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


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Old 06-05-2011, 05:06 AM
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alaskapidove Offline
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Default Falling In Balance (Rated PG-13 for Violence)

Chapter 1

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.
-Thomas Merton


The bandits crouched behind the ruins of the Pokecenter and waited for their prey to come closer. They could smell the presence of other creatures like dogs, and they were dogs. They were far more canine than human, with their shaggy hair and jagged teeth. They were covered in scars and their eyes were bloodshot and infected. Their hands went to their guns and their knives and they fell silent. They listened to the sound of two pairs of feet walking across the cracked asphalt. Then the footsteps stopped. The bandits glanced at each other.

“What-?” one started to whisper, when a blade suddenly sliced his skull in half. Gunshot filled the air as the bandits tried to shoot the green blur that was quickly tearing them apart. They had no chance. Every bullet that got within a foot of the reptilian Pokemon was quickly deflected by its blades. One man tried to stab the Scyther as it ran by. He was rewarded by having his hand sliced off at the wrist, followed by being cut in two. Finally, the Scyther stood in the middle of the ruins, surrounded by severed limbs and gore. Only one man was still standing. He licked his lips and tried to shake the sweat out of his eyes. His grip on the gun was slipping and he started to back into the road. The Scyther calmly walked towards him.

“Don’t you get any closer, you son of a *****,” he said, whimpering. As the mantis came closer, his fingers started to tighten on the trigger. A gunshot rang out and the bandit crumpled to the ground. Where he had stood, was another man. Someone from our world might have described him as a cowboy wearing a black cloak. He smiled grimly.

“Good job, Sombra.” He turned back to the road and began walking down it again. The Scyther followed.

Sombra had followed this human for many sunrises now. She remembered long before, when she had lived with humans who spoke a different tongue. She had been much smaller and they had covered her blades so she couldn’t use them. When the humans drank their foul smelling devil water, they would beat her. One night, the sheathes on her blades slipped off. She killed several of the humans before they caught her. She was meant to be hanged, but the man had come and had killed the others. He untied her, then turned back to the road without a word. She followed him, and had ever since. She didn’t know where they were going and didn’t much care. She would follow the man until her blades were dull and her claws were worn down. Then, she would be buried far under the dry earth and the man would walk on without her. Until then, she simply followed.

Sombra did not remember Before. In fact, it had been so long ago, that her egg had not been laid yet. Yet, deep in her mind, she felt something was wrong with the world. She knew that where there was only an empty, dusty plain, there should be trees and grass. She felt that there should be many Pokemon and animals instead of a few, scrawny, half-dead creatures. Sometimes, she thought of this, but when she did, it made her head ache, so she quickly thought of something else.

While Sombra had not known the world Before, the man had. The man had been a young boy when the change came. He remembered that one day, there had been a dry, hot wind and the sky had been a sickly yellow-brown. The land grew hotter and turned into a desolate wasteland. All the plants withered up and the Pokemon fled. The people starved and in their absence, everything fell to ruin. The man’s father had gone looking for food every day. One day, he did not return. The man waited in their home, surrounded by the smell of death, but his father did not return. After a few days, the man left, and never looked back. He knew how to find food and water and how to make a fire. He was strong, fast, and smart. He survived.

Sombra and the man continued down the road until the sun was low in the sky. Weeds grew up through the concrete and they often had to walk around car wrecks and other road blocks. This was unpleasant, as the side of the road was filled with tumbleweeds and cacti that tore at their skin. Even Sombra’s hard exoskeleton could be punctured by some of the larger thorns. Finally, they came upon an empty van. The man opened the driver’s door and pulled out an ancient skeleton, which he threw to the ground and climbed inside. Sombra sniffed the skeleton disinterestedly. She could find no meat on the bones, so she jumped onto the seat and followed the man into the back of the van. She found him on his side, already asleep, but his eyes moved behind the lids as she curled up across from him. He was alert, even in sleep. Sombra curled up into an odd position so that her blades and claws were sticking out in every direction, the natural way of sleeping for a Scyther, and fell asleep instantly. Unlike the man, she could sleep through an earthquake.

The next morning, the man woke her up and they left the van. It smelled of putrid, rotting flesh, but the man didn’t notice and Sombra actually enjoyed it. Even early in the morning, the sun beat down on them and heat was rising from the road. Far off in the horizon, the road seemed to pulse up and down in waves. The man and Sombra walked on.

Around noon, the man stopped dead in the middle of the road and cocked his head to the side, as if listening to a faraway sound. Sombra could hear it too: the sound of heavy breathing. The man walked forward carefully, stepping with his foot flat to keep from making noise. On the side of the road in some bushes, was a Growlithe. It’s once pretty red fur was now caked in dirt and dried blood. When it saw the man and Sombra, it made a low whining sound, and tried to limp away, but its back legs wouldn’t move. The man’s steel blue eyes met the Growlithe’s black ones.

“It appears to be in pain,” Sombra mused.

Without a word, the man pulled out his gun and shot it in the back. The Growlithe stopped whining and went limp. He stuck his gun back in his holster. “Not anymore.” They turned back to the road in unison and walked on.

Sombra had always been able to speak the tongue of humans. From the day she was hatched, she could make her throat and tongue twist to form the words. She quickly learned, however, that this ability was unusual. The humans had thought she was a demon, but they kept her around to fight other Pokemon. The man told her it was because of the Sickness that happened after the Before time had ended. She shook her head to get rid of the thoughts of her past. They buzzed in her head like flies.

That night, they didn’t stop to sleep. There was no shelter. To sleep in the road was to rick being killed by a rattlesnake, a hungry Pokemon, or another person. It wasn’t a risk the man would let them take. At night, the seemingly endless desert was brutally cold. The man pulled his cloak tight around him. Sombra didn’t notice much; she was a creature of the night.

The next day, just as the sun was coming up over the horizon, Sombra and the man began to see something on the edge of the horizon. As they walked, they could see the outlines of tall buildings. They were going to pass through a city. Tall hills rose up on both sides of the road, but occasionally, they could see around them to catch glimpses of the abandoned sky scrapers.

“Do you know where we are, Sombra?”

She shook her head.

“That city up ahead is Goldenrod. We’re not far from where you were born.”

She narrowed her eyes. “In which direction are we travelling?”

“South.” For a moment they walked in silence. Out of the corner of one eye, the man saw movement. “Get ready, Sombra.”

Suddenly, buzzing and screeching filled the air. From every direction, huge, red creatures flew out of the hills. The buzzing grew in pitch until it was almost unbearable. The man swore and pulled his gun. He managed to shoot two, who fell to the ground in a crumpled ball. As fast as the man was with his guns, the creatures were faster. Sombra was a bit more successful, slicing through five, but the creatures kept coming. They were swarming.

“Try Razor Wind!” the man yelled over the awful noise of the bug Pokemon. At the man’s words, Sombra began spinning rapidly in a circle. The man managed to shoot one of the bugs, but another flew up behind him and bit him on the shoulder. The man cursed and the Pokemon flew away with its mouth dripping with blood.

“Get down!” Sombra screamed. The man hit the dirt and everything went silent. For a moment, he thought he had gone deaf, before he realized the air pressure had caused his ears to pop. After a quick glance around, he got up. All around him lay dead Yanma. A few had bullet or puncture wounds from him and Sombra, but most had been simply blown into the side of the hills fast enough for it to crack open their bodies. The man inspected one of the ones that he had shot. It was much larger than a normal Yanma and had pincers jutting from the sides of its mouth. The Sickness had infected them.

The man raised his lip in a snarl. “The Sickness has spread far. Nothing good can be waiting for us in the city.”

“I am ready for anything,” Sombra said boldly.

The man didn’t reply. Instead, he chuckled darkly. He started walking again and Sombra was quick to follow. As they grew closer to the city, the familiar stench of death reached them. The buildings they were now walking among were so tall, they felt as though they were walking through a canyon. The result was claustrophobic. Goldenrod City was dead quiet. Where there should have been the sounds of cars, people talking, and slot machines, there was now only the sound of the wind whistling through the empty streets. The city felt like an oven. All the metal and concrete absorbed the heat from the blistering sun.

“I believe this must be what hell is like,” Sombra reflected.

“I suppose we’ll find out sometime,” the man responded.

As if on cue, they heard a loud scream. “Maybe sooner than you thought,” Sombra said, the ghost of a smile on her face.

The man grinned and they both headed for the direction of the screams. They didn’t have far to walk. Only a few blocks away, they found the source of the screaming. A little girl was sitting in the branches of a dead tree. A Raticate was sitting at the bottom of the tree, growling. White froth coated its muzzle and it was clawing wildly at the trunk. Suddenly, the Raticate sat back on its haunches and sniffed the air, twitching its whiskers. It turned towards Sombra and the man, a glint of malice in its beady, red eyes. Without thinking, the man pulled out his gun and shot the Raticate between the eyes. Its brains shot out the back of its skull and hit the ground with a dull squishing sound a few yards behind it. The Raticate cocked its head to the side and charged them. The man shot it a few more times, each bullet hitting its target, but they seemed to have no effect. The Raticate was now dangerously close. “Take care of this,” he said to Sombra and stepped back.

Sombra leaped forward and sliced the Raticate with one blade and then the other. The yellow rat Pokemon stopped dead in its tracks. Then, its head slipped off. Sombra went to inspect the carcass, while the man turned to the tree.

“Are you alright, little lady?”

The girl choked back a sob and nodded. She began to climb down the tree, but halfway down, she slipped and fell. She quickly righted herself and approached the man. She walked with the wary gait of an abused animal, wishing for a treat, but afraid of punishment that it doesn’t deserve. Her short, black hair hung in her eyes, hiding them from the man’s sharp gaze. At that moment, Sombra decided to return.

“The Raticate smells of the Sickness. However, that should not have saved it from your bullets. I am not sure of the explanation for that,” she said matter-of-factly. She seemed to notice the girl. “Hello, small one.”

The girl’s mouth fell open. It opened and closed a few times before she spluttered, “You can talk?”

Sombra blinked. “Apparently.”

The girl shook the hair out of her face, revealing light brown eyes. She stared at Sombra with a mixture of apprehension and fascination. Sombra looked back with equal intensity. The man found this slightly unnerving. “What’s your name, princess?”

The girl broke eye contact with Sombra reluctantly. “My name is Lucy. What’s yours?”

“None of your business,” the man said gruffly.

The girl looked at him curiously, then turned back to Sombra. “How ‘bout you?”

“My name is Sombra.”

Lucy smiled with delight. “That’s a pretty name.”

Sombra made a happy cooing sound. Lucy giggled and the man grunted. “We should start heading south again.” He started walking and Sombra followed him, as always. Lucy quickly started to walk behind them.

“Where are we going?” she asked, wide-eyed.

“Ilex Forest.”

“Oh! I know where that is. I went there once with my sister.”

The man turned to her. “Your sister? Where is she now?”

Lucy shrugged. “I don’t know. I haven’t seen anybody in a long time.”
The man sighed and turned back, trying to hide a twinge of unease. They walked on. Lucy kept up with them surprisingly well. Luckily, she was wearing shorts and a t-shirt rather than something like a skirt or dress that would be hard to travel in. After a while, though, she started lagging behind. Goldenrod City had been left far behind them and they had been walking through the vast desert for several hours. After the nightmarish stench of the city, the fresh air and open spaces were much appreciated. Still, they were getting tired.

“How much farther?” Lucy asked sleepily.

The man simply shrugged, but Sombra stopped. The man looked at her, nonplussed.

“Would you like to ride on my back?” Sombra asked.

Lucy rubbed her eyes and nodded, before climbing on.

“Careful, little one,” Sombra said.

The man stared at her.

“What?” the Scyther asked.

He just shook his head.

Finally, they reached the outer edge of the forest. It sprung from the desert without warning. The dirt and weeds seemed to turn into grass and thick undergrowth with no space in-between. The trees were huge monoliths and with no reference point in the desert, they could have been anywhere from twenty feet tall to two hundred. The road lead into the forest, but it appeared to be very overgrown, almost impassable. Vines and fallen branches completely covered the path and underneath the thick canopy, it was totally dark.

“We’ll stop here for the night,” the man announced. “This close to the forest, we should be fine.” Sombra nodded and very carefully let Lucy’s sleeping body slide to the ground.

“I hope it won’t be too cold for her,” she said quietly.

The man was quiet before saying, “I’m not sure I like her.”

Sombra looked taken aback. “What do you mean? She’s just a little girl. Why wouldn’t you like her?”


“Well first of all, she’d been living in that hellhole for God knows how long with no help from anybody else. She should be dead. Secondly, something about her isn’t quite right. She doesn’t act like a little girl. She watched you slice apart a Raticate then ran right up to you like you were Mickey Mouse.”

Sombra frowned. “I like Lucy.”

The man sighed. “I know you do. She just makes me nervous.”

There was nothing else to say, so they both settled down to sleep. However, before allowing himself to drift off into the land of dreams, the man noticed Sombra was curled protectively around the girl, her back turned to him. He tried to brush off his suspicion. I’m being ridiculous, he thought. Sombra’s right. She can’t be more than nine years old. Just a little girl, hardly bigger than a Caterpie. Still, his sleep was uneasy.

The next morning, the man woke at sunrise. He found Lucy already awake, sitting cross-legged and staring at the forest. He narrowed his eyes.

“What’re you doing up so early, kid?”

Lucy jumped and turned around. “Oh. You scared me,” she said, ignoring his question.

Sombra began to stir. She climbed to her feet and stretched her wings, one at a time. “We gettin’ an early start?”

“Guess so,” the man said, and pulled his hood low, hiding his scarred face. “Let’s go. Hopefully there’s something to eat or drink in there. We could use it.” He started walking, and Sombra hesitated for a moment, making sure that Lucy was coming. The man pulled the hood even lower.

He wasn’t entirely sure what it was that made him so uneasy about Lucy. The facts he stated to Sombra were only the obvious. It was possible she had survived by luck, but the man was under the firm belief that luck was for fools. Destiny, maybe? But destiny often played foul tricks. Maybe it was the child’s eyes. Sly and narrow, like those of a fox. In fact, fox-like was the perfect way to describe her. She even had a very vulpine face, her grin full of sharp, pointed teeth….Maybe he was over thinking this. Yet…He let his suspicions slide to the back of his mind. Paranoia was stupid; caution, however, was wise.

While the road had become difficult to follow, it didn’t bother Sombra. Though Lucy gave her a smaller range of movement, she could still easily cut through the thick vegetation that had grown across the path. It was dark, but her eyes were well adjusted to dim light. Occasionally, the man would be stopped by an obstacle in their path, like a fallen log. When this happened, Sombra would set Lucy down, slice the object apart, then let her climb back up.

“Why doesn’t she just walk for a while?” the man asked once.

Sombra made a noise of disapproval and didn’t answer. Still, she had to admit, Lucy was eerily silent for such a small child. When Lucy wasn’t on her back, Sombra noticed that she seemed to stare at everything with wide eyes, taking in information and processing it. At one point, Sombra thought she might have seen a gleam of emotion in the child’s eye. Something like…contempt? She must have been imagining it. Sombra tried to push such troubling thoughts away, but when she allowed her mind to wander….they haunted her.

Eventually, the already dark forest grew darker. Night was falling. They had seen no living creatures all day and had heard nothing, not even wind shaking branches. The forest was beyond silent. It was dead. By unspoken agreement, they knew they didn’t want to spend the night there.

“I think we’re almost there,” the man said after a long while. By now, it was almost too dark to see. Still, he walked on. If his eyes couldn’t see the road, he would get down on his knees and find his way with his hands. Hopefully, it wouldn’t come to that.

“What are we looking for?” Lucy asked suddenly.

The man chuckled. “An answer.”

Finally, the man stopped walking. Sombra gasped and fell to her knees. Lucy nearly fell off, but she didn’t notice. “What has become of this place?”

Sombra, Lucy, and the man were standing before what had once been a shrine, though it could hardly be called that now. It had once been in a clearing, but now the forest had grown up around it. It was completely covered in a web of vines. The vines were almost serpentine, coiling around the shrine and seeming to squeeze the life out of it. They had a sinister look about them. The horrible part, though, was the dead Pidgey nailed to the front of the shrine. Its small, tawny wings had been spread wide and a nail driven through each one. Its belly was cut open, revealing almost mummified internal organs. Where its eyes had been, were only empty sockets that seemed to glare out at them. Its beak was wide open in a silent scream.
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Last edited by Gem N Ems; 06-25-2011 at 05:20 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2011, 05:09 AM
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alaskapidove Offline
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Default Re: Falling In Balance (Rated PG-13 for Violence)

The man’s face was momentarily frozen in shock. He turned to Sombra and said grimly, “The amulet.”

“Sorry you have to see this, little one,” Sombra said and let Lucy slide off her back.

“What’s happening?” the girl said with wide eyes.

No one answered her. Instead, Sombra walked up to the man who reached forward and seemed to pull open a piece of her exoskeleton. That spot was a small scale that could be pulled forward and closed again. Scyther often used them to hide treasured objects or bits of food in times of famine. In this cavity, however, was something much more extraordinary. The man reached inside and drew out a small necklace. Rather than a chain, the string was made of old leather. The charm in the middle was a shiny, golden color. Carved into it, was an odd symbol, similar to an Egyptian ankh. The man placed it around Sombra’s neck and she began to hum tunelessly. Neither of them noticed Lucy’s expression change from curiosity, to fear, to anger. Her hands were balled into fists by her side as the man and Sombra began to chant.

Guardian of the forest, foe of death, return to this sick land,” the man began.

Naidraug fo eht tserof, eof fo hated, nruter ot siht kcis dnal,” continued Sombra.

First I speak, then my companion does. Human and Pokemon, together as one, call upon you for help. Respect your ancient promise.”

Tsrif I kaeps, neht ym noinapmoc seod. Namuh dna Nomekop, rehtegot sa eno, llac nopu uoy rof pleh. Tcepser ruoy tneicna esimorp.”

As they half spoke, half sang the words, a ball of green light materialized inside the shed. Behind them, Lucy’s eyes turned red and she began to shake in rage.

We call upon you, guardian, to heal the wounds of this land. Banish the Sickness. Let life be here once more!”

Ew llac nopu uoy, naidraug, ot laeh eht sdnuow fo siht dnal. Hsinab eht Ssenkcis. Tel efil eb ereh ecno erom!”

As Sombra spoke the last word, the light from the shine became blinding. Both the man and she looked away. Suddenly, Lucy stiffened, then crouched down like a tiger about to pounce. She leaped forward, a furious snarl on her face, and tried to rip the talisman from Sombra’s neck. Without thinking, Sombra slashed blindly at her. Rather than cutting the demon-child in two, her blade turned at the last minute and slapped Lucy to the ground. She seemed to be unable to get up.

“I AM HERE,” said a voice. The voice seemed not only to echo throughout the forest, but to also reverberate in their heads, as if it was inside them as well as out. “WHY HAVE YOU CALLED ME? AND WHY DID YOU BRING THAT,” the voice somehow directed itself at Lucy, “TO MY FOREST?”

For the first time, Sombra and the man seemed to notice Lucy. They stared at her, shocked, as she writhed on the ground. Sombra stepped forward to help her, but Lucy pulled back her lips and snarled. Her once neat black hair was tangled and full of dirt. She had a bruise forming on the side of her face where Sombra had slapped her and a cut on the other. She looked completely feral. “Get away from me, Blade Sister,” she hissed.

“What are you?” the man demanded.

Lucy giggled, an awful sound. “You have the right to ask what I am, Soft Skin? I am a being far more powerful than you can imagine. You have no right to question me.”

“You’re not that little girl,” Sombra said accusatorily.

“I am not,” the child-demon said. “The girl died many weeks ago. I am merely borrowing her body.” Both the man and Sombra recoiled in revulsion. “I would’ve stayed dormant, as I had been, but the amulet has drawn me out.”

The man turned back to the glowing, green form by the shrine. “I apologize, Guardian, for bringing this…thing to your home. I didn’t know….”

“IT COMPLICATES THINGS. I AM RELUCTANT TO APPEAR FULLY WHILE IT IS HERE. HOWEVER, YOU STILL HAVEN’T ANSWERED ME. WHY DID YOU CALL UPON ME?”

“You can’t tell?” the man asked helplessly. A gust of wind whistled through the trees, pushing his black cloak against him. It seemed to be a grim sort of laughter. “Guardian, many years ago, the world fell to Sickness. I do not pretend to know why or how, but it has. Our world is dying. I believe you are the only one who can help to restore it. If you don’t, we’re all doomed.” He fell to one knee and bowed his head.

A gentle breeze, almost like a sigh, blew around them. The green light seemed to soften and solidify. Where it had been, was a small, green pixie-like Pokemon with blue eyes. “The fate of the world is not for me to decide, brave ones. I have known about the Sickness for as long as it has been. If it was within my power, I would help you, but alas, I cannot. You say you don’t know the cause of the Sickness. I will tell you. The universe has fallen out of balance. You are correct, my children, that this world is dying. The seas will boil and the earth will cave into itself. The very sky will fall. Time and space will lose control. The very forces of good and evil will fall to ruin.”

“Then all is lost,” the man said soberly.

“No,” Celebi answered. “All is not lost. There is hope yet, but it depends upon how strong you and your companion will be. You must seek out all of the legends and help to return them to balance. I am not all seeing, and I don’t know all of the obstacles in your path. Your journey will be long and dangerous, but I believe that it is possible. It is your destiny to try, as sure as your name is Isaac.”

The man stood up. “Then I will try.”

Celebi smiled. “Good. I must thank you now, Isaac and Sombra, for calling me back to this world. I have work to do. I have one final request for you, though.”

“Yes?”

“I want you to take the demon with you.”

Isaac was shocked. “But why?”

Celebi’s smile widened. “Because you seem to be losing your sense of mercy. As great of a fighter as you are, I don’t want you to lose yourself. Be careful when you fight monsters, lest you become them. I believe a famous human said that once and it holds true. You may be able to cure the demon. If you wish for my help curing your world, I would like you to return the favor.

Isaac was still for a long time. Then he nodded. “I will try.”

“Then my work must begin. Take care Isaac and Sombra.”

Celebi began to glow again and this time, the light spread. As it touched the foliage in the clearing, the plants seemed to shrink back into the forest and become beautiful and green again. The light touched the crucified Pidgey and it disappeared inside of it. Suddenly, the Pidgey flew up and out of the light, whistling, whole once again. The silence was broken; the forest was healing.

“What do we do about her?” Sombra said, almost spitting.

The man named Isaac glared at the demon-child before him. She was sitting on the ground, her chin cupped in her palms, the picture of innocence, except for her glowing red eyes and an evil grin. “You know,” she said, almost sweetly, “I can do nothing to hurt you, Soft Skin. Why would I or my master want this world to end? That would destroy our fun.”

“Your master?”

She clapped a hand over her mouth. “I think I’ve said too much. Maybe you’ll find out one day.”

“What’s your real name?” Sombra asked suddenly.

The demon-child looked at her, amusement spread across her face. “I have gone by many names, but you may call me Delilah.”

“Well,” Isaac said, “You’ll still be ***** to me.”

Delilah roared with laughter. “Your death will be painful one day, Soft Skin. You’ll see.”

Isaac and Sombra tried to ignore that comment. “So where are we going now, Isaac?”

He thought for a moment. “If we’re meant to bring all the legendaries back into balance, we should probably start with those closest to us. As we’re in Johto, perhaps we should make a visit to Ecruteak Town…Or what was Ecruteak, anyways.”

“That’s a long walk, isn’t it?”

“Yes. Why do you ask?”

“No reason,” said Sombra with a smile.

As the three walked out of the forest the way they had come, they noticed things that had not been present before; a patch of flowers, a small spring where they stopped to gather water, and once, they glimpsed a Butterfree flittering around the tree tops. They stopped to watch the blue and white butterfly play in the branches before flying off.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, Isaac,” Sombra said breathlessly. “Was the whole world like this once?”

“Much of it was,” he told her. “Ilex Forest was always especially beautiful, but there were trees and Pokemon most places when I was young.”

Delilah clicked her tongue. “Not all the world was as peaceful as this, Blade Sister. The humans made a mess of things too. For example, Goldenrod wasn’t much different than it was when we saw it. They’re filthy creatures really. If I could’ve gotten a Pokemon body that wasn’t a disgusting Rattata, I would have.”

Sombra hissed in anger, but Isaac touched her shoulder. “Let it go.”

That night, as they curled up by the edge of the forest, Sombra whispered to him, “I’m sorry I didn’t believe you about…her…it…that thing.”

“I barely believed myself.”

For a moment, they sat in silence, looking at the night sky. Long before, there might have been constellations. Now, most of them were obscured other than a few bright stars and a hazy moon. The moon appeared blood red. There must be a fire somewhere, Isaac thought absently.

“Do you really believe that one day the world will be like it was in the time before I hatched?” Sombra asked.

Isaac paused to consider the question. “No,” he said, “Things can never be the same as they were. To turn back a clock is a fool’s errand. But one day, the world will be whole again, and the Sickness will be gone. One day, we’ll be able to sleep without fear and find food and water when we need it. There will always be evil in the world. That’s part of the balance. You just have to find the good yourself.”

“Do you think there will ever be anymore trainer and Pokemon pairs?”

Isaac nodded. “We’re the last, for now, but if things get better,” he corrected himself, “when things get better, then there will be trainers again. Pokemon and humans belong together. That’s also part of the balance. Don’t worry about it now. Fate will take care of itself.”

The two drifted off to sleep. The next day, there would be travelling once again, as there had been every other day since they had met. However, it would be different. They were on a quest now. As the two companions slept, Delilah lay awake, as she had every night for thousands of years. While the world slept and grew sicker, Delilah planned. If Blade Sister and Soft Skin planned to bring all the legends back to power….Then she would be reunited with her master. In the light of the blood red moon, Delilah smiled. In her sleep, Sombra shivered.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:12 AM
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Default Re: Falling In Balance (Rated PG-13 for Violence)

Chapter 2

“We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is.”
-East of Eden

As the sun rose, Sombra’s eyes shot open. She was shaking violently. During the night, she had been haunted by horrible dreams; dreams of red eyes glowing in the midst of shadows and a huge, spectral form cackling wildly. Suddenly, she heard laughter. She jumped up, only to be faced with the almost pixie-like face of Delilah.

“Sleep well, Blade Sister?” Sombra longed to slice the evil smirk off her face, but she restrained herself.

At that moment, Isaac decided to wake up. He stretched and climbed to his feet. “I thought I heard an argument,” he explained.

“No argument here,” Delilah said, still grinning from ear to ear.

Isaac turned to Sombra so only she could see and raised an eyebrow. He mouthed the words, “Don’t start anything with her,” then turned back to the demon-child.

“How are you this morning, Delilah?”

“I am well, Soft Skin.” She winked.

“We’re going to travel many miles today. Are you prepared?”

“Aye, I am. In fact, I believe I could travel farther in a day than either of you, for I rarely tire.”

“Then let’s go.”

The trio began to walk down the road. At first, they still saw the effects of their small victory in Ilex Forest, but as the sun climbed higher in the sky, they found themselves back in the endless desert that seemed to cover most of the continent. The morning turned into afternoon and the travelers’ shadows grew long. Soon the heat became almost unbearable.

“We should look for a place to rest soon,” the man said finally. Sombra didn’t respond; the sun didn’t bother her. Delilah, however, was panting and looked on the verge of collapse. As the three crested a hill and looked around for shade, Sombra spotted something off in the distance.

“What is that?” she said gesturing to what seemed to be a black cloud on the horizon.

The man narrowed his eyes. “It’s getting closer.”

Suddenly, the cloud descended onto the ground. The black cloud stood out against the golden brown of the desert like a sunspot.

“I think they’re alive,” Delilah added unexpectedly. “I can sense them.”

Isaac pulled his gun from his holster. “Let’s go see what it’s doing. Or they. I can’t tell from here.”

“They,” Delilah confirmed.

The cloud was much closer than it had appeared from on top of the hill, only about half a mile from where they had been. As they grew closer, the smell of rotting flesh became overwhelming. The black cloud seemed to pulse, taking on the sinister appearance of a diseased organ. An odd sound came from the cloud, almost like the rustle of leaves in a strong wind.

“They’re Murkrow,” Sombra said. She paused for a moment, then ran toward the cloud, so fast that for a moment, Isaac couldn’t see her. The flock of Murkrow took off and landed about 50 feet away. One Murkrow was left, standing next to an oddly shaped carcass. It reached down and pulled a piece of flesh off of the body with its wickedly curved beak, then tossed its head back, swallowing the piece whole. Sombra hissed and tried to slash it with one scythe. Her blade went through it and continued into the dirt. The Murkrow looked at her curiously and then went back to its meal. By now, Isaac and Delilah had caught up with her.

“Is that a Staryu?” Delilah asked, her voice filled with uncertainty.

“Yes,” the man answered.

“And,” she continued, “aren’t Staryu usually only found in or near water.”

“Specifically salt water, but yes.”

“So why is there a dead one in the middle of the desert?”

Isaac shrugged and aimed his revolver at the Murkrow, which continued ignoring him. A gunshot rang out. The Murkrow looked up for a moment and gave him a withering look before returning to the Staryu. Isaac noticed that the orb which rested inside most Staryu’s center was missing, presumably the cause of death. The five points of the starfish Pokemon were also missing large chunks of flesh.

“Did you take the orb?” The man asked, mostly to himself.

“It wasn’t me, sir,” said a deep voice from near his feet. The man looked down, surprised. The black crow Pokemon was staring up at him. “I only found the body.” The Murkrow locked eyes with Isaac. From far away, Isaac heard growling and hissing from his companions. Delilah started howling like a dog in the presence of some fierce wild animal.

“Who killed it then? And where did it come from?”

“I can’t say I know where it came from, sir, but these are strange times. As for who killed it, I would have to say it was the man who chases the North Wind.”

The man considered this. The name had some meaning to him, but it slipped through his mind like the wind itself. “What are you?”

The Murkrow’s beak seemed to stretch into a grin. “Look into my eyes, sir, and maybe I’ll tell you.”

The Murkrow’s amber eyes seemed to pull Isaac in and he felt as if he were being sucked deep down into quicksand. The eyes seemed to grow until they took up his entire field of vision, and then bigger until all that was left was the black of the pupils. For a moment, Isaac was floating in a warm, black space. He heard a steady thumping, like the sound of a beating heart. He felt something damp around his feet and looked down to see a pool of blood gathering beneath him. The blood filled the dark place until it was almost covering Isaac’s mouth. Suddenly, the dark place started shaking and in the distance, a mountain rose, as red as the sea of blood it stood in. Isaac gasped as he felt something burning his leg. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the amulet. He held it gingerly by the string to keep it from burning him. As he watched, the ankh-like symbol in its center began to glow and change shape into an arrow, pointing to the mountain. Just then, the blood rose up in a wave and crashed down on him, pushing him under. He couldn’t see, couldn’t feel anything but the warm, sticky blood and a sharp pain in his chest, demanding that he take a breath. Finally, with no choice, he sucked in a mouthful of blood.

Isaac’s eyes shot open. The amulet was still in his hand, but now instead of being trapped in a bloody ocean, he was laying on his back in the hot desert sand, a dull, almost brown sky above him. He took a deep breath of air and started to gasp, trying to get as much as he could.

“Are you all right?” Sombra asked.

“Where… Murkrow?” he panted.

“It flew away, in the direction of the others,” she responded.

The man glanced down at the amulet. The symbol was the same as always, but it seemed to be facing the direction they had been walking. He climbed to his feet.

“We’re going to keep going the way he were.” He started walking. Sombra followed automatically and Delilah trailed behind them, her eyes now wide open, searching for anymore danger. “Tell us if you sense anything,” he added. She nodded reluctantly. Then they walked in silence.

Sombra had never heard tales of anything like Delilah or the Murkrow which they had just seen, but she instinctively knew that such things existed. Demons, shape shifters, and gods were all part of the world she had been born into. Humans often had trouble accepting them, but Pokemon hatched with the knowledge of another world, one that was close to theirs and that could be crossed into with enough power. Most Ghost, Psychic, and Dark Pokemon were capable of traveling between worlds, and other Pokemon could sense the other universe, always lingering close to ours. Still, the presence of Delilah upset her. She constantly had to stifle the urge to send her blade ripping through the demon-child’s skin. She doubted it would really do any harm to the spirit itself, but it would be satisfying. It would probably only cause problems though. As they walked, Sombra brooded.

Sombra heard a loud hiss and jumped around. It was Delilah. She was staring straight ahead, her pupils dilating and constricting. Sombra saw a human-like figure walking towards them, grasping something in one hand.

“Here we go again,” muttered the man under his breath. “Let’s wait for him here,” he said and crouched down. Sombra and Delilah followed his example. As the man grew closer, they heard wild cackling, but couldn’t see him from their position. “Now,” Isaac whispered finally. The three travelers jumped out, Isaac in the middle and Sombra and Delilah on either side of him. Isaac had his gun pulled, and his two companions were both posed to strike. As they realized what they were looking at, Isaac’s stomach lurched, Sombra gasped, and Delilah merely raised her lip in a silent snarl.

The man-thing in front of them giggled. “It seems you’ve caught me.” He raised the red orb in his hands to his mouth and licked it gently with his tongue. For a moment, Isaac had no idea what he was doing. Then, the realization came; the man-thing was lapping the blood off of the orb’s surface. Indeed, blood ran down the sides of the man-thing’s face and covered his tattered purpled suit. His hair was streaked with it and one of his gloves was stained an ugly reddish-brown.

“Stop it,” Isaac ordered, but the man-thing ignored him, and instead continued to lick the orb. “I said stop!”

The man-thing stopped and glanced up at him. He had bright blue eyes that seemed to be full of a false cheeriness. “I’m sorry, was I bothering you?” His voice was mocking and as he spoke, his tongue darted in and out like a snake’s. “You seem to be tongue-tied.” He smirked. “Did you meet the Murkrow?” Isaac opened his mouth to answer, but the man-thing cut him off. “I know you did. I see all that comes to pass in this desert; ever since I was touched by my blessed one.” He sighed and his whole body shuddered. “I can no longer see Ilex Forest, but I know you were there. I feel your footsteps going in one way and coming out another. Tell me, what did you do there?”

“That’s none of your damned business,” Isaac growled.

The man-thing cocked an eyebrow. “Very well, then. May I ask your names then?”

“My name is no concern of yours either.” He glanced at Sombra, telling her to stay quiet, though she knew this all ready.

The man-thing stiffened. “Well. If you care to know it, my name is Eusine.”

Isaac nodded, but for a moment didn’t respond. The man-thing began to lick the orb again. “Why did you kill the Staryu for that? And where did you find it to begin with?”

Eusine acted as if he wouldn’t answer, then finally said, “Times are strange, just as you and your friends are. I felt the Staryu’s presence and went to it. As for why I killed it, well, I believe this will be a beautiful present for my darling once I finish cleaning it.” He licked the orb again. “Actually, I think I have to go. My love, the North Wind, is calling.” He leaned in close to Isaac, his ear only a few inches from Eusine’s mouth. “Don’t do anything stupid.” His tongue darted out and brushed against Isaac’s ear and for a moment, Isaac smelled rotting flesh. Then, before he could do anything, Eusine had leaped back and started running into the distance. The dead smell lingered.

Isaac stood still, lost in thought, and then something clicked. The North Wind. He remembered the name, remembered his father’s voice….

“The North Wind was created by Ho-oh. It used to be a different Pokemon, but was killed during a fire in Ho-oh’s tower. After its rebirth, it was given the power to purify anything it touched. Sick people came to it for help, and when people were starving, they asked it to end droughts for them. Eventually, however, people grew wicked, and the North Wind disappeared. Now once in a while, some say they see it far off in the distance, a blue blur racing across the water.”

“Do you think the North Wind still exists, daddy?”

“I don’t know. I think if it didn’t, though, it would already be the end.”

There was a moment of quiet.

“Should we try to find it, daddy?”

“Maybe someday, when you’re older.”

Then another voice, one the man had heard whisper to him in a dream.

Suicune….

“Isaac?”

He started into consciousness. Sombra was standing over him.

“We have to follow him. He knows why that Staryu was out in the desert and he knows where one of the legendaries is; one of the most important ones.” He felt warmth along one thigh and knew it was the amulet, wanting to go forward, to complete its task.

“Come on,” he said, and started to walk in the steps of the man-thing that had stood next to him only a few months before. Sombra and Delilah followed.

Delilah scowled to herself as they walked. How long would she have to be travelling with these fools? How much longer until she was with her master again? Her master, who fed her on the blackened souls of his victims, her master who let her live inside the bodies of the dead, like a crab living in the shell of a long dead animal? She growled under her breath and longed for his presence. Soon, though, her task would be complete; help to ensure the survival of a few humans, but no more than necessary. It wouldn’t do to have there be on one left. The humans were as necessary to her kind as they were to fleas or leeches. In fact, she was essentially a parasite, only rather than feeding off flesh and blood, she fed off of emotions. The Soft Skin and the Blade Sister were excellent sources of this. Though they betrayed nothing on the surface, constantly keeping their faces blank, underneath, they were filled with fear and longing. She supposed she could stick around for a while.

When night fell, the man found a ditch by the road that was sheltered by some scraggly shrubs. He climbed into it and lay down. Sombra and Delilah jumped down and found their own places near him. They watched the stars move through the night sky from beneath a ceiling of branches. It reminded Isaac of looking through a window covered by prison bars.

The next morning, they woke before dawn. Isaac ate from a can of soup he had found while Sombra went hunting. Delilah sat and watched him.

“Do you know where we’re going?” she asked him.

He shook his head.

“Do you know where we are?”

He chewed for a minute without answering. Then he swallowed and said, “Somewhere ‘round the Ruins of Alph. I took us around Goldenrod, since it seems every time I go near there I find something… undesirable. I think Eusine’s footprints are headed towards Ecruteak, but I’m not completely sure. I’m going to head there first anyways, since it’s involved with so many legendaries. We might be able to find someone to help us there.”
Delilah didn’t ask any more questions. She was slightly surprised, as that was the most she’d ever heard the man say. When Sombra returned, they began to walk again. The sun rose to the east of them, somewhere off towards Kanto. Soft orange light began to creep over the desert, chasing away shadows and night creatures. Once in a while, they would hear the scurrying of something burrowing into a hole, trying to escape the sunlight. Finally, there was nothing but the sound of their feet falling on desert sand.

Delilah’s ears perked up. “Can you hear that?”

Sombra stuck her head up, listening for whatever the sound was. There. Somewhere north, she could hear the sound of- “Bells,” she told Isaac.

He nodded. “Ecruteak must be even closer than I thought.” Far closer than I thought, he added in his mind. It should have taken us at least two more days to get there. But he didn’t say anything. He wouldn’t mention it unless there was a problem. Until then, he would let it rest.

When the sun reached its zenith, a tower came into view. The tower seemed to be hundreds of feet high, its top hidden in clouds, beyond the trio’s sight. The tinkling of the bells seemed to come from either it or somewhere near it. The man bent down on one knee and pulled out the amulet. The symbol in its center was pointing straight ahead. He muttered something under his breath and closed his eyes for a second before standing.

He turned to Delilah and Sombra. “Once,” he said, “Ho-oh lived on top of that tower. It hasn’t been seen since the days of my grandfather’s grandfather, but its magic is still here. This is a holy place. The ground here is untainted.”

And surely enough, as they approached Ecruteak, they began to see plants here and there. Small ones, to be sure, but they were still plants. The sky seemed more blue than brown, and the clouds weren’t the dirty grey they seemed to be in many other parts of the region. They reached the edge of the city in the late afternoon. Like Goldenrod, the city was perfectly preserved, but unlike Goldenrod, there was no fear or feeling of being watched. Ecruteak was a peaceful place. There was no danger here.
Though Isaac could no longer see Eusine’s footprints, he still walked north. It felt as though something were pulling him magnetically in that direction and he had no choice but to obey. They walked down several streets and seemed to be turning corners at random. Delilah was about to ask just where the hell he thought they were going, when they turned one last corner and found themselves outside the empty husk of a building. It appeared to have burned down at some point in the distant past. Somehow, the sight of what had once been a tower as huge as the one they had seen from the endless desert burned down sobered them all. They stood outside it in silence.

“We should go in,” the man said. He took a step forward and they followed behind him, looking like pilgrims before a holy site. At the door of the burned tower, the man clasped his hands together as if in prayer before walking in. Sombra crossed her blades, but Delilah merely glanced around nervously, as if expecting to be struck by a sudden bolt of lightning. When this failed to happen, she also went inside.

The inside of the burned tower was almost completely empty. The only object was a large statue of a Pokemon in the back of the room. Isaac carefully picked his way over burned chunks of wood and other debris. Finally, he stood before the marble figure. He examined it piously, noting the blue gray surface and the way the ribbons in its mane seemed to almost move.

Suicune…. A voice whispered in his head.

He felt the warmth against his thigh again and pulled out the amulet. It was glowing. He took it in one hand and placed it to the statues forehead. There was a flash of light so bright he was forced to look away. When he looked back, the statue had changed. Its color had deepened to a royal blue and now its mane and ribbons were flowing. The legendary beast took one step towards him. Then, it tossed its head back into the air and howled, a low, chilling sound that made all three of them, even Delilah, shiver. Isaac noticed what looked like dried blood on the Suicune’s head and for a moment, his heart leaped into his throat. Then he realized it wasn’t the North Wind’s blood, but the blood from the Staryu’s orb that Eusine had been carrying.

He must not have known it was alive. Suicune convinced him it was really a statue, Isaac thought to himself.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:17 AM
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Default Re: Falling In Balance (Rated PG-13 for Violence)

“Suicune,” he whispered, and the Aurora Pokemon looked up at its name. For a moment, its expression changed to something resembling a grin, and then in a blur of blue and white, it was gone. The amulet grew cooler and cooler in his hand until it returned to its normal state. It was once again, just an amulet. He slipped it into the pocket of his cloak and realized that the place where his palm had touched the Pokemon felt… lighter, different than the rest of him. He looked at it and saw that all the dirt and grime from it was gone. Every scar that had adorned his hand, and there had been many, had also disappeared. The skin on his palm was completely smooth.

“Why did it flee?” Sombra’s voice broke the silence.

“Because….” The man struggled to find words. “It’s not time yet. Suicune isn’t ready to help us for now. I think we have to find its brothers first.”

“Where are they?”

Isaac shrugged. “I think one of them is on a mountain somewhere. I don’t know about the other.”

“So where do we go now?” Delilah spoke up.

The man felt a tingling sensation and looked at his palm. He blinked in surprise. A moment before, it had been perfectly smooth. Now, however, the ankh-like shape of the amulet’s symbol was engraved into it. It seemed to point west, towards the rapidly setting sun.

“We’re going west,” he said. He turned to the door. Sombra and Delilah followed.

They spent the night outside, by a pond. They felt safe under the watchful gaze of the towers. Even Delilah forgot to plot and fell almost immediately into a deep sleep. Sombra fell asleep soon after. For a long time, only Isaac lay awake, watching the moon journey across the sky.

In the morning, they walked west out of Ecruteak, their backs to the sun. Once or twice, they thought they could hear the songs of bird Pokemon, but they never saw any.

How do they live like this? Delilah wondered. She had only been traveling with them for a few days, but already the shoes on her host’s feet were starting to wear thin. If they ran out, bacteria and maggots would infest her feet and make the body useless and who knew how long it would be until she found another one. She couldn’t imagine doing nothing but walking across the endless desert for years and years. How long had they been doing this? Judging by looking at him, the man was fairly old. He must have been a child when the Sickness came. Delilah remembered that time well. Many of her master’s servants had starved to death, unable to live without their human and Pokemon hosts. Delilah had been kept alive though; she was valuable. Unlike many of her brothers and sisters, she was intelligent, not just a mindless, hungry thing. She was startled out of her thoughts when she heard a loud noise, almost like screaming.

“Incoming!” Isaac shouted and leaped out of the way. Delilah followed his example and hit the dirt. She felt something move very quickly past her head. She heard an almost metallic swishing sound as Sombra sliced at whatever had just attacked them, and the screeching grew louder. Delilah rolled onto her back and gazed up as the mutated Hoothoot once again dived towards her. She had time to notice that the Hoothoot had a bloody stump where one of its legs should have been (courtesy of Sombra), and instead of two eyes, it had one bloodshot one in the center of its head. As the demonic owl Pokemon flew towards her, she found herself unable to move out of the way.

FWAP! Delilah found herself covered in foul smelling, black blood as the Hoothoot was cut in half only a few inches from her. Sombra’s blade stopped just short of Delilah’s stomach. She began to clean the blood from her scythe. Delilah stood up and shook herself off. She opened her mouth as if to say something, then closed it. Isaac glanced at them, but said nothing. They travelled on.

Once again, Isaac noticed that they seemed to be covering far more distance than was possible. Around noon, they passed an abandoned Miltank farm. He remembered the farm from his childhood; it was one famous for the milk that was produced there. He also knew that it was only a few miles outside of Olivine City. Olivine was three days’ walk from Ecruteak, and they had covered almost that distance in one day. Something was definitely odd.

They stopped to investigate the farm. They found a few scrawny Miltank carcasses that Sombra picked at, though she didn’t eat much. Inside the barn, there was a bag of green acorns hidden inside an air tight drawer. Isaac sniffed them and was surprised to find them unspoiled. He ate a few and put the rest in his bag for later. They could come in handy. The group walked on.
Just as they had come across Ecruteak the day previously, they came upon Olivine in the dying light of the sun. The ruins of the coastal city were basked in the orange rays of the sunset. It was beautiful, in a surreal way.

“That didn’t seem like much of a walk at all,” pondered Sombra.

“It wasn’t,” Isaac growled. “Seemed like a lot longer of a journey when I was younger.”

Sombra blinked. “I suppose everything must change sometime.”
They hurried through the city, as they were in no mood to fight any creatures or bandits at that moment. When they reached the beach, they seemed to breathe a collective sigh of relief. There was something very comforting about seeing a large body of water after the endless dunes of sand. Off towards the end of their sight, storm clouds were gathering. Delilah dropped down in the sand, but Isaac and Sombra stayed standing.

“I want to keep traveling,” Isaac said.

Delilah looked at him. “How are we supposed to get across the ocean without a boat?”

The man shrugged. “You think that problem will be fixed if we wasted time sleeping?” He turned back to the ocean and waded in. Sombra followed him and bent down before him. He carefully climbed onto her back. The man glanced back at Delilah and raised an eyebrow, as if to say, “Are you coming?” Delilah grumbled and waded into the surf, shivering at the icy cold ocean water. She climbed onto Sombra’s back, behind Isaac, and peered down at the water. Rather than blue or green, it appeared to be a stormy gray color. Something that looked like ash was floating in it. Sombra tipped forward onto her belly and started using her blades as fins. They worked surprisingly well as paddles.

Delilah shivered as a breeze picked up. Riding Sombra wasn’t easy; waves constantly knocked against them, soaking their clothes until they were heavy and useless as protection against the elements. Truthfully, the man was placing all his hopes on the fact that locations seemed to be closer together than they used to be. If he was wrong…. Well, maybe Sombra would finish his quest for him.

The clouds were growing closer now and lightning flashed in the distance. The man felt Delilah flinch and frowned despite himself. He knew she wasn’t really a little girl, but still…. The storm was approaching them rapidly. Soon enough, the waves grew huge and Sombra began to be pushed under water occasionally.
“We’re not going to make it,” Delilah spluttered through a mouth full of salt water. That was when the rain started. It was torrential; a storm of biblical proportions. It came to the point where the man couldn’t tell what was getting them wetter; being pummeled by the waves or the endless, pounding rain. Suddenly, as if by magic, they began floating east. “Wha-?” Delilah tried to say, but another wave struck them.

Isaac looked around for the source of their unexpected movement. He could see nothing, until he looked down. The water around them was roaring dangerously, and he realized they were no longer going east; they were going west again. They were moving in circles. He looked up again and this time, saw what they were moving towards; a huge funnel of wind was being birthed from the clouds above them. They were witnessing the birth of a hurricane. Soon, they would be sucked into the eye of the storm. He stuck his head down and buried it in the back of Sombra’s neck. He felt Delilah’s tiny hands grasp his cloak as they were pulled in a circle, faster and faster. There was a loud crackling sound, a flash of light, and then the world went dark.


Isaac felt both hot and cold all over. He tried to open his eyes, but the light was blinding. There was a whimpering noise and he felt as if someone were holding a vacuum cleaner to his skin. He grunted and his eyes shot open. In front of him was a huge orange Pokemon, at least seven feet tall. One large amber eye was glancing into his. Isaac scrambled to his feet and looked around. Delilah was sleeping further down the beach and Sombra was cleaning the salt off of her exoskeleton a little ways away. Isaac looked back to the Dragonite.

“Did you pick us up?” he asked.

The Dragonite nodded and glanced out to sea. Isaac looked out the way it was staring and saw that the storm was still raging, though the island they were on seemed to be in a pocket of calm. He turned his head in the other direction and saw the same thing. They were inside the eye of the storm.

“Thank you,” he said, bowing his head slightly. “My companions say thank you as well.”

The Dragonite stretched its wings out and nodded, smiling.
“Where did you take us, dragon-friend?”

The Dragonite looked puzzled for a moment, unsure how to communicate. Then it picked up a piece of driftwood and drew a swirl in the sand. It drew several swirls in a circle, leaving one place untouched.

“Whirlpools….” Isaac muttered. “The Whirlpool Islands?”

The Dragonite nodded happily. Isaac felt as though his hand were resting on a piece of metal warmed by the sun. He looked at his palm and saw it was glowing, the same as the amulet had done before. At the thought of it, he reached into his pocket. There was nothing there. The amulet was gone. However, the ankh-symbol was still etched on his palm. He held it out to the Dragonite, who sniffed it and then touched it with its paw. It jerked back as if shocked by electricity, then grinned. It made a chirping sound and went over to Delilah, who it began to sniff eagerly. She swatted at it a few times before opening her eyes and screaming. Isaac chuckled and was admittedly happy to see that she wasn’t injured. Sombra walked over to investigate.

The Dragonite made a gurgling sound and Sombra turned to it, her head cocked to the side. She made a few growling noises and the orange dragon responded by making a noise that sounded amazingly like human laughter. Sombra laughed as well. She walked over to Isaac and held the flat part of her blade against his cheek; a rare sign of open affection.

“I’m glad you are safe,” she told him.

“I feel the same,” he responded. “Now, it’s time to find out why we’re here.” His palm felt warm and he knew that they had something to do on the island. Once again, he remembered a story from his youth.

Far away, on the edge of the Southern Sea, there are a chain of islands surrounded by vicious storms that never stop. Only the very strongest trainers can reach the island without being ripped to pieces by whirlpools and hurricanes. However, if you’re strong enough to reach the Whirlpool Islands, it is possible to see the creator of all the world’s oceans.

Lugia….
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: Falling In Balance (Rated PG-13 for Violence)

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
Lucy shrugged. “I don’t know. I haven’t seen anybody in a long time.”
The man sighed and turned back, trying to hide a twinge of unease.
You forgot to separate these two paragraphs. :3

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
Lucy rubbed her eyes and nodded, before climbing on.
You should probably describe how she climbed on; where she grabbed with her arms, how her legs were positioned, the fact that Sombra would have had to crouch and then tilt her body to support her once she was up, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
The road lead into the forest, but it appeared to be very overgrown, almost impassable.
This should be 'led', not 'lead'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
He tried to brush off his suspicion. I’m being ridiculous, he thought. Sombra’s right. She can’t be more than nine years old. Just a little girl, hardly bigger than a Caterpie. Still, his sleep was uneasy.
Make sure to put thoughts in italics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
She even had a very vulpine face, her grin full of sharp, pointed teeth….Maybe he was over thinking this. Yet…He let his suspicions slide to the back of his mind. Paranoia was stupid; caution, however, was wise.
There's a random period between the ellipsis and 'Maybe', and you should either make the H in 'He' lowercase (after the second ellipsis), or put a space between the ellipsis and 'He'. I really like that thing about paranoia and caution though; it's a good way to look at things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
Sombra tried to push such troubling thoughts away, but when she allowed her mind to wander….they haunted her.
Random period after the ellipsis again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
By now, it was almost too dark to see.
I think "By then" or "By that time" would work better. "Now" sounds like a first-person device when used in the narration, or in speech.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
Finally, the man stopped walking. Sombra gasped and fell to her knees.
Scyther have knees? ...I guess they could lean on the connection join thing between their round thighs and the green part of their legs, but it's difficult to imagine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
The horrible part, though, was the dead Pidgey nailed to the front of the shrine. Its small, tawny wings had been spread wide and a nail driven through each one. Its belly was cut open, revealing almost mummified internal organs. Where its eyes had been, were only empty sockets that seemed to glare out at them. Its beak was wide open in a silent scream.
That...is beyond creepy. o.o Especially...well...actually...everything about it is equal in creepiness... Since that's what you were going for, good job. This is powerful imagery.

NEXT POST.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
Instead, Sombra walked up to the man who reached forward and seemed to pull open a piece of her exoskeleton. That spot was a small scale that could be pulled forward and closed again. Scyther often used them to hide treasured objects or bits of food in times of famine.
No offence, but I find this just...really strange and convenient. I guess it could work, but behind a scyther's armour is flesh, so it doesn't make much sense to me. Maybe you could explain where it is, even? At this point, he could be reaching into a compartment in her shoulder, her abdomen, her face--anywhere, really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
Carved into it, was an odd symbol, similar to an Egyptian ankh.
You don't have to have a comma before 'was'. I've noticed you do it in other places too, although you don't need to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
“I AM HERE,” said a voice.
Be careful of your use of 'said'. I noticed you use it a lot, but you should try to avoid it, as there are much better words to replace such a bland word with. Especially since 'said' is such a neutral word and conveys no emotion. I would imagine this voice to be 'boomed' or 'thundered' or something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
For the first time, Sombra and the man seemed to notice Lucy.
It can't be the first time Sombra noticed her, on account of how she swiped at her just before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
Lucy giggled, an awful sound. “You have the right to ask what I am, Soft Skin?
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
Take care Isaac and Sombra.”
There should be a comma after 'care', because Celebi is addressing them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
The silence was broken; the forest was healing.
I know celebi can heal forests, but it's a bit contradictory that this one said he/she cannot heal the world, yet then he/she does. Although he/she does say that about the sickness, so I guess healing the forest is something that he/she can do. Maybe you could mention that the celebi can start healing minor things though, such as the forest.

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Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
They stopped to watch the blue and white butterfly play in the branches before flying off.
Butterfree are purple, not blue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
“We’re the last, for now, but if things get better,” he corrected himself, “when things get better, then there will be trainers again.
This isn't correct grammar, because if that speech was written without "he corrected himself" in between, a comma wouldn't suffice. Try some hyphens or something. xD

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
The next day, there would be travelling once again, as there had been every other day since they had met.
I think that first 'there' should be 'they'.

Okay! Well! I'm gonna stop there, so that I can make a separate post for chapter two once I get around to it.

As a general comment on grammar and alike, it was pretty good. You sometimes use commas unnecessarily, such as when you put them before 'was' or such places, and after your ellipses, a lot of the time there's a random period. It's especially out of place because on Pe2k, the ellipsis shows up as three really close dots, but then a period on its own is big and obnoxious, so you should just stick with the ellipsis--the three in a row, not the four. Also remember that thoughts go in italics because they're a form of speech, and to differentiate between normal narration writing and the character's thoughts/speech. c:

First off, I'd like to say that I really like it, and I think you've set it up really, really well. The beginning was enticing and exciting and immediately drew you in. The whole post-apocalyptic feel about it was really interesting, and I loved that it was really quick to jump into action, rather than ease into it. Sombra is really cool, and I love that you've portrayed a scyther really well. A lot of people include them in their stories as motive-less villains with "evil grins", and yet they're quickly defeated by the hero in shining armour as they fail to match the hero's speed...even though scyther are supposed to be really fast. So, I'm glad you portrayed her well and also mentioned that scyther are meat-eaters, which many people tend to forget/not know. I think it's awesome that she's really nice despite what she has to do to most people they meet, and that she's grateful to Isaac for saving her. :D I'd like to know about why she was abused by people who tied her scythes up; I assume it was because they were afraid of what she could do to them, and thus they took precautions.

Isaac's also pretty cool. Obviously he's got it tough; he has no family and his only companion is Sombra. It must get pretty lonely for them. I wonder what they were doing before the events in the story, though. It's sad that his father randomly disappeared once day, and Isaac had to forget about him and move on so abruptly. It would be hard not to have closure about what happened to your own father, and I guess Sombra wouldn't have known her parents either.

I wonder what the deal is with Delilah. I've always thought that was such a nice name, so it's kind of cool to have it contrasting with a demon. On that note, though, I wonder why she is how she is. It's sad that the child who previously owned that body died, and it what she'd have had to go through must have been terrible. I hope the demon-child concept is expanded on though, because right now it's a little unexplained and I'm unsure of what she exactly is. It's curious that Celebi would want her to go with them though, because she's clearly a demon. I wouldn't think that demons could be cured, however, so it makes me wonder what he/she could possibly have imagined would cure her. I also don't think anything positive could come of her presence. I also found it odd that she doesn't seem like a threat at all. She specified she couldn't do anything to hurt them, so then I wonder what her purpose is, and why she can't hurt them if she's something as extreme as a demon: a thing of pure evil. It was odd to see that after they found out she was a demon of sorts, they basically disregarded the fact and kept talking to Celebi. It was almost anti-climactic that they basically ignored her, since they probably would have thought she could be a threat. o:

Obviously emotion isn't going to be flowing endlessly through these characters, considering what their lives are like and how they live. I was going to mention something about it, but I guess killing people and pokemon here and there is nothing new, and something they just have to do, and probably don't see any point in dwelling over their losses or the fact that they've just taken a life. Nevertheless, I'll have to wait and see what else happens to judge their emotions on.

I did find it odd that after Lucy/Delilah was saved from the raticate, nobody really questioned her. She just started following, and I suppose Isaac would have expected it considering she might have had nowhere else to go, but I assume he wouldn't know that, and might think they considering she was still alive, then she must have parents or something of the sort. So I was surprised that Isaac didn't question her in terms of her family (apart from the sister thing, but he didn't ask how she came to be on her own and alive), her home, how she'd stayed alive, what she was doing there, and why she wanted to follow them. I suppose it's partly his character--in that he isn't a big questioner, but since he's really suspicious of her, I'd expect him to interrogate her before allowing her to join them. It kind of seemed like this sort of thing happened every day, since neither he or Sombra seemed fazed by the fact of her, and basically her decision to follow them. Oh well. xD I guess it's something to think about.

Overall though, it was really enticing. I'll definitely read the second chapter soon, and if you don't reply between now and then, I'll just edit this post with my corrections and feedback. :) You've got yourself a reader!

~GS.
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  #6  
Old 06-07-2011, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: Falling In Balance (Rated PG-13 for Violence)

Okay, I decided to double post so I could post separately for the second chapter. :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
The flock of Murkrow took off and landed about 50 feet away.
Numbers should be written in letters unless it's a phone number or address or something like that. So, this should be written as 'fifty'.

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Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
“And,” she continued, “aren’t Staryu usually only found in or near water.”
This is a question, and therefore requires a question mark. :3

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Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
“We’re going to keep going the way he were.” He started walking.
I don't know if that's supposed to be "...the way he went" or "...the way we were" (as in, they continue in the same direction).

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
Indeed, blood ran down the sides of the man-thing’s face and covered his tattered purpled suit.
Should be 'purple'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
His voice was mocking and as he spoke, his tongue darted in and out like a snake’s.
That should be 'darting', or the previous comma should be a semicolon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
“Come on,” he said, and started to walk in the steps of the man-thing that had stood next to him only a few months before.
I think that's meant to be 'moments', not 'months'. x3

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
Isaac ate from a can of soup he had found while Sombra went hunting.
Would he honestly eat from a can he just found on the ground? Also, there's barely anything around, so wouldn't hunting be a bit useless? o:

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
He chewed for a minute without answering.
You don't chew soup. xD

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
He examined it piously, noting the blue gray surface and the way the ribbons in its mane seemed to almost move.
Suicune don't have ribbons in their manes. o:

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
He took it in one hand and placed it to the statues forehead.
Should be statue's.

NEXT POST.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
It was once again, just an amulet.
That comma doesn't need to be there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
I think we have to find its brothers first.”
I think it's odd that the suicune is dubbed an it, yet entei and raikou are referred to as males. You should give the suicune a gender. o:

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Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
They hurried through the city, as they were in no mood to fight any creatures or bandits at that moment.
I don't get it--wouldn't the bandits want to band together with what few humans remained and try to achieve something? I realise that a lot of them are low-lifes, but if they hope to survive any longer, they should join Isaac or do something productive. Dx *rage at bandits*

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
Delilah grumbled and waded into the surf, shivering at the icy cold ocean water. She climbed onto Sombra’s back, behind Isaac, and peered down at the water.

Sombra tipped forward onto her belly and started using her blades as fins. They worked surprisingly well as paddles.
I find this really difficult to imagine. Scyther are heavy, especially since they have armour and metal scythes. They're also not any taller than an average human, and definitely not competent enough to boat humans across water. I wouldn't think scythes would be effective as paddles at all; they're heavy and shaped wrong. A think a scyther would have trouble swimming on their own, let along having someone on their back--and in this case, two people. Also, you should probably mention that she used her wings to help her, since they would help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
“Whirlpools….”
I've noticed that this keeps happening--the ellipsis and then the random period. You should only have ellipses for instances like this, and no periods. It's out of place and doesn't need to be there. :3

I think there were a few more minor errors that I picked up while reading it earlier (I read it at school during my spare time but I waited to get home to comment :3) and they were, I think, errors regarding commas and semicolons--as in, the sentence should have had a semicolon where you had a comma. Anyway.

So, nice second chapter. I feel that the story is slowly progressing, but it's hard to tell anything from only the second chapter, however. I think your imagery could improve if you worked on it further; if you include more description, I think the visuals would be clearer and more easily imagined. Right now your vocabulary is good, and your similes and metaphors fit really well, but it's hard to picture things sometimes. For instance, you could probably describe the pokemon that are seen in a tad more detail, and maybe comment on the weather and expressions or body language. But don't get me wrong--your writing is impressive, and I think with some work, it'll be really awesome. :D

I'm really curious about this whole sickness thing. I wonder how it came to be, why it happened, and how it managed to affect the world so greatly. And also WHO survived from it, and how. Since there's a mighty dragonite around, it makes me question who else could be able to roam the lands without being infected. I hope they find more people and pokemon soon!

Great work so far. I hope you take what I've offered into consideration and that you continue it soon! :D

~GS.
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  #7  
Old 06-07-2011, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Falling In Balance (Rated PG-13 for Violence)

Thank you so much for the feedback. A lot of the grammar errors are typos, but still, thanks for pointing them out, cause sometimes I do mess up. >> I'll post again soon, but I'm working on several different stories atm, and I'm also a grader over in the URPG, so it may take me a while to post the next chapter. These were already done and I just transferred them over from Bulbagarden.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Falling In Balance (Rated PG-13 for Violence)

Don't feel bad though =D

GS picks out grammar flaws like that to even the pros. I thought you did a good job! Did you write those just now, or have you been writing for a while?
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: Falling In Balance (Rated PG-13 for Violence)

I wrote both of these fairly close together a few weeks ago. I need to do another chapter before I lose track of the characters, but yeah. ^^ And I don't feel too bad about the grammar. My grammar used to be awful and now it's so much better. Funny I've learned more about writing in one year of writing Pokemon fan fiction than I have in about 10 years of government approved education. T_T
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Old 06-08-2011, 04:13 AM
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Default Re: Falling In Balance (Rated PG-13 for Violence)

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
Thank you so much for the feedback. A lot of the grammar errors are typos, but still, thanks for pointing them out, cause sometimes I do mess up. >> I'll post again soon, but I'm working on several different stories atm, and I'm also a grader over in the URPG, so it may take me a while to post the next chapter. These were already done and I just transferred them over from Bulbagarden.
No worries at all. ^^ It was a pleasure to read! 8D Okay, sure. :3 No worries. Even as a grammar nazi, I made loads of typos. xDD Okay, sure. ^^ That's fine. I'm always writing many stories at once as well, so it's all good. xD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pe2k Voices View Post
Don't feel bad though =D

GS picks out grammar flaws like that to even the pros. I thought you did a good job! Did you write those just now, or have you been writing for a while?
The heck, Mike? xDDDD Did you even read the story, or did you only come here to be like "LOL my friend Grace is a grammar nazi but it's alright 'cause she does that to everyone" (which is true, but still xD)? Ahaha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskapidove View Post
I wrote both of these fairly close together a few weeks ago. I need to do another chapter before I lose track of the characters, but yeah. ^^ And I don't feel too bad about the grammar. My grammar used to be awful and now it's so much better. Funny I've learned more about writing in one year of writing Pokemon fan fiction than I have in about 10 years of government approved education. T_T
You'd lose track of them so quickly? o: Or do you mean, like, keep in the zone for writing about them? I understand that. ^^ Ahaha, well, actually, you've got better grammar than a lot of other people whose stories I read and correct. xDDDD That's the beauty of stories, especially pokemon ones that you can share with other people who live literature and pokemon. Combining two awesome things can result in something greater! :D xD But yeah, I'm not exactly surprised.

~GS.
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