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Pokémon Pokemon: Legendary Adventures (The Journey Begins)

Navar

Professional Mudkip Lover
Location
Brazil
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. swampert
I’m back here again, Tetra. Decide to read more of your story, you know the drill by now, so I’ll just cut to the important part, aka, the actual review. Well, let’s see how this next batch of chapters will please me, shall we?

Chapter 3
Aaah, this chapter was pretty good! I’m a little sad that Koa lost almost every battle he had during this, but on the bright side, it served for him to have some character development, his interactions with Hazard and Echo(By the way, amazing name!) were super sweet. I also liked how the battle and training section were described, felt intense and fun to watch. I don’t remember the anime all that much, but it did give me that same vibe, so… Good work there, it was pretty good.

The one moment where Koa was dreaming about getting on top of the Spear Pillar made me chuckle,it was funny to me, I laughed. Koa, don’t you know you can just glitch your way there?(In case you didn’t know, there’s a glitch in Diamond/Pearl that allows the player to catch event Pokémon, including Arceus)

I really appreciate the development Koa went through here, he seems to finally have come to terms with his Zubat starter, good, I must protect Echo from all harm, he’s an adorable mon. As a side note: Echo still loves honey? Hmm, I would give him a honey cake if I could, he deserves it, not only does he believe in Koa, he’s cute.

This chapter felt like it was shorter, but that was just because I loved reading it, and the experience was enjoyable, keep up your gord work, I’m invested, although I might be a slow reader. Anyway, I’ll go to the next one now, this is fun.

Chapter 4
I liked this one as well! Koa got his revenge on Kody, and also his sister. Both those battles were fun to read, I think you’re improving every time you make a new one, so keep it up!

Descriptions are good as well, you can really tell how the place feels and how it looks, it’s a part that I think it’s hard to do, hm, I could use this for research purposes, I guess.

Another thing. Echo evolved! Right at chapter 4, so this was unexpected, I do think his next evolution will take some time, since Golbat evolves by friendship. At least Koa is being kind to him, character development again!

Now the team prepares to face off against Gardenia. Hm, I actually didn’t remember she had a Turtwig, and I love that turtle so much! Too bad Koa knocked it out, oh well. This battle was also fun to read, the strategies used here were great, quick thinking saved Echo. I’m actually impressed that you used Flash, because that’s not something I saw before, kudos to you for doing that.

Aaaand Koa won! YES! I was rooting for him and he won, not only that, he also has a cool bike. Hmm, and he’s also very close to getting the good dino Tyrunt. Hopefully he’ll also get the Tyrogue he’s looking for, although considering his starter was Zubat, I’m not so sure he’ll be able to get the fighting boy. Maybe I’m wrong, but this will be cool to read.

Well, this was it. I read two more chapters, and I’m enjoying this story very much, you might see me again in the future, keep writing!
 

BlackHairedPsycho

Aura Knight
Chapter 1

Ok, this was really good.

Koa is already a solid character, and I feel like I can see his character arc pretty clearly. The way he interacts with most Pokemon is also great, and I can see he's very determined, with his plan consuming all his thoughts. His brains will also be a solid asset, he just needs to adjust his plans a little. His journey specifically has me invested.

I also love your choice in first Pokemon. Zubat doesn't get a lot of love, and the personality you gave this one makes it really endearing. I'm gonna love this little guy I bet.

If there's one critique it's the amount of stuff packed in. While it does build on Koa's character, I feel most of that first trip could have been cut out. Still, it wasn't too much of a distraction. It's also OK to leave some plot points for later chapters. Some of them did get me invested though, so good work there.

All in all I really like where this is going. You've got a reader. Happy writing!
 

HelloYellow17

Artsy Whimsical Nerd
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. suicune
  2. umbreon
Here for two things! Last minute review blitz because WHY NOT, and to begin my end of our review swap! I gotta say, I’m already really enjoying the story so far. Koa has a distinct, if somewhat cocky, personality, and I love that you’ve built up his *lofty* expectations because we all know things are not gonna go according to plan, lol.

In one week he turned 14, which was the minimum age to apply for a trainers license in Sinnoh.

fourteen, huh? Makes more sense than ten, to be honest! Although this would read better as: “in one week he would turn fourteen.”

Blake left the room a moment and came back holding a Great Ball in one hand and a baton in the other. "Tsk tsk. You should always carry your pokemon's pokeball with you. And something to defend yourself."

a baton, eh? Is it common for trainers to carry self defense items?

Koa grinned, then nodded. “Yeah, I understand.” And there's nothing me and Luxray can't accomplish.

A Luxray would be an epic starter, honestly! But if the banner at the beginning of this chapter is anything to go by, I don’t think that’s how things are gonna pan out! Also, bit of a nitpick, but I think italicizing Koa’s thoughts would read a little better.

Could it have been the one from the honey tree? He quickly dismissed the thought. There were hundreds of Zubat in the world. Perhaps this was just the Pokemon gods smiling upon him. Either way, he was grateful not to have to use his baton, even for defense.

Lol it’s totally not the one you saved, nope! Not at all!

The ball landed on the ground, rolled once, then dinged. Koa immediately cursed. He'd grabbed the luxury ball his brother gave him,

Ooh but wait, a Luxury ball! Which means Zubat will evolve into Crobat a lot faster—that is, if Luxury balls work that way in this world. Either way, yay for cute Zubat starter! Koa is not getting rid of this little guy

Overall, a really fun start! Also you got a lot of basic world building established pretty quickly and efficiently, and without it feeling like a big exposition dump. The protagonist is already very fun to follow, and I can’t wait to read more about his adventures (or misadventures?).
 

canisaries

voted most likely to be edgy
Location
the middle of nowhere
Pronouns
she/her
Partners
  1. custom/inkay-shirlee
Hey there, read Chapter 1 for the Review Tag. Here are my thoughts.

So, first off, I have to be open about my bias. I've never been interested in journey fics, so I'm clearly not in the main demo for this fic, but I'll try to look past it and be as fair as I can with my review anyway.

The structure here is quite solid. No scene feels out of place - each can be recognized as having a clear purpose in setting up some detail about the characters, world or plot. This does mean that it's slightly predictable, but predictable is always better than nonsensical. I also like that the part of the trainer test that we didn't imply Koa would do well in, the battling, was the one he ended up screwing up in. Can't number the amount of times a test has gone worse than expected due to thinking I was better at something than I was and mistakenly assuming I didn't need to practice it.

Something that was unpredictable, though, was the ending - not that Koa would catch Zubat, obviously, but that it would be so... anticlimactic. I was really expecting something like Regirock (or more likely something Koa thinks is Regirock) showing up and Koa trying his luck with catching it, but the ball hitting the Zubat instead and the creature getting away. Instead, there's not really a twist, but... really just a slight inconvenience. Koa remarks that he can release Zubat later and use a regular ball on it, and I also figured that he could do it right there and then (afaik the anime had this be possible), but I guess you're going to go with game logic there instead.

While we're mentioning the anime, I can definitely see the harmony the anime has between humans and pokemon reflected here. I was kind of bummed out to read that this would largely be based on the anime and thus not worldbuild too much, as unique worldbuilding is one of my favorite parts in trainerverse fics, but that's another question of bias so I won't go further into that.

I do want to bring up how the legendaries are handled here, though. This fic does diverge from the anime in that it has Legendaries be thought of as gods, when the whole god thing I think is mostly a fandom construct. I think that it works against this fic, though. While these Legendaries are said to be gods to some people, it doesn't really feel like it - that one girl talking about Legends as gods seems to be treated like she's talking about the Tooth Fairy rather than something people actively do believe in and worship. It can be that with "gods" you're more going for kami than traditional polytheism, but in the Western world, "god" is just a quite poor translation for kami due to the connotations of the word. Furthermore, the classification that Koa gives, the mention of "roaming" legendaries and really seems to go against these culturally being gods. From what I've seen here, I think it would fit a better if no one actually thought of them as gods anymore, but it was common knowledge that they once were considered that, much like how the bear was considered to have supernatural traits in many cultures that feared it.

Next up are some line comments, mainly reactions to details and SPAG and such.

In one week he turned 14, which was the minimum age to apply for a trainers license in Sinnoh.

You want "he would turn", as it hasn't happened yet.

Toenails clicked against the wooden floors,

I find it very odd to see Absol's claws referred to as toenails. Toenails or nails in general always make me think human nails.

Koa rubbed the pokemon's head vigorously, eliciting a pleased rumble from the canine.


(personally i cannot see absol as a canine)

Or rather, he’d miss one specific building. The library.

NEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRDDDD

When he was young, the section used to be filled with kids his age. They would all dream about ones they wanted to see, which ones were cooler, and who was the strongest. But as the years had gone by, he soon found himself alone on the couch, his only company a scruffy plush of mew. While everyone else moved on from their ‘legendary phase’, as adults deemed it, he couldn’t. His love never once wavered.

Would younger kids not age and get into the legendary phase too? Or did you mean that there was a legendary fad not unlike, say, the Jurassic Park fueled dinosaur craze?

He glanced down at his watch. 6:05.
The trip would be cinch by bike.
this is a quick three-day trip

these kids are on cocaine or something to be this energetic i swear

Judging by the size of its fangs, it was male. He wondered what he was doing all the way out here.

Zubat referred to as "he" in the latter sentence, when it's referred to as "it" everywhere else.

Our goals an stuff.

"And"? Though you were going for slang, you should still add in an apostrophe (an').

He bid farewell to his coworkers at the shop,

His coworkers?! He's employed at 13? Isn't that against child labor laws? Furthermore, he can just go on random trips without announcement despite being employed? And he made no mention of the job before? This one little word raises so many questions.

Two guards blocked the cave entrance, barring the path forwards

Period missing at the end of this sentence.

but he'd assumed he could just go right in.

The prose in this chapter is generally good, but I did notice there was some unnecessary "telling" here and there. This is one example where it is already apparent that Koa had expected to be able to go right in - in other words, it was "shown" - but it's mentioned anyway, which just feels redundant. Things like this don't make the story harder to understand or anything, but it does create some distance between the story and the reader.

Koa sighed and shook his head, displacing it.

I had to reread this a few times because I genuinely just pictured him taking his head off his shoulders and placing it somewhere else. It'd be better to mention the Zubat by name or as "the pokemon" to avoid this.

Anyway: this seems like a solid start to a story, although a bit slow for my tastes. Due to the reasons mentioned at the beginning, I don't expect to continue, but I think this'll likely be a good read for someone that is into the genre in question. It's a bit late to wish you luck with writing when you're 175k+ words deep already (goddamn), but I'll wish it anyway. And no, that is not to imply you are a loser :P See you around.
 
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Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. crobat
Review reply time everyone!! First up, thank you to everyone who reviewed. Especially @IFBench and @Navarchu. Your memey and/or fun reviews really make me smile and lift my spirits. I tried to address everything I could, but due to length and time constraints, I'm just touching on some bigger stuff. I did implement a lot of suggestions though!

Apologies if I missed anyone or anything important.

Thanks for the thoughts, Pen. Super late getting to replying but hey. Anyways. I did do some overall edits for Chapter 1, trimming fat and trying to add to spots that seemed to need more. In particular, I added to the library scene with some exposition, and tried to add in a conversation to try and clarify my thoughts on legendaries, although it's a little rough still I think. I'm still struggling to make it clearer, but I think the conversation helps.

You've got a lot of worldbuilding thoughts scattered around these first two chapters.
Particularly the first chapter felt like it suffered from a bit of bloat.
Yeah, a lot of the roughness is because Much of this was written in 2015, then readapted in 2020. But I did try to edit based and yours and others thoughts so I think its a little better now.
Why not try to become the assistant to someone whose day-job it is to research legendary pokemon, if this is what he most wants?
So I don't recall when I specifically mention this, but Koa wants to be an explorer of his own as well, and climb Mt. Coronet. So he doesn't just want to research. In order to catch a legendary he most certainly has to battle it, and he needs a strong team to battle it. The best way to compile a good team and strengthen them is the badge challenge.
Seeds! I'm surprised he hasn't made friends with a starly already, considering he plans to have one on his team. They're clearly not uncommon.
So this is another detail I tried to clarify in the re-edit. Koa (and the pokeworld) place a lot of emphasis on the significance of starters. So while he definitely wants a Starly, but not as his first pokemon.
In contrast, here's something Koa cares about. The library! I want to hear more about that.
Added more here! Thanks!
Are his parents dead, or is there some other reason he can't live with them?
What, like I'm supposed to know??? I'm just the writer 😬
This scene is a big deal in the story, but this description feels a bit perfunctory!
Also added to this scene! Tried to add details and clarity. And make it more meaningful.
Nice details--shows that Koa is pretty knowledgable about pokemon in his area.
Thanks!
Koa didn't exactly get a license plate number!
Didn't you know? All Zebstrika's come with license plate numbers! Anyways this scene got wiped in the edit so. While I did want to foreshadow something, I decided the focus on it wasn't necessary.
This is a little jumbled.

It sounds like Rowan is saying, "although pokemon desire to bond with humans, they also have a deep desire to connect with humans"? Which is just the same thing twice.
This is another spot I tried to clean up and clarify. Thanks!
This did feel a bit game-logic-y, though.
Eh, I like my game logic, and it fits with my worldbuilding logic, since I tend to mix in a bit of that. Thats just my style.
Why does only Koa get a last name here?
Because I forgot to give everyone else last names.😅
Fixed tho.
This feels impressively stupid. Earlier it seemed like Koa had some knowledge about pokemon, but it doesn't occur to him that more than zubat live in caves? Or that rangers might know what they're talking about?
He is stupid, isn't he? Anyways Koa is very uh.... determined is one word for it lol. This scene is a good example of how he'll bend rules to his favor if he thinks he can get away with something and he wants something bad enough. He obviously only makes the best choices! Right?
There's something about "Without a second thought" that feels like the narration is tugging at my sleeve and saying, aw, look at how selfless Koa is.
You'd be surprised how much details like this get overlooked lol. But, edited anyway, because I used to have it like this and I like it better.
I didn't follow Koa's reasoning here--if the person had come in without a pokemon and been "overwhelmed" how does that distinguish his situation from Koa's, considering that Koa doesn't consider the zubat adequate protection?
Because Koa only makes Good Choices and is Always Right. Nah literally he's just makes bad choice. As is evidenced by him getting chased out by an angry Golbat flock.
I'm curious how common fossils are? It seems odd that they'd just be lying around, and not integrated into the cave in some way--I feel like normally fossils have to be excavated.
So the intended implication here was that the fossil actually belonged to that... 'unfortunate' explorer. But I might clarify...
This whole "not that I care!" thing seems odd in contrast with his earlier actions healing the zubat and his thinking that the zubat is his responsibility. He can care about keeping the zubat safe and still be completely opposed to having it join his team, right?
Koa doesn't want to care or get attached though.
Ropes and a net seem like a lot of effort in a world where pokeballs exist?
So my current hc for pokeworld poachers is that 'jailbroken' pokeballs aren't easy to come by, so nets and such are necessary. A pokemon in a pokeball gets registered.
He seems a lot more ready to abandon the plan in this instance!
But Galvantula are cool. right? So much cooler than a "boring" Zubat
Respect feels like an odd word-choice here.
This Galvantula did just see this other human fight to save her though. So Hazard chooses to join Koa because of that and Galvantula respects Koa for choosing to help.
This seems very odd and sketch. What 14 yr old is employed as an investigator?
In my world. :wink:
But seriously though, given how I've seen extremely young gym leaders and 10 year olds are actually allowed out, I have 15 year olds as investigators, although the exact details of how her investigation stuff works gets elaborated on later. Suffice to say, they're not exactly full-blown cops but a bit like a neighborhood watch thing.

All in all, I think the new version is a large improvement! Both the streamlining that you did and the additions are mostly very solid, as well as the little changes. I personally would streamline the exam as well, and various typos etc. remain, but I think it's a much better chapter. Well done on improving it!
Thanks again! I really appreciate all your input!
Hearing that you enjoyed the revised version more pleases me, and I tried to take some of your other tweaks into account.

On the one hand, pokemon sometimes seem able to understand human speech and are capable of negotiation, like the aipom in the tree. And in other places, Koa questions whether pokemon can understand, even though they demonstrably can in that scene. If they're intelligent enough to reason, using a baton on them at all feels like a dick move.
I mean, just because someone can understand the words 'back off' doesn't mean they have to listen. A pokemon understanding speech would not automatically equate them having to listen. After all, if some guy bumps into someone at the bar and says 'hey man my bad I don't wanna fight' someone might still try and throw a punch.

That said I don't have pokemon as animals in my story. A baton is much more like a deterrent, a way to say to the pokemon 'hey I mean business'. It wouldn't do any real harm to beings who can get hit by giant meteors of energy or hit by flying rocks. But after you said this I did add a clarification line in the text.
Wait, so is he sitting in the kids section reading storybooks and all his peers aged out to the teen section? Or is this a mythology section? If the latter, I'm not convinced that would have a "kiddie" vibe, especially if they're seen as god/objects of worship as implied by the scene with the other young trainers.
well, its much closer to the idea of 'space' or that kid who wants to be an astronaut or train conductor when they're like... five. A lot of kids I knew had that phase where they loved dinosaurs, trains, or wanted to be an astronaut/fireman etc. But as they grew up and the 'be realistic' and other stuff happened, they chose other goals.

And I did tweak the conversation again to try and clarify. They were once regarded as gods but not on a widescale anymore. Some people do worship them or give them worship though. They are seen as important, to those who think they still exist. Its also important to know that everyone is still going to have their own (somewhat incorrect) takes.

In that conversation, Koa and Cade's are the closest to accurate, as they possess the most knowledge.

My goodness, he's a scheduling junkie.
In this instance, his cousin did ask him to be home by a certain time so he's not so much a scheduling freak here as he's excited to get back.
This felt weirdly anime turn-to-camera. Moreover, this speech didn't really convince me by itself? I need to see this play out. (And a big part of my investing in this idea is gonna require a clearer idea of how intelligent pokemon are in this setting. How much agency do they really have to pledge to the idea of partnership? How completely are they able to consent?)
The very same Zubat does fly halfway across the area to find Koa, so that's one clue. That said, Rowan does know his stuff too. Either way the speech is directed at Koa to make a specific point to Koa. Even so, I'm not trying to ask or examine any poke rights political stuff in this story. I just take the pokemon world at face value. Although more clarity comes as the story develops and continues.
I'm not sure an appreciative whistle feels right when this is all talk and this sounds like an unlikely thing to achieve. Maybe polite smiles and "oh, that'd be cool, sure. Good luck ...."
I had a vibe for the moment I wanted to capture, of them believing it's possible but difficult, so I'm happy with what I did.

Thanks for the thoughts, I did fix some of those grammar tidbits you pointed out!

Our protagonist, Koa, is very intetesting! He wants to catch a legendary, and won't accept any mons that he doesn't consider strong enough. A set of traits I'd normally expect from an antagonist, yet they belong to the hero of this story. I quite like this decision, it makes him very unique!

Yet despite that, he's not opposed to helping weaker mons as long as they don't stick by him, as shown by the Aipom and Zubat scene. Very intriguing!
I really liked how you picked up on the fact that some of his traits are those you might see in an antagonist. That's one of the things I wanted to capture! Very perceptive!!

I'm also really pleased you note that he's perfectly happy helping pokemon not on his team! Koa's not a bad bean, he's just overly narrow-minded about his team. But he's definitely not cruel to pokemon in general!

Thank you much for the review, it made me very happy!

Professor scene. And like usual, he studies evolution, but hmmm, nice thing you got there, evolution is not linked to aging, and that’s totally fine for me. I remember that one old Treecko in the anime, did you get inspired by that? Anyway, Rowan is pretty nice, I know he can look super scary but I’m sure he’s sweet inside, with that being said, the “Pokémon and trainer have bonds” is a nice speech to read, loved reading that part, it was adorable.
Good catch! A lot of subtle details from the anime bleed into my story, so seeing people appreciate that absolutely makes me happy.
That lore about Legends was fun to see, and well, the rest of the chapter passed by so fast that I forgot to comment on that, I will say one thing, though. Zubat is precious, Koa, my boy, please take care of that bat. Well, time to go to the next chapter now, but I loved this one!
Good bat! Naughty Koa should appreciate him more.
I’m super curious as to why people call the Johto trio legendary dogs if dogs don’t exist in the Pokémon world(unless you count the canine Pokémon), but anyway, Koa, you gotta trust that Zubat! You captured it, you can’t just throw it away… Oh no, is he gonna throw the bat away?! Please don’t.
I ... truth is I can never make up my mind to call them beasts or dogs.

Dont worry, Zubat will persist!!!
HE CAUGHT A JOLTIK, YAY FOR ELECTRO BUG! I’m loving his team so far, they’re both cute mons, this is so sweet. The entire fic is adorable, I’m eager to read more of this, Tetra. I’m finishing this review right here, but you might see me again in the future, once I’m caught up on this fic, hehe. Well, thanks for writing this!
Expect plenty more cute shenanigans!!!
Thank you for your reviews, they bring me joy!
Aaah, this chapter was pretty good! I’m a little sad that Koa lost almost every battle he had during this, but on the bright side, it served for him to have some character development, his interactions with Hazard and Echo(By the way, amazing name!) were super sweet. I also liked how the battle and training section were described, felt intense and fun to watch. I don’t remember the anime all that much, but it did give me that same vibe, so… Good work there, it was pretty good.
Im glad you enjoyed the battles! I worked pretty hard on them.
I really appreciate the development Koa went through here, he seems to finally have come to terms with his Zubat starter, good, I must protect Echo from all harm, he’s an adorable mon. As a side note: Echo still loves honey? Hmm, I would give him a honey cake if I could, he deserves it, not only does he believe in Koa, he’s cute.
Stoked to see that you're loving the development happening. And Zubat deserves ALLLL the honeys :3

Poor, poor Koa. He starts like me with every Pokemon game, planning out his team exactly and meticulously, but then one overeager Zubat ruins it all. No good deed goes unpunished eh?

Zubat is cute and sweet and adorable by the way and I am VERY much loking forward to seeing more of him.
Ah yes, I can see we both had the same struggle... the pokemon we want vs the most sensible.
Also hooray for cute bat!!!

I like this clearly very lighthearted (SO FAR) take on the Pokemon world. Can def. see the anime vibes. I dunno if there's gonna be some big stupid epic plot later and me being me I hope there is, but I would also be cool with this keeping the Chill Vibes.
Oh you bet! There's a lot of teensy stuff sprinkled in early chapters but the BIG stuff starts in 14, in case you were wondering. Glad you are digging the lighthearted vibes.

Koa is already a solid character, and I feel like I can see his character arc pretty clearly. The way he interacts with most Pokemon is also great, and I can see he's very determined, with his plan consuming all his thoughts. His brains will also be a solid asset, he just needs to adjust his plans a little. His journey specifically has me invested.
Glad to see you liked the interactions and enjoyed his character.
I also love your choice in first Pokemon. Zubat doesn't get a lot of love, and the personality you gave this one makes it really endearing. I'm gonna love this little guy I bet.
ZUBAT NEEDS LOVE!! Fun fact, LA wasn't always going to feature a Zubat, but once I decided on the themes I did, I decided Zubat was a good fit. Very glad I endeared him to you.
If there's one critique it's the amount of stuff packed in. While it does build on Koa's character, I feel most of that first trip could have been cut out. Still, it wasn't too much of a distraction. It's also OK to leave some plot points for later chapters. Some of them did get me invested though, so good work there.
Yeah, chap 1 still isn't quite perfect but I think the current versions about as good as I can do. The trip used to be waaay longer, so I think its at least a little better now. But I have filed this thought away if I ever get a chance to rewrite.

a baton, eh? Is it common for trainers to carry self defense items?
Yeah, I figure trainers without pokemon keep some kind of self defense stuff on them. Most weapons won't do much damage to a pokemon, they're just ways to deter them. And usually only for particularly aggressive or angry pokemon.

Also, bit of a nitpick, but I think italicizing Koa’s thoughts would read a little better.
DARN ITALICS. I swear it used to be italicized.

Lol it’s totally not the one you saved, nope! Not at all!
Of course not! Definitely!!
Ooh but wait, a Luxury ball! Which means Zubat will evolve into Crobat a lot faster—that is, if Luxury balls work that way in this world. Either way, yay for cute Zubat starter! Koa is not getting rid of this little guy
No he isn't, Zubat4life club.
Luxury Balls are kinda of similar to the game here, in that they are very comfy. Theoretically, they could help a pokemon evolve faster, but there's another little detail that needs to be present too. But thats spoilers~ so

So, first off, I have to be open about my bias. I've never been interested in journey fics, so I'm clearly not in the main demo for this fic, but I'll try to look past it and be as fair as I can with my review anyway.
I appreciate your honesty here! I know this isn't your thing so thank you for reading anyway!
The structure here is quite solid. No scene feels out of place - each can be recognized as having a clear purpose in setting up some detail about the characters, world or plot. This does mean that it's slightly predictable, but predictable is always better than nonsensical. I also like that the part of the trainer test that we didn't imply Koa would do well in, the battling, was the one he ended up screwing up in. Can't number the amount of times a test has gone worse than expected due to thinking I was better at something than I was and mistakenly assuming I didn't need to practice it.
Thanks!! Glad you think each scene feels necessary, as I definitely had a reason I added each scene.
I find it very odd to see Absol's claws referred to as toenails. Toenails or nails in general always make me think human nails.
Yeaaah this is weird, upon rereading. Will see what I can do to fix.
(personally i cannot see absol as a canine)
hahah fixed
Would younger kids not age and get into the legendary phase too? Or did you mean that there was a legendary fad not unlike, say, the Jurassic Park fueled dinosaur craze?
Well, younger kids would age in but it'd be hard for a 12 year old Koa to befriend a 6 year old. But the legendary phases is pretty similar to a dinosaur phase.

these kids are on cocaine or something to be this energetic i swear
What, you didn't know? Legendary Adventures is about Koa becoming a famous drug kingpin with the help of Zubat!
His coworkers?! He's employed at 13? Isn't that against child labor laws? Furthermore, he can just go on random trips without announcement despite being employed? And he made no mention of the job before? This one little word raises so many questions.
I... i,,,, these are all good questions. In my area though, you can have a job at 14, so it seems reasonable in pokeearth that you can have a job at 13. But I guess maybe Blake secretly cleared it with his job? yeah, lets go with that
I had to reread this a few times because I genuinely just pictured him taking his head off his shoulders and placing it somewhere else. It'd be better to mention the Zubat by name or as "the pokemon" to avoid this.
Yeah this read so weird. Fixed. Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Adamhuarts

Mew specialist
Partners
  1. custom/mew-adam
  2. custom/celebi-shiny
  3. custom/roserade-adam
So, I haven't read a conventional trainer fic in a while partly due to my preference of more pokecentric fics in general. But I saw you talking about this earlier, and decided to give it a go and see what it's all about.

I must say, the first chapter was pretty condensed, but not in a bad way. The pacing was alright, the prose was good and I found myself unable to stop reading because the narrative managed to keep me entertained enough.

Koa, I like very much as a protagonist. Part of the appeal is definitely the youthful energy he exudes that you'd typically find in a lot of trainer fics, though I'd say you handled his character pretty well. Right out the gate he's given concrete character goals and motivations, which is key to keeping readers invested in a character's journey.

I liked Blake as well. He seemed pretty caring and supportive of Koa even if he calls him Little K, funny nickname by the way. I'm amused that he also happens to be a researcher affiliated with Rowan, and I wonder what project the latter needs Koa's help with. Are they going to give him a pokedex and tell him to fill it up? Probably not. My guess is that it has something to do with legendary pokemon. Though I can't say at the moment what that may entail. I'll just have to wait and see in future chapters.

Koa's first pokemon turning out to be a zubat is pretty funny and something tells me Zubat will stay with him even though Koa declared otherwise at the end of the chapter. A honey loving Zubat is certainly unusual as one would expect an echo locating bat to be carnivorous and have no taste for honey and fruit. Maybe this one is just an oddball zubat, and now he's taken great interest in Koa too for helping him out earlier, even though he's technically already paid his debt by saving Koa from a mightyena earlier on in the chapter.

I also really hope we get to see more of those other trainers Koa met during the exam, especially the hint at a possible rivalry between Koa and Cade. The latter might turn out to be the Blue to his Red, though that might not be the case since the two have very different goals. Cade wants to be a dragon specialist, and there's not much overlap there with someone wanting to catch a legendary pokemon. That is unless it's a dragon type legendary.

In any case, Koa's goals are pretty ambitious and certainly not going to be easier to accomplish. It all depends on how powerful and or enigmatic and apathetic to humans legendary pokemon are in his world. Will the legendary he meets be the types that only has as much interest a human would give to an ant, or are they the types that take joy in mingling with humans?

We'll have to wait and see for now.
 

SparklingEspeon

Insquisitabilitatilating
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. espurr
  2. fennekin
Review of Chapters 1 – 21

Hihi I’m here for our review exchange! I’ve rarely been impressed by the OC trainerfic genre, so it did admittedly take me a little while to warm up to this one, but after a few chapters it really did catch on!

It says on the tin that this fic is supposed to be a low-key vanilla OC trainerfic, which is a niche I think it does a pretty good job of filling—this fic operates really well as a slice of life, laid back thing like the anime. Moments that stood out to me were silly things like one trainer naming their psyduck “Psy” while the other named theirs “Sai”, the battle between Rascal and Roark’s Cranidos, and Koa and Avis goofing off somewhere around Chapter sixteenish.

I think this fic has done a really good job of capturing the energy of the anime/games/general pokemon canon—although you do seem to have given Sinnoh a touch of personal flair that it didn’t have in the games. There’s that general fascination with pokemon that everyone in-universe seems to have, and that happy-go-lucky/slice of life energy that keeps everything going on a smaller scale. And indeed, I think LA functions best on a slice-of-life level, although the looming buildup in the background is pretty cool too, especially as it begins to move into the forefront in later chapters.

There are a myriad of things I think this fic does really well, but given the genre I think I’ll start with the pokemon. The pokemon seem to take an agency back seat a bit in the narrative here and act more like hyper-intelligent pets than winged/furred/scaly humans, but I appreciate that they’re actually involved and feel like their own characters—they’re not just robots who Koa pulls out when it’s convenient to battle for him and keeps shelved when it isn’t. In fact, most of the mini plots seem to revolve around the pokemon, and it feels like there’s a give and take balance and Koa’s team includes himself, rather than him just being some detached supervisor or something. That’s usually my number one peeve when reading trainerfics, that the pokemon are cast by the wayside, so this fic gets my seal of approval for not doing that! :quag:

I also appreciated that you gave every single one of Koa’s pokemon their own names and personalities—Echo is kinda doofy but loves honey, Hazard is small but makes up for it with boldness, Rascal is a total tsundere, Anubis is a Good Boy but also kinda hotheaded, Scrapper just wants to battle, and Flurry is that one hyper girl at the playground who definitely drank ten bottles of coke, all the chocolate bars, and her parents’ coffee when they weren’t looking. That said, I do feel like there’s a bit of an ambalance sometimes. Which is fair, considering it’s not an easy feat to shine the light on all six of these guys equally at once, but in general I feel like I know much more about Echo, Rascal, and Scrapper than I know about Hazard, Anubis, and Flurry. (Anubis in particular has kind of just been sitting in the corner ever since the Amity Square attack. Poor doggy :sadness:)

The battles have also been a highlight—I admittedly think that there didn’t need to be as many of them as there were, especially near the beginning, but you’ve done a pretty good job of making them read dynamically and have interesting strategies. Usually I just struggle to read the battle sections in a trainerfic, but these ones were actually pretty interesting to read and kept my attention. My biggest complaint with them is that sometimes it feels like Koa is using the same strategy/move over and over simply because there isn’t too much room for variation. For instance, I think literally 70% of Hazard’s moves have been something something electroweb swinging like spiderman. Which is a really cool strategy! Stuff like that makes the battles feel alive in a way even the anime doesn’t quite accomplish! It just sometimes feels like it’s the only one. But in general, yes!! More unique strategies!! Bend the rules and get creative :D

The major “B” characters on the side are also pretty cool! Avis reminds me a bit of Lucy from the Detective Pikachu movie and is definitely hiding a Tragic Backstory of some kind, and Kitto is kind of hotheaded but also knows his stuff. And doesn’t take hits lying down. And also delivers hits. Liam is just the biggest jerk, although I get the feeling he won’t be returning later on, and Callahan seems to be a perfectly respectable researcher but IDK, I just feel like something’s off with him tbh. More on that later. It seems like a given at this point, but I hope that Avis and Kitto are here to stay, rather than just fading into the background and stuff—maybe we’ll even get to see the three of them in one place soon?

But we haven’t yet covered Koa himself, and I’ve got a bunch to say on him tbh. He’s not really the deepest character—he definitely thinks in stark blacks and whites, and has a strong sense of honor that’s checked with a sense of arrogance that often kicks him down when he rides it too hard, but that’s also undershadowed by the world and how it seems to be a little less forgiving under the surface than the game’s world is. Every time he’s ventured off the path, he’s had brushes with fate that he just barely avoids by recklessly charging through. I get the feel that he’s just living in this happy illusion that’s going to be broken once he gets a real taste of danger and loses something as a result. It’s an interesting contrast to me, where he’s this happy go lucky trainer straight out of any old trainer fic travelling in a world that will probably hurt him badly at some point, especially with his lofty aspirations. Looking forward to see more of that probed in the future, if I am indeed on the right track!

If I had one big criticism about LA, it would have to be with the minor human characters. I said before that I felt that this fic captures the tone and energy of the games + anime pretty well, and I think it extends that to its humans… a little too much. They all feel like NPCs with one single shtick (the psyduck trainers, the old couple at the mansion, etc.), and that kind of cancels out the realness for me. It makes the conversations feel shallow because I don’t get the feel these people were meant to be anything above NPCs, meant to serve a single purpose in Koa’s journey before they fade out the narrative forever. They don’t feel alive; I have precious little idea of what their lives might look like outside the perspective of LA. I think this applies to the more recent minor/“NPC” characters too—for instance, all I know about Callahan is that he’s famous, has Nice Hair, and is a legendary enthusiast. But I don’t know much about him outside of his career as a legendary researcher (and that he recently lost a friend). Does he have family? Any likes or dislikes? Any odd quirks or ticks that might hint at something more mundane about his life? Any secrets he’s keeping? Does he hate coffee? Etc.

I admittedly think this issue has decreased as the story has gone on—Kitto and Avis are excellent and the Battle Triplets were handled pretty well—but it’s something to look out for, especially where one-off random characters you don’t plan to bring back later are concerned.

My other negative note is a little more murky, but I think tension/gravity is something that’s been lacking a bit for me when things get serious. When it happens, it happens really well—stuff like the Entei attack at Amity Square and Raikou’s appearance def gave off “crap just got real” vibes—but often I don’t feel like too many of Koa’s non-legendary pursuits have carried the full weight of danger that they should. Or, rather, he doesn’t suffer consequences. Going after Tyrunt and getting injured by that rapidash is a crazy moment, but he doesn’t come out of it having learned or lost anything. (Although you could say his utter recklessness/obliviousness is a character arc I guess?) Team Blackout has been a joke (although I get the vibe that’s intentional), and losing to Liam and having to give up Scrapper was negated because an adult stepped in and said the bet was void. Because of near saves like this, so far I haven’t actually believed that Koa was ever in meaningful danger the entire fic, outside of the Entei attack. And granted, Koa is a dumb teenager who probably isn’t going to grasp how many brushes with fate he’s had, and this is also pretty much the set of stakes that the anime brought to the table! But I feel like the lowkey, low-stakes trainerfic elements here clash a bit with the larger scope of legendaries you’ve been outlining since the start, which would naturally be darker and more serious. It feels a bit like a transition, but I think better blending of the two vibes is the key.

So I was doing research for this review and I happened to notice that the canon character named Callahan has a reputation for being a compulsive liar. I also think it’s interesting that he seems to be the main legendary pundit for this fic who isn’t a canon character/Koa (since I don’t think that Unown guy is returning), and also that you keep bringing him back—signaling that he’s obviously important. Something doesn’t quite click about him tbh, and here’s what I think: Callahan is the one behind the legendary attacks.

…It is my greatest dream to one day meet these legendary 'beasts' and understand the secrets they hold. Now, I would like to discuss a bit more about the potential role legendaries play in our world..."

"That is an interesting theory. However, I believe that the true power resides in the Three themselves, not Ho-Oh or Lugia. After all, it is said the people drove them off in fear. I believe it is they who hold the greatest secret of all."

"Who knows? Legendaries are full of mysteries. Perhaps one day I may be able to unravel those mysteries." He cast a glance at one of the memorial stones, a trace of sadness in his eyes. "Such as the secret of resurrection. It is one of the great mysteries that remain about those legendaries. That is part of the reason I've come here. You see, I lost a good friend not long ago. I came here to pay my respect to them."

His motive is twofold. He’s a legendary researcher who also focuses on legendaries, but he wants to take it to the next level by actually drawing them out into the open and capturing them for study, something that no other researcher has done before. He’s set his sights on the Three specifically, because he believes that if he can discover the power of resurrection, he can bring his dead friend back to life with it. However, no matter the motive, he can’t have a sin as blatant as catching a legendary on his record. So instead, he sets out to make it… nnnot so much of a sin in the first place.

The attacks on Amity Square and the ruins aren’t the work of the one pokemon, but the work of many—a group of zoroark co-ordinate to create the illusion of a legendary, in this case Raikou and Entei, while many other pokemon of the same type spread out and create destruction meant to look like it was caused by the legendary being framed. Callahan goes about covering his paper trail by secretly propping Team Blackout up financially and covering their asses from a legal perspective. All they have to do is use the pokemon they’ve stolen to execute his elaborate plans for him. His theory about there being more than one of the Three makes no sense to Koa because it shouldn’t—he’s covering his ass with a fake theory that flies only because he’s The Authority on the subject.

As time goes on, the legendaries begin to gain bad buzz because of Callahan’s attacks. Now he steps up to the public limelight, using his reputation to sew doubt about whether the legendaries are really out for the good of all humans and pokemon or not. At this point, the legendaries have recognized that he’s a threat—sullying their reputations and causing actual mayhem—they plan to take him out. Unfortunately for them, this is just as planned from Callahan’s side of the equation. When they’re attacking him, the legendary researcher who certainly means no harm to the legendaries and definitely has never hurt a hair upon their heads, they look like the bad guys. Callahan will capture them for study and look like a hero doing it.

From a thematic/story standpoint it also makes sense to me—Koa wants to capture legendaries, but he respects pokemon as equals and would rather ask a legendary to join his team than capture them by force. Callahan wants to capture legendaries, but his purposes are selfish and he’ll use the most underhanded methods to do it. They’re two sides of the same coin that will eventually clash, maybe with Avis and Kitto having their own subplots on the side.

Anyways, now that my theorycrafting is done, on to some sillier stuff!

NGL the bashing of the stupider parts of canon was funny. Some of those gym leaders are major >.> tbh. “Simulated battles”? Really??

Although I did like Cynthia’s dismissing of Fantina and talk with Koa. I felt like that was one of the first times I really connected with the fic, and I think the theme of responsibility is a good one—I wonder if that’ll come into play down the line, where Koa realizes that the legendaries he wants to catch have responsibilities too or something.

I’ve said it before, but Hazard swinging and dashing around like Spiderman is really cool! It’s also something that technically has IRL relevancy, since that’s how spiders fly… wonder if there was any inspiration taken from that. Still a cool idea either way

I thought it was kind of funny how the mansion guy was all like “Hey don’t knock wooper and quagsire they’re the strongEST”, and then later on Koa and Co. take down a quag without any issues lol

The little shop names were so cute; “cressellia bakery”, “shaymart”, etc. I loved those! More of this plz!!

Overall, I thought this was a really good addition to the world of trainerfic. It fixed nearly every issue that I have with the niche, as well as building upon that and having fun along the way. I rarely felt like I was slogging through at any point, and it’s worked well both as a cozy read and the beginning of a well-rounded story :veelove:

Oh, and I wanted to test out my manga style draw something for this fic anyway, so here you go:

Koa.png

Keep writing!

~SparklingEspeon
 

Seren

Lurking
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. sableye
Okay, so here’s those chapter-by-chapter notes for 1-5! Just gonna spoiler-tag them all so I'm not taking up a lot of space.

For chapter 1, overall I think it's a solid start and definitely a twist on the traditional anime-style opening. There's only minor glitch towards the end that I was curious over, but keeping track of time frames is difficult.

1. I like that there's some sort of physical portion to the trainer exam. I don't think many fics explore that aspect of training... it's a lot of walking with heavy objects on your back, and if you're not ready for that, you're gonna be in trouble. This is a nice, easy way to deal with that without having to constantly bring it up.
2. Oh, are you allowing trainers more than 6 pokemon on a team? It looks like Koa's planning for 7 in this chapter.
3. I enjoy here how the traditional opening is sort of twisted with Blake fulfilling the "mother" role. It feels less forced than these sorts of openings tend to do. Wonder how much more of Blake we're going to see.
4. That's an interesting note about anyone being allowed to catch pokemon, but only licensed trainers could like, officially catch and battle and stuff. I mean, self-defense is one thing, but it's a good counter for the game's take of "you must fight EVERY trainer you meet". Which, in a story setting, would get very tiresome.
5. Aw, Koa taking care of the zubat like a baby bird!
6. I feel like there’s a minor timing issue here: This is the same zubat from the honey tree “weeks ago”? The start of the story here only had a week before the trainer's exam; then three days to the city and three days back. Koa stayed one night at home, far as I can tell, and one afternoon to get to Ore cave... so weeks makes it sound like that happened much farther ago than it really should have. Something to consider if you ever go back to edit, unless I’m misunderstanding.


Chapter 2 was also good. There wasn't really specific anything I saw that might need changing.

1. Something tells me Koa's going to be stuck with this zubat.
2. Oh, he made it out with the fossil in tow, did he? Nice.
3. Now we have two pokemon that have willingly joined Koa. Anime-style, indeed! (Minor curiosity here: I wonder if maybe the joltik was actually with the galvantula when the poacher attacked and Koa just didn't notice it because it’s so tiny. It’s a little odd that the galvantula would just offer its child to Koa as a thank you otherwise, I feel. Might make more sense if the child was also rescued and wanted to go with Koa himself.)
4. Uh oh, now Silver's in Sinnoh! a robbery! I wonder what pokemon Rowan had saved for Koa originally?
5. Well, there's the note on the six pokemon thing. Maybe Koa plans to rotate his party around?
6. Mention of the lake guardians! That gives us a time setting reference for the story. It's interesting that that event still happened, and yet some of the trainers from chapter 1 didn't even believe that legendaries existed. Maybe they were specifically referencing -other- legendaries, but that wasn't really clear at the time.


Right off the bat, I like the listing of Koa's current party starting in chapter 3. I had been doing that at the end of chapters at one point, years ago... not really sure why I stopped. That's a good idea if you take a while between updates, anyway.

This chapter, though, I had a couple of... questions with. Still enjoyed it, but I feel there might be some things that would be better served with some clarification rather than just a quick edit of a line or two.


1. Cute pokedex-entry nod there about joltik sucking battery from Koa's poketch.
2. Eep. I hadn't really had a problem with Koa's treatment of the zubat until this point, and I think it's because this is the first time he's outwardly aggressive towards him. "Just stay out of the way" is harsh. Also, it sounds like his attitude is going to change eventually, but I do think it's odd how Koa does not want a zubat at all, but seems to accept the joltik without much resistance, even though neither one had been in his original planned lineup. There hasn't really been a reason given for why he's accepted one and not the other. Like, he hesitates to catch starly here because he already has a flying type... well, why is he still set on catching a shinx if he already has an electric-type? Has he just accepted that he’ll have joltik instead of luxray? Because that wasn’t made very clear. The only note we get that he actually changed his long-term plan was "well, it was still an electric type".
3. Hah, he dreamed of finding a giant zubat! He really does not want this poor bat.
4. Roark's reaction to the fossil reads a little harsh to me. "I could do it, but lol no, I won't." He could be a little more... polite I guess, in giving his explanation, which he does in the following sentence.
5. Technical detail here: Bug-type resists ground, so Hazard is not, in fact, weak to it, it is neutral! Still weak to rock, though.
6. I genuinely love Roark's nicknames! Boulder and Rocky! Glorious.
7. Ah, now he's talking about his plan... it should have been made clearer earlier though that joltik had replaced luxray completely, because it makes his rejection of zubat feel awkward to me. I get that he thinks staraptor is much stronger than a crobat, but it doesn't really show that he thinks a galvantula is comparable to a luxray, ya know?
8. Aw, Koa lecturing Hazard on manners...
9. Another technical detail here: Valley Windworks is east of Floaroma, not west.
10. Hm... Koa's 180 on his zubat here feels a little... sudden. Like, sure there was one or two snippets of clarity in the story so far (the gym battle being the big one, and a mention or two of how the zubat was kinda cute), but otherwise Koa had been adamantly determined not to keep the zubat up to this point. I'd suggest trying to make some clearer, but subtle, hints that he's warming up to the zubat, because this feels very spontaneous. Maybe stretch it out over a few more chapters, or just make him opening up to the zubat more gradual than it has been so far. Just a couple extra random scenes in earlier chapters even might help.


There's a couple of very minor details in chapter 4, but nothing that a quick edit couldn't take care of.


1. I wonder why Rachel "needed to know" if Koa was weak or not. Also, "needing to know" if someone is only slightly stronger than her brother. The conversation here doesn’t really feel like it flows to me. "Wanting to know" might sound better. "Needing to know" might work better if her brother were really well-known or powerful or something, or even just if she mentioned that she'd rarely met someone who could beat her brother.
2. Hah, I love the Psy/Sai thing! Very sibling thing to do.
3. I also love that Koa's just obsessed with legendaries and that this does come across really well. The first thing he wants to see in the city? Not the gym, as I was expecting, but the statues.
4. It's a little odd for Gardenia to offer Koa the first move when... it's literally in her gym's rules (or so stated Lavender in an earlier sentence).
5. That's a unique use of Growth! I'm here for this sort of thing!
6. "Turtwig is unable to battle. Koamaru is the winner!" Koa hasn't won this battle yet. Probably makes more sense to replace his name here with Echo; it makes the pokemon characters a little more like participating characters and a bit less like plot tools.
7. Interesting how weather ball a just a ball of fire. So are you portraying it as just able to be whatever type the weather can potentially be via aura? (I know there's not even been a mention of aura so far, but I can't see how else this could be fire-typed in this situation. There was no Sunny Day first.)
8. Huh. So he's not going to get his tyrogue after all. Hah, literally nothing in his plan is going right so far. Now that we know this, I kinda dig it.



Another few very minor glitches in chapter 5, but overall I loved this one!


1. "Ready for this?" He turned to his pokemon, who stood by his side - a fierce Joltik, and an eager Zubat. <- Echo evolved in chapter four, yet he's referred to as a zubat at the start of chapter 5 here.
2. Very nice use of string shot to bring down the ponyta here! More creative usage of moves!
3. Also quick thinking for Echo to stop Koa from faceplanting, haha.
4. "Dodge, my pretty!" <- Oh my god, she totally reads like the wicked witch here and I'm living for it.
5. There's been a few "hurt by confusion" knockouts already so far and if that isn't the epitome of battling the zubat line, I don't know what is.
6. Well, I wasn't expecting tyrunt to completely destroy the fossil machine and escape! I love that its first instinct is to go hunting.
7. Ooooh, I love the idea of pokeballs breaking with the pokemon still inside! I know the anime did something once about a broken pokeball, but the pokemon wasn't in it at the time and they had to travel to get a new one with the pokemon out, and that wasn't an easy goal. That's a very interesting thought!



So, final thoughts so far, I'm quite enjoying this and I can't wait to see what happens next! None of the glitches I've seen so far are really huge honestly, but I do really feel that Koa's complete 180 on Echo in chapter 3 happens way too suddenly. With how fast you turned it around (only three chapters, and he didn't even own Echo for chapter 1, so... two chapters), I don't know if that would be enough time to really make Koa change his mind, considering he'd planned out his entire team and is very adamant about not keeping Echo for most of his capture-time. That said, you do a great job so far of making the battles you've included feel meaningful or interesting in some fashion, so they don't feel like a waste of time like many battles tend to do. I can totally see the anime-influence so far and I also totally get the "What are Sinnoh 'Mons" meme now.

I'm probably gonna take a break between chapters so I don't start spamming the thread with back-to-back comments (but I want to check out HIWTHI also, so that should give me some time). Anyways, so far, so good! Koa's just your average trainer who wants to do more than just train and I'm really interested to see whether or not he actually accomplishes this goal eventually!
 
Chapter 22: Blackout

Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. crobat
Echo (Male Crobat) {Ability: Infiltrator} - Confuse Ray, Poison Fang, Crunch, Air Slash

Hazard (Male Joltik) {Ability: Compound eyes} - Bug Bite, Electroweb, String Shot, Giga Drain

Rascal (Female Tyrunt) {Ability: Strong Jaw} - Dragon Tail, Ancient Power, Stomp, Crunch

Anubis (Male Houndoom) {Ability: Flash Fire} - Flamethrower, Dark Pulse, Thunder Fang, Howl

Scrapper (Male Breloom) {Ability: Effect Spore} - Seed Bomb, Mach Punch, Sky Uppercut, Stone Edge

Flurry (Female Spheal) {Ability: Thick Fat} - Aqua Ring, Defense Curl, Rollout, Water Gun



When Koa finally returned to the Pokemon Center, it was well past midnight. The nurse there had been rather surprised to see him, but didn't seem fazed by him showing up on the doorstep, sopping wet, and in just a few moments, produced an armful of towels for him and his pokemon.

Nurse Joy also helped him check out his pokemon, who aside from being thoroughly soaked, were just fine, she said. After everything was taken care of, she showed him to a room. He took a quick, but deliciously hot shower. By the time he came out, all his pokemon were sleeping soundly. He scanned the room for a second before spotting the dark shape of Echo, clinging upside down from the ceiling fan, his wings wrapped around his fluffy purple body.

Koa smiled at the sight briefly. It was nice to see that even when things changed, some things stayed the same. He gave a long yawn and stretched. Wasting not a moment more, he crawled under the covers, snuggling into the pillow and taking comfort in the presence of his starter, now fully evolved, hanging above him.

xXx

The arrival of the next morning brought a few interesting revelations. One, he was sore. The tumble down the cliff had banged him up worse than he realized. His whole body protested as he tried to roll out of bed. Standing brought a fresh wave of aches and he groaned. Looking at his arms and torso, he noted that he was fairly bruised up as well, giving him the appearance of having been in a fight. Third, his jacket was a sorry sight. The arms were noticeably scraped up, and the back had a long rip across it, showing the inner lining. Several more smaller tears pockmarked the outside. He frowned at the sight. It wasn't technically unwearable, given it wasn't uncommon to see trainers in roughed up clothing, but he'd definitely have to get a new one today.

His pokemon were all still resting, so he slipped downstairs to grab a bite of food from the cafeteria. He nibbled at a muffin, but didn't end up eating much. His thoughts kept traveling back to his choices during his journey. Maybe if he'd fought harder, studied more, he could have beat Maylene. Maybe he could have even beat Cade after he left Hearthome...

An odd uncertainty filled him. Almost without thinking, he stood up and strode over to the videophones. He dialed Blake's number and waited. A few seconds later his brother's face appeared on the screen.

"Hey Little K! What's up? How's your journey going?"

Koa smiled a bit stiffly. "Awesome! Echo just evolved!"

Blake's eyes widened. "That's fantastic!" He paused and narrowed his eyes, frowning slightly. "There's something you haven't told me though, isn't there?"

"Yeah," Koa murmured mareepishly. "I fought Maylene yesterday."

Blake nodded knowingly. "You lost, didn't you?"

Koa simply nodded. He looked down, unwilling to meet his cousin's gaze. The way he'd lost still stung. Not even being able to beat two of her pokemon... Blake's voice cut into his thoughts.

"Did you learn from the fight?"

"Huh?"

"Since you lost, did you learn something?"

After a few seconds, Koa nodded. "I guess. I mean, I have a better sense of how she fights. And what pokemon she uses."

"That's good," Blake said. "That's something you learned about her though. Whenever you lose a fight, you should try to learn something about your opponent, and about yourself. So what did you learn?" He pointed his finger at the screen in emphasis.

Koa blinked, considering his brother's point. Something he learned about himself? He thought long and hard. "Well, I got overconfident. I thought that because I was getting better, I didn't need to try as hard. I guess I felt like battles would just come naturally and I could win."

At that, Blake grinned proudly. "Now that's what I like to hear." He cleared his throat and sat back from the screen slightly. "Since all the good character stuff is out of the way, let's talk practical. Tell me what pokemon you used and what moves they had."

Koa quickly reviewed his team, while Blake listened attentively. Once he was finished, Blake tapped his chin in thought.

"I've got some advice for you. Teach your pokemon some new moves."

"New moves? But they already know some good ones-"

Blake chuckled, then held up his hands. "You know, sometimes I forget that even though you're pretty smart, you can be pretty dumb."

"Hey!" Koa protested, though he smiled still.

"My point is this. Even though Pokemon are only capable of utilizing four moves effectively, don't be afraid to teach them new moves. Experiment a little. Once a pokemon has learned a move, it's easy for them to relearn an old one. There's usually tutors in towns who are willing to help with that if you need it. So it's to your advantage to learn at least a few extra moves, and you can choose to go back and learn an old one later. I know you like your planning, but don't be afraid to experiment a little too."

"I... actually never thought of that," Koa mused. "Maybe I'll try that."

"Do it. And there's no better place than Veilstone. They have the largest department store in Sinnoh, and definitely the widest TM selection."

"That I knew," Koa replied. "But thanks for the idea! I've been thinking about teaching my pokemon some new moves anyway."

With a farewell to his cousin, he hung up then headed upstairs to gather his pokemon and his bag. It was time to do some shopping.

xXx

Veilstone City sported the largest department store in all of Sinnoh. It was more a mall than a store, and sold just about anything and everything a trainer could want - food, clothes, medicines, pokeballs and most importantly of all, TM's. Which meant it was the perfect place to do some TM shopping.

A short time later, he found himself on the 3rd floor of the store, browsing the racks upon racks of TM's, puzzling over what moves to teach his team. Thanks to his loss to Maylene, his funds were rather tight. He figured he could afford about two TM's though, as long as he wasn't buying anything too expensive, like those for Blizzard or Fire Blast. After a solid few hours of deliberating, researching, and overthinking, he settled on Bug Buzz for Hazard, and Stone Edge for Scrapper. Bug Buzz was quite a bit stronger than Bug Bite, and Stone Edge would literally give Scrapper an 'edge' against fire and flying types.

With his shopping done, he returned to the training field at the Pokemon Center. First, he used his TM case and taught the new moves to his pokemon. He replaced Bug Bite for Bug Buzz and switched Scrapper's Giga Drain for Stone Edge.

The next hour or so, he trained with Scrapper and Hazard, and Flurry, making sure they were familiar with their new moves. Training didn't take long, since TM's granted a pretty solid knowledge of how to use a move. Flurry seemed to be coming along well, he observed. While he didn't want to give her Ice Beam just yet, she had a good handle on Rollout, Water Gun, and Aqua Ring. It was a shame she was so far behind the rest of his team. She had a long way to go before he could use her in a gym battle.

With their training complete, he had only one more thing he wanted to do before returning to the gym.

Seeking out the Battle Triplets turned out to be easy. Asking around for a few minutes got him the answers he needed. He found them on the eastern edge of town, doing a practice match. Quite a few trainers had gathered to watch them fight, making the real challenge squeezing through the crowd to get a good view. Demetria and Dimitri were battling this time. Demetria was using her Incineroar, while Dimitri appeared to be using an Excadrill.

As far as he could tell, he arrived somewhere near the middle of the battle - both pokemon looked a bit worn down, but were far from tapping out. Demetria Incineroar appeared to have the advantage in raw strength, while Dimitri's Excadrill had an edge in speed. The battle continued for another few minutes, which gave Koa plenty of opportunity to try and evaluate them. They were strong for sure, but not nearly as strong as Cynthia. Perhaps they were as strong as a gym leader's proper team, if he had to guess. Far from impossible to defeat.

Another interesting thing he noted about their battle was the way they played out. While the battles he'd seen resemble complex and elaborate, in which creativity and on your feet thinking were crucial components, Dimitri and Demetria's battle seemed almost... systematic. It was impressive, yes. But each command was given, and then a counter command. The pokemon seemed to always return to their starting positions, and it seemed much less free-form than the battles he was accustomed to watching. There was a strange sort of structure to every movement.

A few moments later, the match concluded, with Dimitri's Excadrill getting the upper-hand with a timely Dig attack. Demetria returned her Incineroar, staring at the pokeball for a moment and murmuring something to it. Dimitri returned his pokemon, then shot his sister a pleased smirk. Her only response was to roll her eyes.

Slowly, the crowd began to disperse. The triplets gathered together, then started to head off, back towards town. Koa quickly jogged after them. "Hey!" he called.

Deuce, who lagged at the back of the group, glanced over his shoulder, as did his siblings. "Well, look who came back," Dimitri siad, giving Koa a condescending look.

Koa's blood boiled. "How about you lose the attitude? You think just because you won in the Battle Tree you're some kind of god of battling? I've got news for you. You're not. I don't care how skilled you are, you're not infallible and you're not all-knowing. Yeah sure, you know a bunch of facts and figures but maybe there's more to life than perfect win streaks or knowing a bunch of numbers. Grow up and stop acting like everyone has to play the game your way." He took a breath, his heart pounding. All of a sudden, he realized how tense his body was, and he forced himself to relax. He hadn't meant to blurt all that out like that.

Dimitri blinked at him in open mouthed shock. Deuce looked impressed, he noted, while Demetria seemed amused. A long silence dragged out. Dimitri snorted, then turned away. "Yeah... whatever. You still lost to Maylene pretty pathetically."

Biting his tongue, Koa, clenched his fists and resisted the urge to say something extremely uncouth. Actions would be better than words here. "Actually, I came to ask you guys about that. I'm rematching Maylene today, and I figured you might like to watch."

Demetria gave Dimitri an uncertain look. Deuce stepped forwards. "I'd like to see your rematch," he said coolly. A slight smile played at his lips.

Koa grinned back at him. "Awesome!"

An uncomfortable silence stretched out before Demetria spoke. "I suppose I'll come watch. Our boat doesn't leave for awhile yet."

"Let's go then," Koa said confidently. This time would be different, he was sure. He was ready, and his pokemon were ready. He would prove to Demetria and Dimitri especially, that pokemon were more than just numbers.

xXx

"Go, Meditite!" Maylene tossed out a pokeball and a Meditite appeared on the battlefield in a flash of light.

Koa grinned and tossed out his own pokeball. "Go Hazard!" Hazard emerged in a flash of light, clicking his pincers together as he stared down his opponent.

At Koa's feet, Flurry squeaked encouragingly, cheering her teammate on. He'd told Maylene earlier how he wanted to have her watch, so she could get a feel for battles.

The referee waved an arm. "Battle, begin!"

"Electroweb!" Koa called. Hazard formed up the electrical webbing and fired at Meditite. It's eyes shimmered green briefly and it twisted its body, contorting through one of the holes in the web and landing on the other side unharmed. Koa grimaced at the use of Detect.

"Psycho Cut!" Maylene called. Meditite quickly recovered, stabilizing itself, then firing a rapid blade of psychic energy.

"Jump!" Even as Koa spoke, Hazard sprang nimbly into the air, the attack passing under him.

Maylene wasted no time. "Psycho Cut!"

"Bug Buzz!" A purple blade shot through the air towards Hazard, and was met by a red beam of energy shot from Joltilk's jaws. The bug type energy pierced through Psycho Cut and struck Meditite. It tumbled midair, but still caught itself, remaining hovering several inches off the battlefield.

"Bug Buzz, again!" Hazard quickly fired another red beam at Meditite, catching it in the chest. It levitated backwards with the force of the blow, stopping itself after several feet. Koa decided to try and press his advantage further. "Electroweb!"

"Detect! Meditite uncurled its legs and sprang forwards, somersaulting through the webs and landing in front of Hazard. "Now, Bullet Punch!" Meditite's fists glowed silver and it delivered a blinding flurry of blows to Hazard. The Joltik tumbled backwards and landed on his feet.

"String Shot, rapid fire!" Koa cried. Maybe he could force Maylene to use up her Detect. The move became less reliable the more often it was used. Hazard fired three, small bursts of sticky webbing at Meditite. To Koa's dismay, Meditite managed to dodge the three bursts without the use of Detect.

Maylene shot him a triumphant look. "You won't get us that easy! Meditite's my best dodger. Now, use Bullet Punch." Meditite blurred forwards, its fists glowing. It landed three strikes before Hazard managed to spring out of range.

Koa snapped off a command. "Bug Buzz!" The attack struck its mark, though Meditite still remained standing.

"Drain Punch." Orange energy wrapped around Meditite's fist as it rushed forward, planting one hand on Joltik's body, drawing energy from him.

"Giga Drain," Koa said. Green energy struck Meditite, surrounding it, sapping its strength even as Hazard's was sapped.

On the opposite end of the field, Maylene threw a series of sharp jabs as she spoke her next command. "Bullet Punch!" Meditite switched its attack stance, pulling back slightly from Hazard and charging its attack.

Instinct seized Koa. "Duck and roll," he called. Hazard understood his command implicitly. Hurling himself forwards, he rolled neatly under Meditite's hovering form, dodging the attack and emerging behind him. "Now Electroweb!" Hazard fired the attack without hesitation, pinning Meditite to the ground and shocking it.

Hesitant excitement filled Koa. This was his chance. Hazard made an urgent chitter, his eyes darting to the ceiling. Realization dawned on Koa. "Up in the air, Hazard!" Hazard shot a thin line of web to the ceiling, pulling him high, even as Meditite continued to struggle. "Do it!"

Hazard fired another Electroweb, this time straight down. He dropped himself into the web, cloaking himself in a web of electricity, and plummeting down towards its trapped opponent. Just as Meditite struggled free, Hazard crashed on top of Meditite, knocking it out soundly.

Koa grinned eagerly as Maylene returned her pokemon. "That was pretty good!" she called. "I wasn't expecting you to dodge under Meditite like that."

"Thanks!" Koa called. He glanced at Hazard, who chittered happily. Closer examination revealed a sheen of exhaustion in his gaze. No need to over-tire him. "Hazard, take a rest." he held out Hazard's pokeball and returned him. Maylene gave him an approving nod. "Now let's see how you handle my next sparring partner. Come on out, Machoke." She tossed out a pokeball and Machoke emerged onto the battlefield. It grunted and flexed its muscles.

Koa selected his next pokemon confidently. "Time to fight, Scrapper!" he shouted eagerly. His Breloom emerged, bouncing lightly on his toes and throwing several air jabs, his gaze completely fixated on Machoke.

The referee raised his hands. "Battle, begin!"

"Your move, Koamaru," Maylene said.

Koa locked eyes with Scrapper, and nodded. "No giving up this time." Scrapper nodded and smirked. "Mach Punch!"

Scrapper raced across the field, a mere blur. His fist glowed white and he punched Machoke in the chest. At nearly the same instant, Maylene called, "Brick Break!" Machoke lashed out and punched Scrapper, causing him to stagger. "Sky Uppercut."

"Bulk up," Maylene snapped.

Machoke's muscles twitched as he tensed. A split second later, SkyUppercut connected with its chin, making it grunt in pain, though the damage was lessened slightly. Koa raised his eyebrows. So Maylene had changed up her pokemon's moves as well. Interesting. Clearly she'd swapped Focus Energy for Bulk Up.

Oa quickly called his next attack. "Seed Bomb!" Scrapper took two steps back, formed the ball of green energy, and fired at Machoke.

In a fluid motion, Maylene ducked and twisted, calling for Machoke to dodge. Machoke twisted around the attack, the Seed Bomb striking just behind him. "Now, Dynamic Punch!" Machoke's fist shone vivid orange and he swung at Breloom.

"Dodge!" Koa yelled frantically. Scrapper danced to the side, allowing the punch to pass harmlessly by him. Koa couldn't resist a grin. Scrapper's fighting instincts were strong, he realized. Probably from training with Jackie, he supposed. The two fighting-types faced each other now, glaring and sizing each other up.

"Seed Bomb, up in the air." Scrapper reared back and fired a seed bomb up into the air. It arced up and plummeted down towards Machoke. Machoke sprang backwards to dodge. The Seed Bomb crashed to the earth, kicking up a cloud of dust. "Now, Sky Uppercut!" Scrapper raced into the cloud. A moment later, he heard Machoke's grunt of pain. Then he heard Scrapper yelp. The Breloom tumbled out of the cloud of dust, which was just beginning to settle.

"Scrapper?" Koa called. Scrapper pushed himself to his feet and glanced back at Koa, giving a cry of acknowledgement. Across the field Machoke was shaking off the punch he'd just endured. "Stone Edge!" Koa called.

"Bulk Up!"

Scrapper slammed his fist into the earth. Spires of stone erupted, shooting towards Machoke. A spire erupted underneath it just as it finished tensing, its power and defenses growing again. The sharp edged jabbed Machoke's chest. It grunted and shut its eyes, falling to one knee and clutching its chest. A critical.

Scrapper smirked at Machoke as it slowly stood up and shook its head. It offered a brief nod of respect before taking up a fighting stance again.

Maylene mimicked the nod. "That was a good hit. But Machoke isn't done yet! Rock Tomb."

Machoke raised its palms in the air. A massive boulder formed in its hands and it tossed it at Scrapper with terrifying ease. "Break it with Sky Uppercut," Koa called. Scrapper bounced on its toes, then sprang upwards, fist glowing. The strike shattered the boulder, sending scraps of rock flying.

Scrapper landed on his feet, tiny rocks pelting to the ground all around him. "Mach Punch, quick!" Scrapper lunged forwards, fist glowing white, striking Machoke in the chest with a quick jab.

"Brick Break!" Maylene called, bringing her own fist swinging down. Machoke mimicked the motion and brought its fist down on Breloom's head. Almost immediately, it recoiled back, its eyes widening. Then its eyes rolled back, and slumped to the ground, fast asleep.

A devious grin of delight crossed Koa's face. Effect Spore had kicked in. "Now Scrapper, Stone Edge." Scrapper thrust his fist into the earth. A huge spire of rock erupted under Machoke, launching it into the air.

Koa grinned. "Finish it with Sky Uppercut!" Scrapper raced forwards, leaped into the air, and slammed his fist into Machoke. The two pokemon plummeted back towards the earth. Scrapper landed on his feet, while Machoke slammed into the earth, leaving a huge crater. As the dust settled, a red light flashed as Maylene returned her Machoke.

"That was some great strategy. But this isn't the end, my friend." She smiled and threw out her final pokemon. Lucario appeared in a flash of light, throwing its head back and howling a battle cry.

Scrapper snarled a cry of his own. Koa shook his head and took out Scrapper's pokeball. "You have to return, Scrapper. You don't have enough strength left to defeat Lucario." At that, Scrapper's head whipped around and he glared at Koa, shaking his head determinedly. Koa opened his mouth to protest. No matter how much Scrapper wanted to fight, there was no way he could win. Then he understood. Scrapper knew he couldn't win, but he wanted to test himself, and his fighting skills, against a skilled opponent.

Koa nodded in understanding. "If that's what you want Scrapper, then we fight until the end!"

"That's what I like to hear from my opponents," Maylene said.

"Let's start this with Mach Punch," Koa called. Scrapper danced side to side, then rushed forwards in a fighting stance.

Maylene made a swift motion with her hands. "Lucario, Bone Rush!" Lucario mimicked its trainers motion, a glowing blue bone extended from its paws. Scrapper swung his fist. Lucario raised the glowing bone, deflected the punch, then swung it, striking Scrapper in the side. The Breloom skidded across the battlefield and slid to a stop, one claw planted on the floor.

Koa snapped out his next command. "Seed Bomb!" Scrapper fired a glowing orb at Lucario.

"Deflect it," Maylene called calmly. Lucarion twirled the bone expertly and knocked the seed bomb aside. It smashed into the ground nearby, and Maylene grinned. Inspiration struck Koa. "Seed Bomb, again!" Koa called.

Scrapper fired the attack without hesitation. Just as he hoped, Lucario twirled its bone and slammed the attack back.

"Hit it with your tail," Reacting instantly, Scrapper rushed forwards and spun, whipping his tail around striking the orb back at Lucario again, three times as fast. It smashed into the fighting types chest, sending it reeling.

"Quick, Stone edge!" In a single fluid motion, Scrapper brought his fist down on the ground. The wave of stones surged forwards, erupting under Lucario and making it stagger. Koa's heart raced. "Mach Punch!" Scrapper rushed in and slammed his fist into Lucario.

Maylene grinned. Lucario held its paws out, a half-charged Aura Sphere gathering between them, blasted it straight into Scrapper's face.

Koa winced as Scrapper was thrown across the battlefield. He tumbled across the field and rolled to stop. To Koa's surprise, he stirred. Slowly, bit by bit, he pushed himself up and stood, staring Lucario down defiantly.

For a second, Koa contemplated withdrawing Scrapper. He shook aside the thought. Scrapper wanted to fight on his terms. And if Scrapper wanted that, he would honor it. "Mach Punch," he said calmly.

Scrapper walked across the battlefield. Step by step, he walked towards Lucario, eyes burning with determination. He picked up his pace, until he was moving at a jog, then raised his fist to strike Lucario.

Giving a nod of respect, which Lucario mimicked, she called her final move. "Force Palm." Lucario's hand became a blur as it sidestepped the Mach Punch and placed its fist against Scrapper's chest. Light gathered, then exploded. Scrapper crashed to the ground. Koa stared, a mixture of pride and sadness filling him. Then Scrapper moved. He looked up and smirked at Lucario.

Sparks flared across Lucario's body and it stiffened as a paralysis took effect. Still grinning, Scrapper collapsed, unconscious, a smirk still plastered over his face. Koa almost laughed as he returned him. Now he understood. Scrapper didn't just want to stay in the fight to test himself (though that was no doubt a large part of it), he was hoping to weaken Lucario even further, for Echo. He was fighting for his team.

"I suppose I'm in a bit of a bind now, aren't I?" Maylene mused. "I underestimated the will of your Breloom. But my Lucario is far from done."

"For now," Koa retorted as he selected Echo's pokeball. "But you're not beating me twice. Go Echo!"

The Crobat screeched as he entered the battlefield, yellow eyes narrowed. His gaze fixated immediately on Lucario, who glared back.

"Very impressive!" Maylene called, upon seeing Echo's newly evolved form. "Now lets see how he performs in a real battle."

Koa took a deep breath. This was it. This was his chance. To show everyone, especially Echo himself, that every pokemon was great. No. That any pokemon could become great. "You ready, Echo?"

Echo screeched in agreement.

"Battle begin!"

"Air Slash!" Koa snapped. In a flurry of beating wings, Crobat hurled several blades of wind at Lucario.

Maylene and Lucario flipped forward, Lucario twisting deftly in between the blades and dodging half of them. It landed, threw its hands out and hurled an Aura Sphere at Echo. Echo flew towards the attack, twisting around the attack with an agility he'd never possessed as a Golbat. "Confuse Ray." Echo's eyes blazed yellow and he shot a trio of golden orbs at Lucario.

Lucario drew its paws and produced a glowing blue bone. In a single motion, it leaped forward, planted the bone, and vaulted over the Confuse Ray, slamming his attack into Echo. The Crobat was smashed into the ground, sending up a cloud of dust. "Again!"

A second later, a trio of golden orbs shot from the dust and crashed into Lucario. Lucario staggered, swaying on its feet. The pupils of its eyes narrowed to dots. It raised its palm, energy gathering on it, then struck its own chest, blasting itself with energy.

"Now Echo, Air Slash!" Echo flew out of the settling dust and beat its wings, sending waves of energy at Lucario, striking him several times.

"Dodge!" Maylene called. Lucario started to move, but then paralysis seized its body. It froze up, getting pounded mercilessly by Air Slash. "Don't give up Lucario. Aura Sphere." Shaking its head, Lucaio burst forward, energy gathering between its paws. It shot directly under Crobat, twisted, and tossed an Aura Sphere straight up.

It struck Echo, sending him whirling upwards, spinning as he tried to right himself.

"Now, Bone Rush!" Lucario extended its paws and leaped gracefully upwards. Holding two bones, one in each paw, he aimed to bring them crashing down on Echo. One strike grazed him, then he twisted, dipping out of the way of the second. Lucario quickly followed it up with a flurry of strikes, which Echo neatly dodged most of. Growling in frustration, Lucario swung one final blow at Echo. The glowing bone crashed into the side of Echo's body, sending him spiraling through the air.

"Crunch!" koa shouted. Echo twisted with the momentum of the attack, not unlike how he'd done when fighting Kitto, then darted forward and sank glowing jaws into Lucario.

Lucario crashed to the ground heavily, and Echo hovered several feet away, panting. A tense silence filled the battlefield as Koa watched his opponent. Then Lucario staggered forwards and collapsed. "Yes!" Koa shouted. Echo did his usual trademark loop, though this time he threw in an extra spiral just to show off.

Maylene returned Lucario, smiling. She strode across the field and stopped in front of Koa, holding out the usual prize money and badge. Grinning in delight, Koa took the badge and slipped it into his case. "That was an excellent battle," Maylene said. "Quite the improvement over last time."

"Thanks," Koa said. He rubbed Echo, who had settled onto his head. "I never could have done it without my pokemon."

Maylene nodded. "True indeed. But don't discount your own strength. Pokemon can only grow strong if their trainer does too."

Koa nodded thoughtfully. "That's true too I guess. Thanks."

"This is your fifth badge, right? What gym is next for you?" Maylene asked.

Koa frowned in thought. "Snowpoint or Canalave," he said after a moment. "Probably Snowpoint, since I really want to attend the Festival of Legends."

At the mention of the festival, a look of pity crossed Maylene's face. "Oh uh... I guess you didn't hear?"

"Hear what?" Koa asked, narrowing his eyes.

"Well, I was talking to my friend Candice - she's the gym leader there - and she said they had to cancel the festival. Too many people on edge because of the incidents with Raikou and Entei recently."

Koa stared at her, dumbfounded. "Seriously? But there's not even solid proof they were responsible!"

Maylene shrugged. "Candice and I both think it's ridiculous. But a lot of people are nervous. Not to mention, the pokemon around Snowpoint have been acting strangely. Everyone up north is pretty on edge I guess."

Koa groaned. "So stupid," he muttered under his breath. "Thanks for the heads up. I guess that means I'll head to Canalave then." Heading home would be nice, he guessed. He hadn't seen Blake face to face in awhile, and he'd love to visit the library again. Bidding farewell to Maylene, he left the gym.

Once outside, he caught up with the triplets, who were waiting for him. He couldn't resist a triumphant smile. "How was that?"

Demetria gave an impressed nod. "Not bad. Although I did already say you were capable of beating Maylene, so I'm not surprised, either. That said..." she paused. "Your pokemon seem tougher than I expected. They took some hits that I wasn't expecting them to survive. Maybe they are stronger than I thought."

Well, that was good enough for Koa. He risked at glance at Dimitri, who had his arms crossed and refused to look in his direction.

"It was average if you ask me," Dimitri muttered.

Demetrius rolled her eyes affectionately. "It was good meeting you Koamaru. But we do have to get going. We're supposed to be catching a boat to the Battle Zone soon. But come find us again when you're stronger. I'd love to battle you."

At that, Dimitri nodded emphatically in agreement. "Yeah, I wouldn't mind battling you." He shot Koa a leering smirk. "Or should I say, wiping the floor with you."

Koa glared back at him. Then he relaxed and shook it off. He could see the faintest note of grudging respect in his eyes. "We'll see about that. I'll come find you guys again."

Demetria nodded, then turned and started walking away. Dimitri followed. Deuce waited until they were a short distance away, then turned to face Koa.

"Dimitri's just bitter because he was wrong," he said, giving a faint smile. "You did excellent today. Which means I was correct. There's more to all this than stats. I think your Joltik could be as strong as a Dragonite one day if you keep training. I'm glad."

"Oh... Thanks."

"Thank you," Deuce said. "I'm happy to know that some pokemon aren't just useless."

Kos chuckled. "So does this mean you won't battle at the Battle Tree anymore?"

Deuce barked out a laugh. "Of course not. I still love the Battle Tree and all the places like it. But now I'm going to start working on some new strategies."

"Oh! That reminds me," Koa said. "I was watching your siblings battle earlier and it was weird. It wasn't like a regular battle. It kinda looked like they were taking turns."

"Oh that?" Deuce said. He chuckled. "That style of battling is actually what they do at the Battle Tree and the Battle Subway, and other places. Unlike a traditional tournament, such as the league, they abide by a very strict set of rules. Only certain moves, pokemon, yada yada. And you have to wait your turn to attack. It's hard, but it makes it fun, too."

Koa nodded thoughtfully. "Huh... Sounds pretty sick. Well, good luck then. Here, take my number. That way I can battle you guys again." They quickly exchanged numbers, then Koa held out his hand.

Deuce shook it. "See you later, Koamaru,"

"Later, Deuce. And call me Koa."

After Deuce had left, Koa headed for the Pokemon Center. His pokemon deserved the rest, and he had to make some decisions about how to get home to Canalave.

xXx

Koa sat in the Pokemon Center lobby, enjoying a meal as he mused over his options to return to Canalave. The way he saw it, there were three main options. First, he could walk. It would be a huge trek though, and could take up to a month. Next, there were a series of buses he could take, though that would also take quite a few days. His final option was a boat. There were several ships of varying sizes that sailed to Canalave, given that it was a port city.

The light flickered, and Koa glanced up from his food. They flickered again and an electric charge raced across his body, making his hair stand on end. He froze and glanced around. The few other trainers in the center, plus the nurse, had all stopped what they were doing. The lights went out and the room was plunged into darkness.

A bright flash burst in the center of the room. Spots danced across Koa's vision and he saw a hazy figure of a pokemon move towards him. Koa started to reach for his pokeball, but something struck him, knocking him to the floor. A jolt of electricity shot through his body and he froze up, unable to move. His heart raced. What had hit him? Was he dying?

His body refused to obey his commands, though he found he could still move his eyes. With a sickening lurch, he realized he'd been paralyzed. The spots finally faded from his vision and he could make out shapes moving through the room. Dim yellow lightning afforded him only a small amount of visibility, but it was enough to make out the black masked figures. Team Blackout.

As he watched, one of the men walked over to him. His heart beat even faster and he felt a little sick as the man knelt next to him, removing his pokeball belt. He held it up to some kind of device, scanning the contents.

A toothy smirk stretched across his face, revealing a single gold tooth. "A Tyrunt, huh? And a Joltik. Perfect." Still grinning, he removed Rascal and Hazard's pokeballs. He stood, about to leave, then bent down again. "On second thought, I'll take this, too." He picked up Flurry's pokeball. "Spheal fur is quite valuable."

Koa screamed internally, begging his body to move, but it remained unresponsive. He could only watch as the man deposited his pokeballs into some kind of container, then walked away. Several minutes dragged by, where he lay still, unable to move. His thoughts raced, a fiery rage building inside him. After what felt like an eternity, the lights flickered back on. The tingle faded from his body and he found that he was able to move.

Immediately he sat up, then just as quickly regretted it. Dizziness flooded him and he fell back, catching himself with one hand. With weak, sloppy motions, he managed to pull himself into a sitting position on a nearby chair, fighting back nausea as he did. Closing his eyes, he focused, then pushed himself to his feet. He swayed, then nearly collapsed, until a pair of arms grabbed him, steadying him.

"Whoa, slow down," a voice said.

"Avis?" he asked, puzzled. His mind still fuzzy, he looked over to see Avis supporting him, her eyes filled with concern. "What... What are you doing here?"

"Sit down," she said, forcing him back into the chair. "And I told you I was going to Veilstone, remember?"

He sank into the chair, looking at Avis, then around the center. All around, several trainers were struggling to their feet, clearly suffering from the same paralysis he was. A few nurses who had managed to recover were helping them. As they did, cries of despair came from the trainers as they realized their pokemon were gone.

Koa stood back up, determination giving him strength. "My pokemon. They stole Rascal and Hazard and Flurry!" he reached for his belt and took out Echo's pokeball. He pressed the button, but nothing happened. Looking down, he noticed a few stray sparks flickering behind the button.

"They must have disabled the pokeballs," Avis stated. Her eyes darted towards the entrance. "Stay here." Without another word, she strode for the exit.

Shaking off the last of his dizziness, Koa stumbled after her, his composure growing with each step. He managed to catch up to her a short way outside the pokemon center. The streets were filled with panicked citizens, and looking around, he noted that a few police officers were around, trying to calm the people and investigate the area.

"Where are you going?" he demanded, falling in step next to Avis.

"To get the pokemon back," she replied, not slowing.

"You know where they are?"

She nodded. "I saw some unusual activity near the warehouses. I was heading to the police station to make a report when the blackout happened. They hit the department store and the police station as well." She began to walk faster, her fists clenched. "I never should have waited! If I'd just attacked right then..."

Koa didn't say anything, his own thoughts too jumbled to offer any advice. "So they're at the warehouses?" he asked finally.

"I think so. I never imagined they'd strike so soon, I thought they might wait until nightfall. But if I don't do something now, they'll leave the city. All the pokemon they stole today could be gone forever."

His heart raced. "I'm coming with you."

Avis gave a long sigh. "I can't stop you," she said finally. "But we have to be careful. I placed a call to the police already but with everything going on, they won't reach the warehouses yet. Several pokemon there were stolen, and some of the officers were incapcitated. Which means we're on our own."

Koa's gaze hardened as they neared the warehouse district. "Fine by me." As he spoke the words, a voice in the back of his mind almost made him pause. This was a little crazy, even by his standards. If Blake knew what he was about to do, he'd probably lecture him for a month and ground him for a year.

A few minutes later, they drew near to warehouses located near the west entrance of Veilstone. Several rows of buildings stretched out towards the harbor, some of which were in varying states of disrepair. Avis led the way across the street and past a few smaller warehouses to a large one towards the rear. "Ready?" she asked. She slowed slightly as they drew near the entrance.

Setting his jaw, Koa nodded. "Ready. Let's go."

With no further hesitation, Avis rushed forwards, throwing the door open.

Koa rushed inside the main warehouse alongside Avis. Four figures clad in black, stood inside, next to what appeared to be the remaining few cases of stolen pokeballs. They all turned to look at him and Avis, shock written across their faces. Two of them snatched pokeballs off their waists, while two grabbed the cases and sprinted for an exit towards the back.

"Go!" Avis cried, gesturing to the two fleeing. As she spoke, she withdrew pokeballs of her own, releasing her Kricketune, Staraptor, Glameow and Noctowl. Almost simultaneously, the two men released a Luxio, Electrike, Magneton, and a Zebstrika.

Koa hesitated for only a second, then rushed after the two figures. Avis was a capable trainer, and besides, if he didn't go after the other two thieves, it would all be in vain. Racing after them, he managed to catch up by the door. Now that he was closer, he could see that one apparead to be a woman with short brown hair poking from her black hood, while the other was a man with fair skin and light yellowish eyes.

The two turned to face him as they reached for their pokeballs. "Last chance to turn around and scram, brat," the woman growled.

The man leaned a little closer and squinted. "Hey! Isn't that the kid Adam told us about? Said he had dark blue hair and a red jacket?"

Koa tensed.

"I think it is," the woman replied. "Hey, I've got a deal for you. How about we return whatever pokemon we stole from you, then you let us go? It's a win-win. You get your precious little pokemon back, we get to go about our business."

"How about a counter-offer?" he snarled. "You give back the pokemon you stole before I punch you in the face myself?"

The woman's face contorted in anger. "Fine, if you want to be a fool!" She grabbed the three pokeballs on her own belt and released the pokemon within. A Jolteon emerged, followed by a Lopunny and a Croagunk.

In response, Koa reached for his belt, grabbing Echo's pokeball first, then Rascal's. When his hand grasped empty air, a pang of sadness and anger struck him, then he grasped Anubis pokeball instead, releasing him and then releasing Scrapper.

Echo emerged with a mighty shriek, followed by Anubis, who snarled in rage when he saw his opponents and Scrapper, who silently took up a fighting stance.

The woman glanced at her companion. "What are you waiting for? Get to the boat!"

His eyes widened and he nodded, then turned and bolted for the turn. "And wait for me there!" she shouted after him. Eyes still blazing, she whirled back to face Koa. "Now to deal with you."

Without waiting for a command, Anubis leaped into action, tackling the Jolteon to the ground. Turning his attention on the other two pokemon, Koa quickly called out a command. "Mach Punch, Air Slash."

Scrapper leaped at the Croagunk and slammed his fist into its face, sending it flying. At the same moment, Echo blasted both Lopunny and Croagunk with blades of fell to the ground, briefly stunned. A yelp sounded and Koa looked to see Anubis fling the Jolteon to the ground. Blood trickled from its leg and Koa paled.

A red glint of rage colored Anubis' eyes and he prowled towards the downed Jolteon. Anubis wasn't fighting to knockout, like a pokemon battle. He planned to kill. "Anubis!" he shouted. The Houndoom blinked, then slowly tore his gaze away from Jolteon and looked at Koa. The bloodlust faded, though Koa could still see the smouldering rage in his eyes.

Out of the corner of his eyes, Koa saw the woman start to move towards the exit. He whirled on her. "Echo, stop her with Confuse ray!" Echo fired two golden orbs at her, striking her in the head. Her eyes crossed, then she staggered and slumped to the floor. Her pokemon stared at her, then at Koa. The Jolteon slowly stood, favoring its injured leg, then limped towards the other two, and away from the exit.

Swallowing, Koa gave the three pokemon one last glance, then made for the exit. Seeing Anubis like that gave him chills. He'd underestimated how furious Anubis must have been with them for taking Flurry. The words of the man who'd stolen her rang in his mind, and he felt sick. "Come on, let's go," he said.

Pausing only to make sure the woman was unconscious for the time being, Koa raced out the door, his pokemon behind him. Outside, a few narrow alleys of stacked boxes and crates led down to a broken pier, where a motorboat was moored. And in the boat, the man sat, anxiously awaiting his companion.

Anubis let out a terrifying howl and bounded forward. Scrapper followed, hot on his heels, and Echo flew overhead. Koa raced after his pokemon. They made it halfway down the alley. Then, a single beam of sunlight struck something on the ground, just ahead of Scrapper. It glinted. Then Scrapper stepped on it. A crack split the air and Scrapper screamed.

Koa screamed as well. His vision narrowed, and he was only dimly aware of Anubis charging to the boat and tackling the man. Echo had stopped short at the cry of his teammate and whirled around. In daze, Koa ran forward towards Scrapper's fallen form. His heart sickened as he took in the sight before him. A metal trap had snapped shut around Scrapper's leg, the teeth biting deep. Blood pounded in his ears as he dropped to his knees beside the Breloom.

He recognized the trap as the kind poachers used to trap steel and rock-type pokemon. It was designed for pokemon with tough, sturdy hides and armor on their legs. Not soft flesh like Scrapper. Scrapper himself seemed to be unconscious, and a closer inspection revealed some kind of residue on the teeth of the trap. Some kind of poison or knockout agent?

His hands shook as he reached out to examine the trap. There had to be a way to disengage it. A lever on the side looked promising, and he twisted it. The jaws of the trap snapped open and Scrapper fell limply to the ground. For a second, he sat frozen, eyes locked on Scrapper's leg. The trap had torn the flesh and drawn a thin but steadily oozing layer of blood. Snapping back to reality, he grabbed Scrapper's pokeball and quickly returned him. Pokeball technology kept a pokemon in stasis, so he'd be safe at least until he could get him to a pokemon center. With a grimace he shoved the trap aside.

Anubis snarled and spat a stream of searing hot flames, melting the trap. Rage sparked in his eyes. Clenching the pokeball in his fist, Koa stood and clipped it back to his belt, then charged down the alley.

No more traps were around, as far as he could tell. Ahead, he could see the man anxiously scrambling to board the boat. Koa's thoughts blurred. He made a harried assessment. The man was larger than him by a bit. He didn't care. Running faster, he lunged forward.

Koa crashed into the man, knocking him over before tumbling to the ground. He rose halfway before the man's elbow jabbed into Koa's face. Pain spiked through his skull and he fell back. Something gripped his collar, yanking him upwards. His vision swam and he reached up, feebly pawing at his opponents face.

Then a black blur swept by. The pressure around his throat immediately loosened as the man seemingly vanished. A scream filled the air before being cutoff by a snarl. Still dazed, Koa sat up and looked over.

Anubis had the man pinned down and his fangs bared.

"Please!" the man screamed. "Get it off me!" he shouted. Rage boiled inside Koa and he fought through his dizziness to rise up, leaning on a piling for support. Something inside told him the trap had been set by the man. Callously placed so that one of his pokemon, or some other unsuspecting pokemon, would get injured. He glared at the man, who squirmed underneath the Houndoom, panic in his eyes. His gaze shifted to Koa.

"I'm sorry I swear. Please, let me go. I'll give you back your Tyrunt or whatever! And the other pokemon. You can have them, please just get this crazy thing off me!" At that comment, Houndoom snarled, fire flickering in his maw as he moved closer to the man's face. Red clouded Koa's vision. His heartbeat thundered in his ears. This man, kidnapped pokemon, hurt them, sold and traded them like objects. He was a member of a group responsible for stealing from Rowan, Wyatt and hundreds of other people. And above all else, he'd left that trap in their path to maim-

A shriek sounded overhead and a sudden weight landed on his back, making him stagger. Echo gave an anxious squeak, drawing Koa from his spiral of thoughts. He heard footsteps approaching, and turned to see several police officers rushing towards him, pokemon of their own at their sides. A strange sensation of relief and anxiety flooded him, along with disappointment.

"Are you alright?" one of the officers demanded, stopping beside him. He blinked and stared at the officer, a young woman with dark magenta hair. A badge on her lapel read 'Traci'.

"My Scrapper!" he blurted. He fumbled and held up Scrapper's pokeball. "I mean, my Breloom. My Breloom was hurt. He was caught in a trap and it caught his leg and he needs to get to a pokemon center. And they stole my Tyrunt and Spheal and my Joltik and a bunch of other people's pokemon!" The words tumbled out in a rush.

She nodded curtly. "Ok," she said calmly. "First, is that your Houndoom?" She pointed behind him, and Koa nodded. "We need you to call him off, so our officers can apprehend the man."

"Anubis!" Koa called, turning around. For a second, the Houndoom didn't move, glowering at the man. Then he crawled off and trotted towards Koa, shooting furious gazes over his shoulder. He stood at Koa's side, his warm body pressed against Koa's leg. Koa let his hand rest on Anubis' body, suddenly aware his heart was still beating furiously and he was sweating terribly. A steady ache thrummed through his skull. His hands trembled and her gripped Anubis' shoulder to ground himself, and swallowed.

"Now, are you injured at all? Are any of your other pokemon hurt?" she asked. Koa shook his head. "My pokemon are fine," he mumbled. "Just my head hurts."

"Good, I'm glad to hear your pokemon are ok," she said in a low voice, her tone soothing. She took him by the shoulder and started to lead him away. "I'm going to make sure we get you some help, alright?"

He nodded.

"What's your name?"

"Koamaru."

"Okay Koamaru. You can come with me and I can give you a ride to the Pokemon Center."

"But what about my pokemon! The ones that they stole-"

She placed her hand gently on his shoulder. "Easy. We're going to get them back. But right now, your Breloom needs treatment."

Koa nodded. She was right, Scrapper was his first priority. "Alright Anubis, return for now," he mumbled. He returned Anubis, then Echo, placing the balls back on his belt before looking up at Traci.

Wordlessly, she led the way back through the warehouses and to the street, where several police cruisers and a motorcycle were parked, as well as an ambulance. Trace led him to the back and sat him on a stretcher. He was vaguely aware of a nurse and a Meowstic examining him, but his thoughts kept straying.

"What about the other girl?" he asked suddenly. It occurred to him he didn't remember seeing Avis at all, though his mind was focused elsewhere. "Avis. The investigator. She went in with me."

Traci frowned slightly. "She's fine as well. We'll worry about your pokemon for now, but after that's settled, both of you will have a lot to answer for."

A few minutes later, the Meowstic was done examining him. It used some kind of healing technique on him, which eased his throbbing headache, but he was barely aware. After that the nurse declared he was fine, and explained that taking Scrapper to the Pokemon Center was the safest course of action, since they didn't have everything to treat him here. Traci led him to her motorcycle.

She started it up, then gestured to the sidecar. He climbed inside and stared ahead, barely paying attention to her words. Avis was alright, which was his only real concern. His mind kept flashing back to seeing Scrapper, injured and unconscious. If he'd been more careful, or ran ahead or called out in time he could have prevented this. Hundreds of different scenarios played through in his mind of how he wished he could have handled things. He gazed down at Scrapper's pokeball in his hand, squeezing it tightly.

"Hey, we're here," Traci's voice broke into his thoughts and his head shot up. He glanced around, realizing with a start they had stopped in front of the pokemon center. Feeling absolutely sick to his stomach, Koa clambered awkwardly out of the sidecar and walked to the Pokemon Center, praying to Arceus and every other legendary he could think of that Scrapper would be ok.

xXx

The hours dragged by as Koa sat on one the couches, staring at the tiled floor of the Pokemon Center. He glanced up at the clock again, then looked back down. 6 hours, 41 minutes and... 17 seconds had passed since he'd handed Scrapper off to the nurse. He'd also discovered this particular pokemon center contained 794 tiles on the floor, not counting the half tiles along the walls. Traci had left some time ago, returning briefly to assure him that all the stolen pokemon had been recovered. Otherwise, he'd been left alone, which was fine by him.

Another minute ticked by. Koa leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees and his chin on his hands. Why had he been so stupid? He clenched his fists tighter, his nails digging into his palms. Scrapper had been injured because of him. Perhaps he was a terrible trainer. Just like-

"Mr. Averon?"

Koa practically lunged out of his chair, nearly crashing into the nurse, who stood only a few feet away.

She smiled gently at him, unfazed. "Your Breloom will be just fine."

Koa took a long, deep breath, some of the tension leaving him.

"His leg was injured, but he will make a full recovery. However, you must give him at least three weeks rest. For the first week, no running, jumping or strenuous exercise. After that, no training, and no battles. Understand?" She gazed at him seriously.

He nodded. "He'll be fine once he recovers, right?" Battle or no battle, he couldn't bear the thought of his tenacious Breloom not being able to run and jump.

Her smile returned. "Yes. As long as you give him time to properly recover, he'll be back to normal in no time. Pokemon are much more durable than we often give them credit for. The injury itself was not too serious, but to be safe we're making sure he has plenty of time to heal fully, thats all."

A weighty sigh slipped from him. "Thank you," he said. "But... I don't understand. My Pokemon battle all the time and never get any serious injuries. Why was this so bad?"

She smiled gently at him. "Pokemon moves don't do much to injures each other. As you probably know from your license exam, Pokemon use their natural energy to use attacks. Some call it aura."

Right. He knew the term from talks with Professor Rowan. And from working on Ice Fang.

"Just as Pokemon can choose to attack without this energy in order to do serious harm, Pokemon have certain vulnerabilities. Man-made devices, or being pushed far beyond their limits. So Scrapper's healing will take just a bit of time, although the injury was not as serious was it probably seemed."

Koa smiled a little wider, despite his mixed feelings. Scrapper was fine, and thats what mattered right now. He'd make a full recovery. "Thank you again," he said.

"Of course. Now, I'll need to keep him here overnight, so you're welcome to stay here and pick him up in the morning. Meanwhile, Officer Traci informed me you're to meet her at the station once I gave you the report on your Breloom. So you'd best be heading out. I'll see you in the morning." She turned and left, leaving Koa to ponder as he walked out of the center and towards the police station.

It took a couple hours to get everything settled, most of which was due to having to give a full statement on all his actions; first on the theft at the pokemon center, then his decision to pursue the gang. The officer who did it, a stern faced man who was thoroughly detailed, took care of that. After he'd given his statement, they showed him to a waiting room where they promised to return all the stolen pokemon.

To his surprise, he found several other trainers in the room as well, all looking equally anxious. He scanned the room, and noticed the girl from yesterday who fought the Battle Triplets with her Minun. Then he saw Avis, sitting in the corner. Their eyes locked, and he waved awkwardly to her. She gave a forced smile and waved back.

He crossed the room and sat in an empty seat next to her.

"Are you alright?" Avis asked.

"I'm fine," he muttered bitterly. "But... Scrapper was injured." He explained what had happened, and her gaze darkened.

"I'm glad that we went after them," she hissed through gritted teeth. "I don't care if I never get to join the international police. Anyone who'd use such barbaric traps is disgusting."

"What do you mean, never join?" Koa asked, turning to look at her. "Will they revoke your investigators license because of what you did?"

She shrugged. "I don't know. They said they would talk to me afterwards. But my chances of becoming a member of the International Police are probably gone. Not only did I break the code of interference, I involved a civilian trainer." A note of bitterness entered her tone.

"Oh." Koa looked down. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be," she said firmly. "I don't regret what I did today, and neither should you. Getting all those stolen pokemon back was worth it. Besides, nothing will stop me from doing what's necessary. I would hate myself more if I'd stood by and not tried to help."

"Yeah..." was all Koa could think to say. Everything felt like it had become a mess.

The door to the room swung open, and officer Traci stepped inside. "We're going to begin the process of returning the stolen pokemon. As I call your name, please stand up and come quietly with me. If it is not your turn, remain seated. Understand?"

Everyone nodded, and she continued. "Joanna Abrams?"

The girl with the Minun stood, her eyes lighting up, and followed Traci.

xXx

Several minutes later, Koa was left alone in the room, save for Avis. All the other trainers had been called before him, which made him nervous, since his last name started with 'A'. Finally, Traci returned. "Koamaru Averon, come with me."

Koa stood up and started towards the door.

"Good luck," Avis whispered.

Traci led him to another room, the interrogation room they had used when he'd given his statement. He sat down on the hard chair, and Traci took a seat opposite him.

"I apologize for the wait, but there is another matter to be dealt with. Due to the nature of your actions, we had to contact your guardian. I understand that's your cousin, Blake."

Koa's heart sank. He was in a lot of trouble.

"He has elected against us escorting you home, or having your license suspended. But what you did today was serious. You endangered your own life and recklessly pursued a gang of dangerous criminals."

"They stole my pokemon!" Koa snapped. "I couldn't sit there and do nothing."

Her face hardened. "What you did today was reckless. The police are here for a reason, you were meant to let us handle it."

He opened his mouth to protest, but she held up her hand. "However, I didn't bring you in here to argue with you. Legally, I'm obligated to give you a warning. Unauthorized pursuit of criminal activity like that is dangerous. You or your pokemon could have been seriously injured. Or killed. I have to tell you this, because these kinds of things can get you in a lot of trouble." She sighed. "But... You did good too."

At that, Koa cocked his head.

"Don't get me wrong, you should never have done it. But you saved a lot of pokemon today. Both you and your friend. And you put a serious dent in what those Team Blackout thugs were trying to do." She took out a small case and slid it across the table. "Here are your pokemon. Tyrunt, Joltik and Spheal."

Koa reached across the table and eagerly took the three balls. The knot in his stomach lessened slightly. "Thank you. May I go now?"

Traci nodded. "Yes." She stood up, then escorted him out of the room and out of the police station. He paused at the exit and turned back.

"What about Avis? What's going to happen to her?"

Traci shook her head. "I can't tell you that." She gave a grim smile. "But I doubt it's good. Some higher up in a trench coat came to speak to her. I believe he's a member of the International Police."

"Oh." That didn't sound good at all.

She gave a single nod of farewell, then went back inside.

Setting his mind on happier thoughts, he returned to the peace of his room, then proceeded to release all his pokemon. Immediately, Anubis jumped on Flurry, licking her and nosing her, whining happily as he whipped his tail back and forth. Hazard sprang onto Koa's shoulder, nuzzling his cheek, then Echo pounced on him as well, licking him and nibbling his hair. Even Rascal, who was normally aloof, nuzzled her head against his leg roughly. It quickly turned into a dogpile, all his pokemon delightedly greeting and checking to make sure everyone else was ok.

After several minutes, Koa untangled himself from his pokemon and lay back on the bed. The day had been stressful, to say the least. And the prospect of tomorrow felt even scarier. Tomorrow, he had to make plans to return to Canalave, and face Blake. Out of nowhere, Echo dropped out of the air and landed on his chest, nuzzling his chin. The rest of his pokemon all clambered awkwardly into the bed with him, Rascal nearly crushing his leg. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Tomorrow's problems would have to come tomorrow. For today, all he needed was the presence of his friends.



So this chapter addresses some of my personal views about the Pokemon universe.
Any pokemon can be 'strong'. However, some pokemon possess great natural strength, like a Garchomp. Others can be trained, but it is simply a longer and harder process. But a Joltik could, theoretically, be super strong. (I mean Pikachu in the anime is super OP...)

Stats aren't really a thing. There are no pokemon that just 'suck'. Like Plusle. Why does Plusle have to suck? I hate that about the games, I wish I could 'train' any pokemon to be super strong. So in my take on pokemon, like I said above, any pokemon can eventually get really good at anything with enough time, effort and training. But it certainly won't be easy, either. But if we can have a bug-type trainer be an Elite Four member, anything is possible.

The Battle Tower/Battle Subway/Battle Zone/ etc are not like traditional tournaments in this world. They more closely resemble the pokemon videogames, and are heavily turn based and are almost chess-like, featuring strict ruleset. I figured it would be a neat way to differentiate them from your typical tournament/league championship in the anime.
Basically, regular anime battles are freestyles stuff, like what we usually see. Battle Tower and stuff are like the Video Games.

Pokemon almost never get serious injuries from battling. Only being pushed well beyond their limits or fighting when exhausted will hurt them severly, as well as tech/manmade devices.
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
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OKAY THAT REVIEW EXCHANGE IS FINALLY REAL, ITS HAPPENING! I decided review as I go along after all, it's only fair with what you've been doing. Anyway, the highlights:

-II love Zubat. I would die for Zubat. Zubat is absolutely not treatted fairly in-universe snd I demand zubat justice.

-Sinnoh caves are pretty perilous huh. Intresting you present a really apparent sense of danger for Trainers.

-Also interesting this is the fact this is post-DPPT canon, and the fact the legendary-mythical devide is an actual in-unierse thing

-I don't normally take the notion of poachers in Pokemon all that seriously but with the world you're setring up yeah. Yeah I can see why they'd be genuine shit.

-j o l t i k. I love the Joltik line and their presence is vastly appreciated. Also looking forward to Tyrunt.

-Koa, upon having his actual starter stollen:

lloyd_right_in_the_feels.jpg
-That girl is going to be impotant to the Plot, I can feel it
-
-looking forward to Tyrunt! if he gets it. knowing Koa so far WHO KNOWS

hopefully I will get to Chapter 3 faster than I did Chapter 2. Will try tomorrow.
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
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Any
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  1. reshiram
Chapter Threeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Highlights:

-Hazard and Echo are both precious beans that deserve everything in the world

-Oof at those losses. Especially the gym one. Koa's relationship with Roark is fractured and that makes me feel bad.

-There's some nice worldbuilding in herre, though this chapter it's mostly how badge requirements work. Though I really like that some gyum mons have nicknames!

-I appreciate the dream about the god-zubat. May draw it.

-BIDOOF


Hope to get to Chapter 4 tomorrow
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
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  1. reshiram
CHAPTER 4!

Not gonna lie, I fully expected Koa to lose to Gardenia like a dumbass and was pleasantly surprised when he had an actual clever victory. Your descriptions of the fight were nice and I particularly appreciated Wirebug Hazard.

Other highlights:

-Love the worldbuilding for Eterna Forest. Sad my girl Cheryl isn't there though.

-ECHO EVOLVED!!!! GOOD BAT!!!

-Love that that asshole psychic got his ass handed to him. And his sister too, even though she was much nicer. Also she has a good derpy Psyduck

-That Giratina lore is definitely coming into play later and as a Giratina stan I am HERE for it.

I very much hope to get to Chapter 5 soooooooooooooooooon.
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
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Any
Partners
  1. reshiram
Chapter 6!

-The Cycling Road bit, weirdly, had some bits that made me laugh, like "condescending eyes" and the UGLY SHINX.

-Then we get to the long awaited REMATCH in which more fun battle descriptions are to be had and Hazard Continues To Win By Holding On As Hard AS He Can and Echo is the absolute most based dodge tank bat.

-My favorite part of this chapter by far is when things go full Jurassic Park in the fossil lab. Like I was grinning ear to ear at everything unfolding.

-...And THEN the Jurassic Park scene leads to PAIN and AGONY and FEAR via some very angry honses! Which means cliffhanger!

...I'm scared.
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
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Any
Partners
  1. reshiram
Chapter 6 highlights!

-Koa isn't dead by honse! He is hospitalized by honse. Good news is he gets to keep his Tyrunt. Bad news is she fucking hates him.

-This Team Blackout with the sinister aesthetic totally is just a bunch of robbers and totally doesn't have an ulterior motive that will be important to the plot.

-I BET AVIS PETRA LIKES FLYING TYPES BUT I'M NOT SURE WHY

-Koa getting a noise warning for Tyrunt reminds me of my dog, who I'm suprised has NOT gotten me a noise warning

-Echo playing with the ceiling fan is pure and good

-Fossil Balls are cool and it's weird they're not canon

-DINOSAUR FIGHT DINOSAUR FIGHT DINOSAUR FIGHT

Chapter 7 next! I am. Halfway through my review exchange goal!
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
Partners
  1. reshiram
CHAPTER 7

-Ah, the good ol cave in, classic

-I am 50/50 on if this guard will actually be important later

-I like Caid, he seems cool, also DRAGON MONOTYPER

-Relatedly THE MONOTYPER LORE IS SICK

-The bite bonding scene was the absolute cutest i lov it deserves an award

i have a busy weekend. but i will get to chapter 8 AFTER THAT
 
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