• Welcome to Thousand Roads! You're welcome to view discussions or read our stories without registering, but you'll need an account to join in our events, interact with other members, or post one of your own fics. Why not become a member of our community? We'd love to have you!

    Join now!

Pokémon Embr: The Super-Effective Dating App!

WildBoots

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
Summary: Dating in the pokemon world is a hot mess: Trainers are moving targets. Hostels and tents are dodgy places for a hookup. But don't worry -- Embr is here to help you find someone who's your type--It's Super Effective! (TM)

Rating: PG - some suggestive content, but nothing at all explicit.

Cheers to Misfit Angel especially for brainstorming about the pokemon world's names for social media platforms, including Embr. Building on Postcard #15 -- Cities and Hunger: Nimbasa. I might add more to this set if another one occurs to me. For now, I hope you enjoy!

I am open to constructive crit, though it might be a while before I make the time to apply suggestions and make edits.

--



Ember
Macro Cosmos recognizes that trainers face unique dating challenges. So we’ve created Embr to help you match with your preferred type — It’s Super-Effective (TM)!

Simply swipe right to Catch and swipe left to Release. Catches are added to your Date Dex... and then it’s up to you to Make Your Move!

Now available for a variety of mobile devices (not supported for Rotom Phone).

Please swipe safely — always meet in public spaces. Do not use while biking, battling, or entering tall grass. Note that Macro Cosmos does NOT recommend using electric-type pokémon to boost mobile signal.

Terms and restrictions apply.


--

First Impression
The color is called “Undying Embers,” which is to say, red. She found the tube jammed under her extra socks. It looks good — she almost forgot.

The shirt is another matter, two holes scorched into the left side.

Perched on her shoulder, her talonflame is behaving, for now, scanning for other birds to harass. “Hey. Cool it.” He smells smoky.

But she can’t be mad at him. After all, she needs him to be a fighter.

Well. It’s still her cleanest shirt. She tucks it in and untucks it again, then wonders if a well-placed badge might cover the holes.


--


Future Sight

“What do you think of this one?” On her belly on the hostel cot, Amy turns her phone towards the alakazam sitting cross-legged next to her.

He ignores the screen and stares into the middle distance, eyes glowing. Then his eyes return to their normal color, and he shakes his head.

“Yeah, you’re right. He laughs at his own jokes for sure.” She flicks through several profiles and then sits up. “How about him?”

The alakazam shakes his head.

“But he’s a Capricorn.”

He pauses, squints, and then firmly shakes his head again.

With a sigh, she continues the search.

--

Destiny Bond
We actually met on Embr, funny enough. Back in Celadon.

Wasn’t expecting much, to be honest. People don’t take it seriously, you know? But sometimes you get lucky.

Don’t get me wrong: the date was a total bust. As stimulating as talking to a sandwich. I was this close to chugging my drink and walking out ...but he started complaining about this pokemon that was giving him trouble. So I said show me yours and I’ll show you mine.

Best trade of my life.

Not everyone has what it takes to handle a strong, independent feraligatr. Isn’t that right, baby?

--

Fake Out

“Mika?”

He hadn’t been quite sure in the low light, but she turns and coyly tilts her head.

He takes the empty stool. “You’re even prettier in person.”

She only smiles. Unsurprising — her profile warned she was shy.

“Don’t be nervous. Excuse me — two screwdrivers.”

“Ordering for me.” He almost swears she speaks without moving her lips. A trick of the light.

“Trust me, you’ll love it. Funny story, actually—“

She laughs, sudden and wild.

He blinks, and she’s not a girl anymore.

The zoroark bolts, cackling, to the real Mika across the bar. She flashes him a thumbs down.

--

Pursuit

Caleb first saw her in the Goldenrod underground market. Hair dyed to match her shiny ampharos. One arm ending abruptly at the elbow. He didn’t mean to stare, but she was also beautiful.

Fumbling to pay and bag his payapas, he planned his words. A battle was a safe ask.

But she’d already disappeared.

He asked around for her at the Ecruteak pokecenter. Then Olivine. Then Cianwood. She was hard to miss, but by hours or days...he kept missing her.

Caleb skipped the Storm Badge. He’d return later.

A little faster, a little further, and he could finally ask...

--

Poison Sting

Leaves snag her hair, but she’s not bothered. Not when bark scrapes her back, not when he tumbles her through the grass. But when he presses himself on top of her, she finally squeaks out, “Could you...?” The pokeballs at his belt dig into her.

They remove their belts, no regard for where they land. Their clothes dot the bushes.

Later — her back is on fire. She bolts from the tent. Pulling up her shirt, she begs her vaporeon to spray her down.

When her whimpering and scratching persists, he comes out with the flashlight. “Uh oh.”

“What?”

“Poison ivy.”

--

Rest
The two trainers had been giggling together for the last hour, so when the lights went out at eleven, Taylor was grateful. They were scheduled for the gym at nine, which meant warm-up by eight, which meant out of bed by seven thirty...

Romeo and Juliet could sort out their hormones by daylight.

Taylor was almost asleep when the squeaking started. A loose pokemon? they wondered at first. And then a moan — distinctly human.

They coughed, a good loud one.

For a moment, blessed silence.

Then a whisper, a giggle. And springs creaking.

Taylor mashed a pillow over their ears.

--

Play Rough

Hannah never liked to lose, but she especially hated to lose to girls she wanted to impress. She slouched, hands in her pockets, and crossed the makeshift arena with a sheepish smile. “Alright,” she said. “I take it back.”

“Yeah. I thought you might.”

Lisette’s sylveon, the smug pink bastard, wove between her legs.

“Good match.” They shook hands for what Hannah thought was a long time. Then she said, “I guess I promised I’d put my money where my mouth is.” She reached for her wallet.

“Or.” Lisette tipped her head to one side. “You could buy me dinner.”

--

Return

“I wonder if he still looks the same.”

“Same,” agreed Ramps, the murkrow.

Fiona pet him absent-mindedly and looked out the window, at her reflection superimposed on the landscape whizzing past. Before the train, she did shower. But her boots were still falling apart, her t-shirt still faded. Her hair was long now, braided for convenience.

“I just hope he won’t be… disappointed.”

“Disappointed,” grated Ramps.

She tried not to take it personally.

The train clunked to a stop and Fiona stood. Her pulse jittered…but like so many times before, she tightened her shoulder straps and moved through it.

--

Roost

Contrary to common belief, fletchinder do not necessarily mate for life. Once evolved, talonflame no longer form pairs at all. In fact, they are known to hunt smaller birds, including fletchling.

Breeding season is the only time fletchinder tolerate others of their species. Couples build their nests in the main forks of trees and decorate them with paper, fabric, and even pokeball fragments or other trainer discards. A mated pair will often reuse the same nest each year.

However, for reasons not yet well-understood, one or both fletchinder may suddenly set the nest aflame and then depart, never to return.
 
Last edited:

Pen

the cat is mightier than the pen
Staff
Partners
  1. dratini
The long awaited drabbles! I think the first and last were my favorites. Every word of the Embr ad is so on point and pun-y. 'Roost' had that compelling mix of pokefact and ooh, commentary. Both have that sense of not a word wasted.

Simply swipe right to Catch and swipe left to Release. Catches are added to your Date Dex... and then it’s up to you to Make Your Move!
Beautiful.

The color is called “Undying Embers,” which is to say, red. She hasn’t worn lipstick in months, the tube jammed to the bottom of her pack. A little color helps though — like she’s actually put in effort for this date.
This reads a little confusingly to me and almost like filler, which is not a friend in the drabble context.

Her shirt is another matter, two holes scorched into the left side.

She reaches to touch her talonflame’s ball with a sigh and a smile. It’s been a while since she’s had to put out fires.

Well. It’s still her cleanest shirt.
I think this would land better for me if the talonflame was out on her shoulder or something, instead of nestled away in the pokeball. Easier to believe that someone with their talonflame constantly out would have no clean/unsinged shirts.

He pauses, squints, and then firmly shakes his head again.

With a sigh, she returns to swiping.
Cute concept! It does trail off a bit. Maybe a more extreme reaction from the alakazam at the end?

Not everyone has what it takes to handle a strong, independent feraligatr. Isn’t that right, baby?
Love it!! Nice fake-out and reversal.

The zoroark bolts, cackling, to the real Mika across the bar. She flashes him a thumbs down.
OOF. That's one way to use your zoroark!

Leaves snag her hair, but she doesn’t care. Not when bark scrapes her back, not when he tumbles her through the grass.
Is the rhyme intentional here? It really took me aback.

Then a whisper, a giggle. And springs creaking.

Taylor mashed a pillow over their ears.
Life is pain.

Lisette’s sylveon, the smug pink bastard, wove between her legs.

“Good match.” They shook hands for what Hannah thought was a long time. Then she said, “I guess I promised I’d put my money where my mouth is.” She reached for her wallet.

“Or.” Lisette tipped her head to one side. “You could buy me dinner.”
Aww, very cute.

However, for reasons not yet well-understood, one or both fletchinder may suddenly set the nest aflame and then depart, never to return.
Nailed the ending line.
 

WildBoots

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
Ah shucks -- some good catches, as usual.

This reads a little confusingly to me and almost like filler, which is not a friend in the drabble context.
This is the only one where I'm not in complete agreement with your crit. Confusing is a problem, and that I can definitely address. But is it the line about the name of the color that feels like filler, or...? This arose from such a quarantine mood: I'm gonna put on lipstick even though I'm also wearing sweat pants. It's not just that she's got burn marks on her shirt but that she's trying to compensate with a a quick swipe of makeup. Heard re: a talonflame on the shoulder is worth two in the ball, though.
 

Pen

the cat is mightier than the pen
Staff
Partners
  1. dratini
@OldschoolJohto This what I get for rushing to review, sorry!

[The color is called “Undying Embers,” which is to say, red. ] No problems here!

[She hasn’t worn lipstick in months, the tube jammed to the bottom of her pack. ] This seemed redundant. The idea of the tube being jammed to the bottom of her pack conveys the idea of hasn't worn lipstick in months. And I don't think these two clauses being pushed up against each other strengthens the idea, rather weakens. Would be more effective if you picked one direction or the other, like 'She'd found the tube jammed in the bottom of her pack, beneath a month-old pack of crisps' or 'She hasn't worn lipstick since the festival at Lumios, and that was months ago.' To convey the overall idea of 'it's been ages since she wore lipstick.'

[A little color helps though] What confused me here is the 'though.' It implies a pivot or contradiction, but from what?The contrast is potentially with her battered shirt, but we don't know about that yet.

[ like she’s actually put in effort for this date.] Unsure whether the idea is she's trying her best, or she doesn't care and is just trying to do the bare minimum.

The overall idea of, 'been ages since I dressed up, ah well, throw on the lipstick' comes through at the level of paragraph, but the connection from clause to clause felt murkier to me. Overall, just felt like more could be done in the word-space these lines get to tighten up and make the images more concrete.
 

WildBoots

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
@OldschoolJohto This what I get for rushing to review, sorry!

Pffff I love how you're apologizing even as you very handily break down a problem and offer concrete solutions. I totally see what you're saying now, and I agree! I think I just wanted to talk about backpacks. Thank you for your thoughtfulness!

Unsure whether the idea is she's trying her best, or she doesn't care and is just trying to do the bare minimum.
You know, I'm not sure either! I should decide.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
Aha, these were great. I think my favorites were Destiny Bond (that reversal!) and Fake Out (it actually took my a good second to figure out that she'd sent Zoroark in to inspect the guy, lol.) Play Rough also had a fun ending.
 

WildBoots

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
Aha, these were great. I think my favorites were Destiny Bond (that reversal!) and Fake Out (it actually took my a good second to figure out that she'd sent Zoroark in to inspect the guy, lol.) Play Rough also had a fun ending.

Thanks, Chib! Glad you had fun with these. :D Yeah, Fake Out I might eventually expand into a longer piece. It works okay in this short form, but it could really benefit from being allowed to luxuriate in atmosphere.
 

kintsugi

golden scars
Location
waiting for the fog to roll out
Pronouns
she/her
Partners
  1. silvally-grass
  2. lapras
  3. golurk
aha, we see my expert strategy of not reviewing things punctually coming into the forefront here ...

Big picture thoughts: drabbles are hard, and it's in seeing them done well that I can recognize that! I like how you manage to say a lot with a little, and I it's a really fun mashup of styles and tones here. At first the tense switches threw me a bit, but by the end I liked what they came to represent--this idea of lots of different stories threading together to approach different aspects of an idea. The broader elements of your style really shine here too, with branding and interesting side characters and pokemon/humans casually interacting with one another's lives. The "Future Sight" drabble probably conveys more trust/this general feeling of relaxed comfort with another in a partnership then I've seen in entire chapters of journeyfic lol. Zoroark jukes in a bar with a solemn thumbs-down is such excellent OSJ-brand as well--these were my definite favorites, but in general this is such a warm and pleasant vibe. Shipfic without the drama. I need to read more Postcards!

Some tiny word choice/line edit thoughts, because drabbles are all about nitpicking the details and I must feed the beast.

Simply swipe right to Catch and swipe left to Release. Catches are added to your Date Dex... and then it’s up to you to Make Your Move!
ah, yes, the terminology does seem grotesquely horrifying when it's applied to humans, doesn't it?

She found the tube jammed under her extra socks. It looks good — she almost forgot.
I know that this one has been through a lot of revisions so I feel weird throwing my two cents in, but in the current state I wish we hadn't danced around the word "lipstick" with "tube" tbh--the rest of the drabble is pretty straightforward, so it's not like we're trying to unknit hidden meaning, so having it in the first line was a bit hard to parse.* Likewise, "she almost forgot" doesn't quite land with me--forgot that it looks good (probably more likely)? Forgot that it looks good and as such regrets having tucked it away in her socks (how I read it the first time)?

Struggled to get a sense of place in this one as well--I imagine she's on the road, but "jammed under" and backpacks are a bit hard for me to reconcile; usually things just sort of wander off but "jammed" implies intent.

*this could also be that I'm unfamiliar with cool kid lingo for lipstick
Perched on her shoulder, her talonflame is behaving, for now, scanning for other birds to harass.
Also sad because I know this was edited back in post and I love the idea that she normally doesn't care about talonflame burning her clothes, but even with a healthy dose of eating the dex size canon, talonflame feels beeg? Maybe have them circling overhead, dropping embers instead?

“But he’s a Capricorn.”

He pauses, squints
So this is where the meme comes from!!

Best trade of my life.

Not everyone has what it takes to handle a strong, independent feraligatr. Isn’t that right, baby?
The implication in this one is that she trades a pokemon to this sleazebag for the feraligatr tho, right? :(

Later — her
hello it is me the em dash lobby here to once again ask you for--

Her pulse jittered…but like so many times before, she tightened her shoulder straps and moved through it.
"moved through" feels a bit weak here. I wanted something like pushed/soldiered/shoved her way through/pressed on--something a little less passive.

Contrary to common belief, fletchinder do not necessarily mate for life. Once evolved, talonflame no longer form pairs at all. In fact, they are known to hunt smaller birds, including fletchling.
This one was interesting (it's like a tiny ADex!), but the flow felt a little off. Also I struggled to see why fletchinder mating for life would be a common belief if they're primarily solitary creatures--I feel like there are so many other animal pairs where this would exist, so humans could just oggle at this instead.

This first pagraph is also a bit meandering/it flips a lot back and forth without reaching a solid point:
1. we might think they mate for life but we are wrong
2. they solitary
3. hunt small birds including pre-evolutions
I think I wanted a more central thread here--perhaps that talonflame are asocial creatures--rather than working through the contradiction. As a reader from this world, there's not really anything to contradict; I don't have a common belief that they mate for life; I don't expect them to form pairs; in this drabble I don't really see a strong case built for why I might've seen that either (since all of the evidence points to the fact that they're down to preying mantis their kids if it comes to it).

However, for reasons not yet well-understood, one or both fletchinder may suddenly set the nest aflame and then depart, never to return.
hahaha mood
 
Top Bottom