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Chiyo: -To Percy, Ceres cuddling back with her- That would be nice, I'd like that. Better than what the School would give us, that's for sure.
-To everyone gathered-
Tagg... Nasreen... Percy... And I certainly can't forget you, Dactyl and Ceres... Thank you.
Dave: Yeah, good luck with that.
Jonathan: That'll take them months.
Dave: That's the idea. Meet me back here and we'll give you the full four-one-one on the J-Team and its whereabouts. The Rotom will give you our contact details if you ever need to call us.
Dave made good with his promise and is waiting for the other two grunts, who presumably have already arrived with that poster. With it, that raise he's been asking from Hontou was as good as his.
-Alex pauses. Pauses for a good while. Then scratches her head.-
Alex: "I... I haven't thought of that yet. "
-Suddenly Storm and Seigbert come running up with the poster-
Storm: "HERE! HERE'S YOUR DAMN POSTER!"
Seigbert: "We went out on a rowboat and got Keiko to sign it and everything!
Merlin: "Ooh! Yes! Marvelous! Come with me!"
-he makes a beeline for Snowpoint Temple-
Fou: <We should probably unfortunately follow him.>
Oran Obliterator: -awkward wave- "Er, see you soon too?" -to the others- " Is he planning something?"
-Lead Monkey doesn't seem to be looking at Shadow James Crowley. Or anyone.-
Look at you. You've been useless this whole entire time. Doing nothing. Because that's all you are. Old and useless.
-The gang finally gets here-
-And finds Lavender Tower has been suspended on a pillar of rock, with a lot of onlookers gawking at it-
'Olivia: <I feel like the power of the Earth Vellumental can deal with this... But I'd need a way to access it... Maybe we should look around!>
-Victor is working in his lab when Pavo approaches-
Pavo: ~Insignificant! All insignificant!~
Victor: "Something wrong?"
Pavo: ~Your choices of victims for your schemes have proven inadequate! INADEQUATE! We haven't made any progress on anything!~
Victor: "Settle down my dear enby, those were just test runs! You'll get better targets soon. And you did draw out who I was after did you not?"
Pavo: ~Hmph. Fine. I will wait. But you better deliver. I am a demigod and deserve better!~
Victor: "Yes, yes, don't worry, all in due time~"
-Pavo senses a trioof presences behind them and turns to find Maurice holding a Pokeball, Bubba Gump on his shoulder-
Maurice: Hedy, big shot, this is from School HQ. They wanted to assign you a Pokemon partner.
Pavo: ~What?! I don't need the assistance of these creatures! I am perfect. I am immaculate. I am-~
-Maurice opens the Pokeball and sends out a Swablu-
-Levitates the Swablu to their shoulder even though it's perfectly capable of flying up there.-
~YOU! You shall be my right-hand mon from here on out!~
Swablu: -chirps happily-
Bubba Gump: -snickers- <I think they approve.>
-Maurice just rolls his eyes-
Dave inspects the poster. The absence of water damage implies that they managed to avoid the most obvious goof possible.
Rotom!Jonathan: Wow. It looks mint.
Dave: Oh, good. You had the sense to get it waterproofed, too. One wonders if that's gonna be a problem with the big boss since he prefers all his stuff "pristine."
Rotom!Jonathan: All the posters Keiko signed had to be waterproofed. It's only common sense. The extra treatment was probably why those limited edition posters cost an arm and a leg.
Dave: Thanks, fellas. I'd have gone on the rowboat myself but ever since this one nautical accident that I'm still getting rust treatments for I've sworn to stay away from saltwater forever.
Rotom!Jonathan: Dave, give them the flash drive.
Dave: Oh, sure.
He hands them a small thumb drive.
Dave: It should be compatible with your USB ports. That's about 100 terabytes worth of space chucked with everything we've gleaned from the J-Team from here til sometime in mid-2021... that I was allowed access to. And you're in luck. They're in Sinnoh, right now, so if you want to schedule a break into their insipid yellow airship...
Rotom!Jonathan: Many Orange Islanders have a tendency to despise airships that aren't blimps on principle. You know how it is.
Dave: It's to us what harvest festivals are to you. Anyway, you can probably break into their parent company's facilities or something. It's not like they'll change much because of some threat they had to suddenly respond to or anything.
Edited by MasterJayAM on Sep 3rd 2022 at 10:54:45 AM
-Ajax sighs as he scratches down numbers, designators, and over half a dozen different footnotes down onto a tablet.-
Ajax: <There's a geothermal power plant at the base of the big fiery mountain. Hang around there, and you'll probably find some electrical fuel cells. Also a trio of Rotoms, one of which says he's a cactus.>
Magnemite: <What's a "cactus"?>
Ajax: <Hoo boy.>
???: <A cactus is a plant with spongy flesh and sharp needles. It absorbs and keeps water inside of it to survive dry climates.>
-Ajax looks over.-
Ajax: <Ah, I see we have someone who's traveled abroad.>
-The indignant, gold bracelet-wearing Magnemite huffs.-
Helen: <Far too much, if you ask me. It took what felt like years to find this place again! Anyway, who are you? Why has the Mountain stopped walking? Where's my mother?>
Ajax: <In order...>
-He starts counting on his claws.-
Ajax: <I'm Ajax, the Mountain has stopped walking because its central power source has been removed and all of the systems have returned to their original locked down status, aaaaaand assuming your one of the Daughters, you're mother's body is currently in a comatose state after transferring her soul into a facsimile of a Magearna Soul-Heart and is presumably entirely lacking any memories or instincts of which she is known.>
-Helen's head-screw twitches.-
Helen: <What a load of crock! That story doesn't even have the most base of footing in reality!>
Ajax: <Whatever. I'm too tired to argue with you. If you want someone to be indignant at, I'm sure Selene would love to accommodate you.>
Helen: <And who is Selene?!>
-The area suddenly gets much hotter as a red Clefable lands nearby.-
Fire!Selene: <Oh, another Daughter who wants to deny reality?>
Fire!Selene: <Can I have her?>
Ajax: <Aaaaaall yours.>
-Selene grabs the Magnemite before she can run and drags her off to look at the massive holes in the command core.-
-The room is dead quiet as Dune, Dom, and Garuda carefully watch Deziree work.-
Deziree: Well, I can at least be happy in knowing that the old hag was gentle when taking this thing out.
-Dune resists the urge to snark.-
Deziree: Honestly, I can only hope that severing the connection like we did didn't cause any internal damage. This whole thing is beyond even me.
-Dune arches an eyebrow.-
Deziree: Yeah, you see? There's no direct contact point between the central control cradle and the core. Doesn't look like there was intended to be one, either. Which means that the Soul-Heart just kinda communicates through the metal itself.
-Dune tilts his head.-
Deziree: You're guess is as good as mine. If I had to hazard a guess, this was either the work of a Da Vinci or Tesla level Capital-G Genius, or was made with the help of a god.
-Dune puts his hand to his chin.-
Deziree: I mean, yeah, I can see it. Aren't exactly many legendaries that are patrons of the engineering arts.
-She leans back in her seat.-
Deziree: As far as I can tell, I've cleaned out all of the fake core and the real Soul-Heart is nestled in as snugly as it will go. So, all we can do is wait.
Dune: Do we, uh, need a passcode of some kind, or what?
-Dom and Garuda look at each other and shrug, having grown somewhat used to their half-silent conversations.-
Dune: Oh, wait, I have an idea!
Deziree: Go for it.
-Dune clears his throat.-
Dune: Let's see if I remember the words to this...
-He clears his throat again.-
-Deziree practically melts into a puddle hearing her husband sing the song that he'd memorized and practiced just for their honeymoon.-
-Dune waits for a moment.-
-The pink topaz eyes flicker a moment.-
Magearna: D-ai... sy... D-ai... sy... g-i-ve me you-r answer d-do...
Dune: Ha hah!
Big Dom: <i cannot believe that actually worked.>
Garuda: <It appears that Magearna is trying to relearn how to properly communicate via muscle memory recall method. Keep singing.>
Edited by DuneTheWanderer on Aug 29th 2022 at 8:52:24 AM
The odd man nods.
Oddly Jolly Man: And how has the search gone, miss Hikari?
He realizes something and lets out an 'oh'.
Oddly Jolly Man: Where are my manners..? I am the rightful and honorable Duke Heartgrave. I came here to do my usual trading but well it appears it's a bad time and I'm a little stuck for now.
-The area rumbles with a laugh-
Shadow James Crowley: I'll stab them in the back before they can stab me, don't worry. I've got their delivery address after all, I can just leak it to the press or heck one of those 'hero' gangs walking the streets. But if you can't see that, intruders? Then you're not going to end up seeing the future when it arrives.
There's probably one of those hand evocation circles or the like around here. Or maybe some kind of wellspring of elemental Earthly energy you can tap!
-Gale knows what she's looking for as she wanders around the base of the pillar-
Captain, I feel like at this point we're less 'building something set out in ancient texts' and more... Inventing it anew? It'd be wild if they actually did use the method I have in mind.
Yes, I'm quite aware of the belligerence of this manufactured one. I felt the need to step in before you completely lose the opportunity to get any useful information.
-He takes a seat at the table, longcoat billowing a little-
Let's get this straight immediately: your organization isn't coming to rescue you. This is a blacksite; so far off the books that the books erase themselves. On the flipside, it means they can't kill you here either. Have I made that clear?
I'm sure many of the School's adversaries have thought the same, we've gotta change this guy's heart quickly before the School decides to cut him loose, they have to have plants embedded in Zagan even now.
Well this tour was certainly... enlightening, are we free to go?
We're probably not but if he sics some Shadows on us we can probably do a successful fighting retreat, no point in prolonged battle at this juncture.
Ann: Yeah I figure another of those Magic Circles would be our best bet.
-She also starts searching-
-Just raises an eyebrow in response as if to say, "There has to be more to it than that."-
-Molybdenum presses on PEFE!Every's mind, trying to remember details on where this road went-
-privately, another hope shatters: another 'easy route' isn't. being private, she shares it with her partner immediately-
-now, deep down, the woman who was once Molybdenum would like to say Celeste's words, Ever's words, jangled in her head and fully convinced her to act-
-PEFE!Every's a scientist. she can't say 'no' to a scientist-
Molybdenum: ~...yes. The best Students deserve to pass.~
-but she'd know better than most that nothing is hidden, here-
-so she falls back on the resort of most hypermonitored, productivity-enforced people: saying what she means using all the right words-
~Neodymium is well-behaved, a quick study, and ranks highly in coexistence with her peers, an attribute...lacking, in most of them.~
-watching PEFE!Every pace, she clasps her hands behind her attentively-
~All I can convince the Faculty of is the truth: of the valid entrants, Neodymium is the best candidate. Discounting of course everyone disqualified for one reason or another.~
-"well-behaved": obedient, "best": most useful-
-lowering her head- ~Around now, it's common to discover promising candidates weren't up to the School's standards. The stress gets to them.~
-"discover": contrive; "promising": better; "stress": desperation, me-
Molybdenum: ~I only want what's best for the School.~
-she stands at attention, awaiting orders-
-the couple freeze in place, out of sheer reflexive terror as much as anything-
Haru: I didn't order anything.
Rhoda: ~I know.~
Haru: I don't get take-out any more. I'm careful.
Rhoda: ~You don't need to keep apologizing, love.~
Haru: -whine- No one ever pays attention to the "do not disturb" sign.
-the last time the cleaning staff changed, Rhoda nearly had a heart attack-
(-a literal heart attack. she's not as spry as she used to be-)
-...Haru's Bibarel presses its face against her leg, bringing her out of memory-
-the point of leaving the School is that she doesn't have to live in fear any more-
-it took thirty long years to unpack her overdeveloped fight-or-flight response, she isn't going to fold because someone's Machop learned to ding-dong-ditch-
Rhoda: -determinedly light- ~Could be Daiki asking for a cup of sugar. He thinks we're friends.~
-Haru gulps, and heroically smiles, the way she likes-
Haru: -gamely- I'm looking forward to the musical. I think you'll like it.
Rhoda: ~Darling, I mostly love that you love them.~
Haru: No, really. It's a retelling of The Youthful Brionne—the mascot Krabby escapes the kingdom's bucket and finds life on land for himself. He befriends a Skwovet and together, they have adventures...
-he watches Rhoda's Mightyena emerge from the kitchen, eyes trained on the bolted door...and her Murkrow flap over, pressing an eye to the peephole-
Murkrow: -caw, in a clearly inhuman voice- Whooo is iit?
Edited by Asterisk395 on Aug 30th 2022 at 8:59:56 AM
-Rogue stares as they're looped around. When the swap fails, they growl in frustration.-
Rogue: ...Of course. Why would they be our ally?
-They climb on on Amaterasu's back.-
Rogue: Hop on, let's get moving quickly—
Amaterasu: <Oop, sorry, but Extreme Speed isn't something I can do.>
Rogue: ...But you're an Arcanine?
Amaterasu: <Might want to study up on history.>
Rogue: Aren't you supposed to be something I know? Thou art I, I am thou, all that crap?
Amaterasu: <I dunno, you're not really seeming yourself right now anyway.>
Rogue: ...Let's just go.
Obelisk/Bishop floated over to Oran Obliterator. "Most likely, he's had numerous contingencies for keeping out of reach and has been Pragmatic and Practical with a capital P before. Here however, he just sees us as needing him for something, and thus we will break him out."
Silas and Roxy smirked at Beskar. "Tell me Nick, what is the heaviest laser you have? I'd love to demonstrate what beskar can do."
To Gale he shrugged. "Well, we technically are inventing it anew. This will be the start of a new legend of Mando, especially since they don't exactly exist in this universe."
Roxy let out a laugh. "Gotta keep you under control, you'd get no sleep at this rate."
The van stopped and Rory stared at his phone. "No response."
"Damn, that sucks... guess you're busting in!"
Rory groaned, he gripped onto his medium tools. "I need a new dynamo hand, can you build that?"
Nico nodded with a grin. "Already got a spare made."
Rill: <Alright, now you guys are looking for a big canyon. I don't mean "big" as in the size of an Aggron, I mean "big" as in "from here to where that elevator ends".
-The crowd of Aron and Lairon all give impressed "oooh"s.-
Rill: <When you get there, you're probably going to be stopped by a bunch of weird looking Rock Pokemon, some of them have swirly shells and tentacles and others will have really sharp claw arms. Tell them that Dune sent you, and they'll let you pass, and then you can help yourself to whatever rocks you find in there. Any questions?>
-One Aron raises a tiny arm.-
Aron: <Are you sure nothing is gonna try to attack us on the way there?>
Rill: <With how many of you there are, only an idiot would try attacking all of you at once.>
-There's a murmur of acceptance across the crowd.-
Rill: <And if that's it, you guys are in group... oh here we are, you're all in Group Red! When your color shows up on the sign, make your way to the exit ramp in an orderly manner!>
-The Lairon and Aron slowly rumble their way to their own corner of the room.-
-Rill gives an exhausted sigh.-
Rill: <I am not cut out for this.>
Selene: <Okay, I call, you respond!>
-She points to herself.-
Selene: <All living creatures...>
-She points to the crowd of Daughters.-
Daughters: Are born with the same set of rights...
Selene: <Okay, good. And when those rights are impugned...>
Daughters: That is a crime...
Selene: <Alright, progress, progress. So I do solemnly swear...>
-There's awkward coughing and shuffling from the crowd. Selene frowns.-
Fire!Selene: <So I do solemnly swear...>
Daughters: To forever respect the rights of all, not just myself!
-Dune raises his right hand.-
-The Magearna raises her left hand.-
-Dune blinks twice.-
-The pink topaz eyes flash twice.-
-Dune curls up into a ball.-
-The Magearna folds into a ball.-
Dune: Hello, world.
Magearna: H-el-lo, w-or-ld!
-Dune scratches his chin, which the Magearna mimics in turn.-
Dune: Still need vocal practice, but it looks like you've regained full motor control.
Magearna: T-alk-ing i-s a l-itt-le ha-rd st-i-ll.
-Deziree walks in with a couple of coffee mugs.-
Deziree: How's my Blue Fairy doing with our newest Pinocchio?
-Dune takes his mug and steals a kiss in the process.-
Dune: Motor functions look to be in working order. Vocal control is still a problem, but all you need is practice for that.
Magearna: Th-is st-il-l d-oe-s-n't fe-el rea-l.
Deziree: With how long you'd been stuck in there, that doesn't surprise me. But you're out now. Though, that does raise a new question. Where do you want to go?
-The Magearna moves to respond before stopping and returning to Dune's chin-scratching motion.-
Magearna: W-an-t to g-o...
Kendall smirked, a "hmph" of pride audible. "The saga begins."
It took everything R n' L had to not roll his eyes behind his blindfold. He muttered something about secrecy and mind wiping under his breath.
"Well..." she trailed off, rubbing the back of her neck. "Not much better than when we last spoke," she admitted. "Perhaps you've seen them around? They answer to Pent, but their gender presentation is... pretty fluid," she admitted. "So..." she shrugged.
-Rill takes a deep drink from the water condenser.-
Rill: <Alright, that's Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Black, White, and Black 2 and White 2 done. What groups do we have left?>
Ajax: <According to this, the miners have all departed, what you listed were all of the internal work groups and the servants on the upper levels... which just means the only groups left are us and the Daughters.>
-Rill rubs his forehead.-
Rill: <Dear sweet Arceus what are we gonna do about the Daughters and their boy toys...>
Ajax: <Selene is working on that. Said something about "de-emphasizing power dynamics".>
Rill: <In other words she's teaching them that bluster doesn't mean anything when you can't back it up.>
Ajax: <I believe so, yes.>
Rill: <Well, whatever! I'm gonna do another sweep to make sure nobody got locked in a storage cabinet or something in the evac, just to kill time.>
Ajax: <Have fun. I'm gonna help myself to the overseer's hidden ration stash.>
Rill: <I could never stomach that stuff, but I am really jonesing for something of Champloo's right now...>
Magearna: F-rie-nds... Ol-d fr-iend-s pr-ob-a-b-ly lon-g g-one...
-Deziree pulls the mechanical doll into a hug.-
Deziree: Hey, now. Gone or not, they wouldn't want you to be sad, especially for something you had no say in.
-The Magearna's body hums mournfully.-
Deziree: There are probably a few friends still around. Do you know any Heatran?
Magearna: N-o... th-ey w-er-e alw-ays s-ca-red of m-e-l-ting me...
Dune: I heard stories about Volcanion being friends with Magearna.
-Magearna's body sags and hums even deeper.-
Magearna: V-Vol-ca-nion... h-he...
-Dune realizes that the stutter was not being caused by the lack of speaking practice.
Dune: ... Oh. That's how Lucrezia...
Deziree: The more I learn about her the angrier I get...
-They all sort of awkwardly group hug for a moment.-
Dune: Do you know any other Legendaries, at least?
Magearna: N-ot a lo-t. Th-ere i-s Ena, th-o-ugh.
Magearna: Ena-mo-rus. B-but she w-as as-lee-p la-st I s-aw.
Dune: Oh, right, the theoretical fourth member of the Sky Gods, representing Spring. The one you don't see around nowadays.
Deziree: Huh. Don't even know where to start looking for her. But, there's a very nice Heatran who's gotten very good at controlling his flames and heat, if you'd like to meet him!
Magearna: I'd l-ike tha-t.
Apple-A-Day: Ack, please use my hero name while I'm in costume
Percy: No problem.
PEFE!Every: Point of order. You implanted a subconscious command in Ever that made them punch themself in the face every time anyone around them said the word "retinal". Took a while to undo, especially since Brie and I kept reactivating it. You can't get a panel of scientists to spare a kid?
-it's a young woman with a long braid and purple eyes-
Tellurium: Let me in. Adelinde's on her way, and it's better if you deal with me than her.
Jill: The majority of our laser emitters are meant for navigation tech, but we have a fair number of cutting lasers you might be interested in.
Nick: I'd thought you'd need a smaller laser to do that lightsaber stuff, though, but if you want to see if that's as good as the stuff in the show, well, I've got just the thing.
He moves to a panel, which Jill quickly activates.
Jill: The local porys will have the ports ready for anything you need used.
The porys in the facility light up a large blast room with an array of portraits of previous J-Team adversaries. A few of them are burned up and torn, including one that's badly damaged but is somehow still recognizable as a poster of Zrone. The reinforced blast walls are quite dented.
Nick: I was part of the team that made this baby. It's meant for drilling through solid rock. Check out the blast holes on the wall. It's from using that. We only use this one to collect core samples for research purposes. Our later models are made for metalworking and for cutting through the integ... integer... integlutumatary...
Nick: Yeah, those parts of steel types. Nails, claws, feathers, skin flaps. Those are usually a pain to fix and often in centers they go through dozens of saws getting everything done. The laser does it in less time and with greater precision. Of course, my baby over here is too strong that we had to tone it down and now we only use it on rock.
Jill: This one was marked only for authorized use. fortunately, you've been granted clearance.
Nick: Care to give it a spin?
Chiyo: -To Apple-A-Day- Right, sorry about that.
-Stomach audibly growls-
I think I will get something to eat, and then take a shower.
Dactyl: -Orbiting Chiyo rapidly- <Finally.>
I could use something to eat too, maybe we can do that together.
Though maybe you might want to switch around those events.
So what will you do now after that?
Chiyo: A lot of things, but before I do so I want to see them first. Vana, I mean.
You think you're ready for that now Chiyo?
Chiyo: Not right now, but soon. Just us, though. This is our responsibility, not theirs.
Edited by rmctagg09 on Aug 30th 2022 at 12:03:46 PM
Whitt digs a finger into his ear and works it around until he founds a nice big clump of earwax. He examines it, not looking at Pent.
"So, is that how this works? I piss you guys off, they send someone else in to act scarier than the last guy? Honestly I thought it would take longer to get to talk to someone important." He blows the wax off his finger so that it lands on the table, then looks up at Pent and smiles. "I had fun reading the file we have on you. SO much detail, makes you wonder where we get all that information from."
He leans back. "You're right, no-one's coming to save me. I'm not that important in the grand plan of the School. But, that doesn't mean that they don't know where I am. They have a way of... finding the right people, so to speak."
Whitt puts his hand on the table. "If we're doing this, I have a few requests. I want a sixty inch tv with all the streaming services, even the ones no-one uses, I want to get all the newspapers from The Jubilife Times, The Castelia Post, and The Delibird Report. I also want a new coat and trousers, thicker sheets in my room, a ton of ice cream at every meal time, my pokémon returned to me, and I want to be able to freeze some stuff without getting into trouble for it. Then we can talk about information, capiche?"
Molybdenum: ~...how often could you possibly say "retinal" in your day to day?~
-despite herself, she sounds rather pleased-
-mostly, though, she's mentally spluttering like someone whose bit didn't hit-
Molybdenum: ~But that's...that's the whole point. They know us. They know me. Everyone out there—~
-she can't make an actual sweeping gesture without being extremely obvious, so she flags memories of the outside-
Molybdenum: ~Is babies or idiots or you. But you can't do that to a scientist.~
-it's hard to tell behind the mask, but she sounds less 'frowning' and more 'pleading'-
Molybdenum: ~Even if—they're terrible for—the School.~
-precious parts of the School-
-precious, wonderful parts-
-ten feet back from the door, Haru registers a quiet statement—not a breaking-in—and relaxes, almost-
-through his eyes, Rhoda sees her Murkrow paint the front wall violet with his Night Shade-
-in his mind, she sees reality set in-
Haru: We need to go.
Haru: -clapping a hand over his own mouth- We need to run!
-he nods jerkily to her frantic Murkrow, who flaps harder and says:-
Murkrow: -sqaaak!- Nurbudy's home right now, -squak- cun I take a missage?
-that is one anxious-sounding avian-
-whose too-loud wingbeats can't quite cover the sound of someone scrambling around for pill bottles and Pokéballs, paring down essentials-
(-...one, not two-)
(-while Haru bustles around, a second pair of socks pulled over the first in a desperate bid for silence, Rhoda's staring, dazed and blindly, at where she knows their wedding photo to be-)
(-it wasn't under their real names—their original names, or the real ones they use now, obviously-)
(-not even the ones they used then-)
(-there was no ceremony, no guests of honor, just a civil service in a one-room office with a clerk so bored it put his Munna to sleep-)
(-they signed the papers with signatures they invented for the occasion and splurged on pizza til they cried laughing-)
-for one wild moment, Rhoda lets herself dream: running away together, eloping together, she and him and life-
-no, not dream—this is the world she built, where she was safe to forget that name-
-Melinda's a pain, but she'd vouch for them if it were urgent, surely—a moment of shelter, to reach the Pokémon Center—a burner device, a Ticket to another Region, and then...and then...-
(-Haru's cursing—he never swears—over being lax with packing for an emergency they stopped truly worrying about ten years ago-)
(-ten minutes ago, she was considering where to treat him for dinner-)
(-the world has ended, and Rhoda's wasting the little time she has left-)
Rhoda: -steeling herself- ~We should take her offer.~
Rhoda: ~You don't understand. Adelinde is a Templar.~
Haru: -desperate, distracted- So? We've been running from Templar?
-he's not listening-
-for once in his life, he's not listening to her, and—it's never been more urgent-
Rhoda: ~She's older than me.~
Haru: -damningly absent- That's not very hard—no, I'm sure this is important, but we can think and walk—
-she scoots her wheelchair back a foot, stopping him in his tracks-
Rhoda: -softly- ~And she's a sadist.~
-she's never been gladder not to see the look on his face-
Haru: -queasy- ...then we can't let her have you.
-her heart sets like stone-
Rhoda: -to Tellurium, faint- ~...just give me a moment.~
Edited by Asterisk395 on Aug 31st 2022 at 8:54:49 AM
-PEFE!Every tilts her head-
PEFE!Every: What do you mean by can't? I'm assuming it's not a question of rules, given that your acquisition of me breaks several.
-she takes Molybdenum's face in her hands and squints into one eye, as if attempting to directly look at her brain-
If it's a mental block, I suspect I or my team could do something about it. You wouldn't mind, would you? You'd be more effective after.
Tellurium: There isn't a moment. Sorry.
-the lock unhitches itself, deadbolt springing back-
-Tellurium and a Gothitelle enter-
Tellurium: Thuban. Mind the door.
-she looks around the house-
...Looks nice. Nicer than my place, for sure.
-in some aspects of her manner and presentation, she's a mini-Adelinde. Long coat, long hair. The coat's a deep red instead of white, which coupled with her purple shirt makes her look a little like an intense sunset-
-her facial expression gives away that she learned from Adelinde, but hasn't had it in her to really follow in the Templar's footsteps-
-Standing in front of a body under a white sheet-
Chiyo: So... this is her.
When I first got the news the R&D guys wanted to get her over to the HQ right away, but I figured that could wait until you got to see her, at least.
Chiyo: -Nods, before removing the sheet just enough to see the person underneath- Vana's in pretty good condition, all things considered.
It helps to have a Priest of Yveltal who's also a mortician around, though I haven't actually seen much of Salvador lately, I imagine he's been a bit too busy with Death Themselves to hang around us that often.
Chiyo: -Eyebrow raise- I know what they say about Yveltalic priests and their "little deaths", but are you seriously saying th-
It's a bit of a long story, and I'd rather not bug him to tell it.
-An Ultra Wormhole opens near the Stormchaser, and two women step out, the Wormhole immediately closing behind them-
Nicky: -Looking ahead- So this is the Stormchaser, huh? Guess the pictures weren't exaggerating the yellow.
Kendra: -Nods- Yeah, let's hurry and find Chiyo and Tagg, I get the feeling they might start without us.
-for some reason, her mind opens like a flower-
Molybdenum: -still mentally spluttering- ~Sure, but—I'm fine! Like anyone could compel me—~
-it's literally nothing but psychic compulsions in there-
-she's like if the output of a deeply traumatized neural net could pass the [Turing test] to eat [Turing]-
Molybdenum: ~It just—wouldn't—~
Then it would all be for nothing.
-all around are the signs of a life lived-
-Pokémon fur, chairs with indents, dishes left in a dishwasher because no one but maybe one of the Pokémon could be bothered to put them up in cabinets-
-sticky notes and wilting flowers and shoes by the door-
-it's easy enough for Thuban to shove a Murkrow aside, leaving her flapping indignantly in a corner-
-in the kitchen, someone's suppressing snarling with monumental effort-
Mightyena: -incensed, at Rhoda- <She's not.>
-someone else trembles, exerting titanic effort to remain standing-
Bibarel: -snuffling, short of breath- <Lady, it's here, it's—happening—what do I do?>
Mightyena: <Do? You don't do anything—get back to Haru and get out.>
-sharp concern carries higher volume-
-Mightyena turns for a moment, nudging Bibarel with the side of her snout-
Mightyena: -alarmingly soft- <Sh. You'll spoil the surprise.>
-Bibarel doesn't think Lady looks like a surprise-
-when they met, she was terrifying—wild-eyed and territorial, snapping at anything that glanced at Rhoda-
-she's kept in shape, kept her teeth sharp—but she looks like a lapdog with ambition-
Bibarel: <You have to come back. You have to get back to—to eat me.>
Mightyena: -an eye swiveling back, lingering- <Like I'd miss out on that.>
-paws pad silently over linoleum, and Bibarel watches her friend creep away-
Haru: -stepping in front of her- No! You can't!
Rhoda: -toneless- Haru, please.
-she hears the click of a Pokéball unclasped from a belt-
Haru: I-I won't let you.
Rhoda: -tugging at his sleeve- There's no time!
-she hacks and coughs-
-this is easily one of the most pathetic defense efforts ever mounted against Tellurium-
(-Schoolkids never forget, no matter how they might want to:-)
Rhoda: -to all- ~She'll kill you for loving me. She'll kill you for knowing me. She'll kill you for being here, you ridiculous man, she'll do it in front of me, and—she'll do it slow.~
-to Tellurium, despondent- ~Was it too much to hope she'd cross a line and be liquidated?
(-there is, maybe, a spark of power in this obsolete woman yet:-)
-suddnly steely, the way only desperation brings- ~If you're offering mercy, will you let him go?~
-Haru's eyes widen in horror-
-he releases a Noctowl, which is nothing-
Noctowl: -staring right at them- <...intruder approaching.>
-Hiro is outside the room, leaning on the wall, staring into the middle distance-
Edited by Asterisk395 on Sep 1st 2022 at 1:18:25 PM
-PEFE!Every tilts Molybdenum's head from side to side-
Neodymium: ~Man. Scientists sure are weird.~
Didit: (deadpan) ~You don't know the half of it.~
PEFE!Every: Haha. Do you honestly think you can only do the things they told you you could?
-Thuban picks up the Murkrow, smiling lightly as he pats her head-
Thuban: <Ssh. Take it easy, okay?>
-while Tellurium stands, frozen, just past the doorway-
-she's a capable telepath, and the lived-in-ness of the apartment leaves so much psychic residue-
-it's not like Tellurium is averse to killing. She graduated from her class, and that was an effort that involved a lot of dead Schoolkids. But they would have been just as happy to kill her in turn. Ditto, when she's located escapees before, they've been eager to try and fight their way out, and that's a field Tellurium's comfortable engaging in-
-this is a new thing-
-she flinches at Rhoda's telepathic contact-
-she could and should kill everyone in the room right now-
Tellurium: (stubbornly) That...
-she draws on someone else's words-
Sorry, Rhodium. It's the failures we liquidate, not the successes.
-she considers the offer-
(-stalling, really, she knows the answer-)
You know we can't do that. Just...give up, okay? I'm not like some of the people who might be sent. If you don't put up a fight, I can reach into your brain, make it easy.
"Oh?" asked Owen, suddenly looking up. "Your Porygon-Z has an app?"
<Whoa...! That's awesome~!> cried Stipax. <Think you could use that to see if we can't find some objects hidden in the dirt?>
Laurie and Roark looked on in disbelief at Plant's body as the transformation began. The former didn't even say a word the entire time; all they were wondering at that moment was how Cole would react if they were there to see this.
Plant, meanwhile, raised his scalchop into the air as the audience of people around him burst out into massive cheers and applause. Within seconds, the scalchop found itself surrounded by a swirling torrent of water. Soon afterwards, with "With the Will" blaring throughout the stands, Plant cried out:
He immediately returned the scalchop to his chest, slamming it back down. The moment that the scalchop hit his belly, the water surrounding it exploded off, covering Plant's entire body with water. It wasn't surrounded by a tsunami, though; rather it looked more like Plant's entire body was made of water. Plant promptly doubled over, and then let out an impassioned scream that echoed throughout the stadium.
Seconds later, Plant promptly stood back up, then tensed his entire body. His left arm tensed up first, the water surrounding it almost seeming to freeze for a few moments, before he pulled on it slightly. As he pulled, the tension in his left arm relaxed, and the water formed itself, elongating out and extending into a longer shape as three digits grew out of it. The water travelled down the arm, and eventually splashed off, revealing a longer, blue-colored arm with black-tipped paws.
Soon afterwards, the same thing happened with Plant's right arm: it tensed up; he tugged on it a bit to relax the tension; the water extended out and formed itself into a longer shape; three digits grew out; the second layer of water travelled down the arm and splashed off.
From there, both arms moved to Plant's chest and grabbed the scalchop on it. They lifted it off, and Plant sucked in his chest and tensed it up. The water again almost froze for a few brief moments before expanding; the fur smoothing out and a neck growing where there had previously been none. Once the water had formed his neck, Plant relaxed, watching as the water proceeded to split his body off a bit at the legs. The water continued to his tail, extending it out a bit, and Plant grabbed the scalchop he was holding in his left hand before slapping it down onto his left ankle. The scalchop immediately split off, and a second scalchop moved to Plant's right ankle, before glowing with an inner light that did away with all the water surrounding Plant's body, revealing he now had the body and arms of a Dewott.
All that was left now was the head.
The head transformation took very little time. Plant closed his eyes, and within seconds the water slightly shrank his head and ears. Some of it burst out at the top of his head, creating a bit of hair, while two bulging pockets of water suddenly emerged from his cheeks. He reached up with both of his scalchops and tapped each pocket once, and seconds later, the water that was in them burst out and split off, before solidifying into whiskers. Plant grinned as he opened his eyes, and soon afterwards, the water surrounding his head splashed off.
He promptly dove to the floor, a scalchop in each paw, before twirling around for a few moments. Soon afterwards, he replaced both of them, and as the now-dimmed light surrounding him snapped off, he happily cried out:
For a few moments after the evolution ended, Laurie stared over at the newly-evolved Plant in shock. Eventually, however, Plant turned to face his Trainer, beaming with delight.
<Well?> he asked. <How do I look?>
After a few more moments, Laurie eventually spoke.
"Y-you evolved!" they exclaimed, running up to hug the newly-evolved Dewott. "I've never seen anything like that before!"
They suddenly paused.
"Huh," they mused. "First MC-DC evolves by turning to ashes; now Plant evolved via... this... Wonder if any of my other mons will have unique evolution methods in the future."
"It's certainly possible," said Roark, smiling. "Congrats to your Dewott."
He promptly returned his Geodude back to his PokeBall, then tilted his head in confusion. "But... who's MC-DC?"
At this, Laurie returned Plant to his PokeBall, then reached in and pulled out another.
"You're about to find out," they said.
Nicky: -Stopping for a second- You feel it too, right?
Kendra: -Nods- This airship's alive. And also non-Euclidian in nature for sure, the inside's far too large for its apparent outside size.
Nicky: Then if it's alive, maybe it can help us.
-To the Stormchaser-
We need to get to Tagg and Chiyo, can you help us get to where they are?
-A few seconds of silence pass before the a wall opens up into a straight path-
...You know, I could bring her spirit back, if temporarily, if you want to do something a bit more... direct. The Dream and Spirit Worlds are closely connected, it would be easy to summon Vana back with the Dream Mist techniques the Sevii Cubone taught me, if you're ready for that.
Chiyo: Would that even be fair to do so while the School is still around, bringing her back only to have to deal with all of this again, even if temporarily? I doubt she'd be interested in coming back as a Ghost-type if she won one of those "Spirit Games" either.
No, it's better like this, Tagg. If nothing else that's a decision
-Head turning towards the morgue entrance-
We're about to have some visitors.
Chiyo: -Looking up- Who?
Nicky: -Walks in first- Chiyo.
Kendra: ...We missed you.
Chiyo: Nicky. Kendra. I'm sorry I shut you guys out for so long, it's just...
Nicky: -Grabbing Chiyo's hand- We get it, you don't need to go too much into it if you're not ready.
-Looking between the three, getting the odd feeling of potentially being a fourth wheel, and turning towards the exit-
Okay, perhaps I should go leave you guys alone and wait outside until you're do-
Nicky: -Grabbing my arm before I can leave- Oh no Tagg, you stay, we'd probably not even know about any of this until much later if you weren't keeping us posted on Chiyo's condition for the past week.
Kendra: Also, you're our friend too, you know.
-Scratching the back of my head-
Well... thanks for the statement of confidence, I guess.
-Looking towards the body-
But we still have something that needs doing. Chiyo, you ready?
Nicky: We're all with you, you know.
Chiyo: -Nods- I know.
-Lifting the sheet just enough to show Vana's face-
I'm sorry that I was too late to even try saving you, Vana. I'm sorry that life wasn't fair to you, that you were taken from it far too soon, but I'm here now.
-Everyone else in the room to her back-
I can't say I knew you all that long, but I would've liked to have had that chance. To see you grow up, make more friends, maybe even find that special someone or someones, if that's something you wanted to do.
For humans in general I know haven't lived long, but I am one of the oldest Schoolpeople I know, and this is what I've managed to figure out. There's just... so much more to this world than the School lets us see, we're more than just tools for their experiments. Even while I was on the run, fighting and killing and having to deal with some of the worst things you could imagine just to survive, I couldn't help but think when Dactyl and I had the chance to breath, "What an amazing world this is." That's another thing I would've liked you to see, all that life has to offer.
If you're somehow listening from wherever, or something that can pass the message along is, I do know this. Your death won't be in vain, Tagg and I, my surviving Batchmates, all the other escapees, and just about anyone else who cares, we'll all work to make this right. I'm doing my damndest to make sure none of this happens to anyone else from this point forward, that's a promise. We'll perfect the cure with your help, save our siblings still in hiding from the School or directly under their thrall, and I suppose that's a form of immortality in its own way.
Edited by rmctagg09 on Sep 2nd 2022 at 5:00:17 AM
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