24th April 2010, 05:18 PM #1
Three Meetings [Graded!]
Intent to Capture: Rattata
Length: 22,582 characters
The first time he met her, he didn't realize anything would come of it. He normally avoided clearings, since they afforded less cover for his purposes, but he'd spotted one of those soft brightly-colored things that sometimes had food in them and he was so hungry. He'd just nip in, grab whatever he could, and scamper.
He was in the middle of dragging an apple out of the pack -- he thought that was what the soft thing was called, anyway -- when a cry sounded from above him. Releasing the apple, he only managed to throw himself to the side as a Chimchar's paw raked the air where he had just been. The sound of a snapping stick caught his attention, and he looked up to see a human female glaring angrily at him. From the looks of it, she was the one commanding the other Pokemon, and she was clearly unhappy with him.
There wasn't any point left in trying to get the apple. He turned tail and fled for the safety of the underbrush. Food wasn't worth the risk involved with fighting a trainer.
The second time he met her, there was no risk too great for food. The fire that had ravaged the field where his burrow was located had scorched away all traces of plant life, and whatever was left wasn't fit for consumption. Three days had gone by, and the closest thing he had gotten to food was a dark, charred stick that was barely hard enough to sharpen his teeth and left bitter, ashy flakes in his mouth. If he couldn't find anything soon, he wasn't even going to have the energy to search, and the other roving Rattata would almost certainly take whatever was available.
His purple fur did little to hide him, especially against the darkened ground, so he abandoned any pretense of stealth in favor of investigating every nook and cranny, wherever anything had even the faintest possibility of escaping the conflagration. He took care not to stray too far from the other members of the pack, though -- if another rat was to find something, he needed any chance he could get to take it for himself.
The sound of footsteps caused him to instinctively run for cover, hiding himself behind a small mound of dirt. A human girl was walking down the dirt road, humming to herself, a Chimchar trotting at her side. As she passed, the bright thing on her back lit a spark in his memory -- it was where he'd found the apple several days ago. Maybe it would have food again.
Slowly, cautiously, he began to trail the duo, careful to escape the notice of the other wary Rattata in the vicinity. Most scavengers never bothered to stalk enemies -- they never usually had to -- but these were desperate times. He couldn't let any of the others realize that there was a possible food source walking around; who knew when he'd find any food again, and hunger relentlessly gnawed at the pits of his stomach. He was clever. He would follow this human, steal her food, and survive another day.
With nothing else to do but follow the pair, he couldn't help but notice details about them that he hadn't the time to pick out during his first encounter. The human was short and soft-looking, though he'd seen a few humans smaller than her. Most were taller, though a lot of the humans who strayed off the path into the field had similar appearances. Her brown head-fur swung loosely behind her as she walked. She wasn't bright green any more -- now her top was a mottled brown, the color of a Hoothoot's wing, and her bottom was the color close to that of his underbelly. The Chimchar didn't look very old either, and it was obviously new to traveling, looking about with wide eyes. He supposed it to be male, although there was no way to know for certain.
He dogged the pair's footsteps for what seemed like ages, his stomach protesting all the while, but the sun had barely moved in the sky when something finally happened. A wild Taillow, cawing a battle cry, swooped down on the girl -- most likely for the same reasons that he had chosen to follow her. The flaming monkey leapt to his trainer's defense, spitting a stream of flame at the desperate bird. He quailed back, watching the Chimchar receive and dish out attacks, holding his own against his opponent with the advantage of flight. Eventually, the Taillow wheeled away, shrieking its defeat, and the fire Pokemon roared his victory.
The Chimchar hadn't escaped the battle unscathed, though, and the girl was -- could it be? -- shrugging off her pack and opening one of the compartments. This was his chance. As she pulled out a strange container, he burst out from behind a fallen log in a Quick Attack, accidentally barreling into the girl's hand. She shrieked, dropping whatever it was she was holding, and he skidded into the bag and somersaulted forwards for about a foot, propelling it with him. Soon, he came to a stop, and dove into the open compartment in search of food.
It was dark and hard to tell directions inside the green thing -- everything you were supposed to hold onto shifted around, and things that looked like they would hold weight gave way beneath the paws. He dimly heard a cry of something that sounded like "don't use Ember, Chimchar, you'll set the bag on fire!" before he found a strange, crinkly thing that smelled of meat. Grasping it firmly between his teeth, he scrabbled for the opening, where light spilled in.
The mouse launched himself out of the pack, ready to make good his escape, but was slammed into by an angry Chimchar. The possibly-food was knocked from his mouth as the Chimchar tore into him with a Fury Swipes, sending him skidding back. Angry, he leapt at the fire-type and sunk his teeth into its arm in a vicious Bite attack, causing the already hurt Chimchar to cry out in pain and shake his arm in attempt to loosen the fangs' grip. He let go quickly, but made sure to smack the monkey in the face with a Tail Whip as he bounded towards his spoils. He had just picked it up again when he heard a "that's it, hit it with a Flamethrower!" A burst of fire erupted near his ear, and the heat he felt along his right side indicated that the attack had just barely missed. Wasting no time, he fled as fast as his paws could take him, his hard-won treasure clenched firmly between his teeth.
When he was a good distance away, he tore at the crinkly substance until he found -- as he had hoped -- dried meat. He gobbled it down, tearing furiously at the stringy substance until there was none left. With this, he would be have enough energy to continue searching out food the next day.
As he turned to begin foraging again, he stumbled unexpectedly. Something was off. Shaking his head, he found an imbalance on his right side; apparently, he hadn't escaped that last Flamethrower unscathed, as his right whisker was now singed and half an inch shorter than his left whisker. He must not have noticed earlier when he had been blindly fleeing, not particularly caring where he ended up as long as it was far away from the hostile Pokemon. He wasn't about to pick another fight with that Chimchar if he could help it.
The third time he met her, he didn't know she was there. Food had only grown scarcer and scarcer, and the mischief of rats had moved further and further from its original scavenging grounds until it found itself at the outskirts of a human town. Here, the spoils were greater, but the risks were higher as well, not to mention all the existing competition. The local Rattata didn't take very kindly to the invasion of those from the field, and fierce fights often erupted over whatever scraps of food were found. He learned quickly to avoid these scrabbles; he hadn't fully adjusted yet to the unbalanced feeling that came from his shortened whisker, impeding him in attacks and escapes. As a result, he kept mostly to scavenging in the less populated areas, but this also meant that far more humans were present. Caution was key.
Tonight seemed to be his lucky night. He'd managed to sneak into one of the buildings, the really white one that always had people going in and out. A lot of them were short and soft, like the humans who came to the field, but there were also quite a few who were bigger. He'd had to find an entrance away from where all the humans went in and out, finally finding a crack he could barely squeeze through. Now that he was in, he was simply exploring the area, searching for any scent of food. The darkness of night had crept over the town, making him difficult to see as he scurried along the paths.
There! The faint scent of fruit, coming from behind a strangely tall and smooth tree. Or was it a stick? There weren't any roots, after all; just a hard, angular space where it met the smooth stone ground. A shiny thing stuck out from high up the stick-thing, sort of Sunkern-colored but darker. There was a small tree next to it, though it was in a strange... hole, if it was above ground and made of dead plants. He couldn't make heads or tails of it.
A sudden clamor from behind startled him, and he leapt for the cover of the tree, jumping into the elevated hole and crouching low. There was earth in the not-hole, but it didn't go all the way to the top and he could hide behind the top bit of dead plants. There was a click, and suddenly a blaze of bright light illuminated his immediate surroundings, forcing him to wince and squint. A tall, lean human approached the stick-thing and, using a small shiny thing in his hand, stuck it into the shiny thing on the stick-thing. He gave it a push, and the stick-thing rotated out of sight. His eyes grew wide, and he emerged from his hiding spot for a better look at what had happened. He found that the stick-thing had moved inward and that the smell of fruit had grown stronger. Quickly, he ran into the now unblocked space, which was full of big blocky white things that he could easily hide behind. The human had taken one of the blocky things in both hands and was walking out the way he had come. The place was plunged back into darkness as the light from the other side of the stick-thing was cut off, though a bit still peeked through under the tiny crack. As he waited for his eyes to readjust to the darkness, he heard the sound of footsteps fading into silence, giving him the courage to start sniffing around the room to try and figure out where the fruit smell was strongest.
Suddenly, as he began moving from one side of the room to the other, his paw hit something cold and hard. There was a loud crack, and a sharp pain lanced across his leg. He squealed, falling to the ground, and keened as he tried to wriggle something off his leg. That only made the pain worse, though, so he turned to the thing and began gnawing at it, hoping desperately he could get it off. Part of it seemed to be made of wood, but the section on his leg was made of something more like the things he had encountered along the path where the humans walked. They were shiny and usually attracted lots of Meowth, so all the Rattata -- or at least, those that had any sense of self-preservation -- usually avoided them.
He had managed to gnaw away most of the wooden base when abruptly, the stick-thing swung in again, and light washed over him. A dark silhouette stood outlined by light, but he couldn't see what it was other than judging it to be a shorter human than the one who had let him into this place. He froze in place, afraid for his life.
"What's this? Poor little guy, caught in a trap." There was something familiar about that voice, he knew there was, but he couldn't quite place what it was. The human moved closer, reaching out towards his injured leg, and he hissed and spat at the hand.
"Hey, hey! I'm not going to hurt you. I'm just going to see if I can get you out of there." The voice dissolved into some senseless murmuring as the hand came closer, at an angle where he couldn't sink his teeth into it. He continued to hiss, snapping his teeth for emphasis, but couldn't move properly because of the weight of the thing on his leg. Damn it! If only he could move, he could get out of here. Whatever the human was going to do to him, it couldn't be good.
The weight on his leg eased up, and he took advantage of the sudden reprieve to bolt away from the human, stopping with his back facing the boxes. The human held a strange, flat thing with an uplifted bar in her hand and stood between him and the way out. He bared his teeth, hissing his defiance.
"Didn't I just say I wasn't going to hurt you?" the human sighed, propping its hands on its hips. "Though, I can't very well let you get into the Pokecenter's food... I wonder why that light was on, anyway? Should tell Nurse Joy about people leaving keys in doors, too..." Suddenly, the human stiffened, one hand falling to its side while the other went to its waist. "Wait... you're that Rattata that attacked me a few days ago, aren't you! I burned that whisker off with a Flamethrower!"
Ah, so that was where he recognized the voice from. This just made things even worse; most enemies didn't appreciate being attacked twice. Luckily, he was used to fighting with a handicap. He was one of the smaller Rattata of the group, meaning that he was at a disadvantage whenever push came to shove. The other, larger Rattata would usually claim their spoils faster, or overpower him in a fight if he got to it first. He usually had to resort to his own cunning to win, especially after he'd lost a few fights.
This, though, could probably be the worst situation he'd found himself in. The Chimchar who was responsible for his still-shortened whisker materialized in front of him in a burst of light, perfectly healthy and ready to go. He himself, on the other hand, had an injured leg and impeded balance, as well as being weakened by malnutrition for the past few days. And now he had to face off against a strong fighter who was in better shape than the first time they had fought.
"Let's go! Hit it with a Fury Swipes!" the girl commanded. The Chimchar launched itself at him, paws outstretched -- an easy dodge, if he had been in better shape. As it was, he rolled out of the way of the first swipe, but the monkey easily predicted his trajectory and scratched him three times in succession. He buckled under the pain, but clenched his teeth and concentrated it into a powerful Assurance attack, lashing out with his own claws. The other Pokemon stumbled backwards, but was still obviously ready to fight.
"Enclose him in a Fire Spin! But make it small, and don't hit any of the boxes," came the next order. The Rattata found himself surrounded by a circle of flames, adding new light to the area and cutting off his escape route. The fire-type in the circle with him grinned toothily, now having yet another advantage.
His mind raced. There was no way out now, and he couldn't withstand a prolonged battle in his condition. He had to end it quickly and regroup somewhere safe. With that in mind, he braced himself, drawing into himself as he used Focus Energy. His senses went into overdrive as he became hyperconscious of his surroundings, calling upon his inner reserves of power. The world narrowed down to himself and his opponent, the monkey crouching inside the circle of fire that crackled around them.
The Chimchar shifted, moving his weight to the balls of his feet and shifting his center of balance downwards and forwards. An obvious charge. As the fire Pokemon launched himself forwards, he leapt over the attacker and immediately went for his back when he hit the ground. His teeth sank into the Chimchar's body in a Hyper Fang attack, and the Fire-type cried out in pain. As he sprang backwards, the Chimchar turned to face him, obviously hurt but refusing to fall.
"Don't give up! Give him a Taunt!" The other Pokemon smiled wickedly before turning around and wiggling his butt at him, giving it a few smacks for good measure. He saw red, launching himself in for another Hyper Fang, but forgot to account for his wounded leg in his rage. By sheer luck, he missed the Flamethrower that had just been aimed straight at him, instead landing heavily on his hurt leg. He shrieked in pain, scrabbling at the ground in an attempt to get up. Even as he tried desperately to stand, he knew it was futile; the splintering pain in his hind leg was greater than any he'd known before, and there was no way it would be able to support him. He was completely at the Chimchar's mercy, and a perfect target for the next attack. As the Chimchar ran forward again, he could do nothing but stare with wide eyes, keening desperately.
"Chimchar, wait!" The monkey skidded to a halt at the sudden command, almost barreling into him. "Let down the Fire Spin. I need to see something." The Chimchar turned in the direction of the voice, obviously confused, but did as the human asked. The flames died down to ashes as the human stepped forward, finally squatting down in front of him. He had no energy left to even put up a frightening pretense, only staring back at her warily.
"... you're in pretty terrible shape," the girl murmured, eyes roving over his body. He watched as she took in his too-thin legs, one of which was twisted at an unnatural angle, his sunken cheeks, his matted fur. She frowned, obviously thinking, as her Chimchar hovered in the background behind her. He tensed, waiting for the human to figure out what it was that she wanted to do. Hopefully she'd hurry up and finish him quickly.
"Stay here, Chimchar, and don't let him get away. But don't hurt him." The human stood and walked towards the exit, and the Chimchar took her place. He still obviously didn't understand what his human was doing, which made the two of them. If she was just going to leave him there to starve to death, what was the point of leaving her Pokemon to watch?
Barely any time had passed before the human returned, now with something in her hands. She sat down in front of him again and pulled out a stick of the dried meat he'd stolen from her before, placing it on the ground within his reach. The Chimchar crinkled his nose as he snapped for it, devouring the food unceremoniously. Even if it was poisoned, it was better than sitting here and waiting to die.
He had finished off three sticks of the stuff before she stopped placing them on the ground. He looked up, meeting the girl's eyes. He could tell they were a light grey, since they caught most of the little light there was.
"I'm on a journey to see the world," she began, and he simply stared at her in confusion. What did this have to do with anything? "I want to meet as many Pokemon as I can, and I want to experience everything. Most of all, I want a trusted team of friends who'll fight with me."
He blinked, still not understanding what the girl was saying. Well, he understood the words that were coming out of her mouth, but he had no idea what she was getting at.
"Will you join me?"
"You're pretty tough. You obviously haven't been finding food for a while, but you've still managed to give me and Chimchar a run for our money the two times we've met. You've got a good grasp of tactics -- that Focus Energy combo you pulled off was pretty impressive -- and you don't give up, even if you're hurt. You're a good fighter, and I can help you get stronger."
He continued to stare, dumbfounded. This human wanted him to go with her? She could definitely find better Pokemon to accompany her, and there was nothing she would gain from it. There had to be some sort of catch.
"Plus, if you come with me, I'll take care of you no matter what happens. I'll make sure you get enough food to eat and treat your injuries. Or, rather, bring you to a Pokecenter to be treated -- I don't exactly know how to heal Pokemon myself, and the Pokecenter's free, but you can't really take a Pokemon that you don't own in for treatment, which is kind of weird, and I probably shouldn't have started a battle in here, but... ah, jeez, I'm rambling." The girl scratched her head sheepishly. "But the point still stands. I'll make sure that you're taken care of."
Getting food every day did sound good. He wasn't feeling any ill effects from the meat she had given him, and he knew that humans had a lot of food, but would she really bother to heal him? There was definitely a catch. There had to be.
"What's in it for you?" he squeaked, despite the fact that there was no way she could understand him.
"Why do you think there's anything in it for her?" came a response. The Chimchar stepped forward, obviously the one who had answered.
"Well, I mean... feeding me? Healing me? That's too much trouble for a human to take for a Pokemon, and there's no way she'd do that without wanting something in return. I'm not that stupid, you know."
The Chimchar shrugged. "All she wants is for you to come with her and see the world, like she said. I mean, sure, you'll probably have to fight battles, but that just helps you get stronger. It's pretty fun." He puffed his chest out proudly, knocking his fist against it twice. "And you're pretty good, like she said. You can definitely get better at battling. It'd be pretty fun if you came along so we could practice against each other."
"Yeah, and this'll just happen every time, me on the ground and ready to die," he spat back.
The other Pokemon looked shocked. "What? No! We wouldn't go so far for a practice battle. Nobody fights until they're so badly injured, and even if there's an accident you'll be taken to the Pokecenter. There's no way we'd hurt a teammate like that!"
The Fire-type seemed sincere. He paused, turning the offer over in his mind. It still seemed far too good to be true, but... it sounded so nice. Noticing the break in the conversation, the human took the opportunity to set down a small sphere in front of him. He couldn't see it very well in the poor light, but it looked like those things that a lot of other humans carried that they used to materialize Pokemon. A Pokeball.
"If you want to take me up on my offer, then... just press the button here," the girl said, tapping the sphere right above the small circle. "It won't hurt, I promise, and then I can take you to be healed in the morning. But I don't want to force you into your decision."
He stared at the Pokeball, thinking. This was a one-shot decision that would decide his entire future. Should he believe that there really would be such a life possible, travelling with a human and getting stronger and being taken care of? Or was it just a cruel trap to prolong his misery, for whatever unfathomable reasons humans had?
Finally, he made his choice. There was no going back now.
My eyes just about bugged out of my head when I calculated the word count. It was so much shorter in my head, honest!
I hope it wasn't too hard to figure out what Rattata was describing -- being a field mouse, I figured he wouldn't really know everything that was man-made.
A group of rats is more commonly referred to as a pack, but I thought that a mischief of rats sounded so much cooler. (It's a viable alternative, according to Wikipedia.)
Open to comments from other users -- concrit would be great.
Last edited by Minuara; 6th May 2010 at 08:50 PM.
6th May 2010, 06:44 PM #2
I Invented the Pidgeot
Re: Three Meetings [Ready for Grading]
Plot/Storyline: So a story about a forage Ratatta trying to find food in a time scarcity. I have to admit, when boiled down to that, it doesn't seem like much, but damn it lady if you didn't flesh this out and turn it into something amazing.
From the very beginning of the introduction I was hooked on the little mouse trying to drag itself an apple out, and I was quite amused when it ran off leaving everything behind when confronted. I thought it was a nice touch to the overall psyche of how a mouse might actually react.
And then what really impressed me the second time the mouse is out foraging, is the mention of the fire that had swept through. Normally, I'm not big on realism, but that small mention gave a totally new life to the story and added a tinge of desperation that I don't think would have been present in the story otherwise. All in all, from Ratatta stalking the trainer, up until it that (what I imagine was adrenaline filled for the mouse) escape with that bit of food, I honestly at this point, couldn't stop reading.
And then at the very end, I have to say, it was quite interesting the way you described everything, from the mouse's surrounding to his sense of smell and the way he got ensnared in the mouse trap. Everything simply flowed from one sentence to another seamlessly and it just came to together very well. I like how you took into account where the trainer was when ordering Chimchar to attack, and I loved how you didn't come right out have Ratatta captured, but rather gave it the choice.
All in all, for what looks like to be your first URPG story, it was simply amazing on this end, I thoroughly enjoyed it and to be perfectly honest, I very nearly missed the bus from Uni in trying to finish reading this. Beautiful job.
Grammar/Spelling: I have absolutely no complaints here. Here your spelling and grasp of the English language is nearly flawless and probably beyond a doubt better than mine. As I said before, up above; every sentence and paragraph flowed very nice from scene to scene and you somehow managed to avoid any awkward sentences at all. Overall, like I said, no complaints grammar/spelling wise, and your wording was perfect.
Detail/Description: This part of the story, in my opinion is where you truly shined. Your description of the events, people and Pokemon were absolutely beautiful and the attention to detail you paid, was meticulous. I loved the way you managed to integrate all of your descriptions directly into the story, rather than stopping to say, "the trainer had this build and colored hair, etc" like the rest of your story, it was seamless and tied in perfectly with everything.
And not just the description, but the detail as well, not only did you describe everything well, but you paid attention and managed to make almost bit of the story relevant. From the singed whisker throwing Ratatta off balance for the rest of the story, to it's trapped leg playing a role in the final battle.
Usually, I see quite a few stories with many different events happening, but rarely do they tie together and almost never do I see them relating to the rest of the story as a whole. Not only did you do this, but you did it magnificently.
Again, kudos to you.
Length: More than enough.
Battle: I thought both battles were pretty action packed and intense. I have to admit, looking back on the read, they were a little short, but considering the adrenaline pumping feel the both had to them, this is a minor complaint at best. I thought you did an excellent job of describing the attacks, although I have to admit, I groaned a little on the inside when I read your portrayal of taunt.
Both fights were pretty even though, I have to say, considering how beat up and desperate Ratatta was; I thought that it gave pretty much everything it had, and I just love the way in the end it wasn't that it was simply overpowered, but how its previous injury was the deciding factor.
All in all, again I don't have much to complain about, your attention to detail, and the description given was simply amazing. The battles were fun to read and action packed and like the rest of your story was just seamless.
Outcome: Ratatta..... Captured!
I'm pretty sure you saw this coming =p
All in all, I just didn't find many things to complain about, everything just came to together very well in a seamless manner and never once from the start did things ever seem out of place or character. I have personally yet to write a "PoV" story, but I imagine it's certainly difficult to pull off, and that you managed to not only do it, but so well blows my mind.
That all said, I have to apologize for my rather lackluster grade, often times it is difficult to give feedback to a well designed story and this is no exception.
And with that poor excuse, I will simply say I hope you continue writing as I'd like the chance to read/grade more material from you, and I hope you enjoy the Ratatta, it was well deserved.
6th May 2010, 07:48 PM #3
Re: Three Meetings [Ready for Grading]
Thanks very much! ^^
I know the description for Chimchar's Taunt was rather cliche, but I have to say I can imagine him doing it. XD He's a bratty little chimp.