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Hidden Agendas
Living Arrow
post Jul 27 2009, 03:31 PM
Post #1


Team Rogue: Pidgeotto
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PANE: Darryn Kellor



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“Doctor Stalvin, an update, please.” Officer Crichton marched into the I.C. unit, his impressive bulk nearly filling the small room in which his subordinate rested. Her young body rose and fell evenly, her strong heart still pounding with her passion for life. He smiled fondly down at her, his thick moustache bristling over a wrinkled face that shone with pride. She had come so far in such little time.

“The last dose of Correction Fluid was administered four hours ago and the cycle is complete. I have run sixteen diagnostic tests to see if the antibodies have recovered and our bank of Alakazam have completed their scans. Everything is in order and she is perfectly healthy.” The Doctor, confident in his prognosis, still busied himself with the machines that the girl’s body was connected to. Wires invaded her nostrils, mouth, arms while more were stuck to her chest, stomach and hands. The scars on her pale skin softly stretched with her every breath, their mark a permanent to the nightmares of her past. Crichton frowned.

“Oh, my Ivy… It’ll be alright now…” He whispered, running enormous fingertips over her delicate brow and into her hair. That mat of frizzy golden wire had been tamed during her stay in the infirmary, a nurse paid extra to condition and brush it every day to give it some semblance of humanity. A little over two weeks and it was as soft as spun silk and twice as shiny. Two weeks since he had taken her from that rooftop and began the treatment to set her right. To make her… better…

“I recommend her treatments continue on a biweekly basis and she follow the course of medication that I prescribed last week. The latest formulation has the best effect that we’ve found since she was admitted and has no visible side effects. The entire operation has been a success.”

“Thank you, Doctor.” Crichton’s eye brimmed for the smallest of moments before he quelled the feelings inside him and addressed the physician once more. “Let’s get her out of here.”

*****
Get ready for the brand new Ivy Kylarian... (click to show)

*****


“Wha- Where am I?” Ivy moaned as she woke groggily, her throat catching as though she had been in a desert for months. She spluttered weakly and searched her surroundings for a drink. A small plastic cup rested on a silver table next to her bed. She lifted it to her nose and sniffed. Oh, how she sniffed. The faintest traces of any odour were drawn up into her nostrils and blasted her mind with information. The scent of human sweat. Masculine perfumes. The tangy stink of hospitals. Water. She drank greedily, splashing a little over her chin. Rubbing it off with the back of her hand, she pulled back the covers.

“Ugh.” She groaned, feeling the wires and tubes sticking into her body tug like flimsy restraints. She had woken up with more plugged into her every orifice and a tube going all the way down into her stomach – this was nothing. Wincing slightly, she plucked at each invasive thread and casting it aside.

Getting dressed was a simple affair. A set of Aqua casuals were draped over a chair at the foot of her bed, in her size. She donned them quickly and walked upright to the door, her tired eyes looking around wearily.

“Oh, shoes!” She turned around and searched the room for the footwear but nothing had been left behind. She frowned. Who would forget shoes? Everyone wore shoes! “Weird…”

Moving into the glowing hallway, Ivy quickly recognised the eastern wing of the infirmary and immediately headed for the exit. Staying around meant signing forms and that seemed so… so… she couldn’t think of the word… it was just so…

“Silly how they don’t even ask what we get for dinner anymore.” An orderly chuckled to his visitor as she passed his room. Ivy didn’t spare them a glance.

~


The Maw smelled of wet rock and confusion as she entered the main cavern, heading northwards towards her sleeping quarters. No-one seemed to pay her any attention as they scurried about their duties, some rushing out to missions while others returned from a busy day’s work. Replicated azure uniforms dashed this way and that, sloshing and broiling like the Team’s namesake. Ivy did not let her gaze linger as she moved onwards – she had seen this all before. The Maw was always crowded and noisy. Nothing was new there.

“Hello?” Ivy pushed open the front door to her block of quarters but was only welcomed by silence as she padded inside, her feet growing extremely cold and wet. She made a mental note to remind the staff in the infirmary to give all patients shoes for when they were leaving. It was ludicrous!

Finding her door, Ivy thumbed the combination for the lock and let herself in quietly, immediately spotting the three Pokeballs that had no doubt been returned to their shelf as soon as she had ended up in hospital. The clean-up crew were very good at their jobs so it was to be expected, really. Without a second thought, she clicked all three open and sack into the soft, furry, warm excited flurry of Pokemon that had become her brethren of closest friends and powerful allies. Tongues licked at her face with unsuppressed joy and tails wagged with the utmost glee that Ivy came to expect from her brothers when they had been separated for any length of time.

“It’s ok, guys! I’m home!”

~


A couple of hours later, once all the pomp and ceremony of the team’s reunion had subsided, a clattered of keys and the thumping of the front door announced on of her block mate’s arrival. She looked at Alpha and cocked her head to the side.

Who is it?

The Mightyena sniffed once and bobbed his head, tilting his ears and whining softly. Ivy nodded with acknowledgement.

Victor.

Ivy grinned. She hadn’t seen her friend in so long! She jumped off her bed (narrowly missing landing on Kappa’s tails) and swung her door open to find her old teammate walking down the corridor towards her. His hair was just as perfect as ever and his uniform had not a speck of dust on it. She smiled broadly and held out her arms for a hug.

“Victor!”


--------------------
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Pumpkin King
post Jul 27 2009, 10:11 PM
Post #2


Nevermore!
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BLARG



The room was dark except for a single spotlight and not a soul dared to make a sound, lest they interrupt the soloist performing at the vanity. Four Pokemon sat on a bed and a fifth was lying in an adjacent crib. They had grown accustomed to the very frequent vanity spectaculars, even the baby. A figure looking in the mirror sat on a spinning stool and sang in a soft tenor, "Whenever I see someone less fortunate than I - And let's face it, who isn't less fortunate than I? - My tender heart tends to start to bleed. And when someone needs a makoever, I simply have to takeover. I know I know exactly what they need. And even in your case, though it's the toughest case I've yet to face, don't worry. I'm determined to succeed. Follow my lead and yes, indeed, you will be..."

Victor revealed himself to his Pokemon audience, spinning around on his stool, and awaited a response. Those who could gave an short applause, silencing as they saw their trainer take in a breath. "Popular! You're gonna be popular!" The lights and lamps were all turned on at certain notes as Victor continued to sing 'Popular' from the musical, Wicked. The 'stage crew' of this performance was comprised of Team Aqua's rental Pokemon, which were mainly Poochyena, Zubat and Zigzagoon. "La, la! La, la! You'll be popular, just not quite as popular as me!" Victor concluded while gazing into a handmirror and the single spotlight on him.

The audience roared with a false excitement. They had come to learn that their cooperation led to more PokeBlocks. "Thank you! Thank you! I love you all!" Victor took his bow and dismissed the rental Pokemon. He admired himself in the mirror, turned on his heel and rummaged through his trunk for his PokeBlock case. "You made a fabulous audience! Except, you should try and come up with a different way to cheer, Hydro. Not having hands is not an excuse! And Titanna, your clapping needs work, but I'll let it slide since you're still young. The form of your applause is lacking and doesn't make much noise at all."

The baby Kangaskhan giggled in response and Victor smiled affectionately. Being a 'mother' was life changing for Victor. He was starting to care about others much more than he did before. He was also lacking many hours of his precious beauty sleep. Titanna liked to randomly wail for food throughout the night.

"Alrighty then! Let's go to Ivy's room. I heard her 'operation,' as Crichton was calling it, was getting close to being finished and I bought her a little something," Victor told his Pokemon. "I didn't think there was anything wrong with her... Well, she certainly was abnormal, but I didn't think she needed medical attention. If she's not back yet, I'll leave it with her room mate." He returned his Pokemon to their respective PokeBalls and hooked them on his belt. Checking himself in the mirror one last time, he danced out of his sleeping quarters in his new and recently tailored Aqua Elite uniform. Gracefully dancing down the hallway, he received some strange looks and snide remarks, but Victor ignored them.

Arriving at Ivy's door with a nicely wrapped gift in his arms, Victor smiled as the door opened. Then his jaw dropped as an almost unrecognizable Ivy opened the door. His old partner was embracing him in a very forceful hug but Victor was paralyzed by shock "Ivy? Your hair!" With her hair shampooed and conditioned, she did not look nearly as canine as before. "Wha- Oh never mind! I've got to show you some new hair care products! Judging from that smell, I can definitely do better!"


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Master Houndoom
post Jul 28 2009, 01:41 PM
Post #3


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"You're shaking the table, BlueJay."

It wasn't the first time that Sagira had brought it up. Sitting in the third floor common room, which had been dubbed the recreation room by the simple fact that everything to do was there, Sagira had been phenomally patient with Jay. Anyone else would have been hissed at, or yelled at, or, at worst, clawed within an inch of their existences.

"JAY!"

Yeah. Like that.

Jay looked up, wide eyed, and then looked at his right leg, which was bouncing as if the heel were on springs or a spoink's tail. He slammed a hand on the knee, stopping the leg, then looked back at the table between them.

Sagira also concentrated on the table, her ire forgotten in the haze of 'my boyfriend's so cute when I yell at him' pheronomes. They hadn't admitted it, not bothered or dared to give a name to this new twist in their relationship, but to any other observer, Jay Lange was fully the possession of Sagira Smythe. Which would have caused many men to bristle, except that she, in turn, was fully his.

There was a checkered board between them, with statuesque, beautiful pieces of a chess set either on or to the side of it. The only thing that marred the pieces were that some joker had taken the liberty or painting the black pieces red and black, and the white pieces blue and white, and an officer, seeing it, had ordered that it remain. Once arranged in rank and file, the chess pieces that had hours ago been arranged on the board in perfect lines (on the Aqua side) or slightly crooked lines (on the Magma side) were now either lined up in a row at Sagira's left or bunched to Jay's left, or in various and sundry squares on the board. The field, mostly desolate, still had pockets of resistance on either side, and Sagira's eyes narrowed. Slowly a cat-like grin spread on her lips, and she moved her rook three spaces forward.

"Check."

Jay didn't even seem to think about it, he simply pushed a bishop, somehow obscured by pawns, into the rook's space, added the rook to his pile, and coughed. "Check-mate."

"WHAT?!" Sagira stared at the board. "But I can... oh... but then I coul-- dammit! Wait, wait, I ca--" Finally she sat down in a huff. "Shut up, BlueJay!"

Jay smiled nervously at her, resetting his pieces, when Sagira's hand stopped him by laying gently on top of his. "What's wrong," she asked in that mix of exasperation and gentleness that only newly formed relationships and strong, veteran relationships experience.

Jay swallowed, then passed a slip of paper to her, folded in half just as it had been when Jay had pulled it from the box. "This came with Raven and Topaz."

The two mentioned pokémon, an eevee with golden eyes that sparkled like gemstones, and a silvery brown eevee with dark blue eyes that were like the deepest part of night, were curled up at Sagira and Jay's feet, respectively. Topaz glanced up, then set her head down, closing her eyes again, and Raven merely opened an eye, snorted softly, and closed it.

Sagira's face slowly went blank as she got to the bottom of the note. She had been smiling fondly, seemingly enjoying the little bit of mother-son affection in the note, but the post script had obviously been as distressing for her as it had for Jay. She looked up, her face still blank. "How," she said quietly, deliberately, "did she jump to that conclusion..?"

"Ah," Jay started, then slumped. "Probably that phone call. When we were running." Sagira nodded once, and Jay sighed. "She's probably messing around. I mean... I can fix this."

"So, being married to me, the idea of it, is a problem that needs to be fixed?" One of Sagira's eyebrow rose, and both of Jay's shot up.

"Wha-? No... um... I mean, what it is, we're both... um... this is kind of fast... isn't it?"

Sagira could see the vein on Jay's neck throbbing as his heart sped up, and had to work to suppress a grin. It didn't help that she could 'hear' the mental howls of laughter from both Paladin and Hinata, and the amused, near feral whisper of 'git him' from Calypso. Even Siryn, who for some reason was sharing a mental conversation with the kirlia, was gleefully, if maniacally, cackling.

"Fast? You're saying I'm fast? Or maybe you're tired of me already?" Whoops. That struck a nerve, both in her, for which it was a lingering, ignored fear, and him, as it seemed to have shot him from nervous to angry. Sagira rose and stepped toward Jay, leaning in to give him a soft kiss on the cheek, diffusing the faux pas. "You haven't done anything wrong BlueJay." She walked past him, brushing him deliberately with her hip, as a cat might, smiling softly when he took hold of her arm.

"Want another game," he said softly, his voice gentle, caring, and a little apologetic. He rose to meet her.

"I have better ideas," Sagira answered in an identical voice, adding with the other emotions her forgiveness, as if it were needed.

"So do I," came a gruff voice from the doorway.

The pair didn't jump apart or look as if they'd been caught, but they did share guilty grins as if they should have. They turned, parting but not separating, and faced the owner of the voice. Elite II Bryce leaned against the doorway, shaking his head with an amused expression on his face.

"Need you two on a mission. If you can spare the time, of course."

"Of course, sir," Sagira began, but Bryce raised a hand.

"Stop calling me sir."

"Right. Let's go, Pops," Jay quipped. Bryce just closed his eyes and asked for patience from every diety he could think of.

"HQ is asking us to provide supplement for a team on a retrieval mission." He pulled a folded telegram from his pocket. "A Magma Elite has lost serious face and been demoted. She knows things, I'm sure of it. HQ is sending a pair of elites out to catch her, and asked me for some back up." He looked at the pair. "I've seen your work. You managed to elude Aqua's retrieval squads for weeks. In fact, we never caught you, you simply cleared your names. If you'd been dodging Magmas, you'd be elites by now. I want my best on this mission." Jay and Sagira began to smile. "But they're on a different mission, so I'm settling for you two."

He went on as if the scowls and narrowed eyes weren't directed at him. "Fact is, Sector B is interested in the target as well. I'd like to see the target brought here." Bryce looked at his nails. "So if you can stall a bit until it's late, and we have to store the target briefly, that would suit my purposes." He looked at them. "Do your best. Oh. And try to look like Aquas on this one?"

Jay looked at Bryce's back as he left, stewing. "You suck, old man."


--------------------
[align=center]Uprising Mod

||
Jaima Kuonji and Meiko Omura||Branwys Muphenz
[spoiler=Jaima's Gym Badges][/spoiler]
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||
Jay Lange||Olivia Prewitt
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Living Arrow
post Jul 28 2009, 04:04 PM
Post #4


Team Rogue: Pidgeotto
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Ivy stood primly in front of the full-length mirror. The uniform that she had found in her cupboard was tattered and shredded – a pair of rugged blue shorts accompanied by a torn and dirty pull-over that smelled like Alpha’s excrement. The uniform that she was wearing, however, was an altogether different arrangement.

“Oooh, Ivy!” Victor clapped his hands behind her. “You look… well, nearly as good as me!”

Ivy raised an eyebrow. She did? She gazed at her flowing golden hair that Victor had styled with straighteners, curlers and hairspray. It shone in glowing waves to the space between her shoulder blades as a stunning contrast to the healthy sky-blue of her donated uniform. The top that she had donned was cut low. In fact, extremely low by any standards in Team Aqua. Victor assured her that it was within regulations but Ivy wasn’t quite so sure. Even so, as Victor said, the skin of her chest was flawless so it was not embarrassing in the slightest to expose so much of herself.
Victor had tailored the garment to be sleeveless – exhibiting her toned yet slender arms and was stamped with the Aqua Skull on the back below the wide hood that spread out from the neckline. Victor had decided that the trousers that came with the uniform were too “stuffy” and so had replaced them with a skirt that came about halfway down Ivy’s thigh. She had immediately protested about that point but, again, Victor had assured her of all of its benefits – free movement, delicate fabric, the list went on. Matching blue gloves had been slipped over her fingers and upon Ivy’s feet were placed knee-length azure boots… with heels.

“Erm, Victor? These shoes feel a little weird…” Ivy twisted, regarding her new look in the mirror. It didn’t seem right somehow. And yet… it was pleasing. Ivy didn’t know where her sudden interest in fashion came from, nor the importance of appearance and yet it felt… normal.

“Well, durr.” Victor rummaged in a bag that had materialised over the course of Ivy’s make-over session. “You hate wearing shoes!” Victor continued rummaging, muttering under his breath as he went.

Ivy frowned and continued her appraisal of the stunning young woman looking back at her. “I do? But isn’t it normal to wear shoes?”

Victor snorted. “Not for you! Now, time for that eyebrow!”

Ivy winced.

*****


Ivy Kylarian stood straight-backed and proud. Emotions boiled in her, threatening to spill from her mouth in an uncontrolled fit of enthusiasm and elation. Even so, she hammered it down and kept it hidden – not doing so would be unprofessional and… that word still eluded her… daft! If the basic uniform weren’t enough, she was now an Elite! The golden badge, clipped to her left breast, glimmered and sang in tune with its identical twin on Victor’s own lapel. She was Elite Kylarian of Team Aqua. Her heart fluttered. Elite!!!

“Now, you two, this mission is of utmost importance so I want you to take it extremely seriously.” Officer Crichton peered at them over a pair of wire-framed spectacles. His brow was deep and furrowed – he meant business.

“Yessir!” Ivy kicked her heels and saluted, Victor watching her from the corner of his eye suspiciously. She relaxed and focused her thoughts. This was not the time to act so… so… childish. She was Elite now and that meant maturity, calm and poise. She gulped and drew in long breaths to calm herself.

Crichton pushed two files across his mahogany desk to his subordinates and began describing the mission in full even as they began thumbing though the information and absorbing anything they could. Names, locations, times and finer details flashed by their eyes and through their ears. This was becoming second nature now – a trivial process that Ivy had once worried about in her earlier training. Not now.

“This is a search, secure and retrieval mission of the S rank. As such, you shall be accompanied by two Grunts to assist you. That’s right. Assist you. As superior officers, you will be calling the decisions on this one.” Officer Crichton sounded weary but firm. Like a gnarled oak tree bending in the wind. Ivy’s heart gave a flutter. She was a commanding officer!
“Ivy, you’re running point for the duration of the mission. I have a lot of expectations from you now, so don’t let me down. Vitalis, this is your chance to prove your worth to us so don’t let that opportunity go to waste. You both hear me?”

“YESSIR!” Both saluted in unison.

“Good, then let’s go over the extra points to your mission. This is for your ears alone and not to be shared with the agents working under you. It requires a great deal of responsibility and discretion of the highest calibre. I don’t think I need to detail what would happen if you were to fail in this. Failure is NOT an option…”

~


As the meeting drew to a close and the two Elites began to march from the room, Crichton called for Ivy to remain in the room and close the door behind her. She did so obediently, still trying to accept the mission guidelines she had been given. They were… extreme… but necessary. She knew that to be true above all else.

“Ivy,” Crichton slid a plain wooden box across the table, “while you were in recovery after your last mission I felt it was necessary to provide you with incentive enough to stay with the Team. I hope you will accept this gift as such an incentive.”

“Officer, I don’t need a-”

“Please, Ivy.” Officer Crichton smiled. “Take it.”

Ivy resigned herself to accepting the impromptu gift and clipped open the bow to reveal a plain Pokeball inside. She lifted it carefully and looked questioningly at her boss.

“Let her out!” Crichton offered with a bigger smile. Ivy obediently fired open the ball to reveal the materialisation of her newest Pokemon. Glossy chestnut fur bloomed in a ruff around the quadruped’s neck and long pointed ears stood out on its head. A cute, innocent face gazed up at her new master happily and a large pink bow decorated her left forepaw.

“Ree?”

“An Eevee!” Ivy delighted, scooping the puppy up into her arms and kissing it on the forehead. It yelped joyfully and nuzzled her chest. The fur of the Pokemon’s nose tickled Ivy’s breast but felt so wonderfully smooth that she just pulled her closer.

“I took the liberty of naming her for you.” Officer Crichton said, handing Ivy another sticker for her Pokeball. “She’s called Epsilon but she seems to respond to Eppy. I hope you like her.”

Ivy grinned widely. “She’s gorgeous! She really is wonderful, Sir.”

Crichton’s eyes twitched when she called him that but he made no comment.

“Yes, well, er, hopefully she will be able to get on with your mission with a little more gusto, yes? You might want to check her abilities with one of the rent-out Pokedexes to make sure you know how to train her but I’ll leave you to do that outside.”

“Yessir!” Ivy hoisted the puppy under her arm and saluted a final time, edging to the door and sliding out quickly. “You can count on me!”


--------------------
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Pumpkin King
post Jul 29 2009, 12:47 PM
Post #5


Nevermore!
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BLARG



Victor walked down the hallway and noticed Ivy was not with him. He turned back to see the door being pulled shut from the inside. "I guess Crichton wanted to talk to her privately," he concluded. With a broad smile stretched on his face, he complimented himself. "I did a really good job with Ivy. She hardly looks like that beastly little girl she used to be. And she didn't fuss so much as I imagined... Today is a great day! I got my buddy back, I got to give her a fabulous makeover, I've been assigned a super cool mission-"

Victor froze in his tracks. He was still very unsure about the mission he had been given. He was ecstatic to be promoted and have a high leveled mission with his closest friend in the Maw, but the 'extra points' of the mission did not sound too fun. Crichton's words still resonated in his head. "Extract the information at all costs..."

"I don't think I have the guts to even do such a thing," Victor whispered as he walked down the hallway. It was completely empty and almost eerie. Every echoing footstep sent shivers down Victor's spine. Every move he made was leading him towards his father, the one person he had been avoiding for years. "I always thought we were polar opposites. I never saw any of myself in him and I didn't think he saw any of himself in me. I thought we were just strangers who knew each other very well..." Victor halted as he arrived at the framed photograph of Xavier Bays. "And yet, here I am. I'm part of this team formed by an lunatic who thinks he can conquer the world by creating an underwater utopia. And though I protest my disinterest, I cannot help but to be attracted to such power, a power even stronger than money. I'm fortunate and wealthy, but I'm still proud, stubborn and greedy... I'm just like you."

One very long minute passed by as Victor stared into his father's eyes. Victor's memory of their last meeting was still very strong and still hurt very much. He was unloved and disowned simply because of Victor's desire to see the world without the weights of his parent's hospitality. If Victor wanted to see the world without Xavier's help, then Mr. Bays would give his son exactly what he wished for. Xavier was much too proud of hiimself to allow Victor back into the household, so the teen was left to fend for himself.

"Like father like son, they say," said a dark figure in a low growl.

Victor spun around to face his visitor. "I should really stop talking to myself," Victor told himself under his breath. He took a closer look at the figure and recognized it as Officer Stanford. The broad shoulders, leathery skin and joker smile were unmistakable. "Do you mind? I was a little busy!"

"Really? That must have been a riveting conversation with yourself," the officer replied. "I heard you were in love with yourself, but I didn't think you'd take it to such an extent."

"I was-"

"Talking to your father's portrait as well?"

Victor had his mouth open, ready to retaliate, but could not think of the correct words. "H-He's- That's not my father! My father's name is Vitalis, just like my grandfather and me. We're all Vitalis Lagos, the three of us."

"Save it for the gullible executives that run this dump," Stanford said, seeing straight through Victor's lies. "I know you're Victor Bays. The only thing I don't know is why you're hiding from your father. Hiding right underneath his nose was pretty clever-"

"Victor! Vicky! Hey look what I got!"

Ivy came awkwardly running down the hallway. Running on two legs seemed uncomfortable for her, especially with the footwear Victor provided her. When Victor averted his attention back to the officer, Stanford was gone. Victor rotated 360 degrees to see where he went, but could not locate him.

"Vicky look! Isn't she cute?"


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jul 29 2009, 11:27 PM
Post #6


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Nathaniel Bryce had an addiction to coffee that he should probably work at getting rid of. Unfortunately for his blood pressure, however, caffeine was necessary to keep him full aware. Surrounded by lesser agents and the occasional bigwig, Bryce needed to stay on his toes, so caffeine - coffee, cappucinos, and the massive chocolate bars you could get for a buck at the surplus market - were a necessary evil that never left his side or sight.

So it was that he sat at a desk in his private room on the first floor of the "hotel" that he called his own Headquarters. His only company was the large mug that sat on his desk, bearing the phrase "World's Greatest Dad," and underneath it, scrawled with an untidy hand in permanent marker, "World's Second Greatest Mom." He smiled as he glanced at the mug - a gift from his daughter, Melissa. It sat to his right, as always, next to the picture of his late wife, Patricia. Her death five years prior had prompted the hand-written message on his coffee mug. The years hadn't always been the greatest, but he had never loved his daughter more than when he saw her pushing through, staying strong. He didn't he would have been able to make it without her. Surely, he would have turned against Aqua long before if it hadn't been for her. If it hadn't been for Aqua, after all, Patricia would still be alive...

But these were thoughts of regret, and Bryce held no regrets. Things were hard sometimes, of course, but they were strong. They had made it through so far, and they'd keeping on truckin'.

Turning his attention back to the television screen where it only left for brief moments at a time, Bryce chuckled. He had never been a full-out-laugh kind of guy. In fact, asides from when he was in private company with his daughter, Bryce rarely laughed.

That is, up until Sagira and Jacob made Aqua their base of existence.

Rubbing his face with a hand, Bryce let another laugh escape him - one of both surprise and amusement. He never would have imagined... the son of two famous actors/directors and a girl who dressed up like a cat...

Bryce sobered up at the thought of Sagira's past. Damn. He had been wanted to avoid that thought.

With a gruff sigh, Bryce reached out and snagged his coffee mug. He tilted the hot liquid into his mouth and swallowed thickly, sighing heavily in relief as he set the mug back down. Dark French Roast... few people around here drank such a brand, it being so expensive due to the prices of importing coffee beans, but Bryce liked his coffee blacker than the hearts of the people he worked for (and that was very black, indeed).

Good mood gone, much to his chagrin, Bryce turned back to the monitor and watched through various cameras stationed throughout the hotel as Sagira and Jacob made their way out into the city. He wished he had equipped listening devices to the camera, as well, so he could hear what was being said. It was obvious that the two were bantering (when weren't they?), as Jacob was articulating vehemently with his hand, while Sagira walked with her arms crossed, hips swaying with a feline grace that was most prominent when she was annoyed.

Bryce shook his head. He was getting too damn close to these kids...

~*~


"Why are you so obsessed with knowing who his best are?"

"I'm not obsessed," Jay retorted.

"Oh?" Sagira asked, cocking an eyebrow at him as she was wont to do. "Then what would you call it, pray tell?"

Jay met her gaze for a moment with those electric eyes that always sent wonderful chills down her spine. He turned forward again and kept walking. "Passionate," he remarked confidently after a moment.

"Ah," Sagira replied intelligently. "Of course."

Jay glanced at her. "And what's that supposed to mean?" he demanded.

She smiled at him in that way that was condescending, but which he could never take as an insult. "That you're obsessed," she explained simply.

He glared at her with about as much vehemence as might have been mustered by a squash. "I am not obsessed."

She sent him a smile; the kind of smile that someone gives a very small child that had just said something exceptionally stupid (the first part being untrue for Jay, so there really was no excuse for his idiocy). "Shut up, BlueJay."

"Yes, ma'am!" The salute he gave her might have been a smart motion of submission to her greater powers, beauty, and ability to kickass, except that all of his hand was closed into a fist except for his middle finger, and he was effectively flipping her off.

"Mature," she accused him.

"I know you are, but what am I?" he asked, and gave her a cheeky smile.

She considered sticking her tongue out at him, and she may have gone with that, if not for the interruption that stole from their mock conversation.

Jay and Sagira stopped in the middle of the road, as a car zoomed through the intersection in front of them, followed closely by three police cars.

Sagira blinked. "Well, there's a way to start your day." She looked around for a clock and spotted the digital one on the bank's sign. "And not even nine in the morning, yet."

"We're being pretty productive today," Jay remarked off-handedly. "We've got a mission, been half-complimented-" Sagira snorted. "-and I kicked your ass at chess." He smiled at her mockingly. "What else would you like me to beat you at?"

She pursed her lips. "Be careful trying to think up things you're better at than me. Your brain's not all that good, and I don't want you to hurt yourself."

Jay pouted at her as she began to walk away and in a mockingly-hurt voice, asked, "Are you calling me stupid?"

"Come on, BlueJay," she said, smirking back at him, "you know I only like you for your body." She winked at him and turned back around, heading toward the warehouse where they were to meet the Elites.

Jay followed behind her, smirking at her swaying ass. "You know, I'm pretty fond of your body, too."

Sagira smirked but didn't turn around. "That's another thing of mine that's better than yours," she hissed, laughing.

He chuckled. "You're getting no argument here."

And, of course, she never would.

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Master Houndoom
post Jul 31 2009, 01:50 PM
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Jay Lange was the picture of contentment. The morning had gone much better than he'd envisioned. Less blood, less anger, less tears (his own, not his girlfriend's). He was on a new mission, and he and his partner hadn't been separated simply because they were now involved.

He didn't like the uniform. Oh, it was comfortable enough, and allowed him plenty of movement room, but it seemed odd, wearing a uniform that declared to the world that you were a member of the current Team that had overrun the city. He was keeping an eye out for anyone with a volcanohat.

It has been implied that Jay isn't much of a thinker. It was, in fact, a very large part of the banter between himself and Sagira. The truth was more complicated. It wasn't that he didn't like thinking, it was that he didn't like to over think things. Such a state of mind lead to confusion, and confusion lead to inaction, and Jay was a man of action. So he'd developed a kind of thought process in which he decided if something was worth further thought, and if it wasn't, he simply didn't give it any more time.

For example, the question of "what are we now?" After he'd finally kissed Sagira, her attitude toward him had shifted. Not changed, but simply rearranged itself to include his place in her life. Her barbs were less pointed and more playful. She moved to touch him more sometimes; a press of her arm to his, a rub when passing that no one else would have ever gotten (in fact, if they jarred closer, even by accident, they'd be glared at and moved away from), a gentle kiss when no one was looking.

But not everything changed. They still bickered, he still strove to make her smile, and she still pretended not to be amused when she was, she really was. He still frustrated her, she still irked him, but underneath it all was a kind of passive joy in being together. There was a bond there he couldn't see.

He'd never asked about it or thought about it, though. He simply accepted it. Part of it was the fact that he didn't want to spook her away by asking, but most of it was simply the fact that if he over thought it, it would ruin it.

To Sagira, it seemed, there was only a peaceful, calm understanding.

So Jay complained about Bryce's snide remark about his best agents, knowing that Sagira, even if she didn't understand, would at least listen and not judge him in his passion (he was not obsessed!), and Jay knew that anything she said wasn't meant to hurt him, it was all in fun, and that was the way it was and they liked it!

Something, a kind of odd, fuzzy feeling, caused Jay to look over his shoulder. They were being followed. A small, very small figure in a red hooded cloak ducked behind the corner of a building, and Jay lingered his gaze there for a moment longer than he might otherwise. He shrugged. Maybe it was a child playing games, but he'd watch anyway.

He was learning things, however. Sagira didn't like to hold hands. It wasn't her usual fear of contact; she simply didn't like to have her hands confined. Jay hadn't realized this on their first date, but did a little while after when she continued to squirm. He'd settle, in moments of affection, for touching her forearm. He'd have to ask how she felt about walking arm in arm, though.

To the casual observer, Jay simply acted, and that was it. Sometimes it didn't work out, especially in social situations, but usually, in combat or running or places where snap decisions were needed, Jay often made the right decision. He credited Parkour. You had to make snap decisions, and also be able to figure out how to fix it if and when things went wrong.

But in this case, he earned an amused glare from his partner as they walked up to the assigned spot. There were two people there, and one was familiar. The way he glanced from time to time at the other caused the assumption.

"Looks to me like Vivi got himself a girlfriend!"


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Aug 1 2009, 01:18 AM
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The uniforms sucked.

For innumerable reasons. The biggest? Sagira felt like she was conforming (she looked like everyone else; it was completely against her nature), and they weren't tight enough. Her spandex suit had been confiscated due to the number of scorches and rips that it had gained over the course of various missions (Mattie would send her another one if she asked, and she fully intended to - that boy knew where to buy good spandex), but it had always been much tighter and form-fitting than this baggy new outfit. How was she supposed to move around with tripping over her pant legs?

Asides from the clown suit, however, Sagira was having a good day.

Okay, complete lie. She was having an AMAZING day, capital A on the amazing, people. It. Was. Awesome.

She had been kissed - FINALLY - by an extremely attractive, far-too-nice-to-be-real guy. Boy. Man. Oh hell, who cared what he was! He was handsome, he was kind, and he liked her!

Oh, and she liked him, no doubt about it. Could she say... could she say she loved him?

The game they had been playing - the facade of them being married - had been annoying at first. A slight she hadn't wanted to ignore, but there'd never come a point when there was a chance for her to argue it. At the time, it had been necessary, but she had hated it.

Over time, however, she had grown to enjoy it. Being in his presence had been... amusing.

All right, all right... far more than that.

It was calming... relaxing... completely enjoyable. To the point, in fact, that his presence was almost intoxicating. She had come to realize - only slightly to her chagrin - that being away from her caused her... not distress, but rather... discomfort. They slept only a room apart in the hotel-base, but it was still a room too much for Sagira.

Now if that didn't sound like a sexual suggestion...

Sagira shook her head at her own thoughts. This was getting out of hand. Sure, people could become addicted to a food, a drug, a type of alcohol, but becoming addicted to a person? How pathetic...

She dared a glance over at him, walking at her side now rather than behind her. He had a contented smile on his face, which made him look all the more handsome. She really did love being around him. He made her feel... safer. More than that even. He made her feel wanted.

Smiling, she sidled to the left in her next step and rubbed against him. Most people would find it weird that she didn't like to hold hands. They would think it strange that she preferred to touch an arm or a shoulder or rub her body up against someone else. They would find it foolish that, when sitting down together, she would rub her face against someone's shoulder or simply sit, staring into their eyes, their foreheads together. Most people would find it strange.

Maybe Jay did, but he never said a word.

It made her love him all the more.

Oh... that word. Damn.

And she was back to the other issue.

So, could she say she loved him?

Well, what was love? Sagira was intoxicated with Jay's mere presence. He had become a force in her life - a constant - that could not leave, lest she lose herself. She enjoyed being around him like she had never enjoyed with anyone else (yes, even Mattie). She hungered for his presence like food. She thirsted on his smiles, like the one he was giving her now as she moved back away from him - the kind that balled up her insides like dough and then melted them thickly over her bones until she felt a wobbly, gooey mess and had to stifle a grin, a giggle, a hug...

She woke up every morning with the single thought of getting dressed to go eat breakfast with him. She found herself wondering what he would choose for lunch this time. They played chess together (she always lost), and occasionally Scrabble (which she almost always won), and would talk for hours. About nothing, about everything. They were learning more and more about each other, but still, there was much to learn.

There was no rush, however, because Sagira knew that they were going to be together. That's simply the way that it was.

During their conversations, where they discussed their hobbies as a child, their favorite foods, their worst habits (Jay bounced his knee all the time - it was annoying. In contrast, Sagira could be a slob if she was feeling lazy), Sagira always got the feeling that Jay wanted to ask something - maybe more than one somethings - but didn't know how to bring it up. Sometimes, during the conversations or outside of it, she caught him gazing at her hands. Not staring, not pondering whether her scars were hideous, but gazing with a contemplative look, as though he wanted nothing more than to demand to know how she gained them so that he could go and avenge her. Like some shining knight right out of Arthurian Legend.

Sagira smiled softly. That would have bothered her before, but things had changed. She hadn't metamorphosed into anything she hadn't been before. It was more like her orbit had shifted, and she gravitated toward him now, as much as she did toward her own path in life. She would have worried that he would move away from her and leave, dragging her orbit into a thin, unbearable stretch, except that she could see the lines that bound them, and they were too much like chains for them to escape.

They hadn't discussed what they were to each other, and if Jay had asked her, she would have no words to offer him. There were no words that could express her feelings, no words to describe what she could see. She was bound to him, and he to her; their souls entwined so tightly that they were no longer one person, but a package that came together wherever it was asked. Two for the price of one. Two heartbeats, hammering at the same pace.

True, it was still a lingering fear, the idea of him getting tired of her and leaving, but she would have sufficient warning, of course. At the moment, the threads that bound them were too thick to be broken, and Sagira had no intention of trying to even loosen their grip. Let them tighten until they suffocated her; she already couldn't breathe whenever Jay met her eyes. What was air when she lived on his very presence?

"Looks to me like Vivi got himself a girlfriend!"

Sagira looked up to see two figures standing before them. The Elites, presumably, one recognizable.

But why would they split Vivitalis and Ivy up? The two seemed to work so well together.

Sagira narrowed her eyes. And who was this new shiny toy that they would have to get used to? She felt her hair bristle at the idea of someone trying to take command over her. It had been an idea before, but now in the presence of the Elites, even knowing one, it was suddenly an all-too-real thing that she would have someone telling her what to do.

And Iris Sagira Smythe sat on no one's command.


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post Aug 4 2009, 01:52 PM
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The exit from the Maw was as painless as it could be. The appropriate forms were signed as Ivy and Victor took out a small transport craft for a quick entrance into the city without a hitch and Victor even seemed to have been practising - his piloting skills were pretty good! Ivy took the ride in relative quiet, trying to fight down the feeling of nausea that always came when she was on a boat and was delighted to jump onto dry land as soon as possible. Victor took his time straightening his hair after they disembarked - it had become wildly swept with spray during the short journey.

"Alright, so the directive states that we should meet with our allocated staff at the outpost marked here on the map..." Ivy frowned at the document. She was not the best map reader in the world and this one had many lines. Lines and lines and lines and lines!

"Upside down..." Victor muttered as he walked over to her, thrusting his comb back into his pocket. "Really, Ivy, you should pick up these skills a bit faster." He tutted and rolled his eyes, scanning the map quickly before stabbing a finger on the river. "We're here. And the outpost is here.” His finger pointed delicately to a grey box on the map.

“And how far is that?” Ivy asked, frowning intently at the paper. How had Victor found it so easily?!

“Not far. Only a half hour walk or so. It’s in a nice area of town – there’s a Starbucks and a bakery and…”

“No coffee stops for us, Victor.” Ivy fought down the urge to waggle her finger under his nose. Somehow, that action felt so right! But it would have been childish and kind of rude, so she held it in and allowed Victor to lead the way to the redez vous point.

~


The outpost, as it went, was a fairly nondescript grey brick of a building with a neon light at the front marking it as a hotel. Of course, it was only open to Aqua operatives, so a permanently glowing “No Vancancies” sign illuminated the street at night. In the day, however, its aura was lost to the light of the sun and its appearance remained so sickeningly normal that Ivy doubted any member of the public had actually attempted to get a reservation there in years.

“And that’s when I was all like, ‘Oh no you di-ent!’ and then she was like-”

"Looks to me like Vivi got himself a girlfriend!" A familiar voice laughed from nearby, cutting Victor off completely. Ivy and her partner turned around to find two very well-known faces coming towards them.

*Vivi? Oh yeah, they don’t know his real name, do they?... Well, it’s not my place to tell them so I better keep quiet about that one… but why do I feel so naughty and have these urges to shout his name out loud!?*

“Girlfriend?” Ivy looked around quickly. “He has?”


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post Aug 4 2009, 10:17 PM
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Victor, though secretly enjoying the comment, retaliated with an almost too defensive, "She's not my girlfriend!" Because of his attitude and general demeanor, Victor had suffered a full seventeen years of rude names and slurs with ill intentions. Because of this, he adopted the personal philosophy, "The opinions of the worthless are worthless." Fortunately for Victor, compared to his wealth, almost everybody could be deemed worthless, resulting in his very condescending attitude towards most people. However, he could not help but worry about what the "worthless" were thinking, for whether he liked it or not, they populated most of the world, resulting in his constant need to look perfect. Victor was very glad to be acknowledged as heterosexual by Jay, though he personally held nothing against homosexuality. It had just caused him so much grief and insecurity so he tended to shy away from the subject,

Jay responded with a snicker, "You were pretty quick to reply, Vivi. I was only judging from those looks you were giving her. To me, that looked like the 'Big Sniffs'." He made quotation marks out of his fingers and placed them around his last two words. The smile on his face showed that he was enjoying the banter.

"Excuse me? I was not sniffing anyone at all! You're just jealous!"

The Grunt laughed out loud. "Jealous that you don't have the balls to make a move? In case you haven't noticed, I'm already in a relationship." Jay turned towards Sagira and nudged her arm affectionately.

"Shut up, Lange! I'm in command here and you have to respect me!" Victor had not noticed that he had inched closer and closer to Jay and Sagira and was now standing face to face with them. He cleared his throat and straightened his posture. "Anyway, I wanted to introduce you to my masterpiece. It was hard, but with a can of trusty ol' Ultra Clutch and an assortment of beauty products, I have transformed a beastly teen into a beautiful girl worthy of my presence. Hairspray does wonders. The only thing better than hairspray is me! So without further ado, I present-"

"Ivy?"

"Hey! You ruined my presentation!" Victor said in response to Sagira's interruption. Her perceptive eyes recognized Ivy under the layer of beauty products. Ivy positioned herself next to her Elite partner and smiled brilliantly. Victor turned to her whispered, "Do the hair flip I showed you!" As directed, she flipped her beautiful golden locks, almost reaching the calibur of Victor's mane, as he squealed with excitement. "Girl, you could be on a commercial!"

"Ivy! You look... different..." Sagira commented impartially.

"She looks fabulous! Didn't I do an outstanding job?" Victor seemed to be enjoying this more than Ivy. "Simply stunning! Moving on, guess what! I got a new Pokemon!" Jay and Sagira were much too interested in Ivy's new look, amazed that she was still the same girl that used to walk around on all fours and chase after Pidgey. "Listen to me!" Victor demanded. He realized his childishness and put on a new face, one that was less agitated and more cordial. He released his baby Kangaskhan from her Luxury Ball and cradled her in his arms. "You're getting heavy," he murmured to her.

"I got a new Pokemon too!" Ivy released her Eevee, who was received with surprise from both Jay and Sagira. The couple opened two PokeBalls and two Eevees materialized on the scene.

Victor's eyes flickered from the three Eevees, their trainers and his Kangaskhan. "You know I hear Eevee is a really over-rated Pokemon," he covered up for his envy. That's not fair! I want one too! ... Well my Eevee will be of the very best pedigree and theirs won't. Mine'll be even better than Jay's little pet that seems to be suffering from some sort of discoloration. Ha! His is a freak! However, Victor could not fool himself. He was very jealous of the unique fur color of Jay's Eevee.

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post Aug 7 2009, 11:22 AM
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"Eevee aren't overrated!"
"Eevee aren't overrated!"
"Eevee aren't overrated!"

All three clashed in unison, piping up for the defense of their newly donated puppies. Ivy's eyes dashed at the two Eevee that Sagira and Jay had released quickly, assessing their stance, their power. Whoever had bred those canids had done a shockingly good job. In fact, if anything, Epsilon was physically inferior to them. Obviously, Ivy wasn't going to admit that but the truth stung like a Beedrill's Poison Sting.

"And less of the 'I'm in charge' please, Vitalis." Ivy frowned scooping up her Eeve and clutching the gorgeously soft puppy to her chest. The bitch looked up at her with a blank stare then looked away just as quickly without a word. "Officer Crichton has assigned me as the mission leader for this operation and I intend to fulfill my responsibilities."

Victor grumbled something under his breath about dogs and new tricks but Ivy ignored him. She knew Victor better than to fuel his fire over something like this, especially if they wanted to avoid a hissy-fit in the street.

"Anyway, that's not the important thing right now. We've got to meet up with the rest of our squad and go over the mission statement before moving out. Officer Crichton has us on a schedule, you know." Ivy finished plumping her own pride and ego, reaching up to run a finger over her shining Elite badge. "Read it and weep, guys. Elite and running my own mission. Officer Crichton must really trust me to assign subordinates to us for this... But whatever, right? Mission's a mission and we've all got to get paid!"

Sagira and Jay passed looks to each other which Ivy could not read. Damn humans and their million facial expressions!

"I don't suppose either of you know who our assigned aides are?" Ivy asked the pair, fishing a sheet of paper out of her backpack. "We're on mission 6-6-7-4-S. 'Operation: Bird Cage'?"


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post Aug 7 2009, 01:28 PM
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Raven was released from the darkness, darkness she enjoyed, darkness that let her think and contemplate and not have to be arround what most eevees thought of as trainers and pokémon, but that she lumped together in the term 'annoyances'. There was her sister, serene and calm, looking about, and looking in adoration up at her new annoya-- trainer, and also there was another, curious, a little on the small side, and, worst of all, far, far too happy.

<<Hello! I'm Eppy!>>

<<It's talking to me,>> sighed Raven, looking plaintively at her sister, then up at her own trainer, who was far less annoying than anyone else. <<Make it stop.>>

<<Raven, be nice.>> Topaz turned her bright eyes to the annoyance, and gave a friendly sniff. <<She's not so bad.>>

<<Whatever,>> Raven huffed, eyeing the other eevee. It wasn't that she didn't trust her sister's judgement, it was that her sister was far too tolerant of others.

<<Hello, Eppy. I have been named Topaz, and this is my sister, Raven.>> Topaz's eyes sparkled with a serenity and kindness. Raven half-envied those eyes. The only thing her dark, almost black-blue eyes were good for was hiding the occurence of her rolling her eyes, which was often.

<<Hello! It's good to meet you! You two are beautiful! Especially you, Raven! Your coat is so nice and pale!>> The eevee sniffed them both, then sat back on her haunches and yipped happily. Raven sighed.

It was going to be a long day.

-----

It was going to be a long day. Jay sighed, stealing a glance at Sagira that was not just to get another chance to look at her. That was just an added benefit. She was scowling, keeping her eyes on the trio of pokemon, arms crossed, hips cocked to one side, toward him and away from Victor and Ivy. She looked back at him, fighting the scowl, but ending up rolling her eyes. That could only mean one thing.

She was holding in a hissy fit. Not because she was being polite, but because she was too professional to have a hissy fit in the street right here.

In front of their... commanding officers.

Yeah, this had long day written all over it.

"You're looking at them, Ivy." Jay smiled, a little thinly. "Your boss called our boss, yadda yadda yadda, and here we are." He shrugged, smiling, a bit more friendly. "The only thing our boss told us is that we're supposed to let you take the lead, do what we do best, and the only thing that will supercede your orders are his."

He could feel Sagira's glare on his neck, as if he had eyes on that side of his head. When the heat from said look relaxed, he knew that she had turned her anger off of him for the time being.

Yep.

Long... long day.

"We're supposed to help you catch someone, but that's all he told us. What is this 'Operation Bird Cage?'"


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Aug 9 2009, 02:01 PM
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It was so rare to be out in the open air that when she was released, Topaz let out a happy yip and gave a small leap in delight at her freedom. Such exuberance was not mimicked by her twin sister, Raven, who had, since birth, held onto the darker aspects of life and form.

"It's talking to me," Topaz heard Raven sigh, her words escaping furry lips like a dying breath. "Make it stop."

"Raven, be nice,"
Topaz chided softly, amusement frothing within her. She had, at one point, found her sister's demeanor to be annoying, clashing with her own. She had come to expect and anticipate it now, however, and the vast difference between them was little more than amusing at this point.

She turned to the third eevee in their presence. She looked a lot like Topaz did, but their eyes were different. Of course, that was a given. Topaz didn't know anyone who had eyes like she did - brown with flecks of honey-gold that had earned her the name that her mistress had given her. Topaz.

She sniffed the new eevee, taking in strange scents that lingered around her fur, some of them matching the scent of her mistress' shampoo and other hair products. She ignored that scent and analyzed deeper, taking in the hyperactive eevee's base scent, memorizing it for the future, so she could pick it out and recognize it anywhere. She smelled the puppy's emotions on her skin, excitement, happiness, both billowing outward as though projected by a fan. Analyzing deeper, Topaz was certain that she could smell something else... something more, but she couldn't determine what it was. And, of course, burying her nose in her new companion's fur would be only slightly less rude than trying to read her soul through her scent.

"She's not that bad," Topaz said, trying to encourage her sister to be kind, even though she knew it was a foolish endeavor.

"Whatever," Raven snapped huffily, eyeing the new eevee out of the corner of her near-pitch eyes. Topaz knew that, just as Raven's dark demeanor often bothered her, Topaz's accepting kindness equally baffled her twin. It was something that they couldn't avoid without changing themselves, which was an unacceptable action.

"Hello, Eppy," Topaz formally greeted the new eevee. "I have been named Topaz, and this is my sister, Raven." She nodded in her twin's direction slightly, before turning her attention back to the little one. She seemed hyperactive, this smaller eevee, but might prove to be pleasant company. In any case, Topaz was willing to welcome anyone into what she hoped would be a new, happy family. The outward emotions of her mistress seemed to mimic Raven at first; something that startled and disturbed Topaz when she first met the girl who called herself Sagira. After being around her, however, she was coming to realize that her true person was hidden beneath a veil, but there, and kind. Much like Raven still, but also like Topaz herself.

It was a comforting thought.

"Hello! It's good to meet you! You two are beautiful! Especially you, Raven! Your coat is so nice and pale!"

The little eevee talked fast and, it seemed, a lot, but it was just one of those things that she would have to get used to, being around the little one. Besides, there were far worse personalities.

Topaz sent her sister a pointed look, but the oddly-colored eevee just rolled her eyes.

Undoubtedly, my sister, a very long day, indeed.




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Living Arrow
post Aug 10 2009, 03:02 PM
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"We're supposed to help you catch someone, but that's all he told us. What is this 'Operation Bird Cage?'"

Ivy's eyes bulged.

"I'm... in charge... of you two?" She managed to utter slowly, her jaw dropping far lower than any Exploud's. It didn't seem... right... Ivy was able to give orders to Sagira and Jay? Well, she didn't have much of an opinion on telling Jay what to do, but Sagira? Really?

"That's about the size of it, Ivy." Jay lifted his eyebrows.

"No way..." Ivy stared, completely awestruck. How had this happened? She had been on missions with Saigra before and now she was leading her friend in a complete four-man-cell?

"Ivy. Bird Cage." Sagira reminded her over folded arms, an unimpressed glare hitting the words home. Ivy gave a start and chewed her lip quickly, nervously.

"So-sorry! Erm, well, 'Operation: Bird Cage' is a locate, isolate and restrain mission. Our target is a female Magma operative that has been identified by the Officers as an important source of classified information. Our orders are to locate this woman and take her into custody. Then we must transport her to the Maw where she shall be put in the brig and questioned before release."

Ivy let loose the lie without so much as breathing a hesitation. It came so naturally that she didn't even realise what she had done before it was out there. No-one was being released. Certainly not after they had been let into the Maw. Victor's eyes flickered in her direction, but again Ivy didn't react. Where she had picked up this level of self-control was a mystery to her but the acquired affinity for holding to her orders was so satisfying it made her toes curl.

"Victor, the file?" Ivy asked, waiting as her teammate quickly distributed copies of the mission statement to both Jay and Sagira. The pair began loosely flipping through the pages. "The girl in question is someone named Linda Laird. Class II Grunt, operating somewhere in the Wealthy District with a minimal team of suspected Grunts and Recruits. There's a photo in there somewhere. We have details of her regularly visited locations so that we may better survey her before we extract her. If there are any questions that I can answer, I will."

Ivy's pride blossomed like a Sunflora's face in spring as she took command, feeling like her chest would burst with excitement. Somehow though, she reigned it in. She watched as Jay and Sagira flipped to the photo to reveal a tall, skinny woman with straightened hair that spilled down her back, a proud nose and a regal air that even a camera could capture undisturbed.

Linda Laird.


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Pumpkin King
post Aug 12 2009, 04:17 PM
Post #15


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Victor enviously eyed the three Eevee as they introduced themselves to each other. That Crichton is so aggravating, he thought furiously. You're not supposed to have favorites. That's horribly unprofessional and just think of the gossip! Those rumors will spread like wildfire. He had Ivy go through this operation and gave her a Pokemon and he's always being excessively nice to her, in my opinion. And with my cosmetics, the rumors will only grow worse. She certainly does look attractive. In his arms, Titanna grew fidgety and attempted to escape Victor's cradle. "Back in the ball. You're getting too heavy to hold for long." The Kangaskhan was reluctant to return to her Luxury Ball but submitted.

"The mission shouldn't be too difficult," Victor commented. "Aqua had no problem catching me, and that wasn't even part of their mission... or at least I don't think so." He remembered the night he was abducted from the derelict warehouse and detained in Kyogre's Maw as a prisoner. Finding him innocent, the Council of Nine allowed Victor to join Team Aqua as a recruit, but with several restrictions. However, Aqua had helped him make new friends and develop as a person. With these poignant memories, Victor related to the girl they were to capture and interrogate. He fervently prayed torture would not be necessary.

"You're pretty easy to capture though," Ivy said with a giggle.

"No I'm not! I am the definition of stealth," Victor refuted.

"That mound of dirt you were hiding under wasn't very stealthy," Sagira said, surprising Victor.

"...? How did you know that? Were you there?" Victor dug through his memory bank for the night he was captured. 'They call me ShadowCat... I am a creature of darkness, and I think even you're likely intelligent enough to know where the cat part comes from. Now shut up. I've a job to do.' "That was you?! In the fog? You pinned me against the wall while I was hiding. And then you ditched me!"

Sagira shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly. "I had a mission and you were dragging me down."

"We're supposed to help you catch someone, but that's all he told us. What is this 'Operation Bird Cage?'" Jay said, getting back on track.

Victor was unsure how he felt about Sagira now, not that he was ever sure of his feelings towards her and Jay. During their adventures together, Victor felt left out most of the time. Ivy had been so caught up in clearing "Cat Lady's" name and stopping "Bad Man," meanwhile the two runaway Aquas were busy with their love ordeal. Victor was upset that they had put him through unnecessary strife and he just learned that if hadn't run into Sagira, his imprisonment may have been avoided. Well, with your luck, you'd probably end up in Aqua's clutches anyway.

"If there are any questions that I can answer, I will." Ivy was gleaming with pride as she spoke with a leader's authority.

"Is Linda Laird special or something?" Victor asked after observing the surprised looks on the Grunts' faces.

"I said she's an important source of information Vicky! Weren't you paying attention?"

"I was asking Smythe and Lange, Ivy."


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Aug 13 2009, 01:05 AM
Post #16


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Sagira raised a slender eyebrow at Victor in a manner she knew to be condescending. He didn't realize, all this time, that they had met before during her first mission? How insulting.

Equally, how unobservant. She had thought better of Victor, and that was clearly too presumptuous on her part. She wouldn't make the same mistake again.

From the strained look on his face, he didn't quite know what to make of her, now that he had made the much-delayed realization as to their previous meeting. On the other hand, Sagira had no qualms about letting people know exactly what she thought about them, so with his sudden knowledge of her identity (both of them, if you considered ShadowCat a separate identity), she thought an introduction was in order.

She didn't offer up her name, because she thought that her better damn-well know it by now, but she did give a sweeping, if extremely-mocking, bow, her eyes never leaving his. "I'd say that it was a pleasure to meet you, Vivitalis," her eyes narrowed, "but it's not."

She stood to her full height, eyes still narrowed upon him in a glare that had often made other people scan for the nearest escape route. She wasn't going to hide the fact that she didn't like him. He was a liar - that much was clear already by his giving them a false name. It made Sagira wonder what lies he had been telling Ivy. True, she and Jay weren't close to the boy at all, but they had been travelling together at some points, and it's not like they had left him to the wolves when there was danger. If they couldn't trust them after everything that had happened (Jay had fucking been shot during their last mission), then she doubted he trusted Ivy with the truth.

And Ivy...

Yes, initially, the changes in Ivy's physical appearance were most noticeable, but it wasn't the most prominent, by far. Her entire demeanor had shifted. Her attitude, the way she stood - even the way she regarded the world around her. Sagira was accustomed to dealing with a dog, not a human, and suddenly she was faced with Ivy, decaninefied. It was... wrong. She had yet to hear Ivy say the word "silly," which wasn't Ivy at all - not that one that Sagira had come to know.

It was disturbing on so many levels, but it also worried her. Certainly it would be against her nature, but Sagira supposed being around Victor might make Ivy desire to... well, not desire, but clean herself up a bit. This was more than a good scrub and a change of clothes, however. The girl was wearing shoes, for Goddess' sake! How was she supposed to run on all fours in boots?! Now, dressed immaculately, Sagira was faced with a beautiful young woman that she did not know.

Victor seemed pleased with himself, and it further pissed Sagira off. She knew that a change like this wasn't merely one of attitude - it was a change in the mind. And though she might be wrong, she would admit, only one possibility came to mind at the moment, and it made Sagira want to rip someone's head off.

She didn't know anyone who loathed the idea of electro-shock therapy quite as much as she did.

Sagira wasn't particularly fond of psychologists or psychiatrists at all, really. Not after what she'd been through. Apparently, having faith in both the continuing existence and loyalty of your missing father was caused by a state of madness. She could understand the looks of concern when it came to her state of dress. After all, dressing up like a pokemon was not a common theme for someone her age. Acting like a pokemon even less, though she had her reasons. Their promises that having her undergo electro-shock therapy would help her overcome her fear of birds was bullshit, and when they had tried to force her to come, that damn jacket in their hands, she had shredded the doctor's shirt and finally - finally - got her point across.

Of course, she'd had to deal with the police after that, but threatening to file a report for assault had gotten the psychologists and their minion doctors to back down, and the police turned their heads.

Sagira hated them all the more. Cowards.

At the moment, she was livid. She wondered if anyone had asked Ivy if she minded. She wonder if anyone had bothered to explain exactly what they would be doing to her, since the damn kid wouldn't have a fucking clue. It was child abuse - that's what it was - and Sagira would like to find out whoever sanctioned such tactics, because she intended to give them a piece of her mind. And if that didn't her her point across, she'd take a piece of theirs out, since that's essentially what they'd done to her friend. Her little sister.

Vultures.

"Is Linda Laird special or something?" Victor asked, watching the two of them with that wary gaze in his eyes. Sometimes, Sagira just wanted to let go off all her self-erected barriers and lunge at him, hissing. The starving-sadist within her thought it would be positively hilarious to see the pretty boy piss his pants as he ran, screaming, in the opposite direction.

Sagira sighed. But he was Ivy's friend (or so she thought, though Sagira wondered how much of that was a lie, too), so she wouldn't do anything to him.

Yet.

If the lies continued, however... eventually, the barriers would fall, and Iris Sagira Smythe would take a step back and let ShadowCat take the lead.

"I said she's an important source of information, Vicky!" Ivy declared. "Weren't you paying attention?"

"I was asking Smythe and Lange, Ivy," Victor said coolly, placating the warped little girl. His eyes were back on them, awaiting an answer, but Sagira didn't say anything. She simply locked gazes with him and narrowed her eyes. At this point, the only reason she would be concentrating her attention more upon Linda than upon him was because she respected Bryce and he had asked them to do the job. When it was finished, Victor (or Vitalis as he would have them believe his name was; Vivitalis to a subtly-mocking Jay, since he knew Victor's real name thanks to Sagira) would be the target of her watch again.

"We met her while we were on the run," Jay explained, causing Sagira to purse her lips. Part of her wanted to scream "don't tell that liar anything," but she knew better. She'd play along. After all, cats moved their quietest right before they struck. "She had been sleeping with Dawson in order to gain ranks. Despite her high level, she's a miserable battler."

Sagira did snort at this, because she remembered that particular battle. It was positively ridiculous, and insulting. She couldn't wait to meet up with the girl again. She hoped her face was just as priceless.

"I don't know what she's been up to lately," Jay continued, scanning the file, "since the team she had been with left her, but I doubt she'll be much of a problem, even if she has improved."

"I doubt she has," Sagira said, crossing her arms over her chest. "She's remarkably conceited... like some other people I've met in the past."

Jay learned over and whispered in her ear, too low for the others to hear, "Am I going to have to hold you back?"

Sagira could hear the smile in his voice, the teasing tenor. She returned the grin without looking at him and replied in an equally low voice. "I have myself under control, but don't expect me to play nice."

He grinned full out now, and she saw the pleasure dancing in his eyes when she looked at him. "Don't waste a smile. I want all of those smiles saved just for me." He took her hand, entwining their fingers for just a moment before letting their hands fall apart, knowing she didn't like to have hers confined. "I haven't got enough of them quite yet."

"You're very demanding," Sagira murmured, brushing up against him, "but I suppose I can handle that."

With one more smile at him, Sagira turned back to see the others watching her. She ignored Victor in favor of something that had been bothering her about Ivy since she realized that the girl was her.

None of her pokemon were out and present.

Narrowing her eyes just slightly, Sagira asked, "Undoubtedly you've had an interesting few weeks, Mutt." She flashed the girl a grin, hiding her concern from view. "So, we've seen your eevee. Where are your brothers?"


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post Aug 14 2009, 04:10 PM
Post #17


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"I'd say it was a pleasure to meet you, Vivitalis. But it's not."

Jay had to clench his jaw and bite the inside of his cheek to keep from braying in laughter. He knew how people given authority that believed they were better than the people underneath them acted while insulted. He'd watched enough stars treat the people playing lesser parts like garbage, and he had a feeling that if Vivi felt like he wasn't getting the respect he felt was his due, he'd start puffing his chest and trying to throw his weight around.

He really didn't feel like cleaning scratch out eyes off of his uniform. Though it would give him an excuse to change.

He didn't begrudge Sagira her sniping. Victor, his real name according to Sagira, had been hiding his true name for a while. Had he even told his partner? After everything they'd gone through, could his actual name be so hard to share? It was the first form of trust, and not trusting your teammates was a bad sign.

The thought of bad signs made him think of Ivy. True, he didn't know her well, but the girl standing here was nothing like the girl he'd spent a short amount of time with with at Doc Robinson's warehouse. There was no hyperactivity, there was no odd method of speech. It was almost like someone had made a little doll and stuffed it into Ivy's body.

There were shoes. And there was a slightly (or more than slightly, if the look that seemed to crossed Victor's face wasn't more than admiration of his makeover technique) slutty outfit, one that didn't seem to fit her present demeanor, let alone her past one.

What had brought about such a drastic change in such a short time? The answers that filtered through his head did not make him any more comfortable.

The inevitable questions came. He hadn't tried to school the surprise on his features when he'd seen Linda's picture. He flipped through the file, half expecting to see Misty and Kyle, too, but she was as alone in the file as Misty had implied she was in life.

"We met her while we were on the run," Jay explained, glancing at Sagira. Her lips were pursed, but she offered no argument. Still, her (lovely, lovely) body was tense. "She had been sleeping with Dawson in order to gain ranks. Despite her high level, she's a miserable battler." He continued to scan the file. Aqua, evidently, could be pretty thorough, though they had missed the obvious wrinkle in her file of 'sleeping with the enemy'. "I don't know what she's been up to lately, since the team she had been with left her, but I doubt she'll be much of a problem, even if she has improved."

"I doubt she has," Sagira said. "She's remarkably conceited... like some other people I've met in the past."

She couldn't have been less subtle about who she meant if she'd held a flashing red sign that said "I MEAN YOU, VICTOR" up over her head. Jay leaned in, his fingers briefly laying on her inner bicep.

"Do I need to hold you back," he teased her, and he felt her, very slightly, relax.

"I have myself under control, but don't expect me to play nice."

He grinned, pulling bac to look at her as she turned his head her way. "Don't waste a smile. I want all of those smiles saved just for me." He gripped her hand playfully, twining their fingers together briefly, a hand-hug of sorts. "I haven't got enough of them quite yet."

"You're very demanding," Sagira murmured, brushing up against him, "but I suppose I can handle that." He had to fight the urge to pull her close, kiss her, run the backs of his fingers along her cheek and jaw line. He smiled a bit and watched as she turned back to Ivy, posing, what he thought, was a very poignant question.

"What I don't understand," Victor huffed, scowling slightly at the pair, "is how sleeping with Dawson would help her gain rank in Magma."

Jay could see Sagira's shoulders tense, but he answered swiftly enough to keep her from snarling at the Elite. "It's simple, Vivi," Jay said, his tone close to what one would use on a small child or particularly slow cranidos. "She boffs him, he tells her where some low level missions are being done, she goes and interrupts and makes some captures, and wow! Doesn't she look competent!" Jay smirked. "Without that kind of insight, they must realize how bad she really was. Kyle and Misty broke off from her, and Magma demoted her-"

"Wait, who?" Ivy's eyebrow rose as she looked past Sagira to Jay.

"Kyle. And Misty. They were former teammates of hers."

Ivy's eyes narrowed. "You seem awfully familiar with these two, Mr. Lange."

Jay regarded Ivy carefully. She may not be much like a feral mutt anymore, but she was definitely still making a challenge. "Yeah. We've met them, and battled them. They're not bad folk." He grumbled under his breath, "even if one of them is a fangirl..."

"They're Magma, Lange! The enemy!"

"They're people, Ivy! Yeah, we'll fight them if we have to, and we'll win, again, but that doesn't mean anything is wrong with them."

Ivy's jaw clenched, but instead of lashing out like it seemed she wanted to, she calmed herself. "I'll make note of this later, Lange. For now, we have a mission to perform."




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Pumpkin King
post Aug 18 2009, 10:10 PM
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Victor's lower jaw was hanging as he took Sagira's insults. He did not understand how she could have the nerve to be such a- Bitch! What did I ever do to her? I helped get her name cleared didn't I? And it's not like I ever said anything bad about her... out loud. Victor's eye lids were getting very narrow as he pondered over Sagira. She needs to get a life. Seriously. Who walks around in that ridiculous cat outfit? Comic book geeks who live in their mother's basement. I'm surprised that freak actually has a boyfriend, not that he's much better. That hair color of his makes my eyes bleed and he's totally obnoxious. And I can't stand the name of his mangy Houndoom of his. Really, he needs to visit the name rater. And he's so-

Victor broke off from the mental bad mouthing when he realized that he wasn't quite so mad at Jay. In fact, he was on rather good terms with the grunt, but he had unintentionally diverted his anger on Jay. Immediately, Victor came up with a reason to keep hating him. Well, when you hang around with trash, you become trashy yourself. But his conscience immediately refuted.

Ivy is really close to Sagira too.

Ivy. She was the only reason he had decided to stay in Aqua. As Victor and Ivy spent more time together, the closer they became, and yet Victor hald some contempt for the girl. She was constantly dragging him into unpleasant situations, with anything involving Sagira and Jay at the top of the list. Why must you send so many lunatics into my life? Victor asked God, only referring to the canine Ivy he once knew and Sagira. Fortunately, he had not witnessed any of Ivy's real lunacy... yet. Isn't one enough?

Victor was pretending to gag as he saw the grunt couple whispering to each other and holding hands. Victor asked a question to get them to stop. "What I don't understand," Victor huffed, scowling slightly at the pair, "is how sleeping with Dawson would help her gain rank in Magma." He really wanted to separate Jay and Sagira. He knew he could not fight, so said nothing to Sagira, but if he could not hit her, he desperately wished her source of happiness could be taken away.

"It's simple, Vivi," Jay said, with a most aggravating tone. "She boffs him, he tells her where some low level missions are being done, she goes and interrupts and makes some captures, and wow! Doesn't she look competent!" Jay smirked. "Without that kind of insight, they must realize how bad she really was. Kyle and Misty broke off from her, and Magma demoted her-"

"Wait, who?"

Victor very childishly stuck out his tongue while Jay addressed Ivy. Victor was starting to feel very mature, having cared for an orphaned infant Pokemon, but Jay and Sagira were bringing out the most jejune of his personality. I'm older than them anyway! He had taken the time to check their database files just to prove that he was better than them in some form. Victor, being born on New Year's Day, was only months older than the rest of his 17-year-old team mates, but that was enough for Victor to feel somewhat superior.

"I'll make note of this later, Lange. For now, we have a mission to perform."

"Ivy, a quick stop at Starbucks really wouldn-"

"No!"

Victor mumbled to himself about how great a Latin American blend would be perfect for a day like that particular day, but the team leader was adamant about starting the mission. Ivy seemed to be the only one of the four was eager to go on a mission. The one thing that Victor, Jay and Sagira could collectively agree on was that this assignment was not going to be very fun. "You know, I could do your hair too Sagira," he said loudly to pester her. "That dusty ol' black curtain of yours could really use some cleaning at the very least. I'll have to dig for the Febreeze, though." Victor was now very content with himself. He had reduced his enemy to a mere houshold object, one that very obnoxiously prevents every ray of happy sunshine from coming through the window. I love metaphors! Sagira however, did not seem to enjoy the metaphor quite as much as Victor did.


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Living Arrow
post Aug 19 2009, 02:45 PM
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Ivy squeezed her hands into white-knuckled fists as rage blossomed in her bones. How Jay could possibly consider the people who murdered her mother and the rest of her family as 'people' was beyond her. There was no excuse. You join a faction and fight for them, then you are equally responsible for their actions - past and present. Defending such individuals either made you naive, ignorant or a traitor. Ivy would have to let Lange be... for now. The mission they were on was important to old man Crichton and so Ivy would complete it no matter what. Even if that meant using Lange.

*But Sagira... is she still loyal to Aqua?... We've been apart too much... I miss her.*

"Victor, don't provoke Sagira! And Sagira, don't rise to the bait!" Ivy yelled, stopping the cat-girl's mouth from uttering a sound. "All of you are acting so... so... sss-childish and I won't have it! We have objectives to complete and the clock it ticking. I'm sure none of you want to be brought up by your superiors any more than I do but I am superior right now and defiance to me is defiance to Aqua. Just focus on your jobs and remember that we are a team."

A stunned silence followed.

"Sounds like someone had a little something dropped in their food bowl this morning..." Jay muttered under his breath.

Sagira flashed him a look that Ivy couldn't read. It began as almost humour then became... softly stern. Like how Ivy's Poke-mom had looked at her when she had come home with a scraped foot. Was she worried?

"And Sagira, my brothers are acting like they should when we are on an operation - in their Pokeballs until I call for them. My methods were too slap-dash before and for that, I apologise. We can talk much more when we are off duty but I must insist we keep our ultimate task as our priority.
Now, you two say that you know this woman, Laird? If you know her then she will also know your faces. To try and mimimise risk of being identified, we shall split into two teams when we enter the Wealthy District and begin our search there. Sagira, you're with me. Jay, you shall respond to Victor's orders. Both of your Kirlia should be adequate for long-distance communication. For all eventualities, I want both teams to take one of these Pokeballs."

Ivy reach back into her pack and drew forth two plain Pokeballs, both marked with purple clouds.

"These are Decoy Koffing. A one-use toxic smokescreen that should enable a simple getaway. Please try to avoid any situation that requires their use - they are a fallback, not a toy."

*Toy toy! I want a toy!*

"The walk down to the Wealthy District will take a little while so I suggest we discuss team plans with our partners to ensure effective mission execution. And I don't want any bickering. Everybody ready? Then let's go."

*Urgh... I feel sick... that was so scary!... But it has to be done... I'm responsible... Gotta show Old Man Crichton what I can do... Gotta make him proud!*


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Umbrae Calamitas
post Aug 20 2009, 12:06 AM
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Sagira's eyes were narrowed into slits, her entire body tense and ready to spring into attack. Only Jay's fingertips against her back kept her from hissing and spitting, and shredding Victor's face like paper. She didn't attack him, but she hoped to the goddess that she scared the shit out of him. "Bear in mind, Aquanet, that though my appearance has changed, my identity has not. They still call me Shadowcat." She stepped closer to him until their faces were mere inches apart. "And I can still pin you up against the wall, you sycophantic bitch."

"Victor, don't provoke Sagira! And Sagira, don't rise to the bait!"

Sagira turned her head and glared at Ivy - a look that the girl hadn't been privy to even when they first met. She had been about to explain to Mr. I-don't-share-my-true-name-with-anyone exactly what she would do to him if he didn't shape up his attitude. Apparently, Ivy had other plans.

Damnit.

"All of you are acting so... so... sss-childish and I won't have it! We have objectives to complete and the clock it ticking. I'm sure none of you want to be brought up by your superiors any more than I do but I am superior right now and defiance to me is defiance to Aqua. Just focus on your jobs and remember that we are a team."

Sagira had turned her full attention to Ivy now, silent out of shock, but her mind very talkative. She was angrier than she had ever been with someone she considered a friend. But then, she didn't think she considered Ivy a friend anymore.

Not this Ivy. Not this... stranger.

She didn't say "silly" anymore. She spoke with perfect English. She was proclaiming that she was superior to them, but she had no idea how to be superior; that was clear.

You're no alpha, Ivy, Sagira thought. You're just a bitch with a badge.

"Sounds like someone had a little something dropped in their food bowl this morning..."

Sagira turned to Jay with a smile on her face, laughter in her eyes at the joke. But the truth of it... Sagira's humor faded and she gave Jay something of a stern look, silently suggesting that he watch his tongue. She knew what the old Ivy would do, but this one... she didn't like it.

He touched her arm gently, a lingering press of his fingertips against her flesh. She sighed inaudibly. She didn't know if it would be all right.

"And Sagira, my brothers are acting like they should when we are on an operation - in their Pokeballs until I call for them."

Yes, like servants away their master's commands. I wonder, Ivy, did you share licks with your brothers this morning? Have you wrestled with Beta lately? Do your pokemon even know who you are, because I don't.

"My methods were too slap-dash before and for that, I apologise."

Your methods before were you, Ivy. And I don't know who you are, anymore. Certainly not my friend. Not my sister.

"We can talk much more when we are off duty but I must insist we keep our ultimate task as our priority.

"Now, you two say that you know this woman, Laird? If you know her then she will also know your faces. To try and minimize risk of being identified, we shall split into two teams when we enter the Wealthy District and begin our search there. Sagira, you're with me."

FUCK!

"Jay, you shall respond to Victor's orders. Both of your Kirlia should be adequate for long-distance communication."

Sagira went very still. Only Jay's lingering touch kept her from snapping at Ivy, and if he hadn't been there, nothing would have stopped her.

Her kirlia's name was Paladin. Paladin; a name practically chosen by her father. A name that defined him to his very core. He was one of her best friends, her most loyal pokemon, and Ivy spoke of him like he was a TOOL?!

Sagira hands were clenched into fists and she very nearly quivering with rage, her eyes narrowed into tiny slits and her teeth grit so tightly that she knew she was going to hurt for it later, but she was pissed. When she found out who had done this to Ivy, who had changed her...

Sagira was going to kill them.

And she wasn't exaggerating in her head. She wasn't planning on simply scaring them with hisses and clawed gloves, no. She was going to lay out before them everything that they had ruined by trying to "fix" something that was never broken to begin with! Then, when that person - whoever the damnable power-whore was - was going to undergo a series of altercations at Sagira's hands. The first would be to poke out their useless eyes and make the person EAT them!

Sagira continued to run various death-scenes through her mind as Ivy spoke. She only half-listened as the stranger told them what they would be doing. Ultimately, it didn't matter. In the end, Sagira did things her own way. If things had gone differently, she and Jay would still be on the run, neither of them caught by Aqua, so she knew they could do it again if need be.

And without her canine mindset, Ivy would never find them.

No. No, Ivy would have been able to. But this person never would. Kylarian didn't have the strength, the force of will... the nature.

They had begun walking together as Kylarian finished up her little pep-talk. Sagira had opted to stay walking beside Jay, even though Kylarian had suggested they discuss what to do. She didn't care. They'd find Linda. The girl didn't have the talent or brains necessary to hide from them.

Sagira pulled a pokeball off of her belt and tossed it behind her head. It snapped against the ground sharply, causing the two grunts in command of them to turn around and look as Paladin appeared and glided over to hover at Sagira's side.

"Sagira, put your kirlia away until it's needed."

Sagira didn't know if Paladin had chosen at that moment to use an illusion or if her eyes really did flash, but when she looked up at the two people staring back at her, she was aware of some fear in their eyes.

"Let's get a few things straight right now, shall we, Kylarian?" she hissed softly. "You're my superior in this mission, and I understand that. I do not, however, like it. I'll work with you, but there are a few ground rules that I am setting."

"You can't-"

"And if they're not followed," Sagira continued in a louder voice to drown out Kylarian's, "I walk, and you can pull the damn mission yourself." She met Kylarian's eyes, but there was no fight for dominance like there had been before. The dog was gone. "This is Paladin," she said, motioning to her hovering companion. "He will answer to no other name, so I suggest you learn how to pronounce the one he goes by. Jay also has a kirlia companion named Hinata. Learn her name as well, or don't call upon her." Her voice slipped into a dangerous hiss. "My pokemon are not tools, and I will never treat them as such. If you choose to treat the pokemon you once considered brothers as nothing more than servants, that's your business. I'm still trying decide whether I pity them more, or you."

That said, she brushed past Kylarian without another glance and continued walking, ignoring any words sent her way. As she stepped past Victor, Jay close behind her, she slipped the koffing's pokeball into the pretty boy's pocket, unnoticed.

Shadowcat did not bow to anyone, did not kiss anyone's ass, and did not carry tools.

Period.


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