Pokémon being captured: Ralts (x2) and Solosis.
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Dusk descended on a rather run-down building in the middle of nowhere -- well, nowhere isn’t a precise place. To be exact, it was located on the outskirts of a field with rippling blades of grass curving down to touch the earth with their tips in accordance with the breeze. The sun had set at this stage, and was no longer visible on the horizon, even from the highest points that existed. The sky had turned a deep shade of blue to indicate night-time, and the moon was up in the sky; it was only a half-moon, so the glowing white crescent hung in half of its full glory, and those who saw it knew that it would be a while - just a short while - until it would be full. However, there were those who could not even view the night sky -- all kinds of nature were blocked to them, and they could only see an building’s uninteresting, yet eerie, interior. This building, of course, was the one previously mentioned.
The building was made up of dry stone, some of which were missing but didn’t make much of a difference to the light that could filter inside the prison cells which had been constructed in order to store their experiments. On the inside, although its exterior appearance did not share this quality, the place was completely refurbished - the walls were plated with some kind of metal, the floors paved with dark grey-coloured ceramic tiles. In the prison cells, there was not much for one to do - there were single beds in each one, simply mattresses, light blankets which didn’t really keep anyone warm and a metal frame to keep the beds from the ground. Other than that, you could acquaint yourself with the floor and the walls. It was not to say, however, that the people who worked there did not take the necessary care of their experiments - they always had enough food and water, and their cells were forever kept clean... but that was about it.
As anyone could have guessed, the prisoners spent most of their time sleeping, as this was the best way to keep themselves entertained. In fact, it was through dreams that the prisoners could feel hope for the future, that one day they might escape when the scientists had finished toying with them -- this was another disturbing factor. None who were imprisoned knew exactly what they were being experimented on, not at all, and this added to the general atmosphere of fear that had been created through their constant restraints in these tiny cells -- some had been trapped all their lives, born into captivity for reasons no-one understood.
She was a creature of high intellect and imagination, one who should have been out experiencing the world instead of being kept in. She would have much to offer the world through her services to anyone who was kind enough to take her in, instead of the scientists who constantly kept taking blood from her and other kinds of samples -- she sometimes found it awkward how they extracted various substances from her body, but they didn’t seem to share this same feeling of awkwardness. They were awfully businesslike, these people. In one second and out the other, as if time simply couldn’t be wasted. If only she knew what they were working on... and when she had, she would release the others who joined her in their various captive states. She could tell that there were others -- she could feel them, oddly enough. She could sense how they felt, and those feelings were not good. For the most part, the others were feeling confused about their conditions, upset because they didn’t know how to get out. Some were plotting revenge -- their anger told her that much.
She could tell because she was a psychic Pokémon. Upon her head was a minty green helmet-like object which she had found was really part of her health, and from the front and back of this protruded two light pink ‘horns’ of sorts. These two horns were not like you’d imagine them -- they weren’t pointed, but rather rounded at the top. They were actually quite like semi-circles, except a tiny bit wider. Whenever she was taking thoughts from others, she could feel these tingling strangely, with some kind of energy that felt rather empowering, and she felt like she could do a lot of things simply with the power of her mind... which she couldn’t. Those were just impulses and feelings, but she couldn’t act on them. She was far too weak in the cell. The rest of her body was primarily white, and, if anyone could actually see her, they would probably be reminded of a blanket or maybe a long dress. She often spent her time delving into the thoughts of other Pokémon, and found that with practise, she could tune in and out more easily. But what surprised her the most were her dreams - her power seemed to be heightened, and she could go wherever she liked in these dreams. It had been a long time since she had been in the outside world, though, so she could barely remember what it looked like... back then, she had a family and friends.
”Ha, I bet you can’t catch me!” called a cheerful, energetic voice. It was one of her friends -- she couldn’t remember his name, just his species. They were called Axew, she remembered. A Dragon-type Pokémon, the pre-evolution of some quite powerful Pokémon. He was a bipedal creature, his skin being a fern green. He had really large nostrils, and sharp, gleaming white tusks that stuck out conspicuously out from both sides of his mouth. On his head was a horn -- much like her own horns, only a lot more pointed and a dark green instead of her own light pink. He also had crimson red eyes that glowed quite scarily (the Pokémon bigger than Axew weren’t fazed) when he was angry, and around these eyes were darker green patches, almost as if it were discoloured instead of an inherited trait that showed up in all of his species. Around his neck was a bright, collar-like green colouration, but the rest of his body was rather plain, and his limbs and tail were rather minute. His forelimbs, or hands, rather, had three digits each, whilst his feet had two digits. Although his limbs were short, he was a fast runner.
“You know I’m not good at running!” she replied exasperatedly, chasing after her friend wildly -- it was true, and unavoidably so. Her physical structure didn’t suit running at all, so she preferred moving at a more relaxed pace. Nevertheless, when the time called for it, such as when playing with her Axew friend, she certainly gave her best to try and move as fast as she could. However, she soon ran short of breath, and stopped. She looked at her surroundings as she panted -- she knew that doubling over wouldn’t help her to regain her breath, and she wasn’t much flexible either so she didn’t enjoy doubling over. She simply dug her fists into her sides, as she felt that this helped her to regain her breath much faster. For that moment, though, she wasn’t concentrating on getting her breath back so she could continue a hopeless chase - Axew far outsped her anyway.
The grass all around her was a vibrant green, almost the same kind as the meadow which surrounded her prison. Trees of all shapes and sizes had grown all around her, giving no thought to how it might affect those who trundled by their shallow roots. Their foliage ranged in colour depending on the tree, and their barks were a much lighter colour than those of normal trees -- that’s to say a dark brown colour, while these trunks were almost cream-coloured. There was also a cobblestoned path made out, leading to several places throughout the forest. Although you could easily get lost, those who were native to the area could navigate easily, and she and her friend had never gotten lost in the forest. She saw a roughly-cut wooden signpost, hanging crudely from the bough of one of the smaller trees. She had learned to read, and she knew that the signpost said ‘White Forest’ - a place in the region of Unova.
High up in the trees crouched humans, trying to balance on the branches without putting too much weight on them, but at the same time not trying to fall off. They had to time this perfectly right - catching her by surprise would be part of their plan, seeing as if she saw them coming, she might block them off. Young though she might have been, the two men were not ready to take a chance with the brunt of her psychic powers. Their orders were to find a Psychic-type Pokémon from the White Forest and capture it to take it to the lab way on the other side of Unova -- just outside Icirrus City. None of the locals paid attention to the rundown building, thinking that there was nothing there; the children, especially, stayed well away from it. Tales had reached them by now that the place was haunted, and although this could have been devised by those inside, it was a good way of keeping the children away. Everyone who was evil knew that it was children who ruined their plans, not adults.
The Ralts didn’t seem to have sensed them, so, hardly believing their luck, they swung down silently from the tree, hiding behind the thick trunk. One looked around the edge to see if the Ralts was looking away - she was. That one whispered to his partner, and so they made their move. Speeding from around the trunk slickly, one sprayed a strange aerosol straight into the Pokémon’s face, and the other slid a bag over her head. The aerosol contained a special fragrance which caused anyone who was hit with it to be lulled into a sleepy, forgetful state - the plan was for her not to remember being captured, but rather being there one day as if the rest of her life had been a dream. The plan hadn’t worked -- she could still remember, throughout her captivity, exactly how it had happened. She hadn’t even fallen asleep in the bag -- she was perfectly alert to what the two men were saying, but they didn’t say anything about the plans for her future, rather about how they were going to get back to the labs. She hadn’t tried to escape because she was curious -- this curiosity was something she had regretted later.
That was the start of her life behind bars, taken in for an experiment no-one understood.
She sighed after recalling all this, lying back on her rather uncomfortable bed and pulling the crisp blankets over her body, up to her chin. It warmed her up a little bit, but it did nothing to cheer her up. She wanted to get out of here already -- she didn’t remember how long she’d been imprisoned for. Was it a few weeks? A few months? A few years? She had absolutely no sense of time in here except for what season it was, and even then, she couldn’t remember how many times the seasons had rolled by, unknowing of her condition and not being able to help anyway. She was close to giving up hope -- she couldn’t even muster up the power to try and escape. Combined with the taking of her blood and other substances, the generally deteriorating conditions in which she had to live made her too weak to attempt to do much except eat, sleep, and remember. She had a good memory, that was for sure, but she knew that there was nothing she could do to bring herself back in time to when those memories were her reality, instead of a haze of a dream.
Thinking of dreams, she recalled her strange dreams lately - she was mostly staying in one place, but she had someone to talk to. Someone who was her friend, and offered her advice. Gave her an inkling of a feeling that things may eventually be all right. The creature was a small, round thing, which floated in the air in front of her. It, like a lot of things she knew, was also green - a kind of lime green, bright and wonderful. Inside this bright green orb was a pale inner body, with two jet-black eyes and a widely opened pink mouth -- whether it was open constantly in happiness or something else, she didn’t know. It also had a strange yellow growth bulged from a section of this inner body. Apparently the green stuff around his body was a chemical of some kind, allowing him to go anywhere and adapt to any environment. Did he ever feel the cold? Did he ever get too hot? Did he feel wet sometimes? She didn’t know, and probably wouldn’t know for the longest time. Her thoughts lingered on this strange new friend; he called himself a Solosis, but hadn’t revealed to her any specific name.
She tossed and turned under the covers, thinking restlessly of this green friend, until finally she found peace. Her eyelids drooped, and she found that she was breathing rhythmically. Before long, she was sound asleep.
“You came back!” the voice said, its owner beaming at her happily.
“Of course I did. I can’t help but dream when I’m asleep, silly,” she replied breathlessly, looking around her. All she could see was that strange, deep purple void that accompanied these dreams.
“Oh, but you’re not dreaming!”
“I am! In reality, we don’t stand in completely purple... things.”
“But I’m just as real as you are. Maybe you’re not actually here in front of me in reality... maybe I’m dreaming too?”
“I was here first! You can’t dream my dreams.”
“But if either of us are dreaming, then how do we know that we’re dreaming? How could we make up this kind of conversation with things we don’t know in our heads?”
“How should I know?”
“Well... you’re the girl! Girls are supposed to know stuff...” he said meekly.
“I have an idea or two, yes. Maybe I am asleep and you’re not. Or maybe we’re both asleep. We’re both psychic Pokémon, capable of conversing with each other in our minds... maybe we’ve tapped into each others’ dreams with our powers, and that’s how we’re talking to each other consciously.”
“That might explain all the purple - purple’s usually the colour of psychic power. So you’re suggesting that we’ve somehow... connected?”
“But where are you? Are you even in Unova?”
“I think I am, yes. I was captured by two of the humans and taken from my home in White Forest. I’m in a prison somewhere, and they’re taking blood and things from me for some kind of science experiment. I’ve heard them call me Experiment R-A. I don’t know what they’re planning, but I don’t think that it’s anything pleasant.”
“That sounds bad... if I knew where you were, maybe I could rescue you!”
“Maybe. Couldn’t you try to track me? There must be some sort of link formed between us now. But maybe it’s harder when we’re further apart. Where exactly are you?”
“I’m in a place called Icirrus City. I live with a family of humans, but none of them are my trainers. I’m really still a wild Pokémon who’s made friends with them. I could maybe explain to them if I have to come and rescue you, but I don’t know where you are still. Maybe if I wake up, I can try to find out.”
“Well, perhaps you should. Maybe it’s time I woke up too.”
“But we’ve only been here together for a few minutes. Shouldn’t we wait a while?”
“I think you’re forgetting that dreams pass far slower than time in real life.”
“I suspect that some of our experiments are more sentient than we’ve realised, sir,” came a woman’s voice. The woman’s high heels clacked upon the stone paving of their main laboratory in the compound as she walked towards her boss’s workdesk, and her voice echoed around the room. The workers paid no attention.
“What makes you think that, Ms Sable?” came a deeper voice, his tones touching on the verge of dangerous. A few of the workers got a little shifty on hearing his voice, especially so close to anger.
“Some of the Pokémon on our side are detecting a rise in psychic power -- some of it’s travelling from the outside, and the psychics seem to be conversing. Apparently they can’t delve into their conversation due to some kind of strange block, but they’re trying to look into it. It may seem that we’re having problems with the more recent captures.”
“Pah, I don’t really care. The psychic Pokémon can’t do anything to stop us... especially not when the machine has been fully developed. We will finally become as powerful as the Pokémon we have captured over these few years, definitely if we can keep getting sources of their blood and DNA. Need I explain to you how it works?”
“You may as well, sir. I’m dying to know. Plus, you never shut up about it,” she added sharply under her breath, glaring at her boss. Although she wanted the power of the Pokémon running through her own veins, she wished that the person under whom she worked was a little less all over the place... ubiquitous might be a good word to describe him and his influence throughout the compound.
“Well, our final plans won’t be ready for a little while yet, but in theory, it should work. You see, the machine is very small, but very powerful. Made of the strongest glasses and metals known to humans to withstand anything that may happen to it. To work, it requires three spaces -- an empty vial, a vial containing deoxyribonucleic acid - DNA, if you will - and a vial containing a sample of blood. We’ve finally realised that the other substances found in the Pokémon are not necessary. The machine creates a fusion of the blood and DNA into a vial. We’re developing hypodermic needles to allow us to inject this into our own systems. It is a foolproof plan -- even if it doesn’t work, there will be no backfiring to it.”
“Well, sir, I’m sure that it’s quite brilliant. Will you be testing the first batch on yourself, if it’s so safe?”
“Of course! I shall be the first human in history to have achieved the supernatural powers of our Pokémon superiors! I can then teach them how wrong they were about being more powerful than us humans. They will pay for what they did.”
He was planning this for all the wrong reasons. His whole town had been wiped out by Pokémon, but they had brought it upon themselves. It was not their fault that they defended themselves against the poaching of their own community. Many were killed for their fur and natural resources, and, almost as if they were away back in the times of the tale of the old swordsman, they had gotten their revenge on those murderous humans.
It was as Veilstone’s Myth said.
"If you bear your sword to bring
harm upon us, with claws and
fangs, we will exact a toll.
"From your kind we will take our
toll, for it must be done.
"Done it must be to guard ourselves,
and for it, I apologize."
So it was. With claws and fangs, they exacted their toll.
The town of his childhood was a scene of horror, and he had no-one left. No-one to care for him, to love him... no-one but himself. Bodies were scattered on the cobblestones, their clothes ripped, their limbs twisted gruesomely and blood staining the ground. Buildings were utterly destroyed, nothing but ruins were left.
The boy broke down. He knew nothing else than to cry, but in time, his tears dried on their own.
From that time onwards, his grief had consumed him, perhaps forever. He sought nothing else than revenge for the deaths of his people, and he didn't understand that their ways were cruel, and that they were against the natural laws that had been laid down at the expansion of the universe, the beginning of time as anyone could guess it. Like a fire, his hatred for the creatures that had ruined his life had spread into other people who had suffered pain due to Pokémon.
What exactly he thought of the situation had never been guessed by others, and none had asked him about what had driven him so terribly astray from the beasts that had previously been a source of adoration for him. He had kept his feelings bottled up and hidden from others for all of his years, and for anyone, that was an extremely painful, lonely way to live. He trusted no-one, not for one second. Even in his weakest moments, he chose to point out the faults of others, and this predatory instinct had built up to be a natural reaction to most people. As a result, people became detached from him, and he was disliked - they only worked for him in an attempt to delude him that he had power, and that he had people who would help him.
The sad, unfortunate reality was that there was nothing in the world that actually cared for him.
“Are you there?” he called. It was the Solosis again -- she must have fallen asleep.
“Yeah, I am. Are you there?” she replied humorously, although the situation was kind of grave.
“Look, I’ve been trying to look for you, and I’ve been going far in my tracking seeing as I thought you might have been really far away, but you’ve been under my nose all this time! You’re in an old laboratory away on the outsides of Icirrus City - that means you’re really close to me! I could probably get you out in no time tomorrow.”
“That’d be really nice. I’ve been in here for a long time, and I want to get out already. My friends and family are probably worried sick about me.” Even in her sleep, she could feel a pang of remorse for getting herself captured by these humans and seemingly abandoning her friends and her family. She wondered what they were doing now -- would they be settling down in front of the fire together? Going to sleep themselves? Maybe it was still the afternoon: she didn’t know what time it was when she had settled down to sleep again.
“It’s okay, friend. I will get you out. You can trust me. This will all be over soon, for you as well as everyone else. I assume there are others, right? We’re going to have to rescue all of them.”
“I can try, once you’ve gotten me out. We’ll have to start this plan early in the morning - the humans will all be asleep still then... except for the biggest one. He’s always alert. You and I will have to be quiet, and try to get the others to be quiet too, once they’re gone. But some of them have been trapped their whole lives - I’ve felt it. They’ll go wild at being released, simply wild.”
“That’ll be a good thing. The humans will have a really hard time rounding them all up -- they might not even be rounded up at all! We can easily make our escape. I don’t know if it matters about the others.”
“Of course it matters! You wouldn’t be talking like that if you were actually here. It’s terrible -- no-one should be subject to something like this, especially for a long period of time or even all their lives so far. Look, we’ll just make a small, simple plan. And by the way, they’ve got some kind of strange cans that smell funny. It’s supposed to knock the Pokémon out on impact, but it just doesn’t work on me. Anyway, we’ll have to make this extremely stealthy. You come in however you’re coming in, but look for me first and take me first. Once I’m out of the cell, I’ll start feeling my normal self. I’ll use my own power to calm the others down, and you can release them too. We’ll try to slip out quickly -- if the humans catch us, then we’re somewhat... ah... done for?”
“Agreed. I’ll set out first thing once I’ve woken u--”
There was a disturbance in the dream, and for the first time in a dream, the young Ralts felt afraid. Out of the blue - or rather purple - appeared two new Pokémon, and the void turned completely black. She could tell immediately that these didn’t symbolise anything good, and these were probably real things too. It was a seriously extreme nightmare scenario, and she found herself bucking unconsciously. A horrid thought struck her -- these could be guards in the compound! She had to get out of this dream and fast, but found she simply couldn’t wake herself up. The Solosis was also looking frightened, and one of the Pokémon - a black and purple creature, looking like she was wearing a funeral dress with white bows all down the front - made a grab for him. In desperation, he twisted and turned in the dream, almost as if this was a real struggle instead of just something nonexistent, and blue jets of energy fired out from his body as he screwed his eyes in pain. They struck his wannabe captor all over her body, and she suddenly faded from the dream as if she had never been there. The other - a brown creature that looked like it was made up of stone, weird glyphs etched across his jagged features - also tried to contain him, but he released a more powerful blast... and the effect was confusing.
Everything went black in the dream, and then she woke up, gasping for air as she bolted upright.
She looked around, and saw that everything was still in order -- nothing major had happened, to her or to anything around her. It was only a dream, she repeated, yet she knew it wasn’t true, and knew that even if she said it a thousand times, it wouldn’t make it any more true. She had already established with Solosis that it really was a psychic link, and if it was a psychic link, those two Pokémon who had stepped into the dream and faded just as quickly were real Pokémon, and if her suspicion was right, they’d be coming for her right now -- she was evidently the only one of her species imprisoned in the compound.
She had guessed right. A few moments later, her cell door was blasted off her hinges, but she was prepared. She knew what they had came for, and she swallowed the slight nervousness that had came with their arrival, although she couldn’t fight back the lump that had swelled in her throat or the high speeds at which her heart was pumping. She simply let the two drag her by her arms out of the door, and inexorably they were drawing her towards the main laboratory -- she could tell, having dipped across the surfaces of their minds and read their plans as easily as she could have read them from a book. They carelessly heaved her across the paved floor, bruising her body in places as they did so -- but they did not care. They were above her injuries, and were not as soft-hearted as their human companions about treating the Pokémon as well as they should be.
Moving through sliding glass doors, they shoved her forwards towards the boss. She stumbled, falling down at his feet. She looked up desperately, shifting the helmet-like structure on the top of her head so that she could see into his eyes. She noticed that there were windows in this room -- the sky was only beginning to light up with the morning sun, she could see. The sun -- how wonderful it was to finally see it again! However, the man started to speak, taking her thoughts from the sun -- he was a tall, well-built man, and his appearance was surprising for a scientist. One would think that scientists were more nerdy-looking, but this man went against all stereotypes. He wore a black shirt, which he had left unbuttoned as he was getting ready for bed, and was wearing tracksuit bottoms similar to something like a Ditto - rather large and on the shapeless front. He was barefoot and his dark hair had gone wild -- he wasn’t trying to keep up good appearances. However, his casual appearance in no way detracted from the unconcealed malice upon his face -- his grey eyes, devoid of emotion, glinted with no sanity in the morning light which made its way through the windows and touched upon the figures who stood near them. His mouth was twisted into a sadistic, cruel attempt at a smile. His eyebrows were arched, lining his still youthful face. This man was a shell.
“So, little Ralts, I think since you are the one who has put up the most resistance - oh, this just gives me more reason to eradicate all Pokémon - I will give you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You can learn about the experiment and the wonders it will do for humankind. Please, make yourself comfortable,” he said, gesturing around -- but there was nothing comfortable to sit on, so she simply readjusted her position on the floor to give the appearance of sitting down. “Wonderful. Now, let me explain...”
He had woken up too -- the Solosis, that is. Once he had started panicking in his dream, he noticed that everything around him had started to fade as he had lost contact with his new Ralts comrade. He could tell straight away that the two who had invaded on the dream worked for the dark side of things, and since his friend was trapped in the prisons, he could tell that she was soon to be in big trouble, if they hadn’t have gotten her already. His eyes snapped open, and he was still floating in the air. He was always floating in the air, even when he slept -- kind of like how Ponyta slept standing up, or how Remoraid slept with their eyes open. At any rate, he was floating in the air, and he was practically ready for action. He looked around the sturdy home - everything was quite messy and the wallpaper of the room he was in (the living room) was peeling off. Clothes were draped over the backs of armchairs whose stuffing was a bit out of place and some of the cushions were torn. The brown fluffy rug was practically one of the only intact thing, as well as the computer desk, computer and television set. The carpet was burned in some places and there were nastily suggestive blotches around one area.
It wasn’t like this was goodbye forever. He flew out from the room, using his psychic powers to unlock the door and swing it open silently, so as not to alarm the humans with whom he lived. He also shut the door as silently as he could, and did a quick mind-scan of the house to check if anyone had woken up -- none had, so he counted his blessings as he moved on. He searched ahead of him, delving deep into his own mind to see if he could detect the presence of the Ralts in that building. He could -- she was in some kind of large laboratory, although he didn’t have a clue what they were doing to her. He frantically tried to establish a rapport with her, and found that he could still get into her mind through the traces of the link that had been established due to their joint dreaming. Sighing with relief, he moved onwards, trying to speak with her.
Come quick, she told him. But be really careful. I can’t do very much for myself, because they’ve smothered my attempts to build up enough power to try and get myself free. I can only talk with you for so long before they’ll notice, Solosis. You have to get here fast -- I don’t know what they’re going to do with me.
It’s okay! I’ll be there really soon, I promise.
At this point he broke into a faster pace, whizzing through the rather chilly town and out the gates at the back. He saw the building down at the edge of the fields, just a white dot in the distance, and thought about what lay ahead of him there. He would be there soon: in a few minutes, maybe. He didn’t slow down a bit. After a few minutes, he had actually arrived at the building, and was surprised that something so innocuous-looking could host such sinister plans. Instead of attempting to use a door, he closed his eyes. They started to glow a purple colour underneath his eyelids, and then when he opened them, the glow was revealed to all -- at this point, his body was also being outlined in this glow, until he took all the power he had kept inside and forced it outwards. A devastating ripple of energy was blasted out in front of him, reducing the wall to rubble and fading away. He moved swiftly inside, knowing now that he was very close to the Ralts and her freedom, and he tracked her down to the main laboratory -- his damage only brought down the wall, nothing much else. None of the others were set free due to his damage, but he could worry about that later.
He moved through those same glass sliding doors that the Ralts had encountered earlier, and found her, sitting on the floor in front of the man, accompanied by the two creatures that he had encountered in the dream. They all looked back at him after hearing the sliding of the doors, and the human seemed to be quite put out that someone new had arrived.
“Ugh, we don’t even have your species here! Too unpredictable. Hard to get substances from -- we had them before, and they just broke our syringes. Never mind, though, you’re not here to be experimented on. Our project is finally finished, but I think that since you’re the one who was in association with our Ralts here, maybe I should tell the story to you. Well, here we go. I hate Pokémon. I hate every kind of Pokémon. I used to live in a nice town -- nothing too fancy, nothing too much. Ah, Hoenn. I do miss you so. Well, at any rate, I had family and friends, as well as a community. It was Oldale Town. We were so peaceful, but the Pokémon attacked us -- they seemed to have believed some lie that we were killing them for their fur, as well as other things they could probably supply for us. But I know in my heart of hearts that this is not true! They simply killed my people because they were murderous savages who delighted in blood! I knew all over that these creatures would one day be the downfall of mankind, unless someone could make a difference.
“I fled from the town - the region, even - to find solace somewhere else. I travelled far away from Hoenn to here, Unova, and I soon learned the about medicine -- oh, not healing Pokémon. That would be too ironic for words. I was a doctor for humans, the apparently inferior race. Once, I had to perform an exorcism; surely it wasn’t the most practical thing for a doctor, but it had to be done to preserve the health of the poor, victimised man. It was a Litwick who had possessed him, those blasted things. I had taken a sample of his blood during the possession, and had one day injected it into myself, having learned that possession of a Pokémon could temporarily grant you their powers if they so let you. So, part of that Litwick was stuck inside the blood sample I had taken and put in my own system, and I found soon enough that it had worked for me. I found my skin flame-retardant, and I began to wonder what would happen if I had replaced all of my blood with that of a Pokémon’s.
“So this project was formed -- I gained followers and even brainwashed Pokémon to make them join my side. All of them have been working under me, trying to form a machine that could make the damned fusion. And it’s finally been developed. We have achieved what we wanted at long last, and it is only a few moments until I will test it! I will become just as powerful as those Pokémon, and so will my workers, and together we shall kill all of the Pokémon that infest this planet, because it is for the greater good.”
He laughed like an absolute maniac at the end of his explanation, and it was such a hollow, emotionless laugh, devoid of any real happiness, that made it sound that much more dark and lifeless, almost as if he hadn’t really had all of his heart in this after all. But he wasn’t following what his mind thought any more -- he was seemingly so close to success that he had lost his mind thinking of all the possibilities, and that everything could finally be controlled through his own power.
"You know, there was a time when I idolised Pokémon. I wanted to have one of my own, and I wanted to be a Pokémon Master, like every other child on the planet. I wanted there to be a companion who I could go to for everything, who would trust me and we could have something special together. We'd battle all the Gym Leaders and win, eventually going on to victory against the Elite Four. For my seventh birthday, I had actually gotten a Poké Ball. I remember... I felt happy. Happiness is something I've never caught a glimpse of since I was just a little boy.
Inside the Poké Ball, there was my very first Pokémon, and I remember thinking at the time that this was only the first, and there would be plenty more to follow. It's... too hard... to think like that again. There's only pain when I think of that day... I can't believe that I loved those creatures so much. The Pokémon I had got was a Ralts." He gulped, his face twitching a little. "He was adorable... I can't... Toastie... I'm really, really -- no, I can't say it! When the Pokémon attacked our town, I was out on a daytrip with Toastie, my Ralts... I could have helped fight the cruel creatures that destroyed Oldale. Instead, when I saw what had happened, I took Toastie away with me. It was the day before my tenth birthday, when I'd be going on my journey -- Toastie and I were playing with some other Pokémon that I'd met a few years before. I came back, and everything was disastrous. I couldn't understand -- there'd be no-one, nothing left for me. When I fled with Toastie, my heart had closed to Pokémon. I was so angry, and I'd been feeling cruel.
I sought nothing more than to start my conquest over those damned beasts. I... I killed Toastie. I kicked, I hit and I beat him as he squealed helplessly, almost as if begging for no more. I delivered one final blow to him that ended his life... no! I can't talk about this anymore. I must get on with it, I can't do this." Shivering with untold amounts of regret, he stumbled slightly, tears blinding his vision. Wiping his eyes quickly, not wanting to show any further signs of weakness. Sniffing slightly, he turned away.
Swiftly collecting a small machine from his desk, he began muttering to himself about how to work it. From some filing cabinets, he picked out two files - both the Ralts and Solosis could see that he had taken it from a drawer labelled ‘Experiment R-A’. When he looked back up, his face had taken on that same, emotionless, cold expression, almost like he was switching between moods. His emotions were scrambled, and he seemed to have tried to switch them off. Hiding his feelings for most of his life had made him unable to function fully anymore, only able to focus on the things he most desired -- not one of them related to love.
“Experiment R-A was a good name for you, little Ralts. Not only were they the first two letters of your species’ name, but they meant that you were our original Ralts. ‘R’ stood for Ralts, and you were Experiment ‘A’, so we put those two together. I think I’d like to have the power of a strong psychic like you. It would suit my immense brainpower and downright cleverness for coming up with this entire project.”
He loaded the two vials into the side compartments of this small mechanical object, and screwed three metal lids over the three main compartments. A small whirring sound was heard for several minutes, and then when it finally stopped, he drew out a thin glass vial of an absurd-looking red liquid, which contrasted severely with his pale face. Also grabbing a syringe from his desk, he unscrewed the vial and drew a lot of the substance out from it. Screwing the lid back on, he slid it neatly into its compartment and placed the gadget on his desk - it was far more compact than anything that the Ralts had expected. She supposed that its function was simple, though, so this was okay.
“And now, the fusion of your DNA and blood will become mine. It will spread throughout my own system, replacing my blood and DNA with your own, and your powers will belong to me!”
Both Solosis and Ralts had not moved a muscle -- they were two fascinated by what he was doing, and wondered if it would actually work. They wouldn’t halt something like this, especially if it proved detrimental to this human. They were curious -- the same kind of curiosity that led Ralts to being trapped in the bag and dragged all the way to the outskirts of Icirrus City, all the way across Unova from White Forest.
“I do begin to feel quite fantastic! There’s a kind of warmth and feeling of exhilaration spreading through my whole body. Is this how it feels to be a Pokémon?”
Yes, the Ralts said in his mind gently, although it was a complete lie. She didn’t think this was how it felt at all. Most of the time - at least when she wasn’t feeling upset or angry or anything - it felt ordinary to be a Pokémon. Normal. The way she imagined anyone else would feel about just being themselves.
“Hm, I feel quite hungry. I should get some food. No, wait. My mouth’s rather dry. I should get some water,” he said. One of the Pokémon disappeared for a moment, reappearing with a glass of water and handing it to him hastily. He drank it all in a few gulps. “I feel really different inside myself. Like something got switched on inside my head. Something that had been switched off before. I don’t know why I feel so thirsty, but I do. How am I supposed to use my new psychic power?”
You concentrate on your own focus point in your mind, the point where it feels most powerful. You concentrate and concentrate, then you visualise yourself harnessing the power in that point of your mind. You turn the power upon something, and you will it to do what you like. However, untried psychic power can be a little unpredictable at first. Even explosive.
The boss moved his empty glass onto his desk, staring at it intently.
Think of how the glass is attached to the world at a molecular level -- as a scientist, you should be able to do that. Think of how the molecules can shift, will them to shift. When you’ve accepted that you’ve dealt with every possibility, then you are ready.
“NOW!” he cried, thrusting his hands outwards. To everyone’s surprise, the glass skidded a few inches along the desk, almost tipping off, but managing to stay there. His attempt at moving it had worked, but it didn’t seem to be what he fully wanted.
You certainly modified the structure, but you didn’t do what you wanted, I guess. It seems to me that you need to get a better idea of movement in your head. It’s hard at the beginning, but it’s like physical fitness. You learn to develop the part of your brain where Pokémon powers are focused. That part is unique, and is the most powerful part of your brain. It’s the source of anyone’s power. The subtle ‘fire’ of sorts that burns inside us like flame in an oil lamp. I don’t know whether or not you have that part of your brain, though. You’re not like the rest of us.
“You mean not as good as the rest of you!” he exclaimed indignantly. “I’ll show you ‘subtle fire’, little Ralts. Keep an eye on that glass.” He bent his head towards the glass, staring at it with fierce determination and a brow as furrowed as a ploughed field. Trembling visibly and breathing loudly through his nostrils, he looked as if he was constipated. Sweat dripped from his face, and a heat haze surrounded his body, like a mirage shimmering over a desert. “You’re going to see something blast backwards, right in front of your eyes.” His look of concentration was awful. Almost a minute passed, and it seemed to the Ralts that he was now so intent on making it move that he was quite oblivious to anything else happening around him. It occurred to her that they could maybe make their escape now.
The glass was flung outwards from him, and it shot through the window, shattering it into pieces.
That’s a very good demonstration of telekinesis or whatever you call it when you move a glass with the power of your mind.
However, her sarcastic words were lost to him. His skin had turned a peculiar shade of dark red which, even as they all watched him, took on a purplish hue, then grey, then finally black. This was alarming enough, but much worse was to follow. Smoke started to emerge from his ears, nostrils, and even from underneath his fingernails. The next moment, he had opened his mouth to let out a bloodcurdling roar, as well as a large cloud of smoke, and kicked over his desk in a strange rampaging fit. He flailed to the ground, his body jerking around convulsively, more smoke emerging from every orifice.
“He’s going crazy,” said the Solosis in the language of Pokémon.
“I don’t think so,” the Ralts said. Even as she spoke, a very thin, light blue flame had enveloped the human’s body and he began to burn, like the wick on a very large candle.
“Is that spontaneous combustion? I’ve heard about it before. Sometimes people just catch fire for no good reason.”
“Spontaneous combustion is a big load of nonsense. I’ve heard of cases of people doing this before. It was the cases of people in history that started the entire idea of spontaneous combustion. Nobody catches fire for no good reason. He caught fire because of the combination of Pokémon blood and the bacteria that is present on human bodies. Bacteria makes the skin combustible, and when you consider the power that Pokémon have, it simply acts as a match and sets it alight.”
As the man died, his emotion swelled with the flames. He spoke softly.
"I am sorry."
It became clear what he was talking about when the two Pokémon under his commands seemed to jar slightly... the mind control, hypnotism or whatever had finally ceased to have any effect on them. It seemed that the boss had finally apologised in the instance before his death, and that opened up a whole new world into his thoughts -- perhaps he finally realised that he had gone too far? Perhaps his impending death had made him quickly come to the conclusion that his cause had been forever wrong?
The man, whose death would come as a joy to a lot of people, finally came to be still. There was so much left unsaid, but he had finally brought himself to say the thing that was most important.
"This whole building’s probably going to catch on fire soon," the Ralts spoke, interrupting the silence that had came after the unnamed man's words. "Our priority now is to get everyone out of here. Let’s go.”
“Hello, this is Marina Coracles, reporting for Unova News at five. I’m at the scene of an investigation being carried out by the outskirts of Icirrus City. It is apparent to the police force that the fire to the old labs of Icirrus have been set alight by one single man - who had started the fire by burning himself, seemingly. His main assistant, one Selene Sable, has confessed to the police that they had been experimenting on Pokémon for several years, trying to find a way to infuse their blood with those of the Pokémon and gain themselves the powers of the Pokémon from which they had extracted these substances. Two psychic Pokémon have been interviewed by the police - a Solosis and a Ralts - and it was found that the two of them both worked together through adversity to free all the captive Pokémon from the tyranny of the mad scientists.
"We look to these two Pokémon as a prime example of goodwill and kindness for everyone, exhibiting the exact opposite of the behaviour that the man behind it all was attempting to persecute all the Pokémon for. We’ll have more on this story later. Stay tuned, Unova.”
Claiming this. Grade should be up probably this weekend, once I get my own story up.
And THIS IS SO NOT TOO LONG TO GRADE. Wimps. xP
Sorry this took so long, but it's done. I actually wrote the grade bit by bit as a private note on my Facebook since I wasn't using my laptop but my brother-in-law's during vacation. I'm still getting back into grading mode, so what you're about to read might sound a bit awkward and over the place. And I had a great time with my sister; thank you for being patient. :)
You approach us with a desolate building situated in a rather scenic forest. The mood is Mystery, and the goal in mind is to let the reader ponder about what happened here. I'm not sure if you quite delivered the mood, though. You want the reader to ask questions, yet with all the wonderful description going on, there's not a lot for me to wonder about. There are essentially two descriptions: the one used outside of the building and the one used for the building (and its interior.) Now, one can argue that the outside of the building and its surroundings is public; everybody that passes by is privileged to see it and admire the blades of the grass, the moon crescent, the night sky, and much more. In that aspect, the description used is perfect despite the mood you're going for. However, the inside of the building is much more guarded, and a lot less people (if any) have seen it. Here is where you want to tone down the description and work more with the mood you already started to set. You can still mention details, but do it in a way where it’s only a taste of what’s to come, something that makes the reader want more.
I have to commend you. You kept me reading. I love stories where we enter a character's psyche. Now, I have mixed feelings about your plot. Firstly, the concept of revenge against someone or a group of people isn't anything new;' it's been done since the first novels and movies. Yet the way the villain came about it serves for some interesting reading material. He basically wants to become the thing he hates the most to destroy Pokémon. I'm not sure if this was your intention but in a way, the villain wants to recreate the tragedy that set him down this path.
Unfortunately, we don't get a lot of time to delve into the villain's mind and motives. Much of the plot exposition is revealed through the villain explaining it much like the villains of Saturday-morning cartoons right before the superhero beats them. You do such a good job creating this mysterious aura around Ralts, but when it comes to the villain, much of his history and motives is laid out right in front of us. Am I supposed to see the mystery fizzle out in the second half? It was a bit of a letdown, to be honest.
The conversation with the Psychic-Pokémon (the hinted Ralts?) was interesting, yet it lead to nothing. The Pokémon was never mentioned again, and the rescuing came from Solosis, not from the first Pokémon, who hinted that a rescue would be underway. I understand that the conversation gave us some information about how these psychic-links work, but in hindsight, the conversation served only as a distraction to the story. I kept waiting for this Psychic-type to show up, and the closer I got to the ending, the more confused I became. It’s much like expecting a friend at a meeting place; once you reach two hours later, you realize they aren’t coming, leaving you swindled and somewhat angry.
We never found out how the villain brainwashed his Pokémon, or how they snapped out of it. This is not a major plot-hole, but it does lead me to wonder more about the villain’s past and what he was capable of doing in order to get to this point, such as brainwashing Pokémon and possibly even the people he had working under him. Do their views match his, or are they looking to kill all Pokémon kind for some other reason? It would take a lot to convince a group of people to annihilate the creatures that practically make up their world.
Something that bothered me is how the scientists knew that Ralts was contacting somebody. Were there any indicators around the perimeter where the Pokémon were kept? Was she being monitored, and if so, for what reason?
The center of the story, the point of view we're seeing everything from. The one thing that bothers me about her character is that she is described as young yet her manner of speaking and thinking, the way she perceives everything that's happening, is more of someone much older. There are believable cases of someone so young acting years their senior, such as when a child is forced into a harsh world/circumstances. However, we don't know for how long Ralts has been imprisoned and exactly what she has been through. There was also no character development into the Ralts we see right now. As such, her character comes off as too mature for the young Ralts on the outside.
We know nothing about him, except for the fact that he lives with a human family. How and when he managed to communicate with Ralts is a mystery, as well as how he feels about her. He refers to her as a friend, yet it seems a bit of a stretch for me since other than worry, he never expresses any emotion for Ralts. (And why did he choose to only reveal his species’ name?)
Bitter and out for power. He has also been described as hollow and crazy. We know a lot of his past, but other than anger, we don't know much about his emotional state throughout the story. In a way, that makes him much colder and distant from everybody else. Other times, it left him sort of bland.
Surprisingly, her character seemed more lively than that of the villain. Even though she was a minor character, I love how we got to know a bit about her only to see her mentioned in the ending.
You mention that Ralts barely remembered what the outside world looked like. However, even though she can barely remember the outside world, she can describe Axew and White Forest in remarkably great detail, even down to the forest sign. While the description of Axew seemed to me quite mechanical, it still painted a good picture to someone who hasn't seen much of the anime; the forest surroundings were described pretty well and reinforced my memory of the video game White Forest. Despite how much it helped me, this great imagery conflicts with Ralts' state of mind. Your main goal at this point of the story is to get us to sympathize with Ralts and understand her, but right now, you're telling and showing two different things: a Ralts who cannot remember what is like to be outside and a Ralts that can retell her home in perfect detail.
A better approach to this scene, from Ralts' point of view, would require a lot less description and more vague detail. The end result might not be as pretty, but this is how Ralts remembers the outside. Though you're using a third person view, you are focusing on Ralts and are limited, somewhat, by what she can hear, see, feel, smell, and taste. There’s always the choice of switching to the standard third person point-of-view so you can describe everything better, but personally, I feel Ralts’ limited point-of-view is better suited for this story.
When the psychic conversation is going on between Ralts and the Psychic-type, it's just that, dialogue. You mention that they "said" the first two lines, so I'm assuming they're hearing each other. After the first two lines, though, there's no mention of how the dialogue was said. Since Ralts can't see this Pokémon any characterization would be figured out through other things such as word choice and tone of voice. Yet nothing of the sort happened, which made the exchange very short and somewhat boring. Since this is the first time Ralts encounters this Pokémon, wouldn't she be trying to figure out who this Pokémon is?
When the villain gives his grand explanation, it's pure dialogue again. This is the beginning of the climax, what the reader has been wondering about since the very beginning with the building. Yet the villain gives his explanation as though he's reciting it from a grocery list, with no emotion, no pauses, no nothing. There's also the fact that he's recounting the slaughter of his family and friends, the long years of bitterness, and the many failed experiments and downfalls of his research. Can someone with that kind of past and purpose really be so emotionless, especially when he's telling this to the very creatures he wishes to destroy? There’s no indication that the villain has sworn to never feel such feelings again, or that he has become unable to feel anything since that day.
I didn't spot any mistakes, and if I did, they were too small for me to notice.
Let’s talk about prose. You writing style, in my opinion, is very sophisticated. You have a knack for getting a point across in a way that's smooth and eloquent, as though I was reading something from a professional author for English class. I'm not sure, though, if the prose exactly fits with the story. I think this is the reason why Ralt seems so mature and intelligent and why the introduction fell short of the mood you were trying to go for. Your sentence structures don't vary much throughout the story, which made the reading too smooth, which made it somewhat boring. My advice to you is to experiment with your sentences and the words you use. One word sentences such as "Darkness" and "Trapped" may sometimes have a greater impact. Other structures like repetition ("She cried. She fought. She begged for a miracle.") can create a whole other feel to the paragraph. As for word choice, each character is different, and using the same type of vocabulary (highly-educated, simplified, repetitive, etc.) for all of them can create some problems.
In accounts to length required, there are no problems here. In terms of how I mentally perceived the length, despite what any other Grader says about this being long, the story seemed to pass by very fast. Again, I blame this on the sentence structure use. Most of the sentences are long and flow seamlessly into one another, which took me from paragraph to paragraph with no interruptions. In sort of story, I expect a pause here and there I in order to ponder about what’s happening.
How is it exactly possible for the fusion to replace the human's blood? Does the fusion completely swallow the blood? If not, how would the human blood be expelled from the body without some kind of opening? I would imagine the process something along the lines of dialysis, where the blood is cleaned by a machine and inserted back into the body. Chemistry isn't going to be my Major, but more elaboration would have been great, especially since this is a procedure of your invention and not something one can Google for clarification. (Then again, having a reader Google something mid-story is the last thing you want them to do.)
How does Ralts know enough about organic biology to explain exactly why the man went up in flames? There’s also the question as to how Ralts taught herself to read the human language. As far as we know, she’s always been a wild Pokémon (‘always’ used loosely, since she’s young and hasn’t live for long) and has never been in extended contact with humans. The general opinion about Psychic-Pokémon is that they are much smarter than other Pokémon, sometimes smarter than humans. Still, Ralts is young and wild, so even if she’s much smarter than any friends she plays with, how can she learn something she has never seen before? This ties in with my qualms about the characterization of Ralts I mentioned earlier.
Climax and Ending:
It was definitely not what I expected. With the villain's talk about how he was going to kill all Pokémon kind, I expected more than him simply sticking himself with a syringe and Ralts explaining how to use his powers. While still interesting, the anger and vehemence he used when he spoke about Pokémon led me to expect an ending that was much more unstable and dangerous. One could argue that the real climax is him being cooked from the inside out, yet that happened so swiftly that it wasn't that impacting, especially with Ralts coolly explaining how it happened, eliminating any horror or shock the reader might have felt. Now, this wasn't a bad climax. It wrapped up the story, told us whether good or evil won, and tied up a loose end or two. Essentially, it did its job. However, the mood of this section of your story didn't quite fit with the rest. At the very beginning of this climax, Solosis rushes to help, which creates tension and suspense. What results, though, is falling action as the villain explains his motives. You see how abrupt the change can be? The reader expects one thing yet gets another.
Once again, I love character-centered stories. Delving into Ralts' mind was not something I was expecting. Her musings left me musing, which is always a good thing. There were a handful of instances where the description didn’t quite fit with the rest of the story. Ralts, in a way, always knew what to do, how to handle the situation, which didn't fit with the young child you painted in her flashback. As for the villain, his motives were truly sinister. I would have loved to see how much this Fusion would have powered a normal human being and whether his followers would do the same afterwards. I wish we could a have known more about his mental state and how he viewed the climax, the moment where he could finally avenge his family. Still, the ending seemed fitting; while the beginning was unsure and somewhat unsettling, the ending gave some closure.
This was really close, but I'm going to say Ralts and Solosis captured! and Ralts not captured! I know you said you would have preferred both Ralts, yet the fact that the other Ralts was not just hinted at so vaguely that you had to mention it was a Ralts but had no part in the overall plot bothers me. Even though I mentioned before that this was a minor thing, it’s what I think should be fixed. I can’t tell you to edit the whole story to vary your sentence structures nor can I tell you to do a complete turn-around to Ralts. A role where he actually has a part in the plot (and is actually known he’s a Ralts) would be better than what you have now. Another option you have is to expand more on the villain, add some emotion, some thoughts that expand on the flashback/italics part you had in the middle of the story. You can do either or both to snag that second Ralts.
PM me for a re-grade whenever you’re ready!
That was probably the best regrade edit I've read in all my years. :)
While the large dialogue might work better if it was spread around the story and not given all in one go, it was still pretty impacting. As for the end, I'm a big fan of questions in narration, so that also added a nice touch. Overall, you added depth to a once bland villain. When I wrote the grade I was pretty indecisive as to whether I should give you the second Ralts, but this pretty much fixed it.
So, Ralts captured!
I actually almost forgot about this, what with Halloween, chores, and shizz.