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TEEN: Tail of Time

AbraPunk

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After receiving a prophetic vision in the form of a dream, a young Shinx ventures out to the heart of the forest. There, she is brought into a secret group called the Cosmic Guardians. Now, working alongside an Abra and a Lurantis, she must figure out how to find her place in this world, handle her new responsibilities... and maybe take out a villain or two along the way.


Hello everyone! This is AbraPunk here, with a story that I've been working on since June 2020! (Well, technically, since 2017, but that's another story altogether...)

(I'm on mobile, so apologies for any formatting errors):

Content Warnings: (these will come into effect in later chapters, but it's good to know in advance. Specific chapters containing the more triggering of these will have a content warning beforehand.) strong language, realistic violence, blood, gore, character death, themes/discussion of various forms of abuse (physical and verbal, only in flashbacks. Implied/is not detailed)

Any and all feedback is highly appreciated! I really want this story to be as good as it can be, you know?

With all that over with, let's get right into the story!
 
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Chapter 1: Hands Off

AbraPunk

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Near a mountain range lay a town called Dusthill. This town was home to mostly Dark type pokemon, however, all types were welcome. Dusthill never got many visitors, though, if only because of the bad stigma surrounding Dark types. Though, perhaps there was another reason pokemon rarely came through.

One of the mountains in the range was just like every other mountain there… except for the mysterious door somehow built into the side. Though many pokemon over many generations had tried to open this door, none succeeded. There were rumors of how to open the door, of course. But all were proven false. It raised the question of why anyone would want to open that door, anyway. For all those generations, all those years that door had stood there, there was never anybody seen going in or out. Eventually, the popularity and mystique of the mountain door died out. Soon enough, nobody even so much as spared a second glance at it.

What the residents of Dusthill didn't know, however, was that the door did lead to something. The mountain with the door… was hollow. Countless generations ago, a group of pokemon had come to the mountain range, back when Dusthill did not yet exist, and built a sort of living space within the mountain. This space was, from then on, used as the main base for an organization that would soon be known and feared world-wide.

Nowadays, nobody believed in the existence of said group. So there would, hopefully, be absolutely no suspicion about anything that happened within the hollow mountain now. Little did the residents know that something sinister was only beginning to form behind that closed door…

☆ ☆ ☆

A Sableye and a Lampent were at a table, deep in discussion. The Sableye was pointing at a map, when he heard someone approaching. He turned and found himself looking at the legs of a Hitmonlee. Quickly, the Sableye angled his head up in his best attempt to meet the taller pokemon's eyes.

"Hello, Ash," The Sableye said after a moment's silence, "How ya doing?"

" 'bout as fine as ever, lad. I don't reckon you're doing any worse, eh?" Ash said as he chuckled lightly. "Heh… Seth having a bad day, now that's unheard of."

"Yeah, yeah, yuck it up all ya want." Seth said as he shook his head slowly. "C'mon, I know ya didn't just come over here to make fun of me again. So what's the deal?"

"Ah, just wanted to say that Harper an' I were going to be heading out soon, an' I wanted to know if you'd like to come with us."

"Mm… nah. Besides, can't ya see I'm already busy?" Seth said with a wave behind him to the Lampent, who had been patiently waiting the entire time.

Ash's eyes widened. "Oh! 'M sorry, Duke. I hadn't seen you there... Anyway, suppose it's best if we leave now, eh? See you around, little gremlin." He said as he crouched to wrap his arms around Seth.

"Gah! Damn it, ya asshat!" Seth grunted and wriggled his way out of Ash's embrace. He huffed and crossed his arms. "I've told ya to stop doing that."

"Well aware, lad. An' that's exactly why I keep doing it." Ash said with a wink as he turned and walked away.

Seth sighed deeply and turned back to the Lampent. "Sorry about that, Duke. Ya know more than anyone how I get treated 'round here."

"Well, sorry about that. Now then, where were we? You said you were going to…?"

"I was going to go scout out this Wrinvale place. I heard from one of our recruits over in Shademire that it should be a good spot to look for shit to steal, maybe get a few more recruits along the way. Whaddya think?"

"Sounds good. Will you be taking anyone else with you?"

"Nah. With any luck, I'll be in and out before anybody sees me… assuming anybody would even be awake at this time, heh. But if anybody is… well, ya know what our first rule is." Seth paused, and then turned to leave. "Would be best if I left now. See ya." Without waiting for an answer from Duke, Seth walked through the rooms and corridors of the hollow mountain.

It was not long before he emerged from the door. A quick glance at the sky revealed that the sun would soon be rising. He snorted in irritation; he wouldn't have much time.

As quickly as he could, he found the forest that he knew would take him as close as possible to Wrinvale. Hopefully he wouldn't run into any of the pokemon living there.


☆ ☆ ☆


A Shinx slowly blinked awake, after having slept remarkably well. She got up and pushed her way through the flapping door that separated her room from the singular wooden hallway in the place she called home. A quick glance to either side, and a few seconds of listening for noise, revealed nothing, so the Shinx went on her way.

Outside was always a very peaceful environment, and this time was thankfully no different. The Shinx walked over the paved roads that lined Wrinvale, following the familiar path she had taken for years. Eventually, she stepped off of the roads and onto the uneven grass. The blades prickled against her pawpads. That was one thing that had taken time to get used to. Nearby, the forest could easily be seen from here; it surrounded the town from almost every angle. At this time of day, there was bound to be wild pokemon in there. But… well, the Shinx didn't really care, because she wasn't in the forest. After a bit more walking, she finally sat down on a patch of grass.

Soon enough, the sky began to light up in a brilliant display of colors. There was really nothing quite like the peace that came from watching the sunrise every day.

A rustle that seemed to come from the forest made the Shinx jump. There were never any pokemon around here, so what…?

A purple figure came out from the trees. It swiveled its head around for a bit as if it was confused before it seemed to see the Shinx. There was a tense pause, and then the creature launched itself at her.

She barely had time to react before she was knocked down, and the creature was clawing wildly. Stunned and panicked, she thrashed aimlessly, trying to scratch any part of the purple thing that was on top of her. Her assailant did not seem to be tiring, and it kept attacking.

The Shinx could only think of how this would surely be the last day of her life, when there was a yell: "Hands off, asshole!" then a loud thud, and the purple creature was thrown off of her. She scrambled to her paws and saw her savior: a Growlithe! No, two Growlithe!

While one Growlithe attacked the creature, the other Growlithe came to check on the Shinx.

"Hey, Chaplin, looks like you got yourself in a mess, huh?" The Growlithe said with a glimmer of amusement in his eyes.

Chaplin just nodded slowly, and shifted her weight from paw to paw. "...Yeah, I was just trying to look at the sunrise-- like, um, like I always do, and then that… thing came out of the forest." She paused for a while, staring at the ground the whole time. "How did you guys even know…?"

The Growlithe tilted his head slightly. "Well, I woke up first, right. Always do, but anyways, I just had a real bad feeling about something, and I managed to get Pyre up. Then we came out here, and, uh, yeah." He nodded at the other Growlithe, who was currently locked in an intense battle with the purple thing.

"Oh… okay," Chaplin mumbled. "I think I would have died if you guys hadn't shown up, haha… So, uh, thanks, Markus." She shuffled her paws and continued to stare at the ground.

Markus grinned. "Don't mention it. I mean hey, Pyre and I would be pretty shit friends if we hadn't saved you from certain death. Speaking of Pyre, I think I better go help him out."

He turned and rushed towards the creature, bowling it over and breathing fire wildly. Pyre bit and clawed at the creature, possibly trying to just wear it down. That tactic did seem to be working, as the creature's movements seemed to be growing sluggish. Markus kept blasting the thing with fire, which definitely wasn't painless. After a brief but intense struggle, the creature managed to get both Pyre and Markus off of it. Immediately, it took the opportunity to run back into the forest.

Now that the battle was over, both Growlithe came over to Chaplin.

It was Pyre who spoke first. "So, you gonna explain what the hell you were doin' gettin' yourself attacked?" He snarled through bared fangs.

Chaplin shrank back from him. She hadn't realized just how much danger she had put her friends in. "I--"

Markus snorted and raised a paw to shove Pyre. "Hey, Chap, don't worry about it. I'm sure it wasn't intentional or anything. Besides, you know how Pyre is. Just ignore him, okay?" Turning to Pyre, he added, "She was just trying to look at the sunrise when that… thing attacked her. So, uh, take it easy. A sunrise is a pretty big thing to miss." A note of humor crept into his voice on the last sentence.

Pyre scoffed. "Easy for you to say. You're the one who's colored like the damn sun."

That was true. Chaplin used to be curious about why Pyre was orange, like his Arcanine parents, but Markus was yellow. It had been only a few years ago when she was told that a differently colored pokemon was a "shiny", and was very rare.

Markus threw his head back and sighed dramatically. "Ugh, not this again… Come on, Pyre, don't be like that." He chuckled. "Ah, very funny, me… telling Pyre to change his ways is about as much use as trying to drink an ocean."

Pyre didn't even bother saying anything else. He just walked away, leaving Chaplin and Markus there.

It was a while before either of them spoke again.

"So… uh, Chap. I'm curious: did the purple guy say anything to you? Like… anything at all?"

"No."

"Wh- Nothing? Nothing at all?"

"I already said no." Chaplin said as she tilted her head. Why would Markus ask twice?

"...Huh. Alright. Well, I know one thing: Pierre's gonna have a field day when he finds out about this." Markus smiled widely. "Ha, yeah… crazy guy. Anyways, I guess I better get back home now. See ya around, Chap." Markus gave Chaplin a friendly nudge as he walked away.

Chaplin… wasn't sure what to do. Obviously, her routine had been ruined. Could she ever be sure that the mysterious figure wouldn't show up again? And what if next time, there was nobody around to save her? The thoughts sent shivers down her spine. She shook her head to try to rid herself of these thoughts. Now wasn't the time to be worrying about this. Hopefully, it was nothing more than a once in a lifetime occurrence.

"Peaceful Wrinvale… not so peaceful now, huh." She muttered to herself, as she finally looked somewhere other than the grass.
 

OrionTheAbsol

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PMD-esque with some violence? Well, count me in! Also, fair warning: I have a lot to say.

Chapter 1 - Hands Off
  • Mostly Dark types? Why mostly Dark types? Some lore reason to come up later?
  • Bad stigma? Might want to clarify this 'bad stigma' aside from, "Oh, they're just Dark so that means they're evil." That stigma had to come from somewhere: rumors, falsified stories, past incidents, prejudice, some kind of tension with other groups.
    • In my story as an example, I had a few groups that were experiencing some kind of stigma, but usually have some kind of reason backing it. The mentioned Absol clan was blamed for bringing the Shadow Pokémon into existence, and other nasty stuff like joining with that group or some kind of curse if you see one in person. Then there are the "uncivilized," who are simply just wild Pokémon who chose not to live in cities and are often carnivores.
  • A door, huh? What's this door made of to manage to stay standing for all those years? I'm imagining it as a thick metal shutter that's meant to keep intruders out.
  • Well, that bit about the vague organization kinda killed the mystery. I was hoping it's something that would be built up to later rather than answered right away.
  • A Hitmonlee named Ash? Hmmmmm.
  • Well, that escalated quickly. Why would the Hitmonlee think Seth's having a bad day? Did Seth come across a problem with the map?
  • Which one's Seth? The Sableye or the Lampent? It'd be weird calling Seth by name when he's standing right in front of Ash.
  • Shit to steal? Thieves huh?
  • Which reminds me, what does the map depict and where'd they get it? Is it like a free town map they can pick up anywhere or some other map they drew themselves?
  • I guess the Sableye doesn't know the concept of the "early bird." Like our little Shinx friend.
  • Not a very subtle Sableye, ain't he? He probably could've just wished the Shinx a good morning and be on his way without causing a ruckus. The Shinx isn't really doing anything other than lounging. If he can't knock out or kill a witness immediately, someone's bound to show up.
    • Like the two Growlthe that just showed up. My, what bad timing right there. What a surprise.
    • Also, why is the Shinx not fighting back?
  • Why and how does the Growlithe have a "bad feeling?" A bit of plot convenience there.
  • Kind of a tough Sableye to be tortured and battered by TWO Growlithe, and still have the energy to run away.
  • "So, you gonna explain what the hell you were doin' gettin' yourself attacked?"
    • "I'm here to watch the sunrise. Then this asshole came up and attacked me for no reason. So don't give me shit."
  • She hadn't realized just how much danger she had put her friends in.
    • Danger? They seemed to have handled that whole scuffle pretty well, considering they came out unharmed. The Sableye is probably a bloody mess by now, though.
  • Ah, shiny envy.
  • I mean, there are other ways Chaplin can continue this routine of watching the sun rise. Best one would probably be to just come with an escort. Maybe Markus can walk with her, unless he's supposed to busy at this time or something.
    • Which begs the question, what would she do if it rains or if it's very cloudy outside? She wouldn't be able to see the sun, so how else does she spend her time?
  • Also, Markus, yikes. Why would you leave her by herself again when she just got attacked? At least walk her home, treat her injuries or do something.
It's not a bad start overall, but I do have a few issues on how these scenes progressed.

The main issue is why the Sableye would just suddenly attack the Shinx like that, blowing his cover and immediately making him into an assailant. Now the locals will know that there's a shady Sableye wandering about somewhere. It feels too abrupt, plus it's pretty stupid for a thief to give himself away like that. The least he could do is lie to the Shinx that he's not up to something. The Sableye should only attack if the Shinx suspected that he's up to something, which you can build up to. Here's a little bit of dialogue I came up with on the spot.

Chaplin: W-what are you doing?
Seth: Oh, um...! I'm just passing by! Yeah! Nice day we're having today!
Chaplin: Um, sure. Are you from around here?
Seth: Oh no, I'm just your friendly traveling Sableye! Nice place you have here!
Chaplin: But why are you in the bushes?
Seth: I... I... I'm just looking for some berries! Yeah!
Chaplin: But there aren't any berries around here.
Seth: Oops, my bad! Hehehe! I guess I have to go elsewhere. Just pretend you didn't see me, okay?
Chaplin: Okay?
(This could be where the Sableye slips up as he's growing more nervous.)
Seth: Promise you won't tell anyone?
Chaplin: U-um...
Seth: (angered) Come on, kid. Say something!
Chaplin: (feels uncomfortable) Uhhhh, I have to go! (tries to run away)
Seth: Hey! (attacks the Shinx)

With some buildup, this scene would feel less abrupt and the Sableye would be justified in attacking the Shinx. He wouldn't want anyone squealing about him.

I also feel that the two Growlithe coming in for the rescue because of a "bad feeling" doesn't come across as natural (also a cliché that I'm not a fan of). This one's an easy fix. The Sableye didn't quite knock out the Shinx during the scuffle, so the Shinx could be crying for help (of course, the Sableye would try to silence her after that). And because Growlithe are dogs and dogs are known to have a heightened sense of hearing, they'll come to her rescue.

I'm not sure if the prologue really adds much to this chapter. All that information about Dusthill and the organization don't seem essential at this point, so you can probably cut this section entirely and just start the story with the Sableye and Lampent looking over the map. You can mention Dusthill and the organization at later points in the story when they're about to be relevant.

Your description is generic in some places. There's another cliché that I'm not a fan of, and that's when a character notes just how so peaceful their home is, right before something bad happens. Because absolutely NOTHING can go wrong! Try finding more descriptors on how you can imply it's a peaceful environment rather than saying it up front.

Invoking imagery using the five senses is one of the best ways to do this. I see that you've done some of this already. Think about the environment that the Shinx is in. What are the kinds of things you might notice? There are a lot of possibilities.
  • What's the temperature? The dawn period tends to have cooler and more pleasant temperatures, especially if the season is summer.
  • You mentioned grass. Is the grass covered in dew? Does the ground feel damp?
  • Depending on the season and location, mornings can get foggy. Is there a bit of fog?
  • What do the paved roads feel like against the Shinx's paw? Rough, coarse, smooth? Rocky? A bit painful to walk on?
  • Can the Shinx hear bird or bug Pokémon chirping? Are there other residents not too far away?
  • What does the air smell like? Are there aromatic plants or flowers along the way? Do they smell sweet and pleasant or do they stink, lol
  • Is there wind blowing? Is it gentle or intense? Does it ruffle the Shinx's fur?
  • Are there berry trees along the way? Does the Shinx take a sample of one? What does it taste like?
  • Does the Shinx note anything about her surroundings? Does she see a flock of bird Pokémon gliding above? Are there any odd footprints anywhere? Does anything seem abnormal or out of place?
Experiment a bit. Bring in some more life and see what you come up with.

That's all I have for today. I wish you the best of luck!
 
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Torchic W. Pip

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All right, I'll try not to repeat anything that Orion said because they made some good points, but I'll throw in my two cents.
Near a mountain range lay a town called Dusthill.
Fancy, a mountain range. And a mountain? Really fancy. And a door in the mountain? Really, really fancy. The mountain range doesn't have a specific name, so I'm assuming it's the only one in this land.
Though, perhaps there was another reason pokemon rarely came through.
"pokemon" should be formatted as "Pokémon".
Ash's eyes widened. "Oh! 'M sorry, Duke. I hadn't seen you there... Anyway, suppose it's best if we leave now, eh? See you around, little gremlin." He said as he crouched to wrap his arms around Seth.

"Gah! Damn it, ya asshat!" Seth grunted and wriggled his way out of Ash's embrace. He huffed and crossed his arms. "I've told ya to stop doing that."
I like the interactions here. It really helps flesh out the characters.
"I was going to go scout out this Wrinvale place. I heard from one of our recruits over in Shademire that it should be a good spot to look for shit to steal, maybe get a few more recruits along the way. Whaddya think?"
I'm a bit confused by where Wrinvale is in relationship to Shademire.
I'm also guessing that Chaplin will eventually go through Shademire, maybe even meet a few buddies there.
"Hey, Chaplin, looks like you got yourself in a mess, huh?" The Growlithe said with a glimmer of amusement in his eyes.
I like the name Chaplin. This isn't criticism or anything useful. I just like the name.
Markus snorted and raised a paw to shove Pyre. "Hey, Chap, don't worry about it. I'm sure it wasn't intentional or anything. Besides, you know how Pyre is. Just ignore him, okay?" Turning to Pyre, he added, "She was just trying to look at the sunrise when that… thing attacked her. So, uh, take it easy. A sunrise is a pretty big thing to miss." A note of humor crept into his voice on the last sentence.
I like Markus and Pyre's dynamic, too.
That was true. Chaplin used to be curious about why Pyre was orange, like his Arcanine parents, but Markus was yellow. It had been only a few years ago when she was told that a differently colored pokemon was a "shiny", and was very rare.
Oooh exploring how Pokémon react to shiny Pokémon. Always good to see.

Descriptions are a bit lacking, but you're really good at writing character dynamics. I'm interested in where this story will go.
 

AbraPunk

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(Wow, two reviews already?! That was fast!)

Also, fair warning: I have a lot to say.
I love when people have anything to say!

Might want to clarify this 'bad stigma' aside from, "Oh, they're just Dark so that means they're evil."
This isn't the reason there's a stigma!
...Okay, it's kind of that, but it's a bit complicated to explain. ;)

Also, why is the Shinx not fighting back?
Tried to, but couldn't quite get any hits in! It's a bit of a throwaway line, though, so no big deal if you missed it.

Kind of a tough Sableye to be tortured and battered by TWO Growlithe, and still have the energy to run away.
Well, there's a lore reason why he was still able to run after taking a beating like that. ;)

why the Sableye would just suddenly attack the Shinx like that, blowing his cover and immediately making him into an assailant.
It's a bit subtle, but the answer can be found in a piece of dialogue from earlier in the chapter.

The mountain range doesn't have a specific name, so I'm assuming it's the only one in this land.
I hadn't thought of giving it a specific name, but it certainly isn't the only mountain range!

pokemon" should be formatted as "Pokémon".
Really! Huh, thanks. (y)
 
Chapter 2: Dream Catcher

AbraPunk

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Trees towered over Chaplin, casting shadows darker than the secretion of a Tentacool. Moonlight broke through the canopy, lighting up the forest floor with patches of silvery salvation. Chaplin took wobbly steps into a spot of light, as she sat and took in her surroundings. She… didn't remember coming here. Why would she have come into the forest, especially at moonhigh? It was only common sense that anything outside of any towns or cities was dangerous territory, only to be ventured into by Exploration Teams. Chaplin, clearly, was not part of one. As she tried to determine when exactly she had gotten here, there was an unsettling realization:

It was silent.

Complete, and utter, silence. For all her life, she had never known true quiet. There was always something, or someone, making some kind of noise. But now… nothing. Not even a gust of wind, or the creak of a tree branch, or the call of a wild pokemon. Nothing.

Chaplin became aware of her own breathing, and the pounding rhythm of her heart. No, no, no, this wasn't right.

She stood and looked ahead. A straight path through the trees that stretched farther than she could see. Must have been where she was meant to go.

The trees were too plentiful to see in any other direction. This path, however, was completely devoid of them. Chaplin got an uneasy feeling, as though something were watching her. She whipped her head around, and saw nothing. Literally nothing, for everything behind her seemed to have been absorbed into the inky night. She froze, but regained her composure after a few seconds. Then she was back to walking the path.

Eventually, the path opened up to reveal an oddly circular clearing in the trees. A bare patch of earth occupied the center of it. Chaplin hesitated before putting one paw on the bare earth.

Then, there was a blinding flash of light that she had to close her eyes to avoid. When she opened her eyes again, she was surrounded by countless pokemon. Panicked, Chaplin whirled around, staring at all of the mysterious pokemon. She realized one thing: they were all transparent. The trees could clearly be seen through their forms, and yet… they still existed right there. An indescribable noise began to emanate from the ghost-like pokemon… almost like a thousand whispers crowding around Chaplin, pressuring her to do something. But what? What was it that these figures wanted her to do? The whispers only grew louder, and the ghostly pokemon drew closer, trapping her. She tried to shrink away from them, but they were everywhere. As the whispers turned into a crescendo, Chaplin dropped to the ground and put her paws over her ears in an attempt to block out the overwhelming noise. It was too much, far too much for her to handle. No, no, no…

She woke up. Quickly, she raised her head. Yes, she was back in her room. So… that must have been a dream. What an unusual experience! She stood and looked out the window. It was night… moonhigh, to be exact. Still the same day as when that thing had come from the forest. Despite that, an irresistible urge to go into that forest worked its way into Chaplin's head. She pondered whether it would really be a good idea to do so. Every reasonable cell in her body screamed that she should stay indoors, and keep living out her… relatively peaceful life. And yet… the thought of adventure! Of straying away from routine, and exploring the world! The thought terrified her.

Eh, what was the worst that could happen? She quickly made up her mind: she would go into that forest! Just as she had done earlier in the day, she snuck through the flapping door, and the wooden hall, and finally came outside.

Chaplin set off at a trot towards that wall of trees. The moon shone down on the environment, just as it had in the dream. She stopped to look around: there were not as many trees as there had been in the dream, certainly not enough to prevent travel. However, she didn't want to get lost, so she would simply stick to walking as straight as she possibly could.

It was only a matter of time before she encountered an obstacle: a river. The water rushed through its path at a… most likely dangerous speed. A pokemon as small as Chaplin would easily be swept away by the current. She sat and studied her surroundings. There were trees, of course, but Chaplin couldn't even hope to knock one over. Oh! A small rock sat on the bank. Perhaps…

Chaplin walked over to the rock. It was actually a bit larger than she had initially thought, but it shouldn't have posed too much of a challenge to push it. She threw her whole weight against the rock, and was surprised to feel it shift. Thankfully, the rock tumbled into the water, and stayed there. Now she had a way to get across. She hopped up onto the top of the rock, balancing on the very tip, and then leaped across to the other side.

The forest remained the same as she walked further into it. There was no threatening void, no ghosts. There was noise, though. Every now and again, Chaplin would hear the crack of twigs as she stepped on them, or the distant call of a pokemon. Nothing close by, though.

She soon lost herself in her thoughts: what if she disappeared? Would anybody care? What would happen if this adventure into the forest was her demise? What--

She stopped dead in her tracks, for she glanced up and realized exactly where she was. The clearing where the ghosts had appeared in her dream. Slowly, Chaplin took it in: the circle was… well, a circle. That patch of earth was in the middle, just as it had been. But what would happen if she were to place her paw there? Surely no ghosts would appear. Everyone knew ghosts only appeared to those who deserved to be punished! ...Right?

"Well, here goes nothing." She mumbled as she put a paw on the earth.

For a few seconds, nothing happened. Then, there was an odd buzzing noise. It was so faint that she almost didn't notice it at first. It suddenly grew louder, and Chaplin felt herself being lifted off the ground. Was she… floating? Impossible! There was no Flying-type Shinx! And yet, beyond all explanation, Chaplin was going higher and higher into the air. She froze in shock and could only watch as the forest grew smaller, as the night sky enveloped her vision, almost resembling the void from her dream. And then… there was a flash of light. And she hit solid ground.
 

Torchic W. Pip

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Ooh, new chapter. That was quick. I have two minor grammatical/wording nitpicks, so I'll get those out of the way before I get into my overall thoughts:
Chaplin took wobbly steps into a spot of light, as she sat and took in her surroundings.
"As" should probably be replaced with "and".
Still the same day as when that thing had come from the forest.
It seems weird to use the word "day" when it's night.

I was able to guess right away that this was the dream chapter (and I forgot to read the threadmarks oops), though I'm not saying that as a bad thing. I really like the spooky atmosphere you set up in the dream sequence. I could feel Chaplin's panic. The descriptions of light and darkness was really cool, too.

Chaplin's decision to go out into the forest seems a bit jarring. The best solution for this would be to either:

1. Set Chaplin up in the first chapter as being dissatisfied with how peaceful Wrinvale is and wanting more than what it offers her. That, way, her desire for adventure makes more sense.
2. Have Chaplin be not so much curious for adventure, but more so curious for what that dream meant and wanting to go see if the events of it will happen in real life. A lot of people (like me) have strange dreams in familiar places/with familiar people/etc. and want to know what they mean. Maybe Chaplin has a similar thing going on. Maybe she's very superstitious or something.

I also really liked the callback to the dream's silence vs the noise of reality. Good stuff.

Ooh, this ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. I'm excited to see what's next.
 

OrionTheAbsol

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Chapter 2: Dream Catcher
  • Trees towered over Chaplin, casting shadows darker than the secretion of a Tentacool.
    • That's a weird and strangely specific comparison. Honestly felt out of place to a forest.
  • To how she ended up in this place... I'm going to guess it's a dream. Not even considering the chapter name here.
    • Oh, I was right.
  • Well, that's a pretty vague and oddly creepy dream. Surely, it can't be a prophecy of more things to come?
    • Oh, I was right again.
  • "Oh, I'm so scared to go out there! But... but... ADVENTURE!"
  • Eh, what was the worst that could happen?
    • I dunno. Getting attacked by a random Sableye again? Did she already forget what happened the day before?
  • How narrow is this river that it takes just one single rock with no adjustments to bridge across it (and undisturbed by the apparently strong current)? Looking for shallows would probably be the more sensible solution here.
  • She soon lost herself in her thoughts: what if she disappeared? Would anybody care? What would happen if this adventure into the forest was her demise? What--
    • Aside from the two Growlithe from before, none of that was established yet. We know very little about her relationship with the other local Pokémon. In fact, I can't say I particularly care for the Shinx yet since we hardly know a thing about her character.
  • There was no Flying-type Shinx!
    • Can't say the random bit of humor here landed its mark.
Interesting sequence of events, though Chaplin's lack of real goal/motive and flat characterization are a disservice to her. Can't bring myself to care about what happens to her, because there's nothing to care about. From what I can infer, she lives alone from other Pokémon and is seemingly timid. She spends her mornings watching the sun rise, but we don't know anything about what she does for the rest of the day. We don't know if she has family or how close she is to her Growlithe neighbors. The whole bit about yearning for adventure feels forced. Feels like we're just making a beeline for the plot.

Sorry that I don't have many positive aspects to mention, but I feel like these two chapters need some editing. A better foundation, if you will.
 

AbraPunk

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(woah, speedy reviews)

  • To how she ended up in this place... I'm going to guess it's a dream. Not even considering the chapter name here.
    • Oh, I was right.
  • Well, that's a pretty vague and oddly creepy dream. Surely, it can't be a prophecy of more things to come?
    • Oh, I was right again.
I... can't tell if these remarks are negative? Judging by the rest of the review, though, they are. Thank you for your feedback

Feels like we're just making a beeline for the plot.
Apologies! These first few chapters are a bit fast, but by chapter 5 things should cool down for a while and there will be space for proper character development, so readers will learn much more.

Sorry that I don't have many positive aspects to mention, but I feel like these two chapters need some editing. A better foundation, if you will.
I agree! I do plan to fix up some things in these first two chapters and see what I can do to improve them. Thank you!
 
Chapter 3: A Perfect Circle

AbraPunk

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(Hi! I've received reviews on other sites where the ending bit of this chapter was criticized! I do plan to fix it soon. ^^)

Cold. It was so very cold. The air was frigid and chilled her to the very core. That… wasn't right. It hadn't been cold at all earlier! Chaplin shivered as the wind pierced right through her fur.

Oh gods, what just happened?

Chaplin kept her eyes shut for a while. She wasn't sure that she even wanted to open them. Eventually, though, she knew she would have to. There was no better time than now.

Cautiously, she began to open one eye, and almost immediately snapped both fully open.

She was looking directly at the stars. That was odd, but it didn't bother her nearly as much as the bright green at the edge of her vision.

Chaplin stood, legs stiff from the cold. The first thing she noticed was the feeling of whatever she was standing on. It was… also cold. Smooth. She looked down and yelped loudly.

There was nothing to be standing on. The gods-damned stars were right beneath her. And yet… she wasn't falling. No sign of any immediate danger. What…?

In shock, she looked around. Her surrounding environment… it was all space and stars. Stars in every direction, so tantalizingly close. In reality, though, Chaplin knew they were farther than she could ever imagine. The inky blackness of the sky, just like that dream.

What is this place?

That same bright green she had seen only a few moments ago: a thick line of it wrapped around a rather large area of the starry abyss, forming a circle within the darkness.

Chaplin was about to put one paw over the edge, just to see if there was perhaps anything there, when she heard a loud noise: pshewwww. She jumped in fright and whipped around, then suddenly seized up, as though paralyzed. But that was impossible: everyone knew there was no way to paralyze an Electric type!

Right in front of her was an Abra, but something about this one was different. They had spots of lighter skin all around their body.

Chaplin noticed the pink energy coming off of the Abra's hands and realized that they must have used some kind of Psychic-type move to be keeping her in place like this.

The Abra simply stayed where they were for a few seconds, before they spoke up: "You were taking too long. Come on."

The Abra teleported, taking Chaplin with him. She had never been teleported anywhere before, and it was an odd experience. The world seemed to squish and stretch before her very eyes, then it all blinked out like the tail flame of a Charmander caught in a storm. For a few seconds, she seemed to be gliding across space… similar to the stories of those Mutated Raichu that stood on their own tails to get around.

Everything came back in a pink flash. Chaplin found herself in another part of the circle. As soon as she landed, her legs wobbled, and she nearly collapsed. That Abra must have released his Psychic hold on her after the teleportation. He appeared soon after, and floated over to another pokemon: a Lurantis.

She waited for a few seconds before walking over to where they were.

"Um… hello," Chaplin began uneasily, "Can either of you tell me where I am?"

The Abra ignored her, while the Lurantis turned to her to speak. "Hello! You're in a very special place, that's really all I can say right now. It's good to have you here."

"What does that mean? Am I-- Are we dead?"

The Lurantis blinked before shaking his head. "No, no, we're not dead--"

The Abra interrupted with a scoff and: "Hmph. I wish."

Chaplin stared at the Abra.

What? That doesn't make any sense--

There was a high ringing noise that made Chaplin flinch. Neither of the other pokemon seemed to be affected by it. Then:

<Don't.>

A voice in Chaplin's head that wasn't hers. It was the Abra's.

Her eyes widened, and she knew she must have looked like an idiot, just standing there like that, but this was all a lot to take in.

"How did…?" She questioned before realizing: Duh, he's a Psychic type. Of course he can do that. Use your brain.

<Use your brain, indeed.>


The Lurantis had watched all of this happen, and simply looked at Chaplin with vague worry.

"Er, I do apologize for the behavior of my partner over here," He began, with a glance at the Abra, "he's not very used to being nice." A pause. "Do you have anything to say for yourself?"

The Abra crossed his arms. "No. I do not see myself as being rude in any way."

Chaplin interrupted before the Lurantis could answer. "Sorry to bother, but do either of you have names? You haven't told me yet, and I just think it would be nice to know…"

The Lurantis gasped. "Oh, I'm sorry, how very inconsiderate of me! I'm Landon."

The Abra's ear twitched. "Aster."

"Nice to meet you both. I'm Chaplin." She smiled slightly as she introduced herself. As she got to thinking about everything, she realized something. "Uh… Landon, was it? You never did tell me where we are."

Landon hesitated before responding, "I would tell you, but I'm not entirely sure if our boss will let us."

"Your boss?" She tilted her head.

<We both work for someone. Was that not obvious? Hmm, I would think that for someone who was called here, you would be smarter.>

Chaplin recoiled away from Aster. "Uh- no, it really wasn't. You can't just assume I know everything right away." She bared her fangs a bit, and took a step towards him. "I mean, come on, I'm not a gods-damned brainiac or something like that, and if that's not the case, then clearly you must think you're so high and mighty--"

Landon glanced between the two of them. "Chaplin, please, calm down."

She ignored Landon, and took another step towards Aster, who simply remained where he was, looking down upon her. "You call me stupid, and we're gonna have a problem. I--"

Her voice cut off abruptly as a glowing, transparent hand suddenly appeared and wrapped around her throat.

What the hell?!

She looked around, and saw that Aster's own hand was glowing that same pink color as it had been earlier.

Oh, gods damn you.

Landon recoiled in horror. "Aster! What are you--"

"Shut up." Aster snarled in response.

The hand lifted her off the ground and violently slammed her back down, so that she was now struggling underneath it.

Aster slowly walked over to her. He leaned down and hissed into her ear, "You know nothing about me. For your own sake, know when to stop talking."

The giant hand squeezed her throat tighter for a few seconds, before it tossed her like a pebble across a pond.

It then faded out of existence.

Landon rushed over to her, and knelt. "Oh dear, are you alright? I- I'm so sorry he did that, I had no idea he would--"

Chaplin got to her paws and shook her head. "Don't apologize. That guy, he seems… off. "

Landon nodded. "...He is, but I assure you, he's not usually like this. Now, if you'll excuse me." He stood and marched back over to Aster. "I'm sorry to use such crude language, but what the hell was that for?!" He said angrily.

Aster shrugged. "I needed to teach her a lesson."

"Well, I'm sure you could have done it in a much more peaceful way!"

"No. There was no other way." His voice wavered slightly as he spoke.

Chaplin just watched them argue.

No point in going over, not if that's going to happen again.

Suddenly, she felt a presence somewhere, as though someone was watching her. It wasn't Aster; no, it couldn't have been.

Then who…?

"Woah, heyyyy. What happened here?"

Chaplin turned and saw the newcomer. It was--

Oh my gods.

It was Palkia.

Palkia, the god of space himself? He's here? Why?!

Chaplin wasn't sure whether she should grovel, scream, or cry. She was in the presence of a literal god, and one of the Twelve, at that.

Palkia looked around the circle slowly. "Hmm. Yeah, looks like a fight." He sighed deeply. "C'mon, guys, I can't leave for ten minutes without hell breaking loose?" It was only then he noticed Chaplin there. "Oh. Hey, 'sup. I, uh, I'll get to you right now. Lemme just…" He glared at Aster. "I thought you were better than that, dude. Say sorry."

Aster huffed and turned away. "I don't owe any apologies to anyone."

Landon bowed to Palkia. "I'll apologize on his behalf, Palkia. It won't happen again."

"Right. It better not." He turned to Chaplin. "Sorry about Aster's behavior, kid. He's kinda… on edge around new people."

She just glanced over at Aster, then turned her attention back to Palkia. "Y-Yeah, I thought that was the case." She shuffled her paws around for a moment. "Er… I'm sorry, but why am I here, exactly?"

Palkia paused. "Huh? Oh! Didn't Landon or Aster already tell you?"

"...Nope."

He threw his hands up in exasperation. "Oh my-- you guys!! Do I have to do everything around here? Jeez, I know I'm a god and all, but c'mon. Ugh." He put a hand to his head. "Listen, kid. The only reason you're here-- okay, actually there's a few reasons, but whatever-- uh, anyways, the only reason you're here is because, long story short, I may or may not need help with trying to stop this world from spiraling into complete chaos.
"Look, I got my own problems with trying to stop rogue gods from slaughtering all you mortals anyways, so that's kind of a lot on my plate, if you get what I'm saying. Thankfully, I'm able to kick everyone's asses and discourage them from even trying, because clearly there hasn't been any mass extinction yet. Now, like I just said, this takes up a lot of my time, so I can't deal with mortal problems. That's why I need guys like Landon and Aster to help out with, y'know, smaller things.
"Okay, sorry, I kinda… rambled there, but my point is: I think you might be a good choice to be the third member of this group. You in?"

Chaplin froze.

He's asking me if I want to be a part of this?

She looked over at Landon and Aster. At least Landon seemed nice, but Aster… she wasn't sure if she could work with someone who nearly choked her out.

Well, maybe he'll get better.

Then, this whole situation… 'stopping the world from spiraling into complete chaos,' as Palkia had said.

That sounds like it would be really difficult to deal with. ...But then again, I don't think this is something many Pokémon would ever get the chance to be part of. I can go on adventures and see the world! I could fight bad guys... and maybe make a bunch of new friends!

She mulled over everything before she looked to Palkia. "Alright, I'm in."
 
Last edited:

Torchic W. Pip

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Hey I’m back. Sorry for disappearing.
She was looking directly at the stars. That was odd, but it didn't bother her nearly as much as the bright green at the edge of her vision.
Woah just like in that video game. I don’t remember which one, but there was, like, green surrounding your field of view whenever you took a hit or something (unless I’m misreading this part).
Chaplin stood, legs stiff from the cold. The first thing she noticed was the feeling of whatever she was standing on. It was… also cold. Smooth. She looked down and yelped loudly.

There was nothing to be standing on. The gods-damned stars were right beneath her. And yet… she wasn't falling. No sign of any immediate danger. What…?
Woah is she standing on an invisible thing or something?
similar to the stories of those Mutated Raichu that stood on their own tails to get around.
Ahhhh so Alola Raichu are called Mutated Raichu in this world. Interesting.
Her voice cut off abruptly as a glowing, transparent hand suddenly appeared and wrapped around her throat.

What the hell?!
What the hell is right.

Also correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m imagining them standing on platforms like the ones in Olympia’s Gym. Am I getting the mental image right?
Aster slowly walked over to her. He leaned down and hissed into her ear, "You know nothing about me. For your own sake, know when to stop talking."
Woah woah woah what emotional baggage does Aster have?
It was Palkia.
G a s p
one of the Twelve
Oooh who are the other eleven?
Palkia looked around the circle slowly. "Hmm. Yeah, looks like a fight." He sighed deeply. "C'mon, guys, I can't leave for ten minutes without hell breaking loose?" It was only then he noticed Chaplin there. "Oh. Hey, 'sup. I, uh, I'll get to you right now. Lemme just…" He glared at Aster. "I thought you were better than that, dude. Say sorry."
Ok this is kind of funny. The idea of seeing this big fricking god and seeing him talk like “sup man” is very funny.
He threw his hands up in exasperation. "Oh my-- you guys!! Do I have to do everything around here? Jeez, I know I'm a god and all, but c'mon. Ugh." He put a hand to his head. "Listen, kid. The only reason you're here-- okay, actually there's a few reasons, but whatever-- uh, anyways, the only reason you're here is because, long story short, I may or may not need help with trying to stop this world from spiraling into complete chaos.
"Look, I got my own problems with trying to stop rogue gods from slaughtering all you mortals anyways, so that's kind of a lot on my plate, if you get what I'm saying. Thankfully, I'm able to kick everyone's asses and discourage them from even trying, because clearly there hasn't been any mass extinction yet. Now, like I just said, this takes up a lot of my time, so I can't deal with mortal problems. That's why I need guys like Landon and Aster to help out with, y'know, smaller things.
"Okay, sorry, I kinda… rambled there, but my point is: I think you might be a good choice to be the third member of this group. You in?"
There should be a paragraph space… thing in between these three paragraphs. Like this:
He threw his hands up in exasperation. "Oh my-- you guys!!…I may or may not need help with trying to stop this world from spiraling into complete chaos.

"Look, I got my own problems with trying to stop rogue gods from slaughtering all you mortals anyways…I need guys like Landon and Aster to help out with, y'know, smaller things.

“…sorry, I kinda… rambled there, but my point is: I think you might be a good choice to be the third member of this group. You in?”

Interesting stuff. Very mystical and mysterious.
 

System Error

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All right review challenge. I'll read the first chapter of this! Just the first, because I didn't plan things out or have as much time as I expected I might.

- Well right away this is a little goofy. Not capitalizing Pokemon, but capitalizing species names and type names? It's different, at least.
- A mysterious door you can't open in a mountain? Culex is behind it, make sure you're prepared once you find the key
- I wonder how they get food inside there.
- Whoa whoa is this an Ash fic? kekw
- So does no one ever see anyone leaving the door?
- Random attacks from jerks in the mountain! Because they're jerks and looking for people to beat up instead of shit to steal.
- This isn't the first time I've seen such a nonchalant battle in a fic, but it's usually amusing
- They had a bad feeling? Uh, instinct is a thing, but that's kind of a contrived coincidence.
- Shinies, the most common way in PMD to have a character be distinct
- And left to ponder things at the end

Kind of a bizarre uneasy start to things. I think Orion did a better job of describing some of the storytelling flaws with this chapter than me, so I won't repeat them. Stuff to keep in mind. Too busy blitzing to get to the rest, but it's not the worst start either. Sets things up and gives a clear direction. Could certainly do with more showing and less telling, though. Stuff to keep in mind as you write on!
 
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