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Pokémon Sword n' Shield Shorts

The Walrein

Pokémon Trainer
Partners
  1. gulpin
Death, violence, British swearing, Non-British swearing
Sword n’ Shield Shorts

The Duel

A cold wind blew down the main street of the lonesome town, carrying tumbleweeds with it. To the sides of the road, pokémon were crouching behind barrels or nervously peering out of storefront windows. Two figures stood across from each other underneath the high sun. One of them was a braixen wearing a black ten-gallon hat and cowboy boots. The other was a grookey, naked.

“So you’re finally here. Guess you’re not as much of a lily-livered coward as I thought.” The braixen’s whole body was tensed, his eyes narrowed.

“Ook Ook Ack?” Grookey replied.

Braixen scoffed and spat into the dirt. “You know damn well why there can’t be any peace between us! This franchise just ain’t big enough for two adorable starter pokémon with sticks stuck in their fur.”

“Eeek, eek, eek? Ook ack ook!”

No, I ain’t gonna agree to switch off who has the stick every other Tuesday! There’s only one way this can end, and it ain’t with both of us leaving this town alive.”

“Eek, ooo, oooh...” Grookey said, dejected.

“So it’s settled. On the count of three,” Braixen said. Grookey nodded.

“One.” The quiet murmuring of all the gathered pokémon watching the pair came to end. There was no sound save that of the whistling wind.

“Two.” Nothing else seemed to exist in the world to Braixen except himself and Grookey. His breath stilled and his heart quickened.

“Three – draw!” With the speed of a striking viper, Braixen reached behind him and whipped a stick out of his tail, aiming at Grookey’s heart. Grookey also reached behind himself, and began to slowly scratch his butt. The tip of Braixen’s stick ignited, and the flame quickly grew to the size of a cannonball. With a cry of rage, he willed the fire forwar-

A steel anvil labeled ‘DEXIT’ plummeted from the sky and crushed Braixen to death.

The Team Yell Way

Megan made a quick survey of her appearance. Purple hair? Check. Hot pink leggings, ripped in just the right places? Check. Striped armbands? Check. Satisfied, she grabbed her vuvuzela and stomped downstairs, bee-lining for the front door.

“Bye mum I’m headed to see Marnie’s next match with some friends be back by-”

“Not wearing that outfit, you aren’t!” her mother called back immediately, dashing any hopes of a quick egress. Megan produced an irritated huff and turned to face her.

“Look, mum, I’m seventeen now. I can choose what I want to wear for myself, okay?”

“It’s forty degrees out and I can see your bellybutton! Don’t you have any common sense? And that facepaint makes you look like- like some sort of gang member! Do you want people thinking you’re in a gang, now? What if one of your teachers saw you like that?”

Megan’s eyes nearly rolled out of their sockets. “It’s a pokémon battle, mum, not – not something boring! None of my teachers are going to be there! And it’s not forty degrees out and I’m taking my jacket anyways.”

“And I notice you’re also taking that horrid noisemaker with you! Everyone who’s there - potential employers, maybe, not like you’ve ever shown any interest in getting an actual job in this town - is going to notice you as soon as you start making that awful screeching sound, and if the outfit didn’t make them think you’re a complete hooligan, then-”

“It’s called a vuvuzela, mother, and it’s a perfectly legitimate way to express-” Megan stopped short as she caught a glance of the instrument, and her eyes widened. “Bloody hell, you’re actually right!” she cried. How could she have even thought of going out to the game with that thing? Embarrassed, she turned around and stampeded back up the stairs to her room.

Bewildered and caught off guard, her mother’s call of “-don’t use that language in this household-” came too late to reach her by the time Megan slammed her door shut. She frantically opened drawer after drawer before finally finding what she was looking for. Whew, that was a close one, she thought, hastily making the needed adjustments. She could’ve ended up being a complete laughingstock! After all, what self-respecting member of Team Yell carried a vuvuzela without any spiky armbands wrapped around it?

Bio-Weapon “C”

A large crowd of blue-robed individuals gathered in an auditorium deep beneath the ground, murmuring excitedly amongst each other. Before them was a stage upon which stood a massive glass tube filled with strange blue liquid. It was almost opaque, but one could just barely make out the form of a living creature within, slowly beginning to stir. As a man in purple robes walked up to a podium on the stage carrying a microphone, the noise of the gathered audience grew louder.

“Brethren and sisters! Our long-awaited triumph is almost at hand!” he announced, prompting cheers from the assembled crowd. “For too long, we’ve had to endure the vile reign of the electric vermin called ‘Pikachu’ - infesting every corner of every region with its foul spawn, stamping its accursed image on every form of merchandise imaginable, and stealing the spotlight from the truly worthy pokémon!”

“DEATH TO THE PIKACHU! DEATH TO THE PIKA-CLONES!” the crowd chanted, waving signs and banners depicting a red cross drawn over a stylized pikachu face.

“But at last, the hour of our vengeance is nigh! We have created an instrument of destruction that will wipe their unholy race off the face of the Earth!” the man continued, as the blue liquid began to slowly drain from the tube beside him. “Thousands of hours of genetic engineering and the fervor of our scientists have created a beast beyond any compare, an avatar of righteous wrath! A veritable god of triumph and power given mortal flesh!” he yelled, shouting to be audible over the cheers and ecstatic screams of the cultists below.

Steam billowed out of the glass cylinder as it began to slide open, the fluid having emptied. A vague figure could be made out slowly striding forth from the obscuring cloud.

“Ladies and gentle-cultists, I give you… CRAMORANT!” A two-and-a-half-foot-tall bird with blue and white feathers waddled onto the stage, glancing around with a distinct look of confusion.

“Bawk!” it said.

The mania of the crowd suddenly came to a crashing halt, replaced by a moment of stunned silence fading into a pall of confused muttering. This didn’t seem to be the reaction the purple-robed figure expected, and he swallowed audibly before continuing. “Er, as you can see, every aspect of this creature has been optimized for the efficient destruction of our enemy! Note the webbed feet and broad wings, designed to allow movement through any environment to pursue its prey! Look at the large green eyes, connected to a visual cortex with heightened sensitivity to all scurrying yellow forms! Observe the massive, vicious beak that can open wide enough to swallow any pikachu or pikaclone - with the possible exception of the unfortunately rotund togedemaru, although we’re planning on fixing that in a post-launch gene patch to be delivered by-”

“Is that a flying-water type?” someone in the audience called out.

The head-cultist glared down at the interrupting voice. “Yes, as it so happens, it is, although of course we must consider that type-advantages are far from everything in combat! Intelligence is the true determining factor in a battle, and Cramorant is a sly and clever beast, a master of strategy and tactics that can-”

“Bawk!” Cramorant blurted, and lunged at the presenter, seizing his microphone with its beak and wresting it from his grip.

“H-hey! Give that back!”

“B-urk! Uuurk! Uuurk!” The bird made strangled choking noises as it tried unsuccessfully to swallow the microphone, then stumbled around the stage before slamming into the glass tube and falling to the floor. The dissatisfied mutterings of the audience grew louder.

“We paid five-thousand pokedollars in monthly fees for this?” a heckler yelled.

“That thing couldn’t kill a baby pichu! My magikarp would have a better chance of exterminating the pikachu race!” another voice cried.

Gradually, all the cultists began to stand up and filter out of the room, scowling and griping all the way.

“W-wait! Come back! You haven’t even seen its strongest ability yet, the dreaded gulp mis- OW!” the presenter said as Cramorant forcefully expelled the microphone at his forehead with a burst of water.

*****​

“No Petey, spit that out! Out!” Ellie called as her cramorant choked on a pikachu, the electric mouse’s back legs wriggling wildly. Eventually, the bird spat out the pokémon and then turned to stare at their trainer’s feet, appearing vaguely guilty.

“I swear, it’s like fifty percent of the time they try to swallow something, it’s a pikachu. You’d think natural selection would’ve taken care of that by now,” Lewis, Ellie’s traveling companion, said.

“Yeah, it is pretty weird. It’s almost like they have a genetically-programmed instinct for going after the things. Maybe there was some sort of fat yellow fish with brown stripes in their natural environment, wherever that was.” No-one knew for sure where exactly cramorant had come from – it just seemed to have turned up in the wild one day, and researchers could only assume it had been smuggled into Galar from some unheard-of island far across the world.

Lewis shrugged. “Yeah, maybe. I guess we’ll never really know.”

“Bawk!” said the cramorant.

More stories coming soon!
 
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Negrek

Only the Lonely
Staff
Ehhh, fun! Short but not too short stories. It's interesting to build around more or less one joke; usually your stories have a lot going on in them, but these are a bit more focused. Which is definitely what you want for quick one-shots like this, I think!

My favorite so far is the cramorant one, probably because the pikachu gulp missile thing is already so ridiculous to begin with--it sounds silly, it looks silly, and it makes one wonder how exactly the creature-design team managed to come up with it. A genetically-engineered menace designed to eliminate pikaclones? I can hardly think of a pokémon less suited to the task, so, excellent! The little scene with the cramorant waddling around and bawk-ing vapidly while the cult leader tries to explain what a terror it is is golden.

No-one knew for sure where exactly cramorant had come from – it just seemed to have turned up in the wild one day, and researchers could only assume it had been smuggled into Galar from some unheard-of island far across the world.
Mmm, yes, and it was an excellent case study for supporters of Dexit to point to, dangerous foreign species coming in and terrorizing the local fauna...

I also enjoyed the Team Yell one, primarily for the simple fact of a classic parent/teenaged child fight done well. Seen it loads, but it's always fun to read again. Also unusual in that it's fairly grounded compared to your usual work, whereas both one and three here are pretty zany. You obviously have some capability with a pretty broad range of comedy!

I had an idea of where the first story was going pretty much from the start. It's a cute premise, although maybe one that would work a little better in a visual medium, but it was still fun visualizing the pokémon in cowboy boots in a classic cartoon wild west shootout situation. It seems like this would be a fun story to see illustrated or turned into a comic.

A couple little things:

“So it’s settled. On the count of three.” Braixen said.
Should be a comma on the end of that dialogue.

It’s forty degrees out and I can see your bellybutton!
Got briefly confused here since I figured they'd use Celsius in Galar.

Hope to see more of these!
 

DawningWinds

Pokémon Trainer
“You know damn well why there can’t be any peace between us! This franchise just ain’t big enough for two adorable starter pokémon with sticks stuck in their fur.”
But it's big enough for two families of fire-type fox Pokémon, along with a multitude of other foxes.

A steel anvil labeled ‘DEXIT’ plummeted from the sky and crushed Braixen to death.
Sorry, Braixen. You almost did it.

After all, what self-respecting member of Team Yell carried a vuvuzela without any spiky armbands wrapped around it?
I didn't pay much attention to the noisemakers(vuvuzelas) when I played, but I done remember seeing spiky armbands on them... There probably were some that I didn't notice though.

“DEATH TO THE PIKACHU! DEATH TO THE PIKA-CLONES!”
No! Don't hurt plusle and minun, or emolga, or dedenne, or morpeko, please!

“Is that a flying-water type?”
Yes. It very much is.

“That thing couldn’t kill a baby pichu! My magikarp would have a better chance of exterminating the pikachu race!”
No, it really wouldn't. Your magikarp would evolve into a gyarados and fail to the same electric move as the cramorant.

“I swear, it’s like fifty percent of the time they try to swallow something, it’s a pikachu. You’d think natural selection would’ve taken care of that by now,”
I've never used a cramorant in game- Does it seriously happen that often?
---

These are absolutely hilarious- The Cramorant one explains a lot about why the heck you see those birds with pikachu sticking out of their beaks, and in a pretty ridiculous way. The Team Yell one is interesting, but feels a bit out of place with the complete ridiculousness of the other two. Overall, I greatly enjoyed all of these and look forward to reading more.
 

WildBoots

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
These shorts were comfy and easy to read! 🧱

These were so fun — quick and cute. I think the cramorant piece was my favorite, then the braxien piece. But all three do a good job efficiently moving to their punchline, and the jokes were so easy to visualize.

[“Bawk!” Cramorant blurted, and lunged at the presenter, seizing his microphone with its beak and wresting it from his grip.]
Favorite moment!

I look forward to seeing others!

Grammar / nitpicking:

Be careful of passive voice — were gathered, were hiding. Especially in stories this short, you’ll get more bang for your bunch if you cut out the auxiliary verbs and use active verbs instead (gathered, hid).

In the cramorant piece the dialogue followed the same pattern each time. You might mix up your dialogue tags. You can often cut the tags entirely and jump to a new sentence (a verb or description) and that signals who’s talking.
[excited mania]
Redundant.

[unfortunately-rotund]
Hyphen not needed here.

[flying-water type]
I feel like you do need another hyphen here though.

[The bird made strangled choking noises as it tried unsuccessfully to swallow the microphone, and stumbled around the stage before slamming into the glass tube and falling to the floor.]
I’d break this into two sentences.
 

The Walrein

Pokémon Trainer
Partners
  1. gulpin
My favorite so far is the cramorant one, probably because the pikachu gulp missile thing is already so ridiculous to begin with--it sounds silly, it looks silly, and it makes one wonder how exactly the creature-design team managed to come up with it. A genetically-engineered menace designed to eliminate pikaclones? I can hardly think of a pokémon less suited to the task, so, excellent! The little scene with the cramorant waddling around and bawk-ing vapidly while the cult leader tries to explain what a terror it is is golden.

Thanks, this story was my favorite so far too!

I also enjoyed the Team Yell one, primarily for the simple fact of a classic parent/teenaged child fight done well. Seen it loads, but it's always fun to read again. Also unusual in that it's fairly grounded compared to your usual work, whereas both one and three here are pretty zany. You obviously have some capability with a pretty broad range of comedy!

Yeah, it's good to experiment with some different styles now and then, although this is probably going to be the only relatively grounded one of the batch.

I had an idea of where the first story was going pretty much from the start. It's a cute premise, although maybe one that would work a little better in a visual medium, but it was still fun visualizing the pokémon in cowboy boots in a classic cartoon wild west shootout situation. It seems like this would be a fun story to see illustrated or turned into a comic.

Hmm, I had been hoping that the ridiculousness of the setup would be enough to keep reader expectations of where the story was headed up in the air, but I guess it is a bit predictable in retrospect. Yeah, I think the ideal medium for this might be animation, which would best handle the abruptness of the anvil strike, although unfortunately I have absolutely no skill in that area.

Should be a comma on the end of that dialogue.

Fixed, thanks.

Got briefly confused here since I figured they'd use Celsius in Galar.

For some reason I keep thinking England uses imperial units - I guess because 'imperial' makes me think of the British empire. I think I'll just leave this as-is, though, since if I went with something like 5 degrees or 0 degrees it might seem a little too cold to be plausible if someone read that as Fahrenheit.

I didn't pay much attention to the noisemakers(vuvuzelas) when I played, but I done remember seeing spiky armbands on them... There probably were some that I didn't notice though.

You're right, the actual noisemakers Team Yell have in the game all have spikes permanently attached to them. Here I'm assuming that at least some members aren't quite dedicated enough to glue on spikes manually, and, having ready access to spiky armbands, would decide to just slap one on and call it a day.

No, it really wouldn't. Your magikarp would evolve into a gyarados and fail to the same electric move as the cramorant.

True, but at least the gyarados would have better stats!

I've never used a cramorant in game- Does it seriously happen that often?

All Cramorant in the game have the 'Gulp Missile' ability, which causes them to always start to choke on a Pikachu whenever they use the move Surf or Dive while at under half hp.

Be careful of passive voice — were gathered, were hiding. Especially in stories this short, you’ll get more bang for your bunch if you cut out the auxiliary verbs and use active verbs instead (gathered, hid).

Oof, I thought I was pretty good about this but I guess that passive voice can really sneak up on you.

In the cramorant piece the dialogue followed the same pattern each time. You might mix up your dialogue tags. You can often cut the tags entirely and jump to a new sentence (a verb or description) and that signals who’s talking.

Huh, dialogue attribution variety is usually one of the things I consciously pay attention to when I'm writing. I don't think I was using the same pattern every time here, although admittedly it could've used more variety. I've made a few minor changes to address that.

[excited mania]
Redundant.

[unfortunately-rotund]
Hyphen not needed here.

Thanks, fixed!

[flying-water type]
I feel like you do need another hyphen here though.

Eh, my instincts say no. "Flying-water" is a phrase modifying the noun "type" here, and I don't think you usually hyphen together the modifier phrase with the thing it's modifying.

[The bird made strangled choking noises as it tried unsuccessfully to swallow the microphone, and stumbled around the stage before slamming into the glass tube and falling to the floor.]
I’d break this into two sentences.

I changed the 'and stumbled' into 'then stumbled', which I think makes it read a bit better, but I'm not sure what the benefit of breaking it up would be.

Thanks to everyone who reviewed, and I'm glad you enjoyed what I have so far!

Without further ado, here's the next story:

The Duel II

“Alright, let’s see a nice, clean match today,” the referee said. Victor nodded absently, mentally reviewing his plans for the battle.

Gordie flipped his hair. “Hey Challenger! I’d do the little pre-battle spiel, but I’m sure you’re tired of those by now, right? So let’s get started!”

“Sure,” Victor said. The two turned, walked several paces to their starting positions, then rotated to face each other. Some members of the audience were already beginning to cheer in anticipation. That sound had used to make Victor’s stomach twist into knots, but after five successful gym matches, he was beginning to get over it. He knew he couldn’t afford to get cocky, though – Gordie was one of the more deserving candidates for the “potential future league champion!” title sports mags tended to bestow on every halfway-decent challenger, and he wasn’t known for pulling any punches against relative newcomers like himself.

“Ready… release!” the referee declared.

“Go, Stonjourner!” Gordie announced, throwing his ball onto the field. The towering menhir-legged rock Pokemon appeared in a flash of light and stomped both their feet dramatically, producing small tremors in the ground.

Victor pitched his chosen pokeball down at the same time. “Let’s do this, Falinks!” Six helmeted fighters materialized in a column, and stared up at their opponent, undaunted by the massive difference in size. “Start off with a rock smash on-”

FWEEEEEEEEE! The harsh blast of the referee’s whistle cut off Victor’s command. Surprised, Victor turned towards him to see the ref raising a yellow flag, frowning sternly. “Improper release! Yellow card for the challenger!” he declared.

“Wha- what do you mean, ‘improper release’!?” Victor blurted.

Gordie chuckled. “This is a single battle, kid! You just sent out six Pokemon!”

Victor was gobsmacked. “But Falinks is a single Pokemon! Or, I mean, yeah, there’s six of them, but they really only count as one! It’s not like they can just fight on their own!”

A Falinks in the rear of the column turned around. “Wow, Victor, is that really how you think of us? That we’re each just one-sixth of a real Pokemon?” he asked, hurt in his voice.

“What? N-no, that’s not how I think at all!” Victor said, frantically backpedaling. “I was just saying that, um, you guys are used to fighting as a team, you know?”

“Hey, we can fight on our own if we need to! It’s not like we’re some sort of hive-mind!” another member of the column said.

“Yeah, we’re all individuals! For instance, my favorite color is cerulean, while his favorite color is closer to sky-blue!” the first Falinks stated.

“Okay, I’m sorry! Look, would you guys mind sitting this battle out today? We’ll talk about this later, I promise.”

“Fine,” the Falinks said.

“Okay, great.” Victor withdrew the fighting Pokemon and turned back to Gordie. “Um, sorry about that little incident… guess I’ve just gotten a little too used to the, er, informal battle rules in the wild area,” he said, laughing nervously.

“It’s fine. Just send out one Pokemon this time, okay?” Gordie replied, although his grin seemed a little forced.

Victor nodded and grabbed his next Pokeball. “Alright, Sirfetch’d, you got this!” The proud lance-wielding duck emerged onto the-

FWEEEEEEEEE! went the ref’s whistle. “Illegal equipment! Second yellow card for the challenger!”

“S-sorry, I’m not sure I understand?”

“This is supposed to be a contest of the unarmed fighting skill of each Pokemon! They certainly aren’t allowed to bring lances and shields with them into the arena!” the referee shot back, rather snippily.

“But- but Sirfetch’d always have those things! It’s part of their natural fighting style!” Victor protested.

Sirfetch’d gasped. “Good sir, I’m astonished that thee wouldst imply I need such implements to be able to triumph in a tourney of unarmed skill! Why, I’d rather be cooked and eaten than throw away my honor using them in such a knavish violation of the rules!”

“Okay, sorry, I didn’t mean to impugn your honor!” Victor hastily withdrew the Sirfetch’d into her Pokeball. “Look, I swear this is the first time this has come up before!”

“Come on, kid, you should know this stuff by now. This is, what, your sixth gym battle?” Gordie said, arms now crossed.

“Right, sorry, won’t happen again.” Victor ran his hands over his remaining pokeballs. “Okay, go, Exeggcute- no, wait! I mean, um, go, Marowak- er – I mean-” Sweat poured down Victor’s face.

“I haven’t got all day, kid!” Gordie snapped.

Victor swallowed. “Go… Cinderace?” he said, pitching the ball onto the field with a timid, hesitant toss. The fire rabbit Pokemon stretched and bounced on the balls of her feet. “Alright! Let’s do this, Victor!” she said cheerily, oblivious to her trainer’s previous embarrassments.

Cautiously, Victor turned and looked at the ref. The ref glared back at him, but made no motions towards his whistle. He exhaled heavily and focused on his Pokemon again. “Um, yeah, let’s do it! Cinderace, use agili-”

A steel anvil labeled ‘DEXIT’ plummeted from the sky, crashed through the roof of the stadium, and crushed Cinderace into the ground.

“Holy shit! Why’d you do that?” the referee cried in horror, backing away.

“Oh my god! You murdered her!” Gordie said, staring in shock.

“I- I swear I didn’t do this!” Victor said, equally horrorstruck. He ran over to his Pokemon’s side and tried to recall her, but the pokeball simply emitted a grating buzz, doing nothing. “Cinderace, speak to me!”

“Why, Victor? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?” Cinderace rasped, blood trickling out of her mouth.

“I didn’t- this doesn’t make any sense!” Victor cried, eyes filling with tears. “You’re a Galar Pokemon! You’re even a Galar starter! How could you get Dexited?”

“I’m so cold, Victor… so… cold...” Cinderace gasped, than fell silent. Her eyes closed and her head gently tilted to the side.

“Alright, you’re under arrest!” a Galar police officer declared, having emerged from the stands and walked up to the scene.

“I swear I didn’t do it!” Victor pleaded between sobs. “Why would I want to kill my own Pokemon?”

“Not the anvil!” the officer snapped. “I mean you’re under arrest for breaking the fourth wall!”

“Wh- what!?”

The officer shook his head sternly. “‘Dexit’ is purely a fandom term that has no meaning in-universe. You should’ve had no idea what the significance of it being written on the anvil was! However, you reacted as if you knew it referred to the exclusion of a large number of Pokemon from the Galar pokedex in generation eight. Furthermore, you called your Cinderace a ‘Galar Starter’ - but Scorbunny is a special gift given to the player by Leon at the start of the game, not a common first Pokemon for beginning trainers across Galar! It’s purely a fandom conceit that Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble form a group called ‘starter’ Pokemon!”

Stunned, Victor provided no resistance as the police officer cuffed him and led him away. Gordie shuddered. “Wow, I can’t believe I almost had a battle against a fourth wall breaker!”

“Yeah, it’s scary. They look just like real people,” the referee agreed.

“Ugh, well, I guess we should clean up that anvil and corpse… wonder if we could use that anvil in one of the traps in the challenge...” Gordie muttered.

“We’ll have to scratch the ‘Dexit’ off of it, though. Er, not that I have any clue what that could possibly signify, heh!”

Gordie shared in a hearty laugh. “Yeah, what it could possibly mean! I guess we’ll never know!”
 
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WildBoots

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
Oof, I thought I was pretty good about this but I guess that passive voice can really sneak up on you.
And, honestly, I goofed — it’s not passive voice, but they are qualifiers. They sneak up on all us, because we talk this way!

Flying-water" is a phrase modifying the noun "type"
I actually think you’re right. I was thinking it should be flying-water-type because it would be flying-type pokémon or water-type moves... But I guess if there’s no other noun like pokémon or moves turning “type” into a modifier, no hyphens needed. I take it back.

I'm not sure what the benefit of breaking it up would be.
I think adding in “then” helps. It’s just a long sentence with a lot to parse, especially with long gerund phrases on either end of it.

Looking forward to reading the new one when I get a chance. :)
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
Well, these were a fun little read! Each one are little micro-stories meant to deliver a single (or occasionally two or three) little punchlines, and they remind me a lot about those one-page comic shorts you see floating around the Internet. For the most part, I think most of these could be turned into those, particularly the first and last one (being the one that had been published after the others.)

I don't think I have any specific commentary for any of them in particular, but the third one in particular encompasses what I think is the general style you go for. Specifically, one that seems to be canon-convergent, but with a subversive or otherwise absurdist answer to some in-universe phenomena. It's a fun pattern, though I feel like I'd want to probably take that sort of humor on occasion. So, it's a good call that you'd only do it in such small stories.

Anyway, all I have left are small nitpicks:

“Eek, ooo, oooh...” Grookey said, dejected.

I feel like the tag here is unnecessary. The same information felt conveyed by the dialogue alone. Or maybe some small action to indicate Grookey was dejected otherwise?

Anyway, they were all nice reads! I think I enjoyed the Cramorant one the most, but the sequel to The Duel was also fun.
 

Pen

the cat is mightier than the pen
Staff
Partners
  1. dratini
I haven't actually played Sword/Shield yet, but the meta humor in the Duel II was comprehensible and fun. You highlight some of the absurdities of pokemon design and raise some awkward questions--like, is a dugtrio three diglet hanging out or a single new being? Are the tools some pokemon always seem to hold replaceable or not?

I didn't know about Dexit prior to reading, but wow, I guess Brexit has no end.

“Hey, we can fight on our own if we need to! It’s not like we’re some sort of hive-mind!” another member of the column said.

“Yeah, we’re all individuals! For instance, my favorite color is cerulean, while his favorite color is closer to sky-blue!” the first Falinks stated.
This was cute! Reminded me of the Auditors in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. The instant they start differentiating themselves into individuals, they vanish.
 

kintsugi

golden scars
Location
waiting for the fog to roll out
Pronouns
she/her
Partners
  1. silvally-grass
  2. lapras
  3. golurk
One of them was a braixen wearing a black ten-gallon hat and cowboy boots. The other was a grookey, naked.
This casual absurdism reminded me of your flat-earth linoone story -- a lot of your jokes here are really good but my personal favorites are the ones where the narration doesn't really draw attention to them.

Do you want people thinking you’re in a gang, now?
“It’s a pokémon battle, mum, not – not something boring! None of my teachers are going to be there!
I think the humor here is supposed to be that teachers don't go to cool things like pokemon battles, but I prefer to think of it as Megan thinking that gangs are boring but vuvuzela squad for Marnie is the shit.

After all, what self-respecting member of Team Yell carried a vuvuzela without any spiky armbands wrapped around it?
It's true, the spikes make the sound travel 80% further.

The bird made strangled choking noises as it tried unsuccessfully to swallow the microphone, then stumbled around the stage before slamming into the glass tube and falling to the floor.
Solid Untitled Goose Game vibes from this, and I love the mental image of the guy trying to hype up cramorant while it runs around being an idiot.

“Wow, Victor, is that really how you think of us? That we’re each just one-sixth of a real Pokemon?” he asked, hurt in his voice.
i chuckled

And I like the brick joke/dexit joke coming back at the end here.

This may have been a byproduct of reading them all back-to-back rather than individually, but I do feel like the pacing tips a little on the long scale -- the joke could be conveyed in maybe a few hundred words less. The Cramorant one in particular felt a bit extended.

Overall these are a lot of fun. You pick some really odd takes in the pokemon universe and do a great job of shining a light on how absurd they truly are. Thanks for sharing!
 

windskull

Bidoof Fan
Staff
Partners
  1. custom/sneasel-nip
  2. bidoof
  3. absol
I've been wanting to check out your stuff for a while tbh, and it looks like this is an opportune time to do so. I didn't really know what to expect going in. Things seemed to start out normal enough. "Oh, a western-themed story. Seems interesting enough. Fits the title. Then this line got dropped on me:

One of them was a braixen wearing a black ten-gallon hat and cowboy boots. The other was a grookey, naked.

And I knew I was in for a good time.

Out of all of them, my favorite was probably Duel II. I have a soft spot for meta-humor. And found myself laughing as things got more and more ridiculous, until a blast from the past dexit hit and things really went off the rails.

If I had to pick a least favorite... I guess I'd pick Bio-Weapon "C", since it felt like, the least connected to Galar to me (I mean, I know, it's all a big joke on cramorant, and it was hilarious). But none of them stuck out as bad, and I didn't notice any lines in particular that stood out as bad or any typos.

Overall, fun!
 

WildBoots

Don’t underestimate seeds.
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/moka-mark
  2. solrock
I'm horribly late for Review Roulette, oops.

Victor nodded absently, mentally reviewing his plans for the battle.
It would be nice to get a taste of what this review looks like -- a checklist, perhaps? That would tell us a bit more about Victor's personality, or give an opportunity for another gag. (Lucky socks? Check and check.)

“Hey Challenger!
Seems like a greeting would come before the referee's admonishment?

That sound had used to make
Cut had -- used to already implies a time before the story.

Yeah, we’re all individuals! For instance, my favorite color is cerulean, while his favorite color is closer to sky-blue!” the first Falinks stated.
Haha, cute. Yes, very individual.

Wow, this one takes a hard turn at the end! Very silly. :) It was odd that Victor hadn't had this kind of experience before in a previous gym challenge. Maybe it should be a conceit of this particular gym and Victor waves away the spiel (missing these vital rules!) because he's cocky? Being arrested for breaking fourth wall was a fun gag, but I wish the anvil's origins had an explanation, even a jokey one.
 

Negrek

Only the Lonely
Staff
Huh, I guess I missed this one earlier. Works out for both of us, I guess! :P For a while I was wondering what linked this and the first duel, but that one ended up landing with all the subtlety of an anvil, didn't it? :P

An interesting mix of jokes you have in this one... kind of focusing on some of the absurdities/inconsistencies of pokémon designs for most of the story before taking a hard turn to the dexit side of things. I think my favorite part was the ridiculously melodramatic cinderace death scene. As usual, it's fun to see you poke fun at fandom trends within the story itself; a lot of the common terminology that players use wouldn't really make sense from an in-universe perspective, but they often show up in fanfic nonetheless!

A couple line-specific things...

Victor swallowed. “Go… Cinderace?” he said, pitching the ball onto the field with a timid, hesitant toss. The fire rabbit Pokemon stretched and bounced on the balls of her feet. “Alright! Let’s do this, Victor!” she said cheerily, oblivious to her trainer’s previous embarrassments.
I think you want a new paragraph for Cinderace's dialogue here.

“Yeah, it’s scary. They look just like real people,” the referee agreed.
This is SO TERRIBLE it is definitely my favorite line.

I have to agree with Gordie, though; it's pretty weird how Victor's snagged five gym badges without being told he had to break up his falinks or accidentally killing his cinderace. Were Gordie's gym rules supposed to be weird and different from all the others'? Or perhaps he only caught the falinks and evolved the sirfetch'd after he got his last badge? Though, of course, quibbling over the realism of that is a bit silly when this is a fic where a dexit-anvil literally drops from the sky.

There are a lot of nice little flourishes to this, like the pokémon's dialogue and the overall general atmosphere--literally everyone agrees that Victor is a monster, and he's just standing there confused while all these increasingly terrible things happen. While your stories tend to be somewhat cartoony, I think this one, with the literal anvils and perhaps just the cinderace (the melodramatic death scene made me think of Bugs Bunny pretending to perish horribly) has the strongest feel of a Loony Tunes episode to me, heh. Good fun as always. Happy to have had the chance to read this!
 

The Walrein

Pokémon Trainer
Partners
  1. gulpin
I'll reply to everyone's reviews very soon, I promise! But for now, I've got an extra-special update for you all...

Death, references to severe violence, swearing

The Great Melemele Battle Festival

“Finish it with Tackle, Rowlet!” Elio called out. In response, Rowlet chirped and swooped down from the air, colliding with Hau’s Pichu and knocking him over. The residents of Iki town gathered around the ceremonial arena held their breath as the Pichu struggled to get back to his feet again, then finally collapsed.

“It’s official! Challenger Elio is the winner!” Kahuna Hala declared as Hau recalled his Pokemon. “I’m sure Tapu Koko was pleased with that excellent battle!”

“WHAT!? Like hell I was pleased!” Tapu Koko screeched, descending from the skies. “That was a terrible battle! You honestly expected me to be impressed with a bunch of toddlers half-heartedly bumping into each other for five minutes until one of them falls over?” The island guardian settled in the center of the arena, glaring at Hala. Hau felt his hair stand on end as a powerful static field gathered around the legendary Pokemon.

“Well, I- uh…” Hala stuttered, unconsciously backing away from the angry deity, “what were you expecting to see in the festival?”

“Blood! Guts! Violence!” Tapu Koko roared. “I want to see a real fight, with powerful moves causing massive explosions that send chunks of flaming rubble flying into the audience! I want to see entire teams of fully-evolved Pokemon brutally slugging it out until there’s only one mon standing, drenched in their opponents’ blood! I want to see the trainers leap into the action, slashing wildly with machetes and axes instead of standing on the sidelines like total wusses!”

“That, um, we don’t really teach machete-fighting techniques to new trainers anymore-” Hala started.

“Oh, and there had better be at least one decapitation involved, in addition to multiple de-limbings and disembowelments!” Tapu Koko continued. “And, and, and! There should also be this bad-ass heavy metal rock band playing live on the sidelines, timing their music perfectly so that the hottest licks come right as the battlers perform their brutal finishing moves!”

Behind Tapu Koko, Professor Kukui was frantically signaling for everyone to evacuate. Villagers were hurrying away from the arena as quickly as they could without drawing the legendary’s notice. Lillie had opened up her bag and was mumbling something into it about the possibility of a wormhole being generated to warp her to another island.

“Is… is that all, your divinity?” Hala asked, desperately wishing anyone else on the island could’ve been Kahuna at that moment.

“Hmmm… I think that about covers it, except for the celebrity cameos – oh, wait! Popcorn! There should be like a ton of popcorn for me – a literal ton, you understand – covered with real melted Miltank butter! None of that crappy spray-on stuff!”

“That's - yes. Popcorn is certainly doable,” Hala said.

“Good! I expect you’ll have no problems putting all this together within the next half-hour or so. I’ll be waiting here.”

“Of- of course, your divinity. Just let me step away for a few phone calls...” Hala hurried away from the arena. As soon as he broke line-of-sight with the Tapu, he pulled out his cell phone and frantically punched in a number. “Hello? Lusamine? It’s Hala. I want you to release all of your Ultra-Beasts onto Melemele Island now. Throw in those weird mixed-up chimera Pokemon too, if you have any of ‘em left. No, don’t try to deny it. I know you’ve got loads of those weird white Tentacruel things you’re obsessed with lying around in your freezers somewhere. Yes, I mean right now! Yes. That’s correct. Thank you!” Hala hung up and let out a big breath. With any luck, Tapu Koko would forget about the revamped battle festival in the midst of fighting off all the Ultra-Beasts. “I pray to all the actually-sane gods that this works,” he muttered.

***​

Iki town lay in flaming ruins. The screams of hapless citizens resounded across the village as they were consumed one-by-one by Guzzlord or sliced to pieces by Kartana. Celesteela shot across the sky, sending rescue helicopters crashing to the ground with blinding bursts of their Flash Cannon attacks. Buzzwole competed to see who could rip up more of the island’s trees faster, casually draining Pokemon after Pokemon dry to fuel their prowess.

“Welp, I screwed up,” Hala said.

Tapu Koko, who had done nothing the whole time except sit and watch, flew over to the Kahuna’s side. “I overheard the conversation you had with Lusamine. You planned this whole thing, didn’t you?” they asked.

“I...” Hala said, then swallowed. There was no point in lying now. “Yes. Yes, I did.”

“I see,” said Tapu Koko. Electric charge built up on their shells, glowing lines of current crackling and sparking between them. Hala closed his eyes and braced himself.

“Because that… was… awesome!” Tapu Koko called.

“Huh?” asked Hala, opening his eyes.

“That was the best battle festival I’ve been to in centuries! There was slaughter and devastation everywhere! I’d never even seen half of the Pokemon fighting before! I gotta say Hala, I had my doubts in you after that lame-o battle you turned in earlier, but you completely blew away all my expectations!”

“Oh, right. Yes, of course! Anything to please you, your divinity!” The Kahuna dusted himself off and drew himself up to his full height, standing proudly before the legendary.

“Well, guess I’ll be going now!” Tapu Koko said, levitating off the ground. “Thanks again, Hala! I can hardly wait until next year’s festival – which I’m sure will be even better!”

Hala groaned as the legendary flew away.

--------------------------------------------------

...APRIL FOOLS! You came into this thread expecting an amazingly witty and hilarious short about the Sword and Shield games, but instead, you got a story from the last generation of Pokemon games! Ha! You've been hoodwinked, hornswoggled, bamboozled! You should've seen the look of slowly dawning confusion on your faces as you realized that there is no Iki town in Galar, and-

Wait, what do you mean that's not a very good April Fool's Day joke? You... you honestly don't really care whether you're reading a short about the gen 7 or gen 8 games? Would it... would it have been funnier if I'd done a short about the Red/Blue era games? Red/Green? No?

Okay, look, sorry. I'm doing my best here, okay? It's been a difficult year for me. It's been a difficult year for all of us. Look, how about you just forget you ever read this, okay? This never happened! You are still waiting in eager anticipation for The Walrein's epic April Fool's Day joke, which will definitely be totally awesome and not lame like whatever this one was. We good? Okay, thanks. I can do this. Just, uh, give me a little bit to think of something...
 

Negrek

Only the Lonely
Staff
So this was the real fic all along! (Or was it? Is there truly anything more "real" about this fic than any of the others?) Perhaps not a real Sword or Shield short, but this otherwise seems right at home among your other work. I had a strong suspicion about what was going to happen the moment Hala asked Lusamine to release her ultra beasts, and, yup, there we went. :P Obviously Tapu Koko was the primary person to appreciate the carnage, but I imagine Lusamine also enjoyed a chance for her pets to run around and get some exercise.

I like how machete-fighting isn't part of the new-trainer curriculum any more and the fact that Tapu Koko didn't forget to mention the popcorn. "Welp, I screwed up" is probably my favorite line in here. After all that, what else can one say, really? Thanks for another cute fic (or three) this April Fool's day!
 
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