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The Ubiquitous Umbra of the Unending Underground, Uber Goober!
Yzarc Drowsnam
post May 2 2010, 12:04 PM
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Justin backed away and forced his eyes closed as the cleffa screamed the most hideously obnoxious sound he'd ever heard in his life. He wanted to yell at it to just shut up, but something in the back of his mind told him it wouldn't help the situation at all. However, that "something" in the back of his mind's voice was not nearly as loud as the cleffa's yells, and was completely masked as a result.

"Oh my god, shut up!!" he yelled as Turnip fortunately put the thing to sleep. "Thank God," he exhaled.

Pan caught the thing, which was good, because it was clear she wanted to, so he was happy for her. When she mentioned setting up camp, he had Tyrogue lay down the sleeping bag and began scouting the area for fire materials. Rocks, rocks, rocks, fire, rock-Wait. There was already a fire?

It seemed Turnip and Fenrir had made a campfire using their special pokemon powers, something Justin didn't even consider. "Okay," he said, defeated, "Well, we still need some kind of-"

Diana's nidoran ran up to the fire with some sort of root in its mouth and dropped it into the flame. "Okay...Tyrogue," he said, looking to Tyrogue, who puffed out his chest and looked ready for anything. "Help me get some rocks so we can cont-What in the-"

That's when the smell hit him. He immediately began to cough, and looked up at Tyrogue, who continued standing tall, but with a single tear forming at his eye. "Someone put it out, holy shit!" he yelled, practically in the fetal position, holding his hands over his nose, but not wanting to breathe through his mouth either. He was seriously considering using one of his few bottles of water to just put it out and keep that damn root from burning any longer, but it just didn't seem worth it to do anything but hold himself and cry.

“Pivot, mud-slap the fire!” Pan shouted from a slight distance away. Her baltoy threw some mud onto the flames and, though the smell still existed, it began to die. Justin just fell back onto his sleeping bag and Tyrogue finally fell over onto his chest.

“And the lesson here is,” Pan said, “don’t start burning anything you find.”

"Hey, it wasn't me," he replied, not yet sitting up. "It was Diana's nidoran. And I think it probably barely understands the concept of things being combustible, which is impressive, but I don't think it really learned a lesson here. No offense, uh- Was it Kimball?"

There were so many names to learn, and he didn't really want to bother too much since he didn't really intend on hanging out with anyone here after this particular adventure. He had to go back to work, after all, unless he found something worth a lot of money down here. Of course, that possibility was always on the back of his mind, since he decided to go into the underground. Supposedly there were plenty of buried treasures down there, and the fact that Pan already found a few (none of which were shared, even though her partners had yet to find anything of value, something Justin had not mentioned, but that he was thinking about) just showed how common they were.

When Pan asked for some food, Justin sighed. "Sure," he said all cheerfully, "Because you don't have any food, and I do have some food, and I know you need food, I'll let you have some of mine, because I understand that you just got unlucky that the cleffa ate your food instead of mine, and so I think it's only right that we share food." He wondered how subtle he was being as he tossed her a granola bar.


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post May 6 2010, 09:46 PM
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As Pan caught the granola bar, she was beginning to think that something was up. Justin sounded quite cheerful, perhaps a bit too cheerful. Throughout the trip, he seemed quite neutral; the sudden change in emotion, combined with the monologue on how Pan lost her food, made Pan wonder. Was he mad at her? She had offered to share her tools with everyone, and she kept a good attitude throughout the journey. Was it something else she did?

Rather than open the snack, Pan kept the granola bar in her hand and continued the conversation with Justin.

“Um, is something wrong?” Pan asked, looking rather concerned. “Because if you can’t spare food, that’s alright. I can manage.”

"Nothing at all," he nodded, opening up another granola bar and taking a bite. "You know, this is fun," he continued after swallowing his first bite. "Us all hanging out. Reminds me of this time I went fishing with some friends of mine. See, I'm pretty broke most of the time, so a friend of mine let me borrow his fishing rod and we all went fishing and, sure, we kept track of who caught what, but in the end, we cooked the fish and everyone ate. You know what I mean?"

He didn't want to overtly tell Pan that she needed to share her findings. In fact, if she were to offer, he would decline. He just didn't think it was right that she just assumed it was hers because she found it. As far as he was concerned, they were all down there together. Everything anyone found was everybody's.

“Wait, is this about treasure?” Pan looked back at Justin in disbelief. She was a smart girl, so it didn’t take long to make the connections between food, fish, and the finds of the day’s journey.

“Look, this isn’t my stuff to just give away,” she said, maintaining her calm demeanor after the suggestion of unfairness. “Whatever I find goes to the museum I work for. I’m doing my job.” She hoped that the mention of “job” would spark some understanding from the hard-working man.


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Yzarc Drowsnam
post May 7 2010, 10:47 AM
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"Clearly you don't understand my words!" Justin stood up and Tyrogue did the same, both looking quite angry, but Tyrogue clearly didn't understand why. "I'm just reminiscing on old times. You know how it goes. I'm gonna go dig some more, though, since I haven't found anything yet, and apparently the only thing that matters down here is who actually picks the perfect spot to start digging, otherwise you're shit outta luck, huh? It's cool. Hope you guys have a goodnight, though.

"Sincerely," he added, with extreme lack of sincerity, "Congratulations on your stones, your fossil and your rare pokemon. I just cannot express how happy I am for you."

He didn't wait for anyone to react or respond, but turned and began walking down the cave a little further, not looking back to see if anyone followed, but hoped no one did. He didn't grab any tools, but fully intended to have Nincada, Tyrogue and himself do all the digging by hand (or claw in Nincada's case).

Pan walked right after him, determined to figure out what was up. She tossed the granola bar back with his stuff as she increased her pace. Turnip saw the humans starting to argue and followed Pan, leaving the rest of his companions to their meals (after scarfing down the rest of his dinner of course).

“What happened?” She asked Justin as she trailed behind him. “We were getting along just fine! Why are you mad at me?” Pan was both exasperated and confused; she honestly couldn’t understand why he seemed so angry.

He sighed and turned around. "I don't know," he said, somewhat defeated. "I just, I'm really having a hard time looking at you right now. Could you just leave me alone and let me find something that will make me rich? Or at least a couple hundred bucks, I don't really care."

“Fine, don’t look at me. You don’t even have to stop working. But you will listen to what I have to say.” Pan was now fairly angry; a rare frown appeared on her face. Her arms were crossed under to her chest as she stopped behind Justin.

“I’m sorry you’ve had a rough life and that money hasn’t been easy to come by for you. But please don’t blame me for it!” Her voice was much louder than usual, echoing through the chamber. Realizing that the others could likely hear her, Pan clamed herself. She turned to her ivysaur and had a plan.

“Now, if you want help finding something,” Pan continued as her anger started to dissipate, “that I can do. Turnip, help Justin break through these walls. I’m going to get the tools.”

"No!" Justin put his foot down. "Keep your pokemon. Keep your tools. And don't you dare try to play like you know me, like you know what I've been though. This is not about you anymore. Just leave me the fuck alone and I'll handle this. And maybe I'll rejoin you in the morning. Okay?"

Pan shook her head in frustration. First, Justin complained how he didn’t get “his share” of treasure. Then, when she offered to help find more, he pushed her away again. Pan had enough arguing for the night; the trip along with the digging had worn her out well before the spat with Justin. She let him be and started walking back to camp, Turnip walking beside her. She was still mad at how things turned out, but hoped things would be better in the morning.


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post May 11 2010, 02:19 PM
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Pan started setting up her sleeping bag next to the tunnel wall. She always liked sleeping next to something ever since she was little; the security assured her that she wouldn’t fall off the bed. Even on the ground (not to mention her age), this preference remained.

She didn’t take time to examine her finds. The argument with Justin actually made Pan feel bad about her successful day. She knew she shouldn’t feel this way; it wasn’t her fault that he couldn’t find anything. Nonetheless, she stuffed the evolution stones and the old amber into her backpack, leaving their examination for another day. She had kept the mysterious necklace upon her neck, mostly because she had forgotten it was there.

What she did not forget about was the large cleffa she had obtained. Knowing full well that the pokemon was sound asleep, she released her onto the sleeping bag. Sure enough, the cleffa was resting soundly upon her back. Only her slight breathing interrupted the moment. As Pan watched, she noticed that the pokemon was much bigger than she remembered. She was almost as wide as she was tall! This did not take away any of her cuteness though; Pan smiled as the cleffa curled up on her side, a soft “Clef” exiting her mouth. To the human, the pokemon resembled a lima bean in shape. To be fair, the shape was universal to most beans, but Pan had a preference to lima over all others.

“I think your name will be…Lima,” Pan whispered. Lima didn’t make much of a response, other than a slight sniffle of her nose.

As the rest of her team started to approach, Pan quickly returned Lima back to her pokeball. She did the same for Fenrir and Pivot, but Turnip insisted on staying out. Chi-Chi slipped into Pan’s vest for the night, waving a good night to her pichu pal.

“I think I’ll retire a bit early tonight,” she said to Diana and Andrew. She then slipped off her boots and laid herself on the sleeping bag.

As she stared up towards the stalactite-covered ceiling, Pan reflected upon the day’s events. The day turned out to be a good one, treasure-wise. She was sure Prof. Stone would be quite pleased, particularly with the fossil and the necklace. Pan was also fortunate to meet Diana. It would be nice if she could stick around a bit longer. As for Justin, Pan hoped his attitude would change by morning. If it didn’t, well, at least he’d be gone soon. Still, it’d be nice to mend bridges before then.

Hoping for a better tomorrow, Pan rolled over on her side and closed her eyes as she was whisked away by the Sandman.


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Yzarc Drowsnam
post May 22 2010, 09:52 PM
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(OOC: Moving on, I guess?)

Justin summoned Nincada from her ball. "Come on, girl," he said, trying to calm her down as she immediately began crawling around the floor and then up the wall a little bit. "Let's find us somethin' to make us rich." She didn't nod, but she might as well have, because she immediately began to obey. With incredible speed, she began digging tiny holes into the wall. He summoned Tyrogue to help her break through some of the tougher rocks, but Bonsly stayed tucked away in his pokeball.

So the three of them continued digging away. Tyrogue, closer to the ground, was punching through rocks. Justin, further up, was using all his might to pull some of the heavier rocks out of the wall, knowing that, as long as he didn't dig too far in, it wouldn't compromise the structure of the cave.

After about an hour of this, moving up and down the cave wall, he came to the realization that if he was going to find anything useful, he'd need Pan's device, and he was not about to ask her for that, not after all the stuff he said. Asking for it would necessitate an apology and that was just about the last thing he was about to do.

"Rogue," Tyrogue sighed, exhausted, punching the wall once again, his tiny fists beginning to bruise. Even the ever energetic Nincada found herself out of breath. Justin, too, was in no condition to keep at it, but he was in even less condition to give up.

"Fine," he said, pulling out their pokeballs. "I'll handle it myself." He recalled both of them into their balls and continued digging away at this wall until his arms completely gave out about an hour and a half later. It was at that point that he half lied down, half fell, and closed his eyes, enduring one of the worst nights of sleep he ever had. He fell immediately to sleep, thankfully, otherwise he'd probably have spent the time before sleep thinking about all the terrible things he said to Pan and actually start to regret some of them. Or worse, he'd start to justify them in his own mind and say worse, more personal, things to her when they met up in the morning. And if that night proved anything, it should have been that he needed her if he was going to accomplish anything here.


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post May 23 2010, 05:55 AM
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As the night wore on, Turnip started growing weary. He had spent much of the night investigating suspicious shadows, walking the perimeter of the camp site, and making sure Pan was covered up in her sleeping bag. Chi-Chi’s cheeks provided a dim nightlight to keep the surroundings somewhat visible, but that would not be enough to keep the ivysaur awake. He decided to take a few minutes to nap in order to refresh himself.

And yet, Turnip had the feeling that he was being watched. He opened his eyes but saw no hint of another being. He went back to sleep, only to be interrupted again by some non-existent being staring at him. The ivysaur must have woken up five or six times before his face locked onto the black beady eyes of a mole pokemon.

“Diglett!”

Turnip jumped to his feet as the diglett sunk back into the ground, reappearing at the center of camp. The ivysaur followed, only to be met by two more of the pokemon. The trio of diglett grinned, but Turnip was not amused. These creatures had ruined his sleep and would likely keep doing so until he gave them a whipping. He wrapped his vines together into a club and took aim.

In a humorous game of “Whack-a-Mole,” the digletts ducked into the ground each time Turnip swung his club at them. The mole pokemon chuckled as the ivysaur grew frustrated with their antics. When all three disappeared, Turnip waited patiently for one of them to resurface. He would get them this time…

Everything changed when the ground trembled under Turnip’s feet. Hundreds upon hundreds of digletts emerged from the ground. From wall to wall, the colony was tightly packed together, forming a new floor upon their heads. At their mercy were Turnip, Pan, Diana, Justin, and the entire campsite. The digletts started moving through the tunnel with surprising speed, chanting as they went:

Diglett dig, dig diglett dig,
Diglett dig, dig diglett dig…


It didn’t take long for Pan to wake up from the commotion. As soon as she realized that the ground was massaging her back (which felt great) and that she wasn’t playing any music, she opened her eyes to see the multitude of diglett. Pan quickly sat up to see her friends and all of their things on top of a carpet of bald heads. She remained sitting to avoid falling all over the place.

“Are you guys all right?” Pan asked loudly over the diglett chanting. Turnip stumbled over himself as he made his way to his human. Chi-Chi’s cheeks acted as headlights as they zoomed pass rock walls to an unknown destination.


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Yzarc Drowsnam
post May 24 2010, 06:00 PM
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"Son of a-" Justin heard himself say before he consciously knew he was saying it. He felt the unfamiliar and uncomfortably comfortable vibrations nuzzling against his collapsed body. The sound of the digletts were echoing all throughout the tunnels at that point, but it wasn't until their burrowing started to affect him physically that he woke up. His eyes were pushing shut but he kept them open as he stood, trying not to agitate the moving earth below him.

He had to think the situation through fully, which was made difficult by a combination of being barely awake and holding onto his balance to keep from falling over from the shaking ground beneath him. Were they hostile? Did he need to prepare to fight? That notion became immediately out of the question when he actually saw the Diglett Army rush through the cave. There had to have been hundreds. If they were hostile, he was dead, end of story. If they were not, however, his single priority was to keep them that way.

He didn't want to go back to Pan and the others. But he kind of did. But then again, he didn't. Maybe if he came back all heroically, he could skip the apology and go straight to "you're welcome." Realistically, though, what was he gonna do to be a hero? Fight off all the digletts? No.

In the end, the most reasonable path was to just tuck his tail between his legs and head back to camp, empty handed as he was. How he wanted to uncover some ancient pokemon fossil or a long buried nugget of gold, but in the end, he just had to accept that he was not destined for greatness or riches. Forever, he would be the guy who worked hard for little reward. There were no lucky breaks, not in the real world...Of pokemon.

When he got back to camp, maneuvering around the digletts, he looked up at Pan. The others were there as well, but only she got his eye contact. "Is everyone okay?" he asked, meekly.


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post May 24 2010, 08:04 PM
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Pan turned her head around to see Justin fumbling towards her. He looked quite a bit dirtier than she last saw him; his hands were clearly stained with dirt. She didn’t bother to find out how his treasure hunt went. Last night’s argument wasn’t even on her mind at the moment. Right now, they were traveling on a magic carpet of diglett and Justin appeared all right.

“I think we’re OK…at the moment,” Pan replied to Justin. Her tone was a bit more serious than usual. The digletts were taking them through several turns, over hills, and down ramps that led deeper underground. She would have thought they were all on a slow roller coaster if it weren’t for lack of loops (thank goodness). More importantly though, Pan had no idea where they were going.

“Where are we going?” Pan thought to herself. Perhaps the digletts were aiding them, taking the group towards an exit. Maybe they acted as ancient tour guides, taking the humans to a bounty of undiscovered treasures. Or maybe the digletts were taking them to their colony, where they would tear the humans and pokemon to bits and pieces to feed to their young. As cool as it would be to see a diglett colony, Pan wasn’t quite ready to become someone’s dinner. She was pretty sure her friends felt the same way. Just then, their salvation appeared to their left. Another corridor opened up in an otherwise solid wall. It appeared the diglett were going to continue down the main path to destinations unknown. Pan figured they needed to get off before they became more lost than they already were. She pointed towards the opening to get everyone’s attention.

“I say we get off of this train ride,” Pan shouted to the others. She motioned for the others to follow her to the edge of the diglett army. Here they would be poised to jump off at a moment’s notice. As soon as the Diglett Express passed by the alternate path, Pan shouted “NOW” and leaped off.

“Woah!”
“Saur!”
“Pa!”

Pan and her pokemon jumped off the digletts, the human rolling onto the ground to prevent too much injury. She managed to land on her feet, but what she saw next caused her to stumble backwards and gasp in shock.

The face of the eruption pokemon Groudon stared down upon the group. Judging from the height the creature’s head from the ground, the monster must have been twelve feet high. Though the fearsome jaw remained closed, its eyes seemed directly fixed upon the humans and pokemon.

Chi-Chi’s lightened cheeks would soon reveal that Groudon was nothing more than a statue of a head delicately carved from the rock around it. But for a few seconds, the sight of it caused Pan to back away quickly to the others as Turnip took position in front.


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Yzarc Drowsnam
post May 24 2010, 09:34 PM
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As Pan answered, it seemed she was already heading his direction, allowing the mass of digletts to carry her. Justin decided to go with the flow as it were, and stopped resisting, allowing himself to be carried as well. "So I'm not sure we should just let them do whatever they want with us..." he said, but was sure no one heard over the quakes. Luckily, Pan seemed to be on the same page, however, as she suggested they hop off at the next turn, which the digletts were avoiding.

Justin joined her as she jumped and was immediately startled by the Groudon statue. Justin had, of course, heard of the legendary Groudon, but he also knew that the chances of it being in some cave underground in the middle of nowhere on this tiny continent were virtually nonexistent. It actually made him chuckle when Pan backed away from it slowly.

"No worries," he said, moving forward and knocking on its gigantic leg. "It's a fake." He looked back at her and found himself smiling as he looked at her while she came to the realization that she was not about to be killed by Groudon. Once he realized he was smiling like an idiot, he jerked his head away, forced a stern look on his face and blushed all at the same time. Surely the redness in his face detracted from the fake look of urgency and seriousness, but he didn't know he was blushing.

He rubbed the back of his neck. "So we should find a way out of here soonish."


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post May 25 2010, 08:23 AM
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As Pan looked closely at the “creature,” she eventually saw the stone texture and stillness of the Groudon statue. Evidently, the incident at Castle Vonmoto made her rush to conclusions, though the adrenaline rush from jumping off the digletts probably didn’t help matters. Still, it looked almost lifelike: each groove was meticulously hand-carved seemingly eons ago. Those eyes continued to stare down upon the human visitors, as if waiting to come to life.

Pan also noticed Justin grinning from ear-to-ear at her reaction, as if trying to suppress outright laughter. He tried to keep his glee subdued, causing his face to blush a rose red. She walked towards him and playfully pushed Justin, their sides connecting.

“Oh, quiet you,” Pan replied to Justin’s chuckles, a smirk appearing on her face. Her focus then switched back towards the Groudon replica.

She grabbed her camera as she stood up to the beast, recording the find for the museum. A bright flash enveloped the corridor as she took a picture. As she examined the statue, Justin inquired about finding a way out of the tunnels.

“I think you’re right,” Pan replied. “This appears to be a dead end-”

Just then, her boot hit an object on the ground with a soft ‘clank’. Looking down, Pan saw what appeared to be a metal cap, its circumference equal to the length of her foot. She knelt down to examine the object, Turnip joining her. It was incredibly rusty, as if it had been sitting in the darkness for as long as the Groudon statue. The shape of the cap suggested that it was a cover that could be lifted. Pan grabbed the cap to reveal something that she hadn’t seen for years.

Three holes were unveiled: one large cone-shaped hole with two narrow slots at each side. Pan stared at the shapes, wondering if this was truly the same thing she saw years ago.

“I’ve seen something like this in Hoenn,” she told the others, s bit of excitement in her voice. “And if I’m right…”

She released Pivot from its pokeball to investigate the holes. The baltoy slipped into the cavities as if by instinct, the bottom half of its body completely hidden from view. She ordered a rapid spin attack, causing the baltoy to turn like a key in a lock. A loud click echoed through the chamber, quickly followed by the Groudon statue opening its mouth. The mouth dropped far past the jaw, straight towards the ground. Pan smiled as a dusty hallway appeared where the creature’s belly was. Curiosity took over as she delved into the new pathway, not even so much as addressing the others.

The hall led to a hidden room lined with clay pots. The pots were filled with various items: dried stalks of wheat, bundles of shriveled up fruit, and even gold nuggets were among the contents. Pan deduced that these served as some sort of sacrifices, but her attention was drawn to a particular wall. It depicted a story through a set of four panels arranged as if it were a small comic strip.

The first panel depicted a temple under a couple of clouds, with stick people carved around it. The engraving of Groudon lay peacefully below the temple. The second panel showed the people sacrificing a mareep, angering the Groudon. The third panel, set below the first, depicted the temple sinking into the ground below. Things appeared to have been set right in the fourth panel, where the people offer up crops and other items from the earth to please the eruption pokemon and keep the land fertile.

“Look at what we found,” Pan said to the others, eyes wide in amazement. “This looks like something from a long lost civilization, one that may predate the Founders!” Pan smiled widely; there were still undiscovered secrets within the world.

Suddenly, Pan’s attention went towards another wall, where the sounds of a construction zone emanated through the room. She didn’t know how she didn’t notice the sounds before, but clear as day, Pan could hear a jackhammer rumbling. Several construction workers were calling out to each other. The sounds were coming through a wall of loose stone bricks. Pan immediately pushed one of them out after examining the rest to make sure the wall didn’t collapse on top of them. Against Turnip’s vocal objections, Pan crawled through the new hole.

“I just want to see what’s going on. I’ll be in and out; I promise,” she replied to the ivysaur. She then reached her arm out to help Justin through; something told her she may need his expertise soon enough.


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Yzarc Drowsnam
post May 25 2010, 12:15 PM
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"Oh good idea," Justin thought to himself, sarcastically, as Pan walked straight into Groudon's mouth. "This probably leads to the exit. Maybe we'll even fi-What." He noticed the inside now. The place was gorgeous in a creepy sort of way. More importantly, his curiosity was sparked as he wondered how long this had been here and who else knew about it. Did they just discover a long lost civilization?

“This looks like something from a long lost civilization, one that may predate the Founders!” Pan seemed to say exactly what Justin was thinking. Moreover, whatever was left of his former anger of her slipped away as he secretly grabbed one of the golden nuggets from a pot and quietly put it in his bag. His heart was racing fast as he knew it was probably worth a couple thousand at least.

As they continued, the white noise in the background grew loud enough to be clear. There was construction going on not far from there. "Someone else is here," Justin said as they continued, the sound growing. He stood back as Pan took the initiative to push out a loose stone from a wall where they stood. She crawled through and held her hand out to him. He wasn't sure he'd fit, but he gave it a shot.

Success! His shirt ripped a little bit, and he knew his shoulders were gonna be bruised up pretty good from being forced through the hole, but it was alright. "Yeah, I think I'm gonna go with 'Ow!'"


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post May 25 2010, 04:32 PM
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While Pan’s slim body was able to slip through the space, she underestimated the size of Justin by a good bit. His arms were like tree trunks! At one point, Pan had to use both her hands to pull him through. They succeeded in entering the room, though Justin seemed to have some pain in his shoulders.

“You all right?” Pan asked, instinctively grabbing both his shoulders. Quickly realizing the mistake, she pulled back and apologized.

“Sorry!” she said, but the apology was brief. As Turnip and Pivot were making their way through the hole, Pan saw what was causing all the noise.

The group happened to be in a huge rock quarry, around the size of a football field. Workers with yellow hardhats dotted the area; some were using shovels to dig while others were operating large bulldozers of various styles. Crews of machoke were carrying boxes to a large platform underneath a huge hole in the ceiling. The platform was part of a large elevator system not too different from the one Pan and co. used to access the Underground, though this one was meant to carry larger crowds and equipment. Pan wasn’t sure what to think: was this a part of the temple? Maybe it was an ancient village. She could spot several clay pots that hinted of more clues to a relation to the temple she left. If that were the case, what were these people doing here?

Pan was determined to find out.

“Come on. I want to go see what’s going on,” Pan said to the others. Turnip was not so thrilled by Pan’s escapades; he growled his discontent. He certainly didn’t like the idea of his human rushing haphazardly into a crowd of sweaty males.

“Hey, I haven’t found out what was going on yet,” Pan replied to the ivysaur. She then started moving down the ramps carved from the rock as she made her way down, her pokemon behind her (grudgingly in Turnip’s case).

As the humans and pokemon walked around the work zone, one of the hardhats stepped in front of them. The man was wearing a light blue long-sleeved shirt, a pair of jeans, and a yellow hard hat. According to his nametag, his name was Larry, he was a contractor, and he was quite a bit taller than either Pan or Justin (hence the name: Big Larry). Also, he seemed to have been working through much of the night: dark bags under his bloodshot eyes were quite clear.

“What do you think you kids are doing here?” Larry asked, sounding a bit displeased that he had visitors. “This isn’t a playground; this a work zone!”

Larry’s attitude was not enough to discourage Pan from inquiring about the site. She kept walking up to him.

“First of all, I’m not just some kid,” Pan replied, matching Larry’s attitude with her own. “I’m a researcher with the Petropolis museum. We just uncovered part of a temple back over there-”

“Before you go on,” Larry interrupted, “You’ll be glad to know that that museum you just mentioned is working with us to clear out all these artifacts so we can go on with our real job. We’re digging for water so that the happy little people on the surface won’t die of thirst. Is that a noble enough cause for you?! Now scram!”

With that, Larry didn’t even bother to see if Pan and Justin were leaving. Rather, he headed straight for the coffee pot, mumbling about “darn kids” and “deadlines”.


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post May 25 2010, 05:29 PM
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Larry, clearly very annoyed at the young people taking up his workspace, walked off. "I got this," Justin nodded to Pan and approached Big Larry.

"Are you the Foreman?" Justin asked. Larry turned around, a mug of coffee up to his face. He slowly lowered the pot and looked at Justin.

"That I am,"

"Good," Justin nodded. "Are you guys are contractors, yeah?"

"Yeah."

"Then you know as well as I do that you are legally responsible for any historical sites you might come across. There are more artifacts on the other side of that wall. And we're not just talking about artifacts. Statues, wall paintings. They all need to be preserved. It doesn't matter if a museum in a different city agreed to buy some artifacts from you. You need government clearance on a federal level to continue further in this direction and I know damn well you don't have it." Larry's face was furious. "Maybe you do though. If you show me some clearance papers, I'd be more than happy to get out of your way."


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post May 25 2010, 10:43 PM
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Larry was not only furious; he was a bit flabbergasted. This kid knew what he was talking about. His eyes widened as Justin went over the law as if he were reading it from a book. Rather than continue to yell at Justin, he took a deep breath and responded.

“I’ll go get you those papers,” Larry said calmly, though his voice was deeper than before, perhaps threatening. He then turned around and walked off to the other side of the work zone.

Pan came up from behind Justin, grabbing his arm to get his attention.

“Thanks, for whatever you just did,” Pan said. Justin seemed to have just the right words for getting to the contractor. Whether they would work or not remained to be seen; Pan was just glad he put in the effort.

Still, the one thing she couldn’t shake was the mention of the Petropolis Museum. She would have thought that the professor would have mentioned that another team was excavating a site somewhat close to her study. Perhaps it was a last minute dig? Her poketch revealed no new emails, which led her to believe that her status as intern meant she wasn’t privy to such information. That was even more puzzling, considering the things she discovered so far.

Before she could delve further into the mystery, the chamber filled with workers yelling in panic as they rushed to the opposite end of the site.

“Get out of the way!”
“It’s out of control!”
“I’m too old for this stuff!”

Several boxes flew through the air as a massive metallic gray behemoth plowed through several boxes. It ran with surprising speed on two large legs, each with a footprint that could easily fit over a human. Though it lacked any other appendages, it made up for it with a giant drill that took up much of the face of the mechanical monstrosity. There appeared to be some sort of windshield above the drill, but it wasn’t particularly visible. At 10 feet tall, it was quite a sight to see when it was performing its normal functions. At the moment however, it was nothing short of terrifying.

It was quite clear that this was no pokemon. This was a large bipedal mech, perhaps a robot. On top of that, it took aim at Justin and Pan, the drill spinning at full strength. Turnip was the first to take action; the ivysaur charged forward, dodging to the side at the last second. Now behind the creature, Turnip used his vines to grab a hold of the mech’s leg. He had absolutely on effect in slowing it down. The “drillbot” kept charging towards the pair.

Pan immediately ran as the drillbot descended upon them, its drill stabbing the ground the two were standing on moments before. While the mech was preoccupied, Pan directed Justin to hide behind the crate. She took a quick peak from behind the crate; Turnip was still away from the pointy end of the foe. Pan knew that wouldn’t last forever.

“We need a plan,” Pan said as she turned to Justin, worry in her eyes. She was really hoping he also had experience in stopping rampaging constriction robots.


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post May 26 2010, 11:07 PM
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Justin jumped out of the way and hid behind some boxes, shaking his head furiously as he did so. This was no accident. Clearly our Larry forgot to take his meds that morning or something and decided that the line between scaring some kids off and killing was much bigger than it, in fact, was.

Pan suggested that they come up with a plan. "No, you know what?" Justin stood up and walked out into the open, immediately attracting the attention of the machine and, more importantly, the man controlling it. "Fight fire with fire. And in this case, stupid with stupid. This isn't a robot and it's not malfunctioning. Larry!" he called out strongly, hiding his nervousness. His fists were balled up at his side. "What are you gonna do? Are you gonna kill me? Over a job? Do you think you're gonna get away with it?"

It began moving towards Justin. His fear intensified, but he stood strong. "I have an electric pokemon. You know what'll happen to you if it uses an electric attack on that machine?" He pulled out Tyrogue's pokeball, but the machine just sped up. Quickly, he summoned Tyrogue. "Fake Out," he said, taking a few steps back as his pokemon jumped up in front of the mech and punched at the cockpit. It obviously did no damage, but it stopped it in its tracks for a split second, enough time for Justin to make his way over to where Pan was hiding without Larry seeing.

"Their foreman is controlling it," he said. "I think he's inside the machine, otherwise Fake Out wouldn't have worked. If he goes too far, you might have to get your pachirisu to electrify it. That'll injure him pretty badly, though. I'm not sure if you're up for that."


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post May 27 2010, 07:09 AM
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Pan watched as Justin left the safety of their hiding place to confront Larry face-to-face. She didn’t think it was a particularly good idea to taunt a seemingly crazy person, a thought made clear when the mech kept charging towards Justin. She kept watching from behind the crate as his tyrouge attacked the mech, allowing Justin to retreat back to the crate unnoticed.

Pan agreed with Justin on using Chi-Chi to stop Larry’s rampage, as did the pachirisu. Chi-Chi crawled out of Pan’s vest, ready to go on the attack.

“Trust me, he’s already gone too far,” Pan replied. She would feel more shocked if she weren't preoccupied with not getting killed. “We’ll need a bit of a distraction to create an opening for Chi-Chi.”

Pan grabbed two pokeballs from her belt. She immediately released her growlithe, but was a little hesitant to bring out the second pokemon. Their pokemon were quite small compared to the massive mech that was after them. They were going to need something bigger.

“Don’t fail me now Zulu,” Pan said as the rampardos appeared in a flash of red light. She was careful to release the pokemon some distance away, in case she needed time to recall him. As Pan walked up to Zulu, he remained in the position he was in the last time he made an appearance. The dinosaur pokemon was lying down, enjoying a nice nap on the ground.

“Zulu, we kind of need you right about now,” Pan pleaded. “There’s a guy inside this machine trying to come after us and it’d be really great if you’d stop him.”

The rampardos didn’t even budge. Apparently, his beauty sleep outweighed their lives by a significant amount. It looked like they were going to need a plan B.

As Pan walked back to Justin, she looked around at the surrounding area. The panicked workers had apparently left via the large elevator, leaving all of their equipment behind. This included several large bulldozers of various shapes and sizes.

“Do you think you can use one of those to fight him off?” Pan asked Justin.
Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to get an answer: Larry had drilled right through the crate they were hiding behind. Pan screamed in surprise, diving to the ground to avoid injury. The mech’s attention was now on the woman, stabbing the drill down to the spot she lied on. Luckily, Pan rolled out of the way in time to avoid getting skewered. This left the mech temporarily stuck as it struggled to regain position. It was just enough time…

“Chi-Chi, now!”

The pachirisu ran towards the machine, gathering electricity as she gathered speed. Finally, she tackled the mech’s leg with a spark attack. She ran back to Pan and awaited the results.

Much to their disappointment, the mech was back in standing position, moving towards Pan once more. Like a car in a lightning storm, the mech had insulated the driver from the electric attack. If the pachirisu were to have any effect on the machine, she would have to get inside and short-circuit it. If only they could get part of the steel coating torn off…

Pan stood up and began walking backwards as the machine kept coming towards her. Her pokemon rejoined with their human, Turnip having given up on slowing the mech down. Hopefully, the distraction would be enough for either Justin to get an opening or for Zulu to regain his senses.


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post May 27 2010, 11:33 AM
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Justin jumped back as the drill broke through their hiding spot. He tried to help as the machine stabbed towards Pan, but he had no idea what to do. Luckily, she dodged its attack and her pachirisu did the weakest little electric attack of all time, or at least it seemed that way at the time. The metal covering of the machine was protecting it from the shocks. If it were more powerful, it would be enough, but weak physical tackles like that would not break through. They needed to take it down from inside.

Luckily, these things weren't made for combat. Tools were all over the place. How he wanted to pick up a sledgehammer and just beat the crap out of the thing, but he knew that wouldn't do it. He needed a... Uh...

A wrench! Perfect. The idea came when he saw one lying on the ground not too far away from him, so he ran towards it and picked it up. "Tyrogue," he said to his pokemon, who was outside of his ball also hiding. "Fake it out again." He summoned Bonsly. "Bonsly, I need you to attack its legs right when Tyrogue fakes it out."

So the little bonsly waddled over to the machine as it charged Pan. Before it got to her, Tyrogue jumped in front of it, making a loud thud on the windshield. It wasn't nearly as effective as the first time, but it did garner some reaction from the mech. During that short time, Bonsly unleashed everything it had and tackled the thing's legs. That, paired with the flinch, provided just enough unsteadiness for it to stumble. It did not fall down all the way, but it did lower itself enough for Justin to jump onto its back.

He held onto a bar on a small door which was surely guarding all kinds of delicious wiring. It was locked shut, though, which is why it was fortunate he grabbed the wrench. They were tight, but Justin was strong. It didn't take two seconds from him to rip the first bolt from the door. The second one went down just as fast, providing Justin with ample time to open the door and look into the mess of wires. He reached his arm into it with full intention of ripping all the wires out simultaneously, but his excitement was his undoing as the machine's left arm reached back and hit him straight in the side of his head. Justin flew off the thing, completely losing consciousness.

In the very least, he had opened it up.


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post May 27 2010, 04:35 PM
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“What are you doing?!” Pan said in utter shock as Justin climbed onto the rampaging mech. This was likely the second craziest thing she saw today. She smiled as he managed to unscrew one of the vulnerable doors off, but that smile quickly disappeared when the mech threw Justin off. He wasn’t getting up; was he all right?

The situation was desperate now; Justin needed help and Pan was next on Larry’s list. She turned to the other pokemon for aid.

“Everyone, I need you guys to get him back on the ground. Chi-Chi needs a chance to get inside and end this once and for all. Whatever you do, keep him away from us.”

Pan immediately ran to Justin to check his condition. It was then that the situation seemed to have become much worse. Justin was thrown into a resting Zulu, angering the dinosaur pokemon. The rampardos stood up, looking down on the human that slammed into him. Pan quickly stood between Zulu and Justin, tying in second place for craziest thing she saw today.

“Zulu, this isn’t Justin’s fault. That guy over there,” Pan pointed over to the mech, “hit you. He’s trying to hurt all of us.”

The rampardos looked back down at the humans, then back to the mech. He continued looking back and forth, trying to decipher how and who hit him. To Pan, it was a dangerous game of Russian Roulette, with a 50/50 shot of his decision ending very badly for her and Justin.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile, Turnip and Fenrir were about to implement a plan against the metal menace. The ivysaur stood some distance behind the growlithe, his vines wrapped around the dog pokemon’s waist.

“This better work!” Turnip told the growlithe.

“Works in my head,” Fenrir replied. This did not make the ivysaur feel any more confident in the plan.

The growlithe began by running, the vines keeping him in place. Faster and faster he went; a fire was growing beneath his feet due to all the friction. Turnip could feel the heat licking at his vines, wincing as it came closer to burning the appendages.

“NOW!”

The ivysaur released the growlithe, much to his relief. Fenrir shot off like a rocket towards the mech. The flames quickly arched above the pokemon, forming a wheel. The time taken to charge the attack had created a more powerful maneuver. Fenrir charged at the underbelly of the enemy, just missing its right leg. The growlith stopped behind the mech, a little disappointed that he missed the intended target. Still the damage was enough to get the machine to lower, temporarily disabling its attack.

“Pa Chi-Chi!”

The pachirisu quickly dashed to the open panel, prepared to do her part in ending the madness. Like a rodent in a bird’s nest, she quickly started ravaging the wiring, causing the mech to begin malfunctioning. Finally, another spark attack from within seemed to have ended Larry’s brief reign of terror.

That was until the machine began making a whirling sound. It began to vibrate wildly, the drill spinning out of control. Chi-Chi quickly retreated out of the mech, warning the others of the danger it still posed.

“BoomBoomBoomBoom!” she cried repeatedly while frantically waving her arms. Though she spoke fast, the other pokemon certainly took the hint, heading back to their human to help them get away from impending doom.

WHAM!

The mech went flying halfway across the work zone as the rampardos’s head butt connected. Zulu watched with a satisfied grin as the machine landed with a thump, it’s drill causing it to dig deeper into the ground.

“We’ll meet you guys up there,” Pan said to the pokemon. She had Justin leaning onto her back, his left arm around the back of her neck. He was fairly heavy for her to carry, but with plenty of time, she could get back up the ramp.

Unfortunately, time was no longer on their side.

The mech had drilled so deep, it actually hit an underground well. A loud boom signaled that large amounts of water were spewing into the work zone. Pan looked behind her to see a huge geyser break through the ground. Even Zulu was frightened by the coming surge, quickly making his way the ramp. The other pokemon had to be told to haul buns up there.

“Everyone, get up there! Turnip, I need you to lift us up there. I don’t think I can get Justin up in time.”

Turnip acknowledged his human’s words and quickly raced up the ramp. As other pokemon followed, Pan struggled to drag the unconscious Justin back up to where they entered the area. It wasn’t long before the water had reached her knees. Luckily, Pan made it to the wall, where Turnips vines dangled in anticipation.

“Now Turnip!” Pan shouted.

The vines quickly wrapped around the pair, albeit in a somewhat awkward position. Pan was now face-to-face with Justin, the vines squeezing them close together. Her arms wrapped around his torso to stabilize him.

“Justin, wake up,” Pan called out to him, hoping he would break his unconscious streak. At the same time, they were slowly being pulled upward, though the ivysaur was struggling with all the weight. Fenrir and Chi-Chi assisted by pulling on one of the vines to speed up the process, leaving the other vine for other pokemon to help.


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post May 28 2010, 04:46 PM
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Justin started to hear sounds but they were muffled and blurry. So blurry, in fact, that he didn't even comprehend that it was his sight that was actually blurry, and not his hearing. Diction aside, he actually started to come to when Pan said his name.

His eyes opened up all the way and he forced himself to blink a few eyes to really figure the situation out. There was Pan, less than two inches from his face. And there was Pan's body, wrapped around his. And there were her ivysaur's vines, wrapped around the duo, pushing them awkwardly together and pulling them up. Below him was a geyser spewing out water at high pressure and he just remembered that there was a man controlling a machine trying to kill them.

"Hey," he finally said, putting his arms around her as well, but he didn't hold very tightly. The vines were gripping them pretty hard. "So I know this isn't the right time to bring this up. But I'm sorry. I'm sorry about being such a dick earlier and blaming you." He wasn't sorry for bringing it up. He did have a problem with the fact that she was keeping all the booty to herself, or sending it to her museum. Same thing in his eyes. But he was sorry about being so mean about it.

Looking up, he saw that the ivysaur was having problems pulling them up. Pan's pokemon were pulling one of the vines and Justin's Tyrogue was pulling the other. Bonsly was watching the ordeal, but his lack of arms made it difficult for him to help. If only Justin could help. He wanted to just climb up the vines, but he knew he'd pull Pan's ivysaur down and screw everybody over. Then a rare thing happened. He got an idea.

"Bonsly, stand in front of Ivysaur. Tyrogue, help make sure Ivysaur doesn't fall in. The rest of you guys, stop pulling on the vines and just make sure Ivysaur doesn't fall in, alright? We're climbing up." Bonsly, being a particularly heavy rock type, was able to keep Turnip in place with the help of the rest of the pokemon, even given that Justin was about 250 lbs and pulling himself up also meant pulling Turnip down. The combined weight and force of all the pokemon was more than enough to allow Justin to do that, though. And with Pan holding onto him, and the vines helping to keep them together, he was able to bring both of them up to the top.

Once he gripped the ledge of the ground above him Tyrogue released his hold on Bonsly and rushed to help pull Justin and Pan up. Once they were on solid ground again, Turnip released them and Justin got to his feet. He was still a little dizzy and so he did it slowly. "I, uh," he began. "So should we get outta here?"


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post May 28 2010, 10:30 PM
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Pan was relieved when Justin finally came to. He seemed to have caught up with the situation quite quickly. A few moments later, he had his arms around her. Whether this was for added stability or for more comforting reasons, she could not say. If only Justin didn’t have a girlfriend, Pan would feel less guilty about their position.

She looked back at Justin as he started to apologize for last night.

“I’m sorry too,” she began. “Usually, I do these kind of things alone, so I never thought about sharing. If there’s a next time, try and bring it up before we start digging.”

After a brief pause to look at the rising waters below, Pan looked back and smiled.

“For the record though, I kinda saved your life, so I hope that makes up for it a little bit.”

She watched as Justin started ordering pokemon to hold Turnip down. Fenrir and Pivot planted themselves in front of the ivy saur’s feet, the baltoy digging into the ground for added support. Chi-Chi tried holding onto Turnip’s back leg, allowing most of the other pokemon to focus on the front. As Justin started to climb up the vines, Pan held on tighter to Justin’s torso, further compounding her guilt.

With everyone’s combined efforts, Justin and Pan made it to the top. The water’s rise began to slow, suggesting that the water would not follow them to the top. Pokemon reunited with their respective human, checking on his or her wounds. When Justin asked to head back, Pan was more than happy to follow suit.

“Please, after all this, I’d be more than happy to head back.”

It was then that Pan saw their beaten foe, Larry, lying unconscious on the other side of the ledge. Chi-Chi took the opportunity to jump onto the foe’s chest and perform a victory dance. She did several back flips as police sirens echoed from the temple entrance.
***


After a rather lengthy questioning session with a pair of officers, Pan and Justin hitched a ride on their all-terrain jeep back to Under Hill. After healing their pokemon and returning their rented items, the pair had a bit of breakfast at the local restaurant/tavern, the Green Dragonite. Pan had a dish of scrambled eggs with the town’s favorite crop, mushrooms. It was a unique taste, but since Pan hadn’t eaten since before the trip, she certainly wasn’t feeling picky. Meanwhile, Turnip, Fenrir, and Chi-Chi were enjoying their own mushroom meals, though for the sake of keeping the peace, her new cleffa remained in her pokeball until the others finished. Pan had a tendency to spoil her pokemon, even the new ones.

“I’m picking up the bill, and don’t bother trying to turn me down,” she said to Justin. It was the least she could do after the harrowing adventure they just went through.


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