[SWC] Summer Snow

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  1. #1
    Sorm Sormeki's Avatar
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    Apr 2010

    Default [SWC] Summer Snow


    Snorunt (Medium)
    Snover (Medium)

    Character Count:
    31,514 w/ spaces
    25,607 w/o spaces

    Word Count:

    Summer Snow
    By: Sormeki

    The cold mountain wind whipped through the trees, kicking up flurries of the relatively fresh snow on their branches. The weather had broken somewhat, at least enough for Sorm to be able to see more than a few feet in front of himself as he made his trek. He had set up his tent on this mountain close to a week ago, making sure to give it enough tree cover that it wouldn’t collapse from the snow and wind while still keeping it fairly protected from snow dropping from the limbs above.

    Sorm stood there, dressed in a gray coat and thick black pants for warmth in this cold climate. He stared down at the pile of wood that would, hopefully, become his campfire. His steel-blue eyes betrayed his frustration from the previous attempts he had made mere moments ago. Reaching a hand up to brush away a stray strand of his auburn hair, he knelt down to give the fire another go.

    As a child, Sorm had taken part in many outdoor and wilderness survival activities. He could start a fire from a single match, find north based on the sun, and he knew how to survive for weeks with just what he could carry in a pack. The day’s snow had been a bit wetter than usual though, and there wasn’t anything dry enough to start the night’s fire off of. Not that the incessant wind would let him keep a match lit long enough to light a fire anyway. It always managed to find the right angle to blow at to take out the match as soon as it was struck no matter where he stood.

    “Whole lot of good these are,” the Pokemon Trainer spat, throwing the box of matches back in his pack with one hand and reaching to his belt with the other. “My old scout master might have called this cheating, but right now I call it being resourceful. Come on out Infernape.”

    With a flick of his wrist the trainer let loose of the Pokeball and sent it flying a few feet away. The red and white ball split open and in a small flash of energy the Pokemon was released. The Infernape stood there for a second, looking almost cold. Then almost as quickly as she had been released from the ball she leaned back and let out a sort of bellow as the flames on her head roared higher for a bit before coming back to normal.

    “Sorry about this, girl,” Sorm said, patting his Infernape on the shoulder. “I’m cold too and this wood is too wet and the wind too strong for me to get this fire going. Would you mind?”

    Almost as soon as its master finished speaking, and without a second thought, the fire monkey let out a line of flame from its mouth towards the waiting wood of the camp fire. When she was done what had been a typical box and pyramid set up was a roaring, warm camp fire.

    “Thanks. Now, get some rest,” Sorm said, holding the ball out for the Pokemon to return. “I’ll let you know when dinner is ready. No need in being cold in the meantime.”

    A red beam of energy shot out from the ball and enveloped the Pokemon, dragging it back into the warmer storage inside where it would exist primarily as energy.

    Mightyena and Aipom should be back soon with some meat and berries, the voice was coming from inside the trainers head. A voice he knew well as belonging to his oldest companion, Espeon. Still no sign of the Snorunt and Snover we are looking for. The weather has been a bit harsh for them though. They likely haven’t yet learned they can handle it. They are still young after all.

    “Why do you suppose these two young Pokemon are wandering around out here at their young age?” Sorm wondered out loud. “And why, of all the people the Professor could have asked, was I the one to be pulled away for this? I understand that as a trainer this isn’t just a free run around the world and do-as-you-please pass, but it’s summer. We could be on a beach somewhere. Instead we are up here, on this mountain, trying to find a Snorunt and a Snover someone saw in passing and reported. We haven’t seen them at all. For all we know, we could be on a wild Swanna chase because someone decided to pull a prank. What is so bad about a Snorunt and Snover being out up here anyway? Don’t they live here?”

    Easy Sorm, came the voice of his Psychic-type friend, it was one of the professor’s assistants that saw them near the road. They seemed to be huddled for warmth, if Ice-types can even do that, and ran as soon as the man went over to them, before he could get a closer look. Though, he did say they looked possibly injured. Normally around here, the Pokemon have no issues with people. Based on the description of the area where they were seen, it is likely a battle took place there. A battle in which the parents of these two Pokemon were captured, leaving them orphaned. You were chosen because you were closest and these Pokemon need a good trainer now or they likely won’t make it through the month.

    “I know,” the trainer sighed, “but it’s cold here, I have a right to complain. Not to mention some of our supplies are running low. We didn’t expect to be out here this long. Perhaps tomorrow afternoon I’ll make a quick run into the city. Snowpoint. That is pretty accurate naming if you ask me.”

    After a while Mightyena and Aipom returned from gathering food. The small, purple, monkey-like Pokemon seemed happy, almost bouncy, as always. The black and gray dog-like Pokemon on the other hand had a bit more of an irritated demeanor, likely due to having to spend the day with the overly joyous Aipom. They didn’t come back with a large haul, but Sorm was able to make it go around combined with some of the provisions he had brought with them. The next few hours were calm and enjoyable as the trainer spent some time with his Pokemon friends around the camp fire. The wind died down and the clouds that had been over head during the day’s snow storm had left. Looking up at the sky, Sorm remembered why he enjoyed life in the quieter areas of the world. No cars whizzing by. No people arguing in the streets. But best of all, out in quiet, uninhabited parts of the world one could see almost every star in the sky at night; a rather beautiful sight to say the least.

    The next morning brought with it more snow and more wind, but despite this Sorm decided to pack up camp now rather than later. He knew that staying in one spot would likely keep the two Pokemon he was after away and he had to make a trip into town anyway. While he was packing up, his partner Espeon went out trying to psychically locate the supposed orphan Pokemon.

    I know they are out there, Espeon said within its master’s mind as it returned to camp. I just can’t seem to find them through all of this snow. It seems when I am getting close the weather kicks up even worse and throws me off course.

    “We will find them eventually,” Sorm said, putting the last of the supplies on his pack. “If only we knew more about these two maybe we could figure out where up here they are finding their shelter and go from there. Unfortunately, short of the trainer that caught their parents coming out here and telling us where he lured them from, that probably won’t happen.”

    If the trainer showed up I could just read his mind and tell you, Espeon replied, giving his trainer a nudge with his head. But, he is most likely long gone and we have business in town. No sense in waiting out here for some miracle answer to show up.

    Sorm gave a bit of a chuckle as he started down towards the path that would lead them back to Snowpoint City, motioning for Espeon to join him. The pair walked for several miles before stopping to take a quick rest. They were almost back to town, but neither terribly wanted to walk into the PokeMart out of breath and exhausted when the two of them arrived there. The PokeMart associates probably wouldn’t be able to understand what they were asking for between deep breaths.

    “Alright Caterpie, get going,” came a small voice from just around the corner. “They said you had a bad nature and were genetically weak for your beads. If I don’t get rid of you the other kids will keep picking on me.”

    Having heard the young boy, who sounded no more than seven or eight years old, Sorm had stood up and walked towards the direction of the conversation. Sure enough there was a little blonde-haired boy there, dressed in what appeared to be a school uniform, trying to shoo away a Caterpie that seemed to have no interest in leaving the warmth of the boys coat.

    “Hey kid,” Sorm called, “if you are going to release a Caterpie you shouldn’t do it here. The little guy is clearly cold. You wouldn’t want him to freeze to death would you?”

    “Umm, I, umm,” the boy stumbled over his words. “I didn’t know. I’m sorry mister. Am I in trouble?”

    “No, of course not,” the trainer said with a bit of a chuckle. “Why don’t you come with me, I am headed back into Snowpoint. They have a Pokemon Center there that would be more than happy to take care of Caterpie for you until they find a new trainer for it, if that is what you really want.”

    “I, I can’t,” the boy replied, hugging the Caterpie he just seemed so eager to get rid of. “You see, my mom told me not to go anywhere with strangers and… I don’t want her to know I was getting rid of this Caterpie. She brought it home from the Pokemon Center for me when another trainer didn’t want it. I was hoping to find another Caterpie out here that looked the same with a better nature and stronger in its beads, whatever that means.”

    “I think you mean breed,” Sorm corrected, “and you won’t be finding Caterpie out here. They are native to the Kanto region. Besides, you have this Caterpie and this one clearly likes you.”

    “A guy came into town the a couple weeks ago and sold some fancy new machines,” the boy explained. “Tommy, from school, his parents bought him one. It tells you how strong your Pokemon is based on other Pokemon like it and tells you what kind of nature they are. He scanned my Caterpie and ever since people have been picking on me about how horrible he is. It’s so embarrassing.”

    “Well,” Sorm began, “you can always train your Caterpie. The more you train a Pokemon the stronger they get. Look at my Espeon here. When he was born everyone thought he would be weak.”

    “Esp,” the Psychic-type growled. Not this again.

    “Heh,” he continued with a bit of a laugh, “now he is one of my strongest partners.”

    One of?, the Pokemon asked with a hint of feigned disbelief.

    “I guess,” the boy replied, “maybe I should talk to mom about it. Thanks for not letting me hurt Caterpie by letting him go here though, mister. I need to be going now though, before I am late back at school.”

    With that the kid grabbed the bike he had set behind a nearby bush and rode it back towards Snowpoint City. With a bit of a smile and a pat on Espeon’s head Sorm headed in that direction too, thinking to himself how much quicker travel would be with a bike of his own. Somehow he kept coming up one Pokedollar short every time he thought he had enough. Some things are just never meant to be.

    Eventually the Pokemon and his trainer arrived in the rather large port city. From where they entered they could see the docks in the south of the city and the various market stalls one would expect to show up in any city that trade and passenger ships would stop at. Sorm wasn’t here for exotic wares however and quickly made his way to the Pokemon Center for a bit of rest for his partners and to check in with the professor using their video phone if he could.

    The place seemed a tad overly packed with both people and Pokemon. People seemed to be in a hurry to trade with certain people or release a Pokemon. Many of them had some small hand-held device, about the size of a PokeGear, that they kept pointing at the Pokemon. Some of them were also, clearly scamming others in trades. One man was offering to trade his “Perfect Shiny Magikarp” for what he referred to his mark’s pokemon as “A terrible Dratini in dire need of genetic engineering”. The Dratini’s trainer didn’t even seem to notice the yellow-gold paint on the man’s pants or the red peeking out near the fish’s fins.

    People releasing Pokemon, the Espeon mentally said to his trainer, as well as scanning and battling them to see which are best and which are ‘worthless’. Kind of makes you question your faith in humanity. To a Pokemon you might even lose trust in them.

    “You think so too huh?” Sorm asked, looking around and the rather heartless way people seemed to discuss their Pokemon, as though they were tools or collectables. It was a sad sight to see anywhere, even more so in a Pokemon Center. After all, these buildings are there for the love and care of Pokemon.

    “Please state the nature of the Pokemergency,” came an almost annoyed sounding voice from behind Sorm and his Espeon.

    “Uh…” the trainer said, not sure of what to make of the balding male nurse that had approached him.

    “Sorry about that,” came a much softer, kinder voice. “With all the chaos around here we had to bring in some additional assistance. People have been battling and trading and releasing non-stop. This is our Network PokeNurse Hologram, or NPH. Bedside manner could use some work, but our female visitors seem to like him. Only approaches the men though. I’ll have to call IT on that. How can we help you?”

    Sorm turned towards the counter to see a woman, perhaps a year or so younger than himself, with long violet-blue hair pulled back into a pony tail dressed in the light pink uniform of a Pokemon Nurse. Her green eyes were those of someone that loved their job, but was borderline exhausted by the recent activity.

    “I was just wondering if I could use your PC,” Sorm replied. “I need to make a call and switch around some of my Pokemon to give them a rest. We have been out for about a week now.”

    “Normally,” the nurse began, “I would tell you that you have to wait in line to use our public one. But since you aren’t part of this competitive crowd and that man over there has been using the public PC for over four hours, I’ll let you use the one in the back.”

    “That would be against regulation 31-,” the NPH said before being cut off as it shimmered out of view.

    “He was needed in surgery,” the nurse said with a smile, taking her hand off the transfer button on the console next to her. “Right this way, trainer.”

    Sorm thanked the nurse, entered the back room, and made his way to the PC. After switching out some of his Pokemon for those that were well rested, he placed his call to the professor’s lab.

    “Hello, Sorm,” one of the professor’s many assistant’s greeted as she answered the video call. “The professor is out at the moment, could I possibly help you with anything?”

    “I was just checking in,” Sorm replied. “So far I have had little luck finding the two Pokemon I was sent for, but I think I might have a lead. It seems just before they were seen someone came through Snowpoint City selling some device for rating Pokemon. It seems to have caught on, but not in a good way. People are starting to take the readings just a bit too far and releasing Pokemon that aren’t ‘perfect’. I think these two might be young Pokemon that were released due to this rather than ones orphaned by a trainer catching their parents. Nonetheless, the trainer responsible was still being careless. I think I have an idea on how to find and catch them, but otherwise there has been very little actual progress.”

    “I see,” the lab assistant replied. “I will be sure to let the professor know when he returns. Thank you for the update and good luck. Is there anything else?”

    “No, that will be all,” Sorm replied. “See you soon.”

    With that, the Pokemon trainer ended the call and turned to his faithful Espeon.

    “We may be able to do this yet,” he said with a smile.

    Sorm thanked the nurse again and left the Pokemon Center. He was confident that he had this problem solved. So confident in fact that he didn’t even bother stopping at the PokeMart. Instead the duo headed straight for the last place Espeon got a feeling of the Snorunt and Snover’s presence. Sure enough, just as Espeon had said that morning, the snow seemed to kick up even more as they approached. But this time Sorm knew exactly what needed to be done. With a flick of his wrist he sent two Pokeballs flying. Within seconds, Venusaur and Togetic came forth.

    “Alright,” the trainer began, having to speak over the snow storm, “Venusaur, I need you to use Sunny Day. Togetic, you are known as the happiness Pokemon. Let’s hope that works out for us.”

    “Saur,” the Grass-type Pokemon replied and almost instantly the sun was shining bright overheard and the snow storm was gone.

    Snover’s Snow Warning, Espeon mentally transmitted to Sorm. Good thinking, as long as Sunny Day holds out we might be able to find these two yet. And Togetic should be able to convince the two that it is safe to come out of hiding. And here I was beginning to question your intelligence. I mean, after that ‘Espeon used to be weak’ comment and all.

    “Very funny,” Sorm said with a smile. “Alright, Togetic, you and Espeon are going to start looking for these two. Espeon, same basic idea as we have been doing, try to sense where they are with your psychic abilities. Lead Togetic to them, where she will convince them it is safe for them to come back here. Venusaur, I need you to use Sunny Day every now and then when the snow starts to come back to ensure that the area is covered. I will set up a small camp and get some Chesto berries roasting over an open fire. It seems appropriate to the climate here.”

    “Toge-Esp-Saur,” the three of them replied in unison as their trainer took off his pack and began setting up a small camp fire.

    Over the next few hours, Sorm prepared food for the Pokemon and himself, figuring his Pokemon would get hungry and their new friends might enjoy some when they arrived. Meanwhile, Venusaur kept up the sun as best as she could for the searching duo of Espeon and Togetic.

    “A trainer out this far?” came a question from behind Sorm. “Well, might as well see if you are any better than what that little city has to offer. I just got rid of some more weak Pokemon and these new ones I’ve bought are looking near perfect.”

    Sorm turned around and met the gaze of a young man about his age dressed in a rather expensive looking dark blue suit, holding one of those scanning machines he had seen back in the city. Obviously this man was another trainer out to find the “best” Pokemon with no real love or compassion for the Pokemon that come into his life. Sorm wanted to call him out on that, but now was not the time. After all, he had been challenged and it would be rude to decline.

    “And here I thought I wouldn’t have to deal with anyone else,” he said to the well-dressed man before him. “You seem to have me at a disadvantage. Three of my Pokemon are currently in use. I’m here on business not pleasure after all. So let’s make this quick. Does one Pokemon each sound fair to you?”

    “I made my fortune off of one on one battles,” the man said with a smile, “but, let’s do two Pokemon each. That is if you are up for it.”

    “Alright,” Sorm replied grabbing a Pokeball from his belt and turning to Venusaur. “Venusaur, keep up what you’re doing, this won’t take long.”

    With a flick of his wrist, Sorm tossed the Pokeball and brought out his Pokemon at the same time as his challenger. The battle would start off with Sorm’s Electivire against the opponent’s Glalie.

    “The name is Jasper by the way,” the wealthy man said. “I seem to have forgotten to introduce myself. How impolite of me. And you are?”

    “People call me Sorm,” the trainer said, returning the courtesy. “Shall we begin? Electivire, show that Glalie your Fire Punch!”

    “Straight and to the point I see,” Jasper said with a smile. “Very well, Glalie, hit it first with Ice Shard!”

    Electivire and Glalie jumped into action. The Electric-type’s fist started to glow red hot, appearing to be on the verge of bursting into flames. Despite being much more agile than that ball of ice in front of him, his attack wasn’t fast enough to make a first strike. As the burly yellow Pokemon closed the distance between it and its Ice-type opponent the Glalie opened fire with a small barrage of frozen chucks of ice. Electivire took the hit without much of a second thought and slammed his now literally burning fist into the face of the ice ball.

    Glalie fell to the ground for a moment, momentarily overwhelmed by the strength of the blow. Not only was the move super effective against the Ice-type, but it had been delivered by a rather physically imposing opponent. Yet still, it seemed to strike the Glalie even harder than normal; a fact that Jasper didn’t fail to notice as well as be clearly confused by.

    “Expert belt,” Sorm said matter-of-factly. “Electivire is wearing one. When it makes a move that is strong against a certain type the belt adds even more power to the move. I’m not really sure how or why. Looks like a cloth belt to me too, but it works and Electivire finds it to be fashionable.”

    “Looks like I will have to end your Electivire faster,” Jasper declared in a frustrated manner. “Glalie, Sheer Cold now!”

    “Don’t let a fast move make you think your Pokemon is fast,” Sorm replied, “Electivire is still faster. Don’t you rich people have rich people schools to teach you this? Electivire, Fire Punch again.”

    This time, the burly yellow beast’s flaming fist met its mark first, coming in directly on Glalie’s side. The Ice-type couldn’t take the beating and fell to the ground. For a moment it struggled to get up, but soon unconsciousness over took it as it passed out.

    “Come on Jasper,” Sorm said with a smile. “Don’t make me look better than I am.”

    “That Glalie was clearly not as good as it was advertised,” he replied, returning the Pokemon to its Pokeball. “No matter, this one will bring the cold. Cold, like hard cash. Abomasnow!”

    The wealthy trainer sent out his second Pokemon, which immediately kicked up a massive snowstorm. Canceling out the sunny weather Venusaur had been making to ease in Espeon and Togetic’s search.

    “Venus-“ Sorm begain before being cut off.

    “Uh-uh-uh,” Jasper said with a smile. “This is my weather and it is part of an official battle. No outside help Sorm.”

    “Fine,”Sorm said with a mix of frustration at his opponent and worry for his Pokemon out in the storm. “Though, I feel should point out that, even in the snow, since Abomasnow is of a hybrid Ice and Grass typing, it will be twice as weak to that fire punch. And this Pokemon is even slower than your last. How do you expect to win this? All I need is one shot.”

    “I think we can manage,” the suited man said with a smile. “Blizzard!”

    “Good match,” Sorm replied. “Electivire, use Fire Punch.”

    The flaming hit went in and struck a clean, clear blow. Abomasnow went down, seemingly for good. Suddenly a tattered cloth belt fell to the ground as the snowy Pokemon stood back up, hurt, but still holding on. As Sorm began to realize what had happened a powerful Ice-type attack hit Electivire and froze him solid.

    “I can use belts too Sorm,” Jasper mocked. “Perhaps you have heard of Focus Sash? At least something I paid for does what it was supposed to. Now, take out that poor, and I mean that financially, Electivire. Use Blizzard again!”

    The Ice-type move struck again as the Electric-type could only stand there motionless and watch. As it struck the ice encasing Electivire shattered and the wounded Pokemon fell to the ground, unconscious and unable to continue the fight.

    “Well done, friend,” Sorm said as he called his Pokemon back to its ball. “I don’t have time to let this go on much longer. I have friends out in your snow storm and I aim to finish this and get them back here safely. Come on out Infernape. I meant to give you some rest at the Pokemon Center, but you are my best fire starter if I get stuck out here. Now, end this with a Flare Blitz.”

    Sorm tossed the ball containing his fire monkey, releasing it into the battle. Without hesitation the female primate charge forwards, engulfed in flames. Jasper barely had a chance to call out a move as Infernape came barreling into the combination Ice and Grass-type. The Abomasnow was already only barely holding onto consciousness. It fell hard to the ground and stopped moving as Jasper returned it to its Pokeball.

    “As I said,” Sorm began. “Good match. Now you might want to get that back to a Pokemon Center quickly.”

    “Pfft,” the wealthy man said, straightening his suit. “These ones were just as weak as the little ones I tossed earlier. Forget the Pokemon Center, I’m going to ask for my money back on these wasted animals and that clearly broken scanner. Thanks for the show I guess.”

    And with that the challenger left. Sorm wanted to yell after him. But he couldn’t come up with what to say. The man’s view of Pokemon was so different than Sorm’s. It felt wrong to him. Beyond that, he was sure this was the person that left the Snorunt and Snover out here. It was that be-suited man that was why Sorm wasn’t sitting on a beach somewhere surrounded by scantily clad women. He was why he was on a snowy mountain surrounded by ice and cold instead.

    “Venusaur, bring up the sun again,” Sorm said, turning back to the fire and returning Infernape to her ball.

    “Saur,” the Grass-type Pokemon replied as it attempted to change the weather again. Nothing happened. “Venus?”

    “No more juice left?” Sorm asked, pulling out the Venusaur’s Pokeball. “Alright, come back inside before you catch a cold. We will just have to wait it out and hope they make it back alright.”

    The trainer sat down as the energy beam reached out and pulled the Pokemon back into the safety of the ball. The snow continued to fall all around and, combined with the mountain winds, made visibility only about four to five feet. All he could do was hope his Pokemon made it back safe. It was getting dark, they had arrived in town earlier past noon as it was, and it would soon be difficult to navigate the area even without the storm. The Pokemon trainer sat there staring into the crackling camp fire he had set up before the battle. At this point it was mostly a pile of glowing, popping, embers. Without Venusaur able to keep back the snow with its Sunny Day, Sorm began to worry about the two Pokemon he had sent out there. Thoughts of his Pokemon getting lost or injured without being able to help them began to cross his mind. Thoughts he would rather not have. As he thought about his friends out in the dark and cold he let his mind wander back, back to the day he had first started his journey.

    It was a mild spring day. Outside the bird Pokemon were singing their spring song. From out there the house looked like nothing more than a fairly decent sized home. A simple white house with green trim was all. Certainly not somewhere one would expect to find a world-traveling Pokemon Trainer. That was about to change however.

    Inside, in a room that looked like it was decorated in the seventies and then left as it was, a small family was gathered around a pair of eggs. There was nothing terribly extraordinary about them, just generic, off-white with olive polka dot Pokemon eggs. The eggs had been gifts from the local Pokemon Professor when the siblings had passed their Pokemon Trainer License test. They had their license, and soon they would have their very first Pokemon. Their starters as many trainers had come to refer to their first Pokemon as.

    To the two soon-to-be trainers inside, however, these eggs were the beginning of something new. The first steps into the world these baby Pokemon made would be the first steps young Sorm and Clare would make into a world that extended much farther beyond the borders of their town, as they would soon come to realize.

    First one egg began to shake, crack, and snap as the Pokemon inside began to poke its way out. The other egg followed suit, with bits of shell falling off here and there. The young trainers’ eyes lit up as they watched their new friends coming to greet the world for the first time.

    “Mom,” the young Sorm called out, watching as a furry paw broke its way out of his egg. “Dad! It is hatching! Come quick!”

    “Mine too,” Clare said, watching on as a white hand-like appendage popped out of her egg.

    Within seconds the Pokemon finished hatching, took a few stumbling steps, and looked up into the beaming faces of their new life-long friends.

    “Eevee?” the newborn Pokemon said, tilting its head to the side.

    Sorm gently picked up the small Pokemon and brought him up to eye level.

    “Hello Eevee,” Sorm said, holding back tears of joy. “Welcome to the world. I’m Sorm and I am going to be your best friend while you are here. I hope you will be mine too.”

    The baby Pokemon looked up at its new trainer. For a moment Sorm could almost swear he saw it smile back at him. That was, before the little thing sneezed on him and began to doze off in his arms.

    “I guess breaking out of that egg is harder than it looks,” the new trainer said with a smile. “That settles it then. We are best friends and I won’t ever leave your side for as long as I live.”

    Back in the present, Sorm looked up from the dying embers of the fire and into the snow storm. It seemed much time had passed while he was letting his mind wander. It was completely dark out and the storm didn’t seem to be showing any signs of letting up. In the distance Sorm thought he saw the silhouette of his beloved Pokemon. He almost stood up and called out for Espeon before he realized that is was just a snow-covered bush shaking in the wind.

    “I hope they are okay,” he said to himself as he returned his gaze to the fire. “Espeon and Togetic have been gone much longer than they should have. I hope they find shelter for the night at least.”

    Will your place do?, came the familiar Psychic voice in the trainers mind. Sorm quickly spun around to see Espeon coming into view, followed thereafter by Togetic and two small Ice-type Pokemon. These two little guys can be as stubborn and bullheaded as you when it comes to directions. I’m sure you will get along well with them if you can get them to trust you. It may not be easy though.

    The young Snorunt and Snover stood there cowering behind Togetic as Espeon mentally spoke to its trainer. They were clearly uncomfortable being around a person, and both clearly in need of trip to the Pokemon Center. It appeared as though they had been in more than one fight without proper care.

    “Oh?” Sorm asked, grabbing some stuff and packing it away. “Tell me on the way back to the city. These two need medical attention more than I need their trust right now.”

    So, the five of them headed back towards the city with the wary and injured Ice-types staying close to the kind Espeon and the reassuring Togetic. Along the way the Psychic-type mentally recounted the young one’s story to his human companion. They had been hatched by a wealthy family and almost immediately put to battle. For the first few weeks of their life that was all they had known. Then, one day their trainer had brought them out here, told them what a worthless waste of money they were, and sent them on their way. Sorm felt sympathy for the two youngsters while at the same time feeling even more anger towards their former trainer. There was nothing illegal about what the trainer had done, but that didn’t make it right. There was no point in letting it get the better of him, however. He couldn’t make other trainers follow his ideals. Right now all he could do was get care for these two and hope that they might give humans a second chance through him.
    Last edited by Sormeki; 21st July 2012 at 11:24 PM.

  2. #2
    noble roar Buoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: [SWC] Summer Snow

    Okay, claimed like I told you I would. :>

  3. #3
    noble roar Buoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: [SWC] Summer Snow

    Sormeki -- Summer Snow.
    Introduction: You bring in the story by describing the current surroundings, but shortly bring it into how it affects a character named 'Sorm', thus you're bringing in the introductory elements of the setting and a character very briefly. It's not exactly detailed, but having lots of detail right at the outset can overwhelm a reader, putting them off from reading onwards -- so it's relatively good that you haven't packed the beginning with lots of detail. The would-be protagonist, Sorm, is given a little bit of background throughout the opening paragraphs of the story, yet the background that is given has no real bearing on the rest of the story, as his survival skills don't really come into play, but the character development it gives him makes him a little more interesting and realistic, and thus he's not gaining the skills that do appear in the story from nowhere. That's good.

    The opening paragraphs within the story aren't really what one would call enthralling, however, as there's a lack of a hook to grab the reader's attention, and the narrative thereafter in the following few paragraphs isn't enough to sustain a reader's attention. This is due to a missing, definitely crucial element that is present in any good story's introduction: conflict. Conflict is what makes any exciting story exciting, and conflict can't just be brought in randomly -- it must be introduced, and the main point of most introductions is to establish a conflict. For longer stories, or for stories aiming for higher-ranked Pokémon, obviously there will be more than just one conflict or one plot, but a whole range of subplots. Nevertheless, in the introduction, there should be something to be recognised as a proper conflict that could carry a story.

    It's only until the tenth paragraph in that something is mentioned of what I came to recognise, by reading through the rest of the story, was the main conflict -- two Pokémon wandering alone in the snowy expanses of wherever Sorm is. And, the thing is, because of the previous paragraph that mentions Mightyena and Aipom together, it can be assumed that 'these two young Pokémon' that Sorm is referring to are actually Mightyena and Aipom -- the vagueness of exactly what the problem is can definitely confuse a reader, and thus the way you introduced the conflict wasn't entirely great. You do rectify that to some extent by actually stating the Pokémon that Sorm is searching for and that he's actually searching for them, so it's partially okay.

    Plot: The main part of the story is that, basically, a man named Sorm is trying to find a supposedly abandoned pair of Pokémon -- Snover and Snorunt, two Ice-types that Sorm's partner, Espeon, had suggested were lonely and orphaned. Sorm wasn't having luck so far with finding them, which, of course, makes cause for a good story -- if they've been spotted but not found so far, there's probably something more mysterious or dangerous going on. When Sorm gives up the search for a certain time, it gives you, the author, an opportunity to bring in more characters and more plot devices to make the mystery clearer or even murkier, which you have done. With tales of mystery, a good thing to do is to introduce more and more elements to the problem, and then you can brainstorm a clever way to bring them all into relevance and select the solution you want -- that way, a reader is always kept guessing, and answers are only brought to them at critical points. Plus, the better answers are always the more unlikely ones, which will -- more often than not -- surprise a reader. That's what makes a good mystery.

    Of course, this isn't entirely a whole 'detective' thing, and so some of the element of mystery is taken from it, which is why the story may seem a little unexciting on closer inspection. After meeting the young boy, the first instance of the root of the problem involving Snover and Snorunt, the reader wonders what relevance that chance encounter has with the rest of the story. However, when Sorm arrives at the Pokémon Center, it seems that everyone there has the same sort of mindset that the boy had told Sorm was the norm, and also why he wanted to release his Caterpie. Sorm begins to have suspicions that this might be linked to the reason Snover and Snorunt were seemingly abandoned -- he shares his suspicions with the Professor's assistants when he places a call using the PC, and then shortly acts upon them, very confident that he's right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sormeki
    “I was just checking in,” Sorm replied. “So far I have had little luck finding the two Pokemon I was sent for, but I think I might have a lead. It seems just before they were seen someone came through Snowpoint City selling some device for rating Pokemon. It seems to have caught on, but not in a good way. People are starting to take the readings just a bit too far and releasing Pokemon that aren’t ‘perfect’. I think these two might be young Pokemon that were released due to this rather than ones orphaned by a trainer catching their parents. Nonetheless, the trainer responsible was still being careless. I think I have an idea on how to find and catch them, but otherwise there has been very little actually progress.”
    The above quote is what Sorm told the Professor's assistants. However, there was no real logical link with Snover and Snorunt to what he had seen in Snowpoint City, so he had no reason to actually believe this -- nevertheless, the story is told like he acted like he knew that this was the case. Moreover, this was actually more or less correct -- it's evident that the Pokémon the 'rich guy' had released were those two. Take a break for a moment and consider the realism that's actually implicit in this: there isn't much. It was basically a hunch that was right on the mark, and, seeing as he was so unlucky earlier, this is an awfully convenient sort of thing for him to think and be correct about. It wasn't central to the plot, of course, but it gives some background and reasoning as to why a Snover and a Snorunt would be wandering around, completely alone. And, if the reasoning to the main plot is almost perfectly guessed by a very little piece of evidence, it's not really all that exciting -- it could have been revealed in a myriad of other ways. It's sort of like a plot-hole, really, and you always have to be careful about those.

    Additionally, why would Jasper, the rich man brought into the story towards the end, still be in the mountains? Although he basically just challenged Sorm to a battle, and from that, you can assume that he was there to find trainers to battle, but how likely is it that many people would venture up there? He had released Snorunt and Snover at least the day before he and Sorm met, so there was no other purpose to him being there -- again, another plot-hole. The presence of Jasper either marks the fact that you threw him in for the purpose of a battle, or was doing something else -- something probably suspicious. However, since there is no evidence of the latter, I'm assuming the former is correct, or sort of close to the truth. Although Jasper certainly was an interesting character, without a reason to be there, he was really just a tool that seems sort of 'thrown in' to further the plot a little, and confirm what Sorm had said. You need to fill plot-holes. Since Jasper wasn't major to the resolution of the story, it's fine, but you need to be cautious. ;p

    Another thing to talk about is the flashback. It's very interesting, and the way you told it was really cute, but was it necessary? It told of Sorm's initial meeting with who I'm assuming is now Espeon, but the flashback didn't do anything but add some character development -- and add to the character count of the story. There wasn't much relevance to the plot in it, and, sure, not everything has to be relevant to the main storyline, but you basically just veered completely away from the story to show a flashback completely different from what was actually going on -- it might have been there to show the relationship between Sorm and Espeon, and it could have meaning if Espeon had died or got lost or something, but I don't know.

    One thing I definitely liked about your story was the conclusion to it. You write in the feelings of Sorm very well, and his determination and strong emotion is almost palpable at the end -- the reader can tell that Sorm cares very much for the two Pokémon he'd found, despite only knowing them for a brief amount of time. The determination leaves the feeling that the story continues on, even though the narrative has stopped, and it's almost like a cliffhanger, although everything is almost perfectly resolved -- in other words, the reader wants more of the development that occurs between Sorm and the Pokémon. If you leave your reader wanting more of your story, that's a very good thing. :>

    Grammar: Uh, there were a few problems, although I feel I sort of nitpicked here and there.

    The first thing is that I think you're not certain on the difference between its and it's -- or maybe you are, but just get mixed up. Whatever the case, you're not using them correctly in your story. Well, you are -- but it was only towards the end that I saw proper usage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sormeki
    Almost as soon as it’s master finished speaking...
    Quote Originally Posted by Sormeki
    the fire monkey let out a line of flame from it’s mouth...
    'It's' in both of these sentences should really be 'its'. I'm not sure if you just got momentarily confused or something, as these two examples happened very close together and there weren't actually any other mixups, but I should explain anyway. 'It's' is a contraction of 'it is', used in description to describe a certain 'it'. 'Its' denotes something that belongs to a certain 'it' -- 'its' is a short way of saying 'the [object] of it'.

    You also seem to get mixed up between plurals and 's' after an apostrophe. Apostrophe s doesn't denote a plural, but rather possession -- contrariwise, 's' at the end of its word denotes a plural, and not posession. Take the examples from your story:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sormeki
    it was one of the professors assistants that saw them near the road
    Quote Originally Posted by Sormeki
    get some Chesto’s roasting
    Following what I said, 'professors' should be 'professor's', as the assistants are those of the professor. As well as that, 'Chesto's' should be 'Chestos', as, without the apostrophe, there is more than one Chesto.

    Moving on, you don't put in the comma that's needed in direct speech when one character is addressing another. It needs to be there. >: Talking about commas, you're missing some in some fairly obvious places, but also in more obscure places -- one thing that stood out to me was a lack of them at the start of a sentence when an adverb or preposition is used. If you use 'however', 'then', 'after', 'now' or other words such as that, you generally stick in a comma straight after. Moreover, if you're using a conditional sort of thing, like 'if you're game' at the start of a sentence, then you put in a comma after the clause that is the possibility.

    ... mfw an example was already in the sentence. OH WELL.

    UH. There's a few more, but I think I've been picky enough as it is. Good job on a nearly spotless story, apart from a few mistakes.

    p.s. watch out for typos. They're nasty. >:

    Description: In the story, pretty much the only description you've given is that about the weather, and the attacks used by the Pokémon -- which is cool in its own regard, but it's not enough to cover a long sort of story. Without the description necessary, the world that you've created is very bland. We're even missing important visuals here -- I'm pretty sure nothing is even mentioned about the appearance of Sorm, the protagonist. You may have an idea of what he looks like, but if you don't write it into the story, no-one else will have any idea of his appearance, and that's not really a good thing at all. They'd be bound to pick up their own ideas about his appearance, of course, but it probably wouldn't match yours (unless they're psychic or something).

    As well as the missing visuals of the human characters -- notably Sorm, Jasper and the young boy -- there isn't much description of the Pokémon used by these characters at all; I'm sure most people have an idea of what Pokémon look like if they're reading Pokémon fanfiction, but it's necessary to describe them. A lot of Pokémon fanfic authors don't, and it's often their downfall -- you have to practically assume that they don't know what Espeon or Infernape looks like, so description of those is vital. Scanning through, I don't see much visual description of the surroundings that the main characters find themselves in, either -- like Snowpoint City or its Pokémon Center.

    Description doesn't stop as visuals, either -- the easiest way to think of what you need to describe is by the five senses: touch, smell, taste, sight and sounds. Of those, sight is the one most often employed in description -- even then, it can be lacking. Taste isn't necessary unless characters are eating or drinking, and sometimes people don't even go to the bother then. The textures, smells and sounds are what really makes description vibrant and realistic. The snow would feel crunchy under Sorm's feet, and that would also make a dull sound as he plods through the snow. The smell of the pine trees, or perhaps the burning, ashy sort of smell of a fire in the Pokémon Center. You can think of anything to describe, and there will be more than one dimension in doing so.

    Length: You're fine for the Pokémon you aim for, although the story seems a little rushed, plotwise. Perhaps spacing it out a little further in terms of time might help, or developing on some of the suggestions I pointed out in the 'Plot' section -- like Jasper's reasons for being there when Sorm was, or multiple dimensions to the mystery of Snover and Snorunt. Both would help your story greatly, although it's a well put-together story.

    Outcome: I think this is your first URPG story, but I know you're an experienced writer. Nevertheless, I am going to be more lenient with you. Although the Pokémon weren't actually involved greatly in the story, their evolutions were present in a battle, and they were actually what the plot revolved around, so that's all right. However, due to the flaws in your story, I'm going to say that only one Pokémon is captured. You can choose which one, and I'm being helpful in that you need at least one successful capture to qualify for the SWC.

    To get the other Pokémon, I want you to try describing things further -- I definitely want to see description of Sorm and the other characters in your story, but I want some description of surroundings, too. I'm not talking just visuals, though -- think of the senses. Be creative. It's the only thing I'm going to ask you to do, and you've got about nine days or so from when I'm writing this -- submissions for the SWC end August 1st, and you can't edit after that until the competition ends, or until you're out of the competition. I'M SORRY. I'm not going to expect all that much due to the limited time conditions, so do the best you can.

    Have fun with whichever one you choose, though. I'm sorry I couldn't give you both, but there were quite a few flaws in your story that prevented it.

  4. #4
    noble roar Buoy's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: [SWC] Summer Snow

    Very good! This is a great effort you've put in, and I wasn't exactly expecting you to pull it off. I'm certain that you've done your best; I can visualise characters and the like much more easily due to more description being put in, and the quality of the story is better now that you've tried to add some more in. The story, from scanning over it, seems to flow somewhat better, even if you didn't have to fix that. I also commend you on the effort you put in to try and get commas right, and, although there could be some improvement made, it's very minor and not worth correcting for this difficulty level. Good job.

    The other Pokémon is captured. Have fun, and good luck with the SWC.


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