Why I love/hate magikarp

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  1. #1
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    Default Why I love/hate magikarp

    Pokemon I wrote this story for


    "Fishing. Fishing! Who doesn't love fishing. Really, sitting in a boat for hours on end, catching nothing but Magikarp because somebody far beyond the age of retirement handed off the wrong rod. What was so enticing about something held together by duct tape and good intentions? This wouldn't catch an attention-starved Tentacool, let alone-"

    Gideon's semi-contained fury for the elderly fishermen of the world took a back seat to a sudden tug on his line. Shoddy craftsmanship be damned, this had to be it. Reeling in his line, his boyish glee was quickly replaced with mild disgust as he pulled up yet another Magikarp. Gold scales or not, a fish is a fish is a fish, and it wasn't what he was after.

    Sitting back in his boat, he sighed. A Poliwag. All he needed was a Poliwag. Well, technically a Poliwrath, but the idea was the same. A step was a step, and he couldn't seem to get this one to save his life. Or, so he thought. Just as he'd resigned to call this his final cast, two black eyes poked out of the water, soon followed by red lips and a white stomach.

    Swirl pattern, no arms, the tail... That was exactly what he needed. "Pokeballs. Pokeballs!" The hopeful gym leader searched his boat for something to catch the creature in until he heard a splash. No. No, the Poliwag didn't get away. No, that wasn't allowed to happen. Hesitantly, he peered over the side of the boat. Gone.

    Head hung low, Gideon began the slow paddle back to shore. Not more than a foot across the water, the Poliwag reappeared. This time, it was leaping from the water, straight at his boat. He couldn't believe it, a whole day wasted on Magikarp and now the entire reason he was out there was practically handing itself to him.

    Scrambling for a Pokeball, he kept himself steady on the boat as the Poliwag landed. Finally, he found one. This was about to happen. Silently hurling the Pokeball at the Poliwag, he could practically taste sweet, sweet victory. Then it knocked the Pokeball into the water. Gideon wordlessly looked from his quarry into the watery grave to which is device was sent. He could swear that Pokemon was laughing at him. Mocking him. It planned this.

    Not only did it plan the worst fishing trip of his life, but it thought it could get away. The Poliwag dove back into the water and made a bee-line for the shore. "Oh, no," Gideon growled, rowing his way to shore. "I spent too many hours sitting in this boat. I have cramps in places that don't even exist. You are not getting away from me."

    It wasn't long before he managed to get ashore, close behind the Pokemon. If he were of a clearer mind, he'd likely have noticed the Pokemon was very obviously leading him somewhere in the surrounding forest. When he'd finally cornered it, the Poliwag gave a loud cry immediately before a ten pound ball of pain collided with the back of Gideon's head.

    With the world blurry and legs not quite cooperating with him, he barely managed to find his way to a tree without toppling over. As everything started clearing up, he made eye contact with a very angry-looking mushroom, which proceeded to spray a brownish fog toward him. No sooner had he recognized it as a Shroomish than he started feeling drowsy.

    Unwilling to go down without a fight, the trainer tossed out the first Pokeball he could get his hand on. It was the first thing to go right all day. From the bright flash appeared a Pokemon with what appeared to be boxing gloves in place of hands and - as the two Pokemon soon learned - a mean jab. A quick one-two combo and both Pokemon were down on their non-existent knees.

    The Shroomish, now smelling faintly of roasted mushrooms, got off fairly easy. Gideon's Hitmonchan, affectionately dubbed Jackie, had gotten it first. Rather than a jab (or, for that matter, any recognizable punch-like attack), it was simply given a very strong, very, very hot bash atop the head. It was left with a nasty burn, but that was about all it took away from the brief fight. That, and possibly a mild concussion.

    Jackie was much more harsh toward the Poliwag. That had a noticeable gut with what was practically a target plastered on it. It almost made it a shame to have to attack it. Almost. A crackling jab to the gut and that tadpole was trying to keep the contents of its stomach where they belonged.

    With the smoldering fungus and gasping tadpole essentially out of commission, Jackie moved on to waking his trainer up. For a brief moment, he pondered beating him silly with Wake-Up Slap, but figured that was too cruel. Especially after getting knocked out by two Pokemon, both with a noticeable lack of arms. Instead, he settled for a few stern nudges. They did the trick just as well.

    Gideon found himself on the floor of the forest, Jackie's Pokeball beside his hand, two severely injured Pokemon in front of him, and a very unamused Hitmonchan standing over him. Jackie nudged the button on his Pokeball and disappeared in the same flash he'd appeared in. His legs were still a bit wobbly from spending a day on a lake, then almost immediately being knocked unconscious, but standing proved to be of little challenge.

    "Here's what's going to happen," Gideon said between coughs, shaking the excess powder from his body. It had lost its potency, but it still made his eyelids droop a bit. "I'm going to throw Pokeballs at you, you're going to go in them, and we'll all live happily ever after." He knelt down closer to the battle-worn creatures. "Because if you don't, we're gonna have a problem, and problems? Well, they get solved by Jackie. You remember Jackie. The one who beat you two senseless."

    Their will to fight visibly left when the duo heard his threat. Gideon smiled, gave a cheery "Good," and tossed a pair of Pokeballs at the creatures. He was almost certain the two were his, but the containers merely bounced off of their heads. Naturally, the prospective Fighting-type master was infuriated by this turn of events. He did not just go through Hell and back to put up with this. He hurled another ball at the Poliwag, which yielded the same result.

    On the verge of just packing everything up and going home, he gave a slight, aggravated chuckle. It was kind of funny, he supposed; in a cosmic sort of way, at least. Irony didn't quite seem to fit, but it was the closest think he could think of. He'd spent all day fishing for one Pokemon, found two, and neither could be caught. Although, the events did bring up an interesting thought.

    Pokeballs didn't just bounce off Pokemon. Not without some force applied from the other side. The Poliwag knocked his ball into the lake, sure. But now, the two were just standing perfectly still. Despite this, every attempt at capture ended the same way. It could only mean one thing: They had trainers. At least one person had caught both of them before. This, naturally, lead to another interesting, if disturbing, thought:

    Somebody had it out for him.

    No, that was silly. Nobody could have possibly... Well, he was going up for a gym leader position, those were popular. Lots of competition. Some people would... No, what could they achieve by beating him unconscious? He didn't have any say in who became the leader, he was just going to apply for the position. Unless they wanted to steal his Pokemon.

    No, that was silly.

    That was silly.

    Silly or not, two Pokemon had outright attacked him, intent on knocking him out. He wasn't about to let that slide. Not Gideon Dualblade. Not the Fighting-type champion of... Well, his own mind, but still! He had to get to the bottom of this, and that's exactly what he set out to do. First things first, though; he needed protection.

    Being that the pair was already both terrified and well aware of Jackie's potential, he was the natural choice. Seeing them flinch when the Hitmonchan returned to the scene was amusing enough on its own. Not near enough to forgive the assault, but funny nonetheless. "Jackie," he said, taking a few steps to ensure his legs wouldn't collapse under him. "We're going to go beat someone up. Possibly repeatedly. Possibly also their Pokemon. Any arguments?"

    Silence.

    "Good."

    It wasn't long into the walk that the pair decided to try to make a break for it. Jackie wasn't having any of that, though. They made one wrong move and he rammed his fists into their backs. Gideon decided at that moment that more security may have been called for. With the two too weak to be any threat, he didn't see much harm in bringing out a pair he'd rather the Poliwag not know about.

    First out was Blaze. A fairly recent evolution, the Blaziken was still getting used to his abilities. He took this as an opportunity to threaten the Shroomish. Though he wasn't entirely certain what the threat entailed, Gideon rather liked the idea of just assuming the oversized chicken would use the little cretin as a Hacky Sack if it stepped out of line.

    Next out was the equally cleverly-named Cario, the closest thing to a partner Gideon had out of all of his Pokemon. The Lucario didn't waste much time in hoisting the Poliwag up by its tail to ensure its complete cooperation. Blaze followed his lead, grabbing the Shroomish atop its head and lifting it off the ground mid-stride.

    "Try running now," Gideon said with a grin. "I dare you." Neither Pokemon even bothered to struggle against their captors. Wiping out the competition was pretty much what training was all about, but even he had to admit that this was borderline evil. Then again, they did sucker punch him, and nobody man enough to lead a gym relied on sneak attacks. Especially not with such a clear advantage as being able to put an entire team to sleep.

    Speaking of cowards, the group soon found their path impeded by a pair of fists. One, directly into Cario's snout, let the Poliwag free and left the Lucario wondering what just hit him. Another, into Blaziken's stomach, just caused him to tighten his grip on the Shroomish. Though two of his Pokemon were reeling, Gideon could see quite clearly what had happened.

    The vermin who had to sneak around behind his back all day was expecting him. One fist, the one planted firmly in Blaze's lower torso, belonged to an Infernape. The other, aimed at Cario's face, was attached to a Ledian. Said Ledian's five other fists were quickly put to work delivering numerous, if slightly less effective, blows to the Lucario.

    Gideon hid his worry quite well, but it all faded away when he saw the glow on Jackie's fists. A similar glow emanated from the location of the blows on both his Pokemon. In Cario's case, only the first strike was glowing; the rest got through fine, not that it mattered. Normal-type attacks were nothing for the half-Steel-type.

    More than happy to take the first action, Blaze hooked his arms under the Infernape's, dropping the Shroomish as he rocketed up through the trees. A moment later, he came crashing back down, primate-first into the ground. It hurt a bit, but it was nothing compared to what the chimp felt. The Infernape tried to get a second Mach Punch off, but Jackie wasn't letting it happen. He kept up his guard while Blaze pummeled away at the monkey.

    Cario, on the other hand, was having a wonderful time dodging everything the Ledian threw at him. Every so often, he'd let a hit get through at the expense of focusing his power, until he felt it was time to just simply put an end to things. In the blink of an eye, he was behind the Ledian, who collapsed almost immediately without even knowing what hit it.

    "M'kay, not sure where to start here," Gideon said, making sure to be loud enough for the coward to hear him. "I guess I should start with the obvious. You're bad at this. You're just- You suck. You flat-out suck. You get off a sneak attack on me, you fail. Pull the same thing on my Pokemon, you fail again. I have-" He paused, looking to the Poliwag and Shroomish. "You two aren't going anywhere. You're still mine." Blaze and Cario grabbed their captives once more before they got too far.

    "As I was saying, I have your Pokemon and you still attack me. You're just so bad at this. Just..." Gideon paused to sigh before continuing. "Do yourself a favor. Come out and I promise I won't punch you in the face until you stop being such a bad trainer."

    It seemed to do the trick. A scrawny, nerdy-looking trainer made his way out from behind a tree. He recalled his unconscious husks before looking Gideon in the eye. "Give me my Pokemon and I'll leave you alone," the trainer muttered. He obviously wasn't one for face-to-face contact. His appearance and personality really made Gideon wonder in what universe this guy of all people could possibly be a gym leader.

    For a second, Gideon thought the guy was serious. His offer was downright laughable. In exchange for the two Pokemon he'd sent to attack him, this trainer expected him to believe he'd be left alone forever. "No," Gideon replied. "No, that's not how this is gonna work. This is gonna work as follows: You are a pathetic trainer. You suck. This being the case, you will give me these two Pokemon so that I may train them properly. Not to be cowards, but to bludgeon things unconscious with the sheer force required of a Fighting-type gym leader."

    "You're kidding. I'm not giving up my Pokemon!"

    "Listen. Buddy-"

    "Oswald."

    "Ozzie. Listen, Ozzie, the way I see it, you have two choices. Give me the two Pokemon you attacked me with so I can train them to actually fight, or I offhandedly mention to how someone beat me unconscious in a forest."

    Oswald paused for a moment, as if he was actually considering getting police involved rather than give up two Pokemon who not only failed their one task, but led their target right back to him. Gideon couldn't believe he was actually considering being arrested for assault over giving up traitors. It was ridiculous, and he said as much.

    Oswald replied with how each member of a team is vital.

    Gideon simply stated that the importance of a team wasn't in question, his terrible training and psychotic mindset were.

    Oswald replied by reaching for a Pokeball.

    Gideon responded to that by punching Oswald in the nose. "Okay, then," Gideon said, rubbing his temples. "This is getting us nowhere, I can see this. Tell you what we're gonna do, now. Cario and Blaze here are gonna carry you back into town, and we're gonna settle this in a nice, public place. Where everyone can not only see you get beaten, but hear me as I loudly discuss how your Shroomish headbutted me for no good reason."

    "Okay, I give!" Oswald shouted, reaching for the Pokeballs on his belt. He recalled the Poliwag and Shroomish, then handed the balls to Gideon. "Fine, they're yours, whatever! I can catch others. Better ones, even! Hell, I know your team. You get to be gym leader? Fine. I'll beat you down over and over. Every hour, on the hour. In your gym, beating your team black and blue."

    Gideon sighed and looked to Jackie. Jackie nodded and popped Oswald in the chest with a crackling glove. The shock was enough to not only shut him up, but freeze every muscle in his body. He collapsed in a heap and Blaze slung him over his shoulder. In all candor, he just wanted to get to town, get the transfer over with, and never see Oswald's pasty face again.

    Every so often during their trek back to town, Oswald would start moving. Before he could trash around too much, Jackie would pop him again with a ThunderPunch, paralyzing him once more. Eventually they found their way out of the forest and into the city. Gideon headed straight for the Pokemon Center. First, he saw to it that his Pokemon were healed. Then, he hit the trading station.

    Under the strict watch of Gideon's team, Oswald placed the Pokeballs one at a time on the machine. First Poliwag. It beeped, sucked the Pokeball in one side, beeped again, then spat it out the other. Then Shroomish. The machine repeated its previous action and Gideon found himself the somewhat proud owner of the Pokemon he'd been seeking all day, plus a bonus.

    Apparently assuming his business was done, Oswald turned to leave. As he took a step, he was pulled back by a tug on the collar of his shirt. Looking back, the trainer was visibly shocked to find Blaze holding tightly onto the back of his shirt, with Gideon looking none too pleased.

    "No, we're not quite done yet," Gideon explained, stepping closer to the captive. "You attacked me, and you're going to tell me why."

    "I gave you my Pokemon, that was the deal. Let me go."

    "Yeah, well, I changed my mind. Pokemon plus an explanation. Go."

    Oswald tugged at his shirt for a bit before giving up. "Fine, you wanna know? I'll tell you. I'm a better trainer than you. I deserve to be a gym leader more than you. You're insane if you think I'm not going to apply, and you're in my way. I was going to knock you out, take your Pokemon, and train them to fight for me."

    Dumbstruck by the trainer's sheer stupidity, Gideon just stared in silence. He couldn't believe this moron thought he could retrain an entire team. He could barely train his own team. For God's sake, his Infernape kept hammering Mach Punches out at a Quick Guard. This trainer didn't know the first thing about training, and he still wanted to be a gym leader.

    Figuring he couldn't do much worse than be a slight nuisance, Gideon motioned for Blaze to release him. Straightening his shirt, the wanna-be trainer glared at Gideon and his team as he left. That was all he could do. Gideon had more than just a Ledian and Infernape to fall back on, and with just one of his Pokemon, he had an impressive type advantage over both. A fight would be stupid, even Oswald saw that.

    Not that that was about to stop him from trying. The second Gideon recalled his Pokemon, Oswald came at him. He tackled the trainer to the ground, threw a single punch, and found himself on the floor a second later with Gideon towering over him. All eyes were on him as he got to his feet, holding his face with one hand and flipping his sworn enemy off with the other. He swore he'd be back as he headed for the door.

    Gideon opted to shrug his threats off. He was nothing but a pest. So what if he cropped up every so often for a fight? He'd just get his ass handed to him time after time. Maybe one day, his ego would be crushed so much he'd just give up, or - God forbid - try actually training his Pokemon. Sure, he'd rather never see the guy again, but it wasn't any big hassle if he did. In fact, it'd be fun beating him senseless every now and then.

    Then the police showed up. Oswald hadn't taken more than two steps out the door before he was met face-to-face with an Arcanine. "Didn't quite think that one through, did you?" Gideon said snidely as he left the Pokemon Center. "You admit you attacked me, admit to trying to steal my Pokemon, then tackle me in the middle of Pokemon Center. How many people there do you suppose called the cops? I'd wager it was a lot."

    Honestly, he hadn't expected anyone to call the police. Even he wasn't considering it, he was just going to let everything slide. He'd gotten what he came for, and Oswald got what he deserved. Repeatedly. Every side had a happy ending, and that was more than enough for Gideon. This whole thing with the police was just the cherry on top. He couldn't wait to see Oswald deck a cop and get tasered.

    To his surprise, Oswald gave up without any further struggle. Granted, he had lost three times over the course of two hours. Anyone would give up after that. Feeling a bit sorry for the poor guy, Gideon agreed not to press charges. It didn't mean Oswald got to keep his trainer's license or that he'd ever be allowed to apply for any position involving Pokemon, but he didn't go to jail. So that was nice.

    There was also the matter of him 'being back.' The restraining order saw to the end of that threat. Luckily for Gideon, the officers agreed to allow him to keep the Poliwag and Shroomish, seeing as they were his before any crimes were officially reported. Infernape and Ledian, however, were sent to a shelter.
    Last edited by nocturnalDualblade; 6th August 2012 at 02:54 AM.

  2. #2
    magister mencium VeloJello's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why I love/hate magikarp

    Introduction

    Your introduction was pretty good. Beginning with dialogue is a common but good way to catch the eye of the reader. You used it well here, ushering in the protagonist and giving us a look at his personality. The quote also hooked - pardon the pun - a potential reader by giving them something funny to read. I liked how you were able to both show us some of Gideon's personality and motives without being too blatant about it - that is to say, demonstrating someone's personality without a whole bunch of explanation. It also set your rather comedic tone, which is good, as tone-setting gives the reader a bit of insight as to what kind of a story you're going to be reading. Your introduction did pretty much exactly what an intro is supposed to do - it laid down a good foundation for the rest of your story.

    Plot

    The plot of this story was interesting. Your story was engaging and entertaining, and for the most part I found the storyline to be believable. You had good characters with plausible motives - always a plus! Your cutthroat Gym-leader wannabes premise was novel and believable. It was uncomplicated enough for a Medium 'mon and a Simple 'mon, but without being too outrageously simple. I also liked your crazy cast - you gave everyone a distinct and easy-to-read personality, from temperamental, no-nonsense Gideon to creeper-ish, conniving, if a bit dense Oswald. Another little nugget that I liked was the fact that you included a dash of personality even for Gideon's Pokemon, rather than turning the poor things into mindless little plot machines.

    Grammar

    I didn’t have much problem with your grammar, really. No blatant errors leaped out at me. Upon further examination I realized that... There weren't very many errors period. Your syntax wasn't flawless, but it was good, and most of the 'imperfect' bits worked as part of your style, and it didn't need to be essay-level proper for everything to work well.

    Description

    This was somewhat weak in a few areas of the story, although these spots were isolated and for the most part I could tell what was going on. Through the majority of the story you had a fine amount of description, but there were a couple of places in which I ended up a little bit lost. For instance, when Poliwag appeared, I knew that it was coming up out of the water. But I had a harder time trying to tell where it was supposed to be spatially. Was it beside the boat? Near the shore? On Gideon’s line? This may sound a tad trivial, but if something like this ends up happening in an action-packed, plot-crucial spot, you'll end up with some massively confused readers. However, there weren't too many spots like this and for the most part your description was good. You described the Pokemon pretty well, which authors have a tendency to forget about doing, and I could visualize just about everything else without too much difficulty. Just make sure that your stories keep an even flow in the future, and you'll be fine.

    Length


    You’re well within the 15k limit, so yeah, not much to critique here. Way to go!

    Conclusion

    I found this story to be very entertaining. You have an interesting style, and your comedic, almost silly tone made this rather zany story fun to read. The plot kept me engaged throughout, and you made your grasp of grammar pretty darned clear. I think you’ve definitely earned your Fighting-types in the making. Shroomish and Poliwag captured!
    Among my frivolous thoughts,
    I believe there are beautiful things seen by the astronauts.
    The indications reveal
    That few of us realize life is quite surreal.

    URPG Stats.

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