Pokemon Sun and Moon Demo

The demo came out today. I’ve been waiting for it as they show more and more of the features. It looked like a living world that wasn’t just battles and a few side missions like coordinating. Instead of battling to the equivalent of a gym battle, you have to take photos of rare Pokemon hiding all over the cave. When you get past a certain point, you can do a Pokemon catching competition. There will be a contest to see how many millions of Pokemon players can catch shortly after release. This is incredible.

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So I started playing the demo. It’s really limited. You start as a boy named Sun. You get an epic geninja, which I can’t wait to use in the game. You also get to see the first trial. From what I can tell there aren’t any gyms. It’s all trials. Each one seems a unique challenge.

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So I’m excited for the new game. It’s one month away, and I will likely play the demo a lot. A friend asked me today why I liked Pokemon. What made me so giddy about it. I love going out to adventure. In my head I’m not simply running around with some pixelated animals in balls. I’m talking to them, like a writer talks to their characters. I coach them. I think about what it would be like in that world, walking alongside them, going through challenges.

So one month. I just need to wait one more month.

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Not the very best there ever was

I lost to my nephew over the weekend at Pokemon card game. I seriously looked at what he played, and he played it twice, and my brow furrowed, and I thought to myself something I will not type here. But it was vulgar. A kyogre that could heal 30 damage every turn? How do you compete with that monstrosity? Add to it my deck was poorly shuffled. It was just bad.

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I mean, what was I going to do?

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Especially when this was the ace up my sleeve….

When I got home, I responded as any mature adult would respond to getting thrashed by a four year old who still requires me to read his cards for him: I made a new deck with new cards since I can buy these cards on my own and he cannot, and I made sure it would thrash him. Like, the next time we play, abandon all hope, kid. Because…adult.

To say the least, I haven’t learned much about being a good loser from watching the anime. The lessons just aren’t setting in.

I also got him the video game. He is starting with Pearl, and I’m excited for that adventure. I’ll be setting up gyms for him, and I have a friend making badges out of wood, so when he beats me, he can get a gym badge. My plan really is for him to lose once, try to learn how he lost, and then if he actually uses what he learned, he can beat me the second go. Should be a lot of fun.

As for my niece…I need to learn more about Barbie apparently. She loves dolls. I mean, she also enjoys Pokemon, but I am fairly sure that’s her copying her brother. Though she does think diancie is beautiful.

The Mosquito Stratagem

This is a fan fiction based off a game I’m currently playing. The game is Blight of the Immortals. Good fun.

“Sir, it looks like they’re going north. To the Thicket.”

Frog growled, itching his jawls as the trolls marched before him. He let out a heavy sigh and those around him could feel it quake. “Ogre spit.” He picked a piece of pork from his tooth and placed it so he could gnaw more.

“Should we pursue?” Gullet pointed to the burning goblin settlement of Coldbeep. All they would have to do is follow the road there, then go off into the wilderness. They would catch the immortal King of Coins.

The King had been a thorn for the beginning of the campaign. Somehow he was able to grasp every bit of coin within a hundred leagues, and it left the trolls broke. With him sitting in Coldbeep, they had a quick shot at him. He was on the front lines. Retreating to the Thicket meant he was hiding behind the undead army he helped put in place.

“There were goblin bowmen in the Tangle, weren’t there?”

Gullet snorted. “Are we running with our tails between our legs?”

“We have no money?”

“Correct,” he growled.

“There’s an army waiting for us. We’re intimidating, yes?”

Gullet straightened as well as he could under the ton of heft, then beat his chest. His sagging green flesh wobbled, then stilled. “We are damned intimidating, sir.”

“We’ll go get those archers.”

“But we can handle this on our own. We’re more than enough for the thief.”

“We need to conserve until we can get the immortals under control. We will reach Coldbeep, burn the corpses left behind, then enlist those archers, and the King of Coin will die in a volley of arrows.”

“But that’s not the troll way!” He stomped in the fields like a small child, beating his chest. Others rallied with him.

“The troll way worked when we fought men, elves, and dwarves. When we could put them over a spit when we were done and eat them. It worked when our fallen did not get back up. It worked when goblins gnawing at us meant nothing. Now they gnaw us to the bone in seconds.” He slammed a club down and the crowd silenced. “We will again eat man and elf, but it will not be today. It may not be in our life time. But our children will know man flesh, yet they will only know it if we swallow our pride to defeat the blight in front of us.”

Frog snarled as he paced a few moments. “It is the troll way to kill Gullet for insurrection. However, every troll here is needed. Every troll here can succumb to the immortals. And when the immortals get him, maybe not today, maybe not this week, but when they do get him, I will take incredible pleasure in removing his head.”

Gullet skulked off into the crowd, understanding he no longer held honors with Frog. Then Frog said, “We continue to Coldbeep. We then retreat to the Tangle for the archers. I want the King of Coin dead by tomorrow night.”

Exhaustion

I swayed back and forth, unsure what was truth and what was hallucination. I was too tired to discern.

Is that the proper path?

The voice whispered to me, and I squinted sallow eyes. “No.”

Why travel it?

“Because I’m lonely.” I stood back up, brushing sand from me. I huffed and continued forward, leaning so to keep my body going in the direction. Standing straight up would lead me to stopping, dropping to my knees, and passing out. Or weeping. I wasn’t sure which was the bigger need.

Lonely? Even if you are not lonely, the paths you take are stupid. If it is not against My Will, it is simply against better judgment!

A smirk revealed brown teeth. They were not brown from decay, but with my tongue I could feel all the grit building up. I took a sip of water and spat to wash out my mouth. “I will always choose the same option. I will choose it every fucking time. I thank You for all You forced down my throat, but if you do not want me to defy common sense, remove my heart. Remove my soul. Put them aside and consume me with Your Will. Otherwise, just let me make my damned mistakes.”

The village was real. It existed. A small village with a couple dozen families, a few hundred people, and I knew them all by name, and they knew me, and we hated each other. We despised each other. But I couldn’t be happier, because there was a woman who was an exception.

You will be crushed.

“I will be alive.” The people looked at me as if I were mad, and perhaps madness consumed me, but I stood when I finished weeping, the tears cutting a clean trail through my dirty face, and I hobbled towards her hut. My knees ached and my ankles felt as if they would give out. But they kept together, and I stumbled forward until I rapped three times on the door.

The voice of angels replied, “Coming. One moment.”

She opened the door and saw me, and she teared up and brought her hands to her mouth. I laughed, my eyes crescents from bulging cheeks. She remembered, and she looked happy to see me. Until the door shut and I dropped to the floor.

“Please,” I begged, “Let me in. I’m a simple man, and I look only for company.”

Liar.

“I am sorry for my cruelty. You are a good person. I wish to be here for you.”

Deceiver. This brings only pain.

“I can put it aside. I can just be a friend.”

There are not enough cows and goats in all G’desh to create the heaping pile of shit you are spewing, not in five centuries.

He was right. I didn’t care. The door opened, and that was all that mattered to me.

Early in Divinity’s Reach

Kiyo looked over the people in Divinity’s Reach in the early morning. He already went to pray to Lyss, the goddess of chaos, deception, and everything else a thief and assassin would hope for. It was the god of his great great grandfather who first traveled the Eternal Sea to Tyria, and it was remained a family tradition.

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Few others prayed to the gods in the early morning. Grenth’s shrine was dead. Balthazar commanded no great army or worship. Even Lyssa was really only one follower, only one man prostrated in front of her asking for the strength to see through the day. There were priests, of course, but they were bored, forced to be there to tend to the few who actually came in.

The great garden was no better. Those who were meeting for secret dalliances were already gone. By now, Kiyo figured, they were sneaking out of houses they didn’t belong in, trying to get back into beds they were expected to attend. Or kids were attempting to avoid the fate of angered parents, giving one last kiss, one last carefree romp.

All the better, though. It was peaceful in the morning in Divinity’s Reach on Sunday, when no one had to go anywhere, with the centaurs pushed back, with the children safe. There was no threat being hurried to through the Ebonhawke gate. No soldiers coming through without limbs because of charr invasions.

The bell rang, a deep echo throughout the garden. There was more news from the front lines, and as much as Kiyo appreciated the quiet, he would have to go to Lion’s Arch. Despite everything happening to Lion’s Arch, quiet was not a way to describe it. Off Kiyo went to begin his day.

Hand Holding

“Take my hand,” I said, louder than I thought I had, until I saw all the people looking. I reached up for her hand, “Hold my hand, please.” I kept my tone in check, maybe.

She looked down at me, smiling, bright blue eyes and blond hair all glistening in the thousands of snowflake crystals, all of them reflecting the street lamp light. She wore a cute knit cap, which hung limp towards the back. It was pink. And a thick coat. She patted my head. “You’re adorable.” It was a thick mitten. It’s why she couldn’t hold my hand. It had nothing to do with him.

I reached up and touched her hand, but she shook her head, smile never wavering, “I don’t hold hands, Billy. Not even Thomas’s.”

I pouted. What else could a scorned seven year old do? Then I beamed with an idea, “I’ll wash it. Right in front of you. I promise.” Shelly was my babysitter, eighteen years old. “Please. It doesn’t mean anything.”

She laughed, then knelt down. She always knelt down when she had something very important to say, or she felt I had something very important to say. “If it doesn’t mean anything, then you wouldn’t mind not holding my hand.” She kissed my cheek. I cried when mom bathed me that night, washing away her touch. I could feel it the entire night up until then. “I’m too old for you, Billy. But some day you will find a woman, not your babysitter, and you will hold her hand.”

“Promise?” I sulked, looking at her feet. She did what she always did. With her mitt, she touched my chin and lifted so we looked into each other’s eyes. I melted inside.

“I promise. There’s a plan for you, Billy, and you will find a girl your age, and she will appreciate your passion.” She stood up and extended her hand. I took it. “Just tonight. Want to get some pie?” I nodded eagerly and we walked through the snow filled streets.

Cory

When I saw him, looking at the stars, I could have sworn there was a twinkle denoting tears. When he heard me approach, his gaze coming down from the heavens upon me, his quirky smile, with the right lip curling up, appeared instantly. He said, with a note in his voice, “How are you this evening?” With a sniff and a casual rub at his eyes in the late hours, the twinkle was gone, replaced by the blue brilliance everyone knew him by.

“Fine. There are things here and there, but all is well enough.” I looked up at the stars, trying to divine what it was which took his fancy so.

“Loved ones at home always make those trials easier.” The grin mellowed for a moment. Then he lifted his shoulders to get his coat’s collar to reach just a little higher, and he shivered. “It’s cold out.”

“It is.” I looked at him keenly, while he looked this way and that, as was his habit. Then I asked, “You have up a guard, but sometimes it falters. What’s underneath your exterior?”

He nodded. “You go home. You have loved ones to lift you up.” Then he shrugged. “It’s rare someone lifts me up. I don’t have the opportunity of letting the inside out, or it would pour out and I would have no one to help me dam it up again.”

“There has to be something I can do.” This man of inspiration, this man of words, this man of love. There had to be.

“There is, but no one will do it.” His smile returned in full vigor and he began walking. I walked with him.

“I won’t blow you.” I knew his perverted little mind. His base desires and what fulfilled him.

But he laughed, a full belly laugh, until the cold air caught in his lungs and he cough. Then he said, “No, not a blow job. But thank you for thinking of me.” He paused a moment, then said, “Just someone who stays when everyone else leaves.”

He walked up to his place. The lights were still on, but there was only a mess left behind, of empty pizza boxes and empty red cups. Beer cans were scattered and a picture hung crooked. He paused, his back to me, his foot just on the edge of entering his home.

I felt as if this was a moment, that I could have done something, that all I had to do was reach out, or take one step. But before I could, he was past the threshold, said, “Good night,” and the door was shut, the lights were off. I walked back home, to where someone would hold me, and I would try all I could to forget that conversation under the stars.