TEEN: {some rise by sin} {chapter seven: eye for an eye}

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    Default {some rise by sin} {chapter seven: eye for an eye}

    Um. Hi. I've been putzing around the Writer's Workshop for a while, and I figured it might be time to actually, you know, contribute some fanfiction.

    So this is my generic author’s note that should hopefully last for five minutes before I have to start clarifying stuff. This is a pseudo-alternate universe version of Johto, mostly taking place in the same fashion that the game does but with a few key differences and some more realism (the differences should become apparent as the plot develops, and the realism is mostly applied to things like “you can run constantly between towns for days on end; these towns have two houses and a pokémart and nothing else” or “you must have five badges for your pokémon to know how to swim across water while you ride on its back” or “you can certain find pokémon in this patch of grass but not in this patch ten feet over on the next route”).

    Oh, so apparently this is a point of contention, but I don’t capitalize pokémon, pokémart, etc. in the same way that we talk about lowercase ‘a’ animals, go to the lowercase ‘s’ store and stuff. I know that the anime and games do capitalization different, but apparently some fanfiction authors agree with me and it’s okay so long as I’m consistent? Yeah. Okay.

    Also, yes. This is a technically journey fic. And I know it's been said before, but this is most certainly not your average journey fic.

    Oh, and literary creds. Spoilered for size and because there's so much text here already with zero actual story. Ha. Hopefully I'll keep this updated.





    Last edited by Elysia; 22nd February 2014 at 10:26 PM.

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    Default {some rise by sin} {prologue: the fault in our stars}



    prologue: the fault in our stars



    So I'm going to save you a good deal of suspense and tell you up front that by the time you catch up to where I am, I will have gotten all eight of gym badges, defeated my rival five times, and failed precisely once in my mostly-futile bid to save my homeland, leaving Johto in ashes. Also, I'll be dead, thanks in part to the efforts of a colossal, psychic bird and a .44 Novum shotgun. True to form, though, I’ll be careful to leave this building ablaze and in shambles, just in case I had any second thoughts about not dying.

    I suppose we can navel gaze for a bit with that out of the way.

    There was a saying I liked from one of those Old Poet Guys about whom I might've studied in more detail in school if I'd bothered taking a practical career or going to college instead of becoming an insurgent. So this Old Poet Guy, Shakespeare, wrote a play about some guys in togas who got into a fight about ruling an ancient empire. In true dramatic fashion, the toga guys had a bunch of tragic fighting, and then there was betrayal when some of the toga guys realized they all wanted to be emperor, so they got together and stabbed the older one to death. He died, because that's what people tend to do when they get stabbed to death.

    I didn't choose to major in literature, probably for good reason, but what stuck out to me the most of that play was this one quote: "The fault, dear Brutus," the old emperor said, "is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." When I read the play for the first time, I found myself nodding along, carried up in the swell and the hype generated by that Old Poet Guy. Of course I couldn't blame the heavens for every bad things that happened to me. I wasn't a special snowflake because I was suffering. When bad things happened to me, it wasn't because Arceus decided to curse me, but because I'd done something stupid and brought it upon myself. For a while, I believed that.

    But I grew up eventually, or maybe I grew down, because I started blaming things out of my control. I found out that sometimes the old emperor's words couldn't hold true, and sometimes we all just got caught up in the machinations of fate, and sometimes we were all helpless to forestall the aftermath. Sometimes, we can’t be heroes, because the world doesn’t want saving.

    I don’t know where it all went wrong, honestly. I could tell you that the day on which I got my starter pokémon was a normal day like any other, and that the fault wasn't in my stars that morning: a morning on which pidgey sang, the sun shone, life went about its boring business as usual, whatever. Unfortunately, there would be two things wrong with that statement. One, it would make for a very uninteresting beginning. And two, it would be a lie.

    In fact, that day was abnormal, almost hilariously so. Fate, at least, was having a grand time at my expense. Three markedly unusual things happened in rapid succession when I dropped in to the lab in New Bark Town to get my first pokémon. None of them were really my fault, I guess, but let's be honest. Sometimes the fault really is in our stars.

    So welcome, in short. Presented for your entertainment is the not-so-short story of how I burned Johto to the ground.

    Last edited by Elysia; 12th December 2013 at 09:33 PM.

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    Default Re: {some rise by sin} {prologue: the fault in our stars}

    Ah, Fault in Our Stars is on my to-read list. Alas, my real life is being a serious pain in the butt that I don't have time to read it. :P

    Anyways, this sounds like an interesting fic. I can't really provide constructive criticism. But I do want to compliment on the narrative prose, because I think it's very well-defined and independent. Your tone/syntax seems pretty consistent, almost believable for a narrator with its own kind of prose and rhythm. From what I'm reading, I keep thinking that the narrator is some teen who's not depressed but rather going through memories that is displayed through that kind of narrative prose.

    I'll be back to read more! :D DFTBA!

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    The small giant Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: {some rise by sin} {prologue: the fault in our stars}

    That was actually a really interesting Prologue. It was surprising how the protagonist just tells you what's going to happen, but at the same time it really made me think about what could've happened and that caused me to read more. It was a simple prologue but it was very philosophical in a way and we got to see a bit of the protagonist's personality thanks to it.

    You didn't make any mistakes in your grammar, I'll actually say it was perfect. Aside from that I don't have much to comment on except that this prologue accomplished what a prologue should accomplish, and that's making me want to keep reading and waiting for the next chapter.

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    Default Re: {some rise by sin} {prologue: the fault in our stars}

    Not bad at all. I happen to like journey fics. The voice of the narrator is consistent and feels believable, so kudos there. Technically accurate, though I thought that this:

    There was a saying I liked from one of those Old Poet Guys about whom I might've studied in more detail in school if I'd bothered taking a practical career or going to college instead of becoming an insurgent. This Old Poet Guy wrote a play about some Even Older Not-Poet Guys in togas who got into a fight about ruling an ancient empire. In true poetic fashion, the Even Older Not-Poet Guys had a bunch of tragic fighting, and then one of them organized a plan to stab the older one, who was emperor, so a bunch of angry people who also wanted to rule the ancient empire got together and stabbed the older one to death. He died, because that's what people tend to do when they get stabbed to death.
    was a bit breathless. I had to read it over a couple of times. I would suggest either being more explicit that you're making a Shakespeare reference or break it up a bit with another full stop in there rather than a comma.

    Personally, I'm a little sceptical about where this is going. The whole "homeland in ashes" thing could go either way - I often find grim Pokémon fanfics to be a bit contrived, but in all fairness I'm more than prepared to give it a go and see what you're going to do with it. Hope all this is helpful

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    Default Re: {some rise by sin} {prologue: the fault in our stars}

    Um, hi guys, turns out that real life hit like a truck and I got super-bogged down with school this week. I've got the chapters all loaded up for editing, but I just haven't had the heart to do it, and my unofficial beta-reader is taking her sweet time/is also bogged down with real life. Hopefully I'll get a legit chapter up by the weekend? :>

    However, I got reviews and they make me all warm and fuzzy inside. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, everyone! ^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Empyrean Symphony View Post
    Ah, Fault in Our Stars is on my to-read list. Alas, my real life is being a serious pain in the butt that I don't have time to read it. :P

    Anyways, this sounds like an interesting fic. I can't really provide constructive criticism. But I do want to compliment on the narrative prose, because I think it's very well-defined and independent. Your tone/syntax seems pretty consistent, almost believable for a narrator with its own kind of prose and rhythm. From what I'm reading, I keep thinking that the narrator is some teen who's not depressed but rather going through memories that is displayed through that kind of narrative prose.

    I'll be back to read more! :D DFTBA!
    OMG NOT TO SHOOT MYSELF IN THE FOOT BUT STOP READING FANFICTION AND READ TFIOS. NOW.

    ...now that I've caught your attention, you really should read TFioS. I'm a little obsessed with it at the moment, but don't worry; the idea of the fault in our stars is the only idea main theme that I'll be somewhat-taking from TFioS (or, for that matter, that I'll be somewhat-taking from any book, haha), and I swear I won't be a shameful Nerdfighter-Weaboo all the time, no matter how much I wish I could be.

    I'm glad you liked the narrator, though; establishing the tight voice that I needed for a first-person narrator (and especially this first-person narrator) was one of the more difficult parts about writing this story. I'm glad it paid off! And no spoilers, but your guess about the narrator is pretty spot-on. ^^

    *makes the Nerdfighter symbol and squees in excitement*

    Quote Originally Posted by Flaze View Post
    That was actually a really interesting Prologue. It was surprising how the protagonist just tells you what's going to happen, but at the same time it really made me think about what could've happened and that caused me to read more. It was a simple prologue but it was very philosophical in a way and we got to see a bit of the protagonist's personality thanks to it.

    You didn't make any mistakes in your grammar, I'll actually say it was perfect. Aside from that I don't have much to comment on except that this prologue accomplished what a prologue should accomplish, and that's making me want to keep reading and waiting for the next chapter.
    Haha, thanks! My English teacher last year mentioned that no one wants to read a story where they already knew the ending, so I figured it'd be fun to defy expectations a bit, and I'm glad that it worked. The next chapter's coming soon, I swear famous last words

    Quote Originally Posted by Pavell View Post
    Not bad at all. I happen to like journey fics. The voice of the narrator is consistent and feels believable, so kudos there. Technically accurate, though I thought that this:

    There was a saying I liked from one of those Old Poet Guys about whom I might've studied in more detail in school if I'd bothered taking a practical career or going to college instead of becoming an insurgent. This Old Poet Guy wrote a play about some Even Older Not-Poet Guys in togas who got into a fight about ruling an ancient empire. In true poetic fashion, the Even Older Not-Poet Guys had a bunch of tragic fighting, and then one of them organized a plan to stab the older one, who was emperor, so a bunch of angry people who also wanted to rule the ancient empire got together and stabbed the older one to death. He died, because that's what people tend to do when they get stabbed to death.
    was a bit breathless. I had to read it over a couple of times. I would suggest either being more explicit that you're making a Shakespeare reference or break it up a bit with another full stop in there rather than a comma.
    Woah, definitely see what you meant with that and tried to trim down my gratuitous commas and Confusing Capital Nouns of Doom. Hope it looks better this time?

    Personally, I'm a little sceptical about where this is going. The whole "homeland in ashes" thing could go either way - I often find grim Pokémon fanfics to be a bit contrived, but in all fairness I'm more than prepared to give it a go and see what you're going to do with it. Hope all this is helpful
    On a scale of grim-darkness, I would put this somewhere darker than the average Pokemon Anime episode (which, granted, is designed for children two-thirds of my age or less, I think) but far less dark than, uh... wow, I can't think of any dark fiction examples off of the top of my head right now.

    But yeah. Not that you can tell from the prologue, but this narrator is a conflicted teenager who is a little prone to over-dramatization and exaggeration. Fear not; I will not literally burn Johto to the ground through my writing, and hopefully the darker bits won't be contrived when they rear their little heads.

    Thank you, though. This was quite helpful! ^^ (especially the paragraph you highlighted; somehow, it made perfect sense in my head during editing, but I can't imagine how)

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    Default Re: {some rise by sin} {chapter one: the murder of carrion men}




    autumn




    i. the murder of carrion men




    When you went to New Bark Town to get your starter, you went alone. They kept that much from the old days, probably just for tradition's sake—there wasn't much else to remind us of the days before. They kept the laboratory standing, too, although I think that was more for an illusion of their ultimate control over the region rather than anything else. The traditional three starter pokémon had been replaced by an all-seeing xatu who judged you in that cold room, made the selection for your starter, and then presented you with your first pokémon on the steps of the laboratory for all to see.

    I waited until I was fifteen before I made the journey, but trainers of all ages were welcome. Waiting was probably a disadvantage, actually, but I hadn't had a choice—problems at home had kept me in Goldenrod five years after most of my friends had gone off on their journeys, and now problems at home were forcing me to follow after them. All I had to do was win a couple of badges and send the prize money back to my mother for six months; once I turned sixteen, the legal age of work in Johto, I was getting a job and settling down. End of story. Training was an excellent way to die.

    Come to think of it, in the five years that I'd spent at home while my friends travelled the country with their pokémon, I'd seen at least a dozen kids come back in coffins.

    I'd waited five years before taking the bus down to New Bark Town. And as I stood on the icy tiles of the laboratory, shivering, I wished I had waited longer.

    I tried to keep my thoughts, especially those of the rebellion-inducing variety, firmly in check when it was my turn to approach the xatu in its tiled sanctuary. The room was entirely devoid of furniture—only white floors and walls and ceiling. And the large, green bird splattered with red and white and black perched in the very center, oozing power. Its eyes were closed and it stood so still that, for a moment, I thought it was dead.

    That'd be really, really awkward.

    Having a single-party country run by the main branch of Team Rocket wasn't that bad so long as you stayed on the right side of the law, which also wasn't that bad if you were okay with the status quo. Which, as it turned out, wasn't terribly bad, either.

    I'd heard blood-soaked legends about how they came to their position of power, but that all happened well before I was old enough to read. By the time I was old enough to get my first pokémon, they'd mastered the dictatorship thing quite well. The stories said that Team Rocket overturned all of Johto with only two trainers who'd harnessed the destructive forces of a monster they'd created known as Mewtwo, but, fifteen years later, we don't see heads or tails of it. Apparently there was a good deal of slaughter involved. Kanto got burned to the ground in the process, and Johto fell to Team Rocket. Everyone here expected the worst when the Rockets began setting up a base in my hometown of Goldenrod. Perhaps they'd get a bunch of children to come to Goldenrod to fight to the death for no particular reason, or they'd start having their skull-and-seviper-branded assistants come and kill the bulk of the population. Whatever we were expecting, we weren't prepared.

    Instead, the Rockets diverted the Mewtwo's massive psychic prowess into powering the country's electrical grid and providing free, clean energy for everyone. They improved the route system. They founded hospitals and schools and charity organizations. They subsidized the cost of training for low-income families and distributed free starter pokémon to all citizens who wanted them. Basically, they did what the old government hadn't, as terrible as that sounds. If you ignored the fact that all opposition was violently and systematically scourged and that there was a massive network of psychic-types monitoring every inch of every city, you could almost forget that we lived in a dictatorship.

    I'd toyed with dreams of taking down the Rockets in my younger years. Nothing in seriousness, of course; no matter how carefully they censored the books, there was still enough to keep me wishing for a better life. And to an idiotic, unbroken kid, taking down the regime seemed possible: the two trainers credited with toppling old government for the Rockets fifteen years ago were only a year or two older than I was. It was doable, in theory.

    But the history textbooks said that the government back then was hilariously flawed, and I was actually inclined to believe that, despite the obvious bias in a one-party state's so-called textbooks. Team Rocket rose to power in a time when most of their grunts ran around with zubat and rattata. They were so disorganized that they almost got stopped by a plucky girl and her butterfree before they managed to hold their ground and strike back against the fearsome forces of a puny kid, her bug, and her half-grown starter. And then the Rockets got their act together, and basically everyone involved that wasn't on their side was publicly dismembered when Mewtwo came along.

    The Rockets gave out free starter pokémon to anyone who wanted one, all ages welcome—the only catch was that they picked your starter for you. It was a sign of their invincibility: every September, when the starters were distributed, a handful of dreamers would leave New Bark Town with bright-eyed starters and plans to take down the Rockets, and by January, there'd have been five or six hangings for treason in Ecruteak. The Rockets had the means and the technology to give far more efficient deaths than hanging, but then again, watching a person slowly suffocate before your eyes—traitors died the pirate's death, with a short rope that wouldn't snap their necks like a long one would—sent a better message. It was sort of like crucifixion without all of the Arceus imagery. The rest of the hangings would follow throughout the year, depending on the executives' mood. The message, at least to me, was clear enough. You were perfectly welcome to mount a rebellion. You were encouraged, even. And then you were facing a power against which you stood no chance, and you would die.

    Of about the dozen or so coffins I'd seen returning to Goldenrod, at least four of their occupants had died on public television. I'd watched. A couple of them had been my friends.

    But I couldn't think about that, couldn't be upset or angry or terrified or any emotion other than indifferent, because I was standing face to face with the Rocket's pet xatu and it was certainly doing more than sleeping.

    The eyes cracked open, though, glowing blue, and then I felt a presence in my head, one that was very much alive. I pieced together that it was the xatu's, and that was my last coherent thought before it touched every corner of my being.

    There was a violent wash of pain, and then I found myself on my knees, clutching my temples and gritting my teeth in pain. All of my thoughts adopted the consistency of melted butter, and I struggled to blink the spots out of my vision. The white tiles flickered black and purple before my eyes, and I desperately tried to understand what was going on. The xatu wasn't supposed to kill me, as far as I knew.

    Arceus, maybe I hadn't been keeping those thoughts hidden after all.

    But, no, I had absolutely no plans of doing anything stupid. I just needed a starter to help me through the first few gyms so I could get enough cash to stay alive for the next few months. That was it.

    They said the xatu could see the past, present, and future all at once, and it would give you, quite literally, your destined starter, based on the type with which you had the strongest affinity. Of course, you weren't allowed to ignore the Rocket's hospitality, so what the xatu gave you stayed. And if the all-seeing, all-knowing psychic bird told you that you should specialize in the water-type and gave you a magikarp, well, you would spend a lot of time training and raise yourself a gyarados. And if the all-seeing, all-knowing psychic bird gave you a poison-type or a fighting-type, you plead amnesty and swore fealty as quickly as possible.

    Also, it could read minds, so those handfuls of dreamers that left the lab with plans of taking down the Rockets almost always left with a poison or fighting-type to get blasted apart by Team Rocket's psychics later, and the kids with the steel and bug-types were given wide berths. So I really, really needed to keep those rebellious thoughts buried deep if I didn't want to meet a messy end in Ecruteak.

    The mental touch retreated hastily and diminished until it was only grazing me. {I apologize,} the xatu said, its voice surprisingly gentle, given that it had just shredded my mind. {I did not mean to harm you. Few trainers experience pain with telepathy.} It paused thoughtfully and surveyed me like it might survey a particularly delicious caterpie. {Interesting.}

    So I was interesting to it. Wonderful. Whatever response I had in my arsenal was lost in the wave of bright spots that filled my vision, so instead I found myself giving it an astute-sounding, "Unnnnghhhhh."

    {I have determined your starter,} the xatu said matter-of-factly. There was a pause, and then I felt the touch again, this time feather-light. He—the voice was certainly male—opened his eyes and looked squarely at me. I felt a chill go down my spine. His voice had dropped twelve octaves. {I knew you would come. And you did.}

    Granted, I had no idea what he was talking about, but I wasn't particularly psyched to find out.

    His eyes were rheumy and old and full of so much sadness that I stopped short. Here was the master of Johto's future, essentially, and he looked as wizened and tired as the dying trees in the Goldenrod Park. His feathers drooped and were tinged with silver, and as he spread his wings to fly to the entrance, several more fluttered to the ground.

    {Are you prepared?}

    If by "prepared," he meant "successfully having suppressed the urge to projectile vomit after a harsh attack from a psychic," then yes, I was prepared enough.

    I assumed that the bird didn't take sarcasm very well, and he could still read my thoughts, so I nodded instead.

    The xatu's eyes glowed blue, eclipsing the tired expression I had seen before, and in the harsh shadows that the light cast, he seemed omnipotent once again. Across from him, the doors flew open, and he teleported the two of us to the front of the laboratory without a second glance. There was no dramatic popping or queasy shaking of the ground; one moment I was facing the xatu, and the next, I was facing the open world.

    I'd expected him to waste a little more time on the small talk, honestly.

    There was always a small crowd in front of the laboratory at New Bark Town. Most of them were just prospective trainers waiting for their own starters, a handful of them were extremely bored residents, and the rest were Rocket agents looking out for the hapless idiot with the grimer or machop who would try to take them down in a few months.

    {There will be a long journey ahead of you,} the xatu said to me, not yet addressing the crowd. His voice seemed softer now, as if his words were meant for someone precious to him, and I was beginning to regret ever leaving at all. I could probably still go back to Goldenrod and sell my starter on the black market at this rate and get enough money to last until I could find a job. Yeah. That would be—

    {And your path will be far from kind.}

    That was nice of him. I could always use vague, unhelpful advice repeating what I already knew, and, too late, the thought began to occur to me. "You aren't going to—"

    {You will experience much loss, trainer. Be careful that you do not lose your way in the dark.}

    On second thought, I could do without dire predictions of my demise. If he ended up giving me a grimer or a—

    Before I could manage a response, though, the xatu turned to the crowd. {Have strength. You will need it,} he added to me before addressing the throng of people in front of him. {I have chosen a fitting starting pokémon for this child. It shall be…}

    In front of us, a pokéball flashed into existence. Teleportation again. Hesitantly, I reached out to touch it, as I knew I was supposed to. This was it. As long as it wasn't a poison or fighting-type, I'd be fine. Fade away. Be forgotten. Everything would be fine. I would leave no impression on the world. The candy cane-striped ball was cool on my fingertips and burst into a flash of red light that faded to reveal—

    A small bird, about the size of the pidgey that used to perch on the power lines in front of my house, materialized in the air in front of me. Its feathers, sleek and jet-black, jutted out in strange places, giving the bird the illusion of having a small top hat perched on its head and a small broom for a tail. Its beak and feet were bright yellow, and I could just make out a pair of beady, crimson eyes peeking out beneath the hat, taking me in even as I stared my new pokémon, the history books ringing in my ears as I finally understood that—

    {A murkrow,} the xatu next to me said proudly.

    —mother of Arceus, I was going to die.


    Last edited by Elysia; 7th January 2014 at 08:31 PM.

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    Wordsmith Pavell's Avatar
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    Default Re: {some rise by sin} {prologue: the fault in our stars}

    Hmm ... interesting. Ok, I'll be fair and stop being all mysterious. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. Overall, I enjoyed Chapter One. You've cunningly got round any problems you'd run into from writing a Rocket dictatorship by presenting it through the eyes of a teenager. The concept of the starter pokémon works just fine, I rather like the implication that Xatu does as it pleases rather than necessarily what the Rockets want.

    I will say that the reference to the games fell flat for me. More of a sly wink than a loud shout would have worked better on that score

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    The small giant Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: {some rise by sin} {prologue: the fault in our stars}

    Well I have to say. I actually quite liked that first chapter. We don't get to see a lot of flat out first person fics and certainly not ones that really dwell into the character's mind. I like this protagonist, even if he seems like the sarcastic type that's gonna get in trouble anyway the way that you made him out to be felt really fresh to me, plus the jokes were all pretty funny to begin with.

    There's not much to comment on aside from the fact that I still like the way you went about making Team Rocket into dictators, it's kind different and at the same time not...so like something that's not different but it's done in a unique way if that makes any sense. My only advise would be not to dwell into his mind too much otherwise narration will end up taking most of the chapters in the future.

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    Default Re: {some rise by sin} {chapter one: the murder of carrion men}

    Nice first chapter. Actually reminds me of Clouded Sky a little - wishing the protag luck..

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    Default Re: {some rise by sin} {chapter two: the burning sky}

    Responses:





    ii. the burning sky




    The second unusual thing about that otherwise normal, brisk autumn morning was probably what kept the Rockets watching in the crowd from killing me on the spot and was also not my fault. Apparently of its own accord, the sky filled with unearthly fire, the only occurrence more absurd than a murkrow and far-fetched enough to save my skin.

    That may have been an overstatement; basic knowledge of earth science or Christmas stories or what it was like to live in the north would've told me that, no, the sky wasn't literally on fire. But above me, the normally-blue, cloudless skies filled with dancing green and purple lights that I recognized only from books: the aurora borealis, blazing and alive.

    I'd always wanted to see the northern lights, actually, but I'd imagined seeing them where they belonged: the north. My mother's quiet apartment in Goldenrod barely saw snow each winter, let alone the northern lights, and cursory knowledge of geography told me that New Bark Town wasn't any closer to the arctic. Mahogany, maybe, but that was miles away. Both Goldenrod and New Bark Town were miles and miles too far south to see an aurora. Ever.

    So it really wasn't surprising that everyone, myself included, was entranced by the ribbons of green and purple that danced across the sky above us. The sirens started then, faint but certainly extant, whining from a distance like they'd travelled a good deal. I frowned. I'd heard these sirens before, in some sort of test, but I couldn't quite remember their purpose—partially because I wasn't the type to memorize the sound of sirens for fun, but also because, hey, the all-seeing, all-knowing xatu had decided to wake up this morning and ruin my life because wouldn't that just be swell.

    Speaking of which. The crowd was starting to notice. If the sky had been cloudy that day or hadn't decided to burst into flames, I would have been killed that instant, probably. The xatu gave me a murkrow. A dark-type in a world where dark-types had been made practically extinct when the Rockets took over long ago. I wouldn't have made a more welcoming target if I had started preaching anti-Rocket propaganda on the spot with, say, a croagunk and a semi-automatic.

    There was also the added reason as to why dark-types were extinct: it wasn't entirely because they threatened the psychics of Team Rocket, although I'm sure that was taken into consideration. Dark-types were vicious. I'd heard the stories. Children being snatched away by houndoom in the night, weavile tearing forest-walkers to shreds, murkrow ambushing city-dwellers and pecking their eyes out—the list went on. Pokémon were dangerous, yes; no one really enjoyed the thought that small children were given portable flamethrowers or hurricane-summoners on a daily basis. Dark-types, though, were deadly.

    And let's be real. This wasn't one of those times where I wanted to be special, like the "poor" girl in my elementary school class who could read eleven thousand words per minute, or the guy in the flat next door who could bend spoons if he closed his eyes and concentrated hard enough. This was the kind of special that would get me killed, and even though some quiet, curious, scientific part of me was saying something along the lines of, "wow, an extinct species; let's study it for science!" the rest of me understood the pressing danger.

    And besides. Dark-types meant evil trainers. The xatu picked us based on our type, so the dreamy boy who lived across the street from me ended up with a pidgey while the Sarah, who lived next door and was a second degree black belt, got a machop.

    Sarah came back home two weeks after she left—I assume that was the time it took her to get to Goldenrod on foot—turned in her starter immediately, and swore in public never to train again. She still gets dirty looks from the neighbors and she could barely register for schooling again.

    And that was just for fighting-types. I'd never head of a dark-type starter. I'd never heard of people using dark-types at all, actually—the whole murder-happy and gloom, doom, destruction thing tended to be a pretty big turn-off. Trainers destined to fail to overthrow Team Rocket got poison or fighting-types. Trainers destined to join them got psychics. Everyone else fell somewhere between. That was how the plan worked. Normally. And I didn't want to be special.

    A murkrow, judging from my own scant knowledge as well as the shocked-turned-dangerous expressions spreading across the Rockets scattered in the crowd, was a pokémon that spelled revolution. Not the bloody, glorious, do you hear the people singing sort of revolution, though. It'd be the revolution where the entire nation turned away from me and tried to kill me, because a revolution is a turning, and the xatu had deemed my fate to be a blight on the face of Johto.

    I was being melodramatic, and that wouldn't save me from whatever was going to happen next. I had to think about the facts.

    I'd never seen a murkrow before. There were pictures of them in books, along with other pokémon like umbreon and sneasel that were hunted almost to extinction, but here was one in the flesh. Or, feathers, really. The murkrow seemed absolutely oblivious to the commotion its presence caused in the crowd, the slack-jawed expressions of wonder that quickly faded to horror as they pointed at the black-feathered bird less than one foot tall that marked me as a hilariously unprepared target.

    The facts weren't kind. Arceus-damned xatu.

    Speaking of him. As the realization of what he had done to me sunk in, I turned to the ancient bird before me, my rage and fear blotting out my knowledge that the creature in front of me had sent me reeling in pain with a casual thought. On accident. "What are you doing!?"

    Turning myself in wouldn't help. Going home wouldn't help. The stupid birds were marking me for death.

    The bird remained calm. {I am sorry, trainer.} He shuffled his wings. {Fate has given you a hard path to walk. Did I not warn you?}

    "This is just a complicated way of saying I should specialize in flying-types, right?" I probably shouldn't have asked. It would've been better not to know. In fact, had I not known for certain, I could've deluded myself into thinking that I wasn't meant for this path, and things might've gone a lot differently.

    {No.} He shuffled his wings impassively. {I have looked into your heart and have seen much darkness.}

    Oh for Arceus's sake. "I'm not evil." I knew the mantra, drilled into our minds since birth, and there was the whole issue about dark-types killing everything they could. Unorthodox or not, there was no denying that this murkrow brought death. There was a reason that the murkrow travelled in murders, after all.

    The xatu gave me a bemused look that bordered on offended. {I never said you were, trainer. Darkness is not evil. It is simply unknown, and people fear that which they do not know. That is human nature. But you must be wise, child. You must not fall into such a simple trap.}

    "Please, I can do soul-searching on my journey, but I really don't want to—"

    He ignored my protests. Instead, he looked up to the sky, his sallow beak pointing like an arrow to the light show above us. {When the lights go out, you must run. But be careful that you do not lose your way in the dark.}

    And then the xatu that had sealed my fate teleported away, leaving me alone with a crowd whose intentions were slowly turning murderous while the sirens wailed and the skies burned all around me.

    The murkrow spread its wings and cawed.

    The third unusual thing—after the murkrow and the sky's lighting on fire—about that otherwise normal, brisk autumn morning was certainly what kept me alive in the days that would follow and was, once again, not my fault. It saved my life, though. An almost-literal deus ex machina, if you will.

    I looked at the murkrow, prepared to do—I don't know what, exactly—and then I stopped.

    In a single instant, the auroras above as flickered out as if controlled by a light switch. At the same time, all of the power lines around us lit up like torches, sending brilliant bursts of sparks cascading to the ground. The lights died, the sirens shut off, and everything went dark and silent. Literally, everything. There was no whir of air conditioning behind me, no hum of generators, no quiet illumination from the inside of the laboratory. Every single light in the town had gone off. Everything in the town had gone off. The silence began to worm its way into my ears as I stood, frozen and alone, on the top of the laboratory steps, goosebumps working their way up my arms.

    Approximately ninety seconds too late—eighty-eight, if I remembered my books correctly, which I probably didn't—I remembered what the warning sirens were for.

    There'd always been whisperings of a magnetic apocalypse, in the same sense that a herd of tauros killed Abraham Lincoln or Elvis lived among the hypno. The folks in Olivine always talked about it, but they sounded so absurd that no one paid any heed. Their theory was based in science, I guess, and while what I knew was certainly a watered-down version of the actual science involved, it seemed to work.

    The protective magnetic field around our planet had been weakening for a while now, but each region had its own way of dealing with it. Kanto didn't have any electronics to lose and matters couldn't get worse there anyways, so they didn't care. Hoenn captured Groudon and got geothermal energy and was careful not to use circuitboards. Sinnoh was protected by the very presence of Dialga, whose magnetic field was equivalent to that of a small planet's and deflected coronal radiation on its own.

    Apparently, Arceus had decided that having Team Rocket rule our country wasn't bad enough, so He made the very sun turn against us, spewing untold amounts of charged ions woven in with the light of the day. The magnetic field from the center of the earth kept us from being fried instantly, but it was fading.

    And up until now, Johto, the technological beacon of the world, whose legendary pokémon either lived unreachable high in the clouds or deep beneath the sea, had used an entire fleet of bronzong and metagross, courtesy of Team Rocket, to imitate the effect that Dialga had on Sinnoh's magnetic field.

    It was almost the most convenient kind of apocalypse, in a sense. There was no structural damage. The initial death toll was zero. The electric and steel pokémon population had their own internal protective mechanisms, from what I knew. The only creatures affected by it were the clever little imbeciles known as humans who had created powerful machines to do all of their work for them—powerful machines, as it turned out, that could be overloaded with a solid blast of coronal radiation.

    My first instinct was to look to the Rocket members in the crowd. They looked as horrified as I was, even the ones in executive dress, and I realized with a sinking feeling that they were just as surprised as I was. They hadn't disabled the bronzong-metagross field to hold our electricity hostage, or if they had, the operation had been so well-hidden that Arianna and Petrel, half of the executive core, looked confused about it.

    Speaking of Arianna and Petrel. They were likely going to order their grunts to detain me at the very least and execute me at the very worst. As a person who enjoyed having a functioning system of internal organs, I was in the mood for neither of these events. From my spot on the steps of the laboratory, I could see the reactions of the crowd clearly. Some of them were trying to open their pokéballs to no avail. Of course not. The pokéball system ran on electronic impulses, after all, and no one would be able to release or recall any pokémon until they fixed the grid. The pokémon in their balls would be kept in stasis until that, and—

    —none of them would be able to attack me.

    Unfortunately, this entailed getting the violent dark-type pokémon that would be my starter to, first, not kill me, and, second, go along with my plan.

    When the lights go out, you must run, the xatu had said, and now I understood the meaning of his words. Stupid psychics.

    I looked at the murkrow before me, the only pokémon not in a pokéball in the immediate vicinity. Blood pounding in my ears, I took a deep breath. I was probably going to regret this later. No matter. "Girl?" I asked it, ignoring the pressing issue of escape for a moment with the uncanny tunnel vision of the extremely stressed.

    The small black bird spread its wings angrily and cawed. I could check the gender with my pokédex, if I had the time, but, no, my pokédex was a useless lump of metal like everything else. It shook its head a little to help me out.

    Male, then. I could name him—

    My mind snapped back to survival again. The thing had wickedly sharp talons and a curved beak that could, from what the books said, cut up a caterpie in under six seconds. It would probably murder me in my sleep later, but in the meantime, it was the only pokémon in the immediate vicinity, so we'd have to work together if we both wanted to live. "Hi. I'm your trainer, and we're going to start running now. Objections?"

    The bird cawed at me again, this time less indignantly, but he didn't argue. He shifted his perch to my shoulder, allowed me to adjust my backpack, and then spread his wings, dark as the night, wide above his head. He craned his beak toward the sky and screeched. A chill went through my bones.

    The sound snapped the crowd back to reality, and I saw Arianna's signature red hair turn toward me, her eyes narrowing as she fumbled in her pockets for something. The pokéball was in her hands immediately, but I never saw her try to open it and fail, as I knew she would, because I was already shouting, "The redheaded one!" Thankfully my murkrow understood.

    The darkness pokémon launched itself from my shoulder in a flurry of black wings and flew straight into her face, letting out another blood-curdling screech as he did so. He tangled his talons into her hair, wings spread wide, and began pecking away.

    Mother of Arceus, I was going to die. If the Rockets didn't shoot me, the murkrow would murder me, no pun intended, and then—

    Other people, unsurprisingly enough, had caught wind that I had just told my pokémon to attack one of the Executives. There was no turning back now. I started running, half-checking over my shoulder to see if the murkrow was following me. On one hand, it had sort of listened to my command, although whether that was a reflection of its bloodthirsty nature and desire to murder everything or some tiny semblance of loyalty, I wasn't sure. On the other hand, if I kept it—

    The murkrow landed on my shoulder by the time I reached the tall grass bordering the route out of New Bark Town. No one had bothered following me. Crowd mentality, I thought, suddenly grateful, remembering distant lessons in school. Humans were bystanders, and they always assumed that difficult jobs would be done by someone else. And in this case, the difficult job involved taking down the blood-crazed murkrow, a species known for its uncanny love of devouring the dead.

    "So I'm stuck with you, then," I muttered darkly to the bird, casting one last furtive glance over my shoulder to the darkened city. I wondered how far the power outage had spread, and if all of Johto had this problem. Personally, I hoped so—it'd be better for me that way, and easier to disappear for a while. I could probably still turn back now, and beg for forgiveness, and maybe get off with a firing squad instead of a public execution.

    The murkrow cawed at me indignantly, fixing me with a bloody, one-eyed glare that burned from beneath the fringes of the top hat-like protrusion on his head. Well, don't just stand there, he seemed to say.

    We sprinted into the tall grass together.

    Last edited by Elysia; 7th January 2014 at 08:35 PM.

  12. #12
    The small giant Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: {some rise by sin} {chapter two: the burning sky}

    Well that chapter was a little short, but it was a pretty good chapter. However I do think that maybe making it a bit longer would've helped since it felt that not a long went on. I liked how you expanded more in regards to the state the world is in, and I'm interested as to what will happen since I can pretty much tell that something regarding the magnetic feel will keep popping out. I'm looking forward to the next chapter and seeing some more plot, I like to dwell into his mind but a story has to move.

    So what I'm wondering now is how long he'll be able to survive, either from the Rockets or from Murkrow.

  13. #13
    Wordsmith Pavell's Avatar
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    Default Re: {some rise by sin} {chapter two: the burning sky}

    Aha, the promised next chapter! Not bad, a lot of imagination in this one and the ideas are solid. I do feel the exposition slowed down the action too much though, especially since our protagonist is in fear for his life. I'll freely admit that I'm not very good at action scenes myself though, so I wouldn't blame you for ignoring that comment

  14. #14
    .______. Elysia's Avatar
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    Default Re: {some rise by sin} {chapter three: Icarus}

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    iii. icarus




    No one tried to follow us. That was relief enough in itself, until I realized why: they didn’t feel safe going into the tall grass without a pokémon of their own to defend themselves. Similarly, I didn’t feel safe going into the tall grass with only a pokémon I had just met to defend myself. Namely, a pokémon I had just met that was known for its capacity as a carrion bird, and one that had probably been hunted to extinction for good reason.

    Part of me really wanted to throw in the towel now. I could offer to swear loyalty to Team Rocket, give up training forever, and let them shoot the murkrow. That would probably be enough to keep them from marking me as a terrorist and starting a witch hunt, and I’d probably get out alive with the least amount of collateral damage.

    But as we ran further away from the city and the tall grass faded into dense forest, sense slowly replaced fear. They didn’t know my name, and I wouldn’t be in the trainer database for a long time because the database currently didn’t exist. All trainer records would be wiped out, and even if they managed to get the bronzong-metagross field up and restore power, I wouldn’t exist in them. The only way people would remember what had happened today would be by their own, fallible, human memories, and the eyewitnesses didn’t even know my name.

    In fact, if I showed up back at home at Goldenrod and claimed that the magnetic apocalypse—it was hard to believe that I was accepting this, and yet here I was plotting around the destruction of all things electrical—had struck before I got my starter pokémon from the xatu, no one would ever know the difference. Arianna might’ve caught a glimpse of a frightened fifteen year-old kid throwing a murkrow at her face, but would she be able to pick my face out of the chaos that followed? Dozens of trainers got their pokémon each day; the Rockets couldn’t possibly hope to sift through them all.

    So all I really had to do, actually, was ditch the murkrow. I could just forget the xatu’s cryptic advice, hide from the Rockets for a while, and throw the stupid bird at the nearest tree. He was a pokémon; he didn’t need me to survive—well, actually, he might’ve fed on my flesh later, if given the chance, but he could probably hunt on his own.

    As if sensing my intentions, the murkrow dug his talons into my shoulder. His claws easily pierced through the thin fabric of my shirt, and I hissed in annoyance as pinpricks of pain flared up on my shoulder. “For the love of Arceus, let go of my shoulder,” I snapped, thinking back frantically to what I knew from pokémon behavioral classes. I had to show that I was the alpha murkrow, or else things would get messy. But did murders of murkrow even have hierarchies?

    He cawed back in defiance, the sound unnaturally loud in the silent forest. I instinctively reached into my pocket to pull out my dented, second-hand pokédex to translate what he was saying, and I was already flipping back the plastic cover and fiddling with the power button before I remembered that, yes, I’d just watched the metagross-bronzong field blow this morning and take out all electronic devices with it, and, yes, my pokédex was an electronic device.

    Reality started to sink in then, albeit just a little. Pokédexes didn’t work. Phones didn’t work. Pokéballs didn’t work. Until the Rockets found a way to get the fake magnetic field up and running, and then fixed the power grid again—and no one had seen the Mewtwo for nearly a decade, although that meant absolutely nothing—life was going to be quite difficult. For instance, my starter pokémon probably wanted to kill me, and I had no idea if he was telling me this or not.

    “Let go of my shoulder,” I repeated firmly, turning to look at the bird perched on my shoulder. The murkrow’s beady crimson gaze met mine, and I swear I saw his eyes narrow. I tried to glare back as well to look as intimidating as possible.

    “No.”

    I thought I was hearing things for a moment. I stopped waving my arm through the air like a lunatic and held the bird up at eye level, squinting. My pokédex was short-circuited, so it couldn’t translate for me, but—“Did you just, uh, talk?” I knew some pokémon could talk—chatot, in Sinnoh, for example, had vocabularies of nearly four hundred words, and almost all psychic-types were telepaths.

    Of course, if the xatu had given me a chatot or a psychic-type, I would’ve been in a much happier place right now. Murkrow were in the same family as chatot, I guess—they were both birds, right?— and I’d never really seen one to know about its vocal habits because they were supposed to be mostly extinct. For all I knew, all murkrow were capable of human speech and tango-dancing alongside bloodthirsty murder and destruction.

    I kept my eyes pinned on the murkrow. He cackled at me, and then slowly and deliberately opened his bright yellow beak to croak, “No.”

    So we were going to die, murkrow could talk, and my pokémon had a sense of humor.

    Damn.

    “Look,” I said patiently, trying to ignore the fact that I was talking to a bird and would sound like a lunatic to anyone who dropped by. “Your pokéball is broken. It doesn’t work.” I pulled the empty sphere out of my pocket and waved it for emphasis. “I’m a—” I searched for the most frightening lie I could think of, but how was I supposed to frighten a bird that was literally known for being the harbinger of death? “—uh, ornithonivore. I, uh, eat birds all the time. You shouldn’t stay, or else I’ll eat you, too.” I paused expectantly. “Do you want to leave now? Because you can.”

    “No.”

    Yeah, I wasn’t really expecting much with that approach.

    I tried a different tactic: logic. Maybe the bird was smart enough to piece it all together. “For the love of Arceus, I don’t want to keep you. That means you don’t have to fight for me or train with me or do whatever else starter pokémon are supposed to do. That means you’re free.” I paused expectantly. “Now please leave me alone.”

    “No.”

    Of course logic wouldn’t work. I kept storming through the undergrowth, the tall grass whipping at my cheek. I sighed. I could hit him with a rock or something until he fainted, but he might've died, and I didn’t want that on my hands as well. And besides, I wouldn’t be able to catch another pokémon without his help, and I’d expertly maneuvered myself into the middle of a forest full of wild pokémon. If I miraculously managed to escape from the murkrow, I’d be a sitting farfetch’d surrounded by pokémon that, while no more powerful than the rattata in the sewers back in Goldenrod, would probably still overwhelm me easily in a horde. I sighed. “You can’t be my starter.” He tilted his head to one side. “I can’t keep you. They’ll kill me. Go away.”

    “No.”

    I didn’t even know where I was going at that point. It was becoming painfully more and more apparent that the murkrow intended to stay with me as long as possible, probably so he could kill me at night. “Is that all you can say?”

    “Yes.”

    I sighed.

    I was honestly curious to know how much English he could speak—purely for scientific reasons, of course, because I was not going to keep him. Chatot could hold lopsided conversations, but I doubted that murkrow were quite so competent. But until I could get my pokédex translator fixed, Icarus was my only means of communicating with other pokémon. He had the vocabulary of a rock, but he’d be quite useful in that regard. And, again, he was possibly the only captured pokémon usable in the immediate area, seeing as the pokémon in their pokéballs were unreachable, and the pokémon outside of them were mostly feral.

    The reasons, sadly, for keeping the murkrow were starting to pile up. On the other hand… “Are you going to kill me?”

    The murkrow shifted his feathers and snorted a little to himself. “Pity yourself already?” he asked, a condescending tone slipping into his voice. Could birds even be condescending? “Pathetic response to danger. Should fight or fly, not mope.”

    “Please let go of my shoulder.” Mother of Arceus, I was holding a conversation with a pokémon, my starter was a dark-type, and the bronzong-metagross field had gone down less than an hour ago. Very quietly, I pinched myself on the elbow. The murkrow took the liberty of nipping at my ear as well.

    Sadly, this was not a convoluted nightmare. In fact, as if to reinforce that fact, a pidgey burst out of the bushes at that moment, screeching angrily at us. I noticed the wickedly sharp talons and a long, curved beak, and I suddenly felt thankful that I had the murkrow before remembering that he might not want to battle for me at all, anyway.

    As if to contradict me, the murkrow immediately launched himself off my shoulder and into the air, spreading his jet-black wings and throwing back his head to issue a battle-cry that at least gave the pidgey some reason to pause. At the very least, the murkrow wasn’t going to hesitate about attacking things, even if he didn’t seem to have any qualms about attacking me, either.

    “Use, uh…” I trailed off. What moves did murkrow even know? I assumed that he could peck, seeing as he had a beak, but he could probably do something else. This was my first actual pokémon battle. I’d imagined this scenario several times before, although I’d never been stupid enough to imagine a murkrow. I felt like it should’ve been some momentous occasion, where I cheered the murkrow on while it pummeled the wild pidgey, and then maybe the murkrow almost lost but we pulled through with the power of love, and then everyone learned and grew from it in the end. Maybe a whole swarm of pidgey could come out, and I’d bravely stand in front of them and take the brunt of the hits so they wouldn’t hurt my injured murkrow, and then the murkrow would stand up for me, and then—

    I’d been watching way too many soppy television shows, it seemed.

    Instead, the murkrow made a sound in my direction that might’ve been a smirk before darting toward the pidgey, his inky-black wings marking his progress across the still air. The pidgey nimbly dodged out of the way of his attack and began flapping its wings to generate whirling jets of air that buffeted at the murkrow, but before they could do much damage, he’d already looped around in a tight somersault to avoid the compressed gusts of winds and was preparing to peck at the pidgey again with its beak.

    I was impressed against my will. This was by no means a high-caliber aerial battle, but it looked fairly awesome and everything was happening within a matter of seconds. Neither bird had managed to hit the other for much damage, but they both seemed to know how to handle themselves in airborne combat fairly well.

    Another thought occurred to me then. If the pidgey was a competent battler, I could catch it. At the very least, I could add it to my team so I’d have another pokémon with which to defend myself if the time came. And at the worst, I could replace the murkrow with another competent bird pokémon, no questions asked.

    At that moment, the pidgey jetted forward even faster than normal, cloaked in brilliant white light that I recognized as some sort of quick attack, and clipped the murkrow in the wing, sending him plummeting to the ground.

    I remembered then that I was a trainer and not a bystander, and a few seconds too late, I darted forward, trying to intervene or at least shout some words of encouragement to remind the murkrow that, hey, I really did care—which was only half of a lie, at the very least.

    My fears were ungrounded. The murkrow righted himself inches before his feathers touched the grass, and then he rocketed upward, slamming into the pidgey’s feathered midsection with bone-crushing force and sending the pidgey into a tree. The pidgey slid limply toward the ground, and I scrambled in my backpack for a pokéball, thinking fast. I could catch the pidgey and then scare off the murkrow myself, assuming the pidgey was going to be as useful against the murkrow as it had been here, and then I could pretend that the pidgey was my starter and I was a flying-type pokémon trainer. There. Problem solved. No death by Rockets and no death by murkrow.

    It would’ve been a great plan, too, if my pokéballs worked. It would’ve been an even better plan, except the murkrow, noticing the pokéball in my hand, leapt forward with renewed vigor and sunk its talons deep into the pidgey’s feathered chest, pinning the pidgey to the floor. He spread his wings wide and opened his bright yellow beak, preparing to tear into the pidgey’s throat. I could see the bloodlust reflected in the murkrow’s eyes, and I felt my blood go cold. The history books were true; murkrow were bloodthirsty killers.

    “Arceus!” I shrieked, resisting the urge to vomit was that blood? “Stop it!” I cringed away, fully expecting the murkrow to rip the pidgey’s throat out and then turn on me and attack me as well. But to my surprise, the murkrow lowered his wings and stepped off of the downed bird, making harsh cackling sounds under its breath but clearly bowing his head in submission.

    The pidgey staggered away, and we both let it.

    “What the hell were you doing?” I shouted, but the murkrow seemed to ignore me.

    Instead, he settled back onto my shoulder like nothing had happened, and it was hard to believe that the black scruff of feathers perched by my ears had been on the verge of gutting a pokémon not ten seconds before. “Do not want master to replace me.”

    He hadn’t killed the pidgey. Was the thing growing attached to me after all?

    And then I realized that the murkrow was smart, possibly smarter than I was, and the warm, fuzzy feelings were replaced with dread again. There was no point lying to him, at the very least; he was smart enough to know, and lying would probably incense him further. “Look. There are a bunch of people who think that dark-type pokémon should—”

    The murkrow glared at me with those beady crimson eyes again, and I found myself stopping short. I sighed.

    Whether I liked it or not, I was grudgingly impressed with the murkrow. So far, he’d done a good job of attacking anything I pointed him at, which seemed like a fairly useful skill. He was clever, he was vicious, and he was fairly strong for such a young pokémon, and he seemed to have some iota of trust in me. On top of all of that, he could talk, which was already setting itself up to be an invaluable skill, seeing as the translators were dead and I probably wouldn’t get a psychic-type any time soon.

    On the flip side, he’d either kill me in my sleep or get me killed by the Rockets. Maybe. He hadn’t killed the pidgey.

    Tough choice.

    Something about the bird struck me in the core, though. He seemed lonely and afraid, just like I was, even if I was doing a much better job of hiding it than he. What other pokémon would be afraid that its trainer would replace it within an hour of being caught? And the xatu had pegged me for darkness, after all, even if darkness wasn’t evil.

    He hadn’t killed the pidgey.

    “Your name is Icarus,” I said at last, sighing heavily as I tangled my fingers in the murkrow’s matted feathers and patted him gently.

    “Name mean little.”

    So he was smart, but he didn’t understand everything. I could deal with that. “Your name is Icarus,” I repeated, turning my head to gaze at the bird on my shoulder for the third time. “And that name is my promise to you that I won’t abandon you.” When the murkrow—my murkrow—cocked his head to one side in confusion, I sighed and continued, “There are a lot of nasty people who are going to try to kill you because you’re a dark-type, and I guess they’ll try to kill me as well. We saw some of them this morning, although there will be tons more.”

    That wasn't the start of it. I could feel myself standing on the edge of a cliff, teetering on the edge of destruction. After this, there would be no turning back. No easy way to return to the status quo. It would be like starting a fire, shooting a bullet, falling off a cliff: no matter what I did now, nothing would be the same.

    I paused, weighing my options. There would be no turning back from this. But he hadn’t killed the pidgey. The so-called harbinger of death and destruction hadn’t killed the pidgey because I’d asked him nicely to stop. What else weren’t the history books telling me? “Your name is Icarus, and I give you this name along with my word that you’ll always be my pokémon."

    His beady eyes narrowed.

    I plowed on, trying to ignore him as best as possible as I finished: "It’s a rough world out there, and we’ve got to stick together.”

    There was a long silence.

    “I see.” My murkrow tightened his claws into my shoulder. "Very well." He paused again. "Master."






    Before anyone starts the Burn The Mary Sue train on me, crows are actually capable of human speech. I read it on Wikipedia, so it must be true. One of the more interesting (at least to me) aspects of this world is how people communicate with their pokemon in the absence of easy translators, so rest assured; we won't be seeing super-much abuse of Icarus's translation skills--there will be quite a few limiting factors, most of which will start coming up in a few chapters.

    Also, this story is currently entered in the 2013 Autumn Awards for Journey Fic and Dark Fic! I know that we're only two (well, three now) chapters in, so there's not very much to go off of, but if you enjoy reading SRBS and feel that it's worthy of progressing to the next round, swing on over and cast your vote (and if not, there are loads of other awesome stories that could also use your vote that aren't written by me)! Thanks for reading, guys! ^^
    Last edited by Elysia; 12th December 2013 at 10:26 PM.

  15. #15
    Wordsmith Pavell's Avatar
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    Default Re: {some rise by sin} {chapter three: Icarus}

    Much better! A good read, this chapter. I like Icarus - he reminds me of Commander Mormont's raven ("Dead! Dead, dead!") with his obtuse speech. Good bonding ... well, uneasy alliance, I suppose. But it was fun to read. I think you may have missed something in editing early on in the chapter:

    Part of me really wanted to
    I assume that means "to go back" or something of that kidney, but you don't make that clear in the text

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