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-   -   The Starline Waterfall Observatory and Aquarium (http://forums.upnetwork.net/showthread.php?t=8148)

Sandaa 05-29-2017 11:33 PM

The Starline Waterfall Observatory and Aquarium
In the Starline Waterfall area of the Cloud Garden, a large oak tree rests just upstream of the gigantic falls itself. Beside the tree is a smaller waterfall that flows into the main stream, where the tree is supported by a cliff. Atop the tree is a secret base, accessible by a ladder made out of vines along the tree’s trunk. This is the secret base of an aspiring Pokemon trainer named Gary.

The base is entrenched within the branches of this large oak tree, and an observation deck allows visitors to have a breathtaking view from above not only the Starline Waterfall, but the rest of the Cloud Garden below. Inside the base is Gary’s own personal aquarium which doubles as both a home for all of Gary’s aquatic Pokemon as well a place to practice scuba diving and study marine biology. Additionally, a furnished living room, kitchen, guest room, and master bedroom completes Gary’s home away from home, providing rest when he isn’t off on his travels.


Sandaa 05-29-2017 11:34 PM


Sandaa 05-29-2017 11:35 PM

Reserved ~

Sandaa 05-29-2017 11:35 PM

Birthday Calendar:

2 - Pyukumuku
12 - Sneasel
17 - Remoraid
19 - Alomomola
23 - Krabby
29 - Murkrow
30 - Amaura

2 - Goldeen
9 - Shellder
16 - Happiny
19 - Tentacool
26 - Tirtouga

13 - Slowpoke
22 - Turtwig
27 - Chinchou

1 - Psyduck
6 - Togepi
17 - Eevee

12 - Wailmer

7 - Tauros
12 - Feebas
19 - Larvitar
29 - Bulbasaur

13 - Aipom
19 - Tropius
22 - Mareep
30 - Riolu

9 - Cyndaquil
17 - Nincada
29 - Houndour

4 - Mantyke
30 - Trapinch

3 - Charmander
15 - Smeargle

5 - Cacnea
11 - Qwilfish
14 - Phanpy
21 - Turtonator
23 - Pawniard

1 - Squirtle
6 - Totodile
10 - Tynamo
12 - Magikarp
17 - Horsea
19 - Spheal
24 - Stantler
25 - Lapras
29 - Dratini
30 - Skrelp

Sandaa 05-30-2017 12:01 AM

Gary was back in familiar territory, and it felt like he had never left. There was a high level of comfortability being in the heart of the Cloud Garden, a place he practically called home. Once everything was dusted off and scrubbed clean, he called upon his Pokemon friends to reacquaint themselves with their former lair. A myriad of light filled the room as close to twenty Pokemon were released from their Pokeballs.

There were the Fire types, Typhu the Typhlosion, Flare the Houndoom, and Ramoth the Charizard who lounged around the living room. The Grass types Thorn the Cacturne, Venu the Ivysaur, Terra the Turtwig, and Coco the Tropius who gathered around the large tree trunk in the atrium. Amph the Ampharos and Rena the Stantler took some of the smaller Pokemon like Espy the Espeon, Tyrant the Larvitar, Buru the Smeargle, and Lynxa the Sneasel with them to relax in the bedroom. Shuri the Ninjask flew off to speed around the observatory and Scurvy the Aipom began to swing around the branches literally everywhere.

The final Pokemon to get situated were the myriad of Water types on Gary’s team. Kratos the Golduck and Raphael the Blastoise laid down to soak in the fountain. To finish things off, Devine the Kingdra and Aero the Mantine appeared in the aquarium, happy to swim around freely. Last but not least was Gary’s newest addition, Pickle the baby Pyukumuku, who sloshed along the sandy bottom of the tank. Gary stretched his arms above his head, happy to see all of his Pokemon enjoying themselves, and sat down at the computer to check his email.

Sandaa 06-23-2017 03:03 AM

“Hey guys, I’m back!” Gary announced as he shuffled in through the door of his secret base. His arms were filled with bags of groceries, which he carried over to the kitchen. Looking up from the kitchen table, he noticed some of his resident Pokemon had come over to greet him, including Amph and Espy, while some of the others paid little heed and carried on with their afternoon naps. He smiled as he watched a large Tropius named Coco crane his long neck through the doorway and shuffle inside, his body just barely able to not destroy the door frame. “Thanks for the lift, buddy,” Gary called out to his leafy dinosaur.

Gary then scratched Amph on the chin as she finished helping put the groceries away and pat Espy on the head. “So, I’ve got three new companions who will join us on our journies,” Gary continued, holding out three Pokeballs. “They’re all water types, but something tells me they’ll feel right at home here.” He walked over to the large living room, furnished with a massive state of the art aquarium and giant circular fountain. Raphael the Blastoise was already relaxing in the fountain, keeping his body partially submerged. In the aquarium, Aero the Mantine and Devine the Kingdra swam around happily while Pickle the Pyukumuku squished around in the sand at the bottom.

“Why don’t you guys introduce yourselves?” Gary grinned, tossing the Pokeballs one at a time. First to appear was a very young Slowpoke, who appeared in the fountain. “That’s Pokey Junior, but we can call him Pokey for short, just like his dad. His old man was one of my best friends growing up in Johto!” Amph watched on as the Slowpoke acted quite unlike his species’ general disposition and began scuffling around the fountain, albeit at a slow pace. Raphael had a look of annoyance as Pokey Jr began to climb his shell. “He looks like he’s got a pretty curious personality, so I’m counting on you guys to make sure he stays out of trouble!”

The next two Pokeballs popped open, revealing two fish-like Pokemon that appeared inside the aquarium. First was an Alomomola, who immediately began to introduce himself to Aero as he swam over. “That’s Sensei. I’ve got a kindred feeling with him that loves to take care of marine species in need.” Sensei nodded in agreement and swam over to introduce himself to Devine while a small Chinchou appeared near the bottom. The anglerfish quietly swam underneath a rock formation, not to hide, but rather to get out from being the center of attention. “Finally, that’s Apollo. He’s a bit quiet, but once you get to know him, I think he’ll really shine.”

Gary chuckled at his own pun, but the rest of his Pokemon pretended to not notice and went back to doing their own thing. Now that introductions were over, Gary walked over to his desk and booted up his computer to check some emails. However, as the time passed, he couldn’t help but glance over at the new additions to his team and type in some of their behavioral patterns into his observation log of marine species.

Patches 06-26-2017 06:07 PM

“Come on, Sir Tibs! We have to save that damsel in distress!” Patches shouts back to her Sneasel once she realizes she had created quite a bit of distance between them by running ahead. “Snea snea snea!! Sneaaaasel!” Sir Tibs, who is currently sitting on top of his mighty steed, is trying to encourage his ride to move forward. Unfortunately, his “mighty steed” isn’t a steed at all and Momo is not very thrilled with being sat on. Usually, Momo is the “damsel” in distress but today Sir Tibs needed a mighty steed since he found his damsel elsewhere.

“Are you two coming or what!?” Patches is so excited she is having a hard time waiting for her Pokemon to catch up. She reaches into her pocket and pulls out the note that a mysterious Vaporeon had given her and holds it up in the air. “Sir Tiiiiibs!! That Vaporeon really needs us right now!” She says while grinning wide, knowing that her Sneasel can’t resist heroic deeds. “SNEA!” Sir Tibs can’t wait anymore, he has been firmly planted in the same spot for far too long so he kicks Momo’s sides with his heels to spur him forward. “EE!?” Momo looks back at Sir Tibs shocked, he can’t believe he was just kicked. Sir Tibs is getting very impatient now and kicks again, now Momo shoots Sir Tibs a glare. Fine, if that is what Sir Tibs wants, then that is what he shall get. Momo takes off and zips past Patches, she stands there completely shocked for a moment. “Momo knows how to run!? I never knew...”

Momo does his best to make this ride as unenjoyable as possible for Sir Tibs. Making sure to run under any low bushes he sees and also pausing to buck around occasionally. It’s not long before Sir Tibs is thrown off and is now just holding onto Momo’s tail as he continues to run. Until suddenly, Momo stops dead in his tracks, the momentum causing Sir Tibs to let go and tumble forward, smacking into a… Door? Momo collapses on the spot, that was probably more exercise than he has ever had in his entire life combined. Sir Tibs immediately stands back up, he has leaves and branches sticking out in multiple places but that doesn’t stop him from puffing out his chest and standing with perfect posture. Patches, who wasn’t too far behind, finishes running across a nearby bridge and looks at her Pokemon with a smile. “We’re here!!!” She reaches down and picks up Momo, cradling him in her arms. Now that everyone is here, Sir Tibs steps forward and knocks on the door.

morningstar 06-26-2017 06:18 PM

The loud crashing of water signaled that she had found the right place. Probably. It was dark. Though Athena had a small flashlight, Eclair had lead most the way, more accustomed to seeing in the dark.

It had taken hours of consideration for the new Trainer to finally make her way out here. Initially upon receiving the letter (from a particularly rude Rowlet), she was intrigued. Mysterious encounters, great calamities, this was everything she had hoped for when setting out on her journey. At the same time, she could not help but be skeptical. What place did she have in this world to be receiving such a letter? She had barely met another soul since her arrival in Fizzby, aside from the few shopkeepers she had come in contact with. It wasn't even addressed to her by name, maybe the crazy bird had gotten the wrong person.

Silvertongue. That's what brought her back again. It rang true, she was one to skillfully talk her way out of things. It had come in handy, charming herself out of trouble as a child both with her parents and schoolteachers. When she worked at Laverre Cafe, she was often called upon to deal with upset customers. Eclair had fit right in with the description as well, her cute face had won Athena over far too many times, only for that mischievous smile to reveal the Pokemon had gotten her way. Still, she was confused as to how anyone knew this much about her to call her out like this. Doubt resurfaced as she wondered if it was just some kind of scam. She had heard of companies seeking out naïve trainers with fancy words, then trying to trap them into buying something.

Her curiosity ultimately won, and now she found herself standing at the foot of Starline Waterfall. Moonlight reflected off the water and provided enough illumination that the flashlight seemed unnecessary. Athena flicked it off and returned it to her bag, taking out the well-crafted letter she had received earlier that day. She traced a finger over the printed Seviper, admiring how it's silver tongue glittered.

"Maw." Eclair tugged lightly on Athena's skirt to get her attention. Still lost in thought, the girl responded with just a "Hm?"

"Hey!" The Mawile had snatched the letter out of Athena's hand, and held it away from her trainer as she tried to get it back. Her Pokemon pointed up at something Athena obviously had not noticed. The two were standing right in front of a ladder, leading up to a treehouse. "Oh. Sorry. Is this where we're supposed to be...?"

She retrieved the letter from Eclair, but not before being forced to play keep-away for a few more seconds. "Meet at the Starline Falls at midnight...." she read. "That's all it says..."

She reached out to grab a rung of the ladder, contemplating. It seemed like an ideal meeting place, but there was no one else around. But she was done hesitating, this wasn't like her, and yet she wasn't sure why she felt a twinge of fear as she ascended, Eclair close behind. As she pulled herself up to the platform, her and her Pokemon faced a wooden door. Eclair pantomimed a knocking motion, and looked at her trainer questioningly. Athena shrugged, it was worth a shot. Slowly, she brought a clasped fist up to the door, and gave three firm knocks.

deoxys 06-26-2017 09:04 PM

It was dark. Sometime after midnight, to be precise. Hiero wasn't exactly sure how long he had been staking out the area, but it had been at least several hours now. The branches of the tall tree overlooking the cascade that he had been sitting in began to grow enormously uncomfortable, but he remained patient regardless.

Starline Waterfalls was indeed a beautiful part of the Cloud Garden, an area Hiero was not supposed to be privy to without having first defeated two of the area's trials. He had seen some of the park rangers on their routine nightly security checks, making sure trainers like himself were staying out of trouble and out of the zoned-off areas of the mountain. Normally he wouldn't do something like this, but tonight was different. Hiero pulled the card he had received out out of his pocket and looked at it once more. One side depicted Johto's Phoenix deity Ho-Oh, and the other side depicted a mysterious Pokemon that appeared to be made of pure shadow. Shadow, that's right... "Mr. Shadow".

He wasn't even certain that this invitation was meant for him, if that's what it indeed was. Hiero didn't really know many people, and in a lot of ways, he was more comfortable keeping it that way - nearly a decade spent secluded in snowy mountains tends to do that to a person. And yet, this letter, this "Mr. Shadow", and the mysterious card, it all piqued his curiosity just enough that Hiero could sense an adventure brewing. At the same time, he needed to be careful. He had no idea where this could have come from, or who could have sent it. Caution was the best plan of action here, which meant a stakeout to see who - or what - would show up.

Suddenly, there was a distant talking. He couldn't make out what was being said, but whoever it was was not being subtle in the least... and if they didn't have their trial passes handy, "well, have fun when one of the rangers inevitably catches you," Hiero thought. He rotated himself on the branch and looked behind him. There was someone running across one of the bridges with Pokemon in tow, making a beeline for what appeared to be some sort of tree house. It was easier to see at night, surprisingly, as the structure had completely evaded Hiero's attention while the sun was still up. Hiero hoped for her sake that she lived there, because he had almost no doubt that she had most likely attracted the attention of every park ranger in the vicinity.

Just then, something else caught his gaze out of the corner of his eye. No, someone else. He could only just barely see her in the distance, as she was obscured by several trees, but what he did notice was that not only did she, too, have a Pokemon with her, but more importantly, she appeared to be holding a letter. Hiero recoiled slightly and squinted his eyes. Perhaps this wasn't a trap after all - but who was bringing trainers out to the Starline Falls in the middle of the night, and why?

For the first time in hours, he stood, and pressed his palm against the trunk of the tree. Hiero looked down at his card once more and traced his eyes across the design of the mythical Pokemon. "Mr. Shadow, huh?"

He pocketed the card and began his descent down the side of the tree. It was time to find out exactly what this was all about.

134 06-27-2017 10:10 AM

A gathering of people; just as planned. Things so rarely went as planned. How delightful! It was hard to contain oneself, watching three shadows descend upon the porch of number four. Could he hear the commotion? Best to meet them before he became too aware.

The sounds of wings broke the silence -- or they would have, were there silence to be had. Rather, the sound of wings were drown out by quite the commotion. On the back of a great bird whose feathers glittered like stars themselves, the fifth, the orchestrator, swooped down, leaping from the mount and landing on the deck with a dull thud. Rising to a standing position, the figure held out one arm for the great ave to perch upon, her talons pricking the delicate flesh of a forearm.

"I'm so glad you got my letters."

In the dim moonlight, it became apparent that this wasn't the shadowy entity one might expect from such a clandestine affair; clad in a tropical shirt and cargo shorts, the trainer did not look the type to send out such a mysterious set of calling cards. In fact, with choppy hair and thick glasses, one might expect to see the bird keeper not in a secretive midnight meeting, but in a book club or knitting circle. Moreover, the face was familiar to everyone present.

It was the Adoption Center manager.

Sandaa 06-27-2017 11:18 PM

There were a series of knocks at the door. Gary looked at the clock on the corner of his computer screen. 12:06 AM. He then glanced over at the hallway to the entrance and then back at a letter that sat open on his desk. “Expect visitors,” it said. Gary scratched the back of his head, mumbling to himself, “Expect visitors? It didn’t say anything about them coming this late!” In fact, it didn’t say when these supposed visitors would come at all. Getting up from his desk chair, Gary walked over to the window where he peered through the blinds to make out who it was. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t turn on his porch lights, so all he could see were four silhouettes. Unexpectedly, he could hear the sound of the door opening in the hallway, causing him to jerk his head backwards. “What?!”

The four visitors stood out on the wooden porch atop the tree to Gary’s base patiently. The doorknob suddenly turned as the door creaked open slowly. Light from inside the base poured out, and as the door opened wider and wider, the visitors were suddenly face to face with a tall Ampharos standing in the doorway. “Ro?” she greeted, sleepy-eyed. Her tail swished back and forth, the pink ribbon tied in a bow around the tip swaying to and fro. The Ampharos smiled warmly before turning around to show the guests in. A couple of musical mats jingled under her feet as she passed over them.

“Amph! Don’t just let strangers in the house!” Gary called out from around the corner before hurrying over to see who it was. Peering into the hallway, Gary scanned the visitors up and down. Two girls and a boy he didn’t recognize until he found a familiar face. “Oh! Hi Tate, I guess you were the one who sent the letter? Well, you guys better come inside.”

As the group filed in through the narrow hallway, Gary led them to a large room to the right that featured his kitchen, a large square table where everyone could sit down and talk, a slide in the back, and a large tree trunk that came through the floor. An Aipom sat on one of the branches stemming off from the trunk with a mischievous grin on his face and a Ninjask firmly clung to the trunk. Meanwhile, an Ivysaur and Turtwig lay asleep while nestled up between a potted tree and a large Venusaur plushie against a wall. The Ampharos patiently waited for everyone to enter the room and then followed in after them.

Patches 06-28-2017 09:13 AM

Patches is leaning with her forehead against the door impatiently waiting for it to open, suddenly someone knocks on her back. Well I guess it is really dark, so whoever it is must have mistaken her for being the door. She spins around curiously and is now face to face with a girl she had never met before. She gets excited and smiles wide, opening her mouth preparing to introduce herself, but she is distracted once another figure comes out of nowhere landing behind the girl. Unlike most people who would probably be frightened, she is just curious because the figure looks like a person. She walks around the girl in order to get a better look but once again her train of thought is cut off, this time by a person jumping off of a bird and landing onto the deck. The darkness didn’t stop her from knowing exactly who the latest arrival is, she would recognize that clothing anywhere. She listens as Tate proceeds to say that they were the one who had sent her the letter and apparently everyone else had received one too. “Hmph.” Sir Tibs is not impressed and is now a bit annoyed with Patches. He wasn’t there when the letter arrived but was told that it was dropped off by a damsel in distress and from what he can tell, this person doesn’t fit the description.

Suddenly, the door pops open and light floods out revealing a silhouette of an Ampharos in the doorway. “Oh! I have my ticket right here!” Patches reaches into her pocket and once again pulls out the letter she had been given. It is mostly crumpled up at this point but it’s still clear there is a picture of a white egg with red and blue triangles on it. She puts the letter into Ampharos’ hand and then proceeds to enter the home. She is greeted by another unfamiliar face which just makes this all the more exciting for Patches since meeting new people is one of her favorite things. After following him into the kitchen she finally turns around in order to get a good look at everyone, she is surprised when she realizes there is another familiar face amongst them. “H-Hiero!? Is that really you!?” She can hardly believe her eyes. It had been so long and they had grown so much older that she wasn’t completely sure whether or not it really was one of her old friends. But, she didn’t want to be rude to the other two whom she definitely knows she hadn’t met before and also needed to say hello to Tate so she turns her attention back to everyone else. That is when she notices a slide in the back of the room and her priorities have now shifted. “Alright, so I need to do this quick! Here, take Momo!” She quickly shoves her Eevee into the nearest persons arms in order to free up her own, this person being the girl she had never even met before. Now that her arms are free she throws them up in the air and gives one of her famous smiles. “Nice to meet you everyone!! My name is Cardia Spade! You can either call me Cardia or by my nickname, Patches! I’m happy we are all best friends now!” and with that she begins to run over to the slide. She goes down it a few times before proceeding over to the table.

morningstar 06-28-2017 01:10 PM

Athena immediately pulled her hand back in shock as she realized she had knocked on a human being. The person turned, looking surprised before a grin spread across her face. Athena immediately noticed the fluffy Pokemon in her arms.

“Oh! I’m so sorry,” She started to apologize. The sound of wings interrupted the girl before she could reply. Athena and Éclair both turned, the Mawile opening the mouth on the back of her head defensively. A large bird Pokemon swooped by the treehouse, partially blocking the moonlight. A figure jumped from the Pokemon, and skillfully landed in front of the two girls. Athena squinted in the dim lighting to try to see this new arrival more clearly. The person’s bright and flowery shirt stood out clearly against the dark surroundings. She had seen this person before, in fact, just the other day when she had adopted her Snubbull, Choux.

“I’m so glad you got my letters.” The Adoption Center manager said as their bird Pokemon landed on an outstretched arm. Athena, baffled, could only stare wordlessly. Although she was relieved she was in the right place, she still had no idea what she was getting into. The three trainers’ attention was drawn to the door as it creaked open. A large yellow Pokemon stood in the door, looking happy to have visitors. The other girl seemed to know what she was doing, as she pulled out her crumpled up letter and placed it in the Ampharos’ hands before heading into the base. Athena looked inside as she heard a voice scolding the friendly Electric-type for opening up the door. The trainer looked confused at the group of visitors at his door, but welcomed them in after acknowledging the person he called Tate. Athena looked down at the card still in her hand, then followed suit, handing it to Ampharos. The Pokemon seemed to be the type to just go with it. Éclair, who had relaxed after confirming they weren’t going to be attacked by the bird on Tate’s arm, followed behind her trainer.

Athena looked down at her feet as the mats in the entryway let out a short tune. Éclair playfully jumped up and down on the last one a couple times before continuing into the next room. Athena looked around the base with passive interest, noticing the many Pokemon that likely belonged to the trainer who had welcomed them in. She heard footsteps behind her and realized she and Éclair were blocking the entryway. She looked behind her, blonde and lavender hair gently sliding off her shoulders. Tate and the base owner were behind her, as well as another person she hadn’t seen come in. She moved out of the way to let them in, and the girl who had come in before her excitedly greeted the newcomer with familiarity. Athena’s heart dropped, these people knew each other, and she knew no one. Had she really gotten this letter by mistake? Suddenly, something soft and fluffy was shoved into her arms by the girl who had just announced herself as Cardia. She looked down to meet the eyes of Cardia’s Eevee, immediately enamored with his large black eyes and little paws. She scratched the Pokemon under his chin and cooed, unable to help herself in the presence of such a cute creature. As Cardia played on the slide, Athena took a seat at the table. Éclair stood next to her, giving the Eevee a jealous look.

“Well if we’re all introducing ourselves,” Athena spoke up. She wasn’t even sure if she was supposed to be here, but she figured someone would have said something by now. Once they got introductions out of the way, she would finally be able to get some answers. “I’m Athena. It’s nice to meet you.”

deoxys 06-29-2017 09:52 AM

"The Adoption Center manager...?" Hiero thought questioningly. "Why would the Adoption Center manager have summoned me, and do address me as 'Mr. Shadow'? This doesn't make any sense." Hiero stepped back as the door slowly opened, revealing a puzzled-looking Ampharos in the doorway. Was whoever lived here even prepared for this?

"H-Hiero!? Is that really you!?" A voice rang out as the light from inside pierced through the darkness of the night and scattered across Hiero's face. He recognized this voice; it was the voice of the girl who had been running across the bridge earlier. Hiero turned to face her, shocked at having heard someone address him by name. Confusion overwhelmed him and he was unable to find the words to say in response, his body language becoming somewhat awkward. The girl must have taken notice to this, as she then proceeded to address the others in the group. Hiero's demeanor started to change, reflecting his protracted realization. "...Patches? Cardia? Is that...?" Before he could conclude his sentence, the trainer shoved her Eevee into the other girl's arms and threw her hands up into the air. "Yep... that's Patches." Hiero smiled, feeling a bit nostalgic. It had been over a decade since he had last seen the trainer, and she was as electric as he had remembered. He remained silent, but relaxed his disposition.

Hiero stepped inside last, the rest of his of newfound cohorts having all walked inside ahead of him. Their Pokemon wasted no time excitedly running through the facility and playing with each other. He remained bewildered, but continued to wear his best poker face regardless. As he stepped inside, a pair of eyes suddenly manifested and opened directly in front of his face. Hiero smiled, tilted his head, and exhaled a puff of air through his nostrils as his Misdreavus revealed herself with a large grin spread across her face. She giggled and spun around him through the air before moving back and forth in place, dancing in the air. "Alright Sucy, I know you want to meet the others, so go on ahead, it's okay." The Misdreavus opened her mouth joyfully and widened her eyes as she whisked herself through the air and morphed through the wall of the entry corridor.

The other girl revealed herself as a trainer named Athena; she seemed to be a bit timid, perhaps just as confused as Hiero as to why they were all here. He didn't really know what to say, and quickly realized he was being put on the spot as all of the eyes in the room turned to him, including those of his host who still had yet to introduce himself. Hiero could feel his poker face start to crack. "Er... Hi everyone, my name is Hiero. It's a pleasure to meet you." Hiero paused, and after a second, changed his demeanor once again, this time to one of seriousness. He turned his attention to the individual he had only known as "the Adoption Center manager" and crossed his arms.

"Alright, Adoption Center manager. I believe you owe us all some answers."

134 06-29-2017 11:33 AM

Tate was the last to enter the base, and paused to give the Ampharos a kiss on each cheek in the Kalosian manner. Satisfied with the greeting bestowed on the magifnicent creature which harkened back to the Johto native's homeland, Tate looked to the awaiting group of trainers, giving Hiero a particularly pointed look.

"Tate," corrected the Adoption Center manager, walking to the table to set the heavy bird which was bearing down on one arm into a chair. Pahalo hissed and grunted, the only sounds which she was capable of given that her species lacked a syrinx, and began to preen herself, much rather wishing to be back in her own aviary with her precious Kauka than here, amongst these dreary trainers about whom she did not care. "My name is Tate, and I assure you, I've called you all here today for matters of grave importance."

Shrugging off a small backpack, Tate set it on the table with a thud, and pulled out a manila folder, which was also set upon the table with its own thud. Opening it, the scientist spread out a series of geographic and enviromental reports, census reports from the IAPC, and various other forms, all of which were loaded with graphs and highly specialized gargon that threatened to make even Tate's eyes glaze over.

"Fossil Pokémon," Tate began. "Eevee. Lapras. Porygon. Pokémon that are extinct. Nearly extinct. Too genetically unstable to thrive in the wild in significant populations. Numbers are exploding, guys. Trainers are showing up in droves all across the region with Pokémon that cannot be accounted for based on envronimental surveys. Something's going on, and I don't know what, but it isn't good."

Tate began pacing, hands folded against the small of a slightly sweaty back; it was hot outside, and the trip from the mangroves had been long. The movements were frantic and anxious. "Maybe it's a breeding mill? I don't know. But it has to be stopped. And you're going to help me do it! you're the best of the best! You're the smartest of the smart! You're the only ones who put your contact numbers on the adoption forms!"

Tate paused at the slip of tongue, but then brushed a hand through the air, as if brushing it away. Reaching down to a braided belt, the trainer pulled four Luxury Balls off of brass clips, the minimized orbs held in one hand between fingertips. One by one they were passed to the other hand, expanded, and their content released, the empty balls sat on the table.

Haawi, the Delbird. Ikaika, the Starly. Uhane, the unusually colored Rowlet. Kahakai, the Vaporeon. Uhane and Ikaika, being rather small, landed on the cluttered table. Haawi formed on the floor, and climbed into a chair. Kai rested at her master's feet, looking a bit scorned by having been kept in a ball at the first place.

"GARY!" Tate bellowed, swinging an extended arm out to point at their beleagured host. "Mr. Demolition! What is a wretched establishment without its brick and mortar! We must rend whatever foul edifice is disturbing the natural order to pieces and that is where you come in! HAAWI!"

The Delibrd gave a salute, and reached into the fold of her tail. There was a beat of horrified silence as the small bird pulled out an infamous wrapped gift, known for its tendency to explode in the face of its intended receiver. She placed it on the table. Before anyone could stop Tate, the trainer pulled the ribbon keeping the gift closed, and... a softboiled egg rolled out of the collapsing box. Tate looked unimpressed.

"That is not an explosion!" Tate complained, loudly. Haawi threw up her flippers, protesting her inability to predict what was in each present with a disgruntled, "Deli-dee!"

Tate scrubbed one cheek with a palm, and moved on.

"Ikaika?" Tate turned to the little bird, but there wasn't really any need; a master thief, the Starly had taken the distraction of Haawi's not-bomb to pilfer someone's keys, and sat with the ring in her beak, looking smug. "Whose are tho-... nevermind. Exactly! Hiero! Mr. Shadow! This is where you come in, my good man! We cannot cleanse this world from the light! People are too critical! Too stupid! 'Oooh, what's wrong with breeding my Eevee fifteen fucking times with its brother?! You're a killjoy!' Fuck you, your breeding practices are immoral!"

There was a pause, in which Tate panted, momentarily caught up in the hypothetical strawman and breathless from screeching, before becoming aware of the situation again.

"...we need someone who can get shit done without drawing attention, you see. Someone who can work from the shadows. That's you, my man."

At this point, Tate rounded the table to Athena. Uhane hopped up to the edge of the wooden surface, looking dapper as always, and gave a little coo; charmed, Tate gave her a little pet.

"Athena," Tate breathed, stroking the young bird of prey. "Miss Silver-Tongue. You are a charming young woman, I must admit. And charm is so valuable in this world. A charming person can do much. Get into so many places. Seize so many things. Uhane here gets her way more than I care to admit, you know -- and that's why I need you. There's no telling what we're up against, but we know at it's core are people and someone has to deal with those people. Get them to do what we want them to do."

Tate gave Uhane a smitten little boop on the beak with one finger. Rolling her eyes, Kai made a noise, demanding Tate focus, and the trainer shook the fuzz away, before looking around. "Oh... and Cardia. I'm not going to lie to you, you're here for chaos. People hate chaos. That's why terrorism works! N-not that we're terrorists. But, you know... a little unpredictability can really throw a wrench in some plans and you... are the most unredictable person I've ever met."

Kai nodded in the affirmative, and walked under the table. Perhaps to demonstrate the concept of the unexpected, she began to drool, though the substance was black and viscous, and smelled horrible and almost certaintly toxic. It puddled on the floor at the toes of Cardia's shoes in a grotesque encouragement -- be unpredictable. Tate grimaced, and resolved to clean that up for Gary later.

"She likes that trick," Tate expressed, a bit apologetically. Clapping both hands together, Tate looked around the room. "So, what do you say? Do I have you on my side? Are we here to fuck up... something? I don't know what, but I'm working on it. I know it's big, and I know it's nasty, and I know it needs to go down, you just have to trust me. I mean... you guys kind of owe me, anyway. I've cared for like... all of your Pokémon."

Sandaa 07-02-2017 01:32 AM

Gary turned and watched as the guests filed into his base and gathered around the kitchen table. One of them practically flung her Eevee at another girl before running over to the slide. Scurvy the Aipom watched on from a tree branch with a very big grin of amusement as this girl’s impulsive nature matching his own quite a bit. As some of the guests introduced themselves, Gary quietly nodded. “Welcome, my name’s Gary,” he added.

Bringing up the rear, Amph carried in a bundle of letters she mistakenly received from the guests as entry tickets. Setting them down on the kitchen counter, she proceeded to pull a carton of juice out of the refrigerator and served it to the guests at the table one by one, not uttering a peep in the process. Seizing the opportunity to pull off a prank, Scurvy hopped across the rafters above and used his tail-hand to hold on tightly to the beam and lower himself down while Amph had her back turned. He quickly gulped down the juice from the cup and then pulled himself back up as Amph turned around to serve another cup. To her shock, Amph found the cup she had just served to already be empty and quickly turned back around to fill it back up. Scurvy repeated the process as she did so, intensifying Amph’s confusion as she served up another cup several more times. Eventually the carton ran out of juice, and as Amph turned her back in a panic to find more juice, Scurvy dangled back and forth, silently having a giggle fit. What he didn’t see coming was Amph frantically reaching down into the fridge to get another carton, her jewel-tipped tail catching the Aipom upside the head like a mace. Turning back around with a new cup of juice to serve, Amph spotted the Aipom lying face-down on the table in a daze and put her hands on her hips with a “Hmph!”

Gary ignored his Pokemon’s antics and watched as a guest sent out their Misdreavus who phased through a wall. Now that everyone was settled, Tate began to speak, telling the group of a number of unique Pokemon that were locked away in captivity and needed rescuing. They proposed that this group that had gathered here in his base tonight be the ones who band together and pull off a heist like none had seen before. Tate then began to call upon several of their Pokemon to explain the roles to each individual. As Tate donned Gary as “Mr. Demolition,” a smile crept onto his face. Now, that sounds like something I can pull off, Gary thought to himself. He then winced as the Delibird he had met before nearly blew a hole in his kitchen table, before the Present revealed itself to be a dud. Gary let out a sigh of relief. It was short lived however, as he then spotted Tate’s Vaporeon drool a Toxic substance all over his floor. He continued staring at the spot nervously, his inner OCD nagging at him until Amph quietly walked over and began wiping up the spot with a damp washcloth.

“Well, count me in,” Gary replied with a smile after Tate finished their speech. “If it’s to save a bunch of Pokemon in need, nothing more need be said! And if you need someone to blaze a trail, I’m your guy!” Gary looked around the room to see how the other guests would respond.

Patches 07-02-2017 12:15 PM

Patches adjusts her glasses which had become a bit lopsided and fixes the pleats on her skirt, as much as she wants to keep playing on the slide she can’t keep the others waiting so she finally heads over to the table. Once she reaches the table she is still feeling a bit too excited to sit down so instead she just stands while looking around at the others before her. She glances over at Momo while Athena introduces herself and can see that he is just having the time of his life soaking up all of this new attention. He is really putting on the Charm in the hopes of keeping her Captivated with him and it seems to be working out well for him. “Er… Hi everyone, my name is Hiero. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Her attention is suddenly drawn elsewhere when Hiero, who is across from her, finally introduces himself. She looks at him dead in the eye and places her palms on the table so that she can lean closer to get a better look. “Whoa! You really are Hiero!” She stands up straight once again, prepared to continue speaking but her thoughts are interrupted by something being slammed onto the table. It would seem that the introductions had been continuing while she was lost in thought.

Staring down at the papers that have been spread out before her, she is very impressed with Tate’s writing and art, feeling honored that she was one of the lucky few who were brought out here to view it. She listens as Tate goes on to explain each piece of their work, since she knows nothing about art she is having a hard time following but keeps smiling and nodding all the same. Sir Tibs is listening intently, he has climbed onto the table and is shifting through the paperwork, picking up some of the papers with graphs to look at them more closely while scratching his chin with his claw. Suddenly, Tate begins to release several Pokemon, one of them fits the exact description of the damsel he had been told about. He puts down the paper and hops off of the table in order to approach her, since she is the reason he came here in the first place.

That is when Tate’s Delibird places a beautifully wrapped present on the table. Patches’ excitement grows as she hopes the present is for her but no one has the chance to claim it before Tate pops it open and a soft-boiled egg rolls out. Tate moved on to talk with Hiero as the egg just sits there on the table. ’Is no one going to claim that generous gift?’ She looks around at everyone, no one seems to be paying any attention to the egg, and Tate is addressing other people at this point. Not wanting it to go to waste, she reaches out and grabs the egg, then cracks its shell on the table and begins to peel it but suddenly she is caught. “Oh… and Cardia.” She is startled by the sudden mention of her name and drops the egg on the floor where it rolls away. Patches listens to what Tate has to say and nods, “That’s so sweet of you to feel that way about me! I’m glad that you think so!”

Meanwhile, Sir Tibs licks his claw and brushes it through the feather on his head in order to make sure he looks well-groomed, he then straightens his posture and begins to approach the damsel he had been searching for. That is when it happens, she begins to intentionally drool a black horribly smelling substance from her mouth. This stops Sir Tibs dead in his tracks, he watches as the vile liquid drips down her face and onto the floor in complete shock. That was not what he had signed up for at all. He slowly backs away and then climbs back onto the table, continuing to look through the papers.

While that was going on, Patches had kept her attention on Tate as they concluded their speech with asking for everyones help. ’Oh no, It sounds like we’re actually being asked to help with something serious.’ Finally, Patches realizes that Tate had another reason to bring everyone out here besides just showing off their art and writing. That’s when their host, Gary, introduces himself and immediately agrees to help. Now that they have her full attention all she needed to hear was that Gary is helping because there are Pokemon out there that are in need. She raises a hand high up into the air and then quickly brings it down slamming it onto the table. “You can count me in too! If there are Pokemon in trouble, I will do whatever it takes to help!”

morningstar 07-02-2017 01:37 PM

If Athena had anything to say about this group of strangers,
they were certainly interesting. She watched as Tate spread an overwhelming amount of documents across the table. They began to dive into what sounded like a well prepared speech.

"You're the best of the best! You're the smartest of the smart! You're the only ones who put your contact numbers on the adoption forms!" The trainer declared. Athena side glanced at Eclair. Was that really the only reason they were all here? Four flashes of light brought her attention to the bird Pokemon Tate had just called out. Her attention immediately fell on the round, green Pokemon whose feathers glittered in the light.

"You..." She mouthed angrily, identifying the Rowlet who had earlier latched herself to her hair and mussed it up. Eclair put her hand on her trainer's leg and shook her head. It wasn't worth it to get worked up right now. As the Bird Keeper explained each person's role, the friendly Ampharos had begun serving juice to her guests. She's like a housewife... Athena thought, thanking the Light Pokemon quietly before taking a sip to be polite. Tate had brought their attention to her. She flushed slightly at the claim that she was charming. Eclair was grinning, obviously a bit more confident in her abilities than her trainer. The Kalosian was the last to be addressed, and Tate was now waiting patiently for everyone's reply.

Gary and Cardia were on board right away, but Athena had her doubts. Of course she wanted to help out these Pokemon, but the details were too sparse for her comfort.

"This sounds great and all but-" Athena started, then was cut off by the phone in her pocket vibrating.

"Fairy~! Fairy~! Fairy~! Fairy~!" Her ringtone played. Athena, mortified, scrambled to retrieve her phone and turn it off. Her sudden movements, to her dismay, scared the Eevee she was holding out of her lap. She brought a finger up to turn the notification off,

"Uhh, I think we need to take a look at this..." Athena placed her phone on the table and brought up the broadcast on the Holocaster. A hologram of two newscasters manifested above the device, reading from a teleprompter as a ticker scrolled across the bottom of the screen. Athena reached over to turn the volume up.

"-prize Pokemon and items are vanishing without a trace. Footage from security cameras and eyewitness reports have corroborated this strange story – items and Pokemon literally disappearing before one's eyes, regardless of the level of security or number of witnesses present. Systems glitching and showing flat balances out of the blue. The cost of replenishing the missing items and Pokemon is unrecoverable for many of these establishments. PNN is reporting that one Pokemon has been uncovered, a young Mime Jr. named Feste. Expert psychic types have interrogated this Mime Jr., and believe they have a lead at Jirachi's Casino. Jirachi's is seemingly untouched by this strange phenomenon, but locals have reported that the Casino has gone through drastic renovations and is 'unrecognizable' in its current state. More on this story as it develops."

The newscast cut to a commercial, and Athena grabbed her phone once more and shut it off. Being new to the region, she had never been to Jirachi's Casino before. Kalos wasn't known for gambling, but she knew that the region sometimes exported Eevee to casinos as prizes. Casinos were prime places for obtaining rare, and even Pokemon thought to be extinct. What Tate had brought to their attention now made much more sense. She looked to the others, wondering what they were thinking.

deoxys 07-03-2017 10:01 AM

Hiero had been staring out a window while listening to the conversation unravel, briefly turning toward Tate as they (eccentrically) explained the predicament that had been unfolding.

"Hiero! Mr. Shadow! This is where you come in, my good man! We cannot cleanse this world from the light! People are too critical! Too stupid! 'Oooh, what's wrong with breeding my Eevee fifteen fucking times with its brother?! You're a killjoy!' Fuck you, your breeding practices are immoral!"

Hiero didn't even realize he had been slowly backing up and awkwardly rubbing his neck as Tate shamelessly had entered his personal bubble, which, to be fair, was roughly the size of a blimp. He found himself backed against a wall as Tate continued their tirade. Tate must have realized they had gotten a bit carried away, because after an awkward moment of silence, Tate took a step back and cleared their throat.

"...we need someone who can get shit done without drawing attention, you see. Someone who can work from the shadows. That's you, my man."

Hiero's mien became relaxed at the final point. 'Someone who can work from the shadows'. It's true - Hiero was more than capable of doing just that, and he has demonstrated as much time and time again in the past. Perhaps the Ghost-type Pokemon he had spent so much time around had rubbed off on him...

Suddenly, Athena's phone went off, disrupting his train of thought. She brought up a Holocaster and displayed a news report. Hiero slowly looked around the room at his new compatriots as the realization dawned on everyone's face that the report oddly corroborated with everything Tate had just told them.

"So let me get this straight: There's been a boom in the population sizes of traditionally rare Pokemon - and at the same time, casinos everywhere are losing their prized Pokemon and possessions left and right with no explanation whatsoever, literally vanishing into thin air." Hiero wrapped the palm of his hand around his face and pinched his chin, as if stroking a beard that did not exist. He turned to the Pokemon on the other side of the room, most of whom were excitedly enjoying themselves, blissfully ignorant to the human problems of the world, and to the events that were playing out. Hiero looked up back to the group. "Well then. It seems pretty open and shut to me. It's true that it could just be a coincidence, and if it is, then that's one hell of weird coincidence... but all signs point to Jirachi's Casino being a prime suspect for some sort of foul play here." Hiero turned back to the window he had been staring out of previously and took a sip of the juice the Ampharos had handed him. "So then, it sounds to me like we need to take a trip to Jirachi's Casino and scope the place out. And the sooner we do it, the better." Hiero turned back to the group again. "So, anyone have any ideas on how we do this?"

134 07-04-2017 09:47 AM

"See?!" Tate said, slamming both hands on the table suddenly in a fit of validation. It made Ikaika and Uhane jump. "What did I tell you! I-it wasn't a breeding mill, but-... I mean... this is pretty spot on, isn't it?"

Tate seemed excited, as if thrilled to be, in fact, right. Beginning to pace again, Kai fell into line behind her master, the pair of them matching step in a curious duet of nervous energy. When Tate threw one arm up, Kai stomped a foot.

"I say we investigate the place!" was Tate's bright idea, sweeping an arm across the room. "Tomorrow morning. We go in, pretend to be patrons... take a look around. Geet a feel for the place, so we can come back tomorrow night and -- yeah!"

Tate clapped both hands together.

"Put a stop to their wretched work! We can help free all the Pokémon -- I've got connections, you know, for getting them back to places they'd belong -- we could do it. We could totally do it. Why couldn't we do it?"

Tate looks at Kai, whose typical bored disinterest in her trainer's misadventures seems to have been replaced with great enthusiasm. She liked all this clandestine nonsense. Besides, she had a sore spot for the trafficking of Pokémon.

"Casinos are bad fucking news, guys. The ones back where I come from were run by some shady characters. I bet all the stuff they stole from other gambling dens were just dirty goods anyway -- what do you say? Let's liberate some Pokémon!" Tate pleads, amped with nervous energy, blue eyes shining,

Sandaa 07-04-2017 09:33 PM

Gary listened as the other guests talked, listing their motives for going along with Tate’s hunch. Suddenly, without warning the girl named Athena’s phone started going off and Gary couldn’t help but grin at the cute ringtone. Scurvy the Aipom who lie face down on the table roused from his unconsciousness and looked around. He scampered over and leapt up onto Gary’s shoulder, a perch he is often accustomed to sitting on.

The holocaster from Athena’s phone lit up and played some breaking news about Pokemon going missing from casinos worldwide with the exception being Jirachi’s Casino. There were some shady dealings going on here for sure, and this was certainly a crisis that Gary could not turn a blind eye to. Tate leapt from their seat in excitement, proclaiming how their source was correct after all.

Nodding silently, Gary stood up from his seat. Scurvy looked at his trainer expectantly. “This is pretty big,” he said, looking around the room, “I think it means we need to do something more than ever. Why don’t we start things off by splitting up and gathering some intel at the casino? Then we can meet back up and pool our resources together.”

Gary pulled out his own phone and searched for pictures of the interior of Jirachi’s Casino. “Since there are five of us, I think we should each take a different area. It seems like there’s the main floor of the casino, an upstairs area, a downstairs area, an elevator that leads somewhere, and there’s also the outside. I think I’ll take a look around the inside of the main floor if it’s okay with everyone else.”

Patches 07-05-2017 08:49 AM

After having announced her intentions to help, Patches worried that she still didn’t know exactly what it was she was helping with, she just knew that it sounded like Pokemon were in trouble. As she nervously fidgets trying to figure out how to get clued in, Athena’s ringtone begins to loudly play for everyone to hear. The song was a happy tune that made her feel nostalgic for a moment but before she had a chance to start dancing, it was turned off and replaced with breaking news. This is exactly what Patches needed, now she might actually be able to understand the situation. She watches the hologram, not taking her eyes off of it for a second. As the report went on, her smile began to slowly fade as she realized this was about the place one of her own Pokemon had come from. 'Pokemon are disappearing? That's terrible. Hana came from a casino, what if this is why she's so shy?'

For once, Patches was silent, she waited and listened to what the others had to say about that newscast before speaking up herself. Gary had suggested they all split up during the day and then regroup at night, he then pulled out his phone and proceeded to explain the different areas of the casino to everyone. The sadness she had momentarily felt was instantly replaced with eagerness as soon as she heard the word “elevator” and that this casino apparently has one. “Oh! Me me me!! I’ll take the elevator!” She jumps up and down with enthusiasm as she thinks about how fun elevators are. ’Elevators are the best, you get to be super close to all of the other people that are on it with you!’ She can hardly contain herself now, just imagining all of the people whose personal space she will be allowed into momentarily is enough to make her almost forget the depressing news she had just heard.

She reaches into her bag and pulls out a pokeball, returning Sir Tibs who had gotten bored and was in the middle of licking the different papers on the table in order to see if they all tasted similar or not. Next, she runs around the table and grabs Momo who was trying to claw his way back onto Athena’s lap, and puts him under one of her arms. “I’m going to head home so I can prepare to go to this casino first thing in the morning, I’ll be back here tomorrow night! Good luck everyone!” After she says her farewell, she heads out of the entrance in a hurry. Morning isn’t too far away and she needs to let her other Pokemon in on what’s happening before then.

deoxys 07-05-2017 01:21 PM

"Sucy," Hiero called out. The ghost Pokemon manifested in the air beside him, spinning around him with a mischievous giggle and a big grin on her face, as she often had. The trainer thought for a moment, looking over the pictures of the facility and trying to determine a strategy. Gary was heading inward to explore the main floor; Tate was going to examine the outside; Patches was going to take the elevator... which only left him and Athena.

"I'll take the downstairs, then. I'll need to think it over who I'll bring with me, but regardless we're going to scope the place out and look for anything suspicious, as well as potential holes in their security. Let's meet back up here after we've collected our intel and discuss what we've discovered."

Hiero took a step forward, placing the drink on the table and thanking his host and his Ampharos. "I appreciate your hospitality, and Adoption Center Mana... I mean, Tate - thank you for the invitation. I'll do what I can to help."

Hiero turned his back to the crew and waved. "Don't do anything stupid... and I'll see you all on the other side." Sucy giggled once more and then vanished into thin air, her smile disappearing last. Hiero opened the door of the Observatory, and shut it behind him before disappearing once more into the shadows of the night, this time with a destination in mind: Jirachi's Casino.

morningstar 07-05-2017 04:15 PM

Athena turned her phone over in her hands, fidgeting as the others decided on their plans for the next day. Gary read over the locations in the Casino, and Athena began to feel lost. She had never been to Jirachi's, and hadn't even heard of it until now. The others were much more familiar with Fizzby it seemed, and she was relieved that they made quick decisions of where they would go.

"That leaves upstairs to me then." She said as everyone began to ready themselves to leave. She looked to Eclair, who had been Intimidating Momo from trying to climb back onto Athena's lap. The Deceiver Pokemon probably wasn't a great choice to bring to the Casino, at least during the day time. Her mischievous partner would probably bring unwanted attention, and she didn't want to have to deal with the stress of Eclair nabbing jewelry or Coins from patrons who weren't watching their bags closely.

She stood and grabbed her backpack, slinging it over one shoulder. Eclair, satisfied that she had scared Momo away from her trainer, loyally joined her side and the two began to walk out of the room. As she passed through the hallway, she stopped to look into the other room that housed a large fish tank. As she watched Gary's many Water Pokemon swim calmly past the glass, she felt a wave of tiredness wash over her. She definitely had to get some rest if she wanted to be of any help at the Casino in the morning. She thanked Gary and Amph for having them, and gave Tate and their Vaporeon a smile of acknowledgement.

Once Athena felt she was out of earshot of the base, she broke her nervous silence with an excited giggle. "Mawile?" Eclair questioned.

"Isn't this exciting Eclair? Its like the stuff real trainers do!" She giggled again, and Eclair grinned. "You think Choux will want to come with me tomorrow?"

134 07-06-2017 07:48 PM

Tate gathered up the papers and re-packed the backpack as the rest of the trainers trickled out; one by one, each of the Pokémon were returned to their balls, and the balls returned to their clips. Kai huffed when it was her turn, but acquiesced, knowing there was no way they'd make it home otherwise; when everything was packed and Tate was left standing alone in Gary's kitchen, the trainer made an awkward noise and looked around.

"So... thanks," Tate mouthed, awkwardly, before lifting Pahalo off of the chair and onto one arm. This has gone more smoothly than the bird keeper probably could have expected, though they were a hodge-podge group at bed. Giving Amph a little wave -- still smitten with the delightful creature -- Tate hurried out the door, feeling a bit uncomfortable to be the last one to leave. Mounting Pahalo -- to her immense chagrin -- the pair took flight, beginning their long journey back to the Mangroves which they called home.

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