Pokémon FULL TRAINERS (IC) Page 19

Started by Skywalker October 10th, 2019 3:27 AM
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Aquacorde

the more we love, the more we learn // the more we love, the more we BURN 🔥

Age 28
she/her/he/him
Ankh-Morpork
Seen 20 Hours Ago
Posted 21 Hours Ago
11,492 posts
17.5 Years
Casey Holt
Tuesday, May 28, 2019 // Morning, Day 9
Vermillion City
8-15. never been tested

Spoiler: the impression that i get - the mighty mighty bosstones

Ginger materializes in an instant, high above Hana's still-blind Lapras, and drops foot-first into the back of its skull, bouncing off to finish the Double Kick by slamming down into its shell. The Lapras cries out and dives sideways into the pool, but electricity crackles as it does and bubbles pop above the surface as it lets out its breath. A second zap and the Lapras surfaces, Ginger's blunt little claws dug into its shell, and it can't do anything before it is kicked in the neck by those tiny, powerful feet. The Lapras slumps, head splashing into the water, and Ginger hops to the sidelines under Hana's chair.

"Lapras is unable to battle!"

Hana peers down, trying to get a better look at Casey's Pokémon. "Brutal, don't you think?"

Casey shrugs. It's Ginger's attitude that makes it seem so, but- "She's just fast. Counter her better."

Oops.

That was sassy.

Hana narrows her eyes, but Casey stands his ground. "Get her out from under there, it's unfair if I can't see her."

Unfair? What kind of gym leader talks about unfairness? Casey bites his tongue on that, at least, and waves Ginger back to his side of the pool. She obliges with a forward roll and ear-spring that launches her into his chest. "Oof. Thanks for bein' on target, I s'pose."

Hana's second Pokémon materializes in the murky pool, and it's Casey's turn to frown. "It's unfair if I can't see it," he parrots.

Hana might have rolled her eyes. He didn't quite catch it if she did. "It's a Whiscash, if you must know."

"Thanks." Ginger makes a move to drop from his arms, but he holds her back. "Wait, wait. This is better for Parsley." Ginger starts in on an unintelligible rant, which Casey fully ignores as he releases his Skiddo onto the pool deck.

"Switching?" Janice calls down.

"For now! Ginger, chill out- she's got three, you can start the next one- don't make me put you away-"

Hana snaps her fingers while Casey is busy wrangling his Buneary, and her Whiscash launches from the water at the perfect point to drive a Psychic-powered headbutt into Parsley's flank.

"Leech Seed!" Casey yells, and roots twist their way around the base of its tail as the Whiscash dives back into the dark waters. His earlier strategy might get him in trouble now. He's pretty sure Whiscash are swamp Pokémon, which means they can see just fine in nasty water.

Unfortunately, Parsley can't do the same.

It's good for them that the pool complex has big glass skylights overhead, because that lets Growth do its job properly as Parsley canters down the length of the pool. Hana tracks the Skiddo's pace and Whiscash throws a wall of brownish water at him a few times- they hit their mark, but Parsley shakes himself out cheerfully and runs on, energy draining into him from the Whiscash at the bottom of the pool. If Hana doesn't do something soon, it'll probably faint just from that. That would be boring.

So Casey mixes it up.

"Razor Leaf, into the pool!"

It's not going to do anything, of course- the leaves barely submerge before they lose momentum and float to the top. But it's only meant to show Hana that he's got a plan- even though he doesn't- and to coax that Whiscash out of the pool. And it works! Hana calls for Dive, a fast swim underwater culminating in a water-veiled slam against Parsley's shoulder. But that's not her end goal, apparently- when the water washes away, Parsley is thrashing on the pool deck, Whiscash tickling him with its fins. The only thing that stops the assault is the fish's wince as Leech Seed drains it further, and Hana's command for a retreat into the pool.

Parsley shakes himself and rolls to his feet, snorting and stomping. "You good, baby boy?"

The Skiddo trots by and nuzzles into Casey's outstretched hand, which he takes as an affirmative.

"Rest," commands Hana, from her chair, and Casey sighs. They can't even hit it if it's underwater while doing that!

He stares into the pool, still murky from Pepper's smoke and the Whiscash's muddy water, but… he can see a shadow, now?

Pools have filters, his brain helpfully supplies, but it doesn't really matter that they do- just that he can see again.

"Parsley, go 'round that side! Halfway down- grab it!"

Parsley does so, managing to find purchase on the wet ground enough to heave the Whiscash onto the pool deck, and Hana's command of "Snore" has Parsley flinching away at the noise, shaking his head vigorously.

"Vine Whip!"

The Skiddo sets about lashing the fish with his vines as the seed roots wrapped around its tail continue to bolster his energy. Another Snore is powered through, and the Whiscash wakes to Zen Headbutt the Skiddo in front of it and dive away safely.

"Pull it up again!"

This time it's not so easy- Parsley's hooves slide more with the momentum of the Whiscash, but with one vine attached to Hana's chair and one wrapped around the fish he reels it in, forcing it to surface and take a barrage of leaves to the face. Even Dive can't save it, though it almost pulls Parsley in twice- so Hana goes for another Zen Headbutt. Parsley staggers, vines around the lifeguard's chair slipping, and falls into the water with a splash. Casey and Ginger almost join him, the former tripping right up to the edge to see where his baby has gone, but Parsley surfaces momentarily, glowing with stolen energy and paddling back to Casey's side of the pool.

The Whiscash doesn't surface, but also doesn't execute Hana's command.

"Whiscash is unable to battle!"

"Yeah! Good job, baby boy!"

Casey opens his hands for Parsley's vines to wrap around, hauling him back out of the clearing pool. Ginger chitters insistently in his ear.

"I know, I know- Parsley, take a break, 's Ginger's turn again."

"You don't even know what my last Pokémon is," Hana calls across.

"Doesn't matter! She wants to fight an' I promised she could."

He'd do it even if he didn't have the advantage here, he realizes. He'd do it because that's what his Pokémon want to do, because it's good for them, because battles are supposed to be a fun test of skill. It doesn't matter if he wins. He doesn't have to prove anything to Hana- he already knows he doesn't care about her opinion. He's going to do things his way, whether she likes it or not, and if she complains about it to her brother- well. Casey has something to complain about right back.

Right now, though, he's going to let his Pokémon play.

Ginger doesn't flinch from her firm stance on the edge of the pool as a Lanturn materializes, curiously splashing at the clearing-but-still-murky pool water. The first thing it does is raise water to form circling rings around itself, and Casey grimaces. It looks as Life Dew had, clear and sparkling, and it must be a healing thing, too. He doesn't remember the name, or what it does, and he doesn't like not knowing. Usually he'd take cues from his opponent, but Hana hadn't even said the name- the Lanturn just did it, which means it's something it's used to doing.

So it goes, with defensive tactics, and he does have Hana on the defensive.

"You're gonna have to be pretty tight with your aim if you wanna hit it and get back without falling in," Casey tells Ginger. "It's gonna dive more'n Lapras. An' dont use Thunder Punch, it might have the ability that heals from Electric attacks."

Ginger scoffs and darts forward. "Hey-?!"

She's running on the water!

Each time her foot hits the pool, the water freezes at the point of contact, giving her just enough momentum to push off and do it again and again until she reaches the Lanturn and smashes a glowing-white ear into its face just before it blasts her back with a wave of electricity, sending her tumbling back to Casey's side of the pool and slamming into the wall. Her little paws scrabble at the side and drag her out of the water, soaked and angry. The pool crackles again, Ginger's feet barely clearing the surface as it does.

That's dangerous.

"Better jump when I say or you'll be gettin' that through your feet," Casey says, and Ginger's off again, speeding across the surface after the Lanturn below. Electricity lights up the pool and Casey realizes he’s not quicker than a current run through water- but it’s okay, this time, because Ginger ploughs on through this weaker charge. Static crackles through her fur and falls away as the Lanturn surfaces to see if its ploy has worked and it gets a kick to the forehead and the back of the skull for its trouble.

Limber! What an ability- it’s crazy how many times it’s come in handy, unlike Parsley’s Sap Sipper. But- that’s right- Parsley doesn’t have Limber, Parsley is susceptible to electrical paralysis, and Parsley is next up. Casey grimaces, though none but him know why- Ginger’s doing well, after all, following through with a Dizzy Punch plunged into the water and freezing her own feet to float back up again. Hana’s Lanturn tries a Confuse Ray, but Ginger simply twists away, closing her eyes as she surfaces and scrambles back onto the pool deck.

She’s going to have to finish this for them- he doesn’t know what he’ll do if Parsley’s body locks up under him in a pool of all places. Casey shudders.

Lanturn wheels about underwater, glowing happily with crystalline restoration. Ginger, on the other hand, looks like a stuffed toy fresh from the washing machine, all sodden and matted fur. Her little chest heaves with effort- she's probably carrying twice her weight in water by now, not to mention the exertion of performing her usual acrobatics in an aquatic setting. Casey's heart sinks.

She won't be able to finish this.

But maybe she can get close enough that Parsley can without issue.

Bounce is thwarted by a Quick Attack, but mid-air Discharge sends Ginger flying back poolside before she can get another kick in. “Another thing to watch out for,” Casey grits out. Parsley snorts in agreement. Maybe. It doesn’t matter, he’s the trainer, he has to be the one watching out- “Watch out!

There’s no watching out for Discharge, though, and Ginger’s wet fur is as good a conductor as the pool itself. She slumps, barely perceptible, and Casey sighs. Because when Ginger’s almost out-

She takes risks.

A straight dive down and a wallop to Lanturn’s eye with Dizzy Punch is good, but she’s hardly maneuverable in the water and coating her feet in ice to rise doesn’t help when the water begins to swirl around Lanturn, drawing her back into the vortex, head bobbing too infrequently above the water for comfort. She wants to fight, Casey reminds himself, calling out for her to punch it again on her way by. Her ear barely grazes the fish on the first pass, and doesn’t make contact the second time around. Lanturn times a Confuse Ray perfectly and Casey winces. She wants to fight, she wants to fight, she wants to fight-

“TIMEOUT!”

Casey doesn’t even wait for Janice to interpret that request into Pokémon battle rules; he has Parsley snatch Ginger right out of the Whirlpool and deposit her into his arms. “Hey,” he says urgently, starting to squeeze the water out of her fur. “You’re done, you’re done, you’re good-”

Ginger gives him a weak smack and a glare, which is slightly hampered by the fact that her eyes aren’t focusing in the same place. Casey doesn’t like that at all, doesn’t like seeing his strong little bunny unable to even lift her head. He remembers, vaguely, how you’re supposed to hold a baby- upright, her little chin near the shoulder seam of his life jacket, one of his hands supporting her head and neck.

He jumps at the gentle beep-beep of Janice’s whistle. “Casey! You’re still battling.”

Oh, right.

Ginger obviously retired like he’d done for Pepper, Parsley at his elbow, and the Lanturn glowing crystal in the bottom of the pool. Restoring health, even as he worries about Ginger. Equipped with moves to cripple and drown his baby Skiddo.

Casey takes a breath. “I-”

The smack to his jaw from Ginger is fully anticipated, even addled as she is, but the vine covering his mouth is very different. Parsley pushes into his side and snuffles.

“No, I don’t-” want you to, his brain finishes, and the words die in his throat. Because that’s not a good reason. Pokémon are built for this, they’re built to spar and play and desire these activities. What he, Casey, wants has nothing to do with his Pokémon right now- what he wants is fully based on his own perceptions. He doesn’t want to get in that pool. He doesn’t ever want to experience paralysis again. He doesn’t want to spend his morning dizzy and confused. But he is not Parsley, he is not Ginger, he is not Pepper. They are built to dish out and take far more than his human body is designed for and they shake it off far more quickly- Ginger’s already more grumpy than dizzy, and paralysis hardly bothered Parsley back against Emolga. It had bothered Casey.

He'd do it because that's what his Pokémon want to do he’d though, just moments ago.

This isn’t different.

“Okay.” Casey takes a deep breath. “Okay.”

Parsley steps forward to Janice’s announcement. “Both participants are down to their last Pokémon!”

Parsley glows green as he trots along the poolside and his pelt fluffs out, and Casey is once again thankful for the sun. A crackling Discharge from the bottom of the pool doesn't quite spill over the side, but it's a threat nonetheless. The ring around Lanturn glows again and Casey has to do something about that, but-

"Hey, throw a Leech Seed in there," Casey says, and watches it plonk into the water. It hangs for a moment, then bursts into twisting roots, catching nothing and floating back to the surface. Interesting.

"Stop throwing crap in my pool," Hana complains, which is the first thing she's said directly to him in a while. Casey gives a breezy laugh.

"Nah." She can't be so worried about this damn pool- she invites people to battle in it. She just doesn't want him to figure out what he can and can't do with the water. "Parsely, throw a Leaf Shield on it."

Okay, that's just him being petty. The amount of leaves that float on the surface do nothing but irritate Hana, who calls for her Lanturn to surface next to Parsley for an in-your-face Confuse Ray. But Parsley is ready, and a seed punches through the glow- but it doesn't prevent the brain-addling light from settling behind his eyes and the Skiddo staggers. Luckily, not into the pool that the Lanturn has retreated into again, but still- not ideal.

"Don't move 'round too much, baby boy," Casey calls. Parsley snorts and stamps instead of listening, and Casey clenches his fists. "Just- Growth, okay?"

He listens to that, at least, and glows with that green energy again. And a bit more, but from the pool- the Leech Seed wrapped around Lanturn's antenna is doing its job, stealing away the healing water it has been relying on. But as it springs into the air, Casey knows Parsley can't avoid the resulting slam, not when he staggers just trying to move forward. The Skiddo hits the deck with a solid thud, the Lanturn making an easy escape back into the water because all Parsley can focus enough to do is cry.

Casey hates that.

"C'mon, baby, Synthesis, Synthesis, you can do it-" Parsley's side shudders with heavy breaths and glows gold in the rays of the sun. It takes a moment to stumble to his feet and by then the Lanturn is above him again. "Pursuit boost!"

The speed of the technique lets Parsley dart out from under the Lanturn's shadow but isn't enough to avoid the wash of electricity it sends out on impact with the pool deck. Casey yelps as sparks skitter up his legs. "What the hell-"

"Get back in the challenger's box, it's there for a reason," Janice scolds. Casey grouses about it, finally noticing that said box is not just differently-colored floor but has grounding points all along its edge.

The Lanturn bounces up again, but they have a strategy now, and each time it does it's easy to let Growth glow through Parsley's form and at the last moment use a boost to jump away. Casey knows why Hana is doing this- her other moves barely affect a Grass-type, and she can't win a battle of attrition against Leech Seed and Synthesis. But before he can change it up, she does it for him.

"Draw it in!"

What?

A Whirlpool forms above the water, draining the pool down as it does, but the Lanturn somehow flings the growing vortex in Parsley's direction and the Skiddo has nowhere to run- he gets swept into the water as it boomerangs back into the pool, pulling him down toward the center like trash caught in a drain. Electricity pulses through the water and Parsley's frantically paddling hooves falter- paralysis!- and stronger electricity lights up the whirling funnel, over and over. Parsley flails against it with his vines, but it Bounces up as he is pulled into the very center and this is his chance-

"Razor Leaf!"

Two flurries of leaves rush to meet the oncoming Lanturn but the fish keeps falling, slamming down into Parsley and submerging them both. The Whirlpool calms and the whipped bubbles clear to reveal only one Pokémon bobbing up and breaking the surface with a splash.

"Baby boy!" Casey cheers, holding out his hands for the vines to settle around so he can haul his Skiddo out once more and cuddle him. "Oh, good job baby boy! So brave bein' in the water and doin' all that work, yes!"

Parsley snuffles against his ear, which makes it hard to hear Hana across the way.

"Congratulations, Casey," she says. Casey looks up at her, and she actually does look happy for him. He doesn't know if he wants her to be. "Not many people pull off a win against me."

Casey nods his thanks, not quite trusting anything he might say.

Pepper Bomb • Charmeleon • lv37 | Ginger • Buneary • lv37 | Parsley • Skiddo • lv34
Casey's Profile | Jordan's's Profile | Vera's Profile | Extra Characters | TRAINERS Art | Current Chapter






Eleanor

Would you like some tea? I'll brew you some...

Age 22
she/her
Italy
Online now
Posted 1 Hour Ago
4,245 posts
5.5 Years
art by Aquacorde
Arianne Chandler
Vermilion City
Tuesday, May 28th, morning
Written with QueenNothing as Gwen and Aquacorde as Casey

Without you

“Aw, Gwen, please…” Arianne mumbles, almost pressing her head against the pillow. “It’s too perfect… just a few more… days…”

Soon she gives in and opens her eyes, only to see a fully dressed up Gwen, ready for adventure. “You’re… ready to leave already? I… fine.” She eventually gets out of bed, keeping an eye on her Pokémon who are still sleeping in their usual spots. “Just what made you so eager to… oh right, Saffron. And Jennifer.” A smile finally appears on the Cinnabar girl’s face.

“Damn straight!” Gwen says with her iconic smirk. “I’ll get the chance to show her how much Pokemon I’ve caught, how many battles I had, and a bunch of cool stuff like that!”

"Alright alright, I'm getting ready!" Arianne replies, giggling at the other girl's enthusiasm as she starts getting ready herself and, eventually, decides to wear her blue skirt for the day. "At least it's no longer that cold, I feel just fine with this!" She cheers.

“It really wasn’t that cold… but who cares, I’m gonna see Jenny today!”

"You do you but… yeah, Saffron should be kind of a straight shot from here anyways. And with that… I'm ready to go!" The Cinnabar girl grins. "So, let's go for breakfast, shall we?"

“Sorry- I already had breakfast.” Gwen says. “I was so excited I had to do everything right away!”

"I… oh!" Arianne laughs nervously. At least this time, she can't help but ask why Gwen didn't want to have breakfast with her, or just… "Well, if you wanted to go straight away, don't let me weigh you down and… I can catch up later if you want!"

‘Well... I wouldn’t want to go without you! Besides, I’d have to wait awhile if I had to wait for anyone else.” Gwen chuckles.

"Oh, that's how it is… I'll go right away then, and hopefully resist the temptation of trying all the food!" Arianne chuckles as well, before hastily leaving the room.

There's no real reason for her to refuse Gwen's idea of traveling together. They're meant to spend time together in Saffron as well, and with the capital of Kanto being this close, why would they need to separate? Besides, Gwen is probably one of the best friends to have around at this moment. For a lot of reasons. And no, liking Courtney is not enough of a drawback to justify staying away from her.

A quick breakfast later, and Arianne is back in her room. Or rather, almost there. She’s got a few foodstuffs from the breakfast room to pack with her on the trip towards Saffron, surely a better solution than having a huge breakfast in a few minutes and then feeling groggy for the rest of the day. But as she approaches the door and tries to open it up, she stands still in the opening. Instead of announcing that she’s back, Arianne gulps down her words and tries to make the least amount of sound - Gwen is on the phone, and she’d rather not disturb her now.

"Uh, hi Casey! Since Saffron is so close now and that's where Jenny lives I was wondering if you maybe, uhh..."

"Maybe what?"

Of course the call is on speaker… Arianne simply moves her arms around, trying to get Gwen's attention without being heard whatsoever, but is actually not sure whether she should leave the room entirely or wait there.

"W-well, I was wondering if you wanted to come over and just, y'know... hang out...?"

"Over- where? At your sister's house?"

"Yeah, that's where! I mean, I know it'll be awhile before we get there and all, but like I thought I'd just ask now because I'm so excited and I've been waiting for this opportunity for sooooo long and all my... f-friends... can meet Jenny and see how cool she is!"

"Uh, sure. Text me the time and place later, I guess? Don't know how long we'll be on the road or anythin', guess we'll find out soon enough."

And that sounds like… yeah, definitely Casey. So, if Gwen's plan works, Arianne will meet that boy again…

"Great!! I mean, uh , yeah, I'll let you know where we can meet up when we get there! Or maybe, uh... m-maybe if you want we could, uh, uh... t-travel through route 6 together? I mean it wouldn't just be us, of course not, I'm already going with Arianne, but the more the merrier, y'know?"

"Oh, uh- I'm already hangin' out with Jordan and Vera, actually."

"Oh... w-well don't worry about it, I'll be fine! We'll already hang out in Saffron anyways, just thought we might be able to see each other sooner and y'know I'd like to see you again soon- n-no wait, I don't mean like that just that- uh, anyways, I'll call you when I get to Saffron, maybe Tusk and Ginger can have a rematch then! See ya!"

Before Casey gets a chance to respond, Gwen hangs up and releases a long, exhausted breath. “God damnit.”

That's the cue for Arianne to speak. "I'm sorry about coming in during the call but…" She breathes heavily. "I'm here, I got some food for later, and I just need to pack everything up before we leave! Sounds good?"

“What the-!” Gwen just stares at Arianne with wide eyes. “How long have you been standing there?”

"Uh… well, not that long… it's ok!" Arianne chuckles very nervously, not sure what to say. Should she lie and hope Gwen didn't see her, or tell the truth and be scolded for it if Gwen thinks it's necessary? That's a good question…

Gwen’s pupils shift from left to right before she nervously chuckles. “W-well, I’ll just assume you didn’t hear any of that so I can sleep better… Anyways, I’m ready to go whenever you are!”

How could she even assume that after keeping her PokéGear on speaker mode, that was a whole other question. But if that's the way to make things less awkward, then… alright.

Arianne remembers this only after raising her hand and muttering "Well…" before realizing what she's getting into, and stopping promptly. "Ok, just a few minutes to get everything in my backpack, and then we leave!" She announces, quickly moving over to her bed and trying to look very focused on folding her clothes. All the while, Gwen springs to her feet and acts as though she’s jogging in place from her excess energy.

So far so good, uh? Arianne tries to focus down on Gwen out of the corner of her eye as she continues gathering her stuff and getting ready. The Saffron girl looks so impatient, so eager, but she’s still waiting for her friend and that… in a way, is kind of cute. Even if Arianne may be upset she doesn’t get to bathe in the luxury of this Fanclub place, her heart could never let her disappoint Gwen like that.

And so, after a few minutes, Arianne stops in front of Gwen, all ready to go. “Sorry I made you wait, Gwen. Let’s get to Saffron now, shall we?”

‘Psyducking finally! I’ve been waiting for this day for like… uh, however long I’ve been waiting! Let’s go!

TEAM:
Eric, lv. 35 • Espurr, lv. 19
Blitzle, lv. 21 • Mizar, lv. 19
Lulu, lv. 29 • Honedge, lv. 19

Paired with Ninetales and Vulpix 🌸 Moderator of Challenges and Writer's Lounge
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Juno

Age 27
Female
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
4,420 posts
8.2 Years


Chapter 8: A Hard Lesson


🏊 Vermilion City Gym 🕙 May 28th, Morning

He wouldn't go so far as to say he was feeling confident, but he was also not not confident. Maybe it was because this was his second Gym, or maybe it was because he was going into one where he knew his team would have a pretty good advantage, but Jordan was definitely feeling better about being here than he did in the Lavender Town gym. He shuddered a little recalling the blinding lights, nausea and chill he'd felt in Beaumont's stadium.

There was a chill this time around, too, but not from his own nerves - even with the fast-paced action unfolding before him, there was a certain... hostility in the curt interactions between Casey and the Gym Leader that was palpable even from where Jordan and Vera were sitting.

"It's unfair if I can't see it," Almost as if on cue, he heard Casey mimic the Gym Leader in the lull before their next match. Jordan grimaced. Brr.

His friend was doing well, though. He must have been training hard. Even Pepper held his own here, which was very impressive given the matchup. Even more hopeful still, there was no sign of the Croconaw that Vera had mentioned. Chomp, chomp. Jordan grinned to himself, recalling their dinner out the previous night. Fun aside, Vera also said it had Ice Fang, which was probably the most concerning thing to his team. In any case though, it had not been sent out by Hana, even when Parsley graced the stage. Perhaps it was taking a break today.

Watching Casey's team pull through definitely bolstered his confidence, too. He celebrated with Vera from the sidelines and regrouped with Casey, but their reunion was short-lived since it also meant it was now Jordan's turn.

How bad could it be? Okay, we got this.

He picked his three Grass-types, which seemed like a no-brainer. Jordan briefly considered Hop, given the maneuverability advantage he would have, but none of Casey's Pokémon could fly or swim and they did fine, so he just stuck with the type advantage.

Janice offered him platforms as well - Casey had made the decision not to use them, but his Pokémon were fairly speedy. Jordan thought about the first Pokémon he wanted to send out, and he could not imagine Tangles darting around from the poolside anyway, so maybe it was best for her to stay put but closer to the action.

The platforms looked sturdier than he'd expected. Tangles was gently bobbing up and down on the large, central one, but it was a solid surface supported by strong buoyant devices, and not the flimsy, inflatable kiddie floats Jordan had imagined.

Hana gave him a tight-lipped smile as they faced each other from across the pool. He had the impression he was on pretty good terms with her last they spoke, but perhaps losing to Casey had soured her mood. Still, she put on her best Gym Leader face.

"A smart choice type-wise, but I hope the arena here doesn't give her too much trouble!" Jordan nodded, saying nothing back. "Now, let's see..."

She didn't take long to choose her own Pokémon, and a Kingler materialized on the other end of the platform. Jordan had a feeling it wouldn't stay there long, though. "We should strike quick, while we're still on equal footing," He squatted down at the edge of the pool closest to Tangles. "Start with a Vine Whip." He added, before standing back up.

The Tangela lashed out on command, and the Kingler didn't move away to avoid the attack. Yes! Jordan thought they were off to a good start, only to realise a glowing, translucent shield had enveloped the Kingler and absorbed the hit.

Hana smirked, the glee more genuine this time. "Stomp." She retaliated, and the Kingler scuttled over where Tangles stood with surprising speed before delivering a blow that almost knocked her off the platform. Oof. They needed to do something quick to give them an edge here.

"Sleep Powder!" Jordan called out.

"Protect!" The shield glowed once more, and Jordan watched as the shimmering dust slid off it like rain on an umbrella, before disappearing into the pool.

Man, that was annoying. But he knew it had to fail eventually. As he pondered what to do next, though, Hana struck again.

"Metal Claw!"

Jordan winced, watching Tangles take another hit. This was really not a great start to the battle. Any confidence he had prior to the start of the match was plummeting faster than the attacks came in. Their type advantage meant very little when her moves haven't been able to land yet, and Hana's Kingler was striking quickly with physical attacks. If they couldn't stop it from moving with Sleep Powder, maybe they had to get physical, too.

"Hold it down with Constrict!"

Vines snaked out from Tangles' body quickly, and before the Kingler could disappear into the pool, she had it wrapped up like the bound guards from yesterday. It tried to snap its large claws at her, but it could not free them from the vines. "Okay, good! Now hit it with a Poison Powder!" They needed to start doing some damage.

As the powder settled over the immobile Kingler, its legs twitched. Its shell gleamed again, but in a different way than before. Not another Protect, surely...

"We can wait it out and keep Hardening." The Gym Leader was unbothered, and they bided their time while bound, upping the Kingler's defense in the meantime. Although it couldn't really move, its eyes were on its Trainer, who gently tipped her head to the side. By the time Jordan realized she was not just shaking hair out of her face, the Kingler had already followed her gaze and leaned with its full weight into the pool, dragging Tangles down with it.

The completely inexperienced swimmer immediately let go of its opponent, thrashing wildly in the pool. "T- don't worry! Just- am I allowed to help her out?" Jordan squatted by the edge of the pool again, reaching an arm out.

Hana shrugged. "You can, but Trainer interference won't look good on your report."

Tangles swatted his arm away with one vine; she'd found some semblance of balance, if you can call it that, hugging a floating platform. She wasn't swimming, but she wasn't sinking, at least. Maybe she can pull herself up...

But they didn't have time to keep trying. Hana and Kingler sure weren't going to wait.

"Try- hit it with an Absorb." She needed the energy, and wouldn't need to let go of the platform this way. The draining attack swirled out in a green light towards the still-underwater Kingler, merging with the blue of the pool to form a pleasant cyan colour before sapping energy from the water Pokémon and returning to its user.

But the effects of Absorb was not enough to counteract the damage of Kingler's next attack.

"Stomp!"

With surprising grace, the Kingler gripped the side of the platform with one claw and swiftly flung itself with a backflip back on the platform, kicking the Tangela with enough force to disengage her from the platform entirely.

"Tangles!" Jordan hurried over and pulled her out of the pool with no hesitation this time. He grunted. The 60-pound ball of vines was not easy to carry, especially wet. "I- Okay, no. Yes, she's done. You did good, given the whole water situation. Okay? Don't worry." He reassured her as he returned her to her Poke Ball.

"Alright!" Hana put her hands together as Janice declared the results of the match. Kingler was still fit to battle, and Jordan grabbed his next Poke Ball. This was not how he imagined his first match at a water gym going down.

Sage was up next, because... it was at this moment Jordan realised he didn't really have a game plan. He went in just knowing they just had the advantage. But not really, because these water Pokémon were in their element, and...

"Metal Claw!"

Equally checked out, the Skiddo was so absorbed in investigating the curious, new floaty pad she'd spawned in on, Hana's Kingler got a free attack in. Oops.

"Oh- I'm sorry, Sage! W- hit it with a Razor Leaf!" The Skiddo put a little distance between them by hopping onto a different platform, before buffeting the Kingler with her attack. Jordan could see a faint glow of a shield begin to form, but it either did not manifest fully in time, or simply failed this time around, since it was visibly affected by the leaves.

"Alright!" Jordan shouted with enthusiasm.

The Kingler twitched again. The effects of Tangles' Poison Powder must be lingering still. It dove back underwater, which meant they were at a bit of a standstill - while it couldn't reach Sage with its physical attacks, Jordan and Sage also couldn't see it very well.

Hana broke the idleness first - not particularly effectively, but she must have figured something needed to move along. "Bubble Beam!"

Sage snorted as a spray of bubbles hit her in the nose. She shook it off quickly, dancing along the edges of the platform, trying to reach her underwater foe.

Jordan exhaled. He thought back to the Kingler using Harden earlier, when it wasn't able to do anything else. Maybe we can use this time to set up something, too. "Growth, Sage."

The sunlight trickling through the skylight intensified as Sage drew in the energy, bolstering her attack. Concern marred the Gym Leader's features, and she attempted to disrupt the move.

"Stomp, quick!" Hana called out.

"Vine Whip!"

The Kingler was not quick enough this time - as it jumped up out of the water, Sage grabbed it with her vines and threw it against one of the smaller platforms with enough force to knock out the water Pokémon.

"Kingler is unable to battle!" Janice announced.

"Yes! Great job, Sage!" Jordan knelt over the edge of the pool and reached out to pet the wet goat with both hands, as the Skiddo bounded over to the platform closest to Jordan, tail wagging. Part of him hoped she'd sent out her toughest Pokémon first and the hardest part was over, but he very much doubted that was the case.

"Alright. Let's go, Croconaw."

Jordan's heart sank immediately. So it was around today, after all. Jordan looked up, but barely caught a glimpse of the Pokémon as it slipped into the pool, forgoing the platforms entirely.

Positioned back on the main platform, Sage stretched her neck so far forward to try and look under it, Jordan was sure she would fall in. Her tail was still wagging wildly, seeing its new opponent as more of a playmate than foe.

"Sage, focus!" He pleaded, but... maybe they could use a different strategy, actually.

"Oh- hey, you want to play? Play Nice!" He encouraged enthusiastically. Her tail wagged faster and she hopped around from platform to platform. The Croconaw still had not surfaced, but the rippling water indicated it was following Sage closely from within the pool. Suddenly, it jumped up, playfully splashing water in the Skiddo's face. Jordan grinned. It seemed distracted. Perfect.

Hana was less amused. "Okay, we can play. Scary Face."

Perking up at the sound of the Gym Leader's voice, the Croconaw somersaulted onto the platform, baring a menacing expression as it landed right in front of Sage. The startled Skiddo staggered backwards, and the Scary Face morphed into a toothy grin, clearly pleased with the effect it had on Sage.

"Now, Ice Fang!"

Oh, no. Chomp, chomp, Jordan recalled again, but with more trepidation this time.

The Croconaw was still in a playful mood, faking out the still-disoriented Sage a few times. It bounded close to snap its jaws at her, and the third time it sprang forward, they closed around her for real and the Skiddo bleated loudly in protest. Once she was freed from its icy maw, she whipped around to Tackle it, but her opponent had disappeared back underwater after releasing her.

Jordan scanned the pool for an opening they could take. The water ripples indicated it was moving faster and deeper under the surface than Sage would be able to strike it with her Vine Whip or Razor Leaf.

"Leech Seed!" It took a few lobs - much to the Gym Leader's dismay, as the seeds floated past her in the pool - but finally, one of them landed on and latched onto the Croconaw. Even under the surface, Jordan could see it take effect, as its movements slowed from the energy being sapped by the seed.

"Come up. One more Ice Fang should do it." Hana's voice cut through his small victory. It most certainly would.

"Sage, enough! Come back!" Jordan quickly interjected. To his relief, she bounded back to him. His voice went a little shrill at the end there; she must have thought he was playing.

"She's still fit to battle." The Gym Leader observed.

"Yeah."

"Is she coming back?"

"Uh, maybe. I don't know." It wasn't really a strategic withdrawal. Or maybe it was, even if that wasn't his intention, since Hana's next Pokémon might be more suited for her to battle against, and less icy.

That is, if they make it to the next Pokémon. This Croconaw was still kind of a problem.

The last Pokémon he had registered for the battle was Tiny. Maybe if it can't catch her, it can't bite her. Jordan thought as he sent her out. Not like he had another option anyway, really.

The Croconaw was still eagerly looking for something to sink its fangs into from Hana's last command, and as Jordan had hoped, the Pumpkaboo drifted just out of reach of the snapping jaws. Trying to catch Tiny, the Croconaw jumped up on a platform to reach her better. An opening!

"Razor Leaf!" Jordan called out eagerly, and her attack landed without a hitch, but the Croconaw was also close enough to be able to sink its Icy Fangs into Tiny.

"Good! Again!" Undeterred by the Razor Leaf, Hana encouraged her Pokémon to go in for another chomp.

Damn, those teeth are deadly! Jordan knew if its jaws closed around her again, the match was over. "What to do..." He pondered as the Pumpkaboo floated listlessly above the pool. The still-seeded Croconaw needed the boost from jumping off the platform, so she drifted about, away from any easy launching points it might have. Plus, the longer they stalled, the more energy they could sap from it.

Hana must have realized this too and called Croconaw back, sending out... the Whiscash. Water/Ground type. Jordan's face reddened. Is she taunting me? Maybe... she just thinks it has a way of getting Tiny down. But one or two successful Razor Leaves will cut it right down.

At least they had a preview of what the Whiscash could do from Casey's battle. They have a pretty good counter to its Rest.

He didn't want to waste any time, in case she had other tricks up her sleeve. "Razor Leaf!" Jordan called out as soon as the Whiscash materialized in the water. The sooner they could land a hit, the better.

"Dive." Narrowly avoiding the sharp blades, the Whiscash disappeared underwater. The ripples on the surface of the pool settled for a moment, and Jordan told Tiny to brace for the inevitable strike. The water attack was strong, but not devastating. More importantly, the Whiscash had resurfaced.

"Try Razor Leaf now," The attack hit its target this time around - and that was devastating to the Water/Ground Pokémon. "Yes!"

"Rest."

"Oh! Do- do the thing!" Jordan called out. "Worry Seed!"

Tiny lobbed the seed at the Whiscash, but it was already sinking into the pool. He watched the seed's velocity slow to a mild drift as it hit the water, but the sleepy Pokémon was already settled in.

As the seed connected with its target, he realized all that really achieved was... waking up the Whiscash after it had regained some energy.

"Thanks." Hana said simply. "Now, Zen Headbutt!"

Reinvigorated, the Whiscash burst through the still-muddy water, and a surprised Tiny could not get out of the way quickly enough to dodge the attack. It slammed into her, spiking the Pumpkaboo like a volleyball into the hard, poolside tiling. She landed closest to Janice, who hurried over to evaluate the Pokémon.

"Pumpkaboo is unable to battle!"

"This is a close one!" Hana called from her side of the pool. "What's your next move here?"

After safely tucking away Tiny, Jordan looked down at his last viable Pokémon. He might not be the best Trainer, but he knew his Pokémon's limits. He had a slightly battered Sage left fit for battle, but he also knew Hana was holding her Croconaw, and the Whiscash was not any worse for wear after battling Tiny. He knew what his next move was.

"I- I forfeit."

Hana didn't look too surprised. She nodded.

"That was close," She repeated as she got down from her chair. "I think the theoretical knowledge is there, you just haven't quite translated it practically yet. And your Pokémon are lacking a bit of discipline and training. But other than that, you fought well."

He couldn't believe he came in with three Grass-types and didn't walk away with a victory. But he learned a valuable lesson.

"Um, thank you. We'll do just that."

Training. We have to go training.

Party



Tangles
Tangela | F | Lvl. 21

Ingrain
Constrict
Absorb
Vine Whip
Sleep Powder
Poison Powder



Hop
Pidgeotto | M | Lvl. 23

Headbutt
Pluck
Twister
Mirror Move
Roost
Wing Attack



Spirit
Alolan Cubone | M | Lvl. 17

Focus Energy
Feint Attack
Bone Club
Headbutt
Swords Dance



Sage
Skiddo | F | Lvl. 19

Tackle
Growth
Vine Whip
Play Nice
Razor Leaf
Leech Seed



Tiny
Pumpkaboo | F | Lvl. 20

Razor Leaf
Shadow Sneak
Confuse Ray
Scary Face
Worry Seed
Trick-or-Treat



???
??? | ? | Lvl. -

It appears to move occasionally. It may be close to hatching.

Inventory

- Pokédex
- Pokégear
- 2-person tent
- Tangles' plant

Moon Stone

Female
My place
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted 4 Weeks Ago
248 posts
7 Years
Gwen Alanis
Monday, May 27
Noon
Route 6
Route 6 is a nice change of pace after how insanely packed Vermillion was. Very few people seem to reside here which gives Gwen some space to breathe. She was in a hurry just a bit ago, but something about the atmosphere takes her aback. Taillows chirping, Eldegoss slowly drifting through the air, the running streams, the distant traffic noises... It’s all so relaxing. Slowly her mind starts to wander off, and the thought of visiting her sister becomes secondary. It gets to the point where Bead has to swoop in to bite Gwen’s hair and yank it back to snap her out of it.

”OUCH!!!” She turns to face Bead and gives him a disgruntled look. “Oh come on! It’s not my fault it's so nice here!”

Arianne turns around with a slightly concerned expression. “What’d he do…?” She smiles. “Yeah, it’s nice and relaxing here, and I’d never expected this between Saffron and Vermilion! We’d better enjoy this while it lasts. Just me and you, on this path…” Eric, who’s walking beside his trainer, seems to let out a chuckle.

“Haha, yeah, I guess it is just the two of us when you put it that way…” Psyduck, why am I so nervous!? Gwen shakes her head to refocus herself and clears her throat. “Anyways, Bead has a point! Jenny’s place is straight-ahead, so we can’t get distracte-'' She's cut off by the loud buzzing of a bug Pokemon swooping past her, which catches her attention. “Holy muk, is that a Yanma!? I’ve never seen one in person!”

“Oh, looks like it!” Arianne quickly grabs her PokèDex and gets it to confirm Gwen’s words. “By the way, speaking of Jenny, we still have plenty of time…”

Arianne has a point. Afterall, Casey likely won’t arrive in Saffron for a while, so there really isn’t much reason to be in such a hurry. “I guess.” She half-heartedly shrugs.

Someone else happens to be in a hurry though… as a boy nearly their age runs past Arianne and Gwen on the narrow path. And then, briefly turns back. “You saw a Y-Yanma going this way? I have to get it!” He hastily asks, still running in place.

“Yeah, it’s over there.” Gwen states, pointing to the bug Pokemon’s direction.

“Got it!” He chases after the Pokémon, only to stop after basically two steps. “Wait, you’re trainers too, maybe you can help me out? Please?” He looks at Gwen and Arianne with puppy eyes, enough for a cocky smirk to appear across Gwen’s face.

“Of course I can!” She boasts. “Afterall, I am the younger sister of the one and only Jennifer Alanis!” Heh, bet this kid thinks I’m really cool! Wonder if Arianne thinks the same… “Come on out Custard!” The second her Pikachu is out on the field, Gwen yanks her off the ground and chases down the Yanma, something Custard very vocally dislikes as exhibited from her panicked squeaks. It’s no use though as Gwen’s hero fantasy is enough to drown it out.

Arianne is running ahead of her though, trying to track down the fast Bug-type even as it tries to take shelter in some of the nearby trees. Eventually, she calls out her Honedge, who lunges at the Yanma with a Pursuit in the air and, at the very least, forces it to fly off from its perch. “Uh… right, you’ll need Autotomize to get up to speed!” Arianne calls out, one eye on the Pokédex and another on what’s shaping up to become a proper battle.

Noticing the Yanma is getting faster by the second and that a simple Thundershock might not even reach it, out of desperation Gwen stops in her tracks and flings Custard forward at full-force, shouting for her to use Spark. While she’s midair, Custard surrounds her body in electricity to prepare for impact, but to her shock Yanma uses its tail to smack her back the way she came right before she can make contact. When Gwen sees Custard coming back her way, her first instinct is to jump up and catch her, despite how her body is still surrounded in electricity, causing some of it to zap her as she falls into her arms. So much for looking cool I guess...

The electricity doesn't hurt Gwen that much though. Most of it is being absorbed by another Pokémon anyways, and that is Arianne's Blitzle. "Good job there!" The trainer yelps, while the Electric-type just nods nonchalantly. Thanks to Lightningrod, she really didn't need to do anything… I HATE being one-upped… So why don’t I feel the same way now? Damnit, focus Gwen, think, think, think…

Honedge hasn't been attacking for a while, concerned with its speed getting progressively more useless against Yanma's Speed Boost, but now it's back with a Shadow Sneak. The Yanma is hit successfully, but it recovers quite quickly, and uses the opportunity to set up Foresight. From there, Honedge is unexpectedly hit by a Sonic Boom, and falls down as it's taken by surprise.

Right after it uses Sonic Boom though, Custard catches Yanma off-guard by ramming into it from the side with Quick Attack, knocking it back just slightly. “Arianne, now!”

“Yes! Shock Wave time!” The Cinnabar girl echoes Gwen. A Detect attack lets Yanma avoid the first hit though. Blitzle tries again, getting very close to hitting the target - that, however, seems to be the cue for Yanma to give up and attempt an escape. The Bug-type flies higher and further away, looking warily at the two Electric-types on the ground… and the look is returned by the boy who’s right behind Arianne and Gwen. “Uh, are you sure you can keep Yanma here? It always escapes me!”

“Sure I can, just uh, give me a second!” Gwen furrows her brows as she tries to concoct a plan, but as she does this she just barely notices Bead zip past her, pushing his limits to catch up to Yanma’s increasing speed. When getting just close enough for any of his moves to reach Yanma, his eyes flash a bright red and it's covered in a purple aura, which forces it to face Bead against its own will.

“That's Mean Look!” Gwen says to herself, shifting her eyes towards Arianne. “W-which I totally planned for by the way! But I just thought Mean Look only worked if they were making eye-contact…”

“Well, y'know,” the boy butts in, “Yanma have eyes that allow them to see in every direction at once that it normally uses for seeking prey, and-”

“Woah, that’s rad! But I have a hunch that Mean Look might wear off if Bead goes too far off, so… Bead! Hit ‘em with a Psywave!” Bead circles behind Yanma to shoot a colorful blast of psychic towards it, knocking it just far back enough that it’s within a decent range of a ranged electric attack.

“That was great! C’mon Blitzle, use Shock… hey!” Arianne looks in the air only to see Honedge flying past, its cloth trailing in the wind as it strikes down Yanma with a powerful Aerial Ace. “That was… rather close to becoming friendly fire,” the girl complains. “But I guess this works too!”

Yanma has lost even more height from that hit, and is struggling to fly gracefully - possibly an effect of Honedge’s Swords Dance powering up its attacks!

“Alright Custard, y’know what to do! Hit ‘em with a Thundershock!” Electricity pulses through Custard’s cheeks and is soon released in a super effective hit that zaps Yanma so hard it starts spiraling to the ground. “Hey kid!” Gwen shouts at the boy who got them into this in the first place. “You wanted to catch it, right? Now’s your chance!”

“Y-yeah, here we go!” The boy grabs a Pokéball, and… walks up to the stunned Pokémon, before pressing the button against Yanma’s body. That earns him a proud look and a giggle from Arianne, who calls back Honedge in the meantime - not Blitzle though, since she seems interested in Custard and is currently trying to approach her.

“What? I’m bad at throwing Pokéballs, so might as well be safe!” The boy nervously smiles, as he picks up his new catch. “Thank you so much for your help.”

“No problem, kid! Like I said, I am Jennifer Alanis’ younger sister after all!”

“Who?”

Ugh. Whatever.” Gwen crosses her arms, to the sound of Arianne giggling again. “Guess I can’t expect everyone to recognize greatness.”

“Phew! Now, with the help of Yanma, I can go and find all the hidden treasures of this area!” The boy cheers, in front of Arianne and Gwen. “With Compound Eyes, it will be a breeze!”

“Uh…” Arianne looks towards Gwen, then back to the boy, then to her Pokédex. “That Yanma had Speed Boost, not Compound Eyes…” She whispers into Gwen’s ear, while nervously laughing towards the other, supposedly rookie trainer.

Gwen laughs as well, although unlike Arianne, she does so very loudly. “I guess this kid is gonna find out the hard way!” She blurts out, not at all picking up that Arianne was trying to not be heard. “I thought it would be obvious that Yanma has Speed Boost, but I guess my eyes are just trained to recognize a Pokemon’s ability when I see them.”

“Wait, you’re saying it can only have one or the other…?” The boy raises his hand, and right at the same time Arianne’s hand hits her own disappointed face. “It… it’s ok, Yanma still has good vision regardless, and Speed Boost lets it explore places faster, so…” The Cinnabar girl tries to sound reassuring to the perplexed rookie.

“You did mention treasures, didn’t you?” She changes the topic slightly. “If you want, we can help you out ourselves! Right Gwen?”

“Yeah, why not?” She responds presumptuously. Her previous encounter has her feeling on top of the world, and more training is always a good thing.

“Well… alright! There’s some more people who are working on this and maybe, they could fill you in…” The boy nods, and while he still looks confused, he at least seems to be getting some enthusiasm back.

“Well, what are we waiting for? Show us the way, kid!”

“Yay! Oh, right… sorry I couldn’t introduce myself before. My name is Mike Roe, but you can just call me Mike.”




“We’re just some amateurs coming from the city, they say, but we have already found some treasures in this general vicinity, and we’re here to find more!” One woman in her thirties explains, proudly introducing herself as Brooke and her friend as Brett. A Marshtomp stands between her and the other ‘historian’, as he calls himself.

“See… a long time ago, the coast used to be way closer to Saffron, and this area looked more like the open sea. Ships sailed in the same place where we are walking today!” He continues. “And so, you can still find all sorts of things that happened to be on those ships if you dig deep enough. Sounds interesting, right?”

Gwen doesn’t really listen to anything either treasure hunter says. How can she when she sees a Marshtomp in-person for the first time? Arianne, on the other hand, is already more intrigued. This feels almost like her Rock Tunnel adventure, except it’s actually much safer now, and she does have a brand new swimsuit with her… and oh, right, the water is extremely shallow anyways. Too shallow to swim into.

“Hm… ok, how can we help then?” She asks, trying to get right to the point.

“Oh, right. We have a few places worth checking on our map, and with some more exploration, we’re likely to find even more! And once that happens…” Brooke runs a hand through her black hair. “Our Pokémon and your Pokémon can get there and try to dig the treasure up! We can teach your Pokémon some moves that can help them with this, if you’d like. Deal?”

“Huh?” Gwen stutters. “Oh, right. Sure, whatever.” She notices Bead gives her a nasty glare, and she responds by rolling her eyes. Bead really just needs to get off her case sometimes.

Arianne, luckily, answers nearly at the same time with a rather loud “Yes!” and lets Eric come forward. “We’d be happy to contribute!”

“Sure thing! I’ll just use-” Gwen pauses when picking a Pokeball off her belt and sees it's a Lure Ball as opposed to the standard Pokeball she was expecting to see. Goddamnit. “Err, I was gonna use Marshall but apparently I forgot to switch him out, meaning the only water-type I have is King… again…”

“There’s got to be other ways to help, haha!” the Cinnabar girl chuckles towards her friend.

At this point, a Nosepass appears from behind Brett, who nods towards it. “Good to hear! Let’s get right to it.”

“The plan is to scan the area first, obviously. Nosepass can do this by sensing the presence of metallic objects and pointing us towards them, while Marshtomp is perfect to see even in the murkiest waters. Once they can spot something, your Pokémon can come in and help them dig up the treasure. Or, you could help in the final stage: cleaning things up!” The man explains. “I… honestly don’t expect anything crazy like you see in those pirate movies, but to me, even an old clay vase is invaluable!”

“...and it also proves how old and important Saffron is.” Brooke smiles confidently.



Talon, Bead and Mike’s newly acquired Yanma tries to fly around in search of something emerging from the ground, but - perhaps needless to say - it’s Nosepass and Marshtomp who find something. The Rock-type has sensed some metallic object buried beneath some willows, while the Water-type simply waves his arms while standing in the middle of a rice paddle to let everyone know there’s something down there. A couple different items, in fact.

“Gwen! We got something!” Arianne laughs, looking proudly at the various Pokémon at work. “And Eric is already there inside the rice fields!” She then points towards her own Pokémon, who is still doing what he can to help out even if the murky water appears to be taking a toll on his, well… non-Ground-type eyes.

“Ooo, lemme see!” Gwen’s exclamation acts as a trigger to get Talon to quit his search and perch on Gwen’s head where he seems to be most comfortable.

When she takes a few steps closer to her Pokémon, though, Arianne almost bumps into Brooke, who’s also moving closer. “Oh, sorry!” She yelps, seemingly startling the woman who hadn’t even noticed her.

“Your Wartortle is like… flailing around a bit down there,” She comments as she recovers, a hand on her chin. “I said we could teach your Pokémon a move and I think I have an idea… what do you think about Dig?”

Now it’s Arianne who has her hand touching her own chin. “But Eric is working underwater anyways, isn’t he?” She asks, before calling his name out so that he can get back to the surface.

“Dig can still help him out when he’s dealing with ground and mud… like now!” Brooke smiles, pointing at the cloud of dirt and mud that’s tainting the water right where Marshtomp and Eric were working. “My Pokémon can teach Wartortle how it’s done- so he should have less trouble getting these items up!”

“Hey uh,” Gwen speaks up. “My Pokemon can be taught a new move too, right?”

“Oh, sure thing! They’re mostly moves we need on our job, but any trainer could find them useful. I guess.” Brett chuckles. “Dig, Dive, Covet…” He starts to list off a few moves, getting slower as the list grows.

“Maybe one of my Pokemon can learn Dig…” Gwen pulls her Pokedex up to check, and looking at the results it really seems as though any Pokemon can learn Dig! Half of her current lineup is able to learn it: Pix, Custard, and Tusk. However she doesn’t think it’d suit Custard’s speed, and she’s already satisfied with the moves Tusk knows. That just leaves…

“Can you teach Dig to my Vulpix?”

“Yeah! Of course…” Brett smiles, before going into the nitty-gritty of how the move works.


CCS and art by Aquacorde

Eleanor

Would you like some tea? I'll brew you some...

Age 22
she/her
Italy
Online now
Posted 1 Hour Ago
4,245 posts
5.5 Years
Chilling Conclusion

A post with Gym Leader Hana, Bridget, Courtney and Sarah
written by Adventure and Eleanor
Vermilion City Gym, about 1 p.m., Tuesday, May 28th

One of the best parts of her job, Hana will say, is finding young trainers waiting for you, eager to challenge you to a battle. It’s so rewarding to see new talents blossom, and know that you helped them in any way to get where they are. It’s so thrilling to find out what their strategies are and adapt your own battle style in response, or what Pokémon they will use and who in your team will fare the best against them. Being a Gym Leader is surely a position that’s worth all the effort it takes to conquer it, and more.

That’s what happened on Tuesday noon as well, when Hana got back to her gym after her lunch break and was greeted by two girls, ready to fight. “We took our time improving our team for this moment, but we’re set now! Bring it on!” one of them declared, a tiny but confident redhead.

“Yeah, that’s the spirit! We are-” the other girl chimed in as well, but was interrupted. And not by Hana.

“Excuse me, girls.” A policeman, who was previously talking with the Gym receptionist, walked up to the Gym Leader, who seemed nearly unfazed at first. “Hana Palm, we have some important news. Please, come right this way.”

She was somewhat used to police interacting with her after things like… protests regarding the quality of seawater, but that didn’t seem to be the case on that occasion, just from the officer’s stern, serious tone. And so, Hana’s mind connected the dots. That made her turn more serious as well, shivering as she followed the man into her own office, and found Bridget already sitting there with a different officer, a woman slightly older than Hana herself.

“So, the Gym leader and her most trusted collaborator, uh? We got various reports about you lately.” The policewoman started off. “First, you kept spreading fear about water pollution with exaggerated claims, even after the last time we intervened. But that’s nothing new!” She sighs. “Second, you have been clearly facilitating Cape College trainers during their graduation journeys, over trainers coming from other schools or facilities. And third, you’ve also been endangering some of these trainers with illegal battle practices and…”

“What’s got to you now, what are you talking about…?” Hana’s appalment came out all at once after being bottled up. Of all the things they could have accused her of, the ones they mentioned made zero sense to her. To her they sounded nothing more like excuses, obvious and blatant excuses.

“You know what you did, Hana. And you too Bridget.” The policeman shrugged, basically sealing the deal. “I’ll be suspending both of your Trainer Licenses for three months starting now, and soon the Pokémon League Association will have a temporary leader appointed to this gym.”

“At least accuse us for the right reason but don’t come here saying I’m aiding and abetting, I just can’t…” Hana cried out, feeling broken inside. The emotional wound was as bad as the actual punishment, and the policewoman definitely didn’t help when she replied, almost smugly, “Tell us more then, maybe we can raise your sanction.”

Bridget and Hana left the office in tears, and were soon left alone with the Gym receptionist and the two girls who came there for a challenge. Coincidentally, they were Safari Academy trainers - their names? Sarah and Courtney. Turning down their battle request was one of the lowest moments in a very long time for Hana. She had to watch them leave the gym with an obviously fake smile, whispering to each other about what could’ve happened in that office they weren’t let in.

But after that happened, another feeling made its way into Hana and Bridget’s minds. That sanction, that suspension… it couldn’t have been a coincidence. Whatever happened on Monday afternoon had something to do with it, whether the Police knew about it or… or not. In either case, someone else was making moves, and it was a big actor on that stage.

Time to find out more.


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Eleanor

Would you like some tea? I'll brew you some...

Age 22
she/her
Italy
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5.5 Years









Chapter 10: Saffron City
Starting date: May 28th, Tuesday



Spoiler:

The center of gravity, the wise governor, the Capital of Kanto. Even when Saffron was just a humble village, its safe and advantageous position made it seem destined to become what it is today: the largest and most representative city of the region, still home to many public institutions and private companies alike. There’s everything you could dream of in Saffron, from advanced facilities for trainers to fancy shopping, from crowded paved walkways to relaxing parks.

Well, there is one thing missing - an official Gym. It was moved to Pallet not too long ago, much to the dismay of Saffron’s citizens. Fear not, though, for there's still so much to do in this bustling city!

Saffron is limited in its growth by a couple of obstacles: to the east, the Industrial area bordering with Lavender; to the south, Vermilion City and the Saffron Wetlands you have already had the chance to explore; and to the north, a ridge of modest hills that separate the Capital from the much quieter Cerulean countryside. As such, most of the newer buildings, including the brand new Tomorrow Stadium, will be located in the western part of the city - also the area you should be arriving to at first, coming from the wetlands. In between all of these areas, of course, lies the Central district of Saffron, the oldest part of the city. A river winds through the buildings, creating one of the most sought-after spots for all Saffron citizens to spend some time outside… or for companies to set up a shop in the vicinity.

WHAT TO FIND HERE

- Two Pokémon Centers! One is located right in the middle of the western district, near the Stadium, while the other is hosted in an older building right beside the Saffron river, in the centermost area of the city. Most rooms happen to be reserved for all the people involved in the Tomorrow Cup tournament being held this week, but due to a city policy, a fair amount of rooms are reserved for trainers who may arrive after the tournament starts. The Pokémon Centers will be crowded, yes, but the numerous staff and large buildings should give you an easier time than Vermilion!

- Many small but cozy green areas basically everywhere around the city! Saffron citizens will flock to them when the weather is favourable, especially if they're near the center, and often gather here or have lunch. Many take-away food stalls and restaurants take advantage of this, and offer all sorts of dishes nearby. You may argue that these parks belong to people but, you may still find some wild Pokémon to catch in here!

Western District:
- The aforementioned Tomorrow Stadium is a modern outdoor arena that was built just a few years ago as a versatile structure for all sorts of sports - including Pokémon Training of course! While usually you could find athletics, Unovan football, PokéAthlon, and more, the stadium is currently hosting an important Pokémon Training tournament, and will mostly be used for this purpose. A smaller indoor arena is also located nearby, as well as a large, modern park, and various other commodities. The rest of the area is mostly residential.

- Wanna move into the city centre? No problem! Even if there’s no shuttle stop in the western district just yet, you still have options such as renting bikes, hopping on a bus, or… if you’re keen on following Professor Palm’s rules, ride some Pokémon! Gogoats, brought here from Lumiose City, are by far the preferred ride (for you). The two Pokémon Centers are the most frequent stops, and the place where all Pokémon are instructed to go back to in case someone new needs their services.

Center District:
- A lot of people. Central Saffron is always bustling with activity, being full not just of workplaces but also shops, museums, and services in general. The buildings alternate between modern skyscrapers and old-style elaborate buildings, but they all manage to look imposing and prestigious.

- The same river you crossed when you entered the Wetlands! Here it is again, running through the city center and all the high-rise buildings. Sadly there's no boats or fishing spots, but it's a nice place to hang out and, likely, your best point of reference as you explore the city.

- Various trainer-oriented facilities: in downtown you can find a club for new and upcoming talents of Pokémon fighting, as well as places where Trainers can ask for other Trainers' help.

- Route 5, which begins on the northern edge of the city, where a range of hills starts to rise. This would be a relatively easy walk going into Saffron from the other end, Cerulean, but not the other way around, due to Cerulean sitting at a higher altitude... even then, if you choose to explore this area you'll find one of the quietest neighborhoods of Saffron, with a pretty lookout over the city and a relaxing atmosphere. Quite good if you're getting nostalgic of the open roads.

EVENTS / PROMPTS

SUSPENSION: Wednesday, May 29th
Voices might have started spreading even on the day before, but it's on Wednesday morning that you should get this announcement delivered to your PokéGear:
Dear graduating trainers:
The Pokémon League Association has suspended Hana Palm from her duties as Vermilion City's Gym Leader, after substantial reports of her aiding and abetting Cape College students in her reports. The new Gym Leader will be appointed shortly after this investigation is closed.
All of Hana's reviews of graduating trainers that have already battled her in an official setting will be struck from the record, however, to not cause further inconvenience to students, there will be no obligation to visit the Gym again and battle the local leader: trainers may continue their journey as normal, and their evaluation will be based off the other seven Gym Leaders' reports.
We wish you good luck for the rest of your journey.

Reward? Well, now you know about this too. You don't have to react to this in a post you write if you don't feel the need to!


TOMORROW CUP?: Friday, May 31st
Tomorrow Cup is scheduled for this week in Saffron! But oops, it's only open for trainers with an actual license, and that means, not you (yet). All you can really do is watch some matches and cheer for your favorite trainers...

Not interested in being a spectator? Totally fair. But fear not, there's still a few events you can join! For example, a local Trainers Club is hosting a separate Tournament for journeying students that you can sign up to. 16 slots, single elimination since the start, but one single winner, one full day of battles - that being Friday, June 1th - and one reward.

In order to participate in the tournament, you have to write out at least one full battle against another player or a NPC. If your character is going to win the tournament, which is something you should discuss with other participants before deciding, you'll then have to write 2 full battles. Brackets can be arranged in the Discord server for this RP!

Reward? Some fame and some fans for participants! Plus, the winner may receive their choice of one evolutionary item or stone!


BROADWAY RISING STAR: Saturday, June 1st
Another event open to all trainers- including student trainers!- is the Pokémon Musical that the Pokémon Fan Club has organized and financed... possibly because they didn't want to get completely outshined by Tomorrow Cup, but that's just rumors.
This event works a bit like a Contest, but doesn't involve battles, and is therefore just a single exhibition round in front of three Judges with either one Pokémon (Morning iteration, starting at 9 a.m.) or two (Afternoon iteration, starting at 15 a.m.) - Pokémon and trainer often have lots of choice to dress up for their exhibition, which is only given a max. time of 8 minutes. It's not very important though, as most contestants usually finish earlier than that.

In order to participate and claim a reward, you'll just need to write a post detailing your own exhibition!

Reward? Participating Pokémon gain +2 levels each for their performance, and participating trainers will each receive a TM for a status move that corresponds to the vibe of their performance- aka Tough, Cute, Beautiful, Cool, or Clever. Click here and sort moves by contest category for an easy time finding these things!


THE OPPOSITE OF YOU:
The past week of hype and frenzied preparations all centered around the Tomorrow Cup has brought suspicious figures out of the woodwork- between dusk and dawn, figures in dark, beaked masks have been sighted roaming the streets. Their agenda? Mysterious to most, but trainers who run across them tell tales of assault with intent- and sometimes success- of stealing Pokémon away.

You can mix and match these sub-prompts to your heart’s desire.

💥 Any day you're in Saffron-
Tournament challengers are in a panic! Some Pokémon have not only gone missing, but have been fully de-registered from their trainers in the system- meaning that their PokéBalls have somehow, for some reason, been destroyed and the Pokémon are legally wild once more. Unfortunately, these trainers have to manage the search between tournament matches and other duties- they would be so grateful for any help tracking down their Pokémon! Partner up with one of these pro trainers to find and re-capture their (probably just as frenzied) Pokémon somewhere in the city.

Reward? The pro trainer will reward you with one of the TMs they have on hand. It can be any move you want!

💥 From Wednesday, May 29th to Friday, May 31st-
Those whose contact information was registered with the Cerulean Police via the events of Dark Morning are being methodically contacted with a warning. The current wave of suspicious and criminal activity in Saffron is being perpetuated by people wearing the same masks as those who were found and confronted in Cerulean. However, something is strange- the masks are a known trademark of the Pokémon Liberation Group, who are dedicated to freeing Pokémon from the confines of human rule. Their key defining features is that they themselves do not use or keep Pokémon in any capacity. Their motive is to release all trainer-owned Pokémon into the wild, and are explicitly non-violent against said Pokémon (though they have no qualms about human on human violence).

This, as those involved with the events of Dark Morning are likely aware, is all directly contradictory to their behavior in Cerulean. The Cerulean and Saffron police are combining investigative forces at this time, but regardless- those who have had direct contact with these masked people in the past are advised to be on their guard.

You may choose to write this out or you may not- regardless, this is information your character will have if they interacted with the Cerulean Police.

Reward? anxiety lol

💥 Thursday, May 30th-
Somewhere in the eastern industrial zone, PokéBall production has come to a screeching halt. Sometime in the night, the factory was cut completely from the power grid in a complicated act of vandalism. The spraypainted cartoon logo of the Pokémon Liberation Group glares from the wall where stacked crates should be. Shocking amounts of product were either stolen or destroyed- and there are so many orders that need to be filled! The factory can’t lose an entire day of business, but they can’t resume manufacturing without power. If only some Pokémon could act as temporary generators for the day...
Any electric user will do, including those that can reliably create Electricity through use of moves like Mimic, Mirror Move or Copycat. They’ll take what they can get.

Reward? Each Pokémon that assists gains 4 levels for the hard work! The trainers get nothing. Yeah, they took advantage of you. Sorry.

💥 Friday, May 31th-
A group of charismatic and friendly teens and young adults have gathered at the students’ tournament, but they are not here to battle nor to watch- in fact, they are here to spread their message. Kindly, they will draw young trainers into a conversation, and work their way into confronting the core ethical dilemma of commanding Pokémon to fight in service to humans for sport. Many a student trainer has turned away from participating in the tournament today, swayed or at least troubled by the viewpoints this group has presented them with. Good luck to those that engage with them- they are very persuasive. Defend your ideals if you can. Or...

Reward? Concede their point. If you do, you will be slipped a little pin featuring a weird cartoon character. Its face is familiar to those who have dealt with the PLG- it is, in fact, their mascot:

You do not have to actually withdraw from the tournament even if you end up conceding your point to them.



AVAILABLE POKÉMON
Click on the Pokémon to see movesets. You may choose to encounter the previous stage of an evolved wild pokémon if you wish, and then have it evolve at your leisure.

No Pokémon selected yet!
Pidgeotto, lv. 21-23
Keen Eye, Tangled Feet, Big Pecks
Tackle, Gust, Sand Attack, Quick Attack, Twister, Whirlwind
Weepinbell, lv. 21-23
Chlorophyll, Gluttony
Vine Whip, Growth, Wrap, Stun Spore, Poison Powder, Sleep Powder
Burmy, lv. 21-23
Shed Skin, Overcoat
Protect, Tackle, Bug Bite, Hidden Power
Drowzee, lv. 21-23
Insomnia, Forewarn, Inner Focus
Hypnosis, Pound, Confusion, Headbutt, Poison Gas, Meditate
Ledian, lv. 21-23
Swarm, Early Bird, Iron Fist
Swift, Light Screen, Reflect, Safeguard, Mach Punch, Silver Wind
Snubbull, lv. 21-23
Intimidate, Run Away, Rattled
Scary Face, Tail Whip, Charm, Bite, Lick, Headbutt
Emolga, lv. 21-23
Static, Motor Drive
Tail Whip, Nuzzle, Spark, Charge, Pursuit, Double Team
Meowth, Kantonian, lv. 21-23
Pickup, Technician, Unnerve
Fake Out, Scratch, Feint, Pay Day, Bite, Taunt
Aipom, lv. 21-23
Run Away, Pickup, Skill Link
Swift, Fury Swipes, Tickle, Baton Pass, Astonish, Sand Attack
Purrloin, lv. 21-23
Limber, Unburden, Prankster
Growl, Sand Attack, Fake Out, Fury Swipes, Torment, Pursuit
Skitty, lv. 21-23
Cute Charm, Normalize, Wonder Skin
Sing, Attract, Copycat, Disarming Voice, Double Slap, Faint Attack



Paired with Ninetales and Vulpix 🌸 Moderator of Challenges and Writer's Lounge
Flair artwork

Juno

Age 27
Female
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
4,420 posts
8.2 Years


Chapter 9: Restoration


🏊 Route 6 🕙 May 28th, Late Morning 👥 ft. Casey Holt & Vera Hill

The smell of seawater gradually dissipates as they leave Vermilion City behind them. Jordan's brows are lightly furrowed as he follows his companions through the marshy Wetlands, his thoughts punctuated only by the gentle chirps and trills of the local fauna. Casey and Vera are chattering away just several paces ahead - or, rather, it looks like Casey is chattering away at Vera with the smallest amount of reciprocity from her, but they are just out of range for Jordan to be able to hear what he's going on about. Which is fine; good, in fact, since he's still thinking about and unpacking everything that happened in Vermilion.

Eventually, inevitably, Casey invades Jordan's physical and mental space.

"Jordaaaaan, you're too quiet! It's a nice day and we're walking in a new place all together!" Casey says brightly, hip-checking Jordan as he falls into step beside him. "What's up with you?"

"Just thinking about the gym battle. Like, it's not that I expect to win at every gym or something, but I figured if I had any of them in the bag, it would have been that one, you know? The terrain wasn't ideal, but your team managed..."

"I didn't put 'em in, did I? Kept 'em on the side as much as I could, 'cause you gotta at least take away terrain advantages, if you can't make one for yourself. I wish I had more moves to do that, honestly. But that was my focus there an' it worked out." Casey pats Pepper's head. "Plus, trainin'. We do a lot o' that."

Jordan nods. " Yeah, I thought the platforms would help, but nothing beats solid ground under your feet if you can’t swim, I guess. Hana was right, though, I didn't really prepare at all - just walked in with what I thought I knew about fighting at a Water gym. I think my Pokemon just need more training. And 'discipline', however we get that." He mimes the cracking of a whip in Sage's direction. who sharply kicks in his direction and takes off with Spirit on her back.

"Wait, I was kidding- I didn't think you heard... nevermind."

Casey hums. "I dunno much about discipline. I just let mine go how they want most of the time. But I get 'em to train just fine!"

Vera laughs lightly, confidently brushing her hair behind her ear. "Ha! You two just have some wild Pokémon to take care of. My team is perfectly well behaved." She stumbles as Goblin jumps to the other side of her backpack to look at something, throwing off her balance. "...mostly."

Jordan glances skeptically at the Impidimp, but says nothing. While he has some objections to Vera's claims about her own team, he can't deny that some of his Pokemon probably do still share a lot in common with their wild counterparts. That was probably fine for the first couple days, but with the third gym on the horizon, he knows some changes need to be made.

"Okay!" He says so suddenly and loudly that Sage skids to a halt, almost throwing the Cubone off her back. "Let's do it. Non-stop training all the way through this route. You lot are gonna be so well-trained by the time we get to Saffron, you'll be like different Pokemon."

"Let's do it!" Casey cheers, Pepper copying in his Charmeleon-y way and waving his tanbō in the air.

"Sure, sounds like it'll be fun." Vera also cheers, just much less enthusiastically than Casey, if no less genuine.

"Right!" Jordan rolls up his sleeves and... looks to his friends for guidance. "So, where do we start?"

Casey hums. "If it's easier to get 'em to do stuff they already want to do, let's find out what yours like!"

“Okay, yeah! That’s a good idea. Let’s start with…” Jordan looks at his team, eyes landing on his oldest friend. If there was ever a Pokemon of his who didn’t need discipline, it would be her. But still… they lost. Maybe we can start with the training side here. He smiles, beckoning her over. “Tangles, come here. What do you like to do?”

She blinks. Her eyes are expressive, but they're not really giving him much to work with.

"Um - hm. That's okay. we'll figure it out.” He looks at Casey and Vera. “What kinda areas did you guys work on with your teams?”

"Uh… just kind of… rounding them out, you know?" Vera hesitates in her answer, looking slightly troubled as she thinks about it. "They know what they're good at, I just focused on their weak points."

"I guess I do the opposite- Parsley likes to run, so I let him run and just direct his attention. Pepper likes to run circles 'round things so I use that to get him in good positions. Ginger likes to jump and bounce-" Casey cuts himself off to laugh at himself. "I guess all o' mine like to be mobile, huh! But the point is they already lean toward mobility, so I lean into that."

“Divided opinions, thank you…” Jordan taps his chin. They both seemed like good ideas, so he isn't sure which approach to take first.

"Well, why don't you try training Casey's way?" Vera steps back, gesturing to Jordan like a game show host. "He's all yours. I'm curious to see how you do things."

"I think... speed was one of our downfalls against Hana. Her Pokemon were just way faster..." He kneels down next to Tangles. "Think that's something we can work on?"

The Tangela lurches forward to nod. Casey surveys her critically.

"There's a few ways she can do that, but easiest and usual-est is just runnin'. How's she at that?"

“Well, she’s okay, I suppose - she’s got… feet.” Jordan peers down at Tangles’ boot-like appendages. She’s not the lightest on her feet, but like Vera said, focusing on weaker points could help, too. “Yeah! Let’s do that.”

They find an even stretch of dirt path that’s not too marshy or wet, and Jordan stands a good 50 yards away from her before waving his arms in the air to get her attention.

"Alright, let's see what you've got. Come to me!" He shouts as she begins moving towards him. "A-as fast as you can!" He added. Maybe she didn't get the memo. He motions for her to pick up the pace again, but the reality of the situation dawns on him.

Oh, dear. That's not very fast. He smiles encouragingly as she approaches, but it's clear this is not her forte. Well, that's why we're here, I suppose.

“Okay, good start!” Jordan pats the top of her viney head, her body heaving up and down as she catches her breath from the sprint. “We’ll… give it a few minutes and try it again…?” He looks to Casey and Vera with uncertainty.

"Sprint and rest, sure, but the rest can't be too long. Keep the heart rate up, right?" Casey bounces from side to side. "Let's all do it! C'mon, Tangles, back the other way!"

Casey takes off at a reasonable jog before Jordan or Vera can object, Pepper and Parsley and Sage- and by proxy, Spirit and Ginger- joining in. Still, when they get to the other end of the stretch, Tangles is well behind the crowd- even after Pepper had been chastised for running on all fours. Casey cheers anyway, when she stops near his feet and slumps down.

"You did it!" Casey pats her head. He's gotten over his skittishness about her vines, apparently. "Thirty seconds, then again."

They repeat the exercise a few more times - while the participation of their other Pokemon seems to have given her some motivation in the form of competition and she was able to pick up her pace a bit, coming in dead last every time is a little discouraging and she didn’t seem like she was having much fun after a while.

“Alright, good! You’re improving already, I’m so proud of you.” Jordan coos, before being interrupted by Sage bursting forward for her share of praise. “Yes, you too - good running. Should we switch up the exercise a bit?”

"Shorter bursts, maybe? She could be better at dodging, right?" Casey demonstrates by shuffling side to side as Parsley tries to shove his nose in his pockets. "You're not getting snacks for a jog, you do that anyway!"

"You can try that leaf thing you do, those wouldn't hurt too much if she can't dodge them. But would probably give enough incentive to try anyway." Vera chimes in, casually suggesting attacking Tangles.

“Oh- yeah, put it to a practical test,” Jordan agrees. He turns to the Tangela. “You up for that? Nothing crazy, just a few rounds from Sage.”

Tangles nods as Sage hops around, already eager to get started after hearing her name. “Okay, wait - let her get in position first,” He holds an arm out in front of the Skiddo. “Alright, that’s good - ready? Yes?” He gives a thumbs up to Tangles and waits for her confirmation, which comes in the form of another nod, her vines shaking as she tips forward.

“Okay! Razor Leaf!”

Sage’s attack… immediately finds its target. To Tangles’ credit, she sidestepped a number of the leaves, but she still appears to have taken the brunt of the hit. Jordan winces. Well, at least Vera’s right - that shouldn’t hurt her much.

“Alright, not bad! You can probably avoid more of them once you get the hang of this.” He calls out to her. “Wanna try it again?”

They give it a few more rounds - her success rate varies from dodging a few blades to almost a good 40% of them, but she did not seem to progress past this. In fact, she’d slowed down quite a bit since they started this exercise.

"Jordan," Casey murmurs, shoving Parsley away and sidling over so only Jordan can hear him. "She's gettin' hit a lot."

“Yeah, she really is,” Jordan sighs. He pauses for a moment, then steps forward. “Okay, time out. Stop - Sage-” A few leaves lazily whizz past Jordan’s head as he jogs over to Tangles, but it was clear the Skiddo was not actually aiming to hit her new target.

"Hey, are you alright?" He asks, spinning her around on the spot to examine the damage. Some of her vines have cuts through them, but she does not seem bothered by that at all.

“Oh, right - the vines don’t really feel anything, huh.” He comments, recalling the Pokedex entries and the ‘haircut’ he had given her. “Nature’s armour.”

Tangles bounces proudly, but Jordan lights up as something else dawns on him. “Maybe… that’s it!”

"What's it?" Vera hadn't been watching, but Jordan's exclamation catches her attention.

Jordan ruffles Tangles’ vines around. They flop around at her sides. “She’s not designed to be nimble, is she? But all this stuff is like armour - it doesn’t hurt, it covers her whole body - She’s a tank! Maybe it makes more sense to look at her training from this angle instead.”

"So she's gotta practise taking hits?" Casey slides his walking stick out of the holster on his back and shifts into a low, ready stance with it, Pepper doing the same with his single tanbō. "Then I guess we gotta hit her, huh? Practise pushing us away, maybe."

Without waiting for an answer, Casey swings his walking stick at Tangles. Jordan knows the swing is neither as hard nor as fast as his friend could swing it, but still winces as it makes contact with a thud.

Tangles shakes off the hit, then holds out a few vines in his direction defensively to brace for the next swing. Casey goes for it, but a brief hesitation on his part lets Tangles get a grip on the walking stick and tug it out of his hands. "Uh. Pepper, you go."

Pepper hits faster and lighter than Casey, a one-two pattern with both ends of his tanbō, pulling back from the vines before they can snatch it away. Tangles braces herself, vines coalescing at the points Pepper hits.

“Yeah, that’s it! Ingrain yourself, too - I think it’s key to train up your resistance to melee attacks, rather than try to dodge them.” Jordan encourages. Standing firmly, vines snake out from under Tangles as she roots herself in place. They glow dimly in the ground as she draws energy from the earth.

"Oh, good, restorative," Casey says vaguely. "She can't move anymore, though, can she?" Pepper continues his attack, beginning to circle as he hits.

“Nope,” Jordan responds, observing their Pokemon. If Pepper were to attack with fire, this probably would go quite differently, but she is holding up well against physical attacks. Tangles doesn’t actually have many powerful, offensive moves, but in matchups where this strategy would be viable, she could probably play a pretty good game of attrition.

“She can do this, though. Absorb!” On Jordan’s command, the particles of light she emits float towards Pepper. Annoyed, he tries to swat them away, but they quickly converge on him and draw energy back to Tangles.

"Absorb… Pepper, back up." Pepper shuffles back, ready to dodge the itchy particles if they come for him again. "I guess it's good for what you wanna do here, but it's none too powerful. And- gotta think about range, right? How far can she reach, if she's stuck? Back up more."

"Yeah, that's a good point. I was thinking about it, too - this could chip away at some opponents well, but we'll need more. Maybe we could stall with, like, Poison or Sleep Powder, she's got those. Or... or..." Jordan's thoughts trail off as he watches Tangles continue to try and hit Pepper with her draining attack.

"Hey, it's alright, don't wear yourself out too much. We're still brainstorming and trying new things-" He begins, but the fuzzy bits of light she's emitting are combining and glowing stronger. Jordan watches with fascination, and the intensity in her eyes as she concentrates tells him this isn't her regular Absorb.

"Oh, Casey, look," He grabs his friend's arm briefly and gives it a shake, before fumbling for his Pokedex. "What is that?"

"Dunno! Pepper, take the hit." Pepper grumbles, but walks forward to accept the itchy attack in full. He writhes and complains and flames lick at his teeth as they gnash at the light. "Hey, chill, I know you're fine. Good job." Casey turns back to Jordan. "Definitely worse, huh? Why's it worse?"

"A tough attack that drains damage inflicted to restore energy... 'Mega Drain'?" Jordan reads off his device. "Mega Drain! Oh, that's a new move! You learned a new move. I'm so proud of you." Jordan bends down and gives her a squeeze, momentarily lifting her off the ground in a hug before grunting and putting the heavy ball of vines back on the ground. "It must be a stronger version of Absorb. That's gonna really help with our defensive strategies.”

They continue to train Tangles' defense for a while, rotating between Pepper's melee whacks and Sage's ranged blows. It's not a perfect strategy on its own, and Jordan knows they will have to bolster Tangles' movepool to include more offensive attacks as well since defense and regeneration alone will not win battles, but her physical endurance has improved quite a bit in the short time they had been training already. Having a game plan and area of focus they were both confident in for Tangles definitely brought up their morale as well, making their recent loss seem like a distant memory already.

"You feel good about this too, hm?" He pats his partner's viney head before sitting down next to her on her break. Her eyes shine as she jumps up and down. "Yeah, we'll get the next one."

"Sure will!" Casey and Pepper give Tangles a pat as well, who tries to pull them all in for a hug that Casey gingerly accepts, but wriggles out of speedily. "Just gotta keep up the trainin'. I can help y'all do it- well, maybe not with uh, Tiny. Or the Misdreavus." Casey glances around nervously, then looks confused. "Where's Vera?"

The grin fades from Jordan’s face as he, too, notices their friend is nowhere in sight. It dawns on him it’s been a while since he heard her - they must have been so absorbed in their training they didn’t notice her slip away. While Vera is the quieter companion, she wouldn’t have just… left without saying anything, and for no reason. Would she? He scans the horizon in all four directions before his eyes lock on her conspicuous head of silver hair, glinting in the sunlight in the distance.

“Oh, there she is,” He points out. His relief is quickly followed by confusion. “What’s she doing all the way out there? Come on, let’s go get her.”

Party



Tangles
Tangela | F | Lvl. 23

Ingrain
Constrict
Mega Drain
Vine Whip
Sleep Powder
Poison Powder



Hop
Pidgeotto | M | Lvl. 23

Headbutt
Pluck
Twister
Mirror Move
Roost
Wing Attack



Spirit
Alolan Cubone | M | Lvl. 17

Focus Energy
Feint Attack
Bone Club
Headbutt
Swords Dance



Sage
Skiddo | F | Lvl. 22

Take Down
Growth
Vine Whip
Play Nice
Razor Leaf
Synthesis



Tiny
Pumpkaboo | F | Lvl. 22

Bullet Seed
Shadow Sneak
Confuse Ray
Scary Face
Worry Seed
Trick-or-Treat



???
??? | ? | Lvl. -

It appears to move occasionally. It may be close to hatching.

Inventory

- Pokédex
- Pokégear
- 2-person tent
- Tangles' plant

Moon Stone

Eleanor

Would you like some tea? I'll brew you some...

Age 22
she/her
Italy
Online now
Posted 1 Hour Ago
4,245 posts
5.5 Years
art by Aquacorde
Arianne Chandler
Saffron City
Tuesday, May 28th, afternoon
Written with QueenNothing as Gwen Alanis

Cliff hanger

“...man, that was sooooo amazing to witness! I didn’t even know Petal Dance could go on for that long until I saw Jenny pull that off!”

"Oh, that's interesting too!" Arianne smiles again as she looks towards Gwen. "And look, in no time we reached Saffron…" She announces proudly, taking her first step on solid concrete.

After their archeology adventure, during which Eric and Pix learned Dig and dug up some treasure (Arianne kept a translucent Dragon Scale, while Gwen snagged a King's Rock), the two girls enjoyed a quick picnic along the dirt path. But once that was finished, nothing could hold back Gwen, and she made a beeline for Saffron with unparalleled enthusiasm. Her chosen topic of conversation? Jennifer, of course!

"FINALLY!!" Gwen pumps her fists into the air, her body clearly unable to contain her excitement. "Do you have any idea how long I've been waiting for this day!? It's been forever since I've seen her! I know Saffron like the back of my hand, I say we head over now!"

“Yes, let’s go!” Arianne happily leans into the other girl’s enthusiasm. It’s inspiring and almost refreshing to see that kind of raw emotion, especially during a journey where the Cinnabar girl has never really felt like that so strongly. Maybe that is just what happens when people get to see their hometown after months spent elsewhere? She wouldn’t know, she’s never left Cinnabar for that long before joining Cape College. “You lead the way, girl!” Arianne laughs, before running after Gwen and - only after a while - trying to take in the city landscape she’s now a part of.

At some point the two come across an apartment complex that seems like any other building in the city, but with how eager Gwen is while pointing it out it’s no doubt where her older sister lives. From there her instincts completely take over, as she grabs Arianne by the wrist and pulls her forward seemingly without giving it much thought. Upon entering the building, Gwen makes one final sprint to the front desk, where an aging man reading a magazine sits.

“Hey old guy!” Gwen shouts at the man in a familiar tone. Most people wouldn’t respond positively to being bluntly called “old guy”, but the man doesn’t seem bothered in the slightest, instead turning his attention towards the girl with a soft grin.

‘Goodness, Gwen! How long has it been since I last saw you?”

“A long time ago, that’s for sure!” She says and then flashes her pearly whites.

The older man guffaws. “Ain’t that the truth.” He then closes his magazine and perks his head up, directly making eye-contact with Arianne when noticing her. “Oh, you’ve brought a friend along! Why hello there young lady! What’s your name?”

"Hello, I'm Arianne!" The Cinnabar girl smiles, standing beside Gwen. "Yes, we're traveling together for our graduation journey!"

“Already!? My, how time flies. It seems like it was just yesterday you moved in with your sister, Gwen.” The older man comments.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, that felt like it was a gorillion years ago. But speaking of my sister, that’s who we’re here to visit! Arianne here is about to meet a Pokemon Master!”

The old man’s face suddenly goes somber. “Ah, well about that… truth be told I haven’t actually so much as seen her leave her apartment in months.”

"You haven't seen her leave this place? Did she get things delivered to her flat then?" Arianne questions. That's definitely strange- almost stranger than her not being here at all. Would she just train on the roof? Would she let her Pokémon out and about inside her flat, almost like Gwen did? If the younger sister could still get away with it, the older would have to deal with a Volcarona and a Krookodile, and that doesn't sound ideal.

"I'm sure she's around… if she knew Gwen was coming, she'd never miss it for anything!" The Cinnabar girl smiles reassuringly. Gwen rapidly nods in agreement.

“It sounds ridiculous, I know, but it’s true. Haven’t seen her since around February. But I do see her Pokemon come around a few times, interestingly enough.”

“February…” Gwen thinks aloud to herself while her grip on the desk tightens. “That was the last time I-I-I…” Her body begins trembling as she faces the ground, doing her best to hide her eyes under her bangs.

This time it's Arianne who holds Gwen's wrist... the situation likely calls for it anyways. "Gwen, uhm… your sister could still be here! Let's just check out her flat since we're here, right?" She suggests, trying to make eye contact again.

“Yeah…” Gwen’s arm is swiftly run across her face before attempting to look at the other girl. Within seconds her spirits are raised again, although she seems a lot more antsy now. “Well what are we waiting for? Come on!”

With that, she storms off up the stairs without even waiting for her friend. Arianne tries to go after her, but the old man at the counter calls her name, and she decides to stop by his counter.

“Pardon me for interrupting you, but thank you for sticking around with Gwen. It’s nice to see her with friends.” He grins before waving goodbye. “I’d suggest not to keep her waiting though. You probably know how she gets.”

"Oh… it's nothing! I mean, she's a nice friend…" Arianne speaks up, but her voice becomes unsteady as her heart beats just a bit faster. That comment makes her happy- plain and simple. "Sure, I'll go now!"

After being told again where Jennifer's flat is, a galvanized Arianne runs up the stairs of the complex, managing to catch up with her friend just in time. "Phew… here you are!" Gwen, standing right in-front of the apartment that can only be her sister’s, doesn’t even respond upon seeing Arianne, instead opting to reach straight for the doorbell where her index finger repeatedly jams into the button. A ring is heard from the other side of the door but nothing else is. Gwen stands silent for a few minutes, anticipating an answer, but nothing comes of it.

“Uh, she usually takes a bit to answer the door.” Gwen nervously chuckles, mashing her finger back into the doorbell. She impatiently waits in-front of the door again, but just as before, nothing happens. “Ah- maybe the doorbell just isn’t working!” She doesn’t even sound convinced by her own words, and she clearly is struggling to keep a smile plastered on her face. As much as Gwen might be denying it, it’s obvious nobody is going to answer the door.

That turn of events was definitely not what Arianne expected or wanted, and seeing her friend in that condition was already heart-breaking. “Uh… maybe she’s having a shower and is taking her time trying to look presentable…” She tries to think of a possible excuse Jenny may have for not showing up. It’s not quite enough though, so Espurr is called out after a bit.

“Ok, you know Disarming Voice, right?” Arianne asks her Pokémon, who trembles slightly at the question but executes the attack, letting out a loud Meow towards the door. “And that’s also the doorbell problem ruled out…”

Unsurprisingly nobody answers the door, but Gwen isn’t ready to be defeated yet. “Well if she’s just getting ready I say we wait here until she’s done! That’s when we can try again!”

"Alright, we will wait!" Arianne replies, trying to absorb Gwen's enthusiasm so that she can display it back at her. She then picks up Espurr and gently pats her a few times, but it's mostly a way to deal with stress. Gwen folds her legs in and sits in the hallway, brows furrowed, determined to wait a century if she has to. It might as well have been that long though since nothing happens during the wait period, yet Gwen still doesn’t budge an inch. That goes on for about a half-hour or so, and Bead even starts to get a little concerned with how little his trainer has moved. It's not until he gives a worried bleat that she speaks up.

“Sorry Bead. I’m not getting out of this spot until Jenny answers.”

While at first Arianne was gladly listening to the other girl, she soon found her face buried in her PokéGear, looking at all the things her non-trainer friends were up to. While she couldn’t really say she admired or supported any one of them as much as Gwen did with her sister, she enjoyed their company, she enjoyed being there with them, and she missed those feelings for all of her permanence at Cape College. Surely, Gwen was also feeling... that with her sister- it wasn’t just a matter of looking up to her.

This lets Arianne lose her own sense of time a bit, and it makes the wait more bearable, if anything. She doesn’t actually check the time until Bead’s cry, and only then does she realize how much time she’s passed in front of that door. Jennifer couldn’t have taken that long to get out of a shower, dressed up, and answered, could she?

Or better, how could she explain that to Gwen?

The Cinnabar girl kept waiting, with her head in her contacts again, but this time, things were different. Her mind was now screaming at her to go and get a room in a Pokémon Center, heal her Pokémon up, have something to eat and explore Saffron City at least a bit, so that she wouldn’t feel like a fish out of water the next morning… and Gwen was turning more into an obstacle that was keeping her locked in place. Oh, but of course, she couldn’t say that to her face. Never. Genuinely never.

“I’m… starting to get a bad feeling, Gwen…” Is all she can say, before letting out a long sigh. She looks down to the sitting girl, hoping for an answer.

“Getting a bad feeling about what?” Gwen abrasively cocks up a brow.

“Uh, it’s about the r-rooms at the Pokémon Center, I don’t want this to b-be like V-Vermilion but we haven’t even c-checked that out!” Ari stutters. There’s truth in there, but there’s also nothing too direct, which is just what the girl needed, it’s just the delivery that worked out terribly. Making a misstep is very scary in this situation.

“We won’t need to worry about that when Jenny answers. We can just stay in the room I have here, right?”

“I guess so, but will there be enough space for everyone? What about our Pokémon?” Arianne runs a hand through her hair. “I mean, last time we sort of got away with it because we were staying at the Fanclub…”

“I-” Gwen puts her index finger and thumb to her chin. “I guess you’re right actually. I do have some cool stuff in there that’d just be psyducked up if we all had our Pokemon out…”

“W-well, I don’t know how big your room is and all that but, maybe we should still check the Pokémon Center to have a plan B?” Arianne asks again.

“That’s probably a good idea, yeah… B-but I can’t just- I’ve been waiting soooo long to see Jenny again, I can’t just…” Gwen’s words start to become shaky and once again she tilts her head to the floor to hide her eyes. “I just wanna see her again, damnit!” She loudly sniffles a few times, likely doing her best to hold any tears back.

“I… I get that, Gwen…” Arianne mutters, now feeling Gwen’s anguish spread onto her. “Hm, can you stand up for a bit?”

Gwen complies, back turned towards Arianne, and suddenly squeaks as she’s embraced in a tight hug. Seeing as how the closest thing to resistance she puts up is shivering like a Snorunt, that’s probably a sign that appreciates it.

“I think I’ll still check out the PokéCenter and try to find room for tonight but… rest assured I’ll be back here as soon as I can! I’m sure… I’m sure Jenny wants to see you again too.” Arianne whispers in Gwen’s ear before letting go of her and walking away. It still hurts a little though - that hug had something truly magical about it, something that makes the girl wish it could have lasted far longer than it did.

Gwen stands completely frozen for a bit before turning around with her face completely red. “I… I should probably go with you. I guess we can try again some other time.”
TEAM:
Eric, lv. 35 • Espurr, lv. 19
Blitzle, lv. 23 • Mizar, lv. 19
Lulu, lv. 30 • Honedge, lv. 20

Paired with Ninetales and Vulpix 🌸 Moderator of Challenges and Writer's Lounge
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Groc

Age 31
Male
Arizona, USA
Seen 2 Hours Ago
Posted 5 Days Ago
1,594 posts
11.6 Years
Vera Hill, Casey Holt, Jordan Springs
Chapter 9 - Ace Trainer Investigations
Route 6; Tuesday, May 28th



Vera watches with mild interest as Pepper hits Tangles with his sticks. She's not entirely sure how this is helping, but Jordan seems enthusiastic. Sure, she was surprised when Casey offered to do it himself, but Tangles doesn't seem bothered.

"Absorb… Pepper, back up." Pepper does as instructed, watching Tangles carefully. Vera is distracted by Goblin tapping on her shoulder again, so she misses what Tangles does next as she glares at the little imp. He just looks up at her, then looks off toward some long grass. Vera doesn't see anything there, so she turns back to the training. Jordan is nodding at something Casey said.

"...this could chip away at some opponents well, but we'll need more. Maybe…" Vera misses whatever suggestion Jordan is about to make, as Goblin sharply pulls on her hair, making her flinch in pain. Her wince turns into a full teeth-bared glare at the literal devil on her shoulder, who just points to the grass again.

She looks at her boys, who are watching Pepper and Tangles' mock fight. She doesn't want to interrupt their conversation, but if she doesn't appease Goblin she might lose some of her hair, so she just walks away from the training session, towards the grass.

"Fine, we're here. What was so important that you wanted to see over here?" Goblin tugs at her hair again, softer this time, as if trying to pull her closer to the grass without actually leaving her shoulder. "You are so lazy! You know you can walk too, right?"

Goblin pouts at her, grabbing a handful of white locks.

"Don't you dare!" She grabs his arm, slowly stepping into the grass. "Fine, I'll go in! Just leave the hair alone! At least Ebony is gentle when he's in there…"

As she moves through the grass, she starts to notice the ground getting softer. She's glad she opted for hiking boots before setting out, because the soft earth soon leads to flooded fields. Goblin urges her forward, and she notices a few other people out here working in the wet fields.

"These are rice fields, we don't belong out here. Is this what you wanted to show me? These people are just doing their jobs. How'd you even notice them?"

Goblin tugs at one of his ears, pointing out how big it is. When he tries to grab her ear, she slaps his hand away. "You're on thin ice, boy. I'll send you to Palm's if you're not careful. See how he likes your antics."

Goblin moves to her other shoulder, one hand at his ear. He points forward, looking excited, stomping on her shoulder to get her attention. For the life of her, Vera can't remember why she caught the little monster. "Okay! I'm going. Calm down, geez…" She finds a somewhat dry path winding through the fields, following Goblin's directions to whatever noise has him so worked up.

After a bit of walking, and changing directions more than once to try and zero in on the sounds, Vera stumbles across another rice field, but this one is devoid of any plants. There are still people milling about, some of them knee-deep in the muck, while others work inside tents that have been set up on dry land.

"Whoa, what's all this? You heard this all the way back at the road?" Vera looks at her Impidimp companion, who just smirks. "Guess we could see what's up with the tents. Since we're out here."

She doesn't want to enter the flooded field, so she makes her way around to the tents. One of the workers notices her and makes his way through the water to intercept her.

"Excuse me, miss! Can I help you?" He steps up onto the path before Vera can see inside the tents.

"Just looking around. My friend here wanted to see what's going on." Goblin waves at the oblique mention. "Doesn't look like farming. So what's your story, mister?"

"Professor, actually. Professor Rick Diggins, at your service." He offers a muddy hand to Vera, which she refuses to shake. He awkwardly leaves it extended for a moment before dropping it. "Right. Well… surely you've heard that this whole area used to be underwater, correct? That Saffron used to be a port city?"

Vera merely raises an eyebrow skeptically.

"No? Well, evidence suggests it's true. So I've gathered some volunteers from the local Historical Preservation Society to search these once flooded fields in search of artifacts and signs of civilization!"

Vera looks over at the field, and the handful of volunteers wading through mud. "They still look pretty flooded. And the farmers are okay with this?"

Professor Diggins waves off her concerns, even leading her to one of the tents. "They rotate fields every season, and the ones we've marked for excavation haven't been doing well anyway. And we've already found several noteworthy items!" Inside the tent are a variety of old stones, clay pots, and damaged dinnerware. In particular, several tea pots and tea cups sorted into two distinct piles.

Vera frowns at the Professor, starting to think this was a waste of time. "So you found where the local tea shops get rid of their trash. Good for you."

The Professor sputters in indignation. "You doubt the historical significance of these finds? We've carbon dated several of these pots, and they are centuries old! Yet perfectly preserved under the mud. Why don't you stick around, see what we do here? We could use the help, and you might learn something."

Goblin rubs his hands together eagerly, chittering in Vera's ear. She gives him an odd look as she pulls him off her shoulder. "Since when do you care about archeology? You've never done any work in your life, let alone field work."

"Your Pokémon seems eager. We don't have many Pokémon of our own, but the ones we do have are specifically trained for this sort of thing. What do you say, care to teach your Pokémon some new tricks? It could be good training for you!"

Vera sighs as she follows the Professor back toward the field. She wishes Iggy was still here, he would've loved to dig some holes. Instead, she has Goblin, who she's pretty sure wouldn't dig holes even if he could. "I don't think any of my team would be much help here. I think I'll just-"

Goblin wriggles free of her grip, dropping from her hands and catching himself on the waistline of her pants. His weight throws off her balance, and she clutches at her belt rather than catch Goblin, who smacks one of her Poké Balls, sending out Bonnie, who looks around curiously.

"Goblin, I swear on everything you hold dear, if you don't start behaving yourself…" Vera's face flushes in embarrassment that her Pokémon would be so unruly in front of new people. He's making her look bad!

Professor Diggins is looking at Bonnie excitedly, though. "What a beautiful Cubone! Look at those muscles, she's in excellent shape!" He crouches down next to her, and she holds her club warily as she enters a defensive stance. "Cubone are excellent diggers, you know. Not as adept at moving through dirt as a Sandshrew or an Onix, but they can use their clubs to break through rock and burrow through difficult terrain with ease!"

"You got a lot of rocks out there in these rice fields?" Vera grabs Bonnie, pulling her away from the Professor. "She's a warrior, not a worker."

The Professor clears his throat as he stands, pulling a TM from his pocket. "Actually, we do. We haven't been able to dig in the southeast corner because of some rocks, but we can't see through the murk to dig around them. I have a device here that can teach your Cubone how to Dig, if you'll lend us her strength for this task."

Vera is about to refuse, not wanting to owe anyone a favor, but thinks of Casey and Jordan, training with Tangles by the road. They're out there getting stronger, and she's just been coasting along since she left Lavender. Maybe it was time to take a different approach… "What do you think, Bonnie?"

Bonnie looks up at her, her expression hidden behind her helmet, but the look of determination in her eyes is unmistakable. "Fine. If you need strength, you've come to the right Pokémon. I'm not getting in there, though. I'm staying dry, thank you."

"Excellent! If you would just lend me her Poké Ball, I'll teach her the technique. Now then…" Professor Diggins uses the TM, and Vera watches from the path as he further instructs Bonnie on how to Dig. At first, she merely tries striking the earth with her club, like a shovel, but after some practice and refinement she's learned to spin quickly like a drill, rapidly burrowing underground.

Diggins leads her to the southeast area, guiding her where to start digging. The hard stone and difficult terrain prove little hindrance, and Vera is actually enjoying watching her work, feeling proud of her little warrior. It's not much, but they're doing a good thing for these people, and it feels… nice. She leans in to get a better view, but her foot slips in the soft earth. She quickly leans back, putting all her weight on her back leg to stop herself from falling in.

Then Goblin hits her with a Fake Out, dropping from her shoulder and putting pressure on the back of her knee, causing it to bend and Vera to fall into the flooded field. Goblin laughs at her, darting out of view so she can't retaliate.

Luckily the water is only knee high, but in her attempts to catch herself and not fall on her face she instead fell back and is now sitting in muddy water up to her chest. Luckily it isn't cold, but she's drenched, dirty, and humiliated. Bonnie pops up by her side, looking at Vera with concern despite having to kick to keep her own head above water.

"Vera, are you okay? What happened?" Professor Diggins sloshes over to help her up, but she refuses, pushing herself to her feet.

"I'm fine. I slipped. Are we done here?" She can't look at him, her face burning with anger and embarrassment.

"Well… nearly. There's just one more cluster we'd like to get through, then-"

"Good. Bonnie, help the Professor. I'm going to have a chat with Goblin."

Bonnie hesitates, and even the Professor looks like he's about to say something, but they both stay quiet as Vera trudges out of the muddy water. They return to their work, while Vera starts looking for her treacherous Impidimp. She doesn't have to look long, as she hears him before she sees him. Or more accurately, she hears a clay pot shatter.

Vera rushes for the tent, throwing open the flap to look inside. Goblin has already toppled the piles of tea pots, and cackles gleefully as he smashes another clay pot, which for some reason had a small green gem inside it?

"What are you doing?!" Vera yells, distracting Goblin from the stack of papers on the table he'd been eyeing. "Get out of here, right now!"

Goblin sticks his tongue out at her, jumping onto the rolling chair by the table. Vera simply grabs his Poké Ball, returning him before he can cause any more mischief. For one dark moment, she considers burying the ball in the mud, wondering how many centuries it would take before someone found it. But she reigns in her temper, shoving the ball into her backpack instead.

"How did he have these sorted?" She looks at the tea pots, formerly in two distinct, if different sized, piles. They're now scattered across the floor, all jumbled and mixed together. She grabs one, but the pattern doesn't match the cups beside it. She spots a matching cup nearby, so she grabs that one, and looks for any other matches.

"Vera, are you in here? We found something, and I think you should have it, since your Cubone was the one-" Professor Diggins enters the tent, Bonnie at his side and an odd stone in his hand, but stops when he sees the mess.

"Professor! I can explain! My Impidimp… well, he's a jerk. He probably thought this would be funny, but I'll fix it! Somehow."

Professor Diggins takes a deep breath, letting it out in a sigh. "No, it's fine. I have my notes, I'll figure it out. It will take me all afternoon, but it's less than it'll take you."

Vera picks up Bonnie, not even caring how muddy she is after all that digging. "Are you sure, I can probably try-"

"You've done enough. Thank you for helping clear those rocks, but I think we'll take it from here. You should go. I don't want to take up any more of your time."

He's remarkably calm, but Vera doesn't push the issue. Honestly, she's glad he's not making her stay, she would've hated organizing all those tea sets. She hugs Bonnie close as she leaves, hearing the gentle tink of tea cups being moved.

"Probably for the best." She remarks to Bonnie as they follow the path back to the road. "I'll bet some of those tea pots were haunted or something. Can you imagine Casey's reaction if we brought back another Ghost?" She laughs, with just a hint of a stressed edge to it.

Bonnie squeaks at her in confusion. Vera isn't sure what she said, but continues on as if she did. "Of course there are haunted tea pots. I heard about them in school. They're called Polteageist."

Bonnie just huffs out a breath, which Vera takes as her being grumpy.

"Sorry, I'm just thinking out loud. Did you at least have fun? Because I'm soaked again and could use a shower. But… it's worth it if you're happy."

Bonnie snuggles up close to Vera's chest, and any frustration toward Goblin or concern for that archeologist just melts away.

"Come on, let's get back to the… boys?" Vera looks up to see Casey and Jordan making their way through the long grass toward her. "Uh-oh, we're in trouble now, Bonnie." She lightly jostles the little Cubone, making her giggle at the joke.

"Hey!" Jordan waves as they approach, his smile turning into a quizzical expression as he gets close enough to see the state she is in. "If you wanted to go for a swim, we could have stayed longer in Vermilion."

"Swim?" Vera glances down at her slowly drying clothes, and the thin layer of beige mud starting to form on them. "Oh. This wasn't exactly planned, Jordan. Bonnie was just trying out her new move, and I… uh, the ground collapsed under me, dropping me in the water. I'm just cursed to have wet socks, I guess."

"Gonna get trench foot if you don't change shoes," Casey says, guiding Parsley to lay down behind Vera and pushing on her shoulders. "Switch 'em."

"Hey!" Vera protests as Casey pushes her, but she's no match for his strength and soon finds herself sitting on Parsley. She scowls at Casey, but starts taking her shoes off anyway. "You don't have to push, I was going to do it anyway. And stop watching me undress, both of you."

"What? It's just your feet, unless you're 'bout to strip in the middle of this field. I ain't got a foot fetish or anythin', if it makes you feel better. Jordan, you into feet?"

“What? No! No,” Jordan blushes suspiciously, but it’s likely the question just caught him off guard. He quickly brushes past it. “Anyway, new move, you were saying?”

Vera ducks her head, more embarrassed than she thought she'd be. "Bonnie, show them what you can do." She hopes Bonnie will distract the boys long enough for her to get over Casey's comment.

Bonnie dutifully jumps off of Parsley's back, where she'd been sitting so Vera could use her hands, pointing her club at the ground. She starts spinning like a drill, leaving a hole in the soft earth as she easily slips into it. After a moment, she pops back up in front of Casey, lightly touching his knee with her club. The hole she'd dug mysteriously fills itself in, a softer patch of earth the only indication that any disturbance had occurred.

"You should have seen her earlier, she was digging through hard stone." Vera smirks as she starts tying her shoes. They weren't made for rough terrain, but they'd be better than nothing on the dirt road.

"Look at that! That'll be handy for stuff, I'm sure. Good job, Bonnie!" Casey pats the Cubone on her bony skull as Jordan claps. Bonnie grins at the praise, letting out a happy squeak.

"Yes, she did wonderfully!" Vera scoops Bonnie up, hugging her close again. Though still wet, it's a manageable amount, and it's much warmer here than in Rock Tunnel, so she isn't inclined to change her pants despite Casey's suggestion. "Sorry if you worried about me, but I didn't want to interrupt you guys hitting Tangles with sticks. If that's done, we should probably get moving again, hm?"

"It was training, thank you. But yeah, we're done with that for now. Back to jogging!" Casey punches the air and takes off toward Saffron once more, two Skiddo and a Charmeleon happy to run with him.

"Do we have to?" Vera sighs, looking to Jordan.

Jordan exhales. “Well, I didn’t know we had been jogging...” He mutters. “But come on, let’s go.” The two follow after Casey, not wanting to get left behind.


A joint post between Groc, Aquacorde, and Juno.
Female
My place
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted 4 Weeks Ago
248 posts
7 Years
Gwen Alanis ft. Arianne Chandler and Casey Holt
Tuesday, May 28th
Afternoon
Saffron City
Arianne sits at her table with a relieved sigh. “Phew! We’re set now…” She smiles. “We have a room, our Pokémon are all healed up, and we’re about to get dinner too!”

“And…” she interrupts herself. “When we’re done, we should be free to explore the city… or figuring out the situation with your sister, o-of course. Right Gwen?”

"Well of course we are!" Gwen impatiently shouts, unaware of the fact that not only is she indoors, but also that her mouth is filled with chewed-up pieces of a burger she ordered. "You think I'm gonna give up on her that easily?"

"Oh no, of course not!" The Cinnabar girl looks slightly more nervous. "I'll come and help, you can count on me!"

"And," Gwen stuffs her mouth with a large handful of french fries, giving Bead a disappointed glare. "I also called Casey to see if he wanted to see Jenny as well, I just need to shoot him a text." Actually, given how greasy her hands are at the moment, that can probably wait until she's done stuffing her face.

A moment of hesitation stops Ari as she keeps munching on her food. "Oh yeah, t-that… sounds good!" In the midst of her feasting, Gwen takes note of her hesitancy and grows a little conscious. Is it because of how messy she’s being? Did she say something weird?

Perhaps it doesn’t hurt to ask, especially with how comfortable she’s gotten around Arianne. “Uh, hey Ari? You okay?”

"Oh, of course!" She laughs it off. "I was just with my head in the clouds. Having Casey come with… it's no issue."

There’s a faint sigh of relief from Gwen. “Well that’s good. Lemme just finish my food and then I can text him.” Since Arianne made no remark about how sloppy she’s being, Gwen feels comfortable enough scarfing down the rest of her meal in no time.

“God I’m stuffed.” Gwen reaches for some napkins to wipe her hands down. She whips out her phone, looks through the few contacts she has saved and starts typing out a message- or at least she would if she had the right words. Her thumbs float above the touchscreen, uncertain which exact keys to press. She could just say “I’m in Saffron now” but she wonders if that’s too abrupt. Maybe she could be more formal, throwing a “Hello” in the beginning while adding more details. But does that come off as too formal and thus trying too hard? Thinking about it too much makes her anxious.

"Hm… unsure what to write, Gwen?" Arianne looks towards her from across the table. Gwen simply nods in response, too embarrassed to admit she’s right.

"Well… time and place are enough, right?"

“Psyduck it, why not?” Quickly she just types out the address that she has memorized with the only addition being “Be there ASAP”. Hopefully this is serviceable.

"Or I can help you write…" Arianne states in the meantime, even if it looks like Gwen has made up her mind. Gwen grows a little flustered, blushing and averting her pupils to her right.

“Yeah, I guess I’d be fine with that…” She’s too kind to offer to help with something as simple as texting.

Once Arianne gets her hands on Gwen's PokéGear it's just a matter of adding onto what the other girl already wrote. Some seconds later, the Saffron girl gets her device back with the message already sent and a proud Arianne smiling back at her.

"Hey Casey! Now that I made it to Saffron, here's the address for the meetup. I'm about to be there myself and I'd love to see you too! It's gonna be great ♡"

“Wow, that’s uh…” This certainly hasn’t made Gwen blush any less, that’s for sure. This isn’t something she’d type out, and Casey must be scratching his head reading this. She doesn’t really mind though, and if anything is grateful to have somebody to help her out. Arghh, why does this make me feel funny!? “...thanks!”

"You're welcome!" The Cinnabar girl smiles. "It's nothing crazy but it still gets the job done… and now, we should actually head to Jenny's place ourselves, right?"

“Right!” Gwen pumps a fist into the air before taking one elongated sip from an oversized cup of soda. It’s more than she can finish in one go no matter how hard she might try to, but eventually she just decides to take it to go. “This time we’ll actually get to see Jenny! Let’s go!”




For the second time today, Gwen finds herself running to the apartment building she used to live in, although her rather unhealthy meal choice is taking a toll on her. She has to push herself to go as fast as she did earlier, and every now and again she swears she’s going to trip and fall. It’s a harsh endeavor that she does get through at least, and once the building is just a few feet away her speed drastically decreases and long gasps for air are heard.

This lets Arianne catch up to her without much effort. She gives the other girl a pat on her shoulder as she cheers her up, but then shifts her attention to Casey, who's conveniently waiting for them under the light of a lamp post. "C'mon, look who's there…" She smiles.

“Oh, uh…” Despite her visible exhaustion, Gwen tries to compose herself by standing up straight while wiping the sweat from her brow. A simple greeting is a chore when trying to get it through in-between breaths. “Hey there Casey!”

Casey waves casually as they approach. "You ran here and I still beat ya?"

“Well, uh… I ate a lot before I headed out, that’s why! I’m never making that mistake again…”

"At least you enjoyed the food, Gwen! And also, hi Casey!" Arianne slightly bows her head towards him.

"Hi, Arianne. How're you doin'?"

"Oh, I'm… I'm good! Route 6 was very nice. You?" The Cinnabar girl replies.

"It was, yeah! It's been a good day. Beat Hana, got outta Vermilion, had a nice walk, did some training- y'know. A good time. And the hotel had enough rooms, thank god."

"Well, c-congrats! That sounds like…"

“Alright, we can go over the details later!” Gwen interjects, impatiently pointing to the building. “We’re here for a reason after all!”

"Sure. Meetin' your sister, right? What's she like?" Casey falls into step easily behind Gwen as the three make their way into the building.

“What is there to say that hasn’t already been said? She’s the best! She graduated top of her class, wins just about every Pokemon battle she’s in not even counting the endless amount of tournaments she won in Saffron, and she’s helped me out with sooooo much! If she didn’t take me in I honestly don’t know where I’d be.”

Casey hums. "Okay, but what's she like? That's all stuff she did, y'know?" That’s a good point actually. Whenever somebody asks about her sister she just goes on about Jenny’s accomplishments rather than her actual personality.

“Well, to do all that, she’s gotta have quite the attitude! Right?” Arianne quickly adds. “Headstrong, confident, all that…”

“Yeah, that!” Gwen waves at the man at the desk before turning back to her friends. “And she’s just good at pretty much everything she does! She’s also super kind and uh… stuff like that.”

"'S good to have a kind sibling," Casey says vaguely. "She's way older'n us though, right? So how long did you actually live together?"

“Well,” Gwen heads toward the stairs, beckoning the other two to follow. “I guess we haven’t lived together that long. When I was three she was thirteen, which is when she left Unova so she could go to Cape. She’d stay over during vacations and a little bit after she graduated, but at some point she moved to Kanto, so for a while I didn’t get to see her as much as I wanted to. But when I was thirteen she took custody of me after… Well, long story short, I didn’t get along with my parents very well. But yeah, I lived with her before when I was in Kanto before I started school and during breaks and stuff!”

"Not long overall, huh? Makes things kinda different than like, Jordan's family." Casey hesitates, briefly, but his next question is- "Is she more like a parent than a sister?"

“Wait whose Jordan agai- ah, that’s besides the point. But... yeah, when you put it like that I guess she is kind of like a parent. I never really thought about that until now, although it’s a little different than her being a parent because sometimes I had to look out for her. She’s usually tired after kicking so much ass so I sometimes had to make dinner and do her hair, stuff like that.”

"Is that how you learned to do these?" Casey reaches over and playfully tugs at one of Gwen's buns. Gwen squeaks and flashes bright red, reacting quickly by slapping his hand to release herself. She’s unsure how she feels about that, but she’s going to pretend it didn’t happen.

“Kind of, yeah…” Gwen caresses her bu0n as if to soothe it. “I taught myself how to do hair stuff since I didn’t have anyone to teach me.”

“Well, you’re pulling it off and it looks cute on you!” Arianne chimes in after being quiet for a moment. She’s remained one or two steps behind, but now that they’re almost at the end of the staircase, she’s catching up.

“Y-you really think so!?” Gwen’s blushing intensifies and an awkward half-smile forms across her face. She’s not used to receiving compliments for her appearance and doesn’t know how to handle it but she definitely appreciates it. “Uhh… th-thanks!!”

"Yeah, they suit you," Casey looks around where they've paused. "Is this her floor?"

“Huh?” Gwen swings her head left and right, and indeed this is the floor Jenny’s apartment is on. “Oh yeah, this is! Follow me!” With her remaining energy, she sprints forward without considering how closely Casey and Arianne are following. They can catch up.

And catch up they do, at Jenny's door, because once again she doesn't answer Gwen's frantic knocking.

“Again? She doesn’t have the showering excuse this time!” Arianne comments after a bit, but then gives Gwen a friendly pat on the shoulder.

“Maybe she just didn’t hear that time!” Gwen knocks a second time, and her knuckles start hurting from how loud it is. She waits for up to a minute, but nobody’s there. “Goddamnit, not again…”

"Didn't you tell her we were coming over?" Casey asks, leaning with his back to the wall next to the door.

“I tried anyway! She just… didn’t pick up…”

"So is she even here?"

“The old guy at the desk said she hasn’t left her apartment in months. Where else could she be?”

"What?" This finally breaks Casey's chill demeanor. "What d'you mean, she hasn't left? That's not possible. How does she get food?"

“I don’t know either, which is why we can ask her when she answers already!”

"Uh… maybe she gets stuff delivered or something? Or do her Pokémon do that for her?" Arianne adds. From her tone it's clear that she's just saying the first thing that might calm down the other two trainers, no matter how much sense it really makes.

"But yeah, whatever the case, this… isn't really normal, uh? There, I had to say it."

"Yeah, not leavin' for months? That's crazy. I'd go crazy. She hasn't gone crazy, has she?"

“I wouldn’t know.” Gwen sighs. “I haven’t heard from her in… awhile, that’s for sure.”

Casey opens his mouth, then closes it with a sharp click and makes a low "nuh-uh" sound to himself.

Arianne raises an eyebrow at that, looking towards the boy with… apprehension. "Nothing?" She then asks Gwen, trying to look at both simultaneously. "And what about the last time you talked? How did that go?"

“Yep. Nothing.” Gwen somberly nods. ‘Not since… February, I think. I’ve tried calling her but she never picks up and I don’t know why… but the last time we talked there wasn’t really any issue! It doesn’t make any sense!” At this point she has to put all her energy into stopping herself from crying, but the loud sniffles coming from her convey the same emotion.

"Uh, well." Casey speaks up after a moment. "What if she can't pick up?"

"You don't mean…" Ari grimaces, stopping right there, with a hand covering her mouth. Gwen cocks up a brow, not picking up on the implication.

“What are you guys talking about?”

"Well, I mean. If someone hasn't answered for months, and they haven't been seen for months, and they haven't left a space for months, then there must be a reason, right? And what if that reason is that she can't do any of that? Gwen," Casey strides over and places both hands on her shoulders to look her straight in the eye and says, very seriously: "What if she's dead?"

WHAT!?!” Gwen cries, forcefully escaping from Casey’s grip. “That’s stupid! Of course she’s not dead!”

"So she's been intentionally ignoring you, her sister-slash-child, and not going to work or tournaments or whatever she does, for months on end?" Casey crosses his arms. "If she's not dead, that sure don't line up with the kind badass you were tellin' us about."

“Shut up! She’s not dead! I just know it!” Her body starts trembling with rage. The fact that Casey would even suggest such a thing is offensive to Gwen. Her fist clenches, and if she was any angrier she’d sock him then and there.

"Aerial Ace!" Arianne's voice is heard in the meantime, right before her Honedge strikes the door. It leaves nothing more than a mark on it, though, definitely not what the girl wanted if one could judge by her repeated attempts to bust the door open. "Can't turn back now!" Looks like Gwen might have an outlet for her anger after all.

"What the psyduck, Arianne, put that away-" Casey's halfway down the hall, now, but Gwen doesn't care, not one bit. She reaches for one of her Pokeballs while ignoring the one that’s shaking rapidly, sending Tusk out with a mighty “KEW KEW!”

“Alright Tusk, let’s knock this goddamn door down! Use Dragon Claw!” Tusk smirks as his claws are surrounded with a draconic energy that's slashed across the wooden door. The cuts left behind are definitely deeper than Honedge’s Aerial Ace, but still not enough to knock it down. “That’s fine! We can keep doing this all day if we have to! Hit it as many times as you can!”

Honedge doesn't even need the encouragement, apparently - it just keeps having at it without breaking a sweat. Arianne recalls it after a bit though, only motivating that with a hasty "oh oops…"

After a few dozen swipes, the door starts looking worn down enough that a powerful enough hit should take it down. Noticing this, Gwen calls out for an Iron Tail, and Tusk swings his now metal-coated tail into the door, knocking it down, off of its hinges with a loud THUD!

Casey slinks back to peer inside. "Don't think you shoulda done that," he murmurs, but all three are now focused on the apartment's pitch black interior.

"After you thought she could be dead I… just couldn't stand there…" Arianne sighs back at him, before some deep breaths.

"There's literally a guy at the desk, we coulda asked for a key!" Casey hisses and earns a resigned sigh from the Cinnabar girl.

"Right…"

The only source of light in the entire room is the TV that’s left on at a random channel, so Gwen has to flick the lights on to see anything. What she does see is mostly familiar, just a lot less… organized. Jenny was never one to be perfectly tidy, but seeing the floor littered with an endless sea of empty cans of coffee and soda is beyond what she’d expect. From what’s visible of the kitchen from here isn’t much better, the sink is piled with dirty dishes and tables and counters are covered in the remains of take-out food and instant meals. Pizza boxes, plastic bags, and microwaveable trays are all stacked on-top of each other. Gross. Not a single surface is left empty, the closest thing to that is the spaces occupied by grease-stained paper plates, some of which still have food remains. That certainly explains the rancid smell.

“What the psyduck happened here…” Gwen winces at the state of this place.

"I hate this," Casey says bluntly, and that's probably the most negative thing she's ever heard him say. "You live like this?"

"This doesn't add up but…" Arianne looks surprisingly relieved. "She's not dead if she's eating this much…?"

“Exactly!” Gwen reluctantly steps into the room, trying to navigate the floor without stepping on anything. Definitely easier said than done. Casey makes his way to the kitchen entrance and surveys the room critically, hands tugging at the bottom corners of his jacket.

"Well if she's alive, this ain't how anyone should be livin'."

All Gwen can do is look around, lost in disbelief. She’s so immersed in the feeling that she almost doesn’t notice the slow footsteps from down the hall, although the second she does she fixates on the hall entrance like a Pyroar would on its prey. She wants to speak up, but the words are stuck in her throat.

“Jeeeeez. Did ya forget how to open the door again, Krox?” From the corner of the hall is… well, it’s who Gwen can only assume is her sister. After supposedly not going outside for months it only makes sense she’d look different but that doesn’t make it any less jarring. She’s not wearing her usual semi-formal get-up, instead donning a dark blue hoodie and gray sweatpants. Dark circles have formed around her eyes, and her hair, which Gwen is used to seeing very short, just barely reaches past her neck. Clearly it hasn’t been groomed in some time. She looks directly towards her younger sister, although with her glasses hanging from the neck of her sweater she doesn’t register who she’s looking at. She does slowly start to wear them, and after a readjustment she widens her eyes. “What the- Gwen!?”

JEEEEEENNY!!!” Gwen acts on an impulse, charging forward towards her sister before throwing her arms around her. She buries her face into her chest and lets it all out, bawling endlessly about how much she missed her. Jenny doesn't look like she has any idea what's going on, but she strokes Gwen's hair anyways.

"I… have a lot of questions." Jenny looks directly at Casey and Arianne before turning her attention back to her sister. “I mean, I wasn’t expecting to see you stop by so soon. Is it spring break or something already?”

"It's May?" Casey's correction rises into a question. "We're on our journey. And, uh, I'm Casey, this is Arianne. Thanks for...having us."

“May!? What the hell, how has it been so long!?” Jenny holds her head in disbelief. The realization of all the time she missed hits her like a train, and she holds her sister tighter. “Oh my god, I’m so sorry Gwen!”

Gwen can hardly hear any of this over her sobbing. “Why didn’t you pick up…”

“I don’t have an excuse.” Jenny sighs. “Remember how I lost early on in my last tournament? Yeah, I didn’t take that very well. Like, at all. I was really banking on that going well, so when it went south instead I kinda spiraled into a really bad depressive episode- if that wasn’t obvious.” She gestures to the mess that is her living room. “I’m so sorry, I really am. I was supposed to do better than mom and dad but I couldn’t even do that. I really am the worst.”

Gwen hardly hears the muttered, "Arianne, c'mere," from Casey, and the shifting as they vacate the space. Tusk, who has just been awkwardly standing in the same spot since he busted the door down, follows suit. Thank god none of them will witness Gwen with tears rolling down her face.

“That’s not true!” Gwen cries, poking her head out. “Don’t talk about yourself like that! You’re way better than mom and dad ever were, you shouldn’t even compare yourselves to them!”

“Gwen, I made you cry. That’s something I can’t ever forgive myself for doing, you deserve better. I’ve failed as a sister, and that’s just one of the things I’ve screwed up at.”

“That’s impossible!” Gwen doesn’t even bother fighting against the flow of tears. “How can you be a screw up!? You helped me with so much, and your skills as a trainer-”

Jenny’s sudden groaning cuts her off, and she holds a hand to her forehead. “Gwen, please, that’s not relevant to this. Just… don’t bring that up right now. Please.”

“What?” It’s not often Jenny gets this upset. Confused, Gwen stands still for a moment with wide eyes. “Why not? It’s true, isn’t it? I mean, I look up to you for a reason, and it’s because you’re the best-”

Gwen! Please!” Jenny hisses and Gwen nearly jumps. “I just said to not talk about it! I know you’ve built up this image of me in your head, that I’m some kind of Pokemon Master because I’ve won local tournaments or whatever! Hell, even I bought into that for a while, but the second I went from Regional to National I was obliterated within minutes! I thought the same thing, that I could defeat the Hoenn League’s very own Wally if I ever met him! Boy, was I stupid. My scope of Pokemon battling was extremely limited, and once I got a look at a bigger portion of the entire picture I was put in my place. It’s a brutal world, and I don’t think I have the capacity for it…”

No!” Gwen screams, tears welling up again. “No, it’s not true! You’re so much better than you give yourself credit for, you have no idea! R-remember that time a few years ago against the Gyrados, where Krox-”

“Where Krox took out Endo Ueno’s Gyrados with a single Rock Slide. Yes, I remember that.” Jenny solemnly pushes up her glasses. “I remember it was a big victory for me at the time, it won me that tournament. Ueno had a pretty fierce reputation at the time, he was also a consecutive tournament winner. But in reality, he was just another mediocre trainer with an overblown ego. Rock Slide against a flying-type isn’t impressive to anyone above that level.”

“But, but, but…” Gwen tries her best to think of a response, but it just quickly turns into more bawling. Even though it’s muffled by her sister’s baggy hoodie, it’s loud enough that Casey and Arianne can hear her clearly, no doubt. “But…. you don’t understand! Without you, then… what am I?”

“What do you mean?” She asks, sympathy slowly returning to her voice. “Without me, you’re still Gwen.”

I know!” Gwen growls. It’s so exhausting hearing everyone repeat this, especially her own beloved older sister. “I know who I am, that’s not what I mean! What I’m asking is that if you’re not the greatest trainer ever… what am I gonna do now?”

There’s some silence from Jenny as she stares at her younger sister before a faint chuckle is heard. “Right, that’s what you mean.”

“Hey, what’s so funny!?”

“No, it’s nothing like that! I just-” She clears her throat before kneeling to make eye-contact with Gwen. “It’s hard hearing me talk myself down like this, isn’t it? Your older sister who lived out the life you always wanted, the life that was so far out of reach for the longest time, only to find out she’s not that good- it really sucks, huh?”

“I still think you’re the best, but… yeah, it does suck.” Gwen nods, rubbing her sleeve against her face.

“So when you’ve looked up to me so much you’ve no doubt used my journey as a reference for how yours might end up, yeah? You wanna mimic all my achievements so you can be on the same level as me, yeah?”

Gwen gives an eager nod. “Well to tell you the truth,” Jenny continues, “A lot of the highlights of my career aren’t really that impressive. Like I said with the battle against Ueno, a lot of them were down to me having a basic understanding of type advantages.”

“No way!” Gwen cries in denial. “If you’re not that impressive then… what about how you won every gym battle on your graduation journey?”

“Oh…” Jenny scratches her chin while averting her pupils. “Did I not explain that already? If not, well the truth is that I lied about that.”

”WHAT!?”

Jenny nods. “That was a tale I told everyone when I was still a teenager to look cool… and maybe it originated so I could impress this one girl I liked, but still. That was a complete lie, and honestly I thought I told you that already.”

“But… what about the Wailord story!?”

“Those things may be hefty, but any Liligant with Own Tempo and Petal Dance can slice it into minced meat.”

“What about that epic showdown against the girl with the Charizard??”

“Sure, it was tough, but a Charizard with Solar Beam is still extremely weak to water-types. You get the idea though. I’m just any other average Pokemon trainer who had a big mouth during my heyday.”

Gwen’s jaw drops in shock, as if reality just crumbled beneath her feet. “But… but, what does that make me?”

“Ahh, we were just about to get there.” Jenny holds up her index finger. “I know how you place a lot of importance on being my little sister, hell by now I know you introduce yourself as that! And even though most of that is built on a lie, I can tell you one thing I know for damn sure what isn’t,” She then takes her finger and points it towards her sister. “And that’s you.”

Gwen flinches. “What are you-”

“Gwen, you’re the most passionate and authentic person I know, especially when it comes to anything relating to Pokemon. I know you admire me deeply, and I really appreciate that, but your love for Pokemon isn’t built on me, nor is who you are as a person. Afterall…” Jenny pauses to shift her head both directions, making sure nobody can hear her. When the coast is clear, she leans in and whispers: “The name Gwen wasn’t my idea, was it?”

Upon hearing this, the gears start turning in Gwen’s head and her eyes even light up a bit. Is that what everyone meant when they said she isn’t her sister? Maybe, but either way, Jenny’s little pep talk made enough sense that it’s finally starting to click. She still doesn’t completely agree with everything she said, and some things will take some processing to fully grasp, but neither of those were enough to negate Jenny’s words- especially that last bit.

“Heh, yeah I guess you’re right after all.” Gwen smirks, swiping her finger under her nose as if she wasn’t just bawling her eyeballs out a minute ago. “I’m not Gwen Alanis, younger sister of Jennifer Alanis. I’m Gwen Alanis, Pokemon Trainer, Future World Champion, Expert Detective, and much more!”

“That’s the spirit, champ!” Jenny flashes a wide grin, playfully ruffling Gwen’s hair. Gwen chuckles as she does this before she’s swallowed up in Jenny’s arms when she goes in for a hug. It’s been far too long since they had this kind of interaction.

“I’ll say one thing though,” Gwen speaks up. “And it’s that even though you didn’t do as good as I thought, you’ll always be the best Pokemon trainer to me!”

“Gosh, you’re too kind…” Jenny says while her grip tightens.

The two enjoy their moment together until a very loud and intrusive “KEW KEW!” from the kitchen comes forward. Tusk looks eager to show Gwen the trash that’s skewered on his, well, tusks. That’s definitely an interesting use of them.

Arianne joins the scene shortly after, first going after Tusk but then stopping, and looking at Gwen and Jenny. She smiles, eyes sparkling, and even if she doesn't say anything yet, her expression already speaks for her.

The person that actually speaks is Casey, though, peeking out into the hall with a dish towel in hand to search for his assistants. "Arianne, where- oh. Y'all done? Do you have any dishwasher tablets?"

“Oh. Oh my god, thank you so much for cleaning up!” Jenny says, letting go of Gwen. “I didn’t think I’d be having anyone over anytime soon so I didn’t bother cleaning the place… Sorry about that. I’ll show you where I keep my dishwasher pods.” She then turns to her sister. “And look at that! You made friends after all!”

“I didn’t think I’d get this far, but I couldn’t break our promise!” Gwen blushes.

“Speaking of them…” Jenny lowers her volume, “Did you tell either of them about… y’know…” Gwen furiously shakes her head.

“I see, just thought I’d ask.” Jenny turns towards Casey and flashes her pearly whites. “I’ll lend a hand while I’m at it. It is my place afterall.”



CCS and art by Aquacorde

Aquacorde

the more we love, the more we learn // the more we love, the more we BURN 🔥

Age 28
she/her/he/him
Ankh-Morpork
Seen 20 Hours Ago
Posted 21 Hours Ago
11,492 posts
17.5 Years
Casey Holt
Wednesday, May 29, 2019 // Morning, Day 10
Saffron City
10-02. invisible fence

Spoiler: invisible fence - barenaked ladies

As usual, it's early for the rest of the world.

Casey jogs past several blocks of dark, locked storefronts before skidding to a halt and doubling back. Parsley and Pepper complain as he pushes past them to re-read the silver-painted name on the display window.

Silverfield Studios.

The hours on the door say eight to eight, even though there's definitely a light on in the back somewhere, so he snaps a picture of the window and sends it off before resuming his jog.

When he's halfway down the block, in the quiet chill of the morning, a bell jingles and a cheerful shout follows him. "HEY, HEY! No running away!"

"Not runnin' away, just runnin'- oof!" Casey laughs as Sorley throws themself into his arms and negates the momentum with a twirl. Only when he sets them down can he see them properly for the first time since Saturday. Rough denim overalls over a thickly knit sweater of many colors and copper hair pulled to a single puff at the back of their head- a working outfit, certainly. "Didn't think you were in. Hell, you coulda been all the way in Pallet or somethin'!"

"Nah, nah, there's a tournament on! We're all here, me and Britney and Kara Lynn and Freddie and of course Margot and Essie! All hands on deck, 'cause there's so many trainers in town! Even the students, and spectators who just want our cute accessories and not the functional ones." Sorley reaches up and tugs at his beard curiously. Casey winces at the gentle prickling. "What's new besides this? Wait, wait, no- come tell me inside, it's chilly out here."

Casey glances at his own sweat-soaked shorts and t-shirt, making a quizzical sound. "For me," Sorley insists, tugging him along. "I am small and I would just make you princess-carry me for warmth but you're kinda gross right now. From jogging? Jogging is your morning thing, yes?"

"Well, jogging until I find a place that gives me better ideas. Like a playground, or a river, or somethin'. By myself it's just jogging, but these guys- I'm lookin' for good training spots, for these guys, right?" The bell jingles as Sorley's small, wiry form pushes open the heavy shop door and holds it for Casey and his entourage. "Uh, is it okay if they're in here?"

"Sure, sure, just don't knock over displays. Or eat the displays!" they scold. Parsley's tongue slowly retracts into his mouth. "Ah, yes, don't worry, don't worry- Golurk can't be in here, he's too big, and Missy and Sableye are um, banned from the shop, so no worries for you!"

Casey had honestly been so caught up in seeing them again he'd forgotten to be wary. But the reassurance before he can even get himself worked up is nice.

The front of the shop is still dark, but the aesthetic is clear- dark, burnished wood with silver and mirrored inlays display everything from fun trinkets to high-end works of art, all in the medium of leather. Casey marvels at the variety of handcrafted pieces- at wallets and earrings and shoes and even a saddle- but hasn't the time to appreciate them properly as Sorley drags them toward the back. A propped door leads into something more like a hallway than a room, running the width of the shop with a bathroom on the left and a tiny lounge on the right. Sorley crosses their legs and perches in one high-backed armchair and invites Casey to sit in the other, clicking on the electric fireplace along the far wall. The aesthetic of an old-fashioned Galarian shop in the middle of Kanto's capital is fascinating.

"What's further back there?" Casey asks, settling Parsley onto the plush rug at his feet and Pepper onto his lap. Maybe it still is a bit chilly- his damp skin is clammy and glad for Pepper's dry heat.

"Workshop," Sorley waves dismissively, and Ginger decides against investigating and instead settles under Casey's chair. "Now for real for real- you haven't even texted me hardly, not since you were crying about being lonely." Casey's mouth falls open and he flushes bright red. Sorley's hands are immediately waving in a hold on motion. "Wait, wait, I don't mean- that's fine, it's fine that you did that, I'm a good listener! But, but, you haven't said anything. Barely an update!"

"You haven't said anything either," Casey grumbles, running his fingers along the polished wood arm of the chair and refusing to look Sorley in the face while his own burns. "You just send your emotes."

"With question marks, Casey, question marks." Sorley throws their hands in the air. "It's an invitation to talk!"

"I don't like to over text."

"Well, well, you didn't have a problem calling before!"

"Maybe I didn't wanna talk about breakin' down over stupid muk to someone I hardly know." Casey crosses his arms over Pepper, knowing full well it's a defensive and protective gesture but not willing to stop himself. "Or do it again."

Sorley drums their fingers on their folded knees. "You didn't have to," they say quietly, pulling their knees up to their chest and hugging them. "We- we don't have to. You just have to say that, Casey, say so. What were you gonna do? Not talk to me forever? I- I like to help, I like to try, but if you don't want that… I'd rather just ignore that than ignore and lose a whole friend. Okay? I want to be a good friend, but I can't if my friend won't tell me what they want."

Casey knows so many people, calls most everyone a friend within hours of meeting them. But they all fade in and out- those who only stayed in Pewter for days, weeks, summers. Those who stuck with him through a few grades then moved to different classes, different schools. Those who moved away entirely. He never stayed in contact with people for very long, once they were out of each other's physical proximity. Was that his choice? His doing? He's never been good at remembering to check in. Eventually, those friendships faded to a text on a birthday, a like on a post.

It might be a Casey problem.

But it takes two to make a relationship, doesn't it? And Vera and Jordan, in Vermilion, and now Sorley- each of them have expressed a resolve to hold onto Casey. Has anyone done that before? Maybe they had, just not so explicitly. Maybe Casey had missed it. Should he have known? Should he have done the same?

We were kids. We still ARE kids.

Casey sighs and buries his head in the crook of Pepper's neck. "Yeah, okay."

They sit there in embarrassed silence for a while, the crackle of the fake fire accentuated by the gentle wooshing of Pepper's tail as the flame fluctuates. But two talkative people will never be silent for long, and they end up talking over each other.

"So, anyway, so-"

"I s'pose-"

They both cut themselves off. Casey exhales a laugh. "Go on!"

Sorley lets their knees fall back down to a criss-cross and demands once more to know what Casey's been up to. No new Pokémon, no new friends- unless you counted Tristan from the docks, and the Braviary and Phanpy he'd hung out with on Route 11. Maybe Janice, too, but not Hana or Bridget. Sorley questions that, why his tone goes clipped and his words disregard the Vermilion Gym Leader and her second in command, and Casey contemplates telling them the whole story. But with the danger of it still fresh in mind and Hana's ultimately reasonable insistence that the fewer people involved the better, he opts for saying something about disagreeing with her methods and leaving it at that.

Sorley quirks an eyebrow and Casey knows that they know there is more to that story.

But he moves on.

Yes, he's been reunited with Vera and Jordan, and even met up again with Gwen and Arianne. Briefly. To meet Gwen's sister. Hey, does Sorley know Jennifer Alanis?

"Alanis, Alanis… Maybe back when I came to Kanto, right when I was starting tournaments, but- no, no, never knew her."

Casey's immediately sidetracked. "Oh yeah, you do tournaments! Are you in the Tomorrow Cup?"

"Yes, yes, of course! But I only have three, so I'm limited to certain formats- triples are fun, but not many people run them. Usually I'm in half teams or double. And It's hard, it's hard, I'm on the back foot a lot for typing so I gotta be quick and creative! Lots of people have Ghost counters, don't they? Oh!" Sorley slaps their thighs and leans in. "Speaking of Ghosts-"

Casey grimaces.

"But you've been with your friends!"

"Yeah, well…" Casey clears his throat and fiddles with Pepper's back claws until the Charmeleon complains. "The Ghosts… haven't been out much. Tiny's been around a little. The Pumpkaboo. But she- she's a plant, so…"

"No, she's not." Sorley's sharp tone stabs through his wavering and Casey jumps, just a fraction. They're never so aggressive, or even so serious. "She's a ghost and a plant. They're both part of her. That's what she is. You can't ignore one part just 'cause it's more convenient for you."

"My friends ignore the part o' me that's scared of Ghosts 'cause it's more convenient for them," Casey counters. Sorley narrows their big brown eyes and shakes their head furiously.

"That's not the same! Being scared of Ghosts isn't who you are, it's what you do! That's something you can change- a Ghost can't change what it is, not permanently!"

"So what if I cope by pretendin'? It ain't doin' harm!"

"Ain't it?" Sorley mimics him back.

Casey glares at them.

"Listen, listen." They soften, letting the high back of the armchair take their weight again. "I don't wanna fight you all the time, do I? I don't wanna go in circles, do I? But Casey, Casey, I'm a Ghost trainer. You can't sit here and tell me all this stuff like it's facts. You can't sit here and tell me how you don't like my friends. I wanna be friends with you! But I'm not giving up my other friends. And you, you're trying! Kind of. I think. And I wanna help, 'cause I think I can. But you can't be all stubborn and negative and dumb about it!"

That warm embarrassment floods back into Casey's cheeks and he turns his face into Pepper's warm shoulder to hide from Sorley's assessment. But out of the corner of his eye, their head shakes, and Pepper- Pepper squirms out of his lap and drapes himself over Parsley. "Wh- hey."

"Stop hiding," Sorley says, their piercing gaze hitting him like it's seeing straight into his brain. Casey can't quite acquiesce; he rests both hands on the ankle he props on his opposite knee and still feels exposed in his thin workout clothes. It feels like they know too much about him- and maybe they do, actually, despite knowing him barely more than a week. Has it really only been that long? So short of a time, and Sorley knows so many things that he's kept locked down from even Jordan. They're easy to talk to, and have been in the right place at the right time a few times now, and sure- it's easier to talk to people who have less stake in your situation.

But what happens when they become invested?

What happens when you become invested?

Casey sighs. "It's hard and I don't want to."

"Okay," Sorley says, to his acute and obvious surprise. "Hide today, then, but tomorrow! Tomorrow you come here and don't."

"What?"

Sorley taps a gentle drumbeat on the denim legs of their overalls. "Okay, okay, so- relationships take work, yes? I think normally they take work, um, later in knowing each other, normally, but, we have a thing that's getting in the way right away, yes? So we gotta try and fix it right away. So tomorrow, you come here, same time as today, and we work on it! We work really hard for- how long are you here?"

"Uh- not sure, t' be honest." Casey mentally scans the whirlwind of things he's been meaning to do in Saffron. "Maybe 'til Friday? Saturday?"

Sorley hums a single, thoughtful note. "Well, that's how journeys are, yes? It'll be okay! We'll do work so you can keep being friends with me and your other friends and be happy!"

Casey watches them bounce happily in their seat and slowly, finally, releases his grip in his shin and relaxes back into his own armchair. It's a rollercoaster, he decides, to have his own emotions and behavior dragged into the spotlight, scrutinized, and have decisions made based on them. He's certainly not used to anyone but himself doing so- even then, how much effort did he ever put toward working out core issues rather than setting up specific buffers and patterns of avoidance? How many times has he simply, for all intents and purposes, run away?

How many times has someone followed after?

This is all very new.

And for all his hesitancy and discomfort, it might be okay.

Pepper Bomb • Charmeleon • lv38 | Ginger • Buneary • lv39 | Parsley • Skiddo • lv36
Casey's Profile | Sorley's Profile / Extra Characters | Art Gallery | Current Chapter

Eleanor

Would you like some tea? I'll brew you some...

Age 22
she/her
Italy
Online now
Posted 1 Hour Ago
4,245 posts
5.5 Years
art by Aquacorde
Arianne Chandler
Saffron City
Tuesday, May 28th, night


My own troubles

New city, new room, new mirror.
✨ Arianne’s eyes look tired, but still active and rather open at the same time, as if they weren’t allowed to rest. The day went by, mostly pleasant and relaxing, until that sudden burst of emotions at the end - which explains how she looks right now. Oh, not to mention Gwen woke her up earlier than she expected.
✨ Arianne’s hair is in better shape luckily, it just needs some drying. She’s just had a rushed shower before bed - she wrongly believed she would have had lots of time, but the way things went with Gwen and her sister changed her plans - so that even if she goes to sleep late, she’s all cleaned up and ready for a new day when she gets back up.
✨ Moving down. Her body may not feel in mint shape after the Vermilion cold and the Explosion it had to take, but it looks healthy and is recovering well enough, too. Even the marks from her Honedge are a thing of the past. Obviously, staying in a big city as opposed to a more dangerous setting will help too, she just needs to get settled in- and make this a brand new start.
✨ The mirror, being on top of a sink, can’t give Arianne a full body view of herself, but does reflect some of the things in the background, such as the clothes she wore for the day. She doesn’t have that many items with her, and her backpack isn’t even that large to allow for more… but staying in a city means she can get them washed easily and wear her city outfit in the meantime.

Wearing just her bedtime clothes, the girl closes the small bathroom’s door behind her and walks on the wooden floor of her room, a yawn escaping her mouth in the meantime. What else is there to check…
✨ The city outfit she was thinking about is already where it should be, on top of one of the chairs, ready to be worn. It’s just her blue skirt and blouse, nothing too fancy considering she’s staying in Saffron, but she’s not excessively bothered by that. She’s a trainer on a journey after all, she’s not living in the city permanently.
✨ Next to her clothes is a small welcome card from the Pokémon Center staff, with some information on the city as well as purely practical things like how to connect to wired internet or how to ask for help with the room. Since she’ll be staying here for a few days, it’s good to read through all that… but that ought to wait until tomorrow.
✨ When Arianne raises her head, she can take a good look at the entire room. Now that Gwen isn’t here, the room looks a bit larger than the first time she entered, but the fact of the matter is… this room still isn’t much larger than the one in Vermilion’s Pokémon Center. The layout is quite similar too, making use of bunk beds and pushing lots of items against one of the walls, but it’s a bit more… old style?
✨ Looking more closely at the wooden items and at the (needlessly, probably) ornate bedside lamp, it’s easy to see that the basic layout is just the same in both Pokémon Centers, but the furniture has been picked either from a different time or from a different style. Then again, everything is looking sturdy enough, and that only makes Arianne more… intrigued by this room. Who knows what sort of rising stars this place could have hosted back in the day!
✨ Of course, the elephant in the room needs to be addressed: Gwen is no longer here, claiming top bunk or something. She decided to stay at Jenny’s place for the night and help her out. Arianne would have 100% done the same thing if she was her, but right now, the Cinnabar girl is feeling a bit lonely because of that. Surely enough, it won’t be too bad?
✨ The loneliness is definitely kept under control by the countless lights coming in from the window. The view may not be the best, with other tall buildings surrounding the Pokémon Center, but it’s just what you would expect in a big, active city: billboards, lamp posts, lights coming from other flats. Arianne is not actually on the very last floor, but on the one right below it, which means she’s getting a proper window and not just a roof window thingy like in Vermilion!
✨ When it’s time to get under the blankets and sleep, Arianne spends a few minutes on her PokéGear too. It’s right there on the bedside table, charging up, and normally she would just leave it be, but today…

She picks it up, noticing that she still has a few apps open from when she was “waiting” for Jenny the first time and, in them, a few photos and messages of her friends. After seeing the heartwarming reunion between Gwen and her sister, this hits her differently. Even if she knows Cinnabar is still far and she needs to give it some time.

Arianne indulges on one contact specifically, Serenity. Before departing for Cape College, Serenity was her best friend, and probably still is now. Because even if she misses hanging out with her and talking face to face, the dark haired girl has never had much trouble messaging or calling Serenity. The photos she uploads for her friends to see also let Arianne assume she’s doing fine, unlike Jennifer…

Gwen didn’t seem to have that luxury - she hasn’t been able to keep in touch with her sister for a while, not until today - and Arianne knows how important that virtual connection can be. After what happened, she’s definitely taken a liking for the Saffron trainer, and has definitely started to sympathise with her over this issue.

The Pokégear now beeps a few times, signaling an outgoing call. It takes a while for the person on the other side to answer, but against all odds, it happens.

“Arianne!?”

“Ren!! Yeah, it’s me… how’s it going?”

“Uh, you didn’t actually call for a while but I figured you were busy with your graduation journey… glad to hear from you.”


“Oof, yes, that’s kind of true, but I got some time today! I’m in Saffron, I’ll stay in the city for a bit-”

“Nice and all but there’s a reason why I’m up late, uhm… I still have to finish some of my last assignments by Friday and I must…”


“Oh wow, best of luck Ren!”

“Thanks… I’d better get back to work though, see you another time.”

“Aw… fine. Bye bye!”

Arianne lets go of the Pokégear and hides her face in the pillows, quickly falling asleep.
TEAM:
Eric, lv. 36 • Espurr, lv. 19
Blitzle, lv. 23 • Mizar, lv. 19
Lulu, lv. 30 • Honedge, lv. 20

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Aquacorde

the more we love, the more we learn // the more we love, the more we BURN 🔥

Age 28
she/her/he/him
Ankh-Morpork
Seen 20 Hours Ago
Posted 21 Hours Ago
11,492 posts
17.5 Years
Casey Holt
Feat. Jordan Springs & Vera Hill
Wednesday, May 29, 2019 // Morning, Day 10
Saffron City
10-03. play pretend


Casey knows there's a Belle Météo storefront in Saffron, though he's never visited it in person- it's the closest location to Cape, so most of his orders came from this one. Including the one that had contained the lost beanie he's aiming to finally replace.

Replacing it, however, is only achievable once they locate the store. Which, considering their unhurried wandering, may not even be today. Casey's not overly bothered by this, considering that it's not cold in Saffron and they have plenty of time to find the store. It's nice to just peruse and chat with Vera and Jordan. He's learning plenty about what they're interested in, mostly in terms of clothing.

Vera's tastes must certainly be weirder than he'd thought, considering she's led them to a costume shop. She's looking in through the window at a display of Pokémon costumes, her gaze fixed on a Pikachu costume on a Pikachu mannequin.

"That's ridiculous. This is a silly store. Let's go inside."

Casey laughs. Vera does like to pretend she doesn't like things, doesn't she? It's really not hard to see past. "Sure, why not?"

Whoever dressed the mannequin may have a silly side, but the shop itself seems to take its craft seriously. The costumes are well-crafted- sturdy, functional clothing that isn't meant to be thrown away after a single party. Especially the ones designed for Pokémon; they seem like they could be worn in battle, even, and come out not much worse for wear. It's frankly impressive. The props are well-made, too. The faux pearl choker he clasps around his neck has the right weight to it, that's for sure. Casey pops on a pair of- what's that weird historical fantasy thing? oh- steampunk-esque goggles and finds them surprisingly comfortable, even if the metal adornments are rather heavy. The various lenses warp his vision, though, which he absolutely hates as soon as he notices, so he swaps them for a beautifully wrought silver tiara.

"Am I a silver person?" he asks the world around him.

Vera looks over from where she'd been browsing, rifling through shirts and dresses looking for her size. "It kinda gets lost in your hair. Might need something that stands out more, Princess."

"Okay, but I know gold will get lost. 'S too close. I'm not platinum blonde anymore." Casey pops the tiara back onto the shelf. "Maybe if it had more jewels. Ooh, gold and turquoise is a great combination. For a necklace or something. Do you have necklaces over there? Or is it all clothes?" He takes up space on the rack opposite Vera and finds that yes, this is all clothes. "Ooh, lace is fun."

"Not for me, though." Vera turns away from this rack, looking at another. "I think this is all clothes in this area. Maybe jewelry is over- huh?" Something falls to the ground as she shifts clothes around, and she ducks out of sight to pick it up. She gasps, and pops back up with a grin. "Casey! Look! Fancy hat!"

She ducks her head, putting on a black, wide-brimmed hat. It sweeps back at the top, ending in a point that somehow keeps its shape and bobs slightly with her movements. A classic pointy witch hat. Vera grins excitedly as she looks at it. "What do you think?"

"Very fancy!" Her enthusiasm is cute, and he hates to kill it, but: "You're gonna have to wear it all the time if you get it. I don't think it'll sit nice in your bag."

"Then I will! It's light, it'll keep the sun off my head, I bet even rain will just slide right off, look how big it is! It's even a good color! I think it's the sweetest hat ever." Her smile falters, and she blushes slightly as she takes it off. "Uh, I mean… it's probably kinda lame, actually. I should just put it back, yeah?"

"Who said it's lame?" Casey takes it out of Vera's hands and pops it back on her head. "Get it if you like it, right?"

Vera brushes a strand of hair back behind her ear, laughing a little as she looks at the floor. "People are gonna laugh at me if I get this. Especially Arianne…" Notably, she doesn't take it off, though. "I came in here looking for clothes, not a hat."

"Who cares what Arianne thinks? I don't. An' just 'cause you didn't come here for a hat don't mean you can't leave with one."

"Thanks, Casey." Vera quickly gives his arm a hug, then steps back, clearing her throat. "I'm gonna go look over there, now. Um… don't follow me. I want to get something for Trixie, but… she's shy. You'll scare her."

"Trixie? Who's- well, okay." Vera scurries off to the other side of the store, the soft *pop* of a Poké Ball opening the only answer Casey gets. "Jordan, what've you found?

Jordan pokes his head out of a changing room. He's wearing a relatively plain-looking, if a bit oversized, pair of sunglasses with a red tint to them, but as he emerges from the room he also appears to be decked out in an assortment of clashing accessories. "I think I would unironically wear these," he comments, and Casey hopes he means just the sunglasses; the bushy Greedent tail he has on almost knocks over a nearby mannequin as he makes his way over.

"Not all at once, though, right?" Casey can hear a hint of begging in his own voice and clears his throat. "The tail is, uh. Prominent."

“Yeah- I know, I was just trying it on. I wouldn’t wear it out or anything. It’s… it’s-” Jordan responds, a little too loudly and defensively, and a couple standing close by who are also browsing the Pokemon costume tails glares at him, looking slightly insulted. “Not my style.” He finishes his sentence meekly.

"Be careful with the merchandise, please," says a soft voice behind them. Casey turns to find a round man, somewhat shorter than they are, fiddling with the lapels of his well-tailored jacket. "We do have a 'you break it, you buy it' policy."

Casey deliberately puts down the ornate, chunky gold necklace he was thinking of swapping for the faux pearls. "Of course, makes sense. 'Spose you get a lotta kids in here messin' around like it's a pop-up shop."

"We do! It is, frankly, offensive. We take our craft seriously here, and for parents to allow their children free reign of our store- irresponsible! Ah, but do forgive my wariness. I see you are polite young people, yes, it is simply my own frustrations rearing their ugly head. Today's not been the best day, you see."

"It's only 'bout ten, what's happened already to make it bad?"

The man sighs. "Oh, it's been on my mind for a few days now, truly. The only model I had for a very important photoshoot broke her arm in an extremely foolish way. I'm quite upset with her, but I would be less so if I had a second choice! Alas, few models will book catalog shots with a costumery, won't they?"

Casey wouldn't know, but the simple word model flashes him back to a conversation in a very different part of the region. "When's this photoshoot s'posed to happen?"

"Today. At two, actually. So you see why I am feeling such harsh disappointment. I searched and searched, even through the night, for anyone willing to book- but none agreed…"

"I s'pose it's too late even if she'd do it, then." That's disappointing. It would have been great to-

"You have a willing model?!"

The owner's enthusiasm rips Casey's thoughts to shreds and he grins. "Might have three, if you can use some boys, too. But my friend Vera, back there- she's cute, got those model proportions, and she likes your stuff. Uh, you might have to bribe her a bit. And maybe flatter, she likes that. She's never officially done any modeling, but if you just need someone-"

The man is already bustling right over to where Vera is being furtive on the other side of the store. "Excuse me, miss!"

Casey can't really hear exact details from where he and Jordan are. Vera jumps in surprise as the owner approaches her. They exchange a few words, but she seems doubtful. She looks toward the floor at one point, after which she seems to agree, following the owner as he comes back. Vera's arms are crossed, and she's holding her new hat over her chest, as though hiding something in her arms.

"All sorted?" Casey asks, eyeing the hat. It must be whatever shy Pokémon Vera picked up while they were apart. It isn't very big, to be able to fit inside the hat. Maybe that was why it was skittish?

"Yes indeed!" The owner claps his hands together. "And I could use all of you, if you're willing- just tell me your sizes so I can prepare some outfits." They acquiesce and the man scribbles them down on a tiny yellow notepad. "Oh! And you are trainers, yes? I'm sure you have Pokémon to accessorize- I will prepare options for them as well! This is so wonderful. Thank goodness you came by! Ah, but, let me send you ahead- hair and makeup will want you earlier, at noon, so please go have an early lunch while I sort this out!"

He shoves a scrap of paper with the address of the studio at Casey, bustles them out along with the other couple who had been in the store, and, as soon as Jordan's tail clears the threshold, the door is slammed behind them and the sign flipped to "closed".

Casey glances around at their little group, stunned and quiet on the sidewalk. He looks at the couple, holding matching Skitty tails, and Vera, clutching her hat, and Jordan, still decked out in a mess. He reaches up to brush his fingertips against the multi-layered faux pearl choker he's still wearing.

"Think we get to keep these, or…?"

Pepper Bomb • Charmeleon • lv38 | Ginger • Buneary • lv39 | Parsley • Skiddo • lv36
Casey's Profile | Jordan's's Profile | Vera's Profile | Extra Characters | Art Gallery | Current Chapter

Aquacorde

the more we love, the more we learn // the more we love, the more we BURN 🔥

Age 28
she/her/he/him
Ankh-Morpork
Seen 20 Hours Ago
Posted 21 Hours Ago
11,492 posts
17.5 Years
Casey Holt
Feat. Jordan Springs & Vera Hill
Wednesday, May 29, 2019 // Noonish, Day 10
Saffron City
10-04. double check for double meanings

Spoiler: my type - saint motel

A stop by the hotel, a decent lunch, and some minor navigational errors later, the three teens are ushered into a rather nondescript studio space by a rather nondescript young man. A few different backdrops, so multiple shoots could happen at once, with various fans and lights and props neatly arranged off to the sides. A heavy curtain divides the shooting space from the styling space and this is decked out- large mirrors and chairs sat near them, hair wash stations, several curtained-off dressing rooms, racks and racks of clothing, and an unidentifiable but massive range of styling products lining the counter.

And someone with wavy brown hair, dressed in yellows and pinks, lounging with their feet propped on one of the counters.

"Kel, I swear to god-" their escort begins.

"Hey, I'm retired from this business. Don't call me all in a tizzy if you don't wanna put up with me." Kel angles themself so they can see the intruders in the mirror rather than their own rosy glasses and sharp-winged eyeliner, and their face splits into a grin to match Casey's. "Well look who it is! You three must be why I had to ditch Isaac and come down here on a moment's notice, huh? Let's see ya."

Kel rises to circle them, dramatically draping shawl sweeping the floor as they make evaluative and sometimes critical noises. "Din't expect to see you! And, uh, right, this is Jordan and Vera. I told y'all about Kel, right? They're my cousin, met them in Cerulean, all o' that."

Kel, however, is focused on business. "Any allergies? Specifically to cosmetics."

"Uh… no?" Vera mutters, somewhat surprised by Kel's energy and dress.

“I-I don’t think so?” Jordan responds uncertainly.

"Easy on me, then." Kel finishes their inspection by patting each of them on the head with an air of finality, which is strange for many reasons, not just that they are somewhat shorter than the teens. "Yeah, thought so. Crys!"

A Jynx bustles into the room. "Wash the gel out of this one's hair, please."

“Wait, why?!” Jordan’s hands hover protectively over his head, but the Jynx ignores his protests and wrestles him into one of the hair wash stations.

"I can't style pre-styled hair, can I? Don't fuss, Crys is quick."

While Jordan is manhandled- or perhaps Poké-handled- Casey and Vera are sat down side-by-side in front of the mirrors and covered in hairdresser's capes. Kel liberally mists both of them down, though Casey suspects they do it to tease him- they don't spray nearly as much into Vera's face, and they start with her anyway. "I'm not going to do much; just gonna make you look natural and soft, but in a stylish way, you know? A quick trim is all you need, Vera, just to even out the ends- not even half an inch, I promise. Unless you want more, I s'pose- no big deal to cut it shorter if you're already here."

"No! I mean… no thanks, I like it long."

"Easy enough, then, we'll just clean it up and brush it out. Casey, you though- you're getting cleaned up, what the hell is that look?"

"'S a beard, wha'd'you mean?"

Kel tsks, manicured hands quick and precise as they take a razor comb just to the very ends of Vera's hair. "Your sides are so overgrown they're flipping up, your bangs are in your eyes even with that severe sweep, you're partway to a rat-tail, and your beard is questionable at best."

Casey sulks. "My beard's just fine. Right, Vera?" A freshly washed Jordan is guided into the chair on Casey's other side by Crys the Jynx. "Jordan, my beard's fine, right? I don't have to shave it!"

"It's… I've seen better." Vera admits rather bluntly.

“Yeah, you could probably do without it.” Jordan answers nonchalantly, but quickly amends to his response when he notices the insulted expression on Casey’s face. “...But, you know, it’ll grow back quick if you decide you still like it after. If.”

"It doesn't take very long anymore, does it?" Casey gets up to inspect himself in the mirror, but his critical evaluation quickly devolves into dramatic sighs and pouty whines.

Kel finishes with the comb and tosses it carelessly onto the counter before coming up to grab Casey's chin.

"Hey, what-"

"Look at yourself- but see through my eyes, Casey. I see a strong young man who has very likely been up a mountain with no amenities for the last two weeks. However," they say pointedly, before Casey can take that as a compliment, "we are advertising to teenagers, and we want them to see people who look like themselves. It's comin' off; we gotta use that baby face."

Casey sighs again. "Fine, fine, but- wait!" A fraction of a conversation and a passing note that never went into his phone flash through his brain. "Timeout, conference, c'mon." He drags Vera and Jordan out of their chairs despite Kel's protests and into a dressing room, yanking the curtain closed behind them.

Now huddled in the dressing room, Casey lowers his voice. "Okay, here's the thing. I was told that kissing is different with a beard, right, and I've only ever kissed people when I don't have a beard, and now the beard is going, so in the int'rest of science I'm gonna have to kiss someone now to find out. And I ain't about to kiss a stranger or my much older cousin."

“Different for you, or different for me, ‘cause I’m pretty sure all that’s gonna be different is how scratchy and awful it will feel-”

Vera looks at Jordan incredulously, idly brushing her hair back as she processes that. "Hang on, you've kissed Casey before? You're going to again? And I'm here because… you want to kiss me?!"

"Yeah, we had to find somethin' out. And now we have to find somethin' else out. So, who's first? Jordan thinks it'll be scratchy, but this's actually kinda soft now that it's this long, so maybe not."

"I've never, I mean, I don't know, I… you've kissed Jordan? Maybe you should again?" Vera stammers as she looks between the two boys.

"Well, sure, that's the point. Good to go?" Casey asks, tugging on Jordan's collar.

He looks a little caught off guard, but Jordan turns to face him nonetheless. "Uh, right. For science."

Kissing Jordan is automatically familiar, even though he's only done it once before; a short, soft press of lips that's surprisingly nice considering how few people Jordan has kissed. Casey wonders, now, how much practicing Jordan has done on his own hand. It's paid off, however much it was.

"Right." Casey smooths Jordan's shirt back out. "Don't say anything, I don't wanna corrupt Vera's opinion. Vera, good to go?"

Vera jumps as she is addressed, looking a little flushed. But she squares her shoulders, lets out a breath and nods. "Yeah, I'm ready. Always ready. I am good. I'm great."

Casey considers this. She looks game, sure, but maybe not… ready. "Actually- you ever kissed anyone?"

"I, well, no, but…" she blushes even harder, looking away from Casey. "I've seen kisses happen. How hard could it be?"

"Not that hard, I s'pose, but- okay, new plan. Kiss Jordan first."

Her eyes widen slightly, but she turns to Jordan, putting her hands on his shoulders. "Okay. Kiss me." She leans in for the kiss, pressing her mouth firmly against his. It doesn't look very pleasant, but they both turn entirely too red. Kel's going to have a hell of a time matching foundation.

Vera pulls away, looking at the floor. She looks distant, a little lost in her head, maybe. Jordan is also quiet still, looking a tad bewildered from how quickly that happened, but a small smile was tugging at the corner of his lips. Well, even if the kiss didn't look great, at least someone looks like he enjoyed himself.

But there's still science to be done. "Relax more, will you?" Casey says, tugging Vera in by the collar much the same as he'd done to Jordan.

Kissing Vera isn't familiar, nor is it nearly as nice; a short, firm press of lips far more stiff than they should be and extremely unresponsive. It ultimately reminds Casey of a ceramics class, many years ago, when he'd leaned too far over his pinch pot and Erica couldn't pass up the opportunity to shove his face directly into the wet clay.

But these kisses aren't meant to be exciting, they are exclusively for science.

"Right, so what's different about a beard? The hair moved on my skin in some kinda unexpected way, I think, but that's all I got."

"I didn't really feel anything." Vera mutters. "I didn't even notice the beard, I guess."

Casey suspects this has less to do with the beard being a factor and more to do with Vera being extremely distracted by the whole idea of kissing in general. He'd hoped to mitigate that by having her kiss Jordan first. Oh well; it was worth a shot.

"Hm? Yeah, it was fine, I suppose." Jordan responds, but it was clear that wasn't the kiss he was thinking about. Rude! At least one of them should have focused on the question at hand.

"Fine, if that's all you got to say. I bet Gwen woulda been more focused on the experiment," Casey sniffs. Then pauses. "Well, maybe not. If people have a crush on you they don't think about the nuances, do they?"

"Wait, Gwen?" The name shocks Vera from her thoughts. "You mean that girl has a crush on you? Since when?"

"Hey, don't be bein' rude. Prob'ly since recently, 'cause she didn't bother to know who I was 'til what, we were hangin' out on Route 9? She sent me this before we met up yesterday, look."

Casey holds up his phone, open on his text thread with Gwen.

28/05/2019 6:27PM
Hey Casey! Now that I made it to Saffron, here's the address for the meetup. I'm about to be there myself and I'd love to see you too! It's gonna be great ♡

"Like, crush, right?"

Vera frowns at the text, like it somehow insulted her. "Completely ridiculous. 'I'd love to see you!' Like you'd ever fall for her."

"Well, she's alright mostly. S'pose I wouldn't be in love with her, not with how careless she is 'bout ghosts even though I told her I didn't wanna see that Misdreavus."

Vera looks away from Casey, her mouth set firmly. "Right. Misdreavus. It would be rude to put you next to something you don't like, wouldn't it."

"It was! She deliberately used it to try'n one-up me in a battle, can you believe? Went after me with all six o' hers, too, knowin' I only had three. Beat her, though," Casey says with grim satisfaction.

Maybe he's overly quick to forgive and forget. The fear and betrayal creep in so easily, from just a memory, and Casey finds himself embittered toward Gwen again despite yesterday, despite Vermilion. Why was it so easy for her to do that to him, if she likes him? Arianne, he supposes, is simply careless, with that creepy sword of hers. But Gwen should care, right?

Well. It doesn't matter right now.

Casey flings the curtain open once more and strides over to plop down in his chair, Jordan and Vera trailing behind. "Okay. I guess it can go now."

"Now that you're done smoochin'?" Kel laughs. Casey's reflection goes a little pink. Jordan sputters for a response but shuts up when he can’t find one, and Vera pauses by her chair, refusing to look at Kel, but Casey can see her face go red again.

"Was for science, thank you, now hand me a razor."

"Ahp! Nonono, I am absolutely not lettin' a teenager shave himself before a photoshoot. I bet you cut yourself half the time, still." Kel kicks the back of his chair and Casey yelps as he falls, but the feeling is short-lived; Kel gives him more to focus on than his newly-reclined position via a warm, wet towel tossed on his face.

"No talking and sit still," Kel demands, twirling a fancy electric razor between their fingers and miraculously not cutting anything by accident. Casey groans, but suffers through by twisting the hairdressing cloak in his hands and listening to Kel chatter at a distant but polite Jordan and a grumpy Vera. What's up with them?

"Y'know, it's actually convenient that you showed up. You were on my to-call list for today." Kel gives Casey a rough toweling and sits him back up once he's fully shaven. The air is cold on his now-bare skin and even colder once Kel wipes some woody-scented moisturizer on him. "Oh, I s'pose- you're not Jordan Springs, are you?"

“Ah- yup, that’s me?” Jordan’s tone makes it sound like he is asking a question back.

"Fantastic, checking off two and not even at the desk! Maybe I can clock twenty minutes outta this." Kel perches their tinted glasses on their head and gently turns Jordan's forearm palm-up to swatch a few foundations, choosing one and very delicately removing the swatches as soon as they had. Casey frowns. Why is he handled so much more roughly? "Shame we have to dull those freckles; I'm really going to try not to. Anyway," Kel tugs a stool over to straddle and takes Jordan's chin in one hand and a washcloth in the other, "you know those criminals you ran into back in Cerulean?"

Jordan tries to affirm even through the washcloth in his face, but Kel shushes him with a finger to his lips. "No talking while makeup doing, thank you." Casey affirms for the both of them instead.

"Right, so, there's somethin' weird going on, I'll start there. The masks look like an old cartoon character, way older'n me, from back when Isaac was little. The people who've been using them aren't criminals- or didn't used t'be- they're called the "Pokémon Liberation Group". They're the kind of wackos that believe Pokémon aren't supposed to be involved with humans at all- they go around convincing people to release their Pokémon and whatever, right?" Kel turns Jordan's face this way and that, nods, then shifts over to Vera to do the same. "But that's weird! All them in Cerulean were using their own Pokémon, remember, and capturing others. Doesn't add up with PLG modus operandi. So the question is- was it them?"

"Alright," Casey says slowly, "but what's that got to do with us?"

"Ah!" Kel snaps their fingers, making Vera jump. "They're in Saffron. The for sure real PLG. And if they are the same, you all who have seen them before should be really careful. But even if they aren't the same as the Cerulean bunch, you should be careful anyway. They've been- wait, can't talk over the dryer. Hold that thought 'til I'm done with hair."

Vera gets sprayed down again, product is worked through her evened-out hair, and the hair dryer follows the sweeping path of the round brush in Kel's hand to let the hair fall away from her face, ends flipping up and in for contrast. The crown gets tousled and Kel delicately covers her eyes when the hairspray comes out. Jordan receives much the same- his hair is tamed backwards much like his usual style, though with more of a wave than a curl. They really are much nicer to his friends- Kel comes back over to him, soaks his wavy hair, and tugs his bangs down as far as they'll go. They do, in fact, brush the tip of his nose.

"Owww," Casey whines.

"Hush." The clippers come out and Casey sighs a goodbye to long hair for now. "Anyway, what I was saying- the PLG used to be pretty peaceful, right, just recruiting and cajoling and rallying. Been a small group, too, because nobody believes that garbage, right. But last couple years, they've been gettin' into actual crime- mostly theft, some assault, some more organized raids- all focusing on getting ahold of and releasing Pokémon." Kel switches the guard to buzz closer to Casey's neck. "So trainers better be careful, 's what I'm saying! They're really kicking it in gear with all this tournament stuff going on. Heard they were down in Vermilion, too."

"Yeah, we heard too. Our classmates had a run-in, actually. But those were same as the ones from Cerulean."

Kel hums at the same pitch as the clippers. "I'll note that. Gimme their names later, yeah?"

Casey wonders, as he twists the smock in his hands and watches Vera and Jordan get dragged off for wardrobe, how much of that information they would have actually been privy to had their liaison not been Kel, or not specifically been his cousin. They have a tendency to overshare, especially when not tempered by their partner, but Casey isn't upset about it. In fact, he's glad he hadn't ended up with some cryptic phone call telling him to watch his back. He's glad to have a healthy amount of information.

Hopefully he won't have to use it.

Pepper Bomb • Charmeleon • lv38 | Ginger • Buneary • lv39 | Parsley • Skiddo • lv36
Casey's Profile | Jordan's's Profile | Vera's Profile | Extra Characters | Art Gallery | Current Chapter

Eleanor

Would you like some tea? I'll brew you some...

Age 22
she/her
Italy
Online now
Posted 1 Hour Ago
4,245 posts
5.5 Years
art by Aquacorde
Arianne Chandler
Saffron City
Wednesday, May 29th, morning


It's about the spice

Bland.

Arianne’s last call to Serenity was just that, a bland and somewhat forgettable conversation - especially because of the high expectations the black haired girl had coming in. Her closest friend didn’t have it in her at that time, she sounded tired and monotonous instead… but it was all for a good reason. Ren had many assignments due, and was doing her best to keep up. Arianne couldn’t know, so what happened (or didn’t happen) is neither girl’s fault.

The morning after, Arianne thought it over with a clear mind and came to those conclusions herself. She then decided to lay that to rest for a bit and do her best to enjoy her time in Saffron instead. After a quick but sweet breakfast, she was out on the streets of the older part of the city, following a brief internet guide of the Kanto Capital in order to not miss any of the most important points of interest and not get lost entirely.

Of course, important places mean more people passing through them. Arianne easily blended in with all the trainers walking around the city in search of the closest training facility, Pokémon groomer, or free battlefield. She could also see a lot of office workers, delivery men, the usual for a city this large - but definitely not a common sight in her home of Cinnabar. But more people meant higher chances of meeting that one person again. The one that’s been following her everywhere for a while, and staying inside her thoughts the remaining time.

To be fair, it’s just Courtney.

Her ginger hair is picked up by Arianne’s eye somewhere to her right just a few seconds before some fingers touch her left shoulder, causing her to turn around and get startled at the shorter girl standing right there. “Oh, hello?”

Courtney is quick to answer. “Hi Cinnamon Girl! So you also made it here to Saffron, uh?”

Arianne tries her hardest not to roll her eyes, but ends up looking as if this is the first time she meets the redhead. “Uhm, yeah, since yesterday. I’m exploring the city for now!”

“Since yesterday, uh?” Courtney remarks. “It means you stayed in Vermilion back when that weird cold thingy was happening, uh? How did you even survive?”

“I don’t know honestly…”

“That’s what I thought too. I just cut and ran when that happened though and guess what, Saffron was completely unaffected!”

Arianne stands still for a moment, putting two and two together. Surely, what Courtney’s talking about checks out with the… uh, warehouse event? Yeah, whatever that was. But that buys the redhead some more time to talk.

“You know what, I have a great idea. Spare some time for a battle, Arianne?”

“Oh, right now? Well…”

“That was a trick question. You definitely do, you said you’re just exploring.”

“Really!?”

Courtney smirks as usual. Her face literally screams Got you.

“You know what? Yes, up for it. About time it’s just you and me having a battle!”

“That’s the spirit, hehe! And yeah, there’s a little Trainers Club not too far from here.” That sparkle in her eyes looks vaguely familiar by now.

Turns out Courtney hasn’t beaten Hana yet, mostly due to that… misadventure Arianne knows very well. Knowing she uses Water types, she has picked up a new team member around Saffron, and is planning to train him up. And there it is, in front of her, bouncing around a small battlefield.

A few other trainers and kids have gathered to watch the fight, as Courtney declares the rules she’s decided together with Arianne. 3 Pokémon each, and switching is fine. She then cheers for the other girl to send in her own Pokémon, which… definitely can’t be Eric, given that what’s in front of her is a Weepinbell.

The Pokémon she calls out first is Espurr, who immediately dashes towards her opponent for a quick Fake Out. The Grass-type is then hit by a strong Psybeam as he tries to recover, putting Arianne in a favorable situation. Courtney calls for an Acid, but Espurr is able to protect herself well enough with a Light Screen.

The redhead changes strategy right about here. If Special attacks don’t work as well now, why not switch to Physical? She orders Weepinbell to use Vine Whip, and he executes the attack by extending the stem on his body - it’s way faster than Lulu’s Ingrain, that’s for sure.

Arianne commands Espurr to do her best to dodge, and that seems to work just fine. It’s almost like jumping rope, really! The issue that she’s starting to see, though, is that Espurr doesn’t have much time to charge her attacks properly. She hits some Confusion here and there, but it’s a bit weaker than it should be.

The black haired girl may have a solution to break the stalemate though. She instructs Espurr to move closer to Weepinbell, and she does just that, moving to the side when Vine Whip is about to hit her and charging up a Covet. That’s when Courtney smirks though… not a good sign.

“Show them what we learned! Bounce!”

Since when does Weepinbell learn that…?

Of course, the redhead wasn’t talking about that. The Flycatcher Pokémon uses Vine Whip once again, but this time on the ground under him. This lets him dodge Covet easily and surprise Espurr with a Sleep Powder while airborne: there’s no hope to dodge that.

“Yay! How do you like that? It’s such a perfect strategy!” Courtney proudly boasts. Arianne’s got to give it to her in this case, that was very effective… but she can’t let her capitalize. As soon as she hears the other girl yell for “Wrap”, her motionless Espurr turns into light and is called back inside her Pokèball.

Courtney is still smirking.

On Arianne’s side now appears Honedge. Definitely the best choice here, since it’s airborne to begin with and resists both Acid and Vine Whip. Oh, and Wrap. That should put the redhead back into place… but she doesn’t switch out her Pokémon for some reason. She just has him use Growth.

A perfect chance to use a better version of it: Honedge uses Swords Dance, nonchalantly levitating above its enemy. Arianne doesn’t object, knowing that the advantage she’s gaining will help her against Courtney’s other two Pokémon as well.

The small public looks in apprehension at the two Pokémon, who are really doing their own thing seemingly without caring for each other. That is, until Arianne gives her Pokémon green light to attack. The Honedge plunges down with Aerial Ace… and hits nothing. Courtney has pulled the same trick her opponent has used, calling Weepinbell back.

This is weird though. Why let Weepinbell set up and then swap him out? No matter what comes out next, Arianne won’t repeat that mistake with her Honedge. Even if what comes in is Magby or…

Oh, Luxio.

The small lion Pokémon growls, getting ready to strike, and Honedge’s attention is clearly all for him as it stops moving in the air and points its unsheathed sword tip right at the opponent. Quickly, it moves forward, striking the ground in front of Luxio, its shadow spreading from where it landed until it rises up from the ground under the Electric-type.

The Shadow Sneak definitely puts a dent in Luxio, but he takes it better than expected and doesn’t flinch. It roars much louder than before, and Honedge starts to lose its shape… until it goes back into its Pokéball.

An unaware Lulu makes her entrance in front of a defeated, face-palming Arianne. She should’ve known.

“I’m becoming a pretty good trainer, right Ari?” Courtney smiles, as if she already knows the answer. But Arianne has already moved on. She’s trying to think ahead and… even if things aren’t looking too good on her side - Roar has chosen her third Pokémon for her, and has given her yet another one that doesn’t do well against Magby, should Courtney send her in - Luxio can’t do much against Lulu.

Perhaps too overconfident, Arianne lets Lulu set herself up with Ingrain. Her mycelium slowly spreads out until Luxio is surrounded, and his Bite and Spark attacks prove to be nothing serious against the Grass-type. Courtney seems very stubborn on keeping her Pokémon in battle, though. She keeps calling out attacks.

Strength Sap and Giga Drain shut down Luxio entirely after a while. Ingrain is spread out all over the field.

“I’m not sure Hana would ever use this strategy. Or whoever is in her place now.” Courtney smiles. “But did you know I have some more Pokémon left?”

Arianne raises an eyebrow, because what Courtney just said there is… strange. Something to worry about after the battle, for sure. That doesn’t distract her enough to not see the situation she’s dug herself in though… Weepinbell is out again now. And Lulu can’t be switched out this time.

Lulu is Grass-Fairy, meaning she’s extremely weak to Weepinbell’s Acid. Parts of her are spread out around the whole field, which the opponent can just keep hitting with his attacks. Needless to say how that went.

“One down! Who’s up now?” Courtney cheers, complacently enjoying the few claps coming from the spectators. Honedge is back out.

This is another one-sided round, mostly because Courtney lets Weepinbell stay in. She seems keen on practicing more dodging maneuvers with her Pokémon, all while Arianne is just bent on taking him down. That is what happens eventually, with an Aerial Ace knocking down an already hurt opponent, but the redhead doesn’t seem too fazed by it.

This is when she calls out her third Pokémon, which Arianne hasn’t seen yet. She’s expecting Magby here, but - as Courtney hinted at before - it’s Shuppet she sends out. Surely, she must be using the same team she wants to use against… the Vermilion Gym.

Honedge and Banette seem to nod at each other before the battle. Surely they know each other, as they were both caught in the Lavender Graveyard. To remark this, they both happen to go for a Shadow Sneak (it was actually their trainers who gave them identical commands).

This proves to be another problem for Ari though, because after just a few hits exchanged this way, her Honedge is no longer able to use Shadow Sneak. Shuppet’s body has a strange purple aura around her as she grins, and hits back with a Knock Off this time: unable to counter-attack any faster than Shuppet, Honedge goes down after a few hits, literally falling on the ground for Arianne to call back inside its Pokéball.

Shuppet nods, somewhat seriously, before returning to her typical mischievous expression. Courtney already knows Arianne has no choice here - she has to send in her sleeping Espurr, an easy prey for her Pokémon… or forfeit on the spot.

That’s what she ends up doing, mimicking Courtney during their first battle. The redhead nods, before walking to the battlefield’s side where Arianne is.

The Cape girl has a lot of different emotions running through her as she’s forced to hear the other girl’s words. But… she’s not as snarky as she can be.

“Thanks for showing me I improved and I’m doing stuff right,” she proudly comments, before thanking Arianne for the battle and walking away. “Gotta thank Sarah for that!”

“Uh, wait!”

“Yeeees?”

Courtney turns around with the usual smirk, but it goes away once Arianne asks her question. “You said something before… uhm. Isn’t Hana still the Gym Leader?”

“What?” The redhead pauses. “Oh no, she’s not… don’t get me started! I went to challenge her yesterday with Sarah and guess what, I found out she was getting suspended or something. Annoying…”

Arianne shakes her head.

“Well, from what I heard, she was going easy on you guys… Cape people. Or something like that. Maybe it’s a good thing I ain’t battling her.”

“That’s strange, it can’t be…”

“I know nothing more than that, Ari. And now, I’d better go, Sarah’s waiting for me!”

The black haired girl waves, but then looks down on the ground, her head spinning from all the thoughts inside.
TEAM:
Eric, lv. 36 • Espurr, lv. 22
Blitzle, lv. 23 • Mizar, lv. 19
Lulu, lv. 32 Honedge, lv. 22
Courtney:


Paired with Ninetales and Vulpix 🌸 Moderator of Challenges and Writer's Lounge
Flair artwork
Female
My place
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted 4 Weeks Ago
248 posts
7 Years
Gwen Alanis
Wednesday, May 29
Morning
Saffron City
Dear graduating trainers:
The Pokémon League Association has suspended Hana Palm from her duties as Vermilion City's Gym Leader, after substantial reports of her aiding and abetting Cape College students in her reports. The new Gym Leader will be appointed shortly after this investigation is closed.
All of Hana's reviews of graduating trainers that have already battled her in an official setting will be struck from the record, however, to not cause further inconvenience to students, there will be no obligation to visit the Gym again and battle the local leader: trainers may continue their journey as normal, and their evaluation will be based off the other seven Gym Leaders' reports.
We wish you good luck for the rest of your journey.


“What the psyduck!?!?!” Gwen shouts at her Pokegear screen with her jaw gaping wide open. “This is such bullmuk! Why would they suspend such an amazing gym leader!?”

“Aiding and abetting Cape students? That’s concerning.” Jenny worriedly raises a brow. “I mean, it would suck if Hana is dropped given just how talented she is, but if these claims are true it’s probably for the best.”

After spending the entirety of the previous night playing video games, the Alanis sisters decide to spend a morning taking a stroll outside. It’s routine for Gwen at this point, but Jenny didn’t realize just how much she needed this until now. They don’t really have a destination in mind, instead opting to just see what catches their interest (something that shouldn’t be hard to find in Saffron), but on their way the message Gwen had just received from the League spoils her mood.

“What the hell does aiding and abetting even mean? It can’t be that bad, whatever it is- definitely can’t be worth dumping a gym leader like Hana Palm!”

“It’s just adult talk for encouraging and helping someone to break the law. It’s surprising to hear she’d be investigated for that though… Do you know anything about this, champ?”

“If that’s what it means, the closest thing I can remember is how she helped us kick some bad guy ass!”

“Uh- what?” Jenny gives a half-hearted chuckle, thinking this is some kind of over-blown claim.

“My memory of it is a little foggy honestly, but I think we fought these evil masked guys, one of them had Morgrem and I think another had Drapion. But one of them definitely had Electrode- I can’t forget that after we narrowly dodged that explosion! There was some other stuff, but then there were some guard guys who had this scary looking Lycanroc we took out as well, it was so cool! You should have seen the look on the guards’ face when they realized we outsmarted him!”

“I’m sorry- You’re kidding, right?”

“I’m one-hundred percent serious!” Gwen shakes her head. “I mean, it’s not like we got hurt or anything! Sure, it was kind of terrifying going up against those bad people, but like, with my expert detective skills and my incredible trainer skills I beat their asses! It felt good doing hero things like that!”

“I’m sorry- You WHAT!?!?!?! She stares with wide eyes, blinking a dozen or so times in disbelief. “Gwen, this isn’t an anime- Hana endangered you!” She raises her voice. “Look, champ, I know you have grand aspirations of being a professional trainer and stuff, but you’re 15 and haven’t even graduated yet! What would have happened if you made one misstep against these shady characters? You could have been kidnapped or maybe even killed!”

“But…”

“Also, we!?!?! Who else did Hana get involved!?”

“Well, I was with Arianne for the majority of the mission, as well as this other guy, and Casey did some stuff as well though he was mostly with another group-”

“Oh dear Arceus…” Jenny massages her temples, grunting in disappointment. “Yep, that confirms it, she’s been aiding and abetting Cape students. Talk about incompetence!”

“She had a reason to do what she did though! She’s super short, so they could have picked her up and carried her out without us backing her up! She said so herself!”

Jennifer’s forehead scrunches up. “She didn’t actually say that, did she?” Seeing her younger sister nod has her driving her face into her palm. “It’s no secret Hana was never the sharpest tool in the shed outside of battles, but I think that takes the cake for the absolute dumbest thing she’s ever said…”

“I mean, it’s true though- she is really small!”

“So a fully-developed adult- which is honestly questionable at this point- who is also the gym leader and a fierce trainer in the professional battling circuit, and has the help of gym trainers- not even to mention the option to call the police- needs the help of an ungraduated 15 year old who can’t even remember to take her meds… because she’s short?”

“Hey! I took them this morning!”

“Yeah, only ‘cus I reminded you. When was the last time you remembered before that?”

“I dunno, like… uhh, when would I have gotten to Cerulean again?”

“Exactly.” Feeling a tension headache coming on, she releases a sharp exhale and notices her younger sister starts to grow timid. Clearly not unsure how to react when Jenny goes full parent mode, as she even wipes a few tears away. “Champ, I’m sorry- I know I sound like I’m mad at you, but I’m not. I get it, you’ve got an active imagination and you idolized superheroes growing up, so of course you’d jump at this opportunity to play hero yourself- which is why Hana should have told you to walk away and let the adults take care of it. She’s the gym leader after all, that’s her job, she shouldn’t enable you to get involved in something so dangerous! Honestly she deserves to be fired for endangering you, and all my respect for her as a trainer has gone completely down the drain.”

Jenny takes a deep breath to calm herself. “Look, I know you really want to prove yourself and all, but please, if any other irresponsible adults ask you to get into sketchy situations, turn them down.” She sighs. “Although I’m one to talk about irresponsible adults, huh?”

Before she can proceed to bask in self-pity, a screaming ”LOOK OUT, LOOK OUT, LOOK OUT!!!!” is headed their way. They both turn their attention towards it, seeing a large black and purple blur flying straight towards them. Jenny, getting a grip on Gwen, jumps out of the way before it can hit them, falling back-first to make sure her younger sister takes less of the impact. Fortunately the blur passes in an instant, screeching and kicking up gusts of wind as it flies just barely overhead before making a sharp turn upwards and riding into the sunset (or sunrise?) Gwen can hear Jenny’s heart racing, and she can hardly blame her.

“You okay!?” Her older sister asks. Gwen simply nods, and Jenny releases a hefty sigh of relief.

“Thank god. But with that out of the way… What the hell was that!?” She exclaims as she and her sister get back up. Neither got a good look at it, so neither of them have any solid ideas- but it doesn’t seem unreasonable to Gwen it must be a Pokemon of some sort. They stand around in confusion for a bit until the voice the earlier scream belongs to sprints forward. She doesn’t particularly stand out at first, but the closer she gets, the more Gwen’s memory is jogged- A slightly toned but mostly thin young woman with brown hair in a bun, tan skin, pink tank top and athletic shorts- the same person she who saved her ass back in Cerulean.

“Hey! I remember you!” She points, drawing the attention of her older sister. “You’re… muk, what was your name again? Hey Jenny, you know this girl, right?”

“Huh- Oh dear god, we’ve been off to a great start today…” She grimaces, much to Gwen’s confusion.

“Muk, I think I lost her! So sorry!” The young woman frantically pants as she starts slowing down, throwing her weight on her knees as she catches her breath. “I swear, she's not like this, she's usually so well-trained! I dunno what happened but her Pokeball just- Oh!” She exclaims while briefly making eye-contact with Jenny, her face quickly flashes pink before facing away from the two. “Err… Jennifer, wow! It’s, uh… been awhile, hasn’t it? Aha, yeah… boy, this is awkward.”

“Yeah, I’ll say…”

There’s a sudden presence of tension matched with complete silence. Gwen’s gaze shifts between the two women, brow cocked up as she tries figuring out the issue. She knows the two were rivals, so maybe they had some ugly conflicts, but was it so bad to lead to such a moment as this?

“I don’t get it, what’s so awkward???”

“Guess that whole Hana talk will have to wait. In the meantime, I should properly introduce her…” Jenny sighs. “Gwen, meet Sasha Young: My ex-girlfriend!”

"What!?!?" Gwen chokes. "I mean, I still don't get how that's awkward- if you dated, that means you knew each-other, right? Don't you know how to talk with her?- but still- what!?!?"

"Ah jeez, where do I even begin..."


Spoiler:

Main Team
  • Pix (Vulpix) lv. 26|F|Drought
    Flamethrower|Will-O-Wisp|Hex|Quick Attack|Dig|Fire Spin
  • Tusk (Axew) lv. 31|M|Mold Breaker
    Iron Tail|Taunt|Crunch|Dragon Claw|Dragon Rage|Dragon Dance
  • Bead (Misdreavus) lv. 27|M|Levitate
    Hex|Psywave|Spite|Astonish|Confuse Ray|Mean Look
  • Custard (Pikachu) lv. 24
    Thunderbolt|Thunder Wave|Double Team|Electro Ball|Quick Attack|Spark
  • King (Magikarp) lv. 20|M|Rattled
    Splash|Tackle|Flail|Bubble
  • Talon (Rufflet) lv. 17|M|Hustle
    Peck|Leer|Hone Claws|Tailwind|Wing Attack|Fury Attack

Box
  • Scar (Bouffolant) lv. 20|M|Reckless
    Revenge|Fury Attack|Horn Attack|Focus Energy|Pursuit|Rage
  • Jess (Arbok) lv. 29|F|Intimidate
    Wrap|Poison Jab|Stockpile|Spit Up|Bite|Glare
  • Marshall (Quagsire) lv. 27|M|Unaware
    Water Gun|Rain Dance|Slam|Mud Bomb|Amnesia|Haze
  • Alex (Salandit) lv. 18|F|Corrosion
    Poison Fang|Ember|Smog|Poison Gas|Scratch|Dragon Rage

Items
  • Fire Stone
  • King's Rock
  • Iron Tail TM

CCS and art by Aquacorde

Eleanor

Would you like some tea? I'll brew you some...

Age 22
she/her
Italy
Online now
Posted 1 Hour Ago
4,245 posts
5.5 Years
art by Aquacorde
Arianne Chandler
Saffron City
Wednesday, May 29th, afternoon


Runaway Pokémon aka what did i just write

“Please stop!” A voice reaches Arianne’s ears. “I need that ride…”

The girl looks around, somewhat puzzled, as she tries to climb onto the back of a Gogoat. “Can’t you, like…”

The voice comes from a young man who must be just a few years older than her. He seems jittery and troubled… definitely in a hurry. But hey, there’s rental bikes just one block over.

“You good? There’s bikes for rent over there…”

Arianne’s memory of the journey rules is not the clearest, at least when it comes to this part. She’s convinced she has to go everywhere by walking or riding Pokémon - she’s not sure of the exceptions though. No one told her the ride has to be hers, right? So this Gogoat is fine. A bike on the other hand? Just no. In her mind it’s not allowed - heck, it’s not even as fun and she’s not that good at riding a bike anyways.

“A bike won’t do, miss. Gogoat sounds like my only option…”

“Where do you-” The Cinnabar girl raises an eyebrow, but is interrupted by the startled Grass-type letting out a cry. The other boy had just touched her horns for an instant.

“Long story short, I lost a Pokémon. I think I know where it is but I still need Gogoat’s help to get it back!”

Arianne can’t help but raise the other eyebrow, opening her mouth, and… yes, that’s the perfect expression to describe a bad surprise. “Ohsoyou’reatrainerjustlikemeisthereanywayIcanhelp?”

“Excuse me?”

“I just meant…” The girl clears her throat. “I’d love to help out! I’m still a graduating trainer but… I have time for this! No worries!”

“Really? It’s fine, no need to… ok, maybe some help would be nice I’ll confess…”

🍃🍃🍃

Gogoat seems to be doing alright even with two people on her back. After all, she’s a well-trained Pokémon who has been carrying people around for a long time. Or so says Shannon, the trainer I just met. I hold onto him so I don’t fall down, while he holds the Grass-type’s horns. Apparently she can feel some of the rider’s emotions through them, and this lets her adjust the speed, for example.

I’m reminded of the smaller, similar Pokémon that Casey has. It also has horns, leaves around its body, and the colors are similar… this must be its evolution. This would mean, even Gogoat shouldn’t be too difficult to find in Kanto! And yet, this is the first time I see one live.

This particular one is from Kalos, where they’re already used as a rideable Pokémon even in towns… that’s probably the most interesting part. From my experience, riding a Pokémon is typical of the countryside and that’s literally it… case in point, Shannon says this is an experimental service. Whoever set it up wants to see if there’s interest in bringing it over from Lumiose City. Funny how small the world can be.

🍃🍃🍃

I’m not sure where we’re going but it certainly looks like… we’re going away from the bustling center. That’s all I can really notice because Gogoat doesn’t quite give me the time to focus on the details, the individual buildings, the landmarks. I do see the height of all the constructions around me getting smaller though, as well as the road going on an incline.

In the meantime, small talk ensues. Turns out Shannon lost his newest catch, a Scolipede (not sure what that even is), and is in a rush to find it before his next matches begin. Definitely something important since we’re talking about the Tomorrow Cup!

Other trainers have already tried to help Shannon, but with their own schedules being quite full, the best they could do is send some of their Flying-types to track this Pokémon down. This pointed the young man towards the northern area of Saffron, bordering with Route 5: he tells me that’s a lovely and quaint place for some training, and it’s not a surprise his Pokémon would end up somewhere around there.

How did he lose it, I then ask myself: fortunately, he gives me the answer without any nudge from me. He was shopping for some special Pokémon Items in the morning, and had all of his Pokéballs with him - but by the time he was done, one was missing. Usually that’s not a problem, because the Pokéball is registered: but in this case, that didn’t seem to work out.

“So yeah…” he finishes. “I scratched my head for a while but I think someone really just… went and stole my Pokéball. And then destroyed it altogether, freeing Scolipede somewhere. That’s how I knew I had to look for the Pokémon itself.”

🍃🍃🍃

The neighborhood is rather open, with not a lot of houses scattered around the place and a large amount of trees, parks, and unkempt areas where vegetation grows naturally. Gogoat is currently strolling in one of said parks, and is going a bit slower on purpose… this helps Shannon notice a group of startled Ledyba and Ledian flying away from a group of trees. From that first clue, it takes just a few seconds for both of the trainers to spot what they’re looking for.

Arianne grimaces at the sight of Scolipede trying to attack a group of Burmy and Wormadam, whereas Shannon just facepalms. “It ought to be hungry… and angry too. Oh, and the best part is, it seems I have to catch it all over again.”

“Well, you already did it once so…”

“Of course, training it made it even stronger and harder to catch.” Shannon interrupts me, causing me to end my own sentence with a disappointed “Oh.”

“I have some of my other Pokémon on me but I could still use some help. I don’t want to hurt it any more than necessary for it to be caught again, you know?”

“Don’t you think it will recognize your Pokémon and calm down? That would be good, right?”

“Hm… don’t wanna put all my eggs in one basket, you know?”

🍃🍃🍃

The final plan, if you can call it that, is another partnership between Espurr and Blitzle. And Shannon’s Clefable, who is looking kind of scared about this whole ordeal… rightfully so, being a Fairy type. Yet, the strategy seems very solid!

Clefable watches carefully as I call out Espurr and tell her to use Fake Out. She hesitates and stumbles, but eventually, she runs forwards at very high speed, giving Scolipede what is basically just a small nudge. She’s got its attention though, clearly. The large Bug-type turns around, hissing at… no one.

Espurr is back in her Pokéball when that happens, and I can feel her heart pounding from there… ok, maybe it’s just my own heart going crazy. That’s the cue for Clefable to use Follow Me: it works successfully, because those yellow eyes aren’t fixed on me anymore. Blitzle steps out in the open in that moment too, knowing her own time to shine is up, and aims a Thunder Wave in Clefable’s direction. Hopefully Scolipede will be hit, since it’s technically in the way…

or not. The Bug-type dodges easily, moving out of the way very quickly and just enough to not be affected. I’m not so sure what to do anymore, but at least my mind jumps to what I know has been working. Espurr is out again, she runs in and gives Scolipede a boop, and then is recalled before a Poison Tail hits her.

“Can’t you attack in any way?” I ask Shannon, who looks just as worried as when I met him for the first time. The result of this is Clefable moving her wings to send a gust of chill air towards Scolipede - Icy Wind, the other trainer confirms - that will at least slow it down a bit. It's something, I suppose...

I try to use Fake Out with Espurr again. Apparently I have to make sure I wait for enough time for her to stay inside her Pokéball, or else the move won’t work. Blitzle charges herself up in the meantime before going for another attempt at paralyzing Scolipede. The Bug-type often blocks the attacks with Protect and moves around erratically, making all of this very hard to pull off, but at least Clefable seems able to redirect its attacks away from my Pokémon and heal herself with Wish when necessary.

It’s a weird feeling, what I’m feeling. I’m strangely happy and galvanized that we’re actually keeping at bay a Pokémon this strong, in one way or another. We’re not without hope. But at the same time, you know things could go downhill sooner or later and, worst of all, there’s no real progress being made. Why can’t Shannon do anything more than this? He’s not even that calm, he doesn’t seem to have things under control- oh whatever, I’m too focused on letting Espurr do her thing and distract Scolipede when Clefable uses Wish.

Luckily, there’s a good ending when eventually, after a while, a paralyzed Scolipede seems to understand the situation. All the wild Pokémon have already taken their chance at escaping, the only known presence is that Clefable and the trainer that gives her directions. With my breath running short, I step back and witness the new capture: as it turns out, a single Ultra Ball is enough.

TEAM:
Eric, lv. 36 • Espurr, lv. 23
Blitzle, lv. 24 Mizar, lv. 19
Lulu, lv. 32 • Honedge, lv. 22

Paired with Ninetales and Vulpix 🌸 Moderator of Challenges and Writer's Lounge
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