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ParadoxialStratagem The Eccentric Electric from On Melancholy Hill Relationship Status: Hiding
The Eccentric Electric
Sep 2nd 2022 at 2:09:34 PM

The Underground:

“Not really, it's more like he's an experimental Operating System,” Travis would try to explain, pausing a moment to think of how to best summarize his attempts to stabilize and expand the usefulness of the hacked Porygon-Z. “I'm building new programs that Haxx can figure out how to use so the stuff I use is not only more user-friendly, but better than what you'd find on the market. It's actually a very popular past-time for hackers and techies, although Rotoms are almost as popular, if not more so.”

Initially the Valuable Detector would continue to find nothing, sending pulse after pulse with the grid overlay on the real-world map remaining empty while also changing in real-time to reflect the location of the user. Soon enough however, two objects would ping from the radar, showing up as blinking green dots and making a faint clicking sound every time they were detected.

“Check it out dudes I've found something, more importantly this shit actually works!” Travis excitedly informed the group, eagerly hoping for a valuable find. “There's something pretty close, looks like it's in that wall over there,” Mark mentioned, looking over Travis' shoulder before pointing to a nearby wall close to a construction light left behind some time ago.

<Don't worry bro, I'm already on it!> Chopper stated while cracking his knuckles and fingers before unleashing a flurry of rapid-fire punches into the wall of interest, effectively digging through it. Mark would lightly facepalm himself while smirking at the same time and muttering at the end, “Not exactly what I had in mind, but good on you for initiative Chopper...that kid is something else...” Tricky noticeably refused to help with the digging effort, opting instead to keep watch over Travis and by extension the party for anyone or anything that might try to creep up on them.

Living The Fever Dream
DuneTheWanderer Burger Scientist from Nowhere, USA Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Burger Scientist
Sep 2nd 2022 at 2:23:03 PM

The Mountain, Control Core

Dune: You sure about this?

Deziree: ... Yeah.

-Dune dusts his hands off as he finishes placing the last piece in place.-

Dune: I have to say, though... It's gonna be quite the interesting tale to tell Ludmilla when we get back.

Deziree: Yeah... That we might be science sisters.

Dune: Hey. Look at me.

-She does so just as Dune moves in for a kiss.-

Dune: Doesn't mean you won't make a great mom.

-Deziree blushes intensely as she half-heartedly shoves him away with one hand.-

Deziree: Oh my god... Now I know how Pandora felt...


-Meanwhile, down on the ground floor...-

Duninator: You wanna... come back with me?

-Pandora fidgets a little.-

Pandora: I... I mean, going back with you would be just as new an experience as going with my clone-sister, and...

Duninator: Oh, I see!

-Pandora blushes.-

Duninator: My cunning linguistics persuaded you to come to the side of justice!

-The blush mixes with indignant fury as she screams and smacks him in the arm hard enough to make him spin before coiling into a ball of embarrassment.-

Pandora: OH MY GOOOOOOOOD!


Dune: I don't think anyone can feel like how she feels.

Deziree: ... Okay, you may have a point there.

Dune: Say, what happened to the psychic one? I don't think she ever had a name.

Deziree: Dunno. After we were done, her and Mao were just... gone.


-Meanwhile, in the Orre Badlands...-

-A young woman's eyes flutter open.-

-It's dry.-

-And dusty.-

-She sits up.

-The lab coat draped over her is frayed at the edges.-

-She tries to think.-

-It hurts.-

-So do all of the bruises on her.-

-Then she remembers the fight.-

-The strange, superpowered squid thing that blasted her clean out of the Mountain.-

-How far did she fly?-

-She wasn't in the Mountain anymore.-

-And Mother's voice wasn't in her head, save a name. More of a designation, really.-

-"Twenty One".-

-Pulling herself to her feet, she felt hungry, and thirsty.-

-She could sustain and improve her bodily functions with proper micromanagement, at least.-

-She could sense people in the distance, but...-

-She turned to look at the gleaming silver beacon of a city in the distance.-

-She wouldn't know what to do around people.-

???: Oi! Young lady!

-She turns, dropping into a combat stance that quickly causes her to stagger from a mixture of physical and mental fatigue.-

???: Hey, easy now! Do I look like I'm at the age to be doing anything improper?

-A short woman in a lab coat, frayed and patched at the edges just like the one laid over here, her skin like cured leather, walks up the steps of the rock the young woman just realized they'd been standing on.-

???: Figured you'd want a drink, seeing as you were laid out in the sun for as long as you were.

-She eyes the little old woman warily.-

???: Name's Dr. Mesquite. What's yours?


Dune: I'll have to let the Team know to watch out for her. She made Templars look like kindergartners.

Deziree: Yeah.

-She checks the packages. All lights green.-

Deziree: Alright, we're good to go.

-The two walk out and jump on the waiting Big Dom's shoulders as he takes them back down to the exit ramp, where their team and the various Daughters and bachelors stood around.-

Deziree: Alright! Ready, Rill?

-Rill throws up both arms, a Wide field of protection covering the entire group.-

Rill: <Go for it.>

-Deziree pulls out what amounts to a handle with a button on top.-

Deziree: Three, two, and-

Beep!

-The entire command core goes up in a massive explosion, whatever technology suspending it in air failing and falling to the ground a safe distance from the group. Any debris bouncing toward the group is easily repelled by Rill's Wide Guard.-

Deziree: And with that...

-She turns, her beam sword jingling as it dangles from her belt.-

Deziree: Let's go home!

Sep 2nd 2022 at 5:23:57 PM

CW: Discussions of Death

Stormchaser

Hoops lets Tagg and the others have their funeral for Vana, though they stand watch the whole time. It's like they don't feel comfortable when others are with her if they're not standing guard.

Some time after everyone else has left, they step forwards and stand next to the sheet that covers her body. They stand there, not saying anything. Xaster comes to stand with them.

"What am I supposed to say?" Hoops asks.

Xaster shrugs. "I don't know. Whatever you want to say, I suppose."

"I..." Hoops catches themself. "I haven't really grieved like this before. It's weird, considering I'm an orphan, but when my mother died I was too young to properly understand it, and when my father died I hated him too much. This is all different."

Xaster nods. "Well, what if I go first. Vana, I didn't really know you, and that's a shame. Because you should have lived long enough for me to get you to take part in a contest. Based on what I've heard, you would have absolutely hated them." He sighs. "But seriously, I hope you're resting now."

Kec climbs onto Hoops' back and clings on tight. <What are you feeling?> he asks.

Hoops makes a frustrated gesture. "I don't know. It's hardly an easy question, is it? I feel angry, at the School. I feel sad that she's dead. I feel disappointed that we didn't get more time. I feel a billion things."

Then Led speaks. <Tell her what you want to tell her.>

"Okay." Hoops looks around at everyone. "Can I get a minute?" They all step out, giving Hoops room to speak without being heard.

"Right," Hoops begins. "I wish you weren't dead, Vana. That's the simplest way that I can say it. It's funny, because while you were alive there was a big part of me that hated you, and now that's all gone. It doesn't seem to matter any more, because why would it? If there's anything I've learned in the last few years, it's that hating the dead doesn't get you anywhere."

"You said before that you didn't think you should have existed. I always disagreed with it, so I'm going to tell you this now. I will do everything in my power to destroy the School. It might not be today, it might not be tomorrow, and it might not be for years. They're so powerful, and I can't bring them down on my own. So, if it's okay with you, I'll try and continue to live my life until the day comes. But when it does, I will take all the hatred and anger that you've given me for them, and I will wield it like a spear. The School will die, Vana, and it will be because of you. So sleep well, and know that nothing you did was ever in vain. And you will live again, when I scream your name as a battle cry against those bastards."

They pull back the sheet and look at her face. She looks far more peaceful now than she ever did in life. Hoops kisses three fingers on the bandage arm, the one that they have because of her, and press them against her forehead.

"Rest well," they say. "Vana."

The others come back in soon after. Cof approaches the table, which once again has the sheet covering everything.

<Are you sure you don't want her kept in me, boss?> he asks. <Why, I could keep her fresh as a daisy for as long as you wanted.>

Hoops considers the offer. What would they really gain from that? Nothing.

"No," they decide. "This is what she told me she wanted. I won't take away her agency again when she only just got it. Sal?"

Sal nods. <You got it.> It's surprisingly low-key from him, which makes sense considering the location.

Xaster holds Hoops' hand as Sal releases his flames. Vana's body is consumed by the inferno, and she burns hot and bright for those few minutes. Then, eventually, it's done, and the last remains of #023 of the Freshman Class, Designation Vanadium, the girl who called herself Vana and made herself a life just in time to lose it, are gone.

Umbramatic Meet The New Boss from WAAPT usually, sometimes WHABP or maybe PEFE Relationship Status: Gay for Big Boss
Meet The New Boss
Sep 2nd 2022 at 7:43:57 PM

Veilstone Warehouse

Alex: -would start sweating if she could- "Listen, I can tell what you're thinking. "there's got to be more to it than that." But there isn't. I just started manically putting this THING together without any regard for what it would actually do and now I'm realizing it was a... colossal... waste... of... time..."

-she slumps to the floor-

Veilstone, Elsewhere

Seigbert: -swaps the poster for the drive- "Jackpot!"

Storm: "Thank you for your... assistance..."

Delta Carrier

Oran Obliterator: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh. So just roll with it then?-

Meat Palace

Usele-

Flamel: <Enough. We need to get out of here.>

You can't run from the truth forever.

Lavender Town

-Sure enough Gale and Ann find a Magic Circle with a Groudon pattern on it-

Edited by Umbramatic on Sep 2nd 2022 at 9:47:33 AM

Contact Me!
Daydre That's just how it is on this bitch of an earth from the trash Relationship Status: Gone fishin'
That's just how it is on this bitch of an earth
Sep 3rd 2022 at 1:09:54 PM

The great Marsh (Though Not Capital G Great)

Odisseo sees... Marsh, marsh, more marsh- oh someone's camping here! Nothing but marsh... Oh there's something weird.

It's a Yanmega!

Which, wouldn't be that weird given the general population of the marshes around here. Except for the fact that he's blowing. Like, really hard.

... With his wings.

The wind is following his lead and is pointed in the general direction of the city, so I guess that's that mystery solved.

Aislinn: (To Andrea) "Do they see anything?"

Snowpoint

Daydre follows, returning Sylvie (who is still dejected).

Edited by Daydre on Sep 3rd 2022 at 4:12:01 AM

off the shits
DuneTheWanderer Burger Scientist from Nowhere, USA Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Burger Scientist
Sep 4th 2022 at 10:04:07 AM

The GM House

-Champloo winces as he wakes up.-

-Someone was touching his kitchen.-

-Dropping through the trapdoor in the ceiling of the kitchen, he lands immediately between two unfamiliar people in dirty clothing. One had a hand on the steak knife block.-

-He swats the hand away.-

Strange Man: Wha...?

Strange Woman: Hey, you can't touch him like that! He's my consort!

-Champloo gives the woman a tired side-eye until a familiar - but long since unheard - voice echoes from nearby.-

Selene: <If the Lucario tells you not to do something in the kitchen, you do not do it, understood?!>

Strange Man: What's a Lucario?

Selene: <Probably the thing that just swatted your hand away from something dangerous!>

Champloo: <Selene?>

Selene: <Hey, Champloo! We're back! Sorry it... uh... took so long, I guess! It legit didn't feel like three years, I swear!>


-Deziree learned that comparing dealing with her erstwhile siblings to herding cats would be an insult to cats as a whole.-

Deziree: Alright, and your expertise was...?

Daughter: I was the preeminent authority in astrophysics!

Deziree: Okay, what's a moon.

Daughter: A what.

Deziree: You're getting enrolled at Phenac University.

-The Daughter's indignant retort to being "gotcha'd" were cut off by an angry Blissey picking her up and bodily throwing her onto a hoverbus that Dune had called over.-

Deziree: NEXT!


Vinegar: I don't give a damn what your titles are - I have one boss, and you ain't her! Out!

Daughter: You vulgar creature, step aside and allow me access to that cesium, or-

-Vinegar grabs a broom and starts smacking the Daughter around the face with it.-

Daughter: Ow! Ow! Stop that!

Vinegar: OUT! OUT!


-Twitch, meanwhile, was relaxing in her portable pocket deck chair as her group of Daughters and Bachelors were cowering inside of a ring of flat discs.-

-The mines were only concussion charges that would send someone flying like they'd run headfirst into a Snorlax gut, but she wasn't about to tell them.-


-Dune and Ludmilla were both curled up on the couch, Ludmilla's cheeks still stained with tears of overflowing emotion, sound asleep.-


Candace: <At least we're up here and not down there.>

Garuda: <We have a runner going towards the cliff.>

Big Dom: <I'M ON IT.>

Sep 4th 2022 at 4:00:48 PM

Veilstone, Elsewhere

Dave: Don't mention it. Please.

PEFE Depths

All at once Beck wanted to snipe at the petulant templar. Perhaps Stewart's approach to them had been the right one all along. He musters up enough decorum to mention something.

Beck: We shall have your request processed and we'll let you know later if it's approved.

With that he bows out and turns to Pent.

Beck: If you need me, sir, I'll be right outside making arrangements.

It was just Pent and the templar now.

Somewhere in the less restricted parts of the PEFE building, several weeks later

The Irons have remained in their quarters for some time. Stewart opted against returning to the Stormchaser and Beck respected those wishes. He couldn't bear to return, and Rusty decided that he needed the company even though Beck assured the both of them that the Stormchaser will see to their safety.

Of course, not the one to let someone mourn unassisted, Beck decided to pull a few strings. The Oasis were allies of the J-Team, and as the de facto handler of the J-Team, PEFE was more than welcome to collaborate. Beck specifically asked for someone who can help out.

Meanwhile, Stewart laid in his bed, mostly unmoving and seldom touching his food. Which was odd because he's usually described as a fairly big eater and that he took a liking to the beef served in the PEFE facility. Even Beck admits that the food there was better due to the catering company based there. However, the loss of Vana took him hard, and he has taken to letting Rusty finish most of the meals he could barely muster the appetite to consume.

Recently, Rusty had already finished the beef entree and the sides (they've always been told to eat their vegetables). They especially looked forward to eating the chocolates left behind, which to be fair Stewart always let them.

He stirs as his younger sibling greedily consumed the chocolate in the packet.

Stewart: You should go outside and interact with the others, Rusty.

Rusty: I want to stay here with you.

Stewart: You don't have to, but if that's what you want.

Rusty: Do you need to be alone, big brother?

Stewart: Yes.

Beat.

Rusty: I understand.

Stewart: Come back later and if you get lost, ask for Mr. Beckett.

Rusty: Okay, I will!

They left. Rather eagerly, too, which was weird since Rusty usually wasn't the type to try to fake compassion. Stewart shrugged it off. Then he heard a message on the intercom.

Beck, via Intercom: Stu, there's someone here who'd like to talk to you.

Stewart: Really, who is it? Can you tell them to call back and have the video call set up here... I'm not really—

Beck: I don't think you should keep this one waiting, Stewart.

From the halls, he could hear Rusty's voice yell "Daddy!" followed by the jolly bellowing he's found quite familiar. He jumped out of bed and went outside to meet the swineherd who adopted him and his younger sibling.

The swineherd was a tall, burly, bearded man who made the already quite athletic Stewart look rail thin in comparison. He wore a 10-gallon hat and had the stereotypical appearance of a Western rancher from Orre, clad in flannel, blue jeans, and a bolo tie.

Stewart: Dad.. I thought you were at home. What are you doing here? Who's watching the herd?

Mr. Mertens: The girls can take care of themselves.

One of Stewart's Pokeballs, which he never bothered removing from his belt, comes out. It was Mama Sadie.

Sadie: <Few porcine clans are as formidable as my granddaughters, young one.>

Mr. Mertens: When Mr. Beckett here told me what was going on, I booked the first flight to Sinnoh an moseyed on over.

Beck: We'll have your flight reimbursed, sir.

Mr. Mertens: Won't be needed. The Oasis has got me. It's so nice to see you two again. Can't really keep y'all safe back on the farm now. What's this I hear about you not eating.

Stewart: Dad, I...

Mr. Mertens: Let's go down to the commissary and get you filled up. Heard the roast beef in this place is mighty fine. And y'all lookin' awfully skinny. More than usual anyway. Y'all can tell me more about it on dinner. Sorry 'bout your loss, kiddo.

He turns to Rusty.

Mr. Mertens: You already had yours, but how's about dessert.

Stewart: But they already had dessert. You said we can only have seconds on dessert on special occasions.

Mr. Mertens: Ain't today a special occasion? This doesn't happen every day. C'mere

And he gives his son a noogie. As they left, Stewart turns to Beck, who was smiling at him. He musters a soft "thank you" before his burly parent takes him and his sibling downstairs. Beck nods in response.

Edited by MasterJayAM on Sep 13th 2022 at 8:39:07 AM

Sep 4th 2022 at 4:16:42 PM

PEFE Bunker

Roxy grinned and gripped onto the laser cutter, as all of a sudden in full armor walked by Silas. He said nothing, but from the left side of his visor was a faint glow of blue wisps. He stood in front of a target and pounded on his breastplate.

"The beskar we use is a dense metal from another universe, stronger than titanium," Roxy explained charging the cutter. "It has special properties relating to the release of heat energy, this makes it very durable and useful as plate armor."

She pulled the trigger and the cutter fired, right at Silas. There was a bright flash and there he stood, a slight scorch mark on the blue breastplate. "It's in limited supply, plus it has somewhat religious significance to him, so he can't just give it away."

Hacks was grinning. ~We think it may carry other special properties. We have yet to determine that yet.~

Silas pulled his helmet off, an uncharacteristic malicious grin had spread from ear to ear, his left eye still glowing as he pulled out the hilt to his project.

"For now," He finished. "We're attempting to forge an important piece of lore, and this lab will be quite useful for that, we're also going to be moving items from my forge in the meantime to here, I hope you all understand."

"Excited aren't we?" Roxy asked.

Silas let out an exhale and laughed, genuinely laughed. "I was a little worried when you pulled the trigger on that laser cannon. But after what went down with Tobias, I'm ready!"

DuneTheWanderer Burger Scientist from Nowhere, USA Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Burger Scientist
Sep 4th 2022 at 4:45:06 PM

The GM House

-Deziree dusts her hands off as the little doohicky she made sorts through all of the years worth of texts that had bombarded both her and Dune's phones.-

-What the fuck was a "Burst Heart", anyway?-

-She shoves herself away from the desk, feeling happy that her office chair still has the roll to it even if it smells like only something with three years of Orre dust can.-

-...-

-Where the heck is Dune?-

-Wandering back through the house, Doomsday shoulders past her with a broom as she grumbles over cleaning up all of this foot traffic.-

Doomsday: <Your sisters are idiots.>

Deziree: I know, right? We almost needed a bigger bus.

Doomsday: <You're just lucky that a few of them were smart enough to know when to take their heads out of their asses.>

-An indignant call comes from a guest room down the hallway.-

Zhu Li: My head is always outside of my ass, thank you very much!

-A second call comes from the other guest room.-

Ivo: Can't you both shut up and let me get some beauty sleep?!

-Doomsday fires an acidic glare down the hallway. Both temporary tenants slowly close their doors and return to silence.-

Doomsday: <They may not be going back to school but they're definitely still still children.>

Deziree: Yeah well you didn't have to live with them.

Doomsday: <Don't I?!>

Deziree: We'll get them out of here in no time, I promise.

Doomsday: <... You better. Or else I'm not going to be held accountable for my actions.>

-Leaving Doomsday to her irate sweeping, she comes to the family room, where Dune and Ludmilla are still curled up on the couch. Wow, the two of them must have been more tired than she'd thought.-

-She tilts her head for a moment before snapping her fingers.-

-Reaching over, she sloooooowly raises the leg rests on the couch - yes, for the whole stretch of couch - before grabbing an afghan from the closet and draping it over the two.-

Deziree: Aaaaw...

-...-

-She frowns.-

-She climbs in on Ludmilla's other side, her face against Dune's.-

-There, that's better.-

-A little metallic doll, who has been curled up in the corner, unfurls her "ears" to look at the family cuddle.-

-Fully unfurling herself, she cuddles up next to Ludmilla.-

-Despite her metallic shell, she's still warm enough for comfort as Ludmilla grabs hold of her.-

-...-

This is nice. =)

ThunderKitty86 Relationship Status: I won't say I'm in love
Sep 6th 2022 at 2:40:55 AM

Eterna City Pokemon Center, the day after escaping the Old Chateau

-Hailee wakes up in the beds they have for Trainers to rest for the night-

Nugget: Wakey wakey! Timothy told me what day it is today!

-Hailee still yawns, rubs her eyes, gets ready for the day, then checks her Rotom Phone-

Hailee: Wait, September 6th? It's my birthday today!

-Hailee runs to the main floor of the Pokemon Center-

Hailee: What are you guys doing?

-Hailee sees Nurse Joy, and her (Hailee's) Pokemon putting up birthday decorations for her-

Nurse Joy: Oh, putting up birthday decorations for the birthday girl! Someone told us the party must only start after you get your 2nd Badge! So you go out there, beat Gardenia, and you'll come back here to party!

Hailee: Wow, my Pokemon must really be motivated to get the Forest Badge!

Bubbles: Actually, none of us told Nurse Joy it was your birthday...

Timothy: And I didn't. So who did?

Hailee: Well, come on, guys! Lets go get that Forest Badge!

-Hailee runs out of the Pokemon Center, and heads on her way to the Eterna Gym-

Sep 6th 2022 at 6:49:46 AM

PEFE bunker

Nick tries to get a word in about personal safety as he noticed Silas get in front of the laser, but was briefly sidetracked by Roxy explaining everything. But no sooner than he tries opening his mouth about at least putting the metal armor on a mannequin first, the shot was fired, with the act and subsequent result leaving him awestruck to say the least.

Nick: You could've... this isn't rated for... what just happened? This is the laser we use to cut through that big evil guy submarine the Aurabolts left us. That could've killed you!

Jill: They're quite confident in how hard that sci-fi grade metal is. It happens. Think that spending time with J-Teamers would've let you mellow out by now.

Nick: Still, if you're gonna use our lab, you're gonna have to follow basic lab safety. We in PEFE take personal health and safety very seriously. We think. Protective eyewear is on the locker to your left.

Jill: And there are crash test mannequins on the storehouse over there if you need to test it on something peoplemon shaped. Do forgive us if some of them still have Zrone's head on them. Apparently, the facility's users find blowing his head off cathartic.

DuneTheWanderer Burger Scientist from Nowhere, USA Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Burger Scientist
Sep 6th 2022 at 9:20:29 AM

The GM House

-Deziree cracks her knuckles.-

To: J-Team

From: Deziree Galvani-Morton

Hey, everybody! We're back!

So. You may be wondering, "where have you been for three odd years?" and the answer to that will come as less a surprise to some of you than others.

So, to start, I was taken into an unstuck pocket dimension that generally "exists" in the Orre desert called "The Walking Mountain". Dune followed shortly thereafter from what I understand. Now, while we were in there, time began to flow a LOT slower for a few periods of time. For us, it felt more like a couple of weeks rather than... what it did here.

Now, to answer your implied question, the Walking Mountain is a literal title. It is a mountain, looking like it was ripped out of a mountain range somewhere, with giant spider legs crawling through a giant, perpetual sandstorm. I did not get a good opportunity to test the bounds of the mountain's pocket before leaving, though. However, the dimensional irregularity appears to be based on the mountain itself rather than any of the machinery inside, so it's likely still able to be found in the circumstances where its temporal axis meets that of our dimension again.

The machinery inside was a hodgepodge of Alakagross artifice with several replacement and bypass parts using relatively ramshackle methods in order for the mountain's inhabitants to actually have the mountain perform its basic functions, since no one in the mountain actually had the credentials to get the original security functions to let them access them. There were a few more... interesting... tidbits about the machinery inside, but I need to establish the residents there first.

On top of almost every Pokemon present being Steel-Type due to necessity of working with the inherently extremely unsafe equipment in the mountain, their society had been stratified in both a literal and metaphorical sense. Resource collectors at the bottom, bureaucrats and middle managers above them, craftsmen above them, and then the aristocrats above them. It turns out that the entire society, which I could not get a decent estimate of due to a particularly irksome habit of nobody outside the lowest and highest strati using names, was beholden to an "Empress" who went by the name of Lucrezia Von Wanderberg.

She, also, as it happens, is my mother.

Well, "mother".

Put a pin in that for later.

The Empress held on to her power through the use of police drones (that were shockingly bad at combating anything with legitimate combat experience, I must say) as well as constant surveillance through the use of the hijacked Alakagross security systems. On top of this, she would settle disputes of succession by forcing her daughters to "out-invent" one another, though really it was more of a complicated game of "who can sabotage who first" than anything with actual academic merit.

While I wasn't able to confirm it on-site, I suspect that while part of why Lucrezia had been Empress for so long was undoubtedly the not-strictly-linear property of the pocket dimension's time flow, she may also have been stealing the bodies of her children to use as her own and retain her mind without the use of circuitry. You may be asking why I suspect this, but I assure you, we will be coming back to these pins as necessary.

Having been abducted but nonetheless treated as a VIP, I was coddled - insultingly so, I might add - and attempted to be paired with a "suitable suitor" (Author's note: They were all landed gentry types who didn't even know how to tie their own shoes without having a servant do it for them. Fucking ew.) despite my best attempts to argue the contrary.

Dune, meanwhile, using his Excadrill form, drilled through the bottom layer of the mountain into the resource collection area. There, after some unionization and class dynamic lessons, managed to overthrow the head work boss and get the "pity invitation" to the lower stratum for an upcoming ball.

On the night of the ball, Dune arrived, looking far snappier than anyone would expect of a lower-class workman type, and thus managed to avoid most scrutiny as he tried to zone in on where I was being kept.

For my part, I had stayed up too late finishing my hovercraft project which was to be shown off, and those dresses take a small eternity to get into. (Author's note: I am never wearing heels again.)

I then made my way to the dance floor, where Dune and I had a wonderful dance before someone rudely tried to cut in. In the aftermath of the altercation, we both went running before Lucrezia arrived and nearly killed Dune, throwing him into the mountain's massive central cavity, which was easily a "reach terminal velocity" level drop. Thankfully, Selene was there to catch him.

That night became something of a blur to me, and him, though Selene was kind enough to provide her recounting.

Dune went to a nearby metalworking shop, hijacked it, and using a lump of metal that the Mt. Battle Heatran had gifted him some years ago, forged a sword that appears to have properties similar to the skill Flash Fire. I'm still testing it.

I, meanwhile, apparently made a giant robot? I got to see my handiwork after regaining lucidity, but for the life of me I can't remember how I managed to get an engine based around a black hole singularity to ignite properly.

Anyway, our respective paths of destruction eventually met at the central control core, a giant orb that floated in the middle of the central cavity. There, my mother unleashed two hidden weapons at us. Those weapons, in order:

Me. A clone(?) of me, at least, with massive psychic powers. Last I saw of her, she was being fought one-on-one by Ludmilla's (formerly mine) Malamar Mao. A second me, this time with electrokinesis. She was handled by a portal opening nearby which brought in - and I'm making an educated guess here - an alternate dimension version of Dune.

Inside the control core, however, we need to go back to some of those pins we left unanswered.

Why did I suspect she wasn't my mother in a traditional, biological sense?

She had Alakagross-era biological construction pods in the control core.

When I say, "biological construction pods", you may be wondering exactly what I mean.

What I mean is, they are rooms that can, through atom-by-atom reconstruction using means even I am at a loss to explain, create a creature - not just human, but Pokemon included - entirely wholesale.

And I'm absolutely certain that both my clones and myself are from those pods, as well as all my other "sisters" and perhaps even the "bachelors" who were supposed to be their partners.

On top of that, powering the entire mountain from inside the control core was, to put it in Lucrezia's words, "the heart of a god".

She had kidnapped a Magearna several hundred years ago, and was using its Soul-Heart to power the mountain in place of its original heart, which she claims was the same thing that powered the Numidium.

She even created a fake Soul-Heart, and had the Magearna Heart Swap her into it so she could fight us with it.

And that's why I suspect she was intending to use me as a meat puppet.

After an hectic fight, Dune and I managed to destroy the fake Soul-Heart which, from what we can gather, essentially killed Lucrezia as a consciousness. We found her comatose body in a hidden command room above the core.

After that, it was essentially all wrap-up. In order:

1) We freed the Magearna from the core, and reinstalled her into her original body. She still shows signs of extreme long-term social isolation, but we're working on that bit by bit.

2) We evacuated the remaining population of the Mountain, pointing them in the direction of suitable environments around Orre where they could settle without disturbing existing and fragile developing ecosystems.

3) We got all of the aristocrats who, I realize I had neglected to mention, could use a special bracelet to swap between human and Pokemon form almost at will, out to proper locations to meld into the general population. Those who could not, or were too far deep into their incorrect assumptions on certain topics, were sent off to Phenac University.

4) We destroyed the central control core. Having technology like that out and about was far too dangerous a risk to take. The entire mountain is now stuck to the ground, and the reconstruction pods are scrap. Good riddance to bad technology.

And now we're back home.

Last night, I created a device to give me a general summary of the years of messages left for us and I find myself with a few smiles, a few frowns, and one big question that I have yet to find a suitable answer two.

What the fuck's a Burst Heart?

Sep 6th 2022 at 9:33:05 AM

Textspace

To: GM House
From: Silas

Far as I can tell it's some form of device that gives humans pokemon power and a outfit of sorts based upon the mon. Fought two once before.

ATTACHED FILES
- HelmCam-Snap1
- HelmCam-Snap2
- HelmCam-Snap3

Edited by EchoingSilence on Sep 6th 2022 at 12:33:20 PM

Asterisk395 No voice to cry suffering from Hallownest Relationship Status: With my statistically significant other
No voice to cry suffering
Sep 6th 2022 at 10:38:59 AM

From: Assorted

To: Galvani-Morton Household

-there's a long pause for reading-

black hole engine (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*✲゚*。⋆

No!

Ow.

We are not starting this again!

-several people are typing-

Time travel! Dimension hopping! We are leaving tears in reality where they belong!

aw

Don't awe me you despicable woman. I can hear that note in your voice. Immediately cease.

but consider c:

No.

All,

For clarity's sake, the volume at which Abilene yelled that was not transcribed accurately. At a conservative estimate, I expect if she had the patience to dictate more exclamation marks, she would have opted for five or six.

Also, she is sitting right next to me.

She is still yelling.

—Hiro Alíthea.

Fuck off..

Hello! Welcome back to the J-Team. =)

I don't believe any of us have met you or Dune in person! Which is a shame, since you seem delightful. If you need a refresher on what's transpired in the world in your absence, give me a ring—I've been there, and I'd be more than happy to help you acclimate. Top Ranger Logan Shockley-Voltaire, pleased to meet you.

You're late.

i thought i'd let the yelling die down lmao

I'm not even part of the J-Team.

You're in the groupchat.

Fuck off!!!

Also, Deziree, with due respect, what the everliving fuck is your life.

yeah

Stay away from me.

A Burst Heart is a crystalline structure capable of containing a Pokémon's soul and power. You can draw on it using methods I will not describe here to gain power in a way I will not explain now since in many cases the Pokémon's continued presence is not voluntary. Silas Grant, congratulations on your continued survival.

No mind to think. No will to break.
Daydre That's just how it is on this bitch of an earth from the trash Relationship Status: Gone fishin'
That's just how it is on this bitch of an earth
Sep 6th 2022 at 11:13:26 AM

J-textspace

To: J-team GC
From: Daydre

huh. sometimes i forget burst hearts are a real thing that exist.

also wb people i don't really know that well it's good that you're alive??

Daydre puts on her thinking hat.

off the shits
memyselfandI2 Dunsparce Cloud from The Biosphere Relationship Status: Hooked on a feeling
Dunsparce Cloud
Sep 6th 2022 at 11:32:46 AM

GM House

To: J-team GC

u know i rly want 2 b able 2 say sounds fake but i know u better @ this point

congrats on the revolution tho

Dunsparce didn't stop being a thing or anything.
Umbramatic Meet The New Boss from WAAPT usually, sometimes WHABP or maybe PEFE Relationship Status: Gay for Big Boss
Meet The New Boss
Sep 6th 2022 at 12:43:21 PM

Textspace

Jade: Well, I guess it's not the WORST way to meet your parents? Also uh, hi, nice to meet you.

Oran OS: Oh! I can show you more about Burst Hearts!

Veilstone, Elsewhere

Seigbert: Er, right.

Storm: We'll be off then.

-they start scooting away-

Snowpoint

-They eventually reach the temple-

Merlin: So, I've tracked traces of Ser Louise to this temple, but I don't know for sure where inside they lead. Are you prepared?>

Fou: -to Merlin <You sure don't seem to be.>

Contact Me!
DuneTheWanderer Burger Scientist from Nowhere, USA Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Burger Scientist
Sep 6th 2022 at 12:58:54 PM

The GM House

-Deziree sips her coffee - decaf, of course, Dune wasn't feeling that charitable - reading the responses, arching an eyebrow at the seeming logical middle point between her bracelet's forms and, shockingly, Personas...-

-And then she realizes something.-

Deziree: Hey, wasn't that Best Berry's AI?

Ludmilla: No! No, Mom, it's okay, he's on our side!

Deziree: Okay, goo-

-She shoots Ludmilla a look.-

Deziree: You didn't have J-Team chat access before we left.

Ludmilla: Twitch gave it to me.

-A shout comes from across the house.-

Twitch: HEY! NO SNITCHING!

-Deziree looks around.-

Deziree: Did you bug my room?!

-Twitch does not answer, but the sound of rapid footsteps to the front door can be heard.-

-Without a word, Deziree is out of her chair and bolting to the door to intercept.-

Sep 6th 2022 at 2:28:31 PM

J-Textspace

To: J-Team

Xaster: Ah, so you were dealing with parent issues. My themfriend knows all about that. Also apparently I'm on this groupchat, hi everyone.

Hoops: Don't talk for me please. Also how did they get my number? But also yeah, if you wanna talk about the whole evil mum thing...

Pentigan Fwomph from The Underverse
Fwomph
Sep 7th 2022 at 1:07:47 AM

The Hamlet, Crossroads

Duke Heartgrave: Ah, unfortunately I haven't really heard of someone like that around here! Only new visitors I've heard of are you, me and some... Baby that was brought in. Very unusual name. Uno-Titania? Something like that!

Meat Palace

Shadow James Crowley: Yeah, sure. Here, lemme help!

-There is a lurching in the room-

-Rakash checks the map and his eyes go wide behind the rabbit mask-

He uh... He isolated the chamber...

Shadow James Crowley: Security! Get these intruders out of here!

-The black ooze of Shadows starts leaking into the area through the walls of heart-brain flesh-

... Working on figuring out an exit, keep them busy!

Lavender Town, The Tower's On A Pillar

Yo! Olivia! Found it! Got one of your Magic Circles except it's got Groudon on it so... Probably where you use those ground powers!

-Gale steps back from the circle, mostly just to give a decent clearance from the site of imminent earthmoving-

We should probably prepare for a fight, I doubt Ollie left the ribbon unguarded even after moving the tower off the ground. After all, someone could just fly up there.

PEFE Testing Bunker

Exactly! Just making a new legend, maybe doing some real mad science in the process. Speaking of!

-Gale does a little twirl-

That whole idea with the fusion containment? Kind of further mutating in my head. Might need some snacks at the ready based on how much energy I expend on it.

PEFE Depths

-Pent just sits there as demands are made and Whitt continues to be impetulant about the whole deal-

You have a file on me, interesting. Genetic information too I suppose, given the Templar you've had trying to assassinate me. I'd ask you to provide some of that detail, just to see how accurate they are.

Textspace

To: J-Team Textspace
From: Pent@Phone

Welcome back. It has been a very peculiar three years you have missed. I myself have missed a lot of it but given I am merely sequestered in Angela working on music rather than within a temporal anomaly I have been keeping up for the few things I have not been there to witness personally.

Of your recap, the most interesting note I can make concerns the "biological construction pods". As of late the Team has been encountering members of an entity known as the School who may possess similar capabilities. If there is any possibility that the two are working from the same variety of Alakagross relic, we should probably salvage the one in the Walking Mountain in case that provides insights we can utilize. However, there are probably more suitable people to be briefing you on that topic within this channel.

For now, I just wish to say I am thankful you have endured your trials without undue suffering. Perhaps once my separation from the Team is over, I hope we will be adventuring together again.

To: Deziree Galvani-Morton
From: Pent@Phone

Apologies if I ramble. Or if my previous messages were. Didn't really want to lay out all the cards in the public chat. Glad you're back. It's been a long three years, lot happened on my end. Some of it probably might be of interest to you, some of it might be more Dune's field. And of course I should meet up with Selene. It's been a lot longer of a separation for me than it has for her.

I guess some of the easy stuff: Don't go looking for me in Angela, the version of me there is Shift running decoy operations. Taking down Team Mobius caused a lot of ugly emotions to flare up for me so I took up a new identity to separate from the Team and kind of lay low for the past three years. I say that but I have been basically constantly on adventures during that time, often with the J-Team.

You know about Silas? Tall guy, Lucario energy, works for a private space agency? Some of the adventures with him have resulted in some interesting scientific stuff so like, get in contact if the thought of spaceship components, armor fabrication and stuff literally kind of imported from Star Wars ignites that Spark of yours.

Let me know if you want me to drop by or anyone wants to meet up elsewhere.

It's clearly a case of backroom political albumizing.
Herbert40k The Flame Emperor from Fódlan Relationship Status: I-It's not like I like you, or anything!
The Flame Emperor
Sep 7th 2022 at 3:25:27 AM

Textspace

To: J-Team Group Chat
From: Lucius

wait what's this about evil moms

"You're having a bit too much fun."
rmctagg09 The Wanderer from Brooklyn, NY Relationship Status: I won't say I'm in love
The Wanderer
Sep 7th 2022 at 3:29:26 AM

Veilstone City, past

-To Alex-

I see you're kinda going through a lot right now.

J-Team Textspace

Wait, so that's why I hadn't heard from them in so long even after the School finally started rearing its head.

They already know about the School, Deziree's the one who told me about them in the first place, prior to well... everything happening. Said not to tell anyone until the School played their hand because of how dangerous they were, but the School's openly made itself our enemy now.

(As you might've gathered from the texts, there's a lot more escapees among us now than when we last talked)

The pods... hmm. Like Pentigan said, an Alakagross connection behind the School's vats feels likely. especially with the stuff you're describing. (Maybe I'll go bother Mithas for info or something) Chiyo, did you have any thoughts?

I wouldn't put anything past them, but I wasn't exactly paying that much to the surroundings when I was decanted so I'm not sure if I could really tell if they're one and the same without some sort of visual reference. Guess if it's true that would make us "cousins" in a sense.

Apart from that, glad we don't have to deal with our universe's Numidium, I believe it's still scattered in pieces on the deepest portions of Hoenn's seabed.

Was that heart the Mantella my mons described, what my other self's memories revealed to me, or some other thing?

Hugging a Vanillite will give you frostbite.
AbsentCoder Some Rando from Doofenshmirtz Neutral Incorporated Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
Some Rando
Sep 7th 2022 at 5:56:28 AM

PEFE Firing Ground

"Don't know if I’ve ever seen your eye do that," Kendall paused at the blue glow in Silas' eye. "I mean, last I checked you weren't…" he trailed off, looking down the range in curiosity of what the weaponry on display could pull off.

"The saga begins," he summarized with a smirk. "Rather it would have it weren’t years in the making already."

Textspace

To: GM House

From: Kendall

Well: 1) Welcome Back
2) Sounds like a hell of a time \\

Hamlet

"Well, thanks anyway," Amy lamented, crossing an arm behind her back as she looked around. "The search continues, I suppose. See you around.” She began to head off, only to realize she had no idea where to go next.

Meat Palace

R n' L sneers, reaching up to remove his blindfold as Ahemait lands, lighting up the feather in his mouth with a Fire Fang before throwing it out by the point to pierce the Shadows.

Edited by AbsentCoder on Sep 7th 2022 at 10:38:41 AM

[Insert Unoriginal Stinger Here]
Sep 7th 2022 at 6:28:06 AM

PEFE Testing Range

Roxy nodded towards Nick. "Of course of course, we'll be very safe, the temperatures needed to melt beskar are intensely high, so safety is paramount around the forge. At least that's what he tells me. I'm not really versed in the whole thing, I do my own bit."

Silas was grinning as Gale went on about making a new legend, then Kendall commented on the eye. The glow vanished as Silas blinked and resumed his normal levels of emoting (near none). "Oh, right. Yeah you know how we've had alternate versions of ourselves visiting bent on vengeance and insanity and what have you? Yeah mine kinda succeeded for a short bit, did some damage but I got better. The white streaks in my hair and the glow are side effects."

~It seems if he ever feels intense enough emotion, the left eye starts to glow. Anger, excitement, stuff like that,~ Hacks added.

"Yeah, it's kinda weird."

DuneTheWanderer Burger Scientist from Nowhere, USA Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Burger Scientist
Sep 7th 2022 at 8:51:00 AM

The GM House

No, the heart she used was... mine.

Hello, everyone.

I am Magearna, but you can call me Maggy.

I am currently borrowing Deziree's computer while she is running after the short blonde woman.

This system is very different from the ones I'm familiar with. Simple 1s and 0s are wonderful to experience after so long, even if it is somewhat difficult to express certain ideas.

I... will admit to some trepidation as to greeting you all like this, but I have been told that there are many of you who have already met my... colleagues, I suppose?

Aside from... a friend or two, I never really interacted with many of the others. I didn't even know what a Heatran looked like until Dune introduced me the other day.

But, yes, I... would like some time before discussing my time interred, and the systems around it, for now.


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