Zane's Stories, Part II - The Spring Of Rebirth

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    Default Zane's Stories, Part II - The Spring Of Rebirth

    The Spring Of Rebirth
    By Apollo's Caterpie



    When we’re children, a large proportion of what we see seems frightening to us. This is because we’re still learning about the world, and a lot of these things are different and new. Therefore, we can’t associate ourselves with them and we become intimidated. Also, if we choose to never associate ourselves with these things that terrorize us, these fears can stay with us until the end of our lives. This must be why Zane had been acting the way he did as he approached the deepest, darkest depths of the forest in search of the little girl’s Togepi. After all, he’s a normal person.

    Another interesting snippet of information that you may need to know here is that people often perform nervous actions to keep their mind off of the fear that they are facing. Take Zane as an example. Something not many people know about Zane is that he’s afraid of the dark, despite the fact that he specialises in the Ghost-type, who adore it. There is a reason for his despair towards the night, but we shall tell that story another time. For now, let’s observe Zane’s body language as an example of these nervous actions.

    Zane shuffles through the vegetation beneath his feet, his black denim jeans scraping together slightly and his chunky black rocker boots shunting the dead leaves out of his path. His body is hunched over and compressed due to the freezing cold of the forest, and his left hand pulls his black leather jacket by the fur ruff on the collar of it over his body to shield himself. His right hand’s darting up and down his body repeatedly, yanking up his jeans by one of the two black studded belts holding them up and then leaping up to his head to twirl a lock of his brown hair around his forefinger. His cold grey eyes are darting from left to right repeatedly, while white clouds of carbon dioxide quickly puff from his nose to match his speedy breathing pace.

    “Aw, man, Willow, this place is really starting to freak me out now…” Zane muttered, panic in his voice. Zane’s partner Willow, who was now a Dusclops thanks to the amount of encounters they’d faced getting this far into the forest, glanced over at Zane with his eyelid lowered and shook his head. While Zane was shuffling through the grass cautiously, Willow was plodding along confidently, welcoming the darkness.

    Zane’s eyes continued to dark back and forth, taking in the horrible scene that surrounded him. Whereas further back the trees had been generally rather spread out and wide rays of light shone down through the treetops onto the ground, illuminating the forest, here the trees were packed together tightly making it rather difficult to find any kind of path, and the treetops were so thick that no light at all could get through. Here, it was also rather foggy, adding to the spookiness.

    Willow had suddenly noticed how many different nervous actions that Zane was performing, and he stopped walking and took a look around. To his left, through a gap in the trees that was only about three inches thick, Willow could see a faint blue light in the distance. It appeared to be coming from somewhere within the forest, but it may lead to some form of civilisation. But, as long as there was light, Willow was sure Zane would be happy, and as it was glowing through all this darkness and all the fog, it must be a bright one.

    “Dus! Dusclops, clops!” Willow called ahead of him in Zane’s direction. Zane turned his head to Willow, and could see the faint outline of his finger pointing through the gap in the trees. Zane sighed and shuffled over to him, looking through the gap in the trees where Willow was pointing. When he noticed the light, a grin formed on his face and his eyes lit up.

    “Sold! Alright then, Willow, pass through the trees and pull me through!” Zane ordered, and Willow nodded to him. Willow closed his eye, and after about seven seconds he had turned translucent. Then, he jumped at the trees, passing straight through them. It seemed he had become intangible, a skill unique to Ghost-types that was currently proving useful. The top half of Willow’s body passed back through the trees, and after only two seconds his left hand had turned opaque again. He grabbed hold of Zane, and then after thirteen seconds they were both translucent, and they both jumped back through the trees. Then, they dashed, hand in hand, towards the light in the distance, which grew bigger and brighter the closer they got. Very soon they were at the final gap in the trees, and the slim beam of light shining through was almost blinding.

    “You go through, Willow, and make sure there’s nothing dangerous through there,” Zane commanded. Willow nodded to him, took a long breath in and stepped courageously through the trees, this time without Zane. Zane waited by himself for a few seconds, but then the top half of Willow’s body slipped back through the barrier of bark. He nodded behind him towards whatever lied beyond, as if to say ‘you have got to see this”. After another sixteen seconds, they were both translucent again and they both stepped through the barrier. As soon as Zane’s eyes adjusted to the brightness of the glittering light, they widened and his mouth dropped open.

    “Whoa,” Zane muttered, amazed at the sight before him. The two of them seemed to have arrived in a small clearing, where the trees surrounding it seemed to have very long branches and they had sealed off any light that would come in from above, making this place impossible to spot from above. On either side of Zane and Willow there were two tree stumps, each with a statue of a Scyther standing on top, both carved from the tree that used to be there. Both of the statues were staring at the spot where Zane and Willow were standing, as if they were gatekeepers to what lied in front of them.

    Before the two of them was a spring that took up over half of the space in the clearing. On the either side of the spring there were tall rock formations, and between the two rock formations there was a large oak tree, half inside the spring and half outside of it. Zane approached the spring and leant down next to it, staring at his own reflection. The water was crystal clear, but the most amazing part was the pebbles on the bottom of the pool. Each and every one of them was glittering with the same blue light that had led them to the clearing, and as the water was amplifying the ominous glow, the entire clearing was illuminated by the shining stones.

    “This is absolutely amazing… this place shall be our little secret, right Willow?” Zane decided, turning to his partner. However, Willow wasn’t looking at Zane. He was looking over Zane’s shoulder at something behind him. Zane slowly turned his head, deeply worried about what he might see. However, when he had fully turned his head, he saw a couple of Pokémon sitting on the left rock formation. In particular, it was a Stunky and a Meowth. However, there was something very odd about them. The Stunky’s boy was black and the stripe was white, and the Meowth had a black white body with black markings on the tail and paws. However, the most interesting part was that the Stunky seemed to be trying to get the attention of the Meowth, and it had a rose in it’s mouth.

    “Hey, check it out, Willow. We’ve found ourselves a little Casanova,” Zane chuckled. Willow chuckled back at him. The Stunky continued to bounce around in the Meowth’s peripheral vision, waving the rose around like a lunatic. The Meowth was starting to edge away from it, as the Stunky now looked completely insane, bouncing around at waving a rose around as if it was a sword. Overexcited seemed the best word to describe the Stunky, because the thing it did next could never be taken back.

    A loud noise that sounded a bit like a fart came from the Stunky’s rear end, and a cloud of green gas floated from it’s tail. The gas started to encircle the two Pokémon, and only a second later did the Meowth smell the gas. It made a gagging sound and then leapt off into the branches, trying to get as much distance between it and the Stunky as possible. The Stunky waited for a second, then laid down on the rock, a single tear trickling down it’s face.

    “Hmm. Wait here, Willow, I’m going to go and talk to it,” Zane muttered, stepping over to the Stunky. The Stunky looked up at him, it’s fur sticking out because of the tears that were still seeping from it’s eyes and cascading down onto it’s cheeks. It turned away and threw it’s paws over it’s head, seeming very ashamed of the incident that had just taken place.

    “Hey, come on, man. Maybe she just wasn’t for you. She probably just didn’t get you, that’s all. You’re a complex character, you know that? Come on, pull yourself together, there are other fish in the sea…” Zane began. For the next few minutes he continued with these type of comments, the same comments he would tell his roommate back home, Austin, every time he got rejected by a girl. When Zane had finished, the Stunky took his paws off of his head and stood up, looking up at Zane with a thankful look on it’s face as it licked off the tears from it’s cheeks. Zane turned to Willow.

    “Well, now that that’s sorted out, let’s set up camp here. We need to rest for a while if we’re going to find that girl’s Togepi,” Zane decided, leaping up onto one of the smoothest and flattest rocks, taking off his jacket, folding it up and using it as a pillow. Willow nodded to him, and sat down at the waters edge, staring at his reflection. The Stunky bounced from rock to rock until it reached Zane’s rock, and then laid down and slept by his feet.



    ===***===



    Around forty minutes had passed since Zane and his team set up camp. Zane was sitting on top of his jacket upon the rock, sketching out the spring and the clearing using a drawing pad and a pencil. The Stunky, who although Zane hadn’t captured yet had already been named Foxglove, was sitting underneath his arm watching Zane draw. Snowdrop, Zane’s Spheal, was paddling in the water of the spring while Chestnut, Zane’s Mankey, was swinging from branch to branch in the trees above at a brilliant pace. Willow was pacing around the spring, observing the clearing, oak tree, rocks, pool and the statues.

    “What’s up, Foxglove?” Zane asked the Stunky suddenly. He had only just noticed that Stunky was sitting there, panting with his tongue hanging out. Zane quickly figured out that he must be thirsty, so he climbed down from the rock and sat by the water’s edge, taking an empty hip flash from his pocket. He dipped it into the water and filled it with the crystal clear liquid.

    Meanwhile, Willow was observing the left statue closely, noticing the expert carving of the wood. He bent down, observing the craftsmanship on the lower body, but couldn’t take in the detail due to something he could see in the corner of his eye. Someone appeared to have carved some graffiti into the tree stump which the statue was standing on. Willow glanced over at Zane, who was now pulling himself back onto the rock to meet Foxglove with the hip flask in hand, and then bent down to read it. Carved into the bark were four words.

    Don’t Drink The Water.


    Willow’s neck clicked as he swung his head round to look at Zane, who’s arm was beginning to ark, beginning to pour the liquid into the Stunky’s open mouth. Willow darted towards Zane as the water cascaded down from the flask’s neck, droplets breaking away from the waterfall as it splashed down into Foxglove’s mouth. Willow stopped dead in his tracks, horror-struck, awaiting any side-effects that were to follow.

    Nothing happened for about five seconds. Foxglove looked up at Zane and gave a cry of thanks, and then blinked at him. However, when Foxglove reopened his eyes, the whites had become completely blood red. Zane yelped and jumped backwards, flattening himself up against the bark of the oak tree. All the hairs on Foxglove’s back stood up as it stepped towards Zane, hissing and aiming the tip of it’s tail in his direction. Willow climbed up onto the rock and glared at Foxglove, fire suddenly licking his right fist. As Foxglove turned round to face him, Willow punched towards him, the Fire Punch connecting with the side of his head and throwing him into the pool, a splashing sound following a second later.

    “Aw, man… thanks, Willow, I owe you one…” Zane muttered, nodding towards Willow and smiling. Willow nodded back, and then jumped down from the rock into the grass. Foxglove swam up to the surface of the water and hissed at Willow. Willow glared back at him, giving a low battle cry. His eye flashed red once, and then a static red and black beam fired from it. Foxglove swam to the left, dodging the Night Shade as it hit the water and instantly dissipated. It leapt out of the water and threw itself at Willow, a black aura forming around it’s paw. It slashed at Willow’s face, the Night Slash gouging into it’s body and leaving blue cuts. There was a crackling noise from beneath Foxglove, and a small explosion. Foxglove flew from on top of Willow and smacked into a tree across the clearing as the current of electricity surrounding Willow’s fist disappeared.

    “I should leave Willow to battle by his own wits more often…” Zane chuckled, shaking his head and wiping his forehead as Foxglove slid down the tree onto the floor. He almost immediately got to his feet and rushed at Willow, dodging another Night Shade that Willow fired from his eye, and jumped at him, the dark aura appearing around his paw once more and slashing at him again. Willow stepped backwards a few paces, bending over and leaning on one knee. It seemed that Foxglove was getting the better of him. Before Willow could react, Foxglove was rushing at him again. He jumped on top of Willow and slashed at his face a third time, leaving yet more deep blue cuts. He slipped down off of Willow’s belly and stepped away from his motionless body, hissing at Zane, ready for more.

    “Damn, what was in that water? Return, Willow, you did great,” Zane muttered, unclipping a Poké Ball from his belt, pointing it at Willow and firing a red beam from it. It enveloped Willow before he disappeared in a flash of red light and the beam returned to the ball. Zane looked up at the treetops and saw Chestnut, who had been watching the whole thing. He looked over to Zane, who nodded at him. Chestnut nodded back and dropped from the treetops, landing in front of Foxglove and striking a battle pose. Foxglove hissed at him.

    “Alright, Chestnut. Let’s start things off with a Low Kick!” Zane shouted. Chestnut stepped back with his right leg, then swung it at Foxglove, aiming for the legs. Foxglove jumped, avoiding the Low Kick, and slashed at Chestnut’s forehead. Chestnut was thrown backwards, dust flying up beneath his feet as he tried to stop himself from slamming into the rocks. He stared at Foxglove, pure hatred in his eyes as his special ability kicked in.

    “Don’t worry, Chestnut, just a minor setback! Try a Karate Chop!” Zane roared. Chestnut rushed at Foxglove, arm raised and ready to strike. Foxglove dived at Chestnut’s feet, slashing at them, but Chestnut managed to jump just in time and avoid injury. He flipped over Foxglove’s head and landed behind him, slamming the Karate Chop down on his back. Foxglove gave a high pitched yelp, and his tail rose up in front of Chestnut’s face. There was a deafening explosion, Foxglove was thrown forwards and Chestnut was thrown backwards. Chestnut was thrown into one of the statues by the Explosion attack, smashing into the top of it and snapping off it’s head. Smoke started to rise from behind the headless Scyther. Foxglove smacked it’s head on the oak tree in the spring, then fell backwards into the water.

    “Hey, Chestnut, you okay?” Zane called, running over to the broken statue. There was a loud groan, and then a flopping sound. Zane stepped over to the back of the statue and saw that Chestnut had been knocked out. Zane unclipped another Poké Ball and returned Chestnut in the same way he had returned Willow. He place the ball back on his belt and ran over to Foxglove, who was being poked by Snowdrop.

    “Get off, Snowdrop, this guy needs medical attention…” Zane muttered, picking up Snowdrop and placing it a few feet away. He turned back to Foxglove and pulled a Potion out of his pocket. He sprayed it on the burns that had formed because of the Explosion, and waited for Foxglove to wake up. The Stunky moaned and then gazed up at Zane, the white’s of it’s eyes returned to their natural colour. Zane smiled and picked Foxglove up, taking him back to the rock with his jacket on and drying him.



    ===***===


    Thanks to Foxglove’s attack, they had lost even more time which they could have spent searching for the little girl’s Togepi. Willow, Chestnut and Foxglove had been completely healed, and they were back in the fog and the darkness. Zane had gone back to his nervous hair-twisting, belt pulling and jacket adjusting, and now he was extremely thirsty as well as extremely scared. As the poison spring was the only source of water they had found in this entire forest, Zane was parched and his thought process was starting to deteriorate. Only when Willow pointed it out did Zane realise they had passed the same wooden pillars three times.

    “Willow, I don’t know what to do… I don’t know where we’re going, I don’t know what we’re doing… we’re stuck here… we’re lost… this is it…” Zane sighed, dropping to his knees and holding his head in his hands. Willow face palmed and pointed out the wooden pillars again. It was very unusual to have a set of smooth, perfectly perpendicular wooden pillars in a forest, which meant they could only be one thing. They must be a gate. Willow grabbed hold of Zane’s arm and Foxglove’s tail and pulled them through the gate. Very soon, they reached a wooden cabin, which had a set of dim lights on inside. As soon as Zane saw them, his eyes lit up and he pushed himself up, dashing towards the house and banging on the door.

    “Hello? Hello!? Lost travellers here, can we come in?” Zane shouted through the door, tapping the mahogany door with his knuckles in the rhythm to ‘Bleed American’. The doorknob shuddered, and a large smile grew on his face as he gave the thumbs up behind his back to Willow and Foxglove. The door swung open and Zane was met with the double barrels of a shotgun. Beads of sweat started to run down Zane’s head as he stared down into the two separate abysses.

    “Who be you?” a voice from behind the gun asked in a furious tone. Zane whimpered a little bit. He wiped the sweat from his forehead and gulped.

    “I’m Zane Steel. I’m from Mahogany Town. I came to this forest in search of a little girl’s Togepi. I don’t mean any harm, please don’t hurt me!” Zane replied, trying to sound as confident as he could until the end. The person holding the gun lowered it, allowing Zane to see his attacker at last. It was an old man, around sixty years of age, who was only about five feet tall. He had a big bushy white beard that stopped at where his belly button probably was, and he wore the apron, clothes and all the other garments of a blacksmith. They were all covered in soot. He had a pair of goggles on, so Zane couldn’t see his eyes, and the man’s white hair was thinning at the top.

    “Civilian, eh? Well, you’d better be coming in, then,” the old man replied, holding the door open for Zane, Willow and Foxglove and followed in after them. Zane found himself looking at a living room, with armchairs, bookcases, a fireplace, footstools, rugs, tables and a beautiful ornate clock on the mantle above the fire. The old man set the gun down on one of the tables and sat down in the armchair closest to the fire, resting his feet on a footstool. He gestured towards two other armchairs across the room, indicating for Zane and Willow to sit down. They did so.

    “Well, I be supposing I should introduce me-self. I be called Rufus Smith, and I used to come from that ol’ Ecruteak City. I be a blacksmith, and I used to do that near the ol’ tower that done got burnt down. But, ah had to move away as soon as the new blood came along… stronger, smarter, just all around better…” the old man explained.

    “That‘s tough. Wait why did you decide to move to a dark old forest?” Zane asked. Rufus rolled his eyes and lowered his eyelids at Zane.

    “It’s quiet. Anyways, I suppose I better be explainin’ a wee bit more clear like. Y’see, people be callin’ this part of the forest ‘Dusk Woods’. It’s real creepy like and difficult to navigate, as you may have already figured. I ain’t askin’ ya how you managed to get here, I’m just going to figure you got here the same way I did. Anyways, there’s this spring about quarter o’ a mile back…” Rufus explained.

    “I’ve been there. It’s pretty fabulous, but something’s wrong with the water…” Zane interrupted. Rufus ignored his rudeness, slumped back into his armchair and tapped the side of his nose.

    “Exactly, my boy. I discovered it not long after I escaped here after being blamed for burning down the tower. People were major religious like back then and didn’t wanna accept the fact that some god of theirs was burning down somewhere like the Brass Tower. Anyways, I call that spring ‘The Spring O’ Rebirth”. Let me ask ya somethin’. When you went to that spring, did you feel more… sprightly?” Rufus asked, resting his elbows on the arm-rests and touching his fingers together. Zane’s eyes widened and he leaned closer to Rufus.

    “Yeah, I did in fact. What’s with that?” he asked Rufus, deciding not to go into the fact that he had been shuffling around, twisting his hair, pulling at his belt and cowering under his jacket in fear. Rufus tapped his nose a second time.

    “All those stones that make the clearing glow… my boy, those be Dawn Stones. Evolution stones are be having some kind of mutation effect on a Pokémon that allows them to access their ability to evolve, and that’s just with one. There’s thousands of them in that there pool. They’re power’s poisoned the water, but they’re healing you and me. Whenever I bath in that there spring I feel young again…” Rufus explained, tipping his head back and sighing. Just then, a Growlithe came walking in from a room behind Rufus. All the biege parts on the Growlithe were white and all the red parts were black.

    “Hey, that Growlithe’s the same colour as Foxglove… and that Meowth, too…” Zane muttered, looking down at Foxglove. Foxglove looked back at him, confused. Rufus scratched his head.

    “Yeah, they’ve been through what I like to call ‘The Monochrome Wash’. All the Pokémon living close to that there spring are affected by that mass collection o’ Dawn Stones and change colour. Skin, fur, scales, whatever, they all turn black ‘n’ white. That’s why those dang Scyther are runnin’ about…” Rufus explained. Zane’s neck clicked at the speed he looked up at Rufus.

    “Scyther? The Pokémon I’m looking for got kidnapped by a Scyther. What’s up with them?” Zane asked. Rufus rolled his eyes again and rested his cheek on his fist.

    “Full o’ questions, aren’t ya? Well, there be some poachers lurking around in this here forest recently. In particular they’re huntin’ Scyther for their scythes, they turn ‘em into swords for the military. Even worse is that the Scyther be trying to buy their freedom by snatchin’ up some of those discoloured Pokémon. Thanks to that spring, they can only be found in this here forest. I expect that Togepi ‘o yours came from the forest at some point,” Rufus explained. Zane nodded, hanging on his every word.

    “I take it the poachers take the skin, fur and scales and sell them, right? Since they’re so rare?” Zane asked.

    “Yep, you’ve got it. One Monochrome Persian skin rug’ll get ten times as much as market than a Scyther-made sword. I take it you’ll be wanting to find these Scyther to get this Togepi ‘o yours back, then?” Rufus asked. He clapped his hands, and a Charmander came walking in. Unlike the Growlithe, this Charmander wasn’t discoloured.

    “This here Charmander managed to escape from where the Scyther keep the Pokémon they’re gonna trade to them poachers. I’m not sure why they stole him, since he’s not differently coloured. Perhaps he just got on the wrong side of them and they captured him. Anyway, if you want to go and find those Scyther you better take him, since he knows where they’re hiding,” Rufus explained, the Charmander gazing up at him as he did so. Zane looked down at the Charmander and nodded to Rufus.

    “Thankyou, Rufus. Charmander, can you take me to the Scyther Tribe?” Zane asked kindly. The Charmander crossed his arms and shrugged, but led the way out of the door. Zane, Willow and Foxglove followed him. Rufus got up from his seat and followed them, stopping at the door and waving them off.

    “Good luck, you kid! Do me proud!” Rufus called after them, chuckling and grinning at them.


    ===***===


    “So, this is it?” Zane asked Charmander, who gave a cry of approval. Charmander had taken them to a ditch, about twenty-five feet wide and eighteen feet deep. At the bottom of this part of the ditch there were about seven wooden cages piled on top of each other. Zane stepped over to the edge of the ditch and slid down the side, Willow and the Charmander following in after him. Ignoring the fact that it would be very difficult to get back out again, he started looking at the cages to try and see if Togepi was in any of them.

    “Toge! Togeprii!” a voice cried from behind him. Zane turned his head and saw a Togepi, trapped inside one of the cages, sitting on it’s bottom with tears streaming down it’s face. As Rufus had predicted, the Togepi had succumbed to the Monochrome effect, as the white shell was black while the body was white, as were the markings on the shell.

    “Whoa, talk about luck…” Zane muttered to Willow. Willow gave a cry of agreement as a dark aura started to surround his fist as he prepared to Shadow Punch the cage open. Zane stuck a hand through the bars and stroked the Togepi’s head to comfort it, looking at the Togepi with a sweet and affectionate face one minute and looking down at Willow’s preperation the next.

    “Scy? Ther?” came a voice behind him. The aura around Willow’s fist vanished as the two of them turned their heads slowly and simultaneously to where the voice had come from. As expected, there was a Scyther standing behind them, glaring at them suspiciously. Willow stepped forwards as flames started to form on his fist, but before he could hit the Scyther he was thrown out of the way by another Scyther’s X-Scissor attack.

    “Willow!” Zane called to the Dusclops as it pushed itself up. The newly arrived Scyther stepped over to Dusclops and prepared to battle, while the first one slowly approached Zane, gradually raising it’s scythes. Suddenly, the Scyther was knocked out of the way by a jet of flames. Zane glanced in the direction where the flames had come from, and saw the Charmander striking a confident battle pose by a path of heaths growing from the wall.

    “Alright, double battle! Okay, Willow, start off with a Confuse Ray! And… erm… Heath, give them a Fire Fang!” Zane roared. Willow’s eye immediately flashed, and a swirling beam of every colour imaginable shot out and washed over the Scyther, making it dizzy. The Charmander, meanwhile, pointed to itself with a confused look on it’s face. Zane gave him the thumbs up, and it grinned and returned this gesture. It opened it’s mouth wide, fire forming around it’s teeth. It rushed towards Scyther and leapt at it, ready to bite, but got thrown out of the way with a swift Slash attack.

    “Don’t worry about it, Heath! Come on, try a Fire Spin! Willow, use Fire Punch!” Zane called to them. Willow immediately complied, avoiding the Scyther’s flailing limbs as it wobbled around and smashed it in the back with the Fire Punch, causing it to topple over and smack it’s head on a stone. The Charmander, now named Heath, was busy watching Willow’s progress and got hit in the face by an X-Scissor. The attack was so forceful, it left an x-shaped scar on the Heath’s face. It felt the wound, and growled as a cold droplet of blood trickled down his claw. He opened his mouth wide, and shot out a typhoon of fire that surrounded the Scyther and trapped it.

    “Alright, Heath! Nice work! Alright, now try a Flamethrower! Willow, finish it off with an Ice Punch!” Zane called, giving Heath the thumbs up. Willow was first yet again, droplets of water encircling his fist and then turning to a chunky block of ice. He leapt into the air and whacked the Scyther over the head with it, knocking it out. Heath, meanwhile, had gotten his act together and shot a powerful jet of flame through the tornado of fire, scorching the screaming bug within. The Fire Spin stopped very suddenly, patches of soot covering the Scyther’s charred body. It glared at Heath, pure malice dominating any other message sent by it’s gaze. Heath glared back at it.

    “Ok, Heath, let’s finish this. Metal Claw!” Zane shouted. Heath rushed at the Scyther as the Scyther rushed at Heath. Heath’s right claw suddenly shined like steel as it prepared to strike, and Scyther raised it’s left scythe. They passed each other, both slashing at each other with their respective weapons. They continued to run a few feet before dropping to their knees, waiting for one of them to fall. Heath glanced to his right as the Scyther wobbled and then fell to the ground.

    “Oh, yeah. Like that wasn’t cliché…” Zane muttered, rolling his eyes. Heath toddled over to Zane, staring up at him for approval. Zane smiled, raising his forefinger and his index finger to the lizard to form a peace sign.

    “You did good, mate,” Zane chuckled. Heath chuckled back, and watched as a dark aura formed around Willow’s fist and he smashed the wooden cage to smithereens. Zane rushed over to the remnants of the cage and picked up the Togepi, setting it down by his leg. It gave a cry of thanks and hugged Zane’s leg. Zane gave it a sympathetic smile.

    “It must have been through so much… well, let’s take you back to your trainer. After all, I’m sick of this freaking forest…” Zane muttered, picking up one of the empty cages and standing on top of it to help him get out of the ditch. He then pulled Willow, Heath and the Togepi up and they left the forest.


    ===***===


    “Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, mister!” the little girl giggled, cuddling her Togepi and shaking it around. The Togepi squeaked and squealed, apparently worried that the girl was going to drop it. The girl’s mother and Zane laughed in unison, and the girl’s mother looked back up to talk to Zane.

    “Thankyou very much for finding Eggy. I don’t know how Rita would have coped without her, quite frankly. I’m afraid I haven’t got any money on me, but I have to pay you back somehow…” the woman’s mother smiled, sticking a hand in her pocket and pulling out a slip of paper. Zane held a palm out and shook his head.

    “Please, miss. I don’t need paying. Seeing the smile on that little girl’s face is payment enough. Plus, I’ve made some new friends,” Zane smiled, resting a hand on his belt and feeling Chestnut’s Poké Ball, as well as Foxglove and Heath’s, both of whom had decided to come with him. The woman frowned at him and shoved the slip of paper into his palm, closing his fingers around it.

    “Well, we’re not going to use it anyway, and after this, you kind of need a break,” the woman insisted. Zane sighed, and then shrugged.

    “If I must,” he chuckled. He slipped the paper into his pocket, deciding that he would look at it later and see if it was anything interesting.

    “Well, thanks again. I hope we see you again, Mister Steel,” the woman smiled.

    “Yeah, see you later, Zane!” the little girl grinned, waving at him as she followed her mother down the path and out of the National Park gates. Zane waved back at her, grinning and laughing to himself. As soon as they had left, he looked from his left to his right and stuck his hand back into his pocket, feeling around for the slip of paper. However, at that moment he felt his phone ringing in the same pocket. Instead of grabbing the slip, he grabbed the phone and looked at the caller ID.

    “Huh? Austin has a phone?” Zane laughed. His roommate had never called him before since they had moved into their flat, because Austin had been drunk for about fifty per-cent of his life and always lost his mobile. Zane placed the phone to his ear and answered the call, getting ready to say hello. However, Austin had the first word.

    “Zane, get over here. Now!” Austin ordered. Zane was confused. Usually, Austin had a very casual and amused tone of voice, but right now he was serious and demanding. Zane scratched his head.

    “What’s up, dude? What’s happened?” Zane asked, stretching out on of his legs behind his back. His adventure into the Dusk Woods had really taken his toll on his body.

    “Zane, somebody’s set fire to the apartment, dude! Get back to Goldenrod right now!” Austin growled, annoyed. Zane’s eyes widened and his jaw dropped down. He immediately ended the call and started running to the National Park gates in the south, fearing what he may see when he got back home.

    A story usually follows a protagonist who endures a series of events, or a build-up, to get to a stage in the story where they have to go on some kind of adventure or quest. Zane entered the Spring Of Rebirth, and, unkown to him, some people saw him there. Some people who knew of the Spring of Rebirth’s capabilities. Some people who need everyone who knows of those capabilities out of the way. Who these people are, you shall find out soon. All you need to know is, these people are the antagonists. The people who despise and attack normal, fear-ridden people like Zane to stop them from ruining their devestating ideals.

    But after this ordeal and the one that will follow, Zane will no longer a normal person.

    Zane will be a hero.


    ===***===


    Pokémon targeted: Stunky, Charmander
    Difficulty: Medium + Hard
    Expected Length: 30k - 50k
    Length of story: 33868 characters (sorry it's so light...)
    Last edited by Metabee; 25th April 2010 at 09:25 AM.
    i haven't changed this signature for like sixteen years
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  2. #2
    I Invented the Pidgeot SiberianTiger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zane's Stories, Part II - The Spring Of Rebirth

    Plot/Storyline: Ok, so problems. This is a continuation off of another story I take it? Ok, here's some advice, either A) Put like a synopsis of what happened in everything leading up to the point you are continuing from, at the start of the story, or B) Post all the parts in the same thread.

    I had a hell of a time figuring out what was going on and why Zane was in the forest, or looking for a Togepi or anything else. It was actually quite annoying being lost for so long.

    That all said, it wasn't bad, it probably would have been better if I knew what was going on from the start, *coughcough* but it was actually a pretty interesting story. At first it seemed like it was going to be a generic forest story, but the corrupted spring of sorts was a nice touch and interesting spin off. Kudos to you on that idea. Although I'm not sure I buy the whole Dawn Stone explanation that was put forth.

    I also enjoyed how Scyther was involved in this, and the way their activities unfolded. Just another small 'twist' (except it wasn't really a twist) that kept the plot from becoming too generic. So overall, it wasn't a bad story. Nicely thought out, not too boring, although I will say, some parts seemed kinda rushed; for instance the section of the story where Zane goes from meeting Charmander for the first time, straight to finding the 'hideout' I rather disliked. I thought a lot more explaining could have been done, how far away was the hideout, how long did it take to travel to, where in the forest was it. The whole "/insert some time later here, we arrived at this place" just doesn't cut it. I felt like when coupled with the rest of the story, it could have used a lot more description and what was written seemed more like a shortcut than anything else.

    Other than that, I thought it was pretty decent, I would just like to stress my starting point. If you are making a chronicles, or some sort of saga, you really need to either post it all in the same thread, (See my "Gone in Sixty Seconds" link) Or put some sort of synapses at the start, recalling everything that had occurred previously.

    Grammar/Spelling: Nearly flawless, I have almost nothing to say on this subject but well done, except for one small thing. That is, in the very first paragraph of the story, it's told from a narrator's view; almost like explaining a parable. Then in the second one, not so much a parable as an explanation, but still from a narrator's viewpoint. The in the third paragraph we switch over to Zane, and yet, it's still told from a narrator's viewpoint.

    I wouldn't have a problem with this except after that last paragraph it suddenly switches to third person and it's just completely awkward. There is no transition, no segway, nothing. Just this sudden switch of perspectives and it's very off-putting.

    I think that third paragraph probably could use some rewording, or at the very least, switch it to match the rest of the story's perspective.... Or switch so the rest of the story matches that one paragraph =p

    Other than that, not much to complain about, there were a few times when I thought your wording was a little bit awkward, but I think that was mostly me searching because of that narrative/third person switch at the beginning, rather than anything glaringly obvious.

    And actually, there is one more thing, just something that was mildly annoying. When you describing Willow and Zane 'phasing through the trees and such, you used the word translucent wayyyyyyy too many freaking times. Try to avoid using the same word to describe an action over and over, or at the very least, so close together.

    As a whole, good job.

    Description/Detail: Ok, I have to be honest with you, this was a total hit and miss for you. At times, like when describing Zane and the manner in which you did so. It was amazing, completely seamless, didn't distract from the story at all and I had a clear picture of what he looked like. Then, not one paragraph later, YOU FAILED TO DESCRIBE DUSCLOPS AT ALL.

    And in fact, the only Pokemon you described at all was Stunky and Meowth, every other Pokemon in the story that appeared didn't have a single said about they way the looked, etc. Personally, considering how well Zane and his surroundings were described I find this particularly odd. I'm guessing in the previous chapter you described them maybe? Either way, regardless, you need to make sure that every single Pokemon, in every single chapter is described, whether you give it's general shape and form, or go into minute detail.

    Same applies to describing attacks, at times, like the following:

    Willow was first yet again, droplets of water encircling his fist and then turning to a chunky block of ice. He leaped into the air and whacked the Scyther over the head with it, knocking it out.
    While I would have liked a little more than "knocking it out" that was a pretty awesome description, I can see perfectly exactly what just transpired. And it is definitely better than:

    It rushed towards Scyther and leaped at it, ready to bite, but got thrown out of the way with a swift Slash attack.
    Same goes for X-Scissor, the attack was used numerous times, but never ever described.

    I've said it a million times, not everybody is going to imagine or picture an attack the exact same, hell in some cases, they not even imagine a specific Pokemon the same, that's why, as an author it's your job to try and get across what you wish to convey, as clearly as possible. Description and detail are one of the most important parts of this.

    Like I said, hit and miss, at times it was perfect, not too much, not too little. Other times, it was seriously lacking. Beyond that, not much left to say.

    Length: A little short for my taste, but you got within the range, so it's good enough.

    Battle: Both battles were pretty action packed, the latter with Scyther being a little short, I thought. But overall pretty good. Stunky's was probably the best, as I think it was a little more even, (which isn't saying much to be honest) as both seemed pretty lopsided to me. All that said, I thought they were pretty decent. Stunky's was by far the most interesting. I really liked the whole transformation that came about when it drank the water, and how it even took more than just Dusclops to down it.

    The battle involving the Scyther I was less than pleased with. It was short, not really descriptive at times, and completely lopsided. I personally imagine Scyther, especially more than one, being able to withstand a little bit more than they did in this showing.

    Just a personal preference of mine, but I usually recommend that you try to draw the battle out a little while longer, and just not with attacks, use the environment, or outside forces. Maybe something interferes etc. Make it interesting to read, and unpredictable, if I can tell what's going to happen before I read it, then there's little point in me doing so. Try to avoid this when laying out your battles, try to make them as exciting and inventive as you realistically can.

    Outcome: Stunky and Charmander..... NOT CAPTURED!

    I'm so totally torn on this decision; on one hand, parts of the story were perfect and just amazing, on the other hand, parts of the story just fell flat for me. In my own opinion, were you going for either one of these on their own, you'd have had it hands down. Had you been going for two Pokemon of slightly lower difficulty, you would have had it hands down, but together... I'm just not sure, and because I'm tore I'm not going to give you both.

    You have a choice. Take one or the other, and continue. Or, do a little bit of editing, (Describing the Pokemon is a big thing) and maybe changing/lengthening that last battle a bit and I'll give you both.

    Post here with your decision.

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  3. #3
    Now I've Seen It All! Metabee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zane's Stories, Part II - The Spring Of Rebirth

    Well, first off, I'd like to thank you for your enlightening comments. Hopefully they will be helpful in the future when I'm writing long stories, as I'm seemingly more suited to shorter ones. I was starting to doubt how well this story would do after about three days...

    I think I'll try and add some more description and lengthen that second battle, then see how it goes.
    i haven't changed this signature for like sixteen years
    i guess i'll put a link to that fic i'm planning on doing one day

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