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The tension in the air is thick as the opponents grab their last Poké Balls - one for Raihan, two for Isbrand.
"Any advantage you can get, yeah?"
Isbrand holds up her bare right wrist. 'This is a handicap."
"Right. So my Duraludon against your two Pokémon. Seems fair to me. Gigantamax!" Purple clouds start to swirl over the arena as Raihan's Ultra Ball grows in size, before he releases a skyscraper.
Isbrand calmly calls out her last two Pokémon - Penny and the real Miku. "Well, girls?"
Penny clicks and whirs - which, mind you, just means she's playing sound effects - as she inspects the towering dragon. <This hardly seems fair.>
Miku nods. <Yeah! This guy's gotta take on both of us? Unfortunate.>
"Lightly armored means light on your feet."
Penny bobs up and down in the air. <But that is still some thick armor.>
<Well what are we waiting for? Let's get him!> Miku rubs her claws together and bounds forward on all fours, rushing her opponent. She leaps, flying through the air, and brings her clasped-together paws down on the Duraludon's chest. The impact shakes the dragon's body, but Miku still bounces off.
<It'll take more than that to knock it down,> Penny remarks. She fires off a wave of dark energy, clipping her opponent in the leg.
The Duraludon roars. <IS THAT ALL YOU CAN MANAGE? I'LL GRIND YOU BENEATH MY HEELS!> He stomps the ground, knocking up boulder-sized chunks of cement, and lobs then at Penny and Miku.
"Dodge," Isbrand commands calmly as a sandstorm starts to whip up.
<Dodging!> Moving faster than usual thanks to her Light Metal, Penny dodges the first two boulders launched at her, but misjudges the distance of the third thanks to the sandstorm and starts spinning in mid-air. <Woah!>
Miku digs her heels in, reaches up- catches a boulder, spins, and yeets it back, hitting the Duraludon square in the [jaw analogue]. She follows it up with a second boulder, but is too slow to Counter the third.
<Analysis complete. Conversion Program 2.0 engaged.> Penny sparkles a bit, and the gray parts of her body turn a dull yellow.
The Duraludon seems to have been seriously hurt by the reversed attack. <FINE THEN! HAVE IT YOUR WAY!> They lean back - jump, poised to drop onto the ground and generate a shockwave.
Raihan casually drops down in a "draw me like your Kalosian girls" pose, winking at his Rotom phone.
Isbrand kneels and holds up her shield, amping it up from a buckler to a tower shield. "No time to dodge!"
<Penny!> Miku shouts.
<Right!> Penny hums with electricity and then projects a sphere of pure energy around herself. <Look out!>
The Duraludon lands, a huge shockwave of orange energy battering everyone on the field. Between that and the sandstorm, there's a brief moment where no one on the field can be seen - not by each other, or the audience.
Edited by SwiftSeraph on Apr 20th 2021 at 7:28:20 AM
Silas adjusted his gloved hands as he stepped about the Dance Floor, looking around the room. Pulsing EDM, nobody paying attention to the guy in the suit marching through. He had been practicing a bit, Alice had given him some new vocal exercises, and the earbud would be useful.
“See anything?” he commented
~Nothing so far. Keep in mind you need to be undercover.~
‘Silas’ nodded, and took a deep inhale, a soft grin crept over his face as he assumed the role of Coyote, aka Jacob Steele. International Criminal and breaker of Brimstone.
Jacob began to socialize a bit and interviewed a few people, nothing occurred until he mentioned that he was in ‘acquisitions’ and that opened a door for him… quite literally as a door to the downstairs area was opened. Jacob grinned and walked down, brushing his black and gold hair back.
Silas found use in having this identity, made entering these areas a bit easier, “Anything?”
Hacks shivered under his camo-net, ~I sense a few things, this area is lousy with activity.~
Jacob nodded a bit, he entered the underground and looked around. A few faces stood out to him, not only Pokefutures personnel on a list of names needing to be arrested… but also a few from notable smuggling rings. No sign of any Guild persons here however… too much pride to be associated with this lot.
Jacob shivered as he saw the tanks and jars… this was the place after all.
~Keep calm, we need to find the one in charge here…~ Hacks reminded him, ~It sickens me as well.~
Jacob kept quiet, if he didn’t get the person in charge… it’d all be pointless. He passed by a few of the guards, they seemed… similar… simple shaven heads with sunglasses and suit attires. Jacob paused, looked to one guard, then to another…
This was confusing, “Get a read, what are these guys?”
Hacks closed his eyes and exhaled, extending his aura outwards and reading over the identical guards, he shivered himself. ~Silas… these… these guys aren’t human.~
“What exactly do you mean by that? They seem very much like regular human beings to me, what are they?
~These… their… their auras are perfectly symmetrical, the grooves I see aren’t irregular, they are perfectly symmetrical. These guys are clones, not even proper clones, these are mass produced clones. Their personas are entirely synthetic…~
Jacob stared at the guards, and slowly moved on, identical clones, no doubt with a commander somewhere.
Tonio’s face appeared on a video screen, “Okay Maddie the hell did you spend the budget on?”
Maddie rolled her eyes, “Dear Liz… whatever do you think I did?”
Tonio frowned, “We have documents here relating to the usage of resources with vat technologies, as well as hiring out a stooge from that Eugenics Program.”
“Oh Iosef. Good lad, he’s a psychic, something called a Templar. He works with things called Artificial Personas and he’s running our security down here,” Maddie responded.
Tonio stared, “A-Are you working with clones?”
“Clones… CLONES?!” Tonio screamed, “At least tell me they’re the self aware kind!”
Maddie frowned, “Why would I waste my time with those? They run the risk of betraying us, meanwhile these are mindless and soulless, commanded by their Templar! A unit of soldiers that never questions orders.”
“Which means that if the Templar gets taken out, those clones cease functioning,” Tonio countered.
Maddie scoffed, “Elizabeth… you sound so worried about me. I didn’t know you cared~!”
“I don’t, you’re a stuck up pencil pusher who has had to be reminded constantly that you waste time and resources on objects that will only hurt us.”
Maddie frowned, and ended the call… Tonio didn’t know what she was talking about. Their own cloning program that made the advanced cyborgs in the future series were just fine. The School was reputable for their needs and this Templar would be very useful.
Iosef gave a thumbs up and let his thoughts coalesce elsewhere… he needed to keep the Legion running.
Maddie adjusted her red dress and pulled on a heavy coat of Arcanine fur, she loved the little stripes.
Jacob accepted a glass of champagne and took a sip, he had to keep the act up, “So… clone army.”
~I don’t think we can negotiate or intimidate these ones… no individual minds… simulacra meant to seem convincing. But no true souls… it’s… disturbing.~
“If it comes to it… I still don’t know if I can do it,” Jacob admitted, “It feels so wrong…”
Hacks couldn’t add anything else, the show began as out stepped the host for the evening. Jacob’s eyes narrowed as out marched in a slinky red dress with a large Arcanine coat, Madeline Kern.
She was on a list of potential personnel and worked for a company called Forward Fronts, several allegations had been levied against her in the past involving cruelty towards Pokemon and illegal poaching she had paid for… This just proved it.
Jacob nearly crushed his glass in hand, and took a deep breath, she would get what’s coming to her soon enough.
“My dear friends, let us begin, THE SHOW!” Maddie shouted to applause as out stepped several models showing off furred outfits.
Jacob knew this was going to be a long night.
-The three demons turn into generic white masks, which are then absorbed by Star, Ian, and Kim-
Igor: Outside of this place, when the time is right, you'll be able to summon them.
Justine: -To Star- Now you'll leave this place. Do not worry, your minds may be here, but your bodies are still asleep.
Igor: Until next time.
-And so the Velvet Room starts fading out of everyone's vision-
Akiko: -Looking out towards the sea before looking at her necklace- <Six years and I still haven't figured it out yet, what my peace is supposed to be...>
Edited by rmctagg09 on Apr 20th 2021 at 8:49:49 AM
The sandstorm fades in strength, allowing everyone in the stadium to see the battlefield.
Raihan coughs up some dust. "You alright, punk girl?"
"Fine!" Isbrand shouts. "Let's finish this."
Penny's clearly alright - her Protect shield still shimmering as sand batters it. The Duraludon towering over the field stands tall. And beneath their foot, a badger the color of the trans pride flag - Miku, her arms crossed and her mouth open in a furious snarl. <Like I said! Not a fair fight!> Grunting with exertion, Miku pushes up with all her strength. <Penny!>
<Target data acquired.> Penny begins to spark again, but this time silver. <Salutations and goodbye.> Penny shoots forward in a beam of light, crashing into the Duraludon's other leg.
The stadium is filled with glorious explosions and dust clouds as the Duraludon falls backwards, hitting the ground like a meteor from space.
Isbrand's fans are losing it, going crazy at the first of her victories. Raihan's fans aren't as vocal, but it was still a hell of a fight and they appreciate it.
Raihan recalls his Duraludon and purses his lips thoughtfully. "Not bad. How about a picture?"
Isbrand recalls Miku, and Penny dances her away across the field and into Isbrand's arm computer. <That was exciting!>
Isbrand nods at Penny and turns to Raihan. "You can take one of me now, and one of me when I beat Leon."
"Cocky." Raihan laughs, directing his Rotom Phone around. "Keep that up and you'll end up like me."
"We're the same age, aren't we?" Isbrand walks forward, her hand extended. "Good fight."
Raihan takes her hand and shakes it, the Rotom snapping a photo of them. "Go give him hell for me, yeah?"
-Shaun passes Isbrand a bottle of water, the two Trainers sitting together on a bench.-
Shaun: "That was a good technique, the team attack."
Isbrand: "Their idea, not mine."
Shaun: "Means you've taught them well."
Shaun: "Piers'll be a good opponent. No Dynamax, just a good no-holds-barred match."
Isbrand: "Eh, I'm gonna feel bad about fighting a kid."
Shaun: "Hey, Allister's a tough opponent. Underestimating him is a good way to lose."
Isbrand: "Fair enough."
-The T.V. chimes, displaying Isbrand's and Allister's League Cards.-
Isbrand: "Well. See ya in a bit."
Shaun: "Good luck."
Isbrand: "Don't need it."
"First match of the semifinals, innit?" the Commentator announces. "For our first match, two opposing Obscurics: Isbrand Sapphire, and Allister-!" When the Commentator says Allister's last name, the microphone cuts out.
Clouds have started to roll in, the bright sunlight from earlier now merely gray. Isbrand saunters out with her usual swagger, her young opponent already at his spot.
"Let's...be done with this..."
Isbrand crosses her arms. "Fine by me. Mako!"
-Woomy - now a Goodra, apparently - wrestles with the opposing Obstagoon, goo hands locked in clawed paws, pushing against each other in a contest of strength.-
-Shaun and Piers watch, both taking the most casual poses they can - Piers leaning on a mic stand (that is here for some reason), and Shaun dangling in Obscuric chains like they're a hammock.-
-Woomy manages to open her mouth wide enough to let out a scream, dealing just enough damage to let her win the contest and, in the process, knockout the Obstagoon.-
Commentator: "What an invigorating match! The nonchalant, depressed and edgy charm of these two trainers is at such odds with their team!"
Piers: "I really hate the announcers here."
Commentator: "Piers, you know, your microphone is still on."
Piers: "I know, and I don't care. Shaun, right? Not bad."
Shaun: "You too. Almost like fighting a copy of myself."
-Piers chuckles, brushing away some hair.-
Piers: "Heh. You're gonna have to fight her next. Reminds me of when Marnie challenged me during her League run. Might stick around for this fight."
-Shaun nods tersely, shaking Piers's hand and exiting the field with Piers.-
-One match left before Leon.-
-Mason has decided to take a page out of Echo's book, and lie low in the library.-
-Ostensibly, it's so that he can study a bit and make sure he's ready for challenging Raihan, and subsequently, the League. That's certainly the excuse he'd use. But he's really not.-
-He's mostly just reading, with his phone propped up and headphones in, watching league challenges go on.-
-It gets harder, though, when an Espeon decides to sit on the table in front of him, between him and his phone.-
Mason: ...I was watching that.
-Mason stares at the Espeon for a moment, before sliding his phone over a bit. The Espeon lays down, seemingly intentionally being as Innocently Obtrusive as possible.-
Espeon: < >
Mason: ...Can I help you? Is this why Scarlette doesn't like cats?
-The Espeon makes a chirping sound.-
???: Ah, apologies, don't mind him. He is just being friendly.
-Mason blinks as a man roughly in his mid-thirties, with ruddy skin and somewhat messy, reddish-brown hair barely long enough to be pulled into a short ponytail, and a thin beard, goes to scoop up the Espeon that has inserted himself into Mason's personal bubble. The Espeon lets out an ambiguously-feline squeak of protest.-
Scruffy Man: You don't mind if I sit here, do you?
Mason: Oh, er, sure. Feel free.
-The man smiles, and takes a seat at the opposite corner of the table Mason is sitting at. The Espeon situates himself roughly at the center of the table, no longer in Mason's way but still pointedly present.-
Scruffy Man: You are... a League challenger, yes? I think I have seen footage of your battles.
-Mason glances at the Espeon with a look of "aaaaa please help me not be in conversation right now"-
Mason: Yeah, that's right. I'm the one who's going around using Mega Evolution instead of Dynamax.
Scruffy Man: I thought I recognized you. Challenger 06... forgive me for assuming, but you chose that because it is the atomic number for carbon, correct?
-Mason freezes, suddenly tense, and slowly looks up at the man's burning, familiar violet eyes.-
Scruffy Man Templar: I thought so.
-Mason immediately stands up out of his seat.-
Templar: Please, relax. I am not going to hurt you here. This is a public library, after all.
-He slowly sits back down.-
Mason: ...You've been asking me an awful lot. For a stranger at a library. Care to introduce yourself as well?
Templar: I would have thought you had recognized me. Bren.
Mason: The Scorcher.
-The Templar nods.-
Bren the Scorcher: It has been quite a long while, Carbon. I'm so curious how you are alive.
Commentator: "Finals time, blokes, birds, and those of you who aren't referred to by any Galarian slang! Only one of our contenders will make it through to face Champion Leon! In this corner, the Obscuric Fiend, J-Teamer Shaun Sapphire! He's got a lot of wins, having both beaten Champion Cynthia of Sinnoh and winning the Alola League, defeating the man who taught him how to battle in the first place! Shaun's been a fan favorite through this season, both thanks to his techniques and his fame! Why, I even have a signed art print of him hanging up at my flat!"
-Shaun clears the tunnel, walking out onto the field. Pale moonlight streams from the clouds, lightning in the distance illuminating the sky at random intervals. Shaun nods, walking down the field.-
Commentator: "And his opponent, the Raven Queen, the woman of every woman's dreams, Isbrand Sapphire! As Shaun's...relative? These papers can't be right...ahem! Isbrand's relatively new to the professional circuit, but thanks to her cool head and take-no-prisoners attitude, she's made her way here, hot on Shaun's tail!"
"And she appears to have a sword on her hip today. Boy I hope that's ornamental! Well, regardless, killing an opponent would disqualify her, so…"
-Indeed, Isbrand's wearing a katana at her hip, though the western-style hilt hides it at first. The sheath is simple, black leather and cloth. The hilt shines millions of colors at once in the moonlight before refocusing into what appears to be two different metals intertwined, two gems on either side of crossguard, shining iridescent; the pommel of the sword is a glowing, glittering orb, held in place by an elaborate metal cage.-
Shaun: "Well, let's not keep the crowd waiting. Day isn't coming any faster."
Isbrand: "Moonlight's enough for me. I'm more worried about the storm."
Shaun: "Only storm you need to worry about tonight is me. Now come on!"
Shaun: "Alright, I'll take the disadvantage. Jamie!'
-Shaun hurls a Great Ball, exploding with snowflakes as it lands. Ball Capsules were a gift to the world. Isbrand immediately yanks a Luxury Ball off her hip and tosses it.-
Hellfire : <Sorry about this, kid.>
Shaun: "No self-respecting trainer leads with their ace."
Isbrand: "My team's all aces."
Shaun: "You're not stupid enough to immediately counter me. You know I still have Midna. Ice Beam!"
-Jamie opens his mouth, screams a fox yell, and lasers Hellfire in the face.-
Isbrand: "Not bad. Maybe fielding a pure-Dark type was a mistake against Jamie."
Shaun: "You don't have many options."
-Somewhat delayed, the clouds above the battlefield have drawn in at Jamie's command, hail striking the field.-
Isbrand: "Don't bother with the weather. Just take out Jamie."
Shade : <Gladly!>
-Shade retaliates with an Incinerate, a black and red fireball exploding at Jamie's feet. The Ninetales yips, quickly throwing up an Aurora Veil around himself, the pale golden stone on his collar glowing.-
Isbrand: "Just gonna tank it all?"
Shaun: "We're gonna let you run yourselves ragged."
-Jamie and Shade leap at each other, fangs bared as they charge attacks in their mouths.-
"So, this is how it's going to go down, huh? A Double Battle? I can dig that." From the hand holding a single ball, he gave his wrist a flick and was soon holding two between his fingers, which scaled up mid-flight.
Raihan sent out Torkoal and Goodra!
The forming Light Screen earned a glare from Leader and challenger alike, though the former's Pokemon didn't react as they were busy throwing super-effective attacks at the opponents, caught by the Light Screen and prevented by a booming Thunder.
Isbrand crosses her arms and frowns as she recalls Shade. She lasted longer than expected, and based on Jamie's panting, did her job. That and the hail's stopped. Isbrand spins a ball in her fingers and launches, releasing a pride-colored Obstagoon.
Miku lets out a war cry and springs forward, the vestigial pyrosacs in her palms igniting as she slams a fist into Jamie. He yelps, his Aurora Veil crackling blue before shattering, teal shards fading away. He backhops, firing off an Ice Beam, which Miku deflects with another Fire Punch. Miku takes a running jump and leaps into the air, burning hands clasped together into a hammerfist that she brings down on the terrified Nintales.
Shaun: "Lucky hit. Let's see how this idol holds up against a samurai."
-With the distinctive "slice" sound they make when Shaun throws them through the air, an Ultra Ball bounces and clicks open.-
Tsuboi: <Sing for me, Miku/Cries of sorrow in the air/As you fall fighting.>
Miku: <Shut up and fight, you overgrown isopod. >
-As commanded, Tsuboi strikes like a skilled iaijutsu practitioner, dashing past Miku and slashing her with a claw. She hisses as her blood splatters on the dirt.-
Miku: <Good. This is what I live for!>
-With a roar, she spins and attacks with lightning-coated fists.-
Hoops: Kec, use Shadow Claw!
Kec runs forwards, his spectral claws growing.
Bede: Use Crunch!
Mawile opens its massive jaws to swallow Kec.
Hoops: Switch to Iron Tail!
Kec digs one of his claws into the ground the instant before he reaches Mawile, allowing him to rapidly change direction and spin around to Mawile's front, which does not have the protection of the large jaws. As he turns silver, his glowing tail slams into Mawile, knocking it back.
Bede: Quick, use Iron Head!
Without turning around, Mawile rams its head into Kec with it actual body. Kec is kocked back hard, but he turns in the air and lands on his feet.
Bede: Iron Head again!
Hoops: Sucker Punch!
Before Mawile can attack, a now black Kecleon hits it with a paw full of dark energy. The force makes it stagger back, and Kec follows.
Hoops: Repeated Iron Tail!
Kec begins a barrage of attacks against Mawile, who can only try and protect its head as well as it can as it is driven further back.
Mawile's eyes suddenly snap open, and it spins around and grabs Kec in its huge jaws in the middle of an attack. Kec screams in pain as the jaws begin to crush him.
Bede: Play Rough!
The Deceiver Pokemon begins thrashing about with Kec in its jaws, slamming the small pokemon repeatedly into the ground several times.
Hoops: Break out!
Kec struggles, but he can't break the strong grip that holds him in place. Hoops watches helplessly as their partner is dealt more and more damage.
Hoops: What do I do, what do I do? I have to do this... I have to win this... but Kec is stuck and... and...
An idea suddenly occurs to them. A risky idea, one that could be all or nothing.
Hoops: Do I do it? Can I take the risk? Can I...
Mawile raises Kec in the air to slam it down into the ground.
Kec is confused by the order, since that will cause him to take more damage from Play Rough. But he trusts his trainer, and so grits his teeth in pain as he transforms into the dark type and hits Mawile with dark energy - just enough that it opens its jaws, allowing the battered Kec to get out.
Hoops: Now, use Iron Tail!
Kec swings his tail one more time, catching the stunned Mawile unawares. The attack lifts it off its feet, and it lands on the ground, unconscious.
Announcer: Mawile is unable to battle! Gym Leader Bede only has two pokemon remaining.
Bede returns Mawile to its pokeball, and selects another. He throws it forwards, revealing a Gardevoir that slowly opens its eyes.
Bede: You've done well. But this is the end. Moonblast!
Gardevoir raises its hands to its chest, and pink energy begins to gather between them. Kec is injured from the previous battle, and can't move quick enough to react.
The powerful blast of energy slams into Kec, causing a small explosion that launches the small pokemon so hard that he hits his trainer in the chest, causing Hoops to fall to the ground.
Announcer: Kecleon is unable to battle! Therefore the victor is Gym Leader Bede!
Bede closes his eyes returns his pokemon, and begins to walk away without saying another word, leaving Hoops and Kec lying on the floor of the pitch.
Gus: <Argh! This is taking too long! I'm sending a distress signal!>
Levy: <Gus, you can't! Let her wake up on her own time!>
Gus: <Did Snow White have to wait for someone to wake her from her deathlike trance?>
Levy: <That's not gonna stop you from sending the distress signal, is it?>
Levy: <I hate it when I'm right.>
Gus: <Think of it as speeding up the waiting process...>
-Gus takes his trainer's phone and gets to texting. However, being a big wrestling tiger, his thumbs do make it a bit of a challenge.
Evelyn: Taihenda! HOOPS!
-Evelyn jumps from the stands and runs to Hoops' aid.-
Evelyn: Hoops, are you okay?
(Kim's eyes widen with shock and concern, and she frantically runs down the stairs. Even Peechee is too concerned to react in his usual manner, and runs down after Kim.)
Kim: (panicked) "HOOPS!"
Peechee: <A-are you...?!>
(From up in the stands, Braker, Walter, and Cuddles are all watching the battle below them. The first one is holding a video camera and is eagerly capturing the footage.)
Braker: "Walter, this is going to be great. I can barely wait to put this on stream tonight."
Walter: <Indeed. That is one powerful Sylveon, if I do say so myself. But we shall have to wait and see what strategies they use against Raihan.>
Cuddles: (excited) <Is that who I think it is...?!>
Braker: "Yes, Cuddles. It is. The same Galvantula that withstood an Earthquake in Spikemuth."
Walter: <Yes, of course. Despite the fact that the news keeps forgetting...>
Braker and Walter: "< Bug resists Ground.>"
Braker: "Yes, I know, Walter. I'm not expecting anything particularly big. However, I will admit-"
Cuddles: <That... is the cutest... Galvantula... EVER-!>
Braker: "Well, he is cute, but I don't know about-"
Cuddles: (happily waving) <Hello, fellow floof fren~!>
(Walter sighs and facepalms.)
Walter: <Cuddles, they can't hear you.>
Miku growls. <Bastard! Get back here!>
<Damage sustained/Tactical retreat needed/Finish her, Midna.> Tsuboi darts back like a [Symphony of the Night] speedrunner, returning to his ball as Midna bursts out of Shaun in a show of smoke and frost, hovering over the ground.
<Shaun,> she announces. <Get ready.> Midna smirks, gathers a ball of dark energy in her "hand", and flings it at Miku. The exhausted Obstagoon growls and crosses her arms to Obstruct the Shadow Ball. But rather than harmlessly dissipate, the ball explodes before hitting Miku, breaking apart like buckshot and flying past Miku - only to reverse course and batter Miku from behind.
<Hmmph.> Small Obscura spheres orbit above Midna's "hand", chasing each other. <Oh, dear Isbrand, I expected more of a challenge from your team.>
Isbrand bares her teeth, the sharpened fangs glinting as lightning strikes the field. "You want a challenge, imp? Then have one." Isbrand recalls Miku and flings another Luxury Ball, releasing the real Hellfire.
The Houndoom tilts his head up, listening to the thunder and wind. <Already?>
Isbrand wordlessly draws her sword and levels the blade at Shaun. Shaun runs his eyes up the hilt and down her blade, mouth drawn tightly.
Jessica crunches up some popcorn and looks at Cereza. "What?"
<That sword! That's my Shadowcleaver! It's supposed to be buried in some unmarked grave in Ransei. Where did she find it?>
"Oh, we took it from an alternate version of yourself. Don't worry, you died permanently in that one." Kaiiseii grins at his ancestor. "Seems like Issy made it more her own though."
Cereza scoffs and sits back in her seat. <And I'm stuck with a bokken.>
Shaun laughs. "That desperate to win, oh daughter mine?"
Isbrand glowers at him and swipes the sword down. The Key Stone inside glows brightly, and a cocoon surrounds Hellfire. He shoots a stream of fire out of his mouth triumphantly as it breaks, his body bigger, melting black fur with more stark white bone armor and spikes and his eyes glowing red. He looks rather...Grimm.
<Nice sword, bird girl. But I'm not afraid of Hellfire's smoke and mirrors.> Midna waves her hand, a glyph in the air charging before firing an Ice Beam at Hellfire.
<Then try out my flames!> Hellfire shouts, meeting the Ice Beam with a Flamethrower; the attacks meet and burst into steam, covering the field much like when Isbrand fought Raihan earlier in the day. But the steam quickly settles to ankle-high fog, only for another Ice Beam to be met in mid-flight.
<Maybe I didn't give you enough credit, wolfie!> Midna cackles, scattering glyphs around the field to fire Ice Beams at Hellfire as he dodges and weaves through the veritable minefield of lasers. <It's been a while since anyone kept me on my toes this long!>
Shaun quirks an eyebrow, lowering his teashades. "You don't have feet."
"What, did you check?" Isbrand snarks.
"Isbrand, Midna literally spends half her waking hours possessing me."
Isbrand rolls her eyes. "Whatever. Let's wrap this up. Hellfire, quit trying to hit her and just burn everything!"
Midna reaches out for the familiar energy of Shaun's mind, his silver thoughts intertwining with her own. ~Ideas?~
~If he's gonna hit everything, do the same.~
Midna laughs, scattering more glyphs around the battlefield, all aiming at Hellfire. He snorts, amused, as he focuses on gathering all the energy in his pyrosac into one devastating attack.
Midna snaps her fingers - wait, what? - and the glyphs explode into a veritable Blizzard. At the same time, Hellfire opens his mouth, glowing orange and red veins all over his body, and explodes into an Inferno of flames.
Let's just say the explosion is much bigger this time.
It's hard to see through all the steam - quickly turning to fog - but Isbrand burns some of her Obscura to enhance her vision and sees a black shape - a massive wolfhound, growling, sharp edges jutting out of it...and a bundle of cloth and Obscura on its back. "Looks like Midna fainted!" she calls out.
"First time for everything," Shaun retorts. He cocks his head and holds Midna's ball out to where he can hear footsteps and fires the return beam. "Right. Four each, now. Tsuboi! Get back out here!"
Hoops sees their friends approaching and feels a great shame and embarrassment all of a sudden. They were supposed to win this match. It was how they would prove how strong they were. And instead, they ended up looking weak. What must the others think of them now? Surely that they were a weakling. That they didn't deserve to have gotten this far into their gym challenge. That they weren't worth interacting with.
If Hoops were rational at the moment, this line of thought would seem completely ridiculous. But they're not. So, as their friends approach, without another word they get up and run as fast as they can from the stadium, cradling Kec's unconscious body with them.
(Kim and Peechee look at each other in concern.)
Peechee: <P-please... come back! W-we can help you...!>
(They run after them.)
Edited by OPALGARNET16 on Apr 21st 2021 at 11:34:33 AM
-Evelyn watches Hoops run away, the worried look in her eye filling with tears.-
Evelyn: Hoops has had it rough all their life... I wish I could've done something to help...
-Ian kneels down to try and comfort Evelyn.-
Me: You and me both, Evelyn. Though I don't go as far back as you go with Hoops... Hoops is our friend. And we should be there for them, no matter what.
Piku-chan: <He's right. If there's anyone Hoops needs now more than ever, it's their friends.>
Evelyn: Thanks, you two. Now... Let's go.
-Ian and Evelyn run after Hoops and Kim.-
Hoops runs without really thinking about where they're going - they can barely even see through the film of tears that are attempting to flow from their eyes, which they continually wipe away.
They find themself standing in front of their old house, which looks exactly the same as it did before. Upon seeing it, they properly tear up and fall to their knees, where they remain doubled over for a few seconds.
Then they appear to have some kind of revelation, and they go to the house and open the front door. Placing Kec on the sofa, they move through to the kitchen table, where the box from before with the six pokeballs sits.
After a moment of hesitation, they remove the belt that holds their pokeballs, and place it on the table. Then they open the box and, one by one, begin to replace the balls on their belt with those in the box.
Kec: <What are you doing?>
Hoops turns to see that Kec has gotten up and made his way into the kitchen. They look at them and turn back to what they were doing.
Hoops: Being strong, Kec. I was being stupid, thinking that I could just win with any team I wanted because I really wanted to. Dad knew what I needed to do. He left this here for me, because he knew what I needed to do to become strong.
Kec: <I don't believe what I'm hearing. After everything - all those years of hating him and wanting to escape, everything you've gone through with me and Led and Sal and Kit and Sud and Tot - you're throwing that all away?>
Hoops: My mind is made up, Kec. If I don't become strong, if I don't become the champion, then what was the point of it all. What was the point in even trying if I was going to fail. In order for all that pain to be worth it, this is the path. You can stay with me, though. You at least are strong enough to be on my team.
After that argument, Hoops expects Kec to agree with them, so they are surprised to see nothing but complete disgust on the pokemon's face.
Kec: <I can't believe that you would abandon your friends for something so selfish. If this is what you're doing, I don't want to come with you. And I'm almost sorry that I ever did.>
He closes his eyes and turns into red light as Hoops returns him to his pokeball, and places him in the box with the rest of his team. Inside, the pokemon know what has happened and are trying to release themselves to say something, but Hoops has locked them in. They close the box, take the belt of new pokemon, and fasten it.
(Eventually, Kim and Peechee leave the Gym and frantically look around for Hoops— only to find that they're not there.)
Peechee: <They- they're not here...>
Kim: "What— what's happening...?"
Fairy-type and Bug-type alike didn't really think much of the assault absorbed by the Light Screen, a Pixilated Hyper Voice assaulting the pitch's ears and a Signal Beam doing the same for Goodra's eyes.
Sylveon used Hyper Voice!
9-Volt used Signal Beam!
Torkoal used Gyro Ball!
"Oh," Colton observed simply as he returned the fairy-type, his Water-Type starter coming forth without his input.
Helmsman sent out himself!
Helmsman used Surf!
<Hey!> 9-Volt demanded before somewhat shaking himself off, hoping his short-term partner in the business would avoid the mistake.
Torkoal used Solar Beam!
Turtonator used Fire Blast!
While the Light Screen held, both of them were definitely scathed.
Edited by AbsentCoder on Apr 21st 2021 at 10:39:04 AM
(Walter sinks a bit upon seeing Sylveon faint, while Braker continues to record.)
Walter: <Ah. A bit of a shame, really. She had a Quick Claw, too. Very interesting strategy. But I suppose that's the way it is.>
Braker: "...Did that Samurott just send himself out?"
Walter: <I believe he did. Then again, it's not all that strange considering how often Cuddles sends himself out.>
Braker: "That is a fair point, Walter."
Cuddles: <YAY! The Galvantula is still standing~! Come on, fellow Galvantula! I don't know your name, but I still want you to win~!>
Braker: "That Fire Blast did a lot of damage, though. I doubt he'll be standing for much longer, Cuddles."
Cuddles: (sadly) <Oh...> (then, waving his pedipalps frantically) <RETURN HIM! RETURN HIIIIM-! THE GALVANTULA, I MEAN, NOT THE SAMUROTT!>
Walter: <Cuddles, they still can't hear you.>
Edited by OPALGARNET16 on Apr 21st 2021 at 12:44:22 PM
Star: ....That's a tough one. Honestly, I'm just kinda glad to be doing this again after so long.
Braker: "Ah. I see. You... took a break from traveling for a bit, I assume? What was that like?"
Evelyn: Where'd they go?
Hatty: <They couldn't have gotten far.>
Me: I hope they're not lost...
Piku-chan: <I hope so too...>
-At that moment, Evelyn begins to worry even more.-
Evelyn: -worried- Hoops... If you're there... please... let me know. Your friends... Ian, Kim and I... We'll be here for you! You are not alone...
Tsuboi: <Of course, trainer Shaun/I will vanquish the Houndoom/Back to the doghouse.>
-Hellfire Howls and leaps out of a cloud of fog, Fangs crackling with Thunder and lighting. He clamps down on Tsuboi's thick carapace, digging in. Tsuboi calmly extends his claws and slashes with a watery aura, the Razor Shell finding its mark and knocking Hellfire off.
Mega!Hellfire : <I burn with the power of a thousand suns! Come, samurai. Bask in my holy light!>
Tsuboi: <Nothing holy there/Grim creature, pure anger. fight/Fire and fang and claw.>
-Another razor shell sends a wire-thin strip of water at Hellfire, lacerating his flesh.
-Hellfire yelps, panting on the ground as Tsuboi looks down at him and readies a claw.-
Tsuboi: <Valiant fight, Hellfire/True warrior, sharp teeth, but/My blade strikes you true.>
-Tsuboi raises his claw.-
-Hellfire quickly darts forward and tackles Tsuboi, pinning him to the ground and snapping at his throat.-
Hellfire : <We both lose.>
-Hellfire glows bright once more, and the Inferno burns them both.-
Kim: (turns to face Ian and Evelyn) "Indeed they are not. So... while we wait, I believe we should start getting to our Gym Battles, should we not? I feel as though I should go first, since you went before me the last time."
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