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Jun 22, 12 at 5:18pm ^re: The Pokémon Contest
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I said yes to the C+C, so after Zach says yes, then we'll probably start giving it out next judging. And I forgot to tell you guys, the deadline is always a week after the judging. So in that case, it'll be 29th June, or the 28th for you wacky Americans. =P
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Jun 22, 12 at 7:42pm ^re: The Pokémon Contest
Kubrick and I talked more and if SN gives approval we will PM quick statements about what was good and what was bad if you want to wait a bit for that before writing your entries.
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Jun 22, 12 at 9:11pm ^re: The Pokémon Contest
Glad to see the feedback idea is garnering support .
Anyways, for any of the fellow contestants, I'm posting my last round's submission in the spoiler below.
Spoiler:Rd. 1 Submission - FluffySk1lls
Key: Italics – Talking through dream
Life…What’s important in life nowadays? We wake up, do our own routine, lull throughout the day with menial activities, and lay our heads in rest, then repeat until we die…But if there was a reason to make life worth it, it would be accomplishing a dream. Oh wait, this is a dream…
Scarlotte, a slender young woman at the age of 16, cocoa brown hair, with dazzling streaks of a sandy yellow, awoke to the obnoxious voice of her mother.
Today was the day, the day in which Scarlotte would finally receive a Pokémon from Professor Sycamore. This was an important day in all 16-year olds’ lives, the day these young adults begin the journey to their future, from Pokémon masters to breeders to coordinators, to even store clerks.
Scarlotte trudged down the stairs, half asleep, when her mother shoved a bowl of beige oats in her arms “Oh joy, another day of Ash-O’s…” Scarlotte remarked sarcastically. “Hey, don’t get fussy with me, your father wants you out of the house quick, or else Professor Sycamore will be out of Pokémon.” Grudgingly, Scarlotte obliged, as she poured milk into the bowl. Suddenly, a pounding ensued at Scarlotte’s door.
“Scarlotte, you’ve gotta hurry, Sucamore’s got five Pokémon left! Let’s go!” She knew the voice. It was her best friend, Peri. She knew he butchered the Professor’s name, as both teenagers had a feud with the professor’s daughter Myrtle. Scarlotte understood if she didn’t hurry, Myrtle would make both her and Peri the laughingstocks of the town. She shoveled the last of the oats into her mouth, and raced to the door, when Peri walked in. Both friends hit the ground in mere seconds. Both heads hit the floor with excruciating force. Neither would get up within the minute.
“Scar? Scar? Peri? Peri?! Oh my goodness! HEEEEEELLLLLPPPP!!@!”
That’s all I remembered when I turned 16. Here I am, after 3 years of stagnancy, 3 years of immobility, 3 years…I awoke from the coma when I turned 18, and began rehabilitation. They say I suffered a coma because the impact the floor and my head had caused an extreme disturbance, so my brain shut down…I’m now 19, they say, but I haven’t moved out of my bed since the accident. The nurses want me to try to move today...
“Ahem, Scarlotte, are you awake?” A nurse asked. “Yes, Nurse Wratchet.” Nurse Wratchet was a nice nurse, who watched over her wing of the hospital as if the patients were her own children. “Good, we’re going to get you started with walking today. Now, hold your arms out and secure a grip on my arms…Good, now here comes the hard part, don’t let go…” Scarlotte trembled with fear surrounding her. “Now, gently lower your left foot onto the tile. Gently…Gently…Almost…There. Congratulations, that’s the first step in three years. Now, gently with the right foot…Easy…Come on, you can do this.” Scarlotte’s arms were swaying, until Nurse Wratchet smacked Scarlotte in the face. “Snap out of your nervousness, you can do this.” Scarlotte quickly reassured her mind. She focused solely on the arms anchored by Wratchet and her two frail feet. “There, that’s enough for the day. Good job Scar, I think we can get you fully capable within a month.”
A month…one month, and I can get out…the past year has been hell. I’ve learned to write with both hands, control objects with my hands, do simple math, learn to feed myself, and finally, in a month, I can regain my past. But at what cost will I earn this chance of redemption…
Scar picked up the remote placed on her food tray, and clicked on the television mounted in the corner of the room. She clawed at the accessible dresser to her right and grabbed the television guide. “Hm, PokéTrainer Television. I haven’t seen it in some time. Maybe Lance is on still.” She pressed the combination for PTT, and two crystal-clear faces came to her eyes in that instant. Peri. Myrtle. Battling for the Champion’s spot in the Elite 4. “Nurse Wratchet, do you know what happened to Lance? He used to be an amazing Champion.” Nurse Wratchet trotted over and grabbed a chair, pulling it aside Scarlotte’s bed. “Scarlotte, Lance was dethroned as Champion three years ago. Myrtle has been Champion ever since.” Scarlotte’s face ran red with immense rage. “Nurse, why didn’t you tell me?! And when did Peri become the challenger?!” Wratchet immediately apologized to the rambunctious woman. “Scar, the last thing we wanted to do was to upset you before you could begin walking, we knew if you saw Myrtle on the television that you would try to get yourself out of the hospital, and risk not only your safety, but other patients. Peri didn’t have a coma like you. Peri sustained a concussion, and we let him walk a week later.”
I am Scarlotte Fig. I am 19 years old. I’m having the second worst day of my life today. My worst was when I turned 16.
I wrote this because I knew if needed, I could go into extreme detail for follow-ups, but I (am guessing) I threw some readers off-balance with the quick shift between the "accident" and awaking from the coma. I might continue this as well, I really liked the potential this submission has for future additions.
The three adolescent characters got their names from colors, I just felt it would be a good theme for them. Nurse Wratchet's name originally came from the play "One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest", yes, it's a movie too, but I definitely liked the play, and the Nurse in there I feel, would do the same in this story had she been in here.
The basis of why I chose this was because I felt a bit ambitious. I've never seen a story or fanfic regarding medical issues and Pokémon together, and the 2-year advance of B/w and B2/W2 also played a role in this. The coma-inducing incident is extremely unlikely, from a practical view, but again, I felt creative, and it was a new aspect I've never ventured into. C&C appreciated .
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Jun 23, 12 at 4:37am ^re: The Pokémon Contest
- PM us if you want C&C. Don't post in the thread that you want it, and don't wait for us to PM you. It keeps the thread tidy, and we don't have to go through the trouble of PMing everyone, especially if they don't want it. ^^
- Must PM judge individually; not a group chat. It just makes C&C a bit more personal, and you can have a one-on-one chat with the judge. We're here to help you, so anything that doesn't make sense to you, we can go through it, but it's up to you to fully use that. We'll just give you advice and explain it.
- Don't get so offensive when we tell you something that you need tow ork on. It's all in respect, and we're trying to have some excellent writers in here, so don't go all mad that we told you that you need to work on something, since it's not our faults that you took it the wrong way.
Excited to see some entries coming up. (:
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Jun 26, 12 at 4:27pm ^re: The Pokémon Contest
Hey guys, just reminding you that it's the 26th/27th depending on your timezone and the deadline is the 28th/29th which is in two days. And we have only gotten one entry so far. So just don't forget that the deadline is coming up very soon. It'd be a very sad round if only one story was sent it. Good luck on your entries and we hope to read them soon.
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Jun 28, 12 at 2:53am ^re: The Pokémon Contest
Sent my entry in a few hours ago (like... 2:30 in the morning), so I'll post my entry from the first round for your reading pleasure.
Manifest Destiny – Songs of Silence
A Narrative through the “eyes” of Zowie Sunden
Life on its own is a hard and tiring affair. Every event has its challenges, whether it’s simply crying and clinging to your mother’s hand, screaming that you don’t want to go to school, or graduating your Pokémon class, and preparing to leave home. Yeah… life’s a hoot.
The sun fell through gaps in the clouds above, warming my clammy and sweaty skin. Up until today, I’d told myself that I was ready. Told myself over and over that because I’d studied and passed every test that was put in front of me, that I was ready to get my Trainers License and leave Mahogany Town once and for all. It was every kid’s dream once they turned ten, providing they didn’t have overprotective parents, like mine. The only reason I was able to even take the course was because my parents knew the examiner personally, and had probably bribed him to make me fail. Well, there was my ready-made excuse for failing in a few hours. Either the bribe or they wouldn’t have a test made up in Braille.
Sitting in a hard backed wooden chair at the back of the room, the loud, clear, and slightly sharp voice of Mister Hummel, our examiner told us to begin. My fingertips lightly brushed the paper before I pushed them into the air. The paper was flat, flat like everyone else’s. It was smooth, crisp and new, with patches of rough where the ink had been printed, but not distinguishable enough to read.
“Zowie?” Mr. Hummel asked, his footsteps nearing my desk. “What’s the matter?”
Sheepishly, and trying to ignore the giggles and whispers around me, I muttered, “I can’t read this test sir.”
“Oh yes, that’s right. Settle down everyone!” he barked, as the class had started chatting. I wished he’d let them go. “We have an oral exam ready for you, follow me.”
I didn’t need to be led, I knew the layout of the room by heart, but he still insisted on taking my wrist and leading me down the second row, past three long tables, and across the front of the room to the old door on the east wall. Inside the room there was one table, and three chairs, one for me, one for my examiner, and one for my father, so he could watch. I was the last to enter the room for the second I sat down, the questions began.
“We are-“ he began.
“In Mahogany Town.” I finished.
“South of the Lake of Rage, and east of Ecruteak City.”
“Very good.” I did not smile. “Now, Professor Elm lives where?”
“New Bark Town.” The answers came mechanically, as if a robot sat where I should.
“And the three Pokémon he presents new trainers to choose from are?”
“Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile.”
“What are their types?”
I sighed, and began the speech. “Chikorita is obviously a grass type, as its body is green, and a single leaf sprouts from the top of her head. Cyndaquil is a fire type, because when it becomes angry or scared, flames erupt out of its back. Totodile is a water type, as they are almost always found close to water.”
I could sense, rather than see the examiner nodding his head. The questions continued in this fashion for some time. I answered when bidden, and listened when appropriate. With any kind of luck, I’d be off soon to pursue a dream of my own, somewhere far, far away. Before long, I’d lost count of how many questions I’d answered, though I hadn’t gotten a single one wrong. Surely soon the test would be over!
Still in a daze from the torrent of questions, I rose and shook the hand of my examiner, and let my father unnecessarily lead me back to the house. Was it over, really finally over? Had I passed? Questions swirled around my head faster than I could process a single one. Would my mother and father even let me leave if I passed?
Upon arriving back at home, we sat, and waited. The rest of the students would receive their answer right there in the room, but I had to wait. My examiner had to grade the rest of the student’s tests, before he could come and report to me and my parents. So we sat. Mom strummed her fingers on the table, and Dad kept tapping his foot on the floor. The clock kept track as the seconds lengthened into minutes, which lengthened into hours, or at least, what felt like hours. I could hear them whispering to themselves, but not loudly enough for me to make out what they were saying.
“Zowie?” my mother started, somewhat hesitantly.
“Your father and I have been talking for quite some time, about what you’re going to do once you leave.”
“Let me finish Zow. We know you can get around here perfectly fine. You know this town like the back of your hand, but the rest of the world isn’t like that.”
Dad continued, “We know you’ve never liked using the cane, so even if we sent you with one, you wouldn’t use it.”
“So,” my Mom started, “We had to look for something else, and we think we’ve found the answer.”
“We’ve got in touch with a Service Pokémon Training Company from Olivine.” My Dad explained, every word heightening my excitement. “They delivered him yesterday while you were in class. We wanted to wait until you got your license, but there’s no chance they’ll fail you now. Hold out your hand Zow.”
I obliged, and felt something curiously warm and smooth, a perfect sphere. I’d held Dad’s before, but this was different. This was mine. He was mine. Gently, I slid my fingers across its glassy surface, and found the release button on the front. Energy surged through my fingertips as I let him out for the first time.
“He’s yours, Kirin, the Girafarig. Go ahead Zow.”
I reached out, and my fingers dug themselves into his fur. A soft hum emanated from somewhere in his throat. I could feel his heartbeat, feel his muscles tense and shift as he adjusted his footing. His tail twitched, and he pushed the end of his tail into my other hand. In an instant, I felt my world completely change. Shapes began to fade in and out of vision. I could see. I could see, but not through my own eyes. I was looking through Kirin’s eyes, and as he turned his head to look about the room. My heart nearly burst as he turned our eyes to my parents, sitting together on the couch. He purred again in response, and turned his head once more. In a state of ecstatic shock, I was looking up into my own face. I saw my own pale brown eyes looking in wonder. My own thin lips were slightly parted, showing slightly bucked front teeth. My cheeks were with fast-flowing, hot tears. I could see! Pass or fail at this point, I didn’t care anymore, our eyes were the greatest gift I could ever receive in this lifetime.
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Jun 28, 12 at 12:58pm ^re: The Pokémon Contest
Team Hydro Aura
Today is the deadline day. You have about 10 hours or so but still I wouldn't wait 9 hours if I were you. So get your entries in soon.
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Jun 28, 12 at 3:50pm ^re: The Pokémon Contest
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Jun 30, 12 at 10:39pm ^re: The Pokémon Contest
This round, we unfortunately we had Team Hydro Aura not submit an entry. This means she automatically gets a 0 from all three judges. Of course, after her higher scores from last week, she may still be in the running to win the contest, however she'll need to catch up next week.
In 7th place, we have CrazyLegz, getting a 4 from me, and 3 from the other two judges. This got him 10 out of 30.
Next we have Hmszelda, in 6th place. She got a 4 from me, and 4.5 from the other two judges. This gets her 13 out of 30.
In 5th place, we have Vast, who scored 15 out of 30. Vast scored straight 5s from all the judges.
In 4th place, we have Skyexplorer. Skyexplorer got a 5.5 from me, and a 5 from the other two judges. This gives him a 15.5 out of 30.
Next we have vaporeongirl2010, who scored 5.5 from all the judges. This gives her 16.5 out of 30.
In 2nd, we have FluffySk1lls, who scored 22.5. He scored a 7.5 from all the judges. He got 22.5 out of 30.
And in 1st place is Lizz, who still gains her place at the top of the leaderboard. She got 8s from all the judges, and got 24 out of 30. Also, she's awarded "The Story that didn't use Team Magma or Aqua, or had nothing to do with Groudon, Kyogre or Rayquaza".
So who left this week. Here's the leaderboard;
Lizz - 49
FluffySk1lls - 42.5
Vapereongirl2010 - 37
Skyexplorer - 33.5
Vast - 32
Hmszelda - 27
Crazy Legz - 26
Team Hydro Aura - 23.5
Unfortunately, the person with the lowest amount of points must go, and so we say farewells to Team Hydro Aura. So, next round.
Plot: Pick a fairytale, and incorporate Pokémon into it. For instance, The Three Little Tepigs (a really bad example.) Be creative. ^^
Once again, C&C is welcomed, just remember to PM us individually. You can also post your entry for everyone to read. And good luck for your entries.
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Jul 1, 12 at 3:49pm ^re: The Pokémon Contest
Wait am i still in the contest?
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Jul 1, 12 at 3:51pm ^re: The Pokémon Contest
quote Crazy LegzYes, 8th place was Team Hydro Aura, you're now in 7th place out of 7. Who ever is in 7th place after this round will be the one going home.
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Team Hydro Aura
RYUU GA WAGA TEKI WO KURAU!
total posts: 14450
since: Oct 2009
Jul 2, 12 at 6:38pm ^re: The Pokémon Contest
Ah well! I was basically completely busy all week and barely ever at home, so I only got it about half done. It was fun while it lasted :'D
I guess I'll post my first round entry:
He softly stroked the snow-white muzzle of his newest and closest friend.
“You are the Wind, and I am the Sky. Before, I was merely a blade of grass occasionally caressed by your unforgiving beauty. Now, however, I realize that you and I have always belonged together, as partners.” A soft purr escaped the beast’s throat, showing it’s delight. He thought of how much it acted as though it were feline, despite being canine. It’s flowing grace and beauty, it’s amazing preciseness and accuracy, it’s fleeting and apathetic nature. “Together, you and I can either shake the strongest foundations from their core or be like the breath of an angel. From the strength of a hurricane to the gentleness of a breeze, you and I are... the greatest of combinations!”
It’s bright red eyes suddenly fluttered open, immediately fixating on him. “Sui.”
“Don’t fret, Suicune. It’s only a matter of time.” The room around them was dark, so Suicune’s eyes seemed to glow evilly. Despite this, he still found Suicune to be the most beautiful thing in the world. Soon enough, they’ll all see our power together. They’ll understand everything when they see our beauty!
“Let’s say a big hello to our next entrant all the way from Celadon City, a last minute contestant!” The voice was shrill and feminine, so the sound of it annoyed both of them.
“The time has come.” The quickly fading red light engulfed Suicune as it returned to it’s ball. The ball itself was a crystal clear blue, the same as perfectly clean lake water. The man had made it himself when he was a boy, dreaming of how it would one day contain the magnificent beast he had been told of through legend.
Clutching the Pokéball tighter, he strutted onto the stage, wearing the most confident smile he could muster. For a moment, however, the bright lights blinded him, forcing him to thin his eyes to green slits. As soon as his eyes adjusted to the light, he found himself facing an enormous crowd. He had known that these contests were meant to be a big event, but he didn’t expect such a large turnout.
He only smirked.
Now they’ll see our beauty! Even before he threw the capsule, he could hear a mixture of cheers and awe coming from the crowd. He always knew that he himself had been a sight to behold. Yet another characteristic my partner and I share. “Come forth, Suicune! Let us reveal our true magnificence!”
A bright light erupted from the ball as he threw it straight into the air, coming down like a lightning strike. From it emerged the majestic beast, roaring proudly. It’s deep, purple mane flowed as if a gentle breeze were continuously unsettling it. An array of blue sparkles also drifted about it, giving it an even more undeniable sense of elegance.
Not only could he hear the crowd’s amazement, but he could feel it. They’re eagerness to see what would happen next fueled his actions. He felt more confident than ever before as he called out his commands.
“En garde, Suicune! First of all, let’s use Surf to bring the waters to our command! Second, Extrasensory to bend the water to shape our will! And, finally, use Aurora Beam to freeze our dreams into a reality! Make the vision we share real, Suicune! I believe in you, my partner...” He trailed off, eying his partner’s precise work. The water was flying all around them, occasionally becoming coated in a multicolored light. When this happened, the water would fly into the main body Suicune seemed to be shaping. As it used it’s power, the crest on Suicune’s forehead shone with a blue light.
The water was slowly but surely gathering into the center of the arena, where Suicune proceeded to freeze it into place with Aurora Beam. After much toil and hardship, the crest’s light finally faded, leaving a fine mist of water in the air as the excess fell back into the ponds. However, a fog was left by it, shrouding the piece that Suicune had worked so hard to produce.
Tension and anticipation filled the air as the fog slowly cleared. Wafts of cold air also had been drifting from the sculpture, forcing the temperature to drop a couple of degrees. As the fog faded, the very top of the sculpture was revealed first, then the middle, then finally the bottom. Gasps of incredulity filled the air; All of the fog had lifted, and the sun shone brightly on Suicune’s masterpiece.
It was shaped like a giant fountain, with sculptures of different legendary Pokémon on each level. All of the Pokémon were the same clear ice-blue, but a rainbow colored sheen, left by the Aurora Beam, also covered the ice. Each Pokémon was immediately recognizable despite this: On the bottom row sat the Lake Trio. Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie’s icy stares were locked on the crowd. The second row held the Legendary Birds Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. Articuno, being an ice-type itself, was probably the most beautiful of all the frozen Pokémon. Some would say that Moltres’ flame actually seemingly held a spark of flame, but this was only a trick of the eye. Suicune’s Aurora Beam left a generous amount of red, orange, and yellow to it’s gloss. Despite their gracious appeal, the winged mirages were only second to the top.
Finally, on the very top of the sculpture, standing on the frozen spray of water sat Raikou and Entei. Their features were the most realistic, most likely because Suicune had actually met them before. Raikou’s sharp eyes seemed to follow you, and Entei’s fierceness could be felt throughout the room. They both looked vicious, yet regal. Finally, to complete the marvel, Suicune bounded to the top in only a couple of graceful leaps.
Among it’s own, Suicune’s true splendor shone. The entire scene was so alluring, it seemed almost ethereal. Then, even faster than it had happened, Suicune bounded off of the sculpture, and forced it to melt back to it’s original state. It strode over to it’s partner and stood beside him, proudly.
The man gave a quick wave, a mass of cheers and screams filling his ears, and turned his back to the stage. Suicune remained in step right beside him, looking determined to follow him even to the end of the world. They walked slowly through the hall, noticing that the lights had been fully turned on now.
“Things are looking... brighter.”
“We did excellent, did we not? Now, they’ll surely understand everything.” The shrill voice boomed above them again.
“The judges were unanimous! This special Pokémon Contest, held to show the true beauty of one’s partner Pokémon, has been swept by the spectacular pair of Eusine and Suicune!”
See, Suicune? I told you. We can never be defeated, especially when it comes to the bond that we share. We aren’t merely partners, or even brothers... Our minds think alike, and our hearts follow the same beat.
You and I... We are the same.
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Jul 6, 12 at 6:15pm ^re: The Pokémon Contest
Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know that this round will be out of 20 points because I will not be able to judge all of the entries. Since we only have 2 right now and I leave tomorrow with no internet. So just wanted to let you guys know. Don't forget that the deadline is very soon.
And so I will be gone until Friday the 13th which means I won't be able to give C&C for this rounds entries until super late, just letting you guys know.
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Jul 8, 12 at 10:33pm ^re: The Pokémon Contest
Very much hoping I didn't miss the deadline I just sent my entry in. So, just for fun, here's the freakishly long entry from last round XD Just be warned, there's a touch of Japanese in there.
Spoiler:The Lavaridge Trials
“Go to the Lavaridge Trials,” they said. “It will be fun,” they said. But I’m getting ahead of myself, as usual, so I’ll start this story close to the beginning. I was born and raised on Cinnabar Island, which I know, is quite a long ways from Cinnabar. The only reason I got to go was because I trained hard with my Flareon every day, and had a psychopathic mother who forced me to train hard with my Flareon every day. Granted, my training partner was Masa-chan, my best and only friend whom I could usually beat fairly easily. Practices were tedious, and I dreaded almost every single one. The only reason I went, besides my mother’s unrealistically strict hand, was to see Masa-chan. It was the only time we got to see each other, and during lunch, sometimes we’d be able to talk.
Then the flyers showed up, advertising the Lavaridge Trials. It was a competition to find a replacement for the current Gym Leader, Flannery-sama, who was just about to retire. The Trials would span the course of three weeks. The champion would be crowned the new Gym Leader. Needless to say, I was registered within the hour my mother saw the ad. Dismal training sessions became nightmares that stretched on for hours longer than they used to. Then the nightmares became a daily living h*ll when ‘mommy dearest’ stopped letting me train with Masa-chan. I was to train with Maromisa-sama, the Cinnabar Gym Leader. By the time the agonizingly long practices started slipping into frequent all-nighters, I was counting the days until I’d board the ship to Hoenn. My mother couldn’t come with me, thank god. The tourist season on Cinnabar was just about to begin, so she’d be swamped. Instead, I’d be going with Masa-chan and her Mom. It’d be three weeks, plus travel time, of bliss…
“Hotaru! How are you not finished packing yet?” Okasan called up the stairs. “Miyamoto-san will be here soon, and you will not be late.”
“I just finished Okasan,” I said, staggering as I attempted to drag my suitcase down the stairs.
“Don’t drag it Hotaru.”
I hefted the suitcase off the floor for a moment or two, and then set it down again. Masa-chan’s mother wasn’t going to be here for a few more minutes. Even though it was early in the morning, and she didn’t have to go into work for at least three more hours, Okasan was already washed and dressed, as if she had to leave in three seconds. The minutes crept by. Counting the days seemed to have taken less time than counting these sluggish seconds. Six twenty-nine and thirty seconds, thirty-one, thirty-two. Why weren’t they moving faster? The knock at the door finally came at six thirty-two. Okasan rose, and answered the door as I struggled to lift my suitcase again.
“Yasu-san, welcome. Hotaru-san is just getting her things together.” Okasan said to Masa-chan’s, stepping aside to let her into our pristine home.
“Oh it’s no worry Tora-san! Musume is just loading her things in right now. I can have her come help Hotaru-chan when she’s done.”
“She can get her own things.” Okasan said more to Miyamoto-san than to me. “Go on Hotaru-san.”
I couldn’t help dragging my suitcase, just a little bit. It was just so heavy, but I waited until Okasan couldn’t see me anymore to let it fall again. Masa-chan was waiting by the luggage cart for me, grinning from ear to ear, and waving frantically, as if I couldn’t see her already. I smiled and tried to wave back, but ended up dropping my suitcase on my foot, and cursing darkly under my breath. She clumsily ran forward, and helped grab the suitcase, and together we got it onto the rack pretty quickly.
“Thanks Masa-chan. It’s so good to see you!” I cried, hugging her.
“You too Hotaru-chan! It’s been too long. My new training partner is way too easy. I miss you.” Masa-chan said, short, straight black hair bouncing as she looked up at me. “Come on, Momma’s here.” She tugged me up the ramp to the ferry as Miyamoto-san left my house, saying her final goodbyes, and carrying something that looked strikingly like a list of Okasan’s rules for me. Bleh, so this wasn’t really a vacation after all. At least with Miyamoto-san, there was a hope of cheating, if only a little.
With a long, gasping foghorn to announce its departure, the S.S. Tidal pulled away from Cinnabar’s shore. The smell of sea salt and the rush of the fresh ocean air rushed past me as the ocean liner began to pick up speed. I’d never been on something moving this fast before! The wind, becoming fiercer, took control over my hair, whipping it around my face so that I could barely see. Flecks of sea spray stung my skin when they hit, each feeling like a tiny stone. Even though the spray made my cringe and shiver, and I couldn’t open my eyes much, it was exhilarating! My heart was pounding so hard I felt it could burst right out of my chest at any moment. I wanted to scream and sing, and run up and down the deck of the ship. The moment faded as the boat rocked against a massive wave, drenching half the deck. Then I was just cold.
Following Miyamoto-san’s lead, I headed below deck, down a couple halls, and into a room on the right. The room itself was small, and sparsely furnished. One large bed was pushed up against the hideously-wallpapered wall underneath the porthole. A small table had been shoved into the corner beside the door. It didn’t really have to have a lot though; we weren’t even staying in the boat for the night. From what my mother told me, this ship had already ventured a very long ways. It had started from the Hoenn Region, and stopped at most every region with a competitor in a massive loop around the continent. Kanto had been one of the last stops, with just Masa-chan, me, and apparently some boy from the mainland. Jhoto was the only remaining stop before we docked in Hoenn.
“Why don’t you girls get some sleep,” Miyamoto-san said, setting her purse down on the table, and leaning up against the wall. “There really isn’t much to do here,” then she added jokingly, “and I don’t want the two of you disqualified for getting into a fight before the tournament.”
We both laughed a bit. Masa-chan and I never fought outside the training fields; it was one of the fundamental rules that went along with training. Pokémon battles were rough, so it was easy for things to break, or to hurt other people if you weren’t careful. Sinking down into the blankets of the bed, I was asleep before I really knew what was going on. It really was just too early in the morning to be really awake.
“Hotaru-chan, Musume, we’re here.”
Miyamoto-san’s voice was soft and calm, but still held that tiniest hint of excitement. The boat had stopped moving, or at least, stopped rocketing through the water as it had been. Anticipation began mounting inside me. My heart beat faster; I knew what was waiting up there. I’d seen pictures, ad occasionally watched a match taking place here, but I never imagined I’d get to fight here myself. I could see them, remember them from my dreams. Those seven buildings had all been brightly lit, their neon lights reflecting off the pools of water, and the magnificent dancing fountains. It would be sunset, of course, and there would be so many people outside, watching the tournament.
We would be competing in the plaza right in front of the Battle Tower itself. The brick had been reinforced with a flame-retardant chemical, and all the shrubbery had been transplanted somewhere where it wouldn’t get burned. Each match would be one-on-one and only fire type, or part fire type Pokémon were allowed to compete. So many people had registered; matches would be running twenty-four hours a day, so as to make sure the Trials would be finished in three weeks. Any longer, and the Pokémon League wouldn’t be able to afford housing for all the contestants, and the television stations airing the Trials wouldn’t be able to keep showing them. Three weeks was a long time to show the same tournament, but the matches were almost guaranteed to be as intense as a Pokémon League match. Even though the honor of becoming a Gym Leader was only promised to one person, the top eight were guaranteed a place in the Pokémon League Regional Challenge, for whatever region they hailed from. The prospect of being able to challenge the Pokémon League without having to travel to every corner of your Region, and defeating eight different Gym Leaders was, I must say, incredibly appealing. The Gym Challenge had been popular, probably about fifty years ago, but since then the routes used for travel had become increasingly more wild and dangerous. Reports of wild Pokémon attacks, some lethal, and some not, were not uncommon.
We were all shepherded out of our rooms, and up to the upper deck, which looked full by the time we arrived. People of all ages and nationalities were all gathered, and facing a man, standing on a tall platform, and wearing a bright silver suit.
“Welcome Lavaridge Challengers! My name is Akihito, and I will be your Master of Ceremonies throughout these next three weeks.” His voice was somehow magnified, bit I couldn’t see a microphone or speakers anywhere. “Now, before we let you off the boat, we do have to tell you a few things. First and most important, there are to be no Pokémon Battles outside the Plaza and the Training Fields. If you or your Pokémon are caught fighting, you will be immediately disqualified and sent home. Yes, this means you are not allowed to challenge any of the facilities while you are here. Second, and almost equally as important, do not miss your matches. Each match will last no longer than a half hour to keep things running smoothly. If you are late, or miss your match, you will forfeit your position. Remember that only one Pokémon may be used in your match, and it must be a fire type.”
He paused to let this information sink in. The crowd began muttering.
“Only one Pokemon, is he serious?”
“I spent weeks raising all six of mine!”
“Thirty minutes for a match, that’s so long.”
“Who do you think the first no-show will be?”
Akihito drew a loud breath in, silencing the crowd. “The procession through the Battle Frontier will begin momentarily. You will walk down the gangplank, and, when you think you have enough room, let your competition Pokémon out of its ball to walk beside you. You will circle the park once, and meet in the plaza in front of Battle Tower. Good luck contestants, take tonight to settle in, because the first match starts at eight-o-clock sharp tomorrow!”
With that, he turned on the spot, and throwing three smoke pellets at his feet, vanished! The crowd gasped, and started looking frantically around to see where he went. I couldn’t see any trace of him, anywhere on the deck. Suddenly, his voice rang over the loudspeaker.
“The Battle Frontier awaits.”
The crowd began to push and shove, each person trying to get closer to the gangplank. Disembarking was a laboriously slow affair. The entrants who were already on the pier were letting their Pokemon out. I’d never seen so many Fire Type Pokémon before, even inside Maromisa-sama’s Gym. Gigantic Charizards flew feet above their trainer’s heads, while strong and viscous Houndoom walked beside. Brightly burning Lampent and Chandelure floated inches off the ground, while the slow and steady Torkoal lumbered along. Only two Pokémon and Trainers caught my eye. First was a pale-skinned girl with dark hair and dreadlocks, leading a proud Rapisash with a black mane. The other was a tan boy with bright blonde hair, with a Vicitini on his shoulder. I’d never seen one in person before.
“Are you ready Masa-chan?” I asked, fingering Flareon’s ball, waiting for an opening.
“Let’s go.” Her voice squeaked a little bit, a huge and silly grin splitting her face.
A space opened in the crowd in front of us. Masa-chan sent out her beautiful brown Vulpix. It blinked its huge amber eyes, started, surprised by all the new people, and then ran up Masa-chan’s leg and up to her shoulders. Giggling, she scratched the messy tuft of fur on its head. Similarly, I let Flareon out of her ball. She purred softly, rubbing her face against the side of my leg. She met my eyes, turned, and began to lead the way.
The Battle Frontier was even more amazing than I could have imagined. Sweeping arches spanned over the walkway off the pier, illuminating the dusky sky with a warm orange glow. It sparkled off the gentle evening waves, and reflected off the metallic surface of the road and the arches. The bright, fluorescent lights of the Battle Factory burned the image of the first facility of the frontier into the night. Loud sounds of metal on metal, and other mechanical clanking could be heard from within. Datura-sama, the Factory Head, stood outside his doorway, silently watching us walk. He was relatively old, about fourty-five or fifty years old. His hair was graying, and loose stubble clung to his chin. Kept walking, and came upon a building the likes of which I’d never seen. The base of the building was white, very reflective surface that stretched around in a great ring. The roof was something else entirely; it looked like a big, puffed up blanket. This had to be the new Battle Dome. It used to have a solid roof in a half-circle shape, but there had been some building problem, and it had to be torn down. This would be the first time anyone would be able to see the new facility. A young woman stood outside the doorway, smiling past her mane of pink hair, and waving to the mass of people. This had to be Aya-sama, the Dome Ace. Across the stream was probably the most creative of all of the buildings, the Battle Pike. The building was essentially a giant tunnel, but it was decorated to look like a Seviper, one of the most terrifying poison types ever. Two people stood on the corner of the little spot of land, so they could see the contestants. The older of the two had to be Lucy-sama, the old Pike Queen. The younger, who looked almost identical to her mother, was Azami-san, the Pike Queen-in-training.
Turning to look back at the path, I nearly stopped right where I stood. A tower of steel frames and wide glass windows stretched into the sky. Nobody except for Lila-sama, the Tower Tycoon, knew how many stories it really was. Just looking at the tower sent shivers up in spine, they said the reflection of this tower could be seen in the ocean for miles around. We were hurried past the battle tower, even though almost everyone was craning their necks to try and get a better view. Even after the awe of the Battle Tower, the Pyramid didn’t fail to impress. Scattered around the orange bricks making up the building was a lot of sand, and other desert rocks. Standing outside was a stern-looking, very old man leaning on a cane. This had to be Brandon-sama, the oldest member of the Elite Battle Frontier Team, and the Pyramid King. Moving south with the mob, we were exposed to the final two buildings, almost at the same time. On our right was the Battle Arena, which had been the precursor for modern-day Pokémon Contests. It was built like an old kung-fu dojo. Waving from her bridge was the Arena Tycoon, Greta-sama. The building on the left was built much like a temple from ancient times. The Battle Palace was surrounded by trees and flowers that came from all over the world. Easily the most beautiful building of them all, it was the most secluded, hidden by a wall of trees. Standing in a gap between two pines stood was Chihiro-sama. I’d never seen someone like her before. Her skin was very dark, and she had paintings of Unown up and down her arms. As we moved on, I couldn’t help staring a little bit.
The final leg of our walk was through the section of shops and homes. Every person, besides the Elite Team, was waiting here, and cheering. I couldn’t help smiling a little bit. Masa-chan was beaming, and waving as if everyone in the crowd was related to her in some way. Some of the contestants looked too sheepish to be able to talk, and others had their chests thrown out, and walked in a pseudo-swagger. We massed into the plaza in front of the Battle Tower. Standing near the doorway were Tower Tycoon Lila-sama, Gym Leader Flannery-sama, and Akihito-san.
Stepping forward, Flannery-sama said to the group at large, “Welcome! I am so pleased and excited that so many of you have been able to come. I took control over the Gym at a very young age. I’ve seen it grow and I’ve seen it struggle as Kanto has changed over the many years. I can only hand my Gym over to one person at the end of this tournament, but I’m excited to see you all compete.”
“Contestants, you will enter the Battle Tower behind me to check in, and be assigned to your room. Everyone will be staying in the Tower, no exceptions.” Akihito-san chimed in as Flannery-sama finished.
As they stepped aside, the people at the front of the mob began to push through into the Tower. My heart was pounding. We would be staying here? We were actually going to stay in the pinnacle of the Battle Frontier itself! Before long, the crowd was thin enough for Masa-chan, Miyamoto-san, and me to all squeeze through. The lobby was massive. Blue tiles covered almost the entire floor, and the walls were painted a clean, bright white. Every one of the dozen reception desks was being used to check everyone in. Masa-chan and I found a short-ish line, and stood and waited, and waited.
“Where do you think we’ll be?” She asked me, scratching her Vulpix’s ears.
“I’m not really sure.” I confessed. “I thought the tower was still going to be running, but they can’t battle if there are people in all the rooms.”
“I guess I didn’t really think of that. Hmm… what do you think Momma?”
“Next.” The receptionist ahead of us called.
Masa-chan blushed and hastily hurried forward. After exchanging a few quick words with him, she stepped aside, and I was called up.
Scooping Flareon up in my arms, I said “Hotaru Sato.”
“And you will be competing with your Flareon?”
“Very good,” he said in a flat voice, “You’ll be staying in room 762, down in the second basement.”
“Oh, and it says here that you will be competing at eight tomorrow morning.”
Sh*t, first match of the entire tournament. I was hoping I would have a day or two before I had to subjugate myself to fighting again. It really felt like a chore, a horrible Okasan-informed chore.
“Hotaru-chan, come on!” Masa-chan half whispered, pulling me towards the elevator.
We took the elevator with about ten other people down to the second basement. Well, it was a way to keep us all in one place, and still keep the Tower running. The basements were not fancy, but they were huge. The walls and ceilings in the hallways were all plain cement, and the air was very cold. Pieces of paper were taped up on the corners of the hallways to point the way to certain room numbers. Finding our room didn’t take long, just two right turns, then the third door on the left. The inside seemed a little more livable than the hallway. A coat of beige paint had been applied to the walls and ceiling, and a large rug covered most of the cold floor. A total of eight bunk beds and eight dressers filled the room. Our suitcases were already waiting by one set of beds in the corner.
“Okay girls, you should get to bed.” Miyamoto-san said, pulling Masa-chan’s Vulpix off her shoulder. “Hotaru-chan’s got an early morning tomorrow.”
I assume the sun rose to greet the dawn. I however was woken by something much louder and sudden. Masa-chan had woken up early to watch the fight, and she’d taken it upon herself to make sure I wouldn’t miss it. My whole body felt exhausted. Why would I want to wake up for a battle? My mouth reeked of morning breath, and sleep scum clung to my eyelashes. It was too early.
“Come on Hotaru-chan, you’ve only got ten minutes until your match!”
“What?” My groggy and unwilling mind had not heard a single word.
“You slept through Momma’s alarm clock!”
Crap. Crap crap crap crap crap. I didn’t have time for any warm-up exercises, or stretching. Running around the room in a frenzy, I managed to flatten my bed head, grab a granola bar for breakfast, snatch Flareon’s Pokeball, and dashed into the elevator. I was out in the plaza just in time. My opponent was already waiting for me. She was skinny and tall, probably about eighteen or nineteen years old, with long straight brown and black hair. Behind her stood her Pokemon, Charizard. My heart skipped a beat. I had to fight that? I have to fight that in my first match? Not fair.
The referee arrived after a minute or two, closely followed by Flannery-sama and Chihiro-sama, who were going to watch the match.
“In this match,” the referee began, “we have Sora-san, from the Sevii Islands, fighting with Charizard, and Hotaru-san, from the Kanto Region, fighting with Flareon. This match will be one-on-one, and will last at most, thirty minutes. Trainers are you ready?” We both nodded. “You may begin.”
At our command, our Pokémon charged forward. Charizard was growling fiercely, and swinging its brightly lit tail of fire. Without missing a beat, Flareon hissed in return, planting her feet firmly on the ground.
“Charizard, Dragon Claw!” Sora yelled, cupping her hands around her mouth.
“Flareon Fire Spin now!” I called.
Faster than I thought a Charizard could move, it advanced, gliding on outstretched wings. Flareon’s Fire Spin was strong, and held her Charizard for a few seconds; until I saw an arm with brightly glowing claws protrude from the vortex and strike viciously in Flareon’s direction. Startled, Flareon jumped back, accidentally ending her stream of spiraling flame. Taking complete advantage of her moment of surprise, Charizard lunged and landed a solid hit against Flareon’s back leg.
“Block it Charisard.”
Before Flareon could even get her mouth open to release her attack, Charizard had reached forward and seized Flareon’s snout. My heart started pounding, a feeling of both adrenaline and panic surged through my body. This was a fight unlike any I’d had on the island. There was no more teaching here. The fight was not stopped because I made a mistake, and my error was not explained to me. I could do nothing but watch as Flareon tried her hardest to shake off the Charizard’s vice like grip.
As Charizard prepared for its attack, Flareon was able to pull itself free of its grip, although she scratched her nose badly, and release a massive deluge of toxic gasses. The foul smells and black smoke didn’t have time to permeate the air, for Charizard’s Flamethrower was too late now to stop. A look of horror stuck itself on Sora’s face as I felt a triumphant smirk cross onto mine. If she had trained her Charizard purely to attack, then the battle would be mine. Flareon’s defense was alright, but it wasn’t the best, and the impending explosion would push both Pokemon to their limits. The Flamethrower ignited Flareon’s Smog. For an instant, the gas merely burned. As the instant ended, we were both forced to hide behind our arms as one of the largest explosion I’d ever seen let loose.
Black smoke covered the entire plaza. Nothing stirred. Nothing made a sound. The silence was unbearable, for both of us. To witness such force, and then being unable to see our partners was agony. The smoke slowly began to clear, and two silhouettes were visible. Both appeared to still be standing. Then, with an almighty roar, the larger and winged silhouette wavered, and fell! Flareon was still standing! A huge wave of relief swept through me, almost overpowering the thought that I was still in a Pokemon Battle. As the last of the smoke cleared, I saw that our plan had, once again, been executed flawlessly. Flareon knew the plan as well as I did, because to make it work, there wasn’t enough time for me to call a command, because all she needed to do was Endure the second the gas began to burn. It was chemistry at its finest, and it created an attack strong enough to rival a fully-grown Weezing’s Explosion.
“Charizard is unable to battle.” The referee announced. “Hotaru-san is the winner!”
Hearing those words uttered was one of the best feelings I’d ever had. I’d won. I’d just won, all on my own. I’d won a real Pokemon Battle, against a real trainer! It was a happiness more than I’d ever felt before, and then it hit me. Battling for myself was the way it was suppose to be. When I battled back on Cinnabar, it felt like a chore because it was a chore. Here, it was an accomplishment, something to be proud of.
So yes, they said to come and enter the Lavaridge Trials. They said it would be fun, and now, I finally believe them.
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Jul 11, 12 at 10:41pm ^re: The Pokémon Contest
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