Pokémon FULL TRAINERS (IC) Page 20

Started by Astromancer October 10th, 2019 3:27 AM
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Eleanor

Arianne ✨ Happy birthday~

Age 21
Non-binary
Italy
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 3 Hours Ago
art by Aquacorde
Arianne Chandler
Vermilion City
Monday, May 27th
Written with the help of QueenNothing as Gwen and WizardOfOdd as Richard

A perfect solution

“Gwen…!”

Arianne had to make a detour to the Gym lobby before challenging Hana herself, trying to lift up her friend’s spirit. She was not quite sure she succeeded, but she did get the Saffron girl to watch her own battle alongside Richard, and that was better than nothing. If she’d lose too, maybe Gwen wouldn’t feel so embarrassed. And if she won… which is certainly possible, Gwen would actually taste some revenge. Maybe.


If only! Nothing is going as planned, nothing is going as expected, nothing is going anywhere! Well, to be fair, Arianne’s plan was quite simple and rudimental so to speak. Hit Hana with super-effective moves from her Electric and Grass Pokémon, and add Eric to the team because he’s strong in general. She should’ve listened to Flynn though…

The battle started out with a surprising amount of switches on both sides. Mostly on Arianne’s though. For at least one of Hana’s Pokémon that hers worked well against, she had at least another that would completely shut down her strategy. And so, all she got out of the situation was her Pokémon taking a large amount of quick hits, splashes of water, and some status moves. Ice Shard, Brine, Muddy Water… Hana did not hold back on those, and her Pokémon were very fast to respond.

She also called out Arianne on her decision to switch often. Because,” even if it’s ok to use that strategy sometimes, in order to get the upper hand, it doesn’t work all the time.” And case in point...


The problems started when Lanturn hit Whirlpool before Arianne could call back her Wartortle, interrupting her series of switches. “Don’t worry, I would’ve won anyways, but I wanted to finish the battle faster!” Is what Hana said at that point, or at least how Arianne interpreted it all. Made enough sense…

Eric had already fought against a Stunfisk and an Eelektross once, so at least he had that going for it, even if this battle was going to be very much uphill. And so, he still gave it his all. Rapid Spin to gain speed, going in and out of water to avoid Discharge or at least minimize the damage. Rain Dance to slowly recover some of his health with Rain Dish, and to make the following Water Pulses more powerful - while also hoping for a confusion that, in actuality, never came. But of course, all that Lanturn had to do was keep at it with Discharge. Eventually, it was able to paralyze Eric even without having to resort to Thunder Wave, and finish him off without needing Aqua Ring to heal. All while Arianne could not switch out, or at least gave up on the possibility to do so. Whirlpool wouldn’t let her do that, for the most part.


With her strongest Pokémon out of the equation and a Lanturn on the field, Arianne sent out Lulu, this time determined to keep her in battle. Well… it was surely a better option compared to Blitzle, who was very enthusiastic to fight but not very experienced just yet. Hana had an answer for Lulu as well though… Bounce, of all things.

With Bounce and Whirlpool it was easy for Hana to turn this into a water battle as well. Arianne told Lulu to jump into the pool to avoid a Bounce, and since that moment, the Morelull never left the water. She tried some tricks like Sleep Powder (but the spores hardly worked in water) and Mega Drain, as she struggled to stay afloat, before eventually setting up her Ingrain.

That was a proud moment for Arianne: her tiny, luminous friend creating a whole pillar of mycelium to stand on, almost like a sentry turret. She was hit by Bounce, Discharge and a few other attacks, but was still able to heal up with Strength Sap and Mega Drain, extending her mycelium more and more over time, slowly but steadily. Surely not a strong structure, but Lanturn had no real way of cutting through it and was overwhelmed eventually, doing as much damage as he could before being knocked out.

Hana really didn’t seem to mind it.


Next up was Lapras, who immediately took advantage of Lulu being stuck in the middle of the pool to drift around her and hitting her with Ice Shard from a distance, or going for Body Slam. Morelull couldn’t be switched out because the mycelium she created interfered with the Pokéball itself, or so said the internet - a shame for Arianne, who didn’t know what else to shout besides the usual “Strength Sap” or “Moonlight”... only to see Lapras dodge all of Lulu’s attacks and bringing down her health just as fast as she was recovering. Not a nice sight, especially with Richard and Gwen watching from the side of the pool!

Arianne was basically looking at Hana like a starving Purrloin by now, hoping that she of all people would give her some help. Of course, the Cinnabar girl started to look up to Hana as soon as she got to know about her, being a Water-type Gym Leader and a very good one at that. Her battle style? Very interesting, and most importantly very effective. But what could she learn from her at this stage? What could she do?

Lulu was rooted to the walls of the pool by now, she couldn’t move. Arianne had backed herself into a corner and it was late to go back now. Or maybe…

“Just keep going higher if you can, Lulu!”

Morelull was clearly struggling with expanding her Ingrain. She was working on it slowly while also trying to demolish some of her deeper roots, getting more and more wobbly on her pillar. As this process continued, Lapras kept hitting Lulu with Ice Shard, making the pillar more unstable… until it collapsed.

Lulu seemed on the edge of fainting. With so much of her energy still in the roots she made, cutting them like that made her lose all of that strength in no time. But, following Ari’s directions, the Grass-type granted herself another chance to keep battling… and landed right onto Lapras.


A new Ingrain was set up on top of Hana’s Pokémon, much like Arianne tried to do on Jarmie’s Golett. Some strategies are worth picking up again… and so, on Lapras’s long neck, the small roots kept growing, once again fueling the Cinnabar girl’s enthusiasm, and with it, Gwen and Richard’s too. Hana seemed to like Lulu’s determination, too.

But in no time, she changed expression. Her Lapras sank into the Water, slamming his own neck against the pool walls with Body Slam… and with Lulu already hurt, it didn’t take long for her to be taken out. When Lapras swam up once again, the mycelium on his neck dried up in no time and fell down like some shedding skin. Arianne called Lulu back, and so did Hana with her Ice type.

Whiscash came out, and Arianne knew she had no more chances. Her last Pokémon was the Blitzle she had just caught the day before, pitted against a Ground type. She still tried to hit some Quick Attacks and even Flame Charges, hoping that her Pokémon could at least land a hit with her hooves before jumping back on the other side of the pool, but it was just a matter of a few minutes before she called her back… there was no way for Arianne to win, and no reason to play one last swan’s song.

What could Arianne learn from this battle? Well, Hana was the first to point it out. “You have some nice ideas, Arianne, and you’re very enthusiastic about them, which I love! But… I don’t think you were flexible enough in battle. Just look at how many things you can do with just one Pokémon type!” The Gym leader smiled, once she got closer to the Cinnabar girl. “Spend time with your Pokémon, find out all they’re capable of, and don’t always chase the perfect strategy or the perfect solution… because there often isn’t one.”

To Arianne’s muffled questioning about losing against Beaumont too, Hana just replied... “You just have to keep at it and I’m sure you’ll get where you want to be.”


“Now…” She continues, after a pause. “Before this, you said you liked Water types and swimming, right? Well… did you know that here, we can let you swim alongside Pokémon, and even practice surfing on them? That sounds like something that will lighten up your mood, doesn’t it?”

Hana’s enthusiasm was nothing compared to the one flowing outwards from Arianne’s sparkly eyes as she heard those words. She still hadn’t received a badge, but this was arguably just as good… and all that was still separating her from this was getting a swimsuit and healing her Pokémon at the gym machine.

And of course she was going to drag Gwen and Richard into this.

TEAM:
Eric, lv. 33 • Espurr, lv. 17
Blitzle, lv. 18 • Mizar, lv. 19
Lulu, lv. 26 • Honedge, lv. 19


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

Eleanor

Arianne ✨ Happy birthday~

Age 21
Non-binary
Italy
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 3 Hours Ago
art by Aquacorde
Arianne Chandler
Vermilion City
Monday, May 27th, Morning
Written with QueenNothing as Gwen

A perfect fit

"No time to waste! It's cold, we both lost, but this will surely cheer us up! I'm sure of it, Gwen!"

And so it's Arianne's turn to drag her friend along. The thought of having a proper swimming session makes her eyes sparkle just as much as the gym battle made Gwen's, and seeing the other girl at least looking better than before - when she lost to Hana, that is - is only adding fuel to the fire.

"Ok, so this is the way! Right around here and… it's over there!" The Cinnabar girl yelps, following Hana's directions towards the nearest shop that could sell swimsuits. "I've swam a couple times this last week but it was never like this… but finally I can swim for the fun of it!"

“I haven’t gone swimming since…” Gwen’s noticeably cheered up since the two left the gym. She isn’t at her usual level of spunk- losing to Hana has definitely taken her down a peg- but she’s far from being down in the dumps. That might have to do with Ari’s suggestion to go swimming. “...wait, when was the last time I went swimming? It’s been a long time, that’s for sure.”

"Oh but you know how it's done, right? It's fun and invigorating and…" Arianne smiles. "Yeah it's cool!"

“Would I have accepted your offer if I didn’t?” Gwen chuckles.

"Well, that's true!" the other girl chuckles back. "But… isn't it better if we get to do it with swimsuits? Aww, look here!"

Arianne points towards the now very close shop window. It's not just for swimsuits actually, but more of a shop for all sports goods - still, the girls are there for a very specific reason and the Cinnabar girl has to keep that in mind. "Some of these are so cute! Not sure if I wanna go for them but maybe… you will like them even more than I do!" She cheers.

“Whatever gets the job done is all I’m looking for.” Gwen shrugs.

"They all get the job done, haha! Just pick the one you like the most, right? Unless you're really into swimming like a professional, most of these are totally fine." And speaking of professionals… Arianne is not quite there yet, but is already debating whether she should get a cute swimsuit or a more functional one. Maybe seeing Gwen choose will help her with this dilemma as well.

The two girls head inside and when walking towards the section of the store that houses swimwear, Gwen’s eyes widen when catching a glimpse of the women’s aisle and she backs away almost as if she’s scared. Her mouth opens as if she were about to scream, but she bites her lip to stop herself.

It takes a while for Arianne to notice Gwen's behavior - she's a bit too busy gushing at the different designs, or looking in every possible stand for a swimsuit that works with her specifications. "Uh… you haven't found anything you like yet? What about this one?" The girl inquires, grabbing a two piece with a very similar color to Gwen's current outfit. Hopefully, she appreciates…

”NO!!!” Gwen panickedly cries before double-taking and covering her mouth. She’s completely silent for a moment before hesitantly speaking up. “I mean… uh, I… don’t like two pieces… yeah actually, that's it! I don’t like them, and I couldn’t wear one! Not in a million bajillion years because I… I mean, I couldn’t because I don’t like them!” She trembles and looks like she’s even sweating a bit but tries masking it with an awkward laugh that fools nobody.

Arianne retracts her arm quickly, visibly startled. “O-oh… I see. But even then most of this stuff is two piece swimwear… they’re definitely the most popular. It’s ok though!” She rummages through the stands again, this time looking for a one piece, and encourages the Saffron girl to do the same.

“Here we go!” Gwen gravitates towards a solid black one piece that she yanks off the rack and sighs with relief. “This’ll do just fine.” Relieved, she marches over to the nearest changing room.

“Oh, nice! I’ll keep looking!” Arianne echoes, moving over the stand where Gwen’s choice was. Maybe she would’ve had better luck there. “And please let me see how great it looks on you, alright?”

A casual “Yeah, sure thing,” is heard from the occupied changing room that's accompanied by the usual sounds of clothes being changed. Everything sounds like it's going well, until…

”GAAAAHHH!!!” A shriek of terror comes from the changing room, even catching the attention of other patrons and employees.

“Gwen! You ok? What happened?” Arianne rushes over to the changing rooms, knocking over on the door where she thinks Gwen is. “Gwen?”

She can’t really think of a reason why Gwen would act like that (unless there was something wrong in that changing room) and she’s not bold enough to try and barge in - not like she can anyways, because Gwen has locked herself in, but she’s worried nonetheless.

“I… definitely do not like this swimsuit!”

So that’s why she shouted like that, causing other people to look worrily in her direction? Well… Arianne shrugs. “I thought you were… uhm… in danger, but if you say so… sure. Do you want me to look for more swimsuits, so you don’t have to change every time?”

“N-no, it's fine, really. I just-” Very hasty changing sounds are heard from the other side of the door, and within a minute Gwen flings the door open, already back in her earlier attire- only real difference being that her tracksuit jacket isn’t zipped up. She zips back over to the racks of clothes, this time meticulously eyeing every one piece that falls into her field of view.

“Uh… Gwen, may I suggest looking at some two pieces too? I know you said you didn't like them but… they’re not all like that one I picked. Some can show less skin than the one I picked first while still being easier to wear… most of the one piece stuff in here, I suppose, is good if you’re already a good swimmer, but given your reaction… is it really for you? Just… making sure.” Arianne tries to explain, eating some of her words.

Gwen relaxes herself. “Oh, well that actually doesn’t sound so bad, I guess. I think-” She reaches over to pull a crimson one piece with a frilly skirt on the bottom half. “I... might want to try something like this.”

“Ooh, that looks cool! Go for it Gwen!” Arianne smiles, before going back to her rummaging. So far she’s not had the best luck, mostly because many of the swimsuits she likes aren’t quite the right size, but she’s amassed three or four models to go and try. Just one more, and then she’s good to go and wear all of them… consecutively, unlike Gwen. Maybe she should’ve told her about this strategy way sooner, oops…

After a while, she does try to check up on Gwen. “Looks good, right?” She cheers from outside the changing rooms.

“It's not bad, it’s just… a little embarrassing…”

The door opens slowly, and out steps Gwen in a bathing suit that’s as red as her face. Which is a little odd considering it isn’t revealing in the slightest. It reaches from just below her neck to her thighs. Pretty standard stuff, really.

“Aw, looks good indeed!” Arianne smiles happily. “Gotta own that look!” She throws in a playful giggle too, for good measure.

“Thanks, I guess. It's not something I’d usually wear, but it’s better than the alternatives.” Gwen returns a giggle of her own, although unlike Arianne’s it's obviously forced.

“That’s understandable, but you gotta do what you gotta do if you wanna swim… it will be worth it!” Arianne tries to sound more reassuring. “Speaking of alternatives though… I got a few swimsuits to try as well! And I’d like to get your feedback as well if you don’t mind…”

To be completely honest, Arianne’s last find is already growing on her more than all the other swimsuits she’s got a hold of, but she’s also having fun just going on a shopping spree with Gwen! Sort of. If anything, it would be great if she could get her to be more engaged and have fun without looking worried about how she looks and things like that.

“Sure, just... let me change out of this first.” Gwen slides back into the changing room, slamming the door behind her and again swiftly changes back into her normal clothes. “That’s better.” She sighs with relief.

Again, Arianne tries to look reassuring. She’s usually not the best at doing that and often gives off more of a reckless vibe, but at least she’s trying, right? “It’s all good, no one can judge anyone here!” She declares, before hiding inside one of the changing rooms herself.

She shudders way too much as she finally starts to change - taking off her sweatshirt is already problematic - but she tries to soldier on, for Gwen if anything. After so much time without wearing a swimsuit like this, she feels very clumsy putting it on, and it takes her some time to get out of the changing room.

“Gwen, quick! I’m still cold…” She nervously smiles, wearing a light blue bikini. “I call this a Courtney swimsuit, by the way.”

Gwen briefly glances over with a blank expression before just as quickly facing away from Arianne. There’s an awkward silence from her before she simply blurts out “It’s good.”

The Cinnabar girl stretches her arms outwards and tries to take some steps around, but is soon hiding in the changing room again. “Maybe trying all of them at once wasn’t a great idea with this cold… or is it just me? Still, thanks Gwen…”

It is a bit weird that she’s turning away from her, but it’s not out of this world. Well, sort of, but if Arianne’s world is called Cinnabar Island and is a well known seaside resort where people go around in skimpy outfits way too often, then it should be normal to find people who are a bit more embarrassed about this whole thing in places other than home.

Arianne comes back again with another two piece swimsuit, this time covering more of her skin. “This one feels more comfortable I’ll admit. But does it look as good as the other one?” She smiles towards Gwen, trying to stop shivering but clearly failing. The other girl shivers as well- despite how just this morning she insisted it wasn’t very cold- facing halfway towards Ari. “That’s good too…” is all she says.

Maybe Arianne is on the right path to make Gwen less embarrassed… maybe. But that (and the cold of course) gives her one more excuse to try out the one swimsuit she really cares about. One piece, white, with just some pink details, and just the right size for a tall girl like her. The colors might not be what she’s used to but this feels like something she could swim circles around Cinnabar in!

“Finally…” The girl comes out for the third time. “The ones from before are usually for people who spend time on the beach, but this is for the real swimming!”

Gwen still doesn’t fully face Arianne, but she’s definitely made progress. “That’s also good… but if that’s your last one then let’s just check out already.” She snatches her swimsuit and dashes over to the cash register… at least, that’s what she’d probably be doing if her knees weren’t so wobbly. That slows down her advancement, but there’s still urgency in the way she moves.

“B-But I saved that shocking pink one for last!” Arianne complains, before disappearing once again. And yet, she figures out she doesn’t really need to try that one swimsuit, let alone show it to Gwen: it’s more of a gimmick to her anyways, and it’s too cold to waste time! So she quickly dresses up in her normal clothes, puts the various bikinis in their place, and follows Gwen towards the exit, with her white swimsuit in her hand. “I-I’m sorry, I did get carried away… let’s go and enjoy our time swimming! Hana’s trainers are waiting for us!”

TEAM:
Eric, lv. 33 • Espurr, lv. 17
Blitzle, lv. 18 • Mizar, lv. 19
Lulu, lv. 26 • Honedge, lv. 19


Paired with Ninetales and Lux 🌸 Moderator of Challenges and Writer's Lounge
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Posted 5 Hours Ago
224 posts
6.5 Years
Gwen Alanis ft. Arianne Chandler and Richard Wolstenholme
Monday, May 27
Morning
Vermilion City 11
"We're here Richard! Sorry for being late, but I got carried away!" Arianne announces her presence, dangling the bag containing her new swimsuit in front of the boy's eyes. "You still didn't battle Hana while we were away, did you?”

“I can clearly see that.” Richard chuckles. “Of course I didn’t, I would’ve told you two if I did. And even if I want to, I…” He hesitates before shaking his head.

“Never mind, it’s nothing big. Shall we go now?” Richard flashes a bright smile towards the girls.

“I don’t wanna wear this swimsuit but if I get to swim with my Pokemon I’m fine.” Gwen smirks. Finding an adequate swimsuit was a nightmare for her. She’s not the type who likes showing lots of skin, in fact she’s quite the opposite. Fortunately, she managed to find a pretty modest one, although it has the downside of having a frilly skirt. She’s not a fan, but it does everything she needs. There’s also the fact that seeing Arianne try on different swimsuits gave Gwen some… thoughts that she didn’t expect… but she refuses to give it anymore thought than that. She’ll use this lesson to distract herself from that.

"Haha, sure thing then, let’s go!" Arianne nods excitedly.

Spoiler:


At that point, the two girls only have to get back the Pokémon they’d left there at the gym to heal, and choose which ones they would swim with. Gwen chooses King and Marshall while Arianne, of course, lets Eric come with her. Now inside the actual pool hall, the one where swimming and surfing practice is usually held, they reunite with Richard and are greeted by two Gym trainers - and not Hana, who according to them is now busy with more challengers. With them - or rather, below them, inside the water - are swimming their Pokémon, a Floatzel and Wailmer.

The gym trainer that approaches Gwen is a rather fit young man with a deep suntan. It’s a little odd to Gwen that this hunky young man wears some kind of crop top/sports bra looking thing with his trunks, but like most things that don’t immediately interest her, it doesn’t stay on her mind very long.

“Hey there little dude- oh, uh, you’re a girl, sorry, I call everyone that!” The gym trainer laughs it off and clears his throat. “Anyways, good to see you here little guy- err, I mean, girl! I’m Ryder, and I’m so stoked to be your coach today! What’s your name?”

“G-Gwen…”

“Nice to meet you, G-Gwen.” Ryder chuckles. “I always like teaching young trainers Pokemon surfing, it’s hella fun! What Pokemon do you wanna practice with?”

“I wanna use Marshall and King!” Gwen goes from shy to full of life when she speaks, and her eyes light up.

“Marshall and King?” Ryder scratches his chin.

“Oh, uh, they’re my Quagsire and Magikarp.”

“Two Pokemon is gonna be a lot more time and effort than just using one. Are you sure about that?”

“Of course!” Gwen sternly nods her head. Arianne chuckles at that.

“I love the enthusiasm, little girl! Let’s start with your Quagsire.”

Ryder presents ride gear to Gwen, helping her put a saddle on Marshall while lecturing her in the process. Once everything is adjusted to fit the Quagsire, Gwen raises a concern.

“Uh hey, are you sure this is gonna work? Marshall is shorter than me, am I gonna fit on him?”

“No worries bro- uh, I mean… sis? I’ve worked with Quagsires before, and I don’t think they even notice the extra weight they’re carrying!” Gwen joins in with Ryder’s chuckling. Knowing Marshall, it’ll probably be the same with him.

It takes a bit for Gwen to get comfortable on Marshall’s saddle, but once she does she feels on-top of the world.

“Radical!” Ryder cheers. “Now that you’re geared up you call out the command. Say ‘Marshall, use Surf!’”

Gwen smirks as she tightens her grip on Marshall’s saddle as per Ryder’s instructions. Once she shouts “Marshall, use Surf!” she braces herself, expecting to be shot across the pool at a breakneck speed like she’s seen in movies…

...which is why it comes as a shock that Marshall is a lot slower than she’d like.

“What the- why are you so slow!”

“That’s just how Quagsire is.” Ryder calls out. “They’re not very fast. Sorry!”

“Then what’s the damn point!” Gwen complains.

“It’s good for swimming across short-distances and slow relaxing rides.” That makes sense. Afterall, Quagsires aren’t known to be fast in battle, but in movies and TV she always sees Pokemon surfing being fast and a lot less restrictive than the regulations she has to abide by.

“Can confirm… slow and relaxing!” Arianne laughs towards Gwen as she passes by, with Eric simply swimming beside her or pushing her forward.

They practice a bit longer, Ryder teaches Gwen things like making turns or what to do in-case of an emergency, but at Marshall’s speed it’s quite boring to Gwen. After a while, Ryder makes it clear when they’re almost done, but Gwen isn’t really looking forward to practicing with King. There’s no way a mesley Magikarp will be significantly faster than a fully evolved Pokemon.




“Getting the hang of it, Gwen?”

Gwen screams from the rush she’s getting from being pulled around by King, who turns out to be much faster than expected. Magikarp may be useless on land, but in water they’re pretty fast swimmers.

At first she wasn’t even sure how she could teach King Surf. There’s no way such a small fish can support the weight of a human, she thought. And as it turns out, that is true, which is why workarounds were figured out. Rather than riding directly on King, he was given gear to hold with his mouth that attaches to a leash and handle Gwen holds onto while she stays afloat with a wakeboard.

’AAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!” is all Gwen says in response to Ryder’s question as her head is filled with adrenaline.

“That must be a good sign!” Ryder grins. He’s not entirely wrong. It’s fun while also being scary, even when instructed on how to keep her balance and other information she’ll need. But after being pulled around enough, little by little it’s gradually growing less frightening.

"Wow Gwen, you're doing great! It's a blast, isn't it? Better than I even expected!" Arianne yells, a wide proud smile on her face. Gwen tries smiling back, but it’s a little hard to notice at her speed.

“Alright br- I mean, sis? Anyways, let’s wrap it up. You’ve got one more lesson to learn!”

King pulls Gwen towards the tile floor. “Wait, one more? But I only have two water-types.”

“Correct! But you’re Magikarp isn’t gonna stay a Magikarp forever. In-fact, they evolve pretty early. You catch my drift?”

“You don’t mean…” Gwen’s eyes light up when she realizes what he means.

“That’s right little dudette!” A Pokeball with a sticker labeled “130” is pulled from his belt. He clicks the ball open to release a white light into the pool that forms into a large serpentine Pokemon whose face is uncomfortably close to the group. “You’re gonna learn to ride a Gyarados!”

Admittedly after seeing Flynn’s oversized Gyarados, an average-size Gyarados looks tiny to her, even if it is still cool. Also unlike Flynn’s, Ryder’s Gyarados doesn’t unleash a ferocious roar but instead does the closest thing the serpentine Pokemon can do to smiling. “You don’t need to worry about her, she’s friendly!”

Ryder’s Gyarados lowers her head, showing Gwen that there’s a saddle right behind her head. Gwen enthusiastically hops on, immediately appreciating how much more space she has here than she did with Marshall. She doesn’t have much time to focus on that though, as Gyrados raising her head gives her a thrill unlike anything she’s experienced to that point. Ryder teaches her all the basics; keeping your balance, making turns, the works. She does as instructed, but Gwen is just barely listening to him, and Ryder doesn’t even seem like he notices. She already knows the boring stuff, and she doesn’t need to hear it a third time.

“I’m on top of the world!” She shouts, throwing her fists into the air. To think that this was the stuff of dreams not too long ago. Being a Pokemon trainer has its ups and downs, and those downs can include losing terribly to a gym leader (which she’s still not totally over). But if it means being able to brag about mounting one of the most notorious water-type Pokemon known to man, it’s all worth it in the end.


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 2 Hours Ago
Posted 19 Hours Ago
Casey Holt, Jordan Springs
Monday, May 27, 2019 // Morning, Day 8
Vermillion City
8-05. a caravan, the color blue

Spoiler: what we live for - american authors

Casey cuddles Pepper as the Charmeleon waves a hesitant goodbye to Vera's stiff shoulders. He hadn't expected to run into her out of the blue, and he'd been thrilled to do so, but… now he's left feeling like he missed a step. What just happened? She's always been prickly, of course, but they'd been getting along during this journey. Is she angry? With him? When and why? She answered his texts yesterday no problem. But she said... something about Lavender. Something about that is still on her mind. The fact that… he didn't go with them to the graveyard? That he'd put some distance between them after she'd gone and caught a frickin' Ghost?

Casey presses his lips together. He's only ever done what was right for him. She shouldn't be mad at that. He has to take care of himself. Everybody has to take care of themselves.

Anyway. He's not going to let her being moody ruin his day. So he shakes the interaction out of his mind, and if it's weighing on Jordan- well, he doesn't say anything about it either. Moving on, moving forward, same as Casey always does!

A quick dash to the closest clothing store procures them each a pair of swim trunks. The options are limited, but Casey finds a pair of cute pink ones with Azurill print and Jordan manages to snag the last Wingull-patterned, navy blue ones in his size. Really, the hardest part of preparing for their pool adventure turns out to be scrubbing down Jordan's unruly Pokémon. It takes both of them and their new brushes to clean Sage to the standards of the receptionist, who sends them back twice before allowing them to join the Surf instructor they'd run into earlier.

"How's it goin', Greg?" Casey calls across the pool. The boy waves sluggishly.

“Good, good!” The instructor chirps. “Doing swimmingly, you might say. Think he’s just about done for today. You guys here for your lessons?”

“Yup! Got our swimwear, and Sage can take a dip now, too, if she wants.” Jordan responds, gesturing towards the newly-cleaned Skiddo with a flourish.

“Excellent,” She gives them a thumbs up. “Just give us a few minutes here, will be right with ya.”

Pepper refuses to be put back in his PokéBall, but also refuses to be anywhere near the water, so Casey finds him some equipment to nest in and watch proceedings. He circles back around to the pool stairs- he may as well get used to the water while they wait for Greg's lesson to be over. Sage and Parsley, Ginger atop the latter's back, trot along the edge of the pool curiously. The last stair deposits him in water that brushes his shoulders, and he grimaces, grip on the railing tightening. "It's only gonna get deeper, huh?"

Jordan jumps in a few feet ahead of him, fully submerging himself before resurfacing to face him. “Yup.” He confirms, staying afloat.

Casey's confidence in this endeavor is rapidly draining away, and it's probably very clear on his face. He retreats a few stairs backwards so he can sit, water only up to his chest at that level, and places his scruffy chin in his hands. "Now what?"

His question is perfectly timed, as it appears Greg and the instructor have finally wrapped up their session. They watch the boy climb out of the pool and head for the changing rooms with a shaky smile on his face. The instructor walks along the edge of the pool and greets them. “Right, then! I suppose I should introduce myself first - my name is Janice, and I’ve been training here with Gym leader Hana for a couple years now! Aside from Pokemon training, I also like to teach young Trainers how to use Surf outside of battle. It’s a pretty handy skill to have.” She looks at them expectantly as she finishes her introduction.

“Oh! It’s, uh, nice to meet you, Janice. I’m Jordan.” The boy swims to the edge closest to where the instructor is standing and extends an arm.

Casey waves from where he's sat himself. He's not sure he'll get back in if he gets out of the pool to greet Janice, and he doesn't even want to scoot around the edge of the pool towards Jordan. "I'm Casey," he says, trying to look and sound far more nonchalant than he feels.

“Alrighty, Jordan and Casey,” Janice repeats to herself. “Now, first thing’s first, let’s get you guys some Pokemon, huh? Approximately how much do you guys weigh?” She asks unabashedly, looking between them as if to gauge their weights for herself.

"Two-twenty," Casey replies promptly. As of two weeks ago, anyway. It's probably close enough. Jordan looks and sounds less prepared. “One...one-sixty, one-seventy-ish?” He stammers.

Janice nods at them. “Okay! Be right back.” She strides purposefully towards one of the doors in the back, returning just a few minutes later with two Pokeballs. In a flash of light, two bright, blue Pokemon appeared in the pool. “Alright, so this is Swampert, and this is Lapras. You… look a little nervous up there, figured you’d appreciate a little extra support. Lapras is very sturdy and dependable!”

"Uh. Thanks," Casey says, flush creeping into his cheeks. Maybe he's not as sneaky as he thinks he is. "I'm, uh. I can't really swim. Or float, actually. I don't really want to drown? I don't want to do that today."

Ginger splashes into the pool next to him, dragging a round foam noodle with a net attached. She paddles on by, completely at ease even in water deeper than several times her height. "Hey, where'd you get that? Can I have one?"

Janice laughs. "There'll be no drowning on my watch! I can get you a life jacket, if that makes you feel better. The thing your Buneary found doesn't play well with mobility, and you're gonna need that."

"Yeah, uh. That would be great." He really should have asked earlier. Or thought this through at all. What would he have done if they had nothing like that on hand? He would have… just tried his best not to fall off, like he'd told Jordan he would. Because this was his idea, and surfing on a Pokémon seems like fun, and he'd gone back and bought shorts just for this. He wanted to do it! So he would have done it!

He likes to think so, anyway.

Janice is quick to retrieve a life jacket and Casey's legs feel less like jelly as soon as she helps him secure all the straps properly, kindly taking care with but not prying about the mess of bruises splotched across his ribs and back. Jordan seems a little too preoccupied with trying to get acquainted with the Swampert to pay attention to what Casey was up to. He tries to pet the Pokemon, but every time the Swampert moves suddenly, the boy quickly withdraws his hand. The Pokémon are much bigger than any they own, more powerful, a little intimidating. Jordan's nerves are justified.

Casey makes his way over, slowly, remembering techniques from every time he'd tried to learn to swim. Cups for hands, scoop the water, kick your legs… It's slow going, but he makes it to his friend and stares at the two large Pokémon they're meant to work with, floating sedately with his hands gripping the collar of the vest. It's reassuring, but he still doesn't fully feel at ease in the water. "I s'pose the first thing is… to get on them."

“Yes!” Janice exclaims, as she makes her way over to the two nervous boys. “Don’t be afraid of them, they’re big, but really quite gentle. Here, let me demonstrate first…”

She takes turns showing them each how to coax their respective Pokemon into letting them climb on and dismount them. While it is probably true the giant Lapras was a very sturdy Pokemon, it’s also extremely tall. After a bit of splashing around and falling off, Jordan manages to get on the Swampert’s back before Casey does.

Casey's not sure what's wrong with him.

Every time he gets a grip on the Lapras' shell, it almost feels like he's just climbing around somewhere, climbing one of the trees near campus or the cave walls of Rock Tunnel. But he lifts himself from the water, and remembers that he's in water, and his strength falters and he relies on the life jacket to catch him as he falls backwards with scrunched-up eyes and a splash.

He floats there again, tilts his head back, and frowns up at Jordan upon his borrowed Swampert. "How'd you do that?"

Jordan shrugs. “I did what Janice showed me,” He looks up at the Lapras and back to his Swampert. “Oh, and I guess your Lapras doesn’t have the gill things here to hold on to.” He lightly pats the protruding orange gills on the Swampert’s face until it growls at him, and he stops.

Casey sighs. It's some mental block, he knows it is. He can climb anything out of water! This should be easy, Lapras has built-in handholds! Built-in? Grown-in? Whatever. He just- he just has to do it. If he does it once, his brain will know it's fine. Just do it fast and don't think, just don't think…

He takes a breath and takes hold of the Lapras' shell once more. Don't think! And he pulls himself out of the water, feet braced on its forefin as he switches his handholds and scrambles up, draping himself between the spikes.

"Huh. Did it," Casey says, mostly to himself, and promptly falls off the other side when he tries to find a good way to sit on the bumpy shell. Ginger snickers at him as he bobs back up, heart pounding and mouth forming waterlogged curses, and he splashes at her as she paddles away, little kicks momentarily freezing the water in her wake.

"Alright, Casey?" Janice swims over, all grace and confidence, and he grumbles about that a bit under his breath.

"Yeah, yeah, lemme just-" He hoists himself back up, and he was right. Of course he was right, he knows his own brain. Do it once, and it's all okay. "How do you sit on this?"

"People who ride longer distances on Lapras usually bring a cushion or a blanket," Janice informs him, treading water between Swampert and Lapras. "You want to be closer to the neck, facing forward of course, so you can see ahead and your Pokémon can hear any directions you give it."

Casey figures out that the best position for him is to straddle the frontmost shell spike and drape his legs on either side of Lapras' neck. It's not comfortable, but it's secure, especially with being able to hold onto that spike, and that settles him a bit more. He glances over at Jordan. "Are you comfortable?"

Jordan scoots forward a little. The large fin on the back of the Swampert didn’t look particularly comfortable to lean against. “Yeah, just gotta be careful with how far back I sit.” He grimaces.

A splash interrupts them, and the boys turn around to see that Sage has jumped into the pool as well. She paddles around awkwardly, clearly not too familiar with the water, but seems to stay afloat alright. Parsley follows barely behind her, wiggling in a way that looks strange but is apparently effective propulsion.

"Huh," Casey says vaguely. "Did you know they could actually swim?"

“I did not,” Jordan replies, watching the Skiddo clumsily play in the shallower end of the pool. Sage briefly looked like she was trying to reach her Trainer, but seems to have forgotten this when Parsley jumped in the water as well.

"Baby boy!" Casey calls, and Parsley angles toward him, racing Sage to the big Pokémon floating in the middle of the pool. Parsley paddles around the Lapras and snorts when he can't find a way to clamber up. Casey hums. It probably won't work to have a goat atop the Lapras as well, even if there's technically space. "Hi, baby. Good job swimming!" He leans over- with some difficulty, given the stiffness of the life jacket- to pat the Skiddo and manages not to fall off this time. Janice gives him a thumbs-up, but Parsley bleats at him softly. "Go play with Sage! We're gonna work. No moves in the pool, okay? Actually-" he twists around, and Ginger is already holding eye contact as she drifts on the gentle ripples. "You heard. Icy feet are fine, but keep that Thunder Punch down."

Ginger scoffs at him, but he doesn't think she'll be a problem.

Sage seems to have given up trying to get to Jordan. The Swampert’s steely gaze is not particularly welcoming, and its tolerance for the Skiddo pawing at its sides is much lower than the Lapras’. “Go play,” Jordan echoes, pointing to Parsley, then quickly putting his hand back down on the Swampert as he loses his balance.

The Skiddo splash their way back to the stairs, making a game of bounding in and out of the water, and Casey turns his attention back to Janice. "You've got the first step down!" she grins. "It's going to be a bit different between Pokémon, of course- not just between species, but between individuals as well. Some are more sensitive than others, you know? And there are some differences in size, and like, where the spikes are on Lapras… When you get your own Pokémon that you'll be surfing on, you'll be able to train them to your own preferences but you'll have to work with their individual quirks as well, right? Just keep that in mind- I'm teaching you what to think about, not exactly what to do. Okay?"

"Okay!" Casey echoes, before he realizes the inherent assumptions Janice is making. When he gets his own surfing Pokémon, he'll have to train it himself, without an instructor and without a life jacket and outside of a sheltered pool, probably in the big open ocean at Fuchsia that they're meant to cross under their own power-

He draws a shaky breath and relaxes his white-knuckled grip on Lapras's spike. Focus. Right now, he's got all the safety nets he could ask for. Lifeguards patrolling the pools, a qualified instructor, two experienced surfing Pokémon, a life jacket, and his best friend. Lips yet pressed tight together, he glances to Jordan, wordlessly seeking- he doesn't know. Reassurance?

He doesn’t notice him right away, but Jordan gives him a shaky thumbs up as their eyes meet. “Doing better than I thought you would. You gonna wear a life jacket when we surf outside of this pool too, though?”

Casey's train of thought switches tracks. "Oh, I could buy one! For myself! And bring it with for when we go to Fuchsia and the ocean-!" That idea is so fully relieving that Casey doesn't think about what he's doing, instead just instinctively pats the Lapras and makes vague motions that it placidly interprets as circle the Swampert. "Jordan, you're the smartest and most clever and nicest and prettiest best friend in the world!" He tacks the last one on solely to deepen the flush creeping up Jordan's cheeks as Casey sing-songs praises at him, more focused on getting a rise out of Jordan than the gentle tilting of the Lapras as it turns in a wide circle. He pays for that in short order by falling off once more, coming up coughing due to his damned instinct of a surprised gasp not meshing well with a face full of water.

"Casey?" Janice appears in front of him, catching him by the straps of the life jacket as he coughs, not catching his breath right, gagging, water in his lungs- "Casey, take a breath. Deep breath. Through your nose, ignore the water, take a breath. Okay. Now you can cough." He does so, and it's better. "Drink some. Little sips." She pushes a bottle of water into his hands and he does as he's told, turning away to cough again, but his throat is no longer spasming and he can breathe again. "Good job!" He half expects to be given a sticker, from her tone. Janice takes the bottle from him.

"Sorry," he rasps, but she shakes her head.

"Stuff happens, right? You're learning. But you gotta pay attention. Timing is everything. If you're high up and falling, it's okay to grab a big breath before you do. But if there's no time, it's better to close off your airway. Got it?" Casey hums. "You ready to get back up there and try again?" He nods, but reaches up to link his index finger with Jordan's first. Reassurance.

Things go more smoothly after that. He and Jordan both get their nerves under control as Janice cheerfully instructs them to perform slow and simple maneuvers around the pool. It's more of a workout than he thought- it takes a lot of core strength to balance through the strange motions of an aquatic Pokémon. Casey wonders if riding Parsley will be a similar experience down the line. But he doesn't have much time to ponder- Janice is insistent on teaching them as much as possible in the short amount of time they have, and he has to pay attention.

Casey doesn't mind. He's actually having the kind of fun he envisioned from the outset. It just took some work to get there.

Pepper Bomb • Charmeleon • lv37 | Ginger • Buneary • lv36 | Parsley • Skiddo • lv34
Casey's Profile | Jordan's's Profile | Extra Characters | TRAINERS Art | Current Chapter






Astromancer

they/them
Seen 14 Hours Ago
Posted 5 Days Ago
35,331 posts
13.7 Years








Gwen
Bead grew to Lv 27!
Custard grew to Lv 24!
Custard is able to learn Slam and Agility!
King grew to Lv 19!
Jess grew to Lv 29!
Marshall grew to Lv 27!
Scar grew to Lv 20!
Scar is able to learn Scary Face!
Talon grew to Lv 20!
Talon is able to learn Scary Face! as well lol. scary team!


Ralph
Ralph traded Ralts for a Litleo! Lv 17, female
Greeny grew to Lv 20!
Greeny is able to learn Assurance, Crunch, and Sucker Punch!
Greeny is ready to evolve into Raticate! as if she's gonna, ever.


Vera
Ebony grew to Lv 23!
Ebony is able to learn Hex!
Trixie grew to Lv 23!
Trixie is able to learn Feint Attack!
Squitch grew to Lv 22!
Squitch is able to learn Slash!


Arianne
Blitzle grew to Lv 21!
Espurr grew to Lv 19!
Espurr is able to learn Covet!
Eric grew to Lv 35! ooooh close to evolution
Eric is able to learn Shell Smash!
Lulu grew to Lv 29!
Lulu is able to learn Giga Drain!




Eleanor

Arianne ✨ Happy birthday~

Age 21
Non-binary
Italy
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 3 Hours Ago
art by Aquacorde
Arianne Chandler
Vermilion City
Monday, May 27th, Morning
Written with the help of QueenNothing as Gwen and WizardOfOdd as Richard

Surfing again

Swimming with Eric is fun! He drags you along, he helps you get back up once you’ve dived under the surface, he splashes you with water just to play with you. It’s a totally different atmosphere from swimming in the Rock Tunnel underground lake, with a horde of Bronzor and Bronzong about to pummel you… and yet, it’s also different from swimming with friends along the shores of Cinnabar, with the occasional wild Pokémon tagging along.

This place… it actually feels off, that’s the problem. Maybe it’s the cold from outside that’s slowly creeping in, maybe it’s the roof on top of her head, maybe it’s the smell of chlorine salts. But it’s not the same as swimming in the sea, like in Cinnabar - something that Arianne will still have to wait for to experience again. Her thoughts are interrupted when Bridget, the second trainer, calls out her name. “Arianne, right?”

She nearly goes under the water with her head, getting slightly startled. She was just floating on his back, drifting away at the speed of a few inches an hour, keeping an eye on Gwen and Richard as they were having fun… and trying to slow it down a bit herself after swimming with both Eric and the gym's Floaztel, who was more than happy to take Arianne on his back.

“Everything alright? It looks like your enthusiasm burned bright but fast…” The trainer continues. “I brought a new friend though, maybe you’ll like to play with him!”

“Yeah, I- Oh?” The Cinnabar girl raises an eyebrow, only to see a large Mantine materialize in front of her.

“You can stand on him and get the hang of surfing! Have you ever tried something like that before?”

“Oh… yes, but also no… not on a Pokémon!” Arianne’s eyes widen, as she gets closer to the newly appeared Water type. He swims under her and lets the girl on his back, although she doesn’t do much besides lay over the Pokémon and stand on all fours… surely an interesting sensation though, to feel the Mantine move under her and take her for a journey around the pool.

The instructor keeps an eye on Arianne this whole time, giving tips and instructions. “See, that’s already good enough for going places! You can probably do that with your Pokémon too once he evolves, or get something like a raft for him to pull while swimming. You probably won't even need special gear like the one we usually provide, but… there's a reason why it was invented, you know?”

"For people who can't swim?" Arianne replies, causing a visible facepalm on the girl who she replied to. "Uh… oops!”

"Well… some gear is always nice to have as a safety net, or for longer trips. But if you’re feeling up to the task, you can try standing up on Mantine and surf that way now! It's not easy, sure, but you can work it up to a comfortable position where you won't lose your balance." The trainer keeps helping the Cinnabar girl as Mantine slowly speeds up. It's such a rush of adrenaline when Arianne actually gets her posture right and is able to surf not on a normal board, but on a living one… one that corrects her own mistakes by adjusting its position accordingly. This Pokémon is clearly trained for this job, after all.

“I got it, I got it, I got it…” Arianne yells enthusiastically as she surfs past everyone, only to shudder and lose her balance as Gwen comes around while surfing on a Gyarados, waves of water spreading from its path. Mantine helps her out by keeping a wing under her body, preventing the girl from sinking too much. But as she recovers, Arianne can’t help but laugh.

“Fun while it lasted uh?” Bridget laughs as well. “You may still have to work on handling the waves but that’s going to be a breeze if you keep at it! You’re already a pretty good surfer in my book. Just what I’d expect from a Cinnabar native!”

“Oh, thanks! I appreciate it.” Arianne nods happily as she resumes her practice. Thinking about it, it’s quite nice in here. Shielded from the cold that’s raging outside, swimming with her friends and Pokémon in her natural element… her fingers are already wrinkled, but she’d stay inside this pool for far longer than this.

TEAM:
Eric, lv. 33 • Espurr, lv. 17
Blitzle, lv. 18 • Mizar, lv. 19
Lulu, lv. 26 • Honedge, lv. 19


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

Astromancer

they/them
Seen 14 Hours Ago
Posted 5 Days Ago
35,331 posts
13.7 Years
Ralph Gonder
Sunday, May 26th
Noon, Day 7

Sandsy Lv 26 | Coldy Lv 24 | Litleo Lv 17
Jolty Lv 23 | Creepy Lv 21 | Greeny Lv 20
Ralph's Profile | Current Chapter | css base by Aquacorde
The day didn't get any less hot after lunch. The three Cape trainers wandered on, occasionally stopping to watch groups of some exciting wild pokémon strolling or flying past. And as they got closer to Vermilion, they started to see other kinds of groups too, namely of humans.

"Tourists," Jayn said, nose scrunched.

"Aren't we tourists too, in a way?" Aberdeen asked, albeit not as cheerful as usual due to the heat.

"Not nearly in the same sense," Jayn sighed.

Ralph narrowed her eyes to see more clearly the bus that had stopped some ways ahead of them. They had been following what seemed to be a dirt road for the past half hour, but mostly seen a few offroad vehicles in the distance so far. This bus had a crowd standing around it... very closely to it. But all of their heads were turned in the same direction. And someone was gesticulating so heavily that the purple haired girl could see it from where she was.

"There's something going on," Ralph pointed out.

Deen perked up at that. "A pokémon attack?"

"It's not reassuring that the thought of that event lifts your spirits," Jayn commented, scrunch still present on his forehead.

"Dunno. But it's in the direction we're going so I guess we can just see when we get there?" Ralph shrugged.

It wasn't long until they heard screaming though, and the majority of the crowd started stumbling over each other to get back inside the bus.

"There's pokémon there around them!" Deen said and walked faster. "I bet they're being attacked!"

"Shouldn't we walk in any other direction than towards them then?" Jayn said, now flustered but still keeping up.

There were Doduo, Ralph saw now, and something bigger... Dodrio. They had definitely started trying to assault two people who were further away from the bus.

"Deen's right. And they're not fighting back, the tourists I mean, so I guess they're not trainers."

"They probably annoyed the pokémon in the first place," Jayn justified, but looked a bit unsure now.

"You're gonna want to help them, aren't you," Ralph said to Deen instead, and it wasn't really a question.

"It's a good battle opportunity!" Deen said with a wink, not back to his usual cheerful self. "I have Pikachu, it will be a piece of cake! And you have Elekid, right? That you caught in Lavender when we hung out?"

Ralph replied by grabbing Jolty's pokéball from her belt and starting to sprint at the same time as the boy. Jayn sighed, but grabbed one of his own pokéballs and followed them.

Most of the tourists were in the bus now, but two colorfully dressed humans and one dressed in camo clothes and a big hat were still split off from the rest by the birds. As Deen had said, this was a good opportunity for some training, Ralph thought as she threw Jolty's pokéball as close to the commotion as she could - her throwing arm was nothing to laught at, compared to Deen's measly attempt - and called out for him to immediately use Thunder Wave.


Jolty appeared, casual grin on his face, and got a fix on the opponent already before he hit the ground. His arms charged him up in seconds, and the Thunder Wave was fired off and hit the closest Dodrio. The big bird stumbled and backed off from its human targets.

"Nice going!" Deen said as they finally came to a halt at a decent battle-distance from the scene. "Pikachu, Electro Ball!"

His electric mouse's crackling attack hit the paralyzed Dodrio who backed off in response. But the two others also diverted their attention from the tourists now and screeched angrily at the intruders.

"Oh, save us!" the one female tourist called out as they all made a run for it for the bus at last.

"You got it!" Deen said with a smile, while Ralph just rolled her eyes.

One bird's eyes turned red as it advanced on them with ferocious movements between its three sharp-beaked heads. The other went silent, but suddenly shot off towards Ralph with blinding speed. Not the Elekid, but Ralph herself.

"Quick Attack!" she called out, more as a panicked reaction and useless warning than as an order.

But Jolty just barely managed to tackle the Dodrio away before it pierced his trainer with its lance-like beaks. Ralph fell on her back in shock, and saw him glance at her for the briefest moment before turning his attention back to the bird, who had stumbled but now screeched at him angrily.

Jolty had either heard Ralph's words and interpreted it as a command, or he had acted on his own and saved her. She wasn't sure which was more impressive. Either way, they would have to be careful. These birds were not here to follow battle-rules.

The scorned Dodrio from before seemed to have recovered from the paralysis and now joined its larger partner in ganging up on Jolty with Pecks and Plucks.

A hand appeared next to Ralph's face as she started to get up. Jayn was offering, but she ignored it and just got back up on her own instead.

"Gonna help there?" she asked with a nod towards Jolty.

"Sure," Jayn said, and finally sent out his own pokémon.

It was Golduck.

Just as the largest Dodrio fired off a chaotic, multicolored beam that hit Jolty straight on, Jayn gave his command. "Disable!"

A strange 'zap' was how Ralph experienced the sensation when Golduck's red gem suddenly blinked, and Dodrio lost its momentum and just blinked between its heads for a moment.

"No more Tri Attack for a while," Jayn confirmed, eyes down in his Pokédex. "You should be doing better now, Ralph and Elekid."

Ralph didn't bother with a 'thank you' for his singular act of assistance, before she refocused to aid Jolty again as both Dodrio now displayed the same frantic movements as the one that advanced on Deen and Pikachu earlier.

"Fury Attack. Watch out!" Jayn called out.

"Oh please," Ralph sighed. "Jolty, Shockwave!"

The electric wave easily struck both birds and made them hesitate before they reached Jolty. But the largest one changed gears and shot off with a dark glare towards Golduck instead. The duck was tackled with a dark burst of energy, throwing her back.

Ralph decided to stay focused on Jolty and the other bird for now, which was trying to use Fury Attack once more, hitting Jolty a few good times despite him trying to fend it off with his strong arms.

"Low Kick! Get it down!"

Jolty definitely chuckled or something like that before he swiped the legs of the bird, making it fall over clumsily. It made Ralph smile too; he appreciated her tactics. She should battle with him more often.

"Good job! Now give it an Electro Ball to the face!"

The Dodrio looked utterly terrified, in all its faces, and screamed as it scrambled around and Jolty charged the electric orb up.

"Wait!" Jayn called out, and Ralph felt a sting of annoyance. "It's afraid of you now, just let it go!"

"Ugh," Ralph let out in demonstration as she quickly looked back at the other trainer - only to realize-

"Electro Ball, there!"

Jolty didn't have the most consistent reaction speed, but this time he once again managed to save the day. The electric attack just managed to sizzle past Jayn's surprised face and hit the bigger Dodrio who had been close to Pecking the Golduck next to him from behind.

The smaller bird ran up to the large one, who still looked very angry, but Ralph felt it was time to wrap things up, even if it just meant scaring them off.

"Finish with Swift on both!"

Star shaped rays shot from Jolty's antennas and peppered the birds until they finally decided the effort wasn't worth it anymore. They fled into the brush.

"Thank you," Jayn said, motioning to Golduck also.

"Whatever," Ralph said and gave Jolty a high five.

"Elekid is strong," Jayn began.

"Yeah, because we actually battle. Not just reading the pokédex and hoping one perfect move will fix things."

"That's not what-"

"These wild birds were angry and messy, so their attack pattern was chaotic. I've seen it a lot with wild pokémon. Well trained pokémon have some thought to their moves, but they actually act also. You just think without acting."

Jayn actually looked hurt now, and as if he didn't know what to say to that. Golduck marched up and glared at Ralph, but Ralph just glared back.

"You guys alright?" Deen asked, walking up to them with a dusty Pikachu in his arms.

"Perfect," Ralph said tone-lessly. "You?"

"Yeah, no problem! It was a strong Dodrio, probably stronger than us, but we had type advantage. Was a fun fight, right Pikachu?"

The mouse smiled, but looked pretty tired.

"You're very quiet," Deen commented towards Jayn, who still didn't respond.

"THANK YOUUUU!" another voice came from the direction of the bus.

The three humans who had been attacked earlier came towards the trainers now. The woman looked overjoyed, the man who seemed to accompany her looked a bit embarrassed, and what must be the tour guide in camo clothes looked relieved more than anything.

"Sorry about that," the flustered man said. "You won't tell anyone that we got into trouble, right? We got a bit close to some Doduo and-"

"You tried to pelt them with rocks to try to make them do 'funny things'!" the tour guide raged. "That's unacceptable! I will have to tell-"

"Oh nooo, don't tell anyone! We won't do it again!" the woman assured him with very big, pleading eyes. "Here, I have something nice for you!"

She took out some small packages from her handbag, looking like they had been carefully wrapped by hand in silky paper, and having small ribbons around them all. "Look! It's amazing rare candies for pokémon! They're from Hoenn, very exotic and amazing! They will make your pokémon stronger, isn't it awesome? Don't you have a pet at home that will be wonderful growing a bit? Also, they are very tasty, they make pokémon happy!"

"O- oh..." the tour guide said, scratching his head. "M-maybe... Well just remember that humans should not interfere with wild pokémon in this area if they can help it!"

"You are trying to bribe him?" Jayn finally talked, an eyebrow raised.

"And you, the beautiful trainers who saved us! Have some as well!"

She handed them each a little packet of the rare pokémon candies. They smelled kind of nice, Ralph thought. She exchanged a look with Deen and they both smiled lightly.

"Thanks!" Aberdeen told the woman.

"But-" Jayn began.

"Sure," Ralph said. "Bye!"

The tourists went back inside their bus and drove off, as Jayn just sighed and fell into silence again.


Astromancer

they/them
Seen 14 Hours Ago
Posted 5 Days Ago
35,331 posts
13.7 Years
Ralph Gonder
Sunday, May 26th
Early afternoon, Day 7

Sandsy Lv 26 | Coldy Lv 24 | Litleo Lv 17
Jolty Lv 23 | Creepy Lv 21 | Greeny Lv 20
Ralph's Profile | Current Chapter | css base by Aquacorde
The mood wasn't amazing as the trio of Cape trainers kept walking towards Vermilion. Thankfully a few clouds had begun drifting across the sky, sometimes giving them brief relief from the sun. As they stopped for a bit of a rest under another tree, Deen seemed to have disproportionally high energy left (although his tired Pikachu was in its pokéball).

"Ralph! We haven't battled in a while! Wanna do it?"

"Now? Here?" Ralph asked mid-bite; Jayn's food was still hers to take, as far as she was concerned, and he put up strangely little fight over it.

"Sure! Unless your pokémon are still too tired from your fight with Jayn or.... If you're too afraid you'll lose, of course."

"Hah. No chance. From what Jayn said, you catch too many pokémon and don't train enough, so I bet I'm stronger than you."

"Don't you have loads of pokémon too? Are you sure you've trained them more than mine?" Deen asked with a wink, making her a bit unsure.

"Also, you saw mine earlier. I should get to see yours first now."

"I didn't see them all!"

"Showcase or no fight," Ralph insisted with a shrug and finished her food.

"Fine," Deen said, giving up easily and with a laugh even. He got up and took out all of his populated pokéballs, except for Pikachu.

There was the Alolan Grimer Ralph recognized from before - it was adopted in Cerulean when she found Coldy. There was also Deen's bird who had actually evolved into a Pidgeotto. But then, it started to get really interesting. Deen had captured a small Whismur who seemed to tremble at the sight of the strangers, and it was hiding behind a Riolu - that was a kind of rare and cool pokémon that Ralph suddenly regretted not finding herself. Could she trade with him for it, maybe? But the most impressive thing was that Aberdeen had somehow captured an Onix. It towered above all the others where it rose up from the ground, yawning in the sunshine.

"You know what?" Ralph said. "I'm impressed."

"Haha, right?" Deen said proudly. "Jayn, don't you have some comment about my team?"

"No," Jayn simply said, making Deen's smile fade.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing."

"Let's just battle," Ralph interrupted, feeling uncomfortable probing the troubled boy more at this time. It wasn't a hard guess that her 'feedback' from earlier was what had made him act so weird for the past hour.

"Okay! Two pokémon each?"

"Alright. I can pick first, because now I see what you can respond with."

"That sounds so weirdly mature and clever, coming from you!"

Ralph half-punched the boy in the gut for that, earning her a wheezing laughter. She thought for a bit before she picked one of the pokéballs from her belt. She could have gone with Elekid, or maybe throw in her new kitten acquisition to test against this trainer who might be clever and fast, but not too strong. But he had an Onix, who could steamroll either of those in the blink of an eye. So she had to go with someone else.

"Creepy, go!"

The small Dreepy materialized and whirled happily in the air for a bit around Ralph before taking her place in front of the trainer.

"Huh! Sending in your dragon first thing! Alright, let's see..."

Jayn was watching them carefully from the shade under the tree, his Ralph dozing off in his lap. But the trainer didn't offer any comment, even when Aberdeen let his choice step forward.

"Grimer, let's go!"

The colorful sludge creature looked like it had just awoken from a nap, but it did wobble forward, faster than Ralph would have expected.

"Charming," she leered. She wasn't entirely sure of what the Creepy could do against this poison blob. Would Quick Attack even damage it? "Astonish!"

Dreepy blinked into a nearly invisible state and seconds later leapt up just in front of Grimer's face, Astonishing it into definitive wake-ness.

Deen apparently couldn't help but laugh a bit at the opening move. "I think you helped me more than hurt me there," he joked. "But now you're too close. Grimer, Poison Gas!"

Before Dreepy could scurry off, Grimer blew out a nasty cloud straight into her face. Coughing, she flew up into the air, and the cloud dissipated quickly anyways. But she didn't look entirely alright...

"Poison," Ralph said, wrinkling her nose on purpose. "I stopped with those nasty tactics long ago."

Deen shrugged. "It's effective!"

"You can endure it, you're a dragon!" Ralph called out reassuringly, and Creepy gave her a slight smile from above. "Now, Infestation!"

The dragon fired off her small critters of energy towards the Grimer, who was way too slow to be able to dodge. The critters buried themselves in Grimer's muddy skin and began sucking its energy out.

"That's nasty!" Deen pouted.

Ralph didn't waste time waiting for him this time though; the poison clock was ticking. If Creepy's body energy couldn't beat the poison and shrug it off, she would faint from it if this dragged on for too long. "It's even slower than before now. Bite!" she ordered.

"Poison Fang!" Deen then reacted.

The two pokémon collided and tried to bite each other, but Dreepy was small and quick and Grimer was slowed. The tiny dragon could dodge the Poison Fang and take a Bite out of the mud creature in the 'neck'.

"Good! Now, Astonish!"

"As if that will work twice! Acid Spray!"

Dreepy blinked into invisibility for a moment again and appeared right in front of the Grimer. Unfortunately, the poison pokémon had charged its attack up, and Astonishing it only made it spray out the acid all the more fast. It drenched the dragon, making her scream as she flew off into the air again.

Struck by acid and poison in her ghostly veins... This wasn't looking too good for them. Ralph didn't really want to push her pokémon too far in a friendly game like this. But also... She couldn't really allow herself to lose to Montany, someone who supposedly had underleveled pokémon. Thankfully, she didn't have to make a morally uncomfortable decision, because the Creepy looked determined to keep going still, even though she has to have been weakened now. Grimer also wasn't doing entirely well, the Infestation still going strong, having gotten Bitten, and Astonished twice.

Giving up too soon, or going in too hard? The balance seemed impossible.

Maybe... Maybe there was never an easy answer? Maybe all situations were different. Actually, that suddenly seemed obvious. Here and now, they had to keep going.

"Double Team!" Ralph called out, and Creepy blinked away, only to reappear all around Grimer in a dozen copies. "Whatcha gonna spray now?"

"How about all of them? Turn around and use Poison Gas in a circle!"

Grimer did as asked, and one by one, the Dreepy images disappeared until only three remained, flying upwards to escape.

"That's all we need! Quick Attack!"

The images turned back down and dove towards the blob fast, a meter in between themselves.

"Grimer, Minimize!" Deen said.

Grimer grinned as it suddenly shrank down to be less than half the size of the Dreepy, making it much harder to spot in the tall grass. The Dreepy trio halted mid-air.

But as Deen looked like the battle was won already, Ralph had one more hope that it wasn't. For him, at least.

"It's still infested! You can feel it!" she tried. She hoped that was true at least.

The copies disappeared, and Creepy closed her large, yellow eyes for a second. Then she opened them and they were focused on one singular spot below. It worked!

"Grimer, Disable!" Deen called out, trying to prevent another Quick Attack.

The same zapping sensation beat through the air again, but Ralph didn't even worry, as she purposely waited with calling out her next move until she felt that.

"Astonish!"

There was no time for a counter-attack now. Creepy once more appeared next to Grimer, but this time just above it with a high pitched screech instead of in front of it - perhaps the Acid Spray was still fresh in her memory. Grimer screamed too, in response, and somehow grew back to ordinary size when it finally fainted. Getting scared so much was apparently too much.

But so was the poison... Only a few seconds afterwards, Creepy also gave away to the pain and floated down, to land on top of the sludge pile.

"Awwww... It's almost cute."

"Montany, that's morbid." Ralph sighed and walked up to the pokémon to lift her ghost up. She really weighed almost nothing. "I still won, Grimer fainted first."

"Haha, sure. But the next one, you won't win!"

"Oh yeah? Which one will you use?"

"Am I picking first now?"

"Yeah," Ralph simply said, as she returned Creepy to her pokéball.

"Alright!"

Aberdeen returned Grimer too, and turned around to look thoughtfully at his other four pokémon sitting near the still silent Jayn to watch the spectacle. Whismur looked like it had been scared by the Astonish attacks too, hiding behind Riolu's back. Riolu looked eager, and Pidgeotto looked like it was dozing off. It was a pretty cute team somehow, Ralph had to admit.

"Onix!" Deen finally said, grinning wide.

The Onix slithered forward, making big dirt marks and ripping up tall grass where it moved.

"That looks like an environmental hazard," Ralph said, an eyebrow raised.

"Just because he's used to caves doesn't mean I'm gonna hide him in a pokéball all the time when we're away from mountains," Deen pouted. "Pick your champion!"

"Yeah, yeah. This will be easy. Coldy, go!"


Astromancer

they/them
Seen 14 Hours Ago
Posted 5 Days Ago
35,331 posts
13.7 Years
Ralph Gonder
Sunday, May 26th
Early afternoon, Day 7

Sandsy Lv 26 | Coldy Lv 24 | Litleo Lv 17
Jolty Lv 23 | Creepy Lv 21 | Greeny Lv 20
Ralph's Profile | Current Chapter | css base by Aquacorde

This could go either way. Type differences played into both sides, and it was going to be all about who delivered the correct moves at the correct times. For just a sudden friendly match in the middle of a route, Ralph felt very excited. And she really didn't want to lose.

Deen tried immediately to trap Coldy by having Onix use Rock Tomb. But Coldy could escape that destiny by making a speedy getaway with Ice Ball. She struck Onix super effectively with the same move, before Onix used Rock Slide to interrupt her. The big boulders were supposed to block her way, but Ralph instructed her to use them to bounce off of, and she managed to find a good angle from them to strike Onix with Ice Ball for the second time. Angered, Onix used Dragon Breath then, not even on a command from his trainer. It struck Coldy and made her unfold, ending her speedy Ice Ball run. Time for a change of tactics.

She pelted the big rock snake with Ice Shard, and it wasn't exactly hard to hit. But Deen made him shoot Rock Throw back, and it turned out his aim was surprisingly good, blocking most of the shards after a while, and starting to strike and weaken Coldy in return. New strategy again, then. Needed to get closer instead.

Ralph had Coldy get close and split the rock with Metal Claw, but getting close to a big rock snake isn't without its risks. Onix scooped her up in a Bind that had her cry in pain. Her ice and steel armor was hard, but it couldn't protect her for too long in a grip like this. Thankfully, Coldy was full of resources; Powder Snow straight into Onix face wasn't popular, and he almost let her go. But he also dumped a new Rock Tomb on top of them both, not hurting himself, but trapping her in the Bind even more. Things were looking grim and Coldy didn't have much health left.

But plenty of resources still.

Despite it being a hot sunny day in the savannah, the Alolan Sandshrew found the strength to use Ice Punch to break the Rock Tomb above her. Sadly, she couldn't quite bend down to reach the Onix itself. Ralph cheered her on and instructed her to use Ice Ball, even if she couldn't roll where she was clamped up. Coldy was frustrated, but obeyed. Her body glowed in blue and became even colder, and eventually it became too cool to handle for the snake, who finally let go. Onix once again unprompted directed a Dragon Breath towards the Sandshrew, but she could also act unprompted, and she seemed to have been thinking of this and already enveloped herself in a Mirror Coat. The breath bounced back onto the Onix himself, making his rage peak.

No longer listening to his trainer, Onix lunged for Coldy, who only barely escaped. But Onix didn't just hit the ground instead. He dove into it and started digging, as fast as others sink in water. He was using Dig, and neither Ralph nor Deen could now be sure of where he would surface next. But the best bet was right under Coldy herself.

Ralph and her Sandshrew had to employ ingenious tactics to get out of this. She had to become airborne, fast. There were still boulders scattered around in the now carved up savannah field. The trainer had Coldy use Ice Ball and roll onto one, using it as a ramp. Just as she launched, Onix did reappear, knocking the boulder she had used as a ramp airborne as well. Jayn and the spectating pokémon now scrambled to get away before the boulder landed a mere meter from where they had been sitting before. Possibly thanks to a reactive Gust from Pidgeotto or a quick Confusion push from Ralts - it was hard to tell in the heat of the moment.

Onix looked around and couldn't spot the Sandshrew on the ground... Because she struck him in the head from above with Ice Punch a split second later. Utterly knocked out, the snake collapsed, and the panting Coldy landed as elegantly as she could next to the giant face.

Aberdeen wasn't even sad about having lost, and even Jayn offered a small applause.

Ralph still didn't expect much affection from the stout Sandshrew, so she was quite surprised when she saw its paw hanging in the air as she approached. Face turned away, of course, looking slightly bothered, but still... Ralph gave her the high five. Very proudly.


Eleanor

Arianne ✨ Happy birthday~

Age 21
Non-binary
Italy
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 3 Hours Ago
art by Aquacorde
Arianne Chandler
Vermilion City
Monday, May 27th, Early afternoon
Written with QueenNothing as Gwen and WizardOfOdd as Richard

Chilling Blast

“S-so… that’s the place uh?” Arianne points towards a large warehouse in the distance, actually not too far from yesterday evening’s showoff. To be fair, only her finger really peeks out from her sweatshirt’s sleeves, which are in turn barely seen under her denim jacket. She even has her fingerless gloves on, but neither of those things is that good at retaining heat and, therefore, Arianne is still shivering here and there. It also doesn’t help that the cold seems to get stronger and stronger - in fact, it seems to come from this part of the city specifically. “Not sure about you two, but Hana sure picked the wrong person for this when she told me to investigate…”

Yes, this was Hana’s idea apparently. Right after the swimming session, just before the three trainers would leave the Gym - and possibly the city as a whole, given how cold it had become - the leader stopped them on their tracks, seemingly relieved to see them. “You two did well against me and I’m sure your friend is a good trainer too! Plus, you’re from my brother’s place, so I figured I’d ask you a favor…” she began, before getting into how the cold weather and the clouds shrouding Vermilion are definitely not normal.

“I know right? It came up overnight and I was totally unprepared and I’m someone who feels the cold a lot!” Arianne couldn’t help but voice her complaints, to which Hana agreed wholeheartedly. “That’s exactly what I’m talking about. And I’ve noticed how the cold seems to come from a series of warehouses in the southern harbor. But for some reason the police forces don’t want to help out, so…”

Believe it or not, that’s how, after a hasty lunch, Richard, Gwen and Arianne have ended up here. A lonely harbor with a few warehouses, trucks, cargo ships, and… the silhouettes of some people emerging from the fog. “Think we ask those people some information and call it a d-day?” The Cinnabar girl turns towards her friends, unsure of what to do.

“Asking around is one of the most important parts of being a detective!” Gwen smirks, holding her index finger and thumb to stroke her chin. “This’ll be just like Detective Greedent Reloaded!”

"Let's find out who stole all the berries!" Arianne chuckles, trying her best to mimic the show from what little memories she still had. "But also, let's keep our Pokémon ready to go… I don't like this…"

Gwen raises an eyebrow at Arianne. “I’m not talking about the original Detective Greedent series, I’m talking about the Reloaded series! That’s the show where things get real, they swear and have guns and they even killed off Patrat Boy! That’s how ready I am for this!”

“Not a film critique here, but I’m pretty sure that show was canned because of declining ratings and that stupid decision didn’t help at all. The Patrat Boy fiasco was quite a stir in the media at some point, and don’t start about what happened to the Cleffa Girl, my heart boils with rage every single time I remember what happened to her.” Richard passionately shows his displeasure at Gwen’s comment.

“Maybe if you actually paid attention you’d know that it makes perfect sense for Cleffa Girl to-”

"Oh, speaking of Reloaded things…" Arianne speaks up from further ahead, her voice now more serious. "Let's stop here."

She raises a hand, before turning and walking right back. Someone else has caught her attention. "Shhh… See those people out in the open? They're bad guys. The same from Cerulean… except I'm not sure if you saw them too back then. When I did, I got grabbed and got played like a fiddle by a Drapion as they stole some Pokémon."

“At least he didn’t send you straight to the local hospital…” Richard mumbles. “Pretty sure most of our peers have also seen those shady guys lurking around Cerulean before.”

Gwen’s voice grows more serious as well while still maintaining how pumped up she is. “Oh, I’ve seen those bastards before alright! That must mean Morgrem Guy is with them!”

"The one I saw was a girl… interesting. I'm not sure that's her of course, but that outfit does look a bit like the one she had." Arianne sighs. "So… what to do? Maybe they don't remember us?"

”Well I mean, Isn’t that good? Pretty sure you don’t want to be targeted by that kind of crowd.” Richard carefully peeks over the corner to avoid suspicion.

“I say we get in there and tear them to psyducking shreds!” Gwen smacks her fist into her palm, not understanding the gravity of the situation.

"Gwen… trust me, we can't do it just yet. Maybe we should just go back and report what we saw and…"

“But I wanna kick their asses now!” Gwen pouts before wincing from her shirt collar being tugged. “Oh come on Bead, you know how Morgrem Guy was!”

“Sure… But we have to make sure it’s not us that is on the receiving end of the ass-kicking.” Richard starts to close his eyes while tapping the side of his forehead. “Let’s think for a bit, they have much superior Pokemon strength… They definitely know the area much better than us also, which will definitely become a problem… Hmm… This means that frontal assault is not the way—”

“Not sure about going for the back, it might be all for nothing… but really we just need to talk with them and not be threatening right…” Arianne whispers, but is interrupted.

”DETECTIVE GWEN WILL DELIVER JUSTICE TO YOU!!!”

Gwen jumps out from behind the container the group has used as cover and with very loud footsteps, charges forward fist-first while Bead hopelessly tries holding her back.

“Nevermind!” Arianne yelps, giving Richard a not so gentle nudge to make sure he’s aware of what Gwen’s doing. All that the Cinnabar girl can do after that is run right after her friend, Pokéball in hand, leaving a trail of breath clouds behind her.

Richard confusedly looks over the container only to find Gwen already standing in front of the shady people. He shakes his head in disappointment and sighs. “This is my life now…”

“Detective Gwen is here to stomp you out with the power of our bond as trainer and Pokemon! Count your sins evildoers, and tremble under the name that is-”

“Who even said we’re evildoers? Who even said we need stomping?” One of those figures replies, trying to sound stern but not necessarily angry. “You should watch your mouth. Or maybe… maybe you should ask her instead.”

Arianne arrives on the scene with a finger already pointed towards her. The voice, the attitude, the outfit… it’s definitely that girl. “Yeah, we remember you guys. Mind telling us what you’re up to this time around?”

“I don’t know, what’d you think we're doing now?” The young woman shrugs. “Just think of us as the annoying roadblock characters in games and move on.”

“Nice try, but don’t think you can outsmart my expert sleuthing skills!” Gwen boasts. Bead rolls his eyes.

One of the shady figures, presumably a young man, does his best to face away from the Cape students. “I-I don’t know what you’re talking about!” He says, voice quivering as if he’s trying to hold something back. “Why don’t you leave and go play tag or whatever brats do.”

“Wow, thanks for the help, I totally needed it.” The woman hisses.

Gwen flashes a toothy grin and grabs a Pokeball from her belt. “That confirms my hypothesis! We won’t let you get away this time- Tusk, come on out!” The bright flash of a Pokeball and a mighty “KYEW KYEW” loudly spells out to everyone nearby what’s about to take place.

"I'm not fighting you with my Pokémon. What you gonna do girl?" The woman crosses her arms, looking down on Gwen and Arianne.

“I’m gonna attack you, that’s what! Tusk, use Dragon Rage, and quick!”

Tusk, facing the shady man, flings his jaw open and a purple lighting-like energy charges up in his throat for a few seconds before releasing an arc-shaped projectile. The shady man grits his teeth and tosses a Pokeball of his own, releasing a light that forms into a Morgrem that stands in Dragon Rage’s trajectory. The attack hits him head-on, but zero damage is done- after all, fairy-types are immune to dragon-type attacks.

“Trying to attack a human uh? Now that’s something I could report to the authorities…” The masked girl smirks. “Thanks by the way, you’ve almost redeemed yourself.” She says as she turns towards her companion.

“Oh but now I can help out! Thunder Wave that Pokémon!” Arianne releases her Blitzle as soon as she sees the Morgrem appear. “I have a better team this time and we can outnumber you!”

“Well, thanks for the battle practice, I appreciate it.” The girl finally pulls out her Drapion’s Pokéball, and takes some steps back in order to give her Pokémon enough space for a grand entrance. “Protect!” She yells, and her Dark-type quickly complies, blocking the Thunder Wave that was approaching Morgrem with a clash of green and yellow sparkles.

“You’re not Paralyzing me this time!” The shady man attempts to sound confident while wheezing. “Now come on, scram already you damn brats!”

“Why are you just standing there!?” Gwen roars in frustration. “Why don’t you psyducking cowards attack us or something!?”

"I'm tired." Is all the masked woman mutters. But instead, the man’s body stiffens. “...that’s none of your business!”

Gwen gives him a coy look. “I think I’ve figured you out! Except nothing less from a super sleuth- Tusk, use Taunt!” Tusk holds a hand out and beckons Morgrem and Drapion with a finger, all while letting out a cocky “Kyew kyew!”

“Well Drapion, you heard the lil guy… let’s give him what he asked for.” The girl commands, gesturing for her Pokémon to move onward and attack. And so, a barrage of Poison Cross or Night Slash comes for Tusk and Blitzle. Some of those attacks are blocked by Eric’s Protect, once Arianne has called him out as well of course… but some still hit the intended targets, including Tusk, dealing heavy damage. And this time, the Cinnabar girl doesn’t have Mulan to help her out…

Gwen watches in frustration the sight of Tusk skidding backwards against the ground. “Muk, maybe Taunt wasn’t such a good idea…”

“Wow, you don’t say?” The man loudy cackles while Morgrem sticks his tongue out and places his hands near his head to make a teasing gesture. “We’re gonna give you a world of pain now!”

“Wow I’m so scared.” The woman shrugs, definitely replying to her partner in crime. “Maybe we're just better off doing this... Haze!” She shouts, this time revealing her Honchkrow. In a matter of seconds, everyone is engulfed in its thick black smoke.

“You have Talon right? Maybe now…” Arianne tries to speak up, but her words get muffled and her nose gets itchy in no time. “Ugh…”

“I do just uh… he’s with Palm right now…”

“Uh, okay, your world of pain can wait until we meet again… which will happen by the way!”

“As if!” The masked woman lets out a cackle. The shady man gives her a dirty look and mumbles “Why you…” before giving up halfway and running away.

Just as the pair tries to escape, a purple light shines briefly inside the thick Haze before a yellow one follows suit almost immediately. Unfortunately for them, just as they are about to hightail it anyway, they realize that they can’t move their own body at all.

Shortly after, everyone on the battlefield can hear a sound approaching them. It is a sound of footsteps, and it comes from behind the cargo Ari and Gwen used to hide themselves earlier.

“Sorry, I couldn't find the right opportunity until just now.” Richard walks in with a stern look on his face.

“WOAH!!! That’s so cool Richard!!” Gwen excitedly shouts, eyes gleaming. “This is just like how in Detective Greedent Reloaded-”

“I’m not sure what’s happening anymore… but ok… thanks haha!” Arianne coughs a few more times.

“That show was a mistake…” Richard mutters under his breath. “So, what are you going to do now? Are you two going to give up nicely and turn yourselves to the authorities, or are we doing this the hard way?”

“Believe it or not, the authorities are by our side.” The masked woman chimes in. She tries to speak calmly and confidently, but her voice is slightly cracking by now.

“Is that so?” Richard calmly replies. “Well, you’ll find out what happens next soon enough, but for now… Uri.”

As soon as Richard speaks out his order, the Cape trainers can faintly see a faint glow that starts to intensify as time starts to tick away. But just moments before Uri does what Richard had just ordered him to—

“Bulldoze.”

A devastating wave of dirt suddenly sweeps Richard’s team away from their previous location, cancelling Uri’s grasp of the two baddies in the process.

As the effect from the earlier Haze starts to wear off, a sound of clapping hands echoes from behind a different container, accompanied by a hysterical laughter. It doesn’t take long until the source of the voice shows itself, it comes from a top hat wearing shady man and his Gabite in tow.

“Bravo! Bravo! What a surprise! To see you and your Pokemon here, I thought you two were mincemeat by now.” The man gleefully exclaims with an eerie smile on his face.

“We were having some fun until you came in and took things way too seriously.” The masked woman pouts. “I’ll do the same from now…”

“Well, I’m not going to argue if you do think that getting your ass handed by these young kids is fun, but otherwise…” The man’s fingers zip across his mouth.

“Well, we’re not doing too great right now uh? Hopefully no more people will come…” Arianne sighs, looking at Richard in search of some reassurance.

“So here’s the deal kiddoes, as much as we like to spend some time playing with you but we adults have our responsibility to deal with so we can pay our bills… So be good children and stick your noses where it actually belongs, will you?”

“Make us.” Richard answers with a firm tone.

“Hahaha...HAHAHAHAHA!!!” The man with a top hat laughs wildly before wiping the tears from his eyes. “What a brave kid, I wonder whether you can maintain that expression when I butcher you and your entire team for good.”

Richard grits his teeth in anger.

“So, since you all are still so eager to play with us. Let’s play a game then.” The man with the top hat let out his Electrode on the battlefield. “So how the game works is basically, we’ll go away from this place and you may try to follow us… But, but, but, there’s a teeny-weeny catch~” The man says with a playful tone. “If you do well, let’s say I won’t be able to ensure your safety. Because after all… Explosions are deadly.” Sparks start to fly from his Electrode's body.

“Oh, just leave this to me! You can only explode once!” Arianne clenches her fists, before getting Eric to run back to her and bracing himself… and then running head first towards the Electric-type. “You know what to do!” She yells even louder, clearly talking to her Pokémon.

“Well, suit yourselves. Bye kids, never want to see you ever again.” The man in top hat grins before running away towards the back of the warehouse.

“N-no that’s not what we should be-” The masked woman calls back her Drapion and follows suit, not without some concern.

“H-hey, wait for me too!” The masked man yelps in desperation, kicking it into hightail while his Morgrem casually follows him, hopping like a Greninja.

Ari lets out her best battle cry, with Eric immediately getting up his Protect. The greenish shield appears right in front of the Cinnabar girl as the world around her goes white and a sudden wave of heat reaches her from all directions. She feels like a true hero for an instant, facing the strongest of enemies with such courage… only to get knocked away, literally flying backwards for an eternity before landing near where Gwen is, with Eric right on top of her.

Gwen, who had ducked when the explosion went off, peaks her head up, and gasps in horror. “Arianne, are you okay!?”

“Are you ok first of all?” Arianne replies with urgency, still laying down on the ground. “I could be better but if that kept you safe it was all worth it!”

“Well of course I’m fine, I made sure to duck just like in the movies- what kind of super sleuth would I be if I didn’t?”

“I mean, good to know Gwen, but-” The Cinnabar girl looks around frantically, only to see Richard tightly hugging his Kadabra. “Richard, you alright?” She recalls Eric and tries to get up to a sitting position, at least, but - oh what a familiar sensation - her whole body hurts.

“Stupid… Why did you have to do such an unnecessary thing…” Mutters Richard with a pained voice.

“I had to try it and I thought we could take it better and what they did to me in Cerulean is...” Arianne machine-guns the words out of her mouth. But she knows Richard is right anyway. Maybe not by principle, but he definitely beats her in pragmatism.

The boy closes his eyes as he tries to stop his hands from trembling. And soon after he lifts himself up while returning his Pokemon to their respective Pokeballs. “What’s done is done… Sorry, but can we go straight to the Pokemon Center now? I’m very worried about Uri.”

“I’m sorry… yeah, let’s go!” Arianne nods, trying to calm down and taking some heavy breaths. No other masked people seem to be around, just a few Pokémon passing by, and the three trainers. “Actually I might need some help getting up… again.” She admits.

Gwen anxiously shifts her head around before extending an arm out to Arianne, who accepts the help with a nervous smile. “Uh, I-I can give you a hand… but I agree with Richard! Our Pokemon need to be healed as soon as possible- especially Kadabra. We can give those losers payback some other time!”

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


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

Astromancer

they/them
Seen 14 Hours Ago
Posted 5 Days Ago
35,331 posts
13.7 Years








Gwen
Tusk grew to Lv 31!


Ralph
Jolty grew to Lv 25!
Jolty is able to learn Screech!
Creepy grew to Lv 23!
Creepy learned Lock-on!
Coldy grew to Lv 26!
Coldy is able to learn Slash!


Richard
Uri grew to Lv 27!


Arianne
Blitzle grew to Lv 22!
Blitzle is able to learn Pursuit!
Eric grew to Lv 36! oooo0000H
Eric is ready to evolve into Blastoise!




Groc

Age 30
Male
Arizona, USA
Online now
Posted 7 Hours Ago
1,547 posts
11.1 Years
Vera Hill, Casey Holt, Jordan Springs
Chapter 8 - Meeting in the Middle
Vermilion City; Monday, May 27th



Vera stares at the vending machine in the Gym's lobby, pretending to look at her options. There are only three: water, lemonade, or soda. But the options she's actually weighing are whether to stay or to go.

I fought the Gym Leader, why is this the hard part? She doesn't actually need to do this favor for Hana, she could just leave. But at the same time, all she has to do is go talk to her friends. Is that so hard?

She looks at the door handle, not having noticed herself move to leave. Her face heats up, and she turns away from the door in frustration. I'm getting mad. How dare they make me mad at myself!

She heads down the tunnel and back into the heat and humidity of the pool area, determined to give Casey and Jordan a piece of her mind. She doesn't spot them right away, and she finds her temper settling as she looks around at the various pools. There are people in them, just enjoying their day and spending some time with Pokémon. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

She hears a familiar pair of voices up ahead, and she realizes why it took her so long to spot her boys. They're riding on a Lapras and a blue Pokémon Vera doesn't immediately recognize, but her Pokédex reminds her is called Swampert. She hadn't thought to look for those Pokémon, but she spots some more familiar ones as she gets closer.

The Skiddo are playing in the shallows, Ginger is floating sedately in a small net-and-noodle contraption, and Pepper is sitting by himself off to the side, staying as close to the water as he dares without actually getting in. It both warms and breaks Vera's heart just a little bit to see him like that.

She quietly approaches the pool, taking off her scarf as she comes over to Pepper. She definitely doesn't need it in here. "Hey, buddy. Can I sit with you?"

Pepper glances up at her voice, moving closer and nuzzling against her hands. The Charmeleon clings to her, wincing at every big splash. Poor guy! You shouldn't even be in here! Vera stays quiet, giving Pepper some love and watching the boys ride their Pokémon. They seem to be getting it down, and the praise of their instructor only adds to that impression.

It's interesting, watching them train and play like this. She can't help but wonder how things would have turned out if she'd stuck with them. Would she be in the water, with them? In a similarly gaudy swimsuit? Seriously, what are they wearing?

She shakes her head, scratching Pepper under the chin. Absolutely not. She'd still be on dry land with Pepper, where it's safe. Even if a life jacket is an option, based on Casey.

She doesn't know how long she sits there, but eventually the Lapras and the Swampert are returned to the instructor's PokéBalls. Casey and Jordan wave goodbye- she says something about a water yoga class, whatever that is- and are left to lazily swim on their own with their Skiddo. Ginger paddles near them, but stays well out of anyone's reach.

Vera was being polite, not wanting to interrupt their...whatever that was, but she's dithered long enough. She takes Pepper’s hand and approaches the pool, stopping just outside of what she thinks is splash range. "Casey, Jordan, can we talk?"

Despite the serious tone in her voice, she can't help but gawk at the boys a little. Casey looks oddly adorable in his life jacket, floating near the edge for safety and tipping his head fully backwards to see her instead of turning around, while Jordan just looks bizarre with his hair plastered to his head. He tries to swim closer to Vera, but stops as one of the Skiddo kicks water directly in his face.

Pepper waves at his trainer from behind Vera's legs and Casey waves back, minimal splashing still causing the Charmeleon to huff at him. "It's just a little water, Pepper. You were out in the rain a few days ago, this ain't even bad." Pepper complains loudly in retaliation. "I know you're just fussin' so I pay attention to you. Be patient."

The Charmeleon clacks his mouth shut and crosses his arms, doing nothing to actually refute the accusation. Vera scritches the top of his head, but her attention is still on the boys. "I didn't want to interrupt your lesson, but I wanted to ask you guys…" She struggles to find the words while the boys wait, Casey's expression open and expectant, and Jordan wipes water from his face before looking up curiously.

A splash and startled shriek come from another pool, a child laughing at having fallen off their Pokémon. Vera glares over in that direction, her train of thought derailed. "Okay, can we go somewhere else? Somewhere a little less… distracting?" While I try to figure out what to say?

The boys glance at each other, and Jordan does a weird shrug-nod. “Yeah, we’re done here, right?”

Casey reaches out without looking and grabs Ginger's floatie as she drifts by. "Yeah, we can go," he says, grimacing as the water around the floatie freezes in thin sheets. "Hey, stop, that's cold."

Wait, when did she learn Ice moves? How'd she do that, I wasn’t watching!

Unusually, Ginger's protest ends there, and it's actually Parsley and Sage who bleat pathetically and thrash defiantly as they're ushered back up the stairs of the shallow end. “Wow, they ended up liking this more than I thought they would, huh,” Jordan mumbles as he helps reign in the Skiddo. “Maybe they can be our Surfers.”

"Absolutely not." Casey shudders. "Cross an ocean? On them? They're tryna get away right now; who knows where we'd end up?"

“Well, I don’t mean right now, I assume they’ll be… better… someday. With training.” Jordan scratches his chin. “But yeah, that’s a fair point to consider.”

"A Spinda don't change its spots," Casey says, but it sounds more like he's just repeating the old adage than believing it. Jordan shrugs as he heads towards the changing rooms. “Oh, be right back.” He calls to Vera before hurrying off.

Casey gives his life jacket to the man at the desk as they pass by, who looks like he certainly doesn't want it but also doesn't get any words out before the boys and their Pokémon disappear into the locker room, leaving Vera by herself in the lobby. She moves to the side, away from the desk and the door, and is pleasantly surprised that Pepper is staying with her. He radiates a gentle heat that serves as a nice buffer against the chillier air of the lobby.

She considers taking a seat, since the boys are taking longer than she'd expected, but right now that feels like weakness. The receptionist keeps glancing at her, but she refuses to acknowledge him. She has enough on her mind already…

Just when she's tired of waiting, and really considering that seat, one of the Skiddo trots out with a towel barely clinging on its back. Jordan trails after it, grabbing at the wet cloth, so this is probably Sage. They circle Vera briefly and the boy finally successfully snatches up the towel. “Good enough,” he sighs at the still slightly damp Skiddo before folding up the cloth and putting it away. “Uh, Casey will be right out, too, I think. He’s being real thorough with the drying process.”

They wait in uncomfortable silence for a few more minutes until Casey finally bursts out of the locker room, Parsley pushing past to nuzzle Sage. "Sorry! Ginger takes f'rever to blow-dry." Said Buneary glares sleepily from the crook of his arm, fur combed out to achieve some incredible puffiness. "Hey, did y'all see the café across the street? Says 'Pokémon-Friendly' on the sign an' looks really cute. Let's go eat lunch there! Then these guys can eat, too, right? Swimming is a workout, they've gotta be as hungry as I am!"

"Sure, a café. Sounds good. I wouldn't mind a drink, myself." Vera agrees as Pepper scoots back over to Casey. That should be fine, we can get a quiet seat and work this out.




The café is not quiet. There's a line at the front full of families and friends, chattering away, and not many of them take their food or drinks to go. It's crowded, and it's noisy, and Vera has to resist the urge to just run. She sits at the table, holding a cup of some kind of Chai latte while Casey and Jordan talk, to each other and their Pokémon, either allowing her her silence or ignoring her.

It feels like ignoring her.

"Okay, here's the tea." Vera finally speaks up, setting her cup down and not caring what conversation she interrupts. "I asked you both here because I wanted to ask for your help. But the more I've thought about it, there's something I need to get off my chest first."

She takes a breath, and just lets it out. "I… I'm mad at you. I'm mad at both of you, and I'm mad at myself for that. I don't know what happened, but I've always been... distant. I've always been alone, and I've never had a problem with that. But then you two come along, you're a good team, you joke around, but you had each other. Then, you let me into the group, we fought together, worked together, made a real connection. And I thought... maybe I belonged.

"But the moment I do something for me, that's when it all fell apart. You hurt me, Casey. And you let him, Jordan. And I left, because I didn't know what else to do. I went back to being alone, and that sucked. But when I saw you, I thought, maybe we can fix this. But you weren't even sorry. Did either of you even think about what I felt? You acted like nothing had changed, and I was just tiptoeing around these things that I can't even begin to process. You guys made me feel, and then Ieft, and I felt empty. That hurts more than anything, and I want it to stop."

Jordan seemed a little taken aback by all that. There was a look of genuine remorse in his eyes and his face flushes red, as it often does. He opens his mouth and fumbles for words, but doesn’t manage much. “I… I am sorry.” He starts. “I thought if we just… did like normal, things would just…” He glances between the two of them as he lets that trail off, shrugging.

Casey's silence stretches on forever as he gently spins the small plate his half-eaten sandwich rests upon, and Vera feels some small vindication that she has shut him up, but most of all it's uncomfortable, and the thing he finally says as his eyes come back to meet hers- piercing and scarily neutral- is anything but comforting.

"Did you even think about what I felt?"

It almost sounds like he's thinking about her words, but no- the tone…

"You did somethin' for you, but that somethin' hurt me. You didn't know. I know. But you did somethin' for you, and so I had to do somethin' for me. That's just how life goes. But did you think about how I felt? Did you ever try'n find out why? He knows." Casey jabs a knuckle into Jordan's side and Jordan winces, because it's not a friendly jab. "He knows, and he did it anyway, and do you really think you got hurt worse than me?"

“Well, in defense of this, it's not obvious... how bad it is, at least, even if one may have had a small inkling…” Jordan mumbles stiffly, looking at his hands.

Casey laughs, short and without humor. "Lemme lay it out for ya: the thing that's most important to me is me. I make sure I'm strong and resilient, 'cause then I can do most anything. I make sure I know a lot of stuff, 'cause then I can figure out solutions to any problems I have. But what happens if somethin' takes control of my body away from me? What happens if my brain gets scrambled? I can't help myself. And y'know what can do all that to me, without me being able to stop it at all? It's Ghosts." Casey slaps the edge of the table for emphasis, but his hand immediately grips it too tightly to be casual, and his eyes are anywhere but their faces. He clears his throat. "So. Did you even think about what I felt?"

Vera flinches at the slap. "U-uh, I…" She stutters, his question piercing through the self-righteous armor she'd set up around herself. Oh, but that just brings the fire right back. "I did. I thought about what you said, what you did. Maybe I didn't have all the answers at the time. I certainly didn't know you were afraid of ghosts, or why. And why would I? You do these things, you know these things, and you make it look so easy. Maybe I'd know something about you if you'd told me."

"And when's a good time to tell you all about my deepest fears 'nd insecurities?" Casey counters, somewhat hysterically. "Never wanted to talk t' me at school, did ya? Should I've said somethin' in b'tween running from things in caves? Or during the party you didn't wanna be at? Hell, what do I even know about you, Vera Hill? When're you gonna find time to tell me about all the things I could possibly do to make you mad?"

"Well… you had plenty of time! We invited you to a graveyard, all you said was 'I can't.' You could have said more! Don't expect me to always know things!"

"Hey... hey, guys," Jordan's finally looking up again, but not just at the two of them - it seems they are starting to draw the attention of the other patrons at the café as well. Casey glances around, wide-eyed, flush creeping up his cheeks. Vera is secretly relieved that Casey isn't yelling at her, but ducks her head to avoid the stares, one hand coming up to shield her eyes. I wanted quiet, but this is too quiet!

Casey leans back in his chair with crossed arms, fingers flexing against the leather of his jacket as he settles in to stare unseeingly into a far corner of the room. Vera looks the other way, refusing to even look at anyone, just waiting for sounds to resume and people to stop staring at her. After a long moment, the other patrons decide to mind their own business.

Their own table stays silent.

Jordan takes a deep breath. "How about we - maybe we can kind of... all take some responsibility for what happened. Um. I'll start. I'm sorry," He says again to Vera, more firmly this time. "When we - when I first met back up with Casey, we just kind of fell back into our routine right away, you know? So when we saw you again, I thought if we just acted like everything was normal again, it... it just would be. I'm sorry if it made you feel like your feelings didn't matter." He paused. "And for what it's worth, you do belong."

He turns to Casey. "And I'm sorry. You're right, I knew about you and Ghosts. I didn't think it was... you know, as bad as it is. But I knew. Maybe I could have prepped you better before we sprung our catches on you. Maybe I could have said something to Vera. Maybe I thought... it would be different if it was our Pokemon, and you trusted us enough to keep you safe around them. But... but that's not for me to decide, so... I'm sorry."

Casey sniffles. Vera hadn't realized there were tears in his eyes until he rubs them away with a palm, and links the pinkie of his other hand with Jordan's. "Normal's easy. Usually I just keep actin' normal and people… move on, right? Things smooth over. I was just gonna do that."

"I, uh. Didn't want to go. But I couldn't stay. It's..." Casey blows out a frustrated breath. "Even if I trust you two- what says your newly caught Pokémon are gonna listen to you? Ginger only has half an ear for me most of the time and she's the first one I caught. And y'all got Ghosts, and I couldn't… feel like that all the time. I couldn't feel like they were gonna do something all the time. But- I can't feel like that all my life, right? So, uh. I'm tryin'. Exposure therapy. I fought Gospel, and I talked to Bead and I had to battle him, and Tiny tried to shower with me and I didn't flip out that much. Right?"

Jordan nods slowly. “Yeah,” He agrees, rather unconvincingly. “Yeah, that… that went good.”

"You don't gotta sound like that! I'm tryin'! 'Cause I like us, together." Casey reaches out and rests his hand on the table between himself and Vera, pinkie out and slightly curled in invitation. "And you've got Ghosts. So if I want you, I gotta… tolerate. Not like, I'm not promisin' that, but I'm tryna tolerate."

Vera looks at Casey's hand, her reluctance evident in her small, unsure frown. This is another attempt to reconcile. Just like before. He offered you a hug, and you turned him down. Are you gonna turn him down again? Break his heart again? Break your own? Vera reaches out, her slender fingers looking tiny next to Casey's, and hooks her pinkie around his. "Guess it's my turn, huh?" She keeps her gaze on the table as she reaches her other hand out to Jordan, her face slowly turning red. Jordan smiles, reaching out to complete the chain.

"Thank you, Jordan, for saying I belong. I just… I wasn't sure. I guess I… I was jealous of you two? And I acted out of line because of that. I said things I shouldn't have said, I… I held a grudge. A toxic, stupid, poisonous grudge." She has to stop, because her traitorous eyes are starting to water again, and she refuses to cry in front of them!

"And I don't want to lose you two. You're the best… the only friends I've ever really had, and you make me feel safe. In a dark cave or a crowded city, I feel better when I'm with you. Dammit… I almost died the other day, and I never told you guys that!"

"Same hat," Casey says vaguely, then: "What? What'd you- where- why?"

"I…" She shakes her head, snorting out a laugh. It's so stupid, when I say it out loud! "I fell off a ladder, in that warehouse district. I went in there by myself and I fell."

Casey tilts his head. "Well damn. I coulda caught you." His tone is absolutely nonchalant, as if this would have been a given outcome. Vera finally looks up at him, a faint smile on her face.

"Yeah… you could have. You're a good friend. You both are. You could have caught me, or picked me up afterwards, or any number of things, if we all hadn't been so stubborn."

Casey grins, and the concerned look on Jordan's face softens as well, as he shakes his head. "I'm sorry you had to go alone. Ralph had my back, at least - begrudgingly at times, I might add - but I'm real glad I ran into her."

An odd look flashes across Casey's face, but his tone is easy. "Oh yeah, Ralph's a good partner! 'M glad you met up with her too. Saw her headin' out but didn't go with her. Ran into Gwen an' Flynn though and y'know how Flynn's always botherin' her so- I took her with me, but I shouldn't have, probably. She was good help in getting that machine back to Quartz, at least. That's what y'all were doin' too, right? Gettin' the machines?"

“Yeah! Well, we were supposed to, anyway, but that doc seemed a bit unhinged, and who knows what they’re doing out there with those gadgets.” Jordan shrugs. “All the Pokemon seemed to really hate those things, huh? Ours and the wild ones. So we kinda… ended up smashing them.”

"Smashing?" Casey mouths, a frown on his face, but Vera looks between the two, pouting slightly. "You two had help and I had to go in there all by myself? Although if you had to travel with Gwen, maybe I was better off alone…" She wiggles her hands free of the pinkie chain, if only to brush her hair out of her face. The other two drop their hands as well.

"I… guess it was worth it in the end? I don't really remember the doc that well, I didn't stay." She's about to mention that she got a TM, but telling Casey that she taught a Ghost how to paralyze things might be a bit much. So she changes the subject.

"But I wasn't alone the whole time! I ran into Gwen myself out on Route 11." She frowns when she remembers the encounter. "I don't like her. We fought, and I won, naturally, but she was… a bit much."

"Oh, what? You don't get along? I think she's fine! Better head on her shoulders than Arianne, that I know. At least Gwen has some kind of respect for Pokémon. I dunno what Arianne's doin' as a trainer." Casey shakes his head, clearly disturbed by whatever memory of Arianne his brain has pulled up. "You coulda hung out with Flynn, he was out there. Or Bethany."

The three contemplate this idea for a silent moment.

"Well, I 'spose not," Casey amends, Jordan and Vera's "no"s echoing the sentiment. "Richard, though. He's good people."

Vera shakes her head. Who's he talking about? How many people does he know? She grabs Casey's hand again, not just the little finger this time. "Casey, I have no idea who that is. You know I don't like meeting new people, right? I don't have a lot of friends."

She grabs Jordan's hand, too. "There are a couple people I want to hang out with. And that's what I'm gonna do. That's what I'm doing now."

Casey takes Jordan's hand to complete the circle once more and flashes a grin. "Fine by me! ...But we can't hang out here all day. Well, I don't wanna just do that. What else is there to do here?"

“Oh!” Jordan exclaims suddenly. “Right, Vera, wasn’t there something else you wanted to talk to us about?”

Vera stares at him for a moment, drawing a blank. But in a rush it all comes back. "Yes! There is! Okay, so, after I lo… fought Leader Hana, she asked me for a favor. Said there was some job she couldn’t complete that I'd be just perfect for. But she didn't want me to do it alone. I told her 'Don't worry, I have some friends in town.' ...I just, needed to make sure that was still true."

She fills them in on what Hana has requested of her...

A joint post between Groc, Aquacorde, and Juno.

Astromancer

they/them
Seen 14 Hours Ago
Posted 5 Days Ago
35,331 posts
13.7 Years
Ralph Gonder
Vermilion City
Sunday, May 26th
Late afternoon, Day 7

Sandsy Lv 26 | Coldy Lv 26| Litleo Lv 17
Jolty Lv 25 | Creepy Lv 23 | Greeny Lv 20
Ralph's Profile | Current Chapter | css base by Aquacorde

Ralph had taken out the egg from her backpack after Jayn having finally started speaking to her again, although it was only to scold her for leaving the defenseless orb in a 'glum bag interior' instead of letting Sandsy carrying it still. She didn't mind carrying it herself though. It felt oddly damp, but still sort of warm to the touch. She guessed it had to be a Psyduck inside and made a mental note to try to find Jordan soon to see how his egg was doing. Perhaps his had hatched already? Hopefully the guy wasn't harboring too hard feelings towards her for leaving him in the swamp. He had probably found Casey there anyways, she told herself.

And she was here with two other boys instead, wearing a rat and a dragon on her shoulders. The number of tour buses around the cape trainers was beginning to increase, until they all followed the same actual road. The trainers did as well, until buildings started to appear around them.

"Vermilion City," Jayn announced. "The gate to Kanto."

"Is it?" Deen asked, wide-eyed.

"All major import and export goes through here. Or maybe through Pallet in some cases, I guess."

"Pallet is a cool place!" Deen grinned.

"So you've said," Jayn stated.

"What's Vermilion like then? Bigger than Lavender?" Ralph asked.

"Much. Nothing compared to Saffron or Pallet, but similar to Cerulean, perhaps slightly more populous even due to all the companies having business here."

"And it's got a gym," Ralph remembered and heard Greeny squeak excitedly right next to her ear in reaction.

"A water gym!" Deen cheered. "Pikachu will plow through it for sure."

"Don't be too sure," Jayn said, removing his golden-colored sunglasses at last, letting them dangle in his hand instead.

His eyes looked pretty tired, which wasn't exactly strange after a sunny day like this and a long trek across two exotic landscapes.

"The gym leader is an old tournament star, and she's supposedly really clever. I think last year she was one of the leaders fewest journeying trainers attained victory against."

"Aren't the gym leaders supposed to balance their power against us a bit?" Deen pouted. "It's not like we could actually beat them if they went all out."

"It's not fun to try to beat someone who lets you beat them," Ralph muttered thoughtfully. "If this gym leader gets that, I already like 'em."

"I totally let you beat me, Ralph. You're welcome!"

Ralph rolled her eyes and weakly punched Deen in the guts.


The sun still hadn't gone down when they finally reached Vermilion's central pokémon center on foot. But that's when their cheerful mood stopped; even Aberdeen's smile got a chip when they entered the building.

It was packed full. Humans and pokémon alike were occupying every seat in sight, and countless more were standing around, either discussing, comparing pokémon or pokédexes, looking sad or angry, or just wasting space in silence. Ralph immediately wrinkled her nose at the stuffed lobby air, and while Greeny still seemed excited at all the commotion, Dreepy retreated quickly into Ralph's hoodie instead.

"What the-" Jayn began, barely audible even though the three companions were still right next to each other.

"I'll get to the counter and check what's up!" Aberdeen said and disappeared forward, weaving through the crowd like a Tynamo in stormy weather.

"Wait, wait for me!" Jayn called out, flustered, and dove in after him.

Ralph didn't really consider following them. Thick, noisy crowds was not something she was keen on right now, being tired, dusty and still probably stinking of swamp. She was just about to promptly turn around and go back out, when she felt her foot hit something and looked down. Jayn's sunglasses. She started bending down, but the large egg in her arms and the people constantly brushing past her walking in and out of the building just here at the entrance made her think twice.

"Creepy," she said instead, shaking her body a bit to make the hood wobble. "Wanna fetch those glasses for me before somebody else stomps them to crumbles?"

When the Dreepy peeked out her head, she followed Ralph's gaze downwards and then zoomed off within a second. Ralph didn't even wait for her before she marched out then, not stopping until she had put ten or so meters between herself and the entrance to the pokémon center. There, she finally turned back, just in time to see Creepy phase through the door - leaving the solid glasses bumping into the glass and falling down. Ralph facepalmed; seems the dragon was just as tired and scatterbrained as she was, if not more. Thankfully, Creepy realized her error and dashed back to pick them up when the doors slid open, just before some big burly trainer actually did put his wide foot where the golden spectacles had been a split second earlier.

Not a little embarrassed, the dragon finally floated up to her on the street, offering the glasses with her small hands. Ralph smiled and let her put them on top of the egg for the time being.

"Thanks girl. Ugh. Let's not go back in there."

The dragon stayed mid-air and blinked slowly at her, and Greeny moved as well, chirping slightly in anticipation.

"Oh... You need healing, of course. Yeah... And I need a shower. But there was a huge queue, I bet all the rooms are taken-"

She cut herself off. What if that was true? She was way too tired to try to think about this right now. UGH. She really did have to go back in, didn't she? Besides, Jayn's stupid looking glasses were here with her and he'd probably want them back.

"Ralphie!" Aberdeen's voice suddenly came.

He was dashing out through the entrance, almost out of breath.

"Hey, Montany," the girl said nonchalantly. "Sup?"

"We got a room! But it's only got two beds, there weren't more, but we can probably put a mattress or at least a bedroll on the-"

"Nah, no need to squeeze me in," Ralph said with a scrunched nose.

What are you saying? A part of her freaked a bit. Of course she needed a room.

"Heh. I guess you don't want to stay with boys," Deen laughed.

"Yeah," Ralph agreed.

She briefly thought of Jordan and the last night. It hadn't been weird. Had it? I don't actually care.

Greeny jumped off her shoulder to join Creepy who hovered close to Ralph's ankles. They both seemed a bit confused.

"Alright, well... I gotta get back in, Jayn was really impatient, he's probably already gone upstairs!"

Fully along for the ride but then saying good-bye like it's the easiest thing in the world, as usual. That was just who Montany was.

"Yeah, off you go," Ralph nodded.

"Okay. See you tomorrow maybe!"

"Yeah, nighty nighty."

That sounded weird, but Deen only smiled - strangely without a characteristic wink - before he hurried back inside the stuffed building. Leaving Ralph and her egg and pokémon standing in the street in the last streaks of sunlight. The egg was still wearing the sunglasses. Whatever.

Greeny squeaked up at her, and didn't really look happy. She probably realized now that they weren't going back in.

"Yeah, I know," Ralph said quietly. "I'm not sure why I just did that either. I guess I'm just stupid."

She should really just go inside and wait in the queue for healing. And maybe have them check up on the egg. She had no idea if it was still healthy, but at least it seemed to be alive. Maybe she could find another room, with some random person perhaps. Someone she didn't have to acknowledge or talk with. Yeah, maybe that was the problem right now, that hanging out with the boys - the kids - all day had tired her out.

Reason eventually won over stubborn idiocy, and she did go back inside, pokémon back on her shoulders. She received several interested glances directed towards her egg, and spotted a few trainers from Cape that she recognized. No Arianne or Jordan or something like that though, thankfully. They were nice, but she was so tired, and getting more and more so by the minute.

And the minutes went by.

It was getting dark outside by the time she could finally reach the counter and hand the workers her pokémon. At that point, she even forgot to ask them to check on the egg, and just put all pokéballs back on her belt when she got them back - even Creepy and Greeny inside of their orbs. She asked for a room, because she knew she had to. The stressed receptionist offered her to share with a couple of Safari trainers that just had come along and probably hadn't fully set up yet, but Ralph just instantly shook her head. That was the least appealing thing she'd heard today.

"I'm sorry, but the only other official place in town where pokémon owners can somehow get to stay for free is the Vermilion Pokémon Fanclub. And I'm not sure they-"

"I'll take my chances," the tired Ralph said and left the pokémon center again.

Worst case, she would actually call Arianne. Or come crawling back to knock on Montany's and Jayn's door. They were probably better roommates than Safari trainers, still. Maybe.


Astromancer

they/them
Seen 14 Hours Ago
Posted 5 Days Ago
35,331 posts
13.7 Years
Ralph Gonder
Vermilion City
Sunday, May 26th
Evening, Day 7

Sandsy Lv 26 | Coldy Lv 26| Litleo Lv 17
Jolty Lv 25 | Creepy Lv 23 | Greeny Lv 20
Ralph's Profile | Current Chapter | css base by Aquacorde

Ralph isn't sure how she's actually making her way to the Pokémon Fanclub building in the northern areas. But after some time, she's looking up, and it's towering over her like a five star hotel. This cannot be for trainers, surely? But she is too tired to not give this a try. Egg still clutched in her arms, she marches forward towards the fancy entrance, only to be stopped by the doorman, who looks just as fancy himself. A Growlithe with a glittering collar is sat next to him.

"Excuse me, miss," he says.

"Yeah?" she replies dumbly.

"It's late and we only let current Fanclub members and guests in at this point."

Ralph gives out a groan that is louder than she intends. "I just want a room to sleep in, honestly," she says.

"I'm sure there are hotels out there, this is a city, after all. Or perhaps..." He eyes her dusty appearance up and down. "A hostel."

That's it, she's out of energy. She'll just sleep in a park somewhere, it's whatever. She's slept in the wild before, when she was camping with Joseph. Granted, then she did have Joseph. And his tent and food. And she wasn't in a city where who knows what kind of mean people could walk by and steal her stuff. Or her egg. She pats the sunglass'd egg absent-mindedly as she begins to leave.

But that's when another voice reaches them.

"Cousin! There you are! Oh, let her in already, will you?"

Ralph's confusion is large when she slowly turns back around. From the entrance's revolving doors appears a girl, slightly shorter and curvier than herself and without the piercings and unique hair, but otherwise striking Ralph in her exhausted state as her own mirror image.


The girl prances up to Ralph and gives her a sudden quick hug before motioning for her to follow her inside.

"Hang on," the doorman says, stepping in their way. His Growlithe gets up on its feet, looking alert. "If she hasn't got a room-"

"She's staying with me, sweetie," the girl interrupts, rolling her eyes dramatically.

I am?

The doorman almost looks like he's considering it, but then shakes his head. "Rules are rules, and-"

"I'm sure there's some way we can make it worth your while," the girl says, her words drawn out. "You have a rough job, probably not enough breaks to get something nice for yourself, probably working too many shifts so you don't have time to go and get nice things for your family or your pokémon..."

While talking, she's opening up up the handbag she's been carrying over her shoulder, and starts rummaging around, all the time while smiling coyly at the guard.

This feels just like the lady in the tour bus who bribed the guide into silence. And me too, I guess, Ralph thinks. Then she remembers something.

"I have these," she says and actually promptly hands the egg over to the strange new girl for a moment; she's too tired and desperate to worry.

The other girl's smile changes into a similar look to the one Sandsy first had when he was given the egg - a mix between awe and panic.

"What?" the doorman says, feigning impatience but quite obviously being a bit interested.

Ralph quickly reaches into a side pocket of her backpack and takes out a bunch of small silky packages with ribbon closings. The eyes of both the girl and the man widen before Ralph even continues speaking.

"Exotic rare pokémon candies from Hoenn. They will make your pokémon better and stronger. Also, they smell good," she drones, trying to repeat what she remembers the bribey lady from Route 11 saying about them.

"I know what they are! I..." The man is really flustered now, even more than the tour guide had been. "Oh, fine."

Ralph dumps the goodies in his outstretched hands, the Growlithe barking happily below.

"She will get her own room for these, won't she?" the other girl says, again fully smiling now.

You're really gonna push our luck? Ralph wants to say, but thankfully the words stay in her brain.

"Ahh, I... Yeah, we have many available. We don't really offer them to tournament trainers usually. So. Yeah, just go to the reception and tell them Don sent you."

"Thank you sooo much," the girl chirps with a last huge smile and once again motions for Ralph to follow as she walks inside.

Of course Ralph follows - the girl is holding her pokémon egg. She isn't quite sure again how they actually get a key of her own, but she does come back to consciousness once she finds herself inside a room that trumps anything Cape College or the pokémon centers have offered her so far. The bed is huge and there's way too much carpeted floor space to be efficient.

But she's not complaining.

The other girl has actually not said much since they got Ralph's key, and she's now standing with the egg in her arms, looking through its sunglasses thoughtfully as if she could see eyes on the other side.

"Can I have that back?" Ralph says.

"Oh, of course sweetie," the girl says and gently puts it on Ralph's bed. "I've touched eggs before, of course. Seen many of them. But this one, I don't know, it's a bit different maybe. Did you get it in the wild?"

"Yeah," Ralph yawns. "Saved a bunch of pokémon and they thank me by dumping their youth on me."

The girl laughs, but it doesn't sound as cute and innocent as when they were downstairs. And the gaze she gives Ralph afterwards is more confident and calculating than endearing.

"I didn't really know what to expect from you," she says. "So far I guess you've just kind of been too tired to be yourself. Or so I hope."

Ralph slumps down on the bed next to the egg. The sunglasses wobble slightly but stay on.

"What," she says, not even making it sound like a question. "Who are you?"

"You're Ralph Gonder, I was sure from the description I got and it was confirmed when you signed up for the room," the girl says slyly.

"I guess you're deaf or dumb. I didn't ask who I am."

Now the girl laughs, and her long, dark brown curls bounce with the movements.

"I'm Fiona Accora. But you may call me Fifi, cousin."

Ralph blinks several times and then connects the dots.

"Joseph told you about me?"

"Bingo!"

"You're a Safari trainer."

"Correct again, sweetie."

"Why didn't he tell me about you?"

"I don't know, maybe I'm his favorite niece?" Fifi says, shrugging, but not even trying to look innocent now either.

That makes Ralph seethe. Fiona is trying to make a rival out of her, that's what this is. A Cape trainer to beat, a Gonder to beat, to show that the Accoras really are better and that Safari Academy is better.

Well, she's picked the wrong cousin for that.

"Maybe," Ralph shrugs and yawns even wider. "Can I have my room alone now? Tired as brick."

Cousin Fifi reacts predictably, with annoyance at Ralph's apathy, but recovers quickly.

"Of course. Can I see you for breakfast in the morning though? 7 o'clock? We simply must catch up. I think we have, oh, a full decade to cover?"

"That'll be fast," Ralph murmurs. 7 was at least not 5; somehow she's glad that even someone who seems to be as ambitious as her Safari counterpart is still not as crazy as Jordan and Casey. "Sure, see you then."

The smile is back on Fifi's face when she leaves.

Two minutes later, Ralph is out cold, not even brushing her teeth or undressing. The egg makes for a cuddle partner as sleep takes her at long last.


Dragon

lover of milotics

Age 28
Male
Viridian City
Seen 58 Minutes Ago
Posted 4 Hours Ago
11,080 posts
7.9 Years


The Darkness

There was nothing anywhere. Nothing at all... but darkness.

She did know where she was, or even where she was standing. Then, she felt her lungs giving out. She clenched her throat - she could barely breathe. She hastily thought, was there no air? It was then she saw it.

A great fire that luminated the darkness. And caused great destruction. She was above, seeing below: people running for their lives. Then all at once, a sudden flash of colours swirling in... and a gigantic bird. Last thing she knew it, the scenery was surrounded by a harsh light.

And then she woke up.





Ichika

"aszzzzhajk??"

The trainer, Ichika, found herself awake, even drooling a bit from a sudden nap, leaned over to the desk she was working on. She was writing drafts on a notebook what it seemed like a new entry of her blog, titled: Being Friends with Pokemon isn't Worth it. She was keeping herself awake, wiping off the drool from her mouth. Her arm then throbbed, causing her to clench it on reflex. But, she ever really minded this, as she then thought, perhaps the arm thing was her arm getting restless from her dozing off. Her more pressing thought was, it was odd that dream of her was: nothing but darkness, a great fire, and... colourful lights. When she had finally collected herself, her device started to ring. She looked over to it.

StarGuardian_99
hey yooooo!

StarGuardian_99
just checking on you!


Ah, Ichika knew who this was. No more rest for the weary, it was time to reply.

ホウオウ
Hm? I just woke up from a nap...

StarGuardian_99
whoops! did I wake you?

ホウオウ
No, I woke just before your message. I probably shouldn't be sleeping when I'm trying to blog, anyway.

StarGuardian_99
ooooo! i remember you were on that for a good while! what's it about??

ホウオウ
It's not worth it becoming friends with your Pokémon.

StarGuardian_99
eh?

ホウオウ
That's my blog.

StarGuardian_99
idk Ichika... well, speaking of which, don't you think you're kinda too harsh towards your own Pokémon?


Ichika took a brief sigh. She was with her Pokémon with a good while now. With her accomplishments over the last couple of weeks, defeating trainer and Gym Leader alike, her idealism of a Pokémon trainer became different from the usual norm. Pokémon friendship... bonds... she felt ideals like that skewed oneself of trainer responsibility. But despite this, and probably as expected, she was criticized for having such an opinion. It was time to set the record straight, is what she thought.

ホウオウ
I wonder about that.

StarGuardian_99
what do you mean?

ホウオウ
I will say this first of all: everyone is free to have their own opinions about Pokémon. If they believe that Pokémon can fill the void in their heart by announcing them as friends and companions for us to lean on, they're more than welcome to do so. But to that end, I question, what is friendship to them? Do they not question how valid their friendship towards their Pokémon, as they command them to perform attack moves against other Pokémon? Would you command your friend to hurt other Pokémon? Or have your own friend hurt, because you were eager enough to have a battle with your rivals? And I feel in turn, Pokémon naturally don't question the validity of these commands because they're not like people in this regard.

StarGuardian_99
well...

ホウオウ
The mainstream media might not report admit to this so easily, but do you know how many Pokémon die per year? Well, how many of those deaths were the cause of a trainer's incompetence? Is that what a friend does to another? Perhaps from an outside view, the way I treat my Pokémon can make it seem like we don't have any teamwork or a lack of trust in some regard. Maybe I think too independently from my Pokémon, and drive them to push hard to help achieve my goals, causing them to act more like tools for my benefit. That can be a problem.

StarGuardian_99
mhm.

ホウオウ
But... what does "teamwork" really mean, between a Pokémon and their master, anyway? Is it about, believing in a Pokémon's potential, to overcome obstacles, no matter the odds? There are some people who believe in that, but to me, that just sounds like kids playing around. I believe, both trainer and Pokémon should do what they can in a given battle. If one Pokémon fails, the next one comes in, and the trainer tells it, "The last one did what they could. Now it's your turn. And you better get the job done!" Isn't that how teamwork first comes about? When I think about things that way, I think the best thing I can do for my Pokémon, is toughen them up to take on roles when their co-fighters can't.

ホウオウ
That's why, I think, people who are too quick on calling their Pokémon "friends", have to acknowledge what their putting their "friends" through, and the emotional baggage they bring on to themselves whenever things don't go their way. For me, it's not worth the trouble. Instead, I chose to be responsible for them as a master would. I want my Pokémon to be strong and independent, not having to fall back upon a clutch called "friendship". Anything else would be a disservice to them, I think.

StarGuardian_99
oh...

ホウオウ
I'm sorry, I'm rambling on. My main ideas I think I'll be able to flesh them out better, in time. But, I hope where I'm coming from makes sense.

StarGuardian_99
it's a lot to think about, but, at least it doesn't hurt, ahaha

StarGuardian_99
oh, btw! I and a few other of the fan club members saw some classmates in action against hana!

ホウオウ
Ah yes, the Gym Leader. And? How did they do?

StarGuardian_99
well ummmm, Gwen and Vera lost iirc. i guess the rumors were true, huh? Hana is a pretty darn good water type trainer!

ホウオウ
Or perhaps they were too cocky and not prepared enough. Were the rankings updated yet?

StarGuardian_99
nah, they're waiting for more people to try their luck against her, i think. speaking of which, you totally should try too! oh! and myself, hehe

ホウオウ
I don't really have much experience battling against Water-types, though... And they are really tough Pokémon indeed; they say that water can be adaptable to any situation, making Water-type Pokémon very versatile in offense and defense. I can't really fault Vera and Gwen for fighting against a tough challenge, but I hope they don't take just take the one loss and don't learn form it.

StarGuardian_99
oh! speaking of Vera! iiii got some tea for ya! you know cjv?

ホウオウ
What?

StarGuardian_99
ah, sorry, there's shippers in the club, y'know? and the ship name kinda stuck. It's Casey, Vera and Jordan. anyway! get this! someone said they had a spat about... er something, but couldn't get much detail in.

ホウオウ
I just find this so mystifying. Those three are smart people, but when they're together it's like they're Magneton: they don't get any smarter, and they share one brain cell!

StarGuardian_99
ahaha! don't say that!

ホウオウ
Anyway, I let my Pokémon play for a bit, but they should be back soon. And when they do, I'll do some more training, hopefully against some trainers with Water-type Pokémon...

StarGuardian_99
well, you're in luck! cuz' there's someone who's really strong with water-types in this city! they say he won against Beaumont with nothing but Water-type pokemon too!

ホウオウ
That's quite a feat, defeating Electric-types with Water-types...

StarGuardian_99
their name's Akira. they're from the academy too - and they've put them on the Great Ball Rank, same as you! they say Akira's been beating the pants off of other people with Water-type pokemon cuz they want to be the best Water-type trainer around, and so, i think they're planning on beating Hana next. haaaaah, can't wait to see that!

ホウオウ
Huh, ever since joining the Club, you're really into this trainer info gathering, thing!

StarGuardian_99
hehe, of course! I'm multi-talented you know? entertainer, singer, aaaaaand budding detective! plus, ngl, Akira's kinda cool! a lot of fans are starting to like em'. so buddy, if you ever want some insights, come anytime! i'll let you witness... star guardian Noel's third eye!

ホウオウ
I'll keep that in mind. See ya, Noel.

ホウオウ
∧ ∧
( •ω•)づ ∧ pat pat
(つ  / (•ω•)
しーJ ( nn )ノ


Right on time, sounds were echoing through the inn room; her own Pokémon came crawling and running in. The first was her Buneary, who stood proudly upright. The next was her Bagon, baring her fangs, to chomp down her next foe. Paras and Electrike came on together, and Magikarp who flopped around from behind, but was intelligent enough to stand upright when she came. Lastly... her Kirlia. Ichika's first, and strongest Pokémon. With a brilliant flash of light, her Kirlia had arrived via her power of teleportation, giving her master a polite bow. With a nod, Ichika stood up.

"Akira, huh.... looks like I found my new blog entry, fufufufu..."

Spoiler:
Special Items:
- Pokédex
- Pokégear


Gyms battled:
- Lavender (official): victory
- Lavender (unofficial): victory


---------------------
Pokémon on hand:

Kirlia Lv 27
Female gender . Kirlia species
Mystical Fire, Confusion, Teleport, Hypnosis, Psybeam, Double Team

Buneary Lv 26
Female gender . Buneary species
Defense Curl, After You, Quick Attack, Double Kick, Charm, Pound

Bagon Lv 24
Female gender . Bagon species
Ember, Bite, Dragon Breath, Headbutt, Leer, Scary Face

Paras Lv 16
Male gender . Paras species
Scratch, Stun Spore, Poison Powder, Absorb

Elektrike Lv 18
Male gender . Electrike species
Tackle, Thunderwave, Howl, Shock Wave, Leer

Magikarp Lv 18
Female gender . Magikarp species
Splash, Tackle, Bubble, Flail



"Let the fools who stand before me be destroyed by the power you and I possess...
DRAGON SLAVE!"

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 2 Hours Ago
Posted 19 Hours Ago
Casey Holt, Jordan Springs, Vera Hill
Monday, May 27, 2019 // Afternoon, Day 8
Vermillion City
8-07. keep me warm

Spoiler: i've got my love to keep me warm - idina menzel

Now that Casey's fully dry, he can actually tell: the heat of the day has passed, but no warmth has lingered in Vermilion. Not even the thermoregulating sea is keeping the frosty mist from creeping across the harbor- in fact, the harbor seems colder than the rest of the city. Casey shivers, and halfway wishes Pepper was still small enough to drape around his neck. The ambient heat around his legs will do, though. Quite apart from all their other Pokémon not tolerating the cold, they'd figured it would be better not to look like trainers- not to look like a gym leader had sent them, since these people refused her before. But Pepper had given him big, sad eyes about being put away, and Casey had relented.

Casey has questions about the gym leader's plea, ones that Vera can't answer, and he's not going to settle for not knowing. But for the cold, he'll settle for tugging his friends and his Pokémon just a little closer.

Soon enough, they're confronted with a gate- hastily closed but still slightly ajar, and nervously patrolled by a skinny young man in a uniform. A posted sign says "Authorized Personnel Only When Closed", which presumably means… not them. It's probably just to keep people out of the way while they use heavy machinery they use to unload and load ships. But they're still not the people who do that, so they're not just going to be able to walk right in, especially since this guy looks like he's taking his job very seriously. Casey murmurs a suggestion of finding another way in, but a quick wander of the perimeter only turns up tall fences.

"This skinny one is easy," Casey says, slapping the horizontal wooden slats spanning a tiny alley between two buildings. "We can just climb it, c'mon."

He's already halfway up before the protests begin. "We absolutely can not climb it!" Vera looks at the fence towering over her head. "It's like twenty feet tall, there's no way I can get up there!"

Casey leans back, twisting to look down at her. "Sure you can. Just like climbing a ladder! 'Cept your footholds are harder to find. And sometimes there's not any. Anyway, 's only fifteen at best."

"Oh, fifteen, got it. In that case… it's still too tall!" Vera scowls at the fence, crossing her arms and refusing to try. Pepper mimics her stance, huffing out a breath.

“Yeah, come on - get back down here,” Jordan pleads, evidently taking her side. “Gonna be a lot harder to investigate if one of us falls and breaks our neck.”

Casey relents, kicking off the wall and dropping down with a thud. "Fine. But this's the easiest way in we've seen, so what else you got?"

Jordan peers back around to where the skinny guard is. “Well, the gate’s technically open…” He scratches his head. “You know that episode where Frogadier uses her Smokescreen to distract the uncooperative stagehands so that Detective Greedent could get past them and investigate backstage?”

"You know I don't do fiction," Casey says, at the same time as Vera's blunt "No idea what that is."

“Oh. Hm.” Jordan looks slightly embarrassed. “Okay, well, as I was saying, there’s a Frogadier that uses Smokescreen to- anyway, the point is, one of us could distract the guard so the rest of us can just sneak past.”

"Oh. You coulda just said." Jordan lets out an exasperated sigh and rolls his eyes at Casey. "Who's the most distracting out of us?"

Wordlessly, Jordan and Vera both turn their gazes toward Casey. He laughs. "Yeah, okay! Convenient, since I'm the only one who can climb over anyway. Alright, let's... y'all circle wide- Pepper, go with- and I'll march right up, right?"

March right up he does, calling to the guard after the other three split off. Eyes on me, buddy.

"Hey there," Casey says, once he's within normal conversation distance of the lone uniformed guard. "How's it goin?"

"Um, this area is for authorized personnel only!" the guard says. Casey isn't bothered. The man's clearly nervous about something, and that means it'll be easy to keep him talking. Nerves don't let people think.

"Oh, yeah, totally get that. But what's all this for, y'know?" Casey makes sure to gesture to the right and- yep, the shorter man's eyes track that motion, falling even further from the left side, where Jordan and Vera are approaching. He takes a few steps back and to the right while gazing up at the warehouse walls, and the guard instinctively follows the conversation. Good. "I'm new in Vermilion; was just takin' a walk and ended up over here, then I couldn't walk any further! So what's this? And does it usually get this cold?"

The last question is something he's been personally mulling over, rather than an attempt at light but uninteresting conversation. But apparently the young man has much to say about it.

"Um, no, not at all, and it's- I'm worried!" Casey tilts his head at the vehemence. "Well, this is part of the shipyard and docks, and I went out there earlier, before everyone else got called to check out the explosion- and even the sea is freezing! Moving salt water, freezing? In May? No, this is wrong. And terrible, it really is."

"Terrible for what? The ships?" Casey's hand comes up to stroke his chin in a show of thoughtfulness. The man's eyes follow. Distract with motion, okay. His friends are sidling up to the wall left of the gate, but he doesn't allow his eyes to linger on them. He stretches, exaggerated motions, and clasps his hands behind his head despite the air rapidly cooling the patch of skin where his shirt rides up.

"What?" The man seems momentarily distracted, for some reason. "I mean- um- no, the ships are fine. The ice is pretty thin, they can just plow right into it. Um."

The guy's spacing out again, a light dusting of red on his cheeks. Casey's sure his look the same- the cold is starting to get to him. He drops his arms and sticks his hands back in his pockets, shuffling his feet a bit. Casey only allows the silence for a beat- he can't risk the man glancing in the wrong direction, even if Pepper's tail is currently rounding a corner on the other side of the gate. They're in. "So, uh, what's the ice terrible for, if it ain't the ships?"

"Oh- yes. The marine life, of course. All the Pokémon that live in and around the harbor, they're all going to be affected by this sudden change in temperature. Most of them can live through the cold, of course, but a lot of them either migrate or go into a stasis mode overwinter, and this might trigger those instincts and completely screw up their patterns- is this funny to you?!"

"Uh." Casey cuts off his own laughter. "No, no, sorry- I was just, y'know. Struck. Didn't think a gate guard would sound like a marine biologist."

"Oh. Well." The man quickly loses his fight and his shoulders slump. "I'm studying to be, actually. This is just a temporary thing, for some pocket money. I wanted to be by the sea." A gentle smile spreads across his lips, but his eyes have a faraway look to them. "It's majestic, don't you think? And breathtaking, and unknowable, even with the best technology we have at the moment- I know I'm meant to be out there, figuring it all out."

Huh. He's met people like this, of course. People who seem to know their destiny, people who are so drawn to something they can't bear to stay away. It's amazing, their unwavering and endless passion for one specific thing.

Casey himself has never felt that.

"Ah- sorry, that's a bit much, isn't it?" The man laughs ruefully.

"No, no! I love that." Casey is absolutely sincere about that. "It's- it's gorgeous, that kind of passion. I'm glad you have it!"

"Gorgeous?" the man repeats, and his face flashes red, like Jordan's does when he tries to talk to girls. Oh, right, Jordan's waiting now- I'm s'posed to be gettin' out of this conversation.

"Nobody's ever called me… Um! I- I like your beard a lot, by the way!"

"Huh? Oh, thanks!" Casey preens, just a little bit. "I had a moustache, but I didn't like that very much. Was kind of worried that it looked unbalanced without it, though."

"Well…" the man gathers his courage and stands up as tall as he can. Still shorter than Casey. "Well, I'd- I'd like to see that someday! Then I can tell which is better. So- uh- here!" He fumbles his phone out of his pocket. "Take my number. Call me sometime, okay? Oh- oh my god, I never even introduced myself- I'm Tristan. Um. What's your name?"

"Nice to meet ya, Tristan, I'm Casey!" They take a quiet moment to enter information, confirming numbers and posing cheerfully (Casey) and nervously (Tristan) for contact photos. Casey almost slips his phone away, but- good excuse to split, use it. An exaggerated double-take does the trick. "Oh muk, is that really the time? Sorry, I gotta run- was supposed to meet some friends for lunch! Thanks for the conversation! See ya 'round!"

Tristan waves goodbye as Casey jogs away, back to his chosen entry point around the corner, breath puffing in clouds around his face. He peeks through the gaps in the boards and sure enough, his friends are peering back.

“The hell took you so long?” Jordan asked. “We were starting to get worried. Did he seem… I don’t know, suspicious or anything?”

"Oh, nah, Tristan's cool." Casey motions for them to step back as he climbs, still talking. "He's not much older'n us, just doin' the gate thing for some extra cash. Wants to be a marine biologist, this's closest he could get at the moment. Kinda sucks. Hey, move back- thanks." Casey drops to the ground easily. "He gave me his number f'r some reason. Said he likes my beard? Which is nice, nobody else seems to appreciate it." He sniffs with an exaggerated air of being put out.

Jordan stares at him as he speaks, dumbfounded. “You got his whole life story in- nevermind, we can probably use that skill in a minute here to get info outta people.” He steps back and stands next to Vera, evaluating Casey’s face. “I don’t know. What do you think about the beard?”

Vera shrugs, not giving Casey's face a second glance. "I've seen better, but it's his first beard."

Casey scrubs his chin with both hands. "See you grow a better one," he huffs.

Vera raises an eyebrow at that. "I can't. Do you see any hair here?" She smirks as she gestures to her face.

"Nah, that's right." Stop poking the Beartic! admonishes one part of his brain, but on the other hand: Vera's fun to rile, and he mentally throws his hands in the air as the rollercoaster dives down the track. "White hair don't even show up, 's worse than blonde. Surprised you don't look bald at the scalp."

"Bald!?" Vera looks shocked, then angry, grasping at her hair. "At least I can actually grow mine out, instead of just letting it sit in a messy pile on top! It doesn’t look cool! It just looks untidy!"

"C'mon now, Jordan's doesn't look bad at all!" Casey teases gleefully.

"Wait, no, I wasn’t talking about… I mean, I wouldn't say… I mean!" She looks away from them both, but Casey catches her face going red as Jordan instinctively reaches up to smooth his hair down along the grain.

“Hey, at least I actually take care of my hair,” Jordan protests. “Kind of. Anyway, the investigation, guys?”

"Right!" Casey claps his hands together, but even just his usual enthusiasm is too much for cold fingers and he ends up rubbing them together for warmth. And to stop the stinging. "Oh-kay, now, don't try to be sneaky. Lookin' sneaky gets you in trouble, 'cause then people think you don't belong. If we act like we belong, nobody's gonna ask questions."

“Right, makes sense.” Jordan pauses. “How- how do you know this? Do we want to know?”

"I dunno, do you?" Casey's list of places he's confidently wandered into is long, and now probably isn't the time to go into detail. "I've been places, y'know? It usually works out."

"He has a point." Vera concedes, leaning in closer to Pepper for warmth. "If people see someone walking with purpose, they ignore them. If they hesitate, people take notice. They ask questions. They think 'what's she doing here, is she lost? Can I help her?' And then they make a scene when… well, you get the idea."

Casey wonders how many times Vera has snuck into places she doesn't belong, but noise and movement in the distance catches his attention before he can ask.

"There's people that way. I think? Hard to tell in this weird snow-fog."

There are, in fact, people, but not as many as he thought at first- Machamp may be humanoid, but they don't count as "people to talk to". So the few assisting in moving giant crates are ignored as Casey makes a beeline to a figure that looks as if they are directing the scene.

"'Scuse me," he calls. The broad-shouldered woman looks up from her clipboard, brow furrowed.

"What, more demands?" she snaps, then does a double-take. "Oh. Teenagers. How'd you get in here? Are you lost? If you're not, you should get lost. Ahaha. Seriously, though, we don't have time for any nonsense. Scram."

Casey doesn't let a frown slip onto his face, not yet. But being stonewalled right off the bat isn't ideal. "It's cool, we just had a few questions, won't take hardly any time, really-"

"Gate's that way." She jams a thumb over her shoulder, eyes glued to her clipboard. "I don't have time for you."

"She doesn't know anything, I told you she didn't look important." Vera sounds slightly more arrogant than usual. Casey blinks. Where's she going with this? "We need to find someone in charge, not their assistant."

"Assistant?! Little girl, I'm the on-duty supervisor for this section, so if you're not getting something from me, you won't be getting it at all!"

"Well thank you for agreeing to help us, then!" It probably would sound more genuine if Vera didn't raise her voice to match the supervisor's. Casey reaches to the side and links his pinkie with hers. Chill out, he wants to say, bein' antagonistic gets you nowhere.

"I said I didn't have time for you, do you not listen? Go." She turns abruptly and stalks over to a pair of Machamp to give them orders. Vera follows, slipping her hand free of Casey's, and the other three have no choice but to hurry after her.

"Hey! Don't just walk away from me!" Vera marches right up to the supervisor, closer than a casual conversation would allow. "If you're the only one who'll give me answers, then I demand answers!"

"What part of 'leave' didn't you get? Get out of here, kid."

"Not until you talk to me." Vera crosses her arms defiantly, also preventing Casey from taking her hand again. He tsks.

"Ugh." The woman runs a gloved hand down her face. "Fine, since you won't leave- what do you want?"

Vera grins triumphantly, but it's short lived as realization seems to dawn on her. "Um… Casey, go ahead and ask your questions."

Wait, hey, this is YOUR thing, I thought YOU were gonna do the talking! "Uh, well, you see, we… we talked it over, and, uh, Jordan- Jordan remembers what we were gonna ask, right?" Casey gives up and nudges Jordan. "Right?"

Jordan looks at the woman like a deer in headlights, but manages to somewhat compose himself and contribute. “Um, uh?” Well, barely. “Y-yeah, so we were wondering if… you know, you noticed anything weird… any weird stuff, lately, that is.”

The supervisor raises an eyebrow, but before she makes a real attempt at answering a horn beeps twice and a truck pulls up next to her, tired-looking driver leaning casually out the window.

"These need a home, too. More on the way."

The supervisor throws up her hands, clipboard narrowly missing both Vera and the man in the truck. Vera ducks, looking between the two adults as the woman starts yelling. "How many more?! This is insane, this is too much, I'm supposed to be off all week and they drag me in for- for what? Bullmuk!"

"Tell me about it," the truck man says, gently pushing her clipboard down. "Actually, don't, I don't need to hear my own thoughts coming outta your mouth. Email the Foundation, I'm sure they'll care so much about how we all have to put in all this extra work in this freakish cold because of their "change of plans", or whatever they're calling it."

"I'll psyduckin' do it, watch me," the woman grumbles, gesturing to the Machamp, who begin unloading the truck.

"Sure, sure," the man sighs, leaning back in his seat and tugging his beanie over his eyes. "Wake me up when they're done."

"You hear that?" Casey whispers. "Sounds like weird stuff t'me." Jordan nods subtly, brows furrowed.

Vera leans in closer to the supervisor, trying to get a better look at the clipboard, but has to quickly step back as the woman turns, almost getting smacked again. "What was that all about? Trouble with the Foundation?"

"Oh, you have no idea, they're out here pushing their way up the queue and having us clear space and we're still trying to compensate, I don't know-" the supervisor hesitates, eyes flashing across their group, and snaps her mouth shut. "I don't know why I'm telling company business to three kids and a lizard."

Pepper looks offended, though it's more likely because of the scathing tone than being called a lizard. "Oh, we don't mind; it's interesting to know what people's jobs are really like!" Casey tries, but the supervisor has made up her mind once more.

"Other people mind. Now, get out of the way. More trucks are coming in."

Their group gets shoo'd away, then they scramble to get out of the way as the foretold trucks begin arriving, each laden with miscellaneous cargo. Casey facilitates by catching Vera's elbow and steering her away from what very well could be a potential fight. It's easy to angle their escape back toward the gate but slip aside once the supervisor is distracted and huddle together behind a stack of pallets, with Pepper in the middle as their portable space heater.

“Well, that’s… something, right?” Jordan asks, hands hovering over the Charmeleon’s tail. “Do we report back with what we have?”

"And say what, that some 'Foundation' is making a lot of deliveries?" Vera grumps, her expression softening as she scratches under Pepper’s chin. "We need more than just half of a name, we need evidence."

"We don't even know what we're lookin' for evidence of. What d'you want me to do, talk to everyone in the place an' hope they happen to mention something?" It's not a bad idea, but even Casey is getting pretty cold out here. And that's getting on his nerves, along with the fact that Vera came in here with no apparent plan whatsoever.

“Maybe people closer to our age will be easier to talk to. Like, uh, Tristan, right?” Jordan offers.

"Yeah, maybe a supervisor was a bad choice," Casey muses. "Too invested in their job, right? Let's find some friendly people."

It's a good bet to head to where the trucks are coming from- they find themselves in a mess of boxes and pallets and hectic activity, bundled-up workers doing their best not to slip as they load up truck beds and move boxes in some kind of organized chaos. There are a few people scribbling on clipboards here and there, but none that seem to be as "in charge" as the supervisor from the previous area.

"Okay, still actin' casual," Casey says. "But- gotta have a plan. Vera, you're no good at talkin' to people. See if you can get a clipboard and look busy, just listen. Pepper, go with Vera, you can't lift stuff so people will ask questions if you're with me 'cause Jordan, you 'n' me are doin' work. Show off your big strong muscles for the ladies out here."

“I’m working on ‘em,” Jordan huffs, pinching his right bicep a little. “But yeah, lead the way.”

Vera frowns at Casey's words, but shrugs after a moment's thought. "Fine. I'll see what I can find. Come on, Pepper."

The two pairs split from each other as they stride into the work zone, Vera vanishing into an office while Casey and Jordan integrate themselves into a group of people loading boxes into a truck.

"Hey, backup has arrived!" Casey announces cheerfully. Relief shows plain on the three faces, and one of them slaps him on the shoulder as they hurry off to "finally" take a break, leaving Casey and Jordan with a young man and woman who give them a quick rundown of the task at hand. It's just moving stuff, as expected, walking back and forth from the pallets and passing boxes up to their new coworkers in the truck bed.

"Can't believe the Foundation would do this t' us, y'know?" Casey shakes his head as he slides a box onto the tailgate. The woman tilts her head, but the man groans loudly.

"Oh don't get me started," he complains. "Half of us are in on our day off, we're not working with anyone we know, the whole system's been thrown outta wack, just because they needed a whole warehouse at like, two in the morning!"

"A whole warehouse? These things are huge, what the heck do they need that much space for?" Legitimate curiosity colors his question, which is helpful- being genuine gets you places, after all.

"Beats me," the woman answers, as Casey heads back for his next box, nodding to Jordan along the way. Jordan barely acknowledges him as he focuses on carrying the one he’d picked up. "Worst part is that we were nearly done moving stuff, almost had it all sorted, and then- boom!"

“Boom?” Jordan wheezes out as he holds out the box. Shoulda come lifting with me more, huh? Casey thinks at him, smugly. “Careful, it’s kinda heavy-”

"Yeah, that's about what we heard over here," the man laughs shortly.

"It's not funny, it means we have to find new places for more muk" the woman says, elbowing him out of the way so she can take Jordan's box with ease, ignoring his warning. "It was an explosion, or something, by one of the other warehouses."

“Wh- any idea what’s doing that?” Jordan asks as the woman points him towards another pallet. Casey suddenly recalls glossing over Tristan's mention of an explosion. Maybe he should've pursued that further...

The man scoffs, and Casey has to nudge the box further into the truck to get his attention. "As if we're told anything! Just "stay here, do your work, don't tell anyone which warehouse the Foundation is using". As if, one, it's not obvious, but two, we'd go around telling all our friends about the exact details of every damn shipment. What do they think we do in our spare time?"

"Obviously work, work, and more work," the woman snorts. Casey and Jordan laugh along with the man. "Even if we weren't getting a little bonus for this, I still wouldn't be going around talking like that."

"Oh, you're getting a bonus? They didn't tell us anything about that when we came in here," Casey complains. Hopefully his acting isn't too over the top, but it's not like he can ask Jordan, even as they brush shoulders passing each other by. Casey's more used to melodrama, not acting believably, and Jordan knows what that looks like from him. But they're within earshot of their "coworkers", so all he does is gently tilt his head and look for any subtle clue on Jordan's face, which is puffy, red and betrays nothing but mild pain and discomfort until he sets down his box. Casey wasn’t even sure if he heard him, but he slips into character as he composes himself.

“Well, it must be that warehouse, huh?” Jordan dusts off his hands and sighs. “That’s really too bad, lord knows we need a bonus.”

"Oh, dude, don't we all. Here, tell the super that you know which warehouse it is- B-17, down thataway-" The woman points past the work zone, closer to the sea itself. "Be slick about it and get that cash, right?"

Casey grins widely- not for the promise of cash, obviously, but for the best information he could have hoped for. "Thanks!"

Soon enough, and with some less vitally important chatter, fifteen minutes have gone by and the other worker makes their way back from break, looking far less sour than they had and carrying canned drinks for the four still working. Casey and Jordan accept theirs with a "cheers!" and head off- allegedly, to give another team a break, but really to collect Vera and Pepper.

Casey turns the can over in his hand. The label says "Sparkling Liechi" in a big, cheerful font and he makes a face. "What'd you get?"

Jordan grimaces, rolling his left shoulder back. “A pulled muscle, maybe. What’d you say this was, a quadricep? Or is that the one in your leg-”

"Prob'ly your tricep, I can show you stretches later-" Casey shakes his head. "You really shoulda done workouts with me, I told you. Didn't I? But I was talking about your drink, obviously. I don't want this carbonation."

“Oh, um.” Jordan looks down and spins the can around to show him the label. “Morning Orange. It’s zesty. Still carbonated, though. I’ll have that if you don’t want it.”

"You shouldn't have two," Casey sniffs. "That's crazy sugar! Vera can have it."

Jordan shrugs, taking a sip from his can. “Fine. Speaking of, where is she?” He craned his neck, scanning the area.

Casey hums a note, scanning near where he'd last seen her. If he hadn't remembered what Vera's outerwear looked like, he probably would have just skimmed right over her- she actually blends in pretty well, having added a white hard hat to her ensemble and hiding her face under her scarf.

Despite her supposed goal of listening in, she's actually nowhere near any other workers. Instead, she's half hidden by some shipping containers, intensely focused on drawing on her stolen clipboard. A flickering light emanates from the ajar container next to her, a subtle clue to Pepper’s position.

As Casey approaches, Vera nods at her clipboard, tearing off the top sheet and folding it up. "Got ya somethin'," he says in her ear.

"Oh, sh-!" Vera yelps in surprise, her hands going into her pockets as she pushes herself away from the wall.

"Dammit, Casey!" She pulls her scarf away from her face, her mouth set in an angry line as she catches her breath. "Don't sneak up on me like that, what's wrong with you? You gave me a heart attack!"

"Sorry, sorry," Casey laughs, scratching Pepper's neck when the Charmeleon pops his head out of the crate. It's nice to be close to his little heat source again. "Have a soda, we're goin' for a walk. There's a warehouse we gotta see."

"You guys found something?" Vera follows behind, opening her soda and cursing as it fizzes over, the spilled beverage freezing within moments of hitting the ground. "...this is terrible."

"Yeah, a huge something.” Jordan replies, narrowly moving his foot out of the way of the spillage. “The Foundation's got a whole warehouse over here, and we know which one it is." He rubs his hands together, probably because of the cold, but paired with his enthusiasm for the news he was relaying, he also looks a little like a cartoon villain. "B-17... Come on, this way."

The B block of warehouses, unlike the D block where they had been working, is weirdly empty. It's almost concerning, the lack of activity, with the unnerving silence only broken by the gentle crash and cracking of the frozen sea. The cold fog is still but for their puffing breath, and the ice under their feet is slick enough to slow their pace to a shuffle. Or a slide, when Casey feels like playing. He almost wishes he had his skates- or, really, has skates that fit him. Voicing this thought only gets him an annoyed ‘shush’ from the determined Jordan and a disinterested "Hmph" from Vera. He sighs and focuses on checking numbers again. They're just past B-15, following the icy road as it curves around B-16.

And they quickly retrace their steps when they get a good look ahead.

"I'm not even tryin' to talk to those guys," Casey mutters, as they peek around the corner once more.

B-17 is guarded.

A few individuals circle the warehouse as they watch, but at least five others stand at attention at the barricaded entry to the building. Not that the barricades seem necessary, considering the thick coating of ice holding the main doors in place. The whole building is similarly covered, and Casey wonders why. Even the frozen haze in the air is thicker here, which is super weird. It makes it hard to see the figures clearly, even as close as they are.

“Sh-should we get closer and get a better look?” Jordan asks, but there was a shaky uncertainty in his voice.

"I think we've seen enough." Vera shivers, unable to keep her teeth from chattering. "Is it just me, or is it colder suddenly?"

Casey only now realizes he can't feel his ears, and reaches up to check that they're still attached. "Thought it was just 'cause we stopped moving…"

But it's not. Even Pepper whines, and when Casey looks he is shuffling in place, feet no longer thawing through the thick ice and tail flame starting to dim. "Ooh, buddy," Casey cooes, hefting the Charmeleon into his arms. Sharing that heat makes the cold bearable again.

Not that Jordan and Vera have that luxury.

Jordan glances between Casey holding his Pokémon, and the shivering girl. “Y’know,” He starts, inching closer. “Human body heat’s no Charmeleon, but it’s better than nothing…”

Vera shoots him a bemused look, but seems to reconsider as a stray breeze makes her shiver even more. "Yeah, fine. You have a point. Come here." She nestles up close to Jordan, letting him put his arms around her. He looks pleasantly surprised, but mostly surprised, that that worked.

Casey and Pepper watch this with the same amount of surprise, but Casey's is more fixated on the fact that Vera of all people not only agreed to affectionate physical contact, but very nearly instigated it. But he lets a grin slip onto his face. This is good, he thinks. This is nice.

However, it is also freezing, and he has a duty to uphold: a duty to be Jordan's personal menace.

"So, uh," he coughs, letting his grin turn into more of a leer. "Hate to break up the snuggle squad, but we don't actually have to hang out at the docks anymore."

Jordan glares at Casey as Vera quickly, but not roughly, pushes away from him. "Right! Nothing more to see here! Let's get out of here before we freeze!"

Casey stifles his giggles and ushers them ahead, a complicated maneuver when one has an armful of Charmeleon. It's quick enough work to leave through the main gate, Casey ducking his head so as not to be recognized by Tristan.

They're all looking forward to thawing out in the damp heat of Vermilion Gym.

Pepper Bomb • Charmeleon • lv37 | Ginger • Buneary • lv36 | Parsley • Skiddo • lv34
Casey's Profile | Jordan's's Profile | Vera's Profile | Extra Characters | TRAINERS Art | Current Chapter






Dragon

lover of milotics

Age 28
Male
Viridian City
Seen 58 Minutes Ago
Posted 4 Hours Ago
11,080 posts
7.9 Years


Past Struggles

"Ah, Ichika! Thanks for coming by." This was a previous conversation that Ichika had remembered with the good Professor Palm. She was in the Professor's office in the college, after a request from the Professor to come speak with them for a while. Ichika was calmly sitting cross-legged, meeting the Professor's warm, comfortable gaze. "Well, first, thanks for coming! I know you must of been busy, but thanks for giving me your time."

Ichika nodded, but with no verbal reply. "Now then..." The Professor turned his tone into something more concerned. "Are you sure you want to become a trainer?"

"What?" Ichika asked with a puzzled look. "What are you talking about?"

"Well.. how can I say this," The Professor explained, his hands neatly clasped together on his desk. "The first day that you've been here, you wanted to become a trainer when you get your license, correct? And back then, you had a glimmer in your eyes, something that can't be replaced, and something that even I had admired! But, when time went by, and when you study or apply some trainer concepts, you don't seem as adaptable on learning compared with the other students..." Ichika turned away, rubbing her right arm in discomfort. "You know Ichika, you don't have to become a trainer who battles when you get your license. You have good knowledge about Pokemon - perhaps you can consider becoming a ranger? Or a coordinator? Perhaps someone of your strengths can find an easier time learning concepts about those--"

"I-I know that! I know studying isn't my strong suit," Ichika blurted out. "Especially whenever I get home, and my parents remark with something like, I wish you were like your sister. But still!" She gazed at the Professor with her determined, fiery eyes. "I can do it! The challenge for a trainer to find their own strength was something that my sister wasn't able to do! That's why my sister took the easy way and became a breeder. But..."

"Becoming a breeder is an admirable feat," The Professor explained. "There's nothing wrong with that."

"I want to become a Professional trainer, battling and travelling the world," Ichika told him, standing up from her seat. "I want it more than anything, sir. "

"Hmm... why is that, now?"

"Because I want to become a worthy trainer for Ho-oh!"

"Ho-oh?" The Professor eye's lit up.

"Ho-oh wasn't found for centuries, but it's said that one day, it will appear itself again in front of a worthy trainer, and those who see Ho-Oh are promised an eternal happiness," Ichika gave a excitable smile. "And, I think that trainer can become me! Maybe a slim chance, but, I wanna believe, and prove the legend is real! I know it won't be easy, especially for me, but, nothing worth doing is ever really easy in this world, right? Anyway, thank you for your concern, but I will be fine, and if I keep at it, I think I'll improve. Now, if you will excuse me... I've got more work to do."

Ichika gave a bow, as she left the room, closing the door behind her. The Professor looked on, giving a small smile. "Nothing worth doing is easy, huh?"


Present Struggles

Ichika, now at Vermillion, clenched one of her Pokeballs. Looking back, I wonder why the Professor suggested me all that. She thought to herself. Did he really want me to consider something more suited to my strengths because I was struggling with the trainer concept in college? Or... could it be that deep down, he thinks that the title of "Professional Trainer", one who travels to gain fame and wealth through strength and skill with their Pokemon; maybe that passion is losing interest in this modern world in general? Meeting some students from College made me think that way too sometimes, but, hm...

She then shook her head. I'm probably overthinking things. Gotta find Akira.

Spoiler:
Special Items:
- Pokédex
- Pokégear


Gyms battled:
- Lavender (official): victory
- Lavender (unofficial): victory


---------------------
Pokémon on hand:

Kirlia Lv 27
Female gender . Kirlia species
Mystical Fire, Confusion, Teleport, Hypnosis, Psybeam, Double Team

Buneary Lv 26
Female gender . Buneary species
Defense Curl, After You, Quick Attack, Double Kick, Charm, Pound

Bagon Lv 24
Female gender . Bagon species
Ember, Bite, Dragon Breath, Headbutt, Leer, Scary Face

Paras Lv 16
Male gender . Paras species
Scratch, Stun Spore, Poison Powder, Absorb

Elektrike Lv 18
Male gender . Electrike species
Tackle, Thunderwave, Howl, Shock Wave, Leer

Magikarp Lv 18
Female gender . Magikarp species
Splash, Tackle, Bubble, Flail



"Let the fools who stand before me be destroyed by the power you and I possess...
DRAGON SLAVE!"

Eleanor

Arianne ✨ Happy birthday~

Age 21
Non-binary
Italy
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 3 Hours Ago
Chilling Trail

Arianne, Casey, Jordan, Gwen, Richard, Vera, gym leader Hana
written by Astromancer, Aquacorde, Eleanor, Groc, Juno, QueenNothing, WizardOfOdd
Vermilion City Gym, about 4 p.m., Monday, May 27th

The sky is getting darker with thickening clouds by the time Gwen, Arianne and Richard finally enter the gym again in tow. There is some other group of trainers there already, talking to a gym worker whom Arianne instantly recognizes as Bridget from earlier thanks to her vivid blue hair. Within the same second, the two groups also recognize each other - the earlier one consists of none other than Vera, Jordan and Casey. Chit-chat would inevitably break out, except Bridget doesn't give them any time for that. With this unstable weather wreaking havoc, she hasn't been able to truly find peace of mind all day and she knows Hana's feeling just the same, or more. They've been pacing back and forth in the reception hall for the full past hour, until Bridget suggested Hana sit down in a meeting room instead, as their spies were not set to return until a certain time anyways. Of course, the leader started pacing in there instead, and she still is when Bridget ushers all the Cape trainers inside like a school of Goldeen.

"Here we are at last!" Bridget announces with an encouraging smile, running a hand through her light blue hair as she lets her superior speak.

“You’re all here,” Hana says, looking up and counting them with her eyes. “I suppose that’s only good. Maybe if both of your investigations found something, we can piece things together, well… Together.”

She doesn’t leave any room for chit-chat either, immediately turning to two of the younger trainers, who are standing close together. “So, did you find anything unusual in the harbor? Besides the icy docks.”

“We definitely did, right Gwen?” Arianne timidly speaks up as she keeps her arms crossed.

“Yeah!!” Gwen shouts, aggressively nodding her head. “We saw Morgrem Guy and some other bastards! I don’t know what they were doing but it couldn’t have been good, that’s for sure! I was able to stop their dastardly deeds for a second, but they got away!”

“I mean not much we could do when the only choice we had was either flee or die by a huge explosion.” Richard clicks his tongue while raising both of his hands in a disappointed manner.

Hana holds her hands up. “Whoa, hold your Ponytas. ‘Morgrem Guy’? And what did you say they were doing?”

“Y-yeah, there was him and two other masked people wearing all black. Problem is, we saw those people in Cerulean messing with some Dragon Pokémon and… well, let’s say it never ends well for me with those guys around.” Arianne quickly chimes in. “You probably know them too, right guys?”

"Masked people in Cerulean… like the guy that tried to kill me with a Hitmonlee?" Casey asks, as if anyone besides him would know the answer.

“Oh, ooh!" Arianne points towards Casey with wide eyes. "Could be, the ones I’ve met weren’t kind either as I said. First a Drapion lifted me up to the heavens and then an Electrode exploded near me. Although… maybe that was my fault…” before going back to a more collected position.

Vera glances around as the others nod and generally agree. "I never saw any masked people in Cerulean. Of course, that may be because I was helping track down the missing Dragons." She tucks a stray bit of hair behind her ear.

“In my case they were there with the stolen Dragon Pokemon. Honestly, it’s great you didn’t meet them at all. Considering how far they were willing to go to reach their goal, I don’t want to think about what would happen if you met them on your own.” Richard speaks up.

Now Hana holds one hand up even further - as if trying to get the attention she already pretty much had - the other hand touching her own temple.

“Ok, let’s take it slow here. The stolen dragons in Cerulean, that was in the news almost a week ago. They said one of those terrorist groups claimed responsibility for it. You know the ones? Wanting to 'free pokémon' from their trainers and owners. It's terrible if you guys ran into them," the gym leader says, face grim at first, but then lighting up somewhat. "But clearly you could handle them. But if they are here in Vermilion now as well? Does that mean the terrorists are causing this cold snap somehow?”

She turns back to Gwen specifically. “What did you say they were doing?”

“I… well, I actually don’t know for sure, but uh... it couldn’t have been good, that’s what! But one thing that I got them on was how they wouldn’t attack us until I had Tusk use Taunt on their Pokemon! My detective skills were in full-force today!”

"Your self-preservation skills weren't," Casey complains. "Why would you fight them, we all got our asses handed to us in Cerulean!"

"But we got stronger since then…" Arianne replies. "We could have had a chance! At least we thought so before we'd get outnumbered." She pouts. "As for what they were doing, not sure, they were just… there, standing outside, asking to be left alone."

I did it to get payback!” Gwen barks. “I bet if I just had enough time against Morgrem Guy I could beat the muk out of him!”

"So you attacked a random masked man on a hunch?" Vera rolls her eyes at Gwen. "Are we sure you're not the bad guy here?"

Richard stands silently with his gaze cast downward.

“No need to worry Vera…” Arianne chimes in, trying to sound reassuring. “Do you remember that night before… uh… Rock Tunnel? That was the day I met those people and I can attest they were doing bad things. Plus, hey… they still used Explosion on me! I can get the threats but actually doing it? That’s a red flag!”

Casey shakes his head. "Don't matter- they weren't attackin' you, were they? Gwen, what'd you say- they were actively refusing to fight until you forced them? So that's on y'all, that you got beat up. None of us are police, or superheroes. Shoulda walked away, let them be, like we did."

“Casey, c’mon, I told you I could…” Arianne tries to speak up again, but it’s more like begging behind a puppy face.

Luckily, Hana intervenes, seemingly simply dismissing the squabble. “It’s still something, that people you know were involved in crime are showing up here now. A strange coincidence, if nothing else, but I don’t really believe in coincidences.”

She turns to Vera now. “Question is then, did you find anything else?”

Vera nods, pulling a piece of paper from her pocket. "We didn't learn much, people were being very unhelpful. They were all worked up about 'the Foundation', but they didn't say who that was. I managed to get a quick look at an invoice or something, it had this logo on it."

She shows Hana the paper, which is a sketch of a business logo. Hana takes the picture and pins her gaze to it, but lets Vera continue.

"We also found a warehouse that was pretty heavily guarded. Everyone was really on edge because of some explosion- thanks, Gwen... so we couldn't get any closer, even with all the fog. Which, by the way, was really cold. The entire docks area was cold, even more than the rest of this town." She crosses her arms and shivers slightly at the memory.

“Hey, you listen up you mother fu-”

"An' that warehouse was practic'ly iced over, wasn't it?" Casey chimes in, easily talking over Gwen. Vera and Jordan nod. "I mean, there was ice on a few of 'em, but that one had the most on and around it. I dunno if it was like that before the Foundation got in it, but some workers said that wasn't one o' their usual warehouses. They had to move a buncha stuff outta there late last night and they're still trying to organize around that mess."

“Well,” Hana says and suddenly looks a lot like a professor Palm deep in thought. “No wonder they weren’t talking to me. The ‘Foundation’ already rings a bell, but this logo?”

She holds the sketch up for all of them to look at. Bridget makes a strange sound that might be a ‘huh’.

“This has got to be Tomorrow Foundation. That big organization that owns half of Saffron - heck, half of Kanto by now I bet,” Hana continues. “I suppose they’d be rich enough to snatch any warehouse they wanted. It’s probably likely they bribed the police to thwart me too.”

"You didn't show me that, I coulda told you that- it was all over Beamont's gym, that logo," Casey mutters to Vera.

"It was? Then why don't I remember it?" She mutters back, thinking back to her time at that Gym. "Wait… it was on the screens in there, right? You mean they make TV's and stuff?"

"No, they built the gym-"

“Are you saying that Beaumont was behind all this!?” Gwen cries. “I knew something was up with that guy!”

“Vermilion is chilled, not electrified,” Hana remarks. “But good point, we can’t trust him for now. What’s been said in this room stays between us who are present, alright?”

She starts pacing along one of the walls.

“Oh, s-sure!” Arianne nods. “And also, since we’re speaking of bribery, I think the masked people at first said something about us being in the wrong even though we all know that they are the criminals and… and even then what are they doing here!? Seriously! Why are they out in this dreadful terrible chilling weather like it’s no big deal!” Her voice grows more unsteady as she voices her frustration.

“Strange coincidence indeed,” Hana says and stops her pacing. “Maybe they’ve been hired for some new shady business here. All while the police are looking the other way. In my town.” The paper in her hand crumbles as her fist closes hard over it. “It can’t be helped. If no one who’s supposed to deal with this is gonna deal with this, we will.”

“Oh… are we?” Bridget says from behind Arianne, who also can’t help but raise an eyebrow.

“Yeah,” Hana nods. “Clearly unnatural weather forces are at work, mega corporations are at the heart of the source, and to top it off we’ve got criminals running free. Now we know what we’re dealing with. Well, we know more than before. Let’s go back and have a proper chat with whoever is at the warehouse at last. And turn things back to normal. If we can.”

Considering the situation resolved, Casey nudges Jordan. "Guess we'll go see if the Pokémon Center has a room for me yet, huh? You taggin' along, Vera?"

“Wait, what- you wanna go now?” Jordan shoots him a look. “Sounds like this is far from over!”

"Well it's over for us, right?" Realization dawns on Casey, all of a sudden, and he turns to Hana. "Wait, by we you don't mean us, right? Us teenagers? Non-graduated trainers? You don't mean that, right?" Richard nods, clearly agreeing with what Casey had to say.

The gym leader’s small figure takes a few steps towards the boys and looks up at them determinedly, hands on her hips, but her voice is calm again as she speaks. "I could walk back there myself again, but if I told them what we know and they didn't like that I knew, don't you think they'd literally pick me up and put me somewhere where I'm no longer a problem for them?" She gestures between them to further make a point out of their difference in size. "It's possible they will have pokémon too and outnumber mine."

Casey rolls his eyes. Being small isn't any kind of problem! Sorley's proof of that. This is only further cementing his desire to ditch the whole thing. The only thing even keeping him in this conversation are his friends, and morbid curiosity regarding what the rest of his classmates will choose to do. Gwen's absolutely in, Arianne's probably in, Jordan- worryingly- might be in, but Vera's frowning and Richard doesn't look happy at all.

"I'll join you of course," Bridget now said with a shrug. "And probably some more gym workers if you inspire them a bit."

"We will find strength in numbers," Hana said, nodding appreciatively. "And that's because I hope to avoid danger," she adds towards Casey. "If we're many trainers with strong pokémon approaching and demanding to get answers-"

"You're still the gym leader, and they don't seem to like you." Bridget now pointed out thoughtfully, scratching her blue hair. "What if they just still refuse?"

“You know what… we all tried to get info from some stubborn people and it didn’t go that well, right?” Arianne raises a hand. “If we want to do that, wouldn’t we need to be more stealthy instead? Or just raise hell and get the criminals to leave. Maybe.”

“After all that just happened... You still want to raise hell?” A cold, piercing tone echoes through the room as Richard glares at Ari with eyes devoid of light.

"Only because they deserve it." She replies, pouting.

The boy in red takes a deep breath before he opens his mouth once more. “I’m very sorry Hana, I know I’m just a non-graduate, and compared to a Gym Leader like you the gap between our knowledge is like earth and sky. However, are you sure about your decision to involve us, US, in a dangerous situation like this?” He takes a deep breath once more. “I really appreciate your sentiment about our capability, but we’re dealing with professionals with full intent to kill when things aren’t going their way. You’ll have better luck asking aid from the International Police or even colleagues from the professional circuit to deal with this precarious situation.”

“Full intent to kill?” Hana says, wrinkled forehead.

Casey blanches as he mouths the same.

“Vermilion is cold,” the gym leader continues, “we know it comes from a warehouse in Tomorrow’s name, but what makes you think the company would kill someone over what’s inside?”

“I don’t know really, but from the fact they were willing to explode an Electrode at a point blank range with a group of kids, I would think it's highly likely,” Richard sighs. Casey's vehement nodding agrees.

"Richard, first of all… I'm sorry for before, that was reckless of me… but at the same time…" Arianne puts a hand on her heart. "It's ok if you don't want to come, it really is. But if someone's gotta do it… you have my support Hana."

“Wait! Are you serious!?” Richard looks at Ari with his jaw opened widely in disbelief.

“Of course she’s serious!” Gwen cries out. “We’re given the opportunity to serve justice to some bad guys, by Hana Palm no less, and you all want to be lame and stand around and do nothing!”

"Honestly, that's how I feel too. We have to do something if we want this issue to get solved!" Bridget speaks up.

“Let’s calm down,” Hana says. “You said yourself that those criminals only attacked you because you attacked them first. We’re not going out looking for them - we’re going straight to Tomorrow’s warehouse. And Vera’s group didn’t encounter deadly thugs there, from what we heard. Besides, what Arianne said earlier gave me an idea.”

“But…” Gwen stops and looks around before crossing her arms and faces the floor. “Fine. You’re right.” Her Misdreavus gives her an “I told you so” look.

Hana just continues. “Let’s gather my gym trainers and have them march to the entrance of the warehouse, confronting whatever guards are there, and… Distracting them. Creating a diversion, if you will. In the meantime, I will try to sneak in from another side. If we get inside and find the source of the climate changes, we can try to make it stop. Or at the very least gather some proof for when we confront Tomorrow about it.” She holds out her arms towards the gathered trainers. “Anyone here who wants can join either group, but I won’t force anyone of course. Arianne, are you with me, sneaking in silently?”

"Yes…" Arianne shudders but tries to stay collected somehow. "I'll try my best!"

Richard groans at the fact that two of his friends already made up their mind. “...Fine, I’ll be a part of this. But Ari, promise me you won’t do something crazy when you’re inside.”

"Oh, sure…" Arianne replies right away.

Casey, who had been sidling over to Richard in hopes of solidarity, sighs wholeheartedly and sulks back to Jordan and Vera.

“We’ll be careful,” Hana nods appreciatively at Richard. “How about you guys? Diversion or infiltration?” she then asks the rest.

“It’d be cool to be stealthy like a secret agent, but I wanna be the distraction!” Gwen pumps her fists into the air.

Bridget snickers. “That’s the spirit. We’ll give them something to look at,” she says and puts a hand on Gwen’s shoulder with a grin.

"Question!" Vera raises her hand, shaking her head at her classmates' actions. "How exactly do you plan to get past all the ice and barricades? Even with the loud mouth over here providing a distraction, there were still a dozen guards, remember?"

“We can make it work, I can take more Pokémon and… yeah.” Bridget nods towards Vera.

"Ain't nobody seem to care," Casey grumbles.

“Well, we only know what you have told us. It would be good if you can describe what the area looks like in detail to us,” Hana points out.

"We've been saying," Casey complains, but Jordan reaches out to put his hand over his face before he continues, shutting him up and interjecting. “Okay, calm, this isn’t getting us anywhere.” He turns to Hana as Casey continues to grumble and shrugs apologetically. “But… yeah, that was really as much info as we could get before either turning into popsicles or raising suspicion. It was really freakin’ cold out there, like if you think it’s unnaturally cold here, I mean, Vera’s soda froze-” He rambles, before stopping himself. “But anyway, at least we know where it is - it’s B-17, we know exactly how to get there. If we go back better prepared and equipped-”

“I’m sorry to interject, but do we really need to distract them? What if I have a better idea?” Richard raises his hand while leaning on a wall. Gwen groans under her breath while tightening her already crossed arms but decides not to speak up.

Casey finally gives in and licks Jordan's hand to get him off, who makes a weird, strangled noise as he lets go of his face. Richard's saner than most of these people, so his idea is worth a shot. "Go for it. I mean, say it. No doing."

Hearing the ‘go for it’ signal from Casey, Richard straightens his back and starts to explain his idea. “Look I’m no Zhuge Liang, or Sun Tzu, or the bald man with a price tag on his head from that shooting game. But dealing with around a dozen grunts doesn’t mean we’ll only have to deal with the same number of Pokemon, and it’s naive to think they wouldn’t use more than one Pokemon at the same time. If that happens, we’re practically screwed, so… Why not knock them out with a sleep inducing move like Sleep Powder? That’ll save us a lot of hassle.”

Jordan’s eyes light up. “Oh, we can do that! Tangles has Sleep Powder. This’ll be like that other episode of Detective Greedent where-” He glances at Casey and Vera, who give him a blank and an annoyed look, respectively, and sighs. “Nevermind. But yeah, that’s definitely doable.”

“Oh right, my Lulu has Sleep Powder too!” Arianne gives Jordan a complicit glance.

Bridget also seems interested, and chimes in. “Would Hypnosis work as well? We have some Poliwhirl at the gym who could be useful! And if we bring those guards in one place before we use those moves… I think it’s gonna be very effective.”

”Well I thought about it too initially… But, if the distraction causes some of them to alert the others inside the warehouse, we’re doomed. It’s not like we can flick a coin at them and they’ll focus on it like an idiot. So, I do feel the best way to approach this would be divide and conquer. Especially since there’s no lack of Pokemon here that can inflict sleep, we’ll surround the warehouse on four of its sides and fire our move at the same time so they can’t escape. Then we can tie them up for good, and voila the rest can sneak inside the warehouse while some of us keep an eye outside. How’s that sound?”

Casey sighs. "It's a decent plan," he admits. Richard is smart and sensible, he knew it was going to be. "If y'all have to go at all, you should prob'ly do that."

We,” Jordan corrects him, pulling both Casey and Vera in by their shoulders with his long arms. “...Right?”

"Hrngh…" Vera growls at Jordan for pulling her in, but otherwise doesn't object. "I guess we should show them the way. They'll lose the element of surprise if they blunder around blindly."

The whole thing is a terrible idea, even with Richard's plan.

And yet, Casey relents.

"Fine."

“This only makes me more eager to get to the bottom of this!” Arianne smiles. “But if we wanna have enough people for each side… if I still remember maths… four sides, maybe two people each… that’s eight. That is, all of us…” Her expression becomes more serious as her eyes jump between all the different people in the room.

Hana has been listening, letting the teenagers talk, and now she’s smiling as she puts her hands together and looks up at Richard.

“I didn’t think of trying to immobilize them all at once. If we do have the powers to make that work, that does sound like the safest plan. Good head, you. My only issue is that then it would really be us attacking them first… And that didn’t go so well last time for you guys.” She sighs but doesn’t give anyone else time to speak up before she continues. “But Sleep Powder sure is different from Taunt, heh. And at this point we really do want to get to the bottom at this, using our very best ideas. This is probably it.”

She’s smiling now, glancing at every one of them in turn, but as she does, the smile falters in time. “The extreme change in weather… I do wonder what could cause this. Either man-made things we haven’t been shown yet, or… Well, Pokémon. Hopefully we will find out today.”



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

Eleanor

Arianne ✨ Happy birthday~

Age 21
Non-binary
Italy
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 3 Hours Ago
Chilling Trail

Arianne, Casey, Jordan, Gwen, Richard, Vera, gym leader Hana
written by Astromancer, Aquacorde, Eleanor, Groc, Juno, QueenNothing, WizardOfOdd
Vermilion City Harbor, about 4:30 p.m., Monday, May 27th

Vermilion has not been its usual self all day. It is normally the city of warm wind from the sea and pretty glimmering sunshine, be it in the waves or the shiny hot metal of trucks and cargo ships. Today it’s been a city of confused, cold people and frightened pokémon. And by the time Hana and her band of trainers have finished their planning and step outside the gym again, things seem to already have changed again.

“Now what?” is the first that comes to Hana’s mind to say as she looks around.

The clouds over the city are noticeably darker, ominously so even. The wind has sped up, and has it suddenly gotten warmer again? Just as the gym leader’s words are spoken, a rumbling sound reaches them from ahead as well.

“Thunder brewing?” she continues, and also points; it looks like the sky is beginning to do its worst somewhere above the southern harbor. “If I was confused before…”

“Well… that can’t stop us now, right Hana?” Bridget looks warily at the clouds, holding a Pokéball in her hand. “We have our own Pokémon with us, we have some sleep inducing moves of our own, let’s see what we can do!”

“I don’t know,” Hana says, brows furrowed. “I hope that if this is their doing, we can put an end to it. And as fast as we can. Let’s go.”

Casey scowls at the thunder as they set out, extremely unhappy with what he's been tasked to do. "It better not rain. If it rains, we're psyducked."

“Yeah, it won’t look nearly as cool if I barge in there and my hair is soaking wet.” Gwen adds.

“Honestly, with rapidly changing weather like this, looking cool is probably the least of our concerns. What’s next? A hurricane?” Richard stares towards the black sky above while sighing.


Once again, Casey peeks around the corner of warehouse B-16. Though backed by far more people than earlier, he can't shake the tension rippling across his back, no matter how many times he clenches and unclenches his fists, not now that he knows what Arianne's group has been through. Not now that he doesn't have an out, not now that Jordan insists on helping. This is trouble, they're in trouble, they shouldn't be involved in any of this! Richard was right- where is InterPol? Where are the high-ranking trainers- surely Hana knows some strong trainers on the current roster of Saffron's tournaments? Hell, he even knows someone there- two people, in fact! Though one still hasn't answered him.

Ever.

Thunder cracks through the air around them, barely removed from the flash of lightning it's triggered by. The heavy, dark clouds still threaten to burst and once again, though this time silently, he pleads for the rain not to wash away their already flimsy plan. B-17 is still guarded, still barricaded, still thickly iced over. At least the thin ice underfoot is melting in the barely-warming air and the snowy haze is gone, blown away by the sudden strong winds. But that just allows Casey to see the bulky guards more clearly, to see a patrol disappearing around the right side of the building as another comes around the front from the left. Five at the main entry, as before, but the patrols seem variable and he doesn't know what the other sides have in store. Logic dictates that the front would be more heavily guarded.

Unfortunately, that's where he's been assigned.

Arianne could’ve taken that spot - she was eager to - but the weather never ceases to just curb her enthusiasm into the ground. “It’s still so c-cold…” she shivers as she gets beside Casey and tries to take a peek herself. “I-I still wanna help but please let’s do this f-fast…”

“We will, we will…” Bridget whispers back to her in a reassuring voice. “And we’ll do a good job at it too, right?”

“Okay,” Hana says and probably tries to look like the situation is perfectly under control. There is even a hint of a weird smile on her features. “Remember, we’re not here to try to fight anyone. We’re to put them to sleep or immobilize them out as quickly as we can, so that we can then all gather at the entrance and make our way inside. If you find anything that can help us get inside or give us a heads-up of what we’ll actually find in there… Well that’d be good. Stay hidden for as long as you can, and rely on your pokémon. And…” She tries to look all of the trainers in the eye for a split second each. “Good luck!”


Concealed by Lapras’s Mist, Hana and Bridget make their way to the one side of the warehouse they have to deal with, whispering between themselves to figure out a proper plan of action. The guards aren’t many, but the issue is that they’re quite spread out, to cover as wide of an area as possible: the Poliwrath that Hana picked up to use Hypnosis won’t be able to take care of them all at once.

This is where Bridget decides she wants to have some fun, however. “We’re strong, we represent the Vermilion Gym, we have to send a message on behalf of the whole city!” She keeps repeating to a somewhat concerned Hana, who gives the blue haired girl the green light only after a few more reassuring words. In no time, however, a whole squad of Pokémon is out on the warehouse grounds: Bridget contributes with Mantine and Floatzel, Hana sends out Poliwrath and Whiscash. The Gym Leader’s ace, Lapras, still watches over them all from the back, ready to intervene. And then…

The surreal atmosphere is broken by a loud yelp, as the mist is cut through by two large waves meeting at the center: Surf from Mantine, and Muddy Water from Whiscash. The water crashes down on the guards, sweeping them off their feet and pushing them closer to each other, before washing away and leaving just a shallow pond. A pond that slowly but steadily turns into ice, immobilizing most of the guards just enough to pin them down to the ground: that’s Poliwrath’s Ice Punch and Floatzel’s Ice Fang. Lapras helps out as well, with some quick Ice Shard attacks.

The result is a glittering wasteland of frozen water, mud and ice chunks, with a few trembling men caught inside, unable to understand what hit them and especially, unable to do much but wait for Poliwrath to come closer and seal the deal with Hypnosis. A good move to do for doubt’s sake, considering that the ice could be easily broken or thawed out with the right Pokémon moves.

“It worked!” Bridget offered Hana a high five in what was likely just a moment of self-indulgence.

Hana accepted with a relieved chuckle before they recalled all their Pokémon. Then she looked at Bridget again who was now displaying a more down-to-earth smile.

“Thanks for all your help,” the leader said. “Quickly now, let’s get back to the entrance and see how the others did.”



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

Ninetales

Age 20
Female
Canada
Seen 30 Minutes Ago
Posted 19 Hours Ago
1,557 posts
3.6 Years
Coralie Summers

Vermillion City
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Coralie's team:
  • Florian the Bulbasaur
  • Stella-Luna the Noibat
  • Trixie the Drifloon
  • Clover the Silcoon
  • Teddy the Dedenne


___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A Surprise Battle

The tangerine sun shone high in the sky. It was an unmistakably beautiful day. The smell of the saltwater hung in the air, the continuous sound of the ocean waves crashing against the shore generated a most serene atmosphere. Vermillion city has instantaneously captured Coralie’s heart. Perhaps it was without the intricate architecture that other cities possessed, however, it was mesmerizing in its own ways.

Coralie found herself perched upon the beach, gazing adoringly at the sea, which seemed to stretch out endlessly. Such a body of water was gargantuan, the mere thought of such incomprehensible. Coralie wordlessly desired to explore the depths of it, to swim with the countless Pokémon who lived an aquatic existence. Though, that was an adventure for another day.

She’d already embarked upon a plethora of adventures since departing from Cerulean. She’d already made memories in which she’d cherish for the rest of her days, stories in which she’d pass on to her children and grandchildren in the future.

Her victory in Lavender town had truly changed her perspective, it may have seemed like a minuscule occurrence, and she may have barely managed to best her opponent, however, the pure feeling of euphoria in which she got from such a battle was indescribable. It was a sensation in which she longed for. Though, she was reluctant to self-identify as a proper pokemon-trainer, as her main objective was simply to explore, to make friends and meet vibrant individuals, to have fun. She was a personification of wind, constantly changing directions, altering intensity, travelling on a whim, living spontaneously. She thrived on inconsistency, did as she pleased, and enjoyed each and every passing moment to the very fullest.

Feeling the breeze ruffle through her sundress and her bubblegum tresses simultaneously, she smiled, relishing the sensation of such. Beside her, of course, sat Florian. The two were inseparable as always, the Kantonian pokemon mirroring her contented expression. Coralie was tempted to call upon the remainder of her pokemon, though she didn’t intend to overcrowd the small section of the beach in which she occupied. Her team had expanded considerably since she initially embarked on her journey, and was cognizant that it would only grow further.

“You love the breeze too, dontcha, Florian?” She asked, a soft chuckle floating from her maw.

“Bulba! Bulbasaur!”

Vermillion reminded Coralie of her hometown, Cerulean. Thus, there was a comfort present, a contentment. She felt as if she was closer to her family somehow, as if her house was situated past the golden sands, even if the opposite was true.

Her mind drifted to Elliott suddenly, she wondered where he was presently located, and if he had discovered some legendary treasure as he claimed he would. It was unlikely, but one could never be sure. She then considered Amika. Was she lonely without Coralie, or had she busied herself studying astronomy alongside her father, ogling the dazzling constellations via telescope? Regardless, Coralie missed her, and silently longed for her accompaniment.

Shaking her out of her thoughts, a silvery voice caught her attention.

“Hey! You there!” The woman called out, standing atop a hillside cliff before leaping to the warm sand pooling below, a Croconaw in toe. The woman’s cropped tresses were flung about by the breeze, though she wore a friendly smile upon her face.

“Hi! Oh my gosh, I didn’t see you there!” Coralie expressed, practically hopping off from the sand in which she was previously seated on, assuming an upright position, Florian at her feet.

“Lovely day, isn’t it!”

“Oh yes! The weather is spectacular!!! We were just enjoying the salty breeze!!”

Hana seemed to consider her words momentarily, whilst Coralie studied the woman’s features, suddenly realizing she looked vaguely familiar. However, she was unable to identify Hana, wondering if perhaps the two had just seen each other in passing, or perhaps were connected somewhere in a previous existence.

Who was to say?

“You’re not from these parts, are you?”

The question initially stunned Coralie. Was it really that obvious that she wasn’t a local?

“Oh! No, I’m from Cerulean city!! I’m on a journey, I want to explore the Kanto region and maybe even beyond that some day!!”

Hana nodded at this, seemingly satisfied with the answer provided to her. She didn't offer a verbal response right away,

“Allow me to show you something.”

“Huh??!”

Hana turned away and began walking away from the shore, in the direction in which she came from. Florian nipped at Coralie’s sundress to pull her forwards, and she did, clutching her sunhat as a large gust of wind threatened to steal it.

“Come with me.”



~~



Coralie couldn’t have accurately predicted where Hana was taking her to, though curiosity overwhelmed her, and like a moth drawn forth to a dancing flame, she followed closely behind.

The pair arrived at what appeared to be a training facility of some sort, as multiple outdoor pools were sprawled out before them, azure water glistening in the warm sunshine.

“Wow!” All Coralie was able to utter, momentarily transfixed by the chlorine-filled bodies of water.

“Welcome to the Vermillion City Gym.” Hana proudly declared, spread her arms out for emphasis, before turning to gage the bubblegum-haired female’s reaction.

“This is the Vermillion gym?? Wait!! Does that mean…?”

Hana simply nodded, a soft chuckle slipping past her lips, nearly lost to the salty breeze.

“Yes, Indeed. I, Hana Palm, serve as the gym leader of this ole’ gym.”

Coralie blinked, being completely gobsmacked, her thoughts now discombobulated.

“Oh my gosh!! Palm?? Are you by any chance related to Professor Palm??”

Hana nodded again, evidently amused by Coralie’s irrefutable wonderment. “Professor Palm is my father. Now, you wouldn’t happen to have attended Cape College?”

Coralie nodded profusely, once again steadying her sunhat to ensure it didn’t fall from atop her carnation tresses. “Eeeek!! Yes! I did!! That’s why I’m on my journey!!! Well, part of the reason.”

Hana looked delighted at the news, but not surprised. She nodded, before gesturing to the nearest pool to them, a confident gleam in her eye.

“Well, in that case, why don’t we have a battle? I mean, you came all this way to Vermillion for a reason, right? Besides, I want to see what you’re made of and whether or not you learned anything valuable during your time at Cape College. Enlighten me.”

Coralie was still shocked from the earlier revelation regarding the other’s identity and profession, moreover, the challenge was something most unanticipated. However, excitement bubbled up within her like a geyser ready to burst.

“Oh my gosh!! I’d love to!!” She squeaked gazing at Florian, who offered her a reassuring nod.

“Bulbs!”

“Florian’s ready, too! Arent you, Flors?

“Bulba!!! Bulbasaur!!” The bulb pokemon launched two vines outwards, slapping at an invisible opponent, a clear indication of his readiness.

Haha chuckled, pleased with the enthusiasm from her challengers. “Well, that settles it then. We shall battle.”

~~

As an officiator detailed the rules of the impeding gym battle, Coralie stood, her leg shaking as she tried to quell the apprehension that swirled about within. As ecstatic as she was, the Cerulean native couldn’t help but feel slightly nervous. She was going into this completely unprepared, her only assurance being the unbreakable bomd in which she shared with each of her Pokémon companions.

Lost within the confinement of her own mind, Coralie was brought back to reality as a Pokémon materialized right before her eyes, emerging in a flash of silver light.

It was a Kingler, a Pokémon in which she immediately recognized. She had observed them waddle along the shore, blowing bubbles into the sunset, a memory from several years beforehand.

Nearly fumbling, she reached for her own Pokeball, thrusting it forwards. “Teddy, it’s your time to shine!!” Coralie burst, feeling slightly more confident at the thought of the electric Pokémon’s accompaniment..

The Dedenne popped out from its place of rest, scurrying around in a circle, chasing its lengthy tail before becoming cognizant of the situation at hand.

“Get ready, Teddy! That Kingler looks super powerful, but I believe in you!!”

“Dede! Dede!”

Electricity pulsating from Teddy’s cheeks, the Pokémon’s mood shifted. He was focused, ready.

“Alright. Battle begin! Challenger gets the first move!!”

Coralie grinned widely, glad to start things off. “Alright, Teddy!! Use your thundershock!!! Aim straight for the Kingler!!”

The mouse Pokémon generated electricity momentarily, before shooting it directly at the water type.

“In the water, Kingler!”

Without hesitation, Hana’s pokemon leapt in the water, avoiding the oncoming attack seamlessly.

“Eeek! Wow!! That’s one fast Kingler!!” Coralie commented, surprise apparent in her tone. She couldn’t recall any of the Kingler she had previously observed to move with such immense velocity. It was obvious that this particular Pokémon was very well trained.

“Now, Kingler, use bubblebeam!!” The water type opened its pincer, launching a stream of bubbles directly at the electric and fairy Pokémon.

“Use your tail whip to disperse the bubbles!” Coralie instructed. Teddy followed suit, his efforts initially successful before he became swiftly overwhelmed.

“Follow it up with mud shot!”

Swimming closer to the edge of the pool in which it was situated in, the Kingler flung mud at its opponent.

“Get out of the way, Teddy!! Jump up!!”

Too slow, Teddy was blasted by the mud and sent flying backwards, landing right at Coralie’s feet.

“Your Dedenne is fast, but not fast enough.” Hana remarked, more to herself than anyone else.

“Oh no!! Teddy!!!! Are you alright? You aren’t hurt, are you?”

The Dedenne collected itself from the ground, nodding at Coralie, not ready to concede quite yet.

“Kingler, let’s finish this. Metal claw!”

The water-type leapt out of the water at immense height, barreling towards Teddy, it’s raised claw gleaming in the sunshine.

“Dodge to the left, Teddy, and counter with Nuzzle!!”

The Dedenne dodged as Kingker aimed a silver claw in his direction, rubbing his cheeks against the other, electricity pulsing throughout the Kingler’s body.

“Now hit it with Tackle!!”

Leaping back from the incapacitated Kingler, Teddy rammed into it, knocking the Pokémon into the water with a splash.

“Kingler seems to be paralyzed.” Hana admitted, watching as her pokemon struggled to steady itself in the water, an electric current still encompassing its figure.

“Paralyzed!?! Oh my gosh!! Look at that, Teddy!! Now, let’s win this!!! Thundershock on the water!!”

Instead of directly aiming the bolt, Teddy shot out a bolt of electricity over the body of water, maximizing the shock delivered to the submerged Kingler, knocking it unconscious instantaneously.

“Kingler is unable to battle, Dedenne is the winner.”

“YESSS! Oh TEDDY! That was wonderful! I’m so proud of you!” Coralie beamed, scooping up her pokemon and planting multiple kisses atop its head.

“Don’t celebrate too soon.” Hana warned, her voice cutting like a knife.

“Things are just getting started.”



🌸✨💫Paired with Eleanor🌸✨💫
Female
My place
Online now
Posted 5 Hours Ago
224 posts
6.5 Years
Gwen Alanis ft. Arianne Chandler
Monday, May 27
Afternoon
Vermilion City
For better or worse, Gwen’s excitement skyrockets to an all-time high at the thought that she might finally live out her crime-fighting fantasy- although it seems at the moment Hana has less grandiose plans for her. When she said she wanted to be a distraction she thought that meant busting straight into the building and hitting everyone in-sight with powerful attacks while everyone else would come in undetected. Instead, she and Ari will have to hide behind some crates. It's not as explosive as she dreamed, but soon enough she’ll get to kick some bad guys’ asses. Probably.

“Just saying, but I did expose those masked guys earlier when I charged in to take them on.” Gwen boasts.

"Of course haha!" Arianne echoes her. "And me taking the Explosion is only more proof. That said though… these are different people. Not sure what to expect from these guards…" She takes a peek around the crates.

“Come on, these guys are just foot soldiers! You’ve seen how they are in movies, they just have Rattatas and Zubats! I bet I could just send Scar out and knock them all over like bowling pins!”

"Well…" Arianne shivers. "I think the plan was to use Sleep Powder, right? We do this quickly, we avoid getting too much attention on our side and we hope they don't get back up and hit back later…"

Gwen groans. For a brief moment she forgot there actually was a plan.. As much as she would like to say “Psyduck it!” and use brute force, she knows a few people will be disappointed. Not only would Vermillion’s gym leader be mad at her, there’s also Casey, and she really doesn’t want to get on his bad side again, not to mention, it’d only give more fuel for Vera. Plus, if she screwed up, she wouldn’t look as cool in-front of Arianne. “Okay, fiiiine. So Lulu is just gonna use Sleep Powder? Does it even have that much range?”

"And… oh wow, I should really pay more attention to those details shouldn't I…" Arianne replies hastily. "I think the range is pretty good but… not this much. We have to gather those people in one area, I think, not have them standing in a line all spread out…"

"Which is why we need a distraction!" Gwen snaps her fingers. "Which is why I should- no wait, I can't do that. Psyduck!" Feeling stumped, Gwen crosses her legs and puts her thumb and index finger to her chin. As she tries to think up a plan, her mind starts to dissociate. Being a detective doesn’t just mean beating up bad guys. A big part of it is coming up with big brain plans, and I’ve done that in battle. I need to be more flexible with my detective skills. Think Gwen, think! Hana chose you for a reason y’know!... wait a second. When I battled Hana earlier…

“That’s it!” Gwen snaps again and reaches for a Lure Ball to send King out. “King knows Bubble, and he can use that to grab their attention!”

“And so you bring them here… and Lulu hides behind the crate… and we get them! Simple enough right?” Arianne smiles, although it comes off slightly forced. She then lets her Grass type out, and explains the plan to her as well - with Lulu looking a bit confused throughout.

“Alright then, let’s get it started! King, use Bubble towards the guardas!” As her Magikarp pathetically flops about, he spits a few bubbles from his mouth that drift through the crates and in the guard’s direction while Gwen beams with confidence. As the bubbles flow closer to the guards, she anticipates the moment they’ll take the bait. I must look so cool in front of Arianne right now! The second they notice, Gwen’s smirk grows wider by the second as she eavesdrops on their conversation.

“Hey Phil… have I been sleep deprived or are there bubbles coming from over there?”

“You’re definitely sleep deprived after the non-stop work we’ve had to do lately. But those bubbles are in-fact real.”

The first guard sighs. “Guess we gotta do something about it.” He grabs a Pokeball from a holster to release a crimson wolf-like Pokemon that stands upright and walks over to where the girls are hiding with piercing red eyes while the guards stay in their positions.

God psyducking damnit.

“Uh… change of plans? Change of plans…” Arianne looks over the crate as well, struggling to remain collected. “I-I think you’ll have to distract that Lycanroc and lure it away, as for the guards themselves…” She then kneels down towards Lulu and whispers something to her instead.

“It will take some time to do this, Gwen, but…” the Cinnabar girl sighs, “but maybe Lulu can extend her Ingrain all the way there to the guards. That’s something we can use, right?”

“I don’t think we have any other option.” Gwen gulps. Midnight Lycanroc have a chance to possess the ability Vital Spirit, making their Sleep Powder plan useless, but what is Gwen supposed to do that’d make Lycanroc not sniff them out and bark at them? She has been able to come up with clever solutions under pressure, but she’s not sure if now is one of those times, and when a Pokemon with sharp fangs and claws controlled by someone she associates Morgrem Guy with draws closer, it really seems as though she’s screwed. Soon enough, Lycanroc gets close enough that it starts growling, just seconds away from barking, and Gwen’s mind goes blank as she nearly cracks from the pressure. Panicked, she looks over to Bead to make sure her Pokemon will be alright, but he isn’t where he stood just a second ago, although the sound of Confuse Ray being used gives her ideas. She shifts her gaze, and sure enough, Lycanroc is walking around in circles thanks to Bead’s intuition.

“Bead…” She struggles to say anything as her heartbeat is still intensely pounding, and she gives a light sigh of relief. “...thank god.”

“That was… not optimal…” Arianne echoes her, a Pokéball in her hand and ready to be used. “Thank you Bead from me as well…”

In a daze, the enemy Lycanroc swiftly stumbles back to the guards. “Oh… nothing was over there? Really? That's weird… I know for a fact I saw bubbles just a second ago!”

“I did too… could just be some wild Pokemon. Or maybe we both just need a good night’s sleep… Haven’t had that in awhile.” The guard laughs.

“I’ll say.” The other agrees before turning his attention back to Lycanroc who again walks in circles . “...hey wait a second, why are you acting so strange, boy? What’s gotten into you?”

“Muk, hold on, you’re right! Look at his eyes- he’s Confused! I think we’ve just been outsmarted by some punk-ass trainers!”

“Most definitely…” Arianne finally smiles, peeking over the crates as Lulu tries to do the same, lifting herself up with more mycelium under her tiny body. Eric is out, targeting her with a continuous Heal Pulse in hopes of helping her grow the Ingrain even faster. “See, Lulu? You’re there! Go for it!” The trainer cheers, and in a matter of seconds, the white threads wrap around most of the guards’ ankles.

“Argh, damnit! Show yourselves, you cowards!” One of the guards shouts.

“Oh, don’t worry, we will!” Gwen cackles as she sends Pix out. She and Bead head out from behind the crates, and the pair work together to use Confuse Ray on each and every guard one-by-one.

In no time, Lulu also starts using Giga Drain with her roots, not only making the guards more tired but also making them trip more easily. They all fall down, stuck to the ground by the mycelium that is slowly growing onto them and too confused to react, thanks to Gwen and Bead’s work. “You’re doing great! And now all we need is some Sleep Powder!” Arianne throws a fist to the sky, before backing off from her Pokémon and trying to find something to cover her face with. At least this way, she won’t fall asleep herself. The cloud of spores may be a bit slow, but it spreads menacingly across the whole area: a perfect way to seal the deal.

“Wow, that was- that was INCREDIBLE! It was just sooo super cool!!” Gwen cheers while her eyes gleam. While on one hand it is a shame to her how Arianne came out looking more competent than herself, just watching her come up with such a creative strategy on-the-spot definitely gives Gwen more respect for her. I don’t know how else to say it, but this girl looks super awesome whenever she battles! It's not in the same way Jenny does, but it’s different, she’s like “COOL” but Arianne is like “cool”... that probably wouldn’t make sense if I said it out loud, but I understand it, so whatever!

Speaking of Arianne, her voice tries to make her way to Gwen. “C...er your f...ce!” She yelps as the Sleep Powder gets closer. “Your face!”

Gwen nearly asks what she means before she notices the spores herself. “Uh, oh, right.” She quickly cups her hands over her mouth and hides how red she is from embarrassment. That was a little awkward, but at least they completed their task without breaking any bones.

“Amazing! We should all be- oh.” Arianne, still near the crates, seems slightly worried about a certain Pokémon in particular… the Lycanroc from before is not falling asleep at all, and seems to have snapped out of his confusion. “Uhm, help?”

“Oh, piece of cake!” Gwen chuckles and proceeds to navigate through the minefield of unconscious guards until she gets to the one she recognizes as Lycanroc’s owner, and simply reaches for the empty Pokeball in his holster to return the Wolf Pokemon. When all is said and done, she gives Ari an awkward thumbs up before using that same hand to return her own Pokemon.

“Wow, nice job! So now… we scatter right?” Arianne laughs, before recalling Eric and… oh right, Ingrain. “I may need some cover up, I can’t just recall Lulu now and run, apparently. Or…”

The laugh gives way to a somewhat sad expression. “Honedge? Just a quick Aerial Ace here…”

The Sword Pokémon doesn’t even hesitate and cuts Lulu off from her Ingrain in a single cut, causing her to faint in the process. Only then, Arianne can recall all of her Pokémon and run back to Gwen. “Well I wish I didn’t have to do this and I acted impulsively but… yeah now we’d better run! Let’s go back to the front side.”

Well uh, I dunno know if I can respect making your own Pokemon faint but… aside from that she’s still super cool! Y’know I’ve been saying that a lot and it's starting to not even sound like a real word at this point, what else can I say? She’s… daring! Yeah, I like that- wait where is my brain going with this? “Uh… yeah! Sounds good!”


CCS and art by Aquacorde