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Global PokédeX Plus Forums _ Finished RPs _ In the Shadows

Posted by: Living Arrow Jun 19 2012, 01:35 AM

OOC (click to show)


The air in the forest was almost dead with the lack of breeze and the sun was beating an angry drum down upon the open meadow that Darryn Kellor and Lyla Moore had found themselves in while searching for the breeding center. The Co-ordinator and Breeder had travelled out of Petropolis on foot, taking a couple of days to reach the tiny farm that had been marked on Lyla’s PokeNav as the ‘Bouquet of Bonnies Breeding Center’ and it was all, apparently, for nothing.

“Look, Lyla,” Darryn folded his arms as he watched his cousin fretting over the locked front door, “clearly no-one is in and no-one has been for a while. Let’s just move on and catch up to the others.”

The others were Jaima Kuonji, Meiko Omura and Tuesday Berdison – the rest of what had come to be known as Team Rogue in their journey together. They had separated in Petropolis so that Darryn could persue his dream of becoming a successful Co-Ordinator and take on sponsorship of a top designer, Elliot Wethers. Since then, Darryn had been in touch with Tuesday by her favourite form of communication – pen and ink – and found out that she had peeled away from Jaima and Meiko to travel alone for a little while. He had been pretty surprised to hear that since she and Jaima were like siblings and the older Senpai *Now you’re thinking like them!* was protective of his adopted little sister.

“But, but!” Lyla protested as she hammered on the door. “But they’re meant to, like, have some totally awesome tips on Pokemon Breeding! Not only do they specialise in breeding Grass Group Pokemon, they’re meant to know about a whole new way of passing on rare Abilities that people have never heard of before!”

Darryn rolled his eyes. Trust his cousin Lyla to still have her business head screwed on on such a wonderfully sunny day like this! Sometimes her stoic attitude to her career was admirable but right now it was crazy. The weather was the best they’d had in days and they were in a beautiful forest where the smells of the wild and sounds of the local Pokemon could consume you faster than you could take a break to really look at your surroundings.

“Just look around, Ly!” Darryn spread his arms wide, “We’re in a gorgeous forest with nothing to distract us from having fun for a change!

“R-really?” Lyla looked around nervously. “But we’re in the woods… Don’t, like, Bug Pokemon live out here? I ead somewhere that a Beedrill sting can put you in the hospital for days and if there’s a swarm…”

“Pull the other one, Ly!” Darryn laughed. “Besides, if any Bug Pokemon attack you’ve got me and Lima here to sort them out!”

“Fa, fa, fafafaaa!” The Cleffa in the Co-Ordinator’s arms sang her agreement which only produced a raised eyebrow from the Breeder.

“You’re not, like, serious are you?” Lyla rolled her eyes. “Darryn, Cleffa are just babies – what’s she going to do? Charm them away? I’d feel much better if you’d let Lady out of the ball.”

“Not going to happen.” Darryn’s mood plummeted at the mention of his crimson Vulpix. “She’s still angry and until she speaks to me there’s nothing I can do to make her feel any better about it – you saw how she was after we got the Mirrormist Ribbon.”

Of course, his Vulpix couldn’t actually speak – they communicated by telepathy, something that his disability allowed him to do. Since travelling with a girl named Melinda Rose, he had gained what had been named his Empath ability – a strange power that allowed him to view the emotions of any human or Pokemon around him. It just so happened that attached to the ability was the skill to speak telepathically to any human or Pokemon that he was closely emotionally linked to and, thanks to her inherited Psychic powers, Lady could even respond when he called out with his mind. Now though, she wouldn’t respond and had masked her emotions from him completely.

Lyla nodded gravely, recalling how the Vulpix had brain-assault her after her massive shift in demeanour. She’d always heard that the fire fox Pokemon could be tempermental (just like any Fire type) but there didn’t appear to be any root cause of the alteration in mood. Now, all the Vulpix would do out of her Heal Ball was eat and battle – hardly the characteristics of a true partner which she had grown to be under Darryn’s care.
Lyla regarded the way Darryn held Lima and inwardly sighed. He clearly missed Lady’s presence and was trying to compensate for her absence by keeping one of his other Pokemon out of their Pokeball as they travelled. First it had been Victor but the Squirtle had been too slow to keep up, then Romeo the Jolteon but his happy-go-lucky nature meant he was likely to get lost as he ran around in search of adventure, and now it was the baby Cleffa’s turn.

“Alright,” Lyla began as she spied another human entering the meadow from the far side, heading their way, “but if you want to, like, have fun, at least battle him so I can take some more notes?” She nodded over Darryn’s shoulder and he turned to see the trainer crossing the field toward them and the Boutique of Bonnies Breeding Center.

“Fine,” he said as he took mental note of who was most ready to battle in his team, “better get your notebook out.”

Posted by: Kamaitachi Jun 19 2012, 11:31 PM

QUOTE(The Co-Ordinator in You: Chapter 10)
There are an infinite number of combinations out there, but sometimes, you want something so incredibly specific that you have to take matters into your own hands. For instance, you think a Bellossom pulling off a Charm attack followed up by a Magical Leaf attack would be stunning in your next appeal. Sadly, Bellossom do not learn that move unless they're descended from a Togetic or Togekiss.

That's where Pokemon Breeding comes into play. Sometimes, you just have to take matters into your own hands. Well, not specifically your own hands; you'd want "The Breeder in You" for that. Pokemon Breeders carefully monitor the Pokemon Husbandry, and should help you in befriending or adopting a pokemon that has the traits you desire.

QUOTE(Cesc's scribbling)
Chapter 10 Homework: Meet a Pokemon Breeder.

* * *

QUOTE(Text to Branwys Muphenz: a few days ago)
Hey Branwys! I'm heading out to the "Boutique of Bonnies Breeding Center" in a few days to check out some cool grass pokemon. Wanna meet me there? We could totally do something inappropriate in front of newborns.

Francesco "Cesc" Rojas landed with yet another unceremonious thud at the outskirts of a forest. With a noisy clack, his mount, a rather hateful Skarmory named Speed, swept his wing upwards. Cesc followed with his eyes from his spot on the ground, noting that the metal bird had pointed out a path. While he was silently thankful that Speed had not dropped him into the canopy, he also regretted not bringing the harness that Branwys Muphenz had made him.

After Cesc's first Contest victory, Speed had shown a new level of respect towards the young man. The new deference had been quite welcome on Cesc's return home. But in an incredibly short span of time, Speed's old habits returned. Cesc had actively chosen not to use the harness, and wound up with a face full of dirt.

As the bird took off, Cesc rose off the ground, dusting himself off and straightening his outfit. Even for a treck into the forest on a hot day, Cesc had insisted on wearing a rather fun outfit. As a flashback to his street-urchin days, he had designed this outfit to look rather roguish, to accentuate his mismatched eyes and lopsided grin. He wore a tannish/beige newsy cap at a jaunty angle, with his hair tucked neatly up inside of it and fastened down with a few well placed clips. He wore an earthy green bandana around his neck, with the loose ends pointing outwards to the right of his neck. He wore a white tank top, stretched nice and tight on his body, a dark brown vest (left open, of course), a pair of suspenders and brown slacks. Finally, to complete the ensemble, he wore a pair of brown boots that matched his vest and slacks. He felt rather dashing and dapper in the outfit, despite the fact that it was more casual one than usual. Nevertheless, the earthy tones of his clothes brought out his tan complexion, and served to accentuate his hazel and brown eyes.

The dust had been an unwelcome accessory, but it sort of fit. Nevertheless, he did his best to remove as much of it as he could.

Without taking too much time to gather his bearings, he simply headed in the direction that Speed had pointed him in. His goal was to find the "Bouquet of Bonnies Breeding Center". Surely, he could've simply gone to one in Arasam, where he currently resided, but he was interested in obtaining a grass pokemon to add to his team after witnessing Shalim Lithilliq's appeal back in Fidona.

He walked for a bit in stony silence, simply enjoying the quiet, fairly serene forest. Sure there wasn't a breeze to keep things nice and airy, but the walk was still pleasant visually. He watched a few Butterfree flit about, wondering if he should catch one...but he really didn't dig 'pretty' pokemon that much. He much preferred the "Cool" aspect of contests to the "Beauty" one.

At the thought of "Beauty", Cesc's mind drifted over to thinking about Branwys. Occasionally, he still felt like a pedophile for finding himself attracted to her, but he was able to constantly remind himself that they were the same age. Hopefully she was already at the Boutique, and he could finally be done with waiting to see her again.

Cesc's mind snapped out of its gentle reverie as he laid eyes on two people in front of a dilapidated old building.

"Hello!" he waved as he approached, smiling his usual broad smile. The two didn't seem particularly threatening, so he didn't feel at all uncomfortable about approaching them. After all, they potentially had directions to Bouquet of Bonnies. "Do you happen to know where..." he paused as he got closer.

"Oh! You're Darryn Kellor." Cesc's smile faded into a more pensive, processing look before widening back out into his grin. "I just watched you win the Mirrormist Ribbon the other day." He turned to Lyla, holding out his hand to her. "Sadly, I don't know your name, and we should fix that. I'm Cesc Rojas, and it's a pleasure to meet you."

After shaking hands with Lyla (or not), he extended his hand out to Darryn in turn.

Play it cool, Francesco. Don't be an awkward idiot, just because this guy's probably one of the top-coordinators in Furoh right now. If you're, he might sign your book!

Posted by: Master Houndoom Jun 21 2012, 12:46 AM

It seemed like she had been coming to this spot for a long time, but she knew it was actually quite short.

Branwys sat in the back of the cart, laying on the soft hay, thinking back on the events of the last few days. The boat she had boarded to go to Charizard Island took hours to actually embark, and a few hours after the man had left to make a few checks, Branwys decided the wait was too long. In truth, she had ulterior motives as well: She wanted to see Cesc again, and, luckily, he had told her exactly what he was up to.

Branwys left a note for thanking him for his help. Dimo had been disappointed fo leave because he'd wanted to get to know the man's growlithe, but, of course, he dutifully followed his trainer as she scampered back down the pier. She found, and after a little bit of cajoling, she finally convinced them to take her to Petropolis. By then, their five passengers had arrived, and since the boat was going on a three hour tour almost all the way across the bay, They agreed that they would give her a ride, and, if they could find a place to weigh anchor, they'd get the first mate to row her over to the beach so she could make her way to Petropolis.

The passengers had arrived, the usual assortment: older and younger, rich and not-so-rich, smart and simple... quite the diverse group for there only being five of them. One of them even looked like a movie star!

Branwys boarded last, behind a man in a white shirt and tan slacks, who was reading what looked like a scientific magazine, and therefore heard the Skipper talking to his Little Buddy.

"I thought you said there'd be four people."

"Yeah, but a girl from a nearby farm wanted to go too, so the other girl from Jubilife paid her way. And then the little blonde woman asked to go, and it's not going to be that crowded-"

The Skipper scowled at the other man and pulled off his hat, twisting the brim slightly in his large hands. "I'm not worried about that, I'm worried that they won't be happy with the trip, since we had to change it..."

The first mate opened his mouth to reply when Branwys cut in. "Change it?"

Skipper started, then looked down. His face put on a smile that was only half genuine. "Yes, Miss. We're not going by Fidona and Daioh like we said, we're going the other way now toward Petropolis..."

"Yeah, we told you, Ma'am," the thinner man said, but was cut off as the Skipper hit him on top of the head with his hat.

"Ixnay on the ellingtay!"

Branwys giggled. "No, that's fine, that's what I wanted. Besides, you'll be fine. I think most of these people want the chance to see some water pokémon, or just the water."

With that, the ship left the dock. Not long after, a storm came up, sending them all careening across the bay.

All Branwys had been able to think was that she really should have known.

They had been forcibly beached. Luckily, they had been forcibly beached on the Petropolis side of the bay. After a moment of stunned, and Branwys thought, relieved silence, a rescue was called, and the crew and passengers were brought to Petropolis by a group called the Emergency Rescue Brigade. Branwys marveled at the helicopters, and spent a good amount of time being shown around the ERB facility, much to her delight and Dimo's chagrin.

The next morning, Branwys headed down the road, finding out she had missed Cesc's performance. She had no idea where he was going, until he texted her, and she was off. If he kept up, she could figure out where he was heading and meet him there...

An older gentleman in a cart had been eating his supper when she came across him. With a smile and a twinkle in his eye, he offered her a ride, bringing some grains and supplies to the very breeding center she had been going to. He introduced himself as George, set her in the back of the cart with some gently baaing mareep, and set off, muttering something about a plethora of little blonde girls leaving Petropolis. She had no idea what that meant, yet said nothing, mostly because the soft hay and warm sheep soothed her to nap.

When he woke her, she hopped out of the cart, brushed off the hay, and thanked him with a hug and some cash, which he refused, smiling and thanking her for the company. She looked down at her outfit: Brown dungarees, a beige button up shirt, hiking boots, since she had figured she would be walking for a while, and a green ascot at her neck like a scarf. If she'd had a hat, she'd look like a street ruffian, or, with the right kind of hat, an adventuring archeologist...

George had let her off at the back before he made his deliveries, and she want around to the front. Around the corner was a familiar sounding voice, and she stopped, looking around surreptitiously and seeing a devastatingly handsome man with an equally pretty girl shaking hands with an image that made her heart jump in her chest.

She'd done it without trying. She'd caught up with Cesc.

She had no idea who the other people were, and it didn't matter. Cesc was here, and she was happy.

Posted by: Living Arrow Jun 25 2012, 02:43 PM

Darryn was a little taken aback by the familiarity that the stranger in the meadow showed him, especially by knowing his name, but it quickly wore off as it usually did. Ever since his first Ribbon win, Darryn had had to face up to the reality that fame would come with his new career since every Contest he took part in would be a televised event so these interactions were becoming much more frequent. It was extremely odd, however, that anyone out in the middle of nowhere would manage to recognise him – the chances of that were crazy!

*He watched me get my Mirrormist Ribbon....* Flashes of the battle came back to Darryn as the other trainer spoke.

“Like, the pleasure is all ours! I'm Lyla!” Lyla shook the guy's hand, Cesc Rojas by name, and another memory was sparked in Darryn. Did his phonecall with Shalim mention someone with that name? Darryn thought this over as Lyla's beaming face turned a little red.

<Oh, pick your jaw up, will you?> Darryn sent to his cousin with his mind. She flinched and shot him a glare over her smile that said *do that again and your jaw will need picking up... off of the ground!*.

“Yeah, pleased to meet you, Cesc.” Darryn echoed Lyla as he shook his hand, using the moment of eye-contact to drink in every detail of the trainer. Not his type but certainly not unattractive, Lyla's reaction had been predicatble at best (she's fond of any halfway decent looking guy in case he is 'the one').

This guy was older than both Darryn and Lyla by a handful of years (Darryn's birthday was fast approaching so that gap would close soon enough) and in good shape, like Darryn. If anything, Darryn would say Cesc was slightly slimmer but they were around the same height and both were dressed very well, in fact a little too well for any regular trainers, which meant Darryn couldn't help but notice the co-ordination and accessories that the newcomer wore.

*He's certainly taken time to think about that outfit.* Darryn mused. *And it's better than mine!*

Darryn was glad that there was no mirror around for him to see the strikingly plain reflection that would greet him that day – straight leg jeans, walking boots, tight white tee and a dark maroon hooded sweater. His hair was swept back over his ears as usual and his bag still hanging from one shoulder – the strap crossing his chest. He looked like an everyday student and that made him feel even more terrible for being recognised like that by a stranger who would be used to seeing him in Contest outfits.
Even Lyla had a pretty summer dress (white and pink, naturally) that flared high above the knee to show off her pale, slim and long legs.

Well, given Darryn's appraisal, there was only one conclusion to draw from Cesc's attire and knowledge of who he was...

“I'm assuming you're a Co-Ordinator?” Darryn asked as he plucked a Pokeball from his bag. “My cousin here was just saying that its a perfect day for some battle training and I was in need of a sparring partner – that is, if you wouldn't mind battling with me?”

“Uh, Darryn,” Lyla rolled her eyes deeply, “you're totes acting like a Trainer when you just launch into 'Let's Battle!' mode like that. It's, like, embarrassing.” She scolded him but a moment later her eyes widened dramatically. “Oh gosh! You're not, like, a Trainer, are you?!” She bobbed her head in apology to Cesc, fire heating her pale cheeks. “Sorry, sorry!”

<Smooth.> Darryn laughed at her but movement in the corner of his vision stole his attention and he turned his head to see a short girl with blonde pigtails heading their way.

Posted by: Kamaitachi Jun 26 2012, 05:12 PM

Cesc took Lyla's outstretched hand gently in his, placing his other hand on top of it.

"Not all yours, I hope." Cesc let out a soft chuckle before releasing her hand to shake Darryn's. He made sure to present a firm grip to his fellow Co-ordinator, as he definitely did not want to appear weak of spirit.

It gave him no shortage of joy that Darryn recognized him as a co-ordinator simply from a handshake and from his appearance. He found himself wishing that he possessed the ability to read people with a similar intuition and analysis. His spirit quavered a little, though, as Darryn retrieved a pokeball from the bag, essentially asking for a battle.

At Lyla's floundering, he shrugged offhandedly as he was entirely unoffended.

"I'm a Co-ordinator, too. No need to apologize. Honestly, I'd love a match against someone of Darryn's caliber." He flashed her quick smile, before flipping open his vest to reveal a set of four pokeballs attached to his suspender strap.

With the thought of battle looming up, Cesc attempted to recall as much information as possible from witnessing the televised match between Darryn and Rio. He remembered a Rapidash from the appeal, then a Pidgeotto and Vulpix from the battle round against an Exploud and a Mismagius. Considering his line-up, it meant that he would probably face pokemon with type advantages over his current team.

Seeing that Darryn had only drawn a single pokeball, it meant that he probably wanted 1-on-1 battles, rather than doubles. This was also acceptable, seeing as Cesc's forte lay in his double-battle combinations at the moment. Admittedly, Cesc needed the singles practice. On the other hand, it was a fantastic chance to watch someone else's combinations at work. Francesco Rojas, former street urchin, had no qualms whatsoever with a little artistic borrowing here and there.

"I've only four pokemon, so would a four-on-four be acceptable?" As his hand slowly moved to his pokeball strap, he watched as Darryn turned his head.

Instinctively turning in the direction of Darryn's gaze, he saw an incredibly welcome sight.

"Branwys!" His hand shot in the air as he waved, breaking into an excited trot over towards her, the impending battle instantly forgotten in the moment.

Posted by: Master Houndoom Jun 27 2012, 12:49 AM


Branwys trotted out herself, her mind off of the problems of a three hour tour gone wrong, off of the eerie coincidence of a young man guessing her exact situation, off of her aching feet and slightly sore back and cubone who was just beginning to grow wary of something in the area.

She did not think of the time that had passed when they were apart, or of the length she had waited for a text message, or of the long trip from the beach near Petropolis that had spanned more than one day on tiny feet powered by short legs.

She didn't think of the slightly disapproving, yet amused klinks coming from the harness on her bag which served, lately, as Tinka's pokéball, or of the huffing breathing of a cubone that had been disappointed to leave behind a potential friend and sparring partner, walk a long distance with no explanation, and not even get into a fight through it all, only to have his girl trotting toward a bo-- Oh, it was him. He was a good sort, at least...

She definitely didn't think of the two nearby, barely noticed as it was, and didn't think how this might look to them. How it might look that Cesc might have a little sister who he'd just found. Possibly that he had a young daughter, though she'd deny that if she'd thought of it. He was actually a little younger than she was, and, unlike her, didn't have anything making him look anything other than his age.

But she wasn't thinking at all about how it looked to people watching, which is why she jumped a few feet from him, let him catch her, and planted a kiss on him that would have had prude people fainting dead away.

Dimo put a claw to his forehead, but then that sense, that... tiny chill went up his spine again, and he looked around again. something was off, and Dimo didn't want to stay around for longer than he had to... if only he could speak human!

Posted by: Living Arrow Jun 29 2012, 01:13 AM

Darryn watched on as the girl that Cesc had called out to, named Branwys, hurried off of the forest path and across the meadow towards them. She called back to him in kind, her corn-coloured pigtails flouncing cutely over her shoulders while she trotted through the grass. She must have been maybe 12 years old by Darryn's reckoning – she was smaller than Tuesday had been and was dressed more youthfully – and he suspected that she possibly be of some relation to Cesc. Well, from the way they initially reacted, anyway. The evidence against them was that they looked completely different and, oh yeah, she was sucking Cesc's face off!

Too late, Darryn saw the lustful crimson in the girl's Emotaglow and knew the assumption had been completely wrong. A faint gasp from the side of him and Darryn was met with waves of revulsion from Lyla who had lifted a hand to her mouth in shock. As the couple were continuing, Darryn was allowed a little time to work out Lyla's outraged emotions and his eyes widened at the realisation.

<Oh, God! Lyla! She's not that young really – she only looks it!>

Relief rebounded at him in baby blue bubbles. Darryn inwardly sighed. He'd assumed the same until the girl could be seen up close. Now that he could examine her closer, it was clear she had... developed... like any other girl that had been through puberty and that her development had been... well... successful.

It took a longer moment for Darryn to notice that they were not only in the presence of humans – a cute little Cubone had been hidden by the long grass and wild flowers and was watching the 'happy couple' with disdain. Darryn admired how the small Ground type had chosen to decorate his skull helmet – converting it into some sort of decorative war headdress complete with plume and golden battle goggles... Well, that's how Darryn saw it, anyway.

*Pretty Cool and Tough.* He mused further.

The the Cubone's skull came up and turn to the side, small eyes searching over the top of the grass before turning the other way and looking around in that direction. Darryn followed the Pokemon's gaze, the light breeze ruffling his hair. What was it looking at? Something incredibly faint tickled at Darryn's Empathy power but it was too tiny and distant to recognise or pinpoint. Probably just a forest Rattata or something like that.

He brought his attention back to the couple to wait for his introduction – no sense in being rude while he waited for his battle and hopefully this Branwys could be the referee if she was a trainer and knew something about battling.

Posted by: Kamaitachi Jun 29 2012, 04:38 PM

Cesc fainted!

Surprised, but not really, Cesc caught Branwys with his arms. With the grace of a tango dancer, one hand hooked under her thigh, keeping her supported, while the other wrapped tightly around her upper back and shoulders.

The kiss she planted was nothing short of exactly what he'd wanted since they parted ways last. Evidently his invitation to do inappropriate things had been taken seriously. Well, it was a combination of both 'evidently' and 'thankfully'.

"Nice-" "-to-" "-see-" "-you." he managed to squeeze out while surfacing for air.

After a suspended moment of kissy-face happenings, Cesc begrudgingly lowered Branwys to the ground. The PDA session had lasted to what Cesc judged as 'appropriate-in-front-of-strangers' length, and he didn't want to keep Darryn waiting. As she settled back onto the floor, Cesc took a moment to wipe a the corners of his mouth with a thumb.

"Bran, meet Darryn and Lyla." Cesc raised his other hand, indicating the two people he'd just met. "Darryn and Lyla, Branwys Muphenz."

After the final round of introductions had come to a close, Cesc grinned broadly, suddenly filled with a bit more excitement than before. His adrenaline began to course, travelling along his body like a little electric shock.

"Darryn and I are about to have a match" he explained to Branwys, then turned to face his opponent from his new position. "Admittedly, Branwys is a better battler than I am. I'm pretty sure I end up relying on her and Dimo over there. Hi Dimo!" He waved cheerily at the bonekeeper, but the decorative Cubone looked fairly distracted.

Whether he got a reply from Dimo or not, Cesc snatched up a pokeball from his belt, tossing it in the air in front of him and allowing it to expand. As it fell back, Cesc shifted his body into what was easily recognizable as a starting position for a tango: His left leg was outstretched before him, with all his weight on his right. His right hand rested on his hip, with his elbow cocked back, while his left hand remained outstretched. The pokeball settled back in his open hand, fully formed and ready to summon its charge from within.

"I make no apologies for that delay," Cesc smiled, casting a sidelong glance over his shoulder at Darryn, his hazel eye shining mischeviously. "but I'm ready now. Oberon!"

With a sweeping backhand toss and a smooth ocho-pivot from Cesc, the pokeball popped open on the field, revealing Oberon, Cesc's Sneasel. The Dark Weasel came replete with a black newsie cap to match Cesc's, and a bandana around his neck, coloured to match the colour of his ear-feather.

The Dark/Ice Type pokemon stood in front of Darryn, arms crossed and sizing him up coolly as he waited for Darryn to make his choice. Cesc adopted the same arms crossed pose, a confident look resting comfortably on his face.

"We'll begin at your leisure."

Posted by: Master Houndoom Jul 4 2012, 03:14 AM

Branwys grinned as Cesc set her down and introduced her to his companions. She could feel the heat on her face, but found that it was very easy to ignore. What a kiss!

Of course, she hadn't gotten to say much. While he had been greeting her, she had been busy trying to re-initiate the kiss. Talking was easy, the kissing was what she wanted just then! But, as it must, the time had come to disengage, and so she got to say something then. She leaned close to Cesc and whispered, just lough enough to be heard by him and any large eared pokémon who might be listening, "I'm wearing my bikini under my dress, just so you know..."

She landed on her feet when it seemed that his fingers went slack, but he recovered very quickly. He made the introductions, and Branwys took a moment to look over Cesc's new companions. A step up from their last companion together. The guy with the guitar wasn't bad looking, or exceptionally rude, but he had been a bit loud, and full of himself. She wondered where he was, currently, but put it out of her mind almost as soon as it entered.

Instead, she concentrated on Darryn and Lyla. Darryn was sharply, if simply dressed, and she thought he looked familiar, but couldn't quite place him. He was stunningly attractive, almost as much (more, even, to an unbiased eye, which she decidedly was not) as Cesc. His hair was well groomed, and he stood with excellent posture. His face was also very expressive, and kind.

His companion, a young girl with exquisite features, had been affected by something, and the implications of that gave Branwys a warm glow. She wasn't shocked, angry, or mortified, too much, which meant that Branwys had not been taken for a young child. At least, she wasn't being taken so now. This lead to the realization that she might have been, and it might have caused some trouble for Cesc, because she had been too impatient to wait and let people realize she was not a ten year old. Her face flamed again in shame, and it took her some moments to regain composure.

"Hello!" she called, smiling shyly. "Branwys Muphenz, from Unova. Over there," she said, pointing to Dimo, who had caught Darryn's eye and even waved, if distractedly, back at Cesc, "is Dimo, my faithful cubone partner, and here," she said, holding up her bag and showing off what looked like a large gear decoration, "is Tinka, my klink best friend! It's a pleasure to meet you!"

She watched the introductions, staying on Cesc's side of the makeshift arena, but looked over at Lyla. Perhaps, once the boys had finished their battle, she and Lyla could have a go at one...

Posted by: Living Arrow Jul 4 2012, 10:52 AM

The girl named Branwys seemed cute and polite enough to Darryn's eyes, ears and more importantly, Empathic power. Her aura was light and cheerful, her mood lusty and hopeful, and everything he read from around her was worn directly on her sleeve. He liked that in a person and found himself smiling as a result. Next to him, Lyla was also smiling as her shock rapidly faded and her Emotaglow took on a pale shade of relief.

Cesc rapidly drew Darryn back to the proposal of battle and the pair immediately sought out a roughly sized battle arena in the meadow, their female companions naturally picking the side that they would stand on to support. With the distance mapped out, Darryn handed Lima to Lyla.

“Now, Lima,” Darryn fondly stroked the Cleffa's head and readjusted her blue flower barrette, “I'd like you to watch this battle and think about how a Co-Ordinator battle relies on timing and special tactics that don't always aim for a KO. Then, after we've had a practice, we'll see if you can battle against another trainer. How does that sound?”

“Fa! Cleh! Cleh-Fa!” Lima clapped her hands with delight, wriggling stiffly in Lyla's grip.

“Lima's still, like, a baby,” Lyla reminded her cousin, “it'll take totes more practice before she can battle.”

“No way,” Darryn shook his head and grinned at the pink puff in her arms, “this one's a fighter already – I'd let her battle right now if I had any clue what her attacks were like.”

“Fafafafafaaa!” Lima seemed to like this claim even more than the last. Lyla sighed and took a step back, allowing Darryn to face off against Cesc.

*A Sneasel!* Darryn noted the choice of his opponent and peered a little closer. *And a confident one at that. Lady's Flamethrower, Bravo's Heat Wave and Romeo's Double Kick... All would give me the advantage here...*

A Pokeball from Darryn's bag found his hand and he span in a boyband-esque manner, tossing the Dive Ball aloft, complete with ball capsule and seals in place, ending with a point to the sky. Bubbles and stars erupted from its core, expelling Darryn's choice of combatant.

“I choose you, Victor!”

“Squirtle!” Darryn's Tiny Turtle landed gracefully, performing the exact same spin and point that Darryn had just executed.

“And if the first move is up to us, then we'll go with a new combo - Iron Defence!” Darryn ordered.

Victor jumped, span, withdrew into his shell, and his body began to glisten like diamonds as his carapace grew tougher before the onlookers' very eyes.

“Now Rapid Spin!”

Still aloft, a blast of air came out of Victor's shell and he was away, a glittering disc hurtling straight for Cesc's Sneasel!

Posted by: Kamaitachi Jul 4 2012, 11:36 PM

Cesc watched with a soft smile on his face as Darryn and Lyla discussed the cute fat Cleffa. Lima, evidently, was the newest addition to Darryn's roster, and Cesc had no doubt that he'd soon be seeing the adorably chubby pokemon perform, either in person or on television.

In the meantime, Cesc took the opportunity to wink back at Branwys, tossing a smooch in her direction to go with it. He snapped his attention back as he heard the fabled: "I choose you" words pierce the air. Complete with Seals, which Cesc had not yet applied, a strong looking Squirtle appeared on the field. The urchin looking co-ordinator looked a bit taken aback at the choice of pokemon, having figured that Darryn would use one of his fire types. Nevertheless, Water didn't take much damage from a Sneasel's ice moves, so it appeared that Darryn had chosen defensively, to counter Oberon's swift and rapid offenses. He certainly wasn't going to win via knockout.

Darryn and Victor's initial combination seemed pretty well thought out; not only did it create a rather dazzling effect, reflecting the scattered light from between the foliage, it also served to boost Squirtle's defenses against the mainly physical attacks from Oberon. Then, in one fell motion, it turned the defensive move into a dazzling offensive one.

"Oberon! Viento Hielo" Cesc had been itching to try out single pokemon combinations. Unfortunately, he didn't really have any prepared (especially since his focus had always been on double battles), but now he weaved one together on the fly, hoping it would work.

The frigid wind shot out of Sneasel's mouth as the weasel snapped his head forward. The glittering air provided some turbulence for the Tiny Turtle's trajectory, while also shooting off the rapidly spinning carapace and creating a beautiful splash of shimmering air. Oberon's Icy Wind was not a particularly powerful attack, so Victor's Rapid Spin still made its way through, knocking into the Dark type and flipping him backwards.

"Now, through the icy air, Ataque Rápido!"

With a nod after landing, Oberon burst forward with alarming speed, springing over his opponent into the still glimmering cloud that the dispersed icy wind had created. As he slashed through it, the air caught up in the vacuum of his wake, trailing him like a comet tail as he adroitly spun and lanced towards his opponent. Due to Victor's Iron Defence, it wouldn't do much damage, but when he sprang away, the trail of icy air would impact and burst out once more.

Cesc placed a finger on his chin, a concerned look crossing his face. He wasn't quite sure if he liked the effect yet. His mind briefly wandered to seeing it in conjunction with Bardolph's Vacuum Wave, wondering if it would be a better image. For the moment, he turned to Branwys, giving her a questioning look and hoping for some feedback.

Posted by: Master Houndoom Jul 7 2012, 12:27 AM

Branwys grinned and sat nearby, "catching" the tossed smooch and putting it in her pocket. For later, of course. She giggled and blew one right back at him.

For luck, of course.

The iconic phrasing of Darryn's beginning to combat made Branwys sit up. Not many people held to the classic overtures, and she was pleased to find someone who at least remembered, or had studied in the past. Yes, she had good reason why she was well versed in some of these classic battle gestures: Most of the people she spent almost all of her time with were in their thirties or forties, and she learned everything she knew from them, but it was still good to see that such etiquette was well in place. The seals and capsules, a new thing, in fact something that had not really caught on in Unova, were impressive as well. This was not going to be some down and dirty gym battle, that was for certain!

And it wasn't. Darryn's squirtle glowed as the Iron Defense effect caught rays of light sifting through the foliage and bounced them out in a spectacular reflection, then set himself spinning like a top, flying like Captain Almia's shield toward Oberon! Branwys' back went ramrod straight, her eyes widening. It was so pretty, yet part of her wondered why? Why would someone take the time to make their moves showy?

Was this some kind of new pokémusical, or pokéwood film? That didn't seem right, either. First, there was no music, which was a surprisingly important part of a pokémon musical. And she couldn't see any cameras about. Maybe they were rehearsing...

No. No, this was too measured, spontaneous yet still planned. Improvisational, yet with a definite purpose. Darryn had attacked, and now Cesc was responding, Having Oberon coat the field with an Icy Wind, then sending him to send the mists sparkling behind him in a quick attack.

Branwys was jolted out of her analysis by Cesc looking at her. Why was he looking at her? There was a battle going on! She swallowed thickly, smiled, and waved. He had a thoughtful, quizzical look on his face. Was he asking her opinion? She barely knew what was going on!

She swallowed her panic and smiled wider. It was a pretty move, and maybe that was the point.

She glanced at Dimo, who was a bit twitchy, looking around. Would he learn to make his moves with style? Laughing a bit, she patted his helmet. He twitched, but then sat next to her, holding his bone club across his thighs rather than putting it down at his side. No, she thought, he wouldn't, but, then, he was a good fighter. He wouldn't need to.

But it wouldn't hurt to broaden his horizons some...

Posted by: Living Arrow Jul 7 2012, 11:03 AM

“Wow!” Lyla's pen scribbled quickly on her notebook. “That's, like, a totally amazing way to show of a Quick Attack!” Her praise, although for the opposition, was well said in Darryn's ears. He knew well enough that such a rapid response that utilised the ice on the field would definitely mean a drop in Darryn's points and it gave nothing back for Victor to play off of.

Darryn lowered his brow. Yes, that was an impressive combo, indeed. A stunning counter attack which left no loose ends to be taken and woven into a new pattern that he could benefit from. Cesc's style reminded him of Rio's performance in Petropolis. Every move was designed to keep the challenger on the back foot, leaving them exposed to start each round afresh. Darryn didn't like being in that position – defensive combos were much easier to prepare for so leading combos had to be spot-on to catch another Co-Ordinator off guard.

“Victor! Counter attack with Bubblebeam and Ice Punch!”

“Squirtle!” Victor emerged from his shell mid-air after being hit dead-on by the Sneasel's Quick attack and spat a string of fist-size bubbles in his wake. Landing with a tight skid on the grass, the Tiny Turtle charged back at the falling bubbles and his fists began to stream with a frozen power.

“Squir squir squir squir squirtle!” He punched the bubbles with the icy strength in his palms, sending them rocketing back at the Sneasel as a barrage of frozen orbs.

“Woah!” Lyla's notebook was forgotten for the time being. “How is that, like, possible?! Shouldn't the bubbles just, like, pop?”

Darryn grinned inwardly. And then followed it up with an outward grin.

“Vitcor knew this combo before I even caught him.” He admitted with pride. “Whoever released him didn't realise what a great job he was doing before it was too late. Victor's timing is spot-on and the Ice-type heritage he has means that he can freeze water in rapid time and allow him to do awesome moves like these! Nice job, Victor!”

“Squir!” The Tiny Turtle gave the tumbs-up over his shoulder before turning back to his opponent.

Posted by: Kamaitachi Jul 8 2012, 08:02 PM

Seeing Branwys' smile immediately sent a wave of confidence through him. With a nod, he turned back to the battle, watching Victor drop a spray of bubbles.

The surprising turn of events came when the Tiny Turtle began punching them, sending suddenly frigid bullets streaking towards Oberon.

Thinking quickly, Cesc issued another quick set of commands, instinctively keeping to the defense in order to interrupt this new combo and turn it in his favour.

"Multiplicación! Golpes Furia!" While he ordered the techniques in combination, he heard Lyla and Darryn chatting. He only caught the tail end of their conversation after his commands, but it at least explained that the Squirtle had some Ice Pokemon in his heritage, which explained the rapid freezing of the bubbles rather than popping them.

Meanwhile, Oberon's image shimmered for a moment, splitting into several forms, all identical copies of himself. The Sneasel was now using his innate agility to its fullest, creating after images through incredibly swift movement, without giving any indication that he was moving at all.

Upon hearing the second command, each one broke into a chain of elegant but deadly slashes. Oberon's claws slashed cleanly through a majority of the frigid bullets, shattering them and sending yet another glittering display into the air.

Yet, Victor's attack had still been incredibly powerful, and a few of the ice bubbles broke Oberon's defense. As the first several shots of the salvo shattered, a few slipped through, hitting Cesc's competitor heavily. The Sneasel stumbled back a few paces, losing his composure for the moment.

Cesc frowned, concerned for the well-being of his comrade, but also disappointed that the defensive combination had not entirely been a success. He imagined points falling on his side of the field as well, given the ferocity and beauty of Darryn's combination. While his own hadn't been a poorly executed one, Oberon had been overwhelmed by the attack. The difference in ability and style in this battle was becoming evident to Cesc.

Oberon took his place back on the field, staring defiantly at his chelonian opponent, holding one of his claws over his chest area, where one of the ice bubbles had struck. Cesc chanced another glance back at Branwys, but quickly snapped his attention back to the match, ready for Darryn's next move. The more seasoned co-ordinator had paid absolutely no heed to Cesc's masked play, but at least he wasn't able to predict the combinations based solely off of the commands, like Carmen had.

Really, Cesc's co-ordinating career had shot into 'hard-mode' incredibly quickly, going from Seiccan, a talented upstart, to Carmen, a Hall Leader, and now to Darryn, a more seasoned co-ordinator. This wasn't an easy string of battles, but Cesc was 2 for 2 in Contest Battles, and he wasn't ready to break the streak so quickly.

Posted by: Master Houndoom Jul 10 2012, 12:43 AM

Branwys was, to say the least, stunned.

As a little girl, she had always liked watching movies with her brothers (and Zeetha) more than with her sisters. Her sisters always picked shows like Misty's Secret Journey or The Top Percentage (By Joey). Coming of age stories, or romances (she began to see the appeal of romances at around 13, however), or girly kid's shows.

The boys (and Zeetha) preferred imported films like Fist of the Jackal, Four Flung Foes, or the most recent Spruce Lee film, 99 Problems and a Kick is All of Them. Those were fun, and the pokemon in them were awesome. In one of them, a medicham had used psychic powers to combine Surf with Close Combat in order to punch water past his opponents seemingly unbreakable guard ( and beat him. Branwys knew almost from the beginning that was fake: Medicham couldn't learn either one of those moves (as her sister Agatha and brother Tarvek loudly complained about whenever they saw it), but it had been fun to watch.

But, right before her very eyes, Darryn's squirtle had done a slower version of that very technique.

Branwys bit her lip, looking between Cesc and Darryn, and for a few, electric seconds, she wasn't sure who to root for..!

She looked across at Lyla. The other (younger?) girl was rooting for her friend (boyfriend?) with all the gusto of a manic valley girl cheerleader, but even as Branwys thought it, she felt that the assessment wasn't nearly fair. She ducked her head, hoping, still, to get a battle in with Lyla, and softly knocked on Dimo's skull helm, a signal they had developed long ago which was a combination of "be ready for anything" to "tonight we steal cookies!"

Dimo was looking out into the forest nearby. More than his sight, the field of vision of which was slightly hindered by the helm, his nose was telling him something odd... the grass was odd, somehow...

The grass was empty...

Posted by: Living Arrow Jul 10 2012, 12:23 PM

“Let's finish it off!” Darryn's call was a change in focus. Cesc's Sneasel, though much much faster than Victor, was comparably much much weaker when it came to defence. Although only a couple of glancing blows had hit home, the difference in strength was clear as the weasel stroked his chest where an ice orb had struck.

*And his Emotaglow is hardly brimming with confidence aymore.* Darryn added to himself.

“Time for a Water Pulse right at the ground!”

“Squiiir...” Victor charged the swirling ball of water between his palms, allowing it to grow into a sphere almost as large as his own head then, with a hop to get over it completely, released it at the ground. “TLE!”


Victor's small body was catapulted high into the air, his arms and legs and head and tail all sucking swiftly inside the Tiny Turtle's hard shell. In the air, Darryn's Squirtle span serenely on the spot over the grassland with shimmering droplets of water scattering all around him when...

“Hydro Pump!”

Darryn's final order elicited a stunning explosion of water from every open hole in Victor's shell which, as the move powered up, propelled the Squirtle into a spiralling frenzy like an aqua-driven catherine wheel. Angling slightly, Victor's blasting attack swept the ground as he fell, knocking out copies of the Sneasel's Double Team with ease. Bit by bit the copies were being extinguished and Darryn couldn't help but feel that all of their training together had paid off! Victor was Contest Battle ready!


Lyla jumped on the spot, throwing her fists in the air as she cheered Victor on. She had never ever seen the small Water-type battle with such a level of controlled style and his timing was pretty much perfect after he and Darryn had spent so long perfecting those moves! It had been weeks since her cousin had won the Mirrormist Ribbon and his training had been solely focused on priming Victor for battle.

”My strategy?” Darryn sipped the coffee slowly, his eyes taking on a far-away gaze that glittered with excitement. “To drop the half of the speed style of my battling in Contests and replace it with sheer toughness. Victor can take way more hits than anyone and that is what will throw the next Leader off. Just you wait and see.”

“Cleeeh!” Lima wailed at Lyla's feet where she had been set down so the Breeder could cheer unhindered. Her tiny eyes shone with delight, pink puffy body bouncing in the grass.

“That's, like, so so awesome!” Lyla crooned, her blonde hair sweeping around her in the breeze. “You can do it, Victor!”

Posted by: Kamaitachi Jul 13 2012, 10:09 AM

Cesc took a step back, awe written clearly on his face as he watched Victor ascend into the air. The rather magnificent Water-Pulse Elevator had stunned him into silence for the moment, as he found himself unable to think up a proper counter for it.

He was so used to having two pokemon to riff off of one another. While it was hardly an excuse, he saw now how it'd been a hindrance in his training. Cesc's style relied too heavily on the interplay between his two fighters.

Then again, even with two pokemon on the field, the ensuing Hydro Pump turned out to be a devastating attack. Cesc marveled at the sheer power of the Tiny Turtle as the jets of water blasted out over their makeshift battleground. Oberon's Double Team copies vanished under the torrential blasts of water, and when the attack subsided, the original lay at Cesc's feet, gasping for air. The Sneasel wasn't unconscious, but it certainly looked like he wasn't moving for awhile. The mere fact that he'd stayed conscious after such a terrifying move spoke wonders to the Pokemon's tenacity despite his frailer constitution.

Cesc knelt down, returning the Dark Weasel into his pokeball with a smile of admiration on his face.

"Come back, Oberon. You performed admirably."

Rising back up, Cesc could not conceal his disappointment. Not only had he snapped his winning streak; he'd done so in a manner of three turns. Darryn Kellor had wiped the floor with him with three well thought-out combinations.

"That was incredible." The co-ordinator flicked the brim of his hat, before resting his cheek on his hand, the other arm crossed to support and complete the image. "I'm afraid I'm not much of a match for you and Victor there."

Posted by: Master Houndoom Jul 14 2012, 02:20 AM




Branwys threw her hands up in the air, her eyes wide, her pigtails flopping as she stood up. "I can't believe it! I saw it, and I still can't believe it! You were all, 'WHOOSH', but he was all 'ha ha! I SPARKLE', and you were all, 'grrr', but he went 'KA-CHOW!' and you were like, 'I HAVE YOU NOW,' and he was all, 'Oh, no, you DI-in't!' and you were all, 'well, no, I di-in't, but I COULD have!' and I'm talking too much so I'll shut up now..."

Branwys made good on her offer to be quiet. Which was more than likely both smart and needed, as the tirade of minutes ago had been accompanied by clenched hands, pantomimed reactions, and even an obligatory head wiggle for the last two actions, complete with a raised finger and a cocked hip on the first one that would have made Beyonce want to put a ring on it.

But, of course, it was Branwys. The silence lasted for ten minutes, a personal best. "But what was that? I mean, I have seen pokemon dance and sing on stage, and I've seen fighting, but that was like... fighting, but also dancing, and I've only seen that once, in the off Nimbasa performance of A Pokéside Story! Cesc, is this what you were doing before?" Her eyes widened. "Is this a contest?"

In the mean time, Dimo was looking toward the grass. His head twitched as he heard the soft klink from Branwys' bag.

<Ja, ja, it vos gut. Excitink unt all dot.> Another series of klinks sounded, and Dimo's head whipped in the bag's direction. <Whot hyu talkink aboot? Hyu talkink nonsense. Hy am not scart of anytink...>

Tinka whirred, hardly allowing her gears to touch. Only Dimo, and possibly another, large eared pokemon close by, could hear the soft klinks.

<Ja. Dot... losink de gorl... dot Hy am afraid of...>

Posted by: Living Arrow Jul 22 2012, 03:09 PM

Darryn knelt down to receive the flying-embrace that Victor delivered him after the win. His Hydro Pump was the biggest gun in his arsenal and it had proven quite firmly to be just as spectacular as it was powerful. The progress the Tiny Turtle had made since his capture was startling and Darryn was also proud of the job he was doing building a relationship with the Water-type. In previous days, before his donated Empathy, he might not have been met with the gleeful hug from his own Pokemon and he certainly wouldn't have hoped for one. But now... Now it was... Nice.

Darryn rose to meet Cesc's gaze across the field, his own Pokemon recalled after the match.

“I'm afraid I'm not much of a match for you and Victor there.”

“Maybe not when it came to the knockout but my points would have been falling the whole way if we'd been on a stage.” Darryn admitted in return. “Those counter attacks were really fast and kept us on the ropes when we should have been pressing ahead. Great battle!”

The petite girl, Branwys, seemed to agree that the performance on both sides of the field was particularly spectacular and her excitement was more than a little contagious. Darryn found himself grinning.

“This has totes got to be the best I've ever seen Victor battle!” Lyla stroked the turtle's head fondly. “He's, like, really got that timing right now, huh?”

“Yeah, he's-” Darryn paused and looked around at the nearby grass with searching eyes. “Where's Lima?”

“She's right over th-” Lyla pointed at a bare patch of grass on the ground. Then she began twisting her head about frantically. “She's over... there? There? Oh, baby Pokemon, like, totally do this all the time! Uh, Lima? Lima?!”

“You lost my Cleffa!?” Darryn yelled at his cousin when it became rapidly clear that the starshape Pokemon was nowhere in sight. “You're meant to be the daycare expert, Ly!”

“I didn't lose her!” Lyla protested, colour rising in her cheeks and water filling her eyes. “She lost us!”

“We didn't move!” Darryn smacked a hand to his forehead. “I knew I shouldn't have put her down!”

“But Darryn, I-”

“Ssshhh!” Darryn's eyes had fluttered closed but the hand remained plastered to his forehead in concentration. <I'll find her in just a minute.>

“I didn't know you could-”

<Shut up, Ly!> Darryn berated his cousin quickly. <Those guys are strangers to us – I don't go talking about this stuff with just anybody. Just give me some time and let me focus, okay?>

“Uh-OK... I'm sorry, Darryn...” Lyla held a knuckle to her lips with worry. <Oops. I mean, OK.> Lyla tried to sweep away her frown and plaster a smile on her face as she rubbed the back of her head and waved to Cesc and Branwys.

“Looks like the battle was, like, a bit intense! Darryn's just got a little headache – it'll totally be over in a minute or two.” She lied through her practically perfect teeth. “So while he's dealing with that, we never got to ask – how come you're here at the Bouquet of Bonnies? Are you, like, interested in Pokemon Breeding?”

Posted by: Kamaitachi Jul 23 2012, 10:23 PM

Disappointment was not air one could keep with Branwys' infectious excitement filling the air. Cesc found his smile returning almost instantly as Branwys gave her intense summation.

"No need to shut up." Cesc laughed as he placed a gentle arm on her shoulder "I'm sure Darryn would agree that it's what we co-ordinators live for."

He wasn't quite sure he could speak for co-ordinators as a population, considering that he was still very much a novice in the world. However, the fact the remained that he was a perfectly validated one, with a ribbon to testify to his abilities. Darryn Kellor, a well-known name in the field, had also just complimented his battle style, which was a pretty big accomplishment as well, in Cesc's book.

"Why yes, my dear Miss Muphenz, this is a contest. Except normally there would be bar or wheel of points, like a life bar in a video game. One's creativity in creating breath-taking displays or in countering your opponent's is taken into account, and you lower the other co-ordinator's points." He complemented his little explanation with sweeping gestures of his hands, showing imaginary points falling on imaginary boards. "And you also get five minutes!"

He was about to launch into a recounting of his contest in Fidona for Branwys' sake, but Darryn interrupted by loudly berating his pretty cousin. Francesco Rojas was not an entirely chivalrous man, but he felt a strong urge to step in and defend the lady.

But, tact triumphed over chivalry, and Cesc remained quiet. He didn't know these two travelers, and he felt it best not to intervene at the moment, even if he felt sorry for the bubbly Lyla.

Darryn closed his eyes, but he held his hand to his head, a pose reminiscent of Rodin's Thinker, and he appeared to be concentrating intensely. Cesc blinked for a moment, looking at the image. Darryn looked like one of those detectives on the television, who, with great mental prowess, could sew together strings of seemingly meaningless detail into the most excellent and usually correct explanation.

The only thing off with the picture was that Lyla continued the conversation without Darryn actually addressing her, especially after she had been shushed.

Cesc prided himself in his intuition, and he figured he'd stumbled across something completely unknown. It was safest, for now, to let it remain a mystery, against his more curious instincts.

"Oh, it was definitely intense." Cesc nodded in assent, still watching Darryn.

Then, a lightbulb went off in his head, flashing an almost mischevious light from behind Cesc's mismatched eyes. Darryn really did look like one of those detectives from tv, and with the right costume and a sneaky pokemon like a Sneasel, one could potentially pull off a thrilling crime-solving appeal. He pulled out a notepad from his pocket and quickly scribbled the inspiration down.

"Well, I wanted to learn a little about pokemon breeding, most specifically, passing techniques down from generation to generation. Having some of those special moves that a pokemon normally wouldn't learn can come as a surprise during contests, right?" He smiled over at Branwys, still a bit caught up in the gravity of her excitement. "I hadn't seen Branwys in awhile, so I asked her to meet me."

Noting that Darryn still appeared to be wrapped in the throes of his 'headache', Cesc reciprocated the question in turn:

"What about you two?

Posted by: Master Houndoom Aug 1 2012, 02:10 AM

Branwys blushed at Cesc, beaming happily. It was exciting to see his dream up close and personal, and she was certain they'd just scratched the surface.

The conflict between the two new acquaintances registered, but barely bothered Branwys. She'd seen her share of familial bickerings to know one when she'd seen one. It was a little odd that Lyla seemed to be bickering with herself, if not for the looks from Darryn.

All of that paled next to the loss of the tiny (well, not exactly tiny) pink pokemon that had been in Lyla's care.

Branwys squatted next to Dimo as Darryn dealt with his headache. "Dimo, sweety? Do you think you can find the little lost pokemon?"

Dimo looked up at her, his eyes behind his skull helmet quivering as he struggled not to widen them in fear. Branwys stroked the length of bone that formed the nasal covering on the skull. Dimo began tapping his bone club on the ground, agitated, but Branwy's hand was soothing. He had always calmed when she'd stroked this portion of his helmet. The rasping of her skin against bone, the vibrations carrying the sound as a deep rasping hum to his aural canal, soothed him as it always had.

He looked over his shoulder, turned back to her, and nodded.

Branwys beamed at him and then dug into her bag, pulling out a figgy berry and feeding it to him before he walked away. Standing, she turned, hearing Lyla's question, and answering after Cesc. "Oh, I just came here to meet up with mo chuisle here, but yes, I would love to see the inside! I've seen breeders before, but where they were it was so sterile! This place looks rustic, even, dare I say it... cute?!"

Posted by: Living Arrow Aug 3 2012, 01:35 AM

In the dark space behind his eyes, Darryn fled to the place where all Emotaglows nearby hid when he managed to banish them from regular sight. There, he had no body and neither did the people and Pokemon around him – only their emotional essence pulsated in the void, giving off a myriad colours of varying intensity which denoted each being's emotive state.

Lyla. Blue with sadness, green with desperation, pale yellow with shame. She was the closest to Darryn and so bore the most impressionable Emotaglow which nearly blocked out his vision entirely. Not only that told him that his cousin was nearby – her Emotions carried her own personal signature and he was relying on finding Lima's equivalent. True, it wouldn't tell him exactly where she was but at least he'd be able to work out how far away she was. He brushed those lights aside and scanned a broader range, finding the balls of light that made up Cesc and Branwys then the girl's little Cubone. Expanding his search outward, Darryn's focus shifted through the meadow.

Some small Pokemon was very happy for some reason but it wasn't Lima that had found a sweet Pecha berry. A group of Pokemon, all with the placid calm of a herd, milled around in the long grass. Another pair of Pokemon were pretty angry and, judging from their proximity to each other, it was likely that their feelings were towards each other. But still no Cleffa.

Then, just as Darryn was about to give up as he reached the limit of his abilities, a tiny flicker of fear began to wail in the dark. He focused on it intently and watched as the ball of panic throbbed with an intense terror that only someone in real danger would be able to conjure up.

Darryn's eyes flicked open.

“Someone's scared...” He whispered to himself and automatically began looking around for the source. The herd Pokemon in his Emo-state appeared on the far side of the meadow, a wandering group of deer-like Pokemon with coats that shifted and shimmered in colour between a deep pink and a verdant green. Although Darryn had never seen one before, he was too focused on finding the fearful soul that they went unnoticed for the time being. A Pachirisu with a Pecha berry flitted past them through the grass. Two Bellsprout fought in the far distance to untangle their roots from one another.

Try as he did, Darryn could not see the source of the fear nor could he find the precious baby Pokemon that his friend had given him. Irritated, he cast another look over the meadow and straightened up, moving back to join Lyla with Cesc and Branwys.


“Oh, this place is totally cute!” Lyla agreed with Branwys whole-heartedly. “We're, like, out here because this breeding center specialises in techniques that will totally revolutionise commercial Pokemon Breeding!”

Lyla's beaming smile plastered her face for a long moment before she realised that her explanation of why she and Darryn were visiting was not really an explanation at all.

“Y'see, I'm a Pokemon Breeder and I'm on a mission to prepare some Pokemon for my Center for a couple of customers. Then, when I heard about this place, I was all like: 'Dar, we like have to see this!' and he was all like: 'I totes have a photo shoot' and I was all like:' “but Daaar!' and then he caved and now we're here! The Bouquet of Bonnies is famous for being a specialist in Grass Group breeding and have even found a way to bring out the true potential of Hidden Abilities from all sorts of Pokemon.” Hernotebook was out in a flash, a dainty finger stabbing a page with conviction. “There was an article on the second of May stating that they had even managed to draw out Leaf Guard in baby Budew! That's, like, so awesome! It makes breeding more exciting, opens up doors for new customers and allows for unpredictable battling for any number of trainers around the world!”

Lyla's tirade ended with her nearly breathless. Talking about her passion was one of her favourite pasttimes and she could get carried away rather quickly.

“And we wanted to visit the Breeders here but the Center is locked...” Lyla looked back at the small farm house, “And there doesn't seem to be anyone home.”

<Someone is in there, Ly.> Darryn's voice blossomed in her head suddenly and her back stiffened but she managed not to utter anything.


<They must have been asleep or something before but I can feel them now.> Darryn went on as he came up to Lyla's side. <And whoever is in there is extremely scared of something.>

“Maybe we should go and knock one more time to double check?” Darryn offered the group. “They might not have heard us the first time.”

<Is it Lima?>

<No, I can't feel her anywhere near here...> Darryn's thought-speech was strained. <But I can send Romeo after her with his nose – he's so fast we'll be sure to have her back in a flash.>

<I'm sorry, Darryn.>

“And to find Lima,” Darryn maximised and dropped his Quick Ball to reveal the bandana-wearing Romeo at his feet. “Romeo, please sniff out Lima and find where she has gotten to. When you get her, bring her back to us?”

“Teetee!” The lightning hound barked happily and, after a couple of sniffs to the ground, sparked off through the grass.

Posted by: Kamaitachi Aug 3 2012, 11:36 PM

Not sure what 'Mo Chuisle' meant, or even what language it was from, Cesc hoped that it was a term of endearment, especially since it was aimed at him.

"I hope that meant 'Captain Sexypants'." Cesc whispered to Branwys.

As Lyla began to explain their presence, at first Cesc merely nodded and listened politely with a hand gently resting on Branwys' shoulder. But as he heard the phrase: "true potential of hidden abilities", his hand immediately shot into his pockets, procuring a small notebook and a pen. As Lyla pointedly indicated things in her notebook, Cesc scribbled away furiously, focusing on writing as fast as he heard her speak...which proved to be rather difficult.

Cesc dotted the final sentence with a flourish before snapping his notebook shut. With notes accurately taken, he slipped them back into his pockets, just as Darryn arrived.

"Glad your headache's done with, brother." He flashed a toothy grin in Darryn's direction, "Looked like a real doozy."

As the group began to plot its next move, Darryn revealed Romeo, which turned out to be a dazzling Jolteon.

"Wow." Cesc's head tilted to one side as he watched the Jolteon speed off. Darryn's Romeo was not only viciously cool-looking, but also possessed a Shakespearean name, which meant it was a pokemon after Cesc's own heart.

He grinned at the thought of Romeo and Tybalt, Cesc's Zangoose, duking it out as well. It didn't end well for the Tybalt in the play, but then again, it didn't end well for Romeo either. The thought slowly crept away from Cesc before he got too carried away with it.

"Well, let's double check." Cesc hopped right over to the entrance of the Bouquet of Bonnies and rapped the door smartly a few times. There was nothing but a brief echo of Cesc's knocking, so he turned back to face the group. "So far...nothing. Any more ideas?"

Posted by: Master Houndoom Aug 6 2012, 11:30 PM

Branwys smirked, and gently elbowed Cesc in the shoulder before he rose up. "Don't make fun of one of my native languages, a mhuirnín," she said back, not quite a whisper, as he'd been pulling away, but still too soft for their companions to hear. She hoped. "It's Captain Sexyshorts..."

She smiled brightly at him as he rose, then turned to Lyla. She seemed the excitable sort, and her comments about the breeders in the building they stood in front of were delivered in rapid fire speech, soon punctuated with citations and remembrances an comments on technique. It all seemed familiar, but Branwys couldn't quite place it...

Wait, did she say..?

"You specialize in commercial pokémon breeding? Omigosh, my brother Gil works for one! I mean, don't get me wrong, this guy's old fashioned, but that actually helps his business, he caters to the purists who only want Unova native pokémon, which is a silly idea, I mean, there's some really great pokémon in all regions! Agatha, my eldest sister, bred Dimo (eee!) for me, and he's the as good, better, even, than almost any pokemon from Unova! Ooo, do you think they use some machines? I mean, like maybe just something for analysis? Do they rely on some kind of mystical stones? Ooo, I want to know so bad!"

Presently Darryn came back into view. After trying the door, Branwys' heart fell. She had gotten excited.

Then it was posited to try again, with the brief, exciting distraction of Darryn's amazing jolteon, who tore off toward the woods. She couldn't help to feel a little miffed, despite knowing that Darryn had not known she had sent her own Dimo after the little cleffa. Dimo could find anything, anywhere. He may not be fast, but he got results!

Oh well... Branwys stepped up to the door, put her hand out and up, and pulled the door handle down. It stood to reason that if these were their normal business hours, the door would be unlocked.


Dimo did not like the idea of the going into the woods. Very rarely was he unable to do something that Branwys asked him to do, and when those times came, it was never because of any failing on his part.

OK, there was the one time with the lillipup, the garden, and a malfunctioning sprinkler, but he had just hatched and Branwys hadn't asked him as much as mentioned it in front of him. So it didn't count.

A yellow blur streaked past, saying, or asking, something as it passed, and it was in pokemon speech, but it was speaking too fast to discern.

He stood outside the forest, looking in. Something was wrong. All of his instincts pointed out to an undeniable wrongness.


Dimo started, then looked up. Above him, on a sturdy branch, a yellow pokémon, theropodal with baggy skin about his rear legs, looked down at him, his round head tilted slightly in curiosity.

<You thinkin' 'bout goin' in there, eh?>

Dimo scowled up at the pokemon, a motion that was all but invisible through his helmet. <Ja, Hy am, not dat it's any concern to hyu.>

The lizard pokemon jerked his head, tilting it right, then left again, with two small pops at each direction. <Yer funeral, pal. Somethin's in that forest. Somethin' mean. Somethin' scary... Dem folks messed with stuff they shouldta, and now there's somethin' in the dark... somethin' pokémon wasn't meant ta know.> He looked down, a smirk passing over his wide mouth. <Ain't some place you should go, yanno?>

Dimo snorted. <Tanks for da varnink, but hy gotta go vere hy been told.> More about bravado than any better feelings about what the forest held, Dimo stepped in.

The pokémon shook his head, leaning back against the tree trunk, still well in the sunlight. <Hey. Yer funeral, pal...>

Posted by: Living Arrow Aug 11 2012, 10:52 AM

It never occurred to Darryn that the Bouquet of Bonnies would be unlocked since there was no indication of anyone being home but sure enough, Branwys had opened the door with no effort. Darryn frowned and followed his newest acquaintances inside with Lyla alongside him.

The building was relatively small – a single floor with no more than five or six room with an elongated barn-like structure attached to the back. The dwelling portion consisted a large kitchen, bathroom, couple of bedrooms and a modest living space that indicated that no more than three or four people stayed in the establishment at any one time but it offered a decent amount of space for those who occupied it. It was oddly cold inside even though the sun was shining so brightly outside. No lights were on, no sounds came from within and absolutely nothing was in one piece.

There was a long period of shocked silence as the quartet stood in the wrecked remains of the large kitchen, the dark tiles under their feet strewn with pots and pans, broken crockery, scattered human and Pokemon food, an upturned bin, dead leaves and, most shockingly, a dark red-brown stain spattered up a door on the far wall – probably a pantry.

“Is that-” Darryn began a whisper.

“Oh my God, it's BLOOD!" Lyla screamed and grabbed his arm tightly, hugging to him as tightly as humanly possible with her face buried into his shoulder.

The fear response of Lyla buffeted on Darryn's Empathy shield and he had to focus on nothing else for a moment before he could reign in her terror in his eyes and compact it into a tiny ball that he could work around. The other fearful presence that had been in the building before them had swollen in size as they had entered and showed no signs of subsiding.

“Ly, it's alright...” Darryn stroked her hair with his free hand, trying to keep his own voice from breaking. “You can go back outside if you-”


Darryn yelped and jumped, the shaking form of Lyla letting loose a shriek and her body flung into overdrive as she fought Darryn's grip to run for the exit. They stumbled together and crashed into a heap on the tiles, squirming in vain to get up as the pantry door began to swing open...


Flit! Flit flit!

Romeo's dashing paws made tiny skitters of broken twigs and dead leaves as he flew through the forest, and past a Cubone, after the scent of the newest member of his family. The little one was a cute thing that loved to eat and look in a mirror and for her to have gotten this far on her own from their master she'd also mastered the Agility technique, just like Romeo. He was impressed! For something so non-speedy as a Cleffa she sure had taken off like a rocket. (It was a shame the Jolteon had fewer braincells than a gnat).

*But never as fast as meee!* The Jolteon thought to himself as he zipped under the dappled sunlight after the faint trace of starshape Pokemon.

Tree, tree, treetreetreetreetree! Romeo's feet gathered more and more momentum and the scent of Lima was getting stronger by the second which meant...


The vine struck the ground just ahead of Romeo but his instincts and reactions were second to none! His evasion was one of his best assets and with a smart leap, he cleared the vegetative whip and literally took to the air, spinning back and barking out:

“Charge BeammmAH!” Lightning flew from his mouth in a dagger-like jet that he swept across his vision, cutting through vines, roots and other vegetation like a machete. With electricity sparking around his body, Romeo's fur rose to many needle-like points and his crackling feet plopped to the ground with a hum of static. His ears twitched this way and that, heart hammering a drumbeat in his chest while his eyes scanned for any sign of movement. The darkness around him seemed to vibrate with energy but Romeo could smell no obvious source of the attack nor see what lay in the shadows beyond his vision under the trees...

Motes of broken leaves and dust danced in the rays of sunlight that broke through the forest canopy and glittered around the Jolteon like diamonds as he tensed every muscle... More vines!

“Thunder WaaaaaaveAH!” He shrieked as a ring of vines burst from the forest floor all around him, reaching for his body like fingers of a starving monster. His power tore through the plants once more, a circle of lightning zapping out in a circle to target every direction at once. Well, every direction but upwards.

FWAAPPP! The Power Whip thundered into Romeo's skull and in a daze that lasted only a moment, the Jolteon screamed out to the forest in a whimper of pain. Then the shadows claimed him.

Posted by: Kamaitachi Aug 14 2012, 04:08 PM

Branwys had applied Occham's Razor in its most pure form. There was a door, and she had opened it. Amused, Cesc began to wonder if the constant need for the flashiness and trickiness of Contest Battles was beginning to bleed over into his everyday thought processes. Sure, he was already a relatively showy person, with his style and mannerisms, but it didn't mean that his most perfunctory tasks had to be the same way.

Following after Branwys, the co-ordinator took a good look around the room. Cesc hadn't seen a place this messy and unused since living in The Under. Even that place had long since disappeared after all its denizens moved up top to Pyrite Town. The Crevice had been filled in, and now the Under no longer existed...which meant that this was probably the messiest, most neglected place on earth, as far as Cesc was concerned.

At Lyla's scream, Cesc, without thinking, stepped in front of Branwys protectively. His reaction surprised him, considering that the noise had come from Lyla.

But then the ensuing "CLANG" rang through the kitchen, and Lyla and Darryn found themselves in a tangled heap on the floor. Cesc's hands balled into fists immediately as he tensed. The fear in his body transformed quickly into adrenaline, and Cesc prepared to attack, with his bare hands, whatever appeared from the pantry. Such a heroic and foolhardy reactions had never been part of his physical vocabulary before. Even the thought of retrieving one of the pokeballs from his vest was completely abandoned. Then again, he couldn't remember the last time, if ever, that he'd been this terrified.

Face pale, fists trembling, Cesc chanced a glance back at Branwys, offering a weak smile:

"Don't worry. I've got this."

Posted by: Master Houndoom Aug 24 2012, 01:22 AM

When Lyla screamed, Branwys about jumped out of her skin. She had been fascinated with the interior of the place, and not a little creeped out, that a place so lived in would be so... empty.

Lyla had been much more affected than Branwys, or at least much more outward about it. Branwys was plenty frightened, but it had always been her instinct to shrink back, be small (shaddap!), remain unseen. Lyla's reaction was surprising. If something was in there waiting for them, he, she, or it would certainly be ready to pounce now.

Branwys had taken Lyla's reaction and subsequent induced clumsiness with something akin to aplomb. Her sister Zola was quite excitable herself, and had been prone to screaming at being startled when Branwys was much younger (usually due to some perceived danger Branwys had been in).

But Branwys was not. Healthy fear was fine, but she never allowed fear to overwhelm her. Zola said that she was too fearless, but that wasn't true. She simply knew there were times, many times, when fear had to take a back seat.

Being startled, though. THAT was something else, and Branwys' heart was still pounding.

Cesc had stepped in front of her, and that was sweet, and noble. But then he'd told her he "had this", and that was... a little annoying. She didn't call him out on it, though. She wanted to, but there was scattered food, and what looked like either extreme rust or... worse, on the walls, and a door was opening.

Branwys pulled Tinka off of her bracket on Branwys' bag and rested her against the long sleeve of her forearm. Tinka obligingly hovered there, touching the girl's arm, not perched on it, but against it, like a shield. Branwys took a step up, pulling even with Cesc. They would handle it.

Probably mostly him, but not for lack of her trying.

The door opened fully, and all thoughts of a fight fled Branwys' mind. "Oh, honey," she said softly, lowering her arm.


There was a commotion ahead. Something was fighting something else. That wasn't odd, in woods, or tall grass, or any place else pokémon lived wild. Nature Red in Fang and Claw was the rule. Even if the Fangs and Claws were also sparks and flames, or vines and water, or dark thoughts and fighting spirit. Survival was what it was, and battles were, after all, a natural extension of a pokémon's instinct.

That was why Dimo never understood, whenever he'd deigned to pay attention to whatever silly newscast or television show that had such debates, why anyone would want to halt the tournaments or other activities that let pokémon battle. Sure, it wasn't right to force a pokémon to battle that didn't want to, not when it didn't need to to survive, but to deny it the ability all together?

Humans could be cruel.

Dimo could see flashes in the distance, and, remembering what he had been like when *he* was young, he moved toward them. The humans talked about the missing pokémon as if it had been young. Flashes of light were sure to attract him... her... it...

There was a yellow streak blazing over in that direction, making a ruckus and having a good time. He could hear the snap of electricity, but paid that no mind. He had nothing to fear from that particular energy...

He managed to get close enough to see the jolteon go down, and that wasn't right. Something about him, maybe his cleanliness, maybe the way his fur laid flat while unconsciousness claimed it, maybe the smell he was now close enough to catch, told Dimo that this wasn't a wilder.

Dimo threw his bone, watching as it curved out in a diagonal arc, striking something away from the jolteon before arcing back to his outstretched claw. <Hyu vant to take him? Hyu gots to get tru me, first!>

Posted by: Living Arrow Aug 25 2012, 10:33 AM

“Nooo....” Lyla groaned as she fought to free herself from Darryn's arms, the pantry door slowly swinging back to reveal their demise...

Or not.

From the dark on the other side of the door, a tiny boy around the age of five or six peered around the corner. His fawn-coloured hair was in disarray over a cute little face with a smattering with freckles and dirt that made him look as though he'd been sunbathing under a sieve. His eyes were wide and shining with a blend of wonder and fear, echoing the tears that had clearly falling in unwiped trickles down his face where the dirt had been stained into little dark rivulets. A matching streak connected his nostrils and mouth where the tears had caused a runny nose.
The boy's clothes were dusty and torn, a simple combo of a t-shirt and shorts that had seen better days but were otherwise intact. He wore no socks or shoes. In short, he looked an absolute state.

“Oh honey...”

Branwys's offering was on Lyla's lips, too. This sorry soul of a child looked like one of those refugees in a war-torn country on the news that was quickly followed by an advert for sponsorship of a sick orphan. Any charity wanting an opportunity for a child welfare marketing photo would have been snapping away for hours with this kid.

Darryn and Lyla, more than slightly relieved, were able to untangled themselves a lot more easily and return to standing along with Cesc and Branwys to see the little boy regarding them all with concern born from fear. The Co-Ordinator could sense that the boy was definitely the source of fear that he could feel from the meadow and, judging from the state he was in, it was clear that the child had experienced some very serious trauma.

“Are you, OK?” Darryn asked quietly, trying to offer the boy a smile. The boy simply stared back for a moment before slowly giving a single nod.

“Like, where are his parents?” Lyla looked around the group. “This is totally weird.”

The boy's eyes began to well up with tears at the mention of his parents and Lyla began to frantically backpedal.

“Nono, baby!” Lyla fussed, holding her hands together under her chin. “Please don't cry – we're nice people, really! Um, like, we, like, came to visit the breeders here and just found the house like, well, like this... Where is everyone?”

“I-in,” The boy's voice was dry and hoarse, “in the sh-shadows...”

“Not ominous at all...” Darryn muttered to himself but it was clear that everyone had heard him. He blushed a little and addressed the group. “Uh, shall we go to a Pokemon Center with this kid and-”

“No!” The boy yelled, shrinking back into the pantry. “Not in the dark!”

“It's not dark...” Lyla crouched down and fell into breeder-talks-to-baby mode. “It's still the afternoon. And if you're scared of the dark, we'll be with you. Right, guys?”

There was a general assurance of safety from the others but the boy remained unconvinced.

“I-i'm not scared of the dark.” The child's protest was shaky but firm, almost as though he was trying to convince himself just as much as the trainers. “I'm scared of them in the dark.”

A chill ran up Darryn's spine. This was way too 'horror movie' to ignore. No adults around, a trashed house, a lone and scared child, talk of 'them' in the dark... Too much was pointing to the 'get out of here' on the Darryn descis-o-meter for him to be comfortable with staying in the house to talk to the kid.

“Have you got a name?” Darryn asked softly. “I'm Darryn and this is my cousin, Lyla. That's Branwys and this is Cesc. We're all Pokemon trainers so you don't have to worry about a thing if we go outside – we promise.”

“P-promise?” The kid was met with softly warm smiles as he stepped completely out of the pantry, looking from one trainer to another with wide eyes. He gingerly took the out-stretched hand of Lyla and said quitely, “my name's Bobby.”

“Nice to meet you, Bobby.” Darryn reached down to softly stroke the boy's uncontrolled hair. “You're very brave.”

*Well, you are now, anyway.* Darryn thought as he sucked out a portion of fear and injected a healthy dose of hope and trust into Bobby's Emotaglow. Thankfully, there was a spark of both already there so there wouldn't be any ultimate confusion for the boy's shift in mood.

<Ly, can you take care of him and get him some Moomoo Milk or something? Something is majorly wrong with this place and I doubt we're going to have a simple trip to the Pokemon Center anymore.> Darryn sent his cousin as they made their way out of the house and back into the meadow.

<Y-yeah, sure.> Lyla's thought-speech even sounded shaky.

“So, what are we thinking?” Darryn asked Cesc and Branwys once Lyla and Bobby were a safe distance away and the breeder's Azurill was present to start helping to wash the boy's face off. “Pokemon thieves came and roughed the place up? The kid's parents got too involved and ended up getting hurt? Nothing about this place is normal...”

Posted by: Kamaitachi Aug 26 2012, 03:02 PM

Tensing up as he prepared for the pantry door to open further, Cesc felt a strange mixture of both annoyance and relief as Branwys stepped up next to him. It gave way to the sense that they'd probably be fine. Cesc felt a bit confused at all the emotion running through him. Sure everything felt like they were currently in a horror movie...but it didn't mean that something horrifying was going to pop out of the pantry. More than likely, it would just be a pokemon, and they'd either fight it or let it go. There was no need to bodily through themselves at it.

Though, Branwys in a set of viking armor, Tinka Shield, and a horned helmet was an amusing image.

He couldn't help but crack a grin at the thought. He'd have to ask her to try that outfit out, even if just for their own amusement.

The smile, however, quickly faded.

A tiny, terrified and raggedy looking child emerged from the pantry door. On the one hand, Cesc felt extremely glad that no nightmare monsters from realms unspeakable had emerged. On the other hand, he had not expected this. Cesc immediately recognized the look of a child who'd been on his own for a bit; something not uncommon back when he lived in The Under.

He stood in silence for the moment as he watched the interchange between the boy and his current companions. The boy's response to the question: "Where is everyone" was unsuprisingly portentous. Darryn's muttered response only drew a nod of assent from Cesc.

Before long, Lyla had led Bobby back out to the meadow, and Darryn turned to them, pondering ideas. Pokemon Thieves sounded reasonable, and probably the most logical.

"I dunno." Cesc looked around, casting a glance around the room. "I guess it makes sense...but I don't see how they'd scare the kid that badly to the point where he wouldn't even try to escape and get help." Maybe he was giving the kid too much credit. Bobby didn't look to be more than five years old, and maybe big scary men with big scary pokemon were just as scary as shadow monsters.

As his adrenaline finally dissipated, he looked around the room once more, scanning to see if anything looked particularly out of place. Upon first inspection, he found nothing out of the ordinary, given that he wasn't even sure what qualified as ordinary.

He began to wander around a bit, eying things that seemed interesting, but found nothing even remotely helpful.

"We might as well look for clues, like they do on tv. Maybe we can figure out what the "them" is."

Posted by: Master Houndoom Sep 6 2012, 02:05 AM

Branwys looked around the kitchen. It wasn't with a little shame that she noticed her eyes dashing quickly over the rust brown stains in the corner. She wasn't a fearful person, normally, but there were only two things that could possibly be from... and she knew enough about rust to know that wasn't it.

She checked the pantry, where the boy had been hiding. It was probably a smart move, plenty of food, and there were some cans of some kind of drink he could probably hold out with. The lack of strong smell was significant, she knew, but she hadn't placed what until it hit her: he hadn't had to go to the bathroom while he was here. Come to think of it, the food hadn't been touched, either.

That meant he hadn't been in here long.

Coming out of the pantry, she looked over the kitchen, unconsciously edging away from the spattered door. It was a shambles. Everything except for the bulk of the table was broken, and the chairs were a mess. The door had been half ripped from the stove, and the refrigerator's outer shell was badly dented. Not so badly dented, she noted, to break the seal keeping in the cold in. She opened it and looked at the food inside. It was at least half full.

She wandered out as Cesc looked for clues, as Darryn did what he had set out to do. She had been quiet from the exchange, because she was right scared, but something was bothering her. Something wasn't right.

The living room was worse than the kitchen. She couldn't see where "Them" had entered yet, but she thought she could determine where the chase had taken place: There were the remains of some pieces of furniture, some heavy, some obviously thrown in desperation. There were more dead leaves around, scattered amidst the shattered furniture, including a large pile that appeared to still be drying.

There was an obvious path, and Branwys could almost see the chase, the frightened, panicking people, Billy carried, screaming as who... or what... got closer and closer, until, finally, the pantry door was opened, and Billy was thrust in, but his guardian, his father, mother, or both, were grabbed from behind, having only time to slam the door, protect their son before--

Branwys gasped and bolted to the kitchen, passing Darryn and Cesc, until she got to the pantry. She yanked the door open, looking at the packaged, still barely touched food. Despite the potential for "gee, Branny, have you gone crazy?!" she went to the refrigerator and opened it. Half empty. Half full.

"They didn't touch the food," she said, clearing her throat and looking toward the stain on the door with growing horror.


Dimo was shaky, on his last legs. It was only his experience that had kept him up for as long as he had been able. That was about to change, drastically, and he found himself oddly complacent.

He would miss Branwys, he decided, in the afterlife. But who knew? He'd heard tell of a brave Mother of his species who lingered long after death to protect her young. Maybe he could keep himself around Branwys long enough to protect her.

The vine came from his left, but at the last second he realized it was a feint and, instead of spinning and parrying it with his bone club, he dropped to the ground, letting two vines, one from the left, and one from the right, pass over him. He rolled away, panting.

He wasn't about to just give up just because the end was near.

Felt bad for the sparkdog, though.

Another vine. Another strike.

Another dodge. For as long as it took.

Posted by: Living Arrow Sep 9 2012, 02:30 PM

“That’s it, Suika.” Lyla fussed her Azurill as he poured bubbles over Bobby who was actually quite happy to rub himself down amid the foam while stripped only to his underwear. At Lyla’s heel, her Miltank named Momo was churning out a Moomoo Milk into a sterilised bottle that the Breeder carried in her pack for emergency baby-Pokemon feeds.

The events within the Bouquet of Bonnies had spooked Lyla to her core and she was still extremely uncomfortable outside the building on her own but she had to be brave for little Bobby and Darryn. Whatever horrors the kid had been through, Darryn was clearly rattled by the scene they had found and the loss of Lima. That said, Lima was sure to return with Romeo any minute – the Jolteon was insanely fast and there was simply no way the tiny Cleffa could have gotten far on her own.

“Thanks, Miss.” Bobby said as Lyla wrapped a fluffy cream towel around his shoulders. His little smile was sweet and she was able to return it with a heartfelt one of her own.

*Damn, I love kids!* Lyla crooned inwardly as she helped Bobby dry himself and pull on his clothes which had become another practice for Suika’s Refresh attack.

“You are, like, quite welcome, Bobby.” Lyla smoothed the kid’s hair and handed him the freshly squeezed moo-juice which he drank heartily. “Do you think we could talk about what happened in your house?”

The boy stopped drinking and looked into the milk silently. Just mentioning the fact that something had gone down at the Bouquet of Bonnies was rattling him? Whatever it was must have been serious.

“Sh-sure.” He managed, sipping the milk slower this time. Lyla sat on the grass with him, her pink and white dress billowing around her like a table cloth. Bobby sat on it cross-legged and close to the Breeder. She looked him over once more. Nothing about the way he carried himself said that he had been physically abused but he had definitely seen something in that house.

“So, how did you, like, get to be here on your own?” Lyla started plucking a daisy and splitting its stem in the middle. She threaded another daisy through the hole and passed the pair of flowers to Bobby. He took it slowly and made a more awkward split in the stem of the second daisy, reaching for another flower to continue the chain.

“Mumma and Puppa were here,” he said as they began to pass the growing chain back and forth between them, “but they didn’t come back to get me.”

“Where’d they go?”

“I dunno…” Bobby raised his eyes to look sadly at Lyla. “I didn’t see but they were sayin’ that the linnynige had gone wrong.”

Lyla raised her eyebrows. “The lineage? The lineage had gone wrong?” She asked again.

“Yeah…” Bobby frowned. “What’s a linny... lineage?”

“It’s the family that you come from.” Lyla explained, weaving a buttercup into their daisy chain. “Say this buttercup is me, then this daisy would be my Dad, then this one my grandpa, then my great grandpa and so on.”

“Like a family tree?”

Just like that! But when we talk about the lineage of Pokemon, we look at the different kinds of Pokemon that are in a single individual’s ancestry to determine what the next step in the chain will be like before it happens.” Lyla began to pick different flowers and weave them into places higher up the chain. “Now let’s say this chain is a Pokemon’s lineage. At different times in the past, other kinds of Pokemon have been introduced and it passes on certain traits to the babies down the line. If we know all of these things about a Pokemon then we can pair it with another to get the babies to look a certain way, know certain attacks or even behave differently.”

“Or have different Abilities?” Bobby suggested.

“Well, yes!” Lyla laughed. “Wow, you’re, like, totes smart, Bobby!”

“Sure I am! I can tell what Ability any Pokemon has!”

“Ha! Well, that would be totally cool if you could,” Lyla ruffled his hair fondly, “but you need to, like, make a Pokemon battle first in a lot of cases to work out what they are capable of.”

“Nu-Uh!” Bobby shook his head profusely. “Mumma said I have a gift. She said that I was special.”

“Special…” Lyla’s stomach gurgled. How was that possible? She’d been a Breeder for a couple of years and had never ever heard of the possibility that someone could ever tell what Ability a Pokemon had just by looking at it. Maybe this kid was special like Darryn was special…

“It’s true!” Bobby jumped up and pointed across the meadow. “See those Pokemon?”

In the distance a pocket of quadruped Pokemon were grazing. On close inspection, Lyla could see that they were fawns with shimmering pink flanks that depicted floral patterns under the sun. Some were shifting in and out to a verdant green colour, almost as though they could not decide which colour they should be right there and then. Whatever they were, Lyla had never seen one before but they were certainly beautiful.

“Those were bred by Mumma an’ Puppa. They ask me ‘What Ability do these Deerling have?’ an’ I look at them an’ I just know it’s called Chlorophyll. I dunno how, I jus’ know!” Bobby explained.

Lyla couldn’t believe what she was hearing. It wasn’t possible! But, sure enough, the Pokemon named Deerling all turned their heads in unison as if hearing something in the distance and jumped into a spritely run, their legs flickering with golden sparks as they dashed at top speed through the grass under the bright sun.

“And what about that one, Bobby?” Lyla pointed to a Deerling that couldn’t keep up with the others. It looked slightly different from the others, the sun catching it with a different light and setting its fur a shade lighter than the others.

“Oh, he’s got something called Sap Sipper.” Bobby explained. “The only one in the lot. Mumma and Puppa kept saying ‘You tell us when one has Serene Grace’ so I checked and checked.”

“So why are those Deerling free in the meadow?”

“Broke out when… when… they got out.” Bobby’s mood clouded over. “The ones that went wrong.”

“Pokemon with a bad lineage? They broke out here, at the Center?” Lyla pressed the boy for information. “What Pokemon? Did they do all that damage in the house? What did your parents’ do?”

“I, I dunno…” Bobby frowned. “But they got a big book and write everything down in there every day. It’s sooo boooring.”

“Do you, like, think we could go and read it?” Lyla grew a little more hopeful for their situation. At least it wasn’t some sort of psycho loose in the woods butchering people!... Like that made any difference?!

*But a Pokemon wouldn’t do just jump up and hurt a person… would it?*


With Cesc and Branwys both looking around for any sign of what had happened at the quaint breeding center, Darryn moved into the hall and leaned his back against the wall for support. In all the excitement of being inside the trashed Breeding Center he had almost forgotten that his Cleffa had gone missing and there was no sign of Romeo’s return. He reached out with his Empathy and felt nothing like the bubbly signature of the Jolteon but that might only mean he was out of range – Darryn hadn’t experimented fully with the distance he could sense but he doubted it was beyond a couple hundred metres or so.

Branwys wandered about quietly, seemingly caught up in looking for clues as Cesc had suggested and so Darryn decided to take a look around himself. Venturing to the bedrooms set his nerves a little on edge as there was no guarantee that the perpertrators of the ransacking around them had left the premises.

The master bedroom was largely untouched but the room that was decorated for a young boy, clearly Bobby’s, was messy. Not like anything had trashed the place in the same way downstairs but more as though a certain young boy had hurriedly grabbed things out of drawers and from under the bed, leaving unwanted clothes and toys strewn across the floor. Was this the doings of a kid who was scared to be in his own room? Dashing in and out with the item he wanted already in mind so that he’d not have to spend more than a second extra on his own in that space?

“Poor guy…” Darryn whispered to himself as he returned to the kitchen, Branwys hurrying in behind him and yanking open the fridge.

“They didn’t touch the food.” Her claim was momentarily nonsensical to Darryn. So? Do Pokemon thieves or general burglars usually take the time to grab lunch on the way out? But then as she looked at the apparent blood stain, eyes widening with horror and red aura flooding her Emotaglow, the Co-Ordinator was able to put two and two together.

“You think whatever did this ate the breeders?!” Darryn gasped. This was unreal! He defensively reached for Lady’s Pokeball and stroked the top of the capsule for comfort. Whatever threatened to jump out from hidden corners surely couldn’t hope to stand up against her. “Sorry, but this is way too murder-in-the-dark for me. And after that kid said they, whatever they are, are around in the dark then I’m not sticking around to be next. We should get that boy to a Pokemon Center and call the police or something.” He glanced towards the window then down at his watch. “There’s about two or three hours until sunset – I’m finding my Cleffa and getting out of here before then. What are you two going to do?”

Just then the room became crowded again.

“Darryn!” Lyla stumbled into the room with little Bobby on her heels. She was red-cheeked from running in and her breathing was rapid. “Something that was being bred here did this – Bobby’s parents were doing some sort of experimental breeding. Somewhere they, like, kept a diary. If we can find it then we can, like, see what did all of this.”

Posted by: Kamaitachi Sep 12 2012, 12:36 AM

"Gee, Branny, have you gone crazy?" Cesc grinned as Branwys made the mad dash past him. From prior experience, he had figured Branwys to be a person who did not let things stand in her way. Perhaps it was a bit of a Napoleonic Complex. Really, though, he realized rather quickly that she was simply a determined person. When an idea struck her, she simply couldn't let it go. Case and point example: She'd stolen a sonic emitter in the middle of a Bug Catching Contest from two rather dangerous thugs.

Fortunately for him, he'd been on the same side as her each time. He didn't exactly want to humour the thought that he could one day be the obstacle. In this case, he'd been a minor one geographically, and that her current vector indicated that he needed to move. That was fine. Following her back into the kitchen, he tilted his head as she declared that food was still present.

"If they're kidnappers, why would they take the food?" Cesc blinked. "Wouldn't they have their hands full with Bobby's parents?"

Then Darryn summed it up for the slower Cesc, who immediately forced himself to suppress his gag reflex. Francesco Rojas, purported brilliant detective, had failed to rule the possibility that non-humans had performed the abduction. Also that the crime had been an abduction. With Bobby's level of fear-paralysis, Branwys' claim and Darryn's simple, but gross, summation, Cesc wasn't entirely sure that he wanted to stay around in such a place much longer.

"Well then it's settled." Cesc gulped, "Let's find her and get the hell out of here. I mean look at us! We're gorgeous! We're the people that get killed in horror movies!"

The young man took a second to listen to what he had to say and realized that he had resorted to blurting things out in a panic. Taking a deep breath, like he did when he was a young rapscallion, he allowed himself to calm down slightly to rationalize a little more clearly.

That all changed as Lyla charged back. Nearly jumping out of his skin at her sudden arrival, Cesc managed to squeak: "Omigoddon'teatme!". He visibly relaxed once his brain realized that it was Lyla and not, say, a terrifying Pinsir with all sorts of mandibles.

"Well..." Cesc nimbly plucked a pokeball from under his vest, enlarged it and dropped it to the floor in one deft motion. Once the flash subsided, Tybalt, Cesc's Zangoose, stood in the middle of the kitchen, looking inquisitively up at his trainer.

"Tybalt, stand guard here at the door. Let us know if anything's approaching, got it?"

"Okay. Let's find a diary." He looked over to the small child, who looked notably cleaner than when they found him a bit earlier in the pantry. " you know what the diary looks like, or where your parents kept it? Would you like to help us find it?"

Posted by: Master Houndoom Sep 18 2012, 12:16 AM

Branwys was still staring in horror when Darryn had asked his question, whether or not she believed that whatever had come in had not only harmed, but also, possibly, ate, the breeders.

"The door to the fridge was thick. They were giving chase, and maybe they had the wrong angle, or maybe they didn't have the... physica- No, that's not right," she stopped herself, muttering. "Maybe something kept them from being able to open it... but they tried, you can tell by the dent... the stove door is also thick, but it doesn't have as much holding it closed. They practically ripped the door off..."

She walked to the pantry, shuddering as she caught sight of the stain. "This door wouldn't have been a barrier at all..." She shuddered, her eyes closing. "So they must have found what they wanted... something to.. to eat..."

She swallowed thickly. The realization had hit them all hard, shaken them to the core. Perhaps if she had thought of that, she wouldn't have paid any attention to Cesc's comment, or even would have offered him a warm touch to calm himself down. Unfortunately, she was just as rattled as the others, perhaps even more so, as the images wandering through each mind had originated in hers and therefore had had the time to grow stronger, more outrageous and menacing, until instead of one creature chasing the family, it was a horde of them, and it was too late, and they had already been impregnated and soon their chests would burst open in blood and gore and creature-foetus and...!

It was at this point, just before Branwys began the stages of a full on panic attack, that she heard Cesc proclaim that they needed to leave, as their, meaning his and Darryn's lives were in danger, since they were the pretty ones who always died in the horror movies first. It wasn't the out and out selfishness of having said it was time to leave because they might die; she could understand that, and eve agree, so long as they took little Billy with them. No, what made her angry, and would have been a clue that this anger wasn't exactly warranted, was that Cesc had said that he, and Darryn, were the pretty ones. What, then did that make her?

She scowled, deeply, but turned back to the door, doing her level best to ignore the pair.

That was when Layla burst in, causing Branwys to jump her height and land, sprawling, on the floor. Fortunately for her, Layla had all the attention. Unluckily, her bottom hurt.

They went into a bearby room, a room that looked a bit like a lab, to look for the diary. Branwys was soon distracted, however. There were pieces laying all around, pieces of machinery, broken, or simply with components pulled off, and Branwys, remembering the blood stain on the wall, began to gather parts, plans running through her head, keeping one ear on what, if anything was being read aloud.


The thing loomed above him, and Dimo despaired. His bone, it seemed, was broken in two pieces, but even as he struggled on shaky legs and bleeding tail to stand up, he held the pointed end of one half up, ready to stab out, and make the meal the creature before him was preparing to take hurt like hell...

A cry from above rang out, distracting Dimo and the creature. The creature made the mistake of turning and looking, to challenge the foolish pokémon who would dare to try to steal its dinner. Dimo lashed out, slamming the sharpened tip of the half-bone into the appendage the creature was standing on. In turn, as it roared and squealed its anger, a yellow, rounded foot smacked directly into it's face.

It was two to one odds, and the battle had been pitched. Dimo finally got to his feet, angry, ready to fight to his last breath, but a familiar voice pulled him from the battle haze.

<'Ey, you got anything that might give us cover?>

<Vhot?!> Dimo turned, seeing with his good eye the yellow round headed thing that he'd spoken to at the edge of the forest. <Hy taught hyu vouldn't be caught dead in here!>

The round headed lizard stepped forward and struck out. <Yeah, well, my other plans fell through, so I thought I'd risk imminent death. You got cover or not?!>

Dimo looked at the creature, then at the lizard. <Ja, ja. Grab de moot.>

<The what?>

<De moot, de moot, de leetle yellow poopy dock!>

The lizard looked around, seeing the jolteon nearby. <We ain't got time for this!>

<Hyu make time,> Dimo growled, before facing the creature. Holding his bone out in front of him (he promised himself he wouldn't cry over it), he activated the power Branwys had taught him from the machine, unleashing a localized sand storm.

<Ow! Hey! Dammit, give a guy some warning!> The lizard had grabbed Romeo by the scruff of the neck, and was pulling him to safety. <Man, that stings!>

<Not me it don't. Feels kind of nice, ja?>


They scampered as fast as the limp -eon and a limping cubone could let them. After a while, Dimo broke the silence, though quietly.

<Hyu haven't see a leetle pinkypoof, huh?>

Posted by: Living Arrow Sep 19 2012, 08:47 AM

Darryn really didn’t think much of the so-called ‘lab’. For one, it was pretty tiny and for another, where were all the high-tech machines and Bunsen burners and flasks filled with colourful liquids? Sure, Darryn wasn’t utterly stupid, but to him the ‘lab’ was more of a prep-room. Then again, anything that might have looked scientific might have been in the jumbled mess strewn across the floor. Yet again, a smattering of dried leaves decorated the wreckage and it was finally beginning to dawn on Darryn what their significance was. If a Pokemon was responsible…

“Razor Leaf…” He whispered to himself touching a point in the central bench area where a neat slice had been taken out of the worktop. “Magical Leaf?”

“How big is the diary, Bobby?” Lyla asked the kid who was holding her hand in the doorway to the lab. Darryn, Cesc and Branwys picked through the rubble gingerly as the pair watched their progress.

“Umm…” Bobby’s lower lip puted outward as he thought long and hard about the book his parents had written their work into. “It’s dark blue and sorta… this big…” He gestured with his hands, marking out a book about ten or twelve inches in height.

“So it’s A4.” Darryn interpreted, turning over a pile of fallen textbooks on Pokemon husbandry. “Thickness? Any pictures or text on the front?”

“Any words?” Lyla reverse-interpreted for Bobby.

“Nuh-Uh.” Bobby shook his head. “Just blue and this thick.” Again with the hand gesture.

“This could take forever.” Darryn muttered, picking up another fallen book. “What if it isn’t even kept down here?”

*And what are the chances it’ll still be in one piece?*

“Let’s see if there’s another way to search.” Darryn said as he finally dropped Lady’s Pokeball at his feet. She materialised in a crimson flash and sat patiently at his feet, her tails curling around her ankles. Large chestnut eyes looked around the wrecked room apprehensively. She still had not spoken to Darryn but she didn’t ignore him when they trained so he hoped she was in a more helpful mood when he summoned her.

“Lady,” he began, looking around the room and inwardly sighing at his long-shot of a plan, “I don’t suppose you can use Extrasensory to find out where a particular diary is in this room? Its blue and-“

“Vul.” Lady turned up her nose.

“I’ll take that as a ‘no’…” Darryn muttered, looking around at the mess once more. “Then how about using Extrasensory to lift all of this stuff so we can sort through it quicker? Like a conveyor belt?”

There was a long pause as Lady considered this and bowed her head in obedience. When her brow came back up her eyes were glistening with a mystical blue light and the items and objects on the floor began to hum with the influence of her Psychic energy. One by one, items were lifted off of the ground to float to the far wall and begin stacking in neat piles.

“Ooh, like, cool.” Lyla watched from the doorway with Bobby as Cesc and Branwys moved out of the way of the lab’s equipment beginning an aerial dance across the room. Books, broken glass, odd utensils, shattered pieces of a keyboard, frayed wires of destroyed machinery all levitated into view in an orderly line for everyone to examine before moving into a settled position away from the humans’ feet. As each item went by, Bobby shook his head sadly until…

“There! That one!” He cried breaking away from Lyla and snagging a navy blue book not unlike the one he described from the air. Lady shot him a lofty look and lowered everything that was airborne to the ground. She looked at Darryn meaningfully and he recalled her without question. Bobby trotted back to Lyla and handed her the tome. “This is where all the… linny… linny…”

“Wow, OK.” Lyla flipped the book open and skimmed the pages. “Yep, this is,like, definitely it.” She confirmed, skipping to the last couple of entries. She read in silence for a moment before stabbing a finger to the page and looking to the group urgently. “It’s all in here! The breeders were, like, experimenting with the transfer of a move that I’ve, seriously, never heard before to their offspring. Something called Rage Powder? Anyway, they were trying to pass it from this, like, Unova species called Amoongus to Carnivine.
“It says the offspring were similar to the father, Amoongus, with the trait of preferring the shade and, like, totally didn’t remain active during the day when the breeders were trying to coax the babies into showing the new move. The problem was, when the babies did try Rage Powder in practise it seriously backfired. The young Carnivine, like, ended up dosing thethemselves with the Rage Powder to the point where it had a reverse effect and wouldn’t obey the breeders anymore.
“The last entries say that the angry Carnivine were, like, unable to leave the center during the day since the sunlight hurt their eyes, thanks to their heritage from Amoongus, but this led to them being totally unable to get energy from the sun. Since they were effectively starving – oh, a lot of Plant group Pokemon don’t eat anything with their mouths, by the way – the Carnivine resorted to feeding on living things and ignored normal Pokemon food. They, like, targeted any small Pokemon they could find so the breeders feared for their other stock here at the center and so wanted to restrain these Carnivine until another food got shipped in. That’s where it finishes.”

A long pause.

“So, they escaped and attacked the humans that were holding them prisoner and starving them?” Darryn raised an eyebrow. “That’s sounds reasonable to me.”

“Darryn!” Lyla gasped, shooting a worried look at Bobby. Darryn instantly blushed.

“Oh, I mean,” he gulped awkwardly, “I get why they would have been frustrated but that’s no excuse for what’s happened here.”

*Like eating Bobby’s parents…* He added darkly for himself

“So, what do we, like, do now?” Lyla asked, stimulating an embarrassed shrug from Darryn. “Any ideas?”

Posted by: Kamaitachi Sep 22 2012, 03:00 AM


"A4?" Cesc raised an eyebrow as he plucked a dark blue book from a nearby pile. The book, sadly, didn't match the size parameters that Bobby had interpreted, being far too small to be the one they wanted. He placed it neatly on a desk, despite the inherent mess of the rest of the room.

Then, as he continued to rummage around, Darryn summoned a Vulpix to the room. Within moments, he had to move out of the way with Branwys to make room for the floating array of paraphenelia. Placing his hands on Branwys' shoulders as he stood behind her, he watched, fascinated, as the Vulpix made use of a rare psychic power. Despite the severity of the situation, he wondered the use of a psychic pokemon's abilities in an appeal. The inherent flaw with this new idea was that Cesc had no psychic pokemon, or even any pokemon with psychic potential. In fact, upon thinking about it, he had a team of very phsyically oriented pokemon.

As Bobby sprang forward, grabbing one of the books, Cesc found himself grinning. The panicked little child from earlier had seemingly regained his composure and spirit, which was a good thing. Seeing a terrified child had dampened Cesc's spirit immensely, but seeing the child spirited in the face of horrible nightmare monsters seemed to do wonders for Cesc's mood.

"Amoongus? Carnivine?" Cesc had seen neither pokemon in Orre. It made sense, logically, that the two were grass pokemon, as the Bouquet of Bonnies specialized in them.

Darryn made a fairly snarky comment, and Cesc shot him a significant glance, trying to silently indicate with his eyes that Bobby's parents were the 'captors' in question. Evidently Lyla had done precisely the same thing, so perhaps the double set of laser-guilt eyes had done their job.

"Not sure." Cesc sighed, letting go of Branwys and plopping down on a now vacant, conveniently placed chair. "I mean, I'd love to get out of here, as I mentioned earlier. But, Dimo and Darryn's Jolteon are still out there, as well as Darryn's Cleffa. Even if they find the little puffball, I'm not comfortable leaving them out in the woods to fend off some carnivorous plants by themselves." He blinked for a moment, shooting a worried glance at Darryn, not sure how to bring up the subject

Oh crap. What if his Cleffa got eaten?

* * *

Tybalt's ears twitched. The ever-serious faced Zangoose tilted his head slightly, trying to hone in on the sound in the distance. It sounded like...a whirlwind had kicked up in the forest. Normally, that indicated a battle had broken out. More than likely, a bird pokemon had whipped up the whirlwind to rid itself of an attacker, which made some sense in the Zangoose's mind.

The forest in general made him quite uneasy though. His survival instincts beeped madly inside his head, attempting heavily to get him to return to Cesc and to the safety of the pokeball. Something about the forest made him uncomfortable, and not knowing precisely what made him feel that way was starting to make him anxious too.

Yet, like the loyal soldier he was, Tybalt kept his vigilante gaze over the forest line, intent on making sure that no one approached. Tapping his claws together, he clacked out a little rhythm, as a means of keeping his mind off of the uneasiness in the air, but that only served to annoy him further. He stopped once he realized that clacking his claws brought him no enjoyment whatsoever.

Maybe, just maybe, if an enemy appeared, then at least he could make himself useful.

He paused once more, tilting his head and flicking his ears. The whirlwind didn't quite sound just like some wind. It sounded...scratchier. As he scanned the forest once more for clues, he felt the strong urge to investigate the unnatural wind. But, as Cesc had ordered, he stayed put on guard duty. Hopefully something would emerge so he could take his mind off of his discomfort with the forest. Maybe an enemy would appear. That'd surely give hiim something more pertinent to think about.

But for now, the stalward Zangoose waited.

Posted by: Master Houndoom Sep 28 2012, 02:02 AM

OOC (click to show)

Branwys wasn't listening. Not completely.

She had, while they were searching for the book, taken time to explore the small lab. It had struck her as it had struck Darryn, though she didn't know he'd thought along the same lines: For a top notch reeding facility, it was awfully short on tech.

Yes, she had found some broken pieces here and there, enough to cobble something together, but she had expected more, and now her fingers itched to find something else. The gnawing fear in the back of her mind certainly didn't help, and it was no coincidence therefore that the majority of the plans, speculations, and blueprints floating around in that small yet efficient brain were offensively charged.

So they looked, and Darryn even made stunning use of the unique talents of his vulpix, yet it passed Branwys by with hardly a thought. While they perused bookshelves, she looked through cabinets, and found a veritable treasure trove of defunct machinery. They, the breeders, had evidently started with some tech, but as it became obsolete, or broke down, they had stored it away, without replacing all but the needed. At least, that was the story that popped into Branwys' head. Some of it seemed new, but had been shunned for one reason or another. She was certain some of it was in perfect working order.

It was with half an ear that she listened when the book in question was found and read. She heard mention of carnivine and rage powder, and sneezed as soon as she heard it, puffing up a little cloud of powdery dust. It didn’t distract her. She'd found a servo motor, a working batter, and a capacitor that would fit perfectly with it all. She could make a shock prod out of that It would only hold four charges max, but they would be strong charges, and would be a powerful deterrent.

She had plans to rebuild an electric bread knife she found in a different cupboard. It had been a surprise to find it. It was usually a kitchen implement, but, then, the casing had been smashed pretty well.

She had found industrial batteries in a drawer, the kind used to power cordless tools or flashlights, and had, in fact, found a flashlight, one of those long, bright mag lights that could be used as a club at need.

She had one more plan, if she could only find a pair of strong magnets. She turned to have Dimo sniff them out, and her heart seized.

Dimo was out there. And it was getting dark.

Her hands trembled. She'd finish here, give one of these each to her friends, and then see what they could do to find Dimo, and the little one.

Aren't they grass types? That's bad... isn't it?

Posted by: Living Arrow Oct 2 2012, 04:02 PM

Darryn was frozen to the spot by the enormity of Cesc’s words. Romeo and Lima were both out there… With those rage-driven and starved Carnivine… They would be fresh, warm bodies in the dark shadows of the forest where those hungry gaping mouths awaited them… Cescs thought that the Pokemon out there would have to fend for themselves? That hardly scraped the surface of what they would really be facing.

Electric types had a disadvantage against Grass types so Romeo’s attacks would be weak against the Carnivine if they chose to attack him. Then Dimo, Branwys’s Cubone, would have a severe handicap and wouldn’t fare any better. As for Lima… Well, Lima was just a baby!

There was simply only one thing for it – they’d have to go into the woods themselves to get their Pokemon back. But then, what would that mean for the humans? How would they possibly fare against any number of crazed Tryffyds in the dark? Would it be even possible to find the three missing Pokemon before the sun went down totally? Heck, would the sun being up even matter under the shade of all those trees? In fact, who was to say that these light-sensitive creatures were not becoming more and more accustomed to the sun since their escape?

<Hellooo?> Lyla’s thoughts crept into Darryn’s mind and it took him a moment to realise she had been brain-yelling at him for a while. Her eyes screamed silently in a ‘durr’ sort of groan. Darryn allowed his shoulders to relax slightly.

<I saaaid,> Lyla transferred her gaze back around the room, <You’re not, like, thinking about going out there?>

<There’s no other choice!>

<Romeo’ll be fine! He’ll be back with Lima in, like, five minutes and then->

<He’d be back by now!> Darryn cut her off more harshly than he intended. <Somethings happened, Ly! I just know it! I can’t sense either of them!>

<OK, OK.> Lyla rolled her eyes and gave Bobby’s shoulders a rub. <But the sun is, like, going down pretty soon so…>

<I know, I know…> Darryn chewed his lip. More than anything he wanted to reach into his pocket, pull out his cellphone, and call Jaima to come with them. Of course, that would be impossible – what were the chances that he was within a couple hours walk of them? He had no Pokemon that could carry him at high speed or Fly to them but damn he had Shadow and Mercury. Heck, even Meiko with her super-strong Heracross or Tuesday with her tempermental Charmeleon would have been a welcome sight right there and then. At least Darryn wouldn’t feel so alone on such a dangerous night.

<You’re staying here, with Bobby.> Darryn fastened his gaze on Lyla and her own widened instantly. <No questions or ‘buts’, please. That little cupboard has keep him safe for this time so you can both go back in and wait for me to get back.>

Lady’s large chestnut stare watched Darryn and Lyla intently. Her tails swished ominously behind her but she did not interrupt their private conversation.

“I’m…” Darryn gulped and looked quickly to Cesc and Branwys, “I’m going to look for my Pokemon…” Damn that sounded so stupid in the situation. “B-but I’m going n-now…” And it was getting increasingly difficult to hide his mounting fear. “S-so, um, Ly, you and Bobby keep safe here and I-I’ll come back as soon as I, er, can.”

He let a quick breath out and nodded to his cousin, steeling himself before hurrying from the room. “C’mon, Lady.” And his Crimson Vulpix dashed after.

Posted by: Kamaitachi Oct 3 2012, 11:34 AM

Cesc had seen this side of Branwys pop up at least twice prior. Once, when they'd first met, she'd started tinkering with something, and somehow managed to work while walking without hitting anything. The next, she'd run off with a sort of sonic inducer-machine during a bug catching contest, putting herself in great danger from thuggish mooks.

This time, though, she seemed to be ignoring the conversation about flesh-eating, nocturnal plant monsters.

But, each time she'd disappeared into her own little world like this, the effects afterwards had been positive; she'd created Cesc a harness to stay on his Skarmory mount, she'd destroyed the sonic inducer that had been driving bug pokemon crazy (and gotten him a metal coat, at that), so he figured that if he left her be, she'd come up with some brilliant ideas on something to deal with the "Carnivine" problem.

On the other hand, while Branwys moved into her 'zone', Darryn was apparently fleeing his. The strong, confident young man Cesc had first encountered was on the verge of cracking. Of course, there was a good reason, considering two of his beloved pokemon were out there in the wilderness with plants that would eat them.

"Okay, I'm going too. We've got to find Dimo." Cesc nodded to Branwys. "I'll leave Tybalt here with you, Lyla."

Tybalt's ears pricked at the sound of his name. He turned to look questioningly at his trainer, who quickly issued his next order with a confident smile: "Hey buddy, I need you to stay here and keep Lyla and Bobby safe, okay?"

The cat-ferret nodded, a bit concerned that Cesc was leaving him for the moment, but he padded loyally over to his charges, sitting in a very cat-like way next to the young boy.

"Branny, I'd honestly feel a lot safer if you came with me." He reached out and held her hand. "So let's go look for Dimo together, okay?"

With that, he hurried out after Darryn, taking a mental checklist of Pokemon on hand: Valentine, a Chimchar, Oberon, a Sneasel, albeit probably still a bit pooped from his earlier match, and Bardolph, a Scyther. All of his pokemon held excellent type advantages over the Carnivine. Perhaps he'd let Bardolph fight, and just let the Scyther go axe-crazy all over the carnivores.

Well. Let's just hope we all don't get eaten. That would really suck. A lot.

Posted by: Master Houndoom Oct 20 2012, 02:53 AM

Branwys hadn't yet registered Cesc's words. She was fitting the third device with a rubber sleeve that would have fit two smaller tubes together ordinarily. When she finally did hear him, he was holding her hand out to her and telling her how he would feel safer with her out there.

She looked around. Darryn was gone, Lyla and Billy looked as if they may be staying (she couldn't tell if they were happy about it or not, but she wouldn't have been!), and Cesc had made arrangements for his zangoose to stay behind and protect Lyla and Billy.

"You OK, squirt?"

Tarvek chuckled as Branwys shook her head against his ribs. "I told you it was too much for you, kidlet. You're too young to watch scary movies."

"Nuh-uh! I'm ten!" Branwys' voice was muffled against Tarvek's chest, and he chuckled.

"Yes," he said, stroking her hair. "A big, tough girl."

She finally did turn to the TV, only to hide again when the creature reached out to swipe another victim.

"Aw, don't worry, Branny. Those guys are being dumb. They're forgetting the most important rules. First: Don't split up. Second: If you have no choice but to split up, make sure everyone has a weapon."

Branwys looked up and nodded, firmly. "They're dumb."

"This is dumb," she whispered, then, taking Cesc's hand only long enough to stand up, she walked over to Lyla, handing her the device she had just finished.

"This is a shock prod. You can touch any part of the metal to something and it will shock them. The capacitor charges after five seconds, so make them count. And don't touch the metal part! Don't touch it to Billy! Don't touch it to anything metal! There's only maybe four charges, so make sure they're not wasted.

She turned to go to Cesc, then stopped. Billy. He'd been awfully brave throughout the whole mess, and resourceful, too...

She reached into her bag again, pulling out the electric bread knife. She had finally worked out how to jury rig it to take DC power instead of AC without heating up too much. She handed it to him gently. "You look like a smart kid, and I know you've been brave..." briefly, she recalled a similar speech from Agatha, who had given her Dimo after Branwys had prevented an angry ekans from biting a sentret. Agatha had had to bend over, something Branwys didn't need to do, since her neck was slightly craned upward. "I think you should take this. Just in case, all right?"

Billy reached out tentatively and took it, looking up at her. Branwys smiled in what she had hoped would be a kind, reassuring one. "No offense, but I'm personally hoping you don't have to use it." She winked lightly, then turned to follow Cesc.

As they walked out the door, her hand dipped into her bag once more, pulling out a hand held device with a circular saw blade attached to it out. She had been surprised to find it in the first place, and it had only needed a new battery. Luckily, she had found a case of them in the same cabinet she'd found the saw in the first place.

"It's dangerous to go alone. Take this with you."

Posted by: Living Arrow Oct 23 2012, 03:07 PM

“Still no sign of either of them…” Darryn whispered to himself, his eyes fluttering open as he retreated from the Empath space and back to reality. “What about you, Lady?”

A simple shake of the head, odd coming from a non humanoid Pokemon, was her only reply. Darryn didn’t have it in him to fight with her silence anymore – she’d grow up sooner or later whether he yelled at her or not. Instead, he hoisted his backpack and looked to the east towards the darkening forest. Beyond that treeline two of his precious Pokemon had disappeared and, if they were still awake or conscious or… or alive… beyond the reach of his unnatural abilities or the psychic skills of his crimson Vulpix. He was, for the first time on his journey, without someone else that he could rely on for support or protection. Without Jaima’s leadership, Meiko’s experience or Tuesday’s knowledge. Without a hope of finding Lima or Romeo and yet there he was, ready to put his own wellbeing on the line for the slim chance he could rescue them from the surrounding dangers infesting the forest.

When had everything changed? At what point had his furry and feathered accessories become the friends that he craved the company of at any moment? Was it when he was able to see how they truly felt about him? Did he feel some sort of need to reciprocate that adoration that Bravo the speedy Pidgeot had for him or the gratitude that the Butterfree, India, had exuded upon her beauteous evolution? Was it the playfulness of Jolteon Romeo? The acceptance that a dim-flamed Ponyta named November had received that had made her love him so much? Or the freedom that he had provided Zulu the Cranidos? The thankfulness of Victor, his Squirtle, to have found a Trainer who could see the value under that tough shell? Even the hopefulness of the baby Cleffa that had been dropped into his life only recently that she, one day, would be able to compete in the glitz and glamour of Pokemon Contests all because of him?

Or was it the heartfelt companionship that he shared with his beloved Vulpix, Lady Foxtrot, since they began sharing their thoughts with word passed only between their minds?

“OK then… Let’s go.” Darryn somehow fought off the wracking shakes of fear that were threatening to consume his body. He’d have to find the Pokemon that loved him because, quite simply, he loved them just as much.

Footsteps alerted him to Cesc and Branwys leaving the breeding center building. Relief, warm effervescent relief, should have been building in Darryn’s veins but despair remained all the same. These weren’t the friends in Team Rogue that had saved him time and time again: Jaima coming to save him from falling into a cave system on Mount Carello, Meiko saving the day when a bunch of crooks with out of control and fully evolved Pokemon attacked them, Tuesday with her wide knowledge of edible plants and berries kept them all going in the Arapet Forest. What did he ever do for them?

“You keep getting stronger, Jaima.” Darryn grabbed Jaima by the hand in a handshake but they embraced around their clasped hands all the same. In that grip, the Co-Ordinator grinned at his friend. “Because next time we meet up, we're going to have a rematch!”

How stupid Darryn felt now. In those last words he made to Jaima before he left to pursue his career as a Co-Ordinator he had felt sure that he’d one day be able to battle the other Trainer on an even footing and maybe even win but how could he? Jaima was always the first to rush to the aid of his friends of his ‘kids’ and never seemed to consider a thought for himself along the way. That sort of selflessness was a powerful thing that could inspire all sorts of strengths in his companions and Pokemon but Darryn simply didn’t have anything that could match it.

“Vul…” Lady’s soft whisper was the most contact that Darryn had had with her in weeks. He looked down at her to find those large chestnut eyes searching him slowly. He sighed.

“I don’t know why you won’t speak to me, Lady.” Darryn murmured, stooping to smooth the curls on her head fondly. “But I’m glad you’re here.”

“Pix vul…”

Darryn straightened and looked out across the meadow. A herd of cervine Pokemon grazed placidly in the failing light, a single member of the group detatched from the others. Darryn wondered if that fawn felt like he did – unable to keep up with the others – and hoped that he was wrong. With Cesc and Branwys along side him, Darryn swallowed thickly and began to walk with heavy feet into the darkening forest…

Posted by: Kamaitachi Nov 1 2012, 11:52 PM

Darryn did not seem all that happy to have the company of Branwys and Cesc, which put the latter ill at ease. He knew that the team was a bit rag-tag, but he'd shared two solid adventures with Branwys and had no qualms placing his trust in her. Instead of showing any sign of relief, the other co-ordinator merely muttered unintelligbly to his Vulpix, who responded in her warm, almost chiming tones.

Following Darryn's gaze, Cesc noticed the herd of deer-like pokemon. Those probably weren't "Carnivine", as pokemon names were usually pretty indicitive of the species. The deer-like pokemon probably had a deer-related name, so it remained painfully obvious that those were not the culprits.

He cast his glance over his makeshift teammates, noting that they had a wonderous type advantage in what was certain to be a series of battles. With Tybalt behind with Lyla, Cesc had a fire-type, a bug/flying type, and an ice/dark type, which gave him an excellent offensive advantage over the grass types they'd be facing. Darryn had a Squirtle with ice type attacks, and the fire-type Vulpix present. The Jolteon and Cleffa were notably absent, which left at least two more pokemon, judging by the number of pokeballs Cesc had noted earlier. Tinka was Branwys' only remaining pokemon, considering the absence of Dimo, but her defenses were solid, and she was a steel type to boot. It looked like their strategy would probably rely of an offensive-defensive and keeping the impending swarm (or so Cesc imagined) at bay.

Darryn wordlessly headed off into the forest. Fighting hard not to roll his eyes at the anti-social attitude, Cesc reminded himself that two of the man's pokemon were in danger of being eaten, which afforded him the lack of cordiality in the situation. He followed wordlessly after, in turn, keeping his eyes peeled for any Pokemon that stood out in the forest.

"Branny, got any amazing gadgets for locating lost a Dimo-Beacon or a Jolteon-Magnet?" His attempt at humour fell flat on his face as he found himself fervently wishing that Branwys did indeed possess the aforementioned gizmos. "At this point, even a magic Eight Ball would be nice."

Posted by: Master Houndoom Dec 19 2012, 05:17 PM

"No, Cesc," Branwys replied, distracted. "Dimo's my amazing finder..."

Branwys followed sedately. She could feel herself relaxing, even though she hadn't felt tense that she was aware of. SHe did recognize that the pervading feeling of annoyance was slowly ebbing, but she believed that was because she was doing something rather than sitting on her duff.

Still, vague feelings taunted her. Had she been annoyed? Had she been mad? At Cesc?! Had she not given her other companions the benefit of the doubt? That wasn't like her. That was the opposite of like her.

She had sent Dimo away, before she'd realized what a horrible situation she had sent him out into. That was enough to make her cranky, but... why hadn't she run out? Called for him back? Even sent Tinka to retrieve him?

Well, she had had something to prove. She was proud of Dimo's ability to find anything, anywhere, at any time for any reason. And when she realized, she could feel the sparking taste of true fear on her tongue... but there was something else.

She had been short with Cesc, or at least been snide in her head at him. This would not have been a cause for alarm, except that he hadn't really done anything to provoke that. Yes, she had been worried, and shocked. Yes, that made people irritable (and being of both German and Scottish decent didn't exactly help in that circumstance), but she, Branwys Muphenz, had never been snarly, even in the worst times of being called a child.

She just wasn't that kind of woman.

She reached for Cesc's hand just as they began to enter the wooded area around the nursery. A tug and a surprised "Klink!" stopped her. Branwys stopped, keeping an eye on Cesc, who, possibly put off by her sullen demeanor earlier, or simply wary of where he was going (who wouldn't be? That was part of why she stopped instead of walking and working!), kept walking. It was all right. He wouldn't get far.

Branwys took a quick survey. A thick green branch had nearly pulled Tinka off of the bracket on her bag. "It's OK, sweety," Branwys said, patting Tinka's two noses. "I'll just set the safety lock so that you're not pulled away."


Branwys giggled. "Don't be silly! Of course I'm not locking you down for good. As soon as I need you, I'll unlock you! I promise!" Branwys had designed a simple lever to lock Tinka in place, which was useful since, being small and tending to squeeze into places with her bag, it kept Tinka from being lost. Tinka didn't seem to like it, but she never denied Branwys the ability to use it. Branwys had purposely made it easy to manuever, a simple lever lock, and practiced unlocking it quickly before she even used it in public.

The locks slid into place, but when Branwys looked up, Cesc and Darryn were disappearing into the shadows. She reached into her bag for the large flashlight she had brought from the lab. Unfortunately, it was the heaviest thing in her bag, and her small arms couldn't reach it.

She set the bag down on the ground, opening it wide and reaching in. Her fingers curled around the flashlight.l

That was when she felt the vine.

With a mighty tug, she was pulled off her feet. Her hand reflexively tightened around the flashlight, but she landed on her chest, knocking the wind out of her. More vines snaked up her body, wrapping around her arms and torso. She began to struggle, pushing herself up, and took a deep breath, but a vine snaked around her face, covering her mouth and muffling the scream.

She scrabbled forward with her free hand, reaching for the bag, trying desperately to reach the locking lever and set Tinka free to help her, or get help, or anything. Tinka began to klink frantically.

Just as Branwys' fingers brushed against the lever, pushing it half way open, she was yanked back.

She clawed at the ground with her free hand, pulling, breaking a nail, but soon that hand was yanked back and she was dragged, screaming against the vine covering her mouth, deep into the dark woods, away from where Cesc and Darryn had entered.

Tinka strained against the bracket, trying to rise despite the weight of the bag. The bag heaved up, then fell down, like a dying person's last breath, again and again as Tinka struggled, klinking madly all the while, sounding like a loose, spinning ratchet.

The bag heaved again, staying up, twisting from side to side, but eventually fell. The clearing fell silent again, with nothing but the rustling of leaves.

And the periodic klinking of a pokemon unable to help her... its... trainer.

Posted by: Living Arrow Dec 21 2012, 03:28 PM

“Anything?” Darryn asked Lady as she lifted her nose from the ground. Her flat stare would have been enough but she supplemented it with a shake of her head all the same. No sign of Lima or Romeo. They had found no trace of the missing Pokemon beyond the treeline and the sun had fallen beyond sight, the final remnants of its glory casting long orange shadows across the leaf litter under the trainer’s feet.

Darryn’s thoughts continued to grow ever more desperate as the realisation that they might not find his Pokemon became frighteningly clear in his mind.

*Well, at least I’ll be joining them in some Carnivine’s belly…* He thought darkly to himself as Lady made to move onwards. Darryn sighed. The woods were simply too extensive to search on foot. With the diminishing light and lack of direction the hope he had for finding Lima and Romeo was being rapidly crushed under the feeling of woe in his belly.

“Um, guys?” Darryn turned back to Cesc and Branwys who had been following close behind him. Only Cesc was there, Branwys presumably not far behind. “Do you have any flying-type Pokemon that could help us to search?” The answer from Cesc was no. Darryn inwardly cursed. He really didn’t want to send another of his Pokemon off on their own again but taking to the air with Bravo, his Pidgeot, would mean leaving Lady and her nose on the ground.

*He’ll be fine if he stays high in the air.*

“Branwys?” Darryn peered through the foliage behind them. “Where is she?” He asked Cesc, already opening up his Empathy to feel her presence. Even as Cesc began to look around and form his own discovery, Darryn’s eyes slammed wide open.

<Lady! Lady come quick!> Obviously, no response.

“Lady!” In a flash of crimson fur, the Vulpix was by his side. The alarm in his voice was obvious but only he could feel the crushing emotion of fear and alarm coming from the meadow where a small Pokemon remained on his radar. Branwys’ bubble of emotions was nowhere to be found. He looked to Cesc. “I don’t think Branwys is safe, Cesc.” He admitted gravely, fear gurgling in his throat. “None of us are.”


“Nnngh…” Romeo’s eyes flickered open, the dim light around him causing some momentary confusion. Hadn’t it just been daytime a moment ago? And hadn’t his head hurt a lot less that this!? “Owwie…” He rolled sideways to take in more of his woody surroundings.

He was still in the forest, that much was certain. The scent of the earth and leaves under him was the same as before and there wasn’t a sound of a road or human chatter. The smell of other Pokemon was nearby and there was muttering… Two voices…

“’Ello?” He panted, leaning up onto his elbows and looking around in the near-dark. His large ears tilted this way and that, a sting of pain arising from the left, as he tried to pinpoint where the noises were coming from. “’Ello?!”

Posted by: Kamaitachi Dec 22 2012, 12:35 AM

Not only did Cesc's vain attempt at humour flop in cheering himself up, it also managed to fail and bringing Branwys into the conversation. Feeling a bit glum, he simply sank into his stride, letting Branwys alone to her stewing. She was rightfully worried about Dimo, and since Dimo was her amazing finder, it made the situation a bit of a conundrum. Dimo could not find Dimo for Branwys if Dimo was not present.

As they continued to scan the forest floor, Cesc began to grow increasingly despaired as he saw no signs of a Cleffa, Jolteon or Cubone. In fact, there were very few signs of any pokemon at all. Slightly in front of him, Darryn seemed to likewise grow more and more frazzled.

As Darryn asked if Cesc had any flying pokemon, Cesc wondered for a moment whether or not Bardolph, his Scyther, counted. Despite the wings, Bardolph was not much of a flyer. Then Darryn pointed out that Branwys was...absent.

"Oh mierda" The young man grasped his chest as a gasp rushed from his mouth. He had charged himself with protecting Branwys, and he'd failed magnificently at that. Branwys had disappeared.

"I'm doubling back." Cesc declared. "If we can track her, then we can find the monsters that took everyone right?" It sounded like the more noble answer, even though Branwys had now taken precedence over Dimo, Lima and Romeo. Not because she was a human and they were pokemon, but rather because he didn't want to sleep with a baby, dog or dinosaur with his mother's skull on his head.

"Oberon" Discarding all pomp and circumstance, he simply summoned his weakened Sneasel to the field. The dark weasel looked up at him, weakness still lingering in his eyes from the battle with Victor from earlier. "I know you're tired, but hang in there. Let's find Branwys."

Hearing the slight note of desperation, Oberon nodded gravely and immediately moved in to action. His keen nose might not have detected any traces of Branwys herself, but something that smelled suspiciously like her and metal was not too far back. He indicated with a wicked claw precisely back in the direction from which Cesc and Darryn had come from. Cesc found himself slightly annoyed, though, because that's where he had aimed to go initially. But, since his instructions had been so terse and short, he silently forgave his Pokemon for not being entirely up to speed.

"Alright buddy, lead the way." With his hand resting inside his vest on the pokeballs for Valentine and Bardolph, Cesc pressed valiantly backwards.

Posted by: Master Houndoom Jan 8 2013, 02:24 AM


<He is avake.> The voice was muffled, more than likely by food. The second voice was similarly altered, but more as if something were hanging out of it.

<Yeah. Lucky him.>

Two forms stepped out of the shadows, or, rather, out of the deeper shadows, resolving into the cubone, Dimo, and his companion, a scruffy looking scraggy with his tongue hanging out. Dimo looked down at the jolteon, tilting his head. The plume on the back of his ersatz helmet was tattered and fraye,d and there were new scratches around the eye socket, but his eyes were clear, even friendly, as he lay some large herbs and berries down. The scraggy was ragged, but had not taken damage in the fight. His large eyes were wary, with a fire behind them, having been long practiced at hiding any fear or possible insanity behind a veneer of apathy. This veneer was, however, marred by the scrafty's tongue hanging out of his mouth, and the wrinkles around his eyes as he tried not to wince.

<Eet op, poopy doc,> Dimo said softly. <Ve hont.> His eyes and voice took on a much harsher, rougher tone, and there was an indication of sharp teeth showing through a slasher grin.

<What's a poopy doc?> Romeo wondered aloud, sniffing the berries and herbs. They certainly didn't smell inviting.

<Don't do it, kid, it's a trap. Those berries are bitter as hell!>

<Vhot?> The roughness was completely gone now. <Dot's crezy talk! Dose berries is just fine! Unt dey will mek hyu stronk! Heel hyu ride op!>

<Yer crazy,> the scraggy muttered, then stretched. <OK, then. I'm going to head out.>

<Vhere do hyu tink hyu is going,> Dimo said, quietly. Some of the snarl had returned to his voice, but, unlike other possible pokemon, the scraggy simply sneered.

<Away from here. I keep tellin' you, it's your funeral. Don't mean I want it to be mine.>

Dimo growled. <Hyes? How hyu gon' get through dem beasties again? Hy'm goin' dis way, and I'm sure da poopy vill go vit me to find his guy.>

Romeo's head tilted to the right, wondering, still, what a poopy was.

<Ain't my problem,> the scraggy sneered. Dimo looked at him, then smiled behind his helmet. It wasn't visible. But it was felt. The scraggy's shoulder's shuddered.

<Hyu seem like a schmott guy,> Dimo started, leaning on the large wooden stick that had taken the place of his broken bone club. <End hy can tell, hyu is a hongry guy, too. Hyu fell on dem berries we fount like dey vos the sveetest berries hyu could find!> Dimo laughed lightly, ignoiring the confused look of the scraggy, who in turn was wondering how the cubone knew he preferred sweet berries. <Vhot if I tol' hyu dot hy know a place where hyu could get all de food hyu could eat, unt haff trainink, unt somevun vit vich to heng oot?>

The scraggy's eyes narrowed dangerously. Ponderously, as it took a while for the lids to slide across their massive expanse slowly enough to know it was displeasure and not a mere blink, but still dangerously. Dimo simply grinned, a grin that the scraggy could see in his voice.

<How?> The scraggy was suspicious, and those suspicions were confirmed with Dimo's next words.

<Da gorl. Hyu get cawt by da gorl. Unt den, hyu only go into a pookybool when she isn't allowt to haff hyu oot.>

THe scraggy's suspicions were confirmed, but he was still tempted. Finally he kicked the ground. <Fine, fine, lead the way, Magellan!>




The small form rolled over, with a groan. Raising on a short pair of arms, the figure winced. She looked down, seeing the long, shallow scratches on her forearms. If they had bled, the bleeding had stopped long ago.

She rose up, looking around. One sie of her mid-back length blonde hair was done up in a ponytail, but the other side hung loose, even tangled,. There was a similar long gash on her cheek, but it was only a red welt, and nor a scrap.

Suddenly, her lethargic motions stopped, and she froze in place, looking around. Her eyes were wide, and she looked around, slowly.

She was in the open, a small clearing. There was a lot of debris, mostly spoiling vegetation, but no movement.

Strike that. With a twitch, her face turned at a small movement to her left. She swallowed, watching. Waiting.


Slowly, a small, pink shape moved from behind a lump. The girl blinked. It was...

It was a cleffa...

The girl stood, slowly, approaching carefully. She blinked. This is what Darryn was looking for, wasn't it?

"Hello," the girl said. "I'm Branwys. I think we've been looking for you."

A groan caused her to squeak. She grabbed onto the cleffa and backed away, and scrambled back. The cleffa struggled a bit, pointing and trying to get out of Branwys' arms.

Branwys looked down and stepped toward the mounds. Leaning down, she wiped away some of the leaves.

A man's face was revealed, and Branwys gasped. Shifting leaves away on the other mound, she managed to reveal the entire upper torso of of a woman.

And the most surprising thing was revealed a moment later, when both of them breathed.

"You're... alive..."


Back in the clearing where Branwys was attacked, a lone bag lay. On that bag, lay a pair of gears. A pair of gears with four eyes, two mouths, and two dome-like noses.

The gears rotated, steadily. The two eyes, one on each gear, that were not in the shape of an X, were dull. Lifeless, yet in a way that seemed to affirm that life was once in them.

The gears rotated again. A regular motion.




Posted by: Living Arrow Jan 10 2013, 12:49 PM

“There!” Darryn pointed to a small pack that Branwys had been carrying, lying face-down in the sparse grass. His exclaimation really wasn’t required since it was quite obvious to all present that the bag was the only thing in the clearing butm in all honesty, it wasn’t the bag he was pointing at. His Empathy told him that a small Pokemon was underneath that bag and that its diminuative emotive bubble of regret and desperation was what had led him there.

Lady rushed to the bag, sniffing it lightly as Cesc picked it up and turned it over. She waved her tails haughtily and returned to Darryn at a trot, keeping her head high and her ears pricked.

“Can you find Branwys’s scent?” Darryn asked her hopefully, grateful that his response was a firm nod. Darryn looked to Cesc, finding him examining a metal pair of disks, no, cogs, that had been attached to the bag. Upon closer inspection… A faint glow was coming off of the thing in Cesc’s hand. “Who’s that Pokemon?” Darryn asked himself, flipping open his Pokedex.

[Klink. The Gear Pokemon. Interlocking two bodies and spinning around generates the energy they need to live.]

Darryn gave a little gulp. Judging from the slow speed with which those particular cogs were moving, there wouldn’t be much “life” in them at the moment. Maybe the same could be said of Romeo, little Lima and Branwys…

“Lady’s got her scent,” Darryn pointed into the trees where the Vulpix indicated, “we should go that way to find her.”

*And hopefully find Romeo and Lima, too!*

Unnoticed in the shadows at the edge of the clearing, vines began to stir…


Lima had been on quite the adventure since that snakey, slippery, tricky, fumbly, tumbly vine had snagged her out of the meadow. At first she had been scared because that thing had just grabbed her and taken her without warning, then it was fun because she got to go on a brilliantly rolly ride through the woods! But that ride was sorta lame because it just put her in a boring old clearing in the forest. Then she got hungry because she didn’t have any food with her and then she got cold because the sun started to go down.

And then? Well, then she found the two humans.

“Cleff?” Lima prodded the woman’s face. She didn’t make any response although breath did still pass in and out of her nostrils. “Fa fa?”

Lima frowned and looked about her. There was no way she was sticking around in this forest where there were no eats and treats to be gained. Saluting a farewell to the unconscious man and woman, Lima strolled out of the clearing and- WHAP!

“Cleffaaa!” Lima wailed, the vine striking her boldly in the chest. With a tumble and a bounce, Lima was returned to the centre of the clearing with tears in her eyes.

“Fa…fa…” The little Cleffa panted as she rubbed the sore spot on her chest. Whatever that had been, she wasn’t too young to realise that it didn’t want her to leave the clearing. Only time would tell what was out there, keeping her in, but until it decided to show itself, Lima intended on at least getting warm.

“Cleh cleh!” She waggled her fingers, summoning up the power of her Magical Leaf to gather what foliage she could into a swirling storm of leaves. Plopping herself inbetween the two sleeping humans, Lima dropped the greenery on top of herself and them, giving them all a cosy leafy blanket to sleep under.

It was the sound of snapping twigs that announced the mini human’s arrival and it was then that Cleffa knew Darryn and help must be on the way!

Posted by: Kamaitachi Jan 10 2013, 03:21 PM

"Mierda" Cesc muttered to himself as he picked up the small pack. Turning it over, his heart sank as he saw Tinka still attached. If the Carnivine had nabbed Branwys, she hadn't even had the chance to fight back. He'd been walking so briskly that he hadn't even noticed them whisk her away. Some knight he was.

Detaching the Gear Pokemon from her spot on Branwys' bag, Cesc held her for a moment in the flat of his palm, giving her plenty of room to continue rotating.

"It's okay, Tinka. I've got you." Cesc smiled down at the little x's for eyes.

He looked up as Darryn pointed the direction of Branwys' scent and nodded. Oberon, too, seemed eager to head in the same direction, meaning both of their trackers had the same scent, at least. As he looked down at his pokemon friend, he noted that the weasel seemed preoccupied, looking in a completely different direction. A twitch of his ears indicated that the Sneasel had heard something. A quick sniff at the air caused Oberon's ears to flatten. The Pokemon dropped into a crouch, letting out a low hiss as he readied himself.

"Darryn, danger-"

Before Cesc could finish his poorly constructed sentence, a vine lashed out from the woods, striking Oberon square in the chest. The ice weasel screeched in pain as he found himself bodily lifted from the ground. He landed on the ground a few feet back, and rolled before coming to a halt at Darryn's feet, where he continued to lay, stunned.

Instinctively, Cesc flipped a pokeball from his belt to the floor, like he was spinning a yo-yo at his side. As the next set of vines flashed out from the edge of the woods, they were met with the gleaming sickle blades of Bardolph, Cesc's Scyther. The vines, presumably from a Carnivine, retreated into the underbrush and were still. As Bardolph stood stock still, his eyes scanning the darkening woods, Cesc turned and moved over to Darryn and Lady, stooping down next to his fallen friend.

"Hey, hey. It's okay buddy, you can rest for a bit." The Sneasel seemed to protest, shaking his head, but Cesc gently shushed his friend before recalling him into the pokeball.

As he reared back up to his full height, he met Darryn's gaze.

"Looks like they found us." he sighed, as if that clearly hadn't been part of his plan. "We'd better find everyone, and fast. Can you lead the way?"

Posted by: Master Houndoom Jan 17 2013, 10:44 PM

Branwys quickly took stock of her situation. Seeing living, breathing people in the same predicament as she was galvanized her into action the way that nothing else could have. First, she took stock of her clothing. Her shirt was ripped; one long gash up the side, with a corresponding red welt on her skin. Other tears were stress tears, and one, if not for her bra, would have made it embarrassing for her to walk around in public. If not for the dire situation, she wouldn't have attempted it, bra or no. She peeled the shirt off, feeling a wet sting as it pulled away from a small spot on her back. With a twist, she wrapped it around her rib cage, giving her a little more modesty, and leaving her arms free to move.

The pants, too, were a lost cause, but less dire than the shirt had been. One leg hung in tatters at the cuff, the other was more or less intact. Branwys took advantage of a large tear at her mid-thigh and pulled the pant leg free. There was a small cut near her scalp, and she tore a strip from the cloth she had liberated, tying the black fabric around her head like a headband, covering the gash. It stung, briefly, but if it opened, it wouldn't immediately gush into her eye.

She looked around the clearing. A squeeze of panic made her heart throb, but memory returned: She had lost her bag when she'd been dragged away. No bag meant no tools, and even worse, no Tinka. She had no pokemon, and her resolve began to flag.

She wearily kept looking, however. Hopefully there was a large branch, a stone, something to use as a weapon when they came back for the humans and pokemon.

She looked over at the humans and dared to hope. Could these be..? The thought, that a happy ending could still come out of this, brought terror in its wake: If they were alive, all of them, then why? Was this some kind of larder? A store for winter?

Could she be in the Devil Vine's own pantry?

She walked back, and her toe hit something hard, nearly causing her to fall. Rather than be angry or embarrassed, she searched, quickly. There, on the ground, covered by a few leaves, gleamed the black metallic surface of the large flashlight she had managed to pull out of her bag before the vines had dragged her off.

It would have to do.

Over by the unconscious humans, Branwys found another potential weapon, a stick that would have looked pathetic in Cesc or Darryn's hands, but in hers managed to look menacing. It had a decent heft to it as well, not dry or brittle.

The cleffa stood by the humans. She had possibly done her own thing, or possibly kept watch over the couple. Maybe she'd even tried to get Branwys' attention. Branwys knew from experience, sometimes if she focused, it took a thwack or two from Dimo to get her attention.

Thinking of Dimo brought a thick lump into her throat. She looked at the cleffa and smiled softly. "There's going to be trouble, sweety," she said, her voice rough. "I can't ask you to fight, but I'm not going to make the mistake of thinking you can't just because you're tiny, either. Believe me," she laughed softly, indicating herself, "I know what that's like. But it's going to be tough. If you don't want to, well, that's OK, too, OK?"

A rustle came from the edge of the clearing, sooner and closer to where she sat than she expected. She stood, brandishing her makeshift club and flashlight, and snarled. The snarl went slack, however, when she saw what was coming into the clearing.


<Yer goin' the wrong way, buddy...>

Dimo plodded on ahead, ignoring the scraggy, which rolled its gigantic eyes. <The exit is this way.>

<Not goink to de exit,> Dimo growled. The scraggy huffed, looking back at the jolteon following them and rolling his eyes.

<You get this guy?>

<Your eyes are Huuuuuuuge!>


<Da gorl is dis vey,> Dimo continued.

<Yeah?> The scraggy smirked. [color="#F4CA70"]<How do you figger?>

Dimo looked over his shoulder. <Hy can feel it. In my goot.>

The scraggy nodded, the smirk not leaving his face. <Yeah? Yanno what else you can feel in your gut that isn't a good thing?>

<Hy tol' hyu, she vill haff de food.>

<THAT'S NOT WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!> In a swift motion, the scraggy stepped in front of Dimo, facing him, and stopped. Dimo stopped short just as their chests touched, and they stood, nose to mouth, beady eyes looking into wide. <Those things are monsters, get me? They will grab you, eat you, and then come back for the jolteon as dessert!>

<Nuh-uh, I'm too fast!>

<Nobody asked you!> The scraggy was breathing heavily. <So you tell me, Bonehead, what makes you think that you're going the right way, or so help me I will turn around and I am OUT of here!>

Dimo glared into his eyes, then pointed to his nose. <Dis is better dan it looks, ja? Unt hy alvays know where da gorl is. Now, hyu vant to go, hyu go. But goot lucks finding somtink to eat ven hyu get dere.>

Dimo shoved past him, leaving the scraggy fuming. Romeo stepped up next to him, looking at the scraggy with interest. Finally, the fighting type looked, snarling, <What?!>

<Your mouth is huge, too!>

The scraggy snarled, pulled at the saggy, bottom folds of its skin, and chased after Dimo, muttering to himself about stupid wannabe fossils and ditzy mutts.

Both Romeo and the scraggy were surprised to see Dimo, pushing back a bush into a clearing, staring at a small girl brandishing a stick and a flashlight.


Branwys rushed forward and threw her arms around Dimo's skull, club, flashlight and all, trying her hardest to quell her breathing. She finally pulled back and looked Dimo over. "Oh, Dimo, I was so worried... and stupid things were happening... and you're here!" She looked over at Romeo. "And you must be Darryn's jolteon! Hi!" She looked, too, at the scraggy. "And a scraggy! I don't know you, but hi!"

The scraggy patted Dimo, then pointed to it's mouth. Branwys looked between them and sniffed. "I'm sorry, I don't have my bag... Oh, Dimo, Tinka's locked on the bag! Can you go g-.. No, of course not, you're tired... um... I found some people, and Darryn's cleffa... we need to find Darryn and Cesc."

She turned, moving to gather the cleffa, and stopped. There was another rustling in the far edge of the clearing. A deeper rustling, larger, as if from a larger creature, or a large group of them...

She turned, seeing the flat, ovoid head slither out of the bush on a stalk of vines, it's wide, mottled mouth opening wide in some kind of crazed glee. She swallowed, thickly, bringing up her club. "Too late..."

Posted by: Living Arrow Jan 18 2013, 12:01 PM

“Lead the way, huh?” Darryn muttered to himself as he followed Lady through the dark forest. It was well and truly night now and the shadows of the trees all around played so may tricks that a whole troupe of clowns would have felt ashamed to be in their presence. The Vulpix-sized motion ahead of him continued to pause every now and again, no doubt using her ears and Psychic powers to judge whether the surrounding forest was safe before scurrying ahead a distance for the two humans and the Scyther to catch up once more.

Darryn felt like a complete mess, in all honesty. The ball of nausea and fear that had been gripping him all evening was sapping his energy but the periodic surges of adrenaline that the darkness was giving him soon counterbalanced that. Two things kept him going on through the ordeal, however, and their names were Romeo and Lima.

“Lady?” Darryn stopped moving, scanning the dark ground ahead and waving a hand out to the side to grab Cesc’s attention to stop behind them. Silence greeted them. A long silence. Darryn gulped. “L-Lady?”

Not even a twig snapped or a leaf stirred before…

“VUUUL!” Blazing flames ignited from Lady’s mouth in a roaring Flamethrower ahead of the group, arcing through the trees and searing a blinding light across Darryn’s vision. Midnight shapes danced amid the flames, screaming their defiance at the fires that assaulted them.

“VUUUL! VUUUL! VUUUL!” More and more jets of fire poured out of the Vulpix’s mouth as she leapt off the path in pursuit of the hidden targets in the trees.

“Gah!” Darryn rubbed his eyes, holding up an arm to shield his face a little from the intense fires that illuminated their vision. He reached around for his Pokeballs and grabbed one up.

*November’s Morning Sun will…* He looked down at the ball in his hands. This was no Repeat Ball… This was a Dive Ball… *Oh yeah, Novvy’s back in Pallet. All I’ve got left are Victor and Bravo.*

“Cesc!” Darryn turned around to find the Scyther, bardolph, cleaving through more vines that were appearing from the darkness. The other trainer was otherwise preoccupied, trying to co-ordinate his Pokemon’s moves. Darryn grimaced. What could he do, other than.

The wave of cruel intention that Darryn’s Empathy felt was the only thing that prevented the vine from connecting with his head. Instead, an arm raised in defence was whipped with terryfing force and ensared within the winding grip of the vine. It yanked and Darryn pulled back hard, using his other arm to grab the vine for support. He leaned back and pulled, straining against the strength of the plant that strove to take him into the shadows.

“Lady!” Darryn screamed, his arms prevented from reaching for either ball at his belt. The flames around him became instantly more frantic but they were nevertheless held at bay and no firefox came to the trainer’s aid. “Lady, help! Help!” With an almighty tug, the vines pulled Darryn’s feet right off the ground and he hit the earth with a wind-stealing thud. He kicked and thrashed, grabbing at anything and finding nothing. In desperation, he hammered at his belt with a free hand to try and release either of his remaining Pokemon but instead unclipped them without summoning even one of them.

“No! NO!” He breath was running out as he fought for air, fear and adrenaline overwhelming his senses. Pain wracked every limb as root and rocks claimed their own assault on his body and as he began to form the strength for another cry, a wide leaf slapped across his mouth. With a muffed shout, Darryn was swallowed by the dark, soon to be swallowed by a hungry monster.


<Prince Darryn!?> Lady’s thought speech was more than hysterical, fallen bodies of Carnivine decorated her battleground as she raced back to where he had called her name. <Prince Darryn! Prince Darryn!>

She searched the dark in vain, finding no trace of him and forgetting momentarily that their connection was still severed. Yes, she had come to terms with being a silent Pokemon like the majority of the others for some time and the hate that she felt for her sisters still burned brightly in her stomach but she’d never expected to feel so powerless without their psychic bond.

“Vulpix, vul!?” She called from her throat, coming upon the other human, Cesc and his Scyther. They looked tired. She didn’t care. Her nose dropped to the ground and she drank in the aroma of Darryn’s scent, padding to a spot off the main path where the ground had been roughed up and saplings torn down. Four Pokeballs glimmered in the moonlight. Lady dropped her nose to them. In her vanity, she had only taken notice of the Heal Ball that belonged to her so the colours and patterns on the other meant nothing but smells were something else entirely.

Her own Pokeball. The bird. An empty ball that smell soft and sweet must belong to the pink ball. And one that smelled like a running stream. She hit the button on the last ball once to maximise it and once again.

“Huh?” Victor looked around uncertainly. “Where’s my flashy ‘Victor, the stage is yours’?” He asked no-one in particular.

“Prince Darryn has been taken.” Lady informed him smartly, sparing a quick glance for the other human. “We need to find him.”

“Uh…” Victor scratched his head. “Doesn’t this feel familiar to you? I’m getting pretty sick of ending up in some dumb forest with only you for company and our trainer in trouble.”

“Shut up.” The Vulpix dared him to go on with glaring eyes before she sniffed once and headed into the dark. “The trail we were following before goes in the same direction. The dog and the fat baby were taken before, too.”

“And no-one told me?!” Victor sighed, also looking back at the human and his huge bug. “What about them?”

“What about them?” Lady snorted and dove into the darkness.

Victor sighed and looked around him. Four Pokeballs remained on the floor. Scooping them all up, he stored them in his shell and waved at the trainer Darryn had battled earlier. “We go this way.” He said, pointing at the path Lady at taken. “Follow us!” And with that, ran after his teammate.

Posted by: Kamaitachi Jan 18 2013, 05:05 PM

Francesco Rojas had never enjoyed jumping bodily into a fray. Especially with having obtained Pokemon, Cesc figured he'd never have to do it again. He'd been proven wrong time and time again, especially now that he was adventuring around Furoh looking to win Contests. While the contest themselves were the pretty standard affair, the hunting high and low for pokemon all over the continent had placed him in physical danger more than once.

Back in his time running around with a rag-tag street gang, he'd had his fair share of fist-fights. One of his fellow urchins had a boxing grandfather, and as a result, Cesc had learned a patch-work sort of boxing craft. Even knowing how to throw a punch and avoid getting hit, Cesc had always preferred diplomacy to physical combat.

In this case, he couldn't exactly reason with the nightmarish plant monsters that were probably trying to eat him. His Scyther, usually unruly and disobedient, had eagerly jumped at the challenge, but seemed to be listening to Cesc. The urgency of the situation had clicked with the praying mantis pokemon, and the more primal instinct had told him that he had to listen to his trainer and work WITH him in order to survive.

It had grown increasingly hard to see, and since he relied so heavily on his sight, Cesc found it increasingly more difficult in turn to evade the grabby vines. A heavy swipe took his legs out, toppling him to the ground as he let out a panicked 'woof' sort of noise. He lay there, stunned for a brief second as another set of vines rose into the air, ready to slash down on his prostrate form. They never made it, encountering instead the vicious blades of Bardolph, who glared down at his trainer in a way that Cesc could only read as smug.

"Thanks. Use Silver Wind, push them all back a bit."

With a nod, the Scyther's wings lit up before sending a wave of glittering spores out into the darkness. With a grim smile, Cesc took a moment to relish in the resulting shrieks. The smile quickly faded when he realized that the shrieks signified that he was facing more enemies than he had initially thought. If they had any sense of hunting tactics, they would start spreading out and-


Hearing his name, Cesc snapped his head towards Darryn, a bit irritated at being disrupted in the midst of his analysis. Darryn didn't seem to have much more to say, seeing as the other co-ordinator was trying to rally his own offense with his Vulpix. The brief flash of flame from the Vulpix gave Cesc the much needed reminder that he had one final pokemon in reserve, and now was probably not the time for conservation.

Valentine popped up, having sensed the earlier urgency and joined his companion, Bardolph, in the battle. This wasn't quite like the training they'd gone through before. Cesc had focused on teaching them how to co-ordinate their attacks by working on their timing and synergy. Their trainer had always provided visible targets, usually in the form of the other two pokemon.

"Valentine, Nasty Plot, then Fire Spin. Bardolph, Fury Cutter!"

As the next barrage of vines slashed inwards, the Scyther once more stepped in, his blades flashing about in the dim light with surprising speed and increasing power. Meanwhile, Valentine took a moment to pause, as if meditating on the field. As the vines moved to attack him, they found themselves in turn batted aside by Valentine's partner. After a moment had passed, the fire monkey spat out a ball of flame, directly between the combatants in the dark. The wall of fire launched upwards in a spiral, lighting the area for all to see.

Cesc almost wished that he hadn't commanded it; the ghoulish grins of the Carnivine were dancing evilly in the light, appearing and disappearing from the shadows cast in the light of the flame. He felt sick to his stomach at the thought of those horrid teeth tearing in to him and his friends.


Darryn's Vulpix had disappeared, and Victor, the Squirtle from earlier had appeared in her stead. Cesc had missed the swap, but then he also realized that Darryn was missing too.

"Mierda!" Cesc cursed darkly, realizing that he was essentially the only one in the party left. The monsters had picked them off one by one, and now he was potentially the lone survivor. That title wouldn't last long at the current rate, considering the fire spin appeared to be keeping the Carnivine at bay only partially. The Squirtle indicated for him to follow, and with little other choice, he complied.

"Bardolph. Valentine. Let's go!"

Posted by: Master Houndoom Jan 25 2013, 09:49 PM

As they watched, in the dimming light, the bushes between the trees parted, and out slithered what could only have come from the nightmares of some backsliden vegetarian. On each body was a large, bulbous head, mottled in different shades of green, brown, black, and, on some, a deep, ugly red. On each head was an opening rimmed with what looked like sharp, ugly teeth, like jagged leaves laid together to look like a mouth. There were two round, wet eyes on each head, and when the "mouths" opened, it gave a semblance of a malicious face. Each head was supported by tentacle-like vines, walking, slithering, or, in a few cases, hanging from low branches.

Branwys felt her knees shaking, and tightened her grip on both the stick and the flashlight, brandishing both like clubs. Her hand barely wrapped around the hilt of the flashlight, and the head was heavy. Next to it the stick, long as her forearm with gnarled knot at the end she wasn't holding, didn't seem that impressive.

Branwys looked at Romeo, then the scraggy, then Dimo. Dimo wasn't holding his bone...

"Dimo," she said, as the plant-life made their way toward her little group. When he was able to peel his eyes from the approaching plant life, he saw Branwys holding the stick out to him. He took it, giving an experimental swing or two, then nodded.

Branwys straightened. She could feel her knees shaking still, but now it seemed as if that sensation originated outside of her body. Her heart was pounding, her hands clenching the flashlight like a lifeline, but all of those feelings began to give way to a rage. Her teeth grit, her eyes narrowed, and, while the monsters were still a good few feet away, Branwys gave a mighty shout and her body leaped forward.

She charged the closest carnivine, a massive bushy bulk with a red stripe up the center of it's top flesh, stretching back between the eyes. The carnivine noticed the movement, and, anticipating a chase, opened its mouth wide, to send the prey scampering toward a pair of smaller vine-types.

Instead of dodging to the side, the morsel kept coming, and the large carnivine's maw was closed with a sharp slapping sound as the head of Branwys' flashlight slammed into the creature's lower jaw.

Dimo had followed his trainer, and followed the uppercut with a roundhouse swing of the branch-club, sending the rounded end of the knot into the carnivine's eye.

The creature staggered to the side, opening Branwys' line of site to see that the scraggy had not remained idle. Unlike Dimo, who preferred his weapons, the little scrapper pokemon's arms and legs flashed out, striking enemies in front of him.

Branwys could hear, rather than see, Romeo behind her. His cries pierced the rustling of leaves and considerably lower pitched growls from Dimo and the scraggy, and changed in volume and pitch as he rushed around the area, crossing behind and, sometimes, in front of her, hardly resolving in Branwys' vision as more than a bright golden blur.

Despite the conflict, Branwys tried to keep an eye on the cleffa. She knew it was the original object of the search, a search that, as far as she knew, had begun days ago. The enemies, however, were at least evenly matched. Dimo was keeping two at bay with his branch, chortling when one came close enough to bash in the head, and he had even managed to fling it at one opponent and have it return, though it was a shaky flight. The scraggy was keeping two at bay, fighting like one typical for his specie's reputation: kicking, pulling, grappling, and, if Branwys' eyes weren't deceiving her, biting. But each look toward the cleffa made one thing clear to the girl; it was getting dark. The little pink form had begun to look like a light grey blob, and, finally, blended into the background as less light was reflected back.

Branwys knew the lack of light would not be a problem for the carnivine...

Her spirits dropped further when she heard rustling on one side of the clearing. Looking after a particularly swing with her ersatz club, she saw more carnivine dragging a form into the clearing. The form massed larger than her, which meant, if it was a human, she or he was considerably larger than her (who wasn't?). Another victim

Branwys wished there was a way to see what was going on over there, when, taking another swing, a very sarcastic voice in her head, one usually reserved for when her brothers were being particularly obtuse, sneered at her.

You're carrying a flashlight, dumkopf.

Hopping back, she choked up on the light until her fingers found the on button, and pressed it, shining a bright beam toward the clearing where the sound had come from.

The noise that resulted was full off agony, as the carnivine near the mass exploded away from it, diving back into the shadows with an elongated hiss.

Branwys' eyes widened. She wasted a few seconds standing there, stunned, then surged forward, panning the flashlight back and forth. "Get over by the other two people! Now!"

The pokemon with her backed toward the unconscious couple, surrounded by their opponents, as Branwys got over to the other person. This person seemed to be all right. "Come on. There's people and pokemon over there, we need to be there. This light seems to hurt them!" She made her point by swinging the flashlight over toward one of the carnivine surging toward them. It screeched and backed off. She extended a hand down. "Come on!"

Posted by: Living Arrow Jan 29 2013, 02:48 AM

Lima the Cleffa was incredibly confused. How could these Pokemon fight other Pokemon without someone telling them what to do? The way she had always seen it, Pokemon carried out the orders that their trainer gave them and, whilst doing so, made them look beautiful and magical! So why was happy Romeo firing off his lightning without making pretty patterns? And why couldn’t those other two Pokemon do anything other than grapple ferociously with the wild Carnivine?

“Faaa…” She sighed, keeping near to the sleeping humans that she had kept safe and hidden with her Magical Leaf. If mister Darryn was here, she was sure he’d tell her what to do…


Darryn fought against the vine with every ounce of energy he had but to no effect. Yet again he was being shown the pure power of Pokemon and yet again he was discovering a new found respect for his own monster partners. Well, if he ever saw them again. Lady, Romeo and Lima were bound to be Carnivine food in the darkening hours of the night while Bravo and Victor might as well be dead, stuck inside their Pokeballs and lost in the woods.

After his pain-wracking drag through the forest, Darryn was almost ready to give up but the intense pressure that was carrying him was beginning to lessen and that (if anything) was the only reason that he had any hope left for survival. His motion slowed to a stop and, as though he was suddenly a bad taste in the Carnivines’ mouths, he was released. Cold night air forcing into his lungs at a terrifying rate and the harsh light of the moon burning right into his eyes may have seemed like a whole new assault entirely but they were certainly welcome ones. Wait. That wasn’t the moon!

"Get over by the other two people! Now!"

The voice was nearby, urgent and commanding (if a little high-pitched) and it sounded like it knew what was going on. Right then, any sort of direction that could help Darryn was going to be followed. The pain in his arms and back said that he had been lacerated numerous times and one of his hips was definitely bruised. He pushed with sore hands back to his knees and searched the dim clearing for the ‘other two people’. A mound of body-sized shapes was all there was to see, other than the dark shapes of Pokemon battling nearby.

"Come on. There's people and pokemon over there, we need to be there. This light seems to hurt them!" Darryn recognised the voice, he thought, of the girl stood by him with the moonflashlight. Her demonstration of Carnivine-repellent brought a vengeful grin to the edges of his mouth. Damn it, those Carnivine were going to fry if he had anything to do with it. Then the flashlight cast enough light on its weilder for him to see her properly for the first time. “Come on!”

“Branwys?” He gasped, unbelieving that this confident leader of scared Pokemon in the dark was the same small girl that he had met before.

“Jolteee!” Romeo was on top of Darryn in a yellow flash, all licks and paws and static electricity, and then he was away again almost immediately to join in the battle once more.

“Romeo!” Darryn gasped, unable to track his Pokemon’s movements unless another sight-blinding electric attack was used but by the frequency and speed of his movements, that became something akin to strobe if you focused on it too hard.

“Cleh?” A small ball several yards away, near to where Branwys had indicated the other people were, squeaked through the darkness. Darryn’s body found new energy almost immediately as the desperate urge to save his new baby Pokemon flooded his system. He scrambled upright and dashed towards her… But not before the Carnivine began a fresh assault.

FWAP! The vegetative cord hit Darryn square in the back, dragging him down to the ground once more. Breath escaped his lungs and would not return, despite how hard his lungs fought for it, and his body refused to follow orders. A scream pierced the darkness, fear and frustration the arrowhead of the little Cleffa’s cry of empathy for the hurt of a loved one. Darryn rolled over, Branwys’ flashlight casting long shadows around him in some sort of nightmarish deluge of vines and teeth but it only single out one thing – a second vine was coming down on him!


Instantly, Lima was standing beside Darryn’s chest, the vine whipping down directly into her palms where she grabbed it with a primal scream. Struggling against the power of the much bigger Pokemon, Lima’s grunts and groans were the only thing that filled Darryn’s ears. Waves of pure emotion washed off of the Starshape Pokemon in a glorious flood of gold and pink before the Co-Ordinator’s eyes – emotions that he had seen before in his other Pokemon which only meant one thing. Lima turned an eye to Darryn.

“It’s OK, Lima…” He whispered. “You can evolve now.”

“CLEEEH!” The baby Pokemon wailed an ear-splitting cry and instantly, the clearing was filled with a brilliant light.

Posted by: Kamaitachi Jan 29 2013, 04:46 PM

Running full-speed through the woods after a Vulpix and a Squirtle just seemed ridiculous. Cesc's mind raced as he raced behind the two little Pokemon leading the way through the woods. Part of him felt a little strange putting his complete faith in these two random pokemon from another trainer, while behind him, his own pokemon followed dutifully behind.

He thought about Tybalt with Lyla and the little kid waiting back at the boutique. Of the expedition group, he was the only one still out and about, as far as he knew. In fact, there was the potential that he was the only one still alive. The sickening thought of the horrid, carnivorous, floating flytraps biting down on his comrades caused his stomach to flip inside him. His mind flashed briefly through all of the movie synopses stored in his brain. He wondered if this was the moment of the film where he made the heroic sacrifice, dwindling down the enemy numbers so that Tybalt and Lyla had more of a chance to fend off the encroaching swarm. Maybe this was the moment where he died, his journey cut outrageously short, without the chance to leave a beautiful corpse.

Then, a flash of light in the distance along with what sounded faintly like the monster-plants roaring in agony brought him back to his senses. This wasn't the moment where Francesco Rojas died. This was the moment when Francesco Rojas was a big, damn, hero.

Lady Foxtrot and Victor had already pointed him in the direction of the flash, which meant that the little Vulpix had caught on the right track in the first place, which was something of a relief. With the firepower of two fire pokemon and a bug/flying type, it appeared that Cesc would burst onto the scene with the heavy guns. A grin crossed his face as he charged forward.

Cesc burst into the clearing, skidding to a halt with Lady and Victor, narrowly avoiding being hit from behind by his Chimchar and Scyther. Before him, a chaotic scene unfolded all at once, and he found himself having difficulty processing. By whatever forces, godly, spiritual, or whatever, he'd been reunited with the entire group.

"Branwys!" he yelled, half-relieved and half-ecstatic. He wasn't sure what else to yell, and as he thought of something either heroic and romantic to say, he realized that he'd spaced out. He narrowly dodged a vine that lashed out at him. "Mierda!"

He cursed as the second vine slammed into his midsection, throwing him down onto the floor. The first had merely been a distraction, and the second had struck him to a devastating effect. He felt winded and dazed once more, unable to focus as he writhed around on the floor, trying to catch his breath. As he lay there, he suddenly felt a slice across his face. Gasping in pain, his hand groggily moved to his face, where he noted that he was now bleeding.

My poor face. he thought idly and confusedly, not sure as to where the cut had even come from.

Evidently, a 'leaf tornado' had been whipped up in front of him, centralized on...Valentine!?

The small monkey had jumped in to intercept the attack, screeching in pain as the leaves racked across his body. While the attack wasn't 'super-effective', it was still inflicting a good amount of pain.

"Valentine, fire spin." Cesc gasped from the floor. Still in the midst of the tornado, the fire monkey spat out a ball of fire to the floor, which sprang up, forming another vortex inside the funnel. The whirling leaves caught fire instantly, creating a surprisingly vibrant display. Still a bit groggy from the hit, Cesc noted that it seemed like a great contest combo...

"Bardolph." he cringed for a moment, grabbing at his stomach again "Silver Wind on the tornado"

Bardolph nodded grimly before rapidly buzzing his wings, unleashing a fierce blast of sparkling spores. They impacted the attack, sending the entire conflagration towards the encroaching Carnivine. Ideally, in a contest, the sparkling motes would've joined the array, but instead, they were mostly swallowed up by the flames. Cesc made a quick mental note to adjust the proportions, but he seemed more happy that the attack was now slamming forcefully into some of the Carnivine, while the others seemed paralyzed by the light.

With that, Valentine and Bardolph joined the fray, Bardolph instinctively moving towards Branwys and Dimo, while Valentine raced around, backing up Romeo's speedy attacks with his own, literal, firepower. With his Pokemon occupying the enemies, Cesc finally summoned up the strength to sit up, the pain in his body starting to subside again.


Without looking up, Cesc frowned, muttering more curse words as he held himself together. The sound had come from above him, and he easily feared the worst. Finally summoning the courage to look up, he immediately found himself wishing that he hadn't. The horrific grinning face of a Carnivine directly above him sent another wave of terrified shudders through his spine. As the creature opened its gruesome maw, Cesc figured that, with absolutely certainty, that he was about to be eaten on the spot, right after his heroic moment.

Instead, the co-ordinator was surprised when a cloud of sparkling pink spores gently floated over him. He felt himself lulled immediately, his face gaining a sleepy, glazed sort of look as his head lulled to one side, dressed with a goofy smile. The sweet scent had taken full effect. He started to issue a command to his two Pokemon, but the words merely drooled out of his mouth incoherently. His head foggy and his body in pain, Cesc had no idea how to continue the battle.

He needed a miracle, and all he had was a man-eating plant hanging over his head. Things looked grim indeed.

Posted by: Master Houndoom Jan 30 2013, 10:27 PM

Branwys was no longer Branwys. Not while there was danger around. Not while her pokemon, and other people's pokemon, and pokemon she didn't even know, were in danger. Not while there were unconscious people laying on the ground, and friends, new and old, in immediate danger.

She was, instead, a reflection of her anscestors. In her hands, the ersatz club became a war maul, a zweihander, a claymore. In her mind, she was not in tattered clothes with a dirty face, she was in chain armor and face paint, a token of fear to her enemies and friends alike.

The events preceding and up to the cleffa's evolution inspired her. The little one had held off a vine after her master, a vine from a creature who's head was larger than her entire body. Then, in rage, in defiance, she evolved, adding to her strength and power.

Branwys couldn't evolve. Not that way, not that quickly. But she didn't have to add to her strength to know she had a lot of it, as yet untapped.

Cesc appeared, and, briefly, her thoughts derailed. There he was, hair wild, cheeks red from running, commanding his chimchar into a wreath of flame as the little pokemon took a heavy hit for him.


The way you're thinking, but also... not the way you're thinking.

She grinned, ferally, turning her attention to her battles as Cesc took care of his own. There was no battle in her thoughts. There was no calling attacks. As it stood, there was no need: The scraggy was, evidently, someone else's, or wild, and of the pokemon in the clearing, only one was hers.

She heard Dimo yelp, then growl, and turned to watch the scraggy running out of the clearing. That was disappointing, but she choose to take it as a good sign: if the scraggy felt running was an option, it might mean the carnivine were clearing up. She turned, wishing she could see what the brave clefairy was doing, or the blurred jolteon and chimchar, which she couldn't even have seen were she standing still. Or the clever scyther, or Cesc.

Unconsciously, she turned, and saw Cesc, his face slackening, eyes crossing, with a carnivine maw hanging over his head ina parody of laughter. That thing wants to laugh Cesc's head off, Branwys cried in her mind, then was moving. She propped the flashlight next to the couple, angling it as quickly as possible to give the majority of the pokemon cover, then dashed toward the swaying man. But before she could reach him, she felt an impact at her legs, and fell forward.

Her legs were tangled, and she turned onto her back, flailing with her legs, and kicked her bag as hard as she co-


Unable to sit up, she kicked her feet up toward her head, untangling the strap from around her legs, then reaching in. She could see the empty bracket, and spared a second to wonder where in blazes her Tinka was, but forced herself on.Her fingers reached into a familiar compartment, wrapping her hand around a familiar spherical object, and, in one motion, pulling her hand out of the bag and launching the ball at the pokemon above Cesc's head.

It's mouth snapped closed in surprise as the ball hit, then it screamed as the light from the pokeball enveloped it, yanking it into the structure.

It twitched, then sparked with an audible KLICK. But Branwys wasn't concerned about it. She didn't see Dimo lift the ball and put it in her bag. Instead, she took Cesc's hand and tried to lead him, gently, to the light.

"Come on, honey. Please, Cesc, just come with me, OK? Come to the light, they don't like it. Maybe you can get Valentine to make some torches? Wouldn't that be fun? Speaking of making stuff, how come you're not using the weapons I made for you? They're good weapons!" She kept talking, trying to keep the hysterical fear from her voice. Having to lead Cesc like this had allowed her adrenaline reserves to peter out...

She didn't see the scraggy re-appear, holding a large, knobbed femur from some large creature or another, and toss it to Dimo. Nor did she see Dimo swing it, experimentally, and then, with a look of pure glee, whack an attacking carnivine over the head.

Posted by: Living Arrow Feb 5 2013, 11:55 AM

“FAIRY!” Lima declared, her evolved form swelling to its full height. With a swing, her punch of a Pound attack was much more powerful than it had been in her baby form – enough to knock the attacking Carnivine clear away from her trainer with a pained squeal.

“Lima…” Darryn reached out to stroke his Pokemon’s head, fumbling to provide her some comfort in the dark. “You’re so cool.”

“Cleh!” Lima delighted in this, pirouetting on the spot with glee.

“But don’t overdo it, OK?” Darryn warned her, concerned that his young Pokemon would not be able to keep up with the experienced battlers and dangerous foes surrounding them in the gloom. “Stay here and we’ll think of a- ungh…”

“Squirtle!” Victor declared as he fell into Darryn, panting heavily. Lady was with him, her back turned to Darryn as she waved her tails menacingly over her back – daring the Carnivine to come near. The wave of relief that Darryn felt in seeing them was nothing short of a Surf attack and a bubble of hope that they’d get out of the forest alive swelled in his chest.

The humans couldn’t see the dust settling around the clearing, nor could they sense the additional Carnivine approaching them. The only detectable hint that something was about to happen was the sudden nose-invading aroma of the Sweet Scent captivating their breathing and stunning them into a paralytic calm. Darryn tried to rise but found his body disobeying him, lulled into a false sleep by the mix of pheromones that the ferocious plants used to lure their prey.

Around him, Darryn became aware of movement and battles slowing down and, eventually, grinding to a complete halt. A sinister hissing, gurgling sound came from the dark. The rustle and snap of parting foliage heralded the arrival of more Carnivine, their leaf-like arms cradling dark round shapes beneath their enormous jaws. Could they be human heads?! Darryn’s jump to that gruesome conclusion might not have been wholly ridiculous in that insane situation.

A whump-whump-whumping sound followed the procession of Carnivine into their forest larder and, for the first time, Darryn saw the outline of the Pokemon Amoonguss. It hopped into view, its stump of a foot creating the thudding sound as it went, surveying the banquet that his brethren had collected. At his side, a Carnivine larger than the others floated lazily like a helium balloon dunked in treacle. Their presence could mean only one thing.

“The breeding pair…” Darryn stated mostly to himself but the others probably heard. “And so those must be… their new eggs?”

The band of carnivorous plants began to place their carried eggs into a pile at the center of the clearing, forming a clutch of around a dozen sickly green shells. Thin cracks were already displaying on the tops of some of the brood, indications that their baby monsters were almost ready to break free.

“And that would makes us…”

<Darryn!> Lyla’s thought-speech in the Co-Ordinator’s mind was like a bomb going off. He gave a start and yelped in surprise. <DA- Can- -ear me? I fou- a wa- to -ke the Car- -top!> Her cry was desperate and excited. <If y- - - back t- - mead-. Th- -dow!>

At the far limit of Darryn’s thought-speech, Lyla’s message was broken but understood. She, somehow, had worked out how to bring and end to the Carnivines’ rampage and, whatever it was, they needed to get back to her. But that was easier said than done. A soft clack-clack as Victor handed Darryn his lost Pokeballs gave him possibly the only way out that he could think of. He looked around the clearing again. They'd have maybe one shot at running and knowing the direction back to the breeding center was key...

Posted by: Kamaitachi Feb 9 2013, 03:41 PM

Cesc felt himself being helped up to his feet. He stared for a moment at the fuzzy features in front of him. Peering awkwardly at the face in front of him, his vision finally cleared of the fluffy pink spores, and he saw before him Branwys.

"Hey gorgeous." He grinned cheekily. Despite popular belief, it wasn't the effects of the Sweet Scent, but rather his own innate cheekiness. "Miss me?"

Even in the gravity of the situation and considering that he'd nearly just had his head lopped off by a gaping, fanged maw, Cesc seemed to have fully regained his usual casual demeanor. The chaos still raged around him, but he clearly felt much, much better now that he had been reunited with Branwys.

Weapons. She reminded him that he'd been carrying a weapon the whole time. It felt silly to weild one, especially given that he had Pokemon with fire and blades inherent to them on his side. As he reached down to pull it from his pack, he pulled out a small pair of...gears?

Standing up to his full height, he grinned broadly, holding out the still unconscious Tinka to Branwys.

"I think someone else missed you, too!"

He spun deftly as he heard a familiar cry. Snapping back to the battle at hand, he let out a gasp as he saw Bardolph entangled in a mess of vines.

"Wing Attack!"

Wings glowing, the scyther shot upwards, knocking the vines off of him as he vaulted.

With the mention of torches, Cesc looked around for any flammable material. He virtually slapped his forehead in disbelief at his own lack of observation. They were in a forest. A part of him felt a bit guilty, but it was currently a matter of survival.

"Valentine, Fire Spin!" Once again, the little monkey blasted out a jet of fire that struck the floor before springing up into a great column of flame. The Carnivine once more reeled in horror at the light.

"Bardolph, spread it out with Vacuum Wave!"

Not sure how to respond to such a command, Bardolph merely nodded in response before slashing out with both of his blades. The thin air blades sliced through the Fire Spin column, tracking the flames with it before. They alighted gently on a few of the carnivine bodies, but also on the surrounding trees, casting more light into the area.

Cesc looked around, now that the visibility had increased somewhat in the dusk. "Okay, Torches. What's next?"

Posted by: Master Houndoom Feb 15 2013, 11:17 PM

Branwys' entire concentration was on Cesc, and getting him to safety in the pool of light. A pool of light that, subconsciously, she knew was waning and couldn't last the night. The advantage was to the creatures, and it was a war of both numbers and attrition: the numbers of the carnivine, and the attrition of the humans and their pokemon friends' spirits.

Branwys was positive the cheeky response of "hey gorgeous" was due to whatever had caused him to stop int he middle of a battle in the first place, but she enjoyed it all the same. It lifted her spirits, as did the return of Tinka. She stroked the little klink lightly, running a finger along the edge of the pokemon's gears.


Branwys held her breath, still pulling Cesc to safety. The larger man, however, had stopped to give his pokemon orders, and rather than go through the motions of trying to force him to move, which would have involved a lot of tugging, some straining, and, possibly, crawling up on his shoulders and pulling on his head, she simply allowed most of her attention to shift to Tinka. The pokemon looked nearly all white, though Branwys was sure it was a trick of the fading light in the clearing. More worrying, however, was that she didn't float into the air, or click a rapid-fire series of klinks in greeting. So far, there had been the evenl spaced slow repetition of "klink" that sounded both mechanical and, in a way that Branwys didn't want to think about, despairing.

"Tinka, honey?" Branwys whispered softly and got no response. "Are... you OK?"

"OK, torches. What's next?"

Branwys shook herself out of her worry. "Darryn's over there, and I think I found Billy's parents! We have to find a way to--"

Branwys was cut off with the appearence of a larger than normal, dark Carnivine, and leading it, was a huge, heavy Amoongus.

"Oh, no," she whispered under her breath. "The parents..." With a swallow she realized, as the other carnivine began to bring eggs into view, that this was why the attackers didn't eat them immediately. Why the duo unconscious on the ground were still alive. It wasn't because they were to be dinner for the group. The group, as they had shown, could hunt for themselves. Unlike hatchlings, who would be defenseless and weak at first.

Defenseless, weak, and hungry.

"Tinka, get up, sweety," Branwys said, her voice shaking. She held the klink close to her mouth. "Tinka, I love you, but we don't have time for this..." She looked around. Darryn had to have a plan. Did he know where to go? Branwys turned to Dimo, who had come up to sit at her feet. "Dimo, do you know how to get back out of the forest from here..?"

Dimo looked at her, but it was the scraggy that answered, tugging on the remains of her shirt and pointing toward a large opening. Branwys blinked. "Where does that go?"

The scraggy blinked his large eyes, then, with his hands, made a point over the top of his head and then pointed to the professors. Branwys looked distressed. Would they want to lead this group back toward Billy and Layla?

Did they even have a choice..?

Posted by: Living Arrow Mar 18 2013, 08:00 AM

“This has, like, got to work!” Lyla flipped more pages in the torn diary, scanning for any detail that she might have missed. Scribbled drawings and notes flew by before her eyes and yet there was nothing to suggest that the conclusion that Bobby’s parents had come to in their research couldn’t be wrong.

“L-lyla?” Bobby looked around the destroyed kitchen nervously, not daring to come out of his pantry cupboard. “Are you coming back in now?”

“Huh?” Lyla turned around, met with wide frightened eyes. She softened a little. “Oh, Bobby… It’s, like, well you know how your mom and dad were breeding these Carnivine? I think… Well… I think they were wrong… The Rage Powder wasn’t… or at least I, like, think it wasn’t… Look, everything’s going to be OK, right?”

Lyla inwardly groaned. If she couldn’t convince herself completely then she’d have no chance with the kid. Then again, if she was wrong herself then she could be leading the ravenous plants back to herself and the boy.

*But there’s no way this is right…* Lyla looked down at the pages. The claim that Rage Powder, in excess on the user, would result in the user’s strain of hormones and culminate in anger was unfounded – the Unova encyclopedia that Lyla had picked out from the wreckage made no suggestion that the attack could backfire in such a way. So, if the Rage Powder was having the right effect after all then it was simply on the wrong target…

“The Carnivine,” Lyla folded the diary shut, “they were, like, made to practice Rage Powder out in the field?” She asked Bobby.

“Mmhmm.” Bobby nodded.

“Then it’s all over the grass…” Lyla whispered to herself more than to the child. “And anyone who walks through it will get covered… The more on you, the more focus drawn to you… Which is why Lima would be taken first – she’d be head to toe in the stuff and too slow to avoid them… But those deer Pokemon outside are fast and are even faster in the sunlight…”

“My mommy and daddy aren’t wrong…” Bobby pouted at Lyla from his hidey hole. “They’re great at science!”

“Hey, I’m not saying they aren’t, like, totally smart!” Lyla held up her hands in mock defence. “But I’m a Breeder, too, and I specialise in Attacks Heritage – there’s just no way that their research is right. I’m going to call our friends and get them back here so we can fix everything.”

“Mommy says there’s no cellphone signal out here…” Bobby protested.

Lyla shrugged. “You’re not, like, the only one around here with a special gift.” She winked at him and began to close the door to the pantry. “It’lll be over soon, I promise.” She whispered as she clicked the door shut.


“Is that Pokemon right?” Darryn asked Lady and Victor, watching the Scraggy [point out of the clearing. “Is that the way we should go to get out of here?”

Lady’s crimson head gave a bob and Victor gave the thumbs-up in agreement.

“And will it get us back to the meadow where we left Lyla?” Again, signals of the affirmative came back to the Co-Ordinator and a ball of hope ignited in his chest. If they could get back to Lyla and she could fix the Carnivine… But could she fix the Carnivine? What did she suddenly now know that she didn’t earlier? Could they really risk her being wrong?

“Be ready…” Darryn muttered to his Pokemon, pushing up to his feet with some effort. How on earth would they be able to move Bobby’s parents on their own? If only Zulu or November were with them, then they’d have no trouble at all. Only one more Pokemon remained in Darryn’s arsenal and he doubted Bobby’s father would be able to be carried through the air but the mother was another story. Between himself and Cesc, they’d have to drag Bobby’s dad as they made a brek for it… “Victor, Lima return.” He recalled his slow moving Pokemon, leaving Lady and Romeo in defence. “Everyone get ready to run!” Darryn shouted, snatching his fourth Pokeball.

“Bravo, I choose you! Use Whirlwind!” Darryn tossed his Premier Ball into the middle of the clearing to summon his Pidgeot into the best position to keep the Carnivine away from the exit that the Scraggy had indicated. “Blow those Carnivine out of here!” With a flash and a primal avaian scream, Darryn’s flying-type began the distraction and all hell broke loose.

Posted by: Kamaitachi Mar 19 2013, 09:54 PM

Tybalt padded over from the doorway over to Lyla, staring at her with his ever-serious eyes as if he understood entirely what she had been saying.

He looked back and forth between the two humans with whom he'd been entrusted. They continued to chatter away over the Carnivine. The Zangoose yawned boredly, as it had little to do with the enemy approaching. As bubbly woman sealed the young child back in the pantry where the food lived, Tybalt turned and returned to his post at the door. Sniffing at the air a bit, he sat down on his haunches, waiting for his master to return.

* * *

As Bravo unleashed a ferocious whirlwind upon the Carnivine, Cesc flashed his hand out as the wind swept dramatically around him:

"Valentine! Fire Spin!"

Despite the utter life-or-death situation happening around him, Cesc imagined the voice of Jillian screaming: "COMBO!", which wasn't something she screamed at all. The fire the little monkey shot up into the air swept up in the hurricane-force winds, for a moment making something all together spectacular. However, the force of Bravo's winds proved disproportionately powerful. After the brilliant display, the flames whisked out entirely. Cesc had hoped for a brilliant fire-wind conflagaration to utterly decimate the Carnivine, but his combo had failed entirely. The wind from Bravo, however, easily coerced the Carnivine and the Amoongus into a forcible retreat.

A bit embarassed that his attempted combo had failed, to no surprise, since he hadn't exactly conferred with Darryn on it, he ran over to the downed bodies of the professor and his wife.

He swept up the wife in his arms with a bit of effort, but then held her up. He wasn't exactly sure what to do about the man at his feet though, he seemed just a tid bit heavier.

"Uh, Branny! Darryn! Any ideas!?" he seemed a bit lost, and really just wanted to run in the direction in which the wide-eyed-baggy-pants Pokemon had pointed.

Posted by: Master Houndoom Jun 15 2013, 05:15 AM

Branwys looked between the two, swallowing thickly. Darryn's pokémon were amazing. Cesc was making his way, as well, with even his attempts using moves strong against the pokémon. He was suited to this battle, as was Darryn. Branwys looked at her beleaguered Dimo, a club in his claw that was unfamiliar, dirtier. Dimo was outmatched by these creatures, yet still fought.

The friend he seemed to have attracted seemed to fare better, but he was battered, and showed a strange hesitance that belied the ferocity he fought with.

That wasn't what bothered Branwys. All of her life she struggled against the reality of her size. It shouldn't matter that she was three feet tall. She could do anything a full sized person could do.

Except that she couldn't.

She couldn't help in this fight. She couldn't keep from being captured by these things. Her pokémon weren't able to battle effectively...

To be fair, the last one had nothing to do with her size.

But now, with the mother in Cesc's manly arms, the father was going to be left, and she was the only one left to do anything...

She couldn't pick up a fully grown man...

She stepped forward, hesitantly at first, then more confidently. She may not be able to lift one, but she could drag one just fine. She wrapped her hands under his arms and began to pull.

Dimo turned and saw her, and the large eyed yellow pokémon turned back. Each looked at the other, nodded, and pulled up a leg, managing to get him fully off the ground.

Branwys, Dimo, and the unknown scraggy pulled, half-dragged, and manhandled the father after the rest of the group.

Posted by: Living Arrow Jun 21 2013, 05:07 PM

It really didn’t sit well with Darryn that a small girl like Branwys, and her equally small Pokemon partners, had been left to deal with carrying Bobby’s father out of that ghastly clearing but there really wasn’t much else for it – he had to defend their rear while they trudged back to the meadow. Between Lady and Bravo, the forest blazed in the fleeing humans’ wake and the danger of being followed and attacked again was slowly and surely being mitigated.

*Not much farther… and the sun will be up soon, too… maybe I can reach Lyla now…*



“Ungh!” Darryn clapped his hands to his head and stumbled as his cousin’s thought-speak slammed home. He was definitely in range, alright. Keeping up with Cesc and Branwys, Darryn scanned the forest ahead for any sign that they would be back in the meadow soon. He found nothing.

<Darryn, are you, like, here yet?> Lyla sounded at the end of her tether – even her mirrored telepathy was frantic.

<I think so,> he replied, still unsure of how far they were from each other, <I don’t think my… I don’t think this thing works over long distances – we should be there very soon.>

<Good!> Lyla’s response came with a mental sigh of relief. <We’re, like, ready for you. Just get to the meadow and we’ll, like, take care of the rest.>

<What’s that supposed to mean?> Darryn demanded, dodging a tree root that threatened to steal his feet from underneath him. <How are you going to stop the Carnivine?>

<It’s, like, the Rage Powder.> Lyla sounded impatient. <Rage Powder works on its target, attracting the aggression of others toward it. The problem here was that too much Rage Powder residue was covering the grass in the meadow – anyone walking through it would just get covered and->

<And take the Carnivine’s attention!>


<Y’know, Ly, you’re way smarter than you let on.> Darryn admitted.

<I’ll take that insult as, like, a compliment.> Lyla grumbled back. <Just hurry!>


“There!” Darryn gasped, the glimmer of hope that Lyla had given him was swelling like a balloon now – there was a way of the nightmare, after all! “The meadow!”

All three trainers broke the final line of trees and stepped out onto lush grass once more, their staggering forms lurching through the almost-light of the near-dawn. Sure enough, Lyla stood ready with Bobby, two of her Pokemon at her side. Darryn had expected to see relief on Lyla’s face but all he could see with astounded horror – her eyes wide and mouth gaping. Darryn looked down at himself then across at the other two. Sure enough, they were a sight to behold… Like something from a charity ad…

“C’mon!” Darryn urged Cesc and Branwys, looping an arm down and under Bobby’s Dad’s arm to help Branwys drag him the rest of the way.

“NOW, SUIKA!” Lyla screamed, her Azurill bouncing high into the air with a slam of its tail. “Target everyone and use Soak!”

“Wait, what?” Darryn drew up short even as the torrent of water from the tiny Pokemon crashed down into his face. First him, then Branwys and the Professor, Cesc and Bobby’s mother. Then each of the Pokemon in turn, all splashed hard with the water from above. Although freezing cold, the water was shockingly refreshing after their sweat-soaked battle and escape in the forest and Darryn found himself reveling in the sensation of the damp penetrating the dirt that caked his hair. He ran hand sback through his chestnut locks and rubbed away droplets from his eyes.

“That should do it…” Lyla mumbled to herself, examining the group closely in the dim light. “Washing off the Rage Powder is, like, only the first step though – we need to get rid of the rest in the grass by totally burning it all away.”

“Huh,” Darryn frowned, “sounds dangerous to me.”

“And sticking around to see if it happens again doesn’t?” Lyla retorted. “Darryn, we need to make sure that nobody-“


Screams of wild fawns pierced the air as the native herd to the grassland thundered towards the trainers, snaring and slashing vines whipping the air behind them.

“The Carnivine!” Darryn gasped, “they must have changed target to the Deerling that live here!”

“But the Deerling are only fast in the light!” Bobby piped up. “They can’t run away with Chorophyll until the sun comes up! Somebody help them!”

Darryn took in the numbers of Carnivine flooding the meadow. They had no hope… Tens of the things were bearing down upon the Deerling, some already ensnaring victims and dragging them back towards the treeline. Movement to one side of the group, however, caught his eye. A lone Deerling, a different colour o the others, was charging back at the attackers with grim determination. Darryn peered closer. The other Deerling’s target was… The mother Carnivine and father Amoonguss! The courage and desperation that came from that Deerling’s soul were two of the most pure emotions that Darryn had ever felt and, like a leaf in a river’s current, he was swept along with it.

“Victor!” Darryn threw the Pokeball down and nodded to Lyla. “Victor help Suika wash the Deerling as they come past this way.”

*What are you doing, Dar?!* He struggled with himself to no avail.

“Lady, Bravo, Romeo – let’s go!” Darryn took off towards the Carnivine with his Pokemon in tow. “Attack!”

Posted by: Kamaitachi Jun 23 2013, 01:15 AM

As the three trainers burst through the line of trees, Tybalt broke past Lyla from the house, headed directly for the woods.

"Tybalt! Help Branwys!" Looking confused, as he had been charging forward to join in some sort of melee. Guarding the house had been terse, and he was ready to relieve some tension.

Darryn looped down to help carry the man, leaving no room for Tybalt to join. The Zangoose looked quite annoyed as he ran alongside the struggling group, trying to find a way to help. All he had were claws and teeth, both of which would probably prove more harmful.

Then a Soak fell over everyone, coating everyone with a flashing layer of water. Tybalt had been unaware of Lyla's plan, and looked even more annoyed than before. Cesc's Valentine shrieked unhappily as the water fell over the fire-type. He chattered incessantly, and danced about madly, as if trying to dry himself off.

"What does splashing us have to do with anything?" Cesc yelled, visibly peeved. He had not exactly been let in on Lyla's plan. However, as Lyla explained that "Rage Powder" had been washed off of them, the pieces fell into place. He even found himself enjoying the cold water that had fallen over him.

But the scream piercing the air drew his attention. Darryn neatly summed up the situation before charging back into the fray. They had just escaped, and now Darryn was charging back to face them again. Letting out a ragged sigh, Cesc looked at the safety of the house, then the encroaching horde of angry monsters from which they'd just escaped.

He hurriedly, but gently placed the mother on the soaked floor, before turning back to the Carnivine. Confused, tired, and now very irritated, he really had no other choice than the follow his fellow co-ordinator back into battle.

"Valentine, Bardolph, Tybalt! We've gotta help."

Posted by: Master Houndoom Jun 25 2013, 01:16 AM

"GAAAH!" Branwys shrieked as the cold water hit her exhausted form. Had she been the type to dwell on it, and she wasn't, she would have been upset that her shirt and pants were torn, her hair doused and hanging, and she looked for all the world like a near-drowned cinccino.

All that mattered was that she was COLD! She wanted to yell and scream and curse, but all of them had gotten the same treatment, and, more to the point, she felt better.

Thinking back to the mad flight, she felt gratitude for Darryn helping to pull the large man into the meadow. Her strength was flagging badly... She very much doubted she'd have gotten him to the house alone.

She heard Lyla mention Rage Powder. Had that been what made her irritable ? She was closer to the ground, and there had to be as much of it in the house as out, with the carnivine attack on the parents...


Branwys twisted from her place on the ground (when had she sat..?) and watched in ever growing horror as the deerling sprang from the grass in great, scattered leaps. If the Rage Powder was somehow attracting the carnivine, and the larger prey had suddenly managed to get rid of it...

Darryn was off like a shot, with Cesc following quickly yet wearily behind. She could rest. She could afford to rest...

Except that they couldn't protect all the deerling. And the deerling didn't know about getting the rage powder washed off...

"Dimo! Dimo's friend!" Branwys forced her aching muscles to move. "We have to herd those deerling here! They need to be washed off!"

Dimo followed without hesitation, but the other pokemon hesitated plenty. Dimo looked back, then stopped, watching, then shrugged. <Hyu did vhot hyu sed hyu'd do. Hyu don' haff to help.> With a wave of his club, Dimo took off after Branwys again.

The scraggy's eye twitched, and he sighed, shrugging his shoulder. Turning back to go to his tree, he walked a few steps away... then, with an annoyed grunt, turned and ran after the pair.

Branwys had, cleverly for her state of mind, gotten between the deerling and the woods before she began waving her hands and shouting. It wasn't doing much more than frightening the deerling more. the scraggy dashed toward her, then up the closest thing resembling a line, pushing the panicked deerling toward the house. Dimo flanked the group on the other side, and soon they had a cohesive group running toward the house.


Posted by: Living Arrow Aug 13 2013, 11:55 AM

“I-incoming! Right!” Lyla gripped her fists into white knuckles and nodded to Suika who bounced expectantly on his tail. “You ready for this, Suika?” Lyla asked her baby Pokemon as he surveyed the incoming herd. A weak nod was her response but the Azurill’s posture sagged a little. Lyla pumped her fists. “I, like, totally know you can do it, Suika! You’re totes amazing and, like, super strong! C’mon! Are you ready!?”

“Az…” The double-blue-ball-bundle gave Lyla a brighter smiled and bounced ahead of his trainer, ready to meet the incoming throng. With a wail, light exploded from the tiny Pokemon’s body and he began to grow.

“MmmmARILL!” Suika cried, leaping up into the air with a mighty swing of his tail. Alongside him, Victor the Squirtle also shot upwards and together they summoned swirling balls of aquatic power in between their hands. With a primal cry, the spheres were released upwards where they rose in tandem before exploding into a heavy shower of double Rain Dance.

As one, the two Water Pokemon rotated in the air, firing down at the Deerling with wide-arcing Water Gun attacks.

“Yes, Suika!” Lyla laughed as water splashed her face and hair. “You evolved!”


“Heat Wave!” Darryn ran after bravo as the Pidgeot cleared the path ahead toward the mother Carnivine and father Amoonguss where the Deerling with shimmering fur assaulted the pair with wild Tackle attacks that missed their mark over and over as the more experienced Pokemon dodged his futile attempts to defend his herd.

“Flamethrower! Pin Missile!” Darryn called out again, Lady and Romeo flanking him while firing off their attacks to keep the thrashing Carnivine away from their master.

Although rough and ready, the attack was effective enough for Darryn to find himself within range of the adult Pokemon that had caused all of this nightmarish trouble. A second look at the two Pokemon showed Darryn more than he had seen back in the dark of the forest. This Pokemon were not so massive and bloodthirsty as he had expected but appeared, for all intents and purposes, to be just two angry Grass Pokemon. Nothing that he hadn’t faced before. Heck, he’d battled five angry wild Steelic and gotten away fine so this should be a breeze!

Behind him, Darryn could sense Cesc approaching quickly with his Pokemon.

“I’ll take the Carniviine if you can take the Amoonguss?” He said as the older trainer drew up next to him. Lady swished her tails in annoyance, her nose tilting upwards with the lofty attitude of a Pokemon confident to finish the job on her own. Darryn ignored her.

The parent Pokemon seemed to understand what was happening and edged arrogantly apart to face the trainers one-on-one.

“Bravo! Keep the Carnivine away from us while we battle!” Darryn ordered his Pidgeot who screamed his compliance and swept behind them to protect their rear. “Alright, Romeo return.” Darryn recalled his Jolteon who was heaving with exhaustion from the night’s events, leaving him with the only Pokemon that he would trust to complete the job.

“Lady use Fla-“ Darryn stopped.

[Stop.] The urge came from nearby, a feeling more than a word. [Pride. Courage. Love. Urgency. Pleading.]

What was this feeling? Darryn had never had emotions sent to him before. Instead, he would feel what was being innately emited by Pokemon and humans or see their emotions via the aura that he had named an Emotaglow. But this sensation was definitely that of a Pokemon directing what they felt specifically towards him.

“You…” Darryn whispered, his eyes meeting those of the off-colour Deerling. Those large brown eyes were drawn down with determination. Pure emotion linked the cervine to the co-ordinator like a wide glowing chain of desire and understanding.

<You want to battle this Carnivine on your own, don’t you?> He asked with his mind. No response came but the Emotaglow shifted slightly – hope and gratitude resided in its depths. <No, you need to do this… For your herd… To show them… That you can… That you’re strong…>

*He has something to prove to his family... Just like me.*

“Vul! Vulpix!” lady barked angrily up at Darryn, shooting the Deerling a deadly look.

<You’re ready for this, aren’t you?> Darryn asked the Deerling again but found no response. No psychic ability flickered in the Pokemon but the fawn could certainly hear his voice in his head. The connection that normally took weeks or months to form was there already - Darryn understood this Pokemon completely and had never even spoken to it before. Their link was a strong one and carried a sensation that Darryn had felt before in Petropolis.

“It’s time for you…” Darryn said to the Deerling with a strange feeling welling his his chest, “to evolve, isn’t it?”


Posted by: Kamaitachi Aug 14 2013, 10:04 PM

Cesc only vaguely heard Darryn comment on the intended choice of targets. The older coordinator (in age, not experience), watched Victor and Suika in their mesmerizing Rain Dance Dance.

"Right, gottit." He turned to Darryn, flashing a grin, even though he wasn't entirely sure that he'd gotten it at all. Amoongus was his target, that was all there was to it for certain.

"You heard the man. Gentlemen! Get the fat one!"

Cesc knew that he'd certainly had enough of the Carnivine; Amoongus was a near gleeful change of pace. The Amoongus, however, had other plans. Enraged at being called "The Fat One", it launched a glob of venomous looking purple goo, which impacted all over Cesc's Scyther and Zangoose. While the former, Bardolph, seemed visibly hurt by the move, Tybalt on the other hand seemed perfectly fine.

This is, perhaps, the one time that his Immunity Ability will ever be useful. Cesc found himself sighing.

"Counter attack! Valentine, Taunt! Bardolph, Wing Attack! Tybalt, Slash!"

While Cesc's Fire Monkey danced about, making all sorts of obscene monkey gestures, the other two flashed in, their respective weapons gleaming as they streaked towards their opponent.

Yet, they never connected. The intended target disappeared all together from sight, leaving the two aggressors confused once they noticed that their attacks had not landed. Instead, the Amoongus appeared behind Valentine, delivering a solid blow from his pokeball shaped hands. It had been an successfully timed Faint Attack, which meant that Cesc was dealing with a high level opponent.

"Fine. Bardolph, use-" Cesc's command caught in his throat as the Scyther toppled down to the ground, breathing heavily. The Toxic poison was taking effect incredibly quickly, effectively sapping what was left of the Mantis' energy. "Well...return. Valentine, Flame Wheel. Tybalt, Crush Claw!"

Cesc was down to his final two Pokemon, and he was losing ground quickly. Even as the two attacks slammed home into the enemy fungus, it appeared to be prepping another attack, this time sucking energy directly from the Zangoose in the form of green streams of light. Giga Drain! It was healing itself at the expense of Cesc's Team.

He looked over to Branwys once again; time and time again he'd called on his companion to help him in these battles, and a part of him felt a little ashamed for always having to rely on her for help. While his ego stung a little bit, the life or death situation really depended on them winning these fights once again.

"Branny, help me out?" He grinned weakly "Pay you back with a romantic dinner?"

Posted by: Master Houndoom Aug 14 2013, 11:26 PM

Branwys was a runner. She ran everywhere. It had started as a child, when her stubby legs made her have to run to keep up with her brother's and sister's fast walking pace, and continued as she found her energy was nearly boundless. She liked running. She liked climbing. It was like running, but upward, and it gave her something to do with her hands.

She didn't like chasing, except now she knew that it was for a good cause. She was chasing the deerling over to get washed, to keep them safe. It wasn't easy, since she was so tired from trying to drag the adult man through the forest, but she'd do it. There was no power in the 'verse that could stop her!

Except a blast of water in the face. That might stop her.

It was, oddly, warm, and she had to shake her head to keep the thought out of her head as to where the water had come from. She ran back, to make sure the rest of the herd got sent into the water, then a third time to get all of the stragglers.

When she was done, all of the heard save for one over by Darryn had been thoroughly rinsed. And so had Branwys. Her hair hung limp, the one side that had long since broken from its ponytail splayed across her face and shoulder and back; what was left of her shirt was clinging to her, leaving no earthly way to doubt her age, despite her size. It also proved she wore a bra. At least, today it did. Her pants were similarly soaked, but being fairly loose cut and black, there wasn't as much to show.

She panted, falling to her knees, then, remembering, searched for Dimo. She found him laying on his stomach, breathing but raggedly. The water had done a work on him as well, unintentionally weakening him, and she knew that he had paceed her step for step.

"Oh, Dimo!" She tried to get to her feet, but her legs were still too shaky. She settled for crawlng to him. "Dimo, you were so brave! You should have hung back, though!"

She could see, through his bone helmet's eyeholes, the look of scorn on his face, and felt a smile despite the tears that had begun to track her cheeks, lost in the wet already there. "You rest now, OK?"

She pulled him, unable to lift him, to her bag before getting him into the pokeball.

And then Cesc called to her. "Branny, help me out?" He smiled weakly at her. "Pay you back with a romantic dinner?"

She could only gape at him. She had just nearly fainted her one pokemon. Tinka was in no shape right now for a battle. She wasn't even responding. His pokemon had been amazing so far! Was he so unsure of his pokemon, or his own skill, that he didn't think he could handle this?!

She wanted to yell. She started to cry, tears coming fresh to her face.

"I'm sorry, Cesc... I d-"

"Scrrrr..." It had come out as nearly a puff of air, and Branwys looked, seeing, again, the scraggy that Dimo had somehow recruited.

She looked at him, and he looked down at her. His eyes were hooded, but he nodded his head with a quick jerk toward Cesc.

"I... you'd help me..?"

A nod. A snort. A sneer, almost, but toward the adult carnivine.

She reached into her bag and pulled out an empty pokeball. "I... I'll let you go after... but at least this way it's official..?"

The scraggy looked at the ball, and it's face slacked. It looked almost wistful. Then it's hand swatted the ball, right on the button, and it captured itself.

Then it came out of the ball, on his own, smacking his fist into his palm and walking toward the carnivine, Leering.

"OK, Cesc... this is all I have, though!"

Posted by: Living Arrow Aug 15 2013, 12:12 PM

“Vuuul!” Lady spat fire at the Carnivine as the Deerling underwent evolution, using the distraction to land a powerful Flamethrower that drew forth a satisfying scream from the mother Pokemon. She dashed in, ready to fire off more of the attack but a vine cut her short.


“Lady, no!” Darryn yelled, his Vulpix crumpling under the sudden weight of the crushing vine across her ribs. With a sputtered yelp, the fox fell and hit the ground hard. Breath escaped her lungs and winded she was wide open for the second vine.


Green light enveloped the shining Stag that took the hit, protecting the fallen Vulpix from further harm. Unscathed, the deer looked sideways at Darryn for a moment, sharing his joy and determination with a simple glance. The Co-Ordinator watched in stunned silence as the Sawsbuck began to attack.

Hard, stabbing horns met the soft flesh of the Carnivine as a powerful tackle threw back the Pokemon that had been terrorising the Deerling herd with her brood for days and satisfaction shone from the Sawsbuck’s every pore. With intensifying jubilation, the Sawsbuck stomped the sod and dove in for more, hooves raining down powerfully onto the grass-type again and again.

“V-vuu…” Lady groaned, stealing Darryn’s attention once more. He hurried to her, scooping her softly into his arms.

“Lady…” He stroked the curls on her forehead softly even as she struggled to be freed from his arms. “Shh… It’s alright now…” he crooned, “it’s over.” Without another word, he recalled his Pokemon and turned back to the Sawsbuck.

With an almighty thud the Carnivine was pounded into the ground a final time and the Sawsbuck pranced gracefully away, his form seeming to glitter in the light of the rising sun. He crossed the field slowly, large brown eyes locked on Darryn’s as tight as any long-anticipated embrace between the dearest of friends. An understanding that Darryn had never experienced flowed between him and the stag and with it came an involuntary raising of his hand. Darryn looked down at his palm to find a Pokeball resting there. A Friend Ball.

The Sawsbuck’s breath was hot on Darryn’s hand as its muzzle lowered to his palm and activated the capture device. The sensation of a willing capture was one of the most bizarre things that Darryn’s Empathy had ever experienced. The want to be confined and commanded was nothing he’d felt from his other Pokemon before capture and the relief that he felt from inside the ball once it was closed was almost as equally strange.

“That was… weird…” Darryn ran a hand through his red-brown hair awkwardly. “But I guess you’re mine now.” He rolled the Friend Ball over in his hand slowly. “And I guess your name is…”

Emotion swelled in the ball. Darryn blinked.

“I can feel everything from you… It’s like I can read… well, your heart.” He considered this a moment and smiled to himself. The name would fit with the scheme he had placed within his team and also ran with an appropriate play on words.

“Hart. Hart Hotel.”

Posted by: Kamaitachi Aug 18 2013, 11:57 PM

Darryn had just about wrapped it up with the Carnivine, adding a new capture to his team. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched as some of the Carnivine, disheartened from the defeat of one of their parents, begin to disappear back into the woods. It meant that Cesc and Branwys had to polish off the Amoongus with extreme prejudice in order to bring closure to the battle.

They didn't have much fight left in them; hell, they were on their very last leg from the entire ordeal. They needed to combine their final strokes into one beautiful combination attack.

"Boys, flank it! Crush Claw! Flame Wheel!"

Tybalt surged forward, being the more rested of Cesc's final two Pokemon. With a speed that caught the Amoongus off guard, the Zangoose sank his claws into the fungus flesh of the Amoongus. Roaring in pain, it prepared another Giga Drain attack, tendrils seeping out and wrapping around the Zangoose. However, before the attack had been completed, Valentine's Flame Wheel ripped through the air, impacting hard with the gargantuan mushroom. It screeched once more, letting go of the ensnared Tybalt. Turning, it loosed a spray of toxic goo, covering Valentine from head to toe. Immediately, Valentine exhibited the signs of being poisoned, sinking to the ground and quivering.

"Valentine, return. Tybalt, keep it busy, Fury Cutter! Branwys! I've got it distracted!"

Posted by: Master Houndoom Aug 19 2013, 06:26 PM

She was shivering. The water had been warm, but the sun had just come up and, with little chance to do it's warming, and the ground and her clothes were wet, and torn, and wet.

At the same time, her head was clearer than before. Maybe there was something to the Rage Powder. She'd have to remember the effect on humans, if that was the case. Her brother would be fascinated.

Zola would be mortified, but that was a common state for her these days.

"Branwys, I've got it distracted," called Cesc, bringing her back to the here and now.

The scraggy was still walking jauntily toward the amoonguss, and Branwys' heart leapt into her throat. That thing was huge, and none of the pokemon fighting were anywhere close. The scraggy, however, wasn't in the least bit intimidated. It came level with the amoonguss, who looked down on it and seemed to chortle, like a giant sentient space slug. The scrggy tilted its head to either side, popping his neck, then, rocking back on one foot, reached back and punched the amoonguss directly in what must have passed for a gut.

The amoonguss grunted, then snorted, then blew out a breath. The scraggy had certainly gotten its attention.

"Look out!"

The scraggy looked up and saw the half-pokeball-like hand raised to clobber him. He rolled back expertly, dropping into a low stance, but underestimated the mushroom's reach. The appendage smacked him right on top of his head, sending him staggering.

Branwys yanked her pokedex out of her bag and pointed it at the scraggy. An analysis of known moves populated on her screen, and she spent a little time trying to figure them out. In the meantime, the scraggy danced around, holding his head, then stopped and Leered at the amoonguss. The other pokemon went rigid in anger, and opened its mouth to launch an attack. Brawys' brow furrowed.

The scraggy charged, a light blue aura around the top of his head. Branwys blinked, surprise lighting her features, just at the Zen Headbutt hit...

Posted by: Living Arrow Aug 24 2013, 12:55 PM

“Heal Bell, Momo.” Lyla instructed her Miltank at the porch of the house, the Pokemon standing over the motionless forms of Bobby’s parents. The young boy sat with them, holding one hand of each parent while looking back and forth between them with worry. Lyla stroked his messy hair fondly and glanced back to the meadow.

Deerling dotted the far side of the field, nervous and skittish they surveyed the fading battle between the Carnivine and the Trainers with wide eyes that were reluctant to look away. Lyla couldn’t blame them – after what they had been through it was completely understandable to be scared of the Carnivine despite the effects of Rage Powder finally being taken off of the fawns.

“Mmm…” Bobby’s mother moaned just as his father also began to stir.

“Mommy, Daddy!” Bobby cried with delight. “Wake up!”

“Easy, easy…” Lyla soothed Bobby as his parents came to slowly. “They’re gonna be, like, totally groggy for a while. Let’s, like, let them rest up.”

“Mirumiru.” Momo agreed, handing a warm bottle of milk to Bobby awkwardly with her hooves. The boy took it but didn’t drink, his focus stil taken by his parents as they started to wake up.

Lyla looked back to Darryn and the other Trainers. Her cousin was rounding up the final Carnivine on the field, his Pidgeot picking them off with well-aimed Quick Attacks that were simply unavoidable. Cesc and Branwys, however, were still battling hard with that fat father Amoonguss. Lyla chewed her lip.

*I might not be able to do much, but… But maybe I could help…* She thought she had gulped down her fear and began to walk down the porch steps.

“No, Lyla!” Bobby’s hand snagged her wet, dirt-covered skirt. “Please stay here!? Please stay with me and Mom and Dad?!”

“Huh?” Lyla looked back, confused, to find the confident young man had been reduced to a child in the presence of his injured parents. She paused for a moment in shock, unable to register at first what she should do, before turning back to the kid and crouching down next to him. “I’m, like, not going anywhere, Bobby.” She reassured him with a smile. “The others can take care of the rest – let’s just look after your parents, yes?”

“Mmhmm.” Bobby nodded, leading Lyla back to the barely conscious forms of the breeders.

Lyla looked back to the others.

*Come on, guys.* She fretted silently, squeezing the small hand that had made its way into hers. *Let’s, like, get out of here.*

Posted by: Kamaitachi Aug 29 2013, 12:42 AM

With Tybalt's Fury Cutter growing in power with each successive hit, Cesc's heart leapt as he watched the Amoongus begin to falter. The Amoongus hadn't given up yet; the ungainly creature still had some fight left, and continually tried to absorb more energy from the dogged Zangoose. As the tendrils finally wrapped around him, the Amoongus caught quite a nasty surprise as a powerful Zen Headbutt came from almost nowhere.

The super-effective attack from Branwys' new Scraggy friend launched the creature skywards, sending it floating into the air in a graceful arc.

"Tybalt, Slash!"

The Zangoose ran along the ground, springing up into the air and meeting his opponent with the fiercest downward slash of his claws. The attack smashed hard into the airborne Amoongus, sending the enemy hurtling back down to the earth. The impact caused Cesc to visibly wince, and once he looked back, he saw that the creature had been defeated.

His heart swelled at the sight of victory; the first definitive one they'd had since the whole ordeal began earlier that day.

"Branny! We did it!" Running over, he swept her up off her feet in a moment of pure excitement, hugging her tightly and spinning her around, planting kisses whenever he could land them. He didn't notice Darryn and Bravo picking off the remaining Carnivine, or Momo and Lyla with Bobby and his prone parents. All he knew at that moment was that they'd survived, and that with the sun rising, their nightmare was just about over.

Posted by: Master Houndoom Aug 29 2013, 10:37 PM

No, no, no, don't pick me up, I'm soaked and gross!

She did not say these things, however. She merely endured the kisses until Cesc stopped to breath, then grabbed his ears and pressed a long, deep smooch to his lips. The surprise, or possibly just the sated desire, caused Cesc to loosen hi hold and Branwys found herself falling. It was the secondary effect she had wanted, but had long since forgotten, having the unfortunate side effect of accidentally yanking Cesc's ears as she fell.

Embarrassed, Branwys busied herself straightening her clothes.

A single, terse "klink" brought her back to her senses, and before Cesc could grab her, if he were so inclined, she rushed to her bag. Pulling the klink from her bag, she stroked along the gears. Tinka did not respond, except to repeat her previous acts, which amounted to repeating the same intonation of her name, rotating a single strut on her gear.

Branwys trembled, looking back at Cesc, worry in her every feature.

She was silent for the rest of the night, hanging in the background, tending to Tinka, and giving only single word answers when she could, terse answers when more information was needed, not maliciously, but out of preoccupation.


It was later that night. Branwys had opted to find a nearby pokecenter, get a room, and hope the nurse could do something for Tinka. It was too short a time when the Joy came, offering none of her namesake. Tinka was, physically, in perfect health, and Joy had no way of communicating with her to find out what might be wrong otherwise.

After a short time, Branwys had considered all the options. She could only come up with one real answer, and no reasons not to follow through. Pulling out her credit card, she placed a long distance call on the room phone to Unova. Specifically, her sister Agatha's private line.

It was nice to see the slightly round bespectacled face framed by straight blonde hair. However, exchanging pleasantries was circumvented when Agatha saw Branwys' face.

"Bran..? What's wrong, sweety?"

Branwys swallowed thickly, then laid Tinka on the table. "Something... something happened in the forest. The Nurse says she's fine, but... but she just keeps klinking once in a while... she won't listen to me... I think she's sick..."

Branwys was near tears, and Agatha leaned toward the camera, looking at her screen to get a closer look at Tinka. Finally, she sighed.

"I'll have to get Elysius..."

Branwys winced as Agatha reached off the screen, pulling a musharna from there where he had obviously been resting. "Agatha, no, you look so silly---"

However, without pausing to explain, Agatha lifted the pokemon and plopped him on her head, like a hat. At once, Agatha's eyes went blank and white, and her voice, sounding more like an old man than her usual alto pitch, sounded through the speaker. "Oh, pish posh, little Branwys. This is the most effective way for all of us to communicate!" Then, without giving Branwys a chance to respond, Agatha began speaking in pokemon speak. She sighed. There was no reason for Elysius to use pokemon speak. Tinka understood human as well as any pokemon.

However, at the sound of the mu's, the shar's, and the na's, Tinka slowly rose. Rotating her gears on their axis', she held a conversation of klinks with Agatha and her pokemon.

Agatha's face paled, and Branwys felt her heart tremble.

"I'm sorry, dear," the old man voice said. "Tinka is severely traumatised, and no longer thinks she's-"

Tinka klink'd insistantly, and Elysius-as-Agatha scowled. "That isn't fair and you know it!"

Tinka, evidently, insisted, and the chimeric pokemon-human hybrid sighed. "'it', as Tinka is now insisting to be called, doesn't feel like an effective partner."

Branwys recoiled in horror. "It..?"

"I'm sorry, dear..."

Branwys didn't feel the hot tears sliding down her face. "This is my fault... I lost... lost her in the woods... I... it's my fault..."

"Branwys--" It was Agatha's voice, Elysius having flown off of the trainer's head. "You can't blame-"

"Can't I?!" She felt the tears now, and agrily wiped them away with her fingers. "She was my responsibility, Aggie! She-..." Her face went red, but Agatha made no comment or tried to placate her, only let the anger work through her.

Branwys sat with a heavy thud. "What... what does she want."

Tinka klink'd insistantly, but Branwys paid her no mind, refusing to call her an it as she had insisted before.

Agatha chewed her lip, and Branwys stoically noted that it was the first time she remembered seeing Agatha indecisive. Finally, resigned, Agatha closed her eyes. "To be sent back. Here."

Branwys looked at Tinka, her lip beginning to tremble, then, squaring her shoulders, she sat up straight. "All... all right. I'll send her to you tonight." Agatha noded, but her head jerked up when Branwys spoke again. "I'll be home soon myself," the smaller, younger girl said. "Zola will like that."

Agatha seemed to choke, but another voice, softer than Branwys had heard in some time, sounded, a ittle farther from the microphone on the video devices.

"No, Branny... I won't."

Branwys scowled in her confusion, but another blonde head appeared, in front of Agatha. Her eyes were sad, but she smiled, kindly. "You should stay."

"What..?" Branwys was confused, and like it often did, that confusion rapidly gave way to anger. "I don't get you! First it's, 'You're too young! You're too small! Don't go!' then it's 'Oh I worry so much! Why are you there! Come home!' and now, when I'm ready to come home, you say no?!" Branwys' face was bright red, but before she could explode into a littany of german and gaelic swear words, Zola sighed and smiled again.

"Branny... since when have you ever listened to me?"

Branwys deflated, looking away, but said nothing. Crossing her arms in front of her instead.

"I was teasing. I took it too far, and for that I'm sorry. I do worry, but... Branwys, you shouldn't lock yourself in the house because you think you failed. I know you! You did everything you could, under the circumstances." Zola closed her eyes and raised a hand. "I do not want to know the circumstances. I may have been exaggerating, but I do worry..."

More gently, the teacher sighed, looking at Branwys the way she always had; as if she wanted to pull Branwys into her lap and hold her. Branwys found herself wishing she could. But her voice, it was full of their father's pride. "You are brave. None of us went so far simply to have a journey. We all stayed home, and some of us regret it... not all of us, but some... We would love to see you come home... but not like this. Not in defeat."

Branwys looked at her sisters' pleading eyes, gentle, kind, supportive. She sighed, pulling a rarely used pokeball out of her water-stained bag and recalling Tinka. "Aggie, I'm sending Tinka to you..." She sniffed, loudly, and couldn't keep the quaver from her voice. "Please... please help her if you can..?"

"Of course, sis," Agatha said.

"Zola?" Branwys looked at her other sister, who raised her eyes, inviting her to speak. "Thanks."

"Always, Branny-cakes."

Branwys' face crumpled, and she nearly broke down, but schooled her features with difficulty. Signing off of the phone with a whispered goodbye, she went out to the lobby, using the transfer machine to send the carnivine she had caught in the forest to Tarvek, along with a note explaining what had happened, it's special circumstances, and a warning to be careful. Then, having held out as long as she could, she placed her second oldest pokeball on the machine and sent Tinka to Agatha's lab.

She managed to get back to her room before the tears came, and she collapsed onto her bed, sobbing herself to sleep.

Posted by: Living Arrow Sep 22 2013, 09:39 AM

“We’re so sorry for all of this.” Bobby’s father sincerely apologised as he passed around mugs of hot beverages to the ragged group of trainers. Although shakey still, the breeder-researcher had managed to navigate the rubble of the destroyed kitchen and found a mish-mash of cups that hadn’t completely smashed and a kettle with only a dent in it to offer what he could to the teens that had saved his family’s life. Darryn accepted the drink gratefully and held the steaming cup close to his chest.

Out on the porch, only because the house was still in disarray, Bobby’s mother cuddled the boy tightly in a grip that not even a Carnivine would be able to break if it wanted to. She sobbed quietly, smoothing the grubby boy’s hair against his protests that he was alright. Lyla hovered nearby but did not intervene as the parents adjusted to being back on their feet again despite wanting to hold the kid herself. Branwys sat away from the porch, staring out over the meadow with untouched drink in hand, Cesc staying close enough to offer some sort of support while giving her room to breathe. Whatever had happened with the petite girl, Darryn was sure she was more than just shaken.

“It’s not your fault.” Darryn said numbly to Bobby’s dad, sipping the hot tea slowly. It was a little bitter but more than welcome after the mouth-drying shouting he had been through for the previous hours.

“Mmm.” Bobby’s father wasn’t so convinced but his resolve for protest was still weakened from the energy-draining events caused by the rampaging Carnivine. “Still, I wish we could thank you in some other way. We don’t have a lot of money but there must be something that we-“

“No no.” Lyla butted in. “It’s, like, fine. Seriously.”

<C’mon, Darryn.> Lyla’s mental plea leaked through his own fatigue. <Let’s get out of here and to a Pokemon Center.>

<We can’t be rude, Ly. Five minutes – that’s all.>

Darryn really didn’t want to pester the owners of the Breeding Center, especially after their ordeal, but seeing the couple so desperate and pathetic was horrible. Could he do something for them?

“Um…” Bobby piped up, squirming loose from his mother to blink up at Darryn from where he sat. “Um…” He looked to Lyla then back to Darryn. “That Sawsbuck – the one you caught from before – I know what its Ability means now.”

“Bobby!” His mother hissed quickly, looking wildly from trainer to trainer and grabbed her child closer.

“It’s OK!” Lyla soothed, holding up her open palms defensively. “We know about Bobby’s… gift… and we won’t tell anyone.”

<Gift? We do?>

<I’ll explain later.>

Bobby’s mother, panic stricken, looked to her husband for support but the other breeder just shrugged.

“If they know, there’s nothing we can do, anyway.” He sighed.

“The Sawsbuck!” Bobby insisted excitedly, finally broke free from his mother and jumped up to grin at Darryn intensely. “I knew when I saw it that it had a Sap Sipper ability but no-one had heard of it before. But now, since I seen it, I know what it does!”

“Huh?” Bobby’s father looked to his wife. “You heard of this?” The woman shook her head slowly.

“It absorbs Grass attacks and then makes the Pokemon stronger!”

“Explains a lot.” Darryn nodded, remembering how easily Hart had defeated the Carnivine after it had taken the Vine Whip for Lady. “Thanks, Bobby.”

The boy grinned from ear to ear, evidently proud of the so-called gift that he had. Darryn wished he could say the same for his disability. He should have been able to sense Lima’s presence fading long before he realised she had been taken and the fear from Bobby should have reached him even sooner before that. Why didn’t it work the way he wanted it to when he needed it?

Darryn sighed and stared into his drink, the steam rippling languidly towards his eyes while he fought with the mental signatures dotting his mind like points on a map. He could tell hos many humans and Pokemon were nearby now – it was like an emotional space in the void that throbbed more strongly or weakly depending on his relative proximaty. It was a development that came too late and helped no-one. If it couldn’t be trusted when he neeed it, what good was it?!

Lyla continued to make excuses why the trainers could not stay, wishing the breeder family well in their reconstruction of home and research facility. Darryn left her to it, absorbed in his own thoughts and hating the flickering lights that danced over his vision whenever he looked at a person or Pokemon.

*And why cant I speak to Lady anymore?! Surely she would have spoken to me through all of that last night – even she is not that spiteful… Can she? She spoke to Lya that one time but is something stopping her talking to me? I cant feel her emotions so I thought she was blocking them… Could it be something else?*

“Right, Darryn?” Lyla’s voice brought him back to the present.

“Uh, right.” Darryn faked it, unsure to what he was agreeing. The breeders seemed satisfied though, reaching out to shake hands and hug them goodbye. Lyla passed on her contact details and shared a special hug with Bobby, leaving the kid with teary eyes.


“We’re going back to Petropolis to rest up for a little while. Hopefully we can stay out of trouble before moving on to Fidona – best if luck to you guys, too.” Darryn had told Cesc as the four trainers reached the main road once more. The north marked Port Barley and the south Petropolis but indication of various junctions along the way were listed below the main destinations. He had shaken hands with the fellow Co-Ordinator, promising that next time they would compete on a stage but how heartfelt it was could have been debated after such an awful experience had marred their initial encounter together.

Back in his apartment, however, Darryn was soon to find that his opportunity to battle fellow Co-Ordinators and trainers alike would be coming a lot sooner than anticipated as a letter collected with the rest of his mail fell apart from the rest on his kitchen counter spelling out what sounded to be an outstanding event for the summer:
“The Petropolis Grand Invitational!” Marked the title.

“Jaima…” Darryn whispered to himself, seeing the invitation as a beacon for his friend and a call for their long-awaited rematch. “See you there, I hope.”

Posted by: Kamaitachi Sep 23 2013, 01:43 AM

Branwys' silence unnerved him a bit. Her lack of response to any stimulus he could muster at the point only served to remind him of how tired and worn he was.

They had just been through a horrifying ordeal, and even the ever-cheery Cesc could not find a way to make light of the situation. They'd faced life or death situations before...but this...this felt like the wrong kind of story. The 7 people in the field were incredibly lucky to be alive.

He would need to remember that.

* * *

Francesco Rojas sat in relative silence, gratefully accepting the tea. Admittedly, it wasn't even very good tea, but after the day he'd had, anything warm would suffice. Bobby's parents were...incredibly generous. Cesc knew what it was like to come from very little, so even the tea felt like an overwhelming generous gift. The thought of money and all that? That was simply too much.

"No, no, sir. No reward is necessary. Perhaps a correspondence? I would love to keep in touch with you. I work in a tailor shop over in Arasam, please let me know if we can make any clothes for you. No charge; as a sign of friendship."

He smiled, and it surprised him how sincere it felt. He hadn't known them for very long, but he knew something of the old saying. Save a man's life, and you're indebted to them forever. It was never the other way around.

* * *

Cesc walked slightly in front of the silent Branwys as they walked towards the main road, the group parting ways once they reached Petropolis.

"I wish we could have met under better circumstances." Cesc nodded gravely as the co-ordinators shook hands. A slow smile spread on his face, as a whole slew of mixed emotions fell into the next sentence:

"For better or for worse...I won't forget what happened." It was true. He had met some incredible people, and it was certainly an experience, to say the least."

"I'll be in Petropolis for a bit; I would assume Rio is my next target. Best of luck in Fidona with Carmen, my friend."

He walked Branwys to the Pokemon Center, deposited his Pokemon with the Nurse, before taking a stroll out into the city.

He tried to dream up new coordinations for his next contest...but his mind kept forcibly drifting to the gaping, monstrous maws of the Carnivine in the dark forest. Unsettled, he sat down on a concrete ledge just off the sidewalk.

At a loss, he simply hummed for a moment, watching the cars and people pass him by.

More adventures were on the horizon; he felt that in his bones. But was he ready for them?

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