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If that's honestly the case, then you can. Not like I can do much to stop you anyway...
(Against my better judgement, I opt to give them clear passage to Addie, stepping aside.)
Dieter follows Georges, being able to get to Rudy and realize what's going on.
"...Wait, Goobert? If that's you, I... whatever happened, you're still a nice guy just all around, that's what I really remember about you. There were some worries about some Goodra instincts kicking in, the time you spent with Delilah and that letter you sent, when you sang the Toy Story song on stage... Just... if you don't believe us, I remember you not wanting to use that serum on anyone. You're a nice guy and even if you see that Gorebyss as your mother or something, don't you think it's messed up she can make you do stuff like that? Like, I want you to remember who you are, you're super nice and good but... please, do you really think what Phoebe's doing is a good idea?"
Yeah, I try to hide it from everyone else, but...working under Phoebe is...it's...I'm just gonna say it. It's hell. (I finally spit out. I see the Machoke nodding after I say this.)
(I'm still trying to remember these things they claim I've done as this Goobert guy...man, honestly, I kinda hope I AM this Goobert guy because he seems to lead a much better life than I do. Has a ton of friends, been through a lot of crazy but fun-sounding stuff, has a significant other...man, now that they mention it, the Dragonite does look really nice.)
If...if I'm really this Goobert guy, and if you guys can make me him again, then I think I'd really appreciate it. (I add.) I want a way out of this...
(Oh, thank goodness, I think we're getting somewhere.) Yes! Once we stop Phoebe, we'll get you to the spring and this nightmare will be over, Goobert. (I say. I move to pick him up.) Oh, um, do you mind if I carry you?
Oh, uh, no, I guess not... (He says.)
(I gingerly pick Goobert up. Hearing Dieter mention the song we sang back in Gleamscape gives me an idea. I hum a few bars from that song.) Hmm hmmm hm hmmmm hm hmm...
Hmm hmmm hm HMMM hm hmm... (He hums. He gets a puzzled expression on his face, but it doesn't matter; I know he's still in there and he's not far.)
(I smile and hold Goobert's face up to my own.) You remember the song!
(In my mind, I get a kind of cloudy vision of being in front of a bunch of people while this song is stuck in my head.)
I-I do! I think... (I say.)
Just keep thinking about what we've told you, Goobert. I'm sure you'll start remembering even more!
(Still out of sight and earshot of anyone, Phoebe watches the scene with "Rudy" below her with a bristling glare.)
My dear Rudy, you have just sealed. your. fate...! (She hisses as she takes up the other serum and closes her eyes very tightly, as if extremely angry or focusing extremely hard.)
(A large number of the remaining Clamperls are slowed down by Hikari's Sweet Scent and begin moving a lot more sluggishly, while the Thunderbolts from Stellan and Miller take care of the most of the others.)
That should take care of them! (Benji says.) I don't think I even have to do anything now, just saying!
(A few of the Clamperls still try to put up a fight, however. Benji quickly uses Supersonic on them and confuses at least a couple of them.)
(At this point, Gomer's goofy grin has become a worried frown.) No! No! She said...but...I...I was the first one she found! She can't leave me!
The first one she created is more likely. (Renata says.) Tell me, Gomer, do you remember what happened before she "found" you?
(At this point, Gomer tries to hop away, but the Shadow Strike has still got him pinned. Shelley, at this point, moves over to Gomer and gently holds him in place with her large claws.) I...I was...I was going...somewhere...but...I-I-I blacked out...but then I woke up in Phoebe's house and I've been with her ever since!
Yes...there we go!
I almost want to jump for joy but...I can't. For obvious reasons, of course. But yes, this is truly working. Even if he can't fully come back to himself, this is a start. And that in itself is a small victory. To celebrate, I want to take it a step further-thanks to our trademarked fist bump....but how, with his beak still dripping?
You've come back to the right side man. How about one of our famous fist bumps? You remember all the times we've done that, right? I've missed these and I know you do, too.
I reach my hand out and ball it into a fist to do just this, but still just as ready to yank back if anything funny happens.
Marsha looks back at the scene with Gomer.
I think we still got one more ta clean up. Ya know anythin' about 'em, Georgie?
With the fight in its waning moments Stellan looks over at Gomer and the interrogation there. He looks back at the lackeys before going to that point and giving aid as he can.
We should probably help them out. Come on.
He lumbers over just as he catches the end of Renata's question.
Do you remember why you had to be where you were? Visiting family members? Maybe your lover? Your children? Parents?
Addie cranes her neck to the left and she sees the source of the two familiar voices.
S...Suzy? Brady? That really you?
Ah....yeah. That's our names. But who are you? You look awfully familiar.
Addie! Yeh know who I am! ...Please, just stay with us. We'll get yeh outta this. Won't be long now.
Whatever you say, just sayin'.
Even through this she isn't gonna let go of Gomer.
Edited by Team42Larson on Oct 20th 2019 at 9:13:20 AM
(Letting Addie handle the two Clamperl, I go over to Gomer again to continue talking.)
So she kidnapped you, then... I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through that, but I can assure you that you're doing the right thing by telling us all this. Thank you. Is there anything else you can tell us?
(All this is really doing is reaffirming the notion in my mind that this Gorebyss needs to be stopped at all costs.)
(Looks like the fight's calming down. Still a few clams, but at least they won't be a threat for much longer. Hoping that he's going quietly, I release the Shackle on the Gorebyss but I still kept the one on the Huntail. That one I'm not entirely sure, serum or no serum.)
(Seeing as Stellan is slowly approaching the Huntail, Miller followed. When he mentioned he was "the first one," he paused, if only for a moment. He added a question to the fish, that he hoped would jog some memories.) Any names you recognize back then?
"We will be sure to return you to your previous state, friend" he assured, "Just try and stay close so we can be sure to guard you from her, there's no doubt that she sees any defectors as threats."
Hikari at this point had come close to where Gomer is and listened to his... Attempts at explanation.
"... It sounds rather suspicious that you don't recall any real details from before this woman... 'Found' you", the Aromatisse commented, not sounding accusatory, but just gently stating something.
(I find myself instinctively returning the Gallade's fist bump with my dorsal fin. Why did I use that instead of my tail? Maybe it's something about the guy I really am.)
(It's at this point that Georgés, relieved that "Rudy" is on his way to returning to normal despite everything that's happened to him (including at his own hands), looks up in relief...and sees a furious Phoebe sitting behind a rock a short distance up the incline with some sort of needle in her mouth, aimed directly at Delilah and Rudy.)
Watch out!! (He shouts, running up to them.)
What is it? (I whirl around and see another Gorebyss glaring down at us, ready to attack us with something in her mouth.)
(I gasp and quickly whirl my body around so her attack (whatever it is) won't hit Goobert. Goobert doesn't need to be any worse off than he is now.)
(But I never feel anything hit me. I turn around to see Georgés now standing between us and Phoebe with some sort of blowdart sticking out of his shoulder.)
So you finally found your backbone, dear Georgés? (She says.) How wonderful! Pity you won't be able to enjoy it for very long.
(Almost immediately after she says this, Georgés lets out a quiet groan and collapses onto the ground. Did he just-...no, he's still breathing! What did she do to him?)
Lover...? (Gomer seems to catch on to that for a moment, but then shakes his head.) No, that's silly, I've never been married...I don't have any kids, either. Must have been a good friend I was trying to see. I don't remember their name, though...
Do you even remember if you HAD a name before Phoebe found you? (Renata asks him.) Or has Gomer always been your name?
Uhh...nope! I think that's always been my name ever since Mama Phoebe found me and named me that! (Gomer says.) I wanted to be called Douglas because I thought it was a nice name, but Mama Phoebe didn't like that name. So Gomer's been my name ever since!
D-..."Douglas"? (Renata repeats, suddenly shocked. Were she biologically capable of doing so, her face would probably be going pale.) Gomer...do you suppose...THAT was your name before Phoebe found you?
(Gomer freezes again.) Uh...I mean...
(Just then, there's a commotion from where Delilah and the others are interrogating the Gorebyss.) What was that?? (Gomer says quickly, seeming to be attempting to bring the subject off of him.)
He does remember the fistbump. That's even more progress. Now, onto the matters of Gomer—Gomer—what the hell was that? In the blink of a god damned eye, Georges has been shot with something, and another Gorebyss seems to have been the one to have shot at him. Feeling a sense of aggression building within I yell over to them....are they Phoebe?
What have you done to him? Answer now, or you're in for a world of hell.
Uh...fellas, is dat...?
Stellan cranes his body around to see commotion involving Rudy and Georges suddenly on the ground. Considering he's faced with either continuing to help interrogate Gomer or investigate this new happening he starts moving as fast as he can to meet the commotion. The voice, too....it's her voice. He knows it. Before getting too far he looks back at the lackeys before moving ahead.
You guys, come with me. That voice I just heard...it had to be her. But what did she just do to that guy?
Addie also looks over at the commotion. But she isn't backing down, no way in hell she isn't. She firmly places her front right paw back onto Gomer's tail after relaxing her grip a bit and gets right back into the questioning.
Oi! No puttin' the topic away from yeh. Yer name...was. It. Douglas. Before. She. Found. You?
Edited by Team42Larson on Oct 20th 2019 at 11:14:10 AM
(I'm... honestly not sure what the commotion with those up ahead is, but there's more immediate concerns to deal with, unfortunately.)
Adding onto what she said, if that really was your name, then wouldn't renaming you forcibly be a sign that she sees you as something less than yourself?
Noriaki couldn't help but smile with relief as he saw Goobert return Marlon's fist bump, but he recoiled back in fear as several things just happened at once in front of him. He seemed frozen in shock as he watched Georges fall, but he quickly regathered his poise and drew an arrow back.
"Do not move!" he called to the attacker who his drawn arrow was pointed at.
Hikari flinched and froze with fear at the noise as well. She looked to where the noise came from, also hearing Noriaki yell.
"Seems we have a situation..." the Aromatisse commented, unsure if she should stay as she watched Stellan rush ahead.
I saw the Machoke fall onto the ground.
(Must have been Phoebe. When she starts to attack us, It'll have the Stealth Rocks chip at her health. Though only to wound.)
Noticing that Noraki seems to be ready to engage the new Gorebyss, I supply my defenses with a harder coating of iron.
(When the Gorebyss started to recognize himself, I lowered my guard. Thank god. Yet as soon as I thought this fight is over, she appeared. A serum, driven by hate, struck one of us. Namely that Machoke from earlier. I heard a voice at the back of my head, whispers. Unsheathing a Leaf Blade, I spoke to her, trying not to lash out at her.) So you decided to show your face.
(Miller, discombobulated for a moment of the nearby commotion, followed Stellan towards it. Every nerve of his practically stood on end as they approach her.)
Dieter just is startled as things go from Rudy beginning to remember things to Georges diving in front.
They start charging up a Psybeam.
"...What did you do and am I gonna need to hurt you for it?"
"I dunno, but it doesn't look good." Daniels says as he makes his way over with Stellan unsure if this is really going to turn out okay.
(It finally dawns on me what happened after I look back and forth between Phoebe and the Machoke.) Phoebe was telling me she'd turn me into a Wishiwashi if I failed her. I guess that's what she was trying to do right then...
(I'm a little puzzled why the Machoke would go from evolving me against my will to preventing me from being attacked with one of Phoebe's serums.)
(Sure enough, Georgés begins to shrink until he has disappeared into his tattered tuxedo, leaving a small lump wriggling around underneath it. Marsha yanks the tuxedo away to reveal a Wishiwashi flopping around on the hard ground.)
Someone assist me, please! (Georgés gasps.)
Yeow! Goobert wasn't kiddin'! (Marsha yelps, grabbing Georgés and picking him up.)
(I have to hold Goobert underneath my arm so I don't accidentally strangle him as my nubby fists tighten up in anger at what she was planning to do to poor Goobert just for not cooperating with him.)
I'm going to fffffffffudgin' pulverize her!! (I stomp my foot on the ground. It's taking every ounce of my being not to fly up there and follow through with that.)
(Still tucked under Stellan's arm, Cortez takes one look at Phoebe looking down at everyone from above and begins squirming to get loose.) THERE SHE IS! LET ME AT HER! LET ME AT HER! SHE'S GONNA PAY FOR RUININ' JUDY'S TOWN!!
Just one second... (Phoebe ducks down behind the rock for a about two seconds and then clumsily comes back up without holding anything.) There! Now, how are you all today?
Oh, just fine, 'side from bein' stuck on an island some nut is trying to blow up and finding our best friends stuck working for the nut. Yeahs, we're doin' just peachy. (Marsha says.)
(Polly likewise hears Phoebe and stomps over to where everyone else is staring up at her.) Lookit whatcha've done to my two poor siblin's! They're probably going t' be scarred for life after this! Do yeh have no humanity at all? (She barks, holding Cree and Radar out in front of herself.)
(Phoebe seems like she is about to say something else when she notices Stellan among the crowd coming after her.) Stellan? You're here, too? (She says, sounding surprised.)
(She's so fixated on the crowd immediately beneath her that she isn't currently aware of Gomer being interrogated further away.)
(Gomer seems more and more overwhelmed by everything being asked of him.)
(Renata, meanwhile, wishes that the Marowak she and Delilah met in Gleamscape who helped Renata realize that Delilah had changed species was here right now. Or perhaps the Delphox who helped Sunny realize who among the Clamperls were her friends. All of these would be easy solutions to figuring out his true identity...not to mention confirming if the hunch she has is correct.)
(...Hang on...she looks at Benji.) Benji, could you take the form of a Psychic-type Pokémon and try to read his mind?
Oh, of course! That'd probably get us somewhere, just saying! (Benji nods.)
(He shifts into his Marlon-lookalike form and goes over to Gomer, still being held in Shelley's lap. Gomer looks nervous (as does Shelley). Gomer continues to squirm around, but Benji is able to get a grip on Gomer's head and tries to get a reading.)
(Most of what Benji sees is a chaotic mess of colors and static that vaguely resembles place and Pokémon, with the exception of Gomer's memories of being Phoebe's lackey.)
("Dang, there hasta be somethin' clear somewher-wait!")
(Benji comes across an outlying memory of a dream Gomer seems to have had before. In it, a Salamence is flying through a dreamscape sky full of bouncy clouds.)
("This his true form or somethin'?")
(After further investigation, some clouds seem to take the shape of a dragon. It goes up to who Benji continues to guess is Gomer. Benji looks closely and discovers something about this cloud dragon: its eyes and face looks exactly like Renata's, and a moment later it calls out to Gomer:)
Dooooooogie.... (The apparition says...in Renata's voice, patting Gomer with a Garchomp's claw. Gomer chuckles and begins following the dragon that resembles Renata, only for him to lose her and begin frantically calling for her as the clouds darken, followed by a storm cloud resembling Phoebe striking him with lightning and turning him back into a Huntail, leaving him to helplessly fall screaming back to earth.)
Uh...think I've got some answers. (Benji says, letting go of Gomer's head.)
What did you find out? (Renata asks.)
Well...I ended up comin' across a dream...or nightmare he had. (Benji says.)
You did? Which one? (Gomer asks, briefly ceasing his struggling against Shelley.)
One where you were a Salamence and you met a Garchomp made of clouds that looked exactly like Renata, there. (He says to Gomer.) She called you "Doogie", but I bet what it REALLY was that she was saying was "Dougie", which I bet is short for Douglas, just saying.
Hey, Mama Phoebe told me to stop having dreams like that one...but I kinda liked that one. It was fun being a Salamence! (Gomer says.)
(Renata jaw drops as her suspicions are proven correct and she looks at Gomer.) ...Oh my soul... (She gasps, wheeling up to him.)
....she really just do that? The poor man has just been turned into a Wishiwashi...all for what? Because he was trying to save Goobert from the same fate? That almost makes my blood boil. If I didn't have half the sense about me I'd want to rip her fucking throat out. In a strange sense I still want to. Calm down, calm down Marlon...yes. Just breathe. Think relaxing thoughts. Marsha always does make me feel at my most relaxed...speaking of, right, he just got turned into a Wishiwashi. We need to protect him.
Marsha! Put him in my scarf, I'll keep him safe in it.
I crane my head and look back up the hill.
Now for you. You really wanna hide behind your magic and force an innocent man into betraying his friends and terrorize scores of innocents? Well, that time is about up. It's time you fought us straight out.
Stellan releases the struggling Tyrunt, but motions for the lackeys to keep a close eye as he tries to close in just a bit more to his old friend.
That's right, it's me, Stellan. I let myself believe this lie that you assimilated my old man into your clan for years...and it caused me to abandon you when you needed me most. Please, I just want you to know I'm sorry for all of that. You gotta stand down, give this all up. Would your grandpa have ever gone to this level of insanity? I know you're in there, the wide eyed girl you once were, the—the one I spent countless days on the beach in Gleamscape with, just building sandcastles.
Meanwhile, as the interrogation of Gomer continues on, the Houndoom keeps pat as the revelation occurs.
Renata...is that really...that really yer husband? I always kinda wondered what happened t'the guy..
Edited by Team42Larson on Oct 22nd 2019 at 6:42:59 AM
(For this to happen... the thought of something like that fills me with dread, yet I already know it's happened and that all I can do is try to explain.)
...Maybe it wasn't a dream, Gomer. Maybe that was who you actually were, your current state being more like a living nightmare than anything. What I'm saying is, you should embrace your dreams and come with us. We can help you achieve that dream, make it your reality once more.
"Oh, today is a fine day, I suppose" said Noriaki, still cautiously pointing his arrow that has now begun to glow, "Reunited with familiar faces, helping people realize their independence... It is just too bad we cannot experience the local culture, everyone seems on edge. It probably has something to do with the madwoman that's been leaving destruction in her wake and intends to destroy the very island itself."
Hikari gazed up at Phoebe and shuddered. There was a mixture of fear and anger in her face.
(The whispers start to grow louder and louder, my own voice rang out. As I glared at her, my vision grew darker. My pulse raced, my body twitched, if only for a little bit. It wants out. I know I've come to terms with it, but deep within, the instinct wants out like a beast that smelled blood.)
( She came to us, why not kill her and be done with it? But why? Why is she risking herself to punish one of her own? Who cares? We came here to stop her, didn't we? And nothing stops her better than her head ripped from her neck. )
(A faint purple aura enveloped me, but only for a moment. Barely holding it back, I pointed my blade towards her, but the blade is unsteady.) Thank you for saving us the trouble of chasing you. And me? I'm doing just wonderful...
(At the last bit, a grin of pure malice involuntarily formed from my beak.)
(Miller kept his eye on Phoebe, the air growing heavier by the second. There's no telling what will happen now. He secretly kept a Dragon Pulse in check for any sudden moves. Yet the feeling of dread looms around him, even if he didn't immediately show it.)
It seems the others don't like her much either, especially that turn that Machoke into a Wishiwashi. Clenching my hand into fist, I try not to let my rage erupt much like the volcano.
(Gah! Somethin' must be wring with the Archer Owl Pokemon. That smile screams 'EVIL'.)
I wait to see if/when a fight breaks out, not saying anything yet.
Dieter was about to offer something to help the now Wishiwashi, but seems like Marlon had it covered with the scarf.
"How am I doing? On top of the other stuff you've done, I'm kinda annoyed seeing what you do to your 'children' when they don't fall in line."
(After being placed there by Marsha, Georgés simply sits in Marlon's scarf, trying to keep calm.)
(Phoebe stares blankly at Stellan for a moment.) Stellan, I'm so close to achieving something huge like I had always wanted and so many Pokémon have let me down already! Let me have this!
(Without waiting for Stellen to respond, she turns her attention toward the others, many of whom are gearing up to attack her (or, in Cortez's case, already trying to run up to her; Marsha quickly grabs him).)
That's just the only way they'll learn when they don't listen to me! (She says to Dieter. She notices all of the angry Pokémon prepared to attack her.) So you all want to teach ME a lesson now, hm? Well then, have at you!
(She then sits there as if waiting for someone to either rush up to her or fire off an attack. All of this time she has had the same blank stare as before.)
(She's just sitting there...waiting for us...) Someone hold Goobert, I'm going up there. (I say, holding Goobert out to Dieter.)
Hey! Wait, I bet she's got some sorta trap between us 'n her! (Marsha says.)
I didn't see her put anything out there when she was leaving, though. (Goobert says.)
Then what are we waiting for? (I insist. I'm ready to teach this nasty witch a lesson she'll never forget.)
....Whoa! (Benji says, speaking in his natural voice.)
(Gomer(?) looks at Igni, then looks at Renata.) I...uh...
Douglas...please...you know deep down that you don't want any of this, that Phoebe has always been using you to serve her own purposes, and that you want to be back home again. (Renata says.) We can make you the Salamence who loved to fight in tournaments alongside me and tell all of those funny jokes to Della that you once were.
(Gomer looks back and forth between Renata, who sits there pleading with him with those sad eyes that have haunted him for so long, and Phoebe, who sits there taunting everyone else. Going with the Garchomp seems like the better option given all of the nice things he's heard about his apparent former life.)
(Finally, he looks up at Shelley.) Put me up there. (He says, motioning to Renata with the end of his tail.)
(Shelley uneasily looks up at Renata for a moment, then gets up and gently places Gomer on her lap.)
(Gomer stares at Renata with uncertain eyes. Now that he's up close to her, he can see without a doubt that Renata's face and the face of the cloud dragon from his dreams are completely identical, along with her voice.)
You... (He mutters.) You...you ARE the cloud dragon! And that means Mama Phoebe...she...I...
(Gomer(?) puts the puzzle pieces together his his muddled-up mind (between how familiar Renata looks to him, Phoebe's insistence that he isn't someone named Douglas, and her discouraging his dreams of being a Salamence) and quickly realizes that everything that these Pokémon have been telling him have indeed been true and that everything Phoebe has ever told him was a lie. He degenerates into a blubbering mess and cries into Renata's chest.)
I wanna go back! (He bawls.) I wanna go back to being the real me...!
Shh...don't worry, Doug. We'll get you to the spring and back to your normal self. I promise... (Renata says, hugging the Huntail.)
Listen, dude, if you need to come up for a breath, just tap my neck, alright?
I say to Georges, as I turn to analyze the situation closer, and closer, and closer. That blank stare she has..is not normal. The blank stare, and how she seems to want to have someone send an attack at her, willing to get hit and not....wait. Is this a substitute? Someome normal would be looking at all sides of them in a situation like this and she isn't. There's only one way to feel absolutely certain.
My eyes glow into their pink-purple hue as I lift my right arm (keeping the crutch close to my body) and send a wave of Psyshock at Phoebe, wondering if my theory will get confirmed.
Phoebe, this—have you ever considered how you're letting me down?! I protected you for all those years as we grew up from all the bullies, growing close to you as I did...and this is the result? Phoebe, I'm the only friend that you didn't have to manufacture—what the hell are you doing, Gallade?!
He asks me, incredulously, as he sees me send out the Psyshock.
What am I doing? First off, the name's Marlon. Second, look a little closer. That blank stare isn't natural, the willingness to take these attacks....don't believe me? Send out your own attacks, guys. I'm well-near certain that this isn't her, but a substitute she planted to waste our time. She also wouldn't willingly face us now, not when she could be at the top of this thing ready to blow us all to hell.
Stellan looks back at the lackeys, giving them a look of "is this guy crazy?!" I hop to the side to give clear line-of-sight to the others to let them send in their own attacks.
Oh, Arceus...I—I promise we'll get yeh back t'normal as soon as we can, sir. But first we gotta get stop Phoebe. Is tha' her now? I dunno if that Gallade is right in what he's sayin', but I think he's on to somethin'.
Edited by Team42Larson on Oct 23rd 2019 at 10:35:22 AM
(I was worried this was the case, but... nothing we can do about it yet. I do overhear the other ongoing conversation, though, at least a bit of it, before Addie's response overtakes it.)
I'll just... listen to them on that. There's probably more stuff to deal with ahead, anyway. Although...
(A couple thoughts cross my mind... what if simply blowing up the island isn't the plan? What if it's something even worse than that? I'm going to keep this in mind to myself, but I just hope it isn't anything close to true, even if the alternative isn't much better...)
(Almost as soon as it came, Marlon's words snapped me out of my trance, the whispers growing quieter and that smile fading into a grimace. A... substitute? Maybe that's why she's wasting her time with us, because it's not actually her! Upon seeing "her" out on the open, I put the blade back and fired off an arrow directly at "her" body.)
(Miller kept his peace as his boss had his words with Phoebe. That is, until the Gallade's interference had prompted him to choose his next move. After a few moments, he fired off a thunderbolt at the Gorebyss.)
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