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AbsentCoder Some Rando from Doofenshmirtz Neutral Incorporated Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
Some Rando
Jun 15th 2021 at 8:53:06 PM

Studio Palace

"Perhaps we're the ones getting very strong very fast," Rn'L offered. "I'm not certain. I mean, they're still tough, but that..." he dusted off his jacket. "Was almost little more than a... diversion..." Ahemait, still out, sniffed the air, on the hunt for any lurkers, only to shake his head.

He lost him.

"Ah, crap."

Edited by AbsentCoder on Jun 16th 2021 at 5:26:13 AM

[Insert Unoriginal Stinger Here]
Pentigan Fwomph from The Underverse
Fwomph
Jun 16th 2021 at 6:07:12 AM

Polity

-Gale shivered as the group entered the subway. Even though she wasn't present for the last time people in her orbit had gone into a post-apocalyptic subway system it was still a similarity that gave her chills. When the group approached the outpost Gale nodded and stepped over to the recorder-

Alright, let's see what kind of log the future deluded dictator left for us...

-And with that, she activated the recording-

Saffron Hotel, Briefing

Kitbash: Yo, Vali? The pharma guys? Ohoho, this is something ain't it, I was just thinking of them recently. What is this, one of their clinics or something?

Lee House, Closed Door

-The two tourists who were at the door seem to have wandered off now that others were using the door. But a different, familiar tourist has turned up instead-

Retro-phone tourist: Well, if you want in I could try and give a crack at getting it open. Doesn't look like the staff are around to make a fuss about it.

Lee House, Subwhere Observatory

-It appears there's actually very little on the laptop. Doing a quick ctr-alt-del and opening task manager shows there's two programs currently running: a piece of firmware to hook up to a civilian-grade proximity sensor and a program just called "obspresentation.exe". Quitting out to the desktop it seems the only things on this laptop are those two programs and a video file: "gonetotheforestgonetotheforest.mp4"-

-Out the windows, in the black void, a figure appears in the darkness floating. It's clearly Gale, but she only appears out there in the distance for a moment before vanishing-

Lee House, The Forest

-It appears that the platforms are quite stable. Yes, they appear out of thin air and vanish once there's no one on it or an adjacent platform but they refuse to move and are large enough to have plenty of room to move without risking being at the edge. Really, it kind of feels like the platforms were as safety-compliant they could be for floating rock platforms with no handrails. It seems like the actual route the platforms form is largely circuitous, leading away from the spire from which the group entered for a bit before curving around back towards it-

-At some point, a certain Gale Knight steps out from the shadow of a pillar on the path and looks around-

Well damn... This is not a good sign... Yo, guys! Any of you seen uh... Robots?

Studio Palace

-Rakash let off a sharp 'hm' of appreciation at the team coming together to thresh their enemies before nodding along with the notes of that being way too easy-

Yeah. I think that may have just been a distraction. We should pursue. Prep your alpha strikes if you've got them maybe?

Galar Mountains

You hum a little bit at the beginning of the climb, nothing specific just random notes in time with your steps. However, you stop when you're asked a question and after a moment chime in with an answer.

"Do you mean to this mountain or to Galar in general? I guess I'll just go ahead and answer both; the mountain looked cool and I really like climbing things when I travel to places and I came to Galar because it's a nice place and according to the buzz the J-Team are in the region. So yeah, thought I'd get to meet them!"

It's clearly a case of backroom political albumizing.
Sergey_Smirnov Trans Terminus Homo from Everywhere and Nowhere (With a german accent) Relationship Status: Consider his love an honor
Trans Terminus Homo
Jun 16th 2021 at 9:33:25 AM

Galar Mountains

Alyesha smiled from that answer, stretching lightly while continuing to make her way up the trek together with Emer, with Krasnaya walking in between the two, actually having retrieved her own miniature backpack out of Alyesha's big one.

Alyesha: "Oh, I can understand you there, I wasn't any different as a child - still am not, climbing, diving - both into water and caves... really I am into all of those~"

She chuckled slightly.

Alyesha: "And as for the J-Team, you're in luck I suppose, you're meeting one of them at least."

"One may feel fear in the face of danger so long as one banishes fear when danger actually arrives"
Daydre That's just how it is on this bitch of an earth from the trash Relationship Status: Gone fishin'
That's just how it is on this bitch of an earth
Jun 16th 2021 at 2:00:59 PM

Galar, Past

She pouts, but in a joking manner.

"Aww, okay. I am kind of a stranger, so I get it. Oh, but speaking of another time.." She digs for something in her pocket and retrieves a business card.

"I gotta get better about handing these out, so here. If you're ever in Ballonlea feel free to drop by."

The business card is gradated pastel pink, purple and blue, and reads "Mushraiments" with a phone number and address below it.

Lee House, Closed Door

Daydre most definitely does not trust like that, but she's also curious enough that she gives it some thought.

"... Nah, I don't know if that's a good idea."

Edited by Daydre on Jun 16th 2021 at 8:16:33 AM

Courage need not be remembered, for it is never forgotten.
Asterisk395 No voice to cry suffering from Hallownest Relationship Status: I've got a total eclipse of the heart
No voice to cry suffering
Jun 16th 2021 at 3:12:56 PM

Driftveil Bridge - Blood + Blue > Lilac Sky

-Molybdenum's particular suite of powers revolves oh so much more around the mental than anything else-

Molybdenum: -...-

-even un-Disabled, outside the Wonder Room, she notably lacks tools to deal directly with even a physics problem as simple as this-

Molybdenum: -...!-

-so she manipulates the pathing of Ever's descent control to wind up directly under her-

Molybdenum used Confide!

(-this is why you don't [Akira] slide with a sidecar, people-)

Molybdenum: -grounded- ...understatement of the fucking century.

-there's a looong, pained moment where she processes the peerless ability of the J-Team to escalate beyond useful or conceivable measure (borrowed hands included), and-

Molybdenum Ramona: -prying off her helmet, gasping on the inhale- We'll get 'em next time. You're clever, huh?

-nary a lesson was learnt-

Edited by Asterisk395 on Jun 16th 2021 at 6:16:57 AM

No mind to think. No will to break.
AnimeboyIanpower Empathic Kid Hero-in-training from Queen Mary's Castle Relationship Status: Brewing the love potion
Empathic Kid Hero-in-training
Jun 16th 2021 at 3:42:35 PM

Wyndon Stadium, Ian VS Daisuke

-The air between the two Ice Beams begins to condense and freeze into a small orb of ice, which begins to grow between Oshawittle and Blasty as the use of their Ice Beams is prolonged.-

Me: Keep going, Oshawittle!

Daisuke: Blasty, full power!

-Oshawittle and Blasty fire their Ice Beams at full power until the ice orb between them grew into an icy football. It was even official size. Whether or not it was official weight is up to you.-

Me: Oshawittle, quick! Use Aqua Jet to launch the ball into Blasty!

Daisuke: Blasty! Use Iron Defense!

-Oshawittle surrounds himself in water and throws himself at the icy sphere, launching it at Blasty, who shines with a metallic light and hardens his shell again. The ice sphere bounces off of Blasty and is directed at Oshawittle.-

Blasty used Iron Defense! Blasty's Defense Increased Sharply!

Me: Oshawittle, send it back with Aqua Jet!

Daisuke: Blasty! Keep defending!

-Oshawittle pushes against the frigid football with enough force to send it back at Blasty, who stands firm and bounces the ball off his shell, knocking it back across the pitch.-

Wyndon Stadium Stands

Evelyn: Ooh! This should be interesting!

Hatty: <It's like a Pokémon Football match!>

Lee House, the Forest

-Ian notices the figure of Gale Knight and stops hopping from platform to platform.-

Evelyn: Huh?

-Evelyn lands on a platform slightly a ways away from Ian's.-

Evelyn: See something?

Me: Yeah. For a moment, I thought I saw Ms. Knight.

-Upon being asked if they saw any robots, Ian replies.-

Me: Not recently!

Circhester

-Yuki, despite being a Ghost type, and as such, immune to the Boomburst attack, jumps back and covers her ears. She then proceeds to make the call.-

Yuki: <Romea is unable to battle! Strummer wins!>

Me: -telepathically to Evelyn- ~Wow... This battle's getting tense.~

Evelyn: -telepathically to Ian- ~Both Kim and Braker are down 1 Pokémon. I wonder who they're going to send out next...~

Palace of Maiden's Heart

-Cu Chulainn firmly grasps his spear and readies himself for battle. Joybringer follows suit and dances a little to psych himself up.-

Joybringer: -thinks to himself- When I get back to the real world, I should definitely consider taking belly-dancing lessons...

Show me the wisdom of the world... Tell me the secrets of the heart... and the sweet~ mysteries~ of love~...
AbsentCoder Some Rando from Doofenshmirtz Neutral Incorporated Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
Some Rando
Jun 16th 2021 at 3:51:59 PM

Lee House Observatory

"Wha-?" Having glanced up, his curiosity was ignited at the glimpse of Gale. Placing a hand on the glass and letting pitch swirl around his hand and into the glass, he stepped through the portal, illusions of both handrails and platforms summoned as necessary to walk to where he saw her.

Lee House Path

<Robots?> Katsuragi parroted.

"Machinery, possibly humanoid or in the form of a Pokemon," Kamui summarized. "No, not in recent memory." She told Gale. "And definitely not in this house. Why?"

[Insert Unoriginal Stinger Here]
memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Jun 16th 2021 at 5:14:30 PM

Driftveil Bridge

Ever: Hey, hold on

-thump-

-...-

-...-

Ever: Generally I am a bit cleverer without elbows in my lungs.

Do you have any teleporters left? I'm not sure I'm up to another trip down memory lane.

Sorry things didn't work out, by the way.

Alice's Faction, May 11

-Brie freezes-

-the little flips of hair at the sides of her head twitch like cat ears, somehow-

Brie: Not overstepping anything, nope.

-Alice can't see it, but Brie grins a little-

Edited by memyselfandI2 on Jun 16th 2021 at 5:17:04 AM

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.
OPALGARNET16 Priest of the Temple of Syrinx from Nighttree, New Jersey Relationship Status: Abstaining
Priest of the Temple of Syrinx
Jun 16th 2021 at 5:29:17 PM

Wyndon Stadium

Elton: <Yay~! Football!>

Kim: "Well, this is enjoyable."

Lee House, the Forest

(Upon seeing Gale Knight there, Cuddles stops bouncing on the platforms.)

Cuddles: <Who's that...?>

(And then Gale asks about robots.)

Braker: "Robots? Not in my recent memory..." (then, to himself) Though it does seem like something worth reporting on.

Circhester

(Braker smiles, then takes out Romea's PokeBall.)

Braker: "Return, Romea. You deserve a good rest." (He returns him, then puts away the PokeBall.) "Well, then. Your Toxtricity put up a good fight... but his attacks won't do much to my next Pokemon!" (He takes out another one and throws it.) "Jules, you're on the air!"

(In a flash of light, Jules appears, with their tongue sticking out of their mouth. Strummer blinks, then turns to face Kim.)

Kim: "Braker's right, Strummer. You may return; you've done enough for now."

(Strummer nods, then returns. Kim then takes out another PokeBall.)

Kim: "Red alert, Joel!"

(The ball opens, and Joel appears.)

Jules: <Hello~!>

(They go up to Joel and start licking his face.)

Jules used Lick!

Joel: (not even reacting) <Oh, hey there. You look pretty friendly for a Seviper, hmmm...?>

Jules: (just stands there with a derpy look on their face)

Studio Palace

(Triton nods and promptly readies his trident.)

HASSLEMON INTERWEBS

PI: Well, that was fun, wasn't it?

FS: it was~~

PJ: I StIlL CaN't BeLiEvE HoW FuN ThAt BaTtLe WaS!

RM: YOU—DID—WHAT?! WHO—DID—YOU—BATTLE—AND—WHY—DIDN'T—I—SEE—IT?!

MC: he baTTLed me

MC: i wiLL admiT iT was RaTheR fun

ZL: That'ss good! :P

RM: PLEASE—STOP—mAKING—THAT—STUPID—FACE, JULES.

TA: Did i detect a hint of politeness towards Jules just now?

RM: YOU—DIDN'T—DETECT—ANYTHING!!

TA: i Beg to differ. i'm willing to Bet you're Becoming more tolerant towards your Seviper Companion.

ZL: Yay!

RM: rrrrrrr... YOU—SAW—NOTHING!!!

ZL: :P

MC: This conveRsaTiOn is veRy amusing

PJ: So! WhErE ArE We GoInG NeXt?

FS: yeah~ i wanna know where we're going too~~

PI: Alola.

TA: Alola? Why there?

FS: ooh~ are we taking a beach vacation~? that sounds really fun~~

ZL: Yeah! A beach vacation iss the besst!

RM: I--CANNOT--BELIEVE--I--AGrEE--WITH--YOU.

PI: A beach vacation is definitely part of it, but we're mainly going there to catch some more Pokemon.

FS: yaaaaaay~~

PJ: WoNdEr WhO We'Ll MeEt ThErE...

TA: i'm intrigued to find out myself...

PI: As am I. Let's get going.

Everyone left the conversation.

A FEW DAYS LATER...

(Braker, Walter, Cuddles, and Panto emerge from a ship and onto the beaches of Alola. Braker is carrying towels and a few beach chairs.)

Braker: "Well, here we are."

Cuddles: <YAY~!> (jumps down from Braker's shoulder and begins playing in the sand)

Panto: <Alright! This place is great!>

Walter: (nods in agreement)

(Braker and Panto start unfolding the beach chairs. Cuddles, meanwhile, continues to happily play in the sand— kicking it around and making balls of sand with it, until eventually he looks up and notices something in the distance.)

Cuddles: <Oh...?>

(Curious, he approaches— and notices that the thing is a West Sea Gastrodon, casually lying on a rock and reading what appears to be a book of Greek literature. His eyes go completely wide, and he skitters up to the Gastrodon.)

Cuddles: (stunned beyond belief) <You can read...?!>

Gastrodon (not even looking up from his book) <More accurately, I study pictures.>

Cuddles: <You study pictures? How does that work?>

Gastrodon: (takes a furtive glance over at Cuddles) <My friend, have you not heard of context clues?>

Cuddles: <Don't be silly~! Of course I've heard of context clues!> (then, with a gasp) <Wait... did you say "friend"?! Are we friends?>

Gastrodon: <I wouldn't really say that we are "friends".>

Cuddles: (looking down sadly) <Oh...> (then, almost instantly) <Well... maybe we could become friends! Hello there~!> (He extends a pedipalp.) <My name's Cuddles~! What's yours?>

Gastrodon: (puts down his book and extends a slug-like limb, shaking Cuddles' pedipalp as best he can) <Charonus Tritonalicus III.>

Cuddles: (confused) <Charo— what now?>

Gastrodon: <I see my name is confusing to you. You may refer to me as just Charon.>

Cuddles: <Oh! Okay! Charon is so much easier!>

Charon: <Allow me to make you an inquiry. Are you domesticated, as it were?>

Cuddles: <Domeh...>

Charon: <That is to say, do you have a Trainer?>

Cuddles: <Oh...! Do I have a Trainer! Oh! Of course I have a Trainer! His name's Leonard Braker; would you like to meet him and his friends?>

Charon: <I would be honored to meet such a man.>

Cuddles: (excited) <YAY~! Thank you...!> (He turns to face Braker, Walter, and Panto, who have finished setting up the chairs.) <Lenny~! Walter! Panto! I found a Pokemon~!>

(Almost immediately, Braker, Walter, and Panto turn to face Cuddles— and when they see the Gastrodon, they immediately run over.)

Braker: "Ah, so you have."

Walter: <A West Sea Gastrodon? They're not normally found by the beaches here...>

Panto: <You look cool! Hey there! My name's Panto; the Wobbuffet is Walter and the Trainer with the camera is Braker. Who are you?>

Charon: <Charonus Tritonalicus III. You may just simply call me Charon, though.>

Braker: "Hello, Charon. It's wonderful to meet you."

Charon: <I must admit the same about you all. I would like to inquire something, though.>

Braker: "What is it?"

Charon: <Why in the world did you come to this place?>

Panto: <Oh, that's easy! We're taking a beach vaction!>

Charon: <...I do believe you mean "vacation", yes?>

Braker: "He does."

Charon: <I figured that that was what he had meant.> (He sighs, then:) <Your Galvantula's rather endearing.>

Braker: "Thank you. That's Cuddles."

Cuddles: (suddenly gasps) <WAIT A SECOND! I completely forgot! Charon, would you like a hug?>

Charon: <...I must decline your offer to embrace. Unfortunately, I do not like hugs.>

Cuddles: <Oh. Okay. Well... would you like a cookie?>

Charon: <I'm also not a fan of baked pastries.>

Cuddles: (looks down sadly) <Oh...>

Charon: (blinks) <...did I dishearten you in any way?>

Cuddles: (a bit saddened) <No, no... it's fine... I just really like giving hugs...> (then, perking up a bit) <B-but it's okay if you don't like them! Not everyone likes hugs!>

Charon: <Indeed, and that list does include myself.>

Walter: <You certainly seem like a nice Gastrodon...>

Panto: <Hey, I know! Braker's looking for new Pokemon; want to join his team?>

Charon: (blink) <I must confess, no one has asked me this.>

Braker: "Well, we're the first. We'd be delighted to have you on board."

Charon: (looks down a bit, then) <And I would be delighted to oblige.>

Cuddles: (excited) <You'll join?!>

Charon: (moving off of the rock) <I shall indeed join Leonard Braker's team.>

Cuddles: <YAY~! Welcome aboard, Charon!>

(Charon grins, before going up to Leonard Braker.)

Charon: <Braker, please throw a PokeBall at me.>

Braker: (smirking) "I'll do more than that." (he takes out a Great Ball)

Charon: <...A Great Ball... I must say that I'm intrigued.>

Braker: "Here goes nothing."

(He throws the Great Ball in the air, and in a flash of blue light, Charonus Tritonalicus III is stuffed inside of it. The ball falls to the ground, shakes three times, and then the center flashes blue, signifying capture. Cuddles happily jumps up into the air.)

Cuddles: <YAY~! A new friend!>

Braker: "Indeed."

(He takes out his Pokedex and scans the Great Ball. In an instant, info appears on the screen:)

SPECIES: GASTRODON (WEST SEA)

NAME: CHARONUS TRITONALICUS III (CHARON)

GENDER: MALE

NATURE: ADAMANT

ABILITY: STORM DRAIN

MOVESET: BODY SLAM, ANCIENT POWER, MUDDY WATER, EARTH POWER, EARTHQUAKE, SLUDGE BOMB

(Then, after about a minute:)

HASSLEMON HANDLE DECIDED

encyclopediaTritonicha (ET)

Braker: (putting away his Pokedex) "Of course it would be a pun. Now..." (He readies the Great Ball.) "I think I should let him back out."

(He tosses it, and Charon appears in a flash of light.)

Charon: (confused) <Why in the world did you send me back out?>

Braker: "Simple. I'd like you to join us for the beach vacation."

Charon: <I would indeed enjoy that very much.>

Panto: <Come on, Charon~!>

(And with that, Braker, Walter, Cuddles, Panto, and Charon head back to their seats.)

Hi, I’m oghond, and I’m a Rushaholic. Sorry if I annoy you unintentionally. 😅
Asterisk395 No voice to cry suffering from Hallownest Relationship Status: I've got a total eclipse of the heart
No voice to cry suffering
Jun 16th 2021 at 8:59:59 PM

Driftveil Bridge

Ramona: It's fine.

-it does not sound fine-

Ramona: I carry him in my heart.

-or something-

Ramona: why am I talking about this

-on request, she levers herself up—just far enough to land on her back next to them-

-and, helpfully, reaches over and shuts off Ever's pain response-

Ramona: -groan- That solves that. Now that we're away from your horrible friends, there's no point in keeping this card. Ribot?

-a tickle in the back of the cerebellum—the long, rain-soggy smear the pair of them left down the bridge oozes...flickers purple, and faster than you can say "saccade", a Beheeyem appearing to be made entirely of what hopefully isn't cerebrospinal fluid hovers translucently above them-

Ramona: -blink blink- What...on earth happened to you?

Fluid!Beheeyem Ribot: -petulant- ~I don't understand why that ship has actual functioning teleport disruptors.~

Ramona: Those aren't ours?

Fluid!Ribot: ~They came preinstalled.~

Ramona: a h

Fluid!Ribot: -examining an arm, drone- ~That Vaporeon has some fascinatingly corporeal uses for Synchronoise.~

Ramona: Huh.

...I think I killed her.

Fluid!Ribot: -curious- ~So the kill switch worked?~

Ramona: No, I think those are gone. It wasn't one of ours.

Fluid!Ribot: -in much the same tone- ~...ah.~

Ramona: ah.

Fluid!Ribot: -mind-murmur- ~All so fascinating. I'd love to take a week and cut them apart for the tick.~

Ramona: ...since we're here and not to ground, you can't relocate us in that new body of yours.

Fluid!Ribot: ~Since you speak with your voice and not your mind, I'm doomed to slow our communication to the speed of a larynx forever?~

Ramona: hey.

Fluid!Ribot: -unimpressed- ~A similar matter. One's original form's eradication at the subatomic level tends to waste a few caloric reserves.~

Fluid!Ribot: -unblinking, staring into Ever's eyes- ~Unless you have neural electricity to spare?~

Ramona: hey, I need that brain.

Fluid!Ribot: ~Hm.~

Edited by Asterisk395 on Jun 16th 2021 at 12:10:39 PM

No mind to think. No will to break.
memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Jun 16th 2021 at 9:23:26 PM

Driftveil Bridge

Ever: Oof.

-they have their pain response shut off-

Ever: ...Huh. Thanks.

-they scoot into a sitting position against the drawbridge-

That does feel a lot better.

-they blink as Ribot appears-

Ever: Someone's having a rough time. Sorry, no neural electricity to spare here. I barely have the aura to keep myself alive on a good day.

I do hope you didn't kill Vee. I'm sort of raising her kid. It'd be awkward to explain.

Uh, anyway. Right. Thank you. Teleporters. Cards on table. Getting out of here. Important. Won't happen.

-they blink, and their eyes are yellow, a dozen Dreepy tails protruding from their head-

Scramble's Infiltrator broke through the compulsion!

Ever: I mean—

-there are two quick flashes of light-

Spaghetti: <Sit up properly.>

Ever: I'm dying.

Spaghetti: <I'm dead. It's no excuse.>

Glimmer: <Besides, you're technically always dying. So you should really be used to it.>

Ever: I know you're trying to be nihilistic, but honestly that's perfectly viable commentary on my life.

Uh, anyway, now that my dramatic moment's completely ruined, quick recap, you're cornered, if I stop acting like myself they're gonna shoot you, go ahead and read my mind and figure out if I've left you a way out, so can we please have that talk I wanted?

Edited by memyselfandI2 on Jun 16th 2021 at 9:23:43 AM

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.
Asterisk395 No voice to cry suffering from Hallownest Relationship Status: I've got a total eclipse of the heart
No voice to cry suffering
Jun 17th 2021 at 12:47:03 AM

spagged, naturally, with the illustrious and oh-so-skilled Every

Driftveil Bridge

Ramona: ...wow, fuck you.

-she says, terrified-

-...the flick of a mental switch, and she's all cold metal and high heat, bare face or no-

Molybdenum: -derisive- Well, you've got a captive audience. Never trust this place. Augh.

Ribot: -hovering the barest millimeter higher- ~To be clear, harm her and I send that beautiful fileshare through the shredder. No Beheeyem lacks energy for a full redacting.~

Molybdenum: I have a few thoughts on this little tableau, but I'll keep them to myself.

Molybdenum: -employing pin-precise control of her nervous system to raise a single eyebrow- Since it's clear you never gave a single shit about what I thought.

Ribot: -...blinks-

Molybdenum: Go on, then.

Ever: Well, first of all, I think it's a little late for guilt trips.

-their voice wavers briefly, but it's suppressed-

Ah, yeah, I don't think you can really...yeah, no, it turns out I take enthralling a friend of mine kind of personally? Just, getting that out of the way.

But don't worry, jello shot, I've no plans on harming your trainer unless and until she breaks our current truce.

...Gosh, I really wanted to make my speech. I had a whole bunch of one-liners about holding back and how the popular image of it gets warped in the media.

But I really do only want to talk. Then you're free to go and get back to...uh, whatever it was you normally do, when you're not pestering the J-team.

Spaghetti: <That seems irresponsible.>

Ever: No...see, while you're off doing that, I want you to think about, like, the fact that you have me at your mercy and you immediately start plotting, whereas here I am, letting you go after you took over a person's mind and tried to kill me. And I think, like, you should probably consider how your bosses are going to feel about you screwing everything up this royally?

Ribot: ~Jello shot?!~

-Molybdenum just…stares, at Ever, for long enough to become uncomfortable-

Molybdenum: You're...you're being serious. Why…?

-then she seems to remember she has the whole of their thought process at her fingertips, starting to rummage-

Molybdenum: I'm no two-bit knight-errant with the fire he got from daddy, you cannot lie to me—

Molybdenum: Do you know what it means, that I survived this long?

Ever: You're more useful than anyone you grew up with?

Molybdenum: -frigid- I personally liquidated my entire Class.

I'm a Valedictorian, and what that means is I get results.

-shoving to her feet- That girl over there? That you're oh so angry at me for "enthralling"? She wasn't doing shit with any of that. But a little tutoring from me? A quick lesson, a little advice, a willingness to see potential in utter garbage? She brought the heart of Galar to its fucking knees. Veteran J-Teamers were choking on their own spit. Damn right I'm going to plot.

Molybdenum: -leaning in- And let's be real. One of us isn't walking away from this.

Ribot: ~...~

Molybdenum: You know my face. You know my crimes. And they'll know that you do. One way or another, you die here, or I do. Pick the corpse that gets to walk around?

-for just a moment, there's a flash of incandescent, iridescent anger-

-and then it's gone, smoothed over with the same general malaise-

Ever: So they do teach you one-liners.

Glimmer: <We're all just walking corpses—>

Ever: Yeah, hold on just a minute. You say you're Valedictorian? But here I have you at ghostpoint. Maybe you can turn my mind to scattered data before I turn your soul into a bad memory, but...I mean, it doesn't really matter if you do, does it? You still end up dead. And if you liquidated your whole Class...I mean, trading me for you sounds like a pretty equitable piece exchange, doesn't it?

Valedictorian. You know, they always warned me about degree inflation…

Molybdenum: -snort- I'm no Templar. I know where I stand. The School's always been more comfortable discarding its rejects than the J-Team. Or is that boy you run around with only a happy lookalike?

Ribot: ~I'm sure Rob Redblade and Murkon Lightninghammer will be fine additions to your Team.~

Molybdenum: I thought he might be, but no! Our reports might be accurate! You people aren't running the most terrifying information smokescreen known to man or god, you actually know gods! Or whatever the fuck Legends are meant to be. They stopped teaching us past "childish superstitions we're meant to surpass" etcetera and so on.

Ribot: ~Also...if so, your infosec is truly terrible.~

Molybdenum: My point being.

-hands together, staring directly into their skull- If I kill you, it will rock your Team to its core. If I die, that's Tuesday.

-she says, almost rote-

Ever: Hee. Yeah. Our infosec's ass. Well, uh...yeah. So, that brings me to my main point, actually, before you kill me or whatever.

See, uh, I'm getting kinda hung up on the fact that you call yourselves the School? Because...well, I mean, you're an army, pretty obviously. It's not like you're renting out to the organizations we regularly run into and come into conflict with.

Yeah, our infosec may be shit, but we pick up a lot of things too.

So, schools. Not that I'm a big fan of militaries or anything, and in practice it doesn't really work out, but...well, I mean, with a military, you can be done, and the contract as it stands is that when you're done, once you've served, it's their job to take care of you. You have veteran's organizations, discounts, pensions…

But you mentioned graduating, and not that I have a ton of personal experience with any such thing, but from what I hear, once you do that, schools don't really...help out much. You get your degree, you represent the school forever, and you get letters asking for money every year or so.

So yeah. Tuesday. Which, fine, if you want to get into relative emotional value to others. But you spent a month in Megan's head, and twenty minutes or so in mine so far.

...Hm, I was building up to a college experimentation joke, but I'm not sure I can land it. My point is, your life sucks and you've probably noticed that, and if you ever want a shot at someone caring whether you live or die, you know where to find it.

-they smile a little-

-and the only sound as their every stray thought passes behind her eyes is...waves on rocks-

-the flapping of wings, the occasional flutter of a feather as it drifts earthward-

-it's summer in Unova, day on this other side of the world, and the sky is wide and bright-

Molybdenum: ...you're trying to psych me out.

Ever: -you-got-me-there shrug-

Molybdenum: This is what you do! This is how you do it, huh? "They don't even have dental," you say to your wisecracking Chandelbray about the poor little orphan children dragooned into being guards at a wedding—

Ever: You have movies in your little cult compound?

Glimmer: (to nobody) <I'm an orphan.>

Spaghetti: <We don't have dental. Floss.>

Molybdenum: -finger accusatory and a bit too close- You're offering a pension? A union, some pretty words, a promise you'll feel for me?

I've spent a month in her brain and I've seen through her eyes and—I know for a fact you haven't got any of that! Firsthand experience!

-she throws her arms wide, attracting no attention from onlookers because she's semiconsciously overwriting their perceptions as they speak-

Molybdenum: Is this how you got him? Mason? You listened to his sob story and let him squat in that ridiculous yellow airship?!

Ever: Yeah, uh...full disclosure? No idea who that is. Never met him. But probably that's what happened. If I wasn't personally involved, someone else likely was. We do some great recruiting from people who are trying to murder us.

Because yeah, no pension or union. Place to live, kinda cramped and a little spatially messy. But like, it's not amazing except as an alternative to homelessness. Also, there's a woman living in the walls who kills people for fun. It's a whole issue.

But feeling?

Go through Megan's brain, or mine if you want. We both know I can't stop you, so I've conditioned myself to not want to bother. What's mine is yours here.

-she hasn't stopped since they arrived-

Ever: Go through the movie nights. Go through the days when people just stay in their rooms and stare at books they've read a thousand times. Go through the training sessions, or the capture the flag games, or the two-in-the-morning conversations. All those things you could have had with people you murdered.

Molybdenum:

Ever: If you ever want to try having them again, my number's on your phone. You can go now.

Molybdenum:

Ramona: ...it's so fucked up that you're all just...used to this.

Ribot: ~...~

Ramona:...I imagined it'd be better here.

-has she noticed her fists are clenched?-

Ramona: This is what draws so many of us away? This?

-cold rations shared over a little glow cube-

-psychic whispers in the dark—which scientist is gentle with a syringe and which fumbles the vein every time-

-little tricks, handed down from the ones before—scrawled dutifully to those after, knowing one in a hundred, three hundred, would survive with them-

-if they're lucky, clever, and utterly brutal with them-

-these are not their memories-

Ramona: Funny you think I can have this. Like I didn't lose it the moment I graduated.

-it's almost tangible how she's outgrown those tiny, hoarded humanities-

Ramona: -snort- Like you could keep anyone safe. I had her for a month and no one noticed. How hard do you think I needed to push, to turn her on all of you? Did you see how she fought when I tried to give her back?

-she turns away—she doesn't need to keep any eye on them but their own-

Ramona: Please. Spare me your sympathies and your cozy little hopes. I'm going to go deal with the devil I know.

Ever: Heh. Yeah. Safety. Power. Those would be important things, I guess. 'Cause if you killed the people you were supposed to keep safe, the ones who were meant to look after you in turn...I mean, I dunno. Sunk-cost fallacies are tough. But it's not too late.

Ramona: ...see, you get it.

I'd worry about your little apprentice there more than me.

-with that, she puts her helmet back on, and—-

Molybdenum: How're your ribs?

-wipes all traces of her face from their mind-

???: Go back to your friends and tell them you killed me.

Thanks for the talk.

-and she's gone-

-...-

-...-

Ever: Well, that was unfortunate.

-something else came back into realspace with them, when they arrived at Driftveil Bridge-

-they check their phone, which has a text already in it-

From: Ever

To: Training Group (Tagg, Kai, Megan, Daydre)

made this chat real quick hi yall

dw all has gone more or less as keikaku

tagg thank u 4 wrapping things up

kai make sure u get some food

daydre i know we dont talk much but damn that was some cool shit

megan dont beat urself up it has happened 2 literally every1 there

some1 please pick up my mons ty

-they frown at the text-

-make some quick edits-

From: Ever

To: Training Group (Tagg, Kai, Megan, Daydre)

made this chat real quick hi yall

plan 2 talk didnt work out sorry

issue resolved ig

tagg thank u 4 wrapping things up

kai make sure u get some food

daydre i know we dont talk much but damn that was some cool shit

megan dont beat urself up it has happened 2 literally every1 there

some1 please pick up my mons ty

-they frown at the spot vacated by Molybdenum-

-sucks, that that's how it went. But at least she won't be back-

-they sigh, and lean back against the bridge-

To: Kylo Elric

From: Ever

hey babe can u pick me up from work ive had the worst day

Edited by Asterisk395 on Jun 17th 2021 at 3:53:39 PM

No mind to think. No will to break.
Herbert40k The Flame Emperor from Fódlan Relationship Status: I-It's not like I like you, or anything!
The Flame Emperor
Jun 17th 2021 at 1:43:45 AM

Pyrite Town, Faction Offices - May 11

-Alice's sigh of palpable relief is warm against Brie's neck as she rests her elbows on her shoulders.-

Alice: Excellent. That's good to know, going forwards.

Lissa: See? I told you! I fucking called it! Everyone in this office owes me money. I'm a modern Cassandra.

-Alice rolls her eyes at Lissa risking Kai's wrath.-

Alice: Oh, please. It's not as if I was subtle with my gestures of affection. Which I am sincerely pleased to learn are not unwelcome, or else our present situation would be extremely awkward.

-She gives a grin.-

Alice: In the present circumstances, though, I can forgive a certain amount of cheek. After all, you were effectively correct about what I could give.

Lissa: Actually, I was gonna suggest that you give her the s-

Alice: Nope. Too far, again.

Driftveil Bridge, past

-It's a few minutes before Ever's text is marked as read. The typing notification flickers sporadically, as if the person on the other end is having trouble with it, but eventually the messages come through.-

To: I'm Blue (Da Ba Dee)
From: Lucius

uh sure

i can send maul over 2 you

where are u?

and what happened?

"You're having a bit too much fun."
memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Jun 17th 2021 at 9:03:00 AM

Driftveil Bridge, past

To: Kylo Elric

From: Ever

normal stuff

evil psychic brainwashed megan

but shes dead now

the psychic not megan

megan might be dead idk

its been a long day

im in driftveil btw

Edited by memyselfandI2 on Jun 17th 2021 at 9:04:21 AM

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.
Herbert40k The Flame Emperor from Fódlan Relationship Status: I-It's not like I like you, or anything!
The Flame Emperor
Jun 17th 2021 at 9:09:20 AM

Driftveil Bridge, past

To: I'm Blue (Da Ba Dee)
From: Lucius

...welp

that's good, i guess

the evil psychic being dead i mean, not the stuff about megan

you, uh, should probably check on her

anyway i'll send maul over in a sec

-Sure enough, there's a blip, and then a scarred Alakazam standing over Ever.-

Maul: ~Denim Delivery Service. How can we help you today?~

Edited by Herbert40k on Jun 17th 2021 at 5:09:37 PM

"You're having a bit too much fun."
memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Jun 17th 2021 at 9:13:20 AM

Driftveil Bridge, past

Ever: Hey Maul. If you could get me to a hospital I'd appreciate it.

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.
BittersweetNSour bug meat. Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
bug meat.
Jun 17th 2021 at 9:23:00 AM

Faction Offices

-Kai is still grinning from ear to ear, but rolls her eyes and gently but intently starts to push Lissa out of the room.-

Kai: If you need a moment to figure out what stuff means, I'll gladly step out so you can sort it out, but I for one am very happy for you two. And a little bit relieved, admittedly.

who wants to go murder j-teamers
Herbert40k The Flame Emperor from Fódlan Relationship Status: I-It's not like I like you, or anything!
The Flame Emperor
Jun 17th 2021 at 10:59:32 AM

Driftveil Bridge, past

Maul: ~Certainly.~

-There's a blip, and the two find themselves in...-

???

-...-

-Well, this certainly doesn't look like a hospital room.-

-It's darker, for one. And less sanitary. Trash is piled up all over the place, with any available surface (including the floor) covered in empty bottles, cans, and takeout boxes. The lights are out and the curtains are pulled tightly shut, so the only real light comes from a glowing blue laptop screen sat on the bed, illuminating a bundled pile of sheets.-

???: Huh? Who's-

-A scruff of dark hair pokes out from the sheets. It's Lucius, looking... rough. Already pale and skinny, his face now looks almost sallow, skin blotchy and drawn out across his skull to the point where it seems almost translucent. His eyes are red and watery, blinking constantly. Nevertheless, the faintest of smiles crosses his thin face when he sees Ever.-

Lucius: ...Oh. It's you. Arceus, you look like shit.

Edited by Herbert40k on Jun 17th 2021 at 7:08:52 PM

"You're having a bit too much fun."
QuantumMelody29 welcome to the fire couch from somewhere you will never find me. Relationship Status: Who needs love when you have waffles?
welcome to the fire couch
Jun 17th 2021 at 12:20:20 PM

Lee House, closed door

Hazel: Hmm, it might be a terrible idea. But then again, this is a public art exhibit, they must have some sort of safety precautions in place.

I used to plug my deviantart here but turns out the link was too long.
memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Jun 17th 2021 at 12:23:37 PM

Stormchaser, Lucius's Room

Ever: ...

-sigh. Slight twist to avoid exposing wounds to anything septic-

Alright. I'll need your laptop.

-another square of light appears in the room, from Ever's phone-

-they tap something into it, and Lucius's laptop screen is replaced by Ever's PC, from which they withdraw-

Breeze: <After ten thousand years, I—>

<...>

<...>

<The heck's going on here?>

-he shines a Heal Pulse on Ever, who squints-

-and then, with death no longer theoretically imminent, they appear to relax-

Ever: Hey Lu. You're not looking so fantastic yourself.

Alice's Office, May 11

-Brie teeters slightly. She's not, in fact, that strong-

Brie: Oh, well, uh...I mean, I don't think you need to step out! But you can if you're not comfortable. I don't want to keep anyone anywhere they don't want to be.

-she attempts to turn and smile at Alice, but is held in place by her shoulders being used as resting posts-

Brie: Hi~

Edited by memyselfandI2 on Jun 17th 2021 at 1:36:15 AM

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.
Asterisk395 No voice to cry suffering from Hallownest Relationship Status: I've got a total eclipse of the heart
No voice to cry suffering
Jun 17th 2021 at 2:41:58 PM

{REDACTED}, Safe House

-outside, a familiar sound: [Darth Vader] breathing—more static than wheeze—of someone not bothering to be sneaky-

-the clatter of armored boot on cobbles-

-unusually, however, preceded by:-

-splortch-

Edited by Asterisk395 on Jun 17th 2021 at 5:42:16 AM

No mind to think. No will to break.
memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Jun 17th 2021 at 5:21:33 PM

{REDACTED}, Safe House

-two faces peer out, moving in unsettling levels of sync-

-one is a kid of about fourteen, with light brown skin, a round face, wavy purple and blue hair, and vividly purple eyes-

Neodymium: ~Did you win?~

-the other is an Indeedee♀-

Didit: ~Did you bring us anything?~

Edited by memyselfandI2 on Jun 17th 2021 at 5:21:45 AM

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.
Asterisk395 No voice to cry suffering from Hallownest Relationship Status: I've got a total eclipse of the heart
No voice to cry suffering
Jun 17th 2021 at 5:49:43 PM

{REDACTED}, Safe House

-distinctly settled, trudging only slightly more painfully in form than in thought, a figure in faceless body armor stalks through the gate-

Molybdenum: Didn't lose.

-and once securely inside removes that helmet—uncovering an apparent twentysomething—pale skin, long straight black hair, and eyes that same gleaming purple-

Molybdenum: -exhale- ~Confirmed their security and secrecy are as bad or worse than expected. Got some good hits in. Mental profiles on lock.~

-mental mutter- ~They're just all insane.~

-a flick of mental intent—carefully keyed fasteners unlock and loosen, and Leavanny-weave kevlar falls away from a (rather soaked) camisole and mom jeans—and a Bag through which she rummages-

Molybdenum: -staggering past- ~The finest tidings from the outside world.~

-she tosses a sack of [Schrödinger's] fast food on the table, still steaming and ready for waveform collapse-

-and more carefully sets a cute little box down beside it, in plain purple wrapping-

Molybdenum: ~From our latest friend.~

~Broke it off—won't be seeing her again, hopefully—but this is a decent enough parting gift, I suppose.~

-she steps back, leaving the offerings for perusal-

(-Ribot oozes through the doorway experimentally, initiating his customary scan of the room-)

No mind to think. No will to break.
BittersweetNSour bug meat. Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
bug meat.
Jun 17th 2021 at 5:59:10 PM

Wild Area — Bottom of the Ninth

-Yeah, Kai's panicking.-

Kai: Meg! Meg— Vee— please, try to focus!

-As they feel Vee pushing back (well, pulling back), they pull their hands away, no longer directly draining but idly absorbing the very dangerous overflow of energy pouring out of Megan-

Kai: Vee, one vampire to another— you need to release this slowly, forcing it out is just going to burn everything up more—

-They try to catch Megan's wrist and stop her as she attempts to go into Vampiric Overdrive without being an actual vampire (we do not want her to become a vampire darn it), still not draining directly.-

Kai: Please— it'll just be like a blood drawing, I know it's not going to be comfortable but you need to breathe and relax and— trust us. Trust me and Daydre, we'll help bear this with you.

-They hear the memories, of Megan talking about her friends. They see the Blue Orb sinking into her hand, and they see the living sword expale itself from Vee's eye.-

Kai: ...Meg. Meg, do you— still want me to show you my best? You've seen her before, but I don't think you really got introduced.

-She unclips the fledgling Rainbow Wing feathers from her hair, clasping them between Megan's hand and her own.-

Kai: Just— just focus on this, and on that. On the sword. Focus on— letting this take all of that energy. And letting it out right there. Daydre and I can help take the excess off, but— this can be your focus.

-Spectrum flaps her wings, letting a gust of scorching air (HEAT WAVE) blow over Dáinsleif. The action does seem to fade into background noise amongst the panic, though.-

-Megan's holding a feather.-

Edited by BittersweetNSour on Jun 17th 2021 at 9:10:55 AM

who wants to go murder j-teamers
memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Jun 17th 2021 at 7:02:58 PM

{REDACTED}, Safe House

-there's nobody there but Neodymium, Didit, and an old television showing some cartoons in [Romanian], where Neodymium and Didit apparently set up a pile of pillows. Neodymium mutes it as Molybdenum starts talking-

Neodymium: ~The doctor's been out all day. Didit's been minding me.~

-her mental voice is very serious, in the way that children and teenagers sometimes are when speaking to adults they respect but aren't entirely comfortable around-

~We tried making macaroni and cheese, but it got kind of burnt. The sprinkles might have been a bad idea. But there's some left, if you want any.~

Didit: (privately to Molybdenum) ~I would not recommend it.~

-the two approach the table, still moving in eerie sync-

-Neodymium opens up the fast food, telekinetically divvying it up between herself and Didit. Didit gets a tomato slice, some lettuce and pickles, and most of a salad, leaving Neodymium with a burger patty, bun, and fries-

-it's probably of note to someone that even this degree of telekinesis appears to be somewhat shaky-

Didit: ~You need vitamins.~

Neodymium: (only a little whiny) ~I already get vitamin supplements.~

-but she takes some salad anyway, eating in sync with Didit-

~Anyway if their security is so bad can't we just kill them? They're all so weak, and if they're insane that makes them weaker.~

-she says this with the rote air of someone who has internalized some deeply concerning beliefs-

-about midway through dinner her curiosity gets the better of her and she opens the little box-

~What happened to Ribot? Is he okay?~

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.

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