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Out pops a tall-ish, scrawny late 20s man of [Croatian] descent wearing the rather casual uniform worn by PEFE's sailing crew. He has a name tag. It says "Nick Ditkovic."
Nick: Oh hey. Great to meet ya! Allow me to introduce myself. My name's Nick—it's short for Nikola. Like that Tesla dude everyone today seems to like. Nikola Ditkovic. But just Nick will be fine. Don't worry. Murphy already filled me in. My Pory Jill will add in the coordinates.
He points to the Slowbro he came with.
Nick: Likewise, my Slowbro, Nate and the shellder that's on his tail, Pryce. Don't worry, chief. I already know who you are. It's funny. You've already met my cousin Tom. He talks about you a lot.
Jill, from the networks: Coordinates set to the PEFE laser testing facility and clearance has been granted. Murphy sends his regards, Bishop. Enjoy the ride.
Nick: I run the laser navigation devices on the PEFE Fleet. Heard you folks needed a place to work on some sort of lightsaber thingy and, no offense, love what you did with the place but this is not up to code for cutting lasers. We should be fine at the facility. I'll even let you guys play on the novelty targets.
Edited by MasterJayAM on Aug 24th 2022 at 4:00:20 AM
The outer door to the library opens slightly, and a Shellos with a book in his jaws slides inside.
As usual for this library, there is very little noise inside, with little audible other than the footsteps of people browsing the shelves and the turning of pages. The Shellos adds the sound of his crawling to this collection of sounds, which ends up alerting the clerk to the Shellos' presence.
"Psst!", the clerk whispers. "You! Hand over the book and get outta here!"
The Shellos tosses the book in his mouth at the clerk, then dashes further inside the library. Unfortunately for him, he did not go far before a Purugly catches him by the scruff of his neck.
<Let me go, madam!>, the Shellos protests. <I am only pursuing knowledge! That is no crime!>
Ignoring the Shellos' cries for mercy, the Purugly trots to the entrance and chucks her quarry out of the library, right into the chest of a would-be customer.
"Oof!", Mitchell gasps, as a pink thing comes flying out of the Canalave library and hits him squarely in the chest. He would have fallen flat on his back, if not for Ed and Becky catching him mid-fall.
<Sensei!>, Ed says. <I've got you!>
<So do I,>, Becky adds, before turning her attention to the Shellos on Mitchell's chest. <What was that leap for, huh?>, she asks.
<Believe me,> the Shellos groggily protests, <I did not choose to soar. I was thrown.>
Mitchell regains his footing and ends up cradling the Shellos in his arms. Though he is slightly perturbed by the slimy texture of the Pokemon in his arms, he can bear it, as he had dealt with Trubbish and Garbordor in his formative years.
The library doors open again, as a Purugly and a scruffy-looking man come outside to investigate the commotion. Upon seeing the Shellos in Mitchell's arms, the man's look darkens.
"That's your Shellos what's been sneaking off with our books?", the man says to Mitchell.
"N-no, sir," Mitchell protests. "They just slammed into my chest just now!"
<I was only borrowing your books!>, the Shellos also protests.
The man and the Purugly give matching looks of doubt, then sigh in exasperation. "Suit yourself," the man says. "Just get that thief away from here, a'right? Back to work, Kit!", he adds, heading back into the library.
The Purugly hisses at the Shellos once, before following the man into the library.
"Let's book it, everyone," Mitchell says, not wanting to cause any more of a scene. With that, he lead Ed and Becky to the Pokemon Center, with Gav and Es re-joining the group as they crossed the bridge.
<Quite the strange Pokemon you have there, Master,> Es says, as she spies on the Shellos.
<Better than a Purugly, I'd say,> Gav quips, covering up the shiver down his spine.
Ignorant of what his Pokemon said, Mitchell narrates his plan out loud. "Let's find some place to let this one go free. Then I can catch up on my [Dickens] and [Twain] books in peace."
<Books?!?>, the Shellos says, as he springs out of Mitchell's arms and dashes into the nearby woods.
Mitchell and his four Pokemon are momentarily frozen in shock, just long enough for the Shellos to show them the wooden sign he had hidden there for this sort of occasion. The script on the sign took Mitchell and Becky a few moments to comprehend.
"Prithee...thou shalt...taken mine honourable...," Mitchell murmurs. "Wait a second-"
<You want Mitchell to catch you?>, Becky interrupts, addressing the Shellos.
<Indubitably!>, the Shellos replies, his whole body beaming with delight.
Gav quickly signals to Mitchell what the Shellos wants.
"Oh, I get it," Mitchell says to the Shellos, "but are you certain? You know what I am, right?"
The Shellos nods.
Mitchell sighs, then pulls out an empty Pokeball. "Right," he says, "here's your new home. Hop on in now, and we can discuss the rest later."
The Shellos slides up to Mitchell and taps the Pokeball with his head, resulting in him being sucked inside the ball. After the customary three twitches and a click, the Pokeball securely contains the Shellos.
Ed, in a more contemplative mood than normal, gets Mitchell's attention and relays a question to him. <Where do we go next, Sensei?>, he asks.
"Good question," Mitchell replies. "Maybe we should stick around, get a feel for our new partner, and study up a bit before we take on the Pastoria Gym."
In one corner of the Pokemon Center, Mitchell's Shellos reads a chapter from one of the many books found in Mitchell's stroller to the other seven Pokemon on his team. Mitchell looks on, ready for any circumstance he can imagine.
<'And unbolting the door'>, the Shellos reads, <'she led the way, Steerpike following her like a shadow to Mrs Slagg's bedroom.'> Then, closing the book, he says <That will be all for today's reading, I think.>
Mitchell and the Pokemon audience politely and quietly applauded.
"Well read, Oliver," Mitchell says. "Though, the others would know better than I how you did."
~He read well,~, Chris thinks to Mitchell.
Once the group had cleaned up the detritus from their refreshments, Oliver gets Mitchell's attention. <Professor,> he asks, <have you got any plans, for leaving or staying?>
Misunderstanding what Oliver says, Mitchell replies "Good point. We've stalled long enough." Then, with a dramatic gesture, he gets the attention of the rest of his team.
"All right, sound off. Christine?"
<Here I am!>
<I am here.>
"Good, that's everyone," Mitchell says. "Now, it's time we head off. Next stop, Pastoria City!"
A short silence falls over the group, as Mitchell realizes something he forgot.
"...after we check out tomorrow morning.", Mitchell adds. "Hehe. I, er, forgot about it."
All eight of Mitchell's Pokemon let out an exasperated sigh, in unison.
-Dune and Deziree slip through the door, only to find the room beyond completely dark. Dune lets out a tired sigh, his adrenaline finally running out.-
Dune: Let me guess - she's going to wait until we walk further into the room, then dramatically turn on the lights to reveal a big nasty experimental defense robot or superpowered clone or something like that.
Deziree: That would be like her, wouldn't it...?
-The predicted light came on... but only illuminating a table, two chairs, and Lucrezia sitting in one of them.-
Lucrezia: Now, dear...
-She leans onto the table.-
Lucrezia: Sit down. Let's have a talk.
-A spanner flies through Lucrezia's head, passing through with a flicker.-
Lucrezia: ... That obvious, huh?
Dune: You don't leave a shadow.
-She looks down, and sure enough, there's no shadow beneath where she stretches from the chair to the table.-
Lucrezia: ... Damn.
-The chairs, table, and Lucrezia flicker and fizzle as the rest of the lights come on.-
Lucrezia: Ah, well! I suppose that would have been too easy a way to end this! Welcome, dear Daughter. Welcome... interloper.
Dune: You know, if I had to guess, the universe would have saddled me with an in-law worse than my actual parents.
Lucrezia: Wait, you're serious? You two are actually married?
Deziree: You thought I was joking?!
Lucrezia: Like you'd have been the first Daughter to try and get out of their responsibilities by bringing home a fake boyfriend!
Deziree: We both have wedding bands!
Lucrezia: So wha- you know what, nevermind! On to more important matters!
-The door behind them doesn't just close - the entire superstructure seems to collapse inwards to block it off, leaving several layers of wall between them and the exit.-
Lucrezia: Now, to destroy you with the power of my own inven-
Dune: That's Alakagross.
-The lights, which had started brightening for dramatic effect, stop in a weird not-quite-fully visible twilight.-
Lucrezia: ... What?
Dune: This whole mountain is made on top of Alakagross design philosophy.
Lucrezia: ... No, this is all my-
Dune: The elevators are all obviously new developments - the previous occupants of the mountain could levitate or propel transportation via telekinesis. The industry in the center cavity is rough and ramshackle, depending on the durability of its workers rather than the safety or efficiency of its processes. Even the upper levels were made with levitating traffic in mind with massively tall hallways and wide doors.
Deziree: ... I think you might have pissed her off.
Dune: I really don't care, I'm fucking tired.
Lucrezia: You know what? Fuck it.
-All the lights blast at full brightness. The room's toroid shape becomes immediately evident, around a giant central pillar. The pillar itself is shuttered behind metal plates - Dune would guess it was lead, while Deziree realizes its something less physically dense and more... supernaturally dense? The metal shutters on the outside walls, however, were far more mundane.-
Lucrezia: You guess right, son-in-law! This is all Alakagross. A grand experiment about creating an ark to carry the Alakagross way of life, hiding in the sands of Orre, slipping between the cracks of dimensions when necessary, in an attempt to make the Alakagross civilization apocalypse-proof!
-The outside wall shutters rise, revealing side rooms behind inch-thick reinforced glass.-
Lucrezia: An experiment which would allow the Grand Artificer to craft new variants of existing species as needed to survive in any possible permutation of the world! An experiment where the "Unenlightened" species could be brought to the same heights as our "benevolent" uplifters!
-In each of the side rooms was a massive collection of mechanical arms.-
-Something in Dune's mind clicks.-
Lucrezia: AN EXPERIMENT WHERE LIFE ITSELF COULD BE TORN FROM THE DOMAIN OF THE GODS! PROMETHEUS'S REFUGE FROM RETALIATION!
-The displays in the rooms flicker to life, as biological outlines for humans, Magnemite, Aron, and various other Steel-Types as the arms begin to hum and sing.-
Lucrezia: YOU KNOW OF NUMIDIUM, YES?!
-The panels on the central column begin to shift.-
Lucrezia: THIS WAS THE ORIGINAL HOME OF ITS HEART! THE HEART OF A GOD!
-Blue and pink light stains the room as Dune squints in disbelief and Deziree cocks an eyebrow in confusion as the plates finish moving out of place.-
Lucrezia: AND SO...
Lucrezia: TO CLAIM MY RIGHTFUL RULERSHIP OF THIS ABANDONED EXPERIMENT...
Lucrezia: I GAVE THIS PLACE THE HEART OF A GOD ONCE MORE!
-The bar is dead silent in shock.-
-Coyote's jaw drops open.-
-He tears his eyes from the display to look at the Stranger.-
-A quietly furious aura emanates from the stranger as she stares at the display with intent.-
Silas said nothing, before looking to Bishop. "Bishop..."
"Captain it was for the good of the ship, we are allied with PEFE, let us make use of their resources."
~It does make more sense,~ Hacks admitted.
"Fine... We'll go to PEFE, a proper lab wouldn't hurt. Bishop get your loader body ready, we're going to need to move my forge."
"Of course Captain, we'll move all the necessary implements to work with Beskar."
Silas was about to say something else, when he received a text. He held up a waiting finger and responded.
Here's the mailing list, the J-Team is less a direct collective and more a loose collection of friends. They're helpful though. Ask about powers, obscurics, heck I saw something called "Burst hearts" awhile ago.
He put his phone away. "Okay... let's get moving."
Rory stared at the response and shrugged, before typing out.
Hey just got added to this, I'm a bit of a special interest subject. Heard y'all have been working with a lot of us, especially in the lost Class. Recently got my butt kicked by a Templar, escaped. Need a power boost, was suggested something about hearts.
Anyone know anything about those?
"If it were up ta me, I'd suggest findin' his base and sneaking in," Nico suggested.
"I'll keep that in mind," Rory said, not wanting to admit he had always worked on "Stubborn dumbass" mode all his life.
Nick: Wow, tough crowd.
Jill: Just like Murphy said. We simply have to intervene. Oh, look. We should be approaching the airspace of the laser facility.
Nick: So far away from the sea...
Jill: I understand. Along the way, we can stop by the nearby saltwater taffy place. It's pricey because it's so far inland, but it's as good as the actual boardwalk stuff.
Nick: He said something about Beskar. Sounds familiar. Wonder how that's gonna react with the lasers.
Jill: I could [Google] it for you.
Nick: Make it so. And try to schedule a voice chat with Tom-Tom about it. I need a chem major supergenius to tell me all I need to know about the substance.
Edited by MasterJayAM on Aug 25th 2022 at 11:25:07 AM
The question seems to stun Whitt for a second. He leans forwards, staring at the pair, and seemingly unconsciously brings his hands up to trace the scar that covers a lot of his face.
Then he starts to laugh. "Condition? Defect? You think this is a problem for me? You think I want to turn off my power? What would be the point, when I know that just by existing I'm taking the warmth out of the world. I am a god amongst insects, and I don't even have to try! My Cryogonal follows me me because I can make it colder than he can! You understand what that means? The power that I hold? All the discomfort I feel, the times I hurt myself -" he points to the scar "- it doesn't mean anything! All that matters is that I am greater than you!"
He slams his hands hard on the table. "You disgust me, Iron. You were made to govern, to be above all of these pitiful humans. But you and these others who run away, you think you have some other calling. You think you can ever really live amongst them? You think any of us can? Or even that we should?"
Whitt sighs. "I know you plan to offer me some kind of help to control my power, but there's no way that I would take it. I was made to be this way, and so this is the way that I'll be."
Then he spits on the table, just for good measure.
Xaster knocks on the door to the room. Its owner doesn't open it for him, but the ship itself does, knowing that he needs to go in now.
The inside is dark, and smells as though something has been in here for several days. It quickly becomes clear what that thing is when Xaster turns on the light and sees, in the middle of the room, a large cocoon like shape that is made out of the same bandages as Hoops' arm.
Kec approaches Xaster. <I'm glad you're here.>
Xaster still doesn't understand pokéspeak, so the exact meaning of what was said is lost on him, but he can see the concern on the little pokémon's face.
"I'll need you soon," he says. Kec nods.
He approaches the cocoon. It's surprisingly warm to the touch, and surprisingly solid as well. He presses on it gently, but there is no response.
"Hoops," Xaster says. "I heard what happened. I know how hard this must be for you, but I want you to know that I'm here. So is Kec, and Led, and Sal, and all of the others." He turns and gestures to all of Hoops' pokémon who are spaced around the room, even though he's sure that Hoops can't see.
"I'll stay here as long as you need," he says, sitting down on the floor and preparing to wait for as long as it takes.
-Deziree was unsure of what she was looking at.-
-Dune had to make absolutely certain of what he was looking at.-
What? What is it?
Stranger: A Soul-Heart.
-The bar turns to the woman in the back.-
Dune: ... You're a monster.
Lucrezia: With something as majestic as this walking domain, it was only natural that the proper power source would be the a mechanical heart capable of synergizing with it! I merely followed the logical throughput!
-Coils at the top and bottom of the containment chamber begin to spark.-
Lucrezia: Now, my dear friend... Let's see our guests out!
-The coils spring to life, filling the air around the Soul-Heart with untold amperage. The core shakes, the resonance at first blurry but quickly becoming an all-encompassing cry of pain.-
-The stranger glowers at the display.-
-Everyone else in the bar is now quickly huddling to the other side of the room.-
Dune: STOP IT!
Deziree: Oh, I was already set on killing you. Now I'm gonna do worse.
-Lucrezia's manic cackling mingles with the cries of pain.-
Lucrezia: WE'LL SEE ABOUT THAT! You see, this is a curious specimen in particular - it has access to techniques very few other Pokemon can!
-Part of the shuttering on the ceiling moves, and being brought down on wires is a doll.-
-Well, at first it appeared to be a doll, made of unpainted metal, with golden filigree and pink topaz eyes. The doll's body was predominantly spherical, and it looked to have been able to curl up into a ball for safety or storage at one point, with its unfolded form looking as if it were wearing a dress.-
-One thing, however, was odd about the doll.-
-The central core, perfectly sized for the Soul-Heart, has been replaced by a steel eye.-
Lucrezia: Such as... HEART SWAP!
-The Tesla coils reach a crescendo, and two opposing flashes of pink and blue fire from Soul-Heart. The pink one reaches into the ceiling, and the other reaches to the weird replacement core of the doll.-
Lucrezia: HAHAHAHAHA! AAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
-The blue trace of light then heads into the ceiling, looking barely brighter for the trip, while the pink trace, with a blazing light in tow, goes to the doll.-
-The doll's replacement core is dormant for a moment before the eye snaps open and pink topazes light up. A wicked grin of imminent victory twists the doll's face.-
Lucrezia: I KNEW THIS DAY WOULD COME! WHERE MEDDLERS WOULD REACH ME, EVEN HERE! WELL NOW YOU FACE LUCREZIA VON WANDERBERG, WITH ALL THE POWER SHE IS DUE! I WILL WIPE THIS ENTIRE ENCOUNTER FROM HISTORY, AND LEAVE YOU ALL TO ROT IN THE SOIL OF MY NEW EMPIRE!
-Without missing a beat, Deziree quickly transforms back to a Magnezone while Dune ties on his Ersatz bandana and brandishes his Excadrill claws.-
-The stranger sips from her champagne flute, her face stone cold as a familiar islander woman with messy hair and smelling of cigarette smoke sits down at her table, looking at the icy display with a similar expression.-
-Coyote is, at this very moment, afraid for both his life and the entertainment value of the entire event should the bar suddenly become ground zero for a brand new volcano.-
Edited by DuneTheWanderer on Aug 24th 2022 at 8:55:18 AM
Hesitantly, she waved her off as she left, no questions crossing her mind as she tried to process what she found out. Someone who escaped this corruption? A relative of the old man she's met twice now? She shook her head, returning to where she came from at her advice.
"That marks the end of that," she figured with a heavy sigh.
Kendall crosses his arms and looks down in contemplation, feeling something and reaching into his jacket. He hums in curiosity, drawing his Sun Stone.
Realization flashes in his eyes.
"Dusk Stone," he announced. "Or a Dark Gem," he corrected. "Something with that black fog within we're looking for would scratch that itch."
Percy: We're a loyal lot, we truants.
-Apple-A-Day squeezes Percy gently, watching Chiyo and Tagg with some worry-
-while Percy stares at them, eye wide-
Ariadne: -Looking around- <Well this place is certainly... something.>
Well we've got our Treasure in sight, but I suspect he's not going to just let us leave. But this machinery, is it possible that they're somehow involved in all this? I'd ask but, it's possible Crowley doesn't even know who he's working with, and wouldn't tell us if he did without us stealing his Treasure. And if that's so, could that guy we fought with that Hetfield Persona also be linked in all this? He didn't know who his employers were, but he was obviously just some patsy with shortsighted goals that made him easily manipulable by his true masters.
Pink: <Wait so, this stuff you're making isn't even your own company's invention?>
Chiyo: -To me- Yeah, we are.
-While the two humans in the room are a bit too in the moment to pay full attention to the immediate outside, the Cleffa in the room isn't now that the person who was once obscuring their position is currently hugging it out with her trainer, and with a twitch of Ceres' ears in the corner of her eye Chiyo becomes quite aware of what's been going on-
Chiyo: -Having not switched position- ...How long have Percy and Nasreen been here Tagg?
Who's Nasre-Oh. They came with me so, long enough. I apologize, I wasn't exactly sure how you might react if all three of us came inside so I told them to wait outside.
Chiyo: -Quirking her eyebrow slightly- It doesn't matter, they're not the sort to gossip, so I'm not too mad about it.
Admittedly I might not have told that story if I remembered who was still out there. This is a terrible way to make a proper first impression.
-Facepalming with my right hand (As Chiyo's currently occupying my left side)-
Arceus, sometimes I think I can be a little too honest for my own good.
Chiyo: -To me, audibly- Well, I like it when you're honest. I'm sure Channah likes it too.
Please, you're gonna make me blush.
Now they're totally gonna think we're a thing, they probably know we've switched to telepathy already.
Chiyo: -Grinning- We're not?
Chiyo: -Staring directly into my eyes, still grinning- You have to admit that you're very fun to tease, Tagg.
It also helps to distract from that in particular.
-Makes direct eye contract with AAD before waving them and Percy in-
Feels like it's been forever since I've seen you two, sorry about the smell, I've been in a bit of a way as you might imagine.
Edited by rmctagg09 on Aug 29th 2022 at 3:48:43 PM
Percy: Huh— oh!
-she snaps out of it a bit-
Yeah, don't worry, my sense of smell's pretty bad.
Apple-A-Day: I can't smell anything through the mask anyway.
-Percy gives Apple-A-Day a much less soft look-
Apple-A-Day: What? Just because I don't have bulletproof armor doesn't mean I don't know how to make a good costume.
And, uh, we can leave you two alone, if you need to be.
Percy: Or you can spare a few minutes for your fellow Schoolkid.
-Hailee crawls into the rotating tunnel-
Hailee: Woah! So spinny...
-Hailee struggles to find her footing, as the tunnel continues rotating-
Hailee: You can do this...
-Hailee continues on her way, but after a few minutes she still has not reached the exit, as if this is an endless tunnel-
-Timothy, Bubbles and Nugget begin making their way through the mirror maze-
Nugget: So lemme get this straight - I was covered in an illusion making me look like roast chicken who you tried to eat?
Bubbles: I think that's what happened.
Timothy: Can you two girls stop getting at each others throats and work together to, you know, get outta here?
Nugget: You expect two girls to quickly forgive each other? Right after one tried to eat the other? Yeah, I don't think so.
-Banjo explores the place, trying to find Hailee and his team, before noticing that The Egg is glowing more than usual-
Banjo: Oh man. Something's telling me you're gonna hatch very, very soon. In that case, I better speed up this search...
-Banjo looks in every nook and cranny of the Chateau, trying to find Hailee and his fellow teammates-
Banjo: These darn growin' pains too, what's up with them?
-Banjo eventually notices a familiar noise coming from a room-
Banjo: Hey, that noise! Hailee's Rotom Phone's vibrating! Must be giving her notifications! Of course!
-Banjo busts down the door to the room where the vibration noises are coming from, only to find Hailee, Timothy, Bubbles and Nugget are asleep and also levitating-
Banjo: What the-?!
It's a long walk back to the village, the path leading you back in to an odd crossroads you didn't pass by the first time by way of the only open one of four wooden gates scattered around the area. In this crossroads is surprisingly a familiar carriage whose back opens to reveal that oddly jolly and rotund man you've met a few times in your journey.
Oddly Jolly Man: Ah! If it isn't my fellow itinerant! I realized we never quite did introductions did we? Do you want to share your name and why you've come to this forsaken estate first or should I?
-The eyes built into the wall focus down on Pink with a withering glare-
Shadow James Crowley: You are so naive. Of course it's not Zagan's invention! Heck, Vali's been trying to figure out efficient cloning for years and somehow these bunker people turn out to have sorted out the whole thing decades ago! The least I could do was give them an exclusive supply contract in exchange for their tech! A small price to pay for securing the future of food!
The issue, I suppose, is that Kyber isn't... Made. It grows in the heart of stars and flung out in their death throes... At least in the universe where that happens.
-Gale paces a little-
I've been to that place once, touched the Dark Side too; used it to pull lightning from my own cells. I fed well on the anger I felt in the conflict. I guess one could ask whether it still lingers, a fact of my Obscura that threatens to consume me...
-She laughs, it's actually a little ominous-
But... If it is formed in stars, perhaps we can replicate the process? Nikola! Do you happen to have containment for plasma we can borrow?
-Yeah okay, they were getting nowhere with this smug bastard-
-Inside the interrogation room, the lights flicker-
-Someone's standing behind Beck and Stewart now, all dark clothing and the aura of malice. He's silent for the moment, waiting to be noticed by Whitt-
Bishop turned to Gale. "Lieutenant. The Wing itself has a dual fusion reactor as its power source, a star is a fusion reactor on a large scale, we have plasma containment."
Silas held up a tablet. "Add in the fact that this Darksaber isn't exactly the one from that universe, we're building the one set out by the Mandos of old."
Roxy, upon the talk of Beskar chuckled. "It's a very rare metal, not of this universe, show us to the lab and we'll show you how lasers react to it."
"Oh," Kamui breathed. "I was, ano, kinda waiting for you to…" she trailed off, a little nervous due to being on the spot. "A- Amy Hikari," she introduced, bowing deep. "I came because I got a psychic distress signal," she summarized.
R n' L’s fist clenches tight at the mention of the School, knuckles turning pale.
As he hears Gale muse, at the mention of lightning he idly holds up his own two fingers, a jagged blue between them like a taser. He sighed, dispelling the illusion, knowing he couldn’t. Not worth it.
"Would it even be safe? Like, what kind of heat or pressure are needed for Kyber, and… actually how dense is Kyber?” He asked. "If it’s denser than iron, we might have a problem with the “dying star” route," he realized.
Edited by AbsentCoder on Aug 26th 2022 at 7:25:40 AM
Ribot: ~Suit yourself.~
-he oozes away through a drain in the floor, off to do...whatever Ribot does in his scant spare time-
-at the reprimand, Molybdenum startles to attention-
Molybdenum: -prompt, orderly- ~No, I'm sorry for a lack of clarity. I was referring to a Psychic knowledge base, obtained from someone with experience creating these barriers.~
-she forwards her a few defunct technique templates dissected from fellow Telepaths by way of example, already tagged with a rudimentary set of processing flags-
Molybdenum: -genuinely abashed- ~...here.~
-and in the same manner, she provides the scant few first-person examples of barrier-formation she's retained—primarily weaknesses and the modes by which they were disrupted-
-Molybdenum never had any use for the practical side of things on the user end, and Neo's powers were always too...specific, for anything she found there to really apply-
Molybdenum: ~What? My knowledge base expands for you, . I know you get more out of it than me.~
-forwarding, again: her attempts at seeding Neodymium with partially compatible information, twice-
-each approaching disaster so swiftly that there was nothing for it but to revert the changes, put her back to sleep, and remove every trace of the incidents within reach-
(-flagged: warning, limited resource, small sample size, [...]-)
Molybdenum: ~I'm fine. Don't remember anything going wrong, right? You've got a plan?~
-she pages through what she remembers of the current Class: none of them particularly impress her, either, and that bodes poorly for getting anything useful from them in time-
Molybdenum: ~Exams coming up. I'm just—excited. For her. With how attentive she is, she'll pick up on what's happening quickly. She's meticulous—no loose ends. She's so sweet. So sweet. No need to worry about misbehavior when the time comes, not from her—they don't like that. Never have. It'll go great.~
Molybdenum: -soft, in a way that creaks with disuse- ~I'd love to hear your ideas, .~
-she turns toward her partner, expecting brilliance-
Edited by Asterisk395 on Aug 26th 2022 at 10:14:37 AM
Whitt finishes his rant, and sits breathing heavily for a few seconds. He stares at the table as he does, but frowns when the lights flicker. "Can you guys not afford to pay the electricity..." he trails off as he looks up and sees the figure clad in black.
"Huh. This looks like it's about to get more interesting."
In the end, it takes two days for Hoops to emerge from their cocoon. Xaster waits there the whole time, sometimes sleeping, sometimes awake, always with his back to the cocoon. So that Hoops always knows that he is there.
When they do emerge, Xaster wraps his arms around them. Kec does the same, and soon all of the pokémon are embracing Hoops as they quietly cry.
They never actually discuss it. Hoops doesn't know that they could find the words to describe everything that they're feeling, and Xaster doesn't want to press. Instead, Hoops asks Xaster to take them to do anything that will take their mind off things.
"I have just the thing," Xaster says, taking their hand as he leads them through the halls of the Stormchaser to the exit. Hoops winces slightly as the sun hits their face, and Xaster stops for a moment so that they can recover. "I saw an advertisement in town for a pokéathlon event which is being held in Jubilife City, so I signed us both up."
Hoops looks at the ground. "I don't know if I want to be around a lot of people right now."
"No worries," Xaster says. "It's not for a week. So here's what I'm thinking - pokéathlons have a very specific skill set that goes with them, so you can't just go in willy nilly. I thought we could spend this week practising for the events, and that's something to focus on. If at the end of the week you don't feel up to it, then we just withdraw. Sound good?"
Hoops nods quietly.
"Great!" Xaster pulls Hoops past a copse of trees to a wide open space with several large piles of equipment. "We'd better get started then."
-Lucrezia laughs, her voice reverberating in both her borrowed voicebox and the steel shuttered-walls of the command core, as she fires Aurora Beams and Psybeams at the two interlopers.-
-Deziree pulls herself out of the way by magnetizing to the ceiling while Dune quickly dodges with quick footwork.-
Lucrezia: DIE! DIE! DIE DIE DIE!!!
-Deziree counters the Psybeam with a Signal Beam from her antenna, clashing against the Mythic-powered beam and barely holding due to the attacks' type advantage.-
Dune: <We can't deal with her attacks head-on. We need to wear her down and find an opening!>
Deziree: <Yeah, realizing that right about now!>
-Using the magnetic grapple technique again, she breaks away from the beam lock as the Psybeam lances through the air she used to be in.-
Deziree: <All we need to do is get that replacement core out of the body!>
Dune: <Easier said than done!>
-Lucrezia focusing Deziree leaves her wide open to be hit by a flurry of metallic energy shots from Dune, channeling his inner rage into his Machinegun Fists.-
-A Thunder Wave arcs around the Magearna body before dissipating around a Crafty Shield.-
Dune: <We have her outnumbered, she's got to have an opening at some point!>
-The table in the corner of the bar with the two strangers watching the fight is intruded upon by a much-more-humble-than-normal Coyote.-
Coyote: Um... ladies?
-The newer stranger with the smell of cigarette smoke shoots Coyote a look.-
Coyote: You're... frightening the other patrons, children included.
-The stranger looks over to see the Little Matchbook Girl on the verge of tears.-
-She blinks and exhales, the smell of sulfur chasing her breath.-
Stranger: Sorry 'bout that. Just a little excited, is all.
-The pink stranger sighs.-
Stranger: Indeed. We've both been asleep for some time, haven't we?
Stranger: For different reasons, mind.
Stranger: You needn't remind me, darling. Yes, we will... "tone down" the divinity a bit.
Stranger: So... what's the over-under on both of them making it out of this?
Coyote: We closed the betting table because everyone bet on them both.
-She sips from her champagne flute as her companion receives a bottle of the muddiest beer the bar had available.-
Stranger: So, Ena, no red thread shenanigans?
Stranger: For the same reason you can't just tell the mountain to stop.
-The smoky stranger pops the beer bottle cap off with her thumbnail.-
Stranger: Damn, right.
-Coyote uses all the body language he knows to express his confusion.-
Stranger: Eminent domain, my guy. And that core is hers.
-The pink stranger shakes her head.-
-The bell at the door rings again as a tall, bearded man with greying hair steps in. The same sulfury smell chases his breath as the other new stranger.-
Grandpa Mountain: Ah, I thought I'd find you here, Grandma.
-He then nods to the pink stranger.-
Grandpa Mountain: Ena.
Stranger: ... Wait a minute. Sparky?
Grandpa Mountain: Grandma Smoky.
Stranger: ... Hah! Finally left Orre, huh?
Grandpa Mountain: Not quite. I heard there was a showing of a friend of mine here.
Stranger: You know those two?
Grandpa Mountain: If you have the patience, it's somewhat of a strange tale...
-Coyote quietly slips away now that the rest of the bar is loosening up.-
As they presumably landed toward the facility, Nick was texting someone on the phone, all while still apparently paying attention to what everyone else was saying.
Nick: Oh, ma'am we might have something to that effect down there. Our laser testing center was an old Pokefutures bunker that was blast proofed up the wazoo. We never figured out what they intended to put there.
Jill: We think it might be for stuff they intended to use to bring down mythicals or test large-scale FutureSeries, but it's been inconclusive since PEFE acquired it when it hadn't been stocked yet and no documents were ever found describing what it should be. It's definitely sturdy enough by my calculations to provide ample support for rather large-scale plasma reactions. And has radiation shielding, too. Weird.
Nick: So naturally, we use it for lasers! If you ever want to do a Doctor Octillery and make a tiny star on top of the lasers, it's definitely the place to put it.
Jill: If you want target practice, you can use our practice board. We've got targets painted with every major foe the PEFE board has ever sworn eternal vengeance on.
Nick: We had to replace the Zrone and Paul Macraul ones on a regular basis—wait did you say kyber crystals?
A buzz is heard from his phone.
Tommy's text: It's a fictional material, you dingus.
Tommy's other text: P.S. Do you have any idea what time it is here!?
Jill: Yes. I took the liberty of Googling it. Beskar. Kyber crystals. They're all from the space magic movie. Also explains what Murphy said about Star Wars earlier. It's true; all of it.
Nick: Pffffft. Right, and I'm Peter Parker. But sure, let's defictionalize a few items. I smell a Nobel Prize—we are documenting this, right?
Jill: Documenting? Yes. However, we'll need A-level clearance before we can publish it for peer review, so don't hold your breath. Meanwhile, if you'd be so kind as to give me your machine's specifications I can have the facility's porys get everything prepped and ready for installation the moment we get there.
The regurgitated School propaganda made Stewart's blood boil. The same lie, over and over again. "Superiority." What superiority was there if you were expendable? In that brief second, he was sorely tempted to tie Whitt up in even more metal.
Stewart: Easy for you to say; you weren't born with a sell-by date!
Beck: Alright, this is getting a bit heated. We'd better call in one of the top brass to deal with him. This cocky sob isn't gonna—
Not long after, Pent made his entrance. Beck and Stewart are somehow mortified even if they didn't actually see it.
Beck: Trust me, here Whitt, this doesn't normall—there's something horrible behind us, isn't there?
Stewart: That ain't a nice way to talk about your boss, Mr. Beckett.
Beck: Oh. Crud.
Stewart: Can't blame you there, buddy. That was one scary entrance, and we didn't even need to see it. But I like that he does it in a way that gives his entrance a bit of panache.
Beck: That word sounds weird with your accent.
Stewart: Darn tootin'.
Beck and Stewart break from their thousand yard stupor. The former glowers briefly at Whitt, then turns around to Pent.
Beck: Mr. Fiveside, sir. Sterling Beckett; Stormchaser security. Likewise, my assigned liaison, Stewart.
Beck: I trust I won't need to fill you in with what transpired.
Stewart: Would you excuse me, Mr. Beckett. I'll be taking 15. Got a little hot under the collar.
Beck: Take Freddie with you.
Having Aislinn follow behind them, Andrea has ended up in some random marsh, it seems. Truth be told, it seems to be a marsh just like every other marsh around. They really did just run in a random direction hoping something would happen, huh? Then again, a random marsh, with no real features to distinguish it from any other marsh, that's almost fitting for...
They shake their head as Aislinn and her companion arrive.
"We are here! And indeed...!"
As luck would have it, it is windier here than one would expect. Perhaps luck has not failed them yet?
"Now, we shall unveil even this mystery..."
They take out a pokeball, and point it towards the sky, exclaiming-
"Watchful eye of the gods, your searing gaze shall rend apart illusions and reveal the truth! Come, the closest of my comrades, Odisseo!!"
A Sigilyph is released with a bright flash of red and white light, and as though perfectly understanding his trainer's intentions without them speaking a word, he flies up in the sky to scout the surrounding area.
What will he see...?
-Deziree magnetizes the roof, hoping to drag Lucrezia's new metallic body to it. Lucrezia counters by firing an Eerie Impulse into the ceiling, scrambling its ion concentration.-
Deziree: <Dune, could really use some of that desertborn wisdom!>
Dune: <I'M WORKING ON IT!>
-Dune dives forward and counterblows an Aura Sphere that was fired at him, and while his anti-Auric training pays off, sending the Sphere ricocheting off of the central containment unit and into one of the side room, petering out before it damages any of the machinery.-
Dune: <Use the central pillar for cover! If we can't break it, then we can still use it as cover!>
-Deziree immediately uses this advice to dodge a Shadow Ball.-
Deziree: <Alright, well, that was immediately usefull...>
-She scrambles to keep the pillar between her and Lucrezia as the Magearna's body is piloted around the pillar to get an angle.-
Deziree: <But this won't work forever!>
Dune: <I have an idea, but neither of us are gonna like it!>
Deziree: <If you want to sacrifice yourself just so I survive, I will absolutely call Giratina just so I can beat the shit out of you!>
Dune: <I'm not gonna sacrifice my life!>
-Deziree fires multiple Thunderbolts time and again to maybe slow down Lucrezia's Mythic body. It only works slightly.-
Deziree: <Good! That's my one condition!>
Dune: <Good! Then keep doing that!>
-She barely ducks in time to dodge an Aura Sphere.-
-The smoky stranger's attention snaps to the display, her attention wrenched away from her grandson's tale of the time he was captured by Cipher.-
Stranger: Wait wait wait shush shush shush.
-Everyone else at the table follows her gaze.-
Dune: <C'mon, is that all you've got you old hag?! You've got all this power and you haven't so much as bruised either of us!>
Lucrezia: SILENCE, WORM! I WILL DESTROY ALL OF YOU!
Dune: <Then do it! We're waiting!>
Lucrezia: I SAID SILENCE!
Dune: <DO IT! C'MON! I DARE YOU!>
Dune: <DO IT OR NO BALLS>
Lucrezia: ALRIGHT, FINE! YOU ALL DIE, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!
-With a resonating war cry, Lucrezia pulls all of the energy she can from inside her new body. Every drop of power and reserve.-
Lucrezia: DIE, YOU INSIGNIFICANT FUCK!
-And with all the power she can muster in her hands...-
-She finds that her taunter was now both flying through the air, and very, very close.-
-She fires the Steel Beam at a wild angle, the silver particle lance cleaving through air, wall, and distant mountain infrastructure alike. But, she managed to hit the Excadrill!-
-Gasps fill the room.-
Stranger: Oh man, that's a good trick.
Grandpa Mountain: Told you he was good at things like this.
-The Excadrill vaporizes under the beam, but not before, in a puff of smoke...-
-It turns into a little green doll.-
Dune: <I yield my flesh...>
-Jumping off of Deziree's back, Dune flies besides the now-spent Magearna.-
Dune: <To claim their bones.>
DUNE used DRILL RUN!
-The flying drill spin hits the Magearna right in the chest. Dune's Excadrill body doesn't immediately find purchase on the smooth, replacement core orb.-
Lucrezia: No... NO! I-I CAN'T DIE LIKE THIS!
-Deziree flies up behind Dune, getting her angle just right.-
Deziree: <You know what, Lucrezia?>
-She builds up a fistful of magnetic energy in her magnet-hand.-
Deziree: <I'm a way better mom than you.>
-She thrusts the magnetic power forward, giving Dune just the leverage he needs to find purchase.-
Lucrezia: WHA- AH! AAAAAAAH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!
-Dune's claws tear in bit by bit, until hey hit the center layer.-
-And then he stops spinning and unfurls, shattering the replacement core.-
-Time stands still for a moment.-
-Across the mountain, control units find themselves without admin credentials.-
-Middle managers become locked out of systems.-
-A large construct in the lower levels manages to wrest control of the security system, for as long as it has the battery power to do so.-
-The constant hum and whir of engines and gears creeps to a halt.-
-The mountain stops walking.-
-The bar erupts into applause.-
-Deziree catches both her husband and the now-pilotless body and brings them to the ground.-
Deziree: <Don't you ever do that again.>
Dune: <She was supposed to use Hyper Beam, not whatever the hell that was.>
Deziree: <And that makes things better?>
Dune: <It made it so I could have had an opening after she popped my Substitute without having to give myself heart palpitations double-timing before my next opening, but noooo, she had a different big beam attack with the same color pallet as a Hyper Beam...>
Deziree: <Well, you need a rest!>
-Dune takes off his Ersatz bandana and collapses onto the cold metal flooring. It's considerably less cold, though, from all of the lighting, Aura, and other energy attacks that had been flying around just moments prior.-
-Deziree looks around at the containment pod. The Soul-Heart floats there, unresponsive, but glowing nonetheless.-
Deziree: <Phew, okay. So that's good too-woah!>
-She's yanked out of the air and pulled to Dune's chest, his arms unable to stretch all the way around her Magnezone width.-
Dune: This floor is cold.
-Deziree blinks her large central eye at her husband before the hint finally hits her.-
-The two, now warmly in each other's arms, look up at the ceiling and the massive rent in it the Steel Beam had made.-
Deziree: I want to have kids.
-Dune quietly contemplates for a moment.-
Dune: For clarity's sake...
Deziree: Yeah, I mean along with adoptions.
Dune: Just making sure.
-They stare for a moment more.-
-He sighs, realizing just how much making that Substitute in a panic actually drained him.-
Dune: I think would work.
-Deziree smiles as she drifts off to sleep.-
-Dune follows soon after, as the various other flying members of the team make their way around to the newly cleaved entrance before quietly departing to handle other matters.-
Coyote: And that, ladies and not-ladies, is that~
-The bar erupts in applause as some of the early birds filter out of the exit before being held hostage by mundane conversation with someone they honestly don't like. Coyote looks over to the singular table in the corner.-
Coyote: I presume this ended to your... satisfaction?
-The occupants all laugh.-
Grandpa Mountain: I wish you'd invited me, you sly dog. I would have paid money for that show.
Stranger: I'm just happy that old relic is finally handled. Mountains that got up and walked never sat well with me.
Grandpa Mountain: That's rich coming from you, Grandma Pele.
Pele: Oh shush, you little runt.
-Coyote looks to the pink stranger.-
Coyote: I trust that matters will now be able to sort themselves out?
-She sets down her champagne flute, Coyote just now realizing that despite how many sips she took, she never needed to refill it.-
Stranger: An interesting pair, to be sure.
-She nods as the last bits of the display seeing the couple asleep on the floor melt away as the Snow Queen rapidly retreats from unwanted advances by Kashchey the Wizard.-
Stranger: A love like that needs no help from me.
-She gathers her jacket as Pele calls after her.-
Pele: Visit your brothers sometime! They won't shut up about you!
-For the first time, Coyote sees the pink stranger sigh in pure exhaustion.-
Stranger: I'd rather chew lead!
Pele: It's that or they hear that you're back and go find you!
-The pink stranger aggressively pretends she didn't hear that as she is out the door and into the night.-
Pele: Yep, that's the Ena I remember.
-Coyote, meanwhile, nods to the barman, who nods back.-
Coyote: Ah... it's wonderful when a plan comes together~
Guess Zagan's one of the main suppliers of that nutrient paste, obviously if they can make whole people from dirt and crap making cuts of meat is probably immaterial for them. If we can change his heart, there's a chance the School will be blown wide open if he knows this much about them.
-To Shadow Crowley-
Those "bunker people" as you call them, working with them is a poisoned chalice, you'll be paying more than monetarily if you continue your partnership.
Might want to work on that a little more if that's your choice of work.
Chiyo: -To Percy- Always.
Apple-A-Day: You know, I didn't exactly anticipate being shot at when I started doing this.
Percy: Look, uh...I'm pretty broken up over Vana too. Kid deserved a life. But none of us are going to have a life while the School's intact. And we sort of need you on that. We don't have many people who can deal with the Templars.
Apple-A-Day: Is this really your best argument?
Neodymium: ~Moral: There was a sewer mon.~
Didit: ~Have you been using the Internet?~
Neodymium: ~Yeah! Dr. Memito's been showing me.~
Didit: ~...She isn't a doctor, and she shouldn't be.~
Neodymium: ~Huh, whoops. She's cool, though. Been talking to me about artwork. Even if she is a terrible artist.~
PEFE!Every: Oh. Yes. I've been checking in with my team about said. They had some ideas but there are fundamental physical limitations I can't overcome quickly.
I could augment her. I know how. But it would be dangerous, and...I don't want to. I went down that road once, and it didn't work.
-she paces back and forth-
You could fix things for her. I've seen what you're capable of. You know she deserves to pass. You know what she's capable of. You could change the minds of whoever's managing the testing.
-knock knock knock knock, knock knock-
Edited by memyselfandI2 on Aug 27th 2022 at 12:01:10 PM
...That's the argument?
-Looks at Chiyo-
Heavy is the head that wears the crown...
Chiyo: -Eyebrow raise- I think that was already established a few minutes ago.
Percy: ...Well, great. That's all I've got for you.
...Once this is all over, maybe we should hold some kind of thing. For...everyone, you know? Vana, everyone else who didn't get out.
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