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-Bren shakes his head.-
Bren: You're not going back to the School, broadly. Just a visit to an old friend, and then we can be further in contact later.
Percy: ...Yeah. Okay. As long as we're not going back to the facility in Snowpoint.
-Bren's voice and expression briefly take on an eerie hollowness in his response.-
Bren: Of course not. There is nothing of value there.
-And just like that, the hollowness is gone. Frumpkin yawns, curls his tails around Bren's leg, then reaches forward and bats at Percy's foot with a faintly glowing paw.-
-Bren, Percy, and Frumpkin appear under a gazebo to the side of a rather rich-looking house. Beneath their feet, the stone floor of the gazebo is inlaid with pale blue Luminite crystals arranged in a particular pattern, of which they stand in the center of.-
-Bren walks forward toward the door, flips up a keypad, and puts in a code — 5, 6, 1, *. The tones on the keypad are echoed by a doorbell ringing the same four tones (E, F, C, A), and after about a minute of waiting, the door is opened by a woman who looks to be in her fifties — brown-eyed, so clearly not a product of the School herself, but absolutely familiar to a Phantom Class alumna.-
Professor Pernelle Carmot: Good evening, what— oh, Bren! It has been quite a while!
Bren: It's always a pleasure, professor.
Prof. Carmot: And the same to you! And...
-Carmot looks at Percy, trailing off as she attempts to place where she recognizes her from.-
-Percy, who ordinarily looks fairly tense, looks even more so at this juncture-
Percy: Percy. Mortimer.
-in lieu of giving any other indication of how Carmot might know her, she holds up a hand, a tendril of blue and black lightning snaking between her fingers-
We've met. I'm told you have fossils you want brought back.
-Upon Percy's demonstration of her powers, Carmot's eyes widen in recognition-
Prof. Carmot: Oh! You were from the Phantom Class! What was your element name again...
Prof. Carmot: Phosphorus! That's the one! Please, come in, make yourself comfortable.
-She opens the door further. The sheer amount of decorum involving gemstones of some variety or another is almost blinding, from jewelry to geodes to everything in between. Resting in the foyer is a Gigalith, its body lined with selenite columns in an unlikely decorative arrangement.-
Prof. Carmot: Usually, it's Nitrogen who comes around for one reason or another. You were close with Nitrogen, weren't you?
Percy: ...It's Percy. And I'm rarely comfortable.
-she winces at the lights, taking note of the actual light sources-
-and the Gigalith, whom she gives a wide berth-
"Were" is the operative word. It's been some time since we spoke on good terms. Bren looked me up, asked me to revive a fossil for you.
-she looks around for the fossil in question, or failing that somewhere to sit-
Prof. Carmot: Oh, my apologies. It may take me a bit to get used to the new name.
Prof. Carmot: Anyway! The fossils are down this hall. It's so sweet of you to do this for me; I've been putting off getting Hammond revived for far too long. He's too big to simply ship off to the lab in Ambrette.
-She guides Percy, Bren, and Frumpkin down to a room, in the center of which is a life-size crystal statue of a fully grown Tyrantrum, with most of the skeleton of one encased within the crystals.-
Prof. Carmot: Is there anything you'll need for the process? Will you need me to remove him from the statue, or can you work around that? Can I get you anything to drink?
-Percy gives Bren a faintly aggrieved look as she limps along after-
Percy: Too big? One generally—
Percy: ...I see.
-it's probably a good thing Percy's brain is half obscura, or someone might have picked up on her plan-
-she approaches the statue, placing a hand on the crystal and closing her eye-
Percy: ...Yeah. There's life in there.
The crystal won't present an obstacle, but it will likely be incorporated into the revived Pokemon. I doubt it will affect quality of life— fossils are tough.
I'll need complete medium. Or the fossil won't be able to form an organic body. Not a lot of it— maybe a gallon to kickstart something this big. The energy stored in the fossil can handle the rest. For me...electrolytes and calories. Gatrade if you have any, but the point is I need energy.
-Carmot nods, pulls out her phone, and makes a call.-
Prof. Carmot: Hello, this is Pernelle Carmot. (beat) Yes. (beat) Twenty-second of March, 1965. (beat) Yes. Can you send me a gallon of complete medium? (beat) Yes, there's a fossil reviver here to rejuvenate Hammond. (beat) No, she says she can handle the rest. Teleport it to the mail room on the first floor. (beat) Yes, that is all, thank you.
-She hangs up.-
Prof. Carmot: I will be back in just ten minutes, please be patient.
Bren: We have time.
-And Carmot heads out of the room.-
-Percy memorizes Carmot's birthday-
-not because she's likely to use it for anything, but because she was trained to memorize stuff and there's no reason not to-
-she waits until Carmot has left the room before speaking-
Percy: She hasn't changed much. Older, I guess. Hard to tell.
Bren: Older, grayer. Otherwise, pretty much the same as she was fourteen years ago, even after entire classes have come and gone.
-After presumably an indeterminate amount of small talk, Carmot returns with the gallon of complete medium, and a six-pack of some "healthier" alternative to Gatrade that probably is minimally different beyond the price tag.-
Prof. Carmot: Here we are! Oh, I'm so excited to see Hammond finally moving on his own! It's just not the same, puppeting him for guests.
-She waves a hand over a piece of Luminite near the door, and the crystals surrounding the fossils seem to reshape to give the impression of Hammond bowing his head, waving, and imitating a silent roar in automaton-esque movements before returning to a rigid position.-
Percy: I used to wonder if I'd ever live long enough for gray hair. Didn't end up taking that long.
-Percy takes stock of Carmot's own abilities, reminding herself-
-she takes a deep breath, then starts draining the Gatrade methodically and without pause-
Percy: I think you weren't quite right, Bren. About me, I mean.
-she finishes the drinks, the lightning around her dimming slightly-
-she sits down by the foot of the Tyrantrum-
-she places her hand on the crystal again. She holds up her other hand, and a sphere of electricity and obscura forms in the air in front of her-
You thought maybe you'd missed something. That you'd discarded us prematurely.
-tendrils extend from the sphere and twine around the outside of the crystal. One dips into the medium-
-and the process begins-
-the revivification of fossils begins with the bone-
-Infinity energy in the fossil, with the medium as a seed, stimulated and guided by electricity and will, starts to heal-
-marrow forms in stone-
-by the time the medium is exhausted, there's enough there to recur on itself. Muscle tissues form, drawing on the lingering energy in the fossil, and then the energy of the crystals surrounding it, and then finally on Percy-
-organs fall into place. Percy knows where they're meant to go-
-last to be completed are the heart and brain. Percy looks exhausted, slumped against the side of the Tyrantrum, as organs slowly take shape to fill the shell they've been given-
Percy: But Adelinde and the rest were right to discard me. I'm a reject. A failure of your scientists. I can recharge broken electronics, I can revive fossils, but there's nothing I can do that couldn't be done better, more cheaply, more efficiently. This is a party trick, a rare circumstance in which I might be useful. I can't fight, not really, my powers take too much out of me. Especially now that I need them to keep myself alive. I have no special potential, nothing to offer you but genes you already have on file. Nothing about who I am or what you made me is ever going to contribute to the School's goals.
-a presumably crystal-augmented Tyrantrum, the details left to Bittersweet, now stands in the middle of the hall-
-earlier, Percy said "One generally—" and then cut herself off. The reason she cut herself off is because what she was about to say was that one generally avoids revivifying whole skeletons, or indeed attempting to revivify grown specimens at all, instead creating fossil Pokemon as juveniles or the equivalent-
-The reason for this is that, while lingering infinity energy often retains some imprint of memory or personality from the template Pokemon, the newly revivified mon is essentially its own being-
-and it tends to start off agitated-
Percy: So let me show you what a reject like me can do.
-with a flick of electricity across brain and heart, she wakes the sleeping giant-
-Carmot watches in fascination as her titan is built.-
-The conversation was enough to wake the Gigalith outside, and they wander in to see the commotion.-
-When Hammond is complete, Percy's spark of life awakens him. And indeed, as he is welcomed to the world of Pokemon, the informational overload causes him to freak out.-
-With a roar that hasn't figured out how to become words yet, Hammond whips Percy away with his tail, and thrashes around, stumbling into the decor.-
Prof. Carmot: Oh, Hammond, boy, please calm down!
-The crystal Tyrantrum's attention turns to Carmot's voice, and he barrels toward her. She extends a hand, and for a moment, it looks like Hammond's instinct is to lunge forward and bite it off.-
-But the crystals within and around his body glow faintly, and he slows to a stop. Not in a natural way, but rather, with that same automaton-esque rigidity.-
Prof. Carmot: It's okay, it's okay. You must be hungry, aren't you?
-Carmot lowers her hand slowly, and Hammond's body descends into a docile, submissive bow. As the professor brings her hand away, Hammond trembles, eyes wide, but no longer thrashing.-
Prof. Carmot: There, there. We'll find you something to eat in a moment, don't you worry.
-She taps a Poke Ball to Hammond's snout, and it sucks him in. Though it is a normal Poke Ball, it pulses an unusual violet color in her hand before clicking without issue.-
Prof. Carmot: Thank you so much, Phosphorus. Don't worry about the collateral damage, I can fix that.
-The selenite columns on the Gigalith's back crumble into powder, which glows that same faint violet and crawls its way up the walls to fill the broken drywall.-
-It's at that moment that Bren kneels down beside Percy, patting her on the shoulder.-
Bren: I don't think you should be so hard on yourself, Percy. As teachers, it was our duty to see that you understood your potential, and that your current abilities are an unrefined reflection of what they could be. You rejuvenated a fully grown fossil, all while holding yourself together to keep yourself alive. Just imagine what you could be capable of if you weren't held back by your body.
-He offers to help Percy up.-
Bren: I'm proud to see what you've made of yourself. You should be, too.
Edited by BittersweetNSour on Aug 14th 2022 at 10:32:22 AM
Should've known. Can't challenge a Templar, or a doctor.
-she flinches as Bren touches her shoulder, and doesn't take Bren's offered hand, using her cane to get herself up-
Was that all? May I go, now?
-she doesn't sound especially hopeful-
-Bren is quiet for a moment, before retreating his outstretched hand.-
Bren: Well, I suppose so. I'll need to get information from the other Phantom Class truants to make my case, but I don't believe I need anything more from you for today.
-Carmot, who has begun reassembling some of the smashed decor with her abilities, glances over her shoulder at Percy.-
Prof. Carmot: Do feel free to visit again at any time, Phosphorus! It was a pleasure seeing you again.
-Frumpkin sits at Percy's feet, a paw raised and glowing for whenever Percy chooses to allow him to send her off.-
-Molybdenum watches Celeste's "ah" with all the stoic fervor of a sports fan whose Tranier hit the Championships for the first time in a decade-
-or, you know-
-a soccer mom warden hovering anxiously on the sidelines of her ward's game-
Molybdenum: …limited effect on Pokémon. Good to know. Good to to tell her. Room for improvement.
-and in the metaphor that is the Mindscape, the metaphorical Aspect crosses one metaphorical leg over the other, metaphorically-
Molybdenum: But oh, this is the last thing I need to know from you. And…maybe you'll get some help out of it. I like helping people, I'm good at it.
Like this girl.
-an image of a little nugget (her height.) a small bean—something for a brain to catch on-
Molybdenum: -studying Celeste- Real kids are fragile. Motherhood...seems hard. But oh, helping her doesn't weaken a good student of the School in the slightest.
Molybdenum: If she's about to undergo one of those tests you find so boring, a good School creation stands aside. I'm sure it'd suck for you if, say, Rowan underwent the same.
-she metaphorically—not literally—swallows-
-literally, she's monologuing the way someone born and raised to be superior does-
Molybdenum: And if someone—uses—her, to try and throw it off-guard, well, that's nothing new.
-she sneers, self-satisfied-
Molybdenum: They weed out the weak among those who succeed by watching if we hesitate to bury a child.
-snort- "A child"! A collection of atoms and impulses, slightly more interesting than the last. As if this—
-and here is a real psionic assault:-
-memories: a good girl, a sweet girl, from the moment she appeared fully-formed, all perfectly-uniformed and bright-eyed, til—-
-memories on memories: the virtues of a Schoolchild, writ in purple and teal—studious and attentive the way adults dream they could be; truthful and earnest to make any parent proud; accepting, fully, the necessity of her demise-
-memories on memories on memories: smiles and encouragements and stern words of warning, offered from a position of power; "illicit" fried treats that aren't godsdamn nutrient paste, incentive for good behavior; days meditating, cupping the crackle and sway of developing neurons between her hands; pats on the head, not lethal yet-
-the sort of thing that amounts to a DDoS attack from a perfectly obedient database-
-the sort of thing a coldhearted monster would leverage, knowing they elicit a stronger emotional reaction from their target than their source-
-the sort of thing that comes up Mothim-smelling, folded and pressed and sealed where the light doesn't reach before they can wear away-
-that sort of thing, in a psychic capacitor-surge-
Molybdenum: I don't need your help, Celeste.
-italicize where you will-
Percy: ...I'll make my own way out.
-she sends out Merry, who takes quick stock of the situation-
Merry: <...Are we about to fight? Because I think you could've picked better than me for this—>
Percy: They're friendly. But we're leaving.
-Percy holds onto Merry's hand-
-Bren frowns as Percy makes her exit.-
Bren: ...I see. That's unfortunate.
-Percy appears directly in front of Mason and Corrin again.-
Corrin: <GAH! Risen— oh sorry okay it's just you>
Mason: ...Percy, what happened? Are you okay? Talk to me here.
Percy: Oh. Hey, Mason. I'm okay. Drained.
Merry: <If you have something sweet or salty, we could use that.>
Percy: -wheeze- Don't impose. I'll be fine. Just gonna lie here on the floor.
Merry: <...If you insist!>
Percy: Ran into some old friends. Bren and Carmot.
-Mason's eyes go wide.-
Mason: Oh, shit. Uh, let me get you—
Corrin: <I-I can get it! You stay with her.>
Mason: Uh, do you need it for energy or just for the flavor? Since.
-An illusory cup of hot chocolate manifests in his hands.-
Mason: Sensory illusions, and all.
Corrin: <With taste?>
Percy: Flavor's pretty meaningless. It's for the electrolytes and the calories. I can't drain an obscura construct, that's not in my skillset.
...I'll take the cocoa, though, if you're offering.
Mason: Right, yeah. Still, here's this.
-He offers Percy the construct cup.-
Corrin: <...I'll be back with something that actually helps?>
Mason: Yeah. Gatrade, probably.
Corrin: <...I don't think a gator could aid us with— >
Mason: A sports drink!
Corrin: <R-right! I knew that!>
-She hurries down the hall.-
Mason: ...So anyway, Bren and Carmot? She's out hunting us down too?
Edited by BittersweetNSour on Aug 14th 2022 at 4:16:09 AM
-Percy sips the cocoa-
Percy: Not hunting, exactly.
-Merry gives her a weird look-
...They wanted to talk. Bren's trying to bring us back into the fold, because...he's Bren. Carmot wanted my help. I said no, escaped without any more injuries. I think he's trying to find more Phantom Class survivors, and bring them back too.
-her voice shakes as she speaks, which is probably due to nerves, and not the fact that she's lying through her teeth-
Mason: ...Ah. I... I see.
-He gives Percy a worried look.-
Mason: You must have pulled something pretty huge to escape, huh? You don't... look hurt, at least — well, you do, but only because of the whole skeleton thing.
Percy: Bren wanted to talk, not fight. I dredged up the body of something that had been underground for a while. Caused enough chaos that I was able to teleport out. I'm not hurt, just...used a lot of power at once, which I was never good at.
Merry: <You should eat more.>
Percy: How much more do you expect me to eat?
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