Adventures in Gangland
#1
TW: Violence, Death, etc.

Gaius laughed as he walked through the forest with his Pikachu and spoke aloud as he took in the sights. “Even though it’s been fun traveling with Anzo, and now with Duplica in tow, I sure am glad that I have a day to myself.” Anzo and Duplica had decided to spend some extra time resting at the Pokemon Center from their adventure in the Fuchsia City Safari Zone, so Gaius decided to use the time and explore the nearby coastline to see what sights were available. He was also eager for his next gym challenge on Cinnabar Island. ‘From what I read online, there are a number of smaller towns and cities on the coastline before you reach Route 19. I may as well see what these towns have to offer in the way of shops or trainers before the gang catches up with me in a few days. If I’m lucky, I may even come across a rare Pokemon or two. I would love to see the look on their faces if I have a Scyther by time they’re back’. Gaius chuckled to himself and quickly combed his jet black hair and then slide the comb into his blue jeans pocket. A passing strong gust of wind ruffled his hair, and Gaius was always one who enjoyed looking his best. He then continued walking in the lush forest with thick dark-brown trees and he passed several Rattata and Pidgey who hunkered in the bushes as the trainer walked by.
 
 
“Don’t worry,” Gaius playfully yelled as he watched them cower, “I’m not interested in catching or battling you. I’m only looking for strong Pokemon right now, and, either way, I already have a Raticate and Pidgeot in my collection.” As he explored the forest, the thick brush began to let up and he could see the makings of a small town in the distance. ‘I wonder what this town is,’ he thought as the trainer increased his pace.
 
 
The pathway seemed to end and curve right, leading to a large wood banner sign that read “Dark City”. The sign was in apparent disrepair as the name had partially fallen off and the wood seemed old and damaged. Gazing upon the city, he saw a row of buildings on both sides, mostly wood based with slotted windows in the sides. The street was a complete mess, with broken wood fragments and various signs of destruction on the buildings as some seemed only partially intact, and even fewer were completely uninhabitable.
 
 
‘What happened here,’ he thought as he took several steps into town, ‘it’s almost as if some rampaging Pokemon has destroyed the town and caused the residents to flee. I don’t think anyone would choose to live in such a run-down environment.’ He slowly walked through town, his Pikachu several steps behind him and out of the corner of his eye he saw a young boy playing in the street. ‘So, I guess the town isn’t abandoned after all,’ he thought as he made his way towards the child to ask for information.
 
 
 As he got closer, the child was quickly pulled inside by an older woman who scanned the surrounding area as she reached outside her door. The woman gasped loudly when she saw Gaius and shrieked to the boy as she slammed the door. “You know you’re not allowed outside. There may be dangerous Pokemon trainers around.”
 
Gaius pondered for a moment, ‘why would a woman be afraid of Pokemon trainers? Perhaps some group like Team Rocket has come through recently and all of this damage was done by them. If no one in the city was a capable Pokemon trainer, they may still be around the area, or even lying in wait for unsuspecting travelers.’ At this thought, he tensed up just as a trio of rocks were thrown at his feet. He then looked up and saw three shadowy figures standing on a nearby roof. “Whoever you are, come out and face me, or feel the wrath of my Pokemon!” He then looked down towards his Pikachu and nodded. “Pikachu, use Thunderbolt. We’ll show what happens to people who mess with Gaius from the town of Pendragon!”
 
 
 He watched as Pikachu leapt up and sent a fierce Thunderbolt attack towards the roof. His expectation of several Team Rocket grunts collapsing to the ground was quickly dispelled as he saw three children, no more than seven, collapse onto the ground in front of him from the roof. Gaius rushed over and checked on the children, all of which seemed relatively unharmed despite the attack. ‘The Thunderbolt must have missed them and just gave them a fright. They’d be dead for sure if the attack actually connected.’ As one of them started to rouse, he extended his hand as an offer of friendship. His hand was quickly slapped away by one of the boys who began to shout.
 
 
“Are you a Pokemon trainer?” The boy yelled, in almost an accusatory manner. “We don’t want your kind around here. If you train Pokemon, you better get out of your town now!”
 
 
Gaius, shocked by the small boy’s confrontational attitude, stepped back several feet as the trio got to their feet. “What’s your problem with Pokemon trainers?” Gaius asked. “I know some trainers are bad but that doesn’t mean that all Pokemon trainers are evil.” He then saw a man approaching behind the boys and shouted, now feeling a bit angry at the boy’s attitude. “Don’t tell me you hate Pokemon too?”
 
 
The older man shook his head and grabbed one of the boys by the collar. “No, I don’t hate Pokemon, but there’s something going on here that you need to know. Follow me to my restaurant and I’ll try to explain.” The man and boys quickly ran down the street and Gaius began to follow, however, a Primeape jumped from the roof in front of Gaius.
 
 
The Pokemon took aim and attempted to punch Gaius in the stomach with its fist, however, the trainer managed to quickly dodge out of the way by throwing himself onto the ground.
 
 
“Get that Kaz scum Primeape!” He heard a voice yell, “show them that Yas is the only gym in town!”
 
 
Gaius looked up and saw a trainer slightly older than him commanding the Pokemon from the rooftop. The beleaguered traveler looked towards his Pikachu and nodded. “Pikachu, use Quick Attack on that Primeape, we need to make an escape.”
 
 
Pikachu jumped forward and slammed its body into the Fighting-type Pok. emon.
 
 
Primeape winced from the impact and took several steps back from the pair.
 
 
Gaius then took advantage of the lull of an attack. ‘I need to get off the streets,’ he thought as he grabbed Pikachu and made his way to the restaurant now that the Primeape was distracted. He ran in the direction that the man and boys went, and found a building with an overhanging sign of a fork and knife. ‘That must be it,’ he thought as he rushed inside.
 
The restaurant appeared to be multi-level and made of wood, with wood tables, a wooden floor, and a wooden staircase behind some of the tables. ‘I guess everyone in this town likes wood,’ he thought as he looked around the restaurant. The man from earlier was sitting behind a counter, and the three boys were playing amongst themselves in the far part of the room.
 
“What took you so long,” the man asked as he sat behind the counter eating some sushi, with some spilling onto his brown shirt. “The boys and I thought you may have gotten lost or ran out of town.” He then passed Gaius an extra plate of sushi and continued to speak. “There are two gyms in Dark City, the Yaz Gym, and Kas Gym. They recruit or force any trainers coming through town to fight for one of their factions, hoping to destroy their rival completely.”
 
 
Gaius paused for a moment, “you mean,” he began, “this is pretty much just gang warfare? What do they have to gain from this?”
 
 
The restaurant owner continued. “They claim that whoever wins will be an official Pokemon gym. I don’t know if that’s the truth though. I just wish all the fighting would stop so that our lives could return to normal.” He then wiped sweat from his brow as his auburn hair shone in the light. “These boys can’t grow up in a town like this. I just don’t know what to do. I’d try to stop them but I don’t have any Pokemon.”
 
 
Suddenly, a large commotion was heard outside, as if a large battle was taking place. “Quick,” the man shouted, “I think they’re fighting again. You better come upstairs if you don’t want to get involved in this.”
 
 
Gaius sighed and chuckled to himself. “Thanks for the warning,” he began, “but I’m already involved in this. Someone wearing an outfit with a big Y on it attacked me earlier before I came to your shop. I was able to hold them off, but I’m not a fan of how they treated a passerby who obviously wasn’t involved in their private, little war. I may as well see what these Yas and Kaz gyms can really offer firsthand. With the gym badges I have already, they should be pushovers.” As he exited, he saw two groups of fighters, one wearing purple with a “K” emblazoned on the shirt, and the other group wearing similar attire to the trainer who attacked Gaius earlier, either green or black clothes with a “Y” on them. None of the fighters seemed older than 30, excluding a thin brown-haired man wearing a Y and a well-built muscly man wearing a K.
 
 
Pokemon of various types and species were involved in combat, and combat it was, not just a Pokemon battle. Fighting-types were punching or Thrashing the opposition, and Gaius saw an Electabuzz controlled by Kaz use Thunderbolt on several Yas grunts. In turn, a Yas officer used a Scyther, a green insectoid Pokemon with scythes for hands, to slice up several Kaz and leave gashes on their torsos and arms. The young traveler jumped back when an errant lightning bolt from  the Electabuzz almost hit him, as the creature’s yellow body glowed with electrical power.
 
He then saw the winged Pokemon Scyther flying near him. He quickly tried to dodge the attack but yelled to his Pikachu. “Pikachu, use your Thunderbolt attack on that Scyther!” He then watched as electricity exuded the yellow Mouse Pokemon’s cheeks and lit up the Bug-type Pokemon in a bolt of lightning.
 
 
The Scyther fell to the ground, injured but not defeated, and Gaius took the opportunity to step back into the restaurant. ‘It’s a total madhouse out there,’ Gaius thought. ‘While I know I’d have no trouble taking on all of them one by one, there’s no way I can defeat them all with attacks flying left and right.’ He sat down at a nearby wooden table and was planning his next move, when suddenly, the large man from Kaz came bursting into the restaurant.
 
 
The man’s gaze immediately went to Gaius as he looked the young trainer over. “Hey,” he boomed, his large voice echoing the mostly empty restaurant, “did I see you take on Yas’s Scyther?”
 
 
Gaius nodded and his eyes glanced towards the exit. ‘With this man’s size, I’m pretty sure he could stop me from leaving,’ he thought as he shifted in his chair. ‘I only attacked his enemy out of self-preservation, but I doubt that’s what he wants to hear.’ He then saw several more Kaz agents enter and flank the larger man.
 
 
“I’m Kaz,” the large man explained, “the leader of the one true gym in this town, Kaz.” He then chuckled briefly and continued speaking. “Those pathetic Primeapes at the Yas Gym aren’t worth having any Pokemon, let alone having a gym. It’s my duty to crush those fools once and for all and show them that Kaz is the greatest!” He then walked over to Gaius and looked down, his tall frame dwarfing Gaius. “It seems like we have a mutual enemy. You have skills, we need skilled trainers. Welcome to the Kaz Gym.” His voice dripped with an air of intimidation, and the fact that it was not an invitation, but a requirement, was obvious from his body language. The other Kaz members flanked Gaius and smiled, but their smiles weren’t one of friendship.
 
Gaius nodded once again and thought for a moment. ‘I don’t really think I have any options here. Kaz and his goons have blocked the exit, and I think the man and children are hiding upstairs. If I don’t go with them now, they could be hurt, or even worse, killed.’ He stood up and then began to speak. “Thank you, for allowing me to join your gym, Kaz. I’m sure that your just cause will prevail with my aid.”
 
 
The large man, who stood at least five or six inches taller than Gaius, smiled wide and grabbed Gaius’s hand with his large palm. “Good to hear it. What is your name, Kaz initate?”
 
 
Gaius paused for a moment and thought. ‘Should I use a fake name? There could be a use for that, but it’s not like anyone is going to believe the word of some thugs anyway.’ He nodded and gripped the large man’s hand and responded. “My name is Gaius. I’m a traveling Pokemon trainer trying to get 8 Kanto gym badges so that I can enter the league and hopefully challenge the Elite Four.”
 
 
Kaz nodded and patted Gaius on the back. “Welcome to Kaz, Gaus. Come on, let’s leave this restaurant and get back to headquarters.” Kaz and his underlings exited the restaurant and Gaius followed behind them.
 
 
‘I don’t think I can really get away,’ Gaius thought, ‘if I turn away now they’ll be able to turn around and attack. I don’t think I can take on all four at once.’ The group traveled down the street to the outskirts of town, passing many buildings that seemed ruined or destroyed by gang combat. They arrived at a large multi-tiered dojo. The building looked newer than most of the town, yet in parts also in a state of disrepair.
 
 
The group entered the dojo, and Gaius saw several large rooms of various Kaz members training their Pokemon. Machoke and Machop were using their thick, bluish muscles to lift large weights and even some were lifting humans themselves. The human Pokemon trainers were also working out, as many were lifting weights of their own, doing sit-ups, walking on treadmills, and exercising on other equipment. ‘I guess they really treat this like an actual gym,’ Gaius thought as he observed the gym members. ‘It’s probably because they often fight directly with the Yas Pokemon, so they need to be in top shape to stay alive. It’s pretty nuts that trainers here purposefully attack other humans with their Pokemon.’ Kaz continued to walk past the exercise rooms and led Gaius to a large, open rectangular room with spots marked on each end. The room suffered from serious wear and tear, as there were blast marks on several walls and the ceiling was missing in multiple spots as well.
 
 
“Stand over there Gaius,” Kaz ordered, “it’s time for your initiation test. We’ll use one Pokemon each, this is to test your skills to see where you rank in our organization.” Kaz then grabbed a Pokeball from his belt and threw it in front of him. A large yellow creature with a black pattern appeared in front of the gang leader. Gaius recognized this Pokemon immediately.
 
 
‘That’s the Electabuzz I saw earlier,’ he thought, ‘whom do I have best to counter that?’ His thought process was interrupted by Kaz’s Electabuzz as a bolt of lightning emanated from the antennae on top of its head. The bolt caused Gaius to dive out of the way, and Kaz laughed in response.
 
 
“You have to be quicker on the battlefield, Gaius,” Kaz shouted. “The Yas dogs will not give you time to select your moves, so I won’t do the same. In battle you have two options. You either fight, or you die. Electabuzz, use Thunderbolt on Gaius again.”
 
 
The yellow Pokemon dug the two claws on its toes into the ground and pressed its long tail to the ground, both in an apparent attempt to stabilize itself. The Pokemon then violently spun its arms in circles as electricity seemed to grow and condense around its antennae.
 
 
‘I only have a few seconds before another attack,’ Gaius thought as he looked towards his Pikachu. ‘I wasn’t planning on using Pikachu but I guess he’s my only option.’ He looked back towards Electabuzz for a moment before he issued a command. “Pikachu, use Slam on Electabuzz!”
 
 
The Electric-type mouse  jumped into the air and slammed into the body of the larger Electric-type, knocking the latter slightly off his feet as he stumbled, yet stayed standing.
 
 
The larger Electric-type Pokemon fired back with a shockingly powerful bolt of electricity towards Gaius, but Pikachu jumped in front of his trainer. The attack seemed to damage Pikachu, but it did not paralyze.
 
 
‘Good,’ Gaius thought, ‘we interrupted its momentum so we may have a shot after all.’ He looked towards the Electabuzz and announced Pikachu’s next attack. “Now, use Quick Attack!” He then watched as the mouse once again threw its body against the Electabuzz, but this time with much less of an effect.
 
 
“You think we wouldn’t expect that a second time?” Kaz yelled. “With you being so limited in moves to either Normal-type or Electric-type attacks, you’re going to make this battle a breeze. You need Technical Machines to teach your Pokemon new moves and unlock hidden potential. Like this,’ he shouted, and his voice reverberated around the battlefield, “Electabuzz, use Seismic Toss!”
 
 
The black-patterned, larger Electric-type Pokemon rushed towards the small Pikachu and gripped it tightly in its hands. The Eelectric Pokemon then smirked for a second as it looked Pikachu in the eye, and then slammed the creature violently onto the ground.
 
 
The smaller Pokemon looked weakened, but it still had some fight left. “Come on Pikachu, now it’s our turn to use a Technical Machine. Let’s use the one we got from Koga. It’s Toxic time.” He smiled as he saw Pikachu’s tail begin to turn purple. “You see Kaz, your mistake was showing your hand first. I wanted you to think that was all we had, so that you’d bring out your best move before we could. You’ll now fall to poison!” He then paused for a second and continued to speak. “Pikachu, follow up the Toxic with a Double Team. Keep them guessing while they succumb!”
 
 
The small rodent’s tail continued to turn purple until it was a light purpling hue. Pikachu then raced over and slapped Electabuzz in the face with its tail. Electabuzz’s body began to turn a sickly purple for a few moments before the color subsided. Still feeling the effects of the Toxic’s poison, the larger Electric-type was too stunned to move.
 
 
Pikachu then shouted, “Pika, Pikachu,” and many illusionary duplicates surrounded the larger Pokémon, all moving in sync with each other in a constant state of motion.
 
 
Looking stunned and surprised, Kaz smiled. “Not many trainers think of holding their cards so close to their vest, Gaius. For that, I applaud your strategy. But, who’s to say that’s the only Technical Machine I taught it? Go, Electabuzz, now use Psychic!”
 
 
The poison was already starting to wear the Electabuzz down, as it had started sweating and seemed to be losing energy. However, it still had more than enough to battle. The larger yellow Pokemon’s eyes glowed blue, and a similarly shaded energy enveloped Pikachu. The larger Pokemon tilted its head up, and the small rodent was flung into the ceiling. He then looked down, and the Pokemon was slammed once again into the ground. This continued for several seconds until Pikachu screamed in pain.
 
 
Kaz shouted, “awright, Electabuzz, playtime’s over.” Electabuzz’s eyes returned to normal, while Pikachu laid twitching on the ground.  “You got some good spunk kid; we weren’t expecting that Toxic attack.”
 
 
Gaius ran forward and grabbed his Pikachu, whose body was now shivering from the Psychic-type trauma. ‘How could I have lost,’ Gaius thought as he pondered his defeat, ‘I thought I could take them out for sure, but I guess I was wrong.’ He then looked up at Kaz as the man continued to speak.
 
 
“You did so well,” Kaz proclaimed, “I think I’ll give you a position of Lieutenant in the gym. That way, you’ll bypass a few of the lower grunt ranks. Half my crew don’t even know what a Technical Machine is, no matter how many times I try to drill them on it.”  He then nodded towards Gaius who was cradling Pikachu in his arms. “I’ll see about someone getting you a Revive so you can fix Pikachu up. We always try to be ready at a moment’s notice in case of a Yas attack.”
 
 
Gaius looked up at the hulking man and got to his feet, not wanting to give him any more satisfaction of him seeing Gaius on the floor. He left the room and was led to temporary sleeping quarters by a blue-eyed brunette with long hair and a slender frame. She seemed to command the other’s respect as they nodded or saluted as she walked by, to which she nodded back or told them to be at ease. When the pair of humans reached a large room with multiple cots, the woman stopped and motioned for Gaius to enter.
 
 
“This is the new member’s men’s quarters. If you perform well and advance past your lieutenant status, you will be given a room of your own.” She paused and then reached into a satchel she had around her shoulder. After pulling out an item and handing it to Gaius, she spoke once again. “Take this Revive and use it on your weakened Pikachu. I don’t know how many Pokemon you have, but they always need to be in perfect shape. This matters even more since we have an operation tonight.” She glanced at Gaius for a moment, seemed to muse to herself, and then chuckled. “Speaking of the operation, I want to see what you can do first-hand.  You’re to be ready at 8 PM near the front of the gym. If you’re even one minute late, I’ll be coming for you.” She smirked, but from her tone Gaius could tell she was being serious. “My name is Mai, by the way. I’m Kaz’s second-in-command.” She closed the door and walked away, leaving Gaius holding Pikachu and the Revive.
 
 
Gaius sat on an empty bed and quickly applied the Revive to his fallen Pikachu. As the fallen Pokemon started to reawaken, the trainer quickly tried to think of a plan to escape the gym. ‘Let’s see,’ he began, ‘from what I can tell, there are always some people near the door at all times to prevent Yas infiltration. That also means I can’t get out easily as well. I could try and escape during whatever tonight’s operation is, but there’s no way to know what I’ll be asked to do. I may as well play it by ear tonight and see if I can slip away under cover of darkness.’ He watched as Pikachu seemed to regain its strength and he decided to get a few hours of rest before the operation that night.
 
 
At 7PM, his phone alarm went off and Gaius awoke to see Pikachu sleeping next to him. The Electric Mouse seemed to be as healthy as ever, and Gaius stretched out and prepared to head to the front of the gym. He looked around the room, and saw various beds in the large room now occupied with Kaz agents. At the end of his bed, Gaius found a Kaz uniform in the same style as the ones the others wore. ‘Well, I guess I have to wear this,’ he thought as he pulled off his black shirt and donned the Kaz-branded top. He then stuffed his black t-shirt into his bag and slung it over his shoulder. ‘I guess it’s time for me to head out,’ he thought as he walked out of the room and made his way to the front.
 
 
He found that Mai, Kaz, and several other Kaz agents were waiting at the entrance. As Gaius approached, Kaz put his arm around his shoulder and pulled him close. “So,” he said as he held Gaius inches from his face, ‘tonight, we’re going to attack the main Yas gym. We’re only taking a small team to avoid detection, so be fast and be quiet.” He then patted Gaius on the back and nodded to the others. “Tonight, we’re going to show Yas what happens when they mess with the one, true gym of Dark City!” He shouted and the others responded in whoops and hollers of support.
 
 
A group of four, including Kaz, Mai, and Gaius, made their way from the Kaz gym across town. Gaius repeatedly looked around, trying to see some sort of chance of escape. He looked back and saw Mai, still following him. ‘I guess either they’re actually worried about me running away, or she does want to see everything I do first-hand. Either way, she’ll sure be able to alert the others and will probably try to stop me herself. I have no idea what kind of Pokemon she has, so I don’t really have any options. I couldn’t even beat Kaz, what real hope do I have of beating three on one?’ He sighed and continued to follow Kaz and the other Kaz soldier.
 
 
After several minutes, the group arrived at another, similar-looking dojo to that as the Kaz headquarters. “Stay close to Mai,” Kaz said as he ordered the grunt. The gang leader then turned to Gaius. “Gaius, you have a Fire-type Pokemon, right?”
 
Gaius nodded and looked down at the Pokeballs that hunt on his belt. He grabbed one and showed it to Kaz. “I have a Charmeleon with me,” he paused, part of him not wanting to know the answer. “Why are you asking? Is there something specific that you need a Fire-type Pokemon for?”
 
A wide smile crept across Kaz’s face and he looked towards the enemy dojo. “I need you to set fire to the Gym, Gaius.” He then looked back at Gaius, and his face was as serious as Gaius had ever seen someone. “We need ta eliminate their Gym. Without it, they can’t try to beat us and get all the recognition and stipend from the league. That way, we’ll win. We don’ have any Fire-types, and no wild ones live here, so its all up ta you.” He then padded Gaius on the back and urged him forward.
 
 
Gaius quickly looked around and saw Mai standing behind him. ‘Yeah, she’s definitely the insurance in case I try to run. The odds don’t look any better for me now than they did at the gym.’ He shook his head for a moment, trying to wrestle with the choice. ‘I know that I’ve done far worse to others. To Ash, to Johnny and the others, but that wasn’t really me, at least then I had an excuse to fall back on. But, if I really do go along with this, whatever happens is my fault and mine alone. There’s no one to blame except for me…’ his thoughts trailed off as he looked back at Kaz. ‘I guess I don’t have a choice,’ he then grabbed his Pokeball and released the monster it contained onto the ground.
 
 
A bright-red lizard creature appeared next to Gaius. It’s bright tail flame shone in the darkness, but not so much that it would alert any passerby. The creature looked around, waiting for instruction from its master.
 
 
“Charmeleon, I need you to set that building over there on fire,” he then pointed to the Yas gym. “Use Flamethrower and make sure it catches and spreads. As soon as it’s lit, come back here to the front of the entrance. We can’t afford to be caught.”
 
 
Charmeleon cocked its head and looked at Gaius, its singular horn-like form on its head catching the moonlight. He looked between Gaius and back to the building several times, before finally walking next to the Yas headquarters. It opened its mouth and inhaled quickly and then closed its mouth, its tan stomach expanding as it did so. After several seconds, the Pokemon opened its mouth again and a bright red and yellow flame shot out towards the gym. The fire started at the corner of the building, and soon the flames had spread to another section along the wall. His peculiar task completed, he returned to Gaius and stood at his master’s feet.
 
“I knew you could do it, Gaius.” Kaz quietly cheered as the flames began to ravage the building.
‘Dead God,’ Gaius thought as he watched the fire spread, ‘what have I done?’ He quickly recalled Charmeleon and looked towards Kaz. “We set their building on fire, now what?”
 
 
Kaz laughed a hearty belly laugh and then the tall man patted Gaius on the head. “Now, the three of you wait and help if you need ta. Right now, it’s my time ta shine.” He then ushered the three other Kaz gang members out of sight and stood at the entrance of the Yas gym complex. Smoke began to billow out of the gym and there were cries and screams for help and yelling about the fire.
 
Gaius cringed and looked down at his feet, hoping that this night would pass as soon as possible. He then looked up as he saw the first Yas soldier trying to escape the building. Kaz had called out his Electabuzz, and the two were waiting for any on comer who was trying to flee the smoke and flames.
 
 
“Electabuzz,” Kaz ordered, “use Thunderbolt on any Yas who try to get past us. We need to end this, tonight.”
 
 
“Buzz, Elec,” the Pokemon nodded and electricity began to bounce from one of its antennae to the other in preparation of an attack. As the first Yas made it out of the door, he was immediately stuck down by a powerful lightning bolt. His body lay, either injured or dead, near the sliding door entrance of the gym.
 
 
Gaius felt disgusted, and he almost puked at the sight. ‘I’ve seen death, but cold-blooded murder, never first-hand. Only in my memories, when…’ He thought for a moment about giving into his darker impulses. ‘If I channel my fear and anger, I’m sure I could take out these Kaz In seconds. But,’ he paused, ‘if I did that, I would be no better than them.’ He then saw another, older Yas soldier leave the building and he braced himself for what he knew would happen. He winced again and softly bit his lip to stop himself from yelling out, or even trying to warn the Yas. ‘If I break ranks with them now, Electabuzz and the others will turn on me. If that happens, I’ll be forced to kill them.’ He then watched in horror as the second Yas was struck down as he was trying to reach for a Pokeball to defend himself. ‘This isn’t even gang warfare,’ he thought, ‘this is just a slaughter.’
 
 
Several Yas then ran from the building at once, including one that seemed to be the leader that Kaz was fighting earlier in the date outside of the restaurant. The thin man with slick brown hair was flanked by what Gaius presumed were bodyguards. One of the four guards ran to Electabuzz and delivered a right hook to the Pokemon’s face before it could launch an attack.
 
 
“Go Yas, get away. I’ll try to hold them as long as I can,” the man shouted. Yas nodded and the quarter then ran past Kaz and his Pokemon.
 
 
“What a coward Yas,” Kaz howled as he watched his rival gang leader run away. “You’re too afraid ta fight me. I’ll just make quick work of your lackey then.” He took several steps forward and used his large arms to lift the Yas guard by his neck. “Are you really ready ta die for the coward Yas? I’m  givin you one chance, join me or die.”
 
 
The stout Yas guard shook his head and spat some blood onto Kaz’s face. “I’ll never join you barbarians. The gym was just a building. As long as Yas lives, the gym lives on!”
 
Kaz chuckled and tightened his grip on the man’s neck. “Well, I admire ya devotion, but Yas will be joining ya soon. Let’s see how well your devotion serves ya in the next life.” He then gripped the man’s neck tighter and tighter until it cracked. He then looked back towards where Gaius and the others were hiding. “Mai, Gaius, take care of Yas if ya can find him. Tom and I have control here. If he’s escaped tha area, just head back home for the night. You all did well tonight. Tomorrow, we shall drink well and celebrate this night!” The grunt, apparently named Tom, moved closer to Kaz and released a Raticate from a Pokeball.   
 
Gaius and Mai quickly took off in search of Yas, the latter staying behind Gaius the entire time. When they were several blocks away from the group, Mai called to Gaius.
 
 
“Gaius, wait, hold on a second,” she began. “There’s something I need to tell you. Besides, I think Yas is long gone anyway.”
 
 
Gaius then turned back towards Mai and found her standing quite close to him. “Um, yes Mai?” He started to stammer his words at the unexpected actions of the young woman. “Is something wrong?”
 
 
A sly smile crept across her lips and she looked deeply into his eyes. “That fire, the one that your Charmeleon made, it was beautiful. I loved watching it burn, seeing the building slowly collapse. I got even more thrilled than I do when I’m thrashing Yas hand-to-hand.” She then forcibly grabbed Gaius’s hand and squeezed, causing the young male trainer to blush and become uncomfortable.
 
 
“Mai, um, shouldn’t we,” he began, trying to divert the conversation back to business.
 
 
“No, right now, just listen to me.” She commanded. Her voice then softened as she continued to speak. “I’m so glad you joined Kaz instead of those filthy Primeapes in Yas. Your skills were everything I hoped.” Her porcelain skin seemed to glow in the moonlight as she gazed at Gaius, looking as if she were a professional painting. She finally releasing his hand after several more squeezes. “Come on,” she ordered, seemingly now back to business, “we need to get home and get some rest. We can talk tomorrow morning, about, well, everything.”
 
Gaius had long-since turned red, and he quickly nodded and led the way back to the Kaz gym. ‘I wonder what she was going on about,’ he thought as he neared his temporary home, ‘it was just fire. That’s not really something to get so worked up over.’ He shook his head as he entered the gym and saw Mai smile at him as she went to her private room. Gaius sighed and made his way back to the group cots. He quickly found the one that he had claimed earlier, and found Pikachu sleeping soundly. ‘Well, at least one of us will get a good night’s sleep,’ he thought, as the memories of what he witnessed still echoed in his mind. Feeling exhausted from the day’s events, he laid down, hoping that he would awaken to a better dawn. Instead, he woke up to the sound of screams.
 
 
The young trainer jolted up in the bed. He was awoken both by the sound of numerous screams, as well as a soft shock from his Pikachu.  ‘What’s going on,’ he thought as he looked around the room. Most of the previously occupied beds were empty, with the few remaining Kaz soldiers in lifeless poses of shock and surprise. ‘We’re being attacked,’ Gaius thought, ‘I need to defend Mai and Kaz.’ The young man sprang into action, grabbing his Pokeballs from his belt under his bed and stuffing Pikachu into his open backpack. ‘You should stay in there until I need you to battle. I don’t want you hit unexpectedly from crossfire.’  He then raced from the group room to the larger entrance. He saw half a dozen Kas stationed near the entrance, and even more patrolling the right wing of the facility, where the private rooms were. He looked past the group of grunts, hoping to find Mai and ask what was going on.
 
 
Instead, he saw Kaz, who was visibly shaking as his hulking frame slowly rocked back and forth.
 
 
“Kaz,” Gaius yelled, “what happened? Who screamed?”
 
The large man then turned around and walked closer to Gaius. “Yas broke into the gym last night. He used his Scyther’s Cut attack ta get in through the wall, and he killed some of the recruits. The only reason he missed you was he was in a hurry. He,” he paused and started to cry and shake in a mix of sadness and fury, “he snuck into Mai’s room and slashed her before he ran away. He almost got her throat. She was just driven away to Sokon Hospital but they’re not sure if she’s going to survive.” He looked Gaius fiercely in the eye and proclaimed, “today, we will eliminate them once and for all. He then raised his voice, shouting to all those in the room. We will find them wherever they are hiding, and we will crush them. We’ll destroy whatever it takes to flush them out! They killed our brothers and sisters, and hurt Mai. We will do that times 100.” The remaining Kaz clapped and cheered for their leader.
 
 
The Kaz gang dispersed throughout the city in groups of several members at a time. Kaz tasked Gaius to travel with him, and the pair patrolled the south-western area of town. The buildings in this area were even worse than the rest of the town. Some were missing whole walls or second floors, and in some areas there was only rubble where buildings once were. Gaius shook his head as he walked, surprised how such a gang war could get so intense. ‘I can’t believe all of this death and destruction occurred over a gym position,’ he thought as he walked past an abandoned ruin of what was once a home.
 
 
“There’s at least three left,” Kaz mused while they walked. “I managed to take out most of the Yas last night, but there’s no way o knowin if they escaped out tha back” The large, burly man was still visibly upset over the attack on the Kaz compound.
 
Gaius heard a noise down an abandoned alley, and he tapped Kaz on the back. “I think I heard something down there,” he quietly informed as he continued to peer down the alleyway.
 
Kaz nodded and the two began to walk down the tight dead-end alley. “If ther’re here, we’ll finish them. We have more than enough power between the two of us!”
 
 
When the pair were several feet into the alley, a loud voice was heard from above. “Kaz,” the voice bellowed, “I see you’re searching for me after I paid you a visit last night. I had hoped to fillet you too, but that damned woman screamed so loud I had to make my leave. I sure gave her some nice scars, though.”
 
 
Kaz and Gaius looked up and they saw Yas standing on top of a nearby building. Gaius readied a Pokeball, but then a noise was heard behind the pair. They looked back and saw two of Yas’s bodyguards blocking the exit of the alley
 
 
“Thinking of going somewhere?” a tan Yas guard coyly questioned. He then threw a Pokeball into the air and a blue-colored Machoke appeared.
 
 
“Wouldn’t want you  to leave before we give you something to remember us by,” the other guard spoke as he, too, grabbed a Pokeball and released the Pokemon inside. A large brown and tan rat with two buck teeth emerged from the ball and took its place in front of its trainer.
 
 
Yas then jumped down from the rooftop, landing on a large garbage bin before climbing down in front of Kaz. “You don’t know, do you Kaz,” the leader began. “the remnants of my gym are ganging up on your two-man patrols all across the city. Your gym is falling one by one, and I wanted to make sure that I took you out personally. Your attack killed many loyal Yas, so it’s only fitting that I now watch you die!” The Yas Gym leader reached down on his belt and grabbed a Pokeball. He then threw it into the air and the green insectoid Pokemon Scyther appeared.
 
 
The Pokemon quickly beat its wings and sharpened the blades on its hands by slicing them against each other. It looked completely enraged, and Gaius quickly turned away to focus on the two Pokemon in front of him.
 
 
‘I guess I have to fight two-on-one,’ he thought. ‘This won’t be the first time, but I have to make sure I don’t lose control.’ He then grabbed one Pokeball and roused Pikachu from his bag. “Pikachu, Charmeleon, come out. I need you now to take on the enemy Yas!” The bright-red lizard Pokemon emerged from the ball, and its teammate Pikachu joined him. Both looked determined to take on their opponents.
 
 
Gaius looked towards Machoke and Raticate, and thought up a plan. ‘Effectively I’m using two Pokemon in tandem against different trainers. Whoever wins will be the one who can work together with their Pokemon teammate. At least for me, I already know what skills mine have. They must be waiting for me to make the first move so they can counter.’ He paused for a second and then spoke. “Charmeleon, use Flamethrower on the Raticate, Pikachu, use Thunderbolt on the Machoke. If it gets close use your Quick Attack to get out of there.”
 
The Fire-type Pokemon shot a stream of flame on the Normal-type Rat Pokemon and Gaius watched as the attack seemed to singe the creature’s brown and tan fur.
 
 
‘Good,’ Gaius thought, ‘the Pokemon seems to be burned. Its attack power is now lower.’ He then watched as a bolt of electricity surged forth from Pikachu’a body onto the Machoke’s chest.
 
 
The Pokemon winced only for a moment from the attack, still ready to fight.
 
 
The older-looking of the Yas spoke first, commanding his Machoke. “Time to use Submission on that Charmeleon!”
 
 
The other Yas guard chimed in. “Raticate, now it’s your turn. Use Super Fang on the Charmeleon to try and put it out of commission!”
 
 
Gaius watched as the large rat jumped towards his Fire-type and sunk its enormous teeth into the Pokemon’s neck. He then saw Machoke grab Charmeleon by the neck. The Fighting-type Pokemon put it in a chokehold and squeezed tighter and tighter until Charmeleon’s eyes seemed almost ready to burst out of its skull.
 
 
‘Charmeleon isn’t that fast,’ Gaius thought, ‘and it’s taken so much damage already. I need to find a way to combine attacks.’ He then looked towards his Pokemon. Charmeleon was almost on the ground, gasping for air as a result of the chokehold whereas Pikachu seemed fine. ‘Charmeleon won’t last much longer,’ Gaius thought. ‘I only brought a few Pokemon with me as I was just planning a mini-vacation for myself away from the gang. I don’t know if I can handle this with only a third of a team.’ He sighed and tried to calm his mind. ‘There is one way to defeat them both, and it would knock them out at the same time. It may be my only chance.’ He once again looked towards the battlefield in the alley and then spoke. “Pikachu, use Thunderbolt around the Pokemon’s feet. Get them to move back and give us some space.”
 
 
The Electric Mouse seemed puzzled for a moment but then complied, sending quick shocks mere inches from his opponents. This action caused both Machoke and Raticate to move close together.
 
 
‘Step one seems good so far,’ Gaius thought. ‘Now it’s time for step two.’ He looked towards his Fire-Type and then spoke. “Charmeleon, I know you’re weak, but use Fire Spin. Try to trap both Pokemon in the fiery vortex since they are so close together.’
 
Charmeleon weakly nodded, and a column of fire formed as red-hot flame spewed from his mouth. The hot inferno encircled both Pokemon and singed their bodies from the intense heat.
 
 
Both Yas bodyguards looked at each other, seemingly unsure how to proceed. “Why don’t you have your Machoke put out the flames?” The younger trainer asked.
 
 
“My Machoke doesn’t know any Water-type moves,” the other guard replied. “Why don’t you have your Raticate use Water Gun or Bubblebeam?”
 
 
“If my Raticate knew either of those moves I would’ve have used them already!” The younger shrieked. Gaius then took the time wasted bickering to execute the final phase of his plan.
 
 
“Pikachu,” he commanded, “use Thunder. Light them up like its Christmas! Use the fire as a beacon to aim your electrical attack so it can’t miss!” He smirked and watched as his Pikachu prepped a powerful electric attack. ‘I didn’t do too bad for only having two Pokemon.’
 
 
Pikachu finished charging electricity in its cheeks and it screamed “Pikachu!” Its voice reverberated in the alley as a devastating bolt of lightning came from the sky directly onto the pair of Yas Pokemon.
 
 
The fire slowly subsided, and Gaius could see both Yas Pokemon completely knocked out by the combination attack.
 
 
With their Pokemon defeated, the pair recalled their Pokemon and ran.
 
 
‘I guess it’s just Yas versus Kaz now.’ He then turned around and saw that the two leaders were still doing battle. Both Electabuzz and Scyther appeared to be badly damaged. Gaius could see cuts and bleeding wounds on Electabuzz’s torso and arms, while Scyther’s back and head were covered in electrical burns. The young traveler had been so focused on his challenge, he had not noticed the other battle at all.
 
 
“Scyther,” Yas commanded, “Use Swords Dance and then Cut that pathetic poser to ribbons. No matter how many trainers I have under my command, I will be the true Gym Leader of Dark City.”
 
 
The flying insectoid Pokemon performed an elaborate series of steps while it moved its arms. It then moved towards Electabuzz and slashed the Pokemon’s shoulder with its sharp scythe.
 
 
“Electabuzz,” Kaz yelled, “you can’t let yourself be defeated by this good for nothing fake leader. Use your Thunderbolt attack. End this now. Do it for Mai and for everyone else we lost!”
 
 
The Electric-type Pokemon quickly waved its bloody and cut arms as electricity gathered in its antennae. The energy was then let loose and hurtled towards the opposing side. However, the bolt was aimed off to the left, at Yas and not Scyther.
 
 
The Flying-Bug Type quickly dashed in the way of the oncoming attack on its trainer. The full force of the electric barrage coursed through Scyther’s body and it collapsed, slowly moving for several moments before its movement stopped entirely.
 
 
“Scyther,” Yas screamed, “no, no, this can’t be happening. We’re meant to be the best in town, we’re going to rule the town together.” He wrapped his arms around his Pokemon and began to weep openly. “You can’t die, I need you. Yas Gym needs you.” He continued to bawl for a moment until Kaz and Electabuzz walked up to him.
 
 
“You see what you caused?” Kaz asked. “You snuck into our home last night and murdered some of my best men and hurt Mai. She’s in the hospital cuz’a you!”
 
 
“But,” Yas stammered, “you did the same thing with your Elec-“
 
 
“I don’t care Yas,” Kaz screamed. “You hurt Mai, you hurt the Kaz gym. Now, pay with your life.” The large man then turned to his Electabuzz. “Thunder Punch his head in. Make sure he lives past the first blow. I want him to die in agony.”
 
 
Gaius heard Yas scream and try to beg for his life, but Kaz ignored his pleas. Gaius saw the Electabuzz spinning its arms once again as energy built up in its fists. After several seconds, Gaius turned away as the Electric-Pokemon connected with his target at point-blank range. After the deed was done, Kaz recalled his pokemon and laughed to himself.
 
 
 A wave of disgust and horror came upon Gaius in the pit of his stomach. He recalled his Charmeleon and he turned to walk away.  He started briskly, yet doing all he could to ensure his movements were silent.
 
“Where do you think you’re going,” Gaius heard a booming voice call after him. “You can’t abandon the Kaz.” The hulking gang leader then sprinted from the alley and stood in front of Gaius.
 
 
“You’re really going to leave us, Gaius?” Kaz looked enraged and disgusted. “I let you into my home, I entrusted you with a vital part of our mission, and this is how you repay me?”
 
 
Gaius scoffed and stared daggers at Kaz. “You all but abducted me and conscripted me into your gym. I never wanted to join at all, but when it’s either join or be attacked, it’s not much of a choice.” Gaius glanced towards Pikachu standing several feet behind him, knowing that a battle may be imminent.
 
 
“You enjoyed it,” Kaz retorted, “I saw it in your eyes. Ya say you hated joining, but ya know you liked it. Mai told me last night what happened between you two. She wanted my permission to talk to you about it. Are ya really going to let her down n abandon her while she’s sick?”
 
 
Gaius shook his head and then nodded towards Pikachu. “You’re failing to see Kaz,” he plainly explained, “that if Mai was never in your gang, she never would have been injured. Her condition is your fault and yours alone. I know you may have gotten your version of justice from killing Yas, but the real person that caused all this is you. If you had only extended a hand instead of a fist, perhaps you two could have worked together to create a combined gym with co-leaders. If you’re not going to let me leave, then I’m going to go through you.” He once again nodded at Pikachu who was now a foot or two in front of its trainer.
 
 
The electric mouse shot a bolt of electricity out towards Kaz that hit mere inches from his foot.
 
 
“That was a warning shot,” Gaius warned, “let me pass or the next one will go through your heart.”
 
 
Kaz laughed and grabbed his Pokeball. “You really think you can take me out? Especially after your performance with Pikachu last time?” He then opened his Pokeball and  his damaged Electabuzz came out, its normally yellow and black body now occasionally broken up with bloody gash wounds.
 
 
“Your Pokemon is weak Kaz,” Gaius pleaded, “don’t make it fight in this situation. I don’t want to kill it.”
 
 
“Electabuzz can take it,” Kaz boasted matter-of-factly. “We’re going to add your Pokemon to our collection and leave your body in the gutter. Electabuzz, use Seismic Toss on Pikachu.”
 
 
The Pokemon slowly made its way over to Pikachu, moving much slower than the previous battle.
 
 
“Quick Pikachu,” Gaius commanded, “use Double Team and Quick Attack.”
 
 
 
The Pikachu multiplied itself into a dozen forms, and suddenly all of them jumped forward as they slammed their body into the severely-wounded Electric Type.
 
Gaius watched as the opposing Pokemon faltered and tried to grab a shadow clone Pikachu. The copy faded out of existence as soon as Electabuzz made contact. Gaius sighed and looked towards Kaz, knowing that there was no other way to escape. “Pikachu, use Slam on Electabuzz. Finish the battle so we can get out of this hellhole.”
 
 
The electric mouse Pokemon then slammed its body hard into the large Electric-type.
 
 
The larger Pokemon collapsed from the impact, and its breathing seemed to slow and then stop.
 
 
Kaz then walked over to his fallen Electabuzz and examined him. “Get up Electabuzz,” he then swiftly kicked the side of the Pokemon’s head. “I told you to wake up. Now isn’t sleeping time.” He then knelt down and rattled the Pokemon to no avail.
 
 
Gaius then shook his head and made his way past the defeated gym leader. “It didn’t have to be this way,” he explained solemnly. “you could have lived a happy life with your team, with Yas, and with Electabuzz. Now you have nothing. I hope you enjoy your gym position.” He scoffed and then made his way out of Dark  City to rejoin his  friends. He  did all he could to put the past few days out of his head, hoping that the horrific atrocities he witnessed would quickly fade away.
 
 

Note:


Writing for Elekid.

MCR 5-10K
CC: 48,872
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#2
Diction & Presentation: Basic/Intermediate

I think you did an altogether pretty solid job with your descriptions here. We’re given some standard visuals of each character and setting as they are introduced, which lets the audience set the stage in their mind as the action plays out. I would encourage you to try and sprinkle in visual/sensory details throughout the action. How does the environment change over the course of the battle? How do your Pokemon and characters react to those changes? What minor details can you add that helps ground the readers in your story? Again, I want to commend you on the detail you do give -- I just think you could benefit from including more of it throughout the story, even after you’ve established what the town/characters/Pokemon look like.

Grammar and Style: Basic/Intermediate

There were quite a few spelling errors, easy typos, or inconsistent grammatical mistakes in your story. Again, because they’re inconsistent and you get the errors right the vast majority of the time, I don’t think it makes too much sense to dive into the one-off errors in this grade. That said, I would really encourage you to re-read every single sentence of your stories before you post them. By reducing the amount of typos and simple errors, you’re proving to the grader that you’ve thought carefully about what you want to include in your story.

I guess in terms of style, one of the things I noticed right away was that Kaz’s style of talking is inconsistent. Sometimes he says “ta, ya, tha” or abbreviates words, and sometimes he says “to, you, the” and speaks coherently. Because so much of a character’s personality is tied up in the way they speak, it becomes confusing to the audience when the character speaks in a number of different tones. Make sure you have a consistent image of the character in your head as you’re writing them, and make sure to read back through your story with that idea in mind.

I do want to mention the handful of punctuation errors that occurred around quotation marks and dialogue throughout your story. If you insert a dialogue tag (such as “he said” or “he thought”) in the middle of a sentence, you separate the tag by commas, but if the dialogue tag comes at the end of a sentence, you end the quote with a period. The same thing goes for leading into the dialogue -- if the dialogue itself stands alone without the tag, make sure you’re treating them as independent sentences. Here are a few examples and the changes I would make for grammatical consistency:

Quote:“Get that Kaz scum Primeape!” He heard a voice yell, “show them that Yas is the only gym in town!”

Even though the “Get that Kaz scum Primeape” sentence ends with an exclamation mark, the dialogue tag is still contained in that same sentence, so “He” shouldn’t be capitalized. Additionally, because “Show them...” is an independent sentence from the dialogue tag, that should be capitalized. Here’s the edited version of the sentence.

Quote:“Get that Kaz scum, Primeape!” he heard a voice yell. “Show them that Yas is the only gym in town!”

Here’s another example where you should introduce a period instead of a comma separating the dialogue tag, because the dialogue tag itself is an independent sentence. You would also have to adjust the next sentence to start capitalized.

Quote:Gaius paused for a moment, “you mean,” he began, “this is pretty much just gang warfare? What do they have to gain from this?”

This should be:

Quote:Gaius paused for a moment. “You mean,” he began, “this is pretty much just gang warfare? What do they have to gain from this?”

Pokemon Integration: Basic/Intermediate

I kind of struggle with grading this section, because I think my expectations get higher for a story the longer the story is. Electabuzz’s role in your story is pretty low. It serves as the main antagonist’s Pokemon, and it appears throughout several battles. Based on the writing encyclopedia, this level of involvement is fine for a Simple rank Pokemon. However, you have to consider that if the target Pokemon has a small role in a short story, that’s still about 10-20% of the story, whereas if the target has a small role in a long story, that drops to about 3-5% of the story. As such, the role of the Pokemon becomes proportionally smaller, and it becomes a lot harder for the audience to identify which target Pokemon you’re actually going after. When I look back on your story, I shouldn’t have any question in my mind which Pokemon is the target Pokemon because it should be central to the story. Electabuzz is probably the most relevant Pokemon that isn’t Gaius’, but it still doesn’t stick out from the pack of the other Pokemon in a meaningful way.

I know this story was posted before I was able to give you some feedback on your other story, but I would encourage you to think of ways that the Pokemon itself can be pivotal to the plot. How can you treat Electabuzz like it is a standalone character with importance? What specific plot points are tied to Electabuzz, and not necessarily even the trainer?

Character & Plot Unity: Basic

Gaius is your main character, and the story follows him pretty much exclusively. I can tell you have a firm grasp on what Gaius’ personality is supposed to be, and from my understanding, he’s a pretty calculated, cunning, and ambitious young guy with a dark side. I think you do a nice job at furthering this side of Gaius’ character at the start of your story, but towards the middle, Gaius’ intentions seem confused. First, he is eager to find an escape from the Kaz gang, but towards the end (but before the final fight against Kaz), Gaius shows loyalty to them even when he could’ve easily escaped during the confusion of the all-out gang war. I think it would’ve been interesting to explore why Gaius stayed, outside of just the intimidation factor that Kaz presented. I think I could see you hinting at Gaius’ mutual attraction to Mai, which seemed like it wasn’t really explored as much as it should’ve been because it really didn’t impact the plot. Is that why Gaius stayed to fight against Yas, because the fight became more personal to him? I guess I just am having a hard time piecing together why Gaius, who has otherwise shown himself to be very smart, capable, and with a strong moral code, would’ve stayed as long as he did, because everything else about his character says he would’ve escaped way before the final fight.

Speaking of the final fight, it ends pretty anticlimactically, which was a bummer. Kaz’s fight with Gaius is so short, especially in comparison to some of the other fights you included in this story. Additionally, there’s still so much stuff that you never wrapped up with your story because the conclusion seems so rushed. What happens to Mai? What happens to the town now that Yas is dead? Why is Gaius content with walking away from the situation, even though he was directly responsible for burning down the Yas gym? It just is frustrating as the reader to get invested in your story, prepare for a final showdown between Gaius and the big baddie, and for the final showdown to only last ~10 lines at the end of your story. If you spend the first ~48k characters of your story building up the conflict, you need to spend more than the last ~1k actually addressing it. Otherwise, the plot feels like it doesn’t amount to anything of importance.

Setting: Basic/Intermediate

I think your exploration of Dark City was pretty good. It wasn’t a super complex town, mostly just piles of rubble stacked next to each other, but we had a pretty solid picture of what the town was supposed to look like. I think including the kids at the beginning and the people in the inn was a good way to make the town seem more believable. This isn’t just two rival gangs fighting in the middle of nowhere -- these are people’s homes, and including the brief cameos of these unnamed citizens helped make the town seem more lived-in and realistic.

Dialogue: Basic/Intermediate

Your writing style is pretty dialogue heavy, which can be a good or a bad thing. I think an important thing for you to consider is thinking about how you can make your dialogue more realistic. There are ways that we talk to each other which are different than how we might write it down for the sake of a story. People rarely explain their entire motives when they say something they believe, for example. They don’t say “I think this because...”, they just say “I think this,” and it’s the job of the author to kind of fill in that blank outside of the dialogue.

I think the most important way for you to start with this is by examining how Gaius talks to himself, because you include a lot of his thoughts in your story. Here’s an example that highlights what I’m talking about:

Quote:‘I only brought a few Pokemon with me as I was just planning a mini-vacation for myself away from the gang.’

So, if we’re thinking realistically, Gaius would never say that to himself in his head. He already knows that he has a smaller team than usual, and he already knows why. Gaius would instead, maybe, instinctively reach for his extra Pokeballs and feel a twinge of regret when he realizes he left them behind. It doesn’t make too much sense for Gaius to “think everything out loud,” so to speak, so you need to think how you approach this from an author’s perspective. How do you keep the dialogue realistic while leveraging the info you can share with the audience, outside of the dialogue itself?

OVERALL: Simple

This story straddles the line between Simple and Medium very closely, but I think it falls just short of the expectations of Medium. I’d say in terms of description and style, you hit Medium, but the issues with the pacing of your story, especially during the conclusion, as well as how Electabuzz isn’t relevant or central to the plot sets you back from scoring above that. I would also encourage you to really be deliberate about what you include on the page. Make sure you have a clear vision of each character’s personality, description, and dialogue style, and make sure that everything you write is consistent with that. Elekid captured.
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