Fish Food [SWC]
EDIT: Requesting both in-depth and concise grading please!


Fish Food

He surfaced from the waters below, pulling off his snorkeling mask to see nothing. He opened his eyes, ready to call out to the crew he was with to pull him out of the water; but saw the boat was not there. Nobody was there, in fact; Not even a partner that would volunteer to dive the cold waters with him . He looked to his right, noticing the sun was beginning to set. He saw a flock of Wingulls heading… somewhere. He didn’t know what direction they were going, nothing could tell him, not even a breeze from the wind. His breathing began to rapidly increase at the sudden realization that he, Thomas, was alone.

Three Days Earlier
“So, you think you’re tough enough for the job, eh?” The brutish man grunted out.

“I do,” Thomas confidently affirmed.

The three men were sitting around in the local tavern; Twinneedles. Located on the coast of Fula City, it was the kind of tavern where you’d only find tough individuals, and those looking for trouble. Thomas wasn’t sure which of the two he had found, answering to a local high paying task that was spreading around the area; He needed the money.

“Come, boy, sit with us.” A shorter, heavily bearded man quietly offered.

The final man, one with a scar on his right cheek, moved to the side for Thomas to rest himself; Thomas hesitantly compiled and slowly sat himself next to the man; who snorted and looked towards the almost intimidating gentleman now across from him.

“Now, from my understanding, you’re the local gym leader ‘round these parts, ye?” He questioned Thomas.

“Hair give it away”? Thomas sarcastically muttered under his breath as he scratched the side of his blue, almost shaggy hair. The bearded man coughed as the scar faced gentleman gave Thomas the stink eye, causing him to shrink in size just a bit.

“Heh, funny guy, I like that,” He replied, “What makes you, a gym leader, need a sudden income like this? You make enough money, don’tcha?”

“Enough, yes. But not enough to help me on my investigation”

“What kinda quest” The man's eyebrow rose in curiosity as he asked.

Thomas scanned his surroundings, nobody else was nearby to overhear something so personal. He didn’t like speaking of his personal agenda to many people, but if it’d help him get this money, he’d gladly try to persuade the people who might help him get a few steps closer .

“As cliche as it might sound, my Mother disappeared early on in my childhood. It’s been… almost a good decade since I’ve heard anything related to her since she vanished. I want to find her, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get some answers on her whereabouts,” He said as his eyes shut, clenching his fists as he spoke.

The gentlemen sat and looked at each other; the first one sighing to himself as the other two glared at Thomas’s fists.

“Listen, kid, that’s some pretty heavy stuff, and I gatta sympathize with ya. We wanna help out whoever we can, right Fellas?” He reassured as the other two gentlemen nodded, “Yeah, we can help ya out if you can do this small favor for us-”

“How much?” Thomas quickly interrupted

“20,000” The man suddenly grinned

“When and where,”

“Right on the dock, we’ll be waiting with a boat in three days,” He explained.

“Deal,” Thomas said as he began to rose up and took a few steps away from the table.

“Oh, one more thing, kid,” The scar faced man suddenly blurted out. Thomas turned his head so his left eye would keep him in vision.

“None of your Pokemon are allowed. Recently we’ve had some… risks with possibly business takers. We assure your safety, if you can assure ours,” He explained with an almost grim undertone to it.

“Consider it done.”

Almost Four Days Later
All Thomas could do was stare at the sun and watch it begin to turn to dusk. The water went from a bright, clear blue to almost looking like a pit of tar. He didn’t want to swim anywhere, fearing he’d just become farther from Fula City. He sighed, feeling the waves kiss his chin as he remained as calm as possible. However, he could feel a change in wave pattern against him. He flipped on his headgears flashlight and turned to the direction of where the waves pushed. Only bubbles remained as the smallest amount of pressure against him suddenly stopped. Thomas began to worry. Was this something stalking him, hoping to get a good meal out of him? He wasn’t a large man, however having a pretty strong muscle spread on him from spending so much time in the Water.
He was the local Water Gym Leader, and a strong one at that, holding a gym record of Sixty Two wins, and only Twelve losses throughout his career. Being a Water gym leaders caused many challengers to battle cautiously, or they would be severely punished by the Water terrain he would battle on. However, he didn’t have any of his Pokemon with him due to the business deal.

“I was… abandoned,” He thought to himself in paranoia, “Why did they leave me here? What’s their gain from having to now run from the authorities when… if I get to shore unharmed.”

He looked down and gasped softly as he began to swim backward; A bright, glowing pair of ruby eyes were now staring him down. Thomas didn’t panic, only using his flippers to slowly propel him away from this sudden threat. It followed though, staying a relatively safe distance from Thomas.

“Why hasn’t this Pokemon attacked yet?” He thought to himself. Maybe it was a friend, perhaps not quite the foe he thought it’d be. Suddenly, it began to surface.

“Hor?” It soothingly called out

“Oh… it’s you,” Thomas sighed in relief.

A small, bright blue seahorse body accompanied the ruby eyes. Why, it was a Horsea, checking on Thomas’s well being. He now moved forward with the waves to become closer to the Horsea, who moved away as he approached. Thomas tilted his head in confusion at the little Pokemon. It didn’t want to hurt him, yet it didn’t want him invading their personal space, almost as if they were just observing him.

“Maybe you can help me; do you know which way the City is?” Thomas asked.

The Horsea suddenly dove back underwater after Thomas spoke to it. His hand suddenly reached out to try and stop the Horsea, but it was too late. The Horsea had suddenly vanished under and into the depths. Thomas sighed loudly and almost screamed in anger; He could not stay out all night, especially when they would feed on his body if it continued to get this late.

Hours Earlier
The boats motor roared with the wind as they sailed. It was only a few hours ago that Thomas sailed with the gentlemen from the tavern that offered him the large sum of money that’d help him find his Mother. Thomas was leaning on the edge as he was snug in his wetsuit, which tightly gripped his body to protect him from the water, even showing off his muscles. The three men from the bar were huddled together; most likely discussing the details of Thomas’s payment arrangement. Thomas didn’t think of it much, nor care enough to really overhear. Instead, he looked at the bright sun, watching dozens of Wingull and Pelipper alike fly around, either going one direction, or possibly awaiting a meal.

“Hey, Kid,” The brutish man suddenly spoke loudly.

“Yeah?” Thomas acknowledged as he turned to them.
“This is it, the drop off zone,”

Thomas glared as he stared into the ocean around them. Nothing, not a sign of anything was visible through the waters surface. He pondered what on earth he was doing here, but reminded himself the money requires no questions; only action.

“You’re gonna be diving down to investigate a shipwreck down below. Perhaps, you could find some lost property of ours,” The bearded man explained

“What is it I’m looking for?”

“A large, gray chest like object. It contains some… important papers that belong to a buddy of ours. They really need them back, ya see? And if we can get them back, we’ll all be rich!” He roared into the air with laughter. The other two gentlemen stared at him as if he was a lunatic, but he took no notice. Thomas equipped his oxygen tank, his snorkel and light, and sat on the edge of the boat.

“When should I expect payment, assuming your chest is down here?” Thomas quickly asked as he put on his snorkel

“We’ll have the cash ready back in town, we gotcha” the brutish man reassured.

That was all Thomas needed to hear, as he gave a thumbs up and flung himself over the boat.

“Fool.” The scar faced man muttered as the three began to make preparations for departure back to town.

Under the sea is more beautiful than ever, Thomas thought to himself. He slowly descended to see bright, coral reefs that housed hundreds of Pokemon within them. How were they not seen in daylight? The bright orange, pink, even purple assorted reefs around him were breathtaking. Some were Corsola, but he was too busy searching for this ship to notice. Schools of Wishiwashi passed by, almost scattering as he continued his search. This was no time for sight seeing, all Thomas wanted was to find this ship of sorts to get him his 20,000 dollars. Suddenly, a Horsea had began swimming beside him. He took little notice, but the Horsea began to bump into him.

“Horsea! Horsea!”

Thomas stopped and floated upright under the water. He began trying to push the Horsea away, who was starting to annoy him. Bubbles censored his words, as Horsea then swiftly swam in front of where he was going, butting their head into him.

“What’s the deal with this Horsea?” He thought. He suddenly began to try and swat the poor thing, who only seemed to want to help him. The Horsea dodged the swats, beginning to tear up as they then swam away. Thomas suddenly felt a wave of guilt overcome him, his sudden greed began to get the better of him, but his mother's whereabouts were what was important to him. He would one day try to find this Horsea again and apologize, if he ever saw it again.
Thomas swam to what now appeared to be a large rock formation in front of him. He peered over the edge and his eyes widened. This wasn’t a ship the men were asking him to find; It was a barge. A giant barge, in fact. Thomas guessed and estimated it’d be at least 200 feet long. It was too big to scale in a day's worth, but something else caught his eye. Amongst the seaweed and Mareanie that began populating it; He saw a fairly large hole on the side of the ship. It looked like a fairly recent infliction upon the barge. What Thomas then saw made him cower behind the Rock as much as possible; A large, healthy school of Carvanha, lead by a Sharpedo, began to emerge from the barge. This was too much, Thomas couldn’t dare enter the abandoned cargo ship without his Pokemon, or backup. He turned around and began to float away. He realised as he swam back the same direction he came from, that Horsea must have been warning him about the dangers ahead; But he ignored it like a fool. Thomas sighed, causing bubbles to scatter around him. He then began to swim upward, ascending to the surface and give the gentlemen the bad news.

Thomas looked directly where the Horsea dove. He pressed his right hand against his face, almost squeezing between his eyebrows for how much of a fool he was.

“I… I’m sorry” He whispered as if it could hear him. Thomas suddenly noticed it was pitch black around him. With only his lamp providing light, he was completely abandoned without any other vision for at least twelve more hours. He couldn’t possibly survive that long, he needed to think of something fast. Suddenly, a loud splash was heard behind him. He quickly turned and shined his light to a sharp skinned, very healthy looking Carvanha appear in the air. Thomas stared as if he was hypnotised, glaring into its opening Jaw as he knew he was about to be consumed piece by piece.

A sudden Water Gun attack appeared next to Thomas, out of his line of view. The Carvanha was shoved back into the Water as the Horsea had saved Thomas from impending doom.

“Horsea, thank god you’re here!” Thomas exclaimed happily.

There was no time for celebration, however, as Carvanha’s horns had appeared out of the ocean, charging fast at the newly formed duo.

“Looks like we’ll need to scare it off. Horsea, do you trust me?” Thomas smirked as he turned to his new friend. Horsea cried out; ready for Thomas’s next command.

“Horsea, use a Bubble Beam attack!”

Horsea inhaled and bright, baseball sized bubbles began to shoot out of its mouth, attempting to land onto Carvanha. Carvanha, however, wasn’t having it, darting side to side as its speed only seemed to increase. The now Speed Boosting Carvanha suddenly rammed into Horsea with its head; causing Horsea to be shot back under water. Carvanha shook its head from the recoil of the attack, but then set its sights on Thomas, jaw reopening to get a good bite. Horsea wasn’t having it, however. A large, concentrated stream of water suddenly collided with Carvanha, also sending it back into the watery depths as Horsea landed next to Thomas with a happy grin.

“We did it Horsea!” Thomas ecstatically shouted to the night sky.

However, the Carvanha had a sudden change in appetite. A sudden resurfacing pair of opened jaws around Horsea caused the two to launch multiple feet up into the air. A strong, clamping bite attack had secured Horsea to Carvanha’s will.

“Horsea, no!” Thomas shouted out as he helplessly watched.

Horsea cried in pain, being shaken about like it was a dogs chew toy. Carvanha flung its body downward as Horsea belly flopped directly in front of Thomas. He watched with the light strapped to his head as Horsea had been knocked out, slowly submerging into the lonely depths below. Carvanha suddenly cannon balled right in front of Thomas, who swam backward away as it slowly resurfaced. It grinned as the one threat to its dinner had been defeated. It slowly swam towards Thomas, watching him squirm and flail about in the Water, trying to keep distance.

Thomas didn’t know what to do. His only friend within the ocean blues had been chewed up and spat out like gum, and he had none of his own Pokemon to protect him. He was toast, finished with no hope around him. He sighed as he changed his stance to floating on his back, awaiting Carvanha to do its worst.

“Mom… I’m sorry I failed you,” He whispered.

Suddenly, the Sea around them began to glow white. Beams began to shine the stars above, Carvanha began to swim around in confusion as to what the cause of this sudden lighting change was. Thomas began to look about;

“M...Mom?” He thought to himself as the light suddenly faded like a light switch being flicked off. He stared at Carvanha, who was now concerned more about what just happened. A sudden splash between the two caused them both to look up; The Horsea had now grown a spiky like body, accompanied by two smaller fins attached to its back. It was no longer a Horsea; It was now a Seadra. A purple, almost electric generating, ray of light shot from the Seadras mouth onto Carvanha. The Dragon Pulse attack had connected and a small explosion was generated, causing waves to form around it, pushing Thomas away from it all. The smoke cleared, and Carvanha was nowhere to be found, likely fleeing after seeing the Seadras brand new attack and the damage it’d cause in the long run. The Seadra floated to Thomas, bumping him with its head with a smile on its face. Thomas embraced the Seadra, a tear shed from his eye.

“Thank you, Seadra” He whispered softly. Seadra swam around him, taking a liking to its new friend.

“Seadra, come with me,” Thomas began to explain, “ I need help finding my Mother, and the people who left me here, alone; Please, lend me your power,”

“Seadra” it cried out in agreement.

“Right,” Thomas nodded with a smile on his face as the stars began to shine bright around them, almost as if lighting their path home. “Lead the way, Seadra!”


Capture Attempt: Horsea 20k-30k; Using a Story Pass to make it Medium Rank, so 10-20k capture attempt!

Character Count: 15,792
My first act as grader: this is hereby claimed.
(12-20-18, 10:02 PM)Gold Wrote: My first act as grader: this is hereby claimed.

Hi Mikey, sorry for the added delay; I have returned from Vacation and here is your grade. Gonna just do an in-depth since I have it ready.

Introduction - Mikey I gotta say, you really know how to reel an audience in (pun fully intended). This opening is absolutely amazing; we get good description, we get emotion, we get a great attention grabber in the snorkel and mask, and then when you have the audience pulled in you take em back to give the full story. Good shit my dude. Extra points for the Thomas Was Alone reference.

Plot/Content - Fairly standard stuff in here; Thomas has strong motivation (finding his mother), he’s very obviously hasty but also desperate and it shows in him going aboard the vessel without his Pokemon, and also when he ignores the men huddled together talking. You do a good job popping back and forth in the dialogue; I’m sure we’ve all seen stories that try and do flashbacks that don’t work out well, but yours did it very organically, well done. Additionally, I like how you set up a sequel/left it to the reader as to why they left Thomas out in the middle of nowhere; you didn’t give away too much, and hearing it directly from the mouth of one of the men on board was a nice touch.

While I absolutely enjoyed the beginning of the story, I will say the fight scene leaves a bit to be desired. Especially Carvanha’s entrance feels a little off, and extremely sudden; I get that we needed a conflict to develop Horsea/Seadra, but I would have wanted to see that come up just a little bit more organically, or a bit more dialogue/description before Carvanha popped up (as well as some leadup to Carvanha’s appearance).

Grammar - There were a few problems here, but nothing major; the only big one was capitalization, especially with pronouns like He after a semicolon, which I saw a few times. However, really not much to write home about; just be diligent with the few mistakes you did make in the future, and I’ll have no gripes.

Description - This was honestly the best part. I could see the Carvanha and Sharpedo in the ship, I could feel Thomas’s terror at seeing the Carvanha, and his pain at being rude to the horsea, and his desperation at being abandoned. It was all done fantastically, and I can’t wait to see you do more of this in your next piece. As above, I do recommend adding a bit more description and leadup to Carvanha, but otherwise just spot on.

Length - You had 15,641, which is well above the minimum for a Medium capture. I didn’t feel like any characters were wasted, and as I said in the description section really felt like you put the effort into making sure things, for the most part, were described well and emotions evoked before shifting focus.

Final Decision - This definitely hit Medium fam; it was a pleasure to read, and I look forward to reading more from you in the future. Enjoy your Horsea! If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me on Discord!

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