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Flowers in the Jungle, Private RP: Lori Pardare and Joey Sweet
post Sep 17 2012, 10:31 AM
Post #41

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Joey fidgeted on the spot. It felt like a lifetime since he had left Orre to pursue some far-fetched dream. His entire existence had been so survival focused, he had had little time to peer beyond that haze into other aspirations. Trying to think back, he caught a glimpse of a memory of a flyer for Pokémon Coordinating. He didn't remember all of the information on it, but he remembered how it made him feel. Envy, longing, restless, and if he believed in it, he would have added hope to that list. He also felt insecure about his own path and he tried to bring all his battles back to mind to try to analyze his own battling aptitude, even though he felt biased. He wouldn't call any of his strategies beautiful, or any element of Pokémon Coordinating. He did have the experience of Barley's practice hall though, but he couldn't be certain that he was performer material. Upon thinking that, he started to feel really subconscious and started straightening his shirt and pulling his grey sleeves down. He admitted he was even a poor trainer, considering his latest match to prove it, but it was probably his best bet. Kino was giving him a stern look upon his hesitation to answer, and he opened his mouth to respond but all that ascended was a timid squeak. He choked it back down and tried again.

He was halfway through his declaration of, "I'm quite certain I'm a trainer," when the Center's doors were noisily thrust open and a gust of wind swept through to upset several magazines on a lobby coffee table.

Every head turned tentatively to the commanding presence that stormed through the door. Joey turned to follow the gaze of Lori and her sister to be surprised to find that the visitor was a woman. Her fit figure was nested appealingly in a beige business suit and white blouse with what Joey considered to be an anachronistic black ribbon tied up under the collar. Her gleaming golden blonde hair was tied up in a neat bun that only betrayed a few strands to frame her soft triangle face with high cheekbones that hid under her thick, black-framed glasses. Her expression was stern as she swept the perimeter of the Pokémon Center. Her gaze settled on Kino and broke into a lofty smile as she strode forward with open arms and addressed the Unova Champion.

"Kino, darling, it's been too long," the new arrival stepped away from Kino and greeted Lori in a dismissive fashion and then looked at Joey. "I most certainly hope this is not the new talent you had written to me about," she said as she circled the small, pitifully looking boy.

"I told you nothing was set in stone," Kino frowned, "you didn't have to come all the way here."

"Lieverd, that's the only way to stay ahead of the game," the woman circled Joey again, then addressed him, "As you know, my name is Jana de Vries. I'm looking for a new coordinator, but goodness me, you would be laughed off the stage," she declared as she plucked at a loose thread on Joey's polyester top. He withheld a cringe as best as he could. This woman talked in a way so unfamiliar that it was difficult to lip read. He felt a little indignant, but the woman pressed on without waiting for response. She looked thoughtful and started muttering.

"That could be part of his charm, his novelty. It would be expensive of course, but may be worth it. This case could certainly break my plateau. The hair would have to be redone completely. Teeth whitened, but they look straight enough. Not sure about his eye color, we'll see what matches his hair. Those clothes should be burned. He'll have to undergo a complete social transformation, but perhaps after the initial interviews so it comes as a shock…" de Vries rambled in this way and once Joey effectively felt like a Ponyta at auction he glanced worriedly over at Lori and her sister, at which point Kino stepped in.

"These are fine plans, but he hasn't even expressed what he wants yet. He may not even be a coordinator. Lori says he's a trainer."

"The more I think about it, the more perfect it gets. I can't lose this opportunity now. I'll be known as a miracle worker, even more so than already," Jana turned back to Joey. "What's your story, Jongen?"

Joey hesitated while piecing together what she had said, and then the full weight of the question bore down on him. How could he ever be expected to answer that with any justice at all? Instead, more out of sincerity than mirth, he crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes at his potential benefactor.

"What do you want it to be?" he asked evenly.

"Clever boy," Jana blinked and turned to Kino, "he's catching on." The rest of the interrogation was constructed of quick questions met with reluctant and skeptical responses.

"Where are you from?"

"Orre. Pyrite Town."

"A desert rat. Intriguing. What did your father do?"

"Drink." A derisive snort met his comment.

"What kind of Pokémon do you have?"

"A Pidgey, a Seel, an Igglybuff, an Eevee, and a Purrloin."

"And? What else?"

"There is no else."

Jana turned aside and muttered to Kino. "You're trying to tell me this is a trainer? It's barely a person."

Emotions rose fast and caught in Joey's throat. He would have retorted, or at least stalked away, but he found he couldn't exactly disagree. The questions forced him to work through the lump in his throat. He was prompted for his name.

"Joey Jamie Sweet."

"Ridiculous. We'll have to figure out a stage name for you. What is your age? Twelve?"

"I'm seventeen."

"Youth is everything," she smirked while brushing a golden strand away from her face. "We should start lying about your age now. My mother taught me all about the secrets of youth. Call me a gender egalitarian if you must but I believe men have the right to be just as vain as women," she chucked him under the chin. "Especially someone as pretty as you. I can see it now. Your structure is actually rather pleasing. If anything can be said about poor people, it's that they have a penchant for making pretty children, as if they would have better activities to do." Joey visibly shied away from her touch, but she didn't notice as she had already moved on.

"When is your birthday?" she asked dismissively.

"In the winter."

"What day? What month?"

Good question, thought Joey, as he realized he wasn't sure. He tried to remember ever celebrating it, but kept drawing a blank. He shook his head.

"I don't know."

Jana sniffed unbelievably and turned to Kino.

"Is there something you're not telling me? Something's off about him. Is he retarded? Autistic?" she almost had a tinge of hopefulness in her voice from imagining all the publicity angles. It took every fiber of his good conscience to remain calm. He drifted off and tried to remind himself why he was enduring this when Lori came to his rescue.

"No! He's just perfectly fine. He's deaf and can't hear himself talk, so that's why. Also, his leg is injured…." Lori's fiery defense dwindled to embers as she gripped and stroked her hair with a troubled expression.

"Now my only concern is believability. He's almost too tragic to believe. We'll have to take it slow. But yes, you are a coordinator, aren't you? I could make you a star, not only from my own power, but my husband's influence. I'm sure you've heard of him."

Joey didn't have the heart to mention he had never had an inkling of her or her husband's existence, so he just nodded. The social pressure was starting to make him nauseous and his heartbeat was racing so much that he was concerned that it would show through his shirt.

Taking the nod as an affirmation to her proposal, Jana de Vries clasped her hands together excitedly and announced, "Well, that's settled! I'll take him, Kino. Let's have him packed and I'll send a car to bring him to my summer home here. Since we're here, I decided to go on vacation." In a flurry of goodbyes, the businesswoman had whisked away in the same fashion as her arrival, and Joey was left standing with Lori and Kino, staring down at his boots and breathing heavily, wondering exactly what had just happened, and he was certain a merciless gavel had just descended on his life.

This post has been edited by LittleShadowPokemon: Sep 17 2012, 10:39 AM

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Living Arrow
post Sep 23 2012, 06:06 AM
Post #42

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As Jana left, Lori rather rudely (though she needed to do it with the best intention in her heart) stepped between her sister and her new friend, keeping her back to him completely. He wouldn’t want to hear what she had to say.

“That was not what I meant by a sponsorship deal, Kino!” Lori’s face deepened in colour to clash horribly with her flame-red hair. “That woman was just… just…”

“Horrible?” Yeah.” Kino sighed and sent a languid pair of eyes after Jana de Vries with more than a little contempt. “But she really does know her stuff. That kid’s life is going to change after this.”

“In what way!?” Lori demanded, her hair squeezed tightly in both fists over one shoulder. “She said horrible horrible things and said she’d make him lie about himself. That’s wrong! He should just be allowed to follow his own path and-“

“And what?” Kino cut Lori off with a glare. The younger of the sisters was utterly silenced by the frosty stare her idol returned her. “What did you think a sponsorship deal would mean? Well? That some random person with money who doesn’t have any guarantee that you’ll make them any money would just pay out on a whim? Sponsors need some sort of assurance that they’re going to make a return on their investment and shaping their trainer into whatever they need to be to make that happen.”

“But you-“

“But I didn’t need to change a thing?” Kino’s lip twitched angrily into a brief sneer. “You think I like to dress this way? It’s all an act. Yeah, I’m an awesome trainer, but I’m also just a regular teenager. I needed this image to keep my own sponsorship going to get to where I wanted to be and I don’t regret a thing. If you know what you want to do and you want it bad enogh, you’ll find you’ll do almost anything to make sure it happens.”

Lori blinked. She had had no idea. Kino had always just been her sister. Her personality had always been a little brash and headstrong but when had there been a change like that? Had Lori been too young to realise? Too blind to see the ways in which Kino was affected by her own sponsors?

“Look,” Kino’s voice softened and her eyes lost their intensity to bathe in a supportive glow, “I didn’t want that for you so I decided to be your sponsor. Not being able to live your dream sucks and I couldn’t sit by anymore while you stayed at home wishing to be out here. I could afford it, so I’ve taken you on as a Researcher so that you can realise your own dreams.”

“So you’re choosing my path for me? To be a Researcher when I want to be a Trainer….” Lori’s lower lip quivered. “Just like Jana…”

“Still so naďve.” Kino rolled her eyes. “What if I said that I need you to Research the battle capabilities of those Unova Pokemon by taking on the Furoh Gym Challenge? You’d need to get all four Gym Badges and take part in the Furoh League…”

Lori’s mouth dropped open. “Kino…”

“I expect a written report after each badge, mind.” The Unova League Champion winked and reached out to stroke Lori’s porcelain cheek with an equally porcelain thumb. Kino spared a glance for Joey. “He might find it hard. Keep in touch with him and make sure he copes. I’ll call up some Co-Ordinators in Furoh to drop in on him for some support but it really is up to him to make what he can out of the situation.”

“Mmm.” Lori nodded, a slow smile spreading out over her face. “Thanks, Kino.”

“Hey, what are big sisters for?” Kino laughed and waved over Lori’s shoulder. “Good luck, Joey. Bye Lori.” She gave her sister a tight hug and turned on her heel, crimson hair snapping like a banner in her wake as she strutted outside.


A little later, at dinner, Lori sat across from Joey and picked around at her food sparingly. Her appetite was somewhat quenched after seeing Kino and all she could consider now was what her next move would be. Where to find the next Unova Pokemon? Who was the next trainer she would battle? How she would strategize for a Gym battle?! But hovering over all of that…

“Hey.” Lori waved a hand under Joey’s nose to get his attention. Understandably a lot had been on his mind since Jana had paid them a visit and she doubted much else would be occupying his thoughts for a while longer. “Hey, how are you doing?” She asked, knowing full well what his response was likely to be. “It’ll be alright, y’know? You’re smart and know a lot about being a trainer already.” She wasn’t lying. He already knew way more than her, though she wasn’t about to start proclaiming that all over again. “This sponsorship thing… It’s just money. It means new clothes and food whenever you want it for you and your Pokemon.”

“And, just so you know.” Lori blushed a little. “I’m really thankful that you helped me to catch my first Pokemon. I’m not sure I could have done it without you… So I got you this!” From under the table, Lori produced a magazine with a young man on the front, posing for the camera with a crimson Vulpix at his heel and two Ribbons pinned to his chest. “I know it’s not much but it has some stuff in here about Pokemon Co-Ordinating and health foods and ball seal vouchers and other things. Oh, and I wrote my Poketch number down in the cover. It doesn’t do calls but you can IM me as long as there’s a signal.”

She beamed a bright smile.

“Do your best, Joey! You’re gonna be great!”

Darryn Kellor ~ ~ PANE Moderator ~ ~ Lori Pardare
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post Oct 10 2012, 11:16 AM
Post #43

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Joey was unaware of any tension during the dinner meal in the cafeteria that night and the subsequent parting of ways for bedtime. Tonight, Joey would be sleeping in a PokéCenter room, but instead it would be on Jana de Vries’s bill. He settled down in the comforting sheets for what he hoped would be a good night’s sleep. He turned and looked at his small pile of belongings next to his bed. His Pokéballs were lined up on the dresser and he deeply contemplated each one and its contents. He felt tired, but his mind would not cease in activity. Now, in his own private reflection time, he reviewed all the recent events, mostly Jana’s contract, but also the comment about his Eevee’s pending evolution.

From his readings he could remember that Eevee evolved from the radiation of elemental stones and certain environmental factors. As he started to consider each in turn he started getting a little excited. He had never witnessed an evolution before, and he considered it a magical connection between trainer and Pokémon, or at least he wanted to, but he sincerely doubted he had whatever quality it took to prompt such a phenomenon. He gingerly stepped out of the bed, and retrieved his Pidgey’s Pokéball from the dresser and released his truest friend, who fluttered over to the bed and settled in possessively. Joey crawled back in beside him and stroked his smooth, crisp feathers.

“Do you feel like evolving, Claw?” Joey asked himself more than his Pokémon. The bird Pokémon paused in preening and looked surprisingly contemplative for a moment before returning to his task without affirmation. “If you wanted to, I would help you, you know,” Joey muttered into the stiff comforter. Claw glanced at him and shrugged, refolding his wings. A small cooing noise glided out of his beak and Joey turned back around, choosing not to engage him anymore. He was never even sure what Claw could and could not understand.

As he understood it, the Pidgey species evolved rather early on and had three stages, and Jet as a Seel with only two stages would evolve later on. As for Kimiko, Joey had no idea what would prompt her evolution into a Jigglypuff, but he had a moonstone for whenever that happened. As for Babylon, Joey desperately wanted a Flareon, as he found that the most aesthetically pleasing, powerful, and he recognized that his team lacked a fire element. He had no clue about his new Purrloin, who he decided to name Mally, a generic feline name from the desert region. His thoughts vaguely revisited Claw growing into the more substantial form of a Pidgeotto and he drifted to sleep to images of a glowing Avian form.

Early morning sunlight coupled with a mouth full of feathers awoke Joey the next morning. He tumbled out of bed in a flurry of indignant squawking and panicked talons. Claw bird-stomped his way back onto the pillow with a glare and hunkered down defiantly while Joey’s small form stumbled into the bathroom to get ready for the day. The shower was magical. The water was so warm and Joey was shocked to find out he was truly paler than he originally thoughts as layers of dirt peeled away. After washing and conditioning his hair with small samples from the room, he realized how uncomfortable he had been all his life, and vowed never to let it happen again. His hair had actually been aching at the scalp and the relief from clean hair was almost overwhelming. Feeling clean for once went a long way in his attitude, and he felt more confident as he toweled off and raked his hair into place with his hands. He dressed and re-entered the room and started gathering up his stuff and regretted not being able to get his crutches or his tent back, but it appeared he needed neither of them for much longer.

Joey arrived in the lobby fully dressed, clean, and packed with his stuff slung over his shoulder. He glanced around and saw Lori already at the front desk chatting with the clerk. She turned and waved to Joey. He lifted his hand briefly and walked towards the door, but stopped next to her and wasn’t quite sure what to do. Luckily, Lori took the lead.

“Hey! Joey!” Lori’s memory of Joey being deaf was already fading as she shouted and waved in his direction as he entered the lobby of the Pokemon Center. He looked around for a moment, oblivious to her calling, until her frantic waving arms caught his eye. Lori gathered her Pokeballs and bag, hurrying to meet Joey in the middle of the lobby. Pipster slid off the counter in front of the Nurse Joy, waving a stubby wing her way, and tottered after his trainer.

“It got so late I thought you’d gone already!” She exclaimed, hefting her bag around on her shoulder to open the drawstring and hold it open for her friend to look inside. The egg that she had found in the forest rested inside, blue red and white markings decorating its glossy surface. “And I wanted to let you know something amaaazing.”

“Y’see my egg?” Lori reached in and pulled out the large shell. “This egg belongs to none other than a Unova Pokemon! Y’know that big eagle we battled yesterday? That was called a Braviary and this egg will hatch into its unevolved form, Rufflet! Can you believe my luck?! This is AWESOME!” Her joy could not be simply contained any longer since finding out the true identity of the egg and now it was flooding out all at once!

“So, in a way, when you caught Purrloin and my Minccino got away, it was a good thing!” She slid the egg carefully back into her bag and twirled it back onto her shoulders. “Things have really worked out for both of us, huh? You’re off to become Furoh’s next top Co-Ordinator and I’m going to take on the Furoh League Challenge! And it just so happens that the first stop in the Furoh League is right here!”

“The Fidona Gym?” It was clear that Lori’s mood was infectious as ever as even Joey was smiling pretty broadly.

“Yeah! I’m going to enter and get my first Gym Badge from the Leader there. It’s gonna be so so cool!”

The conversation was interrupted when a long white limousine pulled in front of the Center’s doors and came to a stop. The few other early morning risers craned for a better view of the vehicle and its occupants. The driver left the limo and came walking briskly up to the Center and through the doors while holding his driver’s hat down and keeping his smart driver suit with too many gold buttons closed as if the elements of outside were overwhelming. He walked up to the front desk and asked for Joey Sweet.

With a small, suppressed gulp of anticipation, Joey stepped forward and got the driver’s attention.

“I’m ready.”

“Joey!” Lori called after her friend as he steeled himself to go with the driver. She blushed a little as she squeezed a swathe of red hair between both fists. “My match at the Fidona Gym… I called ahead and booked already… It’s tonight… And, well, I’d really like it if there was someone there to cheer me on, y’know?”

Joey had turned and started heading for the door. He hadn't heard Lori call him, but something out of the corner of his eye made him turn back, something that signaled that someone was trying to communicate with him. He obeyed without thinking and turned back to catch Lori's request. Thinking a moment, he wondered if he would be able to get away on his first day. He shook away any hesitation and nodded at his friend.

"I'll be there."

End of Rp

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