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AbraPunk

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


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

Now, you may have seen me post about this story in my Intro Thread post, or on a few other threads. But it's here! It's finally here! Gosh, I'm so excited for you all to read this. But first, let's get some formalities out of the way (I'm on mobile, so apologies for any formatting errors):

Content Warnings: (most of these will come into effect in later chapters, but it's good to know in advance) mild language, realistic violence, blood, gore, character death, themes/discussion of various forms of abuse

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

With all that over with, let's get right into the story! (Just as a final note, I will upload the first two chapters today [just in time for Mafia! :)] After that, each chapter will be uploaded every other Friday. Bi-weekly.)

AO3 Link

Discord server
 
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Chapter 1: Hands Off

AbraPunk

Generation Guardian
Location
The Circle
Pronouns
They/them
Partners
  1. luxio
I've seen the feedback on this beginning paragraph. Fear not, it will be changed at some point in the future.

6/7/21
Somewhat separated the beginning paragraph(s) and the "actual" beginning.

Near a mountain range lay a town called Dusthill. This town was home to mostly Dark type pokemon, however, all types were welcome. Dusthill never got many visitors, though, if only because of the bad stigma surrounding Dark types. Though, perhaps there was another reason pokemon rarely came through. One of the mountains in the range was just like every other mountain there… except for the mysterious door somehow built into the side. Though many pokemon over many generations had tried to open this door, none succeeded. There were rumors of how to open the door, of course. But all were proven false. It raised the question of why anyone would want to open that door, anyway. For all those generations, all those years that door had stood there, there was never anybody seen going in or out. Eventually, the popularity and mystique of the mountain door died out. Soon enough, nobody even so much as spared a second glance at it. What the residents of Dusthill didn't know, however, was that the door did lead to something. The mountain with the door… was hollow. Countless generations ago, a group of pokemon had come to the mountain range, back when Dusthill did not yet exist, and built a sort of living space within the mountain. This space was, from then on, used as the main base for an organization that would soon be known and feared world-wide.


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

☆ ☆ ☆

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



☆ ☆ ☆



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Now that the battle was over, both Growlithe came over to Chaplin. It was Pyre who spoke first.


"So, you gonna explain what the hell you were doin' gettin' yourself attacked?" He snarled through bared fangs.


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


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


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


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


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


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


It was a while before either of them spoke again.


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


"No."


"Wh- Nothing? Nothing at all?"


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


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


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


"Peaceful Wrinvale… not so peaceful now, huh." She muttered to herself, as she finally looked somewhere other than the grass.
 
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Chapter 2: Dream Catcher

AbraPunk

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

It was silent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

earls

Youngster
Pronouns
He/Him
I've been reading this every so often for inspiration and for fun, and I've come to understand what I love about it so much.

The use of description on these areas and locations that the story takes place in is quite pleasant and intriguing to read. I could only wish that some of them could be longer, as I feel that it is incredibly important to world-building.

I think what's bound to be my favorite part of this story are the characters! I really like the usage of small details to really get across to the audience about how each character acts and feels. If I can get a good scope of some of these character based on these first two chapters alone, then I know the future installations will have amazing dynamics and interactions. So, I really hope to see that in the future.

Good luck with this story! I'll always be here to read
 

IFBench

Rescue Team Member
Location
Pokemon Paradise
Partners
  1. custom/chikorita-saltriv
  2. custom/bench-gen
  3. charmander
This is really interesting so far!

I quite liked the opening to chapter 1. Gave a pretty good overview of the world!

Just three lines in to Ash and Seth's conversation, and they already feel extremely distinct. Nicely done!

This section also does a great job at setting up a lot of intrigue! I'm very curious about just what this group is and what their goals are, though it doesn't seem to be anything good.

The description in the next section is extremely vivid, and paints a fantastic picture of what's happening. Great job!

I'm also very curious about these other characters, and just what this purple thing is. Seems like it's not a Pokemon. Very interesting!

Also, pretty great way to seamlessly introduce the characters' names!

I really like the description in the beginning of chapter 2, especially how well you used sound in it!

I wonder just what this dream could mean? Perhaps the figures are the Pokemon from under the mountain?

Oh boy, Chaplin's going out into the forest without telling anyone. This can't end well.

Everyone knew ghosts only appeared to those who deserved to be punished!

This line is very, very interesting to me. Are ghost-type Pokemon regarded as myth in this world? And the Pokemon under the mountain seem to be ghost-types, too...

The chapter ending was very interesting! Seems like Chaplin began floating into the sky, only to suddenly fall back down and collide with the ground. I am very intrigued about why that happened.

Overall, this does a great job of setting up intrigue and painting the world. I look forward to reading more!
 

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
Pronouns
Them
Partners
  1. shaymin
Interesting so far. In the beginning it relies a little too much on telling rather than showing though. Like, incorporate the story of the door and why the town is more avoided into the conversation instead of putting it all in a single paragraph.

But I'm liking Chaplin and her curiosity, and the Growlithe brothers are fun too. And that line about "about as much use as trying to drink an ocean" is fantastic.
 

SparklingEspeon

Resident Nosy Person
Location
*teleports behind you*
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. espurr
  2. fennekin
Hello, here for my side of our review exchange! And immediately the name Ash makes me think of Ash Ketchum and Chaplain made me think of Charlie Chaplain lol

I admittedly didn’t think there was going to be this much material in just 3K words, so so was pleasantly surprised to see that not only is there a good amount of substance, it all has room to (reasonably) breathe! Which is a really big accomplishment IMO. The bite sized chapters made for convenient on the go reading and I certainly wouldn’t mind them staying this size, but wonder if they’ll adjust to get longer as the narrative broadens.

I think that your descriptive style is quite nice! It sets the scene in an atmospheric way that isn’t too blunt, but also doesn’t Take five paragraphs to set up. You really get across the Beaty of a sunrise and the looming atmosphere of the woods. I think the only qualm I really find myself having there is that, in the beginning, the paragraph detailing the organization hiding in that mountain was unnecessarily expositional. (But even then, that’s less a description issue and more a telling too much issue.)

Your characters and their interactions are also interesting — it’s surprising how much you’ve managed to squeeze into just 3000 words. They all seem distinct as well; although some of the interactions feel a bit cliche/one-dimensional, I can perfectly tell them apart with all their traits and quirks from the moment they talk. Which, again, for the amount of words you’ve pulled this off in, is really good. (I love the line about trying to drink an ocean lol)

Plot setup is also cool! I don’t know much about what’s going on yet, but I expect Cjsplain is going to get pulled up into whatever the Door Group is planning, probably by Ash.

I just find myself faltering to find the train of logic in the second chapter. Chaplain has a spooky dream, ends up in the woods where a mob of phantom pokemon accost her, then wakes up... and then immediately is like ‘hell yea let’s do that AGAIN’. It feels weird to me that it would take so little convincing for her to pack up and head for the creepy woods in the middle of the night just after she had a scary dream about those woods, almost like it’s a Stupid Decision(tm) from a horror movie. I did briefly get vibes that something was messing with her mentally, but if that’s what’s happening so think it could be a bit more obvious.

But otherwise, pretty good read! You’ve used your word space pretty efficiently so far, and outside of a logic hiccup and some overly expositional prose I found I had a pretty good experience reading. Keep going! Might drop around again once there’s a good amount of chapters out.
 

Sinderella

Angry Female Protag • PFP by Canisaries
Staff
Location
In Guzma's Closet
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/sylveon-shiny
  2. gothitelle
Hey AbraPunk, here for Catnip! I hadn't seen this story title before, and was wondering why until I noticed the date you posted...a new tale, I'm excited!

Chapter 1 had an interesting start. We get a group of mons talking about going out to survey an area, before we launch into the story of who I assume is our main character, Chaplin. Can I just say, that's an adorable name for a Shinx?

I did enjoy how quick of a read this was, but I also felt like it was...too quick. In the beginning of chapter 1, it seemed to just be dialogue, and I was aching for a little bit of exposition between the words being spoken. Then, when we get into Chaplin's POV, we see her watching the beautiful sunset, and then a sentence later, she's being ripped apart by a mysterious purple thing. I'm a fiend for suspense and dangling the next thing in front of my reader, so I really would have liked to have seen a little more buildup to it. Maybe Chaplin hears it, gets up to go investigate, doesn't find anything, and as she turns back...BAM, attack. Overall, this chapter seemed like the bones of what I have no doubt is going to be a great story (the summary alone was very intriguing!) and I want to see a bit more meat to it. More exposition, more buildup, more of Chaplin's thoughts.

Chapter 2 had a great start, the dream sequence was just the right amount of creepy and enigmatic. You wrote it out extremely well, because I didn't even realize it was a dream until you said it. However, I was left a little lost at what happened after the fact--Chaplin has this creepy dream about being in the woods, and the first thing she does when she wakes up is...go out into the woods? Because she wants an adventure? That little bit felt somewhat forced to me, and didn't ring entirely true. I would understand it a little better if maybe she was drawn out by some unseen creepy force, but the fact that she got up and sauntered out there out of her own volition was a little off. I think, if you REALLY wanted to build something there, have her fall back to sleep and perhaps...sleepwalk out there. I thinking running with the "unseen force brings her out" would really work in this scenario, because given that she had this dream, then floated away when she walked out into the woods, clearly there's something wonky happening here...so run with that!

With that being said, even with such a small word-count, you managed to pack a lot into this. Great work, keep it up, and I look forward to whats coming up next!

Line-by-Lines
Near a mountain range lay a town called Dusthill. This town was home to mostly Dark type pokemon, however, all types were welcome. Dusthill never got many visitors, though, if only because of the bad stigma surrounding Dark types. Though, perhaps there was another reason pokemon rarely came through. One of the mountains in the range was just like every other mountain there… except for the mysterious door somehow built into the side. Though many pokemon over many generations had tried to open this door, none succeeded. There were rumors of how to open the door, of course. But all were proven false. It raised the question of why anyone would want to open that door, anyway. For all those generations, all those years that door had stood there, there was never anybody seen going in or out. Eventually, the popularity and mystique of the mountain door died out. Soon enough, nobody even so much as spared a second glance at it. What the residents of Dusthill didn't know, however, was that the door did lead to something. The mountain with the door… was hollow. Countless generations ago, a group of pokemon had come to the mountain range, back when Dusthill did not yet exist, and built a sort of living space within the mountain. This space was, from then on, used as the main base for an organization that would soon be known and feared world-wide.


Nowadays, nobody believed in the existence of said group. So there would, hopefully, be absolutely no suspicion about anything that happened within the hollow mountain now. Little did the residents know that something sinister was only beginning to form behind that closed door…
First and foremost, this first paragraph should DEFINITELY be divided into two or more paragraphs. It's a very daunting wall of text that would read much better if divided.

Secondly, this reads kind of like a prologue? I would recommend somehow dividing this from the start of the first scene.

"Hello, Ash," The Sableye said after a moment's silence, "How ya doing?"
Ohhh Ash? I assume this is a different Ash?

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


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

The Shinx could only think of how this would surely be the last day of her life, when there was a yell: "Hands off, asshole!" then a loud thud, and the purple creature was thrown off of her. She scrambled to her paws and saw her savior: a Growlithe! No, two Growlithe!
I only marked this because it's apparent a few sentences later that she knows these growlithe, so perhaps introducing them by their names would be the way to go here?

Chaplin shrank back from him. She hadn't realized just how much danger she had put her friends in. "I--"
OMG she was just watching the sunrise! Pyre needs to lighten up!!!

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

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

AbraPunk

Generation Guardian
Location
The Circle
Pronouns
They/them
Partners
  1. luxio
Hey, everyone! Just dropping by real quick to finally get around to doing some review replies.

Chapter 3 will be out by the end of this week. Apologies for the long wait.

Just three lines in to Ash and Seth's conversation, and they already feel extremely distinct. Nicely done!
Thanks! Expect to see more of them going forward :wink:

The description in the next section is extremely vivid, and paints a fantastic picture of what's happening. Great job!
I was surprised to see some people comment on this: admittedly, I didn't believe the descriptions were very good, i thought they could definitely be improved. But hey, if people like it, then who am I to argue? :smile:

I'm also very curious about these other characters, and just what this purple thing is. Seems like it's not a Pokemon. Very interesting!
...Oh. Here's the thing about this "purple thing." It is just a pokemon. A Sableye, actually. The same Sableye that the chapter focused on earlier. I was simply trying to describe it from the perspective of someone who logically would have never seen one before. I definitely could have, and should have, done way more with the description of it, besides just "purple". Sorry for that.

I really like the description in the beginning of chapter 2, especially how well you used sound in it!
Thanks. I really did want sound to be a key factor in the dream, especially to hone in on the feeling of things just not being right.

I wonder just what this dream could mean? Perhaps the figures are the Pokemon from under the mountain?
Hmm! Well, all I can say is that you'll see... eventually. :wink:

This line is very, very interesting to me. Are ghost-type Pokemon regarded as myth in this world? And the Pokemon under the mountain seem to be ghost-types, too...
Well, again, another thing that'll be explained in time. All I can say regarding "Are ghost pokemon myth?" is this: it depends.

Overall, this does a great job of setting up intrigue and painting the world. I look forward to reading more!
Thank you so much for the review! :quag:


Interesting so far. In the beginning it relies a little too much on telling rather than showing though. Like, incorporate the story of the door and why the town is more avoided into the conversation instead of putting it all in a single paragraph.
Yeah, I do agree with you there. The whole beginning paragraph was actually something of a last-minute addition after I had a friend beta read the first chapter. So, it definitely is a bit wordy, and I do plan to edit it at some point.

But I'm liking Chaplin and her curiosity, and the Growlithe brothers are fun too. And that line about "about as much use as trying to drink an ocean" is fantastic.
Thanks! I really hope people enjoy these characters (and more!) as the story goes on.

I admittedly didn’t think there was going to be this much material in just 3K words, so so was pleasantly surprised to see that not only is there a good amount of substance, it all has room to (reasonably) breathe! Which is a really big accomplishment IMO. The bite sized chapters made for convenient on the go reading and I certainly wouldn’t mind them staying this size, but wonder if they’ll adjust to get longer as the narrative broadens.
Wow, thanks! I thought people wouldn't like how small the chapters were. Glad to see I was wrong about that. 😅 But yes, the chapters will lengthen as the story progresses.

I think that your descriptive style is quite nice! It sets the scene in an atmospheric way that isn’t too blunt, but also doesn’t Take five paragraphs to set up. You really get across the Beaty of a sunrise and the looming atmosphere of the woods. I think the only qualm I really find myself having there is that, in the beginning, the paragraph detailing the organization hiding in that mountain was unnecessarily expositional. (But even then, that’s less a description issue and more a telling too much issue.)
Yeah, about the opening paragraph. It was practically a last-minute addition to the chapter, so it is a bit... unpolished. I do definitely plan to edit that in the future. Thanks!

Your characters and their interactions are also interesting — it’s surprising how much you’ve managed to squeeze into just 3000 words. They all seem distinct as well; although some of the interactions feel a bit cliche/one-dimensional, I can perfectly tell them apart with all their traits and quirks from the moment they talk. Which, again, for the amount of words you’ve pulled this off in, is really good. (I love the line about trying to drink an ocean lol)
Thank you!! I really do want to make these characters as distinct as possible, so for people to compliment that is huge. I am curious on which interactions you feel weren't up to standard, though...

I just find myself faltering to find the train of logic in the second chapter. Chaplain has a spooky dream, ends up in the woods where a mob of phantom pokemon accost her, then wakes up... and then immediately is like ‘hell yea let’s do that AGAIN’. It feels weird to me that it would take so little convincing for her to pack up and head for the creepy woods in the middle of the night just after she had a scary dream about those woods, almost like it’s a Stupid Decision(tm) from a horror movie. I did briefly get vibes that something was messing with her mentally, but if that’s what’s happening so think it could be a bit more obvious.
Yeah. Admittedly, this section was just me trying to get the plot going as quickly as possible before the story slows down for a bit. I felt as though the word count would have been weirdly inflated if I had spent more time on Chaplin's inner debate about whether or not to go outside. Although, seeing as how chapter 2 ended up being 800 words shorter than chapter 1, maybe I can edit that in at some point...

But otherwise, pretty good read! You’ve used your word space pretty efficiently so far, and outside of a logic hiccup and some overly expositional prose I found I had a pretty good experience reading. Keep going! Might drop around again once there’s a good amount of chapters out.
Thank you so much for the review! :quag:

we launch into the story of who I assume is our main character, Chaplin. Can I just say, that's an adorable name for a Shinx?
:quag:

I did enjoy how quick of a read this was, but I also felt like it was...too quick. In the beginning of chapter 1, it seemed to just be dialogue, and I was aching for a little bit of exposition between the words being spoken.
Yeah, this is a point that I wanted to get to. The beginning dialogue can definitely be improved upon. I do plan to edit it in the future.

Then, when we get into Chaplin's POV, we see her watching the beautiful sunset, and then a sentence later, she's being ripped apart by a mysterious purple thing. I'm a fiend for suspense and dangling the next thing in front of my reader, so I really would have liked to have seen a little more buildup to it. Maybe Chaplin hears it, gets up to go investigate, doesn't find anything, and as she turns back...BAM, attack.
Ooh, that's a really good point. Hmm... maybe I could edit that in?

Overall, this chapter seemed like the bones of what I have no doubt is going to be a great story (the summary alone was very intriguing!) and I want to see a bit more meat to it. More exposition, more buildup, more of Chaplin's thoughts.
Aaaa thank you!! Again, I do plan to make edits to the first two chapters at some point, so I'll definitely look at what can be done in these regards.

Chapter 2 had a great start, the dream sequence was just the right amount of creepy and enigmatic. You wrote it out extremely well, because I didn't even realize it was a dream until you said it. However, I was left a little lost at what happened after the fact--Chaplin has this creepy dream about being in the woods, and the first thing she does when she wakes up is...go out into the woods? Because she wants an adventure? That little bit felt somewhat forced to me, and didn't ring entirely true. I would understand it a little better if maybe she was drawn out by some unseen creepy force, but the fact that she got up and sauntered out there out of her own volition was a little off. I think, if you REALLY wanted to build something there, have her fall back to sleep and perhaps...sleepwalk out there. I thinking running with the "unseen force brings her out" would really work in this scenario, because given that she had this dream, then floated away when she walked out into the woods, clearly there's something wonky happening here...so run with that!
The beginning of this story went through many revisions. Ironically, what is now chapter 2 was once chapter 1. And during that time, there was some sort of sleepwalking sequence! Unfortunately, I really can't tell you much for spoiler reasons, but... yeah. And, as noted in SparklingEspeon's review reply, I did want to expand more on Chaplin's inner debate on whether or not to go into the forest. I didn't, though, for fear of artificially inflating the word count. I'll definitely take a look at that in the future, though, and see what I can do better.

With that being said, even with such a small word-count, you managed to pack a lot into this. Great work, keep it up, and I look forward to whats coming up next!
Thank you!!! :quag:


First and foremost, this first paragraph should DEFINITELY be divided into two or more paragraphs. It's a very daunting wall of text that would read much better if divided.

Secondly, this reads kind of like a prologue? I would recommend somehow dividing this from the start of the first scene.
Yeah, this whole paragraph was basically a last-minute addition (the beginning dialogue was the original beginning of this chapter: just straight into it.) So it can, and will, be improved upon. Thank you for pointing it out!

WHOA, who's the purple guy????
Oh, here's the thing. This "purple guy" is really not all that mysterious. It's just the same Sableye that the chapter focused on earlier. I was simply trying to write it from the perspective of someone who logically would have never seen one before. I apologize for the confusion, and I definitely will add more to the description.
 
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Chapter 3: A Perfect Circle

AbraPunk

Generation Guardian
Location
The Circle
Pronouns
They/them
Partners
  1. luxio
6/21/21

• Edits based on feedback.

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

Oh gods, what just happened?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is this place?

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

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

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

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

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

That voice is definitely male. Alright.

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

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

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

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

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

Another guy? Okay…

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

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

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

Chaplin stared at the Abra.

What? That doesn't make any sense--

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

<Don't.>

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

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

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

<Use your brain, indeed.>


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

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

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

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

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

The Abra's ear twitched. "Aster."

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

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

"Your boss?" She tilted her head.

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

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

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

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

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

What the hell?!

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

Oh, gods damn you.

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

"Shut up." Aster snarled in response.

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

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

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

It faded out of existence.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Chaplin just watched them argue.

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

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

Then who…?

"Woah, heyyyy. What happened here?"

Chaplin turned and saw the newcomer. It was--

Oh my gods.

It was Palkia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"...Nope."

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

Chaplin froze.

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

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

Well, maybe he'll get better.

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

That sounds like it would be really difficult to deal with. But then again, I'm talking to a god here, and he'll probably kill me if I say no, so I guess I don't have a choice.

She looked to Palkia. "Alright, I'll join."
 
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Sinderella

Angry Female Protag • PFP by Canisaries
Staff
Location
In Guzma's Closet
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/sylveon-shiny
  2. gothitelle
Hey Abra, how goes it? Here for a Catnippy review of chapter 3!

So clearly a lot has happened here! Chaplin got quite literally whisked off into space, only to meet with this bitchy ass Abra, Aster, and his much nicer friend, Landon the Lurantis (and I'm now noticing that those two have names with the same first letter as their species name, very cute!). This seems to be the point in the story where all the conflict starts to roll, seeing as how Palkia shows up to recruit Chaplin for his cause. We're clearly on our way here!

I really like everyone's characterization in this chapter, especially Palkias! I didn't know what I was expecting, but certainly not the dudebro that showed up. I was absolutely rolling. Chaplin's character also rang true here, because where I figured ANYBODY ELSE would be freaking out about the scenario, Chaplin freaks out for a moment, and then it seems like her kind, sort of naive nature takes over and she's fine, if not a little confused. Landon seems okay, but I really don't like Aster. It really seems like he's being a dick for absolutely no reason, and both Landon and Palkia just sort of seem to brush it off as "oh no he's just edgy around new people"...when he LITERALLY TRIED TO CHOKE CHAPLIN OUT.

I would have liked to have seen Landon intervene with what happened in the Aster vs. Chaplin altercation, or at least Palkia go "angry dad mode" for a moment when Aster said "I don't owe apologies to anyone." Like...that's a god you're talking to? And the way Palkia said "it better not" when Landon apologized on Aster's behalf makes me think he is a lot more threatening than he makes himself out to be. So the fact he 1.) Even allowed Landon to apologize on Aster's behalf after Aster's attitude and 2.) Also brushed off Aster's absolutely terrible behavior just seems really off to me. I really want to see at least one of them keep Aster in check, because, while you can have mean characters, it's a little offputting when it seems like everyone around them (even the GOD their working for) brushes off their behavior like "oh he's just being himself!"

Another area I think needs some sprucing up is in the pacing around Palkia's big speech as he tries to hire Chaplin onto his team. What I wanted to be a pretty drawn out conversation about what Palkia is doing, why he's doing it, and so on and so forth was just a wall of text of Palkia talking to himself. I feel like you could draw that entire paragraph out for an entire page, even two, and really allow us to take in Chaplin's internal realization that the GOD PALKIA has picked her to help in his endeavors. You can make it a whole back-and forth, with Chaplin asking "what is going on here? Why me? What do I have to offer?" and even if the Palkia's answer is something as simple and stupid as "You're blue, furry, and cute, and HR said I needed an electric type on my team for diversity sake" (because I totally feel like that's something your Palkia would say LOL), that is already ten times more compelling than us simply reading Palkia's rant with no pauses for thought in between them, you know?

I do have some line-by-lines queued, but I am sort of pressed for time at the moment, so I will stop here and will ping you later tonight when I have them all edited in.

Good work here, liking where the story is headed so far!
 
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Sinderella

Angry Female Protag • PFP by Canisaries
Staff
Location
In Guzma's Closet
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. custom/sylveon-shiny
  2. gothitelle
Hey Abra, how goes it? Here for a Catnippy review of chapter 3!

So clearly a lot has happened here! Chaplin got quite literally whisked off into space, only to meet with this bitchy ass Abra, Aster, and his much nicer friend, Landon the Lurantis (and I'm now noticing that those two have names with the same first letter as their species name, very cute!). This seems to be the point in the story where all the conflict starts to roll, seeing as how Palkia shows up to recruit Chaplin for his cause. We're clearly on our way here!

I really like everyone's characterization in this chapter, especially Palkias! I didn't know what I was expecting, but certainly not the dudebro that showed up. I was absolutely rolling. Chaplin's character also rang true here, because where I figured ANYBODY ELSE would be freaking out about the scenario, Chaplin freaks out for a moment, and then it seems like her kind, sort of naive nature takes over and she's fine, if not a little confused. Landon seems okay, but I really don't like Aster. It really seems like he's being a dick for absolutely no reason, and both Landon and Palkia just sort of seem to brush it off as "oh no he's just edgy around new people"...when he LITERALLY TRIED TO CHOKE CHAPLIN OUT.

I would have liked to have seen Landon intervene with what happened in the Aster vs. Chaplin altercation, or at least Palkia go "angry dad mode" for a moment when Aster said "I don't owe apologies to anyone." Like...that's a god you're talking to? And the way Palkia said "it better not" when Landon apologized on Aster's behalf makes me think he is a lot more threatening than he makes himself out to be. So the fact he 1.) Even allowed Landon to apologize on Aster's behalf after Aster's attitude and 2.) Also brushed off Aster's absolutely terrible behavior just seems really off to me. I really want to see at least one of them keep Aster in check, because, while you can have mean characters, it's a little offputting when it seems like everyone around them (even the GOD their working for) brushes off their behavior like "oh he's just being himself!"

Another area I think needs some sprucing up is in the pacing around Palkia's big speech as he tries to hire Chaplin onto his team. What I wanted to be a pretty drawn out conversation about what Palkia is doing, why he's doing it, and so on and so forth was just a wall of text of Palkia talking to himself. I feel like you could draw that entire paragraph out for an entire page, even two, and really allow us to take in Chaplin's internal realization that the GOD PALKIA has picked her to help in his endeavors. You can make it a whole back-and forth, with Chaplin asking "what is going on here? Why me? What do I have to offer?" and even if the Palkia's answer is something as simple and stupid as "You're blue, furry, and cute, and HR said I needed an electric type on my team for diversity sake" (because I totally feel like that's something your Palkia would say LOL), that is already ten times more compelling than us simply reading Palkia's rant with no pauses for thought in between them, you know?

I do have some line-by-lines queued, but I am sort of pressed for time at the moment, so I will stop here and will ping you later tonight when I have them all edited in.

Good work here, liking where the story is headed so far!

Line by Lines
Chaplin was about to put one paw over the edge, just to see if there was perhaps anything there, when she heard a loud n odd noise: pshewwww.
Slightly edited.

She jumped in fright and whipped around, then suddenly seized up, as though paralyzed. But that was impossible: everyone knew there was no way to paralyze an Electric type!
I liked this a lot!

They --(Chaplin really could not tell the gender at this point)--
So I don't feel it's necessary to let us know Chaplin wasn't sure of the gender, especially not in parenthesis. Referring to the new Pokemon as "they" alone is plenty, and then you can go on changing the pronouns once it speaks.

Chaplin noticed the pink energy coming off of the Abra's hands and realized that they must have used some kind of Psychic-type move
Slightly edited.

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

That voice is definitely male. Alright.
Again, not necessary to put emphasis on Chaplin trying to figure out what gender the new Pokemon is.

before, and it was an odd experience

blinked out like the tail flame of a Charmander caught in a storm
Loved this simile!

similar to the stories of those Mutated Raichu that stood on their own tails to get around.
LOL way to call out Alolan Raichu

As soon as she landed, Chaplin's her legs wobbled,
Slight edit.

The Abra in question He appeared soon after, and floated over to another pokemon: a Lurantis.
Slight edit.

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

Another guy? Okay…
I'm just repeating myself at this point, but you know LOL

What? That doesn't make any sense. Was he saying that he wanted to die? Who would want that--
This thought process I found to be a little too "on the nose." You could stop it at "That doesn't make any sense" and still get the point across.

Neither of the other pokemon seemed to be affected by it, which was odd
Slight edit.

The hand lifted her off the ground and violently slammed her back down, so that she was now struggling underneath the hand.
Redundant second use of "the hand" can be removed.

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

The hand faded out of existence.
Same as previous point, repetition of "the hand" is unnecessary.

"Don't apologize. That guy, he seems… off. Like, really angry all the time. Heh, he kinda reminds me of one of my friends."
More "on the nose" dialogue. I also am not a fan how they're attributing Aster's bad behavior as him just being "off." Call him what he is: a dickhead! :ROFLMAO:

"Oh. Hey, 'sup. I, uh, I'll get to you right now. Lemme just…" He glared at Aster. "I thought you were better than that, dude. Say sorry."
LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOO THIS CHARACTERIZATION OF PALKIA OH MY GOD

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

Seren

Lurking
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. sableye
Hey, I'm sorry this is so late, but here's my half for the review exchange for chapter 1!

Normally, I try to comment as I go, but since the chapter is kinda short overall, I'm just going to kind of summarize my thoughts here. I tend to have a bit of a critical edge to my reviews, so while I did try to keep this light I have no idea if I succeeded, so please don't take anything personally if it comes across as harsh. It's not my intent, so please do call me out on it if you feel that way!

Overall, this was a kind of short chapter which sets up who I assume are our main villains and main protagonists (Chaplin is Chappie, I assume?) which is pretty standard for an opening chapter. There's nothing wrong with that in itself, but I would say that this whole thing read to me a little more "tell" than "show".

Firstly, the entire first paragraph is mostly just info-dumping some background information. You seem to have gotten a few other reviews regarding this, so I won't harp on it for too long. You build up a lot about this "mysterious door" and how no one knows what's behind it... and then just tell the reader's what's behind it. I get the idea you were going for, but I don't think it came across the way you intended it to. (Also, why a door in the mountain? If that's where the villains are making their secret base, why not go with something more subtle? People are naturally going to be curious about the door-in-a-natural-location. It's kind of implied that the door existed long before this villainous team took up residence inside, but then... how did they get inside, if no one else could? I get that you tried to play that off with the whole "people have come to ignore the door over the years" angle but it's just such an odd landmark that I don't quite buy it. I'm wondering if there's more to it than what this opening chapter reveals, in which case I'm looking forward to the real reason there's a door in a mountainside!)

That aside, we've established a town that doesn't have many visitors due to the dark-types living there. (Although it doesn't really make comment on how many dark-types live there and its kind of counter-productive to showing us the town is mostly vacant if we don't know how populated it is.) Opening not just the chapter, but the entire story with some villain interaction is actually something I really enjoy, as it does give us a little glimpse into what to expect from them in the future!

Side note, but my love for sableye is no secret, and I love that that's the first character we meet. Along that line, I do like the rather lighthearted banter between Seth and Ash, but on that note... the group seems entirely buddy-buddy, and it feels contradictory to the darker atmosphere you literally had just tried to set in with the opening description of Dusthill, especially if these are our antagonists. I mean, I get not wanting them to hate each other's guts, but they just feel like a group of teenagers hanging out at a mall more than some dangerous threats planning a thieving job.

"Ah, very funny, me… telling Pyre to change his ways is about as much use as trying to drink an ocean."
I did want to single out this comparison as something I really liked. The image of a growlithe trying to drink an ocean is pretty funny (although, why would anyone be trying to drink ocean water?) and this gets the point across that getting Pyre to change his mind is a futile endeavor.

In regards to characters... I kind of see why Chappie reacted the way she had back in Mafia. She seems very submissive, for lack of a better word. When Pyre barks at her (which I must say I am not a fan of, but that's more of a personality trait I personally dislike in people rather than anything in the writing), she seems to be under the impression that she put her friends in danger, which just made me go ???? All she did was go to watch a sunrise and got attacked. Her friends chose to jump in and protect her (which is great, and what friends should do!) but that doesn't make any of this her fault. I don't know yet if there was some reason she came to this conclusion or if this is just how she thinks, but it's still early. I do enjoy that Pyre at least has a little bite to his personality, even if I disagree with his attitude.

We don't get a whole lot about anyone else's personalities besides Chaplin and Pyre here other than some subtle bits (Ash's use of "lad" and his affinity for hugs/pissing off Seth, for example), but again, it's very early in the story and you've already introduced several characters, all of who I expect are probably going to be important in some way later on, so there's plenty of time to develop them, too. Chaplin and Pyre, at least, have pretty distinctive personalities already, so that's a good starting point! The characters so far have been your strongest selling point, and I'd like to see you do more with that. Give us some more descriptions of their actions while they're speaking, some more personality/speech quirks, etc.

That said, there was some more "tell rather than show" going on here, as though you have a word limit for your chapter and are trying to squeeze as much info into it as possible at certain points. The entire topic of one of the growlithe being shiny felt random and probably could have been mentioned elsewhere, or at least given some relevance to the conversation. (Looking like the sun is a good start, but it felt random and out of place here; I didn't feel it was necessary to this chapter, at least.) Similarly, Seth didn't even say anything during his battles, either with Chappie nor with Pyre or Markus, so we really have very little to go on with any of the villains' personalities so far. Hell, I think it's supposed to be implied that it was Seth from earlier in the chapter who attacked Chaplin, but given that no one else in-story even recognizes it as a sableye and instead just as a "purple guy", it could have been William Afton a rattata for all we know. And so far, there's a lot of that in the story already, just little implications that I think you intended to be apparent to the reader but actually aren't very clear. There's a such thing as too subtle, and I think that's where you ended up a little bit here, which is actually a little ironic considering other portions of the chapter feel like the exact opposite. You kind of have this odd dynamic of both not enough information and too much information going on at once, somehow.

As an aside, I also wonder why Seth (assuming it was Seth) attacked Chaplin to begin with. The opening scene established that they were looking for things to steal and new recruits... attacking Chaplin accomplishes neither of those goals. What was Seth's motivation there? Was he just hungry an hunting while out doing his mission? It feels as though this was included just to make Chaplin have fears about venturing out to watch sunsets again and to have her growlithe friends come to her rescue without any thought given to Seth's point of view. If there was something indicating Seth's motives here, I missed it.

So overall, final thoughts: There's nothing that stands out as bad, however it does feel a little bit rushed and could benefit with a little bit more details and description. It's a good enough start, though, and honestly could be very engaging with a bit more investment!

I do want to continue on and go over chapters 2 and 3, but I figure I should let you see my general review style and decide if you want me to continue or not.
 

AbraPunk

Generation Guardian
Location
The Circle
Pronouns
They/them
Partners
  1. luxio
Hey there, everyone! Dropping by for some review replies.

and I'm now noticing that those two have names with the same first letter as their species name, very cute!)
You know what, I didn't even realize that until you said it. I swear it wasn't intentional.

I really like everyone's characterization in this chapter, especially Palkias! I didn't know what I was expecting, but certainly not the dudebro that showed up. I was absolutely rolling.
Thanks! Admittedly, I was a bit worries he might have come across as... too much? If that makes sense.

but I really don't like Aster. It really seems like he's being a dick for absolutely no reason, and both Landon and Palkia just sort of seem to brush it off as "oh no he's just edgy around new people"...when he LITERALLY TRIED TO CHOKE CHAPLIN OUT.
Well, all of his behavior will be explained eventually. And there will be repercussions for his actions.

I really want to see at least one of them keep Aster in check, because, while you can have mean characters, it's a little offputting when it seems like everyone around them (even the GOD their working for) brushes off their behavior like "oh he's just being himself!"
Don't worry, someone will be keeping him in check throughout the story.

I feel like you could draw that entire paragraph out for an entire page, even two, and really allow us to take in Chaplin's internal realization that the GOD PALKIA has picked her to help in his endeavors. You can make it a whole back-and forth, with Chaplin asking "what is going on here? Why me? What do I have to offer?" and even if the Palkia's answer is something as simple and stupid as "You're blue, furry, and cute, and HR said I needed an electric type on my team for diversity sake" (because I totally feel like that's something your Palkia would say LOL), that is already ten times more compelling than us simply reading Palkia's rant with no pauses for thought in between them, you know?
This is a very good point! I'll definitely have to rewrite this scene. Thank you!


Hey, I'm sorry this is so late, but here's my half for the review exchange for chapter 1!

Normally, I try to comment as I go, but since the chapter is kinda short overall, I'm just going to kind of summarize my thoughts here. I tend to have a bit of a critical edge to my reviews, so while I did try to keep this light I have no idea if I succeeded, so please don't take anything personally if it comes across as harsh. It's not my intent, so please do call me out on it if you feel that way!
Hey there! Thanks for the review! :quag:

Chaplin is Chappie, I assume?
Yep

Firstly, the entire first paragraph is mostly just info-dumping some background information.
Yeah, I've gotten some reviews pointing that out. I'll take a look at it and see what I can fix.

Opening not just the chapter, but the entire story with some villain interaction is actually something I really enjoy, as it does give us a little glimpse into what to expect from them in the future!
Thanks!

the group seems entirely buddy-buddy
🔽
I get not wanting them to hate each other's guts, but they just feel like a group of teenagers hanging out at a mall more than some dangerous threats planning a thieving job.
How exactly would you have this be fixed? Genuinely asking.

That said, there was some more "tell rather than show" going on here, as though you have a word limit for your chapter and are trying to squeeze as much info into it as possible at certain points.
Ironically, I wanted this chapter to be bigger than it was! While I was writing, I was worrying that I wasn't going to reach the 2,000 word milestone, so I really tried to put a lot here. Though, seeing as how I didn't get to the point anyways... 🤷‍♀️

Similarly, Seth didn't even say anything during his battles, either with Chappie nor with Pyre or Markus, so we really have very little to go on with any of the villains' personalities so far.
There actually was a reason for this, but I only recently retconned this idea, so I'll have to fix this at some point.

given that no one else in-story even recognizes it as a sableye and instead just as a "purple guy", it could have been William Afton a rattata for all we kno
You're right on that, ha. I really should have described it more.

The opening scene established that they were looking for things to steal and new recruits... attacking Chaplin accomplishes neither of those goals.
There was actually an obvious reason originally given. Some of the dialogue before the POV shift to Chappie does hint at why he attacked her in the first place. However, this was originally outright stated, but I had a friend of mine beta read this chapter, and they said it was "too obvious." So I fixed it, and now I guess it's not obvious enough 😓
 
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Theboxcatgamr

Dual-Eyed-Bi-Spy And Gate closer of the Petro-pass
Location
Upside down two miles away
Pronouns
He/him
Tail of time review (chapters one through three)



Straight off the bat the story kicks off with an interesting and foreboding paragraph about the mysterious door in the side of the mountain and how despite many years of trying the locals completely failed to open the door. Immediately this tells me that whatever is inside that door has some sort of power preventing access that even literal centuries of effort had no effect against. An interesting beginning so far…



I like the history present between the starting characters. Clearly they have been together long enough to have inside jokes, insults (friendly ones), nicknames for each other, and knowledge of events occurring prior to the start of what we read. It’s still only the first chapter however so I look forward to seeing it fleshed out further.



And immediately things take an interesting twist by revealing that they were actually aggressive towards the protagonist. A nice touch that threw me off a little.



That’s the end of the first chapter and so far I must say I am rather enjoying this so far. Honestly I can tell that with a little more time and polish this story could really grow into something great! But I’m getting ahead of myself.





And now that we’re at chapter two I want to point attention to the scope of the environment “Trees towered over Chaplin, casting shadows darker than the secretion of a Tentacool. Moonlight broke through the canopy, lighting up the forest floor with patches of silvery salvation” this is a very detailed scene that paints the setting extremely well. Perhaps it’s just me but with this description I was able to picture the exact setting in my head and even move along through it as the chapter progressed. Well done on that. And it was a good start to the dream sequence as well.



Something I didn’t understand was Chaplin’s immediate turn around from being terrified of the outside forest (especially after her dream) and how almost immediately after she just went regardless. However the way something was trying to get her into the forest did shed some light on the action as it was more along the lines of something making promises to her, the promise of adventure. Still a good scene but if you add a little more into how she decided to finally explore without fear it could be even better!



I like the comparison between the dream forest and real one. With all the extra details wrote out as she made her way further inside it became more obvious how much unnatural the dream was in comparison.



And the chapter ends the way it began…by pile-driving a shinx into the ground. (Haha totally funny joke!) but I do think it is an interesting ending to the chapter. After all: it’s not every day you get picked up by a mysterious light that slams you down like a kid with a basketball but here we are.



Chapter three has our poor protagonist in the middle of SPACE! Personally I like the strangeness of the scene as the many Abra rose up around her.



I like how blunt the Abra is with his feelings. Kinda like a robot with the power to say fuck. Nice.



And now we know that whoever these people are they have a leader who might be good might be bad? It’s too early to tell



Also the Abra (now named Aster) was likely why she got pile-drived in the first place. Because supposedly he can’t handle any criticism. Also bonus points for having Chaplin react realistically to being treated like an idiot, it’s nice to see that even though he was out of her league combat wise she is willing to stand up for herself.



Oh and there’s Palkia just cruising along. Honestly this part was like taking a fine delicious steak and boiling it in orange juice (I’m kidding of course but bonus for anyone who got that reference). For real though it was enjoyable seeing that the literal god of space had a dude-bro personality, and was a great ending to the chapter.



Overall I have to say that I will enjoy seeing this story develop as the characters seem very interesting.



8/10 waiting eagerly for more



(Also please note that everything that I said is in the end only my opinion. In the end only the author alone can choose what to write and who to listen too. Also I wrote this at 2:48 in the morning so take everything I just said with a grain of salt)
 

Panoramic_Vacuum

Hoenn around
Partners
  1. aggron
Hello hello! I've seen you talk about Tail of Time in the Discord a few times and figured what better time to check it out for myself!

Right off the bat we start with a really intriguing introduction! A mysterious door and a mysterious mountain that houses a mysterious secret. I always love it when a story starts off by giving the reader a whole bunch of questions. Makes me look forward to reading more and finding everything out! We're only three chapters into the fic, so there's probably plenty of ground to cover before everything gets revealed, but it still intrigues me and makes me wonder how this will tie in with the little Shinx from a sleepy forest town.

It seems we do get a glimpse behind the mysterious mountain door right away, though. A few mons with rough and tumble accents planning something... Interesting, interesting indeed. It's actually a unique take on the (maybe) "bad guys" and "good guys" that I've seen in a few other poke-sapient fics. When the Sableye attacks Chaplin at sunrise, they don't interact, and Sableye goes for the attack straight away rather than try to retreat or talk it out. If this is the same Sableye, it's curious that there's two factions of sapient pokemon duking it out rather than it be sapients vs wild types, and it's interesting that you've humanized the Sableye and his compatriots before showing us this scene of him attacking Chaplin. I think there's a lot more story to go, so consider me curious as to how this will all play out. You've certainly set the table for some things to unfold.

Now on to Chaplin (who I'm assuming is the infamous Chappie?) I really like her morning routine of getting up to watch the sunrise. It's peaceful and says a lot about her character without saying anything, which is very cool. And then the peace is shattered by our vicious Sableye friend! Shocking to say the least, but thank goodness for Chaplin's Growlithe friends. Curious that they would ask if Chaplin's attacker said anything to her before. Again it feels like the mystery deepens... And I really like the closing line for Chapter 1, it's a nice bookend of the ominous opening and the obvious plotting against the town by the Sableye's faction.

Then, we start Chapter 2 with a dream sequence, and a terrifying one at that. A deep dark forest, haunting moonlight, and ghostly pokemon surrounding poor Chaplin! I really like all the specifically dream-like details, like wondering how she got there, the lack of sound, and the slow realization that things aren't Right:tm:. The disconnect in this chapter (which others have mentioned) is that right after waking up for this terrifying dream, Chaplin decides that she's going to do the very thing that got her in trouble in the dream. All in the name of adventure, no less! I think this was surprising given that I didn't associate Chaplin with being an adventurous soul. Yes she went out to see the sunrise every morning, but that didn't seem adventurous so much as peaceful. A small risk for a soothing reward, vs going into the forest at moonhigh, which if her dream was to be believed, is a huge risk for a pretty scary reward!

I saw in your reply to a few of the other comments that you abbreviated this section for the sake of brevity. Honestly, there's no issue for me with any of your story's flow. Things are moving along at a nice pace, nothing's lingering or overstaying its welcome. In fact, I'd actually have liked to see a bit more for each section! So I think you can spare some of that little bit extra you might have held back on b/c it felt like it was going on too long.

So, of course we are all :shockedpikachu: at Chaplin finding out that her dream, while not 100% accurate, was definitely a premonition of some sort, and we're off on that adventure she's always wanted! Chapter 3 is really intriguing and again your visuals are great. I love the image of Chaplin standing in a field of stars on some invisible platform. It's otherworldly, and as revealed later in the chapter, with good reason! The part that confused me a bit was the green ribbon circling the sky. At first I thought it was simply a distant feature, but when Aster teleported them to another part of the circle, it felt very like Halo (like, the structure of a halo from the game). Either way, very cool descriptions.

Aaaand then after a brief bit of confusion and general rudeness from the grumpy psychic friend, [my archenemy] Palkia appears. (No explosions this time, thank the gods). I adore dude-bro Palkia, god of space, just being exasperated at his little peons for causing a ruckus, and telling them off like they just knocked a box of cereal off the shelf in a grocery store. I love that Chaplin is so "wtf" about all this she just agrees. Makes me wonder what were the reasons for Landon and Aster to say yes, too. (who I am already delighted to meet, btw. Grumpy Abra and sweetheart Lurantis? Sign me up. I love your choice of pokemon for this tale)

Know that you've left me curious as to where this fic is headed. Already there's three wildly different chapters kicking things off, and I cannot wait to see how they're all interconnected!
 
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