Descent Into Darkness: Chapter One-The Dark Mist and the Beginnings of Destiny

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    Gaius Vi Britania mlouden03's Avatar
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    Default Descent Into Darkness: Chapter One-The Dark Mist and the Beginnings of Destiny

    Preface: This story has strong violence in it and death, please do not read if you are offended by such things. I have rated this story 17 and over only.


    Chapter One: The Dark Mist and the Beginnings of Destiny


    Gaius winced in pain as he saw himself enveloped in an ominous black mist. For each second spent in the mist, Gaius could feel the points of a thousand knives, digging into him and cutting at his skin from every direction. He struggled to break free, but was unable to reach beyond the black veil. Each attempt to break free seemingly brought the mist tighter around him, now entering his mouth and nose. Gaius started to gag and he found it hard to breathe, as the mist was traveling down into his lungs and throughout every fiber of his body. His eyes started to lose focus, and as he was about to fall to the ground, a shadowy claw-like hand shot out in front of him, emanating from the mist. The hand wrapped its pointed fingers around Gaius' neck, lifting him up and tightening its grip on his throat and trachea. Gaius tried to scream, but the hand kept squeezing tighter and tighter until his life flashed before his eyes...

    Gaius came from Pendragon, a small town in the Southern region of the Kanto region, a little ways Northwest of Pallet Town and Southwest of Viridian City. Pendragon wasn't known for much, except for an odd weather phenomena that not even the top meteorologists could explain; nine months out of the year, dense cloud cover hovered over the quaint village, obscuring the sun twenty-four hours a day. For hundreds of years crops and plants were a luxury that could only be grown for a fourth of the year.
    That was, until eighty years ago, Charles, Gaius' grandfather, developed the town's first indoor greenhouse; it allowed crops to be grown year round, regardless of the fog or even snow. Charles's immense profits from both selling crops and constructing indoor greenhouses for other farmers provided him with enough money to buy a large tract of land on a hill overlooking the village. He then built a large family mansion and greenhouse which dwarfs all buildings in the small hamlet. His immense wealth brought influence and he and his family quickly rose to the top of the town elite, the family frequently throwing lavish buffets and parties open only to those they deemed worthy. Little had changed in the past eighty years for the family Britannia, as Charles' son Magnus carried on his father's passion for the extravagant, and tried to pass the same predilections to his own son, Gaius.

    From the time Gaius was born, he never wanted for anything as his family’s wealth ensured he had everything he ever wanted. Although he always had whatever he needed, Gaius never felt any challenge out of life. When he was a child, the young boy idolized his parents and tried to spend every waking moment with them that he could. However, due to his father’s business and extravagant nightlife, and his mother’s need to accompany him in these ventures, he was frequently left alone or with babysitters.

    Gaius never knew much about his mother, other than that she was a Pokemon trainer. Marianne tried to fill his life with Pokemon as much as possible, from children’s movies to basic lessons and explanations on how Pokemon lived. Although Gaius never took much of the information to heart, he still enjoyed the experience of spending time with his mother, whenever she was not entertaining guests with her husband.

    Hoping to ferment his interest in Pokemon and expand his knowledge, she insisted, to her husband’s displeasure, that their son be sent to a Pokemon themed pre-school. After searching for several weeks, she found the school Poke-kids, which offered itself as a friendly and playful learning environment for young children who had an interest in Pokemon. Marianne hoped that Poke-kids would allow her son to experience the same kind of love and enjoyment that she felt with Pokemon since she was a child.
    Gaius quite enjoyed his time at Poke-kids. Each day was spent covering a basic concept of Pokemon life, moves, or type differences, with each lesson accompanied by a small, three question quiz at the end of the day. During recess, which lasted for about an hour or so every day, consisted of letting the students play with various forms of Pokemon with teacher supervision. Most of the available Pokemon consisted of baby forms of popular Pokemon, such as Pichu, Cleffa, Smoochum, and Magby. Recess was the highlight of young Gaius’ day, as he loved interacting with all types of Pokemon that he was learning about, as well as telling them to practice moves on target dolls which were sometimes used in lessons.

    One Pokemon soon stood out during the young boy’s time at Poke-kids, a small Pokemon that arrived a few weeks after Gaius started classes there. The Pokemon had two large, cone shaped ears on top of its head; two large eyes, a light blue upper body with a tan mouth, and tan patch on her stomach. Gaius could also see small points or spikes at the bottom of its body, and similar looking points at the end of its hands. The Pokemon also had small tan feet with white nails sticking out from the front, which were only visible when the Pokemon walked across the playground. Gaius learned that the Pokemon’s name was Munchlax, and played with that Pokemon every day that he could.

    Munchlax also seemed to enjoy the young boy’s attention, as most of the other students were interested in playing with other Pokemon, leaving the Normal-type Pokemon feeling rejected when not being played with by Gaius. The large Pokemon began to eventually seek the young boy out during playtime, the act of which caused Gaius’ bond with the Pokemon to deepen. As the months went by, another young boy began to take an interest in the portly Pokemon.

    The boy’s name was Joey, and, at first impression, he was kind and friendly. Joey was slightly shorter than Gaius, with light blonde hair, blue eyes, and pale skin. The boy already owned a Pokemon, which was uncommon for someone as young as the preschool student. Joey’s parents had given him a Rattata that they had found in the backyard. The rat Pokemon continuously ravaged the family’s garbage and disrupted their outdoor activities, so Joey’s father, Lawrence, decided to capture the Pokemon so it could be controlled. Once captured, Lawrence had no use for the Normal-type Pokemon, so he decided to give it to his son so Joey could learn how to take care of Pokemon on a firsthand basis even while at home.

    Joey and Gaius regularly played with Munchlax, and each other, during recess. They become fast friends over a short amount of time, with Joey being Gaius’ first real friend. Gaius soon made another friend at Poke-kids, a taller, darker-skinned boy named Brandon. Brandon came from the Hoenn region, his parents having recently moved to Kanto because of some kind of internal problems where they were living. Brandon never spoke much about his homeland to his friends, or those in Kanto in general, only saying that there was a conflict occurring there which made his family flee.

    Brandon also happened to have a Pokemon that he owned, however his Pokemon was much more than a common Normal-type Pokemon like Joey’s Rattata. The dark-skinned boy had a Torchic, which he had gotten from that region’s professor before he was forced to flee. Normally, he wouldn’t have received a Pokemon until the age of ten, however, the professor granted a special exception to Brandon as he knew that the young boy’s family would be leaving for Kanto soon. Even though he had a Pokemon to call his own, Brandon’s parents were the official owners of Torchic, and would remain so until Brandon’s tenth birthday.

    The trio continued to have fun together as their first year at Poke-kids dragged on. Each day brought them something new to do, or something else to learn about Pokemon. As Gaius spent more and more time with Munchlax during recess, he began to dream of one day being able to capture a Munchlax of his own. He hoped that he would be able to even raise one into a big Snorlax, as the young boy thought that the large Pokemon would be a fun playmate just like Munchlax was.


    A tragedy struck in Gaius' life when he was just four years old, near the end of his first year at Poke-kids. His mother, Marianne, had been driving the family car back from a long distance drive to Celadon City, when suddenly the car spun out of control and hit a guard rail. Magnus was able to pull his son from the car, but, Marianne was not as fortunate, and she died seconds after impact.

    After Marianne’s death, Magnus enrolled Gaius in the most elite elementary school in the region, Tomorrow’s Leaders. He hoped that the school’s upper-class atmosphere would instill in Gaius the family's love for the extravagant, as well as make him move past the horrific car accident. The school was reserved for only heirs, heiresses or the children of other famous celebrities, such as Pokemon professors or actors. While in school, Gaius excelled at all of his classes, attaining the highest marks out of his class every year. He was even advanced a grade ahead due to his high I.Q. and near perfect test scores. Despite all of his academic success, Gaius felt that there was a piece missing from his life, and he sought to discover what it was.

    Several years passed from his mother’s death and Gaius’ life still felt as empty as it had the day after her death. His search to find his place in the World seemed to be in vain, as his time at Tomorrow’s Leaders seemed wasted. Instead of truly challenging himself or doing anything of note, he merely went through the motions of the school, completing assignments and attaining high marks in all of his classes. During his free time at home, the young boy tried to do his best to make his father happy, as he partially blamed himself for his mother’s death. Magnus seemed not to notice much of the boy’s efforts, as he delved into the social nightlife like never before in an attempt to drown his own sorrow over his wife’s passing. As time went on, Magnus began to ignore his son completely, instead tasking various servants to interact with Gaius in order to limit his interaction with his own son, as well as trying to find ways to keep his son out of the home as much as possible.

    Gaius discovered his life's missing piece during the first year of his schooling at Business Tech, a private live-in high school for the children of wealthy business owners who sought to train their children to follow in their footsteps. Magnus had decided to send Gaius to Business Tech as soon as he was able, allowing himself to effectively completely rid himself of the responsibilities of fatherhood. Gaius, though quite hurt at his father’s decision, decided that the only possible option would be for him to excel as his father wished him to. The young man began an intense school study regime, which allowed for very little free time. While his schoolwork allowed him to learn and retain a wide amount of information, he shunned off the community of his peers, rejecting those who would be friends at his school.

    Although he was proficient at math, Gaius still had no interest in his family's fame or fortune. Instead he wanted to make a name for himself, believing that attaining success would be the only way for him to attain his father’s love and respect. On his fourteenth birthday, his father sent him two gifts, an expensive digital watch and a state of the art smartphone. Rather than simply enjoy his gifts for what they were, Gaius decided to put his brain to the test to challenge himself.

    Business Tech had a sophisticated computer network that restricted anything that the school staff deemed "unnecessary for education". Such restrictions included video games, movies, and especially Pokemon. Gaius of course knew what Pokemon were, as he had interacted with them in his childhood, and had seen maids or butlers use them at his estate from time to time. However, his father felt Pokemon only led to lack of discipline and folly, and forbid Gaius from becoming a trainer or even playing with Pokemon after Marianne died.

    Gaius took apart his digital watch and cell phone and jury-rigged the microchip from the watch into the cell phone to increase the phone's processing power. He then designed a bypass of the school's computer network using the secondary chip to create a wireless hotspot even though his phone lacked the capability. Using his enhanced phone, he was able to freely search online without any filters whatsoever.

    At first, Gaius looked at the latest video games, which he knew he would never have time to play, and then he looked at all of the movies and TV shows coming out that he would never have time to watch. Finally, he decided to search for the one thing he had not been able to experience firsthand since his childhood: Pokemon.

    The screen quickly filled with dozens of pictures, professor's reports, and links to buy official breeders handbooks, battling guides, and encyclopedias on each Pokemon in the Kanto region. Gaius' eyes grew as he read more and more. Evolution guides, Pokemon league rules, where to locate specific Pokemon; Gaius immersed himself in it all and kept reading.

    Gaius then logged onto Poketube, the premier video streaming and uploading site for all things Pokemon, and typed in "Famous Pokemon Battles". The top search result was listed as "Latest Championship Challenge", and the video was posted a month ago. Intrigued to see the latest strategies, Gaius clicked the link.

    The screen then filled with a video, which Gaius watched intently.

    The two trainers were located in a large open room, with slate or stone flooring, and a large statue of an orange dragon with blue wings situated behind the Champion. The challenger was a young girl, about the same age as Gaius, wearing a pink blouse, grey skirt, and a small straw hat on her head. The champion, clad in a black cloak and blue shirt, sporting red hair and a fair complexion, made the first move.

    "Go, Dragonite!" He shouted, grabbing a Pokeball from inside his cloak and throwing it onto the battlefield. A large orange Pokemon with a yellow stomach appeared from the Pokeball. The Pokemon also had small blue wings affixed to its back, a tail protruding from its back, and two odd antennas poking out from its forehead. The trainer then waited for his opponent's Pokemon.

    She looked at the large Pokemon in front of her, and contemplated her move. "You're the first Pokemon I caught, so I might as well send you first!" She yelled, beaming with energy. She reached to her belt, pulled off a Pokeball and threw it. "Go Munchie!" She yelled, as the ball hit the floor and a small blue Pokemon appeared.

    Her Pokemon had a large, portly blue body with a tan circle in the middle, two large, oval shaped eyes, and a wide gaping mouth. Gaius could also see two round, ears on its head, and short stubby arms on each side of the Pokemon’s body.

    Gaius’ mind quickly flashed back to his time in preschool, where he frequently played with Munchlax. The young man smiled as he watched the normal type Pokemon enter the battle. ‘I’ve never actually seen a Munchlax in battle, I wonder what they’re capable of.’ His eyes became glued to the screen, watching intently as the challenger began to speak.

    "Munchie, Thunderbolt the Dragonite!" The young girl exclaimed. "Then follow up with an Ice Beam."

    Gaius watched the video as the blue Pokemon ran across the field at a surprising speed for his large size, keeping a distance from the large flying Pokemon. Munchlax then closed its eyes, and a bolt of electricity shot out from his body towards his opponent, who was circling the field.

    The trainer cloaked in red finally gave his first command "Dragonite, dodge the electricity and counter with a Hyper Beam!"

    The large orange Pokemon quickly flew upward with a flap of its wings, completely avoiding the electric shock of the Thunderbolt attack. He then landed in front of his trainer, and small orange and yellow particles gathered in front of the dragon Pokemon's mouth.

    "Oh no, Munchie, cancel the Ice Beam, and aim a Solar Beam right at Dragonite's face! If we time it right we could cancel out or overpower his Hyper Beam!" The girl ordered her Pokemon, as Gaius could see her starting to feel the stress of facing such a strong opponent.

    "Munch......" The large blue Pokemon muttered, as green particles started to form in front of its mouth.

    Both Pokemon launched their attacks at the same moment, both powerful beams of green and yellow met in the middle of the arena, and a large explosion radiated from where the attacks struck each other. The camera that had been recording the battle had apparently been knocked over by the force of the blast, as the picture in the video turned 180 degrees, and then faded to black.

    Gaius was surprised that Pokemon could be that powerful, especially with how the smaller Munchlax was able to go toe-to-toe with a Pokemon three times his size. "If I ever have Pokemon have strong as those two, I might finally gain my father’s respect and admiration," Gaius thought aloud, "if I ever am able to go out on a journey of my own, I'll be sure to catch Pokemon as strong as Munchlax and Dragonite, no matter what it takes." Gaius sighed, pondering this possible future, and the wish that one day he could control Pokemon as powerful as those that he had just witnessed.

    For several weeks Gaius kept on studying and reading everything he could about Pokemon near his hometown, from how to raise them to be strong, to even the ancient legends of legendary Pokemon. His new field of study eclipsed his schoolwork, and after a month of learning and contemplation of what he wanted out of life, he made an important decision. With a new purpose for his life and new-found determination, Gaius purposely flunked out of Business Tech so he could be sent home where he hoped new possibilities awaited him beyond the school's doors.

    Once home, Gaius was verbally lashed by his father Magnus, who spared no limit to show his disappointment in his son. Gaius was stripped of most of his personal belongings by his father, and was forced every day to clean, from top to bottom, four large rooms in the mansion as punishment for his academic failings. Despite the physical and emotional abuse, Gaius continued to hope and dream that one day he would be able to get a Pokemon of his own, and that one day he would be able to make his own path in the world, and finally leave the shadow of his father and his family name behind.

    Gaius knew that if he ever wanted to amount to anything with his life, he would have to forsake that which had been handed to him since his birth. He pledged to himself that he would abandon his father’s gluttonous ways of overindulgence and partying.

    For months Gaius saved whatever minute amount of funds his father saw fit to give him, and worked any odd jobs he could find to earn him money: from waiter to bike messenger to pizza deliverer. All of the various jobs were an extreme annoyance to Gaius, as he would have rather been out of his small, quaint town and on his own journey. After three months of working, he was able to afford a Pokeball from the Poke-mart. Once he returned home, he decided the bright red and white coloring did not suit his style. He worked for another month to save up enough money to buy metallic paint supplies, and painted his Poke-ball completely black. Gaius looked down at the pitch-black ball, happy in the knowledge that the item represented the first step of him achieving his dream.
    Even after he possessed his first Pokeball, Gaius had yet to obtain a Pokemon of his own. He looked high and low for a Pokemon to capture, surveying a large grass-covered field on the edge of town, searching for any signs of movement.

    He saw several Rattata and a flock of Pidgey, but without any way to weaken them, they all escaped his ball. He needed his father's signature to obtain a trainer's license and a starter Pokemon from Professor Oak, and he knew his father would never consent to his dream. Faced with this knowledge, he started to grow disheartened, until what started as a regular July morning ended up changing Gaius' life forever.

    On July Fourth, Gaius awoke dripped in sweat. He had just experienced the most horrific nightmare of his life, in which he was surrounded by a dark veil which was slowly killing him.

    "Wow…what was that?" Gaius thought to himself "I've never had a dream like that…it was so dark...so...horrible...I didn't think I would ever get out. Thank god it was only a dream." As soon as Gaius rose from his bed and his eyes focused on the world around him, he could tell something wrong was. He quickly scanned his surroundings to see if he could determine what was amiss. His room was all in place, all four large bookcases against the far wall, books seemingly undisturbed, all of his school accolades and awards were still neatly hung or placed on his dresser.

    "What could be different," he thought as he scrutinized the room in more detail. Despite the appearance of normality, Gaius still had an odd sense in the back of his mind, that something was off, and that something was very, very wrong. Finally, Gaius sniffed the air, and his nose flooded with what could only be the scent of a burning fire.

    "What's that smell?" He pondered. "It smells like a bonfire, but we only have those at night during the summer months, there's no reason for father to have one at ten in the morning." Gaius quickly ran a comb through his long black hair, threw on his black t-shirt and grey jeans from the previous night and walked across his large, grey-colored room to reach the doorway. As his hand touched the doorknob, his hand felt intense heat, as if the knob on the other side was engulfed in flames. Incredibly startled by this sensation, he jumped back several feet, and quickly examined his hand. At first glance his hand had no visible damage, and he felt no damage or breaks in his skin after running his fingers against his palm.

    "The doorknob felt as hot as a stove or iron," he exclaimed aloud. "There is no way my hand could touch a surface that hot and not be severely burned. Something strange is going on, and it's going on right on the other side of that door!" Determined to figure out what could cause such an oddity, Gaius gripped the hot doorknob and turned it, slowly opening the door and revealing what was on the other side.

    As Gaius peered through the open doorway, he could see the master living room was in flames. Streaks of fire rippled across nearly every inch of the walls and ceiling, covering his father's coveted artwork and tapestries and surrounding the priceless chandelier that hung on the raised ceiling. Upon further inspection, none of the objects seemed affected by the blaze. The paintings were perfectly intact, the wallpaper undamaged, and the chandelier still precisely attached above the room. Curious, Gaius reached out and touched the nearest wall to examine the nature of the fire. While hot to the touch as he expected, his hand remained undamaged, just as it did when he grabbed the door knob.

    "Something must be causing this...some delusion or trickery or something…there is no way this is a natural phenomenon," Gaius thought aloud, "I must find my father, he should be able to deduce the cause, or at the very least put a stop to this madness." The young man quickly ran across the living room and opened a door that led to his father's hallway, his study and his adjacent bedroom. Gaius tested the fire as he entered the hallway and noticed no change in its behavior or appearance. He quickly went to the study, and looked around. The room was also aflame, with various papers and ledgers strewn about the floor. A quick check of adjoining bathroom proved fruitless, as Magnus was not there, either. Gaius then went down the hallway to his father's bedroom, the only other likely place his father would be.

    Gaius opened the bedroom door, quickly looked around the room. All of his father's valuable trinkets and jewels were out of place, and the expensive Arcanine fur rug looked matted and stained black, as if someone had spilled a beverage. A seemingly empty bottle of "Indigo Pride" wine was tipped over at the edge of the rug. He finally could see his father knelt down on next to his bed, trying to stuff wads of cash and other valuables into a small suitcase. Gaius again searched the room, trying to see if he could deduce the cause of these events, but could find no cause. At hearing the door open, his father closed the suitcase and turned to look at his son.

    "I…oh Gaius," Magnus exclaimed, "our home must be haunted by vengeful demons who are jealous of our wealth and success. We must flee and have an exorcist or some other mystical figure drive these monsters away!" Magnus wailed, still clutching the stuffed suitcase and holding it against his chest. "I've gotten what I can, and I was going to wake you as soon as I was done here," Magnus explained, "I'm so glad you were able to wake up and help me. Here, take this suitcase and I can try to load another one before we leave. I want to get the Johto china from the main dining room if we get the chance. You know I paid a small fortune for that stuff, it's coated in real Mt. Silver silver, and that stuff doesn't come cheap."

    Gaius looked at his father, he slowly hung his head and looked towards the ground. A minute passed before he began to speak. "You've only cared about the money, haven't you? Success, wealth, fame, that's all you ever cared about, right?" His voice slowly deepened, and he opened his eyes and looked at his father.

    Magnus looked up, hoping to explain himself to his son, but what he saw shocked him more than any fire ever could. Gaius' eyes were pitch-black, instead of their normal bluish-grey. There were no pupils or corneas, just simply a pure black coloring that covered his entire eye. "Son, you know I love you. You're everything to me, and I want you to be successful so that you can lead the family business when I retire. Now, there is obviously something strange going on here...with the fire...and with your eyes, but I'm sure we can get it all fixed. Just come with me and we'll take our things and go to a hospital to get you checked out."

    "Father, you seem to think there is something wrong with me, or that the fire and my eyes are connected somehow," Gaius chuckled "you're wrong, on both accounts as well." A wide smile spread across Gaius' face, and a dark aura slowly emanated from his body. "You and your parties, and your buffets, and your lavish lifestyle, they were never about caring for me, or even running the company which you claim to love. That was all just for increasing your own profile and making everyone like you...how pathetic you are and how far you have fallen from the great man you could have been. If only you had not eaten half the city on a weekly basis." Gaius sneered and slowly raised his right hand towards his father. "You know, what we have here isn't even a demon, father, it's something much simpler, mere trickery at the hands of a bored passerby. Reveal yourself or perish!" Gaius screamed, seemingly at the air. Within a few seconds, a Gengar appeared a few feet in front of his father, and Gaius laughed at the sight of the ghost Pokemon. "See father, what you were foolish to think as sorcery or a demon was a simple Pokemon. If only you had studied them at all during your life, you would know what ghost Pokemon are capable of. Illusion, misdirection, that's all common to them. Sadly though, this one will have to learn his place in the world." Gaius clenched his fist, and a black aura surrounded Gengar.

    The ghost Pokemon shuddered, seemingly under immense pain from the field that encircled him. Gengar looked wide-eyed at the standing human. In all of his travels haunting the Kanto region he had never seen such an occurrence, and would think such an action impossible. The Pokemon tried to phase through the floor, but he was seemingly paralyzed, unable to move an inch or use any of his powers. The flames began to flicker slowly as the ghost Pokemon felt immense strain and pressure. The field seemed to drain his energy, and it was a struggle to stay conscious, let alone to continue to project the fire illusion. After several minutes of trying to move to escape from the strange human, the Pokemon collapsed, and his fire illusion vanished.

    "Wonderful, now that he's dealt with we can finish saving our belongings...and get you to a hospital," Magnus weakly suggested to his son.

    "You are mistaken to think that I need a hospital father, though I am not sure if the same can be said of you in a few minutes," Gaius playfully retorted.

    "Son, something is obviously wrong...this...what you can do...this isn't natural...this has to be some virus or disease or something...you need help," Magnus pleaded hoping for a rational response from his son.

    "Not natural? You couldn't be any further from the truth. If you only knew what was truly going on, but, I do not think you are ever going to find out," Gaius laughed playfully. "Before I deal with you though, I have to take care of something first." Gaius reached into his pocket, and pulled out the black Pokeball he had bought a month earlier.

    "Pokemon?" His father asked, obviously confused by this development as well
    "Since when do you have a Pokemon?

    Gaius threw the ball at the collapsed Pokemon, and after three seconds it made a low beeping noise. "Since now," Gaius replied, "and now to deal with you, father," Gaius slowly paused, examining the situation, "whatever are we doing to do, huh?" He asked, not actually expecting a reply. "You, who tried to force me to become a carbon copy of yourself instead of letting me fulfill my own dreams, you, who sent me off to a boarding school because you could not be bothered to be a real father, as counting your money was more important...well," Gaius paused again, and a smirk crept across his face "well you're just going to have to die I guess. No way you can live after seeing me like this. You'll go blabbing to all your party friends on your phone the second I leave the room, and I just can't allow that to happen."

    "Son, no one has to know about…about your special gift," Magnus begged, "please, whatever you do, don't do something that you'll regret for the rest of your life, this can be our little secret."

    "Sorry father, but watching you spill your secrets after being plied with drink makes me doubt you could keep such a bargain. Besides, even if I did want to accept such an offer...ending you is much more fun, and certainly no less than you deserve!" Gaius raised his hand, and an identical black aura engulfed his father Magnus, causing the man to twitch violently and grip at his chest. "They'll just this is a heart attack, caused by your immense fear of the fire that Gengar caused. The authorities will never suspect this!" Gaius laughed, reveling in his father's pain.

    "Gaius, please, don't do this. This isn't you!" Magnus pleaded, feeling his heart racing and burning from the inside-out. "I sent you away, and that was wrong. I was just worried, and scared, after everything that happened...about what happened to Marianne..." His voice trailed off, not wanting to remember his wife's tragic death. "What I did wasn't right, I know that…we can fix things, and be a proper family again, just...please stop." Magnus looked into his son's eyes, hoping to see a glimmer of light, of the son that he once knew. However, he saw only pure blackness.

    "Too late to fix things now father." Gaius playfully waved his finger in disapproval. "You can't expect one fake heart to heart speech to erase everything you've done. The time to make you pay for your pathetic waste of a life is now!" Gaius clenched his fist tight and Magnus, still twitching in pain, began to move less and less, until he finally lay still on the floor. Gaius' eyes cleared and returned to their normal blue-grey coloring, and then he collapsed onto the floor.

    When Gaius awoke, he was in a blue-lit room, with white walls, peach colored ceiling and plain white tile. There was a window to the right, and Gaius could see the town of Pendragon, distinguished only by its unique weather pattern. He tried at first to get up, but found the task too difficult, as the room started to spin the moment he moved his head. He tried to move his hands, but numerous IV’s and medical leads hindered his movement. He could feel that he also had several cords linked to monitors on his chest, and even some on his forehead. "Hello?" He weakly questioned. As he spoke, he could feel immense throat pain, almost as if someone had ripped it out and then put it back intact. Gaius closed his eyes and laid his head back to rest. Memories of the fire swirled around in Gaius' head, however he could not remember how he made it out, or what caused it. The last thing he could remember, he walked into his father's room and...whatever happened after that was a blank. "I must have collapsed and my father brought me to the hospital to make sure I was ok...yeah," he paused, trying to think in order to make sense of the situation, "that's the only thing that makes sense." Gaius could weakly hear a pair of feet walking towards him, causing him to open his eyes and look at the visitor, an older man dressed in a white lab coat and beige pants. The man had pure white hair, which was parted down the middle and slightly forward, as if trying to hide the start of a receding hair line. He had deep wrinkles in his face and around his slightly slanted brown eyes, and thick black glasses hung on a strap around his neck.

    "Hi, I'm Doctor Woo" the old man spoke softly "it seems like you were involved in a disturbance. Can you tell me your name?"

    "Who?" Gaius asked, confused by the man. After a few moments he collected himself and responded. "My name is Gaius, Gaius Vi Britannia," Gaius replied weakly, still feeling pain in his throat. "Where is my father? Is he all right?"

    "Well, first we need to figure out what happened, Gaius. The paramedics found you on the floor of your home. One of the house workers called after the fire department after reportedly seeing the house on fire. When the local Blastoise patrol got there, however, there was no fire and the building seemed in perfect shape. The paramedics found this on you," the doctor reached into pocket and pulled out Gaius' black Pokeball. "We sent this to the Pokemon Center for analysis, and there seems to be a Gengar inside. Do you own a Gengar, Gaius?"

    "No, I don't, at least, I don't remember catching it" Gaius slowly replied, trying to put the pieces together. "I must have found out a wild Gengar was making a fire illusion, and somehow I was able to capture it, or, maybe my father somehow captured it in my Pokeball and gave it to me. Even though I know he has never had any Pokemon of his own, but that could still be a possibility. What does my father say happened? Surely you have already talked to him."

    "Well, Gaius, I have some bad news, but stay calm now, ok?" The doctor gently pat Gaius' leg, trying to calm him and console him for the horrific news that he was about to tell the young man. "Your father is dead. He seemingly had a massive heart attack, probably brought on by the stress and anxiety of what that Gengar did to your home. Now, we checked the capture time-stamp, so we know it was un-owned when it used its illusion powers. If you can't remember catching it, then perhaps your father did for you, but that strain proved too much for him...” the doctor's voice trailed off, unsure of what to say next. "There's someone who wants to see you, he says it's an important matter about your home and your family estate." The doctor slowly turned and walked away from Gaius' bedside, and motioned for another individual to enter the room.

    Gaius lay there in the hospital bed, mouth gaping open as he quickly tried to process all of this information. "How...how could he be dead?" Gaius thought, "He was perfectly fine when I last saw him. This seems...too impossible to be real. How could something scare him so much that he died of fright?" Gaius closed his eyes and bowed his head down, still trying to process the series of events that had just been presented to him. He then heard a second set of footsteps enter the room.

    The new visitor slowly entered the room. The man looked to be in his sixties, wearing an official-looking suit and tie under a brown trench coat, his outfit completed with a matching brown hat on his head. "I'm Mr. Grimsly, do you remember me Gaius? It's been a few years since we saw each other, if memory serves."

    Gaius thought for a moment, knowing deep down that the name sounded familiar. After a second or two of pondering, it came to him. Mr. Grimsly was his father's personal attorney as well as his financial adviser. His suggestions were what enabled his father to invest money in various stocks to maintain the family's great wealth. "Yes, Mr. Grimsly, I remember you. You worked with my father on matters of business and finance."

    "Yes, that's right Gaius" Grimsly replied "under normal circumstances, I would wait until you were fully recovered to meet with you, however, your family's extensive property and finances need an immediate consultation with their new owner, you."

    "Me?" Gaius replied, at first unsure at the prospect of owning the family estate. "Surely there is someone else that father named in his will?" The more Gaius contemplated owning the family home and running the family assets, the more he felt disgusted. He had always tried to distance himself from his family's wealth and position, but now it seemed as if it was all forcibly thrust upon him, and that there was no way he could pass it off.

    "No, no" Grimsly replied, "you are the sole heir to the Britannia legacy. Your Uncle passed away several years ago in Unova, not that your father and he kept in contact much after your mother passed. The burden falls to you Gaius to run the family household, and I will be here at your side, that is, if you desire me to be, to help you with this transition and to carry out your will, whatever you see fit.

    "Whatever I see fit, really?" Gaius thought, slowly forming a plan on what he wanted to do with his family's estate. "Sell everything in the home apart from the furniture and any items in my bedroom or items that belong to me. Donate the proceeds to Pokepals, the charity that brings friendly Pokemon to sick children in hospitals so that they can play and enjoy what good time they have left."

    "But, really, are you sure?" The old man replied nervously. "It took years for your father to assemble that collection of artwork, sculpture, tapestries woven from the finest Caterpie silk known to man, and some of the works date back even to your grandfather Charles' time. Are you sure you want to just sell it on the open market?"

    "Yes, I am sure," Gaius coldly replied, "Those trinkets and monuments to vanity are of the past, and it is my desire to carve a new path, to the future. Instruct all maids, gardeners and other manor staff that they may continue to receive pay, but that they need only clean on a weekly basis. The manor will also be unoccupied for a length of time, so please install security cameras immediately in case any employees get the wrong idea about an empty house."

    "Unoccupied...but...where will you live?" Grimly stammered, "surely you can't expect the family business to run on its own, that would be madness."

    "I plan on starting out on a Pokemon journey as soon as I am fully recovered and released from the hospital. I am sure the board members that father trusted can run the company in my absence. I will give you permission to speak on my behalf, and as soon as the lump sum of the family fortune and investment portfolio is moved into my name, you will be able to invest the remainder as you see fit on behalf of myself and the Britannia estate."

    "A...a Pokemon journey?" Grimsly replied, flabbergasted, "are you sure that is how you want to spend your time, after all your father has done for you and this town, after all his father before him has done?"

    "Yes," Gaius replied, "my mind is made up. Any attempt to change it or sway me from my goal will only result in the termination of my family's business contract with you and your firm. Do I make myself clear Grimsly?"

    "Yes, yes of course...sir" Grimsly cautiously added the last word, now finally recognizing Gaius' authority over his most lucrative business venture. "Is there anything you need me to do while you recover?"

    "Just bring me a list of what the local Pokemart sells, and of course any relevant legal documents I need to sign in the wake of this...situation." Gaius laid down and closed his eyes as Grimsly left the room. Over the next week, he slowly regained his strength and completed a stack of legal forms two feet high, signing the majority of the family assets to charities, while only keeping a large, yet small by comparison, sum for himself.

    When Gaius was released from the hospital, he first ventured over to the local Pokemart, so he could pick up several new additions to his team. "I only have Gengar right now," Gaius thought, "If I want to start strong I'll need some serious firepower. Thankfully this shop sells Pokemon as well as healing items and Pokeballs. If I remember correctly, they even have some rare and top of the line Pokemon. Thankfully, for me, money is not an issue."

    As Gaius strolled into the store, he looked first at the left wall. Various healing potions were displayed, then several forms of Pokeballs and other various items that trainers may need on their journey. His eyes quickly shifted to the right side, where individual Pokemon were available for purchase inside their Pokeballs.

    "Is there anything I can help you with?" A young man asked as he rose from the floor behind the counter. "Sorry about hiding, I was just checking on our Super Potion supply," the man chuckled and awaited a response.

    "Yes, I understand you sell Pokemon here. Is there any you recommend for a newer trainer starting out on a journey? I have some money, but as of yet haven't really caught a Pokemon of my own."

    "Well," the clerk replied, pointing to the left side of the right wall. "We have Pidgey, Rattata, Bellsprout, Oddish, Jigglypuff, Caterpie, and both forms of Nidoran in our new trainer section here." The clerk then pointed to the middle section of the wall. "We also have Machop, Sandshrew, Spearow, Mankey and Growlithe in our intermediate trainer section here." The clerk finally motioned to the far right side of the wall. "Of course, this is our advanced trainer section, but since you're new I'd recommend only choosing from the first two groups."

    Gaius looked at the wall, slowly analyzing his choices. "While all of those basic Pokemon seem great and all, I'd like more of a challenge. I already have a Gengar, so perhaps something on that level? What's the best that you have for sale?" Gaius' eyes became transfixed on the advanced section, waiting for the clerk to answer.

    "Wow, really?" Then I guess you're not that new then, even if you only have one Pokemon. The best we sell here are Tyranitar and Dragonite, although they are probably out of your price range. They're more expensive than almost the entire store combined."

    "Oh really, how much are they?" Gaius inquired, "I've seen Dragonite battle in some online videos and it seemed to be an excellent Pokemon. Would you agree that they are both powerful Pokemon?" Gaius' memory flashed back to the championship battle he had witnessed several years prior, how the champion's Dragonite displayed such raw power in the battle, and knew it was a Pokemon worthy of his collection.

    "Of course they are," the store clerk enthusiastically replied, "but I'm pretty sure they are out of your price range. They're 100,000 dollars each. No offense, but I doubt someone in their late teens like you has that much money. Besides, we only accept cash, and I doubt anyone would have that much on them out of the blue, those two are mostly just for display as very few people have that much money to spend."

    Gaius could feel anger slowly building inside his body and slowly pulled out his checkbook and began writing. "My name is Gaius Vi Britannia. If you know anything at all about this town, then you know that this check is good." Gaius reached into his pocket and showed the clerk his Kanto region ID with his name and address listed, as well as a recent picture. "If you choose not to sell me those two Pokemon, I'll be forced to go to some other Pokemart and give them all of this money for whatever they have. Do you really want to explain to your boss that you let $200,000 walk out the door over a measly store rule?"

    "N...no...of course not," the clerk sheepishly replied. "I'm sorry for the confusion Mr. Britannia, of course we will accept your check here, not a problem." The clerk hastily collected Gaius' check and got a ladder from the back to climb to the top row to retrieve the purchased Pokemon. He then set the two Pokeballs on the counter and put the ladder away, this time returning with an additional Pokeball. "I just had a quick call with the owner, and he would personally like to offer you this Beldum as a sincere apology for my foolishness, in the hope that you will continue to visit our store when in town. Beldum may not look like much now, but he'll grow into a strong Metagross after some training."

    "Thank you for your cooperation, and for the free Beldum," Gaius replied slyly. "You can tell the owner that I will gladly patronage your store, despite the bumbling of one of its employees." Gaius paused, letting out a chuckle. "I think I just saved your job, you should be happy about that. Next time, remember who your customers are and treat them with respect." Gaius quickly collected his three new Pokeballs, affixed them to his belt and left the store.

    "Hey wait!" The clerk called out.

    Gaius turned, he was not no more than ten feet from the door when the clerk came out after him. "Yes, is there something else? Did I forget to sign the check or something?" Gaius asked, puzzled by the clerk's action.

    "No, nothing like that." The clerk replied. "The check's fine, but I do have a little bit of advice. Although you have several Pokemon, you don't have a Pokedex or an official starter Pokemon from the Kanto region professor, Professor Oak of Pallet Town. I'm not sure if he'll give you a Pokemon, since you already have four, but you could at least ask for a Pokedex to keep track of who you have caught and which Pokemon you see in the wild.

    "Thank you," Gaius replied smiling. "That's the most useful thing you've probably said all day." Gaius sneered and walked away, leaving the clerk in the street to tend to the shop. The new trainer was eager to get underway to Pallet Town and quickly walked onto the main road out of town. After walking for a few miles, Gaius found a large green field with a gigantic tree in the center. He then decided that the tree was a peaceful place to take a long nap.

    Gaius awoke shivering and with a cold sweat and took in his surroundings. He was lying under a large oak tree, most likely a century old, with branches and leaves sticking out this way and that, almost as if its job was to try and blot out the field from the sun.

    There was a cool breeze in the air and he could see the wind part the tall grass of the field with each gust. "It was just a dream," Gaius reassured himself aloud, "I'm ok, exactly where I laid down at, and it’s a regular August day..." The dream had haunted the young man at least once a week since he set out on his journey, approximately one month ago. Gaius stood up and thought about how much had happened over the past four weeks, from his father's death, to his own recovery and starting on a Pokemon journey.

    "Yeah...it's surprising to think all of that happened in just four weeks, huh," Gaius mused aloud. He looked down at his four Pokeballs affixed to his belt, decided that his rest was over, and that it was now time to catch some new Pokemon. He stood up and started down the path to Pallet Town, knowing he probably only had a few days or less left on his trip. Gaius reached down on his belt, pulled two Pokemon loose and opened them. "Gengar, come out and go up ahead in stealth mode and report back if you see any rare or powerful Pokemon. Beldum, stay with me buddy. You're pretty new to battling, so just stick close, I'll see if I can find a Pokemon for you to battle, alright?" Both Gengar and Beldum appeared from their Pokeballs in front of their trainer.

    "Gengar!" The ghost Pokemon smiled a toothy grin and leapt forward, turning invisible after a few steps.

    "Beldum Beldum" The steel Pokemon replied. It hovered at eye level a few feet to Gaius' right side, keeping pace as his trainer walked down the path.

    After twenty minutes or so, Gengar reappeared in front of Gaius. "Gengar...Geng," the Pokemon pointed his arm forward towards the left side of the road.

    "What, you found a nice Pokemon over there Gengar? Let's go after it and capture it!" Gaius exclaimed. He quickly ran about fifty feet down off the road into an open field. He could see tall, green, grassland dotted with small bushes and various flowers.

    Gengar motioned for Gaius to keep walking, and then put his fingers to his mouth in almost a "shush" motion.

    Gaius knelt behind a bush, and he saw a small, yet obese Pokemon. It had a blue body, a yellow patch on its stomach, yellow mouth, and points all over the bottom of its body and two points on top of its head. Gaius immediately recognized the Pokemon as one of the ones he had watched years ago online, as well as being the same Pokemon that he played with as a child. "That's a Munchlax, let’s see what’s going on Gengar," he whispered to his Pokemon. The Pokemon was in front of a young male trainer, who was a few inches shorter than Gaius, was wearing a blue shirt, baseball cap, and tan cargo shorts.A backpack was also slung over the boy's shoulders. The boy held a Pokeball in his hand and seemed to be commanding the Munchlax. . The young man had a sense of purpose about him, and a look of fierce determination was present on his face.

    "Go Munchlax, use Ice Punch!" The young trainer yelled, commanding his Pokemon to attack. "I know we can beat Brandon this time, so give it your all!"

    Gaius looked to the right of the boy and his Munchlax, and saw another young man, and another Pokemon. The second boy had a tan complexion, and was wearing a red shirt with long black pants. The young man had a slightly fit physique, with firm arms and a toned

    The new Pokemon was a large chicken-like biped, with clawed hands, yellow-orange feet, a red body, and smooth, white, flowing hair on top of its head that reached halfway down its back. The Pokemon also had two points that protruded from its forehead, and had two yellow eyes on its face, below the points.

    Gaius wasn't exactly sure what type of Pokemon this was, which was quite a surprise, as he had studied all of the Pokemon that could be found in this area of Kanto region. Perhaps this Pokemon was newly discovered, or perhaps its trainer was from another region and had brought this foreign Pokemon with him. Gaius slowly inched forward, trying to get a closer look. "I think this is a Pokemon battle, let's see what these Pokemon can do." Gaius told his Pokemon.

    "Come' on, Blaziken, we've beaten Joey at least ten times before, I doubt this time will be any different." The second trainer, whose name apparently was Brandon, yelled to his Pokemon. "Blaziken, use Sky Uppercut. Launch it into the air and then follow it up with a devastating flamethrower attack!"

    The bird-like Pokemon responded to his master's command. It quickly raced, almost too fast to be seen to the human eye, towards his small opponent. Blaziken leaned down and swiftly punched Munchlax in the gut, lifting it up several dozen feet in the air, causing the small Pokemon to flip end over end as it began to fall back towards the ground.

    "Munchlax, don't let that attack rattle you, use Solar Beam on Blaziken before you hit the ground!" Joey yelled to his Pokemon, hoping it could carry out the attack before it was once again vulnerable to his opponent's Blaziken.

    Munchlax stabilized his body about twenty feet from the ground, and a bright green beam shot from its mouth, aiming towards the fire Pokemon.
    "Use your flamethrower now, Blaziken! Don't let that Solar Beam touch you!" Brandon shouted to his Pokemon.

    Fire spurted out from the bird-like Pokemon's mouth, colliding with the Solar Beam attack in mid-air. A large explosion of smoke and dust resulted from the collision of the attacks, and neither Gaius, nor the Pokemons' trainers, could tell what had happened.

    As the smoke cleared, Gaius could see Blaziken, slightly injured and breathing heavy, bending over trying to catch its breath. The Munchlax, however, was face down on the ground, and appeared to be knocked out.

    "Munchlax, get up, you can do it!" Joey yelled to his Pokemon. "We need to beat Brandon at least once!"

    "Sorry Joey, but that's never going to happen." Brandon chuckled, and grabbed a Pokeball from his belt, ready to recall his Pokemon. "I don't think your Munchlax has any strength left, you better recall it now before I actually have to hurt it beyond repair."

    Joey sighed, and reached into his backpack, retrieving a small, yellow diamond-shaped object. "Munchlax, I'm going to make you all better, ok?" He then opened his Pokemon's mouth, and tossed the object inside. "I would have been able to beat you Brandon, if only I hadn't sent my prized Rattata to my cousin in Johto. He was in the top percentage of Rattata, and was the best Pokemon I ever had."

    Within a few moments of eating the diamond-shaped item, Munchlax rose from the ground and smiled at its trainer. "Munchlax...Mun," the Pokemon said enthusiastically.

    "Munchlax, return. I'm sure we'll get Brandon next time." The first trainer reached into his pocket, and pulled out a Pokeball. He pushed a button and the ball opened up, shooting out a red light that engulfed the blue Pokemon. The Pokemon then vanished and was sucked inside the ball.

    With the battle now over, Gaius felt like it was the right time to reveal himself. He rose from behind the bush and approached the trainers. "Wow, that was a nice battle, and you have nice Pokemon, although I'm not sure I would have used Solar Beam on a fire type Pokemon, but that's just me."

    "Who are you?" The pair of trainers asked Gaius simultaneously

    "The name's Gaius, I come from the town of Pendragon, it's a bit north of here, though you probably have never heard of it. It doesn't get many visitors, except scientists."

    "Oh, ok. Hi, Gaius. My name's Joey," The pale trainer replied, now looking down at the ground, as if he were ashamed of his actions in the battle. After a moment of looking at the new arrival, the shorter boy’s eyes lit up and smiled at Gaius. “Wait, did you say your name was Gaius?” The trainer paused, as if he was contemplating something. After a moment of thinking, he began to speak again. “I knew a Gaius once, I think, a long time ago. Brandon and I went to a Pokemon-themed pre-school together and we always used to play with Gaius and a Munchlax there. After I turned ten, I went back to the pre-school and asked what they did with the old Pokemon that they didn’t keep around anymore. They told me that they released the Munchlax into the wild, so I began to try and track him down. It took a few months, but I was able to find him. I battled the Munchlax with my Rattata and used Super Fang to whittle down its hit points enough for me to capture it. This is the same Munchlax as the one that Brandon and I played with when we were kids.”

    Gaius tilted his head as he looked at Joey and his small, blue colored Pokemon. After a few moments, memories began to filter back into Gaius’s mind as his two friends stood in front of him. Although he had always remembered Munchlax, his friends on the other hand had slipped from his mind as the years went on. He had not seen them for over a decade, but it soon felt like he was back there with the two of them. The young trainer nodded and began to speak. “That was me, I’m Gaius Vi Britannia. You went to Poke-kids, right, that was the name of the preschool?”

    Joey’s smile widened as he listened to what Gaius had said. “Yeah, that was it, Poke-kids.” The trainer paused and looked at Gaius. “Wow, I can’t believe it’s you, Gaius. I haven’t seen you in forever. After the first year at Poke-kids you kind of just vanished, not even the teachers would tell us where you went. We just figured you moved or something. What happened to you man?”

    Gaius prepared to respond, however Brandon quickly began to speak. "How are you?" The tan boy said enthusiastically. "Did you see my Blaziken kick Joey's butt in the battle? That's not really much of a surprise though, I always beat him and his silly Munchlax. To be honest, I thought about trying to go back and capture our old friend as well, but Joey beat me to it. Either way, I’m quite happy with my Blaziken. It’s the fully evolved form of the Torchic that I had when we were kids. So, what do you think of my Pokemon?”

    "Well..." Gaius thought for a moment, unsure of what to say. "Your Blaziken was nice, yes, but I'm sure my Pokemon could beat it without much trouble." Gaius sneered, waiting for a reaction. "The same could be said of your Munchlax, Joey. It is a powerful Pokemon, but with your poor choice in moves, I doubt it will ever be able to live up to its true potential. It should have an expert trainer that can help it be strong, not some pathetic Rattata-loving weakling like yourself." Both friends looked hurt and angry over Gaius’ words, but Gaius preferred to always speak the truth, instead of masking honestly behind tact and lies.

    "Now…why would you say something like that?" Joey shouted at Gaius. “I remember you being our friends, and friends aren’t rude like that for no reason. What would ever possess you to be so cruel to someone who was once your best friend?” The young man looked down at the ground as he began to clench his fists. “Gaius...what ever happened to you? You, the old you, never said an unkind word at all.”

    Gaius shook his head and lightly laughed. “If you only knew what happened to me Joey. I didn’t just drop off the face of the planet, you know. The reason I never came back for the next grade was that my mother died! As soon as she was gone, my father, who hated Pokemon, decided that I shouldn’t be around Pokemon anymore as my mother was a Pokemon trainer. He forced me to go to business schools for years until I finally decided I had had enough of spending my time doing something which meant nothing to me. I decided to take my life into my own hands and left the school. My father himself passed away last month, which finally allowed me to live my own dreams of going out on a Pokemon journey. While the two of you were allowed to live your dreams starting at age ten, I was forced to waste most of my life!” Gaius sighed, and then glanced at Munchlax. “Joey, you said you captured that Munchlax when you were ten or so, right? I’m surprised that it hasn’t evolved into a Snorlax by now. I only wish I had actually been able to capture it. At least then it would have been able to evolve.”

    Joey looked up at Gaius as the young Munchlax owner’s eyes welled up with tears. “I’m…I’m really sorry all of that happened to you. I wish your mother didn’t die, so that you’d still be able to follow your dreams like she wanted you to. I’m sorry your father was so harsh on you after she passed. You’ve had quite a hard life, and neither of us ever even knew about it. I wish we could have been there to help you, ya know. We all were the best of friends, and I hope that we can still be so. However, you can’t keep being rude to people when you’re frustrated or upset. Doing so will only push people away who are trying to help.”

    Gaius loudly laughed and placed his right hand onto his forehead. “You think I want your foolish pity or your useless sorrow? No amount of care or feelings can ever actually fix what happened. The only option for me is to move past it and strive to be the best that I can be, even if that means having to use weak trainers such as yourselves as stepping stones towards the Pokemon League. You two have been trainers for how many years now, right? Do you even have any badges, have you ever even been to the Pokemon League? It’s sad to think that people who I used to regard so highly in my youth have become complete failures. Do you even have more than one Pokemon, or was your starter and Munchlax the only things you’ve been able to pick up?”


    Joey slowly looked at Gaius and smiled, willing to test out his Pokemon in battle. "I bet I can take you on right now and wipe the floor with you and whatever Pokemon you have. You have no right to talk to anyone like that, especially someone who you used to think of as a friend!"

    "Yeah," Brandon replied, "I bet Joey and I can beat you in a two on two battle. Two of your Pokemon versus one each of ours. Whoever wins has to admit that the other is a better trainer!"

    Gaius mused the challenge for a moment, and then smiled gleefully. "I accept your challenge, the two of you versus me. However, I'll only need one Pokemon for this battle. If you can knock him out then I'll apologize to you both, agreed?"

    The two young trainers looked at each other and then nodded. "I'll be sending my Munchlax, it should be all better with the revive I gave it earlier." Joey reached back into his pocket and pulled out a Pokeball.

    "I'll use my Blaziken, but I'm going to give it a Super Potion first to heal it up." Brandon reached on his belt and pulled off a small red and yellow spray bottle. He then slowly sprayed it all over Blaziken, until the battle wounds disappeared.

    "A Fighting/Fire type, and Munchlax is a Normal-type Pokemon, right?" Gaius thought aloud. "Then I know just who to use...come forth, Gengar!"

    Gaius' Gengar emerged from the bushes in which he had been hiding, and stood in front of his trainer. The ghost Pokemon quickly floated in zig-zag patterns around Blaziken and Munchlax, waiting their move or his trainer's command.

    Gaius contemplated his situation, and then spoke. "Since I'm at a disadvantage, I'll make the first move. Gengar, use Shadow Ball on Blaziken!"

    The ghost Pokemon weaved back and forth above the ground, circling the fire Pokemon. A black and purple ball started to grow between Gengar's hands until a large ball had formed. The Pokemon then quickly hurled the ball at Blaziken, striking it in the chest, causing the fire Pokemon to be knocked backwards.

    "Go Blaziken, use Sky Uppercut on Gengar!" Brandon commanded.

    The fire Pokemon ran in close to Gengar, and delivered a fierce punch of his fist to the ghost Pokemon. However, instead of the punch connecting, Blaziken's fist phased through the ghost Pokemon and left Gengar unscathed.

    "Oh no! I forgot that Fighting type attacks don't work on Ghost Pokemon!" Brandon exclaimed. "Blaziken try a flamethrower attack, see if you can burn him up!"

    "You're deluded if you think of yourself as a skilled trainer, Brandon. If you cannot even remember basic type effectiveness, you should go back to Poke-kids! Maybe they’re take you back after all these years!" Gaius sneered, taunting his old friend. "Go Gengar, use Psychic on Blaziken!"

    Joey, who had remained silent up to this point in the battle, finally decided to act. "Munchlax, use Rollout on that Gengar. That attack should still work, even though it's a ghost type," The young trainer commanded his Pokemon, as he watched the Gengar and Blaziken exchange blows.

    Munchlax curled itself into a ball and started to spin rapidly on the ground, readying itself for a Rollout attack. After a few seconds of charging its attack, the Pokemon launched itself into the air, aimed directly at Gengar.

    While Munchlax was flying in the air, Gengar's eyes glowed a bright blue, and Blaziken's body became outlined in a similar blue color. Gengar then lifted Blaziken off the ground and started to slam it repeatedly into the ground.

    With Gengar distracted with Blaziken, Munchlax's attack was able to hit Gengar on the side of its body, causing the ghost Pokemon to lose its focus with the Psychic attack and Blaziken fell, damaged yet still conscious, to the ground.

    Blaziken slowly stood up, and its body began to glow bright red.

    "I think that's Blaziken's Blaze ability," Brandon yelled, overjoyed, "now all of his fire attacks do more damage! Blaziken keep going with Flamethrower!"

    The blaze Pokemon began to gather fire in its mouth, which it then shot out in a bright red-orange stream towards Gengar. The attack hit Gengar directly on its face, damaging it greatly. After impact a small ring of fire encircled Gengar, which seemed to deal repeated amounts of damage every few seconds even after the Flamethrower subsided.

    Gaius started to breathe faster as he watched his Pokemon endure two hits in a row, unsure of how he could successfully fend off two Pokemon at once with only one of his own. He could feel anger building inside him, as well as a strong fighting spirit that desired only to win. Suddenly, Gaius' eyes turned completely black, and a purple-black aura slowly surrounded him.

    "Hey, Gaius, are you ok?" Joey asked, unsure of what had happened to his opponent. "If you're sick or something we can call off the battle, it's ok. I'll even forgive you for being mean to me earlier."

    "Yeah, if something's wrong we can just stop battling, I don't mind either." Brandon chimed in, agreeing with his usual rival. "I wouldn't want to put you through a loss if you aren't feeling one-hundred percent."

    "A loss?" Gaius asked, his voice dropping several octaves from his normal tone, becoming dark and ominous. "What makes you worthless fools think I'd ever lose to you? The both of you are no more than ants beneath my feet, and now it's time to grab the magnifying glass!" Gaius shrieked, with a mix of insanity and sheer joy. "Gengar, it's time to end this permanently. Use Psychic on both Blaziken and Munchlax. Slam them into each other until they are both unconscious. Use your Psychic attack to keep the trainers' mouths shut, as well, so they cannot issue commands."

    Gengar turned around, looking at his trainer before performing the attack. He knew that using Pokemon attacks against humans was frowned upon, and was surprised to see this purple aura around his master again, the same kind he first witnessed when Gaius killed his father a few weeks prior. "What is this odd power master Gaius has," Gengar wondered to himself, "how can a normal human possess such extraordinary abilities?" The Pokemon waited, unsure of if he should follow his trainer's command.

    "Gengar, follow my orders!" Gaius yelled, scolding the Ghost Pokemon. "Carry out my will or you shall once again feel immense pain and suffering by my hand. This is your only warning, from now until the end of time. Obey, or die, the choice is yours. I suggest you make it quick, I don't want to wait around much longer."

    Gengar began to panic, as memories of the day of its captured continued to flow back into his mind. Gaius had severely hurt the ghost Pokemon on that day, more than any normal Pokemon attack ever could. Gengar had never been in so much pain its whole life, and had no wish to relive such a painful sensation. Gengar closed his eyes, and followed his master's orders.

    Blue lines appeared first around Blaziken and Munchlax, and then around their trainers as well. Both opposing Pokemon were lifted off of the ground, and Gengar used his Psychic attack to cause them to collide repeatedly in the air. The attack continued for several minutes, while the Pokemon were repeatedly slammed into each other, until they both were near fainting.

    During the attack, both Joey and Brandon were rendered helpless by Gengar's Psychic attack. Neither of them could speak, as they could not part their lips at all nor allow any words to escape their mouths. Both trainers were too stunned to even move or look away. "How could someone do this?" They thought, "is this even possible, is this even allowed for Pokemon to act like this?"

    "Good, Gengar," Gaius said, praising his Pokemon's decision to comply with his orders, "I'm glad you came to your senses. I wouldn't want to have to replace you with someone else, although I will do so if it ever becomes necessary." Gaius then turned his attention towards the two trainers. "How does it feel to be helpless, to be unable to aid your Pokemon as you watch them get attacked over and over again? It must hurt, right? Well, fortunately for you, you won't have to live with it much longer. Or," Gaius paused, thinking of how to phrase his next sentence, "should I say, you won't have to live with anything much longer." Gaius stopped speaking for a moment, so he could witness the horror that grew in Joey and Brandon's eyes. "After you're gone, I'm going to take your Pokemon and their Pokeballs. They should not be doomed to failure at the hands of weak and pathetic trainers such as yourselves that will only hold them back and stunt their growth. I will make sure they are raised into powerful Pokemon, stronger than your wildest dreams. Gengar," he turned to his Pokemon, issuing a command, "I think Munchlax and Blaziken have had enough, release them. We don't want to kill them, we're going to acquire them, instead."

    Gengar released his Psychic attack on the two Pokemon, both of which immediately fell to the ground, both completely knocked out. Gengar kept his lock on the two opposing trainers, however, as he knew Gaius did not order him to release them, only their Pokemon. Gengar began to worry if this was how his master was going to handle all off their Pokemon battles together. "Will Gaius always just use his strange abilities if he's starting to lose?" Gengar thought, "I wish I knew what was happening, and if there was any way to help him."

    "Now, to finish off the two of you," Gaius cackled, musing at his options on how to kill the two trainers, "I could either have my Pokemon kill you with their attacks, I could snap your necks, or I could just destroy your bodies all at once, which would leave no evidence. Hmm," Gaius paused, as if he was trying to decide what he should eat for an everyday meal, "what am I in the mood for, this time? Last time I just faked a heart attack in my father, but this time I'm feeling a bit more...creative. I'm going to break every bone in each of your bodies, then I'm going to get rid of the evidence. Pooh, this is gonna be fun." He then addressed his Pokemon. "Gengar, keep your hold on them, I don't want their screams to draw any more playmates...er, people." Gaius laughed as the last word exited his mouth.

    Gaius waved his hand, and dark auras appeared around both Joey and Brandon. Slowly, with each motion of his hand, Gaius could see another bone in each trainer's body break and twist inside them. He relished seeing his victims in pain, and wanted to extend this sensation as long as possible. Within a few minutes, the trainers' bodies looked grotesque and unrecognizable as human beings, with bones poking out where arms or ribs would normally be. "I think I've had enough fun for now, time to wrap it up."

    When Gaius waved his hand once more, what once was the trainers' necks snapped, ending their lives. Gaius then closed his eyes and clenched his fist, causing both of his victims' bodies to seemingly vanish into the ground. After a few moments, Gaius' eyes returned to their normal blue-grey color, and he looked at the two Pokeballs on the ground.

    "Hmm, I wonder what happened," Gaius could not remember how the battle had ended, but saw neither trainers in the area. "I wonder why Joey and Brandon took off. I know that I was a bit rude to them earlier and then we battled, but I have no idea why they would leave their Pokemon behind. Let’s see if I can try and find out where they went. But, first, I need to recall their knocked out Pokemon. I guess I won the battle.” He picked up both Pokeballs and started to recall Blaziken and Munchlax. However, when he looked towards the Pokemon, he saw Munchlax resting to regain his energy. Gaius recalled Blaziken into its Pokeball, but, when he turned to recall Munchlax, the Pokemon had woken from its rest and was nowhere to be seen.

    "Great, where did Joey’s Munchlax go?" Gaius thought aloud. He then quickly looked around and saw a small hole in the ground. "Hm, it must have used Dig to travel in the ground. Beldum, come out and dive into the hole, follow it until you find Munchlax. I'll follow from above on Dragonite." Gaius quickly recalled Gengar and threw Dragonite's Pokeball, and the large dragon Pokemon appeared. "I need to ride you so I can get a Munchlax back. Fly low and follow Beldum who's underground." Gaius jumped on Dragonite's back, held on tight, and commanded the Pokemon to take off.

    After twenty minutes of following Beldum, Gaius came to a small wooded area with apple trees and various other fruits. He could see Munchlax trying to climb a tree to reach food at the top. "I guess he's hungry," Gaius thought, "I guess we may have to battle him to get him to come back into his Pokeball. I really wish we didn't have to, but, it may be the only way for us to recall him. Beldum, return to your Pokeball. Dragonite, you come back as well." Gaius was unsure which Pokemon would be best suited for this matchup, so he decided to hide and wait to see what Munchlax did.

    The Pokemon tried to use its clawed hands and feet to pull himself up the branches, but kept falling down after a few seconds on the bark. After several unsuccessful attempts to climb the trees, the Pokemon began to ram his head into the tree trunks, in an effort to try and shake the fruit loose from the trees so that they fall within reach on the ground. After a few attempts at ramming into the trees, several fruit fell in front of the fat Pokemon, who then immediately started to consume them whole.

    Gaius slowly approached the Pokemon, waiting for the right moment to strike. He knew he had to knock out the Pokemon quickly, before it could escape, although judging by the size of that Pokemon he could not get very far if he wanted to, even though he had managed to escape earlier, Gaius had the element of surprise on his side. Gaius readied Dragonite's Pokeball and threw it. "Go, Dragonite, use Dragon Tail!"

    The dragon Pokemon quickly emerged from its Pokeball and swung its large tail towards the obese Pokemon. The attack hit the creature, but it quickly recovered.
    "Munchlax! Mun!" The Pokemon yelled. As soon as it saw Gaius, a look of terror spread across its face, and it immediately looked around for an opportunity to flee. As soon as it saw the large dragon-type move towards him, he curled its body into a ball. He then started to spin his body, accelerating faster and faster, before finally launching himself at the dragon Pokemon.

    "Dragonite, dodge and counter with Aqua Tail," Gaius shouted. "I thought it was a normal type, but it may be a rock type, since it seems to be using Rollout!"

    The dragon Pokemon tried to fly out of the way of the oncoming attack, but Munchlax hit him in the middle of his chest. Dragonite winced in pain, but then swooped down once his opponent had landed and swung its tail, now covered in water, at the other Pokemon.

    Munchlax appeared hurt, but started to wave his fingers back and forth. "Mun, Mun...lax, lax," he slowly spoke. Suddenly, a large beam of ice shot out from its mouth, heading right towards Dragonite.

    Gaius paused for a second, lost in thought. "It seemed to be a rock type, but, now it can use Ice moves too. I've never heard of a Pokemon like that! It could be possible the hand gesture was some sort of ability that allowed him to use an ice attack, but think, what attack lets you use other attacks?" He quickly ran through the options in his head. "It's not mimic, and that wouldn't make sense since my Dragonite doesn't even know Ice beam. There's only one other move I can think of." Gaius calmed himself and readied his command.

    "Dragonite, that Pokemon is using Metronome to access Ice Beam! Dodge now or you could be down for the count!" Gaius yelled to his flying Pokemon. “Get out of the way and finish it off with Hyper Beam!"

    Dragonite nodded, and dipped down to try and avoid the Ice Beam attack. He flew low, but not low enough. The beam struck the edge of Dragonite's left wing, rendering it completely encased in ice. Dragonite started panting, feeling immense pain from even the glancing blow of the Ice Beam. He landed on the ground, now unable to fly or even dodge, but still willing to try and fight. Orbs of energy started to grow in Dragonite's mouth, as it prepared to unleash one of its most powerful attacks.

    The obese Pokemon stood there, unsure of how to react or where to run, or if running was even a possibility from such an immense attack. He slowly turned around and tried to flee, but with his short legs and large body, he made it only mere feet before Dragonite attacked.

    "Dragooo!" The dragon Pokemon shouted, as a wide yellow beam with orange streaks shot from its mouth, aimed directly at the fleeing Munchlax. The blast hit the Pokemon in the back, and continued after the obese Pokemon fell to the ground, leveling trees in its path for at least a hundred feet.

    Munchlax slowly tried to rise off of the ground, but was too weak from the Hyper Beam attack to even move.

    "Good job Dragonite, return!" Gaius shouted, praising his Pokemon for its success. "Now, you're mine!" Gaius reached into his belt and threw Muchlax's Pokeball. He then threw the Pokeball at the weakened Pokemon, and watched it get sucked inside. "Yes, Munchlax is now back in its Pokeball! Now the only thing to do is find Joey and Brandon." Gaius smiled wide, proud of his achievement, and, even more so, proud of his Dragonite.

    Gaius safely stowed Blaziken and Munchlax’s Pokeball in his backpack and then surveyed the area. ‘I had to chase Munchlax for a while, so I don’t know if the guys even went in the completely opposite direction as Munchlax did. The only real option I have is to backtrack to where I was battling them at, and then try to look for any clues.’ The trainer looked towards his Dragonite, who was still panting and sweating from the force of the Ice Beam attack. ‘I guess flying back there is out of the question, then.’ He then recalled his injured Dragonite and let his Beldum out of its Pokeball so it could guide him back towards the battle site. After about twenty minutes of following underground path with Beldum’s assistance, he found the clearing where the battle had taken place.

    The trainer then looked around the area, trying to find any indication of where Joey or Brandon might have gone. Gaius could find no discernable trail to follow, no sign of a struggle or fight or any other sort of disturbance. Puzzled, the young man continued to search the area, fanning out in a circular pattern from the battle site, hoping that he would be able to find some clue or indication as to their whereabouts. The search continued for several hours as Gaius expanded his search radius again and again, but ultimately the search proved to be fruitless. ‘I don’t know where they could have gone, but I can’t spend forever trying to find them. I’m sure that they’ll turn up eventually, and, for the time being, I should probably just hold onto Munchlax and Blaziken until they turn up. I’m not sure exactly where they live or where they normally store their Pokemon, so hopefully I’ll run into them sooner or later.’ The trainer smiled as he opened his backpack and looked down at the two Pokeballs. ‘Might as well get a move on, then.’

    "Let's go guys, onto Pallet Town!" Gaius shouted gleefully. He checked his backpack and on his belt, ensuring that all of the Pokeballs were in place. He then began to walk in the direction of his next destination, hoping that new adventures awaited him along the way.
    The young trainer knew that although his first battle was a success, the road ahead would be fraught with increasing difficulty. He also knew that if he kept his faith in the strength of his Pokemon, he would never fail.

    End of chapter one

    Trying to Catch: Munchlax
    Character count: 80,279 (approximate)
    Note to Grader's/readers: This is my first story and it is planned to be an ongoing series of my main character. Things that have not been explained/fully fleshed out will be explained in time.
    I have fixed all of the noted grammatical errors, and hopefully did not create too many more in the revision/addition. I also expanded the second section, while also putting the featured Pokemon earlier in the story, per the grader's suggestion.
    Thanks for reading! Feel free to PM me your comments (if a casual reader) or let me know on AIM.
    Last edited by mlouden03; 25th November 2013 at 09:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User Smiles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Descent Into Darkness: Chapter One-The Dark Mist and the Beginnings of Destiny

    Claiming because this is your first story, it's almost your birthday, and because you asked very nicely!
    URPG

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Descent Into Darkness: Chapter One-The Dark Mist and the Beginnings of Destiny

    Introduction:

    Great job on the first few paragraphs of the back story! I love seeing creativity in stories and making your own town with its own problems is definitely a push in the right direction. I was very intrigued in why the town was this way, and what correlation Gaius' black mist had with the mysterious weather cloaking the town. However, the back story continues on for a good three-fourths of this whole story. It drags on, in both a literal and reading perspective. This is partially due to the format of the back story; we begin with Gaius as an adult beginning his journey, to Gaius as a child, to the death of his mother, back to him as a teenager, and then to him as a grown adult. When we combine so many flashbacks that don't necessarily fall in correct chronological order, it disorients the reader and we want to be careful about the impact each event has being in its specific placing compared to other events. As for the flashbacks themselves, good job on being creative! For further stories, I would only advise that you save the emotional hardships (the mother dying) for moments later in the story. Emotional hardships are great characterizing moments, but if we bring them to the reader too early, the impact isn't as shocking as we may intend it to be.

    He now knew what he wanted to do with his life; he wanted to be the strongest trainer in the world.
    A question to consider for back story: what's the point? What happened in the character's past or shaped the character's past that is so significant, the reader MUST know before the story truly begins? And what is the coincidental message that this event/circumstance brings to the character that has now changed him or her? In your story, the above is the imperative message that the back story sends. Now, this is not necessarily bad; some of the greatest stories in Pokemon history have begun with the trainer who sets out on a journey to become the strongest! However, my overall message here is that pages of back story do not need to be written in order to bring home this message to the readers. If you want to craft back story in future stories, I can suggest providing the reader with this single moment of epiphany that changes the character - brought to the readers in only a few meaningful paragraphs or even less. Choose that most important moment (perhaps Gaius' show down with his father) versus laying the whole character's life out before the actual story even begins.

    Plot:

    Because the back story is three-fourths of this story, the climax of this story is Gaius killing his father. This was exciting, and you've set up an interesting back story with mysterious variables (the mist, the town, his powers, his confusion). I know you've created a really interesting set up for a great plot, but the story doesn't really begin I feel until Gaius awakes from his nap and spots the Munchlax. Good job on creating a two-sided battle! However, at this level, the plot should become much more intense and not just "trainer spots a Pokemon, trainer battles for capture". The Pokemon much have much more significance...I talk about this more in the length section, so I'll just say here that the amount of back story did become a negative aspect to what was really happening in the present.

    Description:

    It can be difficult to understand, initially, how much description you need in URPG stories. Think of it as this: your reader is an alien who can only speak lala and they have nooo idea what any Pokemon looks like; they only have a minimal understanding of what certain objects and places look like (the Pokemon Center, Mart, etc). Describe fully what Pokemon look like (a sentence or two can do the job, but more important Pokemon like Munchlax need to be described further). More important than this, your character must be described at some point in the story. Whether you break up this description throughout the story (ex: saying that Gaius' eyes were back to their grey) or describing the character fully in one sitting is all up to you! However, just know that you must describe these aspects at some point, which never happened in this first story.

    As he spoke, he could feel immense throat pain, almost as if someone had ripped it out and then put it back intact.
    Good! I loved the sensory details that you used to describe the mist in the first paragraph, as well as the fire sensation on the doorknob. It's clear that you know how to describe physical sensations well, so just carry over this description to the surroundings and the characters. I know you can do it!

    Grammar:

    At no time should a grader ever fail you on the basis of grammar alone (unless your text was completely illegible, which this was far from ). This section serves as a way to really help writers improve upon their repetitive mistakes. As with length, grammar can be more of a swaying point for borderline stories; as rank goes up, stories are expected to be more polished in their grammar. A stupefying-rank story should be nearly perfect. Graders will be tough on a hard-ranked story. This falls in the middle, so I'll be a little bit more picky on the grammar. But remember that this section is really just here to help you in your future writing! And you did do a fine job with grammar! Only a few repetitive issues.

    "Too late to fix things now father," Gaius playfully waved his finger in disapproval, "You can't expect one fake heart to heart speech to erase everything you've done. The time to make you pay for your pathetic waste of a life is now!"
    The bolded phrase is not an action of speech, so after "father" there should be a period there. And there should be no comma after disapproval because the following sentence is its own independent sentence; it has not been interrupted by the first dialogue sentence.

    "What's that smell?" He pondered "it smells like a bonfire, but we only have those at night during the summer months, there's no reason for father to have one at ten in the morning."

    "The doorknob felt as hot as a stove or iron," he exclaimed aloud "there is no way my hand could touch a surface that hot and not be severely burned. Something strange is going on, and it's going on right on the other side of that door!"
    There should be a period after pondered and aloud; the "it" and "there" proceeding this needs to be capitalized because a new sentence has begun in dialogue. The dialogue is not being interrupted.

    He was lying under a large oak tree, most likely a
    century old, with branches and leaves sticking out this way and that; almost as if its job was to try and blot out the field from the sun.

    For months Gaius saved whatever minute amount of funds his father saw fit to give him, and worked any odd jobs he could find to earn him money; from waiter to bike messenger to pizza deliverer.

    On his fourteenth birthday, his father sent him two
    gifts; an expensive digital watch and a state of the art smartphone.
    Semicolons can be really tricky. Traditionally, we only use semicolons when we want to connect two independent clauses that are together for emphasis/importance. They can serve as mega commas and more. More about semicolons here! Anyway, that first semicolon is incorrect because that almost clause is not a complete sentence. A comma would have replaced the semicolon better. The second semicolon is incorrect because you have a list that isn't so extensive it needs the help of a semicolon. A colon would have better fitted there (waiter, bike messenger, pizza deliever. Good job on parallelism here, btw). A comma would have worked better in the place of the last semicolon because "an expensive digital watch..." serves as an appositive for "gifts", renaming and describing further what these gifts were.

    The hand wrapped it's pointed fingers around Gaius's neck, lifting him up and tightening it's grip on his throat and trachea.
    It's stands for "it is". Its is a pronoun that characterizes something of possession. Both of these "it's" should have been "its". Also, when you have a word that ends with s and you need to declare possession, just use one apostrophe after the final s and ditch the idea of s's. Otherwise I will sit here and say Gaius-is-is-issss.

    On a final note, take care to watch physical formatting. There were these weird spaces in paragraphs, and it's really not a huge deal! Just try to polish/proofread when you can.

    Length:

    So, a demanding-ranked Pokemon. You've landed on the minimum side of the range, which isn't necessarily bad! Think of length as a mere guideline that jointly reflects effort. Length is more of a swaying point in borderline stories; what really matters is the actual plot and story itself. Never feel like you have to keep writing and writing until you meet the length requirements, because then that writing usually ends up being filler. Just write what makes a good story for this Pokemon. The idea here is that as the difficulty goes up, the plot becomes more extensive, the detail flourishes, and the overall length naturally increases. It's all connected!

    Consider the presence of the Pokemon within the story. As the story ranks increase in difficulty, the presence/significance of the target Pokemon should also increase. From what I've graded and read in the past, at no time at a Hard-rank+ should the target Pokemon ever just be there, waiting for the trainer to capture it. This is the basis of the "trainer wanders into the woods and finds a Pokemon" plot, which is what we have here, and we always want to strive away from this ideal and get more and more creative. As such, Munchlax has no important presence in this story; he's by a tree and Gaius captures it. A suggestion a lovely grader named Emma once gave me: read other stories, see how people have incorporated the Pokemon in their plots and at what levels. I think that the more examples you read, the more you see what the standards are (of not only Pokemon presence, but also of the other sections of grading as well) and you can only learn from it!

    Outcome:

    Munchlax not captured. I know this is your first story, and I congratulate you for shooting so high. That's bravery. This is an ambitious story and I know you have a wonderful plot planned out, but this story just did not meet any of the standards for a demanding-ranked Pokemon. Because Munchlax plays such a small role in the story and it might be a nightmare to try to incorporate it into your back story, I can suggest changing the target Pokemon of this story totally. :x If you decide to do this, please also add description to the characters and Pokemon. It would be nice to correct some of the grammatical parts I pointed out...but yeah, bold these changes and then PM or VM me for a regrade and I'll get to it asap! I'm sorry for this!
    URPG

  4. #4
    Registered User Smiles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Descent Into Darkness: Chapter One-The Dark Mist and the Beginnings of Destiny

    Regrade 2.5

    Background Story:

    I list backstory and plot as separate sections because they were not directly related to each other. The story is strictly divided into Gaius's life story with his parents, and then there is Gaius getting into the Pokemon battle with Joey/Brandon. This second version has thoroughly expanded on the backstory, so I'll be paying this section more detail than the plot one although I drive home the point that the actual story is the most important part of the whole...well, story. Advice for future stories that you plant to implement backstory into: find ways to connect the backstory directly to the plot. Specific events from the past will directly impact the present, and although most of the past events accounted to Gaius's characterization, the only instance I pin for relevance to the story's present plot is Gaius's meeting with Joey and Brandon. In the whole context of the back story, Joey and Brandon are only mentioned briefly and appear mostly as static characters to the audience. Their appearance later on in the story is just as static, which lowers the quality of their conversation as well as the proceeding battle. Because Joey and Brandon are crucial to the plot, spend conspicuous time in the backstory on them and less of everything else that may not be so immediately relevant. More characterization conversation for these two characters later. Now for the rest.

    First of all, great job reorganizing the backstory into a chronological order. I did approach this in the previous grade, and the story flows much better when Gaius's most important memories are organized in a logical order. However, I continue with my point from the first grade: what is the point of all the backstory? What is the crucial idea given to readers, that which they MUST know before the story actually begins? By now you know I am not the biggest fan of backstory, but as a grader I'm going to run with this and strive to help you improve what you do have here. The most important idea most of the backstory drives home is Gaius's characterization, shaping his intentions and motivations as he defies the life his parents want for him and creates goals for himself.

    "If I ever have Pokemon have strong as those two, I might finally gain my father’s respect and admiration," Gaius thought aloud.
    Gaius's transformation from this thought to everything else presented a struggle within him that solely kept the story moving. Characterization is good. Actually, Gaius's characterization is the strongest element of the whole story. But it did not directly tie to the plot where Munchlax is featured. Consider this: where is the balance between characterization and storytelling? What is the author's intention by providing so much characterization early on? Does the foundation provided by early-on characterization directly impact the events of the present-day plot? When writing backstory, keep the plot's focus in the back of your mind: backstory becomes dangerous when it distracts from the main ideas of the plot. This happened here; too much backstory slowed the story down, expanding it lengthwise in an unnecessary way. All details of the backstory should be relevant as to avoid miring the reader down. Write it like the main plot in that it needs to have an urgency in its events or at least a relevant flow. Keep the readers reading and make it apparent, very early on in the backstory, that the backstory is there for a specific reason relevant to the current plot.

    Plot:

    Gaius meets with preschool friends, battles them, and takes Joey's Munchlax. When we strip away the background story, this is the substance left, the actual story - and unfortunately, it's simply not up to par with the Pokemon of the rank you are shooting for. I commend you for trying to make Munchlax more relevant to the plot vicariously through making Joey more relevant to Gaius's past, yet this also complicated the story. Joey's relationship with Gaius is strained and two-dimensional at best. From a realistic perspective, Joey's tears and announcement that Gaius's actions will, "Only push people away," when Joey has not seen Gaius for over a decade, are superficial. It is even written that Joey must take a second and remember Gaius. Expanding on what I wrote earlier, Joey's characterization would have improved the quality of his latter dialogue with Gaius. If there were more focus on Joey and Munchlax in general during the backstory, they both would have had a much stronger impact on the overall story.

    As I discussed in the first grade and the PM, the target Pokemon's importance to the story is critical. Very little changed here. You acknowledged my point in the PM that Munchlax's actions at the end were not realistic, and I did appreciate how you did try to give the Pokemon a more realistic reaction to his trainer being defeated like that. However, Munchlax overall is still not relevant to the story besides being a passing fancy in the vast expanse of Gaius's past. Anything else I can say here will just be a repeat.

    Overall, again, the plot follows the basic story line of, "Trainer meets up with people in woods area and battles them." For this story to deserve the capture, there needs to be both a creative and well-developed storyline in place. It is simply not here. I recommend you to no longer twist the little details, like who Gaius's friends are or where he met them, in an attempt to strengthen the plot, but now think of the bigger picture. Think of an interesting storyline that incorporates both the target Pokemon and the characters in a wonderful fashion warranting the capture. I apologize if I'm now speaking in vague terms, but it's difficult for me to help you improve something that's not there. This story requires a mass upheaval in that it needs a much stronger plot and characterization of side characters like Joey and Brandon if you so choose to keep them. I recommend this: take the strongest point of the story, Gaius's characterization, and use that as a light as you work to create a storyline if you choose to do so. Read other stories, perhaps write more stories in the meantime, and really reflect on how to tie together the backstory you do have with a much more complex plot. It's going to take work and time. I wish you luck. You have potential and you've shown the drive - I believe you can do it if you keep working on this story with the points I've mentioned.

    Description:

    As I wrote in the first grade, we don't really get that solid description of Gaius. We still don't. Furthermore, there is a lack of strong description in the rest of the characters as well.

    Gaius soon made another friend at Poke-kids, a taller, darker-skinned boy named Brandon.
    Joey was slightly shorter than Gaius, with light blonde hair, blue eyes, and pale skin.
    I appreciate that there was an attempt to describe these characters as well as their Pokemon. However, stronger descriptions, both aesthetically and beyond, are necessary to truly show the readers what these characters are like. There's more to people in the real world than how tall they are or what color their eyes are - try your hardest to craft a well-rounded portrayal of characters that reflects what they are like in the story. For example, I liked this following description because it went beyond the aesthetics and tried to create a fuller description of the character:

    The young man had a sense of purpose about him, and a look of fierce determination was present on his face.
    Good! Also, good job with the little details used to describe the surroundings. I liked the Indigo-pride wine as well as the Arcanine rug in the house. Little details that are creative like this stay in the reader's mind being of their unusual aspects and do well in carrying a tone of the environment. Now just keep working on providing fuller descriptions with more attention to characters in general.

    Grammar:

    "Munchie, Thunderbolt the Dragonite!" The young girl exclaimed.

    "Munch......" The large blue Pokemon muttered, as green particles started to form in front of its mouth.

    What's that smell?" He pondered "it smells like a bonfire, but we only have those at night during the summer months, there's no reason for father to have one at ten in the morning."
    The word directly following the quotations should be lowercased because they include the action of speech. They are part of the sentence. The last one I noted in the previous grade. At the very least you should fix the grammar errors that the grader fixes for you. :x

    I will make sure they are raised into powerful Pokemon, stronger than your wildest dreams. Gengar," he turned to his Pokemon, issuing a command, "I think Munchlax and Blaziken have had enough, release them. We don't want to kill them, we're going to acquire them, instead."
    Because "he turned to his Pokemon" isn't an action of speech, there should be a period directly following the word Gengar. He should be capitalized, as this is a new sentence. The rest of the sentence is correct.

    Otherwise, proofread. There were a couple of little mistakes that could have been easily avoided with a proofread or two.

    Length:

    Again, still 3/4 of the story is backstory. The internal length of the story sort of dragged on as I mentioned earlier. You do have a great 80k now, but remember that the quality of the writing/story is always more important than the tangible figure of characters. Make sure most of what you write is relevant to the story - or else we are left with filler.

    Outcome:

    Munchlax still not captured. Many of the issues I discussed in the last grade as well as the PM remain. Please genuinely read over both of these, as well as this grade, as you continue to majorly edit this story. If you have any questions, you already know how to reach me.
    URPG

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