear someone inside weeping. She peeked inside, holding the prized possessions closer.

Near the counter, on the opposite end of the room was Nurse Joy. Her hands were clutching the counter near the opened cabinets. Medical supplies were spilled over the granite. The bandages were rolling over the edge, acting like drapes. Tongue depressors were mixed with the cotton swabs while three beakers of varied liquids boiled in the corner. It was a sloppy attempt at preparation, but anything was welcome at this point.

"C-Chansey? Chansey, Chansey!"

The red-haired woman turned on her heels, wiping away the tears. Joy wasn't about to look weak in front of anyone, let alone her assistant. She smiled, puffy eyes still holding deep emotions. "What?"

"Chansey!" Her assistant looked down as pink hands held two Pokeballs.

"Wha? Are these...?" Joy wasn't able to complete her thoughts. She didn't think that they would succeed in the mission, let alone bring them by sundown.

"Chan," the Pokemon responded, nodding happily. She allowed Nurse Joy to snatch them from her cradled grasp.

"This is wonderful. I can't even..." The woman began to rummage through the junk displayed on the counter. She was looking for something, something to handle the Luvdisc with.

Chansey decided to leave, allowing the Nurse to begin work immediately. However, she couldn't help but linger at the door, wondering what would ensue.

Nurse Joy quickly pulled on thick black gloves, most often used with handling fire-breathing Pokemon or ones known to bite. With a shaky smile, she opened the two Pokeballs over the sink. It had been recently filled with lukewarm water in anticipation of the Luvdisc's arrival. Two bright flashes of red revealed the injured cure-all Pokemon, floating aimlessly in the water. They didn't look up to a struggle, but Pokemon were surprisingly resilient creatures.

As one gloved hand plummeted into the sink, the Luvdisc began thrashing about, pulling off magnificent underwater maneuvers to evade capture. However, the male Luvdisc soon began to tire, as he was the one who had battled longer. It wasn’t long before he just gave up.

Nurse Joy smiled, clutching the male. "Just one more. Just one more. Just one more."

The female Luvdisc began to panic at the sight of her mate being captured. She thrashed and flailed in the sink, attempting to blind the human with water spray. Though Joy was taken aback, she didn't call off her pursuit. Already weak from her battle with Azumarill, the female Luvdisc calmed down. She closed her eyes, waiting for what could be the end.

Chansey watched from the door, covering her eyes when deemed necessary. She could hear splashing and grunting coming from within... Finally, all was silent. The healing Pokemon couldn't stand to listen any longer. She turned, back facing the open door frame. Painful screams echoed the halls as Joy began the extraction process. Each Luvdisc cried for its mate with saddening pleas. Chansey decided it was best to hum a peaceful tune to block out the horrors of victory.

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

EPILOGUE

It was days before Meringue and any of her Pokemon left the Center. Most of the time there had been consumed with idle chit chat and quiet recovery, as no one wanted to relive the experience. Everyone returned to full health, save for Golbat. He had passed away learning what sight was. Jynx and Azul considered it a noble way to die. Nidoran however, taking the loss of his friend harder than the others, refused to let go. He insisted to stay at the PokeCenter, waiting for Golbat to someday return.

After a brief funeral held outside the Icy Path for their fallen comrade, Meringue, Azul and Jynx continued on their way. Meringue didn't bother to challenge Clair's Gym, assuming that the more quickly they left Blackthorn, the more quickly they would put the experience behind them.

Clair returned to her Gym a much wiser and more compassionate person. Draco, who had been by her side for the journey, also grew emotionally. He wasn't the frightened kid he once was. No longer did he cringe when asked to do a daunting task. He now charged at it, willing to give his all.

Gina recovered with help from some Smelling Salts and promptly thanked Janine for being there. Then, she left without another word, in pursuit of becoming a holistic healer.

The two captured Luvdisc were released after being stripped alive for the majority of their scales. In the mean time, both Janine and Joy continued to work diligently at the PokeCenter, spending an unbelievable amount of effort attempting new cures. However, they still tended to Pokemon and trainers alike who had found themselves at a disadvantage in Clair's Gym.

When word of the incident spread, not many trainers were willing to go through the Icy Path. Most opted simply to fly to the city - or if they could afford it, drive. Yet, some of the braver children who attempted the frightening path have exited with a horrified look on their faces. It soon became a folk tale among the people of Blackthorn City that if you listened to the wind while standing at the exit of the Icy Path, you may hear;

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL. WHO IS THE PRETTIEST OF THEM ALL?

The End

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

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
End Note; The end. It's the final chapter - and it took forever. I faintly recall wanting to die several times because of the sheer will it took to write so much...
Still happy with the outcome, though.

Thanks Sec, for the great one liners... And thank you Khajmer and Bee for being a synonym resource.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Pokemon Attempted; Luvdisc, Luvdisc & Azumarill.
40k to 70k Character Range.
(Both Luvdisc & Luvdisc are 10 - 20k.)
(Azumarill is 20 - 30k).
Character Count (Without Spaces); 60,500+
Character Count (With Spaces); 73,500+
((All character counts do not include Author's Notes or Divider Bars.))
Graded.

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

Last edited by Sequentio; 02-12-2010 at 02:11 PM.
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2010, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: Mirror, Mirror; Chapter Three [WWC]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scourge of Amaranth View Post
Mine. *slobbers on, just so no one will want to get near it*
I hate computer swaps.

Introduction: This was… interesting, as the first few ideas in the introduction had absolutely nothing to do with the plot. Although they did serve to introduce the character and sketch out her personality, they left the reader with some kinda useless information about her. Sometimes, this works, but for a shorter story like this, “useless information” tends to remain useless information. The bits about Lance would have, personally, been better off not being the focus of a paragraph. Something more relevant to the plot—such as a better description of what these “perks to her job” entail that makes a vague reference to… special training places, perhaps. Almost everything in a story, especially a short story, should have a purpose, and I don’t recall the bits about Lance leading into anything relevant. They made me think that the majority of the story would be composed of Clair raving in jealousy of Lance, which didn’t happen at all. So… just consider that. It’s not necessary to your style, obviously, but red herring character development information can be easily worked into something that simultaneously adds to the plot and gives a stronger sense of character—and if it is relevant to both, it will often make more of a difference than a paragraph that is relevant to neither.

That said, this introduction did its technical job—it got me interested and sketched out the characters/situation. So pass.

Plot: This was altogether entertaining. Lazy person that I am, I didn’t actually completely read the first two chapters; this stood well enough on its own, however, that there wasn’t much of a problem. Anyway. The concept of this chapter itself was rather simple and straightforward, which is nice—and although not particularly unique in basic conception (sick person needs Pokémon-related medicine does tend to be a pretty common plot) your delivery and presentation were incredibly quirky, especially with the background and continuation of ideas/how everything connected. Definitely not something you see every day, and a good sort of rare—not the BY GOD, MY EYES, YOU MUST BE A MONSTER TO HAVE SUBJECTED ANOTHER HUMAN BEING TO THIS sort of way.

Your idea was solidly put together and solidly delivered. As a conclusive part of a larger piece, it served well. Well done, all around. The snippets of humor were subtle enough to snag my attention at times, and blatant enough to be absolutely hilarious at others. I’ll remember never to let a Chansey near my cauterizing gun? Gina and Draco’s interactions were entertaining, although I would have liked to have gotten a stronger sense of nuanced personality from them. For all these dying things, it was perhaps a bit glib—but the tone fit with the rest of the piece, on a whole, I would say, and… I can’t really fault the story for not taking itself seriously, as it did so very endearingly and efficiently, especially as there were grave moments in the humans’ reactions to the mangling of Golbat and Meringue. The image of Zubat finally gaining his sight, and then plummeting to his death was quite striking; as was the Pokémon deliberately hiding his eyes away, in contrast to the Zubat’s rampant desire to understand what “to see” means.

I must say, a bit of warning about the Corsola and Luvdiscs would have been nice. The convenience of the reef-building could be argued to be… irritating. Kinda a random phlebotonum-type feel to the situation. I suppose it’s… irrelevant, technically, but things like that unsettle me.

All in all, nice continuation, nice initial concept, nice conclusion…. You have a pretty darned nice plot, here, as I said. So pass.

Grammar: Pretty much good, here. You have some really funky semi-colon uses and do occasionally get redundant. For the latter—just be careful that you don’t say the same thing twice if it can be avoided. For the former…

Quote:
Clair obeyed in silence; taking more interest in her surroundings than the orders she was given.
No semi-colon here. Semi-colons are used only as clarification to split lists that have confusing comma-inclusive structures within the individual sections (“The girl’s hair looked big, bigger than a bloated chicken on a southern buffet table, and perhaps closer to a stuffed turkey than a bloated chicken, southern buffet table or not; red in the way that maraschino cherries seem to think they’re red, in that they’re actually slightly pink…” et cetera) or… for splitting up complete clauses that have similar concept/ideas and therefore go together flow-wise (I had a dog; it was blue). Semi-colons can also be used on complete clauses with ellipsis (elimination of certain “unnecessary” words in a sentence for grammatical impact), but that’s… tricky and subjective.

You used semi-colons on incomplete clauses quite a bit. “Taking more interest in her surroundings that the orders she was given” doesn’t stand alone, so a semi-colon is not the best choice, or, really, correct. Comma would work better.

On another note, you have a particular sentence structure that you use a lot that goes subject, modifying appositive, direct object/action. Might want to think about deliberately swapping it out for more experimental structures, ‘r something. A lot of writers consider splitting a sentence directly after the subject to be a bad idea; it’s up to you to decide whether or not you agree with them, obviously, but it was something worth mentioning.

Details: I think… you had some pretty strong descriptive imagery occurring, here, but sacrificed a lot of impact that could have been created. Your style tends to keep description light, both writing-wise and emotion-wise, which can be an extremely effective style to sporadically mix in with heavier description. It can, provided the author is willing to darken the feel of the overall story, keep the reader on their toes and create a far more impactful reading experience. I definitely see you peeking some of this through your style in places; it could be made more powerful at points.

Quote:
SEE... The former Zubat coughed, allowing more warm liquid to drizzle down the side of his open mouth. I UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS TO SEE; ALL THESE WONDERFUL COLORS. THESE… THESE THINGS! I LIKE TO SEE. I LIKE…

Azul turned away, carefully tugging the yellowed bandages over his small, beady eyes. He didn't want to watch the Golbat drown in its own blood. The crinkled tail adorned with a sapphire orb wrapped around the water rabbit's body... as if it were offering some sort of protection.
You have some very powerful ideas here—one creature who has just gained his eyes, another who is deliberately blindfolding his own. The image of Golbat drowning in his blood is… poignant. But when it comes down to it, I have no idea what a Golbat drowning in its blood looks like. I mean, me, personally… I wouldn’t imagine that it’s a pleasant experience, and that much is shown through Azul’s disinclination to observe… but what is it that turned Azul off? Seems like a rather “well, DUH,” question—but at the same time, this is writing. Really amazing writing gives the reader a reason to feel something about whatever emotion the characters are feeling. It’s clear that you want this to be a rather horrific sight—but at the same time, you don’t want to give the readers a stomach-ache. It’s possible to go light-core on the gore, but still create a bit of a cringe. Show us legs that struggle through the air as the Golbat tries to right itself; show us wings whose very skeleton has shattered to pieces, ragged wings that fold in on themselves mid-bones, that flutter weakly, uselessly against the ground, growing sticky with their own blood. I’m sure, though, that that’s not how you want the readers to see it. Show us not just what it really looks like, but show us what you see when you look at it—or, for a bit more emotional immersion, what the characters observing it see when they look at it. If you wanted it to be funny, give details that make it funny. I mean, for all I know of the situation, Azul might have not wanted to watch Golbat drown in his own blood because the sight made him think of the time his grandmother spilled gumbo all over his little sister… and the thought made him giggle… so he covered his eyes to be politically correct.

This situation could also have given me a greater insight into Azul’s character. Remember grandma’s gumbo? Specific motives give greater involvement in the story. It could be the fact that… watching acquaintances die is uncomfortable. It could be the fact that Azul doesn’t like blood. It could be the fact that he finds infringing upon the Golbat’s death to be… rude, embarrassing to the dead, a slight, a shame. It could be the fact that he’s a coward and just plain can’t stand to watch. It could be all of these facts. Giving the characters a greater coherence of thought process—and, preferably, distinct differences in those thought processes—is part of detail, and very much part of a story.

I also want to mention word strength and choice, as it’ll help to organize some of your thoughts better…. Verb → Noun → Adjective…. Verbs, as the strongest part of speech, are crucial to building up powerful imagery. Never waste a verb. All words should be carefully chosen, of course—but it tends to be difficult to consistently ponder every single freaking word in a story. If you have to choose a focus, choose verbs. Next time you write something up, think about your verb choice carefully. Take the first sentence in the quote up there. “Coughed” is a pretty strong verb, although, as it’s… painfully dying after shattering its teeth on the ground… you might consider something along the line of “hacked” or “rasped.” “Allowing,” though, is the word you’ll want to look at most. It says… basically nothing. Doesn’t further the emotion, doesn’t strengthen the imagery, doesn’t provide word transition…. You could easily have removed it and connected the two bits with a semi-colon. OR, you could rearrange the sentence structure a bit and work in a more powerful word. “choking/gurgling on the warm liquid…”

And then, the adjective. Most of the time, in writing, an adjective is the equivalent of a useless verb in strength. If you’re gonna use them, make them good. “Open mouth,” like “allowing,” doesn’t make the situation more vivid. He’s talking. I don’t need to be told that his mouth is open. Tell me instead, perhaps, that the mouth is “gaping,” or, if you’re having the issue that I’m having right now and you can’t actually think of any buffed-up adjectives to work in the sentence as-is, describe something around the mouth… shattered teeth… whatever gives the impression you want the reader to have.

Point being, the technical aspect of writing is about words. The more you use the benefits the offer, the more easily you’ll be able to tell the reader what you want them to know.

Battle: Okay. First up. Exploding Corsola. That was... quite nicely done. XD It made me giggle. A lot. Taking advantage of the inherent traits of Pokémon and turning them into hilarious situations isn’t something that usually happens sensibly in URPG. Kudos there. Attacks were balanced, fighting was entertaining, move interactions were ingenuous…. It was a good length for a piece this size, although you probably could have gotten away with less. Everything here is good to go.

I already talked about strengthening your description; this extends to the battles, of course, so keep that in mind.

Length: ….You went out of the character range.

Verdict: What can I say? Your details came and went, but the plot delivered, the ideas were new, everything was entertaining…. The weaknesses came in giving the readers a greater degree of connection to the story, the characters, the emotions—which isn’t even necessarily a part of URPG grading, although it can be argued to be an aspect (or, rather, consequence) of description. It can similarly be argued to be merely an aspect of style, which URPG is not here to judge. The story told itself, and told itself well, in the way that it intended to tell itself. Good going. ^_^ Everything captured.
__________________

EmBreon is the maple syrup to my slightly undercooked crepe
{URPG Stats}--{ASB Stats}--{Fanfiction}
khajmer = biffle
yoface = broham

thegalleonman: (8:37:28 PM) How sad.
thegalleonman: (8:37:37 PM) I'm amused.

Last edited by Scourge of Amaranth; 01-11-2010 at 05:06 AM.
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