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Spirit of the Lion: A Pokemon Moon Gijinka Storylocke

akapolarbear
Conqueror of the Celadon Gym
Conqueror of the Celadon Gym
Joined: September 23rd, 2015, 11:20 pm

October 17th, 2017, 4:11 am #1

Alright then, hey everybody! Time to finally get this run underway. Welcome to "Spirit of the Lion", a Pokemon Moon Gijinka Storylocke. I'm a little bit rusty at prose, seeing as how I haven't written a serious story in about two years, but this run is a story that I really wanted to tell. I've been meaning to get this out since, uh...June? Early June, but things got in the way, and I'm not about to bore you with that. So instead, we're just gonna jump right on in; I've been putting this off long enough.
[+] Rules
1. If a Pokemon faints, it's dead.
2. Only catch the first Pokemon you encounter in an area. (No Gift 'mons allowed.)
3. Dupes clause is on.
4. No Exp. Share.
5. Pokemon Refresh can only be used to two hearts for the boosted exp. gain.
6. No Z-Moves.
7. If your starter dies, the run ends.
[+] Table of Contents
Prologue (you are here)
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
[+] Prologue
A beep, and then another. And another. A series of droning, incessant beeps increasing in frequency until he could no longer ignore them. He heaved a long-winded sigh before surrendering his attention to the intercom.

"What? What? What is it that you want? What could be so important that you thought to interrupt-"

"Sir! Sir, oh, gods, it's...there's an emergency!"

"Emergency? Well, then out with it already! What happened?"

A pause punctuated by a shuddering, drawn in breath, crackly through the intercom.

"It...it's out! Subject Three has escaped!"

Silence. A single second of silence that stretched on for an eternity.

"What?! How?! When?! Where is it now?!"

"I - We, I-I mean...we don't know! It was in the labs, and, and now-!"

"Evacuate the lower labs immediately! Get all non-security personnel out of there now! Then shut down the elevators; we can't afford it running loose in the upper levels! I want it found and contained, do you understand me?!"

"S-sir! Of course!"







A beep, only halfway through its tone before being cut short by the sounding of the intercom.

"Give me your status report."

"All scientists have been removed the labs, sir, as you ordered! B-but...there are three injured, one in critical condition. And...two others...are..."

A sob, followed by a shaky exhale. He had to roll his eyes at his subordinate's unprofessionalism.

"Well?! If you're going to start a sentence, then finish it!"

The words came through the intercom pained. "...Dead, sir; they're gone. Two confirmed dead."

"Yes, and Subject Three? Have you found it yet?"

"We...no, sir, the security team is still combing the area, they-"

A scream, shrill and loud, not from through the intercom, but from outside. Scrambling and the sounds of panic. A pause as the realization set in.

"...It's on the second floor. How did it get to the second floor?!"

"It - sir, no, I-"

"I told you to shut down the elevator until it was contained!"

"W-we did! I don't - it...must have gotten through before the power was-"

"I don't want to hear your excuses; get the security detail up here immediately!"







A beep, the first one he'd gotten in over fifteen minutes. He jumped at the sound and was far too relieved to hear the drone of the intercom coming to life.

"Sir."

A different voice this time, older and held level in the face of this emergency. It offered him some comfort; perhaps this one would show more competence.

"Yes, yes, what is it? Have you found it yet?"

"Yes, sir; we've tracked Subject Three to the second-floor conservation deck. All exits have been blocked off and there's a guard posted at each one."

He allowed himself a sigh of relief. "Oh, thank heavens, finally! Remember, you are not authorized to use lethal force; Subject Three must be kept alive, do you understand?"

"Copy that, sir; tranquilize it and put it back in its pen. We understand."

He sank back into his chair and massaged his temples; the nightmare was finally over. He would have to have a talk with the president about tightening security in the labs. They couldn't afford another mishap like this; two scientists lost, two open positions to be filled! The thought of the imminent screening process and paperwork pained him.

A voice through the intercom, distant and muffled. "Commander, we have eyes on the target."

It seemed as if the head of security had forgotten to cut communications. He thought to interrupt, but then decided against it. No, hearing the recapture of Subject Three firsthand would put his mind at ease so much faster.

"Copy. Remember to keep your distance, boys; this thing's not to be trifled with."

"Commander, it's spotted us; it's making a run for it-"

"We've got the place surrounded; it's not going anywhere...It's headed straight for a dead-end. We've got it cornered."

"...Wait. Wait, what's it-"

"Shit! Take the shot!"

Wait, what? No, what was happening? What was the problem?

"Shoot it, now!"

Yelling and the clicks of tranquilizing rifles all firing off at once. Panic. A scramble. Suddenly, the man was back on the intercom, out of breath and shouting at him.

"It's in the water!"

"What?!"

"The wall, it managed to scale the nine-foot wall and now it's in the water!"

No. No, no, no no no no! "Call the harbor, now! Get every boat we have combing the ocean in a ten-mile radius! We have to find it! I don't care if you're searching until dawn! Find it and bring it back, or the president will have your head! Subject Three cannot be allowed to escape the facility!"















Freedom.
[+] Art
[+] Character References
[+] Johnny Ref
[+] Bonus Art
[+] Johnny's Halloween Costume '17
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SeaMaid
Conqueror of the Olivine Gym
Conqueror of the Olivine Gym
Joined: April 7th, 2014, 1:33 pm

October 17th, 2017, 12:27 pm #2

welp, no wonder there's a starter death clause! I'm just gonna guess you went with Popplio because the whole escape through swimming-thing. But on the other hand, a Rowlet would have an easier time scaling the wall... hmm...
EDIT: wait, wait, the title, spirit of the Lion, you had to go with Litten,ooooh

prose is pretty good, too, despite your self-admitted lack of practice; I did notice a few misplaced fragments (such as "A different voice this time, older and held level in the face of this emergency") but nothing a good ol' beta can't fix for the next update!

Other than that... hm, this is a fairly short update, so dunno what else to say. But I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with subject 3 at least that number is easier to remember than 404 :vv!
CURRENT AVATAR: a drawing of Zizou from Legend of Dark Witch, as drawn by Famimatsu

Music Thread | SoundCloud | Music tumblr

Want a storylocke of a "soul-crushing" hake along with that hobbyist music? This one's gonna come back someday I swear:


I'm also responsible for the one and only HarvestCraft run on these forums if you want a chill experience.
(that one's on semi-official hiatus though, sorry;;)
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Huntress Wizard
Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Joined: April 5th, 2015, 11:58 am

October 17th, 2017, 1:30 pm #3

Well color me intrigued! This was a great prologue, lots of suspense and just enough detail that I think I know what's going on but I'm not quite sure. I'm looking forward to more!

Edit: I'm gonna throw my hat in the "guess the starter" ring and say Subject Three is...a Type:Null, who's gonna act as the trainer, and we haven't met the starter yet. :3c
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Clockenstein
Conqueror of the Lavaridge Gym
Conqueror of the Lavaridge Gym
Joined: May 21st, 2013, 10:27 am

October 17th, 2017, 4:28 pm #4

Haha, okay. So. I love this style of narration -- the disjoint way in which narration and dialogue are presented really puts your writing style in a spotlight. I'm gonna have to be a bit mean, though: I'm sort of in a camp where I think a lab-escaping experiment is one of those comfort zone traps gijinka-based ideas tend to fall into -- which is why I'm doubly interested, because it takes someone with a good writing voice in the first place to get me over my lousy stereotyping assumptions. (I mean -- who am I to judge, tropes are what we make of them since everything's been done before.)

That being said, one of the good things about the lab-escape opening is that it's always a treat to see what the writer has in store for the aftermath! It's one of the things that I like about the concept, and judging from what I'm reading you're bound to have something good in store. So, good luck!


credits: silicon lines by shiny dustox || anomaly & paradox drive by rainey

current projects: silicon lines || anomaly || paradox drive || overdone cardboard
[+] previous runs
The 4th Nuzlocke Games: finished third, it was alright
John Maeda wrote:Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.
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Pancake
Conqueror of the Saffron Gym
Conqueror of the Saffron Gym
Joined: April 5th, 2013, 3:11 pm

October 17th, 2017, 7:11 pm #5

I love this so much.

You say so much with so little, and like Clock said, you've used a trope to great effect. It's definitely not easy to make something as typical as a lab escape intriguing. I also love this disjointed feel of the prologue. This may just be my interpretation, but subject 3 was on the second floor near the office, so I like to think this is what it heard while looking for an escape route.

I also have no idea what your starter could be. I know that may sound odd, but with some Gijinka runs it's pretty clear what the starter will be just from the prologue, but you've made all options valid. Water escape for Popplio, the high wall for Rowlet and the title makes me think of Litten. I'm not sure if these breadcrumbs were intentional or not, but I love them anyway.

Definitely looking forward to more. Keep it up!
Do not fear the strong; fear the weak, for they have something to prove



[+] Spoiler
Thanks to the absolutely amazing Degree for this banner. I love you long time.
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Flopdisc
Indigo League Champion
Indigo League Champion
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 11:52 am

October 17th, 2017, 9:48 pm #6

my first thought re: the title was in reference to Solgaleo, despite this being a Moon nuzlocke.

But yeah! Echoing what others have said -- this was a really fun way to deliver your prologue. I'm really looking forward to meeting our protagonist through whichever way you decide to frame them -- and I really love how much character was conveyed here on our narrator's (Faba's?) part. For all we know the reference to three mons could be to do with the Beast Killer project etc., if I remember that part of the story right, but either way -- exciting stuff ahead!

Banner courtesy of Dusty!
(avatars rotate bc i am at the mercy of lilygarnet, AstroDeath, and a veritable crowd of evildoers)
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SprungGeoduck
Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Joined: June 8th, 2014, 4:04 am

October 18th, 2017, 3:42 am #7

GOD DAMN

This is one of those prologues that grabs a tone by the balls and fucking runs with it, and it's amazing. Immediately, I got that creepy horror vibe and you just kept amping it up. We've got Aether, who I love as antagonists no matter what they're in, and the mystery behind Subject Three has got me interested already. I'm assuming that they're going to be our protagonist, so the fact that they're evidently so dangerous is really intriguing. I can't wait to properly meet them and for this story to get going! Keep it up!

Banner by the amazing MissMarquise!
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Vent
Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Joined: February 29th, 2012, 3:49 am

October 18th, 2017, 4:41 am #8

this is a really interesting start so far! others have mentioned the disjointed feel of the calls and the concealed identity of the starter and I think both are very interesting aspects of this start here! You set up a lot of intrigue and you have a really good base here and I'm looking forward to seeing where you go from here on this!

Updated 8/31/18! Q/A open until Chapter 30! Banner by Rainey!


NBL S10 record; 7-3 (+14) MVP: Hydreigon

and a coupla other story things, nuzlocke and not nuzlocke;
[+] Spoiler

A Black storylocke! Updated 6/10/18! Banner by Dusty!

The Multiverse Theory, a series of short stories set in a crossover universe! Updated 3/25/2018
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Shiny Dustox
Conqueror of the Lavaridge Gym
Conqueror of the Lavaridge Gym
Joined: August 29th, 2014, 12:34 pm

October 18th, 2017, 11:40 am #9

Well, color me intrigued!

Echoing Clock, what I'm going to look forward to is the aftermath of everything. You've done a wonderful job of setting it up, I'm excited to see how you follow it up!

art by AgentNein
[+] Current Team
Liam Tierra Virgil Bree Aurora Helena
To view my Completed Runs, feel free to visit The Insectarium.
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DistortionLocke
Conqueror of the Viridian Gym
Conqueror of the Viridian Gym
Joined: December 23rd, 2014, 1:21 am

October 22nd, 2017, 3:23 am #10

Nothing starts off a story better than a good ol’ escape from the lab!

"Sandanbeki Rock Cliff -1 (June 2018)" by Tetsuhiro Terada is licensed under CC BY 4.0/Text added onto original photo
[+] Spoiler
"Crown 3" by mjtmail (tiggy) is licensed under CC BY 4.0/Text added onto original photo


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akapolarbear
Conqueror of the Celadon Gym
Conqueror of the Celadon Gym
Joined: September 23rd, 2015, 11:20 pm

October 22nd, 2017, 9:57 am #11

You know that gif of the Pokemon anime where Meowth says, "Boy, I sure have a lot of people to disappoint"? Yeah, that's basically my thought processes right now. That and a lot of internal screaming.
[+] Replies!
@SeaMaid: Well, hey, at least one of those guesses has to be right! Let's find out which one, shall we?

@Huntress Wizard: Thank you very much! That's certainly...a guess, which I cannot confirm or deny.

@Clockenstein: Huh, I honestly wasn't aware that was a stereotype for gijinka runs! Well, nevertheless, I'm glad you stuck around despite it, and I hope the rest of this run has some twists that you weren't expecting.

@Pancake: Aw, shucks, you're gonna make me blush. Thanks so much!

@Flopdisc: Exciting stuff indeed! Thanks for kind of subtly needling me toward posting this back on the WriteChat, btw. Those eyes emojis gave me a lot of confidence.

@SprungGeoduck: I'm glad you're just as excited to get into this run as I am! Thanks for the compliments.

@Vent: A really good base that I'm probably gonna screw up immediately! I'm kidding. Mostly. But thanks for the interest!

@Shiny Dustox: Well, here's hoping I don't disappoint!

@DistortionLocke: Considering all the attention this got right off the bat, I'd say you're right on that one.
[+] Chapter One
His parents always told him, every day, on his way out the door, Don't forget your prayers. And every day, on his way out the door, he would answer, drowned out by the sound of his satchel and gear smacking into each other and the slapping of his sandals against the wood of the boardwalk, Right!

The locals and the merchants always offered him a greeting, be it a, Good morning!, or a, Watch where yer runnin', kiddo! And he would always give his best efforts to acknowledge every one, usually stumbling over his feet as he turned and waved with a hearty, Morning!

The village was a small one, the kind where everyone knew your name and people felt less like neighbors and more like extended family. There was Mrs. Marsi with her three kids and the best seafood stir-fry recipe on the island, Mr. Donell, the widower who had a way with the local fauna like no one could believe, Old Man Shepard, who spent his days of retirement entertaining the kids with old fairy tales and folklore...

He himself held was known around the village as the boy who couldn't keep out of the water. Old Man Shepard often joked with him, saying he should have been born as a fish. It had almost become an official village routine, to during your morning schedule stop and take the time to watch the fish-boy sprint down the boardwalk, tripping all over himself like the ocean would dry up if he didn't get to the beach fast enough. He was quite the spirited boy, always full of energy, always excited...

...Always quite the impatient one as well.

Johnny's mornings always held the same routine. He awoke not quite at the crack of dawn, but rather a bit later, when the sun had already started to peek over the horizon and he had just missed the sky's pastel pinks and oranges. After washing and cleaning, he shuffled off into the kitchen.

Johnny wasn't much a fan of breakfast. He didn't have an appetite in the mornings, but he'd heard far too many people insist it was the "most important meal of the day" to bother skipping it. He never considered it much of a meal, though: few pieces of toast, an egg for protein, and a glass of whatever juice he had in stock in his fridge. He couldn't do caffeine, always made his hands unsteady when he was working and made his left ear twitch like a scared Rattata.

The one thing he did truly appreciate about breakfast, however, was the peace. He could take his plate and glass out onto the deck and just be. He may have missed the sunrise, but something about the sky before noon was always gorgeous to him. It was quiet, too; the Wingulls weren't up and about and the Pikipeks hadn't started hammering away at the trees yet. In fact, if he had to guess, the only 'mons that were active were the Ledyba; every now and again he'd catch a flash of red through the grass accompanied by the gentle hum of rapidly beating wings. Take a sip of juice, close your eyes, get lost in it all. Harmony.

The sign that the fun was over was either his glass being empty or the first squawk of a 'gull, whichever came first. He rose from his seat, balancing his glass on top an empty plate and taking one last glance at the calm, before heading back inside and placing his dishes in the sink. Though breakfast never created much for him in the way of dirty dishes, Johnny preferred cleaning his dishware after use, rather than leaving them to pile up for later. It was easier for him in the long run, not overly tasking in the short run, and leaving dishes in the sink to pile up looked poorly on a homeowner.

Dishwashing had become another therapeutic experience for him over the years: repetitive and wholly uninteresting, yet calming in its monotony. Drape the washcloth over his arm, flick on the faucet, a pump of dish soap, scrub. When he had first moved to the area, he'd been given multiple offers for assistance in housekeeping and he felt bad having to turn them all down. The people of Iki Town were kind, sure, but he refused to let them take his dishwashing therapy away from him.

After those few minutes of the soothing dullness of cleaning therapy, he left the pair of dishes on the drying rack so they'd be ready for use again by lunchtime, then prepared himself to start the day proper with getting dressed. His outfit tended to stay more or less the same every day; he always wore a pair of plain khaki cargo shorts and his old worn down leather sandals. The only thing that ever varied changed with the weather: clear skies called for a tank top or T-shirt, while the chance for rain brought out his favorite polyester jacket.

The color wasn't his favorite - seemed a bit too stereotypical for a fire user to be sporting orange - but the jacket had actually been a gift from Kukui's wife some years back. Well, more like a gift from the both of them; Natalie had picked it out, and Kukui had been kind enough to modify the sleeve. The stitching job wasn't perfect - Kukui was a professor, not a tailor - but it did the job and the fact that he'd gone out of his way to do it at all was touching. Figured tryin' to fish with an empty sleeve flappin' in the wind would be pretty inconvenient, Kukui had said, all while giving him a hearty slap on the back that might have been a touch too enthusiastic. Johnny thought back on that moment a lot.

Today, the skies had a few too many clouds for his liking and the sea breeze had a bit of a chill to it. He hadn't heard any news of a storm blowing in, but if that was the case, then he wasn't looking to get caught in the rain with no jacket. That was the part the tourist brochures didn't tell you about; to the outside world, the region was nothing but clear skies and pristine beaches, but gods forbid any of them ever got caught up in a genuine Alolan storm.

Johnny pulled the sleeve up the length of his arm with a sigh. If rain was on the way, then that would put a serious damper on the amount of fish he'd be reeling in. If he had to guess from the way the sky was looking, then the initial drizzle'd probably start around noon, meaning his work day would be cut in half. But he supposed that was just the way things were when you had nature as your boss and the weather was the one building your schedule. He just had to hope the storm blew through quick and didn't stay any longer than needed.

He zipped his jacket about halfway up and stepped into his sandals before going to gather his pole and the rest of his gear. First things first, he fastened the rod holder at his waist and then tied off the apparatus' support at his thigh. It was another task that he'd had multiple offers of assistance for, but he assured them that he could handle the process himself, as politely as possible. Johnny hated the idea of coming off as rude or unappreciative, but he hated the idea of being fussed over and coddled even more. He was a grown man who could take care of himself, and a few belts and straps weren't going to get the better of him.

After double-checking to make sure everything was properly secured, he grabbed his satchel and slung it over his shoulder, briefly checking to make sure all of his equipment was present. There was no reason for it not be, as he lived alone and was the only person that ever went through his bag, but it was always better to be safe than sorry. Once satisfied that everything was indeed in place, he tucked the bag safely under his arm, picked up his rod, and headed out the door.

He always locked the door behind him, but it seemed rather pointless. If anyone ever really wanted to break in, they could easily get in through the windows. Not like anything of that nature was heard of; Iki Town was a small little village where everyone knew everyone else. If someone decided to become a burglar, the whole town would know all the juicy details before lunchtime. He figured it was a different sort of situation for those living in the city, but the idea of someone from Hau'oli coming all the way to Iki Town just to break into the house of a fisherman with no valuable material possessions was laughable.

The hike from Iki Town to the beach was a bit of a trek; the village was built on top of a hill, though thankfully a not very steep one. At the very least, the walk was scenic, and at this point of the morning, the rest of the world had started to wake up as well: birds flitted between the trees, Yungoos darted through the grass at the first sign of movement, and the local children whooped for the joy of freedom. That's right, it was summer vacation now, wasn't it? Johnny smiled fondly at the thought.

He got the occasional greeting on his way down to the beach, though not as many as usual. He might've thought it strange, but ultimately ended up chalking it up to the signs of a coming storm. Nothing strange about not wanting to start your day only to have it ruined by rain, he supposed. Upon actually arriving at the beach, he was surprised to see he wasn't alone; Kukui was out and about too, sitting down by the edge of the water. As spirited as he was, the professor had been spending more and more time cooped up in his lab for some reason Johnny couldn't claim to know and Kukui didn't feel like sharing.

When he was about halfway down the beach, Johnny called out to him and saw Kukui's ears shoot up. Johnny was about to set down his pole and give a hearty wave, but when Kukui turned around about halfway, his ears went back, flattened against his head. The blood drained from his fingertips and he went cold, like the pleasant sea breeze had just turned into an icy chill.

Kukui wasn't alone.

Lying next to him, prone in the sand, was a woman who Johnny'd never seen before.
[+] Author's Note
To everyone who thought that Subject Three was going to be our protagonist: please describe to me in detail your reaction to Johnny. Honestly, ever since replies started rolling in, the introduction of his character has been something I've been both anticipating and dreading, so please, I want nothing more than to hear your reactions.

So yes, with that bait and switch out of the way, meet Johnny, the actual protagonist of Spirit of the Lion: a 32-year-old, one armed fisherman. As you can see, his life is not nearly as interesting as what all went down last time. I hope the mood whiplash between this and the prologue hit you like a truck, because that was my goal.
Edit: This chapter now comes with a reference drawing for our protagonist!
[+] Johnny Character Ref
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Pancake
Conqueror of the Saffron Gym
Conqueror of the Saffron Gym
Joined: April 5th, 2013, 3:11 pm

October 22nd, 2017, 10:23 am #12

[+] Reaction to Johnny
The ol' bait and switch, huh?

Johnny seems pretty cool though, not gonna lie. I was definitely getting an "I've been through enough and want to be left alone" vibe from him as the chapter went on. Am I right in thinking he doesn't live in Iki town proper, but on the outskirts?
wrote:The people of Iki Town were kind, sure, but he refused to let them take his dishwashing therapy away from him.
I think this sums up my feelings towards Johnny perfectly, and I love how it hints that there's something wrong with our man as well. Dishwashing is pretty easy after all.

Still no idea what he is though. I'm guessing Litten, but I've been wrong before.
Do not fear the strong; fear the weak, for they have something to prove



[+] Spoiler
Thanks to the absolutely amazing Degree for this banner. I love you long time.
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Huntress Wizard
Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Joined: April 5th, 2015, 11:58 am

October 22nd, 2017, 1:46 pm #13



I'm going to need you to pay for the chiropractor appointment I'll need after that mood whiplash. Hot damn!

That was some excellent mood- and world-building! Just enough detail so we kinda know what's going on, but you're not beating us over the head with it. I especially liked the subtlety in revealing certain things about Johnny - that he's a Fire-type and that he has one-arm. You didn't come out and say the latter, either, it was all context clues. Color me impressed!

I'm really looking forward to more! I'm betting Johnny is a Litten, what with the fire use and the ears; I'm also betting that young woman is Lillie, or this story's version of Lillie. Who might be Subject Three...? So maybe she's a Cosmog, then? Aaaaaa so many questions I can't wait to find out more!!!
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lesbian xion
Conqueror of the Blackthorn Gym
Conqueror of the Blackthorn Gym
Joined: June 19th, 2011, 11:54 pm

October 22nd, 2017, 1:57 pm #14

i like this ! o:

you set up a good tone in the prologue and carried it thru to the first chapter. the worldbuilding is rlly cool, but you don't... beat the reader over the head w it, which is nice! love how you introduced johnny, that was really well done and how you showed off how he uses his one arm.

speaking of him, i'm gonna guess litten since this is called spirit of the lion and litten is the one that closely fits that bill. and i'm gonna guess that the girl is Lillie? or gijinka Lillie, who knows~

looking forward to the rest O:
Even if I'm not ready... I have to make this choice.
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SeaMaid
Conqueror of the Olivine Gym
Conqueror of the Olivine Gym
Joined: April 7th, 2014, 1:33 pm

October 22nd, 2017, 3:24 pm #15

So I prepared a comment with the notes-function on site with quotes and stuff , and then when I changed page so I could actually post the comment my notes had been reset again :c time to redo it I suppose


what if it turns out that Johnny was subject 3 all along and that's why he only has one arm :vvvv

tbh as the update went along all I could think was "/need to live with someone like Johnny intensifies" because... That's a small breakfast? And he always does his dishes immediately? Need me a roommate like that. /laughs

Also, it... took me a while to catch that he was one-armed, not gonna lie;;

As for the mood whiplash? Effective, but honestly not unexpected. Prologues are prologues so it's more surprising when they don't cut to another place or time imo.
CURRENT AVATAR: a drawing of Zizou from Legend of Dark Witch, as drawn by Famimatsu

Music Thread | SoundCloud | Music tumblr

Want a storylocke of a "soul-crushing" hake along with that hobbyist music? This one's gonna come back someday I swear:


I'm also responsible for the one and only HarvestCraft run on these forums if you want a chill experience.
(that one's on semi-official hiatus though, sorry;;)
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Shiny Dustox
Conqueror of the Lavaridge Gym
Conqueror of the Lavaridge Gym
Joined: August 29th, 2014, 12:34 pm

October 24th, 2017, 12:27 pm #16

I'm all for this bait and tackle switch, honestly. There's not a lot of runs out there that feature an older protagonist, which is something I wish there was more of.

And the one arm thing? I really liked that I didn't know that was the case until the author's notes. There were probably some hints and I think I saw some of them, but it never really clicked for me. It's definitely aligned with Johnny too, since he'd rather not have people coddle or pity him as well. You also did a wonderful job fleshing him out in this part, so I'm looking forward to reading more about Johnny.

art by AgentNein
[+] Current Team
Liam Tierra Virgil Bree Aurora Helena
To view my Completed Runs, feel free to visit The Insectarium.
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SprungGeoduck
Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Joined: June 8th, 2014, 4:04 am

October 30th, 2017, 9:57 am #17

aaaaaa don't worry about me. I'm not disappointed at all! I actually really like Johnny! I love the mood whiplash between the prologue and this, and I'm super excited to see how Johnny and Subject Three's stories collide. In general, Johnny has me intrigued. What's a guy like him gonna go on a journey for? He seems perfectly content the way he is. Of course, I reckon something's probably going to screw that up, so we shall see. Keep it up!

Banner by the amazing MissMarquise!
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akapolarbear
Conqueror of the Celadon Gym
Conqueror of the Celadon Gym
Joined: September 23rd, 2015, 11:20 pm

November 2nd, 2017, 2:34 am #18

I was late for Halloween, but that doesn't mean this run didn't get the chance to celebrate. Here's Johnny in his Halloween costume.
[+] Johnny's Halloween Costume

I'm Final Fantasy trash, so when deciding, "What costume can I give a one-armed black guy?" the first idea that came to mind was Barret Wallace from Final Fantasy VII. If Johnny looks uncomfortable, that's because he is. Kukui was probably the one who convinced him to go shirtless.
Now, with that out of the way...Happy NaNoWriMo, everybody! This year I've decided to partake the endeavor with this nuzlocke as my project. Hopefully that means I can build up a good buffer for myself and also get out updates a bit quicker. Speaking of updates, here's one.
[+] Replies
@Pancake: Something wrong with him? Why, I have no clue what you could possibly be talking about! (Also, yes, Johnny is a Litten.)

@Huntress Wizard: Well, I didn't wanna come right out and say, "Oh, btw, he's missing an arm." Seems a bit tactless, if you ask me. And yes, just who might that woman be? Let's find out, shall we?

@lesbian xion: Thank you, and welcome aboard! That's two votes now for the mystery lady being gijinka Lillie.

@SeaMaid: well, uh. that is...certainly a theory. that i can't confirm or deny. ahem Again, thank you so much for your compliments towards Johnny. Means a lot to me.

@Shiny Dustox: i see what you did there, dusty. Thanks, I really wanted the one-armed thing to come off as a part of him without being his only defining character trait. So you saying that you didn't connect the dots immediately is a positive in my book.

@SprungGeoduck: That's a very good question, why would Johnny go on a journey? I guess we'll just have to find out. Thanks again, man.
[+] Chapter Two
Johnny stared at the sky, his hand blotting out the sunlight, and squinted. Not a cloud in the sky. His arm dropped and he shook his head. He felt a bit foolish, if he was honest with himself; it had been a week since those storm clouds, and yet every day he found himself checking to see if they were back. Common sense told him that the storm must have just blown off course, skirted around Melemele without hitting land, but old seafolk superstitions that had been hammered into his head since he was a boy wouldn't let him accept that.

Y'see storm clouds and get a storm, that's natural. Y'see storm clouds and get nothing, that ain't right. That's a bad omen, that is, kid. The tapu didn't go an' make those storm clouds for nothin'.

No rain. Not a cloud in the sky.

He huffed; here he was, a fisherman by trade, complaining about the weather being too nice. He really was being foolish. He dropped to his knee to pick up his pole from where he had left it nestled in the sand, only to feel a hand on his back and a tingle up his spine that caught him off guard and threw him off balance. He had to drop his pole that he had just curled his fingers around in order to stop himself from falling face first to the ground, but even with his free hand to catch himself, he still felt himself sink forward into wet, grainy mud.

He heard a light, airy giggle from behind him and his ears turned towards the noise sharply. He didn't have to turn to see who it was; this was the fourth time this week something like this had happened. Instead, Johnny just gave a sigh and pushed himself backwards, coming up into a squat before sitting himself down at the shoreline. He snatched up his rod before a wave could come up and drag it away, and pulled a tight smile. "Afternoon, Cloud. What can I do for you?"

The giggle came again only a bit more spirited, and this time he twisted himself around to face her properly. Today, she had chosen to tie her dark hair back into a single, puffy bun and wear a deep royal blue sundress that twisted and tangled in the breeze, lapping at her knees like an ocean wave. Bright sky blue eyes sparkled with mirth as she clasped her hands behind her back and grinned like a schoolgirl. "Good afternoon, Mr. Johnny," she tittered, rocking forward on her heels. "How are you today?"

Her avoidance of his question didn't bother Johnny anymore, but he still felt an uncomfortable twinge in his gut at her usage of 'Mr. Johnny.' It didn't sit right with him. The children called him Mr. Johnny. Cloud, on the other hand, couldn't have been much younger than him; five years younger than him at the most, if he had to guess. Nevertheless, he tried not to let his smile falter and answered, "Oh, I'm alright, I suppose. Think you could give me a hand here?"

She practically jumped for joy at the simple suggestion and took his fishing rod from him with one hand before offering him the other. Cloud was much stronger than her slender frame implied and it didn't take much combined effort to get his feet back underneath him. He didn't take his pole back immediately, first choosing to shake off the sand that stubbornly clung to his shorts and then flicking his tail in the attempt to remove the clumps of mud that stuck in his fur.

Unfortunately, one quick twitch didn't quite do the trick; though most of it fell away, he could still feel the telltale scratchiness of wet sand embedded in hair. He murmured a quick 'excuse me' to Cloud before taking a moment to run his fingers through the hair, working out as much of the dirt as he could. However, as he was distracted with his personal grooming, he heard a shout coming from further up the beach and looked up just in time to see Kukui hopping his railing and running straight at them, waving his arm like a madman.

"Hey, hey, Cloud, there you are!" By the time he finished his sentence, he was already skidding to a stop in front of them both, digging his heels in the ground and kicking up sand. Johnny had to hand it to him; he'd never seen someone sprint down a beach without seeming the slightest bit encumbered by the drag of the sand.

"Here I am, professor!" she replied, spreading her arms out wide with a laugh playing on her lips.

Kukui returned the laugh, but with only half the enthusiasm. "Yeah, but, hey, listen. Remember we talked about this? You're not s'posed to go running off without telling me!"

Cloud's arms fell to her sides and her smile formed into a pout. "Ohh...I'm sorry, professor..." She turned her head back towards Johnny, who had stayed silent out of politeness, not wanting to interrupt their conversation. Now, however, that he was being dragged into it, he felt embarrassed that he hadn't spoken yet. "It's just, I saw Mr. Johnny, standing out here on the beach, and I wanted to say hello!" She toed at the ground with her bare feet, eyes cast downward like a punished child. "...I'm sorry."

Kukui's typically perked ears drooped and his shoulder sagged, though he still managed to maintain his friendly grin. His behavior wasn't surprising; David Kukui was not the kind of man capable of delivering a proper scolding. In fact, he'd once jokingly told Johnny that it was the reason he and Natalie weren't interested in having kids of their own; that he wouldn't be able to handle the Baby-Doll Eyed adolescent years and would buckle every time his kid was in trouble. He raised his hands in a placating gesture and said, "Whoa, hey, it's alright; you're not in trouble! It's just, I'm sure Johnny is a busy man, y'know? Why don't you head back to the cabin and we'll see him again later, alright?"

She chewed at her lower lip and gave Johnny another sidelong glance before sighing. "Okayyy..." She handed Johnny his fishing pole and bowed her head, then mumbled her goodbyes before trudging back to Kukui's beach shack. Johnny watched her go, not pleased to see her so upset, but not unhappy that Kukui told her to leave. It was for her own good, he reasoned with himself; it wouldn't do to have a woman in her condition wandering around town.

After finding her on the beach the week prior, Kukui had the two of them bring the unconscious woman back to his lab. His original plan was to have Johnny run to find old Hala while he himself would watch over her, but before Johnny could even get halfway to the door, she was awake. Despite Kukui's insistence that she lay down and take a few moments, she was up and about in a matter of minutes, seemingly none the worse for wear. Once it became clear that she wouldn't be listening to Kukui's urging to lie back down, he yielded and instead moved on to asking the obvious questions: Who was she? What had happened to her?

She had simply smiled, laughed, and answered, "I don't know," before turning back to stare wide-eyed at Kukui's Luvdisc tank.

She gave the same answer to whatever questions they could come up with about her. Her name, her family, her past, all of it was nothing but a blank slate. After establishing that this was more than just a simple case of a lost woman, they did end up consulting Hala; he was the closest thing Iki Town had to a governing force. The kahuna had been similarly baffled by the situation, but eventually decided on contacting the Hau'oli Police, on the chance there was a missing person's report for her.

Unfortunately, there was no such luck, though the police chief said he would keep in contact in case one was filed later. Until then, he advised, it would be best to keep a close watchful eye on her so she wouldn't get lost or find herself in harm's way. Kukui had volunteered to let her stay with him, on the reasoning that, if she wasn't as fine as she seemed, he had basic medical training, and that she had already taken a liking to his fish tank.

"Listen, I'm really sorry about her, Johnny." Kukui broke Johnny from his thoughts, a sigh threaded into his tone. "She wanted to head out for a walk; I told her to wait a few while I was downstairs working on some paperwork and...guess I musta lost track of the time!" He laughed, and while it definitely wasn't humorless, it still sounded more tired than a man like Kukui deserved to be.

"No, no, I had already finished up work for the day; it's fine!" And even if it hadn't been, Johnny would've lied for Kukui's sake anyway. Whatever work the professor was up to nowadays was clearly more stressful than anything Johnny had ever known, and he'd never knowingly add to that stress over something as simple as Cloud wandering off again. "Besides, it's not your fault, David; I know how she can be."

That drew a relaxed chuckle out of Kukui, even got a brief wag of the tail from him. "Yeah, you got a point there, cousin; she's a bit of a handful sometimes..."

It was mostly intended as a joke to lighten the mood and take some weight off of Kukui's shoulders, but Johnny'd be a liar if he said there wasn't any truth behind it. She'd only been in Iki Town for a week and already everyone knew all about Cloud and her eccentricities. She had the habit of wandering off, and daydreaming whenever she finally did sit still. Hala had shaken his head and tutted when he saw the trend in her behavior, saying she must've always had her head firmly among the clouds. It was where they'd actually gotten the idea of what to call her for the time being.

"Are you sure you can manage her by yourself?" Johnny asked, and though he had meant it helpfully, it immediately occurred to him that it could be taken the wrong way. "I - I mean, it has only been a week and you've seemed awfully busy lately..." He still wasn't sure just what exactly Kukui was so hard at work on as of late, but figured it was probably something more complicated and important than a fisherman had any right sticking his nose into. "I just wanna be sure you're not overworking yourself."

Kukui, however, would have none of it. He shook his head and waved his hands in front of him, replying, "Ah, nah, don't worry about me! Contrary to what some might have you believe, I am an adult who can handle his own workload." He relaxed his shoulders and gave an easygoing grin, and Johnny almost really believed there was nothing to worry about. Almost. If the concern was evident on his face, Kukui paid it no mind as he continued, "In fact, I'm actually working out the last few snags in my current project; almost got all the paperwork sorted now."

Johnny waited in case there would be any further elaboration on that point. There wasn't, and he didn't push the subject any further. Instead, he smiled, told himself that no one knew Kukui's work better than Kukui himself, and said, "Well, in that case, let me know when you finished; I can invite you over for a celebration dinner. Consider it congratulations for being a responsible adult who handled his workload."

Kukui laughed - a real, genuine laugh, the kind that made Johnny wonder when the last time he had heard Kukui laugh like that - and his tail started going again with a bit more energy. If the telltale signs of evolution weren't there and Johnny didn't know any better, he might think Kukui was still a pup. "Hey, you know I never turn down an offer for free dinner! Are you making grilled fillet or stirfry?"

"I should've known." Johnny shook his head in mock disappointment, smiling fondly. "This whole time I've been concerned about you overworking yourself and the only thing I had to do to pry you out of the lab was invite you to dinner!"

"Yeah, you should've!" Kukui replied, jokingly punching Johnny on his good arm. "How long've you know me now that you haven't realized I'm a sucker for some home cooked seafood?" Then he paused and his smile dropped by a fraction of an inch, scratching his ear pensively. "Though, y'know...Cloud'll probably end up tagging along. 'S only fair. Are you...okay with that?"

"Ah..." Johnny tried not to hesitate too long or come off as rude. "No, no, that's perfectly fine." He waved his hand and shrugged his shoulder to emphasize. "The more, the merrier; I'd be happy to have her over."

Well, maybe happy wasn't quite the right word. No, it wasn't the right word at all. To be fair, Johnny didn't hate Cloud; not by any means. In fact, he wouldn't even go so far as to say he disliked her. She just had the habit of making him uncomfortable, was the thing. Since she had come to Iki Town, she apparently decided that he was her new favorite person. She spoke to him every opportunity she got, and on occasion, the idea that she might be following him crossed his mind. Today was just another instance of her interruptions.

Johnny didn't want to be mean, especially not to a woman who was clearly lost and confused, but...she made him uncomfortable. He didn't like the attention. Some days he thought about saying something, either to her or to Kukui, but he couldn't bring himself to. He would make excuses to justify his silence to himself - that he just couldn't find the right words, that he was overreacting and she wasn't causing any real harm - but he knew the real reason was that he was afraid of the reaction. Would she cry? What would the rest of Iki Town think?

He reminded himself that she wouldn't be around forever; eventually, someone who knew who she was would come looking for her. Eventually, they would hear that she was in Iki Town and come to collect her. Eventually, she would leave. The thought gave him some solace.

Kukui simply shrugged and nodded. "Well, alright." He wouldn't press the issue - one of the reasons why Johnny liked him. "Anyway, I shouldn't leave her alone by herself much longer. Last thing I need is her running off on me again, yeah?"

"Right, I should also head back. I've gotta..." Johnny trailed off, held up his fishing pole, and nodded his head at it, "take my stuff back home."

"Of course." Kukui smiled knowingly before making a big show out of stretching his arms over his head. "We're just a coupla slaves to our work nowadays, eh, Johnny? We need to get together more often." He turned like he was about to walk away, but looked back before taking a step. "That's why I'm holding to that dinner offer; don't you dare hold out on me!"

Just like that, it was like Kukui hadn't been stressed just moments before at all, like flipping a switch. Johnny couldn't imagine how he managed it. Still, he laughed and answered, "Of course not, David. I wouldn't dare." Kukui waved as he jogged back to his shack and Johnny was about to head back to the path leading up the hill back to town, but stopped after taking a few steps. He chanced a glance back, looking up to the sky.

Not a cloud in the sky.
[+] Author's Note
Seems like I'm two for two on plot twists lately. Subject Three is not the protagonist. The mystery woman is not Lillie. (sorry Lillie fans)

This chapter honestly took longer than I would've like to write so I'm really not sure how good it is in comparison to everything else, but I hope it's still acceptable. Also we got to meet Kukui, so that's a plus.
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Huntress Wizard
Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Conqueror of the Cianwood Gym
Joined: April 5th, 2015, 11:58 am

November 3rd, 2017, 2:24 pm #19

ooooh i love that drawing!! johnny's a handsome boi

again with the curveballs, dang. i was really thinking Cloud was Lillie. still not entirely convinced she's not :V

still, i like Cloud. she's a cutie, albeit a bit...creepy. i really feel for Johnny in this chapter. being too nice to tell someone to leave you alone, #littleintrovertthings

i love all the introspection in this chapter! you're doing a good job putting us inside johnny's head, which is awesome. and you have a knack for character introductions. ^^

looking forward to more!
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SeaMaid
Conqueror of the Olivine Gym
Conqueror of the Olivine Gym
Joined: April 7th, 2014, 1:33 pm

November 8th, 2017, 12:18 pm #20

So if Lillie isn't here but Neb- sorry, Cloud - is... does this mean Lillie's still stuck in Aether? oh no D:

Y'see storm clouds and get a storm, that's natural. Y'see storm clouds and get nothing, that ain't right. That's a bad omen, that is, kid. The tapu didn't go an' make those storm clouds for nothin'. well, this isn't ominous foreshadowing at all.
Nor is that book ending of the chapter.

.. No really, I liked the use of "not a cloud in the sky" twice, ties the beginning and then end together nicely.

Oh! Also! Kukui and Johnny's friendship is pretty nice to read about!
CURRENT AVATAR: a drawing of Zizou from Legend of Dark Witch, as drawn by Famimatsu

Music Thread | SoundCloud | Music tumblr

Want a storylocke of a "soul-crushing" hake along with that hobbyist music? This one's gonna come back someday I swear:


I'm also responsible for the one and only HarvestCraft run on these forums if you want a chill experience.
(that one's on semi-official hiatus though, sorry;;)
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