Let The Flames Begin, rated Mature(Needs grading please!)

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Thread: Let The Flames Begin, rated Mature(Needs grading please!)

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    Default Let The Flames Begin, rated Mature(Needs grading please!)

    Everything That You Missed

    My name is Broken Shadows Phoenix. I’m called Dark, Shadow, and Shade. I’m fourteen years old, and I'm gym leader of Black Water City gym. All gym leaders in the four islands of Rhaeger, Muracia, Zircon and Dyklias were named ruler over the whole island that the Gym was on. My family had ruled over Rhaeger since it was founded two hundred years ago. The island had originally belonged to the Brackenians, the barbarians who lived behind the Four Gates. My family had conquered the island and forced the Brackenians back. They had erected the Four Gates, called Oblivion, Infinity, Destiny and Trinity, and had established the Order called the Grey to patrol the Lands of Madness and keep the Brackenians behind the Gates so that Rhaeger wold be safe.

    The rulers over the four islands had gathered and built the gyms. They had made a law so that only their families could inherit the gym to keep the islands safe. My grandfathers and mothers had ruled Black Water City with iron fists. Nobody had objected their rule. The one in the family who showed the most compassion, mercy and the ability to keep a level head in times of panic would get the gym. My father had got the gym when he turned twenty. His brothers and sisters hated him for that and the fact that he married a white woman, my mother. So, they all ignored us, even when we needed help.

    My dad had been a Legionnaire before he got the gym and had ruled well. Soon after my parents were married they had my older brothers, Deathius, Deathian and Darius. They had been triplets. My other two brothers had been kidnapped and, we assumed, killed when they were babies. Eight years later, I had been born. My mom died giving birth to me, my dad two years after her, due to a seizure. My dad had epilepsy for twelve years before he died, leaving me and Deathius behind. On his fourteen birthday, Deathius left. I got the gym at only six years old. Stupidly, I named Hector Malcom as my second in command. On my tenth birthday, Hector marched in the room with his guards and kicked me out of the gym. Actually, he had tried to kill me. I ran and hid for four years until Fen, a Legionnaire, had caught me. I became an apprentice to Fen and took back my gym after Hector had started a war with the Brackenians. Hector was the mess and I was the janitor.

    Late November Twenty-first

    Sunlight was everywhere. I was running through the halls in the castle. Dad was chasing me. I looked over my shoulder and saw dad. All his features were dark. Brown skin, black hair, brown eyes. Dad was tall, or at least seemed so to me, I was barely two feet tall. Dressed his usual navy sweater, cargo pants, and boots, we ran. He was faster than me, but let me get a head start. I screamed with glee when dad scooped me up and threw me in the air. Deathius walked up to see us. Deathius was my big brother.

    We didn’t look alike, though. His hair was black and straight, falling in his dark blue eyes. Deathius’ skin was a few shades lighter than mine and he was eight years older, which meant he was taller. Dad threw me to Deathius, who threw me back. We played that game so often, I had learned not be scared.

    When I woke, tears were streaming down my face. I had been so young, I hadn’t remembered dad that much. I never even saw mom outside of pictures. I remembered that day, though. Months after it, I had walked into dad’s room to wake him up. His skin was so cold, like the warmth had been leeched from him. He looked so peaceful. Dad had died with a smile on his face.

    Deathius had come in, he hadn’t even touched dad, but he knew. I was on the bed, telling him to wake up, that I missed him. I guess, even though I was so young, I knew what had happened too. More tears slid down my face and dropped onto my pillow. I felt the empty hole in my heart aching again. The pain was so unbearable at times that I escaped it through sleep. My jaw hurt from holding back my sobs. Four years after dad died, Deathius had come into my room.

    He told me that I was destined to rule Black Water, that I was going to have to be strong because he won’t be there to protect me. He was only fourteen, but to me, he looked so much older. He acted like it too. Deathius had hugged me so hard before leaving my room. I had gone back to sleep, thinking that he had just hugged me because he missed mom and dad. Deathius had often did that. When I woke up, he wasn’t there. The castle had been so cold, so large, and so scary without him.

    I couldn’t say how many times I had cried myself to sleep, thinking that I was unloved because everyone I loved either died or left me. Valkyrian had been there, though. He had become uncle Val years before even though he was only two years older than Deathius. The deep, throbbing ache in my heart was so painful, I could barely breath. Finally, I let the dam break for the first time in four years and truly cried without muffling my sobs. I felt so lonely.
    ____________________________________________________


    November Twenty-Second, early in the morning

    “Come with me,” said the Spider to the fly.

    “But my mommy will miss me.” The tiny girl said. She was so sweet. The trust children had was unparalleled by anything. The child had thick, straight black hair that touched her ankles, a wide mouth and stormy gray eyes. She had such smooth pale skin.

    “What is your name?”

    “Fate. My name is Fate.” The little girl licked her lips nervously.

    “A lovely name. I have a Pokemon I think you would like. Would you like to see it?”

    “A Pokemon?” Fate traced the shape of her lips with her tongue and glanced back at her mother, who was still browsing the wares of the busy mall they stood in. “Is it scary?”

    “No.”

    “I guess, if it’s only for a little while.” Fate took the hand that he held out. Children were so trusting, he thought again. Granted, the Spider didn’t look now like he always did. The Spider was careful not to show his teeth, which had been filed down into points. The Spider wore a black top hat to cover his bald head, a black tuxedo with a white waistcoat and dress shoes.

    Tiny Fate looked ethereal in a white dress that touched the ground and had long sleeves that covered her hands. The Spider led the small child by the hand to the black van he had parked close to the mall. Nobody would even know that she wasn’t his child. Fate smiled shyly as the Spider helped her up into the seat. Her fate was sealed, so to speak. This child would meet the Father in Heaven. Very soon.
    ____________________________________________________


    “All I want I want to do is love your body!” Dark belted out the lyrics. She was a damn good singer and normally Fen would have enjoyed her voice, but today’s song of choice was Christina Aguilera’s ‘Your Body’, a song that Fen wasn’t partial to. Dark had the volume up so high, Fen was going deaf. Fen was extremely fond of Dark, hell, he even thought she was pretty. But she had a habit of blasting her music. Fen looked over at his apprentice. How was he supposed to turn her into a Legionnaire? She could fight, but she was so . . . Well, she was a girl. Dark refused to touch bugs and had a nasty temper. Her hair was dark brown, as were her wide eyes. Dark’s skin was a combination of white and gold, sort of a pale gold color. To top that all off, Dark was short. Five feet tall, to exact. She never let Fen forget. They were walking through the garden that was in the back of the Legionnaire Mansion.

    Following behind them were Dark’s Pokemon. Mischief the Lampent, Talon was a Absol, Ares the temperamental Axew, and the always excited Larvitar, Titan. Dawdling way behind everyone else was her Aron, Iron Hide. Mischief was light gray with a purple stripe down his body, bright green eyes and a black dome-like hat. Temperamental Ares was green with a darker green along the top of his head. Two fangs protruded from the bottom of his mouth and he had fierce gold eyes like Titan. Titan was also green, with a red belly. On either sides of his belly and stumpy tail were black diamond-shaped spots. Drawing attention to his gold eyes were black stripes that slashed through them.

    Talon, the calm one, had thick, snowy fur and dark green eyes. His face and snout were black, as well as the crescent-shaped horn that jutted from the side of his head. Talon had three wickedly curved claws on each paw and one on each of his haunches. Iron Hide was black with little silver plates covering his face, back and short tail. The tiny Pokemon had huge shocking blue eyes that dominated his face. The Pokemon were all bickering at each other when the ground started to shake. Dark yelped as she went head over heels. Fen scrambled to help her, and fell himself. The frightened cries of her Pokemon assaulted Fen’s ears. The ripples in the ground gradually decreased and Fen helped Dark to her feet. Fen could see the fury in her dark brown eyes and moved out of the way. Dark could be vicious when angry. And this was a show he wasn’t about to miss.
    ____________________________________________________


    That had been a Earthquake attack. There was a wild Pokemon somewhere, one that knew Ground type moves. My Pokemon got to their feet and started looking around. There were trees and flowers everywhere. We were standing in the garden planted by Valkyrian, the captain of the Legionnaires and my honorary uncle. I saw a flash of yellow in the trees. Talon used his Quick Attack move and latched his claws into the Pokemon. A Drifloon. It was yellow with a light blue X between it’s eyes. The Pokemon had really skinny legs and tuft of white fluff on it’s head. It screeched loudly.

    “Talon, use Bite!” I ordered. Talon sunk his teeth into the soft body of Drifloon and, again, the Pokemon screeched. A black ball that had veins of red running through it formed in front Drifloon’s face. “Talon, get away!” I yelled. Talon jumped back and Drifloon unleashed his Shadow Ball attack.

    “Talon, use Razor Wind to deflect the Shadow Ball!” Talon whipped his head to the side and a gust of wind arced towards the Shadow Ball.

    The Razor Wind attack collided with the Shadow Ball and the attacks exploded. The smoke cleared and I saw Drifloon charge Talon and wrap it’s thin legs around his middle. Talon twisted and bit down on the Pokemon. I heard a crash and turned. A Drilbur had used Rock Slide on Titan and had buried him. The Drilbur was brown with blue stripes zigzagging through the brown. It had shovel-like hands with long claws. Its snout was white with a pink nose and the Drilbur had beady eyes. Titan emerged from the rock pile and glared at the Drilbur.

    “Use Sucker Punch, Talon. Hyper Beam that Drilbur, Titan!” My Pokemon nodded and Talon reared up and smashed his paws into the Drifloon. Titan opened his mouth and a beam that shone with red, blue and purple took form. The beam shot out and hit the Drilbur. The Hyper Beam pushed the Drilbur back into a tree and kept it pinned for a few precious seconds. I opened my back pack and threw a Poke Ball at the Drifloon. The Poke Ball shook a few times and a click sounded. I turned my attention to Titan, who was getting slashed rapidly by the Drilbur.

    “Titan use Crunch!” Titan twisted out of the way and bit down viciously on the Drilbur. The Drilbur smashed it’s claws into Titan. Talon jumped in the fight and let out a woeful call that echoed through the garden. I sighed. Why did he have to use Perish Song? I opened my pack and returned Titan and Talon to their Poke Balls so Perish Song wouldn’t knock them out. I switched them with Iron Hide and Ares.

    “Ares use Dual Chop. Iron Hide hit him with Headbutt!” Iron Hide lowered his head and charged. He hit the Drilbur in the stomach, knocking the air out of the brown and blue Pokemon. Ares slammed his hands into the soft flesh of Drilbur’s neck. The Pokemon stumbled and straightened again. Drilbur smashed it’s claws into the ground, making it shake. I dropped to my hands and knees with Iron Hide. Ares was being thrown around like a rag doll. When the ground stilled, Ares was lying on his back.

    “Iron Hide, keep the Drilbur occupied until the Perish Song kicks in. I have to heal Ares.” Iron Hide gave a me a fierce nod and fixed his determined look on the Drilbur.

    I turned back to Ares, who was staring up at me with a blank look on his face. I pulled my pack off my back and started looking through it. I could hear thuds and grunts as Iron Hide kept the Drilbur’s attention on him. I finally found the Full Restore I kept for emergencies and lifted the green spray bottle to the light. The bottle was full and I got to work, spraying Ares’ wounds with the liquid. He sucked in some air and tensed. Poor baby. His wounds began to fade into his skin so I returned him to his Poke Ball and jumped to my feet to check on Iron Hide. The Drilbur was readying an attack when I threw a Poke Ball at the Pokemon. Iron Hide gave a cheer and I returned him to his ball as well. The red and White ball shook once, twice, three times. A small click sounded and I smiled.

    I gathered the Poke Balls and slipped them into my pack with the others. Tired, I walked back to the trees to go my room and saw Fen. With all the commotion, I had forgotten about him. He was standing in the trees, long white hair blowing in the wind. His gray eyes with the swirling flecks of blue in them held more knowledge than any sixteen year old boy’s should have. Fen topped six feet and wore a green long sleeved shirt, black jeans and black boots.

    “Fen! Why didn’t you help with the battle?” I glared at him. He just cocked his head and gave me that infuriating look. The look said that he wanted to smile, but he was too cool to do it. His eyes widened and as quick as Talon, Fen sprinted the short distance to me, wrapped his arms around me and sent us tumbling to the ground. A giant boom sounded, blowing hot air over us. The noise was like a balloon popping. I sucked in some air and tried to focus on breathing. Fen weight a gazillion pounds and was crushing me. I put my hands to his chest and shoved. Fen propped himself up on his elbows and looked down at me.

    “Are you okay?”

    “I’m very uncomfortable at the moment. Does that answer your question?”

    “Oh. Right.” Fen rolled off me and pulled me to my feet. My jeans and T-shirt were muddy, my pack a few feet away from where we were standing. There were little pieces of purple rubber-like material all over the ground. What the hell had exploded? Then I remembered that Drifloon knew Explosion, a suicide move. That explained the the stuff all over the ground. I sighed. Another Pokemon’s life had been wasted over absolutely nothing. I took a deep breath to calm myself and realized that I hadn’t released the Drifloon I had just caught. I couldn’t have gotten out of my pack without my noticing either. Had there been a second Drifloon hiding in the garden? I shook my head and got to my feet.

    “Thanks a lot, numb skull!” I sighed and retrieved my pack. “It’s laundry day and this was my only clean set of clothes.” Not waiting for Fen to answer, I turned and walked back to the Mansion.

    The Mansion was huge, three stories high, to be exact. It looked like it was made of log, but there was actually concrete walls hidden by the wooden logs. There were glass double doors that led to the lobby. The lobby was made of white marble veined with gold. Portraits of the past captains of the Legionnaires hung on the wall. There were also huge columns that reached the vaulted ceiling. I walked up the staircase to the waiting room and through a door. I walked up the three flights to my room and grimaced at the man sitting next to my door. He had shaggy blonde hair, green eyes and tawny-gold skin like a surfer. He was dressed in a white shirt, a black leather jacket, blue jeans and black sneakers.

    “Hey, Shadow! I was waiting for you.” I gave him a blank stare, hoping that would discourage him in striking up a conversation. “It’s me, Justice Hart. The reporter.”

    “I know who you are.” I tried not to roll my eyes and pulled my key out of my pocket to unlock my door.

    “Um . . . Can I come in?” He gave me a hopeful smile. I held the door open and he walked in.

    “I like your room. Very nice.” My room was nice. The walls were a light green with dark brown trimming. My bed was in a corner a few steps from the door. It was a four poster bed with heavy green curtains and mosquito net because I didn’t like bugs. There were double doors that led to the balcony. The doors and wide windows that flanked them were covered with filmy white curtains. An Entertainment center was pushed under one of the windows. It held a flat screen TV, Xbox and assorted games and movies. A green couch was set in front of it. There was also a desk. The bathroom was across from the bed, my closet next to the bathroom. I found a dress and walked into the bathroom to change.

    It was white with short sleeves, a fitted bodice and a long skirt. I slipped it over my head and dumped my clothes in the hamper by the door. I had only been in the bathroom for a couple minutes, but the look on Justice’s face said it had felt like years. Still ignoring him, I looked under my bed for a pair of sandals and came up with white flats. Good enough. We walked out the door into the garden to find Fen. He had stayed to pick up the pieces of the dead Drifloon. He was wringing his hands over something. I waved and remembered that Justice was still with me. Whoops. He was so quiet, I didn’t even realize he was still following me.

    “What did you want?” I asked him, mostly out of guilt.

    “I wanted to know if you would like to go out to dinner with me.” Justice ran a hand through his blonde hair. I considered it. He was the same age as Fen, which was sixteen years old. He wasn’t bad looking and he seemed nice. Before I could answer, Fen walked up.

    “She’s not going out to dinner with you.” He snarled. I raised a eyebrow at his interesting behavior. Men were so fun to watch, especially in their natural habitat, the woods. I stifled a laugh.

    “Why not?”

    “Because she’s going out with me.” Chest were puffed out and muscles flexed. Good heavens, they were barbarians.

    “Why would Shadow go out with you? You’re, like, thirty!”

    “I’m sixteen, the same age as you, errand boy.” Fen’s words were growled.

    “Errand boy? I’ll show you an errand boy!”

    Before they could get off their first round of punches, I stepped between them.

    “I am not a pork chop for you two dogs to fight over. As for dinner, I’d sooner eat with the Brackenians than you.” I gave each a swift glare and walked off. Men were such apes. I was stopped by Valkryian. Val was taller than Fen by a few inches and had black hair that was cut short. His skin was pale, his eyes green. Right now, his steely gaze was focused on me.

    “Shade, the other Gym leaders are on HoloChat for you.” I was ushered back out of the Mansion and into the garden.

    “Why are we in the garden? I was just here!”

    “Because they requested you take the call in the garden. More room or something along those lines.”

    “Fine.” I sighed. We walked to a small clearing in the garden where Val had placed the three small discs of metal on the ground. Holograms of Snow White Redell, Jared Kamdem, and Rianne Bordeaux stood on top of the discs. Rianne was the Gym leader of Pyre, Muracia, the island to the west. Rianne had flaming red hair, slanted green eyes, fair skin and always wore dresses. She was also a lesbian and liked teasing Snow. One of the most calm people ever to rule over Everdeen, Dyklias was Snow White. She had banned a few things in her east island, but was fair. Really pale skin looked even lighter against her jet black curls and round brown eyes.

    Jared was a bit unusual to people who didn’t know him. Last time I had talked to him, he had told me he topped seven feet, thanks to something in his brain that induced super growth of his body. He had dark gold skin, amber eyes and dirty blonde hair. Jared ruled over the island Zircon and the city Red Oak.

    “Shadow!” He said in a falsetto. “It’s been so long!” The thing about Jared was he was really rich and hot to top it all off. He literally had to beat girls off him with sticks because they stalked him and ambushed him. Jared was actually married to a sweet girl that pretends to be his cousin around other people.

    “Hey, Jared! How’s Millie?”

    “She’s great. She misses you a lot. But, there was something to help us through losing you. We have a baby girl. Her name is Shiloh. Want to see a picture?” He had switched back to his normal voice, which was deep and rumbling, like lightning.

    “Sure.” Jared opened his wallet and pulled out half a dozen pictures of Shiloh. She was a really adorable baby and looked like Millie. Same strawberry-blonde hair, pale gray eyes and light skin. The first picture was her of a baby and the rest were a couple years apart, from my guess.

    “Aww! She’s so cute!” I smiled at Jared

    “Isn’t she though? Shi is only two. She’s such a quiet child.” Jared put his wallet back. “We heard that you were back in charge and want to congratulate you.”

    “Oh, thank you. But, there’s something I want to ask you. All of you.” That drew their eyes to me. “There’s a war coming up with the Brackenians and my people aren’t safe. Could I send them to your islands until the war is over?”

    “Of course.” Rianne spoke, her thick accent making her R’s sound slurred. “Snow, Jared and I will find some place for them. We all shall dispatch boats immediately to pick them up. All of them should be there in five hours? Is that good for you two?” Jared and Snow nodded and I thanked them.

    “What’s that sound?” It was Snow who spoke. I had even realized that they were starting already construction.

    “Oh, yeah. I’ve decided that the Legionnaire Mansion is too far away from the city and there will be too much damage to the houses and businesses before we get there, so we’re moving it.”

    “How?” They all said in unison.

    “We’re going to loose it from it’s foundation and pick it up. Then, we’re moving it minutes away from town.”

    “Sounds tiring.” Rianne shot me a pitying stare.

    “It is. I still have to deliver the news of the war, organize the transportation, find the Grey Order as reinforcements and oversee the movement of the Mansion. There’s also a psycho murderer out to kill me and drink my blood.” I rubbed my throbbing temple and sighed when the others gasped.

    “Oh no!” Rianne cried. “I don’t know how I will make it if you die! Of course, Snow is always welcome to try and comfort me. . . With her body.” Leave it to Rianne to turn everything into a suggestion aimed at Snow.

    “Rianne, I love you. Just not in that particular way.” Snow smiled gently.

    “Honey, you’ve shunned men. Why not give me a test drive?” There was that sly smile that Rianne was famous for giving.

    “Rianne, no. Never happening.” Snow grinned.

    “You’ll come around soon.” Rianne retorted.

    Remembering my Pokemon, I grabbed their Poke Balls out of my back pack and released them. I had to nickname the new guys. Helium for Drifloon. As for the Drilbur, he would be Grave Robber, or Graves for short. The new guys stared at me cautiously. I didn’t blame them. I had just caught them and they were probably mad about losing the battle. Graves and Helium narrowed their eyes at me.

    “Ooh! Pokemon!” I heard Snow exclaim.

    “Yeah. These are Mischief, Talon, Titan, Graves, Helium, Ares and Iron Hide.” I pointed at them in order of their names.

    “Wow! They’re lifting your Mansion! It’s hooked up to helicopters!” Snow had a awed look on her face and I resisted the urge to look. My Pokemon were forgotten at the mention of helicopters. Mischief and Titan were yelling for some odd reason. The argument quickly turned into a wrestling match, each vying for the top. The others made a circle around and started cheering them on. Talon watch calmly, separating the two when it got a bit too rough. Graves and Helium stared in shocked awe at them. Ares snarled at them, making Graves and Helium jump back.

    “Do they always do that?” Rianne peered at them. In unison, Talon, Ares, Graves, Helium, Iron Hide, Mischief, and Titan stuck their tongues out at Rianne. She gasped and took a step back. Mentally, I slapped myself.


    “Pretty much. I would love to stay and chat, but I have things to do. Bye.” I waved and Val shut off the HoloChat program. As he scooped the little discs off the ground, he filled me in on the progress of the Mansion.

    “I need to deliver the evacuation notice. Dispatch the spare Legionnaires and have them round up everyone.”

    I walked to the garage and found the black motorcycle that I used. As I rolled it out of the garage, I took stock of my surroundings in case the Gentleman Spider was waiting to ambush me. The garage was made of cement and had a couple floors filled with cars, trucks and motorcycles of all kinds. Each person had a vehicle assigned to them. Mine was the shiny black motorcycle. Helium let out a screech and ran straight into a parked car. He let out a squeak as he fell. Graves hurried over to help him back up. It seemed Helium was a blonde at heart. He walked around in circles on thin, shaky legs. Graves spoke to Helium in a low, soothing voice as he helped him back to where the other Pokemon were.



    I ran my hands loving down the glossy exterior and over the handlebars. The windshield had been washed and dried thoroughly, so there wasn’t a speck on it. My Pokemon walked behind me, jabbering about something intelligible. I remembered that I was wearing a dress and put it back. Instead of the motorcycle, I took a small white car that had seen better days. The little ones piled in the back, Talon commandeered the passenger seat and I turned the key in the engine. Thank heavens that the key had been on the dashboard.

    I backed out of the garage and typed my code into the little keypad. The giant iron gates swung open and Iron Hide gasped. He was easily awed. I drove down the path that wound through Shadow’s Edge, the huge forest that surrounded the city and took up most of the island. It may had been fall, but the forest was bursting with plant life. I couldn’t wait until December twenty-first. That was when the white flowers grew. They were called Bride’s Blush and only bloomed that one day every year. The next day, the flowers would wilt. I heard a siren and looked behind me. Great, it was a cop car. I recognized the blue and white sign on the white sedan. I pulled over to the side and rolled my window down a inch. A man walked over. He flashed me a grin and ran a hand through his jet black hair. His blue eyes had a playful glint to them. His dark blue suit fit him well and his badge and buttons were polished. His name tag read Officer Bard.

    “Hello ma’am.” There was that grin again. “Mind rolling down your window?”

    “I think it’s fine where it is. I can hear you just fine.”

    “Roll your window down please.” He sighed. Officer Bard looked tired, I thought as I scanned his features.

    “No.” I snuck a glance into the back seat and saw that my Pokemon were sleeping. Talon was out like a light, as well.

    “Will you step out of the vehicle?”

    “Do I have to?”

    “Yeah.”

    “Sir, with all due respect, I’m a girl and you’re a guy. I really don’t feel comfortable.”

    “May I see your license, ma’am?” I rifled through my pack until I found my wallet. I handed him my driver’s license and glanced back at my Pokemon. They were sleeping.

    “Broken Shadows Phoenix?”

    “Yeah, that’s me.”

    “How do I know it’s you?” Officer Bard shot me a cautious look. I pulled my family’s pendant out from the bodice of my dress. It was a beautiful pendant, with silver and white gold chains that wrapped around each other. A disc of black onyx hung from the delicate chains. I showed Officer Bard the Absol and words etched into the pendant. He gave me a nod.

    “I apologize, Miss Phoenix. There’s a mad woman out here fitting your description. You can go now.” He smiled and walked back to his car. I put the car in drive and started back to town. That was really weird, I thought as I tried to get Helium and Graves to calm down. They had never riden in a car, so they were freaking out. Graves was pounding on the window and Helium was screeching so loud, I was going to shoot myself.
    ____________________________________________________


    Well, he had gone and made her mad, Fen though as he went into city. Women liked gifts, didn’t they? Fen scratched his head and tried to think of something to get for her. Luckily, he had brought Dante along with him for advice. Dante was much better at this stuff than he was.

    “Dante?”

    ”Yes, little brother?” Dante smiled. Dante was his older brother. They may have been twins, but they were nothing alike. Dante had bright green eyes and white hair that had a silvery sheen to it. Dante was also two inches taller than Fen’s own six foot three and out weighted him by twenty pounds. They were both dressed in long sleeved shirts, jeans, boots and leather jackets.

    “What do you get a girl when she’s mad at you?” Fen gave his older brother a pleading look when Dante raised a eyebrow.

    “This gift wouldn’t happen to be for Shadow, would it?”

    “I sort of made her mad.”

    “Well, brother, from what I’ve observed about her, she has more than one side to her.”

    “You’ve been spying on her? That’s rude!” Dante only waved a hand at the accusation.

    “It was observing. Besides, I want to know everything about the girl who scares my precious baby brother.” Dante pinched Fen’s cheek.

    “Just get on with it.” Fen rubbed his sore cheek and sighed. There was always a heavy price to pay for Dante’s help. The price was never made known to the person receiving the help until everything was over and done with.

    “The first is her inner child. You’ve noticed how she likes toys, bright colors and candy. Toys are out of the question. Second is her female side. Shadow likes floaty dresses and skirts, her closet is filled with them. So, buying a dress is out of the question, little brother.”

    “I didn’t say anything.”

    “Brother,” Dante slung a arm over Fen’s shoulders and gave him a droll stare. “We shared a womb for nine months, I know your every thought. And I have telepathy.”

    “Whatever.” Fen sighed again. Dante was lying. Fen didn’t have telepathy, so that meant that Dante didn’t have it either.

    “Every girl has a soft side. Shadow loves her Pokemon and small, cute, fluffy things, preferably alive. I’ve noticed she doesn’t wear make-up. She also had her shy and innocent side. She’s quiet around new people and is oblivious to the male stares she receives. That ties in with her childishness. The most interesting part, though, is her ice queen act. Shadow’s eyes just sort of go flat and she looks emotionless.”

    “I see.” No, Fen didn’t. He just said that so Dante would shut up.

    “You’re lying. The gift that you should get her is obvious.”

    Fen blinked “I’m really drawing up a blank here.” This time it was Dante sighed.

    “Lip-gloss. She likes lip gloss.”

    “Really?”

    “Yes. I was watching her one day while she was in town and saw her gazing at a box that was chock-full of the stuff.”

    “Okay. Lip-gloss. Got it. Thanks, brother.”

    “Anytime.”
    ____________________________________________________


    Dante smiled, know Fen couldn’t see him because he was on his way to buy the present. The price for his help was the satisfactory of know he helped Fen get Shadow to fall in love with his little brother. Which was what Fen wanted, of course. He just didn’t know it yet. In fact, Dante was surprised that Shadow didn’t run screaming from Fen. Love was a curious thing. There was only so long that the two could fight their feelings for each other before they succumbed to the urge to tell each other. How they dealt with it was another matter, though.

    Dante laughed at the thought of Shadow’s reaction when Fen gave the gift. He had observed Shadow and knew the different sides to her. He just went out on a limb suggesting the lip-gloss. Man, did he hope the gift worked. Otherwise, he would be in trouble.
    ____________________________________________________


    After waiting for three hours, everyone was gathered on the lawn in front of my castle. I had calmed down considerably since the moment in the forest and smiled at my Pokemon. Helium and Graves were standing a few feet away from me and the others. Iron Hide and Mischief were behind my skirt. Talon sat beside me, staring at the people with his steady green gaze. Titan and Ares were rolling around, calling out the name of their species, occasionally yelping in pain. I sighed. They hated each other. At least Mischief and Titan liked each other and forgave each other immediately after their spats. I jerked my attention back to the task at hand. Everyone was looking at me, their eyes staring holes right through my soul. I gave them a nervous smile and picked up the microphone. Black Water had over three hundred thousand people living in the city and at least two-thirds had showed up. The sunlight was slanting through the clouds and down on the people. Helium took one look at the crowd and crashed to the ground. Graves and the others stood over him, trying to get Helium to wake up. I walked over to my Pokemon and carefully shook Helium. He blinked and glared at me. Helium squirmed out of my grasp and ran over to Graves.

    Behind me, my castle loomed. It was imposing with tall towers, turrets and spires that seemed to touch the gray sky. It was made out of old, gray stone and had plenty of windows. Mother nature was trying to take back the ground that it had been built on. Ivy climbed up the old stones and flowers and tree grew in abundance on the castle grounds.

    “Hello.” My greeting was met with at least a hundred thousand more. “I was never good at giving speeches. So, I’m just going to come right out and say what I wanted to tell you. There’s going to be a war. A big one, I think.”

    People broke out in panic. Maybe that wasn’t the best way to break it to them. I caught sight of Fen and Dante in the crowd. Dante gave me a reassuring smile. Fen just glowered, like he always did. I was starting to think his face was stuck like that. By now, the screams were so loud, I couldn’t hear myself think. Iron Hide and Mischief darted under my skirt. Even Titan and Ares stopped fighting to see what they had missed. Helium fainted again and Graves curled up into a ball.

    “Silence!” I shouted into the microphone. I had to repeat myself several times until everyone was quiet. “You should all be ashamed of your behavior! Why the hell are you freaking out when it is me and the Legionnaires that have to fight?”

    “What will we do?!?!” Someone shouted, on the brink of hysteria. Others echoed the question. I rubbed my aching temple and sighed.

    “I’ve all ready talked to the other Gym leaders. They have agreed to take you all in as refugees until the war is done. You will have a place to stay, food to eat and you’ll be safe. Now, does anyone know where those of the Grey Order have gone?”

    Silence. The quiet seemed to echo in the evening air. Finally. a young boy raised his hand. People parted for the child to step up on to the steps where I stood. He couldn’t have been more than ten or eleven and was taller than me. The boy had the traditional white hair, gray eyes and pale skin of the Rhaegerians.

    “Hello, ma’am.” He gave me a nervous smile and glanced back at the crowd. He caught a woman’s eye and the woman smiled encouragingly at him. She must have been his mother, because they looked alike.

    “To tell you the truth, I don’t like speaking in front of people either.” I whispered to him. That reassured him a little and he started to speak.

    “I saw General Madison in the back room of the club that my family owns. It’s a big room, used for giant private parties. My parents are renting the room to the General.” The kid gave me the directions. I thanked him and held the microphone up.

    “The boats should be here in a hour and a half. Pack one suitcase for each person and bring your valuables to the castle. There is a vault big enough to hold all of them. I promised that they will be safe. The vault is underground and hidden very well. I won’t steal them, either. Please tell all the other people about this announcement because everyone didn’t come. So, again, please pass the word on. No one should be left behind.”

    The crowd started to disperse, on their way to pack and other crap. I made my way through the crowd and bumped into Fen. My Pokemon let out a whoop when they saw him.

    “Can I go with you to find the Grey?” I shrugged and walked to the car I had borrowed. I opened the door for my Pokemon and watched them pile in. Talon took the passenger seat, since there was no room in the back. “They’ve finished moving the Mansion and are transporting the garden. Chief wouldn’t leave without it. I’ll go and grab the army trucks and a bunch of people to help drive them. Meet you at the club.”

    “No, brother.” Dante walked up. He smiled sweetly at me and turned back to Fen. “I’ll do that. You stay with Shadow and protect her.”

    “I can protect myself!” I planted my fist on my hips. Dante grabbed my leg and lifted it up. Before I could react, he pulled my skirt up to show the long, jagged scratch on my thigh.

    “You were saying?” He pointed to it.

    “That was Fen’s fault! He tackled me and I rolled in glass! How else to do you think he caught me!” Dante ignored me and inspected my gash.

    It had been almost a week and it had already become a scar. He pulled a wicked looking knife out of his boot and cut the black stitches that had held the skin together one by one. He finished quickly and released my leg. I punched him in the chest, making him take a step back. Dante rubbed the spot on his chest where my punch had landed and gave me a wounded look. He ruffled my hair and walked away. Graves pointed at the black thread that had been my stitches. He and Helium peered down at it, amazed.

    “That gash wasn’t my fault. If you had just given up, you would have been fine.”

    “Liar.” It had been his fault. I had been in the streets at night, minding my own business when he started chasing me. Of, course, Hector had given the Legionnaires orders to capture or kill me after he’d taken my Gym. Fen had chased me up onto a roof and had tackled me. I rolled on the glass and we had a Pokemon battle because he knew that I was the better fighter. Then, he cheated and knocked me out with a dart and brought me back to the Mansion.

    I got into my car and Fen got into a black truck nearby, since my Pokemon were taking up all the room. I drove through the streets of Black Water very carefully and slowly, Fen following just as cautiously. People were scampering around with all sorts of Pokemon helping. Most were making their way to the docks to get on the boats. When the boats got here, I would have to make sure that the children and their mothers were on the first boats and that people had only packed one suitcase. The horror.

    The club was bumping with people who wanted to party before leaving. It was a red brick building with clean windows. The club was in the basement and I could feel the ground shaking with the music as I stepped out of the car. My Pokemon were staring at that ground in wonder. I grabbed my back pack out of the car and retrieved their Poke Balls. The club would be packed and I didn’t want to lose them. I returned them to the red and white balls and stored my pack containing the Poke Balls under the seat of the car. Fen looked my attire up and down. And raised an eyebrow.

    “You’re going to sick out like a sore thumb in there.”

    “Why?” I looked down at my dress. “What’s wrong with my dress?”

    “It’s too virginal. You look like a bride.”

    “Fine.” I made him turn around and hiked my skirts up. It tucked them under the tight bodice to the skirt was considerably shorter. I looked modest, but cute. The short skirt swirled above my knees.

    “Do something about the flats.” Fen ordered after he looked me over. I got my back pack and opened it. I always carried a change of shoes in case I needed to be taller or if I needed to run. The shoes I had shoved in had clear heels and thin straps that crossed over my toes and ankles. I slipped them on and deposited the flats in the back pack.

    “Much better.” Fen nodded his head. We walked into the building and were escorted downstairs to the club. The walls were dark and strobe lights flashed everywhere. There was a bar with stools across the enormous room. There were a few guys there, but everyone seemed to be on the dance floor. Twisting, sweaty bodies were everywhere. The smell of vomit and alcohol assaulted our noses.

    I caught a glimpse of a door way over on the over end of the room and grimaced. I would have to walk through the sweaty people to get to it. Fen grabbed my hand and led me to the wall. I walked pushed up against it while Fen used his body to keep the people from touching me. We reached the door and Fen pulled it open. The boy had been right. The club was huge, but this room was like three times the size. People were cramped together in the room. I swear there was at least one hundred. General Madison stood in the middle of the room. Madison turned around when we opened the door. Madison looked the same. Clear blue eyes, curly brown hair that was threaded with bronze and blonde highlights and pale skin. Logan Madison was a Rhaegerian orphan. Logan’s father had killed Logan’s mother and them himself.

    Like all the other orphans, instead of being placed in a orphanage, Logan was delivered to the mansion of the Grey. Logan had trained for years to become a Grey and worked even harder for the title of General. Logan was the youngest person in seventy years to assume the rank of General.

    “What’s up, Logan?” I smiled.
    ____________________________________________________


    Fen couldn’t believe it. That couldn’t be the famous General Logan Madison. Logan Madison was supposed to be a man, not a woman. But, Dark seemed to know the woman.

    “You’re really Iron Logan?” Fan asked, skepticism evident in his voice.

    “Yes.” Logan’s voice was soft and cool, her clear blue eyes betrayed no emotion. That wasn’t surprising. The Grey were raised to block their emotions when battling and patrolling the lands. The things that they had and would see in the Lands of Madness would drive them insane, is not for the lack of emotion.

    “And you would be Fenris Lyriam.” Logan smiled gently.

    “Fenris? Fenris! That’s the big secret? That your name is Fenris? And you wouldn’t even tell me! How the hell do you know his name, Logan?” Dark demanded, her eyes flashing.

    “I hear things.” Logan cocked her head to the side. “I think you to would be suited together quite nicely.”

    “Logan, there’s a-”

    “I know about the war. These are some of the Grey. I’ll gather the rest. Where do you want us?”

    “Just gather in front of the club. A man named Dante will pick you all up.”

    “Are you sure there will be enough room? There are thirty thousand of us.” Dark just smiled.

    “We’ll make it work.”
    ____________________________________________________


    We walked out the door to the room just as someone yelled that the boats were at the docks. This resulted in a stampede to get the door. Fen spun me around and my back hit the wall. He covered my body with his large frame. Fen totally covered me, his body pulsing with heat. The people slammed into Fen, who pressed closer to me. I buried my face in his shirt to stifle the stench of rotten garbage. Thankfully, Fen had remembered body spray. When the room was empty he stepped away, a sheepish look on his face.

    “Sorry.”

    “That’s okay. At least you smelled better than the room.” We walked up the stairs and out the door. I got into my car, Fen got into his truck and we started our engines. Getting to the docks was annoying with the human stampede and all, but we made it there without too much trouble. The docks were one of the prettiest places in Black Water. Crystal blue water lapped at the gold grains of sand. The wooden docks shone brightly, thanks to the spray of the ocean. The giant boats bearing the insignia of each island were anchored and taking on passengers. Sighing, I got down to work.

    Luckily, almost everyone had listened and pack a single suitcase. There were a few trouble makers that had to be taken care of, but the boats had been launched two hours after they had docked. The rest of the people were flown out. Needless to say, Black Water was a ghost town. My Pokemon were having the time of their lives, running up and down the empty streets. There was still a couple hours of sunlight left, so we took a walk in the woods. Everything was peaceful. The sunlight broke through the canopy of leaves every few feet and shone on the flowers that grew everywhere. Flying Type Pokemon sat in the high trees and called out their species. I heard someone crashing through the woods and turned around. It was only Fen, holding a gold box.

    “Hi.” He gave me a sheepish look. “Didn’t mean to startle you.”

    “You didn’t.”

    “Umm. . . I’m sorry for making you mad. I got you this.” He thrust the gold box into my hands and took a few steps back. I wasn’t sure what to do with the box, so I opened it. It was filled with lip gloss and chap stick in all kinds of flavors. Fen had set them all up so they went from darkest to the lightest color. I smiled at him and he blushed.

    “Thanks, Fenris!” His blush deepened.

    “It was Dante’s idea.” He mumbled. We sat down on a fallen log to watch my Pokemon, who were frolicking in the grass and flowers.

    “I don’t really know how you found out about the war.”

    I took a deep breath before I relayed the story. Last night I had woken up because there was a Pidgey in Fen’s room. My room had been under construction, so I had slept in Fen’s bed while he slept on the floor. The Pidgey had been carrying a message addressed to me from the Mad King of the Brackenians. He had wanted to see me. So, I had borrowed a motorcycle and drove all the way across Black Water, over the bridge that connected Rhaeger to the main land, Kamodeen, to the Gates. Hector had left them unlocked, so I had the pleasure of locking up after I had spoke to the Mad King. He had told me about the war because he wanted a challenge and he felt that Hector couldn’t deliver. Now, we were preparing for the first attack. Fen let out a whoosh of breath after I was done.

    “Damn. You’ve been busier than I thought.”

    “Yeah.” I ran a hand through my dark curls. “I’m so tired.”

    “It’s hard running a city by yourself.” Fen sympathized. “Do you wish your brother was still alive sometimes?”

    “My brother is alive. I know.”

    “Dark, It’s been eight years.”

    “Before Deathius left, he told me that it was my destiny to rule the island, not his. He left because he’d turned fourteen and the GYm would legally be passed down to him and he would have to claim it. He’ll be back. Deathius promised.”

    “Doesn’t your other family members help?”

    “Are you kidding?” I laughed bitterly. ”They love me deep down inside, but they don’t like me.”
    ____________________________________________________


    Fen was confused about what Dark had just told him. How could they love her and not like her at the same time?

    “I know what you’re thinking. They love me because I’m a Phoenix and a Gym leader, but hate me because my mother was white and my father was black. I’m the gray sheep of my family.” Dark’s laugh was full of bitterness and sadness. She tried to cover it up with a cheerful smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes.

    Fen was amazed. This girl had been through so much sadness and pain in her short life and still managed to smile. Sure, some of the smiles were to disguise the pain she felt, but the strength it took to hold her head high and walk on was astounding. A song began to play in his head, one he’d heard Dark play. The lyrics bounced in his mind and Fen realized he wanted to say them to her.

    Fen bit back the words. Instead, he draped his arm around her slumped shoulders. He really didn’t know how to comfort girls. Fen was so glad that Dark wasn’t crying. That would have sucked. Dark shook his arm off and returned her Pokemon to their Poke Balls.

    “I’m in the mood to play.” Seeing the mischievous glint in Dark’s eyes Fen shook his head and crossed his arms over his chest. “Oh, come on! Please?” Dark gave him a pleading look.

    “No.” Fen didn’t want to play.

    “Play with me!” Dark shoved him, making Fen lose his seat. He gave her a gimlet stare.

    “Don’t do that again, Broken Shadows. Next time won’t be a warning.”

    “Ooh! You’re mad! So serious.” Dark smiled evilly. “What are you going to do? Spank my buns?” Fen rose to his full six feet three inches. The look on his face must have been something because Dark went still, like a Stantler in the headlights.
    ____________________________________________________


    Fen slowly stood and his shadow blocked the light. The look on his face was sinister, yet promising. It promise a whole lot of things that had me scared out of my mind. Maybe I had gone too far with the whole ‘spank my buns’ thing. I took a step back as Fen advanced.

    “Fenris, you know that I was teasing, right? Right?”

    “You asked for it.” He smiled then. It was slow, deadly and devastating at the same time. How the hell did he manage that? I knew It would be bad for me if he smiled. His strides lengthened and I turned and ran. I hooked my arm around a tree trunk and used it to propel myself to the right. I heard Fen’s hands slam into the bark a half second after I had let go of it. I gathered up my skirts and started running. Fear motivated. I flew across the moss covered ground, giggles bordering on hysterical laughter bubbling up from my throat.

    We wove in and out of the trees. I finally looked back when I didn’t hear Fen. I skidded to a halt and leaned against a tree. Broken Shadows, I scolded myself. This is what you get when you mess around with a man like Fenris. I bent over to pull my flats off. I threw them aside so I could rub my feet with both hands. A twig broke under I took off running. I veered left and ran into Fen, who had rounded the tree that I had ran in front of. He reached out to catch to me, but I stumbled and tripped over a fallen log. I scrambled to me feet, an excited grin on my face. Boy, this was fun!

    “I was only teasing, Fenris. I just wanted to play.”

    “You got your wish.” Fen lunged and I let out a surprised squeak before darting away. The stars were out when we stopped to rest. I grabbed my pack and pulled out a plastic bag full of fruit. Fen broke the seal and picked up a grape.

    “You know, you’re easy on the eyes when you smile.” I spoke slowly, weighting my words as I snacked on a piece of orange.

    “Really?” Fen gave me a surprised look. “My mother always said that I looked like a starving Houndoor.”

    “What?” I was floored. His own mother said that?

    “I wasn’t exactly my mother’s favorite.”

    “Why?” I couldn’t keep the curiosity out of my voice.

    “When my mother got pregnant with me and Dante, my father cheated on her with another woman and that woman got pregnant too. They both went into labor at the same time, so all of us were born minutes apart.”

    “So you have a half brother or sister?”

    “Yes. His name is Akira. Dante was born first, then I was, and Akira was last.” Fen shook his head, as if he’d just remembered something. “Technically, Dante is the second oldest.”

    I gave a nonchalant shrug, hoping that would make Fen tell me more. It didn’t fail.

    “I have, I mean had, a older brother. His name was Roarke. He was two years older. He died.”

    “What happened?”

    “I killed him.”
    ____________________________________________________


    Fen felt all the dormant feelings bubble up as he heard Dark shocked gasp.

    “Why would you do such a thing?” There was confusion in her dark brown eyes and written on her face.

    “I’m going to tell you something. You can’t tell anyone else. Promise me. Now.”

    “I promise.” There was no hesitation. Good. Fen could trust her to keep the secret.

    “I had a fiancée. Her name was Marisa, but I called her Mari. We were both twelve when we met at school. I was a outcast. Dante was welcomed into their society, but not me. My eyes were. . . Unnatural. Mari would stare at me until I looked at her. Then, she would smile. One day, she finally asked me out. I was shocked. Nobody had ever paid me any mind except Dante.”

    “Oh.” Dark spoke softly. When Fen looked over he was surprised to see that there no tears in her eyes. There was something else swimming in their dark depths, something he’d never seen before. I encouraged him to go on, to get all this off his chest so he could breath again.

    “I was two months older but Mari didn’t mind. When we turned fourteen, I asked her to marry me. I was so happy when she said yes.” Fen could still remember the tears that had ran from her blue eyes. Her eyes were so much more different than the dark brown ones that he stared into. Fen shook his head at that thought. Where had it come from? He ignored the other thoughts boiling up and continued his story

    “Roarke was a bit unstable. He loved me and Dante, I knew that. He just didn’t like when our attention wasn’t focused on him. Roarke didn’t like that I was spending all my time with Mari. He decided that I was better off without her.”

    “What did he do?” Dark’s voice was still soft. Fen’s tongue felt thick and heavy, as if the words he was about to say were weighing it down.

    “He sold her to slavers. I spent five months tracking her down. I went to the house that she was in and found Roarke. He had stabbed Mari. He was still standing over her, cleaning off his sword when I had arrived. I was just so mad that I didn’t thing. We had fought and I stabbed him just like he had done to Mari.”

    Dark said nothing, just held his hand.

    “Only Dante and Mom know. That’s part of why my mother hates me.”

    “What’s the other reason?”

    “My eyes. She loves Dante and even tolerates Akira, even though he’s the reason my father left her. But she hates me.” Fen bit into another grape. “Mom said that I was never her son, despite the fact that I came from her.”
    ___________________________________________________


    Wow. Fen’s life was sadder than mine. I had lost my mother, but his didn’t even acknowledge him. I turned his hand over in mine and traced the lines and scars.

    “You have big hands,” I muttered. “Why are there scars on your palms?”

    “If I tell you more, the aura of mystery I have will disappear.” He looked down at me and smiled. “Do me a favor, Dark.”

    “What?”

    “Keep smiling. You have a beautiful smile.” I blushed and ducked my head. Fen lifted my face until I was staring into his eyes.

    “Are you going to kiss me?” I asked quietly.

    “Probably.”

    “Why?”

    “Why? Because you amaze me. You draw me to you and I don’t know what to do about that.” My blush deepened and I bit my bottom lip. “Stop biting your lip.”

    “It’s my lip! I’ll bite it if I want.” I frowned at Fen, making him release a low laugh.

    “You just like me because I won’t kiss you.”

    “No. You interest me. It has almost nothing to do with your body.” Fen released my chin and smoothed my hair back. “We should get back.”

    “We should. I have to find my flats.” I stood and started searching for them. Fen slung his pack over his shoulder and held up my flats. I grabbed them and slid them on. We were nearly out when it started to rain.

    “That’s just great.” Fen frowned. I didn’t know why he wasn’t happy about the rain. I loved the rain. Sighing, I led his to a path that cut through the forest where the canopy was the thickest.

    We were soaked even though we had been in the rain for less than two minutes. We started running when thunder cracked across the dark purple sky. I was thankful that I had returned my Pokemon to their Poke Balls. In front of us the Legionnaire Mansion loomed, looking intimidating. We ran through the marble lobby, through the waiting room in front of Val’s office and into the wing that housed the dorm room. I unlocked my room and stumbled in. I was numb from the rain. Fen tossed my pack into the room and went to his, which was next door. I took a steaming bath to get the blood flowing through my limbs again before donning my black pajama pants with the xbox symbol all over them. It was a gray ball with a bright green X in the middle of it. Next came my giant green T-shirt. I pulled back my blankets and was about to slid into bed when my door opened. Fen came walking in, dressed his black flannel pajama pants and a white T-shirt.

    “What are you doing in my room?” I sighed, exhausted.

    “You said I only liked you because I wanted your body.” A look of pure evil and amusement glimmered in his gray eyes.

    “Fenris, I am not bumping uglies with you.” I flopped onto my back.

    “Bumping uglies? That’s a. . . Interesting way to put it.” The dolt was laughing at me. He tried to smother the laugh with a hand, but failed miserably. I glared at him and scowled. “You’re so cute when you’re angry.” He grinned at me.

    “Yeah? Well I’m about to get really freaking adorable!” If looks could kill, Fen would have been a pile of ash.

    “I want to prove that I like you and not because of your body.”

    “Eloquently put.”

    “Besides, Akira commandeered my bed until his room is done.”

    “Your brother?”

    “Yup.”

    “Can’t you sleep on the floor?”

    “It’s only for one night.”

    “Floor.” I rolled over, said my prayer and went to sleep.
    ____________________________________________________


    November Twenty-Third, hours before dawn
    Dante stood with Chief Valkyrian in Broken Shadows’ room. That wasn’t the most interesting part, though. The interesting part was that Fen was sleeping in the room. In Shadow’s bed. With Shadow. Dante braced himself. He and Chief had played Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who had to lift the blanket to see if they were naked and he’d lost. Dante really didn’t want to see his little brother’s junk. But, on the other hand, a pair of boobs might help with the traumatizing situation. He lifted the comforter and peeked under. Then sighed in relief.

    “It’s good. They’re not naked. Just sleeping.” When had Fen started sleeping with Shadow? They must really like each other! Dante thought, excited. Finally, someone who would make Fen fall in love. Dante prodded Fen in the back. His brother slept like the dead. Fen and Shadow were wrapped around each other like two flags knotted together.

    “Wake up!” Dante snapped, pleased when Fen opened his eyes. Shadow’s eyelashes fluttered and popped open as well. The dark pools focused on Fen and narrowed.

    “What the hell are you doing in my bed?” Shadow’s eyes were dark slits of fury.

    “Hi. Told you.”

    “Get. Off. Me. Now!” She didn’t even wait for Fen to move before shoving him off. Shadow ran a hand through her mussed hair and blinked. “Hey, Dante, Val. Fen snuck into my bed.”

    Dante turned to his brother, who was grinned like a idiot. Dante blinked a few times and stared at his brother.

    “What is wrong with your face? Are you. . . Smiling?” Fen frowned at him.

    “I smile.”

    “Right. The Brackenians have sailed into Black Water territory. Thirty huge war ships. Old style. No guns, just a bunch of bloodthirsty looking men and women carrying all kinds of brutal, crude weapons.”

    “Got it. Get out.” The men exited the room so Shadow could put her armor on.
    ____________________________________________________


    I rolled out of bed and stumbled to my closet. I had a few mannequins set up so I could place my armor and the weapons that went with them up. The Brackenians were going to attack the shore from the water, so I would wear the white armor. That should camouflage me nicely, I thought. I grabbed the white leather outfit that I would wear under it and started to put it on. The shirt ended a couple inches under my breasts and had short sleeves. The pants were skintight like the shirt and laced up the sides. I found the white knee high boot that went with the armor and pulled them on.

    My armor wasn’t made of Anamantium, but thin iron plates. My shoulder piece covered my shoulder and was very strong. It was made of triangular shaped plates that overlapped each other. I tightened the straps until I was sure they wouldn’t come loose. My gauntlets were made of the overlapping triangular plates and they ran from mid arm all the way to my fingertips. My greaves strapped around my calves and protected my shins. Two pieces of curved metal strapped on to my arm to protect my biceps. I slid my elbow guards on. They, too, were made of the triangular plates. My knee guards were diamond shaped and they cupped my knee.

    I found my Poke Balls and released all my Pokemon. They knew the drill when I put my armor on. I had taught them after I kicked Hector out of my Gym. They held two curved pieces to my back and belly. I pulled the straps over my shoulders and connected them to the plate that covered my stomach. I fastened the next pair of leather straps under my breasts to keep the plates on it the first set was cut. After that was done, I tied a silver sash around my waist. The sash was sort of my calling card. I was known to were one every time I was on the battlefield. I adjusted one of the straps that went over my shoulders so it didn’t sit on my shoulder piece.

    I looped a thick belt around my hips and slid my daggers into their sheathes. I walked down to the lobby and scanned the thousands of people that were packed in the room. I was standing at the top of the stairs and could see everyone. To the left was the Grey were dressed in their iron armor with the gray hoods that covered their hair and foreheads. On the right were the Legionnaires. Their armor was the black and cerulean blue that was the colors of Rhaeger. I frowned.

    “Why are you on all on different sides?” Nobody answered. They just sort of sifted from foot to foot. My Pokemon tried their best to frown and look intimidating like me. All of them except Talon, who looked at them like he was disappointed. ”Well? Nobody has an answer? That’s okay, I already know it. You hate each other.”

    Muttered words rippled across the room like waves in water.

    “If you can’t act like brothers and sisters you should just pull down your pants and bent over to save the Brackenians the hassle of doing it themselves.” That sparked some laughter. I gave the whole crowd a steely glare. ”Oh, you think that’s funny, do you? You won’t be laughing when it really does happen. And it will because if you can’t fight together and watch each other’s backs then the battle is already lost. We might as well just kill ourselves. But I for one will not give up. Not now, not ever. I’m your Gym leader and ruler. I set an example. If this is the example I set, them maybe I shouldn’t be Gym leader. Maybe you should all run around the battlefield like fricken Torchics with your heads cut off. Shut the hell up!” I turned my attention to the jokers that kept laughing.

    “Yeah, you guys! Shadow’s trying to give a rallying speech and you’re ruining it!” Where had that voice come from. I scanned the crowd and saw my cousins, Lilith and Evie. Lilith had chestnut colored hair and bright green eyes. Evie shared the eye color and same pale skin, but had strawberry-blonde hair. The wore the Legionnaire armor.

    “By ourselves, we are nothing. The Brackenians are too numerous for the Legionnaires and the Grey to take by themselves. If the Grey went in without the Legionnaires, they would get slaughtered and it goes both way. The Legionnaires and the Grey were established to be at the service of man, and not vice versa. Do you understand that? At the service, not beck and call. We fight for the good of our people and not for the good of ourselves. If you believe that, you should get the hell out of here before I kick you out.” Nobody moved. “Now, are you ready to stand with and next to each other and not against?” By time I had concluded my speech, my voice was almost hoarse from shouting out the words

    Logan pushed through her soldiers and stood in the midst of the Legionnaires.

    “The Legionnaires are just as good as us!” She called to her people. Everyone began to move. It wasn’t just the Grey coming to stand on the side that the Legionnaires were on, but they were all walking to the other sides of the room. I could see the people who had been standing outside moving as well.

    “Good. To the shore!”

    We all piled in to the trucks and drove to the shores. The Brackenians were fighting with swords and so would we. Guns weren’t used that much in war. The cost of having them produced was too high and the ammo costed a ton of money, which was why we had switched back to swords and hammers. We all formed a circle on the beach and Fen grabbed my arm. My Pokemon saw him and mobbed him. I recognized his armor from the last time he’d worn it. He wore a cuirass, which was a breastplate and black plate that were fastened together. It was fitted like shirt. A shirt with carving of angels and demons fighting. Fen’s armor also included greaves and a shoulder plate. There were armor plates that ran up his legs for protection.

    “I’m sorry I snuck into your bed, Dark.” There was still a bit a amusement in his eyes.

    “Apology accepted.” Rolling waves of fog assaulted our vision. I heard the lapping of the water and then saw a ship emerge. Everyone dove for the ground. It was dark enough to hide the Legionnaires and Grey because their armor was black and gray. The moon glanced off my armor, making me look like a reflection.

    “Here’s the plan. Make your way into the water and swim to the boats. There’s eight of them.”

    I split them into four groups and gave them their orders. There wasn’t enough people for eight groups and even with four, I was spreading our forces a bit thin. I slowly crawled with my group to the first boat. The others would have to dive down into the water so the moon wouldn’t illuminate then and show the enemy we were there. I could swim with my head above the water since I was wearing white and looked like a reflection. They had anchored and were preparing to row to the shore in small boats. I climbed up the rope with the others following me. I hid in the shadows until everyone had boarded. I saw the leader and was shocked that it wasn’t Damon, the Mad King sitting on the gold and red velvet throne that was on one of the highest points of the ship. A light hit us and we stood. We had already been found, they had known we were there.

    “Phoebe.” I called, puzzled.

    “Nix?” Phoebe sounded as confused as I was.

    “You two know each other?” Fen asked.

    “Yeah. Actually, I lied. My name is Broken Shadows Phoenix.” I smiled.

    “What?” Phoebe called. I heard some guy address her as Queen Trixen. “You lied?”

    “What are you talking about! You lied! You said your name Phoebe!”

    “It’s Trixen. And I am the rightful heir to the Kingdom of Madness.” Trixen tossed her orange hair and glared at me with clear hazel eyes. She was prettier than I remembered. Her orangish-brown hair was long and shiny, her hazel eyes bright and lined with kohl. Trixen’s pale skin was flawless and smooth. I hated her.

    “What the hell?”

    “I could say the same thing. I’ve decided that I don’t want your island. But I do want my people’s freedom. Those Gates need to go.”

    “You’ll let your people roam my island, murdering and raping my people? Not happening.” My fierce tone had my Pokemon staring at me.

    “Then it’s war. You’ll lose, though.”

    “Then let the flames begin.” I called for an attack and the battle cries of eighty thousand Rhaegarians answered. I whipped out my daggers and stabbed them into the chest of a Brackenian. I felt something collide with my back plate and turned around. The biggest man I’d even seen loomed over me. He was bald, had bronze skin, beady black eyes, wore a kilt and was covered in scars. The man wielded two double-bitted axes. My jaw dropped and I followed when he swung them at my neck. All around, I heard dying screams of people defeated in battle. Fen grunted, trying to beat a small woman with a giant hammer. He caught me in the thigh with one axe and grabbed a hand full of my hair. I had forgotten to braid it, so it tumbled around my face.

    The man lifted me and swung his axe. I bit his hand and he dropped me. Seconds later, his axe flew above my head, cutting a few strands. A spear hit the ground and stood upright. I grabbed it, ran around it before picking myself up and kicking the giant man in the stomach. When my feet connected with him, I let go, slamming into him. We both ended up on ground, fighting for the top, swearing at each other. He was bigger, so he won the top. He roared at me like a savage. Hot, stinky air blew my hair back and I let out a surprised scream.

    The man was straddling my belly, so my legs were free. I slammed my knee into his back repeatedly. When that didn’t faze him, I worked a leg between us and rammed my knee into his forbidden zone. I thanked heavens that he was wearing underwear. I rolled out of the way as he swung his axes and they cut into the wood by my head. We both got to our feet, but I was faster since I wasn’t nursing a wounded dick. With a roar, he swung his axes, aiming for my stomach. I jumped back and dove between his legs. I turned onto my back and kicked him in both knee caps. He went down to his knees and I slid my daggers across his throat. With his last dying breath, the man swung a meaty fist at me and everything went black as I crashed to the ground.


    Last edited by CrazyLilChicken; 13th December 2012 at 09:51 PM.
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  2. #2
    i'm wide awake Felly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let The Flames Begin, rated Mature(Needs grading please!)

    You've been waiting for so long for this to be graded! Claiming this, and I'll most likely have a grade for you by the end of the week! (Though I may have it up within the next 24 hours; we'll see.)


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  3. #3
    Apple juice tastes good CrazyLilChicken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let The Flames Begin, rated Mature(Needs grading please!)

    Thank you, Felly! I was about to ask my brother to grade it for me.
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  4. #4
    i'm wide awake Felly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let The Flames Begin, rated Mature(Needs grading please!)

    This grade seems really long, even after I've played around with it to try not to sound so harsh. If I still sound really harsh, I'm so sorry. :3

    Introduction
    WOOOOOOO! You added a backstory so that others know what's going on! Good job! I think it would have been cool if there had been some backstory in the opinion of some of the other characters, but what you have now is a good start since it covers what's happened in your other stories for those who haven't gone back and read them yet.

    Your plot for this was good though. I liked it, and it's nice to see a bit of lightheartedness in the story since it seems so serious most of the time. Lightheartedness and a little humor in a serious story is good; it adds more life to the story. The only thing I didn't really like about it was how it ended on a cliffhanger, but that's just me being really, really picky; ending things on cliffhangers are totally okay! It makes the reader want to keep reading so that they know what happens next! So good job!

    Detail
    I've already told you before that your detail is great, so I won't spend too much time on this section. There were only two things of note I wanted to say here. One is that I would have liked to see more of the Drifloon and Drilbur you added to Dark's team; this is partially because you're trying to catch them, and as such, they should play some sort of significant role in the story. Like I said, this story was a little more on the lighthearted side, and that's okay, but Drifloon and Drilbur are both Complex ranked Pokemon. If this was a story for lower ranked Pokemon, their brief appearances would be a little more understandable, but it seems like it focuses more on Fen and Dark's relationship and the upcoming war, and the Drifloon and Drilbur barely get mentioned beyond their captures.

    The other thing I wanted to point out was the Drifloon itself. When Fen tackles Dark after their battle, there's purple bits on the ground from when Drifloon apparently used Explosion. You basically make it sound like the Drifloon died when Fen tackled Dark. Later in the story, when Dark's talking to the other people on the HoloChat, she releases her Pokemon, Drifloon included. It's never explicitly said whether or not Drifloon actually used Explosion, but it's implied, and Dark implies that the Drifloon died because she mentions something about how another Pokemon's life is wasted over nothing. She later nicknames the Drifloon. So where did the purple rubber bits come from? It's something that's never really explained, and it probably should be so that the reader knows what happens to Drifloon. Also, the Drifloon was in the Poke Ball when the explosion occurred, unless I missed something somewhere that say she had released the Drifloon from its Poke Ball.

    Grammar
    This is something you're already aware you need to work on because you admitted it in your little author's note. I'll point out the more frequent errors, and I'll leave it to you to do the rest of the proofreading and correct it all. A lot of your mistakes could be corrected with a simple proofread to begin with.

    I’m fourteen years old and I'm Gym leader of Black Water City Gym.
    Two things to note here. First is that there needs to be a comma after "old," and the second is that gym doesn't really need to be capitalized when you say "I'm gym leader of" whatever gym it is, in this case Black Water City. The only time you need to capitalize it is when you use it in conjunction with the name of a city, like what you did with Black Water City Gym; I'm probably just being picky here, but it seems like an unnecessary capitalization. The way I remember the comma rule used here in sentences like this is if you have a word like "and" that's connecting two sentences together, remove the "and." If the part before it is a sentence on its own, and the part after it is a sentence on its own, you would have a comma before and. If not, you wouldn't add the comma.

    Dressed his usual navy sweater, cargo pants and boots, we ran. He was faster than me, but let me get a head start.
    A comma would go after pants since you're listing what the dad is wearing in the first sentence.

    The castle had been so cold, so large and scary without him.
    This should be "so cold, so large, and so scary" instead. I already brought up the whole deal with commas and listing, but it makes more sense if you have the "so" before scary.

    “Come with me.” Said the Spider to the fly.
    The period after "me" should be a comma instead, and said wouldn't have to be capitalized. This applies to any time you say "he said," "she said," "[insert character's name here] said," or anything like that. If there's not anything like "he said," "she said," "whoever said," after the dialogue, you can use a period or some other form of punctuation instead.

    It’s snout was white with a pink nose
    You don't need the apostrophe on "it's" since the snout belongs to Drilbur. It's is for when you want to say "it is," and its is for when something belongs to someone.

    “Talon use Bite!”
    You should add a comma after the names of your Pokemon when Dark's commanding them to do something. In this case, Talon would be the person Dark's talking to, and she's telling him to use Bite, so you would add a comma.

    A entertainment center
    Entertainment starts with an E, which is a vowel, so you would use "an" instead. An is used when a word starts with a vowel, and "a" is used all other times. There are exceptions to this rule, such as when you say hour. You wouldn't say a hour, you would say an hour. The "h" in hour is silent, so it has the vowel-ish sound at the beginning instead; if it helps, try sounding words out if you're unsure about whether or not to use a or an.

    “Rianne. No. Never happening.” Snow grinned.
    The period after nearly every word here isn't necessary. Snow is making a point, and I can see that, but the periods aren't necessary for her to make her point. Saying "Rianne, no. Never happening." would be just as fine. Don't be afraid to use commas; they can still help you get the point you're trying to make across.

    Like I said earlier, proofreading helps a lot. Even a quick one could help you see mistakes you may not have realized you made, or maybe you'll want to add more. It'll also help catch a lot of the mistakes you made, like minor spelling errors (which there was at least one that I can remember off the top of my head, but I don't want to be picky), and that can help out a lot in the long run. Correcting the ones I show you is one thing, and it will help, but correcting most, if not all, of them will help even more than just the things I've pointed out.

    Battle
    So two battles here. First up is the Pokemon battle. It seemed like the battle with Drifloon was over pretty quickly. It only took a few hits before Dark threw a Poke Ball at it, and it was captured. Though Talon had a type advantage over the Drifloon, I would imagine it would put up a bit more of a fight than what it was given. As for the Drilbur, it was kind of piled by Iron Hide and Ares, which kind of made it seem a little one sided. The Drifloon and Drilbur only got in a few attacks from what I could see, but Dark's Pokemon got in way more attacks. I would imagine the Pokemon would have put up more of a fight than they did.

    Battle number two is less one sided, despite not involving Pokemon as far as I'm aware. (It doesn't seem like it does, which is cool.) Of course, this is the battle that also leads us into the next story, which leaves the reader in suspense. It makes the reader want to read more, and that's good.

    Conclusion
    Okay, so Drifloon and Drilbur are two Complex ranked Pokemon. Minimum character count was at least 60k, and you have 67,869. You're pretty close to the middle of that 60k-80k character range for this story, which is good!

    It's not all about the character count though. You have a good plot, you have good detail, and your first battle in this story could use some work to make it less one-sided, but otherwise, it's a pretty good story. However, the higher ranked story it is, the more of a significance the Pokemon should have in the story. In this case, you're writing for two Complex ranked Pokemon, Drifloon and Drilbur. Though they don't need to be mentioned 24/7, they should play some sort of significance to the plot as they're higher ranked. From the looks of it, as I was going back through for your grade, the Drifloon and Drilbur appeared a grand total of 5 times, and the most time they saw in the story was during their battle. The other times were brief cameos, such as when they got their nicknames, helping move the Legionnaire Mansion, when Dark was making the announcement about the war, playing in the forest, and helping Dark get suited up for the upcoming battle.

    If these were lower ranked Pokemon, say Medium (or maybe Hard, but that would be pushing it), I would give you the Pokemon. Unfortunately, it seems like the Drifloon and Drilbur are just there after they get captured, and to me, that doesn't really seem like something worthy of a Complex level Pokemon. It sounds harsh, and I'm sorry. If you can somehow incorporate the Drifloon and Drilbur moreso into the story and proofread your story to correct some of the grammar mistakes, I'd be happy to regrade it and give you the two Pokemon! Until then, I'm going to say not captured to Drifloon and Drilbur, but I will be happy to regrade if you fix your mistakes!


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  5. #5
    i'm wide awake Felly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let The Flames Begin, rated Mature(Needs grading please!)

    Introduction
    WOOOOOOO! You added a backstory so that others know what's going on! Good job! (I can say this because I've graded some of your other stories, and this is advice I've given you. Yay!) I think it would have been cool if there had been some backstory in the opinion of some of the other characters, but what you have now is a good start since it covers what's happened in your other stories for those who haven't gone back and read them yet.

    Your plot for this was good though. I liked it, and it's nice to see a bit of lightheartedness in the story since it seems so serious most of the time. Lightheartedness and a little humor in a serious story is good; it adds more life to the story. The only thing I didn't really like about it was how it ended on a cliffhanger, but that's just me being really, really picky; ending things on cliffhangers are totally okay! It makes the reader want to keep reading so that they know what happens next! So good job!

    Detail
    I've already told you before that your detail is great, so I won't spend too much time on this section. I can see more of the Drifloon and Drilbur in this story, so that works. Keep in mind that for higher ranked stories, the Pokemon needs to have a greater significance in the story, or otherwise, the grader will most likely fail you.

    Grammar
    This is something you're already aware you need to work on because you admitted it in your little author's note. I'll point out the more frequent errors, and I'll leave it to you to do the rest of the proofreading and correct it all. A lot of your mistakes could be corrected with a simple proofread to begin with.

    I’m fourteen years old, and I'm gym leader of Black Water City gym.
    You would capitalize the second gym in this case since it's an actual gym. Like Viridian City Gym. The gym leader of Viridian City is Giovanni. You'd capitalize gym in the first example because it's got the location in front of it, but you wouldn't capitalize gym leader, if that makes any sense at all.

    Like I said earlier, proofreading helps a lot. Even a quick one could help you see mistakes you may not have realized you made, or maybe you'll want to add more. It'll also help catch a lot of the mistakes you made, like minor spelling errors (which there was at least one that I can remember off the top of my head, but I don't want to be picky), and that can help out a lot in the long run. Correcting the ones I show you is one thing, and it will help, but correcting most, if not all, of them will help even more than just the things I've pointed out.

    It may seem like I was being nitpicky in the one quote I left you with, but I just wanted to expand on my thought from the last grade and clarify it a bit more. Hopefully it makes sense. :3

    Battle
    So two battles here. First up is the Pokemon battle. Though you've fixed it since the regrade, it does still seem a little one-sided. The Drifloon still didn't put up much more of a fight, but the Drilbur did. It's better though, and that's what counts!

    Battle number two is less one sided, despite not involving Pokemon as far as I'm aware. (It doesn't seem like it does, which is cool.) Of course, this is the battle that also leads us into the next story, which leaves the reader in suspense. It makes the reader want to read more, and that's good.

    Conclusion
    From the original grade, your character count was 67,869. For the regrade, you have a character count of 69,457, so you've gained a total of 1,588 characters between the original and the regrade. Nice job! You're also closer to the middle of the 60-80k range of the recommended character count for these two Pokemon, which is an added bonus. You're good on length! (:

    You've still got some grammar issues that you could work on. A site I found that may help you is here; I would take a look at it, and hopefully it helps! (: Practice makes perfect, so just keep writing, and sooner or later, your grammar will improve! Proofreading also helps!

    On the subject of your Pokemon, I'm going to say Drifloon and Drilbur are captured! Just keep working at your grammar! I believe in you!


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  6. #6
    Apple juice tastes good CrazyLilChicken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let The Flames Begin, rated Mature(Needs grading please!)

    SOMEONE BELIEVES IN ME! I <3 you, Felly. Not in a gay way, though. Thank you for the grade and I'll try my best not to disappoint.
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