I'll be posting the prologue in this thread for now, but knowing I won't have time to work on it for a little while (spread out thin across several projects), I'd just like to see the general reception at the moment. Tips, opinions, or even critiques are welcome. When I post the official thread, story information and the like will be included. Rising Darkness Prologue: Shades of Dusk Moonlight danced across the dark waters of Ilex Forest, a gentle spring breeze rustling the towering pines and foliage. The occasional bursts of chatter drifted from the nocturnal inhabitants, the lush viridian turf omitting a slight shudder when clawed paws dropped onto the ground. Small gouges appeared in the thick grass as it straightened — the tough amber scales of the bipedal Dragon visible under the pale light. “… I shall return in just a bit …” the undersized Dragonite said calmly as a cloaked figure slid from his back, booted feet landing silently in a kneeling position as his telepathic voice resonating in the being’s mind. The almost child sized figure quickly pulled itself up, though was clearly several hands shorter than its Pokémon companion. “Alright … Come back safely, Freyr,” a feminine voice whispered, barely drifting before being silenced by the shaded tree cover. He nodded in return, his eyes moving to the star speckled night sky. She moved back several steps when the amber dragon flexed his already weary wings, making sure to allow a clear path for him. Harsh wind rustled the midnight blue folds of her cloak when Freyr set back and launched into flight, steadily sending her garb flowing behind her before the forced air faded as quickly as it has been dispersed. Head bowed as she walked, the ever shifting shadows of the hood continued to obscure the wearer’s face with each step. A clearly audible sigh drifted through the cool dusk air, the young woman absentmindedly ducking under a low branch. Underbrush rustled gently as a small violet and beige Rattata scurried past her, although she barely seemed to notice. There was much left to do, if anything was to remain. The longer things took the steeper the stakes grew. Something they could not risk. Not what with the ever expanding tyranny that lay claim to Johto. Leaves continued to tug at the cloaked figure with every movement before a couple of thick brambles above finally succeeding in removing the hood; momentarily distracting her as long umber tresses slid out of it, falling in a single wave halfway down her back. The brunette’s pale cerulean gaze trailed along the sparse path as she paused, cocking her head slightly. Fallen twigs cracked through the night, causing her to stiffen slightly. Unmarked trails usually meant no unexpected company. The brunette’s measured pace immediately quickened, wary. Celestial light of the full moon occasionally peeked through the thick blanket of pines, briefly lighting her path in small blotches. A low growl suddenly rolled through the trees, tinged with rage. It seemed another had found her scent. Already edged calm was slowly beginning to fray between lack of sleep and knowledge of the consequences. Being connected to the group of supposed rebels meant defiance had a much higher price— yet it would be well worth it in the end if they could managed the feat of overthrowing the Rockets. If, however, was the key word. Cool water splashed around her boots as she moved through a deep puddle, darkening the hem of the brunette’s cloak as moisture steadily crept up it. A slight smile touched her lips, knowing it’d be that much more difficult to track her from even a just out of sight distance. The towering pines aided her trek more than they hindered it, especially in evasion. She quickly launched off of the patch of large roots as soon as her boots touched them, only half catching her balance from the half-tilted jump. A sharp yelp suddenly cut through the air, another gust of wind carrying it even through the thick tree cover. Freyr. The young woman broke into a jog, letting out a high-pitched and wavering whistle as a small clearing came into sight. Thick grass waved around her ankles as if trying to slow her stride. A familiar slender shadow briefly slid over the moon before vanishing with the wind, only to whip back around. The abrupt gust pulled at the figure’s loose garments and unbound tresses as the undersized dragon neared. His tawny scales glistened slightly under the moonlight, this time managing to land lightly on the dark turf. Crystal blue eyes stared down into the petite human’s ones, before nodding. “The southern area of Goldenrod has slackened in their patrols. We should be able to enter without causing a commotion, Serenity,” Freyr murmured, shifting his weight wearily. The curved ivory fang that hung from the dragon’s throat swayed with his movements, glinting. Although he stood several hands over her, his muscular frame was tinged with utter exhaustion. “All right, that’s at least a start. Thank you, Freyr.” Serenity returned, gratefully nodding to her companion. A small sigh escaped her lips, gently touching his arm in silent apology for his lack of sleep. “… You should rest. I’ll be fine on my own,” she said softly, maximizing a cobalt and white glazed Pokéball as her bare arm emerged from the cloak. The smooth sphere gleamed under the natural light, its contrasting coloration almost eye catching. “You’re certain of this?” Freyr asked dubiously, tilting his head in amusement at his long-time trainer. “After all, you know they are not to be taken lightly,” he added quietly, referring to the black-clad humans that had begun staking claims. Thinly veiled disgust at remembrance of their last encounter with one flitted through his eyes. Serenity nodded, sighing. “While I appreciate your concern, neither of us has rested adequately in several days. You should while you can,” she said, glancing up at the full moon. The pale celestial sphere, unfortunately, made their presence more noticeable—as well as strengthened the Pokémon whom held reign over the night. “Fair enough reasoning. Just be careful,” Freyr cautioned gently, a thin beam of red light enveloping his frame. The elegant Dragon-type vanished within his Pokéball when Serenity lowered it, absentmindedly minimizing it. “I will be,” she whispered to the night, hooking it to her belt as she continued. Yellowish light from the gatehouse’s wide windows fell across the barely waving turf, seemingly darkening the area around it and shrouding it in murky shadows as it snuffed the bits of natural light. The young woman moved into a brisk walk before disappearing into the sea of trees once more. Her fingers curling around a short metal tube as she walked, hollow steel quickly growing warm to her touch. If she didn’t deliver the Kanto-based Resistance soon, then it wasn’t likely Johto would be able to overthrow Giovanni’s ever growing rule.