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The MirrorMist at Twilight, Team Rogue Conquer Petropolis!
Living Arrow
post Sep 30 2010, 05:04 PM
Post #1


Team Rogue: Pidgeotto
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PANE: Darryn Kellor



OOC: Joining, Bunnying etc (click to show)


He didn’t realise he was staring at his reflection for quite some time. It had first started with a casual admiration of a sexy pair of loafers but had ended with his impression of a vain statue. Quickly straightening and sorting his hair with a cursory flick of his wrist, Darryn Kellor turned back to the bustling streets of Petropolis.

It had been some time since he and his friends had arrived in the city for the second time, for Tuesday it was her third, but he remembered the tang of exhaust in the air and energy of city life well. In fact, it was deeper than a memory. It was almost like a sense of belonging. Sure, Darryn liked the great outdoors like most people but you couldn’t beat a good city. His old haunts in Celadon were completely dwarfed by this gargantuan town with its many appropriately-named skyscrapers. He drank in the experience like a wonderful drug. Lady coughed.

<Prince Darryn, these fumes are sticking to my fur… It. Is… Loathsome.>
Lady tentatively sniffed at her own tails, turning up her nose with distaste and frowning at her master. He laughed.

“Oh, Lady – it’s not that bad! These fumes are the smell of fame, fortune!” He assured her.

<Then it seems I have been pursuing the wrong dream. Poverty and a complete lack of recognition suit me absolutely fine.>
She snorted.

“That’s not what you’ll be saying tomorrow.” He reminded her, turning to gaze across the street. “Because Ribbon number two is coming our way.” The Petropolis Contest Hall, large as a stadium and very grandly presented in sweeping cascades of glass and black iron as an unfolding rose loomed before them. That was why they had gone on that particular shopping spree – to get a closer look at where they would be competing.

<Will the Ribbon smell as much as my tails? If so, I shan’t be wearing it.>

“Oh, give over, Lady!”

***


It didn’t take Darryn much longer to give up on finding any other accessories for his Pokemon. True, there were plenty on offer in a city the size of Petropolis but they came with an equally increased price tag. It didn’t make sense to buy everything new so Darryn decided to go with the old favourites, only picking out a new piece for November. It was her turn to perform in the all-important Appeal, afterall.

Back at the Pokemon Center, Darryn was pleased to see that all of the others were there. Their recent adventures coming to Petropolis from Mt. Carello, flying back up Mt. Carello for a Trainers retreat only to come all the way back down again had been tiring for them all.

A lot of thing had happened and Darryn had met a lot of people. Not least, his old friend Pan Gibbs who had been at the Retreat at Castle Vonmoto. Seeing her again had allowed Darryn to relive all the fun they had back at the Pokemon Academy in Celadon City and remember the colourful history that had given them such a strong friendship before he had moved to Furoh. He hoped to see her again soon - they had contact numbers for each other now and he had an address for her employers in Petropolis should he want to write.

Then there had been the small teen named Joey. Darryn had bonded quickly with the fellow trainer but they still knew very little about each other. Meeting up with him again would be cool but who knew where in Furoh he was headed next?

Even so, after all they had done, the little squad of four were determined to brush off and move on. Darryn had Ribbons on the brain and Jaima was so fired up for his next Badge he seemed ready to erupt (the polar opposite of the Jaima who had arrived in Petropolis the first time, desperate to make sure Tuesday was going to be okay). And then there was Tuesday, still brimming with that Researcher quality that simply had to be admired. And finally there was Meiko… who was clutching a piece of paper in her hands so tightly that it was crumpling at the edges. An open and completely crazed grin was planted on her face.

Glee was washing off of her in waves and rather contentedly, Darryn lapped them up with his Empathic self. She caught sight of him as he entered, laden with bags, and immediately thrust her hand aloft.

“Pokeathlon has come to Furoh! Pokeathlon!!!!!”

“Er, whatever it is, you’ve got a week.” Darryn rolled his eyes after spotting the date on the flier.

Meiko’s grin turned to confusion as she turned the flier back to herself with wide eyes.

“Whaaaaat?!”


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Master Houndoom
post Oct 2 2010, 01:12 AM
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Team Rogue: Houndoom
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"<A week, Jaima! A whole week!>*"

"Mm-hmm," Jaima answered. He was leaning against the wall, right outside of one of the girl's change rooms in the Petropolis Department Store. Meiko had, after the adventure in Mr. Vonmoto's castle, insisted that it was time for a change. A deep change. A major change.

A change of clothing.

Jaima had never liked shopping, not even when it was a necessity, and now seemed like frivolity. Of course, they had lost quite a bit in the way of clothing due to the attack in the forest, but that wasn't the reason Jaima went along. Nor was the fact that Tuesday had finally woken up, to everyone's relief. The trip to Mr. Vonmoto's castle might have been a motivator, but they'd only stayed for the day, and had been able to make themselves presentable.

No, it was because Jaima liked Meiko, and since she was there, so was he.

Meiko also took a great amount of pleasure in dressing Jaima. If his contest shirt was any indication, she'd be stealing half of these clothes. Already, he had two bags next to him. He'd had his turn, and now he was tasked with waiting for Meiko and Tuesday to pick out their outfits.

Darryn had said something about letting Meiko dress him when a very hot place became very cold.

"<I mean, we finally get to Petropolis, and we finally find a place where they're doing pokethlon's… pokethlons Jaima! And we'll probably be gone before they start!>"

Meiko's head popped up over the door. She was likely standing on the little stool they put in there to let you tie your shoes easier, Jaima thought, but the pinched look on her face distracted him.

"<Do you think I'll ever get to participate in a pokethlon, Jaima..?>"

"<Sure, you'll be in town for one someday.>"

Meiko's eyes dropped into slits, and she dropped down from the stool. "Hmph!" she snorted, and though Jaima couldn't see it, he knew she had crossed her arms.

"<What?>"

There was silence, and Jaima had to fight the urge to look over the door himself to see if she was OK. Finally her voice came out, with that deceptive calm tone that always seemed to act as a prelude to destroying a man's soul.

"<I didn't want the logical, make-sense answer, Mr. Kuonji.>" She said, almost too low for him to hear her, though that would have defeated the purpose of the dangerously calm tone. "<What I wanted was the shining speech of glory, the morale boosting, inspiring, music in the back ground, super hero pose, teeth gleaming soliloquy that would make me feel better and fire me up to pursue my goals!>"

"Ah," Jaima nodded. "<Something like...>" The song over the store's speakers changed, becoming low, orchestral piece. "<Mei-chan, of course you're going to be in a pokethlon. And you'll excel. It's what you've always wanted. It's your dream. Your goal. And all of us, Me, Tuesday, Darryn, and all of our pokémon are going to make sure that you, Omura Meiko, realize your dreams, like you've helped us realize ours.> Meiko's head had poked over the door again, wide eyed, as Jaima looked up toward the lights, smiled... and one tooth gleamed.

"<Was that what you wanted?>"

Meiko smiled. "<Yes.>"

"<Feel better?>"

"<Much,>" she said, hopping down from the stool again. "<How did you get your tooth to flare like that?>"

"<One of the tract lights is shining in my face.>" That earned him a giggle. "<Mei-chan, have you decided on one?>"

"<No.>" Jaima tried not to sigh, valiantly, but he did anyway. "<I've decided on all three.>"

She stepped out, and Jaima's mind suddenly went blank, concentrating on the girl in front of him. She was wearing a form fitting blue dress that hugged her hips and flared out slightly at the waist. Her hair, which she had pulled out of the bun, hung to her shoulders. The dress was sleeveless, and she was currently barefoot, which Jaima found cute beyond reason.

Meiko's New Look (click to show)


"<I was thinking about some shoes, maybe stockings... and a hat. A cute little hat! What do you think?>"

Jaima was just staring. He blinked a few times, his mouth stuck in mid response after she twirled for him, flaring the skirt out from her thighs.

"Jaima?"

Nothing. Not a sound.

"Ja-i-maaaa," Meiko chirped, smiling cutely...

"Kawaii"

Meiko's face dropped into a look of worry. "<Omigawd... I broke my boyfriend!>"


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

||
Jaima Kuonji and Meiko Omura||Branwys Muphenz
[spoiler=Jaima's Gym Badges][/spoiler]
PANE


||
Jay Lange||Olivia Prewitt
Uprising


As of January 29, 2010, at approximately 7:50am CST, 2gamers helped me complete my pokedex!

:houndoom: I claim Houndoom! :houndoom: [/align]
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Umbrae Calamitas
post Oct 15 2010, 11:04 PM
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Team Rogue: Espeon
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Tuesday's Pack



Tuesday was not hiding. She wasn’t. She was simply enjoying the splendorous décor of her chosen seat.

That is, in the middle of a round clothing rack, where no one could see her.

“No one,” of course, referred to Meiko, who had been giggling over skirts and clothes for Jaima and the possibility of dressing Darryn and how cute Tuesday would look in a dress.

“I think you’d look pretty in that, Mei-chan,” Tuesday said, pointing at the hideous pink polka-dots on yellow behind the other girl. It wasn’t her intention to insult, she simply wanted Meiko to look the other way, and when she did, Tuesday bolted.

So, yes, she was hiding, but from something more nerve-racking than a gym battle and more dangerous than any wild pokemon.

A teenaged girl in a clothing store.

Tuesday shuddered. She hated shopping. Hated it with a passion. She had done everything that she possibly could as a child to avoid going into department stores and being forced to try on clothes. As it was, her mother either had to get to the clothing store before Tuesday could realize where they were going and object, or she would have to bribe her with a trip to the bookstore. Tuesday learned to be very observant, so she had a lot of books on the shelves back home.

“Mmph,” Tuesday moaned, leaning her cheek on her hands. She was close to the fitting rooms and so could hear Jaima and Meiko’s conversation. Some of it was beyond her, but she was picking up on Japanese surprisingly quickly, and so she didn’t have much trouble following their conversation.

Tuesday pushed a few shirts to the side so she could watch Jaima as he lounged against the wall, talking to Meiko, who poked her head up over the door a few times. Tuesday just watched them from where she was sitting, enjoying the way that they looked at each other and could read each others moods. Tuesday’s parents could do that sometimes – read what the other was thinking about and act accordingly. Jaima and Meiko looked at each other differently than Tuesday’s parents did, though. Jaima and Meiko looked so happy to just be near each other, even if Jaima clearly disliked shopping as much as Tuesday did. Tuesday’s parents spent a lot of time apart during the weeks when Russell was away challenging opponents in other regions, and though they were always happy to see each other again, they never spent a lot of time together when they were both home, except for that first night.

Tuesday didn’t really understand it, but she supposed it didn’t matter. Her parents were very different, after all, and her father was often training his pokemon while her mother was brewing potions. They each had their own agendas and they seemed content enough to be away from one another. As long as they were happy with that, Tuesday didn’t think there could be any harm in it.

When Meiko stepped out of the fitting room, dressed in a new skirt that she twirled for a dumbstruck Jaima, Tuesday crawled out of her hiding space and quickly moved out of Meiko’s sight, off toward the pants section. She always kept a spare set of clothes in her messenger bag for emergencies, since she always had that with her, but all of her other clothes had been lost or ruined when they were separated in the forest. Only having that second pair of clothes had allowed Tuesday to go to Mount Vonmoto when they received their invitations, since the clothes she had been wearing in the forest had been torn, stained, and bloodied. Tuesday remembered that she had woken up in her pajamas, but she had been too embarrassed to ask who had redressed her while she was unconscious. It was still so hard to believe that she had been unconscious.

Tuesday woke up to the sensation that she was lying on a merry-go-round and someone was spinning her as quickly as she could go. The feeling didn’t make her ill, but she was very disoriented, and when she tried to open her eyes, she found that they had been glued shut by the sticky gunk that catches in one’s eyes while they’re sleeping. Fumbling, feeling very detached and slightly numb, Tuesday had raised her arms and rubbed the gunk free from her eyes before looking around.

The room was fuzzy for a few minutes before her eyesight started to clear and her mind began to return to wakefulness, but it didn’t take Tuesday long to figure out that they were in a Pokemon Center. The rooms smelled like antiseptic – a scent from the lab behind the desk that permeated the whole building, certainly. The walls were painted with a generic white paint and the sheets, while soft and clean, still held a commercial feel to them.

Unconsciously rubbing the sheet between her fingers, loosening stiff muscles, Tuesday turned her head slowly to look around the room. She could feel a comforting weight on her legs, a warmth that reached her through the sheets but still didn’t burn.
Ashleigh, she thought quietly.

She felt more than tired – there was a weariness in her limbs that made her movements stiff and her thoughts sluggish, but as she glanced around, she could feel her brain warming up, her thoughts moving faster. So when she glanced to her left and saw Shadow leaning against the wall, watching her with calm eyes, she knew that he had been waiting for her to wake up.

“Shadow?” she asked, startled by how her voice grated over her dry throat. She swallowed thickly – an action that proved to be more difficult than it should have been. Her eyes flicked open in surprise as she felt something cold against her lips and she found that Shadow was holding a mug by the handle – far easier for his paws to grip than a glass – filled with cold water.

Flexing her fingers experimentally, Tuesday took the mug in her hands and sipped at the water, grateful for the cold feeling of it running down her throat. She sighed in relief and let Shadow take the mug back from her. She’d had every intention to sitting up and figuring out why she didn’t remember arriving at the Pokemon Center.

The next thing she knew, she was waking up again, not as disoriented this time. She had better control of her limbs and her thoughts, while not on their normal level, seemed to be coming to her more quickly. This time, it was Jaima sitting in the room with her.

“I fell asleep,” she murmured, noticing that Shadow wasn’t in the room and realizing that it must have been some time ago that she had woken up before, but had failed to get up.

“You were in a coma,” Jaima said quietly, and to Tuesday’s ears, his voice sounded a little thick. She tried to look at him closely, but her eyes kept betraying her, trying to slide closed whenever she squinted to get a better look at him.

Letting them close, Tuesday spoke quietly to Jaima to assure him that she wasn’t asleep – just resting her aching eyes. She couldn’t remember what had happened. “When did we come here?” she asked.

“Three days ago,” he said, his voice still soft. Tuesday could vaguely hear him moving, the fabric of his clothes sliding against each other. “You fell unconscious after the battle in the forest. Do you remember?”

She did. Suddenly. It came at her all at once. Her pokemon, all but one defeated, attacked savagely by wild pokemon and those at the command of others. Her mind hers and not hers – a fiery burning part of her brain that was now extinguished, and Tuesday mourned that fact. She remembered the feeling of that fire dissipating when Ashleigh fainted, but she had kept battling despite a part of her mind being cold, and they had finished the battles and everyone had been okay, and then she had felt the rest of the energy leave her. All that she remembered were arms wrapped around her as she was too tired to keep her eyes open and she had fallen asleep – fallen unconscious.

“I’ve been asleep for three days?” She opened her eyes to look at him, confused.

“Unconscious, actually.” He had taken off his glasses and was polishing them on his shirt, his eyes focused on them.

“Right…” Maybe her brain wasn’t working as well as she had hoped. She opened her eyes slightly to look at him. He was a little blurry, but she could see him watching her intently – making sure that she was all right.

“Everyone’s okay?” she asked softly.

“They’re all fine.” He nodded toward the head of the bed as he polished his glasses on his shirt. Hadn’t he already done that?

Tuesday tilted her head back. She could just see Zorro crouching, balanced on the bedpost, and she could still feel Ashleigh’s warmth draped over her legs. The others wouldn’t be far.

Tuesday sighed quietly, closing her aching eyes again. “Good,” she murmured, before she was dragged back into the calm darkness of sleep.

When she woke up again, Meiko was in the room with her. She was smiling when Tuesday opened her eyes blearily and turned her head that way, remembering that that’s where everyone was sitting.

“Hey, sweety,” she said, her voice cheerful. “You had us worried. I was getting fat on jello.”

Tuesday blinked at her for a moment, confused. Then, “Sorry, Mei-chan,” she said quietly, when the older girl’s brows had just begun to furrow in concern. “I keep falling asleep.”

“That’s okay, sweety. You need to rest up.” She leaned closer and added, in stage-whisper, “Jaima’s gonna kick our butts in training to catch us up, so you might as well get some rest while you can.” She winked at Tuesday.

“Still feel bad,” Tuesday muttered, trying to keep her eyes open so that she could watch Meiko. She was so happy – it didn’t seem quite right.

“Don’t, honey, it’s okay.”

Tuesday didn’t remember if she had said anything in response before she fell asleep again.


Tuesday remembered that it had continued like that through the rest of the day and into the next. At one point, she had woken up in the middle of the night in a complete panic, unsure of where she was, her room pitch black. She had been about to panic until her pokemon had comforted her, assuring her of her safety with their presence until she fell asleep again.

Even now, late in the afternoon on the fifth day since the battle, Tuesday found that she was just slightly tired. It was nowhere near as bad as it had been and she hadn’t dozed off at all during the day, but she could tell that things were still off. She hoped that by tomorrow, she would be back to normal. She didn’t like feeling like she was wrong, somehow.

Tuesday had wandered over toward the younger boy’s section and was looking at pants when she heard someone walk up behind her and stop. She didn’t turn around until he spoke.

“Shouldn’t you be shopping in the toddler section?”

Tuesday grimaced and turned to face him, her eyes narrowed slightly. “Reilly,” she said by way of greeting.

He smirked. “Runt. Where’s your pack of dorks?” Tuesday watched as Jaima walked up behind Reilly, Meiko at his side, but she didn’t say anything. “I would have expected that the four of you are never apart, since you’re too much of a baby to be wandering around on your own and you need Sparkles to teach you and that other chick how to look decent. I guess that Blondie is— he’s right behind me, isn’t he?”

“Yep.” Jaima raised an eyebrow at the boy’s back. “Blondie?”


--------------------
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Living Arrow
post Oct 17 2010, 04:51 PM
Post #4


Team Rogue: Pidgeotto
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PANE: Darryn Kellor



With the others on a shopping spree, Darryn found himself in a rather odd predicament. Should he stay or should he go? The question only really had one answer, especially if he felt tied to his dream of becoming a star Co-Ordinator and stylist. Watching his friends leave the Pokemon Center without him was diffcult (especially if Meiko was dressing them all – she had worn blue with green the other day!. Blue and green should never be seen!) but it was the right thing for him to do. Training came first. That was a fact he was coming to accept more and more.

The wind blew fitfully across the roof of the Pokemon Center, ruffling the hair and loose fitting clothes of all the people on the Training Deck. Darryn had been waiting there only for a little while, patiently watching for his turn to come around on the illuminated board at the side of the field. Nurse Joy had allocated the afternoon to Co-Ordinators since the next Contest would be taking place the following day and training spots within the city were sparse at best.

“OK, we’re up.” Darryn tooked a deep breath as he led Lady out to the field and primed November’s Pokeball in his hand. It felt awkwardly large with the added ball capsule but that would be making all the difference in the immediate presentation.

<Prince Darryn, there are spectators… I thought this was to be a secret for the Appeals round.>

“We’re only holding back on a couple of details here, Lady.” Darryn informed her as he selected the music from the automated playlist. “We still need a dress performance and this is the closest chance we are ever going to get. Trust me – it will be fine.”

<If you say so, Prince Darryn. I hope that no-one decides to copy us.>

“I doubt anyone would be able to now… This has taken us ages to get right – no-one could pull it off in less than a day.”

<Better safe than->

“We’re still doing the practice, Lady.” Darryn admonished his prized Pokemon. She fell silent and stalked to the side of the field where she sat with all the utmost poise and grace she could muster. Her master rolled his eyes then primed the Pokeball.

“OK, November! The stage is yours!”

The catapulted Pokeball set free its seals with the opening of the ball capsule, expelling stars in a circular spray that whooshed away along the ground before exploding upwards into a shower of sparks. The energy from within the Pokeball collated rapidly into the proud form of Darryn’s Rapidash, her flames curling and licking about one another like rippling silk.

The music kicked in, Darryn held the rolled up magazine to his lips in place of his microphone, and together the Pokemon and human began to dance.

*****


Darryn panted slightly as he struck the final pose, completing the practice for his second Appeal. November looked back at him with wide eyes of excitement and pride, her knees wobbling with the sheer glee of her final performance. He nodded to her with a wide grin, hoping that his own confidence would be imparted on her.

*Of course… I could make her feel it… No! That’s not what it’s for!*

“Awesome moves, November.” Darryn reached out and accepted her long nose in his arms, kissing her soft fur over and over again. “You looked amazing!”

November stomped a dainty hoof merrily and shoved back against her trainer with a ‘well, durr!’ rocking of her head.

“Amazing is, like, one word for it…” A voice sounded from behind Darryn. “But I think fabulous is, like, more your style.”

The Co-Ordinator froze. It was impossible! She was surely back in the Hoenn region! To be out here would be…

“LYLA!” Darryn spun around and caught up his cousin in a fierce embrace, lifting her clear from the ground and twirling her around in circles where she giggled gaily and squealed with delight. Her ultra-shiny blonde hair followed her like a snapping banner of beauty over her Barbie-pink blazer.

“Hey, Cuz!” Lyla hugged Darryn’s head, pressing his face right between her breasts. Instinctively, he blew a massive raspberry into her chest and her giggle erupted into raucous laughter.

When the laughing and spinning finally ended, Darryn set the girl back on solid ground to look her up and down. She was just how he remembered. Absolutely flawless. Since they had been little, Lyla had dressed amazingly for any occasion. More meticulous than Darryn himself, Lyla had the perfect outfit for every day, every moment, and knew exactly how to keep them. Today’s selection, a matching pink blazer and skirt with smart black heels, gave her the air of a young business woman – smart yet fun. Hooked into the crook of her left elbow, a white purse with rose-coloured floral design in the corners. Her hair was held back from the face with a smart pink headband, allowing it to fall in luscious golden waves to the middle of her back. She was Lyla Moore. Cousin to Darryn Kellor and Pokemon Breeder extraordinaire.

“Woah… Dizzy…” Lyla blinked her wide hazel eyes in an attempt to steady herself. Darryn chuckled. She was a sight. True, she carried the stereotypical blonde appearance of a highschool cheerleader but Darryn knew what she was really like. Sure, she could be a bit of an airhead and had so many blonde moments he couldn’t count but she was not stupid. Straight As in anything she put her mind to, Lyla was born to be a living encyclopedia and when that failed, her notebook picked up the slack (she was always writing stuff in that little thing!). She had transferred from her home in Mauville City to the Johto region for a while and had attended the prestigious Pokemon Academy out in the Whirl Islands where she had specialised in Pokemon Breeding. Last Darryn had seen her, she had returned to Hoenn to put her newfound skills into practice at the local breeding center.

“What on Pokearth are you doing here?!” Darryn demanded, his grin not fading as he took her in. “Aren’t you working back in Mauville?!”

“Uh, like, totally.” Lyla righted herself and, seeming to be steady enough to stop blinking, began to rummage in her bag. “I’ve been sent out here to do some research and make some progress with one of our latest orders.”

“Orders?”

“Yeah, like, some dude wants a bunch of Wish Skitty to sell on the Contest track in Sootopolis City. Problem is, my little Skitty isn’t up to the Breeding Center’s Togetic’s tastes so I gotta, like, evolve her. There was something on the news about Moon Stones in a recent meteor shower over Fidona so I, like, flew down by Dragonite Bus. Those things, by the way, need to, like, slow down.” Lyla adjusted her fringe for good measure. “I mean, seriously? I had to fix this thirty seven times to get it right.”

Darryn reached out and smoothed a few hairs. “Thirty three.” He assured her. She beamed.

“So, I called your Mom – she said you had switched from Badges to Ribbons? I mean, thatis way cool and totally predictable but all the hotties are on the Trainer scene right now.” Lyla nodded sagely. “you’ll be missing o-ooout!”

“Not quite all of them.” Darryn stuck his tongue into the corner of his mouth. Lyla gawked.

“You didn’t!” She gasped.

“Uh, course I did!?”

“Who!?”

“Heard of a guy called Tr-”

“TROY OF ARASAM!?” Lyla screeched, “YOU MEANIE! HE’S MIIINE!”

“Um… I guess I’m kinda his…” Darryn frowned, thinking back to how things had played out with himself and the Contest Hall Leader. The older trainer had been the one to make all the moves. Not that Darryn minded, of course, but it had all been pretty thick and fast.

“Sooo unfaaaaiiiiir!” Lyla rocked back and forth. “You get all the luck!”

“I think this call for a proper catch-up.” Darryn declared, holding out an arm for his cousin to link into. She obliged quickly and together they left the practice field for someone else to use. Lady and November followed behind.

“Who the £$%^& does she think she is?!” Lady demanded, her tails waving angrily over her head. "Screaming like an imbecile and throwing herself all over him like that?!”

“I know! Like, she’s, like, so dumb!”

Lady raised an eyebrow back to her fire-type teammate and decided not to dignify that last with a response.


--------------------
Darryn Kellor ~ ~ PANE Moderator ~ ~ Lori Pardare
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Master Houndoom
post Oct 18 2010, 01:42 AM
Post #5


Team Rogue: Houndoom
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Jaima raised a brow as Reilly turned, slowly, his arms crossed, and gave Jaima an appraising stare. There was a challenge in his eyes, as if to say, "Yeah. Blondie. So?" Jaima smiled a little. "I mean... blondie? I prefer "Ol' Yeller" or "Goldilocks if something else doesn't come to mind..."

Reilly's eyes narrowed, briefly, and he crossed his arms. A smirk crossed his features. "Old Yeller got shot and Goldilocks..." Reilly smirked, raising an eyebrow at Jaima. "Well, if you're willing to admit where you're lacking, don't expect me to join in."

"Well, it's better than Blondie... Blondie was a ... ksk," Jaima hissed, realizing that, while Blondie was a girl, so, too, was Goldilocks.

Meiko snorted and smiled at Jaima, glancing at Reilly, and Jaima put an arm around Meiko's waist. "What brings you to Petropolis, Reilly?"

Reilly studied Jaima closely for a moment, before he spoke in a careful tone. "I'm challenging the gym leader, Vega."

Jaima's eyes narrowed, though his smile didn't change. "Oh? It just so happens, I am as well..." He lifted a brow. "Maybe we should battle to see who goes first..."

Reilly looked startled, perhaps even fearful, for the briefest of moments, but his expression was almost instantly transformed into one of arrogant boredom. "I'm not sticking around," he said, his voice a little too harsh for the words he was saying. "I'll probably be gone by the time you're due to face him."

"Maybe," Jaima nodded, looking thoughtful, "but it'd be good practice. I mean, if you're willing to allow my pokémon to train with yours..."

Meiko hid a smile as Reilly's eyes narrowed for the second time.

Reilly straightened suddenly and raised his head in a manner that made it appear that he was looking down at Jaima. "My pokémon don't *need* any help from yours."

Jaima's brows raised and he looked at Meiko, who's eyes reflected his own. "Well, actually," he said, turning back to Reilly, "I was hoping for your pokémon to help mine, but I understand. You probably don't want to show me how you're going to defeat Vega... might give me ideas."

Reilly's eyes narrowed in a glare. "As if you're pokemon have a chance at beating Vega at all," he snapped harshly, even as he shifted slightly away from Jaima. "My pokemon and I are going to defeat him, easily, and then you'll see." He took a few steps back, shaking his head as his neck started to turn red. "I don't need your help," he hissed quietly, and quickly turned and left.

The three of them watched him stride away, but it was Meiko who noticed the stiff way his limbs moved. Tuesday, unseen by the other two, was scowling after Reilly, but Jaima, when Meiko looked at him, had a worried look in his eyes.

"I didn't meant to make him think he was a bad battler," he said quietly to Meiko . "He was amazing t the castle."

Meiko looked after Reilly, who was far enough by now to be barely visible... no, wait, that's someone else... and rubbed Jaima's back. "I understood, Jai-chan," she said just as softly. "It's like he was looking for an insult...

"Maybe I should go talk to him," Jaima said, moving away to walk after Reilly even as he talked. Meiko pulled him back.

"I don't have any siblings," she said apologetically, "but I can see when someone wants to be alone. He's just going to pull away harder if you keep after him."

Jaima looked at her, and his shoulders drooped. "Yeah, I guess you're right."

"It's not your fault." Meiko turned Jaima's face until he looked her in the eyes. "I mean it. It's not your fault."

Jaima smiled at her, a little sadly, but at least he didn't insist. Meiko smiled back and kissed his forehead, then, without looking, snaked a hand behind her and grabbed Tuesday's shoulder lightly. "Now, Tue-chan. It's your turn!"

Tuesday's eyes widened perceptibly and she ducked low while trying to pull away. "N-No, Mei-chan. I'm fine. I have everything I need."

"Oh? You didn't lose all your clothes in the forest? You don't have a contest coming up?" Meiko smiled at her, but also tilted her head. "Haven't I seen you wearing that shirt yesterday?"

"Um... no, I - I picked some out already, Mei-chan." She pointed to a pile of neatly-folded clothes on a chair by the fitting room. "They're over there."

Meiko looked, then grinned, happily. " Let's see them!" Before Tuesday could protest, she was pulled, gently, to where the clothing was stacked. Meiko lifted a long sleeve shirt and held it up to Tuesday. "This is nice! I like how the blue brings out your eyes." She folded the shirt and set it on another chair, then lifted a second shirt. "This one makes your hair look beautiful!" She held the shirts up, one by one, praising the choice of each. When she got to the pants, Tuesday took a moment to glance up at Jaima with an incredulous look. Jaima simply shrugged back.

Meiko lifted the last pair of pants, a olive green pair of cargo pants to supplement her black and brown cargo pants, and a small package fell onto the chair. Meiko looked, only just comprehending that she had exposed a package of girls' underwear when Tuesday snatched it up, hiding it behind her back and turning to face Jaima. Tuesday's face was red, and Meiko's was growing that color.

"Don't these look good on her, Jaima," Meiko asked brightly, leaning close to the younger girl to hold the pants up in front of her. "Gomen ne, Tue-chan!" she whispered.

"Daijoubu, Mei-chan," Tuesday answered shyly, and Meiko grinned and winked at her. Then she turned to Jaima.

"What are you doing out here, mister? I picked you out some clothes, go try them on!" Jaima started, but did not move, opening his mouth to talk. Meiko stood, eyes narrowed.

"All right, all right, I'm going," he laughed, heading to another chair and picking up a pile of clothes, and heading to the men's side.

Tuesday's wide eyes were focused on Jaima, but as he moved into the fitting room, they slid to Meiko and she watched the girl silently. "You're not making me try on a dress." Immediately after she spouted the words, spoken in a staggered tone, she blinked, startled by her own boldness.

"No dress?" Meiko asked, her eyes furrowed. Tuesday's face was resolute, still wide eyed but not at all indicating she would give in at any juncture. The dress issue was decided. "OK," she nodded, shrugging, "but you might find you need one later. Maybe for the contest, a nice pantsuit?"

"D-Darryn bought me one already... I'll... I'll need a shirt and pants to go under it... I was going to wear that for the contest." Tuesday was looking at Meiko as if she were completely the opposite of what Tuesday had expected, and Meiko smiled at her.

"Oh! Good, I thought you'd lost that. I know just the thing," she nodded. "And you're going to need something to work out in. I saw a cute little tank top and some black pants over here. The Japanese use these kinds of pants to do martial arts; the fabric is lighter than these," she said, indicating the cargo pants, "but it's still nice and loose. I can't believe they even had them in a clothing store like this! You'll like them."

She was still talking as she lead Tuesday to where the more sheer clothing was sold.

* * * * *

She drifted as far as she could, as far as the tether on her body would allow her to, but she could not find the one she was looking for. The waves tossed her, but still her little boat sailed true, going only where she asked it, despite the howling wind and curling crests.

She shifted, and there she was, on a plain, with a strong wind passing over it. Unlike the sea, the plains breeze was strong, yet straight, running down the plain from behind her and blowing her skirt in front of her. She braced against it, scanning. Still nothing. She took a step to the side-

And was in a forest at night. Windless, cool, her skin made gooseflash as she looked around. She wished for a shawl, and one appeared at her shoulders, patterned in dark blue with a black wedge shape down the back. It was warm and made her happy, but she took little time before she was searching again. She used her powers to cast a light before her, and sighed when, while she found the inhabitant of this place, she did not find who she searched for.

The shuppet who was part of her network asked her to stay for tea, and she was obliged to. The ghost type, overjoyed, did not keep her long, but did extract a promise to visit again, soon.

From spot to spot Mercury jumped, at times calling in harsh environments, at others searching in silence so as not to disturb the region's master's slumber.

Finally she opened her eyes in the real world, sighing. She turned to Shadow with her eyes close to tears.

<No one's seen her, and I can't find her on my own...> He hugged her as she asked him, shakily and rhetorically, <What's happened to Cassandra?>

* * * * *

"I can't believe you came out of the dressing room wearing the green shirt and the blue pants, Jai-chan!"

Jaima looked down, abashed, and Meiko rolled her eyes, shaking her head even as she held onto his arm. Tuesday was in front of them, but only slightly, far enough ahead not to be accidentally kicked as they walked.

"But, Mei-chan, you wore blue and green together before."

Meiko huffed. "It was all I had clean, it doesn't mean it's a good idea!" She indicated her dress, which Jaima happily looked at again, and then Jaima's shirt, one of the new ones he wore with a pair of black jeans. "Blue and green do not go together, Jai-chan. I think there's even a rhyme about it!"

They walked on in silence for a bit, then Jaima piped up. "But Mei-chan, you're wearing blue."

"Yes..?"

"And I'm wearing green!"

Meiko blushed furiously. "It's OK, when it's on two different people, Jai-chan!" She looked up and saw the mischievous glint in his eye, and smacked him in the chest with the back of her hand. "Honestly!"

They were passing an electronic store when the news started. "Oh, man, is it that late," Jaima said, looking at his watch, but Meiko shushed him.

On the screen on display, a serious looking man read the news. "Our own heroic Emergency Rescue Brigade nearly lost an entire team this week, during the fire in the forest between our great city and Arasam. A new development has just been found, when an officer from Arasam identified a group of teens involved as a cohesive group of young adventurers known as Team Rogue."

Jaima, Meiko, and Tuesday's jaws all dropped at once. Jenny, a young one, with a stern look, appeared on the screen. "Yes, it's them, it must be! They passed through here, and I knew they were troublemakers from the start! Team Rogue, that's who you're looking for!"

The announcer returned. "The story is further complicated by the testimony of a young nurse, who, along with her regular duties, has also run a small pokémon advice talk show, and served as a judge for the contests in Arasam."

"I know who Jenny is speaking of, and while they do travel together, those people are not trouble makers." Joy appeared with Jenny at her side. Jenny looked embarrassed and slightly abashed, but Joy was poised and betraying no sense of anger or worry. "If the team of the ERB says that they helped, I'm sure it was true."

"How well do you know Team Rogue, Nurse?" the interviewer asked, and Jaima tensed. He needn't have worried.

"Well enough to know they wouldn't do anything wrong."

The anchor came back on. "These four young teenagers have yet to be fully identified. The Emergency Rescue Brigade will not release their descriptions or names, and the two we have found have been equally mum. However, because of the word of Phineas Flynn, the commander in charge of the Emergency Rescue Brigade, these young men and women have been hailed as heroes."

Jaima looked at Meiko. Meiko looked at Jaima. Both of them looked down at Tuesday, who was looking up at them. All three of the teens had equally agape faces.

"Oh, kami-sama, that stupid name has caught on!"


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[align=center]Uprising Mod

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Jaima Kuonji and Meiko Omura||Branwys Muphenz
[spoiler=Jaima's Gym Badges][/spoiler]
PANE


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Jay Lange||Olivia Prewitt
Uprising


As of January 29, 2010, at approximately 7:50am CST, 2gamers helped me complete my pokedex!

:houndoom: I claim Houndoom! :houndoom: [/align]
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Umbrae Calamitas
post Nov 1 2010, 12:51 AM
Post #6


Team Rogue: Espeon
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Tuesday's Pack



I like that name, Tuesday thought, watching the news next to Jaima and Meiko. It had a certain flair to it – Team Rogue. It just… fit. But she wasn’t going to tell Jaima or Meiko that, because they didn’t like the name, and things like that were always best kept to yourself.

As they continued in their walk back toward the pokemon center, Tuesday couldn’t help but think about Reilly. The boy was always rude when they met up, and Tuesday was fine with that. Well, no – fine wasn’t the right word. Tuesday had accepted it. It was the way things were. It wasn’t new to her, people being rude toward her, though her reaction to Reilly’s particular… temperament always surprised her. No one else managed to ever make her quite so angry.

What enraged her this time, though, wasn’t the way he acted toward her, but the way he treated Jaima. He’d been a complete jerk, acting like Jaima was so much less than he was and that he was so… great…

Tuesday frowned. Something didn’t seem quite right about the way she had described Reilly, and she wondered if maybe there was something more to the way he was acting. He’s just a jerk, Tuesday thought, and she had known a lot of jerks. She crossed her arms as she walked and ducked her head, just not feeling quite… right. After a moment, she huffed sharply. I don’t want to think about him, anyway! So she didn’t.

~*~


Reilly kicked a soda can sharply, sending the empty aluminum soaring across the sidewalk as he grumbled, stalking away from the department store. “Stupid runt and her stupid friends,” he grumbled. “As if I need their help.”
He hesitated in his walking and sighed, stopping to lean his back against the brick building behind him. Who was he kidding? He was a horrendous battler and everybody knew it. He did his best, of course, but he could never win when it counted, or win what counted.

He’d tried, of course, and he’d won battles and he’d beaten some pokemon around the bush and got some trainers’ respect, but in the end, it never really mattered. It wasn’t their respect he wanted, and he didn’t want to beat them! He just wanted… he just wanted…

“Ah, forget it,” he muttered and kicked off the side of the building, stalking down the street.

~*~


Tuesday pulled on one of her new shirts over her wet hair, sliding her arms through the sleeves and then pulling on a pair of cargo pants. It felt good to get a hot shower, though Tuesday had never had someone take a shower with her before. At least, not since she had been quite capable of taking one by herself.

On the other side of the room, Zorro was dancing around, his blue and black fur dripping all over the carpet. He looked ridiculously happy and Tuesday couldn’t help but smile as she watched him. She wasn’t quite sure if he had taken the shower with her because he thought it would be fun, or because her pokemon had decided that they weren’t ever going to leave her alone. Despite his mischievous, prank-loving nature, she was fairly sure it was the latter.

Tuesday dried her hair into a damp mass of curls, before swinging the towel like a jump rope and snagging Zorro’s body. She pulled the startled riolu toward her and, laughing in a giggle-yipping sound, the riolu fought her teasingly as she tried to dry off his fur.

“You’re ridiculous,” she said, trying to sound like he was such a hassle, but he merely pushed the towel away and grinned at her. Tuesday smiled back. “Your tassles are wet.” Zorro went unusually still as Tuesday dried off the two black tassles that hung down from his head. She was aware that they were very sensitive parts of his body, so she was careful not to pull on them, and merely rubbed the towel down the fur to draw out the moisture and dry them to a dampened state. The air (and his constant dashing) would easily dry the rest.

“All done!” Tuesday said, pulling the towel back and smiling at him in satisfaction. Zorro glanced at her with wide, startled eyes, still very still, and Tuesday frowned. “Zorro, you oka-” Her mouth snapped shut when he lunged forward and hugged her tightly. Tuesday merely blinked in surprise at the tight hold his arms had around her, and then he had released her and with the slamming of the door, rushed from the room in a blur.

Tuesday stared after him in surprise. “Zorro…?”

~*~


Ashleigh kept his eye on the little blue fox for the rest of the day. His alpha appeared rather startled by the actions of her bonded pokemon, and more than a little worried that she hadn’t seem him since he’d run away from the room. A human’s senses were not nearly as keen as those of a pokemon except in excited states. Where she could not find the little blue fox, Ashleigh knew where he was, and he watched.

The houndoom did not understand why the little blue fox was acting the way he was, but even he had seen the startled look in the riolu’s eyes when his alpha had gently dried the other’s ears. There was something about that level of kindness, Ashleigh thought, that shocked the riolu into an emotionally physical outburst, which had clearly embarrassed him, or something of the sort – something to keep him from revealing himself. Ashleigh was not overly worried. His alpha was bonded with the little blue fox, and the other cared for her. He would not leave.

Ashleigh stayed closely on the heels of his alpha all that day. He was very glad that he had been able to do so. Once his alpha had awoken and remained awake, she had been shown the little pichu that she had caught completely on accident, and the impulsive treecko, who she remembered catching to keep from further hurting himself.

The one with hair like a charizard’s breath had shown his alpha his pokeball, which had been smashed and broken. His alpha had been very sad about this, and Ashleigh had, too. It meant that his alpha was not his alpha anymore, and he didn’t want to be alone again. But, of course, he should not have doubted her.

“And you got some presents in the post, Tuesy!” Fire-Hair had squealed, and dumped a pile of wrapped gifts on his alpha’s lap. Ashleigh had quietly sniffed at the presents from where he lay on the bed, but since finding out that his alpha was not his alpha, he hadn’t been overly happy about much of anything.

But his alpha had opened her presents – calmly, almost reverently, taking the time to cherish each gift and read each card from her family as though this moment meant more than anything to her. Ashleigh did not know, precisely, why Fire Hair had smiled a smile that was also sad, and he could not ask, and he had been confused. But then his alpha had squealed in delight when she opened a gift to find a collection of various types of pokeballs and, without hesitation, she had picked on up – a green one, he recalled – and threw it at him.

Ashleigh remembered the feeling of being sucked into his pokeball. He remembered hearing the pokeball talking to him, telling him that his alpha was great and wonderful and amazing and that she loved him, and then, flabbergasted that his pokeball would think he needed to hear any of this, he had told it quite sternly that he knew that, thank you very much, and he didn’t need telling twice.

He remembered sitting – or laying down, or floating, or whatever – inside of his pokeball for what seemed a rather unusually long amount of time, before he was suddenly thrown out of it and then his alpha tackled him, sobbing and dripping tears all over his fur that shriveled into a tiny wisp of steam and evaporated as they touched him.

It hadn’t been until later, when Tuesday had been going to meet Fire Hair and the other humans for lunch and ran into the doctor, that Ashleigh had gotten the chance to ask his fellow pokemon what had happened.

Odysseus (or Captain, as he was becoming more well-known, thanks to the little blue fox) had told him that his alpha had been distraught when she captured Ashleigh in a new pokeball and it had simply disappeared. The Guerrero, as the little blue fox called him, had explained to his alpha that she could only carry six pokemon, and as she already had six, capturing Ashleigh sent him straight to Professor Oak, all the way back in Pallet Town, where she was from.

His alpha had rushed to the computer to talk to Professor Oak and had spent just a little bit of time debating over who to send to Professor Oak for care so she could have Ashleigh with her. It had taken some time because his alpha had never sent a pokemon to live with someone else before, but she knew Professor Oak would take care of them, and so she had sent him the treecko, whom she had named Virgil, so that Professor Oak could care for him and maybe help him overcome the loss of his tree.

And then his alpha had received Ashleigh’s pokeball and had fallen over herself to hug him tightly, crying all over him because she’d been afraid she lost him, and Ashleigh got cuddled and belly rubbed and he’d loved everything but the fact that she was scared and sad and crying. So he’d licked her face until she giggled and told him he was gross, and then everything was okay again.

“I’m glad you’re feeling much better,” Doctor Caballe was saying to his alpha when he finished speaking with the captain. “You gave us all quite a scare when you fell unconscious. I was rather worried.”

His alpha blushed, looking down at the ground and wringing her hands together nervously. “Sorry, sir.”

“Ah, none of this “sir” nonsense, and it’s quite all right. You meant nothing to happen, of course, and you fought well – extraordinarily well for someone so young. You all did. I wonder if, perhaps, you’d mind keeping in contact with me, telling me about your travels? Surely with skills like yours – and from what I hear, a penchant for drawing trouble – you’re bound to have some interesting adventures. You might be able to use our help down the road, or maybe we could use yours, again. I wouldn’t mind seeing the four of you on a Rescue Squad Team someday.”

His alpha had blushed as red as the lizard’s skin and stuttered out a reply that Ashleigh didn’t catch, because he smelled roasted spearow and that was swiftly becoming one of his favorite meals. He nearly pranced in glee when his alpha left the doctor and headed toward the tables for lunch. Food was wonderful, though not quite as wonderful as belly rubs.

As Tuesday sat down with a tray of food some minutes later, the guerrero grinned across the table at her and asked, “So, Tuesy, are you ready for your gym match?”


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Living Arrow
post Nov 7 2010, 03:24 PM
Post #7


Team Rogue: Pidgeotto
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Member No.: 814

PANE: Darryn Kellor



“And how about now?” Lyla did her very hardest to keep a straight face.

“That’s not how it works, Lyla.” Darryn rolled his eyes. “You’re emotional state can’t be influenced that simply. Like, right now, you have a soft green halo – you’re being sneaky. Had it just went blue becaue you’re… disappointed? Lyla! Stop trying to test it already!”

Darryn’s cousin frowned deeply and snagged up her notebook. A pink pen with and equally pink and fluffy top went with it and in a split second, the Breeder was taking rapid notes. Darryn ignored her obsessive behaviour (that damn notebook was ALWAYS somewhere nearby!) and instead led her away from the counter at the Pokemon Center, where Nurse Joy was passing back his Pokeballs, and towards where his friends were sitting.

After a cursory glance, Darryn could tell that Jaima and Tuesday were “shopped out” but from the triumphant grin Meiko shot Darryn as they approached and the collection of bags around them she was in the glorious money-spending afterglow.

“Hey, guys!” Darryn waved as he approached, sliding into the booth alongside Tuesday. The trio all smiled but gazes rapidly transferred to the blonde-haired girl who plonked herself down next to him. “I’d like you to meet my cousin, Lyla!”

“Er…” Jaima’s eyes widened. “Cousin?”

“Hello, everyone!” Lyla beamed brightly. “It’s, like, totally awesome to meet you! Daz has been, like, talking non-stop about you all day – I feel like I, like, know you guys already.”

“Really? Darryn’s never mentioned he had such a pretty cousin before.” Meiko smiled across the table. “I don’t know why that managed to slip his mind.”

“Um, sorry guys – Lyla’s only just arrived in Furoh. She’s from Hoenn but out on a work assignment with her Breeding Center. I would have said something sooner if I knew she was around but this is as much of a shock to me as it is to you!” Darryn informed the team, unsure of how to really manage the situation. It was always odd introducing a new face to such a close-knit bunch but Lyla would be loved by them - he was certain of it.

“Oh, that’s so, like, totally my fault. I tried calling ahead but there’s crappy signal all over this region.” Lyla insisted.

There was a moment of silence as everyone stared at Lyla and she smiled brightly back.

“Oh, er, yeah, so this is Jaima.” Darryn signalled his friend who smiled back. “He’s taking on the Furoh Gym Challenge.”

“Pleased to meet you.” He nodded to Lyla who grinned.

“Hey, Jai! I love that braid!” Lyla didn’t catch the flicker of eyes between Meiko and her boyfriend. “You’ve got to show me, like, how you get it to look so tight!”

“And this is Meiko.” Darryn indicated the redhead. Lyla elbowed Darryn.

“You never said how gorgeous she was, Daz!” She crooned. “And with amazing taste in shoes.”

Meiko’s smile lost some of its newfound hardness. Darryn scanned her. Something odd was floating through her Emotaglow. She caught him looking and blushed slightly, firing a ‘stop reading me!’ stare. He looked away sharpish.

“And this is Tuesday. She’s really smart and bound to be one of the big Professors in a few years.” Darryn leaned back so that Lyla could wave.

“O. M. G. You’re cuter than a Cleffa!” Lyla gushed.

Tuesday’s peep of a response was barely audible and her already small frame appeared to shrink back into the booth like she had perfected the Minimise technique in an instant. She’d always been shy but with an extrovert like Lyla around, Darryn noticed her timid nature even more.

“”Er, Darryn? How are you cousins?” Meiko asked from across the table. “You two look nothing alike. Blonde, brunette. Your faces aren’t all that similar, either.”

“Oh, our moms were sisters.” Lyla nodded sagely. “But our Dads are completely different – we must take after them a lot!”

“Well, I’d never have guessed it,” Meiko went on, “without you guys to say so, there’d be nothing to link you.”

“We can, like, totally prove it.” Lyla half bounced in her seat. “You know Daz is taking the Contest route? Well, we used to do this routine when we were little with cousin Cleo and-”

“No, Lyla.” Darryn glared.

“But it’s so much fun!” Lyla rocked back and forth. “Let’s put on a show, Daaaaaarryyyyyyn!”

“I’d really rather not…” Darryn’s cheeks flamed red.

“Puh-leeeeease?!” Lyla grabbed him by the hand and dragged him upright towards an open area of the cafeteria. Lady watched them with narrowed eyes.

“Yeah, Darryn.” Meiko folded her arms and sat back with a big smile on her face. “Show us your routine that you practised with your sister and your cousin.”

Darryn sighed. There was no way getting out of it now. True, he loved to perform but this was just so…. Embarrassing…. He wasn’t even sure if he could remember all of the steps or the words. It had been a long time ago and…

“Come on! Show us what you got!” Meiko cheered them on. Lyla hopped with glee.

“But Cleo’s not here… How are we-”

“I’ll cover her part.” Darryn said without breaking eye contact with Meiko. “Got my rep on the line with this one so I better not disappoint.”

Performance Kellor & Moore (click to show)


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Master Houndoom
post Nov 16 2010, 01:05 AM
Post #8


Team Rogue: Houndoom
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From: Austin, Texas
Member No.: 804

Uprising Mod



"I told you the shoes would be a big hit," Meiko said, smugly, as she and Jaima walked around, simply being together, and moving, and holding hands.

"You did," Jaima agreed, amused. In truth, he hadn't argued the fact. They were, probably, quite adorable, as Meiko had pointed out when she'd picked them (and several others, but that was neither here nor there), But when he had simply looked at them and given them a slight nod, she had narrowed her eyes and smirked, extolling the wonders that were her shoes.

Jaima had been more interested in the dress. She had painstakingly selected the accompanying accessories to compliment it, and, in Jaima's mind, had succeeded, from the grey stockings to the page-boy hat that now rested on her head, in the same shade as the dress. It was, in fact, now that they were going to find a stylist (and not, as Meiko had pointed out with a hint of disgust when Jaima had made the mistake of calling it so, a "barber") to, as she had put it, "tame this mangy mop once and for all."

Jaima's snort had earned him an attempted backhanded slap to the chest, which he had thwarted by catching her hand and keeping hold of it.

Grondir, Cosette, Fang and Eggheart waddled, trotted, or rode behind the pair, close enough to react to any danger, but far enough back so as not to be accidently kicked in the chin. Grondir had learned this possibility the hard way, still not quite used to his larger form. Only Cosette looked uncomfortable, a direct contrast to Eggheart, who rode on Fang's back with as much glee as she could muster.

It didn't seem as if Meiko was in a hurry, and so Jaima didn't feel the need to rush. The sun was low in the sky, and the air was turning cool. Meiko, wearing a sleeveless dress, gave a slight shiver. Jaima dutifully put an arm around her shoulders, and she sighed.

"What are you going to do tonight, Jaima?"

"Same thing I do every night, Mei-chan--"

"Hush," she giggled, snuggling closer.

Jaima smiled down at her. "I'm going to do some special training tonight. I have an idea for my gym battle."

He hadn't noticed how Meiko's eyes had widened when he'd said training but did notice the look of relief. He raised a brow, and she blushed. "I thought, when you said special training, you meant Tue-chan and I..."

Jaima pursed his lips. "You are behind," he started, and Meiko squeaked. Rolling his eyes, he chuckled. "OK, fine. I'll just have to be extra tough when we do start again."

It was Meiko's turn to roll her eyes, and she did so, which caused her eyes to fell on the sign of the salon they sought. She pulled Jaima around to walk toward it (a prodigious feat under normal circumstances) and smiled as they walked through the door.

"Yeeeees?" said the white haired man in the bouffant hair style at the front counter. "Do you have an appoooooiiiintmeeeeeent?"

Jaima had to bite his lips, but Meiko took it in stride. "Omura Meiko, one thirty."

Jaima blinked. When had she made the appointment? She smiled prettily at the man in the white bouffant hair style, but he showed no reaction.

"Yeeeeees, Miss Meiko, You're eeeeaaaaarly... woooooonderful. If you'll just have a seeeeeeaaaat?"

Meiko pulled Jaima to the seating, then allowed herself a giggle, which, in turn, caused Jaima to chuckle.

"Jai-chan, why don't you go to the gym and set up your battle. I'll be fine here for a while..."

Jaima looked at her, then around the salon. There were, mostly, women in there, and the hair dresser population was evenly split. Two of the hairdressers were eyeing his hair, and they looked hungry.

"You know," Jaima said, swallowing, "that's not a bad idea!" Meiko giggled as Jaima walked out the door. She kept her eye on it, half wistful that Jaima had left (ah, young love), and half expecting Layla to walk through. That was how it worked in fiction!


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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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Umbrae Calamitas
post Nov 28 2010, 12:35 AM
Post #9


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Tuesday's Pack



“Good afternoon. Are you here to register for the contest?”

The clerk was all smiles, but Tuesday was looking at the floor. She was rolling a pokeball in between her palms, her long blonde hair hanging in her face. She nodded quickly, her head moving like she wanted to look up, but refusing to. She nodded again.

“Very well,” the woman said kindly. “And what pokemon will you be entering in the contest appeal?”

“Um… Dante,” Tuesday said, still rolling the pokeball between her hands.

The clerk waited for a few moments before saying, “Sweetie? We need to scan your pokeball.”

“Oh!” Tuesday quickly dropped the pokeball onto the scanner and glanced up to watch it work. Because of this, the clerk was able to catch her eye and smile, causing Tuesday to blush and duck her head.

“Ah, a charmeleon,” the clerk said, reading the scanner’s data on a screen. “Your appeal should be interesting to see. What category are you signing him up under?”

“Beauty,” Tuesday said, this time managing to look up at the clerk’s face shyly. Darryn had explained to her what had happened during his first contest and the categories each of the pokemon signed up under, so she knew what to expect.

“All right,” the clerk said, typing this into her records. “And what two pokemon will you be entering in the Battling Round of the contest, should you proceed that far?”

“Tempest and Zorro,” Tuesday said, returning Dante’s pokeball to her pocket and placing two others on the scanner. “They’re a pikachu and a riolu.”

It had actually taken Tuesday some time to decide what pokemon she could use in the Battling Round. She had been hoping to use Ashleigh, because she knew how well the houndoom battled and how easily he would work with either Tempest or Dante.

Tuesday wasn’t sure the entire reason as to why she picked Tempest and Zorro to battle together, but she thought part it might be because they didn’t work well together. This would not only be a challenge, but a test for the both of them. Outside of training, could they be a formidable team? Or would they be enemies even on the professional battlefield? This would be the time to tell.

“Both of them are placing under the Cool category,” Tuesday said, again watching as each of the pokeballs were scanned individually, and the clerk typed information into her computer.

“Okay, you’re all set! The contest starts at two o’clock tomorrow afternoon.” The clerk smiled as Tuesday took back her pokeballs. “Good luck!”

Tuesday smiled nervously. “Thanks,” she said quietly, and then quickly turned and disappeared past the line of people as someone else stepped up to get registered. Hands tucked into her pockets, Tuesday’s fingers brushed against each of the pokeballs in turn as she ran her plans for the contest over in her head. The next day was going to be very entertaining, for all of them.


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Living Arrow
post Nov 28 2010, 12:00 PM
Post #10


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PANE: Darryn Kellor



“Looks like Tuesday has finished registering.” Darryn noted as his friend scurried away from the counter. He frowned a little and watched the girl for a few long moments. Was she really ready for something as flashy as a Contest? Darryn himself had been extremely nervous when he had gone onto the field for the first time but at least he was an extrovert. Tuesday, a complete introvert, would be far more likely to buckle under the pressure. He chewed the insides of his cheeks. Had he been too pushy in asking her to participate with him?

“Wha? Oh yeah!” Lyla looked up from her notebook. “So she’ll, like, be fighting against you?”

“No, no! That’s not how Contests work.” Darryn allowed Lyla to link arms with him as they made their way to the registration counter. “We’ll first compete with our Appeal entries. If they perform well enough, then we get to battle the Hall Leader – they’re sort of like a Gym Leader but they battle completely differently.”

“That’s, like, totally weird.” Lyla snorted. “But I guess you know what you’re doing, huh?”

“I sure hope so…” Darryn muttered, sliding his three Pokeballs up to the scanner on the desk.

“Good afternoon, Mister… Mister Kellor! I see you already have one ribbon – can I scan that in, too?” The clerk raised her hand-held reader for Darryn to pass the gleaming pin of the Metalliclaw Ribbon under it. A high-pitched tone followed and the clerk smiled. “All set! Now, who do we have here for your entries?”

“Er, my Rapidash for the Appeal round in the Beauty category and my Pidgeotto and Vulpix for the Battle round, both also entering the Beauty category.” Darryn smiled.

“Something of a Beauty maniac, then?” Lyla mused from his side. “How can a big ol’ bird like a Pidgeotto be beautiful, anyway?”

“I guess you’ll see in our battle tomorrow.” Darryn stuck out his tongue.

“If you make it that far.”

When I make it that far.” Darryn corrected her, claiming back his Pokeballs and taking some ball capsules with him. “No-one will be a patch on November in this Appeal – we’ve worked way too hard on this to miss out on the Battle round.”

“Hmmm. I guess we’ll really find out tomorrow.” Lyla nodded, making a quick note in her diary. “Reckon your friend will get as far as you?”

Darryn looked back at Tuesday who was busying herself reading the Contest rules on a poster near the entrance. Her emotaglow showed everything that her body language confirmed. She was incredibly nervous and uncomfortable.

“I honestly don’t know.” He sighed. “She’s a great trainer, in all honesty. Her Pokemon fight really hard and her strategies are pretty sound… But she’s more cut out for the Pokemon League than the Grande Festival.”

“Hmmm… I see. Maybe some battling would cheer her up and get her feeling more, like, confident for tomorrow?” Lyla suggested.

“I suppose so… I’m sure Victor would like to battle – he’s been getting restless recently.”

“Not with you!” Lyla snorted. “I have Pokemon, too, y’know!”

“Er… no offense, Ly, but she’d wipe the floor with you.” Darryn chuckled. Lyla’s face flushed red and she pouted intently.

“Meanie!” She wailed. “ And for that you, like, totally have to buy me and Tuesday some ice cream! Right, Tuesday!?”

The little blonde near on choked as Lyla’s arm snaked around her shoulders. Her very visible flinch made it seem as though an Ekans had just wrapped itself around her. Darryn blinked.

<Ease off, Ly. She’s not ready for that, yet.>
“WAH!” Lyla exclaimed, releasing Tuesday and staring wide-eyed at Darryn. “Bu… How?”

<I can talk like this to anyone I’m emotionally linked to. I think psychic type Pokemon can hear me, too, but we haven’t been able to test that theory just yet.>

“Um… S-sure? Ice cream…” Tuesday looked between Lyla and Darryn.

“Whatever flavour you want, Tuesday.” Darryn smiled fondly and held out a hand to her. She looked at it for a moment, blinked, then slowly reached out to take it with a pink hue of embarrassment reaching her cheeks. “It’s on me.”


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Master Houndoom
post Dec 10 2010, 02:33 AM
Post #11


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'Yays, yays, welcoome," the woman behind the reception counter smiled at him. She was svelte, dressed in what amounted to a stylized leotard, though it seemed to be made of a thicker material. From what Jaima could see of her, she was rather tall and broad shouldered, but proportioned well; she did not look either too skinny for her height or too broad for her shoulder width. The word "Amazon" played in his mind, and he brushed it away, hoping he wasn't blushing.

"Hello," he said with a bow. "I'm here to register my pokémon for a gym challenge?"

"Arre yoo soor?" The woman did not give Jaima a chance to answer before she laughed, a crystal clear ringing laugh that was neither too loud nor so quiet it could not be heard. "I jook. Many come in, with the question, and it is silly, is it noot? Yoo are to challenge, or yoo are noot. Anything else is just playing, and Vega!" She said the name as if it were a sentence in and of itself, and an exciting one at that. "Vega! Does noot play!"

Jaima blinked at her, and the woman winked, smiling. Then she typed into her computer, her long fingers capped in perfectly shaped fingernails tapping on the keys. "Yays, yays, I see it. There is one spoot oopen. Is all right, is it? Or maybe yoo are noot soor after all," she finished, teasing.

Jaima smiled thinly. "That will be fine."

"Good, good, it is good that yoo are noot afraid. Vega! Respects this." She typed again, glancing at a paper on a clipboard as she did, and finally held the clipboard out to him. "Yoor signatoor please, and then we are good."

Jaima signed and handed it back, and the woman smiled. "Two o'clock tomoorow, and do noot be late, or you will have to reschedool."

Jaima bowed again. "Two o'clock. Thank you, ma'am."

As he walked out, the woman smiled at him. "Ah, what a nice one, that one." She looked down at her chest smirking. "He didn't even glance at yoo two more than twice!"

* * * * *

Meiko walked out of the salon patting down her hair for the fifth time since she'd seen it in the mirror. It wasn't bad, not at all, she thought as she slowly walked down the street. The hairdresser had seen her initial stunned look and began apologizing profusely, but it had taken minutes to register, so lost had she been in her own memories. As soon as she had been able to shake them off, she expressed her sincere pleasure in the cut. She stopped in front of a shop window, one that had been tinted and so provided a good reflection to see herself by.

It was now very short, hanging about an inch above her shoulders, and curled a little bit under, making it look slightly shorter. The red hair was highlighted by her cap, but the memories came from its shortness; while she had worn it in a bun or ponytail before, she hadn't had it truly short for a while. She had used to wear it this way all the time; as a child, it had always been short, which had been much better for her tomoyish tendencies. But when was the last time she'd worn it short..?

Oh.

Oh...

Back in Blackthorn.

She sighed, patting her hair. She instantly wanted to go back in and have it cut even shorter, or buy a weave, or something. She set her jaw and narrowed her eyes at herself. She had never been a coward before. And you're not going to start now, Omura Meiko!

She smiled, grimly, letting her eyes relax, and that's when she saw him: white t-shirt a size too small pulled over his taut chest, a pair of skinny jeans, and his black hair arranged in a messy mane around his tan face. It was as unmistakable as the smirk on his face. Toshiro was standing across the street, reflected in the glass that Meiko was looking into.

She actually whirled around, her heart pounding up in her throat, but there was no one there. She looked up and down the street, trying desperately to find the person she'd seen, but, again, could not. Staggering, she walked to the wall and leaned against it, holding her hand to her neck, gritting her teeth.

Toshiro couldn't be here, could he? No way. She had only told Mrs. Kuonji and her family that she was even coming to Furoh. Her father wouldn't have told. He seemed to understand that Toshiro was no longer favored, if not the whole story. Her mother...

Well, her mother had set them up in the first place. Meiko hadn't said why she'd left Blackthorn.

Maybe her mother would tell him.

No, no, no, she began in her head, and felt a soothing blanket of calm wrap around her fear. It did not dissipate the dread, but it did make it manageable. She could think.

Mercury?

Trainer Meiko? Are you all right? I could sense you from the pokecenter....

I'm fine, Meiko thought, and though she may have felt a sense of exasperation at the obvious lie, neither being acknowledged it. I... was startled.

There was a moment of silence, but the peace binding her fear did not go away, and the fear begn to dissapate. Shall I tell Trainer Jaima that you're ready to meet with him..? The words sent a hint of calm, like mint on a breeze, and Meiko nodded, sending her intent if not the words. He's on his way... and I'll stay with you until he gets there.

Swallowing, Meiko made her way to a bench, where by the signs a bus would stop, and put her face in her hands. "Thank you, Mercury," she said in a whisper, knowing the kirlia could hear it.

When Jaima arrived, looking puzzled, she had composed herself and acted normally. But she could not help looking over her shoulder as they walked back to the pokecenter.


--------------------
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||
Jaima Kuonji and Meiko Omura||Branwys Muphenz
[spoiler=Jaima's Gym Badges][/spoiler]
PANE


||
Jay Lange||Olivia Prewitt
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:houndoom: I claim Houndoom! :houndoom: [/align]
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Living Arrow
post Dec 13 2010, 06:47 PM
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PANE: Darryn Kellor



It was on the way back to the Pokemon Center that Darryn felt the sensation. Despite going through the incredible brain freeze he had experienced not one hour earlier when getting ice cream for himself and the girls he knew that something else was wrong. A flicker – that was all it was. Some sort of numbing sting that appeared and vanished out of nowhere leaving no trace for him to follow nor clue for him to investigate.

<Lady? Did you feel that?> Darryn asked the Vulpix trotting at his side. She had gone quiet since the last minute training they had done – maybe nerves were finally getting to her. It would only be natural since she hadn’t been able to take part in the Contest at Arasam.

<The only thing I am feeling is the damp patch on my back.> Lady hissed back.

<Oh come on! Lyla apologised, didn’t she?>

<She did it on purpose.>

<So she timed herself tripping and falling over perfectly so that her ice cream could get on you? You seriously believe that?>

Lady’s silent reply screamed volumes.

<Oh, calm down Lady – Lyla would never have done that on purpose. Get over it and we’ll wash you down when we get back.>

<WE?!>

<You know what I meant, Lady.> Darryn moaned at her. <What is up with you today?>

“Th-thank you again, Darryn.” Tuesday smiled up at him over Lady’s head. “It was really nice of you to pay for all of us.”

“It was a pleasure.” Darryn grinned back. “We just need to have little breaks like that to keep us loose for tomorrow.”

Tuesday instantly paled. Darryn facepalmed. Why did he mention the impending bout of public scrutiny to the biggest introvert in all of Furoh?! Who knew what was going on in her little head? She probably knew more about Pokemon that Darryn did himself but she was the one fighting down the urge to vomit at the very thought of being on stage? Confidence was something that she lacked but out of everyone in the team she was probably the most knowledgeable about a lot of things – it really should have been enough to give her that little boost but there wasn’t even a spark of self belief in her eyes.

Darryn chewed his lip. He could make her confident… It wouldn’t take all that much… Just a little confidence…

No. That wasn’t how people learned. That wasn’t how people grew. He couldn’t step in every time to change peoples’ feelings every time they were low – experience like that would only make them stronger in the long run. Plus, what if they unknowingly became used to it and he wasn’t around? How would they cope?

<You still haven’t answered my question.> Darryn returned his thoughts to Lady. <That… feeling… did you get any of it?>

<No, Prince Darryn.> Lady responded, her large brown eyes turning upwards. <Was it Belladonna? I feel her presence in this city but she has not presented herself to us yet. Maybe she is trying to send a message?>

<No no. Nothing like that. I guess I just imagined it.> Darryn sighed. <All these extra gifts will just take some getting used to is all… And I can see your Emotaglow – you really don’t need to worry about me. I’m sure it’s fine.>

<I’m not worried!> Lady protested, her Emotaglow shifting again. The sickly hue of embarrassment made Darryn chuckled out loud. Lyla didn’t seem to notice (her eyes were focused on a pink skirt in a nearby window) but Tuesday cast him a sidelong glance. Those hazy blue eyes really did capture everything in a moment. Without a word, she looked away. Funnily enough, her Emotaglow mirrored Lady concerned tinge.

*Older than her years… And with all that Aura Guardian stuff sitting on top of her… A little confidence couldn’t harm her, could it?*


The evening unfolded rather smoothly. Lyla took to seeing to her Poké-babies before Jaima and Meiko got back so Darryn didn’t have to watch his friend for narrowed eyes and feel bad about his cousin’s involvement in the group. Sure, it was nice for her to be around, but that didn’t mean she would fit in with the funny little crowd that had become so close in the past few months. That would have to play out a bit more before Darryn could decide what to do with Lyla but for now she was safely tucked away upstairs.

“So, did you two get registered for the Contest?” Jaima asked over a bowl of ramen. Tuesday nodded thoughtfully.

“Yes… Although these categories will take some getting used to. I mean ‘Cool’ and ‘Tough’ could have some overlap, right?” She looked more pointedly at Darryn. “R-right?”

“It’s all still fairly new to me, too!” Darryn raised his hands. “Beauty is my forte so that’s what I’m going with…”

“Sure there’s overlap, Tuesday-chan.” Meiko re-assured her. Darryn checked out her new hair style for the fourth time. Fierce. He grinned.

“Cool. Well, then we can make our way down after my battle at the gym. The only slot they had was 2pm tomorrow and-”

“Woah, hold on.” Darryn’s eyebrows raised. “Our Contest kicks off at 1:30. With the appeals and the Hall being on the other side of town, there’s no way we can go to both.”

“You’re kidding me.” Meiko pouted. “I wanted to watch both again – Tuesday’s first Contest and Jaima’s third badge?”

“And my second Ribbon?” Darryn prompted.

“That, too… But not so much.” Meiko teased, sticking out her tongue for effect. Darryn blew her a kiss with mock affection.

Like a whip, Darryn’s emotions were lashed with ice. He shuddered and gave a short gasp but thankfully no-one commented. He regretted not having full control of the moments where emotions around him transformed in an instant but at least he had a better idea of how people were feeling without relying on facial expressions.

Gross disappointment, sadness, shock, regret, confusion and irritation from Jaima and Tuesday near flooded him but somehow the waves were held at bay. Darryn watched their Emotaglows ripple and change like the shimmering colours of oil on water but fast saw his presence in the group growing dimmer.

“Well, then I’ll just reschedule.” Jaima finally stated. Tuesday’s eyes rapidly filled.

“N-no! I-it’s OK – I can do the C-contest. Darryn will be with me and I don’t want you to miss out on this Gym opportunity… Onichan.” Tuesday used the Japanese honorific tentatively but somehow it sounded normal coming from her. It was yet another reminder to the Co-ordinator of how darn clever the girl truly was. Picking up what she had of the language in the relatively short amount of time she had spent with Meiko and Jaima was nothing short of outstanding.

“But we agreed I’d cheer you on for your first Contest.” Jaima frowned behind his wire-rimmed glasses. “I’m not going back on that.”

“This city is just one big mess after another.” Meiko moaned. “First, the Pokeathlon isn’t for a whole week and now this could set us back even further. You can give me all the salon treatment in the world but it doesn’t compare to travelling in the great outdoors.”

The four looked between each other with a degree of confusion and expectation for someone to speak. It was a difficult situation. In their own little ways, the others had made it known their feelings for cities as large and metro as Petropolis and it seemed none but Darryn wanted to stick around any longer than was really necessary. Beyond the Badge, Ribbon and Medal that the town had to offer there was nothing to hold them to the city.

*Unlike me.* Darry mused.

“Well, I could, like, totally record the Contest and play it back for Jaima when we’re all back here in the evening?” Lyla’s high-pitched merriment broke through the frustrated silence, quickly followed by the cry of a baby in her arms.

“Smoo!”

“Shhh now, Ume.” Lyla smoothed the hair on her Smoochum’s fair head. “The grown-ups are talking.”

“Y’know, that isn’t a bad idea.” Meiko commented, giving Jaima’s hand a squeeze. “I could come and support you at the Gym and tape that battle while Darryn looks out for Tuesday at the Hall with Lyla taping them. We’ll meet up right afterwards to show off our new Badges and Ribbons and how we got them… Like movie night!”

Jaima’s frown softened but didn’t fade completely. “That OK with you, Tuesy?”

*She really is a little sister to him, isn’t she?*

“It sounds like a logical plan.” Tuesday confirmed. Her voice, already quiet, seemed to diminish even further in the presence of Lyla but at least she wasn’t completely silent.

“Then I guess it’s decided?” Darryn asked. “We split up to get our Badges and Ribbons then meet back here right after.”

The others all nodded, conviction growing in their Emotaglows like rapidly blossoming flowers of courage.

After they agreed to get a good night’s sleep and make final preparations in the morning, Darryn and Lyla decided to call an early night for himself and left the other three in the sitting room of the Pokemon Center, chatting about their days and sharing battle tips for the upcoming matches. He bid his cousin goodnight at her dorm door and set himself up for sleep, Lady’s comforting warmth against his chest as welcoming as the dust of the Sandman himself.


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Master Houndoom
post Dec 17 2010, 05:16 PM
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Jaima and Meiko had returned from the salon before Darryn, Tuesday, and Lyla had returned from their outing. To Jaima, Meiko had seemed very nervous, looking behind her and otherwise being distracted, and when he put his arm around her, she leaned in close, as if for comfort. He looked down at her, marking her furrowed brow and that she was chewing on her lower lip.

"Are you all right, Mei-chan?" he asked softly, and she looked up at him, swallowing.

"Hai, Jai-chan," she said, licking her lower lip. Jaima narrowed his eyes, and she attempted a smile. It was shaky. "Honestly. I'm just a little bit tired."

Jaima peered at her again, then lowered his head to plant a soft kiss on her forehead. Meiko blushed lightly when he pulled away, but only lost a small amount of her trepidation.

It wasn't until the pokecenter was in sight again that Meiko spoke up.

"I... I want to get Chompwater out again." She looked up at Jaima, then swallowed. "And keep her out."

Jaima looked down at her, stopping them near the front door. He looked into the pokecenter, deep in thought, and Meiko piped up again, hurriedly. "I know, I know Tue-chan is afraid of feraligatr-"

"She's afraid of water, too," he said thoughtfully, but Meiko went on as if he hadn't spoken.

"-but she's been with me as long as Ember's been with you. She was the one constant I've had, and-"

"I think you're right. It's not fair for you not to have a team choice. Especially when she means so much to you."

"-I really miss her and whaaaaat?!" Meiko looked up at him, blinking, her eyes wide as saucers between closings. Jaima smirked, seeing that the look was more social commentary than actual surprise.

"Oh, don't give me that, Mei-chan! She was afraid of typhlosion, too, but she never asked me to stop using Ember. Seeing a well trained and friendly pokémon will do her a lot of good, and I promised I'd help her." Jaima looked down at her, smiling, and she, too, was smiling, her face finally clearing a bit of the haunted look. "You could have asked earlier, you know," he said softly, pushing a bit of hair away from her face.

"You're so protective of her sometimes, and I didn't want to impose..."

"Yeah," Jaima said, "Maybe too much. The twins were different, you know? I almost went with them on their journey, but they insisted. They wanted to do it on their own, like their schoolmates." Jaima shrugged. "I still worry."

"But not as much."

Jaima shrugged again. "Or maybe Tuesday's taking the brunt of it," he sheepishly admitted.

Meiko hugged him. "Maybe. After I left home, I sometimes wished Daddy was there to tell me what to do. It took me years to train my pokémon for some of the battles, and I just kept traveling when most of the people who would have journeyed with us had gone home. I kept losing, and training new pokémon, until I won." She shrugged. "Now... well... I know, you know? I can do it, and I know a lot now, and if Daddy'd told me what to do, I may never have been able to figure it out on my own..."

Jaima looked down at her, smirking. "And you're not doing gym battles why?"

"Been there," she said, waving a hand casually, "Done that. I need something new, something now! Pokethelons are where it's at!"

"And when I'm not new and exciting anymore?"

Meiko smacked him lightly in the chest. "Oh, no. You're stuck with me, mister."

Jaima smiled, and leaned down, kissing her softly. Meiko's eyes were closed when he pulled away, but she smiled a bit as well. "OK," she said, finally, after a long pause. "I'm going to get Chompwater and let her out in my room." She began to walk away, then stopped, looking over her shoulder, bashfully. "Y-you know... we could... um... go back to the way it was... um... the first night. Before the castle..."

Jaima blushed and looked down, now chewing on his own lip. "I'd like that, Mei-chan, but..."

Meiko also looked down, memories of the night in her head. Both had been relaxed enough to sleep, being exhausted from the fire and the rescues, but the next night sleep had been nearly impossible, despite the lingering fatigue. Both her and Jaima had been tense. It had then been agreed that maybe they should go to separate rooms.

It had, actually, been her idea, after Toshiro's face had popped into her mind. She had been ashamed, but Jaima had been understanding. She still hadn't told him why these fears popped up, and he never pried.

He was right, however.

"You're right-"

"We're not read-"

They looked up at each other, then laughed. Jaima stepped toward her and hugged her. "We'll be ready. Both of us, someday."

Meiko looked up at him and smiled. "There's all the time in the world, right?"

"Right."

* * * * *

After leaving Jaima outside to train his pokémon, Meiko once again went straight to the PC.

Rockclaw, Ramhorn, Cosette, Eggheart, Desertdancer... Only five, she thought, licking her lips. At the PC she looked over her pokémon. Many of them were in Professor Elm's holding facility, being fed and allowed to wander, a system that Professor Elm had modeled after Professor Oak's own facility. He had, in fact, upgraded his "box" system, allowing people to see their pokémon real time. From the way she'd understood it, shedinja were boring to look at, but the rest were actually quite fun. He'd also set up a system in which people could send their pokémon directly home, to work with their families. Meiko had allowed some of her less battle worthy grass types to help her mother with the garden.

There was Bloodwing, flying over the outside paddock as if he were some kind of emperor. She smiled fondly, remembering how she'd found the formerly scared hoothoot fighting with an equally scared spinarak, and caught them both. Now, they were the best of friends. Like brothers, really, complete with mischievous pranks. Springheel, now evolved into an ariados, sprung from the fence and Bloodwing swooped low, landing on the majestic noctowl's back and causing him to flutter before he once again straightened, flying straight up, and then looping. The pair would make a decent contest pair, thought Meiko, if she were into contests. For good measure, she slipped Ramhorn's pokeball into the device first, sending him to Professor Elm's facility with a note that he needed rest, and that she would collect him again as soon as possible. Some time away from battles would be good for him, since he'd taken so much damage in the forest.

Flipping through the boxes, Meiko chewed her lip. There was really only one pokémon she was going to choose, and she knew it, but she still worried about little Tuesday's reaction. With a sigh, half worried and half anticipating, she clicked the interface to call Chompwater's pokéball to her.

The interface between Johto and Furoh was a long distance one, so the instant transmission she was used to wasn't possible. Her knee bounced as the computer worked, and though it seemed to take forever, soon there was a chime and Chompwater's pokéball slid from the machine's ball system with a sound clack.

Meiko took the ball and fairly ran to her room, where she released the feraligatr. Chompwater rose to her full height, blinking, and then looked down at Meiko, who pressed herself against the larger pokemon's tummy scales.

"Oh, Chompwater," she sighed. "I don't know what to do. I'm scared, and I can't..."

The large pokémon's claw came up and gently touched the top of her trainer's head, and Meiko relaxed. "A lot has changed. I didn't get to tell you, but... We're in Furoh. And I have a boyfriend again." Chompwater grunted, a deep grown in her throat. "It's Jaima!"

Meiko leaned back, regarding her first ever pokémon. "He's nice! It won't be like before." It wasn't until she saw the feraligatr's lower jaw drop open, an expression she'd learned meant the pokémon was smiling, that she relaxed. "But I thought I saw Toshiro."

The jaw snapped shut, and a truly frightening growl filled the room, but Meiko did not shrink back. Instead, she hugged the Feraligatr more tightly. "I just feel safer with you around, Chompwater..."

* * * * *

"OK, guys, this is what we've been working for."

Jaima sat with his pokémon, arranged in a half circle around him, for one more pep talk before the big event. He was still a little disappointed that he would miss Tuesday's contest debut, and Darryn's second contest attempt (he was far, far too wary of his own chances to assume a win for anyone before the actual event).

He looked at his pokémon. Grondir, stout and strong, sitting on one end, flanked to his left by Tsunami. Shadow and Mercury sat in the center, attentive, Shadow's knee pressing lightly on Mercury's arm. Fang sat up, straight and regal, looking at his trainer's eyes with what seemed to be a new confidence, something he had noticed had flagged somehow in the forest. Finally, Ember, also sitting up, her fore feet off the ground as she sat on her haunches.

"You've all made me very proud. Grondir, your match fighting with Mindy's team showed me how strong you are. Tsunami, you made me so proud when you helped me, and were the deciding fight, against a fully evolved Camerupt. Shadow, Mercury... you fought your very first true battles against pokémon that were much more trained than you had been, and you over came so much. Fang, your determination helped Tsunami last her longest. Ember..."

He paused, smiling at her softly. "You've come so far. I'm proud of all of you, and I know you'll continue to make me proud. And now we're not relying on luck. Together, we'll show our skill and prove, even if it's just too ourselves, that we deserve the badges we have, and all the badges we'll earn."

He drew in a breath, looking each of them in the eye. "We've got our new technique down pretty well. Tomorrow I'll choose however many I will need for the battle. Some of you may be a surprise, but I know that if I had to, each and every one of you could hold your own and make me proud."

We trust you, Trainer Jaima.

Jaima nodded to his kirlia, who had made sure that all seven of them could hear her. "And I you. So let's rest up, and let's get ourselves a badge. And if, for whatever reason, we don't, we're going to make sure that the gym leader knows that he has earned his right to hold those badges."


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[align=center]Uprising Mod

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Jaima Kuonji and Meiko Omura||Branwys Muphenz
[spoiler=Jaima's Gym Badges][/spoiler]
PANE


||
Jay Lange||Olivia Prewitt
Uprising


As of January 29, 2010, at approximately 7:50am CST, 2gamers helped me complete my pokedex!

:houndoom: I claim Houndoom! :houndoom: [/align]
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Umbrae Calamitas
post Jan 3 2011, 02:15 AM
Post #14


Team Rogue: Espeon
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Tuesday's Pack



Tuesday was sitting on the floor backstage the contest hall. Her legs were crossed and her eyes were closed. She held a pokeball in her hands, letting the warmth from the scuffed and worn ball flush against her palms.

She tried to let the feeling of familiarity in Dante’s pokeball ease her mind. Tried to let the force of his life, the heat of his occupancy in the ball, calm her. It did little to help her. She was rattled, her nerves on high. She had been out visiting with Darryn, getting some last minute pointers for the appeals, when the majority of the audience shuffled in. A swarm of beedrill or a herd of miltank couldn’t have made a greater noise nor filled the place so quickly. And they were all here to watch the contestants.

All here to watch her, at her point.

Tuesday felt sick, and she wanted to tell herself that she wouldn’t be sick, and she did believe it. She likely wouldn’t be sick. She was more likely to pass out, and that certainly wouldn’t be good.

I won’t have to see them, she reminded herself. I’ll be blindfolded. I won’t have to see anyone. It’ll just be the two of us. Tuesday squeezed the pokeball between her hands. Just me and Dante.

~*~


One of the consistencies in Reilly’s battle scenario was that he visit the gym hours before the time of his battle. He didn’t do a whole lot while he was there. His pokemon didn’t even come out of their pokeballs until his match began. But Reilly walked.

He walked the lines of the arena like a tightrope, hands clasped behind his back, eyes closed or unfocused. He ran the battle over in his mind, again and again, contemplating the possibilities, planning his attacks and defenses, going over again his choice of pokemon.

He would let the sensation of the gym, the newness, wash over him and then leave. When the battle began, there would be nothing to distract him from the fight. He would allow himself to be fully immersed in the battle between himself and the leader of the gym.

And he would win. Eventually, he always did.

It was while he was walking the bleachers above the arena that the entry doors to the gym opened to admit the challenger scheduled before him. Jumping down the seats to the first aisle, Reilly sat down and peered through the bars that bordered the bleachers.

“Well, I’ll be damned. It’s the blonde buffoon.” Reilly leaned forward, balancing his arms on his knees as he studied the long-braided boy. “Where’s your entourage today, Blondie, or are you running solo?” He was low enough behind the bars that he couldn’t be seen from the arena, so he sat quietly, and watched as Jaima’s battle unfold.


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UPRISING MODERATOR[/align]
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Living Arrow
post Jan 3 2011, 06:13 AM
Post #15


Team Rogue: Pidgeotto
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From: Amazingstoke, UK
Member No.: 814

PANE: Darryn Kellor



“Aaaand WELCOME to the Petropolis Contest Hall here in the Glamorous city of Petropolis!” A strangely familiar bold, brash voice announced loudly over the loud-speakers. Darryn frowned to himself as he tried to recall the voice but when her face flickered to life on the screen in the green room, he immediately recognised the petite woman stood in the middle of the stage, clutching a sparkling golden microphone. Tawny brown locks, a smile so wide you'd never feel down again and bright showbiz blue eyes greeted her audience with passion and warmth. Her outfit was the same as that he'd seen in Arasam - short skirt, tank top, pink and white sneakers and oh-so fashionable leg-warmers. She was back. Gillian Meridian – the Contest Announcer of Furoh.

“For all you newcomers to this amazing stadium, welcome!" She saluted the crowd that cheered back at her. "Registration took place from yesterday all the way up to only an hour ago and all of our stunning Co-ordinators have taken their places backstage but first, let’s meet our all-important judges!” With an identical setup to that in Arasam, four figures sat at a lavishly constructed desk with bright smiles and expectant eyes - patiently for the ceremony to end and the competition to begin.

“First off, we have our Pokemon Contest Director - Mr Contesta!”
“I am very happy to be here!”

“Next up is the President of the Pokemon Fan Club! Mr Sukizo!”
“Since the trip here today was so remarkable, Petropolis must have some remarkable talent!”

“And the third member of the panel is our very own Nurse Joy!”
“Please remember to have some fun and make sure all of the Pokemon enjoy themselves to!”

Darryn shrank back in his seat, tapping his foot nervously as the swells of cheering thundered down through the green room backstage, trying to summon up so control and confidence.

*Oh, why can't I control my own emotions?! Playing with other peoples? Fiiiine! My own? Nooo... Bugger.*

“And for our final Judge for the Appeals Round, it’s our very own Hall Leader. Give it up for RIIIIIOOOOOO!”

The fourth judge walked out onto the stage through two enormous sliding doors through a swirling fog of dry ice. He was dressed smartly, head to toe in a fine suit of darkest blue, a black shit announcing itself under the crisp blazer. Shiny black loafers were on his feet but there was not an accessory in sight. The only detail on this so-called Hall Leader was in the wire-framed glasses that he wore: Mirrored glass as lenses.

"Wow... That would be enough to put anyone off." Darryn muttered. Tuesday visibly flinched next to him. He grimaced. What would Jaima do in this situation to help her out with her nerves?

*I could always help her with that... Better one of us rather than neither, right?*

"-Celadon City in the Kanto region,"

"What?! I'm not up first!!!" Darryn protested.

"give it up for Shalim Lithilliq!"

The world tilted. Darryn blinked. What? Shalim? As in Celadon-Gym-Shalim? As in best-friends-with-Cleo-Shalim? His own fear was forgotten, buried and utterly discarded as he turned his rapt attention upon the screens around the waiting area to see the teenage girl from his hometown emerge out onto the stage. She hadn't changed a bit.

Shalim Lithilliq was a nice girl as Darryn remembered - obviously she specialised in Grass type Pokemon after enrolling at the Gym as an upper-tier trainer but never had Darryn heard of her going in for Contests back in Kanto... Today, her darkly cute features were maximised with a verdant green dress which split down the sides to reveal fresh teen skin and a particularly nice turn to her thigh. As usual, she was beaming with a wide smile of pearly whites and not for the first time she was carrying a pair of pom-poms out onto the stage - she was one of the main members of the Cheering Section at Celadon City Gym and new how to use them well.

"It can't be..."

Next to Darryn, Tuesday had finally raised her head and was watching the TV screen, too. She had paled drastically since entering the building and he had taken the precaution of alerting the medical teams for the Pokemon that they may have a fainter at some point through the competition. Though ill-looking, the younger trainer still held onto a scrap of stolid determination that resounded in her eyes, no matter how dim in her Emotaglow. Darryn looked back to the screen.

***



"Feel the beat, Roserade!" Shallim's high-pitched voice called as she tossed her Pokeball into the air, releasing her predictable Grass type onto the field in a shower of petal and line seals. Almost instantly, a sultry baseline started up and Shalim's hips began to sway with a certain kind of fluidity that most men's mouths would have dropped for. However, more importantly for the contest, her Roserade kept in perfect timing and with every flick of her leafy booty came a dusting of glittering Stun Spore.

Next, when the music sped up and Shalim took her pom-poms to work, her Roserade followed as a perfect mirror-image expelling Magical Leaf into spiralling twin tornadoes at her sides that shone and sparkled through a myriad of different colours. The crowd went wild with the outstanding performance of excellent choreography and insanely accurate timing that only an experience trainer would be able to come up with.

The song even came to a slow section toward the end where Shalim moved back on the stage, leaving Roserade to dance in the center, this time using Grasswhistle to play a solo that harmonised perfectly with what the soundtrack was playing underneath her melodic tones. The music came back in force one final time, Shalim and Roserade dancing circles around each other, caught up in a localised shower of beautiful leaves and dust that erupted into a final burst on the last note in perfect tandem as trainer and Pokemon alike stuck their final pose with guts and passion, accepting the enormous applause that followed.

***


Tyron Jildare didn't watch the Lithilliq girl perform during the Appeal Round. He also didn't applaud for her when she exited the stage to join the other Co-Ordinators who were offering heart-felt congratualtions to their fellow competitor. What he did do was notice how she and Kellor caught each others' eye and in a flash of recognisation took each other up in a fierce embrace while he showered her with praise. Tyron watched on as the pair retrieved there ribbon cases, showing off the single pin that each held.

Kellor - the red and white ribbon of the Metalliclaw. Lithilliq - the purple and green of the Exotoxin. Tyron absent-mindedly lifted a hand to pat at the pin clipped underneath his jacket. There, he could feel the sharp outline of the Sparkflake Ribbon - his first and only achievment since arriving in Furoh. It had been so long since his first step onto Gigarte soil but since then so much had changed that it didn't surprise him to count all of those months that he had spent finding his true purpose as a trainer. And it had all started with him. Darryn Kellor.

In Gigarte, when Tyron had prepared himself to take on Chloe at the local gym, he had battled a rookie trainer by the name of Darryn Kellor. Battled and lost. Since then he had also lost three gym matches. Three. It shamed him to know that he had been recorded on each gym's list of challengers but not recorded on the corresponding list that dictated who had received badges. His losing streak, having stemmed from Kellor, made him feel so sick that it hurt but when he saw on the Channel 4 news that the little upstart had won a Pokemon Contest, Tyron was swamped with so much rage that a new vision came to the trainer. Be a Co-Ordinator. Defeat Kellor at his own game. That was only fitting, wasn't it? He, some fancy-pants Co-Ordinator beating a proper trainer like Tyron could only deserve the same treatment otherwise he'd go through life like some dream-crushing devil without anyone to put him back in his place. Oh, how Tyron longed to see that boy defeated and weeping at his loss at the Grand Festival. But that would come. First, Tyron had to ensure his own entry into the prestigious event and that meant getting a Mirrormist Ribbon.

He sat back, gritting his teeth, and waited patiently for his turn in the Appeal Round to come.


--------------------
Darryn Kellor ~ ~ PANE Moderator ~ ~ Lori Pardare
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Master Houndoom
post Jan 7 2011, 02:07 PM
Post #16


Team Rogue: Houndoom
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From: Austin, Texas
Member No.: 804

Uprising Mod



He sat back in his seat, keeping his posture straight as always. His glasses flashed in the light, but he never took his eyes off of the performances.

They passed before his eyes like scenes in a movie, as if he were flipping channels and all he could get were bad reality shows. Dancing With The Starmie, So You Think You Can Petal Dance.

Almenian Claydol. That one made him smile a bit.

The appeals round was always ridiculous to Rio. What did such showmanship do to display the beauty of a pokémon, the balance of precision and power that one could give...? Nothing. It, as Troy had explained when they began to put up halls in the cities, "put butts in the seats", which made sense. However, it was odd to see Troy defend the spectacle. Rio knew that the Arasam Hall Leader accepted the appeals round as necessary, but he, too, complained about the gaudiness, the flashiness of it all.

And then he saw it. The first break out. As ridiculous as the appeal round was, there were, in the good contests, a few who stood out, who made the appeal less about them and more about their companion. The trainer had even stepped back, allowing the pokémon to take the center stage and use a battle move to enhance the music.

Yes. This one could pass. She was not there to put on a show. She was there to show the audience her pokémon. That, and that alone, earned Rio's respect.

Not long after hers, though woefully sandwiching another mediocre act, was a young man who had allowed (and yes, after some incidents he had seen, Rio would never see it as anything other than "allowed") his pokemon to take center stage. As the boy stood in the background, holding the microphone in his hand and singing in a style that Rio rarely cared for, the pokemon's leaf waved back and forth, shooting off in intricate patterns with magical leaf, as well as reflecting the stage lights with Reflect.



At times the pokemon moved or pounded to the beat with what Rio believed was Body Slam. All the while, a sweet, almost herbal scent flowed over the stage area. The boy sang... spoke... rapped, whatever, "she whips her leaf back and forth," and seemed, at times, to be giving the commands to the pokemon through the lyrics. It was affective, and, if the audience were any indication, exciting, and almost all pokemon driven.

It would seem, Rio thought with a wry smile, that today's contestants were determined to make a liar of him.

If he had to give them a perfect 10 to compensate for the other judge's scores, he would. He'd done it before. It had, in fact, lead the people to believe that he enjoyed appeals. No matter. If the trainer focused on their pokémon enough, then Rio did enjoy the appeal.

And he would enjoy the battle, the true contest, as well.


An Explanation (click to show)


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

||
Jaima Kuonji and Meiko Omura||Branwys Muphenz
[spoiler=Jaima's Gym Badges][/spoiler]
PANE


||
Jay Lange||Olivia Prewitt
Uprising


As of January 29, 2010, at approximately 7:50am CST, 2gamers helped me complete my pokedex!

:houndoom: I claim Houndoom! :houndoom: [/align]
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Umbrae Calamitas
post Feb 1 2011, 03:35 AM
Post #17


Team Rogue: Espeon
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From: United States
Member No.: 5 443

Tuesday's Pack



Tuesday had always thought that the glow of a spotlight could be synonymized with the glowing beacon of an spaceship's transporter beam - the one that shoots down from the metal underbelly of an alien craft and kidnaps whatever human or poor, unsuspecting miltank is just waiting to be anal-probed. Put simply, like Alien Kidnapping Technology, stage lights were to be avoided. Even more so, because at least Tuesday was partially named after a science fiction character*. She was not, however, named after any sort of celebrity. She might be able to argue the point that she could survive well-enough on a spacecraft full of alien life forms, but the stage was a different thing entirely.

So what the hell am I doing here?

Tuesday stood in the center of the Contest Arena, her throat tight and mouth dry. She couldn't even spit, she was so scared. She knew her eyes were wide - she could feel the lids stretching outward to better enable her eyeballs to explode from their sockets and pelt some jeering audience member in the forehead. Tuesday hoped it wouldn't be Darryn. That would be rude... and more than a little gross.

Tuesday forced herself to take a deep breath. She exhaled in a nervous shudder. She was cloaked in darkness, however, all lights extinguished except for the steady glow of Dante's tailflame, though he had curled his body around that appendage to hide the light until the right moment.

Okay... my eyeballs aren't going to fall out of my head, I'm not going to throw up, and we're going to put on an awesome show. Just like it's just the two of us. Just me and Dante - nobody else. Swallowing, Tuesday stood up straight, rolling her shoulders back. Okay, I can do this. We can do this!

She can't have been thinking as long as it seemed, because she still had to wait a few moments for the music to finally start. Tuesday listened with an ear of patience and practice as the sound of sirens split the air. She heard a slight murmur beyond the darkness, but ignored it. The sirens were part of the song, as were the abrupt spurts of gunfire that sounded, and the steady whumpwhumpwhump of a helicopter's propeller.

Swallowing, Tuesday slid her feet slightly apart to ascertain her balance and let the glass balls roll between her fingers. She and Dante had planned for this. She'd spent a month just deciding on what song to play. She'd even received a "good luck" from Brone, along with the seven glass balls she had in her hands or placed on the ground. She remembered Brone's demand that the performance be exceptional, considering she was technically planning to destroy Christmas tree ornaments that her brother had painstakingly searched for - and found - in the off-season.

All right, Brone. I'll give you a good show. "You know what to do, Dante," Tuesday whispered, just as the sirens and the gunfire and the sounds of the chopper were overcome by the rage of a guitar.

Dante, tail clutched in his claws, lifted his head in the darkness surrounding them. A hiss ripped from his mouth, gentle in its movement, but harsh in connotation. It sounded soft, but Tuesday knew the audience would be able to hear it over the sound of the guitar.

And then Dante bared his teeth, as they had planned, tail-flame still hidden, and performed his first move.

Fire Fang sent flame rushing from his throat, coating his gums and outlining his gleaming fangs like a terrifying, sadistic rendition of the Cheshire Cat's grin. A smirk of fire.

Dante hissed again, long and loud, and this time even more sharply revealed, as it did not end so much as the hiss was consumed, abruptly, by the words of the song, calling out into the shadows. Dante released his tail and the flame burst into bright crimson and gold lightly at the thrill in the charmeleon's heart. The two of them were abruptly moving.

Another mission,
The powers have called me away.
Another time,
To carry the colors again.
My motivation,
An oath I've sworn to defend.
To win the honor,
Of coming back home again.


Tuesday was wearing the outfit that Darryn had gotten her for her birthday. It was one of the few things she had managed to salvage during the attack in the forest, though she hadn't realized until later. She'd been glad, but hadn't told him. Partly because it had never come to mind, but gratefully, since it would be a complete surprise to him. She hadn't been completely changed into her uniform when she was talking to him earlier, wearing only the thin black pants and long-sleeved shirt that formed the outfit beneath the costume. Only Meiko had seen her with the outfit on, but even she didn't know what Tuesday had planned to do for the contest, and she didn't know that the last piece of the outfit was a black strip of cloth that tied just below Tuesday's high ponytail - a blindfold. None of them, save her pokemon, had even known the song. It was a complete surprise.

But Tuesday and Dante had practiced a long while for this, when no one else was around to see. They were ready.

Tuesday couldn't see Dante, but she recognized the same cues as he did in the lyrics of the song. She heard his soft hiss, the crackling-flare of fire in his mouth at the initial Fire Fang, and then the scrape of claws on the ground. Her signal.

And suddenly, she was moving, twisting her body in a lithe manner that might have appeared odd on someone so small and young, but in the darkness of the stage, her black-clad arms and legs were little more than shadows themselves, and her costume glimmered like a writhing jewel in the dancing fires of Dante's tail flame. Tuesday spun on her heel as she moved across the floor, her coat gleaming as she moved parallel to the flames, Dante matching her every move.

No explanation,
Will matter after we begin.
Another dark destroyer that's buried within,
My true vocation.
And now my unfortunate friend,
You will discover,
A war you're unable to win.


Tuesday and Dante both spun at the same time, in opposite direction, her blonde hair whipping around her head as his tail flame followed his own movements. He hissed into the air, a sound that pierced the darkness and tore through the music just as it danced with it.

The glass balls, one in each of Tuesday's hands, rolled across her palms as she moved her hands. And she tossed them into the air.

Crafted to appear like little more than giant bubbles from a distance, the glass balls actually contained minute glass designs within meant to catch and refract the light in beautiful patterns.

The flames they reflected into the darkness had a chilling effect.

I'll have you know,
That I've become...


Even more ominous was the crimson color the orbs seemed to turn mere moments before Dante's ember attack struck them both, shattering them instantly.

Shards of glass exploded. Someone in the audience let out a surprised squeak, but Tuesday couldn't even identify the sound at the moment. She was caught in the pounding of the music and the sensation of glass shards pattering down on her arms, protected beneath the black shirt. She twirled and spun in the darkness as Dante's flame reflected against the shards as easily as the orbs they once were.

It was raining little shards of fire.

Indestructible.
Determination that is incorruptible.
From the other side.
A terror to behold.
Annihilation will be unavoidable.


Tuesday's fingers clutched two more orbs, tucked as they had been in her belt. Holding one in each hand again, she continued to move, as Dante did, as well, his tail flame sending her blindfolded face into sharp relief and making his own dark eyes glimmer.

Every broken enemy will know,
That their opponent had to be invincible.
Take a last look around while you're alive,
I'm an indestructible master of waaaaaaar.


The gout of flame that Dante unleashed would have caught an enemy off-guard, as sudden as it came, unleashed at the screaming voice in the song. Tuesday felt the heat from the flames - not warmth, but a burning that rushed by her from what seemed every and no direction.

Another reason.
Another cause for me to fight.
Another fuse uncovered,
Now, for me to light.
My dedication,
To all that I've sworn to protect.
I carry out my orders,
Without a regret.


Dante was moving, too, and the steady stream of fire that rushed from his mouth in the Flamethrower moved at his command. Tuesday danced and he danced with her and against her, but she was blind, and he was in complete control. But she trusted him, and the fires never touched her.

A declaration,
Embedded deep under my skin.
A permanent reminder,
Of how it began.
No hesitation,
When I am commanded to strike.
You need to know,
That you're living the fight of your life.


The second set of glass orbs were tossed into the air, refracting fire. Dante whipped his head to the side, snarling flames, and the flamethrower attack slashed through the orbs like a whip, shattering them and sending glass shards down over Tuesday's dancing form like rain.

You will be shown,
How I've become...

Indestructible.
Determination that is incorruptible.
From the other side.
A terror to behold.


A roar from Dante's throat punctuated the singer's claim, his fangs on fire. Tuesday had two more glass balls in her hands, one left gleaming on her belt. She was spinning again, dancing all across the floor, total trust in Dante as fire formed in his throat and, suddenly, he was firing ember attacks at Tuesday, every one landing with fierce intent on the ground where she had been standing, just a moment prior.

Annihilation will be unavoidable.
Every broken enemy will know,
That their opponent had to be invincible.
Take a last look around while you're alive,
I'm an indestructible master of war.

I'm...


The glass orbs in Tuesday's hands reflected the fiery light even as she danced, spinning so her costume and the orbs gleamed and glimmered. Dante's fire attacks were fierce but, as far as Tuesday's dancing form was concerned, every one of the attacks missed their mark.

Indestructible.
Determination that is incorruptible.
From the other side.
A terror to behold.
Annihilation will be unavoidable.
Every broken enemy will know,
That their opponent had to be invincible.
Take a last look around while you're alive,
I am indestructible. (Indestructible.)


Tuesday tossed the two glass orbs into the air, dancing across the floor in wide, spinning circles as the shards shattered and rained down on her head. The flames bit at the air fiercely and, like everyone in the audience, she could smell the fire.

Ducking down, spinning in a crouched position as she kept moving, never stopping, Tuesday smiled.

Indestructible
Determination that is incorruptible.


Leaping to her feet in a spin, Tuesday twirled, glasses crunching beneath her feet. A hiss behind her and she moved to the left in a sweep that kept with the sharp pounding of the music, rhythmic and hard as it was.

From the other side.
A terror to behold.
Annihilation will be unavoidable.


A snarling hiss, like every warcry he had ever uttered rolled into one, erupted from Dante's throat, cutting across even the music. He'd moved with Tuesday, until he was standing right behind her, facing her back. His lips pulled back, fire dancing in his throat. He saw the seventh glass orb glistening in Tuesday's hand. She spun, crouching, and then rising in the same fluid, shadowing movement, as she tossed the orb straight up, above her head. It glimmered in the light of the fire, and then turned crimson when Dante let loose a Fire Spin.

Every broken enemy will know,
That their opponent had to be invincible.


The flames circled around Tuesday, who had restrained her movements to one small area rather than sweeping across the entire stage. She could feel the heat of the flames burning against her skin through the clothes she wore, but none ever touched her, and the thrill within her burned brighter than eve Dante's blue-raged flames.

Take a last look around while you're alive,

Raging upward in a tornado of flame, the fires never touched Tuesday, but reached up and shattered the final glass orb with a heated kiss, sending crimson shards raining down, glimmering like sharp, defeated tears the whole way.

I'm an indestructible master of war.

Tuesday and Dante continued to move with each other as the music continued to play, the guitar and drum hammering out a beat that cut through shadows and silence. They ended on the last note, spinning to a stop, Tuesday head ducked slightly, in either self-consciousness or deference to Dante's role in the contest, not even she would ever know. Dante ended the song as he had begun it, with a hiss and fire between his teeth, gurgling in his throat.

And then the lights flicked on.

Tuesday pulled the blindfold off to find Dante looking utterly pleased with himself, his chest puffed out that someone had just told him that he was a princling. She smiled in his direction, though his back was to her, and glanced upward.

Another thing to hate about spotlights was that they revealed some things that people would much rather not see. Such as giant crowds of people, surrounding the stage and applauding. Tuesday gave the audience a single sweeping gaze, swallowed sharply, and abruptly fainted.

That was one thing, after all, she hadn't told herself she wouldn't do.

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Living Arrow
post Feb 3 2011, 06:15 PM
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PANE: Darryn Kellor



Darryn watched on in suspended awe as Tuesday went through her Appeal on the wide view screens in the green room. Who knew she had moves like those in her arsenal?! What was more, she was wearing the gladiator outfit that he had given her for her birthday a while before. She’d improvised a little and added some leggings and sleeves under the breastplate, much to Darryn’s chargrin, and had managed to make it much more family-friendly.

“Hey, gorgeous.” Hands placed themselves squarely on Darryn’s hips and hot breath whispered up his neck. He lurched forward with shock and span about to find a disgustingly attractive face smiling suggestively back at him. The face was worthy of every magazine cover in the country – dark curls styled perfectly and ice blue eyes that simply took the breath away.

“T-troy!” Darryn suddenly felt very underdressed and exposed. That was ridiculous, of course. He was clad in black and gold – midnight waistcoat and leather pants with slightly heeled boots all decorated in fine gold embroidery that delicately exaggerated his shoulder lines and narrow waist. No shirt for this Appeal – his arms were bare from shoulder to wrist where gold-strapped gauntlets clung to him and the majority of his chest showed bare under a low-slung vneck in the waistcoat. The choice was clearly one that had come from analysing his success in Arasam. Apparently, for him, sex sold. And also, his fan base was girls in their low teens.

“What? No welcoming hug?” Troy pouted. “So mean.”

“I, uh, my friend is performing and I should be watching before I go out and-… wait… How did you even know I was here?” Darryn raised a suspicious eyebrow.

“In the great words of Miss Gaga herself,” Troy reached out to take Darryn’s hand and opened his mouth in a burst of song, “I’m your biggest fan, I’ll follow you until you love meee.”

Darryn retrieved his hand quickly. “Riiight… Although it would be great to catch up and chat, I’m still going on stage in a minute so I’d better get ready.” At hearing his own words, Darryn’s heart began a hammering thunder of anxiousness that clawed up to his ears in a deafening drone.

“Oh, and I wouldn’t use the routine that you have planned.” Troy suggested lazily as he drank in Darryn and his costume with lusting eyes. “Rio’s not going to score you well with all that… flash.”

Darryn’s skin turned to ice.

“What?”

“You heard me.” Troy sunk down into Darryn’s seat and began dusting his shirt for lint. “Remember how your Appeal went with me and you’ll understand. That sort of Appeal might work on a Hall Leader like Carmen, but not Rio. Subtle is the new black and you’re so last Fall.”

“This can’t be happening.” Darryn stared blankly into space. “All this work and for what?”

“Rio may like his Appeals one way,” Troy went on, turning his attention back to Tuesday on the display screen, “but he likes his battles another. Prove you’re battle worthy and he’s sure to sway the votes.”

“Stop talking!” Darryn threw his hands up to his head where they clasped his hair in scruffy bunches. “I don’t need this right before I go out there in front of all those people!”

“Wrong again.” Troy rose fluidly and his stormcloud eyes were level with Darryn’s in a moment. “You need stress to perform well. Remember how you were feeling back in my Hall? I could see the nerves a mile away and yet that gave you the determination to pull out an amazing Appeal, if too flashy for my tastes, and a great battle, which I would have won if there wasn’t a stupid time limit. The point is, your emotion drove you and now, for some reason, I find you remarkably calm with the driest palms of everyone in this room. You’ve gotten cocky, Darryn. Far too cocky far too soon.”

“What?” Darryn was outstanded. How the hell would Troy know how he was feeling? And cocky? Cocky?!

<He has noticed the effects of your developed Empath abilities, Prince Darryn.> Lady’s voice blossomed from the corner of the room where she had taken residence to view the room with scorn. Now, her chestnut eyes were focused on her master. <Belladonna’s training to control the emotions of others has allowed you to focus your own more easily. It will not make you lifeless, but if you focus on being calm – like you have for the past thirty seven and a half hours – you will expel other emotions in small amounts to achieve it. It’s not a fast change but all that focus has brought it around.>

“I’m only saying this because I know it will help.” Troy sighed, reaching out to stroke down Darryn’s hair back behind his ears. “Take a step back on the stage and put more life into your Pokemon’s performance. Rio will only give you the chance to battle him if you prove yourself to be a true Co-Ordinator.”

Darryn slowly nodded.

<We’re going out with the same Appeal.> Darryn informed Lady after a moment. <Even if Rio doesn’t like flashy moves, we’re more than enough in a battle and I dare him to think that we’re not.>

“Thanks for your advice, Troy, but I’m sure we’ll be OK.” Darryn plucked the Heal Ball off his belt and held it out towards Lady. She bowed her head as the recall beam enveloped her and swooshed back inside without complaint. Darryn slotted the ball into a capsule and placed it at his belt. “And, for the record, I’m not cocky. In fact, I’m so scared it’s a real surprise that there isn’t pee all down my leg and I still have any of my fingernails left. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go vomit on the judges and win that bloody Ribbon.”

[Darryn Kellor to stage right! Darryn Kellor to stage right! Your Appeal is about to begin. Darryn Kellor to stage right!]

“And now, if you’ll excuse me, that’s my call.”

**********


“Aaaand welcome back to the Pokemon Contest Hall here in Petroplis, Furoh! We’ve had some amazing Appeals today but now it’s time to see what our next contestant has to offer! Let’s hear it for, straight from Celadon City in the Kanto region, Darryn Kellor!!!” Gillian swept her arm wide, allowing the camera to pan out across the blackened stage where a single spotlight came on, illuminating the silhouette of a teen Co-Ordinator.

His head turned to the side, flicking hair across his face in a sweeping motion and revealing the microphone headset that curled around to his lips. A ball span in his hand and flew upwards with a flick of his wrist.

“November, the stages is yours!”

Darryn and November's Appeal (click to show)


“And will you look at that!!?!??” Gillian’s voice, loud and clear though it was, could never be enough to distract the onlookers from the sight they were seeing. Every single flame that November had placed on the stage, still creating a tendril of steam from the water used in the dance, erupted upwards into a forest of flaming pillars that climbed skyward in an instant and exploded overhead in a shower of dazzling fireworks. Together, Co-Ordinator and Appeal entry remained unmoving in their finishing pose, sparks and embers falling all around them in a cascade of coloured light.

“Although the technique has been on Furoh soil for only a few short months, Darryn Kellor and November have mastered it to perfection! Just looks at those flames! Wow! I think the judges really have their work cut out for today’s scores. Stay tuned for more amazing Appeals here in Petropolis!”


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Tymid
post Mar 12 2011, 08:22 PM
Post #19


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The Pack



Rio slowly reached up a hand, allowing his eyes to show momentarily from behind his mirror lensed glasses, as she and Dante took the field. As he gazed upon them before their act began, he took note of the blindfold that was wrapped around Tuesday's head. A tiny smile fell upon his lips, and he casually leaned back in his chair, folding his arms across his chest. This was either going to be really good, or really miserable.

As he watched the flashy, yet skillful exchange between trainer and poke'mon, Rio's head tilted slowly to the side. It was certainly a unique take on the whole process, something that he hadn't seen before. The lyrics fit well with the fluid way that Tuesday and Dante moved together, and Rio found himself being mildly impressed by the effort that the two of them had put into this routine. Somehow, even though the trainer was just as involved as the poke'mon was, the addition of the blindfold seemed to accentuate the beauty of the fire lizard. The amount of trust involved in the routine was staggering, and as the tantric dance went on, Rio found himself slowly leaning forward in his chair, the almost sensual movement causing him to be slightly enraptured in the performance.

However, like all good things, the performance ended, and the lights flashed back on. Rio moved his hand to his temple, rubbing it slightly, as though it were a mental palatte cleanser. He nodded curtly towards the stage, as though giving Tuesday and Dante a small nod of approval. His timing was unfortunate, however, as Tuesday collapsed mere moments after she removed her blindfold. As her poke'mon rushed to her aid, Rio leaned further back into his chair, his hand now stroking his chin. It was obvious that the routine had been impressive, mainly due to the amount of trust involved between trainer and poke'mon, but he couldn't help but wonder if it had only been coordinated due to the trainer's weakness? Had the whole thing been a ruse to combat stage fright? A haze of doubt crossed his mind, paired with a slight disappointment.

He shook his head. The motive of the trainer was immaterial. Both trainer and poke'mon had shown a truly breathtaking performance, and as he watched Dante following Tuesday's body being carried off by two stage hands, he smirked. This would be a challenging decision indeed.

Rio watched with a stone-faced composure as the next contestant appeared on stage; Darryn Kellor. As Rio thumbed through the papers in front of him to find Darryn's entry form, he idly looked up at the teen, who seemed to have an air of confidence about him. Confidence was admirable. As the Hall Leader peered down at Darryn's form, he saw why; this lad was already a contest winner. Rio leaned back into his chair once again, crossing his arms. In the past, he had seen previous contest winners become too cocky after a win. Then again, some took the win and ran with it. Rio was eager to see what Mr. Kellor would bring to the table.

As Darryn sent forth his Rapidash, Rio could tell by the confidence that the magnificent creature exuded that this was going to be a good performance. Right on cue, November began a flourish of beautiful and skillfull moves, that fit well with Darryn's singing and the overall mood of the dance. It was a well executed routine, and Rio nodded accordingly. However, it was very...flashy. There was almost too much movement on stage, and that certainly was a turn-off for the Hall Leader. As the performance neared its end, Rio found himself only mildly impressed. For many, the performance was immaculate, especially the final move which left the crowd roaring in approval. Looking down at his judge compatriots, they also seemed wowed. However, Rio was a bit overwhelmed by the business and forthrightness of the performance.

Darryn and November were followed offstage by the deafening cheering of the crowd, and Rio's tiny smile showed itself. The performance definitely deserved a decent grade for sheer coordination and execution, but it was up to the other judges to see if he'd make it through. It was going to be close.

A few more performances followed, and while a couple mildly stood out (namely the Appeal of a fellow named Tyson), there was no doubt in Rio's mind who he wanted to go through once the last Co-Ordinator made his exit. Looking across to the other judges, he nodded, signaling that he was ready to score.

Only a brief wait stood between a crushing defeat and hope for a ribbon. Tension was already beginning to mount in the audience; what could possibly happen?

~********~


After a short time, the judges returned to their seats, the silence of the audience following them. Rio, in particular, had a rather disgruntled look on his face, but the other three seemed eager and ready to announce the results. Rio passed a slip of paper over to Gillian, who peered at it closely for a few moments, before allowing an exaggerated look of surprise to cross her pretty face. The crowd gasped appropriately.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, you are NOT going to believe this! I have never seen results like this at any contest I have ever attended, and I've attended a few! This just goes to show the calibur of competitors we have seen today, folks! Let's give them all another big round of applause!"

The crowd roared, anticipation thick in the air.

"You are not going to believe this, folks! Today, we have...not one, not two, not three, but FOUR contestants moving on to the final round! Yes, FOUR! I have never seen anything like this! You can bet that the battle for a ribbon will go down in the record books! And now, without further ado...let's hear the scores! Judges, take it away!"

The crowd roared once more, and Mr. Contesta was the first to stand, smiling and waving, trying to calm the roaring crowd.

"Yes, yes indeed, we had a very tough decision today! In all of my years of judging, I have yet to see such competitive and heartfelt competition! I shall now give my score for the first advancing contestant! My score was...9!

The crowd cheered, and as Nurse Joy rose to her feet, she waved down the commotion. "Yes, I have but to agree! The decision was quite difficult, but I also gave the first advancing contestant a 9!"

As she sat down, Mr. Suziko rose to his feet. "My, my! What a lovely show of poke'mon! My score for our first contestant is 10!"

The crowd went wild once again, but fell silent as soon as Rio rose to his feet. His intimidating appearance only caused the tension in the room to grow, and the silence to become deafening.

"10." he stated shortly, before sitting back down as the crowd both gasped and cheered at the shocking announcement.

"There you have it, folks!" Gillian cried, enciting the crowd into a fever pitch. "An amazing score of 38 for our first advancing contestant, Tyron Jildare!"

Tyron stepped forward and lifted a hand toward the roaring crowd. He shot a look to Darryn, one that was only noticable between the two of them, and returned to where he was standing amidst the competitors.

The next score was a 36 for Shalim Lithilliq, and she stepped forward and curtsied, a broad smile on her face. The crowd was obviously eager for the last two, as the deafening roar grew louder with each and every score announced. As Mr. Contesta rose to his feet to announce his score, the crowd quieted almost instantly.

"6!"

The crowd murmured amongst themselves. That usually wasn't a winning score. Nurse Joy was next.

"10!"

The crowd's murmuring grew louder. Such a vast difference...Mr. Suziko rose to his feet.

"10!"

A dull roar was growing amidst the crowd...26 was the current score. So that meant that Rio...

"9."

Rio's eyes darted to Tuesday, though it couldn't really be seen through the mirrored glasses. Despite his doubt, she had shown him something that he had rarely seen. She deserved a chance.

"With a score of 35, our next advancing contestant iiiiiiiiiiis...Tuesday Berdison!"

The crowd screamed wildly for a moment, then fell silent as soon as Mr. Contesta rose to his feet. This was the last one.

"10!"

Nurse Joy's score came next, and she cried out:

"10!"

Lastly, Mr. Suziko's score was a:

"10!"

The crowd was roaring wildly. Would this be a perfect score? Rio rose to his feet, a look of mild distaste on his face.

"5."

The room fell quiet. Rio had taken a perfect score and turned it into one that was barely advancing. As he sat back down, the room murmured quietly amongst themselves. However, as Gillian cleared her throat into the microphone, the crowd grew raptly attentive to her.

"Our last advancing contestant iiiiiiiis...Darryn Kellor! Let's give a round of applause to our fine competitors, ladies and gentlemen! Stay tuned to see who wins the prized contest ribbon!"

The crowd roared with excitement, and as Rio looked at the competitors on stage, he witnessed the sad faces of those who didn't make it. He wondered if their poke'mon could have held up in the Battle portion of the contest. Another reason why he didn't understand the Appeal process...but what was done, was done.


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Draggies! 8D[/align][align=center][/align][spoiler=Credits!][align=center]Credit for CURRENT signatures: Paparazzi, Samoosian, Darcy Wing, TeeHeeDaruma.
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Living Arrow
post Mar 20 2011, 02:42 PM
Post #20


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PANE: Darryn Kellor



His brow, shimmering with a gleam of sweat that stemmed not only from November’s intense flames but also from the weight of nervousness hanging from his shoulders, was hastily wiped dry as Darryn hurried backstage. His Rapidash followed with her head head high with pride and more than just a spring in her step.

“Wow, Daz! That was awesome!” Shalim squealed, hitting him a high-five. “Cleo’s gonna be so proud of you!”

“Heh, you think?” Darryn, inspite of himself, blushed deeply. “We’ve been working on that dance for ages – since even before November evolved. I just hope the scores show that.”

“They totally will! And stop trying to fish for compliments!” Shalim slapped Darryn’s arm. “You know it was good!”

“But too flashy.” Troy was with them in an instant. His icy blue eyes were focused and hard. “You could have listened to me, but no. A flashy spectacle like that may be really ‘pretty’ and seem rather ‘showbiz’ but Rio will see right through it. Don’t get me wrong – it was perfect if Carmen was judging you and maybe even Diana but he won’t think so.”

“And who the hell are you, exactly?” Shalim raised an angry eyebrow and folded her arms tightly, he pom-poms swishing at her hips.

Troy’s gaze transferred so quickly to her that Darryn missed it even without blinking.

“Troy of Arasam. Hall Leader. Pleased to meet you.”

Shalim’s usually dark complexion paled rapidly.

“Um… Well, I, Um…”

“Don’t worry about it, Shar.” Darryn tried to edge a little between them. “Troy’s only looking out for me. I understand what he’s saying and I totally respect that he knows way more about all this Co-Ordinator stuff than me but I think he’ll agree that if I stopped doing what I do best, I’m bound to fall on my face.” Troy’s face softened. “And, no matter what or who I’m up against in a Hall like this, I’ll stay true to my Pokemon and myself.”

“Damn, I want to kiss your mouth.” Troy sighed.

“You want to what!?” Shalim’s eyes went wide. “You two!? Seriously?!”

Their conversation was interrupted as the crowd on the other side of the curtains began to roar with applause and cheering, Gillian Meridian’s voice ringing clear above the noise.

“...not one, not two, not three, but FOUR contestants moving on to the final round! Yes, FOUR!”

Silence hit the green room instantly and all sets of eyes turned upwards to the viewing screens showing the Contest Announcer’s beaming face as she stood motionless centrestage. The Co-Ordinators, caught up in the rapture of the tension that their host was creating all seemed to throb silently, their Emotaglows bouncing off Darryn like waves lapping quietly along a sandy shoreline. He ignored them as best he could and focused instead on the results that the judges began giving.

The first to go through was a young man called Tyron Jildare.

“I know that name…” Darryn muttered to himself as a blonde-haired kid punched the air with a massive grin on his face. The score he had received had been near perfect – clearly a talented Co-Ordinator… Darryn watched as Tyron ran out onto the stage, as was customary, and waved to the crowd, his Chikorita mimicking with her leaf. Then, rather pointedly, the boy looked back and glared at Darryn.

“Woah.” Darryn breathed, taken aback somewhat by the triumph in the Emotaglow that had been shot at him. Triumph, envy, loathing. What was that guy thinking? And who was he? Darryn knew he recognised that face but from where…

Then, it was Shalim’s turn.

“Shut! UP!” Shalim screamed, punching Darryn in the arm and launched herself at the stage, hurrying to the centre and curtseying neatly to the onlookers, her Roserade bowing deeply beside her.

Darryn chewed furiously at the inside of his cheeks. Two out of four had been announced. Halfway. He wracked his brain, trying to remember how the crowd had responded to the other contestants, how well they had performed. If any had been better than him… And then Tuesday’s name was announced. Darryn’s eyes widened.

Since passing out on stage, Tuesday had been moved gently to the side of the stage where she had been made comfortable, given water and coaxed back to consciousness. Now, she sat in silence with Dante, ever watchful, an inch away from her in case she fainted again. There was a definite sway when her name was announced and she looked absolutely ready to vomit. She had managed amazingly well, considering her naturally timid demeanour. Darryn was rather envious that she had come such a long way in the time he had known her. Had he changed similarly? Had he changed for the better?

Only one placed remained. Darryn felt sick. Contests were not like Gym Battles. If he failed now, he’d have to wait until the next one was arranged and who knew when that would be? And what was to say he’d even get to the Battle Round even after more training? His first Ribbon may have been a fluke… Or maybe Troy had deliberately thrown the match just to keep him happy? Maybe he had performed badly this time around and-

“DARRYN KELLOR!”

“YES!” Darryn clenched his fists tightly and snatched at calm and decorum, waving to the crowd as he joined Tyron and Shalim at the front of the stage (Tuesday was still too shaky to stand, let alone walk). Completely ignored, Troy was left behind the curtains backstage with a dumbfounded Magikarp expression decorating his beautiful face. The flash of a thousand cameras dazzled their eyes as they beamed at the cheering crowds, waving to the many smiling faces looking back at them.

“Daaarryyyn!” Lyla waved an arm overhead while holding her video camera steady in the other. He waved back at her pointing to the side of the stage where Tuesday sat, getting his cousin to aim the camera her way. Lyla hastily turned that way and started shouting for the smaller girl’s attention.

“We did it, huh?” Shalim squeezed Darryn’s hand as they began to walk off the stage and prepare for the next round. “But we’ve still got the best bit to come. You know why I’m here, right? In the Furoh region?”

Darryn turned to her and frowned. “Why?”

“A whole bunch of new Pokemon have come to the region from a place called Unova. I’ve been sent as an envoy to capture some new Grass-types and take them home to Erika where we can study and train them at the Gym. These Contests are… just a bit of fun for me.” Shalim explained, brandishing two Pokeballs under Darryn’s nose.

“Just a bit of fun?” Darryn’s eyebrows rose. “But you were amazing.”

“And you forget just what sort of trainer I am.” Shalim waggled a finger. “I’ve been trained professionally by a Gym Leader – it’s the Battle Round where I’m really going to shine.”

“But these battles are different.” Darryn protested. “Points are just as important as strategy and-”

“And what’s wrong with a double KO strategy?” Shalim dared him. “Twenty poké says I’ll knocked out both opponents before the end of the time limit.”

Darryn was impressed. It seemed Shalim, despite her traditional training knew more than just the basics about Co-Ordinating and it wasn’t even her chosen profession. Not only that, but she had brand new Pokemon to surprise her opponents. A Ribbon didn’t seem so out of reach for a girl like her… But for Darryn?

“You’re on.” Darryn winked. “I’m gonna prepare now and check on my friend, Tuesday. But you can count on me to be in the front row for your battle.”

“You better be.” Shalim clapped him on the shoulder. “We’re both getting Ribbons today – you’ll see.”

Darryn forced a smile back. He hoped so.


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