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11/01/2007: NaNoWriMo

I've started writing my NaNo, the sequel to Scyther's Story. (The working-but-definitely-not-final title is "Scyther's Story II", so if you see me mentioning it, don't think that will actually be the title.) In fact, I just finished the first chapter, which I'll put here for those who are interested. I think it's quite a bit better written than the original Scyther's Story, at least. Note that it is raw NaNo text, however, so don't expect something that feels refined and proofread. It's not.

I

It had been three months since Razor had left.

Stormblade sat under the old oak, absent-mindedly chopping the petals off the nearby flowers while vaguely aware of the whipping sound of Shadowdart’s scythes as he practiced his slashes on the air.

They had been friends for a while – they had first met two years before, when Shadowdart had been only a year-old Descith and Stormblade two years older than him. A duel with Shadowdart had helped him evolve. While they hadn’t talked much the first year, once Shadowdart evolved they had been – on a Scyther’s scale – on fairly friendly terms. But Stormblade had always been closer to one other Scyther, one he had known for a year longer, and it was to him that his thoughts were now wandering.

What, he wondered, was his first friend doing now?

He heard Shadowdart grunt as he swung his scythe powerfully. The blade cut smoothly through the bark of the tree, burying itself in the wood up to the green evolutionary remnants of an arm that formed the blunt edge. The tree shook at the impact. Satisfied, Shadowdart pushed his clawed foot against the tree trunk and jerked his scythe out, sparing a look at Stormblade as he did so.

“What’re you thinking?”

Stormblade sighed, looking over the plains towards the forest of Ruxido. “I miss Razor,” he muttered.

Shadowdart looked at him out of the corner of his eye. “I don’t.” He examined the scythe he had chopped into the tree with, stroked the blade with his other scythe and then swung it experimentally again.

“Look, forget about Razor. I don’t get why you’re so upset.” There was a short pause as he looked at both of his scythes again. “I never liked him, anyway.”

“I did,” Stormblade replied, looking at Shadowdart.

“He was a weakling and a coward,” Shadowdart insisted while practicing a defensive position, looking in the other direction from Stormblade. “He was an insult to everything it means to be a Scyther. He was a Code-breaker. Stop remembering him.”

Stormblade shook his head slowly to himself, beheading a dandelion with a careless swing of his scythe. “She was much stronger and more experienced. He never… he never stood a chance, really.”

“Well, he shouldn’t have challenged her, then, should he?” Shadowdart said coldly, blocking the slash of an imaginary opponent. “And anyway, I don’t give much for her strength either. She didn’t even kill him afterwards.”

Stormblade looked up at him. “I wouldn’t have done it if it had been me fighting him, either,” he said, his voice slightly shaky.

Shadowdart stopped dead and turned his head, giving Stormblade one look of utmost disgust; then, without warning, he flew at him, knocked him backwards, pinned him to the ground in a series of quick moves and pushed his scythe tightly up against the older Scyther’s throat.

“I would,” he whispered, staring straight into Stormblade’s eyes. “Without hesitation, I would. And if you wouldn’t, you don’t deserve to be called a Scyther. I still have respect for you, but only because those were only words, and I will assume in your favor that you merely underestimated yourself. Do you understand me?”

He moved his scythe to allow Stormblade room to speak. “I suppose I did,” he muttered, and Shadowdart stood up, looking away; indeed, he looked in the direction of the Scyther swarm on the plains below, eying them with a distant mixture of determination and despair in the depths of his eyes. Stormblade crawled into a sitting position by the tree again, watching his friend. He sighed.

“I was just wondering where Razor might be right now,” he said quietly.

“It’s pretty easy to guess,” Shadowdart said, his voice filled with contempt. “Either he realized he was a disgrace to his species and killed himself, or he caught up with that female, they screwed, and once the blind lust wore off and they returned to their senses, they killed themselves together – or each other, if you prefer.” He turned to face the older Scyther. “He’s dead, Stormblade! Either he’s dead, or assuming that he’s dead is the best thing you can do for his memory. Forget about him. Live in the present. Let’s have a friendly duel, all right?”

Stormblade made a reluctant sigh of agreement and stood up. Perhaps Shadowdart was right – the sensible part of him fiercely argued this position – but his other side, the side that wondered what the clouds were really made of and that had spontaneously taken a liking to Shadowdart that fateful day when they had dueled, made him feel a stinging ache. He longed to have his friend back, and whether he had broken the Code seemed like an empty, meaningless question.

Then again, the side of him that wondered and formed bonds had never done him a lot of good among the Scyther.

The two mantids positioned themselves opposite one another with some distance between them and both prepared to strike or defend. Most duels between experienced Scyther began with a period of staring during which the duelers tested their focus and strength of will. The weaker would be first to become restless and eventually make the first move, allowing the other to defend and usually gain the upper hand.

Shadowdart ignored all of this and simply dashed straight at Stormblade with his scythes raised.

The older Scyther was caught off guard by the sudden deviation from the traditional procedure of a duel and only quick reflexes saved him from an embarrassingly quick defeat. He managed to meet Shadowdart’s blades with his own before they struck, throwing them to the side. In the moment that Shadowdart was turned, Stormblade quickly raised his scythes again to bring them down towards his opponent’s back, but Shadowdart rolled out of the way, leaping immediately to his feet with practiced skill. He positioned his scythes defensively in front of him, watching Stormblade turn around as he caught his breath.

“You’ve gotten good,” Stormblade commented. “All that training has…”

Shadowdart leapt at him again, swinging his left scythe and aiming towards Stormblade’s midsection. The older Scyther blocked it with his own, but found himself driven down to the ground by the sheer force of the blow. The wind was knocked out of him as he landed on his back, and as he gasped for breath, he felt Shadowdart’s right scythe push up to his throat again.

“You need to do some training yourself,” the young Scyther said, stepping off his friend and former mentor and turning back towards the tree while Stormblade stood up. “You should have leaned more forward to take my last slash. And you should not have talked in the middle of the duel.” He sighed. “You just won’t do, Stormblade. I need a stronger partner to train against. I’ve trained much more than you now. Why don’t you have more friendly duels for practice? I haven’t seen you duel anyone besides me since Razor left. Your skills were always considerable. They could rust in place if you don’t exercise them.”

Shadowdart wiped some grass blades off his dark green armor with his scythe, spent a second aiming and then drove it straight into the narrow rift in the tree trunk he had left before.

Stormblade looked at him, walking up to the tree. “Maybe,” he sighed as he sat down. “I suppose you’re right. You usually are.”

Shadowdart smiled for a moment, looking at the cut in the tree, but then turned around. “Well, I’m going to find somebody who can give me a challenge. I’ll be seeing you around, Stormblade.”

And with those words, he flew down towards the rest of the swarm, leaving Stormblade to sit by the tree, accompanied only by the strewn petals of ruined flowers.
It's 1299 words, and since it's still the first, I'm well on my way towards the minimum daily average of 1667 words. Whoo.

EDIT: …actually, if you want to watch my NaNoWriMo status live (or as live as you can get), just watch this bar, courtesy of Hexxeh. It shows my current word count as entered at the NaNoWriMo website.

http://wrimo.hexxeh.net/?uid=107252&showname=0
Currently editing: Chapter 75

Comments

VanishingRayquaza (11/01/2007 00:00:00)
cool. Its looking pretty good. Is this about scyther or about the remaining group of sycther?
Butterfree (11/01/2007 00:00:00)
It's about Stormblade and Shadowdart after Razor (Scyther) left the swarm, although he will briefly appear later since the story retells ILCOE chapter 29 from Stormblade's point of view.
Phyro Phantom (11/01/2007 00:00:00)
"Note that it is raw NaNo text, however, so don't expect something that feels refined and proofread. It's not."

Actually, it's extremely good considering it hasn't been proofread or revised, yet.

In fact, it's extremely good just how it is. I can't wait to see how it looks after you've fixed it.
KamikoRemu (11/01/2007 00:00:00)
I like the idea, how Shadowdart is all like, not caring, but it shows that Stormblade really cares… Yay. :3
Arcanine Royale (11/01/2007 00:00:00)
Good to see you at least are making headway in NaNo. Love the idea by the way. If it's anything like Scyther's Story, I'll love it.
Charizard Morph (11/01/2007 00:00:00)
WOw its so odd that 2 friends can feel so differently
Hacker42 (11/01/2007 00:00:00)
Umm, not really. Friends aren't necessarily exact clones of each other.
Typhloise (11/01/2007 00:00:00)
I never read the first story. How do I find it? Oh, and this story rocks! Better then most stories I've ever read!
Zora the Terminian (11/01/2007 00:00:00)
Wow, just… Wow. That was absolutely brilliantly written. If you intend on putting the rest of it up, I'd love to see it.
Butterfree (11/01/2007 00:00:00)
Typhloise: It's on this minipage under Spin-Offs. I'm starting to think it was awful now, though. xP

Zora the Terminian: Heh, most of it is downhill from there, actually, as I start to rush it more. But yes, I will eventually put it up.

I'm a bit behind on it now, unfortunately, but I'll try to catch up. The worst part is that right now it's not at all looking like it's going to get to 50,000 words, since I'm almost done with what I had of my plot outline and I'm still only at 17,000 words. :/
Charizard morph (11/01/2007 00:00:00)
O.K. since i dont know how to use the forums im gunna ask here. WHERE THE **** IS THE WRITING GUIDE!!!

sorry about that i really love the whole Quest for the legends it's my favorite pokemon fan fic.
Charizard Morph (11/01/2007 00:00:00)
Again, im really sorry about that^ :(
Butterfree (11/01/2007 00:00:00)
You could have used the guestbook, you know…

The writing guide is down for heavy revision since it was mostly awful.

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