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ParadoxialStratagem The Eccentric Electric from On Melancholy Hill Relationship Status: Hiding
The Eccentric Electric
Aug 10th 2022 at 9:31:01 PM

Eterna City Gym:

Mark continued observing the battle, admittedly not impressed for the first half of it. “Always found stat-boosting moves a waste of time. They don't carry over after battle, and half the time I can end the fight in less moves when I keep attacking,” He scoffed before noticing the missed Iron Tail and wasted Stone Edge attacks and coming within an inch of face-palming himself and muttering, “They make anyone gym leaders these days?”

“Because I'm sure you'd do so much better,” A nearby commentator sarcastically quipped before Mark flashed his complete Kanto and Hoenn badge collections for a moment before returning them to his inventory. “Basically already have, and if I still gave a damn I know I could do it again,” The conversation thankfully died then and there, and Mark would continue watching the fight until Chopper directed his attention toward the appearance of an old friend, missing out on some of the attacks being made.

<Hi Travis, Tricky and...whoever you are!> Chopper would greet, with Wingo chirping in acknowledgment and Tricky responding with a dismissive head tilt.

“Did I miss all the good parts already?” Travis asked, taking a seat a few feet above and to the right of Mark, with Tricky claiming a spot next to her trainer's feet and Wingo remaining perched on Travis' left shoulder. “It's quality amateur hour, if that makes any sense,” Mark replied dismissively before taking note of the Starly beside Travis and asking, “Not a fan of keeping your mons in their pokeballs?”

Travis simply shrugged in response, not realizing his sudden movement would startle Wingo who fluttered around before perching himself on his trainer's shoulder again, “It's not worth my time forcing them inside their homes if they don't want to be there, ya know? Tricky absolutely hates being in pokeballs, no matter what kind they are...and I haven't really given Wingo a chance to appreciate fresh air yet.”

“I getcha, can't really train Chopper very well while he's stuck in his Ultra Ball and—-HOLY SHIT WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?!” Mark replied before noticing the surprise Voltorb explosion that took out the enemy Torterra. “Ha ha ha ha haaaaa! Looks like I showed up at just the right time!” Travis chimed, “What was that even?!”

Mark was left thinking to himself while scratching his stubble a bit, laughing to himself before saying “Hard to say, trying to watch the replay. Looks like some Voltorb came out of nowhere and used itself as a landmine...but I don't remember Owen bringing it out. It's allowed apparently, just never seen that happen before....hmm...” At this point, Mark got lost in imagining new tactics he might be able to use in future battles, as well as what he could have done in previous battles that might have helped them go down more smoothly in his favor.

Living The Fever Dream
OPALGARNET16 Priest of the Temple of Syrinx from Nighttree, New Jersey Relationship Status: Abstaining
Priest of the Temple of Syrinx
Aug 11th 2022 at 7:52:49 AM

J-Con— Laurie's Section

Laurie took a closer look at their map, and saw the Kecleonman panel.

"...Kecleonman?" asked Laurie. "Never heard of that."

-GOOD. THEY'RE TE-RRI-BLE MO-VIES,- said Hetfield.

Hi, I’m oghond, and I’m a Rushaholic. Sorry if I annoy you unintentionally. 😅
AnotherMan Person, or Idea? from a solitary place Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Person, or Idea?
Aug 11th 2022 at 11:58:36 AM

Oreburgh City Gym, July 1st

    What? Rebecca is evolving! 

Rebecca's body expands in all directions. Solid white points grow out of her fingers and toes, forming into dull claws. Her ears angle upwards as they grow longer, her tail grows longer and curlier, and a pair of tiny wings forms from the shoulder blades on her back. Her proportions shift, giving her a less spherical and more humanoid frame.

Rebecca feels some pain as her body transforms. Whether it is from the process itself, or from the injuries from her battle, she does not know. Either way, she does not resist the evolution

Before Mitchell's eyes, Rebecca, the Cleffa that he had raised from their fateful encounter on Mt. Coronet vanished. In her place was a larger creature, one that he knew from his studies as a Clefairy. If circumstances were different, he would have questioned why she had evolved at this time, in this situation. Now, though, he simply hugs her, too mentally exhausted to care. Rebecca, for her part, simply returns the hug.

A few seconds pass, before Roark gently clears his throat. "A-hem."

"Hmm?", Mitchell asks, glancing at Roark. Suddenly realizing the delay he is causing, springs to his feet and stands ram-rod straight. "Whoops! Sorry! I got distracted!"

<Easy, Chief!>, Rebecca protests, now cradled in Mitchell's arms. She still feels sore from the battle.

"It's fine," Roark says. "This happens occasionally. Now, here's your official Pokemon League Coal Badge." As he says this, he offers Mitchell the objects in his right hand: a grey badge that is half circular and half hexagonal, a compact disk, and a set of Roark-themed stickers designed for Pokeballs.

Mitchell shifts his arms so that he cradles Rebecca entirely in his left arm, leaving his right hand free to accept Roark's prizes. "Thank you," he says. "The fight was stressful, but kinda fun, I think. Oh, should I know anything about what I got?"

Roark sighs, as if he had given this lecture far more times than he wants to remember, then says "Okay, pal. The Coal Badge can let you use Rock Smash outside of battle, through your Poketch. The disk is a Technical Machine, containing the move Stealth Rock. You saw what it did when my Onix used it, right?"

"Right," Mitchell responds.

"Good," Roark replies. "Now, I wish you luck with the other five Gym Leaders in Sinnoh. They're a lot tougher than I am."

As Roark is talking, his Rampardos stares at Rebecca. <U-um,> he stammers. <Did you just get bigger?>

<Yep,> Rebecca curtly replies. <but unlike you, I need some beauty rest now.>

The Rampardos nods, as sagely as a five-foot tall Head Butt Pokemon can nod.

The youngster who was refereeing the match between Mitchell and Roark waves at the two of them. "Good luck, Mister!", he calls to Mitchell. "You did great, Leader!"

"As did you," Roark calls back. Then, turning to Mitchell, he says "Let's part ways for now, okay?"

"Yes, sir," Mitchell replies. As he walks back to the entrance of the Gym, he ponders what his future plans will be.


Oreburgh City, Pokemon Center, July 1st

Mitchell and Rebecca sit across from each other at a two-seat table inside the Pokemon Center. In between the two of them is a note, the same one that convinced Mitchell to send Rebecca into battle earlier that day.

"Did you write this?", Mitchell asks, pointing to the note.

Rebecca nods.

Mitchell sighs. "I see," he says. Then, pulling a notepad and a pencil out of his stroller, he sets them on the table. "Whatever secret reason you have," he continues. "for having me catch you, I'd like you to write it down here, in your own words. Sorry for this, but I wouldn't have you do this if I could understand your language."

Rebecca smiles slightly, then takes up the pencil and begins to write.


J-Con

At Laurie's mentioning of Kecleonman, Mitchell's eyes wander to the note that Gus had spotted earlier. "Huh," he remarks. "Looks like it's some panel with a blogger and a director in it. Not that I know much about it. I've been more of a Brycenman follower, myself."

<Brycenman?> Gus asks. <Ah, so that's what Gav was talking about.>

Edited by AnotherMan on Aug 11th 2022 at 8:06:49 PM

Asterisk395 No voice to cry suffering from Hallownest Relationship Status: With my statistically significant other
No voice to cry suffering
Aug 12th 2022 at 5:24:07 AM

Pastoria, Reality

-what she sees in Celeste's mind leads her expression to harden...along with her shields-

Ramona: ~...what would help is if you gave me what you know.~

-a thin violet beam shoots out from the crystal and strikes Celeste in the forehead-

-some part of her mind may fall down, down...-

 Molybdenumscape, Dissection Chamber 

-here-

Molybdenum: -slamming into view- ~Not me. I don't need help. I don't, Ever—~

~—ever need help.~

-the Aspect looks around furtively inside her own head-

~There's a girl. She's—promising,~

-as promising as Bela?-

~...well-behaved—~

-as well-behaved as Rubidium was?-

-insistent- ~She's really—~

-really what? How many of these kids—these dozen, dozen-dozen kids, have been really anything? Really enough?-

Molybdenum: -weakly- ~She's...something.~

-firmly- ~She's something.~

~And she constructed this cognitohazard, and—oh, since you're so eager to help, it'd mean the world if you could test it for me.~

-who is she posturing for?-

-she shows Celeste, from memory...an image of a drawing pinned to the side of a sample fridge-

-it's a technically perfect depiction of a very beautiful purple-eyed person, its graceful strokes and complex shading used as the mathematical base of a Ramona-original psionic basilisk-

-presented like that, it might even deal, like, four points of damage-

Molybdenum: ...

 Campus Palace 

-the confluence of events is odd-

-Daze's Obscuring blast certainly disrupts the beam, though a warning sign that may be in and of itself-

Cloud the Ribombee: <...I-I'm sure she's just scouting the way.>

-and Amaterasu's repelling Roar forces it to flee...- -...directly into Kingfish's cohort-

The Lar used Zen Headbutt!

-ramming at full tilt into one member with a stone-heavy sphere before getting its immaterial neck snapped, or something-

-the spotlight flickers out, the entryway stills...-

-both allowing the group to notice the spotlights streaming around the main street's bends, staggering closer-

Cloud: -looking down between the defeated Lar and approaching Lares- <Hey come on, get close, we gotta get outta here.>

-if they approach, she commands her Persona to link them in a loop-

Tinkerbell used Ally Swap!

Cloud: -mutter- <I hope you ran somewhere safe, M—>

But it failed!

Cloud: <...>

<...oh.>


-and someone doesn't even notice-

Suiko: Like, seriously. I brought you along most of the time?

Thespi: Hmmm.

Suiko: -dour- And speaking of which, I didn't ask any of you to come.

Thespi: Hmmmm.

Suiko: I actively asked you all not to come! Just to tell me how to get in!

Thespi: -chirp- You can't decide if people care about you, Suiko.

Suiko: -repulsed- Why...would they care about me?

Thespi: :/

Suiko: -pacing- Shouldn't, yeah, but that's not what's—by all rights, I'm not a Phantom Thief. We don't—did you talk them into this? We don't know each...

-she stops-

Suiko: -chuckling- ...oh, of course. Palaces are threats, right? They have to handle this, or else...whatever you're doing...doesn't work.

Thespi: ...

Suiko: Isn't that right, Hecate? You made me so I'd defang this place?

-Thespi's temp Persona just eyes her-

Suiko: Pretty roundabout way of doing that, huh? Well, whatever. They don't need to be here, I've got this.

Thespi: ...is that how the story goes?

Suiko: It always has been. No one needs to know otherwise.

-Thespi looks unconvinced, but...-

Thespi: -softly- Oh, this place.

Suiko: -forging on- And if they're pinned down close to the start, then it'll be easier for them to leave. Or be kicked out. This Palace won't hurt them.

Thespi: -drifting after her- Do you really think you can guarantee that?

Suiko: -not looking back- It's fine. It's going to be fine.

Sinnoh Underground, Secret Base

Megan: It's fine. It's going to be fine.

-she does not look fine-

No mind to think. No will to break.
OPALGARNET16 Priest of the Temple of Syrinx from Nighttree, New Jersey Relationship Status: Abstaining
Priest of the Temple of Syrinx
Aug 12th 2022 at 10:30:24 AM

Oreburgh Gym Battle (Laurie)- vs. Roark

Plant just laughed at the rocks being thrown his way.

<Oh, silly Geodude!> he said. <You really think that just throwing out floating rocks at me will cause me to faint?>

<Heh. Believe me,> said the Geodude. <It'll pay off in the end when the next two mons you sent out get hurt by it!>

Laurie just smirked, knowing that the next two mons they would send out would be A) strong against Rock and B) a fully-evolved Steel type, respectively.

Plant, however, didn't dare reveal that, instead just gasping in mock surprise.

<Really?!> he cried. <I was unaware of that. I hope they'll be okay. For now, though... allow me to finish you off!>

The Geodude blinked. <Hey, hey, slow down, kid! The battle's only just begun here!>

Plant smirked.

<See, that's the good thing about being raised by a group of yakuzas,> he said.

And on cue, he promptly put his paws together as a pulsating blast of water shot out and hit Roark's Geodude, knocking him backwards.

Hard.

<You get really strong really quickly.>

Plant used Water Pulse!

<Gah—!>

It's super effective!

"Geodude!" cried Roark.

Geodude promptly hit the wall, and within seconds a cloud of dust went up. When it faded, the Geodude was already lying on his side with swirls in his eyes.

<Hah! Nice goin', kid...> the Geodude muttered.

Roark's Geodude fainted!

Laurie stared over at Plant for a few moments, somewhat taken aback by how strong he was— and then they realized that he'd helped to defeat an Alpha Walrein and his own Samurott family.

If he could take on opponents that strong back in Hisui, it wasn't too much of a stretch for him to be able to take out Roark's Geodude in one hit.

"Alright!" cried Laurie. "Great work there, Plaaaaaa...aaant?"

Their voice ultimately trailed off, as they took a look over at Plant and saw him glowing in a bright blue light. Plant looked down at his glowing body and started jumping up and down.

<Yippee~!> he cried out excitedly. <I'm evolving! That'll show my old parents!>

Laurie blinked in shock. Even if they couldn't understand Plant since neither Emcee, Zoltan, or Hetfield were out, that didn't mean they didn't still feel his excitement.

"Whoa..." muttered Laurie. "No way... I wish Cole was here to see this..."

The Grand Underground vs. Heracles

Heracles steadied himself for the second question that Snoop was about to throw his way.

<Alright, Heracles,> said Snoop. <Second question: Name the first 12 prime numbers, from smallest to largest.>

Heracles glanced upwards.

<That should be simple, should it not?> he said. <2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37.>

<Ding-ding-ding!> said Snoop happily. <Correct! You're two questions away from getting caught!>

From behind them, Cuddles and Caboose started talking to each other.

<Wait a minute, I thought 1 was a prime number, too!> said Caboose.

<Nope~!> said Cuddles. <Prime numbers have two factors: 1 and itself.>

<But 1's only factors are 1 and itself!> said Caboose.

<Exactly~!> chirped Cuddles.

<Huh...?> asked Caboose.

While Caboose was still confused over whether or not 1 was a prime number note , Snoop turned back to Heracles.

<Alright, Heracles, your turn,> said Snoop.

From behind, Braker just shook his head, laughing.

"Ahhh... Snoop would have loved battling Bede," he said.

Eterna City- vs. Gardenia (Owen)

After a bit, Gardenia returned her fainted Torterra, while Owen returned Steggy.

"Well done, Owen," said Gardenia. "You've fought really well. Well enough to bring me down to my sixth, in fact."

She proceeded to take out said sixth PokeBall.

"And I think you can guess who's up last~!" she said.

Owen nodded. "Roserade."

"Yep!" said Gardenia cheerfully, throwing out the PokeBall. "Come on out, Roserade!"

The ball opened, and in a burst of light, Gardenia's ace Roserade appeared, glancing over at Owen with a smirk and crossing her rose-shaped arms before striking a pose. The first thing that Owen immediately noticed was what was in one of her rose hands— a red feather.

"That's a Power Herb..." he muttered to himself under his breath.

Stipax nodded. <The mon that you send out next is gonna have to be careful.>

Owen reached for his final PokeBall, glancing down at it for a few moments and musing for a bit over the last mon's moveset. Eventually, however, he figured that the mon in question knew enough Ice-type moves under his belt to be able to defeat the Roserade.

"Alright, then!" he cried, throwing out the ball. "Let's finish this off, Nautilu!"

The ball opened, and seconds later Nautilu the Omastar emerged from it. He glanced over at Gardenia's Roserade for a few moments, and the Roserade in turn glanced over at him. Eventually, however, the Roserade started it off.

<Oh, wonderful. A Water and Rock type. Well, this'll certainly be an easy victory, I can guarantee you that.>

Nautilu smirked.

<An easy victory, yes. But as for who the victory will be for, that is a different question entirely. After all, foolish would be the Trainer who never bothered to compensate for coverage.>

Roserade nodded. <I see. Well, foolish would be the Gym Leader for not doing the same thing.>

A pause.

She glanced over at Owen.

<You know... a little Rampardos over in Oreburgh told me about your Trainer,> she said. <Mentioned that his Shiny Grotle started up... quite the musical commotion.>

Nautilu raised an "eyebrow" at this, glancing over at Owen's phone.

<Well, he's far from the only one willing to get in on this,> she said. <What say you to us having a little... performance of our own?>

Nautilu paused for a few moments, then nodded. <That can be arranged.>

Roserade smirked.

<Very well, then,> she said. <Allow me to start the music up, if you will.>

After a moment, she promptly began singing in an operatic-sounding voice:

<Who's to know if your soul will fade at->

-only to be suddenly cut off by Nautilu raising a tentacle into the air.

<Save it,> he said. <I don't know any of the lyrics to that song. Besides... I have a Trainer who can provide the music for us.>

He glanced up at Owen, who noticed him.

"Huh...?" he asked. "What's going on? Why aren't you battling?"

<...We'll need music,> said Nautilu, smirking.

Owen looked down at his phone, remembering what had happened in Oreburgh. Come to admit it, while he hadn't seen it coming, he'd certainly found it awesome— especially given the craziness that had happened during said battle. He took out his phone and gave it to Nautilu, albiet somewhat confused.

"So... this is a thing now, I'm guessing?" he asked. "'Cause it happened in Oreburgh, and now it's happening here..."

<Would you like it to be a thing?> asked Nautilu, scrolling through the apps to find Owen's [Spotify] playlist.

Owen shrugged. "I mean... sure, I guess?"

Nautilu nodded. <That's a yes, then.>

With that said, he opened up Owen's playlist.

<Now... let's do this, shall we?>

And with that said, he plugged Owen's phone into a stadium speaker, before pressing the "play shuffle" button. The audience proceeded to scream with delight.

ETERNA GYM- FINAL BATTLE PERFORMANCE

Seconds later, the song in question started up, and all at once the Sinnohian audience promptly screamed out in unison:

"SHOT THROUGH THE HEART!

"AND YOU'RE TO BLAME—"

They were interrupted by Gardenia's Roserade holding her bouquet up for silence, before turning directly to Nautilu with a determined glint in her eye, and singing:

<Darling, you give love a bad name>

Mere seconds afterwards, the audience proceeded to scream with delight as Roserade turned to face her delighted Trainer, who nodded.

"Alright, Roserade!" she cried out. "Start it off with Sunny Day!"

Roserade nodded, then proceeded to raise her bouquet hands to the sky as she began to glow with an orange light. Seconds later, the sky cleared up again, and the sun began to shine brightly.

Gardenia's Roserade used Sunny Day!

The sunlight turned harsh!

"Now!" cried Gardenia. "Follow it up with Leech Seed!"

Roserade nodded, and promptly sent out multiple vines towards Nautilu. The vines proceeded to wrap around him, and Nautilu cried out in pain as the vines drained him of his energy.

Gardenia's Roserade used Leech Seed!

Nautilu was seeded!

Roserade just giggled.

Nautilu, however, refused to give up that quickly. He glared up at Gardenia's Roserade through the vines that surrounded him.

<An angel's smile is what you sell

<You promised me heaven, then put me through hell?!>

Seconds later, he opened up his mouth and shot out a burst of mud from it, catching Roserade slightly off-guard.

<Chains of love got a hold on me...>

And then Roserade dodged the attack, shaking her flower bouquet at him.

<When passion's a prison, you can't break free~>

She was promptly cut off by a burst of ice coming from Nautilu, knocking her backwards.

Nautilu used Ice Beam!

It's super effective!

She shook it off, standing back upwards fairly quickly, but laughing a bit as she glanced down at the Power Herb in her hand.

<Whoa-a-a, you're a loaded gun...>

And then she raised the Power Herb to the sky.

Owen's eyes widened in horror as the Power Herb in question began to glow a bright red color, and multiple streaks of sunlight very quickly began forming in Roserade's mouth. She glanced over at Nautilu, who was still trapped in the vines of her Leech Seed, and smirked.

<Whoa, there's nowhere to run

<No one can save you...

And then she let the Solar Beam loose.

<The damage is done!>

Gardenia's Roserade used Solar Beam!

Er, tried to.

Because the second he saw the Solar Beam, Nautilu instantly cut through the Leech Seed vines that had been trapping him, freeing him from the attack, and dodged the Solar Beam, letting loose with an Aurora Beam that hit Gardenia's Roserade and knocked her backwards.

<Shot through the heart!>

Nautilu used Aurora Beam!

It's super effective!

<And you're to blame

<You give love a bad name>

Gardenia's Roserade promptly got back up, glaring over at Nautilu and evidently determined to get at least one hit on him. Her bouquets began to glow with a purple light, and she proceeded to toss a burst of sludge out from them towards Nautilu, turning away as she did so.

<I play my part

<And you play your game

<You give love a bad name>

Gardenia's Roserade used Sludge Bomb!

The Sludge Bomb hit Nautilu, knocking him back a bit, but only doing neutral damage.

If not for the fact that seconds later he began glowing in a purple light, as bubbles began to come out of his body.

Nautilu was poisoned!

He grimaced, as the poison surged through him.

<Yeah, you give love...>

Before he could finish the line, the poison hit, draining him of his HP, and he cried out in agony.

Nautilu was hurt by poison!

"Nautilu!" cried Owen.

Nautilu glanced at him with a look that said "I'll be fine".

Owen, meanwhile, just grimaced.

Gardenia's Roserade was putting up more of a fight than he thought.

Edited by OPALGARNET16 on Oct 21st 2022 at 10:55:07 AM

Hi, I’m oghond, and I’m a Rushaholic. Sorry if I annoy you unintentionally. 😅
Aug 12th 2022 at 1:49:24 PM

CW: Death

Stormchaser, Med-Bay

Vana slowly opens her eyes, and winces as the first thing she sees is the white light above her. There is a steady, and alarmingly slow, beeping sound that she quickly realises is some kind of monitor of her heartbeat, and she has a variety of tubes and patches stuck to her skin.

"Great," she complains out loud. "Back to being surrounded by science stuff. It's like being born all over again."

The sound is enough to rouse Hoops, who had fallen asleep in the chair next to her bed. They wake up, see that Vana is awake, and lean forwards.

"Hey," they say. "How are you feeling?"

Vana hesitates. "Honestly? Really honestly? Worse than I ever have."

Hoops nods grimly. "Apparently... well, I don't know how to say this Vana, but... you're out of time."

Vana lets that sink in for a moment. Of course, she knew for months that this was coming. In some ways she knew for even longer, the lives of Schoolkids not usually being long-lived and joyous. But still, the concept of dying had always seemed like a somewhat abstract concept, something that, even as it crept ever closer still seemed a million miles away. But now, like a hungry Pyroar, it is on top of her, and there is no running away from it. Here it comes.

"Fuck," she whispers softly, and tears begin to roll down her cheeks. She turns to Hoops. "I don't want to die."

She realises she never said that out loud until now because she hasn't realised it until now.

"I always thought that I wasn't supposed to exist," she continues, giving voice to things she is realising for the first time. "The School created me, forced me into a world where there was no space for me, and tried to use me to alter the world the way they wanted. And then I defected from that purpose. What was a girl created for one purpose that abandoned that purpose supposed to be?"

Hoops gives no answer, because they sense that she isn't really looking for one.

"That was how I used to think. Ever since I got here, I've been searching for a purpose, a reason to live."

"Did you find one?" Hoops asks.

Vana shakes her head. "I thought for a while it might be to destroy the School. Or at least, to help. But that wasn't my destiny, my fate, my purpose. Some day the J-Team will break down the Principal's office and put an end to the whole thing, but not yet. I don't get to see it. I thought my purpose was just to live, but that was wrong as well. If that were the case, I wouldn't be lying here now, would I? No, in the end I realised I didn't have a purpose, but that's okay. People aren't supposed to have a purpose. That's the problem with the School. They try to say, even before they create something, what it's supposed to do. It's why they'll lose, in the end."

She closes her eyes and calls forth memories of all of the towns and routes she's visited during her short life. So much to see, but still not enough.

"Pokémon, people... they're supposed to choose. There's no purpose, no pre-set path. The whole point of being alive is that we can make the life that we want to have. I think, by coming here, I managed to do it for just a little while. But I want to do so much more. I want to visit every region in the world. I want to swim in oceans, and climb mountains, and I want to keep making choices for my entire life."

Hoops grabs her hand as she begins to shake with sobs again. "I'm sorry," is all that they can say.

"Please," she says. "Tell Chiyo and Tagg to take my body. Maybe they'll be able to make something from me that will save the others like me. That can be my choice. Another choice, right at the end..."

She coughs, and blood splatters the white sheets and the bandages of Hoops' arm.

"I want to give you a gift," she says. She nods to the bedside table, where there is one more pokéball. "Hummy. I don't think they're a battler, but there must be a way they can help you. Help all of you. Just..."

She is cut off by another coughing fit. Hoops can only sit there, helpless to do anything.

"And one more thing," she says. She opens her mind, and for the first time in months she uses the powers that the School gives her. She takes the memory that she loves the most, the afternoon that she spent with Hoops, and wraps it in all of the joy and peace that she felt before sending it to Hoops. They close their eyes instinctively as they accept her memory and her feelings. For a few moments, before the memory fades, they understand her so clearly.

Her hand drops from theirs. They open their eyes and see Vana lying on the pillow, eyes open and glassy, staring at nothing. The heart monitor slows into one long, unending sound.

And then it's all over. And Hoops screams.

Edited by theoncominghoop on Aug 12th 2022 at 9:50:16 AM

OPALGARNET16 Priest of the Temple of Syrinx from Nighttree, New Jersey Relationship Status: Abstaining
Priest of the Temple of Syrinx
Aug 12th 2022 at 3:01:31 PM

CW: Mentions of death, trauma

Somewhere in Sinnoh

For the past few days since the carnival, Ollie Rivers and his Pokemon had been staying pretty much out of sight for the last few days- out of fear that at any moment, there would be Templars running around like crazy. He'd already sensed Whitt a few days ago— there was no telling who he'd ran into now. Any minute, he could get ambushed by Templars.

He was starting to regret ever having come outside in the first place.

He wished he could just go and hide somewhere safe where no one could ever find him.

At that moment, he was hidden inside of a trashcan in the Sinnoh region, looking out at the people that were there and scanning his eyes for any signs of Templars. Mito and Teru were both inside of their PokeBalls. Only Uefo- the tagalong that still hadn't been officially caught yet- was standing next to him.

Ollie just stood there for a few moments, with Uefo monitoring the people there for any sign of these disguised "Templars"— and then all of a sudden he started to pick up a sensation. He stood stock-still for a few moments, wondering where the psychic sensation had come from- and then it suddenly hit him as to what the sensation was.

Dread.

And it wasn't about a Templar.

Uefo turned to look at him.

<Ollie?> he asked. <What's wrong...?>

After a few more moments, Ollie shut his eyes and started to send out telepathic signals.

Desperate telepathic signals.

Vana?

I-it's me, Oliver... I wanted to know if you were doing okay... T-the last time I saw you was at the carnival, and I heard you say something about how it was the last fun day you would likely ever have... and I just wanted to know... did the Templars find you?

No response.

A-are you at the School?

No response.

...Hello?

Still nothing. Ollie's heart beat faster.

Vana...?

Nothing.

Vana?!

Still nothing. Ollie started breathing heavily and opened his eyes. Frantically, he ran out of the trash can and headed to the nearest wall, where he sent out Mito.

Mito glanced down at Ollie for a few moments and gasped in shock.

<O-Ollie?!> he cried. <W-what's wrong?>

Ollie looked over towards Uefo.

"T-take me to Sandgem Town...!" he cried. "S-something's wrong with Vana! I can feel it!"

<W-WHAT?!> cried Mito.

<Vana?> asked Uefo. <T-that human being at the carnival?>

Ollie nodded. "I- I tried to send her telepathic messages because I was getting worried about her— a-and I didn't get any answers back!"

Mito's eyes went wide.

<Aww man... that doesn't sound good,> he muttered.

Still frantic, Ollie turned to face Uefo.

"Y-you need to Teleport me to Sandgem Town right now!" he cried. "T-that's where I saw Vana last; t-there's no doubt that she's still there!"

Uefo nodded, holding up his blinker digits.

In a matter of moments, everyone turned pink and promptly teleported.

Sandgem Town

The immediate first thing that Ollie noticed upon getting to Sandgem Town was the massive airship standing in front of them. Mito and Uefo glanced at it for a few moments in shock, as did Ollie.

<Whoa...!> cried Mito. <This thing is huge! What is it?>

<It appears to be a human airship,> said Uefo.

"I-I'm betting Vana's in there..." muttered Ollie, starting to get more worried by the second. "L-let's go!"

Mito and Uefo nodded, and the three of them frantically ran in.

Stormchaser

"Vana?!"

Ollie could not stop running. He frantically went from door to door, panicking like crazy as he searched for Vana. His heart was starting to beat faster by the minute as he recalled his nervousness at the carnival he'd shown towards Aurelia and Tina, after the thought of Vana dying had slowly crept in.

He'd never told them what he'd heard.

He'd never told them what he'd seen.

He'd never get a chance to. Not unless he saw them again.

"No— no— no— nonononononono— VANA—!"

He glanced up, finding a sign that said STORMCHASER MED-BAY on it. Immediately, he ran towards it, his guilt starting to grow.

Mito and Uefo followed him.

"Please be alright please be alright please be alright please be alright—"

Stormchaser Med-Bay

"—Vana?! Vana!"

He burst through the door, returning Mito and Uefo as he did so and looking around for a few moments to see if there were any Templars. There were none. At least, as far as he could see. It was just Hoops...

...and her.

"Vana!" he cried, running up to her body. "Thank goodness! I- I tried to send you telepathic messages, but you weren't responding, so I came in to check on—"

No response.

She just laid there, motionless.

Ollie's eyes widened in shock.

"...V-Vana...?" he muttered.

He glanced into Vana's eyes for a few moments, only to find that they were glassy and unresponsive. He shook his head in horror.

"No... no... no, no, no— oh god no don't tell me-"

He heard a beeping sound.

His heart froze.

Terrified, he glanced up at the source of the beeping noise, only to see a strange medical contraption— with a very familiar, very horrifying sight on it.

A flatline.

"Vana..." he muttered to himself in shock.

He shook her. He tried whatever he could.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

The tears started to come to his eyes as at that moment, he knew.

Vanadium was dead.

And all at once the guilt, the sadness, and the anger came flooding out of him. His body started to glow with a pinkish aura.

"VANAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA—!!" he shrieked. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO—!!!"

Sandgem Town- Just Outside of the Stormchaser

About a mile away from the Stormchaser's location, it started to rain and thunderstorm.

Stormchaser Med-Bay

Ollie stood there for a few moments, bawling over Vana's dead body.

He knew that only one of two things could have gotten her: either the Schoolkid curse, or a Templar.

And he had a very good idea that it was the former.

His heart beat faster as he had recalled what he had heard at the Carnival.

Why hadn't he told anyone?

Why didn't he tell Aurelia and Vana about this when it happened?

Why didn't he tell Hoops?

Why didn't he help defeat the Templars?

Why couldn't he have tried to do... something? Anything? Surely if he had told Tina or Aurelia about it, one of them would have been able to find the cure! They could have helped her! He could have helped her! He could have found the cure!

...but he didn't.

And now she was gone.

"I— I'm sorry—" he bawled. "I-I'm so sorry..."

Hi, I’m oghond, and I’m a Rushaholic. Sorry if I annoy you unintentionally. 😅
memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Aug 12th 2022 at 6:54:23 PM

Stormchaser

Percy: Thought you were off in Sunyshore chasing some girl.

Ever: Please don't put it like that.

Percy: -wheezy laughter-

Ever: Anyway, I think I know what her deal is. I'll have to ask her next time I see her. Which does mean I need to track her down.

Percy: You're sure she wasn't one of us?

Ever: Brown eyes, no contacts. Pretty confident.

Percy: ...Highly unsettling that you could tell that.

Ever: -shrug-

Percy: So. What brings you here?

Ever: ...Brief friend of the deceased. I wasn't sure if she had enough that there would be anyone else.

Percy: Aha.

Ever: You?

Percy: I know the other kid.

Ever: Right.

Percy: And she was one of us.

Ever: Right. Makes sense.

Percy: You don't have to worry about me. Most of my systems aren't really running on tissue anymore.

Ever: Oh. I honestly wasn't that concerned. Should I be?

Percy: ...As I just said you shouldn't—

Ever: Right.

Percy: What's with your shadow?

Ever: Oh? That's Lace. She's shy.

Lace: <Hello.>

Ever: I think she's figuring out what she is. We'll probably see her soon enough.

Percy: ...Spooky. And consider your source on this.

Ever: -shrug-

Percy: I think I might take off for a few days.

Ever: Yeah? Your superhero friend might object.

Percy: They aren't a superhero.

Ever: You are missing the point.

Percy: ...They can deal. I can take better care of myself than they can of me. But I'm a little over it here.

Ever: Out of curiosity, how well do you expect that to work out for you?

Percy: I managed a decade and a half before it got to be a problem. I can do another three days.

Ever: Have fun.

Percy: -grumbles as she limps away-

Eterna City

Percy: -staring up at the ancient statue-

...Gods, I hate being back in Sinnoh.

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.
ParadoxialStratagem The Eccentric Electric from On Melancholy Hill Relationship Status: Hiding
The Eccentric Electric
Aug 12th 2022 at 8:54:39 PM

Eterna City Gym:

The moment the music started and was almost immediately followed up by the Sinnohian crowd singing, both Mark and Travis would be caught off-guard as the battle music built up with the latter laughing to himself a bit, “Huh, this gym battle doubles as a concert? Surprised they didn't charge admission tickets...” Travis remarked, mildly amused but not particularly invested due to the fact that he didn't really care for most classic rock songs.

“Something tells me this isn't the first time this gym's been used for battle concerts...come to think of it I remember I had my last gym battle against a rock star. Even got to choose a song for her to play when I won,” Mark said with a smirk on the last part, both respecting the drum and guitar combo of this 80's hit and reminiscing back when he used to have a desire to become the World Champion that just didn't exist anymore. With a contemplative scratch of his chin, Travis mused, “Is it just me, or does it seem like everyone brings their own battle music with them now? I mean we had several background songs going off while we were fighting those Team Lightning goons back at The Techspo...speaking of, have you heard anything about them since that day?”

Mark grumbled a bit in annoyance, “No, not really. Spent the last several weeks exploring Sinnoh, camping out in my secret base moving it around while searching for leads and barely getting anything out of it,” He would explain with the last part in air quotes, “Tried using everything: Radio, TV, Internet, even asking the cops who barely told me anything because I wasn't 'a licensed detective' or some shit,”

Travis scratched the back of his head, “Huh, you'd think a random chaos group like Team Lightning would want to start a crime spree or something with how loud and destructive they were. Maybe they got busted or only strike big events,” He suggested, “I know a lot of concerts and shows got canceled after The Techspo Fiasco because many cities were scared of future attacks.”

“I could see that...didn't help that a whole bunch of copycat teams made headlines across the world,” Mark replied before mentioning, “A blood feud's been going on between Team Cryo and Pyro in the Johto Region; kinda like Team Magma vs. Team Aqua back in the day...and some group of scumbags calling themselves The Caustic Crew has been causing trouble in Kanto.”

Travis would snap a finger to literally point out an observation, “I heard about these guys...heard a rumor somewhere that The Caustic Crew was started by a bunch of rogue ninjas who used to be students of Koga. Think they were kicked out for doing dirty work for Team Rocket or something, don't remember,”

“Could you two save your conversation for later or take it outside? We're trying to watch the battle and hear the music!” A woman in the distance shouted, prompting Mark to almost retaliate with a rude gesture before Travis stopped him and spoke on their behalf waving dismissively at the end, “Don't mind us, just old friends getting carried away catching up, it's fine...”. At this point Mark, Travis, and their pokemon would return their focus to the ongoing battle, wondering if Nautilu would be able to overcome their poison status and defeat their opponent.

Edited by ParadoxialStratagem on Aug 12th 2022 at 9:01:37 AM

Living The Fever Dream
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
Aug 12th 2022 at 10:13:04 PM

Pastoria, Reality

Celeste: Have I not given you that already?

Nevertheless, she plunges.

Molybdenumscape

She offered, of course, but she's not going to give up an opportunity to comment.

Celeste: <Ah. The clear words of someone who doesn't need help.>

If Celeste could, she'd sit back in her chair and lean her head on her paw. Sadly she's currently a prisoner of this... terrifying cognitohazard.

She's learned better than to mock something seemingly innocuous, but she has to admit to herself that this is not what she was expecting.

Celeste:' (unsure how scared to act) "... Ah?"

Campus Palace

Daze does indeed approach, Huli-Jing taking potshots at the approaching Lares with Dark Pulses when she can.

Daze: "Uh."

Daze: "Uhhhhh."

Daze:-looking around- Oh we're fucked aren't we.

off the shits
BittersweetNSour Let's Go Bite Throats Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Let's Go Bite Throats
Aug 12th 2022 at 10:17:41 PM

Eterna City — By the Statue

-Someone else looking at the statue pipes up, becoming noticeable in Percy's periphery at that moment.-

Bren the Scorcher: Really? I find the region quite lovely.

-The Espeon by his feet flicks a tail idly, nonthreateningly.-

memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Aug 12th 2022 at 10:33:50 PM

Eterna City, statue

Percy: Oh, it's nothing against the region. I grew up here, it was a bad exp—

-she turns enough to see Bren with her good eye, and she freezes, eye widening-

-she has her going-out-in-public outfit on, which hides her arms and legs, as well as the part of her face that's missing-

-but like. How good a disguise is that really-

Percy: ...Bad experience. Difficult parents, high expectations.

-her eyes flick from side to side, as she looks for bystanders and ways out-

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.
BittersweetNSour Let's Go Bite Throats Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Let's Go Bite Throats
Aug 12th 2022 at 10:46:41 PM

Eterna City

-There are no bystanders, but if there's a simple way out, Percy's gonna need to find it.-

Bren: Ah, that's fair. Some people just don't find themselves until they leave home.

-He smiles, turning toward Percy.-

Bren: How are you, by the way, Phosphorus? You look like you're holding together well.

-He can't help but chuckle.-

memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Aug 12th 2022 at 10:54:33 PM

Eterna City

-there are instincts that Percy has held for a long time-

-keeping her head down, avoiding attention, knowing her exit routes-

-there are older instincts she has, though, that she's been gradually relearning-

-thinking about her available resources, and how fast she can access them-

Percy: I'm doing well. Putting my talents to good use. Fixing things.

-...-

-she narrows her eyes-

Percy: It's Percy now.

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.
BittersweetNSour Let's Go Bite Throats Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Let's Go Bite Throats
Aug 12th 2022 at 11:10:37 PM

Eterna City

Bren: Percy. Duly noted.

-He nods-

Bren: I'm glad to hear you're well. Adelinde's reports... well, she has her own narrative, and she tends to skew things. I try not to take her at face value these days. Nitrogen's commentary about meeting you again was far kinder.

memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Aug 12th 2022 at 11:37:45 PM

Eterna City

Percy: (wryly) Adelinde thinks if she writes enough literary allusions into her reports she'll get a promotion.

...And I don't care what Nitrogen said about me.

-Politifact: Probably false-

She lost any right to have an opinion when she sold us all out.

-there's a faint crackle from her skeletal hand-

So can we cut the bullshit? Unless Meredith got a hold of your phone, I'm pretty sure I know why you're here.

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.
BittersweetNSour Let's Go Bite Throats Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Let's Go Bite Throats
Aug 12th 2022 at 11:56:48 PM

Eterna City

-Bren's posture remains nonconfrontational, but his smile slips.-

Bren: If I was here merely on the School's orders, I would have burned the rest of your flesh off before you even noticed me. But you said yourself, you're putting your talents to good use. There's so much wasted biomatter from blindly executing Phantom Class truants. So I'm here to talk, and cutting the bullshit benefits nobody.

Edited by BittersweetNSour on Aug 12th 2022 at 2:57:45 PM

memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Aug 13th 2022 at 12:31:32 AM

Eterna City

-Percy thinks this over-

-considers how her last duel with a Templar went, and nods-

Percy: Fine. Not much I can do about it either way. What is it you wanted to talk about?

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.
BittersweetNSour Let's Go Bite Throats Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Let's Go Bite Throats
Aug 13th 2022 at 6:16:09 AM

Eterna City

-Bren nods again.-

Bren: Something I've noticed, in my duty to find the remaining living Phantom Class, is that death has an interesting way of failing to take permanently. You, of course, are exhibit A. Then there's Mason, who I cremated personally, and yet he's walking around healthier than ever. I've caught wind of rumors about Nickel and Arsenic, and we all know Arsenic was the first problem case to be dealt with.

-He paces a bit-

Bren: Currently, the School only sees this as an unmitigated failure, an unsalvageable experiment gone awry. So much demand for mental control that they cannot meet. But as a Templar without that control to begin with, I see you, and Mason, and others doing well for themselves, years after any successful class would have been terminated as well. I can't help but wonder if they should be viewing the results in a different light.

-He stops pacing-

Bren: The current model the School uses doesn't seem exactly right, wouldn't you agree?

Aug 13th 2022 at 9:48:33 AM

Route 228 - Sinnoh

<Kid are you certain this is the right idea?> Dante asked.

Rory shrugged. "Heard telltale rumors of something out here being unusual, we follow the weird and investigate."

<Yes, but if you go to far your foolishness will get you killed,> Vergil said.

"Anyon' ever tell ya that it's freaky ya can understan' em?" another voice called out. Rory looked over to his new travelling companion, a tech expert currently with her boots up on the wheels of his van, fiddling with a pokeball.

"Nico, nobody said you had to come along," Rory pointed out.

"Ey ya needed someone to help maintain yer crap. I'm tha best at what I do."

Rory sighed and shook his head. He popped off his right arm and attached one of his medium tools. "Fingers are a bit stiff, care to look it over?" he called out tossing the prosthetic hand.

Nico caught it and looked at it with a smirk. "Can do! It'll cost ya!"

Rory said nothing and started to walk out into the sand.

Sand Base

Gabriel looked to his Dark Troopers. Clever things, cloned tissue of his brain inhabited their heads, let him command them like his own fingers. A lackey walked up. "Sir, we have something!"

Gabriel looked to the henchman before him. "What?"

"Phantom Class DNA sir! We've found a Phantom Class!"

Gabriel smiled. "Oh... that will do nicely."

memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Aug 13th 2022 at 9:54:50 AM

Eterna City, statue

-Percy, for whatever issues she has, has a pretty good poker face. Particularly since a lot of it isn't there-

-still, the mention of Nickel gets a visible reaction from her, as well as the casual admission of knowing about Mason and Arsenic-

-so she compensates with outrage-

Percy: Do I look like someone who believes in the current model? What's your solution? Hunt down the Phantom Class, bring us all back into the fold?

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.
BittersweetNSour Let's Go Bite Throats Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Let's Go Bite Throats
Aug 13th 2022 at 11:11:17 AM

Eterna City

-Bren's own poker face is immaculate.-

Bren: Unfortunately, as much good will as I am expressing, I cannot guarantee that the rest of the School is willing to offer the same yet. It's a rather difficult conversation to have. For now, what I'd like is data, the ability to get the full scope of what a truant like yourself is capable of learning outside of the School's system.

-The air tingles with the subtle feeling of molecules being rearranged.-

Bren: I'd like to not need to kill you. The sample size is small enough as it is.

memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Aug 13th 2022 at 11:49:30 AM

Eterna City, statue

-Percy's eye flicks to the Espeon briefly-

Percy: I'd also like you not to need to kill me.

-her voice shifts into a more businesslike, precise tone-

Most of what I can do now, I figured out after I left. Using my abilities on myself, for one thing. But I can do a pretty good imitation of a fossil machine with some nutrient broth, and weirdly I can revive dead electronics. Mildly cursed, but...

-she shrugs-

They still work.

-she looks like she wants to say more, but she keeps her mouth shut-

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.
BittersweetNSour Let's Go Bite Throats Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Let's Go Bite Throats
Aug 13th 2022 at 12:04:00 PM

Eterna City

-Oddly, that is able to give Bren pause. Frumpkin tilts his head.-

Bren: ...Huh. Not the response I was anticipating.

-The tingling fades.-

Bren: Of course, a demonstration is always more useful than one's word at face value, not that I have any reason to doubt you. But without the relevant items immediately accessible, that's difficult.

-He looks thoughtful-

Bren: Dr. Carmot has some fossils assembled that she might be interested in your revival abilities for, perhaps. I'm sure she'd be thrilled to see an old student again.

memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Aug 13th 2022 at 12:51:42 PM

Eterna City

Percy: ...

-her breathing has always been a little funny, since she only really has one and a half lungs-

-but it speeds up. Her heartbeat too, which the Espeon probably has some means of detecting-

Percy: I'm not going back. You'd have me killed in under a month.

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.

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