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About Literature / Hobbyist Premium Member William A. RendfeldMale/United States Groups :iconmy-little-role-play: My-Little-Role-Play
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Deviant for 9 Years
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Behold, the most recent things I have unleashed upon the world!

Yeah, I wouldn't be impressed either.



Potiential Back for U.T.P by Tammi-sempai

Well, now things are getting interesting! Once more, a very well laid-out page, with nice, clear text (save for your URL - a darker pin...

Potiential Cover for U.T.P by Tammi-sempai

I'll say this much, the piece definitely caught my attention with little trouble. Of course, my attention is easily caught by women, so...



Another movie year, more movie toys. I expect I'll be buying even less for this line than I did for DOTM, but we'll see, eh?

Age of Extinction Deluxe Class (7 of 7)
Crosshairs (purchased, shelved)
Slug (purchased, shelved)
Scorn (purchased, shelved)
Slash (purchased, shelved)
Strafe (purchased, shelved)
Snarl (purchased, shelved)
Hot Shot (purchased, shelved)

Age of Extinction Voyager Class
Slog (purchased, shelved)

List Started 2/26/2014
Updated on May 17, 2014 - Crosshairs, Slug and Scorn were purchased on Monday night and arrived in the mail this morning. Slash and Strafe were also preordered. Added Snarl and Slog.
Updated on June 14, 2014 - Slash and Strafe arrived in the mail today.
Updated on June 21, 2014 - Added Hot Shot.
Updated on September 3, 2014 - HTS had a preorder up for Slog, so he's preordered.
Updated on September 15, 2014 - Slog arrived in the mail today. Might drop Hot Shot.
Updated on December 3, 2014 - Preordered Snarl and Hot Shot last week off HTS.
Updated on December 19, 2014 - Snarl and Hot Shot arrived in the mail either this week or last. I'm done with AoE!
  • Mood: Tired
Wow, it's been a while since I've done one of these, isn't it? Anyway, folks who've been following the news out of SDCC know there's new Transformers figures on the horizon. This is just my little way of keeping track. Not so much with this list as past ones, mind, but hey, that's not a bad thing.

Transformers Generations 2012 Legends Class (6/7 of 7)
Rewind and Sundor (purchased, shelved)
Eject and Ramhorn (purchased, shelved)
Swerve w/ Flanker (purchased, shelved)
Cosmos w/ Payload (purchased, shelved)
Tailgate w/ Groundpounder (purchased, shelved)
Skrapnel w/ Reflector (purchased, shelved)
Bombshell (preordered)

Transformers Generations 2012 Deluxe Class (25 of 25)
Vortex (purchased, shelved)
Blast Off (purchased, shelved)
Kickback (purchased, shelved)
Impactor (purchased, shelved)
Roadbuster (purchased, shelved)
Whirl x2 (purchased, shelved - set aside for kitbash)
Topspin x2 (purchased, shelved - set aside for kitbash)
Twintwist (purchased, shelved)
Trailcutter/Trailbreaker (purchased, shelved)
Goldfire/Goldbug (purchased, shelved)
Dreadwing (purchased, shelved)
Skids (purchased, shelved)
Waspinator (purchased, shelved)
Scoop w/ Tracer & Holepunch (purchased, shelved)
Armada Starscream (purchased, shelved)
Mini-Con Assault Team (purchased, shelved)
Crosscut (purchased, shelved)
Rattrap (purchased, shelved)
Tankor (purchased, shelved)
Windblade (purchased, shelved)
Jhiaxus (purchased, shelved)
Arcee (purchased, shelved)
Chromia (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Generations 2012 Voyager Class (10 of 10)
Blaster w/ Steeljaw (purchased, shelved)
Springer (purchased, shelved)
Blitzwing (purchased, shelved)
Sandstorm (purchased, shelved)
Doubledealer (purchased, shelved)
Rhinox (purchased, shelved)
Whirl (purchased, shelved)
Roadbuster (purchased, shelved)
Sky-Byte (purchased, shelved)
Brainstorm (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Generations 2012 Leader Class (1 of 2)
Jetfire (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Generations 2012 Titan Class
Metroplex (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Generations Platinum Edition
Omega Supreme (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Generations(?) Protectobots Emergency Response Set

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Legends Class (5 of 5)
Twinstrike (purchased, shelved)
Hun-Gurrr (purchased, shelved)
Blight (purchased, shelved)
Rippersnapper (purchased, shelved)
Windrazor (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Prime Deluxe Class
Airachnid (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Class (5 of 5)
Lazerback (purchased, shelved)
Ripclaw (purchased, shelved)
Skystalker (purchased, shelved)
Vertebreak (purchased, shelved)
Skylynx (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Prime Voyager Class
Thundertron (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Voyager Class (3 of 3)
Predaking (purchased, shelved)
Grimwing w/ Blackbeak (purchased, shelved)
Darksteel (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Ultimate Class
Beast Fire Predaking (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Generations Toys'R'Us Exclusive Scout Class (2 of 2)
Sandstorm (purchased, shelved)
Brawl/Roughstuff (purchased, shelved)

Transformers Generations Toys'R'Us Exclusive Voyager Class
Powerdive (purchased, shelved)

List Started on July 13, 2012
Edit #1 on October 9, 2012 - Added Kickback and Brawl.
Edit #2 on October 18, 2012 - Updated status on Sandstorm and Brawl.
Edit #3 on October 31, 2012 - Updated status on Blast Off and Vortex.
Edit #4 on November 8, 2012 - Updated status on Powerdive, albeit a day late.
Edit #5 on November 21, 2012 - Added Airachnid. Impulse buy, cheaper than retail, couldn't help myself.
Edit #6 on December 1, 2012 - Updated status on Thundertron. Lucked out and found him at Target. :D
Edit #7 on December 30, 2012 - Added several entries. Lots more guys to come in the new year.
Edit #8 on January 6, 2013 - Updated status on Kickback.
Edit #9 on February 16, 2013 - Updated status on Predaking. Legends are on their way in the mail.
Edit #10 on February 22, 2013 - Updated status on the Legends. They're here! :D
Edit #11 on February 24, 2013 - Updated status on Blaster w/ Steeljaw, added Springer, Blitzwing, Metroplex, and Platinum Omega Supreme.
Edit #12 on March 15, 2013 - Updated status on Omega Supreme. He arrived today!
Edit #13 on March 23, 2013 - Updated status on Ripclaw, added Skystalker and Vertebreak.
Edit #14 on May 8, 2013 - Updated status on Springer and Blitzwing. Yay BBTS!
Edit #15 on May 11, 2013 - Added Sandstorm.
Edit #16 on May 19, 2013 - Added a whole bunch of guys, many of whom I have on preorder.
Edit #17 on May 25, 2013 - Updated status on the remaining Prime Cyberverse figures.
Edit #18 on June 1, 2013 - Added Sky Lynx, updated status on the Prime Cyberverse figures. Egads I'm glad this list is so sparse.
Edit #19 on June 7, 2013 - Updated status on a few guys, put in more preorders. Now I just need to work up the nerve to get Skystalker off HTS.
Edit #20 on June 16, 2013 - Updated status on Skystalker. Went ahead and ordered him and some GIJoe stuff off HTS.
Edit #21 on June 22, 2013 - Updated status on Skystalker and the FoC Wreckers.
Edit #22 on June 26, 2013 - Updated status on the FoC Wreckers. Now to wait for the rest of my preorders...
Edit #23 on June 29, 2013 - Added a mess of newly announced figures.
Edit #24 on June 30, 2013 - Updated status on Grimwing. Gonna work on cancelling my preorders.
Edit #25 on July 12, 2013 - Updated status on Sandstorm. Not going to cancel the preorders - going to wait for them to arrive.
Edit #26 on August 3, 2013 - Updated status on Trailbreaker/Trailcutter, Darksteel. Skylynx and the preorders continue to elude me.
Edit #27 on August 5, 2013 - Updated status on Metroplex. No way in hell I'm getting the SDCC version, and I had a discount code, so I went ahead and got the retail version from HTS.
Edit #28 on August 8, 2013 - Updated status on Metroplex. He's arrived, but not yet out of his box.
Edit #29 on August 10, 2013 - Updated status on Whirl, Trailcutter, Grimwing, Skylynx. Three of the preorders arrived in the mail - I took Trailcutter and Grimwing for refunds, and found Skylynx during the trip.
Edit #30 on August 14, 2013 - Updated status on Topspin. Got another preorder, and now have everything I need (aside from maybe paint and brushes) for my kitbash!
Edit #31 on September 10, 2013 - Updated status on Vertebreak. Bought him on HTS last week; he arrived in the mail today! :D
Edit #32 on September 25, 2013 - Updated status on Goldfire, Skids, Waspinator, Doubledealer, Rhinox. More preorders placed today; hopefully, they won't pop up in stores before December.
Edit #33 on December 13, 2013 - Updated status on Doubledealer, Rhinox, Scoop, Armada Starscream, and Sandstorm, added Mini-Con Team. Got a refund on Sandstorm, placed more preorders.
Edit #34 on December 14, 2013 - Added Beast Fire Predaking. Got him on impulse a while ago, apologies for not adding him.
Edit #35 on December 17, 2013 - Updated status on Goldfire, Skids and Waspinator. They're shipping along with a Dreadwing, and I'm debating whether or not to keep him.
Edit #36 on December 21, 2013 - Updated status on Goldfire, Skids and Waspinator. They arrived a couple days ago.
Edit #37 on January 21, 2014 - Decided to keep Dreadwing. Should have the next batch of Deluxes in a couple weeks - anyone want FoC Skywarp?
Edit #38 on January 24, 2014 - Next wave of Deluxes arrived from BBTS. Again, anyone want FoC Skywarp?
Edit #39 on February 6, 2014 - Updated status on Whirl, added Crosscut, Rattrap, Tankor. Yay for BBTS and HTS!
Edit #40 on February 9, 2014 - Added Jetfire. Saw the leaked photos, fell in love, he shall be mine.
Edit #41 on February 14, 2014 - Added Windblade, updated status on Whirl. She's got official toy photos, he's arrived at my house! Together, THEY FIGHT CRIME! :D
Edit #42 on February 15, 2014 - Added Roadbuster and Sky-Byte, changed Sharpshot to Skrapnel. Seeing some interesting guys to come for Age of Extinction, but they'll be a separate journal.
Edit #43 on March 24, 2014 - Added Jhiaxus, updated status on the rest of the Legends. Had 'em preordered for a while.
Edit #44 on May 17, 2014 - Updated status on Crosscut, Roadbuster and Sky-Byte.
Edit #45 on May 19, 2014 - Added Swerve, updated status on Cosmos. Got impatient with BBTS, bought 'em both on eBay.
Edit #46 on May 23, 2014 - Updated status on Tailgate and Skrapnel. They're on their way from BBTS!
Edit #47 on May 27, 2014 - Updated status on Tailgate and Skrapnel. Still waiting on Swerve and Cosmos...lousy lack of updates...
Edit #48 on June 5, 2014 - Updated status on Rattrap and Tankor. Still no joy about Swerve and Cosmos, but hopefully, I'll have word soon. Worst case scenario, I hit eBay again.
Edit #49 on June 12, 2014 - Updated status on Swerve, Cosmos, Crosscut, Windblade and Jhiaxus. The latter two have arrived - got a refund for the first purchase, bought a second set off eBay that made it today - and the remaining three are preordered off BBTS.
Edit #50 on June 21, 2014 - Added Arcee, Chromia, Brainstorm, Leader Megatron and Armada Megatron. Gotta love BotCon news, but I'm looking forward to pictures.
Edit #51 on June 21, 2014 - Added Bombshell, removed Armada Megatron. I don't want to get two guys with the same mold, and the G1 Leader Megatron is enough for me.
Edit #52 on July 11, 2014 - Updated status on Jetfire. He's preordered!
Edit #53 on August 9, 2014 - Updated status on Roadbuster and Sky-Byte. Found 'em at a Target, cancelled the preorders.
Edit #54 on August 16, 2014 - Updated status on Arcee, Chromia, and Brainstorm. BBTS has preorders up.
Edit #55 on September 3, 2014 - Cancelled the BBTS preorders on the next wave of Deluxes, preordered at HTS instead. No offense, but I've no interest in getting Nightbeat.
Edit #56 on September 13, 2014 - Updated status on Crosscut and Jhiaxus.
Edit #57 on September 15, 2014 - Updated status on Windblade.
Edit #58 on September 24, 2014 - Added the Protectobot Emergency Response Team. You want 'em? Go to!
Edit #59 on October 3, 2014 - Updated status on Jetfire. Amazon shipped him plus some Doctor Who DVDs out earlier this week.
Edit #60 on November 25, 2014 - Cancelled the BBTS preorder on Brainstorm, preordered at HTS instead. He's cheaper there.
Edit #61 on December 3, 2014 - Updated status on Brainstorm. He's here!
Edit #62 on December 19, 2014 - Updated status on Bombshell, Arcee, Chromia. Bombshell's preordered at BBTS and on his way, while the latter two are here! Expect more updates soon! 
  • Mood: Optimism
I'm doing a serious edit to one of my MLP stories. Specifically, "A Light in the Dark".

Why am I doing this? Mostly, it's because of a comment made about it on It didn't say the story was bad, but it got me to thinking that the story itself, as well as I and Sunrunner, were both dancing around an issue without confronting it directly. So the edited version is going to be a bit more direct about it.

Both versions will be available here, while the edited version will replace the original on fimfiction as soon as it's written, which will hopefully be Sunday and definitely be before the end of the year. Fingers crossed.

And speaking of pony-fics? I'm strongly considering doing a version of the Holiday Special that came out today. Something about it just rubbed me wrong, and I want to correct that if possible.
  • Mood: Tired
Another Bug War

  The trip from Kurt’s home to the Azalea Town Gym was short, almost too short for Alex to go over the match in her head and figure out how things would go. She wasn’t too worried given the homework she’d done, after all, but it helped her to run through scenarios in her head based on what little she knew. What little advantages she could get were better than none, after all.

  “So, you ready to go?”

  “As ready as I can be at this point.” She took a deep breath as they stepped inside. “I just didn’t expect to have to deal with three opponents today.”

  Nicholas took on a nervous expression. “Yeah, sorry about that.”

  A grin, and Alex elbowed her boyfriend affectionately as they found themselves inside of what was effectively a large greenhouse. “Nick, I told you, I don’t mind someone having a schoolgirl crush on you. But that’s just one of many reasons why romance is less complicated than Pokémon battles. An equally worthy pursuit, mind, but…” She went silent as a Beautifly hovered over towards them and gently landed upon her head, prompting her to smile happily. “Aww.”

  “I’m starting to think Bug-types just really like you.” He grinned and noted, “Not to say they don’t have good taste, but I’d get worried if a Pinsir wanted to give you a hug.”

  “Actually, Pinsir aren’t known for being particularly affectionate.” The two turned to find themselves looking at a young man, younger than either of them, with lavender hair and eyes and dressed up as if he were about to go on a camping trip. “Not to say that they can’t be friendly, but most prefer to keep their distance around humans. Are the two of you here to challenge the Gym?”

  “Just me.” Alex waved and guessed, “You must be Bugsy.”

  The boy nodded and smiled. “Friendly with bugs and smart. That’s already earning you some points in my book, but don’t expect me to go easy on you.”

  Alex smiled as the Beautifly upon her head took off and went on its way. “Not in my wildest dreams.”


  “This is an official Gym battle!” Both Alex and Bugsy had taken their places on the field, a gym assistant serving as referee with flags in hand. “The challenger, Alex Masters, will battle the Gym Leader, Bugsy, in a three-on-three match! Victory will earn the challenger a Hive Badge! Only the challenger can substitute one Pokémon for another during the match, and there’s no time limit! Let the match begin!”

  “I hope you’re ready Alex, because Bug-types are a lot craftier than they look! Let’s go, Ariados!”

  As Bugsy’s first selection appeared, Alex smiled and readied her first choice. “That’s okay, so are we! Have a bite, Snapdragon!” Her Vibrava took her place on the field, and the battle started in earnest.

  “Ariados, Psychic!”

  “Snapdragon, Earth Power!”

  Snapdragon’s attack was the first to strike, causing the ground beneath Ariados to shake and crumble, vents of steam bursting up in the process. Her opponent, however, managed to land her attack, even though it wasn’t nearly as effective as her own. She shook her head, dazed but ready to continue.

  “Another Psychic, Ariados!”

  “Snapdragon, Dragon Breath!”

  Once more, Snapdragon struck first, purple flames spewing from her maw and bombarding her opponent. Terribly weakened by the last attack, however, Ariados fell in defeat.

  Bugsy recalled his first Pokémon, and from the sidelines, Nicholas managed a satisfied smile. Alex had been preparing for this battle for a while, after all, and he doubted she’d lose. Still, life had its way of surprising him.

  “Okay, I’ll admit, you’ve gotten off to a good start, but let’s see your Vibrava try that on my next Pokémon! Shedinja, go!” Bugsy’s next selection appeared on the field, serenely hovering in place and staring at its opponent, seemingly daring Snapdragon to attack with its undead gaze. “Shadow Sneak!”

  “Snapdragon, Crunch!”

  Once more, Snapdragon’s attack struck first, but unlike her last opponent, Shedinja dropped immediately, its defenses instantly overwhelmed. Getting a little tired of these easy bouts, she called out, “<Come on! Hit me with something that’s actually got some bite to it!>”

  Alex groaned. “Snapdragon, don’t taunt the Gym Leader! He can’t understand you anyway!” She looked to Bugsy and asked, “I’m assuming you don’t understand her particular dialect of Poké-Speak?”

  “I’m afraid not, but I won’t get offended as long as she didn’t curse.” Bugsy recalled his second choice and found himself left with his third. “Still, I always try to save the best for last. Let’s go, Yanmega!”

  His final selection appeared on the field, far more intimidating than his last two and easily larger. Snapdragon eyed her opponent and grinned. “<Okay, this is more like it!>”

  “Yanmega, Air Slash!”

  “Snapdragon, Fly!”

  As bladed wind currents swept through the air towards her, Snapdragon shot upwards, well out of the way of the attack’s reach, but she failed to notice the small increase in speed that her opponent had gained.

  Alex was another matter. “Go, Snapdragon!”

  “Yanmega, Detect!”

  As Snapdragon dove to deliver her first and hopefully final blow, her opponent weaved aside. “<Oh come on!>” Then was when she noticed the increase in speed. “<Wait, what…?>”

  “Speed Boost. Every turn Yanmega’s in battle, its speed increases.” Alex’s eyes narrowed. “Time to even the odds. Snapdragon, Dragon Breath!”

  “Yanmega, Air Slash!”

  High-speed winds battered Snapdragon as she spewed violet flame at her opponent, hoping to slow it down as well as wear it down. Alas, she had to settle for the first, and she steadied herself in the air, feeling wearier than she thought she would this match.

  “Another Dragon Breath!”

  “Air Slash again!”

  Yanmega’s attack came faster this time, battering Snapdragon as she once more retaliated, dealing damage but failing to bring her opponent down. She snarled and gritted her mandibles, almost feeling like her opponent was mocking her. She hated that feeling.


  “<Don’t you dare say it!>” The Vibrava cast herself directly between her opponent and her trainer, one eye on the former and the other on the latter as she turned back. “<You sent me out, I started this, and I’m going to finish this!>”

  “Odds might not be in your favor!”

  “<Screw the odds! I’ve got something to prove!>”

  “Like what?” Before Snapdragon could retaliate, Alex smiled with pride and explained, “You’re one of the fiercest Pokémon I’ve ever trained. I saw it on day one, when you came into my care out in Orre. You’re brave, determined, and not afraid to go the distance. You never had anything to prove, not to me and not to you.” The smile turned to a grin and she declared, “But if you think we can win this, then let’s prove it!”

  The Vibration Pokémon looked at her trainer with surprise clear in her green eyes. She hadn’t had the easiest of lives, at least compared to the others on Alex’s roster. The only one who came close to having her trouble was ShadowWarrior, and he seemed to shake off his own like a Psyduck would shake water off its back. She never got why Alex had stuck with her for so long.

  Until now.

  She grinned. “<Fine! Then let’s kick it up a notch!>” She turned to face her opponent, roared, and felt familiar energies overtake her. Her anatomy shifted significantly, going from insectoid to dragon-like, a proper tail forming as its two-pronged tip turned into a three-pronged one, her wings larger and her antennae lengthening and sweeping back. Three-clawed hands rested at the end of her arms, her legs ending in long feet more befitting a dragon than an insect. She shook off the last of the evolution and declared, “<You call yourself a dragonfly? Get ready to get schooled!>”

  Bugsy’s surprise was genuine, his eyes nearly bugging out of his head. “Your Vibrava evolved into a Flygon?!”

  “What can I say? She was motivated.” Fingers crossed and hoping this would finish things, she declared, “Snapdragon, Dragon Tail!”

  “Yanmega, Air Slash!”

  Once more, air currents bombarded Snapdragon, but she was more prepared for it this time, able to handle the blows. She emerged, weakened but undeterred, and charged forward, her tail glowing a brilliant blue as she launched the final attack of the match, spinning hard and sending her opponent crashing into the Gym Floor below.

  “Yanmega is unable to battle! The match goes to Alex and her Flygon!”


  Alex smiled with satisfaction as she set her new Hive Badge into its case, her six Johto League badges shining in the sun as she and Nicholas made their way to the local Pokémon Center. “Two to go.”

  “Then I guess we’re off to Mahogany Town next. I hope you don’t object to taking the scenic route, though.”

  “It’s not like I’m in a rush for the next Silver Conference.” They reached their destination and entered as Alex added, “Besides, right now I want to get my team looked at. Snapdragon might’ve been up to the challenge, but that battle still took a lot out of her.”

  “Hi! Welcome to the Pokémon Center!” The two looked to the main desk to find, instead of the usual Nurse Joy, a violet-eyed blonde nurse manning the counter, her hair framing her face in elaborate ringlets. “You two look exhausted! I bet your Pokémon are exhausted too, amiright?”

  Both looked at the nurse with discomfort; they were used to cheery nurses, but not ones who were quite this cheery. “Um, yeah. Sorry if I sound a little rude, but where’s Nurse Joy?”

  “Oh, she’s on vacation visiting her cousins in Ecruteak City! But don’t worry, your Pokémon will be in good hands with me!”

  Alex had been taught by experience to be paranoid. It was an unfortunate side effect of having someone try to kill you since you were a year old. Coupled with the very clear threat to ShadowWarrior since their return to Johto, she had every reason to think that someone was out to get her. Still, she didn’t get a sense of danger or warning from the young woman before her, and she knew that the percentage of the population that wanted to kill her was vastly outweighed by the percentage that didn’t. She shrugged and handed over her Poké Balls, Nicholas doing likewise.

  “Thank you! This won’t be a minute!” The cheery nurse took their combined grouping of twelve and set them on a tray. “Oh, silly me, I forgot something!” Before the two trainers could ponder that further, she grinned and threw two sharp projectiles at the two.

  Alex cried out in shock as the one targeting her struck her chest and started sending an electric shock through her body. Nicholas barely had the chance as he succumbed almost immediately, leaving Alex to pull what she thought was a dart from her chest. She took a second to inspect it, only to realize it looked like a tulip of all things before two more struck her in the shoulder, finally forcing her to her knees.

  “Well, you don’t go down easy, do you?” Alex held onto consciousness long enough to notice that the nurse’s cheery attitude had faded, her smile now replaced with a smug grin. “No wonder those two idiots had trouble with you. Should’ve sent me in from the start…”
Another Bug War - PW-R-080
Alex battles Bugsy! Yay! One of her Pokémon evolves! Yay! The story ends on a cliffhanger! Yay?

Alas, the resolution's gonna be a long time coming.
Fast Balls in Azalea Town

  “For the record? Getting knocked unconscious might come with the territory, but I’ve never enjoyed it when it happened.” ShadowWarrior shook himself over, still trying to work out the soreness from his last battle. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad it wasn’t from that oversized suckerfish, but still, I could’ve done without the blunt force.” He noticed the guilty look on his trainer’s face and amended, “Still, not your fault.”

  “Yeah, but I could’ve sent Nadyra in instead, saved you some trouble.” Alex sighed. “It’s a minor miracle you put up with me.”

  “Well, you don’t just toss aside awesome and amazing.” The two cast stern looks towards Nicholas, who merely turned nervous as he kept driving their RV. “Wrong time to try the affectionate flirting?”

  A smirk crossed both their faces, and Alex noted, “Not the worst time.” She sat back and turned the conversation elsewhere. “So, you have anything you want to do in Azalea Town while we’re there?”

  “One thing. I hope you don’t mind if we do it before we hit the Gym, though.” At Alex’s curious look, he explained, “You ever heard of Kurt?”

  “There’s a lot of Kurts out there, Nick. You’re gonna have to…” She rolled her eyes at her own stupidity. “You’re talking about Kurt the Poké Ball smith.”

  “Yep. Dad would make a point of visiting him every time we went through town, performance scheduled or not, and I don’t see the sense in breaking tradition.”


  The southernmost settlement in mainland Johto, Azalea Town was known for three things. The first, which Alex caught sight of as their RV entered town, was the resident Slowpoke population, with many of the telltale slow-moving Pokémon resting on the side of the road. The second, and the primary reason behind her visit, was the local Gym. The third, and probably the most prominent, was Kurt, known throughout the world as an expert in the mechanics behind Poké Balls. She suspected that he got far too many crude jokes about that. “So, Kurt and your dad were friends?”

  “Yeah, to an extent.” The two were on foot now, Nicholas’ RV parked a small distance away near the Pokémon Center and ShadowWarrior back in his ball for the sake of security. “Both were self-made men, though Kurt took some issues with my father’s primary choice of profession. Being a traveling performer was a lot different than consulting for some large company, after all.”

  “Did he know your dad was an Aura Guardian?”

  “Of course, and traveling was part of the job, but you know that old saying about rolling stones.” He noticed a look of discomfort flash across his girlfriend’s face. “What brought that on?”

  “My grandmother mentioned that phrase back in Goldenrod, just before we left.”

  Nicholas groaned. “And I thought she liked me.”

  “She does! Really! She’s just concerned is all!” Alex shrugged as they approached a fenced enclosure, smoke softly issuing forth from a chimney in a smaller structure inside. “She doesn’t expect me to be traveling around forever, after all.” She nervously asked, “I mean, have you ever thought about putting down roots somewhere yourself?”

  A small blush formed on his face. “Actually, yeah. Sometimes.” They reached the entrance to the enclosure, and Nicholas paused. “Oh, Alex, before we go in? I should warn you about something.”

  An eyebrow arched. “Such as?”

  A nervous chuckle. “Well, Kurt has a granddaughter, and, well…”

  A grin broke out across Alex’s face. “I think I can deal with a schoolgirl crush.”
“Okay, don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Nicholas rang the doorbell, and shortly thereafter, the gate opened for them. “Still, Mazie’s the relaxed, stoic sort, so she should…”

  “NICHOLAS!” Alex jumped back in surprise as a girl at least a foot shorter than her and quite a few years younger charged and tackle-hugged her boyfriend, holding him in a tight embrace. “I was hoping you’d come to visit! I read about your performance in Goldrenrod City and…!” She then noticed Alex, and her mood soured. “Oh. You didn’t come alone.”

  The young illusionist chuckled. “Mazie, this is Alex. Alex, Mazie.”

  Alex managed a small wave. “Hi. Nick was just telling me about…”

  Mazie’s reaction was one that Alex always wondered if she’d see; jealousy. “Don’t tell me she’s on the road with you! Come on, Nicholas, you can do a lot better than that floozy!”

  “Hey! I’m not a floozy!” Alex crossed her arms over her chest and noted with some pride, “I happen to think I’m a rather snappy dresser.”

  Mazie continued to give her a death glare, prompting Nicholas to turn discussion elsewhere. “Mazie, does your grandpa have a minute to see us?”

  The young girl sighed and released him. “Of course. Grandpa just got done in his smithy and I’ve put some tea on. Go on in.” Nicholas continued on his way, but before Alex could follow, Mazie gave her a non-verbal ‘I have my eye on you’ with one hand.

  Alex grimaced as she realized that this was going to be a very unpleasant visit.


  “It’s good to see you again, Nicholas!” In contrast to his granddaughter, Kurt was far more welcoming. Despite his clear age, he looked to be healthy and active as he greeted his guests. He turned to Alex and offered her a hand. “And you might you be, young lady?”

  “Alex Masters, sir. Nick and I met when our paths crossed in Orre.” At Mazie’s disapproving tut, she added, “But I’m originally from Lilycove City.”

  “I thought you were a Hoenn native.” He made a nod towards her belt and explained, “I can just make out the Devon Corporation logos on some of your Poké Balls. They hired me to consult them when they were developing their Nest and Dive Balls. I was only able to provide so much help, however.” He gestured for them to sit as Mazie served tea. “In any case, I’m sorry to hear about what happened in Goldenrod City. Has there been any progress in discovering who was behind the theft?”

  “None, and I get the feeling we’ll never find out. You know how these credit card fraud things go; even if they make an arrest, it won’t be publicized.” Nicholas thanked Mazie with a nod and took a sip of his tea. “So, how have things been here?”

  “Quiet since the last time, thankfully.” Kurt turned to Alex and explained, “The last time Nicholas came here was shortly after his father passed away. It was a fortunate thing, too, given the circumstances.”

  “A bunch of thugs were snatching up Slowpoke and cutting off their tails to sell.” Mazie smiled proudly as she sat beside her grandfather. “Thankfully, Nicholas put a stop to it.”

  “Well good for you.” Alex took a sip of her tea and smiled with satisfaction at the flavor. “Let me guess, Team Rocket?”

  “Would anyone else be involved in such a heinous act?” Kurt’s mood turned dark as he explained, “They call it a cheap way to get rich, cutting off a Slowpoke’s tail and selling it as food. It’s cruel and terrible, is what it is. Slowpokes can regrow them, yes, but it takes the better part of a year. But there are those who call it a delicacy, so the practice remains. Be glad that bunch of thugs doesn’t have a foothold in your region.”

  “Unfortunately, I’ve had a few run-ins with them since coming back to Johto. We’ve fought them off, but still…” Alex shook her head. “Folks like them are entitled monsters. They think they can get away with anything, either because no one ever bothered to stand up and say ‘no’ or because someone else is protecting them. And they either don’t think about the damage they’ve done, or they simply don’t care.” A sigh, and she explained, “Sorry. One of my Pokémon escaped from a Team Rocket experiment. Between him and the Rockets I’ve met, I have a very biased perspective.”

  “That doesn’t mean it isn’t true. I’m just counting myself lucky that they’ve left me in peace; if any of them ever thought to take me in, however, they’d swiftly regret it.”

  A smile crossed Alex’s face. “I don’t doubt it. You have to be in pretty good shape to work a smithy. Still, it’s a good thing they haven’t, you being an expert on Poké Balls and everything. If they had your technical expertise, they’d probably be cranking out Master Balls by the truckload.”

  Kurt scoffed. “They’re better off stealing the blueprints from Silph’s private offices. Besides, even my knowledge has its limits, I’m ashamed to say. I’m assuming you’ve heard of Professor Samuel Oak?”

  A nod. “I’ve met him a few times. He gave me a Squirtle when I passed through Pallet Town near the start of my journey.”

  “Well some time ago, he entrusted me with a very unusual Poké Ball that he’d received from a colleague in the Orange Islands. They called it the GS Ball. They hoped that I’d be able to provide some insight on it, but alas, I’ve been working on it for years and still know as much about it as I did the day I got it.” He brought up a Poké Ball with a unique red and yellow design and explained, “This is a Fast Ball that I made a few days ago.” He opened it. “As you well know, every Poké Ball has a locking mechanism. Poké Balls made from Apricorns, like this Fast Ball, have a very simple locking mechanism, while more modern designs are more complex and sophisticated in comparison. Each region has its own quirks of design.”

  “Yeah, Devon makes its Poké Balls so that you don’t have to send out a Pokémon to give it medication. They have a docking system incorporated into the lock that allows a trainer to connect a compatible container for a Potion or Antidote or whatever and apply it without even sending the Pokémon out. The same system also lets anyone with a PokéDex verify if a Pokémon is theirs by comparing identification numbers; all they need to do is lock it in place. It’s not perfect now thanks to stuff like the Snag machines in Orre, but it’s still a big help to law enforcement.” She pondered for a second before guessing, “The GS Ball’s locking mechanism is more complex than modern designs then?”

  “Exactly. My best guess is that it will only open under very specific circumstances. Exactly what those circumstances are, however, remain as much a mystery as the ball itself. I’ve had low-key discussions with some of my peers on the subject of locking mechanisms, and any advancements in design are decades away at best.”

  Mazie grinned proudly and explained, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right Grandpa?”

  “Yes, that’s the primary reason.”

  “And you can’t force it open because there’s a chance, however slim, that something might be inside, and damaging a Poké Ball while there’s a Pokémon inside is a death sentence.”

  A nod at Alex’s summation, and Kurt turned to Nicholas with an apologetic look. “I’m sorry if all of this is boring you, Nicholas.”

  He shrugged. “Don’t worry, this kind of stuff’s important to know, even if it doesn’t come up all the time.”

  Kurt nodded and smiled. “Anyway, I take it the two of you didn’t come all this way just to hear an old man ramble about his failures.”

  “Alex is here to challenge Bugsy. I’m here as moral support. After that, we’re on our way out of town as quickly as we can.”

  “Team Rocket’s taken a bit too much of an interest in us of late. We’ve shaken them off, but I don’t think that’ll last forever.”

  “Well, I don’t know how much good this will do you, but I make it a point to hand these out whenever a trainer pops in to visit.” He handed Nicholas the Fast Ball he’d used to demonstrate his difficulties, then reached under the table and handed another to Alex. “If nothing else, it’ll save you some money at the local Poké Mart.”

  “Thanks!” Alex examined the ball before tucking it away in her backpack.

  “Beyond that, all I can offer is some sound advice; stick together. I suspect that between the two of you, you’ll weather whatever storm comes your way.”


  Alex and Nicholas said their goodbyes and departed, Mazie watching them go. Kurt noticed the look on his granddaughter’s face and assured her, “Don’t worry, dear. There’s plenty of Apricorns in the tree.”

  “He could still do better.”

  The old man smiled. He’d heard of Alex, of course; he was old, but he wasn’t senile. Stories had reached him from multiple avenues about what she’d done, the highs and the lows. Team Rocket may not know what they’d gotten into with her, but Nicholas Pendrake? He was another matter.
Fast Balls in Azalea Town - PW-R-079
Alex and Nicholas arrive in Azalea Town, and I take the opportunity to point out a plot thread that the show's producers quietly wanted to go away and be forgotten, simply because I can.

Writer's choice.
I'm doing a serious edit to one of my MLP stories. Specifically, "A Light in the Dark".

Why am I doing this? Mostly, it's because of a comment made about it on It didn't say the story was bad, but it got me to thinking that the story itself, as well as I and Sunrunner, were both dancing around an issue without confronting it directly. So the edited version is going to be a bit more direct about it.

Both versions will be available here, while the edited version will replace the original on fimfiction as soon as it's written, which will hopefully be Sunday and definitely be before the end of the year. Fingers crossed.

And speaking of pony-fics? I'm strongly considering doing a version of the Holiday Special that came out today. Something about it just rubbed me wrong, and I want to correct that if possible.
  • Mood: Tired


William A. Rendfeld
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
I'm a twenty-something college grad, and one of those few male fanfiction writers with delusions of grandeur. Glance around my gallery, and you'll get a good look at me somewhere.

Current Residence: Indianapolis, Indiana
Favourite genre of music: Rock 'n Roll
Operating System: Windows XP
MP3 player of choice: Musicmatch
Favourite cartoon character: Yuki Saiko of 'Silent Möbius'
Personal Quote: "All hail Scott McNeil, for he is glorious and the voice of Waspinator."

Who wants a preview of what I have coming down the pike? 

19 deviants said I do! Show us previews on Christmas!
6 deviants said I don't. Wait until they're finished before you post stuff from upcoming stories.


Dec 22, 2014
12:26 pm
Dec 22, 2014
11:25 am
Dec 22, 2014
9:39 am
Dec 22, 2014
9:28 am
Dec 22, 2014
9:16 am


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