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  #351    
Old May 20th, 2013, 05:22 AM
Cutlerine
Gone. May or may not return.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Misspelled Cyrpt
Age: 21
Gender:
Nature: Impish
> Slap him. Drinking something that is not tea but pretending to be drinking tea is too much to ask, after all that we've been through. Still, accept the tea. Who knows when is the next time we get to drink such a lavish beverage.

I can't believe I have to tell you how bad an idea this is. You aren't even sure you could find your way back onto the beach where you were washed up; if you want to get anywhere, slapping around the only person who might be able to help is not a good idea.

> Before you accept the tea, ask first what it was made out of, and then decide if it's safe to drink it.
> Try the 'tea' and ask elm more stuff. Hold on.....maybe the tea has side effects like the moomoo milk !


It doesn't. It's a metal cup of warm water with a piece of seaweed at the bottom. Nutritious, maybe; tasty, definitely not.

Actually, it makes you want to vomit out your own spleen, but you smile and thank Elm anyway. It seems to please him.

> After you have some "tea" investigate one of the laptops.

You poke one of the laptops, and the screen lights up. It seems Elm has been keeping a journal, but you don't get to read more than a word or two before he speaks to you.

“What do you think you're doing?” he asks.

You don't have an adequate answer for that, do you? Nah, didn't think so.

> Try some tea, then ask Elm if he knows where the helicopter landed and where it might be. Metal isn't the most flammable thing ever, though it's slightly so, so if you can find the helicopter, you can carry Vesta on scrap metal if it's broken, or you can potentially fly around on the helicopter if it works. Hopefully without too much crashing.
Also, ask if he has somehow figured out how to keep pokeballs from doing that melty thing when an Eldritch pokemon is caught in them.


“Where exactly is the helicopter?” you ask.
“Up there,” replies Elm. “I know the way back, you know, but I don't really see why I should leave. In case you hadn't noticed, the world has gone to hell in a fairly major way.”

You stare. He seems so... unflappable. Falkner, the Ghosts, the thing that might have been Jasmine... everyone else has gone insane from the pain and isolation. Elm, who lives practically balanced on the back of an explosive sea god, appears almost completely unaffected.

“Well, yeah,” you say, “but I'm not too keen on spending the rest of my life down here. I'm trying to save the world.”

Elm looks at you with polite incredulity.

“Seriously?” he asks. “You and your fire, you think you're going to fix all this?”

Yes, says Vesta. Othodox can do it.

“Well, yeah,” you say. “I mean... I'm going to try, anyway.”

Elm sighs, and sets his 'tea' carefully down on a nearby rock. He takes off his glasses, polishes them, and places them back on his nose.

“You don't seem to get it,” he says. “What do you think you're going to achieve?”

“What?”

“How many people have you met?” he asks. “On your journey so far.”

“Uh... Including you?”

“No.”

“Then... one and a half,” you reply, uncertain exactly what the steel thing counts as.

“OK. So, let's say you break whatever curse has fallen over the world. Let's say you make everything better, all the Pokémon go back to normal.” Elm allows himself a little ironic smile. “What happens next?”

You open your mouth to reply, but can't think of anything.

For the first time, you realise that there is, quite simply, no one left.

“The human race is in the middle of an extinction event,” Elm goes on. “How many people are left in Johto? Six? Seven? Not enough to establish a healthy population. Even if we somehow collect together everyone from all over the world – how many people are we left with? Fifty? Granted, those are tough people, those are survivors – but we could never get them all in one place. Countries will die, one by one, simply through lack of numbers.” He shakes his head. “It doesn't matter if you save the world,” he says. “You still can't save humanity.”

For a long time, the only sound is the distant pound of the surf, and the crackle of Vesta on her bed of seaweed.

“Well,” you say. “Have you at least found any way to contain these Eldritch Pokémon in Poké Balls?”

Elm stares.

“Didn't you listen to anything I said?”

“I listened,” you reply. “But I'm not going to stop.”

“You can't win!”

He can do anything.

“Not quite, Vesta,” you say, “but I can do this. I'm the player character, Professor. If I save the world... it will stay saved. I know that.”

“The player character?” He sighs. “Do you really think that makes you any different? You can still die. You just do it again, and again, and again... This can't be your first iteration, can it?”

You shake your head.

“No...”

“It's the only way out, you know,” Elm tells you. “Giving up is the only way to stop the endless cycle of death and rebirth.” He chuckles. “There's a joke to be made in there somewhere about how it's kind of reverse Buddhism, but I can't get the words right. Annoying when that happens, isn't it?”

“I'm not going to stop,” you insist, but he's shaken you. What exactly can you do? Nothing, you guess, except try and hope that it all turns out right. “Just... have you found a way to contain those things in Poké Balls?”

“Jesus, you're persistent.” Elm sighs. “No, as it happens, I've had other things than performing insanely risky experiments on my mind.”

Fair enough. Just thought you'd ask.

> I know we're not one to pass up free food or drink, so yes please ask for some tea. Also, Ask him if any of his technology still works, If he's had the dreams, See if he has any master balls left on him, Also ask about Gold, I mean I always though you were Gold being the PC but it seems another you or another PC existed before you did in the times before the dreaming.

You gesture at the laptops.

“Do these work?”

“Yes. They don't do anything, but they work.” He gulps some tea. “There isn't much for them to connect to. I've got a generator, but all the servers, all the people who run the Internet – they're all gone. They're not much use, except for playing Minesweeper. I've got pretty good at it, I have to say.”

“Minesweeper?”

“You've got to pass the time somehow,” he replies with a shrug. “One of my grad students had BioShock on one of these, but I didn't much care for the splicers after seeing the beasts out there.”

“Right.” You pause. “You don't happen to have any Master Balls on you, do you?”

Elm blinks incredulously.

“Are you thinking of trying to catch Lugia?”

“Uh... maybe...”

He snorts.

“Some things you'd better not even dream about, Othodox,” he tells you. “I'm guessing it hasn't escaped your notice that with the Eldritch Forms, the rules of Pokémon Training aren't exactly clear-cut any more.”

“Dreams,” you say. “Speaking of dreams, have you been having the dreams about the city?”

He looks at you askance.

“City? What city?”

That's a no, then. You suspect he may be having those strange, chaotic dreams that you had earlier – the ones about being trapped in the dark. The ones that must come from Lugia.

“Uh... never mind.” Some things are easier not to explain. “Forget it. Who's this Gold guy you mentioned?”

Elm waves a hand.

“No one, really. Just a kid. A Trainer, presumably like you. He was a player character too – I guess that's his only claim to fame. He shut down a Rocket scheme, although that's really nothing to write home about.”

He's right. The Rockets couldn't criminal their way out of a paper bag; at least the other villainous Teams who've been thwarted over the last few years actually managed to accomplish something. What kind of an organised crime syndicate disbands because their leader lost a Pokémon battle to a ten-year-old? Most people at least

“I see,” you say. “OK.”

> Stay for some tea, ask about the pokemon storage system and pokemon capture, and whether or not it will still work with Eldritch Pokemon, and ask about his opinion of what exactly Vesta is. All we know for sure right now is that she is a big flammable ball of our pride and joy.

“Elm,” you ask, “do you know what that is?”

You indicate Vesta.

“Yes,” he replies with great firmness. “That is a six-foot talking emerald bonfire named Vesta. I thought we'd established that?”

“Yeah,” you say, “but I wanted to know if you had any idea what she actually is. She's the remnant of a fire started by an Eldritch Cyndaquil – but why is she alive? Why is she sentient?”

Elm shrugged.

“These are all very good questions,” he replies, “but I'm sure I don't have the answer. I suspect someone does, but it definitely isn't me. More tea?”

“Uh... no. No thanks.”

“You don't like it, do you?”

“Uh... It's not the best I've ever had,” you say carefully.

He sighs.

“It's crap, that's what it is,” he tells you gloomily. “Only I've been drinking it too long now to know the difference. Stops your teeth rotting, though. At least, I presume it does, because my teeth haven't rotted.”

Man, this guy is on a constant downer. It's going to take some work to get anything useful out of him at all.
__________________

For information about A Grand Day Out, a bizarre short story in video game form, click here.
  #352    
Old May 20th, 2013, 07:34 PM
Lopnis's Avatar
Lopnis
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Gender: Male
See if he needs anything he hasn't been able to do himself maybe if you can do something he thought was impossible you can get him to be less of a debby downer. Tell him about the radar you 'borrowed' see if he can fix it, also inform him of the infinate space of your pouch. If at all possible try to convince him to let you check out his journal
  #353    
Old May 21st, 2013, 02:05 PM
c1234321's Avatar
c1234321
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Gender: Male
On the heels of the prior conversation with Elm, ask Vesta if she knows precisely what she is. But try not to be rude about the question. We don't want getting Vesta angry.
  #354    
Old May 21st, 2013, 05:27 PM
aethylthryth's Avatar
aethylthryth
 
Join Date: May 2013
Gender: Female
Quote:
Jesus, you're persistent.” Elm sighs. “No, as it happens, I've had other things than performing insanely risky experiments on my mind.”
Ask Elm what he has on his mind
  #355    
Old May 22nd, 2013, 02:20 AM
Dimebag's Avatar
Dimebag
333
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sky Valley
Gender: Male
Nature: Gentle
Ask about something you could do for him and as a return we could squeeze some info out of elm .
  #356    
Old May 22nd, 2013, 12:06 PM
Knightfall's Avatar
Knightfall
Unforeseen Consequences
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Sawgrass Town
Gender: Male
Nature: Modest
If my memory serves correctly, we picked up Elm's key we found in his abandoned laboratory. Perhaps Elm would like it back if Orthodox still has it on his person.
__________________
  #357    
Old May 22nd, 2013, 02:36 PM
Kitt
Unhatched Egg
 
Join Date: May 2013
Gender: Female
Ask Elm if he has anything to eat, or if he's just been living off cups of warm water with seaweed all this time.
Also, see if Elm knows where the rest of your stuff went. Ask him about the Bad Egg too, maybe he can help you figure out when it will hatch, and what it might hatch into- hopefully not including a massive even-more-world-ending glitch. If the Bad Egg has no chance of actually hatching into anything particularly useful, make an omelette. Ask Elm about the usefulness of prodding wild creatures with your Horrifically Dangerous Stabby Thing.
  #358    
Old May 23rd, 2013, 04:28 AM
Cutlerine
Gone. May or may not return.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Misspelled Cyrpt
Age: 21
Gender:
Nature: Impish
> On the heels of the prior conversation with Elm, ask Vesta if she knows precisely what she is. But try not to be rude about the question. We don't want getting Vesta angry.

“Vesta,” you say, trying a different angle of attack, “do you know what you are?”

You're 98% sure she won't be offended; she seems to regard pretty much everything you do as The Will Of The Gods.

Yes, she says, with all the eagerness of a schoolgirl that knows the right answer. I'm Vesta.

“Oh. Uh, thanks.”

Not exactly what you were expecting, but you suppose that such philosophical abstracts as 'what are we?' may be slightly beyond a green bonfire who was born about a week ago.

> Ask Elm if he has anything to eat, or if he's just been living off cups of warm water with seaweed all this time.
Also, see if Elm knows where the rest of your stuff went. Ask him about the Bad Egg too, maybe he can help you figure out when it will hatch, and what it might hatch into- hopefully not including a massive even-more-world-ending glitch. If the Bad Egg has no chance of actually hatching into anything particularly useful, make an omelette. Ask Elm about the usefulness of prodding wild creatures with your Horrifically Dangerous Stabby Thing.


“What've you been living off all this time?” you ask Elm, changing the subject.

“Limpets, mostly,” he said. “And seaweed, and fish. Mostly raw.”

Ew. All right. That's not a meal you want to share.

“OK,” you say, moving on again, “what do you know about this?”

You show him the Bad Egg, which he regards with some interest.

“That,” he says, with singular accuracy, “is a Bad Egg.”

“I know that much, but do you know what it might hatch into?”

He shrugs.

“Anything,” he replies. “Could be any species of Pokémon at all, and even a few that don't actually exist. It could even hatch into another Egg.”

It's as you thought, then: the Bad Egg is an unknown quantity. You suspect it will hatch just in time for a particularly climactic showdown; it's a plot thing.

You do not, however, ask Elm what stabbing things with the Hideously Dangerous Stabby Thing will do. You already know exactly what it will do; it will kill them, if you can get it under their skin. Although that's what it would do to normal Pokémon; you're not sure about Eldritch things. Given what Elm's told you so far, you don't think he'd know either.

> Ask Elm what he has on his mind

“You said you had things on your mind,” you remind Elm. “What were those things, exactly?”

He gives you the sort of look you usually reserve for someone who absent-mindedly defecates on your dining-table.

“What the hell do you think?” he asks, with a kind of shocked incredulity. “Life here isn't exactly easy, in case you hadn't noticed. Even without the damn monsters. And – and,” he says, voice suddenly quietening, “I had a wife and a child, remember.”

Memories snap across your head like whips: a young woman with brown hair, a smile, a laughing child. Something you thought was a little stone in the grass outside Elm's lab. You realise now that it was a tooth.

“Christ,” you whisper.

Elm does not say anything.

“I'm sorry,” you say, after a while.

“It was a long time ago,” he replies. His cup of 'tea' is on the verge of falling from his fingers, but he doesn't seem to notice. “It's over now. They're not coming back.”

You realise now exactly why it is that Elm doesn't think it matters if the world is saved or not. Whatever happens, however many people survive... his wife and child are not coming back.

That does sound like the sort of thing that would be on your mind.

> If my memory serves correctly, we picked up Elm's key we found in his abandoned laboratory. Perhaps Elm would like it back if Orthodox still has it on his person.

It takes a while for you to pluck up the courage to say anything, but when Elm seems calm again you broach the subject.

“Uh... I found this back in your lab,” you say, taking the key from your pouch. “I don't know if you want it.”

He glances at it.

“The key to my safe?” he asks. “Huh. No, thanks. It isn't much good to me now; the safe's in New Bark Town, if it's still there at all.”

Damn, looks like you missed out on a prime looting opportunity there.

> See if he needs anything he hasn't been able to do himself maybe if you can do something he thought was impossible you can get him to be less of a debby downer. Tell him about the radar you 'borrowed' see if he can fix it, also inform him of the infinate space of your pouch. If at all possible try to convince him to let you check out his journal
> Ask about something you could do for him and as a return we could squeeze some info out of elm.


“Right,” you say uncomfortably, pocketing the key again. “I found this as well. I guess it probably belongs to you.”

You show him the Long-Range Scanner Attachment on your Pokedex, but he doesn't display much interest.

“Keep it,” he replies. “I think it's probably more useful to you than to me, don't you think? There's only one Pokémon down here, and I already know what it is.”

“OK, thanks. Uh... Is there any chance you could fix it?”

He locks a gimlet eye on you.

“You broke it?”

“Only a little bit. It works, but all the text comes through scrambled.”

Elm sighs and takes the Pokedex from you; a minute later, he hands it back. Experimentally, you push the radar button, and the screen lights up:

Results:
One and a half (1.5) Pokémon found!
One (1) Eldritch Lugia found!
Half (0.5) an Eldritch Cyndaquil found!

OK, so Vesta seems to be confusing it a bit, but hey! It's working!

“Hey, you fixed it!” you cry happily. “How'd you manage that?”

“I turned it off and on again,” he tells you. “Did you even think of that?”

You fall silent.

“I thought so,” he says.

Eager to change the subject, you move on – not to the subject of the Pouch, which is pretty normal considering that everyone has a Bag like that, or to that of his journal, since it's almost certainly a mixture of raw grief at the loss of his family and interminably dull descriptions of prising limpets off rocks, but to the subject of quests. Specifically, if he has any for you.

“Right,” you say. “Well, uh, is there anything that needs doing around here? I mean... anything I could do for you?”

He gives you a look.

“Why?”

“Well, I don't know. For a reward?” you hazard. “For information? For being guided to the surface where the helicopter is?”

“I've told you everything I know,” he says. “And, well, I have nothing to reward you with.”

“Except showing me up to where the helicopter is,” you remind him.

“Yes. I'm not too keen on that one, you know.” He scratches his head. “Given that 'up', over the last few years, has been quite strongly associated with 'death by monster'.”

“Vesta and I will protect you,” you tell him. “We just need a guide. Right, Vesta?”

Yes, she agrees. We can do it!

“Yeah,” you say. “I have a gnarled Beedrill stinger on a stick, you know. It's still poisonous; I can poke the hell out of anything that comes at you, and then Vesta will burn them.”

Elm stares.

“Jesus Christ,” he says. “You're serious, aren't you?”

“Yeah. Why wouldn't I be?”

He shakes his head.

“Never mind. Look, Othodox, I don't think—”

“Remember,” you tell him, “I came here all the way from the house next to yours in New Bark Town. I've survived most of Johto to get here. If anyone can get you up there safely, then it's probably me.”

Elm frowns.

“I see... yes, but how do I get back? If the helicopter is still functional – which is highly unlikely, I tell you – then you'll leave and I'll be stuck up there, on my own.”

“Then come with us,” you say. “We're heading south to Cianwood at the moment to follow up a lead we got on what happened to the world. And we could always use some help.”

Yes, agrees Vesta. A band of fearsome warriors, burning all in their path!

Both you and Elm turn to stare at her, and she gives off a puff or two of apologetic smoke.

What?

“Nothing, Vesta,” you say uncertainly, remembering the fearsome creature she was birthed from and belatedly wondering if she's inherited any of her father's more violent character traits. “Nothing... Anyway. Elm. What do you say?”

“I don't know,” he replies. “I need – I need time. Do you know how long I've been down here? Five years, according to the clock... it's – I need some time, I need to—”

Abruptly he gets up and walks out, throwing the fibreglass wall aside; you make no attempt to follow. Let him work this out for himself.

You wait.

After a time, Elm comes back. There does not appear to be very much different about him – there are no signs of tears, no emotions visibly struggling on his face. He's not obeying any of the standard movie clichés, which, perhaps because of the metafictional nature of your existence, annoys you slightly on an ontological level. However, you are not a philosopher, and are thus able to put this from your mind with the minimum of fuss.

“First,” he says, “you tell me everything you know. Everything that's happened, and everything you've done. Everything that you've learned. Then I'll tell you if I'm coming or not.”

All right. You can do that – and you do, from the start in New Bark to the end in the storm on Route 41. Elm takes notes carefully on a laptop, and by the end has compiled them into a list of questions that you only wish you had the academic rigour to come up with earlier.

“You said that voice on the Pokégear told you that 'a smell of petroleum pervades throughout'. So did the Ghosts, through Morty. The only thing is, that's not the line – the line goes 'prevails', not 'pervades'.”

“So? I misremembered it, then.”

“The player character never misremembers,” he tells you. “You have perfect recall, except when the plot calls for it.” He pauses for a moment. “Say the line for me.”

“A smell of petroleum pervades throughout.” You blink in surprise. “No, that's not right. It's A smell of petroleum pervades through— what the hell?”

Elm nods sagaciously; he seems to be really getting into this.

“You can't say it correctly,” he says. “Interesting. Let me see... The difference is a matter of letters...” He starts. “Letters. That could mean... These shrivelled black things,” he says abruptly. “Have you attempted to identify them in any way other than visual analysis?”

“Uh, no, but how—?”

“Did you scan them with the Pokédex at all? They're obviously not a normal animal, so perhaps they're a dead Pokémon of some sort.”

You gape. Why didn't you think of that?

No, seriously. Why didn't you?

Elm rolls his eyes and snatches one off you; he turns it over in his hands, and then gives a grunt of surprise.

“I see,” he said. “Look at that.”

He holds it out to you, peeling back two flaps of skin in the middle to reveal a shrunken, desiccated eyeball.

“It's a dead Unown,” he tells you. “Shrivelled up from exposure; they're basically full of psychic energy, and it dissipates on death to leave them wrinkled like this.”

“A dead Unown?” you ask, puzzled. “But they can't stop time, can they?”

“No,” he replies. “But something about what that Gengar said to you, and the way someone seems to have been trying to give you hints about the relevance of letters – i.e. Unown – by the misquotation...” Elm strokes his chin thoughtfully. “I'll get back to you on that one. It needs just a little more thought.”

“OK...” Your head is spinning. Has the Narrator actually been trying to help you? Admittedly he's gone about doing so in the most cryptic way you could imagine, by scattering dead Unown around and misquoting a line about the nature of the universe, but he has left you a clue – and with Elm's superior Pokézoological knowledge, you might just be able to solve it. At last.

“Another thing,” he said. “This 'starter Pokémon' business. If they come after you no matter what, why didn't Jasmine, or the person you thought was Jasmine, have one?”

“I guess it was probably the Steelix,” you reply after a while. “It ate her and thought she was dead, so it left her alone. I don't know. That's my guess.”

Elm nods.

“I thought so, but I wanted to see if you would think the same way... in that case, there might be a way to get that Quilava off your back. That doesn't,” he adds hastily, “involve you being eaten alive. I just need to think about it...”

“That would be fantastic,” you reply, thinking of how many deus ex machina moments you've had to pull to get away from that fiery bastard.

Yes, agrees Vesta. It's Othodox's nemesis.

She seems very proud of this word – it's quite a long one – and she repeats it happily to herself for a while, just to show it wasn't a one-off.

Nemesis... nemesis... nemesis...

“Speaking of which,” you say to Elm, “isn't there a starter Pokémon waiting for you out there somewhere?”

“I imagine it doesn't want to come down here,” he replies. “What with Lugia and all. It may not even be on this island – or perhaps it's been killed and eaten by another Pokémon.” He shrugs. “We won't know until we leave.”

You raise an eyebrow.

“'Until we leave'? You're coming, then?”

“Five years is far too long to have been sitting around in a cave,” Elm tells you abruptly. “The rules of biology and physics have changed entirely, and someone really needs to start applying some scientific analysis to this situation. Everything seems irrational, but I'm sure there must be some underlying logic...” He catches himself hurriedly. “Well,” he says, looking slightly embarrassed. “What I mean is... yes. I'm coming.”

You grin. This is the best news you've had since you've got here. Allies. Now, if you could somehow recruit Jasmine and Falkner too, you'd have a small army at your disposal, ready to take on any Eldrich Pokémon that dares cross your—

OK, perhaps that's wishful thinking. But still, you have Elm, and he's probably the most useful thing you could wish for right now.

Against all odds, you actually seem to be doing pretty well.

(Once Othodox has left the Whirl Islands, he will not be able to return. If there is anything left to do here, make sure to do it now.)
__________________

For information about A Grand Day Out, a bizarre short story in video game form, click here.
  #359    
Old May 23rd, 2013, 12:51 PM
Kitt
Unhatched Egg
 
Join Date: May 2013
Gender: Female
Before actually leaving, search for your remaining items which you have not yet re-obtained. They'll probably come in handy later. Also, try to gather up other loot from the remaining caves. Since there's no chance of defeating or catching Eldritch Lugia (right?) don't bother with it. Try to find something not-particularly-flammable in case you need to carry Vesta around, like a large rock maybe.
  #360    
Old May 23rd, 2013, 02:26 PM
c1234321's Avatar
c1234321
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Gender: Male
The Narrator wouldn't have brought Lugia down here if not to have him be relevant in some way to the immediate plot. Be prepared for any eventuality. Also, on the subject of letters, and as you have perfect recall, ask about some of the names that were scrambled before the Poke Radar was fixed to see if they have any relevance.
  #361    
Old May 23rd, 2013, 05:07 PM
Lopnis's Avatar
Lopnis
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Gender: Male
We need to speak to Lugia or kill it, I know what your thinking but this thing is in such torment it will make sea travel impossible we need to help it one way or another. Also keep the dead unknown maybe some exposure to the forest shrine later could bring them back to life, Loot (well not loot more like pack up) Elms Lab it's bound to have some useful survival gear and technology
  #362    
Old May 25th, 2013, 11:49 AM
ArlidenRostedt's Avatar
ArlidenRostedt
Unhatched Egg
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Sydney Australia
Gender: Male
Nature: Jolly
I've just made it from start to current in one sitting - it's 6:00 am. I want to say that I never liked 'choose your own ending' books but this is awesome. I think I can - without any arrogance - say that I'm a seasoned reader of fanfiction and that this is just brilliant work. I applaud you.

But enough compliments, on with the game -

How far away can the pokedex work from? Can you safely scan Lugia?
Also, does Elm have spare shoes?

Last edited by ArlidenRostedt; May 25th, 2013 at 12:13 PM. Reason: wanted to add another question
  #363    
Old May 26th, 2013, 03:38 AM
Cutlerine
Gone. May or may not return.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Misspelled Cyrpt
Age: 21
Gender:
Nature: Impish
> Before actually leaving, search for your remaining items which you have not yet re-obtained. They'll probably come in handy later. Also, try to gather up other loot from the remaining caves. Since there's no chance of defeating or catching Eldritch Lugia (right?) don't bother with it. Try to find something not-particularly-flammable in case you need to carry Vesta around, like a large rock maybe.

You tell Elm and Vesta what you're up to, head back upstairs and search around. You do find a large rock, but it's too heavy for you to carry and nothing smaller will take Vesta in her new size. Other than that, you don't have the best of luck; it seems that the storm was mostly a convenient device for ridding you of your more useless items. All you find is a very soggy Lava Cookie.

Othodox found one Sodden Lava Cookie! Othodox put the Sodden Lava Cookie in the Pouch.

> The Narrator wouldn't have brought Lugia down here if not to have him be relevant in some way to the immediate plot. Be prepared for any eventuality. Also, on the subject of letters, and as you have perfect recall, ask about some of the names that were scrambled before the Poke Radar was fixed to see if they have any relevance.

The Narrator was not aware that he had brought Lugia anywhere. This is where Lugia is normally found, after all. If anything, he brought Othodox down here to find Elm.

You seriously doubt that Elm can help you with this particular anagram. The Radar Mode's output text was not scrambled word by word, or you would have been able to work it out yourself; the whole lot was lumped together, scrambled and then broken up into sentences. In the spirit of honesty, the Narrator feels it is incumbent on him to tell you that he did this so that you would never, ever be able to unscramble it coherently.

You're welcome.

> How far away can the pokedex work from? Can you safely scan Lugia?
Also, does Elm have spare shoes?


“Do you have any shoes?” you ask Elm. “I don't have any.”

Elm shakes his head.

“No,” he replies. “I don't. Not unless you can find the bodies of the ones that didn't make it and take theirs, and I have no idea where the Pokémon took them.”

Neither do you; in fact, given that they will by now probably be little more than mildewed skeletons, you have no real desire to find out where they might be.

“All right,” you say slowly. “Do you know what the effective range on this radar is?”

“Without the little tracking dish broken? It works in terms of whole areas – the whole of the floor you're on in a cave, the whole of a Route you're on, the whole of a town you're in. In terms of maps, if you like.”

“And with the little dish broken?”

Elm shrugs.

“No clue. Why? Are you thinking of scanning Lugia?”

“Well, yes.”

“Well, it said just now when you tried it that there was an Eldritch Lugia around, so I'm guessing it's in range from here,” says Elm.

God damn it, the man is maddeningly logical. You should have realised that yourself.

“All right,” you say. “Thanks.”

What are you doing? Vesta asks as you rise.

“I'm going out for a bit,” you say. “Don't...” You bite your lip; should you take Vesta or not? You don't think she would be much use against Lugia if it turns nasty. In fact, you think that perhaps you'd just be risking her life unnecessarily, and decide to leave her. “Stay here,” you say, as brightly as you can. “I'll be back in a minute.”

OK, she says happily. Can you bring more seaweed?

“Sure.”

Thank you!

You and Elm exchange glances.

“Don't do anything stupid,” he says in a low voice, taking you to one side.

“I'm going to do something very stupid,” you reply, equally quietly.

He sighs.

“For Christ's sake, come back alive. You've got me all excited about heading to the surface now. And if you don't, I'll be left with a heartbroken bonfire – and how the hell do you expect me to deal with that?”

“All right, all right,” you say, making placatory gestures. “Relax. I'll be back in a minute.”

“You'd better be,” Elm mutters darkly, but he says no more, and lets you past.

You head outside, and make your way down the maze of ravines towards the great cavern at the end, in whose depths you can just make out the faintest of white shapes. Lugia is very far away, you realise. It will know you are coming; it will hear your mind, and hear you splashing through the water – all the area before you is flooded to an uncertain depth, the water rippling softly to the tune of some unknown tide. A soft susurrus of sighing waves permeates everything.

You take a deep breath, raise the Pokédex, and thumb the scan button.

LUGIA
The Diving Pokémon

The subject of intense scientific speculation, Lugia (
Procellapter lugia) is a reclusive and extremely rare oceanic carnivore. Little is known for certain of it or the full extent of its abilities; what is known of it is that it figures prominently in many of the more ancient legends of the Johtonian tribes as a sea deity, representing at once the fury of an ocean storm and dominion over that fury. In some tales, Lugia whips up tremendous storms by beating its wings; in others, it stills them by the same means. According to the only scientific study of the creature extant (Mortensen, 1887), it does in fact appear to possess this ability.

Lugia is presumed by most mainstream Pokézoologists to be an offshoot of the therizinosaur family of dinosaurs, adapting itself both to a more carnivorous diet and to life under the ocean. This course of evolution must have been taken in relative isolation; Lugia occupies an entire taxonomic order on its own. Fragmentary fossil remains from the Late Cretaceous show that some form of aquatic therizinosaur may have existed then, but the remains are inconclusive.

Reports that it can fly have been as yet unsubstantiated; its 'wings' appear, from Mortensen's reports and those images of it that are consistent with eyewitness accounts, to be more adapted for swimming than flight, and even show vestiges of the hands that they once were.

If Lugia is not extinct – and no specimens have been sighted since Mortensen's study in 1887 – then it must be extremely rare; in his 2002 paper in Nature, Elm suggests it may have declined with the whale stocks around Johto, and posits a predator/prey relationship between the two.


The Pokédex also says that it's registered a new Form – the Eldritch Form of Lugia.

> We need to speak to Lugia or kill it, I know what your thinking but this thing is in such torment it will make sea travel impossible we need to help it one way or another. Also keep the dead unknown maybe some exposure to the forest shrine later could bring them back to life, Loot (well not loot more like pack up) Elms Lab it's bound to have some useful survival gear and technology

You were already planning on keeping the dead Unown; you keep pretty much everything unless the Narrator takes it away with a violent storm. And you're pretty sure Elm will pack up his stuff by the time you are back, in order to keep the plot running apace.

All that's left for you is to step into the water and go on down the tunnel to Lugia.

You put the Pokédex away, and probe the water with one foot. It doesn't seem too deep, but the ground beneath is sloping; you don't know how deep it goes.

With the air of a condemned criminal walking to the gallows, you step into the icy water and begin to wade.

The water reaches your knees fairly quickly and stays there, as if reluctant to crawl any higher. You are acutely aware of the loud sloshing noises you make with every step; Lugia must know you're here by now. Hell, everything in the cave network must know you're here – it's so loud, you think, that it could probably be heard far away in space...

You are heading deeper into the dark now, and you can barely see your hands in front of your face. The water is imperceptibly higher; you can't see it, but you know it is because you can feel the chill more than before – or is that fear? You aren't sure.

You keep walking.

Water, you think, clawing at any topic you can to take your mind away from the dark and the cold and what you can see up ahead. Water – everything is connected to the water. This began with a Water-type, and the monsters seem to be connected to a city under the water, and now you're wading through water towards...

Well.

It would be better not to say.

They say we know less about the ocean depths than we do about outer space, you recall, and you wonder how we could ever stand having all that unknown mystery lurking so close to the door, all those unimagined horrors so close to hand; people pondered the possibility of aliens in the blackness of space, but they should have been worrying about the other abyss, the one closer to home – the one from which all the nightmares anyone could ever want could crawl at any moment...

The water is up to your waist now, and it's a little warmer. You preferred it when it was cold: it focused your mind more, and this warmth reminds you unpleasantly of blood.

It's quite close now, the creature at the other end of the tunnel. It's big, bigger than anything you've ever seen, and it is watching you with eyes that you can't meet – that no one could ever meet.

You don't know how you can see it so clearly, when it's so dark you can't even see yourself, but you wish with all your heart that you couldn't.

You stop. Not because you want to – although you do – but because it wants you to, and you can't ignore what it wants.

It knows what you want.

You want help, you realise, or to help it – you want something, but even you're not sure what it is.

You are saving the world, it knows – for it knows everything you know, and everything else as well – and it wants you to do so.

It wants to go back.

Or is that you?

No, it's both. You both want to go back. You think.

There is not much it can do to change things. It is too big to leave the chamber now, too strong to die, paralysed by its exploded mind.

But still.

If you can change things, if you can turn them back—

If you save the world, it will come, and do what it can.

And then, somehow, you're climbing out of the water onto the rocks, and staggering dazedly back to Elm's lab, where you flop down on one of the chairs and try to massage some sense back into your head.

Are you OK? asks Vesta, not caring that you forgot her seaweed. Othodox...

“He's fine, I think,” says Elm, examining you with a critical eye. “Did... did it speak to you?”

“I think so,” you answer, and your voice surprises you: you had forgotten that you could speak with words. Lugia's talking, the language that transcends words, images, even thoughts, the language that works by bringing the sparking cores of two souls together in one heart, seems to be the logical way of doing things – but now, you realise, you can't remember how it was done. “Y-yeah,” you go on, feeling dizzy. “Elm... Lugia's intelligent, right?”

“It's said it could communicate telepathically,” Elm says. “On the same intellectual level as a man.”

You nod slowly. Lugia has gone beyond man – beyond telepathy. It's barely contained by reality, whatever it is; you have an idea that it has gone mad in a way that only those whose minds have exceeded the limitations of the universe can. It knows it's mad, it tries to contain its madness – but at the same time, it can't come to terms with whatever it is that its own mind has become.

None of that makes sense to you, but it almost does, and in Lugia's terms, that is probably enough.
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  #364    
Old May 26th, 2013, 06:03 AM
ArlidenRostedt's Avatar
ArlidenRostedt
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Won't Vesta shrink a bit if you give her less fuel? Could you put her in a pouch of adamantine spider silk since it's not flammable? maybe put some seaweed in too?
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  #365    
Old May 26th, 2013, 11:23 AM
Armorous
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Take a few more minutes to wrap your head around the situation, then do an inventory (both yours and Elm's, if they're separate) and ceiling check. If the inventories are separate, make sure to ask Elm before you check his, and only check if he says it's okay.

(Just wanted to say that the story's been really interesting so far, and I love how the characters introduced so far have been portrayed. Even if I haven't read any of the book-based material plot-wise...lack of the books at my library.
Oh, and I'm going to try to figure out the scrambled Radar entries. Judging by your "hint" in the last voice-listening session, I have an idea of how to solve them. Also, may I ask you a question about one of the entries via PM, and possibly get corrections to my attempts to solve the entries through PM as well?)
  #366    
Old May 26th, 2013, 09:14 PM
c1234321's Avatar
c1234321
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Be grateful that Lugia didnt brutally destroy you. After a quick prayer to Tabiti for luck, a quiet one so Elm doesnt hear you, begin your ascent.
  #367    
Old May 28th, 2013, 06:07 AM
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StinkomanFan
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Also, your dress. Check to see if it's still in good condition.
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  #368    
Old May 28th, 2013, 07:46 AM
Lopnis's Avatar
Lopnis
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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I don't think there's anything left to do in here so...Get to the Chopper!
  #369    
Old May 29th, 2013, 02:27 PM
Cutlerine
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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> Won't Vesta shrink a bit if you give her less fuel? Could you put her in a pouch of adamantine spider silk since it's not flammable? maybe put some seaweed in too?

She's already shrinking nicely, since you forgot her seaweed. And while you can't really make a pouch, you can sort of scrunch the silk up into a kind of... well, to be brutally honest it's a mess, but you should be able to tie one end around your shoulders and have Vesta hang down at your side. Just be careful when you put your hands in your pockets.

On second thoughts, perhaps there are some things you shouldn't joke about.

Othodox crafted one Tangle of Fireproof Webbing! Othodox arranged the Tangle of Fireproof Webbing around his shoulders.

You glance at Elm.

“You ready?” you ask. He has packed his stuff away into a Bag similar to the one you used to have, only it's made of some special rugged material that will survive long after both of you are dead.

“As ready as I'll ever be,” he says.

You have created a party!

Professor Elm joined the party!

Vesta joined the party!

Othodox became the party leader!


Hm. This is not a mechanic you remember existing before the Dreaming. Perhaps there's a help module that can offer more information.

> Take a few more minutes to wrap your head around the situation, then do an inventory (both yours and Elm's, if they're separate) and ceiling check. If the inventories are separate, make sure to ask Elm before you check his, and only check if he says it's okay.

Othodox's Inventory:

Elm's Key x1
Hideously Dangerous Stabby Thing x1
Highly Persuasive Handgun x1
Large European Eel x4
Loaded Portable Spratchery (Two Shots) x1
MooMoo Milk x2
Rocks x12
Sodden Lava Cookie x1
Sturdy Scale x3

Elm's Inventory:

Cutlery Set x6
Cooking Pot x2
Empty Bottle x4
Fibreglass Rock Wall x1
Folding Chair x10
Fuel Cell (Full) x2
Fuel Cell (Half Depleted) x1
Laptop x3
LED Cluster x12
Limpet x52
Master Ball x2
Portable Generator x1
'Tea' Flask x7
Water Bottle x3
Water Purification Unit x1

Vesta's Inventory:

BURGEONING ELOQUENCE x1
Flaming Seaweed x14
RAVENING HUNGER x1
Smoke x∞
UNDYING LOYALTY x1

Vesta's property is mainly abstract, but since they're listed in her inventory, you could probably take those abstracts from her. Although I don't recommend taking away the UNDYING LOYALTY if you value the finer things in life. And by 'the finer things in life' I mean 'not being on fire'.

> Also, your dress. Check to see if it's still in good condition.

If any of the rags of it have survived, you lost them in the storm. You changed out of it a long time ago, back in Olivine.

Damn it. Perhaps Lugia messed with your head more than you thought. You at least hoped you still knew what you were wearing.

> Be grateful that Lugia didnt brutally destroy you. After a quick prayer to Tabiti for luck, a quiet one so Elm doesnt hear you, begin your ascent.

Astonishingly, you're already grateful enough without being told. On account of it actually happening to you.

Funny how these voices seem not to notice details like that, isn't it? Almost as if they don't regard you as a real person.

You mutter a brief prayer to Tabiti, and in doing so indirectly remind her that you've been keeping busy with the whole 'defending the sacred fire' thing recently. Hauling a bonfire through a sea cave isn't exactly easy; anyone who goes to such lengths must be pretty devoted.

Othodox's Devotion has increased!

Othodox is a Priest Sheathed in a Glorious Flame!


> I don't think there's anything left to do in here so...Get to the Chopper!

You nod at Elm, and the pair of you begin to retrace your steps. Soon, however, Elm takes a turn that you never noticed before, and then works his way through a series of tight twists and curves so quickly that you actually begin to feel dizzy.

“We're still on the lowest level,” says Elm, moving swiftly on ahead of you with practised ease. “I travel along these tunnels all the time to get to the good tidal pools, where most of the edible weeds and molluscs are. But to get back up, we'll need to go up through here.”

He points at a side passage that yawns blackly to the left.

Neither of you move towards it.

Are we going? asks Vesta, apparently unconcerned.

“I'm going first, aren't I?” you say. It isn't a question.

“Of course,” replies Elm. “You're the one with the weapons. I'll direct you from behind.”

“Great,” you mutter, and step into the passage before you can convince yourself not to.

The walls glisten with beads of water and crystals of salt in the soft glow of Vesta's flames; you draw your Highly Persuasive Handgun and keep it ready, taking comfort in the solid weight of the implausible machine in your hand.

You walk through the dark, and everything is so quiet that you jump and nearly shoot your foot off when Elm whispers:

“Take a right here.”

You take it, and now you really feel the ground sloping upwards beneath you; you're higher up already, you can feel it. Soon, you emerge into a large cavern, featureless save for the black water in its centre, and Elm motions frantically for you to stay still.

“Don't make a sound,” he mouths desperately. “This is where the others were taken.”

You glance around uneasily, but see nothing out of the ordinary; Elm shakes his head and points up. You follow his finger, and see—

—a ceiling of gently rustling skin and bone, of gently flexing fingers and tufts of fur.

You look back down again. That doesn't help: it just means that you notice that the rocks here are not in fact white, but merely covered in a thick crust of guano. A snippet of information comes to mind – mining for guano is highly damaging to bat populations, due to the fact that they die of stress easily when their roost is repeatedly invaded – but that doesn't seem to hold true for the Zubat and Golbat up above. Even before they turned Eldritch, you strongly suspect they would sooner eat a guano miner than be scared off by them.

Given that Golbat has the largest gape of any animal of its size, you're actually certain they would sooner eat a miner than be scared by them.

“OK,” you mouth back to Elm. “Where do we need to get to?”

He points across the cave, and you see a dim and distant tunnel mouth through the gloom.

You nod, and give your lions a sound mental girding.

Then you begin to creep.

You've done your share of sneaking over the past few days. You've crept through houses as you looted, ever-aware of what could be lurking behind corners; you've slid near-silently across Mr. Pokémon's ruined floor. You've hid and dodged and run.

But never have you been up against so many opponents, or ones with such good hearing, and you're almost convinced that they can hear the very beads of sweat as they pop into existence on your forehead, or the thudding of your heart in your chest...

They let you get halfway across the cave before they confirm your suspicions and show you that they can.

You are standing near the edge of the great pool of seawater when the first bat peels away from the roof. You barely have time to blink before the air is full of them, all awake, all screeching, all diving

Othodox used Flash Cannon!

The searing light cuts a giant swathe through the swarm, and hundreds of foul bodies burst into petrol-stinking shreds of dried flesh and leather; the remaining bats bunch up closer, retreating for a moment, waiting to see if you'll strike again and you and Elm are running, all thoughts of subtlety gone from your heads, and the great bluish cloud is coming down at you again, shedding teeth, claws, fur, excrement like the shambling undead in a horror movie, and you don't have time to turn and shoot or to get your sting out but the passage is so far away still and you can feel claws digging into your shirt and teeth in your arms—

Boom.

The great bats pull away, shrieking like broken train-whistles, and flap over to the lake; you turn to see what happened, moving despite yourself, and you trip and fall, Elm tumbling over you onto the floor. The guano breaks beneath you, cracking like dried mud, but you don't notice: your eyes are locked on the mighty head protruding from the lake, the huge sleek white-furred cone of flesh whose ponderous jaws snapped shut a few moments ago and created that colossal noise. The Golbat are slashing at it with their claws, the Zubat are screaming out odd ripples in the air – but the Eldritch Dewgong, its mouth full of their comrades, doesn't seem to feel it; it sinks, slowly and gracefully, back down under the water, en route to its resting place to chew at its leisure.

The bats strike angrily at the water for a moment, so many gathered together that the lake actually disappears under the purple leather of their wings, and then, their numbers thinned but still enormous, rise up again and look towards you—

Elm grabs your shoulder, and you get up and sprint.

Again the bats are coming, and they are so much faster than you and you know there are too many to shoot – but the tunnel mouth is right here, and you've flung yourself in, smashing your shoulder painfully into the wall but you don't care—

—and the bats are spewing into the little space with you, and there really is only one thing you can do and that is to throw Vesta.

Nothing survives.

The Golbat, the Zubat, any little organisms that might have been feeding on the guano – nothing on land or in the air in the cave from which you've come had a snowflake's chance in hell.

You realise, with a certain sense of incredulity, that you knew that bat guano was pretty flammable. They used to use it in gunpowder.

And equally, you know what sort of a fire Vesta is. She has a RAVENING HUNGER, after all.

You and Elm are completely blinded for a while, so bright is the green glow from the bat cave; then you are deafened, too, by shrieks and screams so piercing that your ears bleed and something in your nose hurts; you both scrabble on all fours away down the passage, bits of bat stinking and burning and falling all around you, petrol and ash and musk fighting in your nose and incredible heat at your back.

Then there is nothing but darkness and silence.

A while later – who knows how long? You have no way to measure it – your vision returns, and your hearing. You get unsteadily to your feet, and squint down at Elm, a supine shape dimly visible in the dark. He seems OK, as far as you can see.

The other direction, then. The way you came from.

There's light coming from that way – green and red. The stone of the cave floor is glowing orange on its surface, superheated by supernatural fire; what bits of bat remain are crisping and burning to nothing on the stone floor. The lake has boiled away, revealing a deep, salt-crusted tunnel where it once was; overall, the cave looks cleaner than it probably ever has done. There is nothing left in it at all save hot rock and, near the entrance, a small pocket of green flames wrapped up in a bundle of white silk.

You poke the Tangle of Fireproof Webbing tentatively. It doesn't appear to have taken up any heat at all. The inside of it is probably hot enough to boil granite, but that's all right, since only Vesta has to touch that.

Did I do OK? she asks.

You stare. Try to answer. Cough.

“Yeah,” you say after a while, spitting dust. “Yeah, that was... that was good. Really good.”

Good good, she says happily. Shall we keep going?

“Yeah,” croaks Elm hoarsely from behind you. “Let's do that.”

You put the Tangle of Fireproof Webbing back on and plunge back into the tunnels. It's a while before you can think clearly again, but when you can, you realise that you're actually quite near the surface now, and nothing else has attacked you. Presumably, you think, the total destruction of a couple of thousand mutant bats taught any other Pokémon hanging around that you and your fire are a pair of real mean motor scooters.

You resolve never to call yourself a real mean motor scooter ever again. It worked for Seth Gecko, but it most definitely does not work for you.

While you're in the middle of this sobering realisation, you round the corner and are instantly blinded all over again: the sun is shining ferociously out here, and it's reflecting off the sea with almost as much power. You feel like an ant that's wandered too close to a Charmander's tail.

Elm lets out a wild, incoherent yell of delight and jumps for joy; strong winds and a lack of practice mean that he doesn't land on his feet, but he doesn't mind, and scrambles back upright with a grin on his face.

“God!” he cries. “I'd forgotten how good it feels!”

You smile back and look around. You seem to be on the most westerly of the Whirl Islands, which is also the tallest; you are standing near its peak, atop a crag that overlooks the others. You can see Cianwood to the south, and if the top of the hill weren't in the way, you could probably see Olivine to the north.

And right beside you, as unaffected by the passage of time as any building you've seen so far, is a large helicopter.

To the south is the path to the beach.

There is a cave here.

There is a helicopter here.
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  #370    
Old May 29th, 2013, 07:46 PM
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destinedjagold
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Location: Philippines
Gender: Male
Nature: Careful
Wow, we haven't had any action that intense for a while! :3

Anyway, check your surroundings for any signs of danger. Use the scanner if you need to.

Then, if the coast is clear, check and see if you and Elm are hungry. Vesta already ate, if it could consider what it did back then as eating anyway.
If either of the two of you are, then cook some eels. Try not to let Vesta overcook it...wait, Elm has a cooking pot. Use it to cook.

While eating, try and think if checking the beach would be a good idea. There might be items there, or not. Ask your party about it. You are the team leader, after all.

And oh, do you or Elm know how to operate a helicopter? o.0
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  #371    
Old May 29th, 2013, 08:11 PM
Armorous
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Check around and in the helicopter for any items of interest. And one more rock, while you're at it.
  #372    
Old May 30th, 2013, 08:49 AM
Dimebag's Avatar
Dimebag
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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Check out the cave , in order to find something that could be useful. And eat if you are hungry ( cook those eels ) .Then check the helicopter
  #373    
Old May 30th, 2013, 06:49 PM
ArlidenRostedt's Avatar
ArlidenRostedt
Unhatched Egg
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Sydney Australia
Gender: Male
Nature: Jolly
Ask Tabiti for access to the help module. Or ask the Narrator.
Ask Elm how effective he thinks the masterballs are against Eldritch Pokemon. Will they tame one? Will they not decay like the lesser balls do? If you could throw one of his master balls at the eldritch quilava the next time you see it (and not throw it into the flames of his back) that would solve a LOT of problems (assuming you succeed in getting back to the mainland). What if you catch it in a masterball and keep that masterball in a pokeball? Would that slow down the decay?
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  #374    
Old May 30th, 2013, 08:50 PM
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Lopnis
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Gender: Male
See if the new team function creates new features like team skills or something like that, like maybe Elm has a skill like Analysis tells you weaknesses of Eldritch Creatures, and maybe you have something like Attarct Danger/Plot point that continues the story by scaring the wiz out of you or getting your but kicked, but if not just go to the chopper and get out of here.
  #375    
Old June 1st, 2013, 07:17 PM
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c1234321
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Gender: Male
The beach wouldnt be there if not for some event to happen, so I suggest searching the beach thoroughly before you leave. You dont know when you might be back and you dont know what could be down there. But be wary. Youre under constant threat of attack from both the ocean and the beach, so have Vesta be ready.
 
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