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  1. #16
    Fanfic Writer some colour no doubt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasons; Book 1: Autumn (Chapter 1)

    @AetherX;


    @Flaze;


    @Legacy;


    @Tophat Dragoneye;


    @Prof. Lugion;




    Chapter 2
    How did we get here?



    “Absol, again!”

    Samia's pokémon leapt gracefully through the air, claws and scythe crackling with dark purple energy. It landed silently onto the sandy training arena floor, padded feet cushioning its weight. With a flick of its head, dark energy shot off, smashing into the rapidly moving targets which buzzed around the arena. Again and again, Samia had Absol run through the training regime, as he had with the rest of his pokémon. Whilst they didn't necessarily need more training, after nearly a year of only basic activities, they certainly needed warming up.

    Samia leaned back, his legs crossed underneath him as he sat on the floor observing his pokémon. Behind him, Flygon lay curled up, its wing a soft rest for its trainer's back. The midday sun blazed ahead, coating the outdoor training arena in a warm light, comfortable enough for the desert pokémon to snooze in. Around the arena, hills rose which gave way to mountains. This was Samia's only sanctuary, unseen from the outside world, a place for him and his pokémon.

    Over the last few weeks Samia had gotten back into training, and the Committee had seemingly given up on convincing him to leave, and wisely did not bring the topic up with him again. If they wanted him gone, they would have to lay their hopes with whoever the challenger was, which, judging from the pokémon's performance in front of him, was not a very safe bet.

    Absol's speed was still as dazzling as ever, its legs almost a blur as it darted around the arena, hitting down the targets that were being shot out of retro-fitted clay pidgey shooters. Each dark-type attack was deadly accurate, swatting down the discs with frightening accuracy. The power behind the blows was devastating, the discs simply disintegrating upon being hit.

    “Absol, enough.” Samia called out, raising his hand, signalling his pokémon to cease the activity. Absol stood proudly, its snow white fur smooth and unruffled despite the physical exercise it had just gone through. Samia smiled. Still as strong as ever, just like the rest of his team. Reaching over to his discarded belt, Samia prised off one of the other pokéballs and opened it with a light click of the central button.

    With a flash of light, the small, diminutive Sandslash appeared, claws gleaming in the sunlight. Shaking itself, spikes popped up from its back from their locked position, signalling that the pokémon was ready. Samia nodded to the pokémon, and it plodded over onto the arena, its clawed toes clacking on the surface before reaching the soft sand.

    “Sandslash, you're on defence” Samia informed his pokémon, “Absol, you're on attack.”

    The two pokémon gave affirmative noises before facing each other over the training ground. Samia would give very little orders in these kind of situations as he liked his pokémon to take the initiative. In battle, it could mean the difference between victory and defeat. Absol stood perfectly still and deathly silent, whilst Sandslash gave a mouse-like chittering noise, its claws pointed towards Absol, back plates twitching in anticipation.

    With barely a whisper, Absol darted off to its left, leaving Sandslash to track its movements, rotating slowly on the spot. On the defence was where Sandslash held its advantage, waiting to out-endure its opponents. Absol moved quickly, red eyes surveying its target, probing for a weakness. Darting in, Absol laid in a few quick Slash attacks, which Sandslash moved quickly to counter with its thick rear hide, blocking the impacts with an impervious barrier of plates.

    The two pokémon continued the dance for several minutes, Absol darting around Sandslash, landing glancing attacks, searching for a weakness in the ground-types seemingly impenetrable defence. Finally, Absol had seen its chance. Keeping up its run to maintain the momentum for its attack, Absol bounded towards the stationary Sandslash who had now fully curled up into a ball, protecting its softer underside. Upon reaching the defending pokémon, Absol hooked its blade like tail underneath it and with a vertical push with the power of its back legs, launched the ground-type skywards.

    Sandslash's defence curl was broken as it left the comfort of the ground. The mousey pokémon began flailing as it hurtled through the air. On the ground, Sandslash held the advantage. In the air, it lost its discipline as instinct turned into panic. Absol ran once more around the arena quickly, building up speed, then leapt upwards after its target. Absol's speed allowed it to quickly gain the height above Sandslash, then with a powerful fore claw, spiked Sandslash back to the ground like a stray volleyball.

    Sandslash impacted back into the earth with a crash, raising a plume of dust as it around the inevitable crater it had left in the soft sand. Opposite it, Absol landed gracefully, body tensed, ready to continue. The dust cleared slowly, and through the cloud the silhouette of Sandslash could be seen sluggishly pulling itself to its feet. Finally clearing, Sandslash could be seen to be standing again, though a bit unsteadily. Nodding to Absol to show its readiness, the two pokémon continued the training exercise, Samia watching over their every move carefully, looking for where to improve or modify.

    “The famous Absol at work.” Came a feminine voice from behind Samia.

    Looking behind him, Samia saw Natasha stood there. She appeared to have let her hair down, her red locks flowing freely down the back of her white blouse. Her eyes were fixed on the two pokémon training in front of her, tracking their movements as best as she could, which with Absol was no easy task.

    Walking forward she sat herself down next to Samia, folding her skirt underneath her. Behind them, Flygon opened a goggled eye, but seeing no threat to its trainer or its nap, went back to dozing. Samia could see the look of awe on Natasha's face as she watched his pokémon, which filled him with a sense of satisfaction. After all these years, he still had it. Or more correctly, his pokémon still had it.

    “Even after all this time” Natasha said, leaning back onto Flygon as Samia was, “I still get a little bit excited when I see Absol in action. Makes me feel like a young trainer again, despite the fact I see him nearly everyday.”

    “He does that.” Samia replied, smiling.

    Natasha looked over to him, surveying him. “I remember seeing you for the first time, around seven, maybe eight years ago. Your battle against Lance was... amazing to say the least. I still recall your final play, Absol versus Lance's Dragonite at the Indigo Plateau.”

    “It was one hell of a battle.” Samia agreed. Lance had been a tougher challenge than he had had expected, as after already defeating Cynthia and Steven, he expected an easy victory. What he ended up with was a Dragonite that refused to go down, even with Absol laying in some of his most powerful attacks. “Probably the closest battle I ever fought.”

    “Even against the Grand Champion?”

    Samia frowned. He rarely thought of the Champion that preceded him. A quiet man, noone really knew much about him, even the regional champions. It was only upon Samia's claiming of the role that it became much more corporate and popular. Before it had seemed insurmountable to most of the competitive community.

    “After Lance.” Samia stated slowly, “I realised I would need a lot more training than I currently had to take on the Grand Champion.” Looking back, those were some intense years. He had travelled into the unknown regions for almost a year, perfecting his gift, bringing all of his pokémon up to a level believed unreachable by many and achieved by very few.

    “I heard about that.” answered Natasha. “After Lance, no one knows where you went. It was quite the talk in the international media if I remember right.”

    “I imagine it was. The first real potential challenger to the Grand Champion in twenty years disappearing? Must have been shocking...”

    Natasha punched him in the arm. “No need to be so sure of yourself. Trainers did have other things to deal with in that time you know.”

    “Oh of course.” He answered, rubbing his arm where the punch had landed. “I heard all about it when I got back, the whole “Team Magma did this” and “Team Galactic did that”. Quite frankly, they got what they deserved. You don't mess with a legendary pokémon. They are called that for a reason.”

    Natasha nodded. “I know. I was in Hoenn during the whole Team Magma/Aqua incident. Why they thought they could control those pokémon...” She drifted off. “Did you ever run into any legendary pokémon Samia?”

    Samia looked over to her, his blue eyes meeting her green. They held such conversations often, and over the years that Samia had been Grand Champion, they had learnt a lot about each other.

    “A few times.” He conceded. “Though I tend not to interfere with them. Legends look after themselves. When humans interfere, that's when it tends to hits the fan.”

    “I suppose you're right.” Natasha replied.

    The conversation died, and the two of them sat there in silence, only broken by the occasional clash between Absol and Sandslash on the arena floor in front of them, Samia's eye tracked the two pokémon, each impact jarring into his mental sense slightly, his gift allowing him to keep track of them, even without paying vast attention to their individual moves.

    “You've been together a long time, haven't you?” Natasha asked.

    Samia looked away from his battling pokémon, the memories of what they had been through coming back, bidden by Natasha's question. The battles, the adventures, the struggles. It had been a long time since Samia had travelled, but in his mind it was like yesterday, each battle vivid in his mind, each move, each blow replayed and analysed in his head over and over.

    “Yes Natasha”. Samia replied, “a very long time.”

    Samia place his arm on Flygon's neck, the smooth, sun-warmed skin comforting to him. Thinking back, he had been through a lot. He and his pokémon had grown greatly since he had left his home near Hoenn nearly eleven years ago.

    “I don't think I ever asked,” enquired Natasha. “Was Absol your first pokémon?”

    Samia came out of his thoughts. “What? Oh no, Flygon here,” Samia gave his pokémon a pat on the neck, “was my first pokémon. Got her as a young Trapinch when I was around ten years old.” Thinking back to that day, Samia could remember it perfectly, the vividness of his first pokémon, his excitement to be leaving the one pokémon town from where he came from and see the big wide world. Just him and his pokémon.

    “Really?” Natasha asked, sounding confused. “But I don't think I’ve ever seen you use Flygon for anything than transport. Absol and the others have always been your primary battlers, have they not?”

    “Not always.” Samia answered sadly. The thought of what had happened to his first companion was always an uneasy thought, even after many years had passed since the incident.

    Natasha looked over, her eyes tracing on the white scar that traced along Flygon's flank, understanding filling her expression. A wound like that was not something a pokémon could recover from. “What happened?” she whispered.

    Samia looked at his sleeping pokémon. Thinking of what had happened. The storm, the lightning, the screams. The guttural shouts of pokémon flooding around a mountain top basin. Blood-stained dirt and weeping trainers. It came flooding back to him in a whirlwind of memories laced with dark emotions. It was not a day he liked thinking about, not something he liked re-living. Wiping his eyes with the back of his sleeve, he turned to Natasha.

    “One day, I may tell you. But not today.”

    Natasha bowed her head, muttering an apology. She stood up, preparing to leave Samia to his training.

    “Two weeks Samia.” She informed him. “Two weeks until your challenger reaches here. Be ready.”

    Samia still had his eyes on the ground as Natasha left, deep in his thoughts. He heard the door to the building open and then slam shut in the breeze, though he paid little heed to it. The conversation that had been started was not something he enjoyed thinking about, as his miscalculation had nearly cost him and Flygon dearly. It had nearly...

    His thoughts were interrupted by a nudge to his shoulder. Flygon had awoke, and its deep eyes gazed into his own. Samia knew that look, as it had been one his pokémon had given him many times.

    “I know, I know.” He told his pokémon, pressing his face close to Flygon. Wallowing in the past got him nowhere. He had to concentrate on the present, on what was coming up. Looking up, he saw Sandslash and Absol had also ceased their activity, looking concerned at their trainer.

    “Don't worry guys.” he called out to them. Pushing himself up on his feet, he walked over to the edge of the training arena. Looking around, the mountain tops enclosed around him, hiding the training valley from the outside world, his own private realm. Around him, the three pokémon gathered. Closing his eyes, Samia felt their auras pulsating, each unique to its owner, from the deep gold of Flygon, the light tan of Sandslash and crackling purple of Absol. Each was like the eye of a storm, calm, yet at a moments notice ready to bring out unfathomable power.

    Opening his eyes, he surveyed his deployed pokémon whilst his hand ran over his now re-attached belt, the three remaining pokémon's power felt even through the metallic surface of the pokéballs. With his companions at his side, he could achieve anything, no one, not even this new challenger, was going to stop him.

    “We can do this guys.” He stated matter of factly. “Now Absol, Sandslash, back to it!”

  2. #17
    It wasn't much! Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Seasons; Book 1: Autumn (Chapter 2)

    The chapter was short but it was good. I think that it really gave a breath of fresh air from the last chapter, kind of so that the reader gets prepared for what's to come later. Aside from that you also did very well at dropping those little hints of foreshadowing in them, I did noticed that a few things were different but I assume that the huge differences won't come until the first arc is done.

  3. #18
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
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    Default Prologue-Chapter 2 Review

    Glad to see that this story is back. It started off just as I remember it, and the battles in this story, even though they were only in the Prologue, are still great. It was easy to picture the battlefield, and I think you did a great job of balancing Samia's perspective and the battle itself. One of the most defining moments in those few chapters is the unrevealed Flygon's backstory, combined with the fact that Samia was disgusted by all the people cheering for a battle, it becomes obvious that this trait can be his greatest strength and the weakness that can be abused; his compassion for Pokémon can cause him to be careful in battles, as whatever happened in the past with Flygon seems to have resonated with him, and I look forward to seeing how that plays out.

    There were a few spelling mistakes which can be fixed by proof-reading. Aside from those, it's a great start for a story, and if I remember correctly, the plot should be good as well!

  4. #19
    CEO of the Monsters Lugion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasons; Book 1: Autumn (Chapter 2)

    That was some interesting insight into Samia's character. It was good.

    I do think the technical side still has a few kinks here and there (mostly just run-on sentences and odd word usage), but nothing major.

  5. #20
    Fanfic Writer some colour no doubt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasons; Book 1: Autumn (Chapter 2)

    Hey guys, thanks for the responses and feedback.

    Just popping up to say that i haven't forgot/forsaken this! I've just been busy with uni work/moving etc... meaning i haven't had time to finish chapter 3.

    However, i will have it finished and ready to upload (hopefully) by friday! Watch this space!

  6. #21
    Poet Laureate AiedailEclipsed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasons; Book 1: Autumn (Chapter 2)

    Hm. This story is interesting to say the least, and I do remember from the years past (never read it though). Your mechanics (grammar, punctuation, etc.) are generally good. I only spotted a few errors here and there, nothing big. The story itself is interesting. I'm curious to see where it's going to go given the seemingly monotonous nature of it (it reads very much like an autobiography). I have to say, I like the idea of the "Grand Champion." It's an intriguing idea, to say the least. On that note, I'm mostly curious about who the Grand Champion was before Samia. And on that note, I have to say, I'm not a fan of Samia. If I'm being utterly honest, he comes off as a bitch and (dear God, I'm sure I'm gonna regret this as I really don't like this saying) a Gary Stu-ish character. Of course, I try to withhold judgments on characters till I know more about them, but just my current opinion.

    Anyway, I'm eagerly awaiting your next installment!
    "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it."
    -- Narrator, Pokemon: Jirachi Wish Maker
    "You can't change the world without getting your hands dirty."
    -- Lelouch Lamperouge, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
    "Do I have a stamp on my forehead that says, 'The National Spokesperson for the Plight of Black People'? How the hell should I know the black perspective on The Color Purple? That's it, if I don't change classes, I'm gonna hurt this fool. Teachers treat me like I'm some kind of Rosetta stone for African-Americans. What? Black people learn how to read, and we all miraculously come to the same conclusion?"
    -- Victoria, Freedom Writers
    "N's heart is pure and innocent. But there is nothing more beautiful and terrifying than innocence."
    -- Concordia, Pokémon Black/White 2

  7. #22
    Fanfic Writer some colour no doubt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasons; Book 1: Autumn (Chapter 3)

    @AiedailEclipsed;

    @Prof. Lugion;

    @Kyuuketsuki;

    @Flaze;



    So without further ado, here is chapter 3! A bit short, but next chapter will be longer, i assure you!


    Chapter 3
    The Challenger Arrives.



    “I don't care how official it is, it's a Arceus damned insult!”

    Samia was furious. Whilst he could understand the Committee wanting him gone, this was a betrayal too far.

    “Three versus three! That's what they have give me for the final? The grand final which decides who is the greatest trainer alive, and they give me three versus three?”

    It was the ultimate insult to him. A three v three final? Then why bother having trainers raise six pokémon? In his office, Samia paced back and forth, cloak thrown unceremoniously on the floor, leaving his arms free to help exaggerate his emotions. All his life, Samia had been a battler. He and his six had stomped through the competition on the way to his own ascension to Champion-hood. But now, they were changing the rules?

    He was venting his frustration to Natasha who stood meekly, unsure of how to handle this situation. Samia didn't care, he didn't really expect her to be able to help, but it helped to voice his upset.

    “Samia I’m sorry, there's nothing I can....”

    “Leave it out!” Samia's frustration was at breaking point now. “You must have known this was coming. Someone had to know!”

    Natasha looked down at her feet, shuffling uncomfortably. “No one knew. The committee must have...”

    “There are channels! It had to have gone through someone! Gym Leaders, Elite Four, Champions, somewhere, someone must have heard something!”

    Natasha mumbled something about excusing herself and left Samia's office, the heavy door slamming shut behind her.

    Samia regretted being so hard on her, as it wasn't really her fault. At this moment in time though, he had more pressing concerns. The challenger (who was some girl he'd never heard of) arrived today, and he had to pick three of his pokémon out for his battle against her. He vowed that once he had beaten her, things were going to change. The days of the idle Champion would be gone. He would pro-actively force through the right way to do things, as was in his power as Grand Champion.

    Exhaling loudly, he collapsed back onto his chair, the soft leather comforting his body pleasantly. On the table in front of him, six red and white pokéballs lay, waiting for him to make his decision. He could take any of them (with the exception of Flygon of course) and be extremely capable, but it still set him back. He had trained as a six pokémon trainer, so this set back threw him off, but didn't dent his confidence too much.

    Reaching forward, Samia made his decision. In truth, as soon as he was told the changes he knew which pokémon would be those who would accompany him. Though all of his pokémon were tried and tested, the majority of them having been with him since he was ten years old, he knew who he would take into the battle. Samia plucked three pokéballs of the desk, attaching the smooth, cool spheres to his belt.
    “Sorry guys,” he addressed to the remaining pokéballs. “I'll make sure you get used next time.”

    He truly meant it. It pained him leave some of his companions behind, but he had little choice in the matter. The rules were concrete and he could find no loophole around it. Three pokémon, three pokéballs. Nothing else. Picking up the remaining three pokéballs, Samia walked to the other side of his office, placing them on a raised cabinet. They would be safe enough in here, as the door would be locked and only he could open it. Not that he was truly concerned. Here at the league, no one would attempt such a thing, as his pokémon had become so accustomed to his touch of his mind that if anyone tried to take them, they would not have a pleasant experience.

    Leaving the room, Samia walked down the identical corridors, heading for the atrium. His challenger would be arriving soon, and he wanted to get a scope of the person before they met in the arena. The corridors twisted and turned before opening out into a large lobby, complete with white tiled floors, a gently splashing fountain and a large skylight which coated the room in the warm evening sun.

    The atrium was the largest area in the entire league building (minus the stadium) and often filled challengers with a sense of awe. After years of travelling through it, Samia had become irritated by it. In comparison to the rest of the building, it was a horrific waste of space. The ceiling was too high, the fountain took up too much room and the sunlight was amplified by the skylight, paining his eyes. If anything, this was the best example of what the league had become, flamboyant and large, seemingly imposing, but on a closer look, inefficient and obsessed with wealth. Samia hated that he had been a part of this change, and that as Champion, he had done nothing to stop it.

    As he walked across the room, his footsteps echoed around the large room, the tiled floor emphasising the fall of his boots. The fountain approached as he walked across towards the large glass double doors, which seemed to have some form of commotion outside of them. There were large flashes and the sounds of people bustling around. Journalists. Paparazzi. Photographers. Fans. All of them here to see the challenger, to see the meeting between the two opponents, to see the build up before the match, the calm before the storm.

    The glass doors opened smoothly and silently, revealing the horde of people outside, photographers battling for shots, security guards restraining them back. And down the centre, the challenger came. She walked with an assured confidence, her head held back, white blonde hair whipping in the wind behind her. Her green eyes twinkled as she surveyed the crowd, waving and posing as she walked toward the league building. Her clothing was the typical simple garb of a trainer. A thick black leather jacket lay over a faded red t-shirt, hiding her forearms from the harsh winds of the mountain range where the league resided. Her footfalls landed softly in clad boots onto the paved stones which led to the doorway, each step bringing her closer, closer to Samia, closer to the Champion.

    She stopped a few feet in front of Samia, and at her full height she came up to the base of his neck. Her eyes locked with his, and Samia saw steel there, a will to win. Samia held out his hand in anticipation for a handshake. No point being impolite.

    Or so he thought. The girl look at his proffered hand like he had offered her a dead rattata. She looked back at his face, a silent rage behind her eyes.

    “Oh great champion Samia.” She stated sarcastically, finishing with an exaggerated bow.

    Samia took a step back in shock. Here was a new challenger, meeting the champion and she was... mocking him? Samia didn't know how to react. Most trainers treated him with respect, some with adoration, but never disdain as this girl had.

    Evidently his shock had crossed his features. “What? Expecting me to grovel at your feet, oh great and glorious champion?” She asked, her voice still laced with sarcasm. “I don't think so. My name is Alanah. And i'll be taking the title of Grand Champion from you in but a few hours time.”

    Samia, for once in his life, was speechless. The blatant disrespect this girl showed, tied in with her general attitude towards the league, was something he had never encountered. The cogs in his mind churned and clunked, but no retort or reply came to him. He simply stood their, dumbstruck at what was occurring.

    In his silence, Alanah had taken to gazing around the room, though sneering may have been a more accurate description of how she seemed to view the atrium.

    “What a monument to the decadence of the league this is.” She stated matter-of-factly. “Do I have a room, or should I just sleep in here?”

    Samia's mouth opened and closed like a beached Goldeen. Unbidden, a golden-clothed porter came out from a side door, bowed slightly to Alanah (which surprised Samia, he couldn't recall such treatment when he arrived as a challenger), and led her away to her room. She gave Samia one last distasteful look before following the man away.

    Samia was shaken slightly. For the first time, he was unsure. Normally, he knew exactly what to do, how to do it, when to do it. But now? This girl, she had affected him. If it was just a mind game, it was very clever, as it was working. Never before had he encountered someone so sure of themselves, with so much disgust at their opponent. Walking back to his room, Samia was still unsure of how to handle this. He regretted not watching the qualifiers, and cursed his arrogance for it. He now had no idea what he was up against, other than the fact that this trainer was more sure of herself than any he had fought in the past. Even the Champions and leaders had hesitated or been concerned when facing him, but this... girl, she held no such reservations.

    There was no time for research he realised as he walked back to his office. A cold pit formed in his stomach. This girl would have seen all of his battles, all of his pokémon, and he knew nothing about her. The walk back to his office seemed to be over far to briefly, and he walked in and sat back down in the cushioned chair.

    His hand traced over the pokéballs at his waist, and his nerves dissipated. What was he worried about? He had fought worse and been in worse situations. The cool spheres were comforting to the touch, the aura's of each of his pokémon reassuring him, strengthening him. With his pokémon at his side, he was unstoppable. No trainer had beat him yet, and it sure as hell was going to happen today, at the hands of some over-pretentious girl. He would send her weeping back down the mountain path as he had every other challenger.

    His thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door.

    “Enter.” Samia called out in his typical fashion.

    The door opened smoothly and Natasha poked her head around sheepishly.

    “Samia? Are you okay?” she asked hesitantly

    “Yes, thank you.” Samia realised he should probably apologise as Natasha edged into the room. “And Natasha, I'm... I'm sorry for snapping at you earlier, that was not proper of me.”

    Natasha bowed her head, red locks bouncing with the movement. “It's okay. I understand why you're upset, I would be too in your situation.” She stepped forward and sat on the desk just across from Samia. “Are you ready for the match later?”

    “I believe so.” He replied, leaning back on his chair. “Just a few hours remaining until this girl gets to battle the Grand Champion.”

    “I'll be rooting for you.” Natasha stated, “I'd wish you luck but I doubt you need it.”

    She stood up, surveying Samia. “Before I go, is there anything you need?”

    “Just some water please.” Samia stated. He didn't want to waste much time, so he would have a simple meal and then head down to the stadium.

    Natasha curtseyed, backing out of the room. She returned quickly with Samia's water, and then left to finish her duties for the day.

    Sipping his drink, Samia began to mentally prepare himself for the match to come. He slowed his breathing down to a crawl, running practice plays in his head. Whilst he may have not enjoyed being Grand Champion, pokémon battles were what he lived for. A familiar rush began to tingle his senses. The pokéballs on his waist quivered, his excitement spreading through his link with them, permeating through the metal casing into the soul of the pokémon within.

    The time before his match seemed to fly by. He ate his simple meal of noodles, drank some more water and continued to mentally run through his moves in his head. All his strategies, tactics and moves flew around, their applications, strengths and weaknesses all being weighed up in potential scenarios.

    A beep echoed around the room, and Samia opened his eyes. It was time. Making his final checks, Samia stepped out of the office, heading into the corridors. His steps followed to route with a memory burned into his muscles. The roar of a crowd could be heard throughout the building. The thuds of thousands of spectators, all gathered for this one event. This one battle.

    The corridors widened out, a brightly lit opening shielding the exit to the stadium. The noise of the crowd grew louder as he approached, and a thrill traced through him. All the business, all the meetings, all the talks. They were irrelevant. He began to step towards the light, each step increasing the intensity of the crowd noise, each step spreading the rush through his body, enveloping him. His battle with Alanah awaited.

    He was Samia. He was the Grand Champion. This was what he lived for.
    Last edited by some colour no doubt; 13th April 2013 at 04:49 AM.

  8. #23
    Poet Laureate AiedailEclipsed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasons; Book 1: Autumn (Chapter 2)

    This was a good update. Short, sweet, and to the point. Again, I didn't notice any glaring errors (but to be fair, I'm in a bit of a hurry). As for the content... It's interesting. I'm a bit astounded that he's yet to encounter someone with this kind of attitude. Just out of the sheer odds that someone would eventually get tired of his attitude. I know I would, lol. One small gripe: you don't really introduce Alanah. What I mean is that, we know her as "the challenger" for the past two chapters or so (really the last half of the last chapter and the first half of this one) and then all of sudden without much fanfare we get her name magically. It isn't brought up, it's just stated by you as the narrator. I'm not sure. Something about that just struck me a bit oddly. Probably one of my little twitches, so feel free to ignore me.

    Anywho, great chapter! I can't wait for the next one.

    EDIT: Also, glad to hear that I'm not crazy and that he'll become less of a Gary Stu. ;D
    "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it."
    -- Narrator, Pokemon: Jirachi Wish Maker
    "You can't change the world without getting your hands dirty."
    -- Lelouch Lamperouge, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
    "Do I have a stamp on my forehead that says, 'The National Spokesperson for the Plight of Black People'? How the hell should I know the black perspective on The Color Purple? That's it, if I don't change classes, I'm gonna hurt this fool. Teachers treat me like I'm some kind of Rosetta stone for African-Americans. What? Black people learn how to read, and we all miraculously come to the same conclusion?"
    -- Victoria, Freedom Writers
    "N's heart is pure and innocent. But there is nothing more beautiful and terrifying than innocence."
    -- Concordia, Pokémon Black/White 2

  9. #24
    Rocking the Lucario Thundagere's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasons; Book 1: Autumn (Chapter 3)

    I had a huge reply typed up, which I just lost because of my lovely internet. I'll post more in depth on the next chapter though.
    Despite the fact that this chapter was a lot of transitioning, I really enjoyed it. You've done an excellent job characterizing Alanah, and I'm honestly afraid that she's actually going to win! (couldn't bear that, not with the way you've characterized her). I honestly enjoyed this chapter fully, and I'm interested to see what's coming next!
    Like I said above though, I'm literally praying that Samia won't lose to Alanah.

    Made by Blue Dragon!

  10. #25
    It wasn't much! Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Seasons; Book 1: Autumn (Chapter 3)

    Well the next chapter will finally be the start of the battle.

    Alanna's finally reintroduced in this chapter as well as her bitterness for Samia, this is probably one of the things that I didn't forget from the original version now that I think about it xD. On that note, I also noticed that there hasn't been any mention to Samia's past as there was in the old version, though I'm sure you're keeping it saved.

    It'll be interesting to see what kind of angle you take in the battle as opposed to what you did before, but I'm sure you'll do great.

  11. #26
    J'ai Envie De Toi AetherX's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Seasons; Book 1: Autumn (Chapter 3)

    Picking up the remaining three pokéballs, Samia walked to the other side of his office, placing them on a raised cabinet. They would be safe enough in here, as the door would be locked and only he could open it. Not that he was truly concerned. Here at the league, no one would attempt such a thing, as his pokémon had become so accustomed to his touch of his mind that if anyone tried to take them, they would not have a pleasant experience.
    This is either foreshadowing or kind of needless extra description. I can't tell xD

    Great job with Alanah. I also really liked Samia's reaction to her. I don't honestly know whether he'll win or lose. I can think of ways for either one to lead on to the same basic story from the first iteration. Only time will tell...

    Can't wait for more!

    Unpredictable - Fan Fic
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  12. #27
    Fanfic Writer some colour no doubt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasons; Book 1: Autumn (Chapter 3)

    @AiedailEclipsed;
    Yeah sorry about that Alanah thing, but i edited it so its all good now, not perfect, but makes a bit more sense :P
    The thing is with encountering someone like this, is although he would have encountered confident trainers before, Samia is kinda used to having an aura of respect when people talk to him, for both who he his and what he has achieved. At least that's what i'm going with :P Thanks for the comments!

    @Thundagere;
    Glad that i managed to characterize her right then! And yeah, the battle between Alanah and Samia is going to be in the next chapter, so you'll just have to wait and see. Thanks for reading and i appreciate the comments :)

    @Flaze;
    I'm keeping Samia's past a bit more under wraps this time, but over the story more will be revealed but i don't just want to chuck it all out at once.
    and yeah, Alanah is very much the counter to Samia, and hopefully i can give the battle between the two of the justice.

    @AetherX;
    no comment :P
    haha, not gonna spoil anything about plot, so keep on guessing.






    Thanks to everyone else who read this, i hope your enjoying it!

    Coming up on 19/04/2013
    The battle between Alanah and Samia!

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    Fanfic Writer some colour no doubt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasons; Book 1: Autumn (Chapter 4)

    Tags first.
    @AiedailEclipsed;
    @Thundagere;
    @Flaze;
    @AetherX;
    @Prof. Lugion;
    @Kyuuketsuki;
    @Tophat Dragoneye;



    Chapter 4
    Long Live the Champion


    The gravelly sand crunched under his feet as he entered the arena, each step taking him closer to his spot. The rectangular trainer area approached, designated by the white lines which made up the basis of the arena. On the opposite side, around a sixty metres away, stood Alanah, her white blond hair now pulled back into a ponytail, keeping her face clear. In her right hand was a standard red and white pokéball, which she was tossing up in the air and catching repeatedly.

    The arena itself, well, that had changed greatly since Samia had been challenger. Whilst the building itself was still the same, with the three metre high granite walls and high rise stadium seats stretching into the sky, they had become plastered. Almost every surface, anywhere big enough had advertisements on it. Various companies had their brands present, from soft drinks to video games. Around the edge of the arena, brightly lit billboards cycled through their messages, urging people to buy whatever it was they were selling. All around the stadium, the great beast of a crowd roared in unison as Samia entered the arena, anticipating the battle that was to commence.

    To some, they might provide a distraction. To Samia, they weren't even there. He saw only two things, the sandy arena in front of him and his opponent on the other side.

    The eyes of the two trainers met across the hallowed ground, and the crowd grew silent. Samia's hand danced across the surface of the three pokéballs at his waist, his companions auras pulsating as they felt his touch through the metallic shell. The three remaining holsters made his waist feel empty, as if he had forgot to put on one of his socks. Not having his six companions with him was... odd and unsettling. Opposite him, Alanah stood, tensed, her hand slowly moving toward her own pokéballs on her hips.

    “BEGIN!” Boomed out the voice of the stadium announcer.

    Instantaneously, Samia's hand plucked the first pokéball from his belt, freeing it from its holster. Alanah too had her pokéball out. Simultaneously, each trainer threw the balls into the air. Across the arena, Alanah's mouth formed soundless words, too distant for Samia to hear, but it was of no matter. He didn't have to declare his pokémon.

    Reaching the height of their climbs, the pokéballs burst open with a pop, gushing out bright white lights, which immediately began shooting towards the ground.

    His foe began to materialise first, the white light condensing into a vaguely humanoid shape. Yhe lower half formed first, showing powerful white legs slowly transitioning into a green torso. Thin arms crossed in front of its chest, and a helmet-like-head materialised out of the light, showing harsh red eyes. From the pokémon's elbows, large green blades sprouted, ready to inflict damage.

    Gallade. Samia smiled. This was going to be interesting. In front of him, his own pokémon had fully arrived now. Bouncing on its large green legs, it turned its mushroom head towards its trainer, giving a nod of reassurance. The rest of its body shook, and the fighting type pounded its red, claw-like fists together in preparation.

    “Okay Breloom.” Samia called out to his pokémon. “You know what to do.”

    Across the arena, Alanah was giving her own pokémon instructions as it hung back at the edge of the battlefield. Across the large speaker system, the announcer began calling out the names of the pokémon and their past victories. Two twin screens lit up on either end of the arena, showing portraits of the deployed pokémon. Samia paid them little mind, they were for the spectators, not the combatants.

    Breloom kicked out its large muscular legs one last time before stepping calmly towards of the centre of the stadium. Opposite, the Gallade brandished its arm blades and approached Breloom cautiously.

    The two pokémon arrived at the centre ring, staring each other down. Their toned bodies tensed as they assessed each other. Alanah was no fool. She committed to no early attack, not risking exposing her fighting type to a potential counter. She waited, waited for Samia to move first.

    If that's what she wanted, that's what she would get.

    “Breloom!” Samia called out simply. Nothing specific, nothing fancy would be needed at this stage, he trusted his pokémon's intuition when it came to this kind of fight.

    Breloom sprang into action. Its powerful legs flipped it forward into a roll, catching Gallade by surprise. Breloom's tan tail came spinning overhead, followed by the full weight of the pokémon. Gallade attempted to block, throwing its arm blades upwards, but it had suspected a direct attack, not something from directly above. Breloom's tail impacted heavily on the top of its foe's head, sending it face first into the ground as the force of the blow knocked it off its feet. The psychic-fighting landed hard into the arena surface, blasting up a cloud of dust as its face was unceremoniously smashed into the sand. Finishing its move, Breloom back flipped to its standing position to a roar from the crowd. Breloom again bounced on the balls of its feet, its beak issuing out a harsh clicking sound.

    The dust around Gallade began to clear, and the pokémon was still face down in the ground. Samia chuckled to himself. That was easier than he thought. Perhaps this match wasn't going to be an issue. Looking over to his opponent, he expected to see fury or anguish across Alanah's face, yet she remained calm, and Samia saw why. Gallade was slowly getting to its feet, visibly shaken from the last attack.

    “At last, a challenge.” Samia said to himself.

    This time, Gallade held nothing back, and began sprinting over to Breloom (who had now backed into its own arena half). Samia's pokémon raised its guard, preparing to take its foe's attack. As it approached, Gallade leapt into the air, spinning as it did so. Its arm blades whipped viciously around as it spun towards Breloom, gaining momentum.

    Reaching the apex of its leap, Gallade fell towards Breloom rapidly. Samia's Pokémon tensed as it prepared to block. Gallade's attack came spinning in, whistling towards its targets head. Breloom ducked under the first arm blade, which cut through nothing but air. The second blade was caught by Breloom's sharp red claws, stopping Gallade in its tracks. The pokémon struggled to free itself from Breloom's grip, but not quick enough. Winding back its body, the grass-fighting pokémon threw a powerful punch, cracking into the chest of Gallade. The pokémon was hurtled backwards by the force of the blow, its legs leaving trenches through the sand where it tried to control its movement.

    The crowd roared even louder now. Two brilliant executed moves by the champ, both on attack and defence. Samia smiled again, his heart racing. This was where he belonged, in the arena, not behind some desk.

    “Okay Breloom!” Samia called out, “Let's do this properly. Skyward Uppercut followed by Mach Punch!”

    Breloom gave a nod of affirmation before heading towards its target. The combo was something they had drilled many times, and if done right, would finish off the shaken Gallade who was still reeling from a clearly unexpected counter to its attack.

    What happened next seem to happen in slow motion to Samia. Breloom reached Gallade, it right fist coming underneath the pokémon to commence with a Sky Uppercut, but the attack did not connect. Gallade leant back, narrowly avoiding the attack whilst at the same time drawing back its own arm. A psychically charged purple crackle ran down the arm blade, as it was drew back, and like a striking Arbok, lunged forward catching Breloom dead in the chest.

    Breloom recoiled from the impact, unable to complete its instructed combo. Gallade spun again, landing a flurry of jabs and slashes. Breloom couldn't get out of the danger zone, and couldn't react to the blows landing to it. Samia knew that no orders he shouted would be heard in the tempest of blows, but he was confident it could withstand the attacks.

    After what seemed like an age, Breloom managed to duck out of Gallade's hit reach and back-pedal towards Samia. The fighting type panted, much of its upper body covered in bruises. Cracks ran across the back of its red claws where they had blocked the lethal arm blades from making substantial contact. As it looked back toward Samia, he winced.

    Breloom's face was a mess. A large cut ran from the mushroom top to its chin, oozing out blood. Its right eye was sealed shut by a large bruise, giving the pokémon's face a swollen appearance, the once pristine tan skin turning shades of purple and black and the damage took its toll.

    “You okay buddy?” Samia asked.

    Breloom nodded slowly, then turned back to face its opponent a bit more hesitantly than before. It had been a long time since Breloom had suffered a flurry of blows like that.

    Across the arena, Gallade swung its arm blades in triumph and behind it, Alanah smiled smugly. Samia ground his teeth. He knew exactly what had happened. He'd got overconfident and gone for the knock out blow too soon, playing right into her hands. She knew the combo (which Samia had used several times before) and thus had trained Gallade to recognise it. She was playing him.

    “Breloom! Time to mix it up! Use Bullet Seed!”

    Breloom brought its large tail over its right shoulder, aiming like a trained trooper. The four seeds on the tail quivered and began to rumble. With a satisfying crack, the seeds hurtled toward Gallade, who nimbly back flipped out of the way.

    “Keep it up!” Samia shouted to his pokémon.

    The seeds quickly regrew, and as they did Breloom fired them down the field toward Gallade. The fire was rapid and Alanah's pokémon was giving it its all to keep from taking a hit. Spins, flips, rolls, all were being employed by the pokémon to dodge the Bullet Seed. Each missed seed smashed into the arena wall, leaving craters and spiderweb cracks in the promotional billboards, the electricity dying in them as they shattered from the impacts.

    Gallade began to run around the edge of the stadium now, forcing Breloom to track it. The grass pokémon turned, constantly firing the seeds after its sprinting target and eventually, one made contact.

    One impact was all it took. With Gallade's speed, the blow sent it spinning as it tried to contend with the high velocity attack. Breloom saw its chance and began running toward the stumbling Gallade, whose first experience after steadying itself was Breloom's fist being rammed deep into its stomach. The pokémon doubled over, coughing up a line of dark blood as its organs suffered the blow. Breloom followed with a high powered kick, sending Gallade hurtling back towards the centre of the arena, crashing off the ground as it impacted.

    This time, Breloom gave no respite. It was angry from suffering blows from Gallade, so it was finishing this now. It propelled itself forward, chasing Gallade, who was slowly getting back to its feet. Again as it barely recovered, Breloom was on it, but this time it was ready. The two pokémon duked it out, dodging and weaving, neither able to connect a blow.

    Samia frowned. This Gallade was tough. It had suffered a series of powerful attacks yet managed to keep contending with Breloom, who was one of the most powerful (if not the most powerful) fighting types in pro battling. It was time to end this, Samia would connect with Breloom, get rid of this Gallade and then give his pokémon a well deserved rest.

    As the two pokémon traded jabs, Samia closed his eyes, calming himself. His body relaxed, his breathing slowed. He reached out to connect with Breloom as he had done countless time before.

    Yet he couldn't. Samia heaved. His head was spinning as if he had just run a marathon. He had felt no aura, no connection with his pokémon. His body convulsed as a unprecedented wave of fatigue hit him. Nothing in his past had felt like this. He stumbled in his zone, and as he opened his eyes, what saw him made things even worse.

    Breloom was on the defensive. Gallade's attacks were becoming more offensive. Breloom was using all of its skill to simply stay in the fight at this point.

    Samia's mind spun. He couldn't think. What was he doing. What was happening? He knew he needed to call out orders to his pokémon but his mind drew up blank. In the battle, Breloom squawked desperately, asking for help, to which none was forthcoming. Samia was swaying, his arms heavy and mouth dry as his mind tried to catch up, to process what was happening.

    He could see the pokémon fighting in front of him. See Gallade land a succession of blows which sent Breloom sprawling spread eagled to the floor. He saw Gallade leap into the air, its arm blades wreathed with a psychic fire. The attack ended it. Breloom could take no more.

    There was a hesitance even from the announcer. “Ga... Gallade wins..., Breloom is unable to continue.”

    The crowd grew silent. Never before had they seen Samia mess up. Never before had they seen him fail. But this girl, this random unheard of girl, had just schooled him like a child.

    Samia's leaden armed reached for his pokéball.

    “Bre... Breloom, re... re... return.” He managed to stutter out.

    The red beam connected with the fallen pokémon, de-materialising it instantaneously, returning it to the pokéball he grasped in his hands. He could feel nothing from it, no aura, no mental connection. As he returned the pokéball to his waist, he traced over the other two and could feel nothing either.

    Samia felt blind. One of his senses, his connection to his pokémon, was gone. A clamminess ran through him. What was happening? How was this happening? His mind was still spinning from the effects of trying to connect. It felt like his very body had abandoned him in his time of need. Never before had this happened.

    How could he go on like this? He might as well try to battle without his eyes. His pokémon gained a proportion of their strength from him, their speed from him. Whilst they were powerful on there own, with him they were unstoppable. But this... girl... she was something else. Her Gallade could endure punishment on a whole new level to what Samia had encountered, and she had trained specifically to beat him. She knew his strategies, his strengths, his plays. Without his connection to his pokémon, Samia felt like he had already lost.

    Disheartened, Samia plucked off the next pokéball. His mind wouldn't focus, so no call out was given. He simply dropped the pokéball to the floor, allowing it to burst open with the familiar flash of light. Condensing down into a much smaller from than his previous pokémon, the light gathered at his feet. The small, spiked back form of Sandslash appeared next to Samia. The pokémon clacked its claws together and began heading into the arena towards the awaiting Gallade.

    Sandslash too seemed affected. It glanced back at Samia, and its mousey features appeared confused. It chittered slightly, and Samia knew what was wrong. There link was not just active, something that he had to enter, it was passive as well. The connection ran deep between Samia and his pokémon, and to have it severed... it was like not being able to feel your own feet.

    Samia could barely watch. His mind just couldn't get together. His thoughts were fragmented and scattered. He felt lost as he watched his pokémon head towards its fate. As he looked past the pokémon he saw Alanah, and she was smiling. Not to herself, not in happiness, she was smiling at Samia.

    She was behind it. She knew what he was, what he could do and somehow, she could stop him. A rage filled Samia, and an added confusion as he tried to figure out what she was doing. He may not be able to connect with Sandslash, but he wasn't going down without a fight.

    Swallowing through his dry mouth, Samia called out his orders.

    “Sandslash, Rollout!”

    Sandslash began to run, using all four of its limbs to gain momentum, its long claws leaving deep gouges in the sand as it accelerated in preparation for its attack. As it reached its max speed, Sandslash curled up, presenting its opponent with a rapidly approaching spiked ball of pain.

    Gallade began to run forward towards the oncoming ball. Samia blinked dumbfounded. What was Alanah doing? The two pokémon grew closer rapidly, and Samia got his answer.

    At the last moment, Gallade front flipped over the rolling Sandslash and as it passed and brought round a powerful kick. With Sandslash's initial speed, the power of the kick was greatly amplified, sending the pokémon hurtling toward the arena wall uncontrollably. The force of the impact was felt around the arena, with a oooooo let out from the crowd as they saw what happened. They had shifted, no longer believing in Samia. They were Alanah's now.

    From the impact point, Sandslash fell to the floor. Many of the spines and spikes on its had cracked or snapped from the attack, causing clear duress to the pokémon. Its defence was weakened, leaving Alanah free to go for the jugular.

    Which she did. Gallade pounced on the weakened Sandslash, who unlike Breloom, could not move quick or agile enough to block the tirade of blows. It desperately tried slashing with its long claws, but they hit nothing but air as Gallade easily avoided the attacks.

    “Sandslash curl up!” Samia called out desperately, but it was pointless. The cracked spines left too much revealed underneath, so as Sandslash entered its defence curl, it made little difference. Gallade had it pinned against the wall, rapid blows chipping away at the small pokémon's stamina.

    Samia saw Alanah call out another order, and Gallade promptly threw Sandslash back into the centre of the arena. Samia realised what she was doing. She was making sure that everyone could see, everyone would be able to view him getting defeated.

    Samia desperately tried to connect with Sandslash, but could get nothing, he was well and truly cut off. Even passively he could not feel his pokémon, who was now slowly uncurling as Gallade menacingly approached.

    “Come on Sandslash! Strike back!”

    Sandslash responded to his voice and rolled into a combat stance. As Gallade approached, Sandslash began to advance, its long claws dragging through the ground.

    As the Pokémon closed the gap, Sandslash whipped its claws into a 'X', sending a blast of sand into Gallade's eyes. The pokémon cried out as its eyes writhed with the sand which had been thrown into them.

    “Good Sandslash, now Slash followed by Fury Swipes!”

    Sandslash slash in with its claws, landing deep hits into Gallade who could not see it coming, blinded as it was by the Sand Attack. Sandslash was now on the advance, blows raining down upon the stricken Gallade, who still refused to go down.

    Suddenly, a deep blue glow appeared in Gallade's eyes, and before Sandslash could react, it had been picked up by the powerful psychic attack and thrown back into the arena wall. If any of its spines had been remaining they were certainly gone now, littering the floor around the crumpled pokémon.

    Gallade leapt over to the fallen pokémon. With one of its legs it pinned down Sandslash's right arm, and as it raised the other Samia realised what was about to happen.

    “No, stop!” he called out desperately, but to no avail.

    Gallade brought its raised leg crashing down, straight onto Sandslash's exposed claw. The snap of the claw breaking was audible even over the crowd, as was the high pitched squeal which Sandslash uttered as its claw was snapped clean from its forearm. Again, Gallade picked up Sandslash and threw it back into the centre of the arena. This time, it was not getting up.

    “Sandslash is unable to battle!” Came the voice of the announcer. “Gallade wins!”

    Again, Samia recalled his broken and shattered pokémon, leaving him with one pokémon left. This was looking impossible. Despite all the attacks he had landed, the Gallade looked ready to take on whatever he sent out. It may have been bruised and cut, but it kept on coming.

    Samia slumped. He felt, for the first time in his life, powerless. In front of him, Gallade was taunting him, beckoning out his final pokémon. As Samia touched the pokéball, he doubted that even his last pokémon could take on not only Gallade, but Alanah's two remaining fresh pokémon. Still, it was not in Samia to forfeit, he would go out with a bang, or at least a pop.

    His last pokéball came loose from the holster, feeling cold and clammy to the touch. The surface through which he could normally feel a pulsating essence was now cold and dead to him. Slowly he raised the ball and with a quick depress of the button it opened, deploying the pokémon within.

    The light formed quickly this time, already moving. Bright light formed into powerful snow white legs, running forward. The feline body came next, fur rippling through the air as the pokémon ran towards Gallade. Finally, came the tail and head, both ending in jet black blades, one scythe, one blade.

    Absol was running at full pelt towards Gallade who had clearly not expected such an aggressive opening as it hadn't even got its guard up. Absol exploited this weakness, and as it ran began to charge energy all around it, crackling black and purple with dark-type power. Gallade's eyes widened in fear as the now storm of dark energy was hurtling towards it.

    Before it had time to act, Absol smashed into Gallade. The pokémon was hurtled back by the impact, its body ragdolling through the air as Absol's attack sent it reeling. This time it was Gallade's turn to be thrown into the arena wall, but unlike Sandslash, there was no impact and cracking of the surface. The power of the attack jammed the pokémon into the wall, encasing it perfectly, holding it in place.

    Absol prowled forward, fangs bared and mouth quivering with a predators instinct. Gallade struggled desperately to free itself but to no avail. Absol had now reached its prey and with one swift movement, bit down on its dangling leg, detached it from its holding in the shattered wall and threw it back into the arena centre.

    Absol bounded back across the arena towards Samia, stopping just in front of him. Their eyes met, Samia's blue to Absol's red. And Samia understood. Absol did not lose. Absol would not lose. This match was far from over.

    “Okay Absol.” Samia spoke quietly to his pokémon. “Let's show this upstart what true pokémon battling is.”

    In the centre of the arena. Gallade slowly began to pull itself up, legs shaking.

    “End it.” Samia told Absol.

    Absol began running to its target, claws crackling with the tell-tale dark purple energy of a dark attack. Gallade tried to steady itself but to no avail, Absol hit it with the force of a freight train, sending the already weakened pokémon to rest incapacitated in front of its trainer. It was not getting up this time.

    “Gallade is unable to battle! Absol wins!”

    From his point of view, it appeared a look of fury had crossed Alanah's face. Apparently, the prospect of her losing a pokémon hadn't fit into her so far perfect strategy. She rapidly recalled the fallen Gallade and whipped out her next pokéball.

    Her next pokémon was much bigger. As it materialised, thick legs planted into the ground, and where they landed grass and small flowers began to appear. Its four thick legs gave way to a light green body a neck flower of a deep shade of pink. Its long neck ended was topped with rounded head topped with two small antennae.

    Samia gulped. If Gallade had been tough to take down, how long was it going to take on this Meganium?

    Absol held no such reservations. The pokémon had barely materialised before a shot ball of dark energy hit it square in the face. The large pokémon stumbled slightly, its faltering footsteps spreading more greenery around the arena floor. Absol was running forward, firing more Dark Pulses at Meganium, keeping it off balance.

    As it grew closer, Absol redirected its energy into its claws, preparing for a Night Slash. Meganium was still sufficiently staggered so Absol's final approach was unheeded. The attach landed heavily, batting Meganium's long neck like like a speed bag used in training and the large pokémon hit the deck.

    Absol bounced backwards, its damage done. All around the fallen pokémon, more grass and flowers began to sprout, showing it was still conscious. With a high pitched bellow, the Meganium jumped to its feet with a speed unfitting to its bulk and behind it Samia saw Alanah shouting out orders to her pokémon.

    Absol began running forward again, straight for the grass-type. In response, Meganium raised its powerful forelegs into the air, rearing its whole body. Absol broke off to the left as to avoid being crushed and Meganium pounded back down to the earth with shock-waves that Samia could feel course through him on the other side of the arena.

    The arena floor began to change, sand gave way to grass and Absol leapt back in shock. All around it thorns began to rise, forcing the pokémon to quickly retreat from the advancing foliage. The line of greenery stopped, but the deep rumbling from the ground did not. Meganium's hide was glowing with a green light which was glowing with increasing intensity and for the first time in its career, Absol hesitated.

    It was all the opening Meganium needed, and Samia's slowed sense's didn't see what was coming. Thick thorned vines burst out of the ground, as thick as tree trunks and sharp as swords. In a convulsing mass they headed towards Absol from all directions, trapping the pokémon.

    Samia's mind caught up with him, and tactics which he had drilled came flooding back.

    Surrounded by attack. Cut through and counter.

    “Absol! Night Slash through the vines!”

    Absol responded quickly to Samia's orders and loosed off a quick slash, cutting through the advancing thorns.

    “Now jump through and use Dark Pulse!”

    Absol leapt for the gap it had created, but as it jumped the vines moved with it, catching its back legs. It let out a snarl of pain as they cut into its flesh but otherwise paid it no heed. Landing on the other side of the mass of vines, Absol saw Meganium, static, concentrating on controlling the Frenzy Plant attack, and loosed off a quick volley of Dark Pulses.

    Each ball landed with a devastating accuracy. The neck, head, antennae and chest of Meganium all took a hit, breaking the pokémon's concentration. Behind Absol the vines, without Meganium's power directing them, grew still, cutting off a corner of the battlefield.

    Meganium howled at Absol, neck flower vibrating as the sound issued out of the pokémon. The flower then began to grow bright, with seemingly particles of light gathering all around it. Samia's voice came to him again.

    Solar Beam. Not good. Deflect with light screen and break left

    Samia listened to his inside voice. Though his mind may have been slowed and disorientated from losing his connection to his pokémon, his subconscious was guiding his action.

    “Absol! Use Light Screen to deflect the Solar Beam!”

    Absol nodded, and its whole body tensed. Its red eyes grew white, and a shimmering barrier appeared in front of it.

    It was just in time to. Meganium had finished gathering the energy for its attack and propelled the solar beam from its opened mouth. The beam hurtled into the Light Screen, which was angled just right so the beam glanced past Absol, singing some of its pristine white fur to blackened tips.

    “Now Absol, break left and go in with a Slash attack!”

    Absol jumped to its left, letting the Light Screen fade. The remainder of the Solar Beam crashed into where it had been residing but moments before, leaving a deep crater in the arena floor. Absol ran the edge of the arena, forcing Meganium to rotate to track it, but the big pokémon was too slow. Absol quickly got behind it and jumped at the pokémon's hind legs and with to swift strikes, crippled the pokémon, leaving it helpless.

    Meganium issued out a cry of pain as its back legs gave way under its bulk, yet Absol gave no reprieve. It ferociously dove in, taking out its front legs as well and with a swift strike, sliced one of the large pink petals from the pokémon's neck. Meganium gave one last call and them lay unconscious, its form surrounded by the foliage it had brought to the once sandy arena.

    Absol however, was far from unharmed. The Frenzy Plant attack, though only glancing, had taken its toll. The quick succession of attacks it had performed left it tired, panting as it tried to recover before Alanah sent out her next pokémon.

    Samia dared to hope. Could he do this? Could he and Absol turn the odds? Without their connection they were weakened but far from helpless. If Alanah had started out with her best, they may stand a chance. A slim chance, but a chance none the less.

    Alanah again angrily recalled her fallen pokémon. Clearly, without his ability she had thought that he would have fallen easily, with her knowing his pokémon and studying his past battles. Even in his weakened state, Samia afforded himself a smile.

    Alanah pulled out her last pokéball as Absol returned to Samia's half of the field, ready for what was next. With a flourish, she threw her remaining pokéball into the air, sending out her final pokémon.

    As Meganium was to Gallade, this pokémon was vastly different to her last. The light never reached the ground, instead coming to hover a few feet above it. A kimono-esque body formed next, bobbing up and down like a Wingull in the surf as it hovered. Its body was snow white, and deep sapphire eyes glowed within the recesses of its head, topped by two ice-like crystals.

    A Frosslass. As rare as they came and just as deadly. Even if Absol was at full power Samia would have been slightly worried but as they were, their chances of winning this seemed to dwindle even more. Still, Absol had the type advantage, and despite their disadvantage, Samia and his final pokémon were doing well.

    “Okay Absol, lets do this carefully. Start off with Dark Pulse.”

    As it had countless times, Absol gathered its natural dark type energy into a condensed ball, spinning and pulsating at the tip of its black head spike. With a barely visible flick, Absol sent the attack toward the hovering Frosslass.

    Alanah's pokémon easily dodged the attack, and in response collected a ball of ice between its long flared arms, which cracked as it gathered. With a flourishing spin, it sent the rock hard ball of ice toward Absol who leapt majestically to the side, effortlessly dodging the response.

    The two pokémon stared each other down, Absol's slightly battered form in sharp contrast to Frosslass's pristine one. With a barely audible growl, Absol sprung into action, heading towards its foe.

    Frosslass began to summon more ice between its hands as Absol approached. From the ball between its hands, sharp beams of blue-white ice shot out, aiming straight for Absol. Samia's pokémon did its upmost to dodge, but there were too many. One impact followed another, pushing the pokémon back. They were too close and too numerous for another Light Screen, so Absol had to endure with its stamina alone.

    “Come on Absol, hang in there!”

    Absol's clawed flexed as it tried to hold its position, but the barrage of Ice Beams were pushing it backwards, seemingly never ending. Samia needed something, something to break the deadlock before Absol could take no more.

    It was time to bring Absol up to its true power.

    “Absol! Swords Dance!”

    Absol clenched eyes opened and all of sudden its entire body began glowing red. The sandy surface beneath its feet glassed and cracked as its power rose, and the ice beams melted and evaporated as they made contact. A circle of fire began to grow around Absol which released a guttural howl as its attack rose dramatically. The arena began to splinter, deep cracks radiating out from around clawed feet. A pulsating aura grew around Samia's pokémon, glowing red, destroying the incoming Ice Beams.

    A fury was present in Absol's eyes. Samia rarely had Absol power up to this state, as for one the drain on its endurance was huge, and it often caused more damage than necessary to its targets. Absol's panting increased dramatically. It wouldn't be able to hold this for long.

    “Go Absol! Night Slash! Everything you have!”

    Absol ran toward Frosslass, where the hovering pokémon looked back to its trainer for instruction. Alanah's reply was nowhere, she had not seen anything like this. Absol's steps cracked sand, melted ice and burned away grass as its strength emanated out. Each pounding footfall took the pokémon closer to its prey, yet each step was a massive strain as all of its energy was used up keeping it at this power.

    Samia's pokémon leapt the last twenty feet, claws and blades crackling with energy. Behind Frosslass, Alanah finally called out an order.

    A green field appeared around the pokémon. Samia tensed up. A Protect field...

    Absol crashed into the barrier, yet it did not stop it. The barrier buckled as it attempted to contend with the power pushed against it. Splinters ran through the green light field, and behind it Frosslass began to back up it fear. Absol was breaking through. But at what cost?

    Every second Absol spent breaking through the field was draining its energy, sapping away dramatically at its remaining power. Absol let out another cry, and it began to glow red again as it put its all into the attack. The energy around its claws and blades began to encase its entire body, forcing against the Protect field.

    The power on display began to overflow. Large offshoots of dark energy cracked out, destroying sections of the already wrecked arena. Members of the crowd began to scream in fear as the attack threatened to overspill into crowd. The Protect field began to splinter as Absol blasted its way through. A tempest whipped around the arena, the two powers colliding blasting wind around. Samia covered his eyes to shield them from the storm that was emanating from the contact, his hair and cape whipping violently in the wind.

    With a earth rending crack, the Protect field snapped, the energy around it dissipating as Absol hurtled through. Frosslass brought up its arms to defend itself, but it was pointless. Absol was not being stopped now. The two pokémon collided and the release of energy let out a atmosphere-rending explosion. The force blasted Samia off his feet and crashing into the sand behind him.

    A dust cloud bloomed around the impact point, and a deep crater formed beneath where it had taken place. As it cleared, both members of the crowd and the trainers got to their feet, peering into the clearing dust. Not a sound was heard from the huge stadium, the storm summoned by the attack having faded, leaving everything deathly silent and still apart from the falling dust.

    Samia wanted to be sick.

    Absol lay in a smoking, steaming heap in the base of the crater. Deep cuts traced across its body, leaving the once proud battler a twitching husk. Its legs were twisted at strange angles where it had broken the Protect field and its claws were snapped and seemed to be leaking out the remainder of the energy that had been gathered in them.

    What had he done? In his desire to win, he had almost lost everything, in his victory he had...

    His victory? Something stirred in the crater. A white form dragged itself out of the rubble and floated back to its trainers side. It wasn't possible...

    Frosslass was still standing.

    He had lost.

    Samia didn't even wait for the announcement. Wordlessly he recalled his shattered pokémon, the pokéball still cold to the touch.

    Shocked, Samia walked towards the exit, feet dragging heavily through the sand. He was deaf to all the commotion around him. The only thing he could see was the darkness of the awaiting tunnel.

    The walk seemed to take hours where in truth it took seconds. Each step brought him no closer. His mind died, shutting down as it entered shock.

    After the darkness of the tunnel embraced him, hiding him from the arena, his legs gave way, giving up on supporting him. He tried to force them back into life. He had to get out of here, to the pokémon centre. The match was over, only his pokémon mattered now.

    Yet out of the darkness came a deep, harsh voice. “I'm afraid Samia that you're going no where.”

    Hypnoooooooooooo

  14. #29
    Rocking the Lucario Thundagere's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasons; Book 1: Autumn (Chapter 4)

    I'm too emotionally drained after reading this to post a really good review, so I'll hold off on that. What I will say, is that I definitely didn't expect that. I'm not sure exactly what happened there, and what Alanah did. I'm going to characterize it mentally as cheating, since it's the only way I can live with the fact that Samia lost. A few spelling errors, but definitely a good chapter. All I'm saying is, you're killing me with the wait for more!

    Made by Blue Dragon!

  15. #30
    Just Browsing Around Akimbo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasons; Book 1: Autumn (Chapter 4)

    As this is my first time reading this I have been absolutely enthralled by your work, it's really well done. Your descriptions are vivid and your characterisation of each of your, well, characters is brilliant.

    There's only one thing that has stuck out during through my read your story and it was at the beginning of Chapter Four, you state that Alanah was casually tossing her Pokeball up and down, but when the battle's about to start she reaches for her Pokeball as if she was never holding it. Not a major issue, it just kinda broke the flow of the story a little bit for me.

    Apart from that great job and I can't wait to continue reading!

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