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The Road to Port Barley, or, "Dude, We're Gettin' the Band Back Together!"
Living Arrow
post Jan 28 2014, 04:34 PM
Post #21


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PANE: Darryn Kellor



Lyla looked up quickly from her spot in the waiting area, polishing the shell of her newly acquired teammate – Tama the Togepi. He giggled with delight as the cloth squeaked back and forth along his tummy while the gril holding him waited irritably for her cousin to come down from the dormitories. She didn’t have to wait long. A flame-haired boy with a red face stomped down from upstairs to be taken aside by Nurse Joy where they talked together in heated, yet hushed, tones. He was rapidly followed by an equally red-faced Co-Ordinator. Lyla started to stand.

<I’m going out.> Darryn’s voice interrupted her thoughts as he strode across the foyer. <Call me if Tuesday comes out of her room.>

Lyla plonked back down on the sofa with a pout. Her cousin was obviously hurting and yet… he wasn’t hurting… Shouldn’t he be crying? Shouldn’t he be demanding for someone to explain why good people like Jaima and Meiko had to die?! Lyla resumed her polishing. Whatever Darryn was up to, he still owed her an apology… but she’d look out for Tuesday while he was away, all the same.

*****


“This is it.” Darryn whispered, his collected Pokemon standing around him with downcast eyes. The tarmac of the road had been torn up in thick gouges and blackened by fire. Grass and shrubs on the verge of the road had been burnt to ashes, leaving straggly black fingers reaching limply skyward from the exposed soil around the crash site. Despite the obvious recent fire and damage to the ground from the overturned truck, the clean up crew had done well and the area had been returned to a state suitable for the roadworkers to come back to finish resurfacing the damage that had been caused. That would be a couple of days yet, meaning that the site was subjet to detour and the Co-Ordinator was left some privacy in the place where his friends had died.

Darryn lowered the flowers to the ground amid a blackened swathe of once-grass and stepped back with a heavy sigh.

“I miss you, guys.” He said to the open air, his Pokemon holding themselves together for his benefit although tears did stain the eyes of a few. “I know we haven’t seen each other for a while… but I really really miss you…”

Romeo’s golden head rubbed against Darryn’s leg with sympathy, although his nose was dripping tears freely in grief for his lost friends. The Jolteon had loved spending time with the super-awesome Fang and would miss the way he shone so brightly with his sheer awesomeness. Darryn fondled his ears softly.

“We all miss you.”

Darryn stared out across the site, the scene replaying the way he had imagined it when Joy had explained how his friend had died. How they had sacrificed themselves… For what? Everyone involved in the crash had died, it turned out. Even the driver of the truck who Jaima had dragged to relative safety had later died from his wounds in hospital. Even the young girl that had been cradled in Meiko’s arms when the tanker exploded. Even the Linoone that had watched in terror from the side of the road. Nothing had been spared.

“I’ll look after her, y’know?” Darryn told the air once more. “She’s mad at me… I get it… I hated myself afterwards… But I had to… It was the only way… And I’d do it again.” The admission made his gut twist violently. “I’d do it a thousand more times, too. Because… because it’s easier to hate myself than know that I didn’t do what I could to keep any of us safe… You, Jaima… You taught me how to love my Pokemon as more than just Pokemon. And you made me see just how much I cared about the people around me, even though it was before I got this… disability. You’re my best friend and I’m not going to let Tuesday get into trouble – you can count on that.” He paused for a moment. “I always looked up to you, y’know? Ever since we battled back in Gigarte Park, it’s been clear you are a better trainer than me and, I won’t lie, it’s been hard trying to catch up… I suppose we’ll never get that rematch.”

“And Meiko.” Darryn sighed, shaking his head at the ground. “I kept your secret but I guess that doesn’t matter anymore. You were like a second sister to me – I never got to tell you that properly, did I? - and you showed me how to be strong, for myself and for those I love. I won’t forget it.”

A red shape moved at the edge of Darryn’s vision. Lady skirted the crash site slowly, her wide-staring eyes flicking back and forth as though the events were still happening, unravelling before her eyes. Then, quite unpredictably, she collapsed.

*****


“No!” Lady screamed into the Plane of Vul, watching Mercury and Nightwish through the window in space once more. The two flickered from side to side like an old movie that had been paused for too long. Nothing had changed since she last saw them and that only meant one thing.

“A Death Echo!?” Lady’s tears on the Plane were just as real as in the waking world.

“It would seem so.” Belladonna’s shadow cast itself over the window but the Midnight Vulpix didn’t show herself physically. Maybe she couldn’t at such a distance? It didn’t matter, anyway. “You must really want us to stop punishing you if you cry the first time your pathetic escape plan gets a bump.”

“She was my friend, you bitch!” Lady screamed at the air, her naked body trembling with fury. “Don’t you dare assume these tears are for any other reason!!!”

There was an apprehensive flicker of the shadow before Belldona’s voice came again.

“The punishment still stands… but grieve in peace, Camellia.” The black fox’s words were sighed with regret, her shadow retreating swiftly but not without leaving something beihd. A robe of soft fur wrapped itself around Lady’s quivering shoulders.

Pulling the meagre blanket tightly around her, the human projection of Camellia pressed herself to the window in space, weeping uncontrollably as the flickering form of the blue-haired girl danced back and forth before her eyes. The first and only Pokemon she had ever called her friend had died and, for as long as the Death Echo remained, she had no intention of leaving her side.


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jan 28 2014, 08:01 PM
Post #22


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Tuesday's Pack



He knew what it was like to lose someone you loved.

It left a wound behind that burned cold and ached until, like frostbite, it numbed and fell away. It no longer festered, but nor did it ever fully heal.

Odysseus had such a wound. The loss of his wife had long since broken away and scarred closed, but the loss of his daughter ached still. It would until he knew what had become of her, and only then would he be able to begin the process of healing.

The wounds that scoured Tuesday's heart would not heal easily. They would hurt for a while, and the loss, which had been sudden, would not allow her to acclimate easily. But it would come in time. Odysseus knew that. He knew she would heal in time. He wished he could easily convey this knowledge to her, that he could offer her the comfort that she so desperately needed. But the lass would not accept his comfort. She had pushed them all away as each of them had tried to offer comfort, or in some cases, ask for it.

This, though, was a start.

Odysseus was crouched against the wall in the corner, forepaws dangling over his knees as he watched the lass cry an ocean into the blankets that covered the bed. They had all been concerned by her lack of emotion, but Zorro most of all had been distraught. Odysseus knew it hadn't merely been because of her lack of emotion, but also the lack of communication, and the fact that he was hurting. Zorro, too, had lost someone he had considered a brother.

Odysseus sighed. This would not be an easy journey.

"Ody," Tuesday whispered, and Odysseus slipped up on the bed to offer what comfort he could.

But it was a necessary one.


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Living Arrow
post Jan 29 2014, 01:39 PM
Post #23


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PANE: Darryn Kellor



Darryn watched through the window to the treatment room as the Chansey in residence continued her resolute watch over the Vulpix laid on the table. Periodically, her palms would glow with a soft golden light while held out over the fox but there wasn’t any change, at least not as far as Darryn could see. Lady’s chest rose and fell with the rhythm of sleep but nothing, not even drugs, could wake her. He suspected her mind was elsewhere, maybe on the Plane of Vul where she had once taken him, but there was no way to know – not without a Psychic-type to check it out for him.

“How is she?” Lyla’s voice was soft, her presence seeming to appear at Darryn’s side. He spared her a brief glance. How long had she stood there? Heck, how long had he stood there?

“No change, I guess.” Darryn sighed. “Look, I’m sorry about before.” He closed his eyes, silent tears forming behind them.

“I know.” Lyla’s hand found Darryn’s at his side and her fingers expertly interlocked with his. “Forget about it – I have.”

“Thanks, Ly.” Darryn sniffed, his eyes opening and releasing the flood that they had been holding back. His cousin hugged him awkwardly from the side. “I really do just want to help her, y’know?”

“And you will.” Lyla whispered to him tenderly. “But she needs to help herself first. And later, when she lets you in, you’ll help her just by being there.”

“How’d you get so smart?”

“It’s a gift.” Lyla shrugged with a smile, taking Darryn by the hand once more and guiding him away from the treatment room. “C’mon, let’s go get something to drink.” They had taken only a few steps before Darryn stopped at another window.

“Who’s that Pokemon?” He wondered outloud as he peered into the ward where small beds were arranged in a line, Pokemon recovering from their treatments in peace. A purple-grey furry lump lay on its back, bloodshot eyes staring vacantly at the ceiling. Its ears were rolled over on top of its head but the hair on its cheeks were clearly singed black.

“Hmm?” Lyla looked over his shoulder. “Oh, I asked Joy earlier about that one. It’s called Espurr – a Pokemon from the Kalos region. Turns out it was in the same accident as…” her voice broke for a second as she shot a careful glance at her cousin, “it was in the same accident… Belonged to one of the victims from one of the cars but there’s no direct relative to forward her onto… Joy said tame Pokemon in situations like these are rehomed rather than sent back to the wild and-“

“I’ll take her.” Darryn said quickly. His eyes had dried up while he stared through the window and now all they saw was a last reminder of his friends’ bravery. Her emotions were absolutely shot and her Emotaglow throbbed heavily with despair. “I’ll take her.”


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jan 29 2014, 10:26 PM
Post #24


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Tuesday's Pack



Tuesday washed her face clean of tears with the damp cloth. She sniffled a little and smeared her hand across the mirror, paving a path through the steamed glass that she could see her own reflection in. Her dripping hair hung limply, leaking water down her bare back and soaking the edge of the towel where it was wrapped around her torso. Her eyes were red-rimmed despite the hot shower, and while her cheeks were rosy, her face was pale. She looked at her own bloodshot eyes.

She hadn't cried that much in... ever.

A sound like a too-soft knock came at the door. "You okay, Tue-chan?"

Tuesday sighed and began drying her hair with another towel.

Odysseus was in the bedroom still, waiting patiently. Tuesday had dug his pokeball out from where it had rolled beneath the bed when Reilly had thrown it into the room. She needed to remember to thank him later for that. She had been mad, but Odysseus' company had been welcome, once it had all really hit her. She wasn't sure she would have been able to stand being alone.

Tuesday pulled on her clothes quickly. Someone, probably a nurse, had laundered her clothing, which was good, because she only had two outfits and one was a set of pajamas. She still hadn't gotten around to replacing all of the items she had lost after the incident with the Fae-that-were-not.

She ran a brush over her hair quickly, the curls already springing up as they dried, framing her face and rolling down her back. She didn't bother pulling her hair up. She just tossed her towels on the bathroom floor and headed back into her room to tug on her sneakers.

Odysseus was leaning against the wall, and he watched as she came in. The floatzel was a quiet, guarding presence, and she was glad to have him. He had lain with her the entire day, cuddled up against her as she cried. Tuesday didn't know how long she had slept or, really, what time it was, since she had thrown the clock at Reilly's head.

She winced. He hadn't deserved that.

Pulling her sweatshirt over her head, Tuesday could feel Odysseus at her back as the floatzel moved to keep pace with her when she grabbed the door handle. She'd spent long enough in the bedroom. She pulled open the door and stepped outside.

Jaima stepped out of his room across the hall at the same time and stopped, startled, at the same time she did. He grinned as he shut the door behind him.

"Finally decided to wake up?"

Tuesday didn't say anything, merely stood in the open doorway and stared at him.

"So who won the argument between you and Meiko? Are we going to the outlets?"

Tuesday lowered her eyes from Jaima's face and didn't say anything. Quietly, she pulled the door closed behind her and ran her fingers lightly over Odysseus' smooth scalp. When she turned around to continue down the hallway, she was alone but for the floatzel.

The pokemon center was quiet, and when Tuesday looked into the lobby, she could see that their breakfast buffet was closed. Whatever time it was, morning had passed. She glanced around briefly and then slipped through the doors and outside, Odysseus following close behind.

The air was warmer than she had expected, and the sun was bright. She blinked against the sharp rays and kept her head down as she headed out around the pokemon center, to the space at the back where few windows were open to. She shuffled down a small hill until the ground evened out, grass trimmed short.

Jaima stood waiting for her. He flashed her a smile.

"Did you want to spar a little this morning, Tuesy?"

There was a shadow behind Jaima that caught her attention and made her swallow. Shadow cocked his head at her as he stepped out beside his trainer, expression that same fierceness, but eyes kind.

Tuesday turned her back on both of them. She felt tears prick in her eyes as she fell into her kattas, the movements that Jaima had taught her. Every motion was well-known by now, the entire stream of movements so sharp in her mind she didn't need to think about it. Were things different, Jaima might have taught her something new soon, but that wouldn't happen anymore.

She knew they were gone. She'd known they were gone since the accident occurred. It had hurt so much, though, so, so much, that she hadn't been able to bring herself to let go. She'd clung to them, begging for them to come back, begging for something to make it all right. She'd been hoping for a miracle - something to fix what had all gone so very wrong.

No miracle had come, and her friends hadn't returned. Not really. Even as she'd held conversations with them in her room, Tuesday had known that Jaima and Meiko weren't really there. A part of her had known. It was so easy to pretend, though. It hurt a little less if she just ignored the way things really were and went on like they hadn't changed.

Reilly had been content to let her be.

No. No, not content. He simply hadn't known what to do. The boy had loyally remained with her, only leaving for the brief moments it required to use the restroom and shower. He'd taken meals in the room with her, fallen asleep on the opposite bed. He'd been there when she woke shrieking from nightmares, a moment before she fell back into that emotionless world where everything was fine, as long as she was safe in her mind.

She'd known it couldn't last. She'd known that Darryn was coming. She still wasn't sure how she knew that he had arrived when he had, but somehow she'd known. Even before he tried to... fix her head, the illusion had begun to fade. Jaima and Meiko had disappeared back into the realm of dreams where they had come from, and Tuesday was left bereft their comforting presence, bereft her illusions.

Predictably, she hadn't reacted well.

"Smooth motions, Tuesy. You'll hurt your knees doing that."

Tuesday's ferocious kicking settled. Her knee did ache a bit where her joints had been pushed against their limit. She glanced behind her.

Shadow and Jaima weren't there. She knew they wouldn't be. The illusions caught her by surprise sometimes, but she could usually tell when they faded out. Sometimes she saw them, but sometimes she only heard their voices. Almost like she was remembering what they would have said in this instance or that.

It was comforting in a way, but it also hurt. Every time she heard their voices or saw them, she remembered they weren't really there, and the pain of their loss hit her again. Her stomach was in a perpetual state of turmoil. She didn't know what to do.

Part of her was tempted to take Darryn up on her offer, but she thought she would regret it, if she did. She didn't want to lose Jaima or Meiko any more than she already had, and letting Darryn make her forget... it would be like tossing them away. Like saying that they didn't matter.

And they did. They mattered so much.

That was why it hurt so bad, now that they were gone.

Tuesday wiped her face with the too-long sleeve of her sweatshirt. She sniffled against the fabric, her nose dripping.

"It'll be all right, Tuesy. You'll see."

Tuesday sighed and didn't look up at Jaima's face. It would just remind her that she couldn't hug him, and she didn't think she could take the rejection, even from a ghost.

She turned around and headed back inside. She didn't know what she was going to do, but there was no comfort to be had in the presence of the dead. She needed the living, and those who understood.

She would look for Darryn. He was hurting, too. She wasn't sure how she knew, but she did.

And maybe he'd even give her a hug, if she asked. Maybe he could use one, too.


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Living Arrow
post Feb 1 2014, 04:15 PM
Post #25


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PANE: Darryn Kellor



“Are you sure about this?” Darryn asked Lyla as she tapped away on the PC screen. He hovered over her shoulder with a frown on his face, doubt an obvious decoration on his brow. His cousin waved a hand irritably in his direction.

“It’s, like, what I want to do.” Lyla confirmed, pulling out the next Pokeball and putting it into the transporter. “The more I think about it, the more I want to be a Fairy-type Trainer! I don’t know what it is – they’re just so… so… amazing! I used to hate battling but somehow they make me like it… There’s no other way to say it! Fairy-types somehow make me want to get better at battling and Breeding is too much of a full-time thing to keep going while I take on this new challenge.”

“And the Breeding Center is OK with this?” Darryn probed a little further. Lyla pouted.

“Why are you being such a downer?”

“I’m not!” Darryn held up his hands, “I just want you to be absolutely sure that this is the right move for you – I think it’s great that you’ve found something that you love, honestly!”

“Mmm,” Lyla’s grunt suggested that she wasn’t totally convinced but she continued depositing her Pokemon, anyway. “The Center owners are OK with it. I mean, they still want me to go get Ichigo to evolve when we find a Moon Stone but after that my contract with them will be over. Then… well, then I guess I’m a proper Trainer and all!”

Darryn really didn’t know what to say. Lyla had flipped 180 in the past week or so and the only thing that had happened was…

*She nearly died?*

“Well, then that’s great.” Darryn nodded as Kaki, Momo, Anzu and Ichigo all got put back in storage at the lab in Pallet Town. After he had made changes with his own active party of Pokemon, Darryn had offered up some space that Professor Oak had set aside for the Co-Ordinator’s storage system - it was far bigger than he actually needed so it didn’t make sense for Lyla to set up another account of her own once her collection in care at the Mauville breeding center was made homeless with her resignation. “Just please don’t say anything like ‘life’s too short’, ‘kay?”

“Mmm.” Lyla’s response this time was weaker and with a face of worry.

“We’ll be OK, Ly.” Darryn reassured her with a hand to her shoulder. “And so will Tuesday. It’ll take a little time but we really will be OK.”

“But,” Lyla turned her face to stare into his with tears brimming in her eyes, “but what if we’re not? I’m not trying to be negative or anything but things aren’t the same for you, Darryn. Your best friend, the leader of your group, is gone. Wasn’t he the one who made sure everyone was alright when bad thigns happened? Didn’t he save you all from horrible situations? What if… what if…”

“I won’t let anything happen to you, Ly.” Darryn gripped her other shoulder, too. “What happened in the forest and and what happened at the Grand Invitational were-“

“Horrible.” Lyla filled in for him quickly. “It was horrible, Darryn! I nearly died at the Invitational, too – a few more seconds and who knows what would have happened?”

Darryn inwardly cringed for his cousin. A ghostly grass-type Pokemon had stuffed her every airways with its hairlike vines, feeding on her suffering as life slowly was drained from her. Although he wanted Lyla to move on from the experience there wasn’t any way to get over such trauma without him… intervening.

“Ly, I know its extreme but sometimes that’s what being a Trainer is like…” Darryn let his eyes cast downwards weakly. “If you are serious about becoming a Fairy-type trainer then you should be prepared for difficult times.” He eyes came up again. “But I’m here for you. Just like Jaima was there for me – we’ll look out for each other as best we can and I promise I won’t let thing like that happen to you ever again.”

There was a long silence-filled moment while the cousins just stared at each other in their awkward embrace. It was eventually broken by Lyla who stood up, brandishing two Pokeballs.

“OK,” she said with a slow smile, “and I’ll do the same for you, now that I have some badass Fairies on my team!”

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Lyla’s Party (click to show)


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Feb 12 2014, 04:48 PM
Post #26


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Tuesday's Pack



Odysseus stayed close behind Tuesday as she made her way back into the pokemon center, eyes scanning the area for her friend. Odysseus glanced around himself, looking for the boy, Darryn and his friend, as well as the other boy, Reilly. The latter had made himself scarce of late, however, ever since Darryn had returned, and Odysseus would admit to being concerned about what would happen when the lass and her companions left to head back on the road. It was certainly moving toward that point, and despite the grief that she still suffered, he knew they wouldn't be remaining here for long. It didn't seem the way of these humans to remain in one place for long, and how strange. If Elizabeth hadn't been lost and he caught, they would have made their home somewhere stationary. They would have lived a good life in a place they could call home.

Did these humans move around so much because they didn't feel anywhere was home? If that was the case, he pitied them for not being able to find what came so very natural to pokemon.

A flash of red to his left caught Odysseus' attention and he turned to see Reilly standing off to the side of the room, arms crossed over his chest as he leaned against the wall. Odysseus recognized the post as one he himself used quiet frequently. Head tucked down, but eyes taking in everything.

Or, in the boy's case, not everything. Mostly just Tuesday.

All of them felt somewhat indebted to the boy for what he had done for the lass. They were all hurting from the loss of Jaima, Meiko, and their pokemon, but the girl had been hit especially hard. Odysseus suspected it was because she was so young, and most likely unaccustomed to a loss of such magnitude. Some of his fellow pokemon, too, were young and similarly unused to such loss, but pokemon, at least, knew that the world was hard. They were raised with the knowledge that loss was inevitable, sometimes frequent and often (if you were lucky) swift. Humans did not often seem to be aware of this.

Odysseus knew that some of the others were taking the losses hard, though. Zorro and Tempest, especially, were struck by the loss of their close friends. Tempest, for all of her fire and fury, had been near-distraught by the death of Mercury, who had been a very close friend, and apparently, Tempest did not have very many friends, much less anyone close.

Zorro, unsurprisingly, was struck by the loss of Mercury, who he had adored (though not as much as Ashleigh, whose cries Odysseus could still hear when the silence grew too loud). The newly-evolved lucario had been near-inconsolable in the hours after their deaths, however, and Odysseus knew it was for the pokemon he called his older brother that he lamented.

Odysseus did not know whether to be relieved or distraught by how easily the lucario pushed his own grief aside to lend his mind to helping the lass overcome hers. Not that she had been willing to accept help from anyone, or, indeed, accept the fact that her friends were gone. The illusions she had allowed herself to conjure up had been concerning, and Tempest especially had been further distressed by their existence. Secretly, he suspected it was because she wished she were able to fall into the belief that Mercury was still alive.

He, too, missed their friends, but Odysseus had lost many in times before, as had some of the others. Ashleigh, in the years he had lived in a pack on the streets, had seen kin fall and driven off or leave. Zorro had lost nearly his whole family. Odysseus did not know all of their stories, but it was clear who was more familiar with loss than others, not that it hurt less for them. It never hurt less.

As he watched, Reilly pulled a handful of pokeballs out of his pockets and quietly clicked them open, letting out the group of pokemon that were the lass' current party. Zorro landed easily on his feet, head tucked down slightly, holding the other pokemon back when they went to move toward Tuesday. Odysseus, himself, stepped between their group and the lass, knowing that their overcrowding her might throw her right back into an illusion, and she had only just come out of them - was still suffering them mildly.

He needn't have bothered. Zorro kept the others well in hand. Even Dante, who seemed surprisingly calm considering his previous fire.

With the others well taken care of, he returned his attention to the lass, who had wandered off while he was distracted. He trotted to catch up with her when he saw that she had sidled quietly up behind Darryn and his friend. With her shoulders hunched up and her head tucked down, the lass looked liked she was trying to escape a physical blow, though it was the grief that still clung tightly to her - though not as tightly as it had.

She was healing. It would take time, but she would make it. He knew she was strong enough.

He was certain that leaving this place behind would be a good start for it, and so he hoped they would make their way out soon. Still...

Odysseus glanced back, but the redheaded boy was gone.

He worried about what would happen to him. Odysseus, at least, still owed him a heavy debt for all the care he showed the lass.

With a huff of breath through his nostrils, Odysseus leaned easily against the wall and watched Tuesday flutter her hands nervously together, shifting from foot to foot. It took a moment for her to drag up the nerve to even say anything, but finally she did muster a "hey" in the direction of her friend.

Well. It was a start.


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post Feb 14 2014, 06:28 PM
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PANE: Darryn Kellor



“Isnt there another way around?” Lyla asked worriedly, watching as Darryn tapped away on his cell phone, zooming in and out on a map of the north west of Furoh. They had been searching for some time but it really didn’t look like there was any direct route to Port Barley without passing the spot where Jaima and Meiko had…

“Look, if we take either of these other roads we’d end up adding a load of hours or even another day onto the trip…” Darryn chewed his bottom lip. “And you said it yourself – she need to handle things and maybe this is the best way to-“

“Hey.”

The voice was meek and barely audible but it was definitely there. Darryn’s reflexes at hiding the screen on his phone were second to none but there was no way for him to know how long Silence had been there. That had been the nickname her brother had given her, right? Her biological brother, Brone… Darryn wondered where the blind guy was right then and whether or not he knew of his sister’s suffering but concluded that he didn’t – there was no way a nice guy like that would just leave Tuesday to fester in grief without lending her some support.

“Hey!” Lyla crooned, flicking a bang of blonde hair over her shoulder playfully. “It’s nice to see you again, Tuesday!”

“Mmm.” Tuesday’s response was non-committal and distant, her eyes avoiding those of her Co-Ordinator friend and his cousin. Was she still mad?

*A little, but she’s certainly calmed down a lot.* Darryn told himself as he very quickly scanned her Emotaglow.

“Hey, Tuesday.” Darryn said softly, standing and walking to stand right in front of her. “C’mere.” He said simply, holding out his arms to the girl who wouldn’t meet his gaze. She stared at his hands for a moment, judging them carefully, before accepting that they held no danger and stepping into them. Her little wrists snaked around his back and the two embraced for what felt like an hour, their breath rising and falling in sync as the Co-Ordinator stroked the Researcher’s head fondly. “It’ll be OK, Tuesday.” He looked up to find Lyla watching him curiously. His cousin’s brow creased slightly and she gave him a reassuring nod to confirm that she was also going to look after the kid as she came to terms with what had happened.

“It’ll be OK.”

*****


“We’re nearly there.” Darryn sighed as they trudged the road, fast approaching where their friends had been lost from the world forever. He had warned Tuesday before leaving the Pokemon Center that they would be coming by the place where it had all happened but she hadn’t protested at the idea. Her grunt of confirmation that she had heard him was the only real response that she had offered and until she said otherwise, Darryn wasn’t going to second-guess what she wanted.

*Maybe she wants to see the spot like I did?*

“Vul…” Lady whispered in her sleep, curled up in a makeshift cradle that Darryn wore across his chest like a sling. The crimson fox still had not roused from her slumber and he wanted to be there when she did – it wasn’t a secret that she had been closest to Mercury out of all of the Pokemon that they knew and likelihood was that stress had brought on her unconscious state just as it had made Tuesday a little crazy…

“We can still go off the road for a while if you don’t want to see it.” He offered to the shorter blonde once more but she rejected the offer with a shake of her head. Lyla shot Darryn a worried glance. He raised his eyebrows in a facial shrug in return. “OK, we’ll be there in a few minutes.” He said, reaching out to take Tuesday’s hand in his. “Let’s keep moving.”


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Mar 18 2014, 08:25 PM
Post #28


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Tuesday's Pack



She couldn't explain it.

There was a sensation, somewhere between her chest and her head, a tingling ache that lessened the closer she got to where Jaima and Meiko had died. There was a hollow feeling in her stomach that seemed to deepen, too, the closer she got, but that was not as strong as the other and thus easier to ignore.

Darryn had offerred, more than once, for them to slip off the road and travel through the grass so as to avoid the area, but no. She needed to see it. She didn't know why and she couldn't explain it, but she had to go there.

There weren't far off now. She remembered this section of the road. She and Reilly had come back this when when they ran back to town to get help. She remembered stumbling on the road when the explosion occurred, shaking everything around them and knocking her to the ground.

She glanced down at her hands. The bleeding scrapes on her palms had healed quickly, but she could still remember the burn of torn skin. Her knees ached in memory of landing hard on them during the explosion, but the ache in her chest hurt the worst of them all. How was she supposed to deal with this? How did you just keep going on like nothing had happened when you had lost two of the people who she had spent so much of her time with and who had taught her so much? Not to mention their pokemon, whom she had grown incredibly close to, like Shadow, who had done so much for her...

She didn't know what she was supposed to do.

"We're here," Darryn murmured.

Tuesday looked up, her feet slowing to a stop. She felt her breath sigh out through her lips and she had to blink to clear her vision. She felt tears slide down her cheeks.

Yes. She remembered this place, but it looked different now.

There was a great gouge in the asphalt where the oil tanker had tipped over and slid some feet, crashing into other cars. That had been the reason that they were out there in the first place. The four of them had heard the crash and come out to see what had happened, and Jaima and Meiko had stayed to help while Tuesday and Reilly ran back for more help.

And then the explosion.

The road was blackened in a circle where the explosion had occurred, the edges jagged and burnt into a ground. Distantly, she wondered if the wound could ever be removed from the road, or if it would remain, a permanent reminder of all that had been lost.

The medical and clean-up crews had done a fair job. Scraps of metal lay about in some areas, occasionally melted fast to the asphalt, but for the most part, there was little reminder that actual people had been here.

Tuesday tried to swallow the ache that threatened to swallow her.

Something caught her eye and she turned her head at a flash of color. She expected, perhaps, half of a pokeball sphere or a scrap of burnt clothing, but no. There was a flower growing in the center of the road.

It was the strangest flower that she had ever seen. Beautiful, it glimmered and shone, as though reflected the light that hit it. As though the flower were made of glass.

Tuesday found herself stepping closer and vaguely she recognized that Darryn was asking her something, but whatever he said didn't register. The flower... it was beautiful, compellingly so. In fact, she could feel it, she was sure. The very air thrummed with the force of its existence - life, blossomed and full and crying out "I am here!"

A flash of red to her right and Zorro appeared. Tuesday nearly turned her head, forgetting for a moment that he was not a riolu any longer, but a lucario. For the briefest of moments, she had thought he was Shadow and her heart ached for her friend.

The flower thrummed, a heartbeat that sang to her. Tuesday swallowed, crouching down before the flower. This close, she could see it was indeed crystalline, but it rose up from the ground as though it had sprouted. No hands made this. No tool touched this. There was some other force at work here.

"I am here!"

The voice was like that of a child - young, innocent, calling for help.

"I am here!"

Tuesday leaned closer until her lips were almost touching the gleaming petals, her breath misting against the crystal. There was something about it that seemed so... familiar. It was the strangest thing.

"Please," the flower whispered. "I am here."

Tuesday reached out, and in a motion so swift it seemed too easy, plucked the flower.

It was delicate in her fingers, soft. The stem felt alive beneath her hand - dotted with fibers like a true flower stem, yet it almost felt like water flowing between her fingertips. Smiling despite herself, she brought the flower to her nose as she turned.

She inhaled ash and fire, heat barrelling down her throat. Tuesday gasped, gave a wracking cough, and yanked the flower away. She tried to throw it, but it would not leave her fingertips, and desperate, she sought out her friends.

They were gone.

The road lay beneath her, clean and undamaged. Cars moved by, the occasional horn blaring. Tuesday felt her breath coming sharply into her lungs as she gasped for air. The smell of ash had vanished, the heat gone. The road was unmarred - no marks of an explosion, no longer burdened by a great black scar.

She wondered... had she dreamed it all? A terrible nightmare? A horrible vision, even. Had it never happened at all and she would return to find Jaima and Meiko fine, wondering where she had been, what had taken her so long. They would still be waiting on Darryn to arrive, eager to tell him of all that had occurred while he had been away, eager to hear of his own exploits. Zorro would be newly evolved and the thrill of that evolution would not be haunted by the memory of a great loss. They would all eat breakfast together, laughing, and Meiko would help her to buy some new clothes. Shadow would stand at the side, watching, a casual smirk on his face, and Mercury would float about, alternating between laughing and arguing with Nightwish. She and Reilly would get into a spat and Meiko would grin and make an amused remark about weddings and dating and allude to things Tuesday was not old enough to hear, and blush when she met Jaima's eyes.

Tuesday laughed, a bright, happy sound that filled her heart with relief and love and peace. She turned, heading back to the pokemon center.

The oil tanker missed her by an inch, slammed straight into the side of a small car, and flipped onto its side.

Tuesday felt her heart drop down into her stomach at the smell of gas. She saw Jaima and Meiko race into view, and she realized that she was about to watch them die.


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post Mar 24 2014, 03:31 PM
Post #29


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“Tuesday?” Darryn watched curiously as Tuesday bent to examine something in the road. He felt odd returning to the site of the incident, almost as though details had eluded him before while the shock had prevented him from absorbing every minor aspect of the explosion’s impact. New smells and sensations presented themselves to Darryn as he relived his previous visit, feeling once more the gutting loss of his best friends. “Tuesday, what is that?” He repeated, a Lucario appeared without warning from her Pokeball. Its fur was scorched, blackened and in some places completely burned out to reveal weeping sores that flames had scored into his flesh.

*So, Zorro evolved, huh?* Darryn watched the warrior’s marred back as he gathered closer to Tuesday to examine something that she plucked from the ground. Something that, as Tuesday tightened her grip on it, began to flood with emotion.

“TUESDAY!” Darryn yelled, jumping forward all too slowly to reach the girl as she collapsed. Luckily, Zorro caught her shoulders before she could reach the broken asphalt but her body was limp even before he could lay hands on her. The Lucario bristled, his playful nature seemingly eliminated by his evolution, cradling Tuesday around the shoulders. Darryn hovered over the pair, Lady still curled in his arms, panic rising in his throat.

*I’m meant to be looking out for her!* He berated himself angrily.

“Darryn, move!” Lyla fussed, bustling past him to crouch swiftly next to the girl. “Still breathing.” Her first comment was muttered as her blue eyes narrowed thoughtfully. She reached out a hand to stroke the blonde hair away from the girl’s face and feel her forehead. “No temperature.” Lyla confirmed out loud, searching the younger trainer swiftly for a reason for her fainting.

All eyes fell upon the crystalline flower within Tuesday’s hand. It had blossomed since it had been picked, large petals unfurling into sharp spliters of glass that glittered beautifully in a thousand colours. Lyla frowned and reached out.

“Nah!” The Breeder screamed, causing her cousin to give a start, and jumped back from the girl to flick her hand irritably.

“Ly?”

“It’s like static…” Lyla murmured, flicking her hand back and forth. “But it didn’t really hurt.”

“Well, that’s fine but it’s doing something.” Darryn crouched alongside Tuesday and Zorro, still cradling Lady softly in his arms, to examine the girl more closely. Her eyes fretted back and forth wildly under her eyelids. “She’s dreaming or hallucinating… Zorro?”

“Mmnn…” The Lucario grunted the affirmative.

“Whatever it is, I don’t like it.” Darryn complained, standing back up and opening himself to Emotion. “Tuesday’s feelings are masked – she’s either blocking me out or that flower is doing it.”

“Meaning?”

“Meaning, something Psychic is at play here.” Darryn sighed. “Or something similar, anyway. Without Lady or Mer-“ he broke off, chewing the inside of his cheeks with irritation. “Without a Psychic to confirm it, there’s no way to know.”

“Can’t you, like, y’know?” Lyla made a swooshing motion with her hands. “Shazam?”

“It doesn’t work that way.” Darryn grumbled. “Maybe if we contacted Brone, we could-“

“Step away from the girl.”

Darryn and Lyla both span quickly, their attention drawn to the commanding tone of an older male who was no stranger to Darryn or Tuesday. Tall and broad, his face was angular and darkened with long exposure to the sun. A wide nose separated narrow, black eyes that never seemed to stop moving, almost as though he reanalysed what was before his eyes every second he breathed. A twist to his lips could only be described as an arrogant smile and the way he stood, arms behind his back, stank of over confidence and pride. A long trench coat hid most of any other detail although Darryn knew a particularly shiny Natu probably hid somewhere close to his body, ready to Teleport at a moment’s notice.

Anger flooded Darryn in an instant, his grip on Lady tightening slightly as pressure grew between his teeth and made his jaw crack audibly. He stepped forward, blocking the Collector’s view of Tuesday.

You step away.” Darryn’s voice cracked with rage and frustration. “Before I make you.”

<Lyla.> Darryn’s voice rang in Lyla’s head like an alarm bell. <This guy is dangerous. Seriously dangerous and he’s obsessed with Tuesday – he knows about Tuesday.>

<B-but what about you?!>

<Not me. Not yet.> Darryn admitted between their minds.

“Tough talk, kid.” The Collector’s smirk stung like needles in Darryn’s eyes. “Especially when that braided brat isn’t here to get in the way. The ginger bitch, too.”

“Say that again and I’ll kill you.” Darryn’s unblinking eyes throbbed with murderous intent. “Step. Away.” He repeated venomously.

<Darryn, I’m scared…>

<Ly… Take Tuesday and run.>

<No!> Lyla’s thought-speech was intent. <I… I accepted… being a Trainer meant things like this, didn’t I? I can battle, too!>

<No, Lyla! This isn’t a game!>

<I’m not a kid, Daz!>

Lyla launched herself past Darryn, spinning free a Pokeball towards the Collector before her cousin could raise a hand to stop her.

“Go, SUIKA!” The once-breeder’s cry announced her decision to play the heroine and very quickly combat began at the site of the incident that had broken Team Rogue.


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Apr 13 2014, 04:34 PM
Post #30


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Tuesday's Pack



He didn't think it was fair that he had to hide.

Reilly trudged through the grass, mud sucking at his boots as he lifted his legs high to get over the tall weeds.

The runt had left with the pretty-boy and his girlfriend without a word to him, not that he had expected to be given any polite farewell from the great coordinator that was Darryn... whatever his name was. He had thought, though, that Tuesday might have bothered to tell him they were leaving.

Then again, maybe Darryn kept her from saying anything. It certainly wouldn't have surprised Reilly. Clearly he wasn't on the coordinator's list of favorite people. He didn't expect... payment or anything for helping Tuesday - that wasn't why he did it. He didn't think that he would have been practically attacked for it, though.

Part of him wondered why he was bothering to follow them.

The road was straight at this point, and why they were headed in this direction at all blew Reilly's mind, but he couldn't follow them on the road without risking one of them turning around and spotting him some distance behind. He was always dressed for a potential cross-country trek through whatever the weather threw at him, however, so taking to the grass hadn't been much of a chore.

Still wasn't incredibly fun, though, especially since he didn't see why he should have to hide.

There was a sound far ahead of him, no doubt coming from the group he was following, and Reilly tried to look to see what was happening. Walking down below the road, he struggled to climb up the muddy hill to the asphalt, but got his foot caught in the weeds and tumbled over backwards, landing on his back in a giant, sloshing mud puddle.

It was the only reason he caught sight of the creature following him.

"Poke-balls," Reilly yelled, rolling out of the way just in time to avoid a Powder Snow attack from the little pink and yellow pokemon. Tiny and way too freaking adorable to be a man's pokemon, the thing was clearly not without strength. It looked like it had blonde hair on top of a pink and pale body, pink lips puckered in a doughnut-shape.

Reilly struggled to his feet, muddy water dripping down his back and soaking through his jeans.

"Not very nice to go attacking people while they're down," he admonished, hands reaching for his pokeballs.

His pockets were empty.

Panicking, Reilly looked around him, releasing a relieved sigh when he saw three five pokeballs floating in the mud puddle he had briefly landed in. He shot forward to grab one, dodging away when the pokemon shot foward, little stubby hand smacking forward in a pound attack.

Reilly tossed the pokeball, hoping for Indiana or Phoenix. Some fire would be great right now.

The pokeball hit the ground and snapped open.

And sat there.

He barely resisted the urge to roll his eyes. A vacant pokeball. Of course. Could he get a break?

"Smoo!" the pokemon yelled, unleashing another powder snow attack. Reilly lunged forward, out of the way, and grabbed two pokeballs. He tossed them both at the smoochum and landed face-first in a puddle of mud.

~*~


Tuesday couldn't move. She couldn't look away. Her whole body felt cold, even as the smell of ash and fire burned in her nose like a prophecy. She knew what was coming, but still she watched.

It was like the best thing and the worst to see Meiko and Jaima again. Here they were, perfectly fine, moving in to help other people like they were of the same mind.

She thought about calling out to them, but it wouldn't help. She thought about it, but only briefly. It wasn't worth the devastation when it didn't work, and it wouldn't work. She'd read enough stories as a child to know that you couldn't use a dream to change the past. And really, that's all this was - a dream.

A nightmare.

"Jaima!" Tuesday yelled.

The blonde-haired boy jerked his head up at the sound and Tuesday swallowed the lump in her throat. He'd heard her?

"Tuesday! Reilly!"

She watched herself run into view, Reilly on her heels, both of them out of breath. It was strange to see herself from this side, to watch like she was watching a movie as she ran up to where Jaima and Meiko were. hair tied back in a wild ponytail and face pale from fear.

"What happened?"

Did her voice really sound like that?

"A truck flipped over, and there's been a wreck," Meiko said, her hands tightened together in nervousness as her eyes scanned the wreck. There had been a mass of other cars that struck the oil tanker and each other, unable to stop, driving too quickly or just not paying attention. How many cars were there piled together?

"There's a lot of people who need help," Jaima said, hands going for his bandolier, pulling the pokeballs free and tossing them to the ground, releasing his entire party. "You two run back to town and get Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny. Tell them we're going to need some help out here."

Tuesday didn't have to see the look on her face to remember the hesitation she felt, the desire to stay. There had been a churning in the pit of her stomach at the idea of leaving the others there. She hadn't understood it then, but she did now.

"Jaima," she murmured.

"We need help now, Tuesy," Jaima said, and there was an admonishment there at her hesitation, nervousness and fear raising his voice. "Go get Joy and Officer Jenny."

Tuesday hesitated a moment more, before whispering a quiet "Okay," before turning and running back toward town.

"Reilly, go with her."

She'd heard that, too, she remembered. Vaguely. Her mind hadn't been on what Jaima was saying, but trying to remember where Officer Jenny would be, and running fearful scenarios through her head. She hadn't thought of the one that had come to pass.

She watched Reilly turn and race after her, face still red from the exertion of making his way there, but it didn't slow him. He dashed out of sight and Tuesday found herself turning back to Jaima and Meiko.

Her friends seemed at a loss, looking at the pile-up and wondering where to start.

"Let's find out who's going to need the most help," Jaima said, his pokemon standing around him waiting for orders. "Mercury, see if you can detect who's conscious and able to get out on their own. If they're trapped, Grondir and Shadow can get the doors or window loose."

His pokemon took to the orders as they always did, moving forward to help where they could. Meiko gave similar orders to her pokemon depending on their capabilities, and they moved in toward the cars. Ember had to stay back, the flames on her back too dangerous to put near the oil tanker and the cars that might be leaking fluid. At the order that held her back, Tuesday found herself trying to swallow the inevitability of it all.

She saw the silhouette before any of the rest of them, but only by a moment. Jaima's head jerked up as someone climbed on top of a car that had rammed itself under the back-axel of another. The driver was unconscious... at least.

"Hey!" Jaima called, seeing them stand up on the roof. "Do you need help?"

There was no answer from the man, but Shadow had taken notice of him, as well. Immediately, he left his post where he had been trying to pull a door off of a car that a man was trapped inside. He leapt the distance over to where Jaima and Meiko were standing.

"Sir, do you need help?"

Shadow landed between the two and moved slightly in front of them, crouching low and fur bristling as he growled at the man. Jaima looked at him. He didn't have to ask.

"Your help? Certainly. I'm looking for someone." The flash of two pokeballs briefly revealed his face, deep-toned and angular, with a wide nose set above a smug grin. "That little bitch of a girl that travels with you," the collector said, hands patting the heads of the feraligatr and scizor beside him. "Where is she?"

Tuesday stared at the man, her eyes wide.

What the hell was he doing here?


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post May 5 2014, 10:39 AM
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“Lyla, stop!” Darryn’s cries went unheard as the little Marill dashed towards the towering Feraligatr. Lyla, seemingly fired up by the situation had managed to get herself squarely infront of Darryn and had planted her feet firmly.

“Suika, use Play Rough!” Lyla’s cry was strong, if shrill, and her conviction carried directly through to her pintsized powerhouse who began to take on a powder-pink aura around his hands and feet.

“Aqua Tail.”

Suika threw himself from the ground, the pink glow around his limbs trailing rose-hued sparks through the air as he aimed the Fairy punches but his speed was no match for the gargantuan crocodile. Blue scales flash up and around in a neat arc, a hit to score a homerun and an early defeat.

“Switch to Defence Curl!” Lyla’s shriek was well-timed and, oddly enough, expertly executed as the round mouse tucked into a tight ball just before he was struck. High and far, Suika travelled through the air but managed not to come undone before he bounced to the ground. “Strike back with Rollout, now!”

Powered up from the Defence Curl, Lyla’s Marill took off like a shot back towards the Feraligatr.

*What?! Lyla’s timing is spot-on!?* Darryn stepped sideways, granting himself a better look at his counsin’s determined face. *Something changed in Petropolis...* He looked back to Tuesday, still cradled in Zorro’s charred arms. *But we can’t take any more chances. If he finds out what Tuesday is...*

“Suika, NO!” Lyla wailed, snapping Darryn’s attention straight back to the fore. The Collector’s fearsome crocodilian had hold of the tiny Marill by the tail, lowering him slowly towards a wide open maw rimed with razors for teeth. Darryn snatched for a Pokeball and shoved Lyla aside.

“Hart!”

With an explosion of light, Darryn’s sparkling Sawsbuck sprang from the Friend Ball into a flat-out gallop straight for the crocodile. “Horn Leech!” With head lowered and hooves throwing up dirt, the powerful cervine Pokemon slammed straight into the Feraligatr’s exposed stomach. A guttural roar erupted from the many-toothed beast as the Feraligatr was toppled, momentarily losing its grip on Suika’s bubble-like tail. With a squeak of alarm, Suika hit the dirt hard where he fell.

“Quick, call him back!” Darryn yelled at Lyla. The was a very brief pause as his cousin considered this before:

“Suika, return!”

“Hart, Jump Kick!” Darryn swiftly commanded again, his Sawsbuck thundering his hooves down onto the fallen form of the Feraligatr. The scaled beast let out another hissing scream, thrashing widely on the ground. The thing struggled to flip itself off its own back, claw and tail windmilling frantically while Hart nimbly danced out of its way.

“Get back.” The Collector’s own raised Pokeball recalled the felled beast where it continued to spasm uncontrollably. His sneer turned into an appraising smirk. “I’ll give it to ya, boy. That was a good shot, and that Sawsbuck...” His eyes danced over the glittering fur of the spring-forme stag. “That Sawsbuck is a rare find.”

My Sawsbuck is more than just rare.” Darryn warned, edging back around Lyla to keep himself between her and the Collector.

<Ly! Now, please take Tuesday and go!>

<But what about you?!>

“I’m sure it is, I’m sure it is...” the Collector loosened a Pokeball from somewhere inside his long trench coat, “but, as I’m sure you remember, rare and special Pokemon are my speciality.” He raised the Pokeball and threw it, summoning a Scizor where the Feraligatr had fallen. Darryn sucked his teeth.

*A Bug and Steel type like Scizor has a big advantage over a Grass Pokemon like Hart.*

As though sensing his doubt, Hart’s antlered head turned sharply in his direction. Pink petals scattered from his horns as he tossed his head with defiance. Darryn was overcome with waves of confidence and urgency, his Pokemon somehow knowing exactly what buttons to push to get the best out of his trainer.

*Shouldnt this be the other way around?* Darryn thought grimly, trying to recall what attacks Hart had that could do anything to the hard exoskeleton of such a foe Pokemon. His train of thought was soon interrupted as the Collector drew something else out of his coat. An orb, set into some sort of chain was pulled out, the silvery links of metal wound around the Collector’s hand. It shone with an eerie light, a deep red that pulsated like it had its own heartbeat that resonated with the Scizor stood before it.

Darryn blinked. Not again. Not another.

*It’s impossible!*

Despite all of his beliefs that such a thing couldn’t exist and that what had happened in Petropolis had been a one-off, there was no denying what was happening. The Scizor was evolving.


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