The 13th Victim (PG-13) [SWC]

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    Default The 13th Victim (PG-13) [SWC]

    Mons aimed for: Ralts, Machop
    Character requirement: 15k
    Final count: 32,924~ (lost track after editing typos)

    Comment: I went overboard, I know. 2x the character requirement is a little much but I couldn't integrate a 3rd mon in there. It was hard enough to do 2. To the grader, I am still getting feedback atm. So this may be edited. A grade before the SWC deadline ended would be unbelievably apprectiated


    This story is rated PG-13 for Blood, Violence, and Use of Alcohol.

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

    "No, please! Don't do this!!!"

    It was a little past midnight in Castelia city. Lighted buildings and neon signs draped the city streets as the nocturnal crowd was out and about to party the night away. In a secluded alley, a young man was on his knees with his fingers interlocked, his button-down shirt soaked with sweat and his tie caked with dirt. Across from him was a man in a long black coat and a black hat holding a gun with a silencer on the end of it pointed straight at his victim's head at point blank range.

    With a cold and focused look, the coated man did not even say a word as he squeezed the trigger. A high-pitched whine could be heard across the alleyway but nowhere else. In a flash, the young man was lying on his back, dead and bleeding out of the hole the bullet made right between the eyes; his murderer grinned contently.

    The cloaked man holstered his weapon and pulled something else off of his belt, a small red and white Pokeball. He expanded it and threw it on the ground without wasting any time. A flash of white jetted from the open ball and it shaped itself to the form of a miniature human. When the light faded, a small, gray, muscular Pokemon with brown ridges on his head appeared next to the murderer. He looked around, but then jumped back when the superpower Pokemon saw the dead and bleeding body.

    "Machop, help me carry this," his master ordered.

    The frightened Machop just stood there not knowing how to respond. He slowly took another step back.

    "Machop!" the killer said a little louder. "I said help me carry this."

    Machop shook his head as he took another step back expressing great disapproval at his homicidal trainer's action.

    "Damn it, Machop!" the killer whispered harshly. "What the fuck is wrong with you? You've been doing this a lot recently and I'm getting tired of it! How many times do I have to tell you this?! He needed to die! Now help me get rid of the body before there's too much blood!"

    The Machop's red eyes formed a few tears, but he managed to wipe them away as he walked toward the body's head. He got under the young man's cold, dead neck and balanced it on his shoulders while the killer grabbed his drooping legs. The two carried the blood-stained body towards the docks under the cover of nightfall. There they approached the seashore beneath the dock and dropped the corpse into the sea. It floated on the water since it still had air in it. The killer extended his hand over the victim's torso before he flinched back.

    "Almost forgot something," he said as he reached for his victim's belt, removing a Pokeball clipped onto it. He tossed it onto the sand as a white light emerged from the ball. It took the form of a tiny round-headed human figure. When the light faded, the summoned Pokemon began to look around until he directed his attention to the cloaked man.

    "You're free now, Ralts," the murderer said. "Your trainer can abuse you no longer."

    Ralts was confused by the man's words and tried to contemplate them. The killer felt a slight tingle in his mind as a boy's voice echoed in the back of it. "Where is my trainer?" Ralts said to him telepathically.

    "You don't need to worry about him," the killer said trying to reassure him. "You're free."

    Ralts started looking around again before the floating body caught his eyes. He recognized the tie and realized that was his trainer. Ralts detected no brainwaves at all as he started to come to the horrifying realization. His trainer was dead.

    "What have you done to my trainer?" Ralts asked as tears formed in his eyes.

    "Why are you crying? I just did you a favor. That trainer was holding you down; you're free to be whoever you want to be." The murderer then shrunk the Pokeball back down to carrying size as he laid it on the ground. With a grunt of a strange combination of anger and satisfaction, he took his foot and smashed it into pieces. Ralts burst into tears as he tried coping with the traumatic event.

    "He'll learn," the killer said to his Machop. "Now help me finish the job."

    Machop just stood there looking at Ralts trying to understand how he felt before his homicidal trainer nudged him with his foot to get the Pokemon's attention. The two then placed a hand over the floating body and forced below the water's surface. Air bubbles came rising out of the victim's mouth and bullet wound until it gave no resistance at all. The body sank to the bottom of the water, lost forever and never to be seen again.

    "Alright, that should do it. Let's get out of here before someone sees us," the murderer said.

    The Machop glanced at him with a frightened and saddened look on his face and nodded. Ralts was still on his knees covered in tears as the two culprits ran off and disappeared into the night.

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

    The sun was riding high over Castelia. The entire city was truly a sight to behold in the daytime. Buildings towered high into the sky, all kinds of people flooded the streets like a running river, and every corner of the city burst with energy as the day's events passed by. Over on Gym Street, a young adult trainer wearing a gray shirt and denim shorts with a Serperior by his side was gazing at the towering heights of the skyscrapers. Serperior was slithering next to him trying to stare in awe and avoid running over people and getting his tail stepped on at the same time.

    "Wow, this place is as big as they say it is," the man said to his Pokemon partner.

    Serperior nodded his head in agreement but was still staring at the splendor of the city.

    The two eventually reached the end of the road which led to the wharf. The ocean was incredibly vast as docks jetted out into the big and blue. There were not that many ships in today since it was a weekday; most cruises started on weekends. Fishermen were still out to sea as well since it was only mid-afternoon. The road lapped around the coastline stretching for miles. The young trainer's energy was quickly sapped from exploring the city. He found a bit of luck when he saw something orange in the distance at the base of a building.

    "That must be the Pokemon Center," the man reasoned. "Come on, Serperior, let's see if I can reserve a room for the night before they're all gone."

    Serperior showed a relieved look on his face upon hearing his trainer's words. No doubt his energy was gone as well. The two began strolling down the sidewalk toward the orange sanctuary in the distance.

    Suddenly, a sharp, excruciating pain pierced the man's head. Never once had the trainer suffered a worse headache; it felt like something was something was drilling into his skull. The man was brought to his knees because of this unbearable affliction when all of a sudden, he heard something. What sounded like a loud scream from a young boy penetrated his ears with a slight echo. The confused man immediately stood up and began looking around trying to locate the sudden shouting. Serperior had a worried look on his face as he tapped his friend on the leg with his head.

    "Did you hear it?" the concerned trainer asked.

    Serperior just stared at him for a second, having no idea what he was talking about.

    "Who screamed?" the trainer inquired. "There was a scream. Did you hear it?

    Serperior just shook his head, staring at him confusingly.

    "Maybe I've been in the heat too long," the trainer rationalized.

    Seconds later, the intense pain returned, and the harsh screaming resumed. The man tried to keep his concentration but the combination of the two unpleasant stimuli left him boggled. The confused man looked around at the other people lined up along the street; nobody acted any differently other than a couple of brief stares at the trainer's tortured face. He took a step forward and then he noticed something: the screaming became louder. At first he wanted to get out of there, but the trainer would rather find out what was wrong and end the screaming rather than running away and leaving which would heal only himself. He began slowly walking forward and the shrieking became more intense with every step. At one point, the outcry shifted toward the man's left. There was nothing down that way but a narrow alleyway.

    Wasting no time, the trainer ran down the alley and began looking for what was causing this great disturbance. He stopped running when the shouting began to come from behind him. Looking back to see if he missed it, all he could see was a couple of boxes and some random trash lying around. Thinking on his feet, he found the only box that was lying facedown and flipped it over. The screaming suddenly stopped in his head, but the young man's eyes could not believe what they saw. A Ralts was lying sideways in the fetal position shaking uncontrollably. Peeking under the Pokemon's green hood, the man could see his eyes were wide-open in horror as the rest of his body appeared weak and famished.

    "What happened?" the man asked as he grabbed Ralts and turned him towards himself.

    Ralts just lay there, his head turning sideways by its own weight as if he was almost unconscious.

    The distraught man started tapping the Pokemon with his hand as he said, "Come on, stay with me! What happened to you?"

    "He's…he's…" the Feeling Pokemon stuttered to the stanger telepathically. His body did not allow him to him to say the rest as he drifted into unconsciousness.

    "He's what? Who is he? Ralts? Ralts?!" the worried man shouted as shook the Psychic type. It was futile effort; Ralts was completely unresponsive. Quickly, the trainer lifted the traumatized Feeling Pokemon into his arms and broke into a fast sprint.

    "Come on, we have to get this guy some help!" he said to Serperior as he started running.

    Despite having no legs, Serperior was a not a slow Pokemon and stayed by his trainer's side the entire time, weaving his way in and out of traffic. The two dashed along the sidewalk weaving their way past many pedestrians. Suddenly, the trainer collided head-on with another man walking down the street. Both men were sent backwards onto the pavement, the trainer barely managing to hold onto Ralts and breaking the fall for the Pokemon. The trainer looked up after he got off the ground and saw a black-coated man pick up his murky black hat off the ground.

    "Sorry! My fault!" the trainer apologized to the shady man.

    "Hmph," was the only word he said and he rudely walked straight past the trainer. The trainer immediately resumed bolting to the nearby Pokemon Center with Ralts in his arms; the cloaked man stopped on the street and stared back at the trainer as he was still running. His gazed was affixed upon him before the man dashed inside the building. He then turned around and sank back into the sea of faces; something was on his mind...

    Speeding through the automatic doors of the Pokemon Center, the man felt the rush of air conditioning strike every nerve in his body. This was no time to enjoy the atmosphere though; he had a traumatized Pokemon in his arms and wasn't going to let him suffer any longer. Fortunately there was no line at the front desk as the nurse's eye caught the caring trainer.

    "Can I hel-" the nurse started to say but stopped when the unconscious Pokemon caught her eye.

    "I found him like this in the alley screaming. I don't know what's wrong. Please help!" the trainer said as he raised his voice. Beads of sweat were streaming down his light face as his slightly blond hair appeared disorganized from the collision.

    The nurse wasted no time as she pushed a button on her desk next to a microphone. "I need a bed in here immediately," she commanded. Seconds later, two doctors came bursting though the doors behind the counter with a hospital bed.

    "You're going to be okay," the trainer whispered to the young Pokemon as he handed him over to the nurse across the counter. The doctors laid him gently into the rolling bed and zoomed off back into emergency area.

    "Will he be alright?" the worried trainer asked.

    "The doctors will diagnose him, and we'll know in a few minutes," the nurse reassured. "Is there anything else we can do for you?"

    The man's face started to cool down but was still panting from running. "Are there any rooms available for the night?" he asked.

    "Let me check real quick," she replied as she turned to the computer right next to her. "Uh, yes there are some rooms left. Would you like to reserve one?"

    "Yes, thank you," the trainer said gratefully.

    "Can I get your name please?" the nurse questioned.

    "Bill Mason," the trainer answered.

    The nurse began clicking around as she slid the mouse across the pad. "You look kind of old to be a trainer. How old are you?" the nurse asked trying to make small talk.

    "I'm 18," Bill answered.

    "Oh wow," the nurse said as she continued clicking. "You're awfully old to be on a journey."

    "I get that a lot," Bill said. "I just never became interested till the late part of my youth."

    "I see. Better late than never as they always say." She stopped clicking for a moment to say, "You're in room 112 for tonight," she informed him as she slid a card across the desk. "Here is your room key. We will call you back up when we have an update on Ralts."

    "Thank you," Bill replied as he pocketed the key and turned away from the desk. Since he rushed in so fast, Bill did not even take in the features of this massive Pokemon Center, built for an onslaught of trainers both local and traveling. This one featured a large lounge where trainers could congregate while waiting for their teams to be healed. A full café served trainers food around the clock, no matter what time of day, even room service in the middle of the night. After scouting out a seat in the lounge, Bill watched Channel 7 News on the flat screen TV to pass the time. Suddenly, everyone's attention was turned to the TV when the words "BREAKING NEWS" flashed against a red backdrop.

    "This just in," the female news anchor said, "local trainer Cameron Rogers has been reported missing. Cameron was last seen at Passerby Analytics working late that night according to the last person to leave before he did. His wife knew he was out late but assumed he would return that night. But when he was not in the house the following morning, did not answer his cell phone, and was absent from his job that morning, she reported him missing. Local authorities are searching for Rogers and are offering a reward for finding him or giving any information leading to his discovery."

    Bill listened to this saddening report but was horrified at what was said next.

    "Rogers is now one of twelve trainers that have been reported missing within the past two weeks. Authorities now have high suspicions that these disappearances are somehow connected and are actively searching for informational matches. Cameron is about 5' 11" and 24 years old with short brown hair, green eyes, and was last seen wearing a button-down shirt and tie. We'll have more on the developing situation shortly. I'm Dana Smith for Channel 7 News."

    "What could have happened to him?" Bill thought to himself. "What's going on with all these disappearances?" Bill realized that shouldn't stay in Castelia for too long or risk finding out what's causing the disappearances the hard way. Unfortunately, it was already 5:00, and he would never make it to the next town by nightfall, so he would have to stay there for the night. Besides, there was no way he would leave a poor defenseless Pokemon behind.

    "Bill Mason, please come to front desk," the intercom sounded throughout the entire center.

    Bill stoop up from his chair, the hairs on his body still raised from the disturbing news report. Fortunately, he managed to keep his cool as he approached the counter.

    "You wanted to see me?" he asked the nurse

    "Ah yes, we did," the nurse replied. "We did some X-rays and brainwave scans, and Ralts seems to be suffering something similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder."

    "I see," Bill responded.

    The nurse continued, "Except this case seems much more severe; none like we have ever seen before. Ralts keeps experiencing a painful cycle of flashbacks to a traumatic event that is currently unknown to us. His brainwaves and heart rate rise astronomically, and we're constantly forced to sedate him. Has he experienced something painful recently or in his past?"

    "I don't know. I just found him like this," Bill answered.

    "Oh, then you're not his trainer. I was wondering why we scanned Ralts and there was no Pokeball marking him. That explains it then. How did he communicate with you?"

    "At first, I just felt a massive headache, and then I heard something like a young boy scream."

    "It probably wasn't his fault. Psychic Pokemon sometimes use pain or shouting as a distress signal. Did he try to say something at all?"

    "Well, he tried to tell me something. All he could get out was something similar to, 'he's…he's' before he went unconscious."

    "So he tried a telepathic communication?"

    "Yeah. I could hear it in my head. That must be why I was the only one who could hear it screaming."

    "Interesting. So he must have trusted you," the nurse assumed.

    "I-I guess so," Bill stuttered confusingly wondering where she was going with this.

    The nurse had an idea. "I actually want you to try talking to Ralts when he's stabilized. He will probably take some time, so you can go and finish your plans for the day if you have any."

    "Okay, I think I can give it a try later. Thanks a lot," Bill said.

    "Come back anytime," the nurse said as Bill began to turn around.

    Bill did not know what to do next. He needed something to do for entertainment, but he also didn't want to explore the city in places where he might vanish like the others. Because of his indecisiveness, he just stood at the center of the lobby for about fifteen seconds. Suddenly a voice called out to him above all the chatter in the background.

    "You there!"

    Bill quickly turned his head towards the sound that pierced his ears. It was a group of five young adult trainers of all different kinds playing a game of BS, one of Bill's favorite card games.

    "You want to join us? We need an extra player," said one of the trainers as he shuffled the deck.

    "Um, sure," Bill said graciously accepting their invitation. Some of the other trainers had their Pokemon out as well. Serperior slithered over to join their coversation. The two hung out with the group all day, playing BS, watching the football game that was on that day, doing some practice battles and going to dinner with them. The fun made the rest of the day pass like minutes.

    Eventually, he and Serperior both became worn out once more, so they returned to the Pokemon Center for the night. Bill made his way through the hallway in the back of the Pokemon Center that lead to the lodging rooms they had. He passed by each room, carefully reading the signs until he found 112. *Click* went the door handle as soon as he slid the key card in. The rooms there were slightly nicer than that of other Pokemon centers, probably because the city was so large. It featured a large bed, a TV, a full vanity area, and a private bathroom. It wasn't like Bill's room back home at Nuvema Town but it was still the best accommodations he had in while. Bill set his backpack down and untied his shoes as Serperior coiled up in the chair and began to relax. Upon checking his watch and seeing it was 11:00, Bill felt a rush of adrenaline as a memory flashed into his mind: he was invited to join the trainers he met earlier at the bar that night! Quickly, he tied his shoes back up and briskly walked to the door.

    "Oh snap! I said I'd meet the guys for a drink. You coming, Serperior?" he said to the coiled grass snake.

    When Bill turned to look at him, the Regal Pokemon was already fast asleep. Bill just smiled at his resting partner and petted his head. Serperior returned a smile, his eyes still shut. Bill then turned off the lights, and walked out of the room.

    Finally reaching the lobby, Bill was about to step out outside the building when something struck his mind.

    "I wonder how that Ralts is doing. I did say I would try to help," Bill remembered.

    Turning himself around, he briskly walked back toward the front desk. The nurse from earlier was still on duty surprisingly; she recognized Bill and whipped up a smile on her face because she knew what he was here for.

    "Hi, can I visit Ralts real quick?" Bill inquired.

    "Ah yes, right this way please," the nurse said as she opened the gate to the counter and motioning Bill through it.

    Bill followed the nurse down the winding corridors of the back area dodging several doctors that were dashing from room to room. The chatter in the hallways was rather widespread, but it was all medical jargon; nothing Bill understood. Crossing an hallway intersection, he almost sideswiped a bed being pushed by three doctors hastily making their way toward the emergency room with a severly injured Hitmonchan under the covers with a gas mask hooked up to him.

    "This whole place looks foreboding. I hope Ralts is ok," Bill thought to himself as he followed the nurse further down the hall. Finally, the nurse stopped at a room near the end of the hallway.

    "Here he is, Bill," the nurse said. "He's a little sedated, but he should still be responsive."

    Bill turned the corner to clear the door and there was Ralts lying in a hospital bed, eyes barely squinting open. His arm hosted an IV unit on a rack right next to him in addition to a cuff attached to a machine constantly checking his pulse. The machine beeped about every second, so his heart rate was normal for now. A helmet was also strapped to his head to monitor brainwave activity in case Ralts had another episode. Bill stepped into the room and approached the resting Pokemon. When he was about a few feet away, Bill felt something pierce his mind; but it wasn't painful this time. It felt more like there was a second consciousness sharing his brain. A echoed voice sounded in the back of his head.

    "It's… you," said what sounded like a young boy's voice. Bill knew that this was Ralts as he recognized the voice from the scream.

    "Yeah I'm here," Bill said out loud to the confusion of the nurse behind him. "I wasn't going to leave you like that. Are you feeling ok?"

    "Y-yeah," Ralts stuttered. "What happened?"

    "You don't remember?" Bill replied.

    "Remember what?" Ralts asked faintly.

    "Don't you remember what happened in the alley?"

    "All I remember is that I saw you passing by, and you looked trustworthy so I called out to you. I don't remember why I was there or why I needed help. I only remember you."

    "The doctors said that you had some kind of disease cause by a traumatic event. Has anything happened to you recently?"

    "I don't remember."

    "Well, I'm just glad that you're not in pain anymore. The doctors said to let you rest for now. I'll see you in the morning," Bill said as he placed his hand on Ralts to assure him.

    "Ok," Ralts replied with a smile on his face. Bill then got up off his knees to exit the hospital-like room when all of a sudden he heard Ralts shout, "Wait!"

    Bill quickly turned around to see what was the problem. Ralts began shaking uncontrollably as he stuttered, "Don't go out! He-he'll find you!"

    "Who will find me?" Bill asked loudly.

    The heartbeat machine began beeping at an alarming pace and the brainwave scanner surging. The nurse stepped out into the hallway and shouted, "He's going into shock again! I need a does of anesthesia stat!"

    "Don't l-let him f-find you!" Ralts said as his voice stammered from his surging nervous system. Three doctors came rushing in as they prepared to sedate Ralts, cleaning the skin then injecting him with anesthesia in his right arm. As Ralts slowly began fading into unconsciousness, Bill suddenly saw an image of a black-coated man with a black hat obstructing his face. Who was he? Why did Ralts show him this? And why was Ralts having a panic attack all of a sudden? The questions were all left unanswered as the anesthesia's effects neutralized the Pokemon's body.

    "I'm sorry, Bill," the nurse said from behind him. "You did all you could. We'll take it from here."

    Bill sighed as he contemplated what had just happened. When he finally snapped out of it enough to answer he replied, "Okay." The simple response was all he could say; the image left him speechless.

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

    The bar was not far from the Pokemon center. In fact, it was located just off of Central Plaza. That place had everything people could ever ask for; from simple hangout places where you could kick back and watch a game with some friends, to fancy restaurants and a romantic park in the center perfect for any dating couple. The trainers he met from earlier were standing outside, waiting for their new companion to arrive.

    "Hey guys, sorry I'm late," Bill apologized.

    "Nah, it's fine. We just got here," said one of the trainers.

    The group of six walked inside and glanced at the crowded setting. The bar was bustling since there was a basketball game on that night. People crowded the TV and the pool tables for fun and games, all while they could enjoy a drink together. The young trainers managed to find a booth that would seat all six of them.

    "I can order the drinks," Bill offered. "What's everybody in the mood for?"

    The confused group began contemplating their drink orders until one of them suggested, "I think we're all just up for beers right now. Is that good with everybody?"

    The other trainers agreed without hesitation as they dug out their wallets and handed Bill the money for their portion of the tab.

    "Ok, I'll be right back," Bill said as he took the money they handed him and placed it in one pile. Bill approached an empty bar stool that was smack dab in the middle of two crowds, each watching a TV and cheering on their favorite team. Fortunately, the bartender managed to spot him without a drink.

    "What'll it be, my man?" the energetic bartender asked.

    "I got a whole table to serve. I'll take six mugs," Bill ordered.

    "Alrighty, what kind of beer?"

    "Uhh, surprise us," Bill answered with a smile.

    "Ok. I like your style," the bartender said as he pulled out six beer mugs out of the fridge. He aligned them all across the six multi-colored taps that were there and pulled them all down with his arm. The fermented liquid filled each glass with a different shade of blonde or brown.

    "Here you are, sir," the barkeep said as he handed Bill all six mugs.

    "Thanks a bunch," Bill replied. "I think I'll close out the tab now. How much do I owe you?"

    "3,900 Pokedollars," the man responded.

    Bill counted the pile of money, and it happened to total the exact amount the barkeep requested. He laid on the table and dug 200 Pokedollars out of his pocket and added to it for a tip. "Here you are," he said as he exchanged the cash and trying to grasp all six mug handles in his two hands.

    "Thank you, sir. Enjoy," the bartender said with a quick grin as he moved to the next customer.

    Bill managed to balance the six beverages as he stepped toward the table, handing the trainers their beers at random.

    "So how long are you staying here?" one of the trainers asked to start a conversation.

    "I'm actually going to head out tomorrow..." Bill said as he lifted the beer to his lips.

    Meanwhile, the front door to the bar opened slowly as a black-coated man slipped in. He took a seat at the bar and asked for just a glass of bourbon. Bill saw the mysterious man enter as a chill went down his spine; where did he see him before? He gripped his mug tighter as he could tell that something was wrong.

    "Something wrong, Bill? Are you ok?" A female trainer asked him.

    Bill was trembing as a bead of sweat ran down from his semi-blond hair. Trying to keep his cool, he just gave a short, "Yeah, I'm fine." From that moment onward, he sat there in extreme nervousness as he tried to down the rest of his drink. About one hour passed of conversation, drinking, and the mysterious stares from the cloaked man.

    "I'm going to turn in for the night," Bill said as he stood up. "It was nice talking with all of you. We'll keep in touch."

    The other trainers said their farewells as Bill offered handshakes to all of them. Bill walked outside into the cool evening air; his eyes were feeling a little bit heavy. Bill walked down Gym Street to try to get back to the Pokemon Center. The city was still bustling despite it being past midnight. Suddenly, a cold metal object was pressed against his back. Before he could even turn around, a raspy but commanding voice said in his ear, "Do what I say, or I'll blow your brains out."

    Bill just stood there silently, trying to rationalize what was going on.

    "Now, start walking forward," the stranger commanded. Bill complied with this simple order and began walking slowly. The street was absolutely vacant at this time of night, so he couldn't call for help. "Turn right, here," the voice said. Bill looked to his right and could see a narrow alleyway, dark and secluded to the point that whatever happened there would stay there. The two were about halfway up the alley when the mysterious man instructed him, "Get on your knees and interlock your fingers."

    Finally finding the perfect moment, Bill quickly turned around and threw a punch into the man's stomach. It managed to stun him for a half second which was long enough for Bill to grab his hand that was holding the gun. He pointed his captor's hand upward and began slamming it against the wall, trying to get him to drop the gun. Bill finally knew what he looked like now as he locked eyes with the man; he was the black-coated trainer he saw at the bar! So this is what you were trying to show me, Ralts," he thought to himself as kept smacking the gunman's hand. The two men struggled greatly until Bill kneed the cloaked man in the hip. A red and white ball fell off of his belt that abruptly opened, sending a flash of light that formed a human-shape Pokemon. A Machop appeared when the light faded, and it became frightened at the sight of the men fighting. With Bill still trying to whack the gun out of his hand, the armed murderer managed to kick Bill in the chest knocking him backwards and onto the ground.

    "You want to try that again?!" the man shouted in an angry voice.

    Bill just laid there for a second and didn't say a word.

    "Now, on your knees!" the killer commanded.

    Bill gathered what little energy he had and picked himself up onto his knees. The killer heard a whimper in the background. Upon turning around, he saw that his Machop was staring at his master with a greatly dismayed look on his face.

    "Machop, not now. Let me finish this. I'll need you to bury the body," the armed man said.

    Machop just stood there not knowing how to respond.

    "Why are you doing this? What did I ever do to you?" Bill asked commandingly.

    The man just snickered for a second before answering, "It's not what you did to me; it's what you've done to your Pokemon."

    "What the hell are you talking about?" Bill inquired confusingly.

    "Don't give me that shit. Trainers are nothing but tyrants and slave-drivers. They abuse their Pokemon mercilessly. I am going to end their oppression once and for all!" the infuriated man responded.

    "Slave-driver?" Bill said, "You're the one that's forcing a Machop to hide your victims for you!"

    "Oh, I'm not forcing him to do anything," the captor refuted. "This Machop was relentlessly abused by his trainer when the two caught my eye. He would fight battles with odds that were stacked so highly against him. Yet, the ruthless trainer just kept beating him and kicking him every time he lost. I watched the pair for quite a while before I became fed up with it and killed him; that was my first victim. Since then, I have been killing trainers to free other oppressed Pokemon."

    "So I'm assuming you're the one that 'freed' Ralts," Bill reasoned.

    The killer chuckled as he replied, "Yep. Ralts needed liberation; his trainer was my last victim. Ralts deserved a better life than what his trainer could give him."

    "You think you did him good?" Bill challenged. "I found Ralts lying in the alleyway traumatized to the point where he was on the verge of a coma. You think that helped him?"

    "He just needed more time to realize that he's an independent Pokemon. Pokemon don't need trainers. I'm sure that Serperior of yours would be better off it's own. Heck, I think it would even be happy to be rid of you."

    "You're wrong," Bill disputed after a couple of seconds of silence to contemplate the ridiculousness of that statement. "I received that Serperior when he just a little Snivy on my 10th birthday as a present from my parents. That Snivy and I grew up together like brothers, and our horizons knew no limits. Without each other, neither of us would have ever come as far as we did. Separately, I would have been just a standard person living a normal life, and Serperior would be just another wild Pokemon. Together, we've both discovered areas that we would never find, claimed victories we could never hope to win, and braved dangers that neither of us could survive. I'm sorry that trainers like Machop's exist in the world today, but please realize that not all the trainers are the same! What you're doing is mindless rage! "

    "That's enough out of you!" the killer shouted as he pointed the gun right between Bill's eyes. "I am going to end this once and for all!"

    Suddenly, Machop sprang up into the air to about three feet above the gunman's head. He extended his elbow as he returned to the ground and brought it crashing down on his master's neck. Without even a blink, the gunman fell facedown onto the concrete, dropping the gun. Bill slowly stood up from his knees and saw Machop standing behind the fallen trainer shaking as if he was morbidly horrified.

    "It's ok," Bill tried to reassure him. "It's going to be ok," he said as he slowly approached the trembling Pokemon.

    Bill placed two fingers on the neck of the fallen trainer. He could not feel a pulse; the Machop had broken his neck. "He's dead," he told Machop.

    The Superpower Pokemon stood there frozen in shock. With quick thinking, Bill picked up the dead body and hoisted it over his shoulders, walking away from the paralyzed Pokemon.

    "You've done enough body carrying," Bill said as he turned his head back at Machop. "Let me handle this one."

    He looked that the end of the alley to see if the coast was clear. The street was still vacant, and the wharf was located righted at the end of it. Stepping off the street, he made his way toward the beach in a shady spot under the docks and set the body down into the water. Bill took a deep breath, and placed his right hand over the killer's chest. Suddenly, a grey hand placed itself on top of his.

    Slightly startled, Bill looked to his right and saw that Machop was right next to him with a small smile on his face. The two nodded at each other at the same time and forced the body into the water together. After a couple of minutes the bubbles stopped appearing from the body's mouth, and it didn't float anymore, never to be seen again.

    "Come on," Bill said as he held his hand out. "I want you to meet the others back at the Pokemon Center."

    Machop smiled as he took it and returned a handshake; he was eager to begin a new life with his caring new trainer. Bill then picked up Machop and placed him on his shoulder, and the two disappeared into the night.
    Last edited by WebMaster; 18th August 2011 at 09:41 PM.
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  2. #2
    Vampire Grader sorocoroto's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 13th Victim (PG-13) [SWC]

    I'm going to claim a not a Magikarp story finally!

    "A vampire with a soul? Oh my God ... how lame is that?" - Buffy Summers [S6x08]

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    Vampire Grader sorocoroto's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 13th Victim (PG-13) [SWC]

    Intro
    My first impressions of the story on a whole.

    It was a pleasure to read a story that deviate from the whole anime concept that people don’t die (exception being the episode involving May, Meowth and Squirtle time traveling to save a guy that already died; it's the one where May's egg hatched). Murder, mayhem and alcohol seem good to me.

    Anyways, I enjoyed the way you started your story, not by introducing your main character, Bill, but by introducing the antagonist. Having a 3rd Party Omnipotent Narrator was a great choice for a story like this, because it allows the reader to have a chance to see Machop’s side of the story.

    When I first read your story, the ending seemed forced, but since your edit, Machop turning on the murderer is believable.

    Lastly, before I move on, I loved the way you ended with Bill and Machop disappearing into the night, mirroring when the murderer and Machop did at the end of the introduction. Yin/yang moments like this make stories worth reading to me.


    Plot/Reality
    What stuck out in my mind as I was reading as unusual.

    Now this section is going to deal with the parts of the plot that didn’t make sense to me for one reason or another. Most of them are really nitpicky and you don’t really have to address for readers. They are just something that I as a grader need to point out.

    Is Machop a killer?

    Air bubbles came rising out of the victim's mouth and bullet wound until it gave no resistance at all to the killers.
    You mention that Machop was resisting the murderer, but you also told me that Machop was more of a cleanup Pokémon. So, “killers” doesn’t seem to be the appropriate unless you establish that he actively kills too. Though… would you consider the driver of a murderer a killer? Maybe? It’s one of those things that I’m like overanalyzing, but hey that’s what I do!

    Most painful experience, make it worse

    Never once had the trainer suffered a worse headache; this time, it felt like something was something was drilling into his skull. The man was brought to his knees because of this unbearable affliction when all of a sudden, he heard something.
    He took a step forward, and then he noticed something: the screaming became louder. The trainer began slowly walking forward and the shrieking became more intense with every step.
    First off, when you say "this time," it says to the reader that he has experienced this same pain before in context of the current story. It can be confusing, since you don't mention him getting a headache beforehand. And I know that everyone gets headaches, but it happens gradually, meaning that this experience of a sudden pain it different.

    Secondly, why would someone who said the pain was "unbearable" want to go closer to it? I guess we have to weigh curiosity versus pain that would make one pass out. Plus then, someone who wants to get rid of the pain might want to get close to it to try to stop it.


    Final Remarks

    You’ve dealt with all the major plot issues I had before, and the two above are just things that I have in particular question about. The added material addressed my major concerns.

    Since my first draft I’ve changed my views on certain details:

    Bill placed two fingers on the neck of the fallen trainer.
    You refer to the murderer as a fallen trainer, which didn’t make sense at first because he didn’t like trainers. However, it soon became clear to me that this was a clever use of irony, since the murderer used Machop, making him a trainer, and it reflected the intro again.

    Secondly, I had a question about whether or not he would tell the police. I guess that if no one died, there would be no panic, but for a while people in the story would be scared if they didn’t know. However, this could be easily be something he does afterwards, cause I understand why you wanted to end it on like a parallel to the intro note.

    Details:
    What kind of picture did you paint with your words.

    On the whole, you have very nice description on the settings, appearance of the Pokémon and actions taken by the characters. I’m not going to mention every single good detail, so just think of anything I don’t point out as good.

    Is it a he or an it?

    The first thing that catches my eye is your Pokémon gender changes. With Ralts, he is always referred to as a “he.” However, Machop is referred to as both a boy and an it.

    When the light faded, a small, gray, muscular Pokemon with brown ridges on its head appeared next to the murderer. It looked around, but then jumped back when the superpower Pokemon saw the dead and bleeding body.

    "Machop, help me carry this," his master ordered.

    The frightened Machop just stood there not knowing how to respond. It slowly took another step back.
    You see how it can be confusing. Given that your narrator is a third-party omnipotent narrator, the reader should always know the gender, unless there is a plot point revolving around it. Now, at first I thought that all Machop were males, but I discovered that they can be female. It blew my mind. I believe it only happens in your intro, and only with Machop, so just be careful.

    No Name Murderer

    This next quote is one of the better details you have:

    "Alright, that should do it. Let's get out of here before someone sees us," the murderer said.
    You make good use of not knowing the name by emphasizing that he is the murderer, which makes the reader feel sorry for Machop.

    Age

    The only issue I have with this is that you don’t establish a drinking age, which varies depending on where you are in the world. However, in the Pokémon world, since we’ve never really experienced alchohol in the anime (not sure about manga), 18 could be a perfectly fine legal drink age. I’d actually like to see a drunken Pokémon battle once. The Pokémon would be like… what? What’s “Thund…you’re cute” move…. But I digress…

    Facedown with faces, top-down with tops

    Thinking on his feet, he found the only box that was lying facedown and flipped it over.
    Facedown works, but in my opinion, top-down would work better. Since an open box wouldn’t really have a face but a hole, using top-down makes sense to me. However, this is a comment that is based off of my style, so don’t take it as you have to change it. It’s just something I wanted to point out.

    Pokéball Marks

    I feel like you could expand on the whole idea of Pokéballs and marking Pokémon. It seems like a very interesting concept that you could go into more, if you had time to, but it is not a main focus in this story.

    Serperior hangs out with the bros

    "Um, sure," Bill said graciously accepting their invitation. He hung out with the group all day, playing BS, watching the football game that was on that day, and going to dinner with them. The fun made the rest of the day pass like minutes.

    Eventually, he and Serperior both became worn out once more, so they returned to the Pokemon Center for the night.
    It didn’t seem like the Pokémon themselves were also hanging out, so when you said Serperior was also worn out, I was confused. If you expanded and said that all the trainers sent out their Pokémon, it would make more sense. But in the anime, whenever trainers all hang out, they send out there Pokémon, so this comment is more for readers/graders who haven’t watched the anime, and I don’t know what kind of Pokémon master they would be if they didn’t watch the anime.

    Anesthesia?

    "Don't l-let him f-find you!" Ralts said as his voice became weaker.
    This happens before the anesthesia is used. Why? But I could have been because it was just getting tired. Me and my overthinking. Blah!


    Grammar:
    What your high school english teacher would point out.

    This section was hit the hardest as it is in all my grades. I feel that I must point out all the details no matter what level mons, because if I don’t, a writer won’t know what to fix and look out for in the future.

    Serial Commas

    That being said, the first recurring mistake is not really a mistake. I just wanted to point out your use of ‘serial commas.’ Serial commas are commas, obviously, that are used in lists or compound sentences. For example: I bought fish, eggs, and bread. However, I personally do not use them. You see, I tend to use a lot of participles (those pesky –ing phrases included) so without a serial comma, there is less ambiguity.

    While most people don’t even think about this, it is something that should be addressed. In your story you switch in an out of using the last serial comma.

    In a flash, the young man was lying on his back, dead and bleeding out of the hole the bullet made right between the eyes, his murderer grinning contently.

    But when he was not in the house the following morning, did not answer his cell phone, and was absent from his job that morning, she reported him missing.
    So just watch out for that, and don’t worry, readers normally don’t pick up on it.

    Lay versus Lie, Laid versus Lay

    The next recurring mistake is your misuse of lay and lie. You’ve fixed most of them, and you only have one mistake and one error involving it.

    The murderer then shrunk the Pokeball back down to carrying size as he laid on the ground.
    I think that you meant that he laid the Pokéball down, not himself down. So by inserting “it” after laid, you have the correct form of lay in proper context of the meaning of the sentence.


    Ralts just laid there, his head turning sideways by its own weight as if he was almost unconscious.
    This one is tricky, but it is because there can be a noun, so you might think that laid is the correct word. However, in this instance, “there” is an adverb which described “when, where, why, or under what conditions something happens or happened.” So it described where he lay.


    Paragraphing

    Next up, going in order from how I read the story, the following paragraph is rather long.

    The Machop's red eyes formed a few tears, but he managed to wipe them away as he walked toward the body's head. He got under the young man's cold, dead neck and balanced it on his shoulders while the killer grabbed his drooping legs. The two carried the blood-stained body towards the docks under the cover of nightfall. There they approached the seashore beneath the dock and dropped the corpse into the sea. It floated on the water since it still had air in it. The killer extended his hand over the victim's torso before he flinched back. "Almost forgot something," he said as he reached for his victim's belt, removing a Pokeball clipped onto it. He tossed it onto the sand as a white light emerged from the ball. It took the form of a tiny round-headed human figure. When the light faded, the summoned Pokemon began to look around until he directed his attention to the cloaked man.
    When the murderer starts to talk, you should start a new paragraph. Pretty much whenever a person starts talking, they should get a new paragraph, but this in particular is just a massive block of text that needed to be broken up.

    Seconds later, two doctors came bursting though the doors behind the counter with a hospital bed. "You're going to be okay," the trainer whispered to the young Pokemon as he handed him over to the nurse across the counter. The doctors laid him gently into the rolling bed and zoomed off back into emergency area.
    Again, since Bill starts talking, he should get a new paragraph.

    Dialogue Tags

    Next up is dialogue tags:

    "Maybe I've been in the heat too long," the trainer tried to rationalize.
    The verb attached to a dialogue should be acting upon dialogue: for example: I said, “I love you.” The dialogue is the object. However, in the quote above, the dialogue isn’t really the object. “To reassure” is. So instead of a comma, you should use a period.

    Tried is not a verb that can really act upon dialogue anyways. You can try to say a sentence, but you can just try dialogue.

    However, besides this one mistake, you have a great grasp on dialogue tags.

    Minor Errors

    You have a few misspellings and missed some punctuation marks at the end of some one sentence paragraphs. I am confident though that you can find them if you look over your story. It's just one of those things that happen when you right a long story like this.


    Length:
    The length of time it felt like to read this story.

    Despite the plot items mentioned and the times two character count you mentioned, this story was a fast read. I didn’t have to stop too often, and you destroyed the CC Max requirement.


    Personal Feelings:
    Really? I have these?

    Your edits have improved the story as a whole, making the plot points I had trouble with before disappearing. You have a great writing style, and I believe that your forte is plot writing.


    Conclusion:
    One Liner Wrap Ups
    Plot/Reality: Local News would still think the murderer is loose.
    Details: I wish I could start drinking when I was 18.
    Grammar: I shall lay my cards on the table as I lie down.
    Length: Be more concerned about the story than the length.


    Verdict:

    "A vampire with a soul? Oh my God ... how lame is that?" - Buffy Summers [S6x08]

  4. #4
    Vampire Grader sorocoroto's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 13th Victim (PG-13) [SWC]

    Graded and adheres to the requirements of the SWC

    "A vampire with a soul? Oh my God ... how lame is that?" - Buffy Summers [S6x08]

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