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-Knock knock knock-
Angry Man: No solicitors.
-There's stomping inside. The door soon swings open.-
Angry Man: What?!
-The first thing Dune noticed was the smell of alcohol. Which is saying a lot, because his old, raggedy wifebeater was stained in colors he would rather not think about.-
Dune: Are you Xavier's father?
-The man spits in Dune's face before trying to slam the door shut.-
-Operative word being "trying".-
-The hinges of the door nearly tear off as Dune stops it with a hand.-
-He reaches up and wipes the saliva off of his goggles.-
Dune: I'll take that as a "yes".
-Some hour or so later, Dune is walking down the street with Xavier at his side.-
Xavier: You managed to convince... my dad... to enroll me in your...?
-Her brow furrows, trying to remember the thing she just learned about half an hour prior.-
Dune: "Program for Young Masters of Orre".
Xavier: Right, that. And... now...
Dune: Now you're out from living under his house for as long as you're enrolled.
Xavier: And I'm enrolled for... how long?
Dune: Well, strictly speaking, until I graduate you. Or kick you out, but there's not a hell's snowball chance that's happening.
Xavier: What was that?
Dune: Don't worry about it. Are you ready to start?
Xavier: Uh... okay, first off, where the heck are we going? Also I have school.
Dune: First off we're going to my car. I have to park it out of town. Second, it's Friday night, and by Monday all the paperwork should be in order to have all your credits and such transferred.
Xavier: Wait, just like that?
Dune: Oh, yeah. Justy did it all the time when people would go to the Pre-Gym for credits.
Xavier: Oh. I've never been to Phenac.
-Dune can't hide his skepticism.-
Dune: Not even once?
Xavier: Nope. Never left Gateon till I could make the trek or pay the fair to Pyrite.
-Dune makes a mental note: "Actively encourage free public transport between cities".-
Dune: Then this'll be quite the trip.
Dune: Because, over the last three years, one of my associates has been busy working on something over at Mt. Battle.
Xavier: ... And that would be...?
Dune: Oh, you'll see. This is a surprise I don't want to spoil.
-Dune then stops at the sidewalk's end, and pulls out a little fob.-
Xavier: Oh don't tell me you lost it, you're not THAT old!
Dune: Cheeky little... Nope, watch this.
-He presses the button twice and the sand parts as a matte brown/orange hovercar vibrates upwards, emerging from its hiding place like a Sandile.-
Dune: My wife likes making me cool stuff.
Xavier: I wish I had a wife that did that...
-Dune struggles to keep a straight face as inside, several different aspects of his personality just burst out laughing.-
Dune: Well, hop in. You can toss your bag into the back seat.
Xavier: It's even a four-seater, with this profile, oh my god... and the engine sounds divine, like the purr of some great angelic Persian...
Dune: Oh, Deziree's gonna love you.
-Dune sets the hovercar down outside the entrance. He looks over to see Xavier fast asleep in the passenger seat, the hum of the engines being the most effective lullaby one could ask for.-
Dune: Hey. We're here.
-He nudges her a bit and she groggily waves a hand at him.-
Xavier: Nnnnngh five more minutes...
Dune: You want to make your new room wait five whole minutes?
-That makes Xavier's eyes pop right open.-
Xavier: New room?
Dune: Yep. C'mon.
-He grabs Xavier's old duffel bag and heads in. Xavier wrestles with her seat belt before jumping out and rushing after him.-
Receptionist: Hello, Mr. Galvani-Morton!
Dune: Just "Dune" will work, but thank you!
-Xavier almost loses track of Dune in a perfectly open, empty room as she looks around at all of the bright lights, wall-mounted T Vs, and astoundingly clean floors.-
Dune: I presume the elevator is working now?
Receptionist: Oh yes, the Metagross was by earlier today!
-Dune gets a stern look on his face.-
Receptionist: And then the Ms. Vinegar showed up right after!
-His expression relaxes again.-
Dune: Okay, good.
-The elevator was already waiting. He motions for Xavier to enter.-
Xavier: Uh... okay...
Dune: Not used to elevators?
Xavier: Never had to be in one before...
-She enters nonetheless. Dune looks over - oh, hey, they even changed the elevator buttons. He reaches over and hits the one labeled...-
-Oh. They changed the label from "S" for "School" to "A" for "Academy".-
-That was probably a smart idea.-
-He hit that button.-
-Instead of going up and to the right, following the path up Mt. Battle itself, the elevator instead clunks as it changes tracks and heads - from Dune and Xavier's perspective looking away from the mountain - left.-
Dune: So, while I was gone for all those years, a few friends of mine took an idea I'd floated around and decided to get together and make it a "thing". And that was me making an officially sanctioned way for kids in Orre to become Pokemon Trainers. Unfortunately, though, Orre lacks in real paths and environments that would really lead to natural trainer growth.
Xavier: I'm... not the first person you've seen get beat at the Duel Square, am I?
Dune: Not even close. Which is why I had the idea for the Program for Young Masters of Orre. Yeah I know the acronym for that is "PYMO", but hey, it was that or "OYMP".
Dune: First letter of every major word in a name.
-The elevator stops.-
Dune: And here we are.
-The elevator doors open, and Xavier's jaw hits the elevator floor.-
-The door opens to a massive... what the hell is this?! A courtyard? A massive, indoor courtyard with plants, floors, a reception desk, plants, and a massive window out to the night sky behind them allowing one to look all the way out to the lights of Phenac City? Is THAT was Xavier was looking at?-
-Despite the late hour of the night, the room was still bright, partially from the lights, partially from the window to a massive pillar of magma at the back of the room what the fuck.-
-Xavier just stood there.-
-This was the shit you saw in movies.-
-Dune leans over.-
Dune: That was my reaction, too.
-He steps forward, gaining the giddy excitement one would normally see in his wife.-
Dune: Welcome to Battle Academy, home of the Program for Young Masters of Orre! Using both building techniques borrowed from the Alolan League, courtesy of our local Alolan Champion, as well as the resources and expertise of the Galvani-Morton Garage and Thinktank, with some cooperative aid from the Mesquite Labs and our own local Legendary, this facility is designed to accommodate every need a developing trainer could ever want!
-Xavier walks out of the elevator in a daze.-
Dune: From near-infinite thermal energy to battle facilities, classrooms, and dorms big enough to house hundred, Battle Academy is essentially an entire Elite Four facility, but being used for the constructive purpose of bringing those who would otherwise have no chance of demonstrating their capabilities to the world a place to thrive!
-Just as Dune throws his arms out, his point is punctuated by two pairs of massive feet landing on the outside - inside, in the perspective of the magma tube, I guess? - of the magma glass.-
-Xavier jumps out of her skin, but Dune just laughs.-
Dune: Oh don't mind him. That's Grandpa Mountain! He comes by to say hello!
-Dune walks up the the glass.-
-Tap, tap, t-tap tap...-
Dune: He has a sense of humor.
-Xavier is still dumbfounded.-
Dune: And from this day forward, you're our first official student in the program! And you know what that means?
Xavier: What does that mean?
-Dune leans in close.-
Dune: It means you get first pick of the rooms.
-Xavier looks like she's about to cry.-
Xavier: Where are they?
-Dune smiles and points to the hallway labeled "Dorms".-
-Xavier goes bolting off, with Dune casually following behind.-
-She's quickly out of sight, but Dune has a good idea where she's going.-
-As he lackadaisically follows behind, someone with a head of frizzy red hair and freckles sticks their head out from the faculty break room.-
Wes: Hm? Oh, hey Dune!
Dune: Hey, Wes. I found one.
Wes: Bad home life?
Wes: Got them a meal?
Wes: Attacked you with their Pokemon?
Dune: Tried to punch me.
Wes: ... Tried to punch you.
Wes: She's got spunk.
Wes: How the hell do you keep finding kids like me?
Dune: The day I stop is the day I'll retire.
Wes: Fair 'nough.
Dune: How's the GF?
Wes: She's just got confirmed for top surgery.
Dune: They finally got her through the bureaucracy?
Dune: Good for her. When is it?
Wes: Not till December.
Dune: December? Damn, that's some good timing, the wait time used to be over a year.
Wes: Someone found a new method of naturally eliciting gland growth. Only thing I know is that the person who penned the thesis on it went by the pen name "Code Talker".
-Dune just nods.-
Dune: Sounds like a good person.
-There's a scream from upstairs.-
Wes: She found the good room?
Dune: Figured she would. You let me know when you need the time off, alright?
-Wes shoots him a thumbs up as he heads back into the break room.-
Wes: Will do, bossman. You go make a little girl's dreams come true.
-Dune heads up the stairs until he gets to the dormitory's third floor. He then casually walks towards the distal rooms.-
Dune: I see you found your room.
-Dune opened the door. The room, a full 10x12 with a twin-sized bed, a computer desk (computer yet to be included), a full closet, and - most striking - a full sized, real window looking out over the Orre desert. Phenac City and even Pyrite Town gleam in the distance.-
-Xavier is on the floor - carpeted floor - bawling her eyes out.-
-Dune moves to say something, but stops himself, and just sits beside her.-
-The girl - now finally showing her age - reaches over and gives Dune the biggest hug she can muster.-
-Dune pats her on the back.-
Xavier: W-why... why are y-you doing s-so much f-for me...? I-I tried to p-punch you in the f-face!
Dune: Hey now. Some of my best friends have punched me in the face.
Xavier: B-but... I d-don't deserve-
Dune: Hey, now, that's one thought I'm not just gonna let by without a word in edge-wise.
-He gently props her up, and looks her in the eyes. He reaches up and moves his goggles off again.-
Dune: Never, never say you're undeserving of kindness. I know where you came from. I know what it's like, I really, really do. And I don't ever want one more person to go through that.
Xavier: B-but... you did all your stuff on your own...
Dune: Not on my own. I had a team. More than one, come to think of it. They were rude, they were crass, one tried to blow me up so many times I had to marry her to make her stop. That's a joke, don't equate malicious intent with romantic interest. But in the end, none of that even changes anything. You're right - I went from nobody to a Mt. Battle Master on my own. And now I'm using all that I've gotten, all of the friends and connections I've made along the way, to make sure everyone I can has a chance to fly even higher than I can.
-Xavier's tears are mostly dry. At this point she's just tired.-
Xavier: Thanks, Mr. Dune.
Dune: Hey. My friends call me Dune.
Xavier: ... Are we friends?
Dune: ... I think we are.
Xavier: ... Okay. Thanks, Dune.
Dune: You're welcome, Xavier.
Edited by DuneTheWanderer on Sep 16th 2022 at 9:20:06 AM
-Why does it smell so good here?-
-Wait, this isn't my house.-
-Wait, where the fuck am I?!-
-Xavier flips out of bed in a panic, getting a face full of clean, fresh carpet.-
-She sits up and looks around.-
-She was in...-
-She pinches herself.-
-Nope, she's awake.-
-Oh man she's hungry.-
-Dressing herself real quick, she peaks out into the hallway. She sees a... what is that, a Swamp... Swampon? Swamp... something. A Swamp-something walking through the hallway, with a bundle in his arms. He goes into one of the utility closets.-
-Xavier squeaks past while he's distracted.-
-Food, food, where's the food...-
-She looks over at an overhanging sign.-
-Supplies... Courtyard... Battle Range... Utilities... Ah hah, Cafeteria!-
-Down the stairs, left down the hallway, follow until you find the double doors.-
-Opening the door, she finds a...-
-Wait, is isn't like the cafeteria back at school.-
-The old school.-
-Still gotta get used to that.-
-But yeah this ain't a cafeteria. This is, like... a diner! Kinda.-
Selene: Well hi there!
-Xavier literally jumps out of her old, bulky shoes as a strange, pink-haired woman pops her head out from around the corner.-
Selene: You're the new student Dune told me about! Hi! My name's Selene!
-Her smiling face is equal parts disconcerting and welcoming.-
Xavier: Uh... hi. I'm Xavier.
Selene: Hi, Xavier! Now you're probably wondering, "who is this strange woman and why was she just hanging around the cafeteria?"
-Xavier just nods.-
Selene: Well, I'm here to show you around! I figured, since everyone's gotta eat, I'd wait here! So let me show you how to order breakfast! Well, not just breakfast, but every other meal you could ask for! Within reason.
-She hops over to what would normally be the reception desk of this weird cafeteria/restaurant/diner place.-
Selene: All you have to do it speak to the little kiosk here...
Kiosk: Greetings, [Teacher Selene].
Selene: Hi, Kio~ Just my regular!
Kiosk: Preset [Regular], not established.
Selene: Oh, right. I was with Dune while he was away so... Hm... what would Champloo have it named as...?
-She thinks for a second, Xavier awkwardly looking back and forth between the waiting kiosk screen and the strange bubbly woman.-
Selene: How about... the "Full Moon Special"...?
Kiosk: Preset [Full Moon Special]: One stack of chocolate chip pancakes with assorted berries and a slice of Kalos toast with extra butter. Is this correct?
Selene: Oh, he did remember~
-Xavier's mouth waters at the idea of chocolate chips in pancakes. What a time to be alive.-
Kiosk: Thank you, [Teacher Selene]. Your order will be out momentarily.
-She steps aside and motions to Xavier.-
Selene: Now you try it!
-Xavier, with some trepidation, walks up.-
Xavier: Uh, hello...?
Kiosk: One moment. Please speak one full sentence clearly.
Xavier: Oh, c'mon, I just want to eat something...
Kiosk: Vocal recognition calibrated for new user. Welcome, [Student Xavier]. What would you like for breakfast?
-Xavier blinks at how the kiosk's tone became a lot more personable suddenly.-
Xavier: I mean, um... what does the chef recommend?
-She heard that if you have no idea what to order that that's what you say. She can't ever remember where from.-
Kiosk: Searching. Without having received a physical, [Chef Champloo] recommends a hearty breakfast for first-time students. His recommendations include: [Amaterasu Morning Eggs Set], [Vierr Full Spectrum Platter] and [The Verax "Punch In The Face" Special].
-Xavier gives Selene a weird look after that last one. Selene just shrugs in equal confusion.-
Xavier: I guess I'll have the... "Vierr Full Spectrum Platter"?
Kiosk: Preset [Vierr Full Spectrum Platter]: Two waffles with butter, a side plate of hashbrowns, a side assorted fruits, and a side of breakfast meat of your choice. Is this correct?
-Xavier wipes some drool from the corner of her mouth.-
Xavier: Uh... yeah. With bacon, please.
Kiosk: Thank you, [Student Xavier]. Your order will be out momentarily.
Selene: See? That wasn't so hard!
Xavier: So, is it, like, intelligent, or...?
Selene: I mean... Dezi wasn't the one to program it, Moebius was, so...
-She wobbles a hand back and forth.-
Selene: I'd say an even 50/50 on that one.
Xavier: You don't even know?
Selene: Look, after you work with Deziree's team, you start expecting the unexpected in every scenario that involves them. Isn't that right, Kio?
Kiosk: As per [Doctor Moebius], I am not allowed to discuss the matter of emergent artificial intelligence.
Selene: Right, right, sure thing, Kio. Anywho, let's go grab a seat while the food's coming out.
Roxy rolled her eyes a bit. "Still, don't you three have some testing to get done?"
Silas nodded. "Right, right forgot. If I am to be the Mand'alor, I need to complete the darksaber."
~So, first up, crafting the kyber crystal that will serve as the focusing element?~ Hacks asked.
Silas nodded and took a deep inhale, before pulling on his scarf and shaking himself out. <Alright, so... Kendall you said you have something on hand, a stone or something for me to work with? Gale I'm gonna need your help channeling some obscura if I'm gonna try and... well infuse my very essence into this.>
There was the sound of servos as in marched Bishop in his IG body, carrying the basin for the forge. "I have several more bodies behind me captain, I have the forge."
<Very good,> Silas said, before looking to Nick. <Sorry about this but we're kind of taking over this area for a little bit. I'll spot PEFE a few pounds of beskar in repayment.>
Rory kicked out a grate and dropped down. He had his dynamo hand equipped, he wasn't in the mood for a fight right now. Gabriel had big murder machines, where did he even get those anyways?! Why was he out here in Sinnoh, he always stuck to Orre!
A menial looked up to the Templar who was calmly enjoying his lunch. "Uh... sir if I may ask-"
"You may," Gabriel responded.
"-Why are we here? Don't we stay around Orre?"
Gabriel smiled. "I was instructed to bring my development team out here. I have many weapons that our allies may need to test in the future. Nothing too complex..."
Rory began walking through, checking his obscura powers a bit, the dynamo hand crackled... good they still worked. Gabriel hadn't set up any jammers or anything down here, he needed to find some way to get close... and avoid his gaze. Rory never had dealt with Gabriel directly but he had heard stories, Gabriel's power set was based around the nervous system of the body... he could shut your heart down if you met his eyes.
He assumed a heavy posture and a hard gaze, the menials here had to have been trained to avoid anyone with purple eyes and acting like they belonged here. It seemed to be working so far, nobody looked him directly or questioned what he was doing.
He got pretty far... up until a large skinny man in black armor suddenly said. "Identification."
"...fuck..." Rory muttered right before he thrust the dynamo forward and zapped him, rushing off. Alarms blaring as he charged further into the base.
Gabriel set his meal down and stood up. "It seems our friend has returned."
He gripped onto the hilt of his weapon and channeled his psychic energies through it, a white blade of psychokinetic force. "I'll handle this."
Rory busted into a room, blasting away at more white armored soldiers. "What are these guys, clones or something?!"
He stumbled back and slammed the door, leaving himself alone in the room. It was at this point he noticed a faint pulsing jewel on the table, as well as a pile of notes next to it... Rory stepped over precariously, and suddenly heard.
<Hey, want to help me leave?>
Channah's body language is entirely relaxed, but she doesn't take her eyes off the woman.
Selene: You okay to move now?
-Xavier nods her head.-
Xavier: That was... a lot more than I thought it'd be...
Selene: You really do embody the term "eat everything on the plate", huh.
Xavier: Do people not do that?
Selene: We don't have time to go over that, now it's time to get you your uniform!
Xavier: My what?
Selene: We're off to the Support Wing!
-She goes marching off, with Xavier trying to keep up. She is struggling due to Selene's slight height advantage and absolutely boundless levels of energy.-
Xavier: Wait, what's in the Support Wing?
Selene: The local tailor, of course!
Xavier: Wait, so every place has a Tyler living there? I thought that was something someone at school made up.
Selene: Not Tyler, silly! Tailor! The profession of making clothes!
Xavier: Oh. I knew that.
-Selene and Xavier pass by some more Pokemon, a lot of them species that Xavier didn't know. There was a big, tall rock lizard with spikes coming out of his back who was pushing a card full of books, there was a big furry dog Pokemon that was leading around a bunch of smaller Pokemon, there was a Lucario with a bandana and armband that she got a look at through the door to the training room, there was a pair of giant rock dinosaur things that appeared to be arguing with one another, and there was a big pink bat thing that zoomed through the hallway like a dragster.-
Selene: You'll learn all about them in a bit! They're all Dune's Pokemon! Well, except the ones that were following Cun Annwn there. Not sure who they are.
Xavier: Wait, he just lets them... roam around?
Selene: Oh yeah, he trusts them. The ones he doesn't trust are the ones he doesn't let out and about. On that note, if you see a Stunfisk, do not approach him
Xavier: What's a Stunfisk?
Selene: Oh, right, you've never left Orre, have you. Hm. Yeah, you'll need a Pokedex. But that's later! For now - new clothes!
-Shortly afterwards, they come to the door marked "Edna". Selene gives a short rap on the door.-
-A strangely nasally call comes from inside the room.-
Selene: It's meeeee~ I've got the new giiiiiirl~
-The door swings open immediately, and Xavier is now face-to-face with a strange... leaf... bug... thing.
Selene: Edna, this is Xavier. She's the one Dune found yesterday.
-The plant-bug-thing says something with a recognizable tone of indignancy.-
Selene: We warned you ahead of time that they probably wouldn't have flattering closet selections...
Xavier: You understand her?
Selene: We don't have time to unpack that right now! First off - Edna! She's all yours!
-The plant-bug-thing grabs Xavier by the wrist and pulls her inside. The sign on the door now says "Edna - Occupied". Just underneath that, it also says in fine print: "Enter on risk of perforation".-
-Selene just leans back on the far wall, looking over at a familiar face coming down the hallway.-
Selene: Hey, Dune!
Dune: Finally made it to Edna, huh?
Selene: She was really hungry.
Dune: I get the feeling she's really hungry all of the time.
Selene: She reminds me of you.
Dune: Don't say that for everyone who comes here or we'll both get sick of it before too long.
Selene: Yeah, okay, fair. When are you gonna tell her about the, you know, really weird stuff?
Dune: Selene, she barely knows what "a Unova" is. This is gonna be a slow process.
Selene: Alright. Say, why aren't you doing all of this stuff?
Dune: As much as I'd love to, I've already adopted one raggedy runaway from a horrible home life. I want to be a teacher here, not a father for hundreds. I just don't have that in me.
Selene: But you'll still defend this place with your life.
Dune: Dezi would kill me if I admitted that, you know.
Selene: I won't tell~
Dune: Yes you would.
Selene: Oh, you wound me~
Dune: Uh huh, sure. Anyways, I gotta go talk to Grandpa, make sure his test of the containment glass was satisfactory.
Selene: Dune, you know everyone else has been making sure this place is spic-and-span for the last couple of years. You should really go take a break.
Dune: I don't do well at "taking breaks".
Selene: Don't make me snitch on Deziree.
Dune: Alright, fine, I'll head home... right after I-
Selene: Dune. >:|
Dune: Yeah, yeah, okay.
Edna: <No no no, your physic will not work for that... truly, you are a tomboy at heart. And yet I sense a hint at wishing to embrace the feminine in your own unique way. Skirt with bike shorts? Hmmmmm... perhaps.>
-Xavier just looks around, confused, as this weird plant-bug-thing weaves new clothing straight from the spindles on the walls with its bare... claws?-
Edna: <Long sleeves? No, not for an Orre native, Dune has taught me that much. Jacket shall be long sleeve, undershirt though... short sleeves, and tough. How tough...?>
-She looks at the raggedy, torn, and patched hem of the shirt.-
Edna: <Best play it safe with "Carhartt-level tough". But it must also breath... otherwise it becomes less of a piece of clothing and more of an incomplete body bag...>
-Xavier just stares dumbly, having no idea what Edna is saying.-
Edna: <Now do not worry, darling, I do not judge body types. To do so would be an overstep of my bounds. My concern is not the body's condition. My concern is making the body shine. There is beauty in everyone, dear, and sometimes all you need to do is give it a chance to come out.>
-Finishing the last of her thread-spinning, Edna lays the product on the table in front of Xavier. A steel-grey blouse with a green hem on the short sleeves and collar, a darker grey blazer with red the same shade as her hair on the collar and cuffs, and a skirt/shorts combo with a plaid combo of shades of grey and red.-
-Xavier just stares dumbly at them for a moment.-
-The plant-bug-thing points towards an area behind the curtain and makes a "move along" motion with its claws.-
-Xavier takes the hint and grabs the clothing. While she's changing, Edna begins work on some practical but stylish shoes.-
-Xavier didn't know a lot about clothes.-
-Everything she'd ever worn had been someone else's, and several years of wear-and-tear after the fact as well.-
-So, when she first felt the softness of the shirt, the sheer tensile strength behind it, like she was holding on to some great spider's magnum opus turned into a piece of textile...-
-Well, she just didn't know how to process this.-
-It almost felt sacrilegious to go around wearing something like this.-
-But the weird plant-bug-thing had made it for her, and she seemed to take her craft very seriously, so...-
-She slipped it on.-
-She then patted it down.-
-No, yeah, she was definitely, actually wearing it.-
-But it didn't feel like the almost shell-like casing that her old shirt had. If she couldn't feel it directly on her skin, that was a sure sign of a hole. But no, this shirt was...-
-Holy crap was it soft.-
-It was downright comfy.-
-She hugs herself for a moment, enraptured in high-quality textile.-
-Then she remembers she's half-naked in a plant-bug-thing's fitting room.-
-At first she's a little skeptical of the skirt.-
-Like, she knew it was feminine. And that kind of excited her.-
-But also it looked horrifically impractical.-
-Like, where the hell were the pockets?-
-Oh, wait, hold on. There they are. They're hidden behind the folds, and reach down into the shorts underneath.-
-Wow, okay, that's pretty cool.-
-Last was the jacket. Blazer? Whatever.-
-She had never really needed to wear a jacket before unless it was raining, and this jacket didn't even have a hood, so what good would that do?-
-At least, that's what she thought until she held it in her hands.-
-Oh my god this stuff is even more comfy.-
-She puts the jacket on, and she's in much the same situation she was before, feeling like she's being swaddled in some weird cloud-bird's embrace.-
-The plant-bug-thing calls to her from outside, startling her out of her reverie. She slips back outside the fitting room.-
-Edna takes a look at how the outfit fits.-
Edna: <Hmmm... yes, I had you down to a tee. You've got room to grow but not in any of the places that could be problems, and you cut a dashing figure in that shade of grey. Score one for grey, zero for navy blue, haha. Oh, yes, shoes!>
-She takes a set of socks - calf height, as is standard - and a pair of running shoes.-
Edna: <The Stapp 2022 model. Steel-toed and ready for anything the desert could possibly imagine to throw at you.>
-Xavier had no idea what the plant-bug-thing was saying but those were some cool-looking shoes.-
Xavier: Uh, thanks?
Edna: <Don't worry, darling, you - oh, wait, right, you don't have the Tongue yet. Well, whatever, I'm crazy, I can talk to myself.
-Xavier pulls the socks and shoes on. At first the new shoes feel stiff, like she had tied styrofoam to the bottoms of her feet, but then she realized that the shoes also didn't flop around when she walked in them.-
-Edna goes to the door and opens it.-
Edna: <She is done!>
Selene: Oh, she is? Lemme see!
-Xavier walks up, looking pretty bashful in her new uniform.-
Selene: Oh you look wonderful! I love the red embroidery on the hems. It matches your hair!
Xavier: I-I guess...
Edna: <She will have more sets delivered to her room later today. Well, except the shoes. Those things won't need replacing for some time.>
Selene: I'm almost disappointed you didn't give her heels. That would have been so fascinating to watch.
Edna: <No! No heels! Heels are a shortcut to femininity and overrated! All it does is make your butt perk up like your a girl half your age - bah! What would that even do for her, huh? Give her a complex, that's what!>
Selene: Okay, okay, no heels!
Edna: <And don't you forget it, Moonbeam!>
-She nudges Xavier outside and closes the door.-
Xavier: So, uh...
Selene: Lets break in those shoes by heading to the training range!
Owen nodded, then turned to face Stipax.
"Alright, Stipax, you ready?" he asked.
Stipax nodded, getting himself into a position for battle. Gwana, meanwhile, stepped to the other side and brandished her bone.
<A bit of a warning,> she said. <I've been training myself up for this, so don't be surprised if I withstand your attacks or beat you up beyond all recognition.>
<Alright, then,> said Stipax. <Let's go.>
"Alright, then! In that case, let's start this off!" cried Owen. "Stipax, use Giga Drain!"
<Right!> cried Stipax.
Seconds later, he proceeded to jump onto Gwana— but Gwana had come prepared.
Seconds later, she swatted him off with her bone, and then smirked at Stipax, even as he landed safely on the ground.
<I warned you,> she said.
And then seconds later, she opened up her mouth and released a burst of flame.
Owen's eyes widened.
"S-She... SHE KNOWS FLAMETHROWER?!" he exclaimed. "Stipax! Look out!"
Stipax turned— and suddenly noticed the massive burst of flame heading towards him. Frantically, he tried to get away— only to have the Flamethrower get him and knock him back.
Owen eventually entered the Veilstone Gym, glancing around for a minute at all the punching bags and ropes surrounding him. He smirked to himself, knowing that Mark would absolutely love this place. Of course— there was also the massively cheering crowd of thousands of people, as well as an outlet.
He'd need that later.
Soon enough, he saw Maylene herself and walked up to her.
"Hello," he said.
Maylene glanced up at Owen and Stipax before smiling.
"Hello there," she said. "Pleased to meet you. I assume you're here to challenge me?"
Owen nodded. "That's exactly why I'm here. And mark my words, I'm planning to win."
Maylene smiled. "In that case, I'm planning to do the best I can."
"So am I," said Owen, turning to face Stipax. "Stipax, you ready?"
<Yep!> said Stipax, jumping down from his Trainer's shoulder.
Maylene glanced down at Stipax and grinned.
"You have a Galvantula, huh?" she asked. "In that case, I know exactly who I'm going to use first."
Owen nodded. "Can't wait to see it. Let's do this!"
"Alright, then!" cried Maylene, taking out a PokeBall and throwing it onto the field. "Let's start it off, Hitmontop!"
In a flash of light, a Hitmontop promptly appeared on the battlefield. He turned to see Stipax standing there, and Stipax, in turn, happily waved at him.
<Hello~!> he said.
In response, the Hitmontop glared at him.
Or at least tried to. He was a Hitmontop, after all.
<Whaddya think yer doin', kid?> he asked, in a thick Castelian accent.
Stipax just blinked, glancing down at a belt tied around the Hitmontop's waist.
<...is that Intimidate?> he asked, not intimidated at all.
<You bet it is!> cried the Hitmontop.
Stipax just tilted his head. <Don't you think you're a bit too... cute to have that Ability? I mean, my Attack pretty much sucks anyways, sooo...>
<Cute?> snapped the Hitmontop, instantly flying into a rage. <CUTE?! I'LL SHOW YA CUTE YA IDIOTIC FUZZBALL—>
Stipax just giggled at the intimidation fail— even if he could feel his Attack stat dropping a bit.
After a few moments of silence, Laurie ultimately returned D'Autry while Roark returned his fainted Cranidos. The two of them stared at each other for a few moments, before eventually Roark walked up to Laurie and extended out his hand.
"Well," he said. "Your Sandslash is far more powerful than I could have anticipated. Ground beats Rock, sure, but..."
Laurie laughed to themselves a bit, before extending their hand out to shake Roark's.
"Yeah, that Sandslash is my starter, soo..."
"Ah, that makes sense," said Roark. "Well, then. In that case, since you've officially won, I believe I owe you this." He promptly reached into his pocket and pulled out a Coal Badge, which he handed to Laurie.
"Here you are, Laurie," he said. "Take the Coal Badge."
Laurie promptly grabbed the badge and stared at it for a few moments, before eventually nodding and putting it away.
"Thanks, Roark," they said.
"Oh, and take this, too," said Roark, pulling out a brown-colored disk and handing it to Laurie.
Laurie glanced down at it for a bit.
"...Stealth Rock?" they ultimately said. "Huh. I'll see if any of my mons can learn this move. Thanks for that."
They put the TM away.
"So," said Roark, "I assume you're heading to fight Gardenia next?"
Laurie nodded. "Yep. I... might get some mons in Eterna, too."
"Neat!" said Roark. "Well, I'm sure you'll pose a bit of a challenge for Gardenia, given how much you absolutely demolished me."
Laurie laughed. "Actually, it's funny. The only mon I have that's good against Grass types hasn't even evolved yet. I think the Gardenia match will actually be far more even."
"Well, however it goes," said Roark, "I wish you luck."
Laurie nodded. "Thanks."
And with that said, Laurie walked out of the Gym.
Benny just smirked upon seeing Nessa's Barraskewda get hit by the Leech Seed, while said Barraskewda just glanced up at Benny with a grimace on her face.
<Alright, then,> she said. <So this is how you want to play it, huh?>
Benny nodded. <If you wish to attack me, go on and do it. I have something already planned on the backburner.>
<...wait, he has a backburner?>
note <It's a metaphor, chuu~!>
The Barraskewda glared up at Benny.
<Oh, you asked for it!> she cried out. <Take this!>
Seconds later, she promptly proceeded to dive under the ground, and her body promptly spun so fast as to become a drill. Eventually, she shot up from under the ground and hit Benny under his feet, knocking him backwards a bit.
Benny didn't even flinch, and quickly got back up on his feet, while Nessa's Barraskewda swam back to the other side of the field— and immediately cried out in pain as the vines surrounding her drained her of her energy.
And seconds later, Benny glowed green as the energy was transferred to him.
<Thanks for that,> he said. <Now... for my finishing move.>
<I think I have a feeling as to what it iiis, chuu~!> Ananpi chirped from the sidelines.
And sure enough, Benny glowed a bright orange and immediately charged headlong at Nessa's Barraskewda. She grimaced, realizing what was coming, and eventually the move hit her, knocking her backwards into the wall of the stadium as every person in the crowd lost their minds.
Nessa glanced back towards the wall, grimacing. When the dust finally settled, her Barraskewda was on the floor with swirls in her eyes.
<Heh...> she muttered.
Benny nodded with satisfaction, then turned to face his Trainer and saluted her. <I have done my duty, General. I hope you are pleased.>
"Alright!" she cried. "Great work, Benny!"
Ananpi, of course, went off.
<AAAND THAT'S ONE DOWN, CHUU~!> he cried. <Benny's come through with a Counter and defeated Nessa's Barraskewda! Now, of course, the only question left is who Nessa will send out next, chuu~!>
note <I hope it's the Pelipper...>
<Oh? Why is that, chuu~?>
note <I think you need a break from commentating, me...>
<A break? Pffft. Please! I could do this all day, chuu~! Anyways, who's up next? You'll find out in the next post, chuu~! Stay tuned til then~!>
Eventually, after some time, Braker, Walter, Cuddles, Caboose and Snoop all made it out of the massive sinkhole that Buffy had helped dig up. Braker paused for a few moments to take a breath, before turning to face his mons.
"Alright," he said. "That was... more fun than I expected, I must admit. It was certainly enjoyable to see your battle style, Snoop."
<Then again, we couldn't have expected anything less,> said Walter.
<Yeah, turning battles into games is always fun,> said Snoop. <I wonder how Scramble's dealing with the new additions...>
Braker laughed, taking out Snoop's PokeBall and returning him.
"Oh, don't worry," he said, glancing down at said ball. "I'm sure you'll find out."
With that said, he put Snoop's ball away before turning to face Walter, Cuddles, and Caboose.
"Alright," he said. "I think that's enough catching Pokemon for now. What should we do next?"
Walter and Cuddles glanced at each other for a few moments.
<Funny you should mention that,> said Walter. <Cuddles and I had an idea floating around.>
"Oh?" asked Braker.
Cuddles nodded. <Now that you have Heracles on your team... we can go to Kalos to try and search for a Mega Stone!>
"A Mega Stone?" cried Braker, raising an eyebrow.
<Yep! You can get the Heracrossite now~!> cried Cuddles.
"Hm," said Braker, pausing for a few moments. "It certainly seems like that would be the reasonable thing to do. I've seen how powerful Heracles is in battle by this point. And the idea of one day possibly having a Mega-on-Mega battle with Kendall is something I've entertained since youth. Of course, that depends on if he actually ends up accepting said proposal... and I don't know if he will. Even so, though... it would likely make sense to get a Mega Stone for a mon capable of Mega Evolving."
<Huzzah~!> cried Cuddles.
"However... there is one caveat," said Braker.
<Oh?> asked Walter.
Braker nodded. "Bond or Break is closed. If we want to get a Heracrossite... we'll need to find one ourselves."
<Awww...> muttered Cuddles. <Well... at the very least, we get to do that! Finding a Heracrossite sounds fun~!>
Braker nodded. "If difficult. Regardless, I do think we should be able to find it."
He motioned to his mons.
"Come on, then," he said. "We're getting on a plane and heading to Kalos."
<Yaaaay~!> cried Cuddles.
<I'm heading hooomee~!> cried Caboose.
<So are Serkis and Panto,> said Walter.
And with that said, the group started off to Kalos.
Of course, they didn't realize what else they would find there besides any Mega Stones.
Edited by OPALGARNET16 on Sep 20th 2022 at 5:35:06 AM
Alex: "I'll do... that."
-she heads out-
Merlin: "That's the spirit! Come on!>
-he heads in-
Fou: <...If you're wondering, he's always like this.>
Edited by Umbramatic on Sep 17th 2022 at 9:19:43 AM
Selene: This is the training range! Here, we have a whole variety of training modules, rooms, VR, and the like for your every need!
-Xavier is wow'd by how big the place is, more than its technological advancements.-
Selene: Why don't you let your Skarmory out for some fresh air?
-Xavier looks down and kinda fidgets with her feet.-
Xavier: I, uh, dunno about that. He doesn't listen to me very well.
Selene: Well, look at it this way. You can keep him in the ball and nothing will change, or you can let him out and we can make some progress on that front!
-Xavier looks conflicted for a moment.-
Xavier: I-I mean...
Selene: Hey, don't worry about it. Sorry if it sounded like I was rushing you on that.
Xavier: I... thanks.
-There's a rumble as an explosion shakes one of the nearby training suites.-
-She looks inside.-
Selene: Oh, hey! Xavier, c'm'ere!
-Xavier walks up to the view next to Selene and sees a girl, seemingly a bit older than her, commanding a giant golden dog and a smaller, skinny looking dog.-
Selene: That's Ludmilla!
-The two dogs interlace between one another as they charge their holographic opponents, a pair of big flying dragons with wings. One gets taken down by a slew of jagged rocks shooting up from the ground, while the other has the big gold dog hitting it with a fiery blue tackle.-
Selene: She's Dune's adopted daughter, and my coworker in the Supernatural Experiences Class.
Selene: We're psychic!
Xavier: No way.
-Selene holds out a hand and a clipboard flies to it from across the room.-
Xavier: You coulda done that with magnets!
Selene: ... Really? Magnets? You'd think I would use high-powered magnets next to this level of machinery?
Xavier: I mean, yeah, if it's shielded right!
Selene: How do you know about magnetic field shielding but you don't know what a Leavanny is?
Xavier: I didn't get to see a lot of Pokemon, okay?!
Selene: Okay, no excuses, next stop is getting you a Pokedex.
Edited by DuneTheWanderer on Sep 17th 2022 at 10:29:21 AM
Selene: Welcome to Technology And Services!
-Xavier looks around at the almost-warehouse-sized room filled with shelves and little robots flying around it, moving objects, scanning barcodes, and somehow not hitting each other at all.-
Selene: This is where all your devices come from, and where the shop is for anything you think you'll want, using either cash you get yourself or from you weekly stipend.
Selene: Allowance. You get an allowance.
-Xavier's eyes go big and wondrous at the idea of fiscal responsibility.-
Selene: Our quartermaster should be around here somewhere...
-She taps the top of one of the nearby Roomba-looking drones that's scuttling across the floor. It turns to look at her.-
Selene: We got an order to fill. One Pokedex, and one conversation with Dosey.
-The drone blinks its photoreceptors for a second before they flash green.-
Selene: Thank you~
-The drone goes back to what it was doing as a slight ping goes over the PA.-
Selene: This whole drone network is interconnected and kept safe by our very own internal security network.
Selene: His name is Wuffles. You'll get to meet him when we finally get a computer for your room.
Xavier: Wait, what?
-Suddenly, a man in a sharp purple outfit comes out of one of the side rooms.-
Selene: Hey there, Dosey!
-He crosses his arms.-
Dosey: What do you need, Selene? I'm busy preparing for-
-He looks at Xavier, noticing her rendition of the school uniform.-
Dosey: ... That's our first student, aren't they.
Selene: Yep! Sorry to pop in on you like this, but she needs a Pokedex.
Dosey: A Pokedex? Really?
Selene: It's bad.
-Dosey turns to Xavier and pulls out a little holographic projector. The image of some fluffy pink thing with wings and a swirl of hair on its forehead pops up.-
Dosey: What Pokemon is this?
-Xavier just stares at it for a moment.-
Selene: You picked that one on purpose.
Dosey: Yes, but, it appears to be as bad as you thought.
-A flying supply drone comes by and drops a small box into Dosey's waiting hand.-
Dosey: I suppose one model going out early won't hurt the overall release schedule. Here.
-He then tosses it to Xavier.-
Dosey: Orre's first locally-produced Pokedex, from Mesquite Laboratories. Model AI-01.
Dosey: You'll see in a moment.
-Xavier opens the box to find a small red flip device inside. She pulls it out - its about the size of the smartphones she's seen people use. One of the lenses begins to flicker as a small hologram of what appears to be a block with a smiling face on it pops into the air in front of her face.-
Dosey: Meet your Personal Pokedex Assistant. By default, their name is "Peepa".
Peepa: Hiya! Good to meet you! I am your AI assistant to learning about the many aspects of the great big world of Pokemon!
Xavier: Uh... hi!
Dosey: In Alola, it was common for Rotom to be used in place of assistants like this. However, we unfortunately lack a Rotom breeding program from which to pull from. Thus, Mesquite Labs, using a thesis written by Mrs. Galvani-Morton, has pulled together a base template companion in their place. Of course, now that Mrs. Galvani-Morton has returned, I can only imagine what sort of expanded capabilities she may be able to draw from Peepa in the future.
Peepa: Yeah! I'm so happy Mama's back!
Selene: Still gotta get used to them calling her that...
Dosey: You and me both.
Xavier: I, uh, oh, right, I never gave you my name - my name's Xavier!
Peepa: Hi, Xavier! I see you have a Pokeball on your belt. Would you like to register the Pokemon inside into my database?
Xavier: You can do that?
Peepa: Yep! Just hold the Pokeball into my light beam here and I'll be able to scan the basic physical of the Pokemon inside!
Xavier: Oh, cool!
Selene: Wish Dune had that a decade ago.
-Xavier holds up the Pokeball. The Pokedex scans it for a moment.-
Peepa: Scan complete! Contents: Skarmory. Registered nickname: Feather. Gender: Female.
Xavier: Feather's a girl?!
Peepa: Nature: Quiet. Physical condition: nominal. Mental condition: exhausted. Recommend long-term rest and relaxation. Noted abnormalities: Orran Native Lineage Detected. Pokemon has possible access to the following non-standard moves: Brave Bird. Pursuit. Sky Attack.
Dosey: An Orran Native Skarmory? Curious. They are extremely isolationist, and their protected nests are so far away from human civilization that nobody even tries to go looking for them.
Xavier: I, uh... It's kind of a long story as to how I found him- her.
Dosey: As much as I would love to stay and discuss, I do have a Technology And Services Department that needs sorting for when the rest of the students arrive. If you'll excuse me.
-He turns and heads back to the door he came from.-
Selene: Don't mind him, he's always prickly like that.
Peepa: For as long as I've known him, at least!
Xavier: Hehe... thanks.
Selene: Well, that about covers the tour- OH! WAIT!
-Selene is suddenly filled with an unprecedented (unless you've known her for a while) amount of energy.-
Selene: I NEED TO SHOW YOU THE RECREATIONAL AREA!
-Peepa and Xavier glance at each other as Peepa quietly turns her display off.-
Xavier: Hey wait don't leave me with-
-Selene grabs Xavier by the arm and goes running off down the hallway.-
Pretty much everyone was taken aback by Gwana's ability to use flamethrower, with Travis being somewhat amused, Tricky finding her to be an even more dangerous foe than initially suspected, Chopper being equal parts curious and amazed, and Mark beginning to speculate how it was even possible.
<Wow that was awesome! I've gotta know what other sort of moves you know and who you trained with!> Chopper complimented, albeit with more of an interest in potentially making himself stronger.
Travis would begin wondering audibly, “Either this cubone used to belong to a trainer before being released...or TM's have become so easy to use that even a pokemon can teach themselves with it,”.
Mark meanwhile would shout with a gruff sense of encouragement, “Brush it off Stipax, I've seen what you can do! Fight like you're actually trying!”
Upon entering the gym, Mark would be unable to hide his fascination and he smirked approvingly, “Now this is a gym! Always had respect for gyms that could make pokemon and trainers stronger. Think we can make time to practice some punch—-aaand you're already starting,..cool...”
“I hope this place has concessions, all this walking's got me hungry,” Travis would say with a tone of indifference before noticing who the gym leader was and scoffing, “Pffft, they let anyone be gym trainers these days? Iunno about you Mark but when I think of a Fighting Type Gym Leader I'd expect them to look tough,”
“Looks can be deceiving Trav. Back in the Machastery I've seen kids who just started school beat the hell out of grown-ass adults, usually by accident, but still,” Mark pointed out adding, “I don't know how long she's been a gym leader for, but I doubt she would have gotten this far if she was a goddamn pushover.”
Mark and Travis would leave for the stands, but not before the former would tell Owen, “Just like all your last gym battles: Don't hold back or get careless,”
At this point Mark, Travis, Chopper, and Tricky would be amongst the thousands of spectators watching the battle begin. “Is it just me, or does it seem like this crowd's bigger than the last gym's?” Travis would ask while chowing on popcorn.
“Hard to say, but maybe you'll actually have time to watch and learn something from this battle instead of literally showing up at the last second,” Mark pointed out with a smirk, prompting Travis to sarcastically quip, acting like he was about to leave before sitting back down, “Actually that reminds me I need to leave for a bit—-Nah, I'll stick around,”
“Good choice, I can tell things are just starting to pick up,” Mark simply replied before focusing entirely on the match.
Rory stepped slowly over to the gem sitting on the table. "The hell is that?"
<Hello... do you desire power?>
Inside the gem appeared to be a Corviknight, it looked up at Rory and smiled. Rory blinked, he supposed he couldn't be too surprised, he was an artificially made human being carrying illusion powers that worked like special effects.
"The hell are you?"
<I'm a corviknight, and I'm stuck here. You can call me Nero.>
"Riiiiiiight... so what do I do?"
<Take me out of here and break the gem.>
There was a pounding at the door, Rory's head darted over. More guards, he gripped his sword and ignited the blade. "Gonna need more info, why are you here and why are you in that?"
<Well this is a gem made to hold my soul and the individual in charge of this fortress has been studying it for "weapons development" as he says. I've been trapped for a long time so if you could maybe->
The door busted off its hinges as there stood one of the guards in the black armor. Rory swiped the gem off the table and shoved it in pocket and slashed at the guard, speed and ferocity as he threw a punch into the guard, zapping him.
"No time for that gotta move!" Rory shouted as he darted out, grapping his revolver, he could already tell today was gonna be difficult.
"The intruder has been found?" Gabriel said, two Dark Troopers flanking him.
"Yes sir! He's passed by one of your research labs and is heading further down into production!"
"Excellent, I'll cut him off there."
Gabriel marched out, his cape billowing dramatically as he marched out the door.
Rory plugged another grunt and fell off a railing. He didn't feel too bad, it was pretty clear to him by now all the guys were mindless clones, he was more worried about the state of his ribs once he landed.
Judging by the landing, answer on the ribs was not great.
"In a secret base run by a mad Templar with the ability to turn your heart off being chased by clones... what's next?"
<Well at least it can't get any worse."
Rory was judging Nero very hard for that comment, as the sounds of Solar Quest doors opened and in marched the heavy footsteps of mechanical minions. Rory looked up and scrambled to his feet as he saw Gabriel.
"Good to see you Mercury, what happened to your Pokemon?"
"Had other things to do, bastard."
Gabriel smiled. "Well, it seems I hold all the cards, now I can't just shut down your nerves, pesky obscura nature that you have... but I can impart threats of physical violence. Believe me Mercury, I don't want you dead, but I have no issue killing you."
Rory said nothing... before channeling his power into a big blast and pulling the trigger. The Obscuric attack was blocked by the Dark Trooper. Gabriel let out a soft chuckle at the sight. "Really now Mercury, did you think that would-"
The distraction worked long enough for Rory to swap out to the rocket arm and fire that off, the fist navigating around the Troopers and nearly striking Gabriel. Rory darted forward and started slashing away at the armor, dodging out of a dark trooper strike.
"You don't have anything that can help you Mercury," Gabriel said dusting his outfit off. "Submit now, and you'll live, as a scientific curiosity at least. Continue to resist... Well I wouldn't be heartbroken."
Rory dodged another punch that cracked concrete, he needed something.
<Hey, I don't normally do this-> Nero began from within Rory's pocket.
Rory charged a maximum dynamo attack, and burnt out the arm.
<-But you're gonna die at this rate, I need you to get me out->
The Dark Trooper gripped his face, and began to lift him up, Rory struggling in its grasp.
<-So use it, don't you desire power?>
Rory could feel the dark trooper's pneumatic grip beginning to crush his skull, his arms went limp.
<Use my power... and break free.>
Rory's hand drifted into his pocket... he felt the gem...
"Any last words?" Gabriel asked with a smile.
Rory looked right at Gabriel... and shouted. "FUCK YOU!!"
There was a massive burst of light.
Selene: WELCOME TO THE REC ROOM!
Selene: WE HAVE KARAOKE!
Selene: WE HAVE A POOL!
Selene: WE HAVE A SHOOTING AND ARCHERY RANGE! (listen to the rangemaster or you're gonna get banned real fast)
Selene: WE HAVE AN ARCADE!
Selene: WE HAVE A GYM!
Selene: WE HAVE A CLIMBING WALL!
Selene: THE CEILING IS A CLIMBING WALL!
Selene: AND, BY MY OWN REQUEST, WE HAVE A BOUNCY CASTLE!
-Yep, that's a bouncy castle alright.-
-Xavier just stared at everything with the look of someone who has just tipped over the edge of overstimulation.-
Selene: ISN'T THIS COOL?!
-She waves a hand in front of Xavier's face. No response.-
Selene: Oh, woops. Did it again.
-The door opens as Ludmilla walks in, wiping sweat off of her face with a towel with her two canines flanking her.-
Ludmilla: Do what aga- oh.
-She walks up. Xavier doesn't respond to her at all.-
Ludmilla: First student?
Ludmilla: She try to attack dad?
Selene: Tried to punch him.
Ludmilla: Figures. So...
Selene: I'm just gonna Teleport her to her room and let her... "come down" from all of this.
Ludmilla: Does she know about the whole... transformation thing?
Selene: Does she look like she knows?
Ludmilla: She could of just learned about it.
Selene: Okay yeah fair. But, no.
Ludmilla: Then I'll handle this. Cu Sith?
-The Shiny Arcanine bites down onto the collar of Xavier's uniform and picks her up like one would a puppy.-
Selene: Wait, you don't know what room she's in.
Ludmilla: Oh please, we both know she picked the best room.
Selene: Oh yeah okay.
Ludmilla: ... have you texted Pent yet?
-Selene's flush face goes pale.-
Ludmilla: Go text Pent.
Selene: Nnnnnnnnnnngh but I don't know what to wriiiiiiiiite!
Ludmilla: Just right something, jeez! You're worse than Twitch!
"Oh, uh," Kendall stammered. "No, I never said I had them, I was just - "
There was a green flash behind him.
<You're welcome,> Xatu nodded before vanishing away once again, two different stones landing in Kendall's hand that he had raised in a shrug.
"Well, I do now," he chuckled. "I was just... n-never mind. A Dusk Stone and a Dark Gem, right here," he offered.
-Xavier lies on her bed, staring at the ceiling, watching the blades of the ceiling fan spin.-
-She was here.-
-This was reality.-
-No more dealing with old clothes that she has to wash in the sink.-
-So more having to wait to use the bathroom until the middle of the night to avoid getting yelled at.-
-No more skipping lunches to save cash for a half-decent dinner.-
-No more having to deal with Dad.-
-So now what the hell do I do?-
-There's a knock at the door.-
-Xavier gets up and opens the door.-
-The weird blue fishy looking thing, the... Swamp-something, is there. It waves to her.-
Xavier: Oh, right, hold on a second.
-She reaches into her pocket and pulls out her Pokedex.-
Peepa: Scanning. This is a Swampert - the final evolution of Mudkip. A popular starting Pokemon due to their considerable physical prowess, they make their homes out in the wild along rivers and deltas, as well as swamps and marshes. This particular Swampert is Rill: He is one of Dune's team, and is thus far the only Pokemon that has managed to fight the Heatran of Mt. Battle in combat and win directly without being Shadowed.
-Rill polishes his nails with a smug look on his face.-
Xavier: Oh, thank you. So, uh, Rill? What can I do for you?
-He holds up a box and lets out a deep croaking sound.-
Peepa: He appears to have a delivery for you!
-He sets the box down and opens it, revealing a computer monitor on a grabby claw. He then pulls it out, goes over to the desk, and then has the grabby claw grip onto a metal bar towards the back of it. The then adjusts the monitor position and gives a button on the side of it a couple of taps. The monitor comes on to a start-up screen that denotes a "Wuffles OS".-
Xavier: Oh, hey, a computer! Thanks, Rill!
-Rill gives a lazy wave as he grabs the box and heads out, crunching the box up in his hand and tossing it into a recycle chute down the hallway before closing the door behind him.-
-Xavier goes over and takes a seat in the... what is this, an office chair? It's really comfy. Anyway, the computer's initial startup sequence finishes as a rolling sand dune with blue skies behind it - probably the default wallpaper - pops up, followed by all the little system shortcuts and taskbar. One of the buttons on the taskbar, a stylized W, begins flashing.-
Peepa: Oh, it looks like Wuffles would like to talk to you!
Xavier: Who's Wuffles?
-The button clicks itself and a little pixel representation of a weird duck thing pops up in a window.-
Wuffles: Greetings. we are Wuffles, Porygon-Z and system admin for all integrated software systems in Battle Academy.
-She holds up her Pokedex to the computer screen.-
Peepa: I don't need to scan the screen, silly! As he said, that's Wuffles. He's a Porygon-Z, the as-yet-determined final evolution of Porygon! Porygon, as well as its evolutions Porygon 2 and Porygon-Z are human-made digital Pokemon that can reside in computer systems, like me, just as easy as they can exist in physical spaces, like you! Wuffles in particular is a special case due to also having once been a Shadow Pokemon until a few years ago, during which his personality fragmented, and which Purification defragmented in a unique way. He now has the unique mindset to be able to handle multiple interactions and a much more broad scope of system interactions than most other Porygon.
Wuffles: Thank you, Peepa.
Peepa: Your welcome!
Wuffles: However, we now need your name, miss.
Xavier: Wait, me?
Wuffles: Yes. We require accurate records on hand in case of medical emergency, among other important possibilities.
Xavier: I'm Xavier... hm.
Wuffles: Do you not wish to share your last name?
Xavier: No, no, it's not that, I just... I mean, it's kinda that-
Wuffles: If it may easy your stress, we do not need to hear it from your own mouth. We only require your birthday.
Xavier: Um... January 2nd.
Wuffles: ... You are 12 years old?
Xavier: Um, yes.
Wuffles: ... Records found. Noted family health issues-
-Xavier shifts uncomfortably.-
Wuffles: ... Will be left undisclosed for privacy concerns.
Wuffles: Peepa's records denote a Skarmory under your care. Would you like access to helpful aids in the care of Orran Native Skarmory?
Xavier: Everyone keeps bringing that up...
Peepa: I mean, you're at a Pokemon Trainer School now.
Wuffles: We second Peepa's sentiment.
Xavier: Yeah, alright. I suppose I'll have to at some point...
Wuffles: We have bookmarked a collection of articles regarding Skarmory in your web browser.
Xavier: When I let Feather out of his- her Pokeball, can I have... someone there with me?
-Wuffles eyes spin like a loading sign for a second.-
Wuffles: Acknowledged. When you wish to release her, do so in the training range. We will inform the training range master to be there ahead of time.
Wuffles: Surface-level psychological signs point to some trauma or ignorance of Pokemon in the past. Personal supervision while handling Pokemon is strongly recommended, as well as requested from the student themself.
-The training range instructor, a tall woman with a long, wild head of bright crimson hair not dissimilar from Xavier's, leans back in her chair.-
Arubeg: Figures the first one we'd get would be 'Mon shy.
Wuffles: Reports from Dune during initial contact suggest more volatile emotional responses to Pokemon battles than simple aversion.
Arubeg: ... Ah. So that's why you want me there.
Wuffles: "The most appropriate tool for the job".
Arubeg: Right, right, I know. Alright, I'll be waiting for when she musters up the courage.
Wuffles: Thank you.
Edited by DuneTheWanderer on Sep 18th 2022 at 3:12:19 AM
"FUCK YOU!" Rory shouted as he erupted into a bright light. Gabriel covered his eyes and blinked, opening them slowly as he was treated to the sight of... well he wasn't quite sure.
Rory stood there, his visage a blending of human and corviknight... he looked almost demonic, large wings had sprouted from his back and there seemed to be faint blue wisps coming off of them.
"So... you used the burst heart, this changes nothing."
One of the Dark Troopers charged forward, only for a spectral hand to form from one of the wings, which backhanded the cyborg monstrosity into a wall. "Out of my way dead weight," Rory muttered.
<Whoa... what's this we're processing here? Can you taste that? That's power. See what our Steel Wing did?>
Rory stepped forward, his blade igniting as the other Dark Trooper charged towards him. Rory brought his wings over and used a Iron Defense, only to strike with a Reversal and punch the head off of the monster. Gabriel stumbled over, the other functioning Dark Trooper stood up and got up, only for a spectral hand to grasp it and pull it over.
"GET OVER HERE!" Rory cried out, the Dark Trooper now in his hands, before he fired a flash cannon blowing its head apart.
Gabriel scrambled to his feet and ran. "Attention everyone, base is compromised, all Clones and remaining Dark Troopers are to handle the monster in Section 13. Repeat, evacuate!"
<Huh can't do that grasp move... what is that?> Nero asked from the back of Rory's mind.
"Dunno, usually can't focus my obscura to do that. Think you're giving me a major boost.," Rory responded
Clones and more Dark Troopers charged in, Rory let out a feral roar and went to town, nothing would stop him now.
Rory stepped out of the remains, fully human again, he shivered and hurled his lunch out. He looked to the gem in hand, the one holding the Corviknight Nero. "The hell man?"
<Seems you're gonna have to be careful about using me, while we're stronger together you're clearly not built to handle me long term. Something about you seems... weird.>
Rory stood up and watched as Nico drove out swinging the van around. "Hey, y'all alright? Saw a bunch of people running and flying off."
Rory grinned. "I'm great Nico, just great... now... I need to find some more pokemon. Can't handle this shit alone."
ChiChi dodges a Gyro Ball attack from Bronzor. Due to the effect of Trick Room, Bronzor is moving around very rapidly, but for the moment at least ChiChi is managing to stay out of its reach.
"Use Confusion!" Xaster commands. ChiChi claps the tassels on her head together, creating a shockwave of psychic energy. Bronzor slams into it and slows down ever so slightly before slamming into ChiChi, sending her flying. She lands and slowly gets to her feet.
"What was that?" Xaster wonders.
Before he can have time to ponder the question, Bryon presses the offensive. "Use Gyro Ball again!"
Bronzor begins to spin again, seeming quicker than ever before now, and slams into ChiChi before she can react. She is sent flying again, but before she can land Bronzor is there again, catching her from the other way and batting her around like a ringing ball.
"ChiChi!" Xaster yells, watching his pokémon be smacked around like this. She yells in pain with each hit, but she's staying up. What can he do about this?
"Use Confusion again?" Xaster yells. ChiChi manages to create another shockwave that slows down Bronzor again for an instant before she is hit. Xaster notices out of the corner of his eye, a ripple that passes over the Trick Room.
"Wait," he mutters. "What if..."
Bronzor comes around for another attack. "Use Flash!" Xaster yells. ChiChi struggles to move, but manages to create a light between her ropes that flares bright for an instant before disappearing. Bronzor flinches away from the light, buying a few seconds.
"Now, let's try something new!" Xaster says. "ChiChi, use Trick Room!"
There is a pause. This isn't a move that ChiChi knows, and it's not one that they ever practised. For an instant, she is baffled. How is she supposed to pull this off?
"Come on," Xaster mutters. "You can do it. The light, the feeling, the psychic energy... you have it all."
ChiChi concentrates on those three things. She has the psychic energy - she used her Confusion before, and it affected the Trick Room. And thanks to Flash, she knows the shape of the room. And she knows what it does. So, in theory...
She closes her eyes and concentrates on what she wants. She takes hold of the psychic energy that's in her, in all pokémon, but not in a way that all can harness, and she wills it into a new shape.
"Gyro Ball!" Byron yells. Bronzor swoops quickly down towards ChiChi, whose eyes are closed in concentration. But then there is a burst, and Bronzor is suddenly moving much slower than before, because the two Trick Rooms have cancelled each other out.
"Yes!" Xaster says. "You did it, ChiChi!"
ChiChi turns around and cheers. Xaster holds up a pokéball. "Now, return for a bit." ChiChi nods as she goes back into her ball. "Go, ChuChu!" he says, calling his Pikachu back to the field.
<Pika!> he yells. Xaster nods. "That's right! Now, use Thunderbolt!" ChuChu unleashes a powerful bolt of energy, which bounces off the spinning Bronzor.
"Ha!" Byron cheers. "You got past my Trick Room, but my defenses are still too strong for you!"
"Feels like as a Gym Leader you should be encouraging the good stuff," Xaster mutters, than catches himself. "I sound like Hoops."
"Yeah. Okay, that's fair but you could have phrased it better. Well in that case, what would Hoops do?"
"You're right. Something stupid."
Byron grins. "Use Gyro Ball again!"
Xaster grins back. "ChuChu! Let it hit you and grab on!"
ChuChu looks confused by the order, but does as Xaster says and takes the attack. It's not too hard to grab on because Bronzor has slowed down, but it hurts like Distortion World. He is lifted into the air, grasping on for dear life as Bronzor continues to spin.
"Thunder!" Xaster yells. ChuChu somehow manages to hear the command over the blood in his ears, and releases all the electricity he has into Bronzor. The Bronze pokémon begins to slow down, gently sinking to the ground, until it hits the rock and falls over, motionless.
The referee steps forwards. "Bronzor is unable to battle! Pikachu wins!"
Hoops doesn't feel like coming out from under the blanket today, which means that their pokémon haven't either. They form a rather large and multicoloured cuddle pile as they watch TV.
<So, she's his sister?> Sal asks, pointing at the small tv screen.
<Weren't you paying attention?> snaps Bis. <That's clearly supposed to be the reveal here. And that's why they pushed him out of the window.>
<Well I hope he'll be okay> Pol says. <He seems like such a nice boy.>
<Well of course he will> Tot replies. <Now he knows their secret. It will only create drama in episodes to come. We have to wait and see where this leads.>
Ray growls. <Surely it must lead to war. No old house such as this would ever accept an attack on one of its own by a rival house.>
<So I guess that means we're watching the next episode?> Led holds up the remote.
<You know, this is kind of like a situation I saw thousands of years ago> Cof says, speaking with a slightly nostalgic tone. <Of course, back then it was a lot more common. All the people in charge were doing it. I don't think they'd have needed to push any children out of the window.>
<Eh, this show went downhill after they killed off Tywin Lannister.> Jas, who had watched the show already, adds. This is met with a chorus of boos and complaints about spoilers, which is interrupted by the sound of the blankets being thrown of Hoops' bed as they stand up in annoyance.
"Okay," they say. "I've had enough of watching TV with you guys, so I started thinking about what else Xaster might do right now. And I'm at a low enough point to decide, fuck it, I'm changing my look. Let's go."
-Xavier stares at the considerably taller adult woman.-
Arubeg: You're gonna hurt your neck, craning it like that.
Xavier: Oh! S-sorry, it's just... you're so tall.
Arubeg: I get that a lot. You must be Xavier.
Xavier: That's me alright. You must be the training range manager.
Arubeg: Name's Arubeg.
Xavier: You, uh, look like you've seen some action before.
Arubeg: Retired from that. Took an injury I barely back back up from.
Xavier: O-oh. Sorry.
Arubeg: Hm? Nah, don't apologize for your curiosity, kid. You didn't know.
-She motions to the open training field.-
Arubeg: Go ahead an let out your Skarmory.
Xavier: What, like, right now?
Xavier: No preparation or anything?
Arubeg: I am the preparation.
Xavier: Uuuuh... okay.
-Swallowing her fear, she pulls out her Pokeball and tosses it. A tall, lean Skarmory appears.-
-The Skarmory's eyes immediately go to Xavier. The two lock eyes.-
Arubeg: ~Already off to a bad start. There's not a lick of trust here.~
-The Skarmory's wings bristle. Xavier's fists clench.-
Arubeg: ~Ah, jeez, I see the problem now.~
-The Skarmory's wings go out in a show of territorial aggression as Xavier's knuckles turn white.-
-The tension is cut by a shrill whistle. Both parties look over to see Arubeg with two fingers in the corners of her mouth.-
Arubeg: That's enough of that, you two.
-Xavier immediately backs down, but the Skarmory turns the territorial display towards her. Arubeg shoots the bird a look, however, sharper than any of her feathers.-
-The metallic wings fold back in, and the bird steps back.-
Arubeg: Not ten seconds into this exercise and I already know exactly what the problem is, even if I don't know the source.
-She points to Feather.-
Arubeg: You don't have any trust for your trainer, despite the fact that you got caught.
-She then points to Xavier.-
Arubeg: And you default to any signs of distrust with frustration and anger, making the problem worse.
-Xavier, head down, body small, looks like she's trying to collapse into her own shadow.-
Arubeg: For the time being, I'm gonna recommend that the two of you separate.
-Both Xavier and Feather blink at the recommendation.-
Arubeg: I can tell right now that keeping you two together until each of your personal issues are resolved will only do more harm than good, reinforcing each other's bad behavior. It's not a decision I come to lightly, but to alleviate the immediate issue, this is the surest way to do so.
-Xavier looks at the Pokeball and sighs, a million unspoken fears all welling up inside of her.-
-Arubeg puts a hand on her shoulder.-
Arubeg: This isn't a punishment. Not for either of you.
-Xavier looks up at the taller woman, tears on her face.-
Arubeg: I know there's not a lot of consoling I can do right now. But you two aren't being separated permanently. When you both have had some time to cool your heels and take some time apart, then we'll work on mending things. Alright?
-Xavier sniffs and wipes her nose with her sleeve before handing Arubeg the Pokeball.-
Arubeg: Thank you.
-She then turns to the Skarmory.-
Arubeg: Come with me. You're going to the Roost.
-The Skarmory squints her eyes and snaps her beak at the woman.-
Arubeg: I'd cut the attitude before we get there. You're not queen of the castle here.
-The Skarmory's eyes wander to the left, where unbeknownst to the humans in the room, Feather's sharp eyes spot a dark silhouette on the far wall in the shape of a Golurk.-
-The Golurk, sensing the gaze, lights his eyes up.-
-The Skarmory flinches before lowering her stance again.-
Arubeg: There you go. Follow me.
-Arubeg and Feather head out the back entrance of the training room, now just leaving Xavier. Without the Pokeball on her belt, she felt the most powerless she's been in a long time.-
-A massive hand reaches down and... well, sort of nudges her head. It might have been an attempt at a pat, but that's pure conjecture at this point.-
-Xavier looks up to see a massive tower of clay standing next to her. She hadn't heard him get close at all.-
Big Dom: GO. LURK.
-Xavier just tilts her head in confusion.-
-Dom places his hand face up, flat on the floor.-
Big Dom: GO.
-Xavier looks down at it.-
-Dom points at it with his other hand.-
-It finally clicks.-
Xavier: O-oh, uh, okay?
-She climbs onto his hand. He lifts her up and essentially drops her onto his shoulder.-
-He then walks into the hallway, tween girl on his shoulder.-
Xavier: I'm sorry, I don't know what you're saying! Where are we going?
-Dom's head twitches as it tries to logic out why she thinks she'll be able to understand him if she asks him a specific question, like he's just start speaking human out of courtesy.-
Big Dom: LURK.
Xavier: ... I don't know what that means.
Big Dom: ... go.
-Being as tall as he is, Dom provides fairly speedy - if somewhat terrifying to the uninitiated - transport to the one part of the facility that Selene hadn't taken her to.-
Xavier: Did that sign just say "Safari Zone"?
-Dom just nods, as far as his neck will let him.-
-The other rooms were big.-
-But this room is really big.-
-Xavier's fairly certain that part of it is actually hanging off of the mountain.-
-Natural grass stretches out in all directions - well, except the direction with the rocky desert landscape. One area even has a pond in it.-
Xavier: Woah... It's like that one retiree town in here.
-Dom removes Xavier from his shoulder as a man in blue strolls up, a steaming mug of coffee in his hand.-
Desech: Good evening~ My name is Desech. I'm the manager of the Safari Zone.
Xavier: Uh, hi! I'm Xavier.
Desech: So I've heard~ Our first student of potentially many.
Big Dom: GO. LURK. LURK.
Desech: Oh dear, I did hear about that.
-Xavier looks between the strange, blue haired - and dressed - man and the Golurk.-
Xavier: You understand him?
Desech: It's a skill some of us pick up after a while~ Don't worry, you'll pick it up eventually.
Xavier: I, uh, alright.
Desech: That being said, do you know why Big Dom here brought you to me?
Desech: In other regions, there was somewhat of an institution around locations known as Safari Zones. They were places where people could go and catch Pokemon without needing to battle them, using specialized Pokeballs. It was more of a test of skill and presentation than one of combat capabilities~
-Xavier's stomach sank.-
Xavier: So I...
Desech: Have to catch a Pokemon here, yes~
-He pulls out a Safari Ball.-
Desech: Normally, there is a time limit, and you much catch however many Pokemon you can before it's up. But you need a partner~ Which is why you will be getting one ball, and as much time as you need.
Xavier: I-I dunno about this...
Desech: Ah, yes, my fiery counterpart in the training module said you might be a little reluctant to try this. If you wish to, I can take put this ball back. Of course, without a Pokemon to use, you would no longer be able to defend your title of Pokemon Trainer. And, well, at Battle Academy, we only have potential trainers as students, so...
-Xavier seized up. Big Dom points a finger at the oddly color-coordinated man.-
Desech: I am aware this is a harsh stance to take, especially for me. But I have seen what happens when someone is allowed to wallow in their self-pity~
Big Dom: ...
-Big Dom drops his hand. The massive ghostly artifice turns to Xavier and attempts another pat.-
Xavier: ... What did he say that time?
Desech: Oh, he just said "go", as in "go ahead".
Xavier: ... Oh.
-She takes the Pokeball.-
Xavier: Alright. Where do I start?
-Desech sweeps his arms out. Slowly, so as not to disturb the coffee in his mug.-
Desech: Wherever you may roam~ There are no fences here. See what Pokemon we have out and about and find the one that resonates with you the most~
-Xavier nods. Ball in hand, she heads towards the center of the facility.-
Big Dom: LURK. GO.
Desech: Don't worry~ You'll get better at the head pat thing.
Edited by DuneTheWanderer on Sep 18th 2022 at 10:23:01 AM
-The Mudkip dips under the surface of the pool with the Squirtle.-
-The Scorbunny and the Chespin run for cover.-
-The Goomy and the Eevee give each other awkward looks.-
-Xavier, meanwhile, is just sitting on a rock, intently watching the surrounding area.-
-This has a... chilling effect on the Pokemon nearby.-
Desech: Oh my~ She really is like a smaller version of you~
Arugeb: Shut it before I stick that coffee mug into your sinus cavity.
Big Dom: <SHE HAS MUCH THE SAME PROBLEM LUDMILLA DID.>
Wuffles: We concur.
-After a while, the video feed shows Xavier as she begins to relax.-
Desech: Oh, good, she's realizing what part of her strategy wasn't working.
-The second a Pikachu sticks a tail up, Xavier is running after it like a hound on the hunt.-
Arugeb: No, she was just bored.
Big Dom: <SHOULD WE INTERVENE?>
Desech: No, I think we may need to just let her get all of this aggression out.
Arugeb: She needs to learn that anger needs to be tempered, not let run wild.
Wuffles: Miss Arugeb - message for you from Mister Retek.
Arugeb: What does the beanpole want now?
Wuffles: He says that he wishes to meet Xavier some time tomorrow.
Arugeb: I'm not the one to make that call. If Dune is around, I doubt any of us could stop him from dominating her time.
Wuffles: Dune is scheduled for a meeting with the former Mt. Battle Masters in regards to the legitimacy of this facility.
Arugeb: Politics. Fun.
Desech: I say we leave Dune to that. He seems to know what to say to appease those old bastards~
Arugeb: I mean, he usually says something along the lines of, "Come and take the title back then you fucking cowards", which I gotta respect him for.
Desech: No wonder Angela took such a shining to the idea of making his goals a reality~
-Dammit, she lost them. Stupid Electric-Types, being so fast and everything.-
-Ugh, nothing's working!-
-She sits down next to the rock in the middle of the small desert portion of the Safari Zone.-
-What was she doing wrong?-
-She started tapping her head to help her concentrate.-
-Fy! Fy! Fy!-
-Hey, wait a second.-
-Since when does her finger my a "fy" sound whenever she taps her forehead?-
-She looks around, and sees a weird pink fluffball with wings and a swirlydoodle on its forehead.-
-It looks up at her and smiles.-
Xavier: AH HAH!
-She jumps up and fastballs the Safari Ball at it.-
-Except it isn't there anymore.-
-She looks over and sees the same bundle of fluff on her shoulder.-
-She falls over, body cushioned by the sand rather than the rock, thankfully. A ping sounds from her pocket.-
Peepa: Scanning. That is a Clefairy - Clefairy are known for being shy, but this one appears to be something of a prankster. Evolved from the baby form of Cleffa, Clefairy enjoy going out after the sun sets and performing dances under the moon. Exactly what each dance looks like varies from region to region!
Xavier: Ow... thank you, Peepa, but how do I catch it?!
Peepa: I'm afraid that's outside my purview, but it appears she's trying to egg you on. Perhaps calming down will lead you to the opening you're looking for?
-Xavier squints at the little - and now floating - Clefairy. She has the simple, happy smile of someone who knows they're pushing your buttons but also knows you're too polite to call them out on it.-
Xavier: Grrrrrr... fine.
-Xavier takes a few deep breaths, and holds her hand with the Safari Ball in it up.-
-The Clefairy just floats there, watching it.-
-Xavier starts pulling her arm back.-
-And then she fakes a throw.-
-The Clefairy dodges out of anywhere where the ball could have been flung in that general direction, even if the ball had left Xavier's hand.-
Xavier: ... Hm.
-The Clefairy returns to its previous location.-
Xavier: ... How about...?
-Xavier holds the ball out with her arm fully extended.-
-The Clefairy remains motionless, just watching.-
-Xavier takes a step forward.-
-The Clefairy remains motionless.-
-Slowly but surely, Xavier approaches the Clefairy, step by step.-
-The Clefairy does not move.-
-Very slowly, Xavier taps the Clefairy on the forehead with the ball.-
-With a flash and a snap, the Clefairy goes in.-
-The ball thrashes around for a split second before going still again.-
-The ball remains silent.-
-The ball finally gives a successful little *click!* denoting a successful catch.-
Xavier: Oh thank Arceus.
Peepa: Scanning. Clefairy. No currently active name. Gender: Female. Nature: Impish. Abnormalities noted: Kalosian heritage detected. Possible moves unusual to species: Misty Terrain. Heal Pulse. Fake Tears. Among others.
Xavier: Woo! I caught something!
Desech: Well I'll be. I didn't think that Clefairy would let anyone catch her.
Wuffles: Unusual movement patterns.
Arugeb: Great. Now I'm going to bed. Night, everyone.
Big Dom: <I SHALL SEE MISS XAVIER BACK TO HER QUARTERS.>
Desech: I guess Retek will be getting his meeting tomorrow a bit on the late side~
Duke Heartgrave: Well let's see... If your missing friend isn't down in the village and well... I doubt she was at the Countess' little party palace... I think the next most likely place would be the old farmlands, possibly! Though... They are a little dangerous after that meteor years back hit the place...
-He hums and leans back in the carriage, causing it to creak-
Duke Heartgrave: That said, if the farmer's daughter managed to make her way back to town recently, it probably isn't all that desolate out there. Poor girl though, probably lost all her family to that meteor, given that she only wears mourning robes now...
-He gestures at one of the gates-
Duke Heartgrave: That one leads out to the farmlands. But keep your wits about you, the whole place is covered in those horrendous crystals...
Hah! That's an Awakening!
-Rakash gets the grimoire out to be ready to identify Flamel's new Pokesona when it appears-
It's such a rush isn't it?
-Gale shrugs, makes sure the Pen is ready for ink-step (just in case this hole is legitimate) and breaks out in a run towards the elevator-
Ooh, okay yeah try those out first just because we've got them to hand but if they don't work theeeeeeen... Can we try my cool idea with the fusion reactor?
-A skull of some kind forms over Pentigan's shoulder and briefly fires a beam of obscuric light at the floor next to Whitt's chair-
That's probably a bluff, let us be honest. But I'd like to hear you elaborate on that spy point.
-He gestures at the skull-
Is the threat of lasers a sufficient motivator by the way? I could intensify go harder if that helps.
"What, are you gonna strap me to a table and move the laser up between my legs until I talk?" Whitt asks. "Come on, lasers kill, and we both know you J-Team folks are too weak sauce for that. And anyway, it doesn't matter if you believe that was a bluff or not, because you can't afford to not believe me."
"See, if I am lying to you, then by believing me you lose nothing. But if I am telling the truth, and you don't believe me, and our spy gets to do whatever they he wants with no challenge, then that could end up being the thing that destroys you."
He looks at the skull. "Nice skull, by the way. I've seen nicer, of course."
"I commend you on defeating my Bronzor," Byron says. "But the battle isn't over yet. Steelix, come out!"
He throws his pokéball. The light inside grows and grows, forming the shape of a giant metal serpent creature that towers over the small Pikachu.
"ChuChu, return," Xaster says, noting that ChuChu is still busy from the last battle. Now, come out LuLu!" He brings out his Riolu, who flexes in anticipation. This is her first official battle.
"Use Force Palm!" Xaster yells, opening the match. LuLu runs forwards, her palms beginning to glow with energy. She hits Steelix on its massive body, once twice, but it doesn't even seem to register the damage.
"Too big," Xaster mutters. "Well, we just need to keep attacking! Use Force Palm again!" LuLu unleashes a flurry of attacks against Steelix, but the giant pokémon just looks down at her with an amused expression.
"Iron Tail!" Byron shouts. Steelix's tail glows silver, and it brings it round and down towards LuLu.
"Dodge!" Xaster shouts, but LuLu ignores him and raises her arms in an attempt to block the attack. It doesn't work, and she is slammed into the ground by the force of the attack.
"LuLu!" Xaster yells. LuLu struggles to her feet, looking badly damaged but determined to stay standing.
<Rio!> she barks. <Ri, Riolu!>
Xaster blinks. "You don't want to dodge? You kind of have to, you know." LuLu shakes her head in defiance. "Seriously?"
Byron smiles. "Looks like you and your pokémon aren't on the same page. Steelix, use Dig!"
Steelix slams its head into the ground like a giant drill, and disappears beneath the earth. Xaster and LuLu watch the ground, looking for any sign of where Steelix might come up.
"You won't dodge..." Xaster mutters. "In that case, return!" He holds up the pokéball and tries to bring LuLu back, but she dodges the red light and snaps at him. "And you won't switch either? What do we do then?"
LuLu's attention snaps to the ground beneath her feet, which is beginning to rise up. An instant later, Steelix bursts out of the earth and throws her into the air.
"Now use Rock Tomb!" Byron yells. Steelix uses the rocks that were displaced by its last attack and throws them upwards towards Riolu.
"Use Metal Claw!" Xaster yells desperately. LuLu's eyes snap open, and she extends her hands. They become long steel claws, which she uses to slash the first of the boulders in half. The second one comes slightly to her left, so she digs her claws into it and uses it to steady herself in the air before letting go. She lands on the next rock and runs along it, using it as cover for the others while she readies her claws. The fourth and final boulder seems to come out of nowhere, but she reaches out and digs the claws on both hands into it.
"Now go!" Xaster yells. Still holding the rock, LuLu flips in the air and slams the boulder into Steelix's head, causing it to begin to fall backwards.
Xaster grins. "Now, take the opening and use Force Palm!" LuLu quickly closes the distance and slams her palms into the bottom of Steelix's head, before unleashing as much auric power as she can. Steelix falls to the ground, and LuLu lands a moment later. She falls to her knees from fatigue.
"Did we get it?" Xaster asks.
The question is quickly answered by Steelix rising up and once again leering down on LuLu. "You didn't," Byron confirms. "Sorry, but my Steelix's skin is too hard for attacks like that to have any effect. Use Rock Tomb again!"
Steelix summons dozens of rocks and throws them towards LuLu. She raises her arms to block the attack, but they don't hit her. Instead they surround her, trapping her in a prison of boulders.
"Try attacking now," Byron says smugly. "Steelix, use Iron Tail!" Steelix looks down into the prison it created and raises its tail. Xaster grimaces. "Nowhere to run, and LuLu wouldn't anyway. I guess we'll have to try that."
"Use Counter!" Xaster shouts. LuLu nods and raises her arms. Steelix strikes her with its tail, and she yells in pain before jumping out of the hole and striking Steelix with double the power. Steelix falls back, but catches itself.
"Use Double Edge!" Steelix surges forwards, low to the ground.
"Endure!" Xaster shouts. The attack hits LuLu the instant the syllable leaves his mouth, and he sees LuLu be pushed back several metres, her feet carving deep furrows into the earth. She looks set to keel over, but she catches herself with her hands and struggles to her feet.
Steelix meanwhile is arcing its body in pain from the recoil damage it is experiencing. LuLu is ready, and so Xaster takes the chance. "Use Force Palm once more!" LuLu rushes forwards, and strikes Steelix on the forehead before it can recover. The strike causes an explosion from the force, and when the smoke clears Steelix is lying unmoving.
"Steelix is unable to battle. Riolu wins!"
Hoops stares into the mirror. Looking at themselves now, there are things that seem like they're holding onto an old self. The multi-coloured hair. The gym uniform styled after Kecleon. They have to go.
They pick up a set of clippers. <You sure?> Kec asks.
Hoops nods. "Sure. Time for a change." They raise the clippers to their head.
-Xavier looks up at the ceiling.-
-She'd gotten back to her room last night with a whole box of clothes at her doorstep.-
-She'd never had her own clothing before, so she's just put the box in the closet for the time being until she can figure out a system to sort stuff with.-
-But she did put on her new pajamas.-
-The downside being, between her new bed and the new pajamas, she didn't want to get out of bed.-
-And then her Clefairy jumped onto her face.-
-Sputtering and screaming, Xavier falls out of bed into a facefull of carpet. Again.-
-The Clefairy looks down from the bedside and giggles.-
Xavier: Oh I know exactly what kind of name to give you, you little snot.
Peepa: I'm sorry, but that name includes offensive language. I'm not allowed to register that name.
-Xavier crosses her arms, now being forced to think of an actual name for the Clefairy that was now hanging from the ceiling fan.-
Xavier: Hmmm... You said she's from Kalos, right? The place with the big tower?
Peepa: Yes! Kalos is known for quite a few things - fashion, cuisine, Prism Tower, as well as the large variety of Pokemon native or introduced to the region!
Xavier: How about Matilda?
Peepa: ... Matilda is a [Germanic] name, not a [Frankish] one, I'm afraid.
Xavier: Oh. There's, uh, a difference there?
Peepa: I'm afraid that is a very long conversation with history teacher Kuthmal, not with me.
Xavier: Um... how about Madeleine?
-The Clefairy drops down onto the desk with stars in her eyes.-
Peepa: That is a Kalosian name. Although technically its origins are more closely tied to [Greek] or other [Mediterranean] languages...
Xavier: Well, you seem to like it.
-The Clefairy hops up onto Xavier's arms.-
Xavier: Alright then, Madeleine. Welcome to the team.
Suddenly and from out of nowhere, what appears to be a large laser bolt fires from behind all off them, shattering the glass behind them and narrowly missing everyone, including Whitt, while leaving a large burn mark on the wall just behind Whitt. The hole in particular seemed very close to Whitt, as though it narrowly missed him by a fraction of a millimeter.
From behind them is an awkward [Croatian] man who happened to be carting the laser in. He froze, knowing full well the consequences of what happens if he had actually killed someone with it. Next to him was Stewart, who did a short spit take with the tea he had just been drinking.
The Croatian man fiddled with the machine in what appeared to be an attempt to secure it. Stewart, meanwhile, grabbed a handkerchief and began cleaning out his nostrils.
Stewart: Sorry. I'll clean that up.
Beck: Well, thank Arceus that wasn't a load-bearing wall.
Edited by MasterJayAM on Sep 19th 2022 at 7:17:34 AM
Jess is here, finishing eating a cheap meal deal. Someone might notice them.
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