The Legend of Vuis
This story is inspired by the Flash game Legend of Kalevala. Whether you play the game or read the story first, one is bound to somewhat spoil the other, but hopefully they'll both be enjoyable. Personally, I'd recommend playing the game first because that's what I did ;) As always with my stories, feedback is more than welcome!
The first thing I become aware of is the sound of rustling leaves. I'm lying down, snoozing quietly. If I listen, I can make out the sound of a stream trickling somewhere in the distance. There's a soft breeze too, brushing through my fur. Mmm, that's soothing. I haven't felt this relaxed since... uhm... since... I don't remember ever feeling this relaxed. I don't remember... where I was yesterday. My relaxation is shattered by the stabbing realisation that I don't even know how I got here. My eyes open and I jump to my paws, landing with grace despite my worry. My tail swishes a little as I look around. Sure enough, I'm in some kind of wooded area, although not really dense enough to be called a forest. The grass is soft under my pawpads, and that gentle wind, it's as if nature is trying to soothe me again, to distract me from what's important: where am I, and how did I get here? I decide to move; there's nothing of interest here. First thing to do: look around for traces of my own pawprints. Some hint of how I got there... maybe? But there's no trace. I take a few tentative steps and then look back. Heh, no prints. My steps are too delicate to leave bent grass in my wake. Oh well. Might as well just pick a direction and wand- My thought process is interrupted by a sudden rush, the ground shaking as a metal... thing screams through the air, billowing smoke as it descends in the distance, and then another shudder as it crashes somewhere far away. I wince as a spike of pain pierces my mind for a moment. Something is alive inside that metal thing! I just have to find it. Grateful for a direction to guide my wandering, I set towards the smoke trail. As I make my way down a dirt path, I take a moment to look down. My little paws, covered in light green fur, so familiar. Right? But how can it be familiar if I don't even remember... my name? And if I think about it, wasn't I kind of pink before? I shiver as what little memories I do have seem to contradict the basic things I'm seeing. I stop walking, sitting down where I am. My tail curls around me, and I smile at the forked tip. Now that's something I'm familiar with. Oh, but I must have been sleeping on it, it's all messy. I start grooming myself, and find myself relaxing again. I'm definitely green, no denying that. Okay, time to continue searching for that fallen metal thing. I still don't know who or even what I am, but right now it's just not worth worrying about. It's not like answers will just come to me if I stay still, but a gut instinct is telling me that answers are waiting ahead. Right on the other side of this... valley? Two sheer cliff faces would block my way save for the channel between them. Part of me is unsurprised by this bizarre landscape. I remember something... yes, I remember I used to explore this land, and this is far from the first odd structure I've seen. Wait, memories! I smile, as finally a rock-solid memory returns to me. It's an overwhelming relief and it actually takes me a moment to calm myself. It still doesn't tell me anything meaningful, but one memory is bound to be linked to another, like a chain. Now all I have to do is reel it in... and find that metal object. That stab of pain is the only feeling of life I've been able to sense. There's nobody else around. Ah, these thoughts unlocking in my mind. Yes... this valley was forged as water carved through it, but that water's source had long run dry, leaving this thin channel through the rock. That, combined with the strange rock formation, left me in a corridor, which means that... yup. Rounding a bend in the corridor, I come face to face with an ancient building's wall. This is the only way, and I have to get to the other side to find that fallen thing, so... I look at the door. There's a small panel next to it, with some kind of inscription on it. It's dusty though. I brush a paw against it, my pads sweeping away the dirt. Ah! It... It emitted a green light when my paw moved over it, and now a rumble, dust and pebbles falling... Avalanche? No, I'd be stuck! But before I could gather myself enough to flee, the door opens and my first impulse is to run through there, where it would be safe and sheltered from falling rocks. As it turns out, no rocks fell. The shaking was simply the grinding of ancient mechanics opening the door. I giggle softly at my fear, and start to explore the building I've ended up in. I take a few steps in, and- crash -it's dark now. The door has closed, there's no lights. Great, what now? I take a few steps, trying to remember what I could see before the darkness. I shiver just a fraction of a second before bumping into the wall. Like I could sense it. And I'd sensed that life before, maybe I have some innate ESP... I decide to stay still and shift my focus. My eyes are no use, but my other senses... I concentrate, maybe I would be able to hear something. And... yes, I do! Nothing distinct, though, just a distant hum of some kind of machinery, and it doesn't help me navigate. But if I concentrate really hard, I can sense the softest flow of air through the halls of the building as it brushes through my fine fur... yes, with this I can tell which way is open and where the walls are. As I concentrate, I can almost see the walls in spite of the pitch black, and gradually start moving with more and more confidence. Not that I have any idea where I'm headed. But I'm gradually building up a map of this place in my mind, so I can explore properly. I end up going down a few stairs, but I can't tell if that's a good or bad thing in my goal to get to the other side. In fact, right now I don't even know that there's an exit where I'm going, but I can only assume. Finally, I see light. I hurry ahead, is this an exit? Nope, just a light. Some kind of luminous gem set into the wall. It's actually almost dazzling in comparison to the blackness, but my eyes adjust soon enough. Enough to see another light up ahead. I follow that glow and see a third, closer one. My curiosity is spiking as I keep going. The first light is white, the second blue, then a yellow one, a red one, the colours keep changing as I go along. By the time I pass the last of them and round the corner, I find myself filled with excitement! Where could these lights be leading? I could never have been prepared for what I find. It's a giant chamber lit with torches. Stairs lead up, past ornate columns, up to a stunning statue. Eight creatures standing proud in a semicircle around a larger, bipedal being. And on that bigger one there was a ninth creature. I look at each one of them, and I feel a rush of excitement when I see one of the middle creatures: it's me! Or at least, something that looks just like me. Different in some ways, but definitely my kind. I think. This one has a kind of... gem in its head. I lift up a paw and feel... yup, there it is. No idea what it's for, but I have one. In front of each creature, there's a small pedestal. Each one is engraved with what I can only assume are their names. From the leftmost to the right...
シャワーズ サンダース ブースター エーフィ ブラッキー リーフィア グレイシア ニンフィアEach pedestal holds a gemstone. In the same order, they are a sapphire, citrine, ruby, rose quartz, smoky quartz, emerald, topaz and morganite. I briefly wonder how I can identify all of these stones, but that's quickly followed by reassurance. Of course I know these gems, they're so familiar. This whole room, I've undeniably been here before. I turn my attention to the big statue behind them. The bipedal being is supporting the ninth being with one hand, keeping it on its shoulder, while the other hand holds a spherical, teal-coloured apatite. The pedestal for these two bears an inscription too:
トレーナー と イーブイIts gemstone is a shining, flawless diamond. This is all fascinating, but why is it here? And why does it feel so... "Welcome home, Éfie." "Who's there?" is my first reaction, jumping slightly at the unexpected voice. In my surprise, I'd released some kind of energy and now my head gem is glowing with a soft, red light, illuminating the room and revealing... nobody. And why would it? The voice hadn't come from anywhere in the room. It came from my mind. Someone, or something, has awoken in my mind, and... is welcoming me home. I close my eyes, trying to visualise the entity that is speaking to me. At first, it's just an indistinct black creature, but as I try to look closer everything happens very fast. The creature's vivid red eyes open and glare right at me, and yellow rings of light glow on its body. "Don't look at me!" the creature shouts. I squeak in pain as my perception is forced out of my own mind, a very bizarre feeling. Locked out of my subconscious while another is in it, this feels wrong... "Who are you?" I ask, hoping for an answer. "Don't you recognise your brother?" The way he says it, he's clearly not going to give a straight answer. I can figure this out. I look at the statues, and even though I only saw him for a second, I can tell which one he is. But as for his name, just these symbols... Their meaning eludes me at first, but I can feel more memories coming together and it becomes clear: "Bu...ra...ki... Burakki, my... brother...?" "What's happened to you, Éfie? Your mind's so shattered. Broken pieces everywhere, this will take a long time to fix." "Get out of my head, Burakki, or at least let me back in." "You should know better, Éfie. If this were my mind and you were fixing it, you'd keep me out too until you're done." "I don't want you fixing it, it's fixing itself. I don't know what happened, but I'm working on it. Just tell me, how do I get north of this place?" Burakki's voice is silent for a moment, but then the mental map I've been building as I explore floats into my thoughts and starts to complete itself, certain unexplored passages revealing themselves to me before finally revealing the exit I sought. "Thank you. Now, let me back into my mind, and you get out. It's my mind, you have no right being that deep." "Heh, I always liked that about you, Éfie. Determined. Go on then, get going wherever you're going." I feel his presence fade from me, and the seal lift from my thoughts. There are so many things that I want to ask the first sign of life I've actually encountered, but he's claiming to be my brother, I don't know if I can trust that with what little I know. I follow the path he has revealed to me with some caution. My gem is still glowing from the surprise light. I don't know how to stop it, or how long it will last, but at least it lets me see more than I could just sense blindly. To my pleasant surprise, the path that Burakki gave me leads me exactly where I want to go. Maybe my broken memories are making me paranoid. Maybe he can be trusted. Maybe he is my brother. But I want to find that fallen metal thing first. I continue my travels, and as I go I start getting a feeling that I can sense rather more than just where walls are. I can sense life... or rather, the stark absence of it. This is a dead planet. The only sign I can find is whatever is in the wreck. Still alive, but for how long? I have to hurry. I hasten the remaining distance, sprinting as fast as my legs would carry me. I'm led upwards, higher and higher until I finally emerge from this rocky corridor onto a snow-covered plateau. I look around at the wide view I'm given, and... there! The metal thing I had seen is some kind of capsule, and the impact caused it to split and its occupant to be thrown some distance away, but had shuffled back against the capsule for protection from the cold wind. It's very cold here, my soft fur starting to stand on end in an attempt to keep myself warm. The occupant looks strangely familiar. Like I've met it before. And it looks quite similar to the being in the statue back in the cavern. "I knew you'd come," it speaks, looking straight at me. "You... know me?" I ask, approaching with caution. "Of course I do. I didn't expect to still be alive to see you again, but... you're me." I blink once. Universal body language for huh?. The being sighs softly. "You don't remember, do you? Link minds with me, you'll find everything you need to know." I move closer still, wary but insatiably curious. I climb up onto it, and it supports me, as I move to touch heads. My mind is immediately filled with a flood of memories as it all comes back. My name is Guest. I am a Trainer, and I am not from this planet. I travelled with a research team from another world. Our science station is still in orbit, most likely. We came here because, even though this planet should be perfectly capable of supporting life, there were only plants to be found. Archaeological scans revealed ancient buildings, clearly showing that there had been animal life here before, but clearly something had happened and none were left. That's why we were interested. However, none of us came to the surface because we didn't think it would be safe. What if it was something in the atmosphere that had killed them off? But shortly after our arrival, we found an object floating in space. Or, more accurately, it found us. We caught it in a tractor beam before it could smash into our ship, and pulled it in for study. It was some kind of prism, but trapped inside was not light, but data. It took us a few days but, luckily for us, the data was not encrypted in any way. All we had to do was decode it from light into something our systems could understand. What we found was biological information for Éfie, one of this world's Pokémon species. We decided to create our own Éfie. We had the facilities, after all. It took a few months, but the procedure was successful. Now we just needed to give it a mind. That's when I suggested uploading myself into it. Or at least, a copy of me. That too worked perfectly. Before we knew it, we had a recreated Éfie wandering the facility. Something in the data hadn't been entirely correct, making my fur green instead of lavender, but aside from that I had every ability that the data said I should have. Then the voice came. "Éfie! Éfie, you must escape! They're planning to use you!" I didn't know whose voice it was, but I trusted it. After all, the other scientists were seeing me less as one of them and more as a subject. I bolted. Escape. The emergency escape pod, I sealed myself in and launched myself at the planet. The landing was rough. The impact itself was bad, but I bounced out of the broken pod and fell from a cliff. That was why I couldn't remember, I had hit my head very hard, I was lucky to be alive. My other self continues the explanation. "When you left, of course I was very worried about you. I thought one of the scientists had done something to you. To me. When they told me that you had jettisoned yourself, I had to follow. Well, we were wrong about the atmosphere being hostile, but it does a real number on our electrical systems. I lost control and crashed here. Without any guidance, I waited here, knowing that our shared mind would seek itself out and reunite us." "But what now?" I ask. "Are we trapped here...?" "Seems so. But there's that cavern you came through. There must be something to it that can tell us what we came here to find, right?" "You know...?" "A door, once opened, may be passed through in either direction," my other self replies with a smile. Of course. Our psychic link. "There were inscriptions. I recognised some names on the podiums, but there was more writing that I didn't look at." "Let's go see, shall we?" As we make our way back into the cavern, there's an odd feeling in my mind. Everything I saw is undeniably from my memory, but at the same time there's my brother Burakki, from here. That is undeniable too. So, I have to ask the right question. Who is Burakki? The answer to that could certainly answer which of my two conflicting undeniable memories is correct. I reach out with my mind. I don't want my other self to hear. "Burakki... are you there?" "I am, but why is that トレーナー with you? More importantly, how did this one get here? We killed them off, remember?" "Killed them off...?" I repeat, somewhat shocked but at the same time not at all surprised. Argh, these conflicting personalities are wreaking havoc on my sanity! "Yes! They abused us, forcing us to be partnered with whoever they wanted us partnered with. And when they got イーブイ, they would not allow us to grow into what we wanted. They controlled our lives, and so we turned against- why am I even telling you this? You were there, you became the trap!" I remain silent. Burakki already knows that my mind is in bad shape, he should at least try to be helpful. Burakki seems to take a moment to calm himself. "After we eliminated the トレーナー, we wanted to ensure that other-world トレーナー could not cause us trouble either. Since there were only a few of us left, we confined ourselves to the gemstones, where we could be together in spirit but undetectable to anything else. Meanwhile, you volunteered to go up into space, to get the interest of any visitors and stop them before they could get here. Now, you're here, with a トレーナー, leading it right to the gemstones you're supposed to be protecting!" "Wow," my other self says as he enters the big room, and starts climbing the stairs. "Éfie, this place is even more impressive than what I saw in your mind." I have to agree. The gemstones are glowing softly. They weren't doing that when I left. All of them... except my rose quartz. That one remained dark. "Don't let it near! Protect us!" "Burakki, I can't do that. This トレーナー is me. Or I'm the トレーナー. I don't know. But I can't attack. I'm sorry..." "It's going for the apatite, no!" "Hey, Éfie... are you all right?" Other me has stopped just a little short, looking at me with concern. I give a smile. "I'm fine. Just... well, this place seems to have a connection to what I was before the prism. Memories are surfacing from deep inside me." I can hear Burakki crying out in my mind, objecting, trying to nudge me into attacking. I can't accept that. I translate the inscription around the base of the large statue out loud. "Together we seal ourselves away. We may never again see the light of day. All we wanted was a single Trainer, who respected our freedom without let or hinder." I can't help but wince a little as the translation messes up the rhyme, but whatever. It's close enough. "It goes on to say that the stone in the Trainer's hand will release the seal when it feels the touch of another Trainer." "What are you doing! The トレーナー will destroy us!" "No. You said you are my brother. But I am this トレーナー. If I can be that and you still considered me your sibling while you explored my mind, then everything will be fine." I can feel him fight against me, his smoky quartz stone shuddering on its pedestal with the strength of his emotion, but I give a nod to my other self and my other self returns it, reaching up to touch the apatite. At the touch, the room is filled with a blinding light... It has been several years. Our ブイズ family has grown, as we're able to choose our partners and live in the freedom we craved. Burakki sits next to me, leaning against me. After an awkward silence, he mumbles. "I'm sorry." I blink in surprise. "This is the first time you've talked to me since it happened." "I know... I'm sorry. I should have trusted my sibling. You were right, and I tried to take over your mind just to object. That was wrong of me. This Trainer is the kind of Trainer we dreamed of. And to be honest, life in that gemstone was kinda boring. I mean, it was comfortable, but just so dull. I'm glad to be out of there, and I'm happy for our current situation." I give a nod, and smile at him. "Well, now we can enjoy our ideal world. And no more bending the truth, got it?" He chuckles. "Got it. Thanks, Éfie, for everything. All of this, it's thanks to you."
Okay, let’s do a little review of this shall we? First of all you should certainly heed the warning given with this fan-fiction. Not having played the game I gave it a shot – if only for a little while – and noted many similarities. Does that spoil the story? Hell no, you need to read this! Now let’s get down to business. The first hand writing style is something to be desired here. Not only is it well written but Niet seems to have the uncanny skill and the uncapped imagination to actually put himself into the place of the protagonist. The narrator/protagonist has a rather uplifting attitude, granted at the start some of it is left for the reader to decide just who or what the main protagonist is. Either the gender of the protagonist is left for the reader to decide. For the sake of my sanity I went with male. The descriptions of the surroundings paint a pleasant picture. The reader doesn’t have to work much in order to create a picture in their heads on just where the protag is. Granted it’s good to let the reader imagine some surroundings on their own, Niet has created a very nice balance here where you don’t have to strain too much! All the hard work is done for you! Horray! As the story goes on you end up learning so much more about our narrator here. Of course I don’t want to spoil but there are lots of ‘dun dun dun’ moments or things popping out that you just wouldn’t expect. Niet has a good plot and he’s using it well, you don’t see that a lot in fan fictions these days and especially not in short stories. The ending, oh boy! The ending seals the deal. Just like before I’m not going to spoil it. You need to read this yourself in order to appreciate it. I wish I could write more but words are lacking! All in all this is a 9/10 fan-fiction. It’s well written and entertaining and it certainly isn’t lacking in the whole drama and plot twist department. The only thing I’d improve is the ending itself, have it be longer have the readers have more of a chance to view the end result of our protag’s actions and choices. Either way this is certainly worth a follow up story. Woot, Trainer Constantine.
Well, you said you wanted feedback, so I'm gonna try. As a disclaimer, though, my mother is a published author and I'm an editor-in-training. Just so you know I'm actually speaking from experience, of a sort. Anyway, curiosity brought me here, and it totally didn't keep me. After the first three paragraphs, I wanted to give up and go back to clicking. The same feeling greeted me again when I got through the next four or five paragraphs. Whether this is a reflection of your writing or due to the plot of the game (which I didn't play), I don't know. That's for you to decide. Technically, this is a good bit of writing; I didn't see any spelling errors (not that spellchecker is any proof of quality writing :P), but there were a fair few little grammatical niggles. There was at least one instance of repeated words within the sentence ('revealed' and 'revealing' in the same sentence), and I lost track of how many times the fur was described as 'soft'. Ultimately, it only took one description near the beginning. Maybe another bit later on to refresh, but shooting adjectives at the fur every other sentence was pretty distracting. There's another bit near the beginning with one colon (which you should never use in fictional prose) and two semi-colons right next to eachother, too, but to be honest that stuff is just technical. As far as the content goes, I'm not sure how much I can judge for plot. I didn't play the game, so I don't know how much you made up and how much was in the original, but either way, I'll just say what I think. It's an interesting concept. But it was a bland one, in all honesty. There was very little in the way of substance - perhaps simply because it's a 'oneshot', so it doesn't have lots of time to expand on characters and the like. I was more irritated with Éfie than anything else, because his train of thought was repetitive and some of his thought process didn't necessarily make sense. You could probably explain away the latter with the psychic connection, though. The use of Japanese felt extremely tacky. I know Pokemon originates in Japan, but in a sense it felt out-of-place in regards to the actual story or world. Towards the end, when many a word was written in kanji (?), it was distracting and irritating because I didn't want to bother opening up Google translate to figure out what was being said. You could say that's laziness on my part, but most readers of anything don't want to have to stop their immersion to 'google it'. 'Burakki' isn't a great name either, because it's just a transliterated version of 'black' (basically), so that really got on my nerves. Still, that's mostly personal opinion. Constantine comments on the descriptions of the surrounds and that 'the reader doesn’t have to work much in order to create a picture in their heads on just where the protag is', but I highly disagree. The first paragraph (as a side note, way too many separate paragraphs in this story!) is a decent enough description, but the rest is highly lacking. I want to know that the cave/temple/whatever smells of damp, that moss climbs up the walls and that the stones chip and crack in places. I want to know that it's cold here, that Éfie feels nervous in the dark, that his eyes have to adjust and that he has to be careful where he steps. I had to build the entire environment past the first paragraph in my own mind because there wasn't enough description. Using the name thing in there is always disorientating, and it's also irritating in the context of the story. I don't want my (clearly not a name you'd give to a child) username suddenly popping up to explain away the trainer. Anything would have been better, even if you just gave them a generic unisex name like Sam. :P I wouldn't say there was really any kind of plot twist or drama, in all honesty. Again, that's possibly more the fault of the original game than of you, and I get that it's hard to write a deeply involved story in a oneshot, but it did leave me feeling hollow. Perhaps you do need to play the game to get the full sense of enjoyment out of it - personally, if this is based heavily on the original game, it's not really making me want to play it. :P I'm not a fan of first-person-present-tense works anyway, because I generally think it's sort of a lazy way to type, but this was just irksome in places. I was always told by my teacher not to write conversationally, even in first person, and while I do disagree to an extent, I think there's a bit too much 'yup, hm, dotdotdot, yes, ah, er, yup' in narrative. There was somewhere I was pretty sure that it actually temporarily changed to past-tense rather than present-tense too, but I forgot where that was. All in all, it's not terrible. It was engaging enough to get me to the end anyway, but that could just be because I was determined by that point to give an honest critique. Sort of surprised you don't appear to get many reviews, but there we go. Aaaand now I return to my little corner of the interwebz. EDIT: Because I forgot a couple of things... First off I should say that you're more than welcome to PM me with questions or whatever. I'm always happy to discuss this sort of thing. Second I forgot to write that I also think the ending was pretty rushed. I was confused at first and wasn't sure that that was the actual ending, it just seemed sort of out-of-the-blue and vague. But y'know.
I really love how the thing is customized on the username thing. :D
"My name is Glaceonsforever." flips out thisisthebestfanficintheworld EDIT: Oh wait Is it customized depending on what your username is- I rip me Edit 2: Ok I should think of some actual feedback now
WTF My username is exactly the same as mentioned in one of those memory things... Edit:Wait its your username customized? Oh...
ok um is efie a shiny espeon? and burraki is a umbreon? AND WHY IS THE TRAINER ME?
Reading...reading... My name is iRubyFlames. I... Losses it
My Feedback: For some reason when I read Space Station I just started imagining everything in like a lab thing. I like the freedom you give for us to play around with and think about, but, while reading it, I had trouble trying to guess who/what the other guy was. A brother with a shiny espeon as the protag. As for the japanese, I agree with that editor broskidad, whoever he/she was. For people that are still learning or don't currently care about Japanese stuff outside their art and beautiful folktales, we can't read it. Some of us don't even know what it's supposed to mean or be. It wasn't bad at all, don't get me wrong. Just build a more solid line of description and if you do decide to use foreign language keep a key or something somewhere so we know what the dealio is. (And, like him/her, I never played the game so hhhh)
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