Noble Redemption
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  1. #1

    Default Noble Redemption

    Stalwart Penitentiary

    “Xenon, this is Radon, over,” A Toxicroak said into a throatmic. The Toxicroak was covered head to toe in black, attempting to blend into the night. He looked around. The search lights loomed over him like omnipresent globes of light. He knew if that if he was caught in one, his mission would be all over.

    “Reading you loud and clear, Radon,” Xenon replied.

    “Cut the chatter,” Krypton snapped over the radio. “Maintain radio silence. The success of this mission is of the utmost importance.” Radon gulped. He didn’t want to have to fight an angry Lucario. This was his mission after all. Even if I were to survive a botched mission, Krypton would kill me.

    There was a minor break in the searchlight. The Toxicroak dashed up to the entrance of the building and used Poison Jab on the two Sceptiles that were guarding the entrance to the prison. The Sceptiles didn’t see it coming and were down almost instantly. Radon’s Poison Jab was a toxic brew of several thousand different kinds of poison; most could kill instantly.

    “All clear, Krypton,” Radon said into the throatmic.

    “Ten-Four,” Krypton replied. At the next break in the searchlights, a Lucario dashed up next to Radon, quickly followed by an Alakazam, an Electivire, and a Blaziken. They walked into the door and then dispersed again. Radon was tired of doing sneaky missions all alone. He much preferred to go in to a fight guns a-blazing. Neon the Electivire felt the same way as well.

    “Remind me of the plan again, Krypton,” Neon on the radio.

    “We’re looking for Prisoner 74,” Krypton said. “He was imprisoned for inciting a rebellion.” Radon remembered the gruesome details of 74’s rebellion quite well. A friend of his had described how he brutally murdered twelve soldiers in the Vaarin Party’s army. From what he had heard, he had strewn their eyeballs and organs across the room like confetti and drank their blood while he awaited to be captured and imprisoned by Vaarin backup.

    Open resistance against the Vaarin Party was rare. However, when it did happen, it was severe. Sometimes, a citizen of Valkea, under the Vaarin repression, just snapped and tried to take down as many Vaarites as they could before getting gunned down. That seemed to be the case with 74, however, his exceeded any other kind of open resistance that Radon had ever heard of.

    “What species is 74 even?” Neon asked.

    “I’ve heard that he’s a Deoxys,” Xenon said over the radio.

    “Yeah, you wish,” Radon replied, sneaking around the building.

    “Can it!” Krypton yelled over the radio. The radio chatter was beginning to frustrate him. Krypton wanted this mission to go off without a single mistake. The Nobles Resistance Group was still an underground militia, if one of its members were to make the slightest mistake, an entire lifetime of work would be wasted. They’d be imprisoned and killed almost immediately, similar to 74’s predicament.

    Radon continued to run through the prison until he ran into a Blaziken. He raised his hands, which now glowed a bright purple, and took a step back. However, he realized it was Argon the Blaziken.

    “Oh, Argon, its just you,” Radon said, stopping the poison from leaking from his fingertips. He assumed a relaxed posture and gave the Blaziken a high-five. “You finished sweeping your area?”

    “Yeah,” Argon replied. “Gonna help you finish up yours.” Radon smiled and turned around. Several Sceptile guards dressed in all black were waiting behind him. Argon smiled. He outstretched his two firsts. Each knuckle had a small ember on it. The embers expanded until they covered his whole fist. He leaped into the air with his mighty legs and came down on one of the Sceptiles, punching it straight in the jaw. The leaves on the Sceptile shriveled up and burned. The fire spread to its black prison guard uniform.

    The Sceptile stepped forward. Its jaw was hanging from its head, detached. Blood was leaking from its mouth and its eye was beginning to bruise over. “Oh, you want more?” Argon taunted. His leg instantly set ablaze. Argon hopped into the air again and connected his flaming leg with the Sceptile’s stomach, causing it to vomit up blood. The Sceptile fell to the floor. Argon brought his leg down and curb stomped the Sceptile, killing it instantly.

    The other Sceptile began to flee. Radon quickly caught up to it and gave it a few quick Poison Jabs to the stomach. He then began to cough a Toxic ball up. The purple ball of gack flew from Radon’s mouth and onto the Sceptile, badly poisoning it. Argon connected a Fire Punch with the Sceptile’s backbone, breaking it into two. The Sceptile laid on the floor, paralyzed and dying from its bad poison.

    “We don’t need to worry about finishing that one off,” Radon reassured. “My poison will kill it within the hour. It’s already taken away the proper function of its nervous system. It won’t be able to tell anyone a thing.” Radon smiled and looked down at the Sceptile. “How does it feel to be a tool of The Voice? You’re going to die here alone, afraid, and unable to move. Is this how he repays you?”

    The Voice was the entity that controlled the Vaarin Party. Its tendrils were in every media outlet, every branch of the government, all Party ‘elections,’ and every other aspect of life that could be controlled. His existence was meant to be kept top secret, but the Nobles had found evidence of his existence when they had hacked into a higher-up’s computer earlier in the year. The fact that the government was controlled by one entity was sickening. The Nobles agreed to fight even harder to topple the Vaarin Party after learning this news.

    Their first tactic was to leak the existence of The Voice to the general public. The media did the best they could to suppress the story, but it continued to trickle out. The more informed of the public knew of The Voice, and it could only spread from there.

    “Heard a tussle,” Neon said. “What happened?”

    “A couple of dead prison guards,” Radon replied, snickering.

    “What a shame,” Xenon said over the radio. “At least, it’s a shame I wasn’t there to kill them myself. I love killing those guys. You know the broken look on their faces when they know they’re about to die and they realize that their entire life was pointless?”

    “Yeah?” Argon replied.

    “Its even better when you can hear what they’re thinking,” Xenon declared. Radon snickered once again.

    “You Psychic types…” Neon replied. He was unaware that Xenon was on a higher plane of thinking than himself. All Neon really thought about was fighting and killing, and nothing beyond that. Everyone in the Nobles had a reason for fighting the Vaarin Party except Neon; he truly loved the kill.

    Argon and Radon continued to walk in the shadows of the complex, careful to avoid prison guards. When one came, Radon took it out as quick as he could with a quick Poison Jab or Sucker Punch. Already, Radon had killed ten guards tonight. Argon had only killed eight, and he was trying to beat Radon’s record. The only problem was that Argon’s attacks weren’t as stealthy as Radon’s.

    They quickly met up with Krypton, who was fighting off several Sceptile guards. Krypton shot a ball of Aura out of his hands. The Aura Sphere connected with the Sceptile, knocking it into a nearby wall. He then crouched down next to a dead Sceptile and stuck his hand into a wound in the Sceptile’s leg. Using Aura-guided precision, he pulled a femur from the skin of the Sceptile.

    He took the femur and looked at the remaining Sceptile guard with a look of hate and rage. He dashed at the guard and began to whack him with the bone. Over and over and over, until the Sceptile was lying on the ground, bloodied and bruised. Radon walked over to the body and put it out of its misery with a Poison Jab to its heart.

    “Ketsuban, that was nuts,” Radon said. “Frigging Bone Rush.”

    “Its something I’ve always wanted to try,” Krypton admitted. He put the bone down on the ground next to the guard. Argon summoned a small Ember and set the lifeless bodies ablaze. They were getting close, Radon could feel it.

    “We just need to find Xenon and Neon, I guess,” Argon said to Krypton. Krypton nodded in agreement and the small ground set forward, looking for either Prisoner 74’s cell or the other two Nobles.

    The flaming corpses gave Radon his first opportunity to finally get a good look at the inside of the jail. The walls were made of depressing granite; they were uniform in their construction, with some of the edges chipped. Radon assumed that outraged prisoners made the chips in the wall. The cells were small and had multiple prisoners in them. Some of them were awakened by the fighting and were rattling their cages. Radon and Krypton both knew that their cover had been blow. They’d have to move and move fast if they wanted to rescue 74 and get out alive.

    They advanced down the prison wing fast, avoiding several guards and going into Prison Wing F. Xenon was walking around the Wing F, looking for 74. The Alakazam ran up to Krypton and asked, “Where’s Neon?”

    “We’re still working on that,” Krypton replied. The group moved through the wing, looking at the cell numbers until they found the one they were looking for. Cell Number 74. Krypton went to open it, however, a Kangaskhan ran over and kicked Krypton in the stomach. Krypton flew to the other side of the room. It used the power of aura to balance itself.

    The armored Kangaroo Pokemon was dressed in a black military uniform, “So, you’re the Warden, eh?”

    “Why, yes, I am,” The Warden drawled. She stamped her foot and created an Earthquake. Krypton jumped onto a nearby Gargoyle statue and evaded the attack. A jagged line was drawn in the ground from the mighty force of the Warden’s Earthquake. Krypton jumped down from and punched the Warden in the empty pouch. He then connected his second hand to the pouch, and retracted his first. He began to punch the Warden in the stomach as fast as he could, landing blow after blow on the Warden.

    The Close Combat attack knocked the Warden back a few feet, but when Krypton could no longer punch, the Warden stepped forward and laughed. The Warden brought her hand back, and each knuckle glowed with a bright ember. She then brought the fist forward, connecting her fist to Krypton’s face. It left a bad burn. Krypton jumped back, and Radon ran forward, connecting a Poison Jab to the Warden’s chest.

    The poison ate away at the Warden’s black uniform, revealing part of the Warden’s armored skin. Argon came up from behind the Warden and slammed her across the back with a flaming kick. More of her uniform sizzled up. The Warden turned around, her brows furrowed in rage. She blew smoke out of her nose and charged at Argon. Argon didn’t expect her to attack so soon after his blow to her back, and was hit head on by the Outrage attack. He went flying into the wall.

    Krypton recovered enough to shoot an Aura Sphere at the Warden. The ball of blue energy contacted with the Warden, knocking her back. The Warden looked at Krypton and charged at him, however, Xenon got into the way. He used Confusion on the Warden. The Warden became confused and hit a nearby wall instead of Krypton.

    Argon got up from the ground and looked at Krypton. They both nodded at each other. Argon’s body began to glow. He charged at the Warden. Krypton charged at the Warden as well. Argon’s Super Power collided with the Warden in the back, while Krypton punched it repeatedly in the front. The Super Power/Close Combat combination worked, knocking the Warden out cold.

    Radon grabbed a nearby wrought iron pole that had fallen off in the skirmish and poked the body. The Warden didn’t move at all. “Is she dead?”

    Krypton replied, “No. I can still feel her Aura. She’s alive. Quite a hardy Warden. Hope we don’t have to deal with her again.” He then went over to the iron door with the number 74 written on it and used a key off the Warden’s belt to open it up. Inside, a small purple Gligar was sitting on its prison bench.

    “What the hell was that?” 74 asked.

    “We heard of your… record and came to free you,” Krypton said to the Gligar diplomatically. “However, there is just one condition. If we free you, you join our Resistance Fighters group, The Nobles.”

    “Heh,” 74 laughed. “Do I get a cool nickname?”

    “We’ll call you Helium,” Krypton offered.

    “Well…” 74 began. He took a dramatic pause. The tension in the air could be cut with a knife. 74 opened his mouth to speak once again…

    Ready for Grading
    Character Count: 12395
    Last edited by Lord_Celebi; 23rd May 2010 at 12:17 AM.

  2. #2
    Prince of All Blazikens! Magikchicken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Noble Redemption

    Introduction, Characters, Backstory: The story, rather than having a block of 'introduction' text at the beginning, starts with action, a 'hook' that serves to interest readers and make them wonder what's going on. On its own, this wouldn't constitute a good introduction, but over the course of the story, you proceed explain essentially who the characters are and why they're there. Hence, while you don't have an 'intro' as such, there's no doubt that the backstory and introduction are clearly conveyed. Good job.


    Plot Content, Plot Flow: As far as the plot goes, this is a story that takes place over a relatively short time, as the entirety of it is taken up with either action or the characters' thoughts. Despite this, enough info is given about the backstory that the reader gets at least a sense of where this is all headed.

    Originality-wise, you pass with flying colours. This definitely isn't your typical 'Pokémon World of Happiness and Harmony' as portrayed by the games, and it's clear that your story isn't part of the same continuity at all. The presence of death, plus the 'gritty' world the story takes place in, serve to underline the characters' sense of we are not fooling around.

    A plot like this can be hard to pull off, but when done correctly, is rewarded with awesome.


    Grammar, Sentence Flow: Overall, very good. As always, there are a few bits I would point out, but they barely have any impact on your story, so they're hardly a consideration when grading the story:

    1.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Celebi
    Radon remembered the gruesome details of 74’s rebellion quite well. A friend of his had described how he brutally murdered twelve soldiers in the Vaarin Party’s army. From what he had heard, he had strewn their eyeballs and organs across the room like confetti and drank their blood while he awaited to be captured and imprisoned by Vaarin backup.
    You hopped around tense-wise a bit here, and there were a few points at which the pronouns 'he' and 'his' got muddled.

    "A friend of his had described how he brutally murdered twelve soldiers..."
    The 'had described' (past perfected tense) is correct, but you then switch to 'he murdered,' (past simple.) This alone could be looked over, but then you switch back to "From what he 'had heard...'"

    In addition, you use 'he' and 'his' on several occasions, but in most cases it's either unclear who you're talking about, or clear but grammatically incorrect. Normally, a pronoun refers to the proper noun mentioned previously, but when there are two names mentioned in the sentence before, it still leaves doubt.

    "Radon remembered the details of 74's rebellion quite well... A friend of his--"
    A friend of whose? A friend of Radon's or a friend of 74's? A reiteration would be good here, either 'A friend of Radon's,' or
    'A friend of the prisoner's.'

    "A friend of his had described how he brutally murdered..."
    This is where it's obvious that the second 'he' is 74, but this usage implies that the 'his' earlier is also referring to 74. Before that, I had thought 'his' meant 'Radon's,' so this was a bit jarring.

    "From what he had heard, he had strewn their eyeballs and organs across the room like confetti and drank their blood..."
    By this point I've completely lost track of who the first 'he' is supposed to be. The one who heard the description was Radon, so I guess it's meant to refer to Radon, but then you use another 'he' that's obviously 74... Fix eet.
    Also, you would need to change 'drank' to 'drunk.' Technically, 'had drunk' is more correct, but the implied continuation of the past perfected tense means you can omit the 'had.'

    And finally...
    "...while he awaited to be captured and imprisoned by Vaarin backup."
    I'm pretty sure 'awaited' isn't used with the infinitive ('to be ____.') "...awaited capture and imprisonment by," would work, as would "...waited to be captured and imprisoned by..."

    2.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Celebi
    That seemed to be the case with 74, however, his exceeded any other kind of open resistance that Radon had ever heard of.
    Needs moar semicolon. Specifically, after 74, as in, "That seemed to be the case with 74; however, his exceeded any other kind..."

    3.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Celebi
    “Yeah,” Argon replied. “Gonna help you finish up yours.” Radon smiled and turned around. Several Sceptile guards dressed in all black were waiting behind him. Argon smiled. He outstretched his two firsts.
    Lots of smilin' here. Maybe change your verbs around, or even add adjectives to give a better idea of the difference between the smiles (if any.)

    Example: "Radon smiled grimly and turned around. Several Sceptile guards dressed in all black were waiting behind him. Argon, behind Radon, grinned ferally at them."

    I added the 'behind Radon' part because it's not always entirely clear where the characters are in relation to each other. Also, how the heck does Argon, a Blaziken, smile/grin with a beak? xD Ah well, that at least is entirely permissible for stylistic purposes.

    Also, he 'outstretched' his 'firsts.' The latter is just a typo, but outstretched is an adjective, not a verb. You'd need to use, 'he stretched out his fists,' here.

    4.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Celebi"[/QUOTE]Argon brought his leg down and curb stomped the Sceptile, killing it instantly.[/QUOTE] While the idea of a curb stomp is pretty universal, the colloquialism isn't that well known. You might want to actually describe this, as in, 'Argon brought his leg down and crushed the Sceptile's head, killing it instantly.'

    [B]5.[/B]
    [QUOTE="Lord Celebi
    The more informed of the public knew of The Voice, and it could only spread from there.
    This sentence is hopelessly garbled. I understood what you were trying to say, but you need to completely rewrite it, as in:

    "The more informed the public was of The Voice, the more awareness would spread," which simply says that lots of people know and that knowledge of The Voice will spread.

    "The more informed of the public already knew of the voice, and awareness could only spread from there," which says that the people who know about The Voice are the type of person who actively searches out information.

    Seriously, though, this is all nitpicking. While I'd prefer if you fixed these small errors, and kept them in mind when writing in future, they're not going to seriously impact your grade result. The point of them is to help you improve, so please just take them that way. ^_^


    Detail, Description: A bit lacking. You mention things like the spotlights, and you do describe Radon's garments (and to some extent the prison guards', though they're just "dressed all in black,") but the rest of the characters are only described by stating what type of Pokémon they are.

    For example: sure, we all know what a Blaziken looks like (I hope,) but is there anything interesting about how Argon looks when Radon encounters him? Is he a bit scratched up from recent fighting? Does he have an interesting quirk or marking in the color of his feathers, or maybe a facial scar from a long-ago battle? Detail, detail, detail.

    Similarly, when they reach Krypton, a description would be wonderful. We all know what a Lucario looks like, but... You get the picture.

    In addition, between the beginning of the story and when the characters enter the jail, nothing is described. Sure, it may be dark (though that's never stated either, so I'm not sure,) but could we at least get some idea of what kind of place the characters are in? So far, my mental image is of blank, featureless white corridors that are well-lit: I didn't realize there was a possibility that the corridors were dark until I reread the story and noticed that it's by the light of the burning bodies (nice touch, by the way) that Radon sees the main jail section.
    An example of a very good place you could have described stuff would be:
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Celebi
    Radon continued to run through the prison until he ran into a Blaziken.
    "Radon continued to run through the grimy prison corridors, having to stoop just a little under the low ceiling, ignoring the thick, windowless metal doors to either side that sealed off solitary-confinement chambers. Ahead, he could see a place where the prison tunnel turned to the left. A patch of nasty-looking fungus growing on the wall was giving off a strong odour; Radon stopped briefly to sniff appreciatively at the stench before rounding the corner and coming face to face with a Blaziken."

    This one, though, made me cringe:
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Celebi
    “We’re still working on that,” Krypton replied. The group moved through the wing, looking at the cell numbers until they found the one they were looking for. Cell Number 74. Krypton went to open it, however, a Kangaskhan ran over and kicked Krypton in the stomach. Krypton flew to the other side of the room. It used the power of aura to balance itself.
    Frickin' Warden Kangaskhan from nowhere?? How the heck do you not notice a Pokémon that big rushing you? It'd be way better if you did a full description of the Warden rushing over from the other side of the room, and kicking Krypton 'before any of the intruders could react,' or some such.
    Also, what's with using 'it' to refer to Krypton? He's one of the main characters! xD Plus, you already used 'he' to refer to him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Celebi
    The armored Kangaroo Pokemon was dressed in a black military uniform, “So, you’re the Warden, eh?”
    First of all, 'black military uniform' description needs to be a bit more complex. What exactly do the military uniforms in your story's world look like?

    Also, the comma after 'uniform' doesn't make sense. You can really only lead into a quote from a verb like 'said,' 'stated,' 'groaned,' or, depending on your style, sometimes others like 'laughed,' or 'sneered.' You need to put a fullstop after a description.

    ALSO also, new paragraph before the quote. As it stands, it looks like the Warden is the one speaking.
    Quote Originally Posted by Example
    The armored Kangaroo Pokémon was dressed in a black military uniform, which consisted of a series of armored leathery plates shed from a Salamence. They almost completely covered the Kangaskhan's body, and a black hard-leather helmet protected the large Pokémon's head.

    "So, you're the Warden, eh?" Krypton said, straightening up and showing that the kick hadn't even dented his metallic body.

    "Why, yes, I am," the Warden drawled...
    To summarize, what I want is moar description. Moar, moar, moar!! I wouldn't ask for it if the rest of your story were this shoddy, but everything else about your writing is a couple of levels better-- or at least, more consistent-- than your descriptions. Essentially, make each new place and each new character as detailed as your description of the jail cells, and I'll be satisfied.


    Battles: Quite good-- the first few are barely more than skirmishes, and show your characters' obvious superiority. The Warden battle, by contrast, is a bit of a curbstomp until they gang up... xD Nothing wrong with that, though, it's a good way to build tension and add a teamwork aspect to the battle.

    One thing that distracted me from the action, to be honest, was the way you used 'the Warden' for practically every instance that you needed to refer to the Nobles' opponent. For example:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Celebi
    Krypton jumped down from and punched the Warden in the empty pouch. He then connected his second hand to the pouch, and retracted his first. He began to punch the Warden in the stomach as fast as he could, landing blow after blow on the Warden.
    You have a wealth of available pronouns and descriptions available to you, which you could put in instead of 'the Warden.' They include:

    -The Kangaskhan;
    -The large Pokémon;
    -The enraged Pokémon;
    -His foe/their foe/the Nobles' foe;
    -His/their/the Nobles' powerful opponent;

    So yeah, less 'the Warden the Warden the Warden the Warden,' please. ^_^;


    Overall: Your plot, backstory, and characters are all interesting and engaging, and you don't lack the essential information about who the Nobles are and why they're there doing what they're doing. In that sense, the story is good, more than good enough to achieve a Medium-difficulty catch.
    However, the detail is decidedly sub-par. You described exactly one location with any actual depth, and gave (dubious) details about exactly one character: Radon.

    The decision-maker was the fact that you did describe one place-- the jail-- in enough detail, and that the description otherwise was just a bit below the level I'd expect for a Medium story. Next time I'd ask you to describe all of your story's locations in the same detail as that one good place.


    Result:
    Gligar: Caught.
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    The Light Story
    The Shadowed Story

    The Dark Story

    A Glimpse of the Future


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    "They're OVER 9000!!!"

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