Blue Flames of Determination

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    Default Blue Flames of Determination

    Reading The Unova Times was a daily occurrence in Carmen Longfellow's life. The region's newspaper was delivered to her home in Mistralton City every day, and it had been delivered to her home for the past year and a half. She liked reading The Unova Times, and she especially liked doing the crosswords every day. The best part about getting The Unova Times was that she found out about strange occurrences in the world of Unova. Most of the time, there wasn't anything strange, but today there was, and Carmen was excited.

    Carmen Longfellow was an explorer. She liked going to see the strange things in the world of Unova. Carmen even went to Kanto once to see the Marowak in Lavender Town. She had to go buy a Silph Scope in order to actually see it, but it was all worth it. The Mistralton City resident was fascinated by strange things like this. With her Simisage, Zebstrika, Nidoqueen, Espeon, Dewott, and Zorua, Carmen took on the life of an explorer. She learned quickly after starting her Pokemon journey that she wasn't really cut out for facing gyms and eventually fighting the Elite Four like most other people were. She was an explorer, and that was the life she chose for herself. Instead of continuing on her Pokemon journey, she went back home to Mistralton City and started reading The Unova Times.

    Now, a year and a half later, she was going on her next exploration. Today, in The Unova Times, there were strange sightings of Litwick in what used to be N's castle near the Pokemon League. Carmen just had to go to the league to see them. Normally, this wouldn't have been strange, but one never really saw this many Litwick. N's castle was abandoned now, but not much had changed with the league over the years. The castle that used to belong to the green haired man was now overrun by Pokemon. In this case, it was Litwick. The Unova Times also mentioned something about an odd Litwick, one with a blue flame instead of the usual purple one.

    Besides explorations, Carmen also craved owning rare Pokemon. Most of her present team wasn't really rare. It was relatively easy to obtain a blue monkey known as Panpour, and that would later evolve into a Simisage, which was what Carmen owned now. Blitzle were also fairly common in the Unova region, so it was pretty easy for her to snag the black and white Pokemon that would later evolve into a Zebstrika as well. Carmen aquired her Nidoqueen back when she was visiting Lavender Town in the Kanto region; the female Nidoran she saw had been abandoned by its trainer, so Carmen took her in and raised her up to the fiercely loyal Nidoqueen that she was today. Her Espeon was originally given to her as the adorable Eevee from her younger sister Hayley, who was a breeder in the Unova region; said Eevee later evolved during the daytime, and that resulted in it evolving into an Espeon. Carmen was planning on purchasing a Water Stone and evolving it into a Vaporeon, but she still loved her Espeon nonetheless, and she was able to buy a cute pink scarf for it instead of the Water Stone. Dewott was the starter Pokemon that Carmen chose from Professor Juniper in Nuvema Town. Oshawott was such an adorable Pokemon, and it continued to be adorable even as a Dewott. Finally, the final member of her exploration team was the rare and elusive Zorua. The black and red Pokemon went into one of her Poke Balls after visiting the Game Freak Headquarters and listening to a girl tell a story about a Pokemon that created illusions. Zorua was that Pokemon, and Carmen owned one of the elusive Pokemon.

    Litwick was just another rare Pokemon to add to her rather small collection of Pokemon. A blue Litwick was rare; they weren't common, and you had to be pretty lucky to see one. Carmen was on her way to the Pokemon League today. She had to see this blue Litwick herself. She just had to go see it, and maybe if she was lucky enough, she'd be able to catch it. Litwick was a Fire and Ghost type Pokemon, so her Simisage and Dewott would have an advantage over the candle-like Pokemon anyways. She just had to get there before anyone else and throw a Poke Ball at it before everyone else.

    The red head got up and ran a sparkly pink brush through her hair. Carmen was a sweet girl, and she had red hair that fell to the middle of her back. It was usually braided, and that was what Carmen was doing now. Her hair couldn't be in her way in the middle of an exploration. She needed to be able to see. It was already bad enough she had a little trouble seeing; she didn't need it to be worse because of her hair.

    Carmen was a beautiful young woman. She was fifteen years old, and she would be turning sixteen in early January. Her firey red hair was her favorite thing about herself. That and her hazel eyes. Everyone loved her hazel eyes. Not very many people had them, especially in Mistralton City, so Carmen was one of the lucky few to have hazel eyes. Her mom was pretty lucky too; that was who she had inherited her beautiful hazel eyes from. Her skin was a little on the pale side, but that was okay. Carmen was happy with who she was, and she wouldn't change that for the world.

    Her outfit consisted of a simple blue t-shirt, dark blue jeans, and black and white sneakers. It was a fairly simple outfit, but Carmen was a simple girl. She didn't like wearing make up, jewelry, or anything like that. She only wore it on special occasions. There weren't very many special occasions in Carmen's life either, so really, she just owned some make up and jewelry that she very rarely wore.

    The Pokemon League was a five day trip, and it wasn't a trip she had made before. Then again, Carmen had never bothered to get all eight badges. She only had three in her possession; the Basic Badge from Aspertia City, the Toxic Badge from Virbank City, and the Insect Badge from Castelia City were the only three badges she had in her possession. Those were the only three she had bothered to get before she had decided to become an explorer instead of a trainer; there were enough Pokemon trainers in the world. She didn't want to be one of them; an explorer sounded much more fun anyways, and it meant she could travel the world too. Carmen liked travelling.

    *****

    Five days later, Carmen had arrived at the Pokemon League. The sun was beginning to set over the horizon, making the sky a beautiful orange and purple hue, and it looked the best beyond N's old castle. At one point in time, the castle was the main building of Team Plasma, an evil organization that strived to release Pokemon back into the wild because they had a firm belief that Pokemon would only be able to reach their full potential by being separated from their humans, and as such, their trainers. The team had since been disbanded, and N's castle ended up being a bunch of ruins that could only be accessed nowadays once you had defeated the Elite Four and their champion. Apparently, N's old Zoroark guarded the entrance, but in light of recent events, the Zoroark had disappeared. No one knew where it went, but that didn't matter to Carmen. She was here now, and she was here to do some exploring.

    But sleep was much more important than exploring. The fifteen year old girl needed her beauty sleep. The last thing she wanted to do was fall asleep in the middle of N's abandoned castle with a bunch of Litwick surrounding her. What if she had missed seeing the blue Litwick because she fell asleep? Carmen would be so upset, and she would probably go back home and cry herself to sleep because she would be that sad. Staying the night at the Pokemon Center was a much better option, and she wouldn't be surrounded by so many Litwick.

    She stepped into the Pokemon League, and it was no surprise that there were already so many people here. It was just Carmen's luck that the league was five days away from Mistralton City. Carmen wasn't the only explorer in the world, and it was no surprise to her that she saw some familiar faces. The unfamiliar ones were probably just people trying to challenge the Elite Four and the Unova League Champion or people just trying to see the blue Litwick so that they could say they did. Carmen didn't care about any of that though; she just wanted to get some rest, and she was sure her Pokemon did too.

    On her way to the Pokemon League, Carmen had battled a fair few trainers on the way. It had been a while since she had last done a Pokemon battle, so she was a little rusty on that front. Because of her rustiness, she ended up losing her first couple of battles, but once the red head got back into the swing of things, she was starting to win battles again. She still lost some, of course, because there were other trainers in the Unova region who were better than her, but the extra money she ended up receiving was definitely going to help her in the long run. Carmen planned on stocking up on supplies at the Poke Mart before she started her exploration. If she had to backtrack to the Pokemon Center because all six of her precious Pokemon fainted, it would waste time, and her chances of seeing the blue Litwick would get slimmer and slimmer; her chances of actually catching it and owning it also looked pretty slim, and they could only get slimmer.

    *****

    The following morning, Carmen was up bright and early. It made sense to get up bright and early; the earlier she got up, the sooner she could start exploring the ruins of N's castle and the sooner she could see that blue Litwick. If she was lucky enough, she would actually be able to catch it.

    Luck was something that Carmen could worry about later though. Right now, she needed to stock up on supplies at the Poke Mart. She approached the young man at the counter with a smile. He looked up from the magazine he had been reading; apparently, the Poke Mart at the Unova League didn't get much business this early in the morning.

    "Hi, may I have five Poke Balls, three Full Restores, and three Revives?" Carmen asked.

    "Of course. That'll be 14,500 Poke Dollars," the young man replied as he closed his magazine and placed it under the counter. Carmen caught a quick glimpse of the magazine cover and noted that it was Pokemon Weekly, a magazine that came out once a week detailing the latest news in the Pokemon world. A blue penguin Pokemon was on the cover of it, and it was one that Carmen didn't recognize. She didn't get the opportunity to catch the name of the Pokemon, which was a shame; Carmen thought it was adorable, and she wanted to know where she could get one of her own. It would be a nice addition to her small collection of Pokemon,

    The young man stepped away from the counter to go gather the items requested by Carmen while the red-head took out the 14,500 Poke Dollars required to pay for said items. He returned moments later with five small, red and white capsules, three light green rectangular spray bottles, and three small, cream colored, three dimensional diamonds. The items were placed on the counter, and Carmen handed 14,500 Poke Dollars to the young man. Carmen caught a glance of the gold name tag on the boy's blue vest, a mandatory part of the uniform for Poke Mart cashiers; the black letters engraved into the name tag said that the boy's name was Jamison. It was a nice, unique name that Carmen liked; she had decided long ago that if she ever had a son, she'd name him Jamison.

    She took her sky blue backpack off of her back and opened it, dumping her newly purchased items into it. She closed the bag and threw it back onto her back; as she walked away from the Poke Mart, she waved to Jamison, though he wasn't really paying much attention anymore. He was back to reading Pokemon Weekly.

    Carmen had to shield her eyes from the sun as she walked out of the building that the Unova Pokemon League was housed in. She didn't usually wake up this early, even for an exploration, so her eyes weren't used to the bright light that was coming from the still rising sun. The red-head was suddenly wishing she had brought a pair of sunglasses along with her. She would be glad when she reached the ruins of N's castle. It wouldn't be as bright down there.

    Her outfit today consisted of a black tank top with an orange cardigan to cover it, a pair of dark blue, bordering black, jeans, and black and white Converse. She was also wearing sky blue socks to match her bag, not that anyone could see her socks since the shoes were covering them. The Poke Balls that contained her six Pokemon were on the black belt she wore to keep her jeans from consistantly falling down; they were a couple sizes too big, but she bought them for a good price, so she didn't really mind too much.

    At the ruins, Carmen took a moment to take in her surroundings. Rubble from the castle was scattered on the ground, and broken walls surrounded her. It was as if one Earthquake from a wild Pokemon brought this place to shambles. It was a shame. Carmen was sure that at one point, the castle was a beautiful place. As she cautiously stepped forward, she could hear the crunching of rocks and glass beneath her feet. She was glad she had worn closed-toe shoes today; it would have been bad if she had worn open-toe shoes and gotten a piece of glass stuck in her foot. At least if she got a piece of glass stuck in her hand or arm, she could walk back to the Pokemon Center or somewhere safe until someone found her. A piece of glass in her foot would make walking much harder.

    As she continued to cautiously walk through the rubble of N's castle, she kept one hand on the Poke Ball of her Nidoqueen as she continued to take in her surroundings. If anything or anyone popped out and scared her, Nidoqueen would come out and defend her. The inside of the castle, the parts with more walls and less rubble, looked like a royal palace. The royal red carpeting, the deep red wallpaper, the gold chandeliers, and the white tablecloths all made it seem so regal, so majestic. It was as if she had walked into the dining room in a royal palace. It was all so beautiful, even with the dust and grime that was around the room from the lack of cleaning over the years. A smile lit up Carmen's face, but it quickly turned into an expression of fear as she saw a glimmer of purple light. She jumped and dropped the red and white capsule that was in her hand; a flash of white light made Carmen fall down.

    A pale blue creature with a horn on her head appeared in front of Carmen. This pale blue creature had spiky, pale blue ears. Its jaw, breasts, and belly were cream colored. This Poison and Ground type Pokemon was known as a Nidoqueen, the Drill Pokemon. She would have scrambled to her feet and fled in terror if she hadn't recognized the Pokemon in front of her; the Nidoqueen wore a pink bow around her wrist. It was how Carmen knew it was her Pokemon. She had some sort of identifier on all of her Pokemon. For Nidoqueen, it was a pink bow on the wrist, and for her Espeon, it was a pink scarf around the neck.

    Carmen slowly brought herself to her feet and looked around. The purple light she had just seen disappeared. A frown made its way onto her face. Whatever it was had freaked her out. Maybe someone else was here, and when her Nidoqueen came out of her Poke Ball, it scared that person off. It all made sense in Carmen's head, so that was what she was going with. Speaking of Poke Balls, she needed to get the one that belonged to her Nidoqueen; without it, her Nidoqueen would have to walk everywhere as Pokemon were bound to their Poke Balls until their trainers released them from their care.

    She spotted the red and white capsule under the table, so she bent down, crawled under the table and picked it up. As she came out from under the table, the purple light was there again. Carmen didn't register it until she brought herself back up to her full height of five feet, three inches, but when she did, she shrieked.

    "Nidoqueen, Ice Punch!" Carmen shrieked, pointing a threatening finger at the purple light that was flickering away. As soon as the words left Carmen's mouth, Nidoqueen's fist took on an icy blue glow. The pale blue Pokemon ran towards the flickering light, but when she swung her icy fist at the light, it was gone. Nidoqueen looked confused as she frantically looked around for the purple light that had suddenly disappeared. Carmen shook her head, letting out a shaky sigh as she brushed stray strands of red hair out of her pale face and tucked them behind her ear. "I think it's gone. Maybe we're just hallucinating. Let's go."

    *****

    It felt like hours had passed since Carmen had originally entered the ruined castle. Rays of sun were still passing through cracks in the walls, and they were peering through the worn and tattered transparent white curtains that covered the large windows as well. It was probably mid-afternoon, but the red-head hadn't brought a watch with her, so she honestly had no idea what time it was. When the light started to fade away, that would be when Carmen knew to take out her trusty Zebstrika. The zebra-like Electric type Pokemon sometimes called The Thunder and Lightning Pokemon knew Flash, and that would be what Carmen could use to get out of this ruined castle in one piece.

    But for now, she could continue exploring.

    She hadn't spotted the purple light since her Nidoqueen attempted to hit it with an icy fist. Carmen was still set on the fact that she had just been seeing the purple light, and Nidoqueen only attacked because she had commanded the Drill Pokemon to do so. It didn't matter right now though. She was here to find the blue Litwick, not some silly purple light that probably didn't even exist.

    "You know, I don't like it when people come barging into my castle uninvited, regardless of whether or not there's been sightings of a blue flamed Litwick," a voice said behind her. Carmen screamed and spun around, her Nidoqueen stepping in front of her to keep the voice from hurting her trainer. The red-head stepped aside to peer past the large, pale blue creature in front of her, and her hazel eyes widened when she saw what was in front of her.

    She had to be hallucinating. She was dreaming. This was all one big dream, and if she pinched herself, she would wake up. Carmen would be in her room back at home in Mistralton City. She would be surrounded by walls that had been painted pink, her favorite color, instead of the stony walls that surrounded her now. The floor would be a beautiful sky blue carpet instead of the cold stone floor that she was stadning on now.

    There wouldn't be a man with green hair tied back into a ponytail wearing a black and white hat standing in front of her and her Nidoqueen.

    Carmen pinched herself and winced at the pain she felt. This wasn't a dream. She was wide awake. She was actually in the ruins of N's castle. N was standing right in front of her. She wasn't hallucinating at all.

    "You're not dreaming," N said softly. Carmen frowned; she had already figured that out. Why was he telling her the obvious? "I know why you're here too. There have been a lot of people here over the past week for the same reason you are. There's a Litwick with a blue flame in this castle. Many trainers have tried to get to it, but none have succeeded in getting past the one person who stood in their way."

    "I have to battle you to see the blue Litwick?" Carmen asked timidly. N simply nodded, and before Carmen even had the option of accepting or declining the battle, a blue and extremely dark grey, bordering on black, turtle-like Pokemon appeared in front of N. It was a Carracosta; Carmen had seen its pre-evolved form, a Tirtouga, one day when helping Hayley at the daycare she worked at. It was a Rock and Water type Pokemon, but Carmen didn't want to take any chances on sending out her Simisage despite the major type advantage that the green monkey would have over the Rock and Water type turtle. This was a battle for Nidoqueen for now.

    "Shell Smash, Carracosta," N commanded calmly. Carmen watched as the turtle did exactly what he was told to do; he smashed his shell into little pieces. The red-head from Mistralton City wasn't much of a battler, but she still knew what Shell Smash did. This attack would lower the Defense and Special Defense of N's Carracosta, but it would also raise his Attack and Special Attack; it would also make the Carracosta faster, much faster than her own Nidoqueen.

    She had to act fast, or this would be a battle she'd lose. Carmen didn't come here to lose to N. She came here to win against the owner of this castle and see the blue Litwick that she had read about in The Unova Times. Carmen Longfellow was going back to Mistralton City with a brand new Litwick in her possession. There would be no ifs, ands, or buts.

    "Earthquake!" Carmen shouted. If N was going to be stupid enough to lower the defenses of his Carracosta, Carmen was going to be smart enough to use that to her advantage.

    "Aqua Tail," N replied simply, as if he had expected this to happen. The Carracosta leaped into the air with water beginning to surround his tail. Nidoqueen began stomping on the ground with a great force, and the ground began shaking. Carmen fell backwards and landed on the ground, but N was able to keep his balance during the earthquake.

    "Scratch!" Carmen screamed as she tried to bring herself back to her feet. Carracosta's watery tail slammed into Nidoqueen, and the pale blue and cream colored Pokemon retailiated by swinging a clawed hand at the turtle-like Pokemon. Nidoqueen was knocked back by the force of Carracosta's Aqua Tail, forcing Carmen to scramble out of the large Pokemon's path so that she wouldn't get crushed if she fell down, and her Scratch attack didn't seem to do a whole lot to the turtle, even with the drop in defenses.

    "Hydro Pump," N told his Carracosta. The turtle leaped away from Nidoqueen and leaned back. Carmen could see what he was doing; he was going to release one large burst of water from his mouth unless she stopped it.

    "Try Earth Power, Nidoqueen!" Carmen shouted. Nidoqueen slammed her fists into the floor of the castle. The floor started shaking, and she suddenly started to wonder if the roof of the castle would collapse if she kept telling Nidoqueen to use Ground type attacks. Carmen needed a new approach, but for now, this would have to do.

    N stumbled backwards and fell down, and he tried to pull Carracosta down with him. Unfortunately, he couldn't grab onto one of the turtle's flippers, so when the ground below the Rock and Water type Pokemon erupted below him, he was sent into the air in an explosion that sent rubble flying and a cloud of dust into the air. Carracosta's Hydro Pump was unintentionally aimed at the ground, and that sent him flying into the stone ceiling, where a beautiful golden chandelier hung.

    A crash moments later and an increased amount of dust in the hallway signaled that the chandelier as well as Carracosta had returned to the ground. Carmen could hear N coughing from the dust in the hallway, and she found herself coughing as well. She didn't know about N, but Carmen was going to use the dust to her advantage.

    When the dust finally did clear enough for the battlers to see each other, a green and cream colored monkey with white fur on its shoulders and eyebrows had taken the place of the pale blue and cream colored Pokemon that was in battle before it. Carmen had used the dust to her advantage to return her Nidoqueen and send out Simisage instead. As the dust continued to clear, she could see that the now dazed Carracosta had emerged from the rubble of the broken chandelier and uprooted ground that sent it flying into the ceiling.

    "Rock Slide, Carracosta," N commanded. The dazed turtle took a moment to register what his trainer had told him to do, but when he finally did register that he was supposed to be using Rock Slide, Carracosta leaped into the air and slammed one of his blue flippers into the ceiling.

    "Move, Simisage, and use Seed Bomb!" Carmen shouted as she scrambled to her feet and moved away from the rubble that was now falling from the ceiling. A second dust cloud appeared, and Carmen couldn't see what was going on now. She couldn't see her Grass type monkey anymore. If Simisage was buried under a pile of rocks, she'd have to send Nidoqueen back out to finish off the Carracosta until she could free the green monkey.

    An explosion made Carmen jump, and she frantically looked around. Was there another trainer in the castle? Maybe the castle was under attack. A villainous group by the name of Team Rocket usually searched for rare Pokemon, and a blue flamed Litwick was pretty rare. They were on the news rather frequently, and if they were in the castle, it wouldn't surprise Carmen at all. A second explosion made Carmen reach for her Nidoqueen's Poke Ball, but a flash of green and yellow allowed her to drop her hand back to her side.

    She'd recognize that flash of yellow from anywhere.

    On her Simisage's right arm was a yellow scarf. Carmen tied it there when she first got the Simisage. It was the only scarf she had that suited the green monkey. She didn't think that purple went very well with her Simisage. The green monkey had agreed with her on that.

    The point was that Simisage was fine though. Though Carmen couldn't see much with all of the dust in the hallway, she knew what those explosions were from. Those explosions were from Seed Bomb. It was an attack that resulted in Simisage plucking seeds out of its furry green head and dropping them on the opponent, in this case Carracosta, and watching as they exploded on contact.

    "Use your wings to clear out this dust," a distant voice said. Carracosta must have fainted from Seed Bomb. It made sense; her Simisage had a major advantage over the Water and Rock type turtle. Whatever was out now had wings, and it was using them to create a strong breeze in the room that blew stray strands of Carmen's red hair into her face and the dust out of the way.

    The results of the battle were clear now that the dust had been blown away by N's latest send. Carracosta had indeed fainted, and the remnants of its dark grey shell were still on the floor of the castle's hallway. The chandelier was destroyed now, and parts of it had shattered from the Seed Bomb's explosions. A pile of rocks where Carmen had been standing just moments ago had formed from Carracosta's final move, Rock Slide. Rubble from the ceiling covered the floor as well, and there was a hole in the ground from when Carmen's Nidoqueen had used Earth Power.

    Taking the place of N's Carracosta was an ancient yellow bird with a red tail that had three blue feathers at the tip. Its head was made up of green and red scales, and there were green, blue, and red feathers on its wings and feet. Archeops was a Rock and Flying type known as The Oldest Bird Pokemon. While Carmen had the advantage moments ago, N was the one with the advantage as Archeops' Flying type attacks would floor her Simisage.

    But she'd have to work with Simisage for now. She didn't want to risk doing another switch, especially now that the dust and smoke had cleared. Simisage was a crafty Pokemon; the green monkey known as The Thorn Pokemon had won her many battles that Carmen herself doubted she'd win. Today would be no different; she was sure of it.

    "Archeops, Dragon Claw," N cooly commanded. The colorful ancient bird flew towards Simisage; the claws on the ends of her yellow and blue feathered wings were now taking on a purple aura.

    "Grass Knot! Follow up with Seed Bomb!" Carmen quickly shouted. It was the first move she could think of, and now that she actually thought about it, it was probably the best move she could use in this situation. The heavier and bigger the Pokemon, the harder it would fall. Carmen noted that Archeops was a rather large Pokemon in person; she had only seen the ancient bird before today in pictures.

    As Archeops closed in and prepared to strike Simisage with its purple claws, Simisage ducked and swung its tail at the colorful bird's legs. The green monkey's tail wrapped around the bird's legs, and Simisage ran forwards in the direction that Archeops had just come from. Archeops struggled to continue to fly forward, furiously flapping her wings in an attempt to break free of Simisage's grasp.

    And then it happened. Simisage's tail let go of Archeops' legs, and the green monkey flew backwards, through Archeops' legs. The ancient bird flew in the opposite direction of Simisage, and after they passed each other, The Thorn Pokemon began throwing seeds at The Oldest Bird Pokemon. Explosions preceded a loud crash as Archeops tumbled into the chandelier, damaging it even further, and into a wall; the explosions continued beyond Archeops' collision with the wall, at least until Simisage collided with the pile of rocks created by Carracosta.

    Another cloud of dust, this time combined with smoke from the numerous explosions, formed on the battlefield again. Carmen was sure that the Archeops was just shaken up and dazed from what had just happened, but Simisage's actions probably shook her up as well. Regardless, if Simisage knew she was going back into her Poke Ball, she wouldn't do it without a fight; Carmen's Simisage was horribly stubborn, and her stubbornness usually resulted in her fainting before she would finally go back into her Poke Ball. By that point, she wouldn't be able to resist.

    A smile made its way onto Carmen's face. Simisage would probably be the Pokemon to win this for her. Simisage would be her ticket into seeing that blue flamed Litwick that was somewhere in the ruins of this castle.

    "Hidden Power!" Carmen called out to her Simisage. She was sure that the monkey could hear her; it had large green ears, after all.

    "Try an Acrobatics to finish that monkey off, but first, clear out this smoke," N called out. Carmen could only hope that the dust and smoke in the hallway would stick around long enough for Simisage to use Hidden Power on the bird. If it didn't, Carmen had her hand on Nidoqueen's Poke Ball.

    Carmen could not only feel the strong breeze from Archeops flapping her wings, but she could hear the bird's wings flapping too. Her smile faded away as the dust and smoke began to clear away. If Simisage wasn't ready with her Hidden Power before Archeops got close enough, it would be over for the monkey. Acrobatics' power doubled if the user wasn't holding an item, and Carmen had noted earlier, before the dust and smoke returned, that Archeops wasn't holding an item.

    Archeops closed in on Simisage, but Carmen could see the sea blue orb in her hands. Hidden Power took on a random type once it was taught to your Pokemon. The red-head wasn't sure how Hidden Power's type was determined, but she was forever grateful that her Simisage had a Water type Hidden Power. It was very useful in this battle. The green monkey leaped into the air, dropping the blue orb of energy on Archeops' head as it crashed into the pile of rocks behind where Simisage was just standing. As if the crafty monkey knew what Carmen was going to say, another Seed Bomb barrage had started up again, and another cloud of smoke formed in the air.

    "Enough!" N roared as he returned his unconscious Archeops to the red and white capsule it resided in outside of battle. Carmen flinched at the sound of his voice. Maybe she had gone wrong in coming here today. Maybe this would be her downfall. He probably had four more Pokemon left that were healthy and unused. Those four Pokemon would probably finish off her Simisage and eliminate her other five Pokemon without even lifting a finger.

    A flash of white light broke through the grey cloud of smoke in the hallway. Carmen could only make out the shape of the Pokemon N had sent out. Gears of varying sizes hovered over a spiky circle. Based on the size of the Pokemon, Carmen guessed that it was a Klinklang, a genderless Steel type Pokemon. Simisage wouldn't stand a chance against the Steel type gears, so she would just have to weaken it until the grass monkey slipped into a state of unconscious. The poor Pokemon wouldn't be switched out otherwise.

    "Lock-On, and then Hidden Power!" N shouted. The Klinklang shifted, and its black eyes locked onto the green monkey. Even as Simisage moved slightly, the Klinklang's gaze never left the monkey. A firey red orb was starting to form in front of the gears; Klinklang's Hidden Power was of the Fire type. That would probably finish Simisage off. Carmen needed to act fast if she wanted to give any of her other Pokemon a chance.

    "Simisage, use Fury Swipes and Seed Bomb!" Carmen commanded. Her Simisage looked over at her with its mischievous black eyes, and Carmen could see the grin forming on Simisage's cream colored face. This was how Simisage wanted to go out. The mischievious monkey knew how it wanted to go out of this battle.

    As Klinklang continued to charge up its Hidden Power, Simisage ran towards it and began slashing away furiously with her claws. The Pokemon made of gears didn't seem too bothered by the fact that it was being slashed at furiously by the green monkey. It just continued to watch the monkey while it charged up the firey orb in front of it. Klinklang slowly turned to face Simisage...

    BOOM!

    An explosion knocked both Pokemon back. Klinklang flew backwards into the wall, and Simisage slammed into the stone wall behind her. Carmen took a red and white capsule off of her belt and held it out; Simisage turned into a red light and was absorbed back into her Poke Ball. A smile formed on Carmen's face as she put the capsule back on her belt.

    "Fire Punch, and then use Flamethrower!" Carmen shouted as Nidoqueen returned to the destroyed battlefield.

    "Zap Cannon!" N called out to his Klinklang. A grin made its way onto Carmen's face. She was forever grateful to her Simisage for creating yet another smoke cloud in the hallway. The best part about it was that unless N had another Flying type Pokemon or something with wings, the smoke cloud would be sticking around for awhile. He probably wouldn't realize what was going on until after it had cleared out, so he would probably keep sending Electric type attacks until he saw that he was up against the Poison and Ground typed Nidoqueen. Hopefully by that point, Klinklang would be defeated, and he would be sending something new.

    Carmen could see the flames from Nidoqueen's fist, and she watched as they collided with the Klinklang. More flames emerged amongst the cloud of smoke, this time from Nidoqueen's mouth, and there was another explosion. That was probably Flamethrower colliding with Zap Cannon. She could hear N coughing again, and she found herself coughing as well. All of this smoke in this hallway wasn't good for her lungs. This needed to get cleared out as soon as possible, or she was going to pass out from smoke inhalation.

    Carmen Longfellow didn't come here to pass out from smoke inhalation. She came here to see and obtain a blue flamed Litwick.

    "Zap Cannon again!" N shouted into the smoke in between coughs. His voice sounded hoarse now; the smoke in the hallway was starting to get to him now too. The good thing was that he still couldn't see that he was attacking a Nidoqueen with his Electric type attacks, so he was just buying Nidoqueen sometime and continuing to allow Carmen to have the upper hand.

    "Fire Punch it again, and use Tail Whip to clear out this smoke!" Carmen called between coughs. Her voice was beginning to sound hoarse as well, and she was beginning to feel a little lightheaded. Carmen stumbled backwards towards the wall and leaned on it. At least if she passed out, she would be leaning on a wall already, and she'd just slide down it until she was on the ground. She was sure that her trusty Nidoqueen would take her back to the Pokemon Center at the Pokemon League.

    She heard the sound of metal crashing into the stone floor. Carmen was so focused on getting back to the wall that she hadn't seen Nidoqueen's firey fist fly into Klinklang. The smoke was starting to clear, and Carmen was able to see N, who was also leaning on a nearby wall, and the two Pokemon that were battling. The gears on Klinklang were once beautifully polished and shiny, but now they were marred with black scorch marks from the flames of Nidoqueen's Fire Punches. The frown that had been on N's face turned into an expression of fury, and the gear Pokemon was absorbed in a red light.

    Carmen smiled. She won. She beat N. She was going to see the Litwick.

    "Get that smile off of your face, you stupid girl," N spat. The harshness of N's voice wiped the triumph off of young Carmen's face. He took another Poke Ball off of his belt, and in a flash of white light, a large white Pokemon with flecks of a firey orange in its tail emerged. Carmen's eyes widened; she had only seen the legendary Reshiram in pictures. She had only heard of the legendary Dragon and Fire type Pokemon. A smirk developed on N's face amidst the fury that contorted it, and he continued on, ignoring the awe in Carmen's hazel eyes. "I should have done this from the beginning. I shouldn't have wasted time playing around with a silly girl like you."

    Carmen could see why no one had gotten to see the blue flamed Litwick yet. This Reshiram was blocking their path. The Dragon and Fire type was powerful, and it was legendary. How N had aquired one of his own was beyond Carmen, but a newfound determination flickered in her hazel eyes. She was going to eliminate this Reshiram. She was going to knock it out like she had done to the Carracosta and the Archeops before it. She didn't have her trusty Simisage as the green monkey had gone out in a bang to weaken the Klinklang, but Carmen had tricks up her sleeve that N probably wouldn't be expecting even in his wildest dreams.

    "Hone Claws," N commanded cooly. His calm and cool demeanor had returned after his fit of fury, and his expression was blank yet the smirk remained. It was a face that said he had this in the bag. He was expecting Carmen to forfeit and leave the castle without seeing the blue flamed Litwick she had come to see.

    If only N knew just how wrong he was.

    "Earth Power!" Carmen called out to her Nidoqueen. The pale blue and cream colored Pokemon didn't hesitate to do what she was told to do. Reshiram's body took on a black aura, and then the large white creature extended its wings. The black aura faded away from around its body; Hone Claws was a move that raised the user's Attack and Accuracy.

    Carmen needed to end this soon.

    Nidoqueen slammed her fists into the ground again, and an eruption spurred under the Dragon and Fire type legendary. Reshiram tried moving, but it was too slow, and it was knocked over by the eruption below it. Smoke emerged from the ground where Reshiram had just been standing, but it was nothing compared to the smoke that had filled the room previously.

    "Aqua Tail, and follow up with Ice Beam!"

    "Blue Flare, followed by AncientPower!"

    A ring of blue flames surrounded the large white creature, and the firey orange on its tail intensified, engulfing Reshiram's entire tail in bright blue flames, making the room get warmer at a fast pace. At the same time all of this was happening, rocks of varying sizes from around the room were taking on a red and purple aura and floating around Reshiram. The legendary Pokemon was planning on releasing both attacks at once, and that would cause a lot of damage to Carmen's already exhausted Nidoqueen, who was running towards the legendary with water surrounding her tail and a small blue ball forming in her open mouth.

    Steam filled the air as Nidoqueen's tail slammed into Reshiram's white body, extinguishing some of the flames around it. The stones around Reshiram flew towards Nidoqueen, and seconds before impact, Reshiram took an Ice Beam at point blank range. The stones crashed into Reshiram and Nidoqueen, and that, combined with the flames, had considerably weakened The Drill Pokemon.

    "Alright, that's enough, Nidoqueen! You've done good today," Carmen said softly as she held out a red and white capsule. Nidoqueen was absorbed in a red light and back into her Poke Ball; she was collapsing from exhaustion as well as the impact of the attacks she had taken on just now. Simisage and Nidoqueen were the two Pokemon Carmen relied on the most. Now that the two of them were exhausted and out of the battle, she didn't know what to do.

    There was another flash of white light, and a blue otter with cream colored shells on his legs emerged. White whiskers extended from his blue cheeks, and the otter-like Pokemon with a thin black belt tied around his waist was ready for battle against the legendary Pokemon. Dewott was one of the three starter Pokemon in the Unova region, and his size would be rather useful against the larger and slower legendary before him.

    "Focus Blast on the ceiling, and then use SolarBeam on that otter," N commanded softly. The green-haired man was planning on using Focus Blast to make a hole in the ceiling of the hallway so that more sun could get into the castle, and then Reshiram was going to use the extra power from the sun to quickly charge up a SolarBeam and eliminate Dewott.

    One SolarBeam would probably eliminate the much weaker otter. That wouldn't stop him from getting some hits in until then.

    "Hydro Pump," Carmen said calmly as a yellow orb formed in front of Reshiram. Focus Blast also took a moment to charge up, and when the orb finally made contact with the ceiling, it would create more rubble and dust in the room. That would be when Carmen would strike the hardest.

    In the meantime, Dewott was going to repeatedly shoot large bursts of water from his mouth at the large white creature, who seemed unbothered by the otter's attacks. Dewott was like a bug to the large legendary Pokemon known as The Vast White Pokemon; his Hydro Pump would do some damage, but it wouldn't be enough to defeat the legendary Pokemon. Carmen was just going to have to wear out the Reshiram before she'd finally be able to defeat it and get to see the blue flamed Litwick.

    "Fury Cutter!" Carmen shouted after an explosion brought down the ceiling in the hallway, just in front of Reshiram. Dewott removed the shells from his dark blue thighs and ran towards the large white creature, who was charging energy in its white clawed hands. The shells had taken on a pale green aura as the otter-like Pokemon furiously slashed away at the legendary Pokemon. Each hit was more powerful than the last as Dewott continued to beat at Reshiram with the cream colored shells in his hands. It wasn't until Reshiram had fully charged SolarBeam and released the charged energy on Dewott that the otter's onslaught of increasingly stronger strikes ended.

    The red-head returned her Water type Pokemon before it could collide with anything, absorbing the rather injured otter in a beam of red light. Carmen could see the battle scars on Reshiram's white body, and despite how menacing the legendary Pokemon looked, Carmen could see just how much damage her Dewott had done in his final moments.

    Another flash of white light appeared, and a second Dewott appeared. A look of confusion appeared on N's face, but a smirk appeared on Carmen's. She knew what the Dewott actually was.

    "Nasty Plot!" Carmen called out to the Dewott, which had a red scarf around his neck. The otter with a red scarf sat down, looking up at the damaged ceiling. Nasty Plot would raise Dewott's Special Attack, which would be good for the crafty Pokemon that Dewott actually was.

    "Use another SolarBeam," N calmly commanded. The Dewott sitting on a pile of rocks laughed, and that made N frown.

    "Okay, let's get this over with. Night Daze, and follow up with Hidden Power," Carmen said calmly. She calmly watched as a black pulsation emerged from Dewott's blue body and collided with the Reshiram, which was charging up a second SolarBeam. The fact that N continued to be unaware as to what Dewott really was amused Carmen, and the thought brought a smile to her face.

    Dewott threw a purple orb at Reshiram well before it released SolarBeam, and the Dragon and Fire type Pokemon took a direct hit from the Dragon typed Hidden Power. Neither Pokemon waited for their next trainer's command as they both quickly moved towards each other. Reshiram swung one of its pure white wings at Dewott, who narrowly avoided the first Slash, but he was hit head on by the second one.

    There was a pop and a roar. A black and red fox in the same red scarf Dewott had been wearing appeared in the otter's face, and it had unleashed a Shadow Ball. Reshiram took the Shadow Ball to the face and recoiled. Zorua, the black and red fox that had originally taken the form of Dewott, landed on the stone floor, and vines emerged from the ground at his feet. These vines quickly moved towards the stumbling Reshiram, and the light green vines with leaves sticking out of them wrapped around Reshiram's legs, bringing the large white creature down.

    It never got back up. Carmen had managed to defeat the legendary Reshiram.

    *****

    "If you're not gone in an hour, my Zoroark will be back to escort you out of the castle," N cooly stated as he left the room. A blue flamed Litwick was sleeping on the stone floor. The door closed behind Carmen, and the red-head took a moment to take in her surroundings.

    It was a nice room. A four-poster bed sat in the back of the room, just behind where the Litwick was sleeping. The walls and floor were stony, just like everything else in the ruined castle. This room was probably the nicest in the castle. A golden chandelier like the one Carmen's Pokemon had destroyed in the earlier battle hung from the ceiling. The dresser had a dark red finish, and various accessories sat on the wooden dresser.

    Litwick yawned as it brought itself back to its full height. The candle was no more than an inch tall, even with its beautiful, bright blue flame. The wax had melted, so you could only see one of her half-closed bright green eyes. She looked at Carmen curiously, her bright green eye wide open now. Carmen slowly approached the small candle Pokemon and kneeled down once she was close enough. She placed a red and white capsule in front of her.

    Litwick slowly approached the Poke Ball with a curious expression on her face. She touched the center of the capsule with a waxy hand, and she was suddenly absorbed in a red light. Carmen wondered if Litwick knew what she had just done. The red-head watched as the red and white capsule in front of her shook once, twice, a third time...

    Click!

    The click that had just sounded signified that Litwick belonged to Carmen. A smile lit up the red-head's face as the Poke Ball in front of her disappeared in a flash of blue light. Trainers could only carry six Pokemon with them at any given time; the rest were stored in a computer, which could be accessed in any Pokemon Center. Litwick was Carmen's seventh Pokemon.

    The red-head brought herself back up to her full height and left the bedroom with a smile on her face. It was time to get back to Mistralton City. Her latest expedition had finally come to a close, and it was time to go back home and relax before her next adventure.

    Not to mention Carmen Longfellow needed to get an accesory for her new Litwick.

    Pokemon: Litwick {Hard, 20-30k}
    Characters: 47397
    Author's Note: Derp. I think I went a tad overboard. Also, crappy title is crappy. WOOOOOO.


    URPG Grader, Ranger, Official, & Referee
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  2. #2
    I eat Frogs AmericanTreeFrog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blue Flames of Determination

    Only 47k? I usually want a challenge, but this will have to do.
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  3. #3
    I eat Frogs AmericanTreeFrog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blue Flames of Determination

    Introduction/Plot

    Introductions are the first important part in a story because they set the stage for everything that is to follow. While the intro builds the base of what the story will eventually come, it is also supposed to make the reader interested in what is to come after. If you have a boring or bad introduction there is a chance the reader will not finish reading, as a the author that is the last thing you want. So, the simple we need to know is if your story has the these two things.

    The answer to that would be ‘yes’. You explained everything about your character, Carmen, so that I knew about the girl enough that I wasn’t confused about her. A point that ties into this is that I liked how you explained how she got her Pokemon in the first place. Usually I would consider such information filler, unless it was directly relevant, but in this case I liked that you added it because it gave the reader some more insight into the girl’s personality. For this rank, personality is very important because we expect more depth for the characters involved, so including some of that here bodes well. The other part is the ‘why’ of the story and the hook. The ‘why’ is that Carmen wants the Litwick, but what makes it special is the location of the story, the history surrounding it, and that it is a shiny Pokemon. It’s a pretty good concept with opportunity for things to happen along the way that aren’t necessary foreseen by the reader.

    Overall, the introduction was well done. Continue in this fashion and you should do fine in future ventures.

    This is something that isn’t wrong by any means, but something I think you should consider for future stories. In the second paragraph of the story you mention what Pokemon Carmen owned and that she was an explorer. Looking over the Pokemon, something occurred to me. Those Pokemon don’t seem like the type an explorer would capture. For example, they would want Pokemon that helped them explore. While the list isn’t bad, for a future story I would like to see some Pokemon that were included for a specific reason, like an Electric type for caves, that sort of thing. Like I said, nothing that needs to be changed, just stylistic in a sense.

    There is a period in the story, the part between the first and second break that felt useless to me. It the period describing her journey to the League. The only useful information I got from this section was the part about the actual castle itself. Now because you did a timebreak over this section, the reader should know what happened, but because the information was so mundane I feel you could have just included the stuff in the section following. This would get rid of the breaks that were so closely spaced, and improve the flow of the story.

    This part is more along a ‘battle’ section, but since I don’t use one anymore we can address it here.

    "Earthquake!" Carmen shouted. If N was going to be stupid enough to lower the defenses of his Carracosta, Carmen was going to be smart enough to use that to her advantage.
    The problem is this, you are having Nidoqueen use Earthquake in a ruined castle that is already part rubble. You see where that would be a hefty problem? Not only could you kill everyone, but you could potential do a bunch of other stuff as well. Long story short, you wouldn’t use Earthquake here unless you were really dumb, or asking for a death wish. I doubt Carmen wants either of those, so I would suggest thinking about how the Pokemon moves affect the environment in the future.

    "Archeops, Dragon Claw," N cooly commanded. The colorful ancient bird flew towards Simisage; the claws on the ends of her yellow and blue feathered wings were now taking on a purple aura.
    N is no dummy, and he is a really good battler if I’m not mistaken. As such, he wouldn’t fool around with non effective moves and allow Carmen to get back into t he battle. He would have gone for the kill, a super-effective move. This point is similar to the one above, we need realism.

    Okay, during the battle when Carmen switched in her Nidoqueen after the monkey faded, you had her ‘shout’ out the attacks to her Nidoqueen, while N used Zap Cannon. Up to this point both battlers had been able to hear the commands of the others, so what changed? Unless something major happened, N would still be able to hear even with the dust cloud there. Also, if he wasn’t sure what Pokemon it was, even though he heard the commands, he would try to figure out what Pokemon it was. He wouldn’t keep firing random attacks out, especially if he knew his Pokemon would get wrecked by those Fire attacks.

    Grammar

    Something I noticed immediately about the story when I first started reading it was that you kept capitalizing the word ‘the’ whenever you spoke about it. Unless the actually title of the paper is ‘The Unova Times’ then you don’t need to capitalize it.

    Beyond this, I spotted a few errors that were in terms of spelling and some commas that were needed, but for the most part, this was a well written story with few errors. You proofread it well, so keep up the good work.

    Description

    Well done description throughout, with the exception of a few things that will be addressed.

    Something that I felt that was too vague in the story was the environment detail. You had some detail about it, but for the most part it was either vague or just a glance over of what was needed. Let’s take the castle description for instance.

    At the ruins, Carmen took a moment to take in her surroundings. Rubble from the castle was scattered on the ground, and broken walls surrounded her.
    The inside of the castle, the parts with more walls and less rubble, looked like a royal palace. The royal red carpeting, the deep red wallpaper, the gold chandeliers, and the white tablecloths all made it seem so regal, so majestic. It was as if she had walked into the dining room in a royal palace.
    These are the passages about the castle detail. As you can see, it isn’t a complete picture of what the castle looks like, and the actual detail you used is only one a few things and vague. What I would suggest you doing is taking one of two approaches. One, make the castle splendid with more detail, but give it an abandoned and neglected feel to it. Two, you can give it a destroyed and looted feel to it. Basically, add some more stuff to it, because in truth you have very little.

    Since this is a hard level Pokemon I expect some detail on almost every character in this title, even if it is only a sentence or two. If you notice, while reading a novel or something similar, that all the people have some description on them. Why that is not our goal here, we can use some of the same principles to improve our writing. In this case, when Carmen is buying the Pokemon items, the cashier needs some detail. Just saying he’s a young man is fine, but that is beyond vague. What I would do is describe his uniform and maybe hair color. Just something to create an image.

    On a good note, all the Pokemon were well described and could be easily visualized by anybody, even if they had never seen the Pokemon before. This should be a goal when writing detail, so good job on this. Your Pokemon attack detail was splendid also, some of the best I’ve seen in a while. Everything was well described and easy to imagine happening. Since most writers tend not to do too well on this section, I’ll give kudos to you.

    Length

    Well over the length needed, but a good portion was the battle, over half the story in fact. You usually see this approach in medium or below stories, and not so much for hard and above. Normally I would suggest against this for high ranks, but I felt it worked for this story. I would caution about using this approach in some long stories though, otherwise it’s just one long and tedious battle.

    Conclusion

    Litwick captured. Despite the grade being more positive than negative, this story did have some thing about it that made this grade borderline for me. Besides the things I mentioned, there are two other things that I wanted to point out here. Your plot was a little weak for the simple fact that the battle was half of the story rank, and the other half just consisted of her getting to the castle, and that section felt more like filler than stuff that needed to be in the story. I think if you had expanded on the story behind N and his castle more it would have created a more lively story and one more interesting. The second thing is that Litwick was largely absent in the story. The story was about it, but it physically wasn't’ there at all, save for the end. Normally I would fail a story, but the strength of the story as a whole saved you. Honestly, I would have had the Litwick show Carmen what happened to the castle as flashbacks while she ‘hunted’ it, or I would have Carmen battle the Pokemon. Because just having the Pokemon capture itself was anticlimactic.

    That is all. Enjoy the Pokemon.

    @Felly
    Felly likes this.
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