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Old 06-15-2016, 10:27 AM   #755
Wayward Bard
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Originally Posted by Marion Ette View Post
The blurring was inevitable, really. The smudging, the ink stains on her hands... Even from the short trip from the Pelipper's beak to the brand new gym's mailbox, rain pelted the landscape with such viciousness that the pristine lines and swirls with which her name had been written would be marred by torrential streaks. In her awkward attempts to stuff the letter in her bosom and dash madly back into the house, the envelope nearly splits in two, eliciting a frustrated groan from the young woman as her rain-soaked body announces itself with the sound of dripping on the floor and the heavy, measured rhythm of combat boots. Not that there was really much of an entryway for her to dry herself off in - these were luxuries that could not be afforded right now.

It struck her as odd. The rain in Lacunosa Town was usually so gentle when it arrived - a soft presence that cooled the landscape. Then again, she'd heard that the Summer months had a tendency to bring storms along with them.

Odder still, the letter had been addressed to her.

Vowing to mop up after herself later, she removes the sopping mess of ink and paper from her chest and sets it on the reception desk. The sound of metallic waddling catches her ear from the training area, as she is approached by a short, bipedal Pokemon, whose demure smile is overshadowed by an eerie, toothy maw. She pats the crocodile-like appendage atop the Mawile's head with affection before heading to the lockers for a brief bit of rummaging, only to return with a jet black hair dryer. She takes a brief look around the quiet space, with its single floor of unremarkable furnishings and drab little training rooms, uninteresting save for the group portraits of smiling trainers with their equally ecstatic Pokemon displayed in various nooks and crannies - and, of course, the homemade banner with "GLORY TO LACUNOSA!" written in gigantic lettering. The search confirms what she already knew - the others had not yet returned from their trip to the city to pick up supplies. She smiles a bit at this, as she struggles to make the dryer's short cord reach the outlet. She far preferred when her eccentric behavior was not questioned. The Mawile merely looks on with his set of smiles.

After some patient (and then increasingly not-so-patient) attempts at drying the letter with the device, the young woman shuts off the dryer and puts it aside, not even bothering to unplug it. Her thin, pale fingers dexterously sort through the delicate wreckage until it forms a murky, yet barely discernible message.

After such care and diligence to make the letter whole again, it seems ironic how fervently now she wanted to give it to her Pokemon to shred. Recollections of the past were taking shape, filling her with anger and longing, spreading like a poison -

The sound of the door bursting open and rain pouring onto the laminated floor snaps her immediately out of her reverie. The man in the doorway lurches forward as the door swings back into its frame, his movements quick, his voice quicker - every movement, every syllable a mad rush of thought and action. His muscles bear the burden of heavy exercise and training, tightly wound and sizzling with tension. Even with all of this nervousness, his aura and presence is one of a Leader.

"YOU!" He points at the young woman, for a brief moment of focus, before his eyes flit about with a mixture of curiosity and mild agitation. "What are you doing? We have BATTLES to win! We will not become LEGENDS sitting around like this! I wanted to ask you - thinking of possibly switching up Steelix's move rotation - I think the force of her gyro ball might be sub-optimal given the current angle she's tilting her head at, so I'm thinking I might run some training sessions with her, maybe get your input, since I think our doubles win percentage is at least above the 50% mark at this point against league-rated opponents -" He rattles off a few numbers, his eyes circling about as if watching imaginary numbers fall into place in an intricate calculation. In his moment of distraction, she makes her way past him, towards the door. She grunts as she hurls the door back open against the force of the wind outside, a moment of regret crossing her mind at the disarray she was leaving behind. Only for a couple of days.

"I'm heading to Fizzytopia. Some loose ends need tying up." She tries to make the statement as nonchalantly as possible, but the "loose ends" force a slight crack in her voice.

"At least 54% if you count the - Oh." He furrows his brow. "I can come with you. The others should be back soon, and we can all go with you. We can protect you from -"

"I am not the one who would need protecting, and you know that," she hisses. Mawile, who follows closely behind her, nods grimly in affirmation.

"Hey now - the world is a scary place. Lots of scary people. You aren't the only one. I'm just saying that, if there's a scary out there that beats your particular breed of scary -"

"Which there is NOT," the young woman retorts. Mawile's toothy jaws gnash - a weird form of clapping, perhaps.

"Of course not, 'cause you're the best. We're the best," he responds, his tone optimistic, but cautious. "But if, say, there happens to be someone out there who is second best, and happens to get lucky, or rallies a bunch of mooks to get revenge, y'know, 'cause of all the stuff that - Oh, sorry, phone call from one of our trainers. Hang on."

As he fiddles with his Xtranceiver, the young woman slams the door behind her, cursing under her breath. What kept that man and his crew alive was an absolute mystery - she had slaughtered far more powerful adversaries on far less provocation. But he was, rather paradoxically for his demeanor, a man of discipline who offered her a chance to erasing the stains of her past - not from her memory, of course, she knew the dangers of that treatment all too well - but from her future. In exchange, she had to fight - fight at the gym, and fight with herself. A continuous uphill battle. Either way, the authorities had stopped calling. Strange Pokemon had stopped showing up at places she took residence. Even Mawile was becoming less likely to attack without provocation. There was only the matter of this damned letter to attend to... Of course, she could ignore it, but it would be against her training at this point. Loathe as she was to admit it... It did help.

Mawile clings to her leg, looking up at her sweetly with big, red eyes.

"Oh, fine. I'll let you stay in your Pokeball so you don't get rained on."

The toothy grin widens.


In the months before, she had dyed her hair white, then pink, then red, then brown. She had thrown away most of the clothes which had been part of her trademark style, though she was never able to part from her beloved combat boots. Today was a green strapless top with cute jean shorts - it clashed, of course, but when did she ever give a damn? Now, her black roots were showing through her latest mix of hair dyes - this time, an ombrée look comprised of aqua and indigo - and her makeup was some kind of shimmering silver mess around the eyes that might have looked good in the morning for five minutes before she inadvertently smudged it. She felt it was enough that she was no longer familiar.

This, too, was supposed to be a familiar place. A familiar town. It may as well have been another universe.

She makes her way through the double doors of the Cable Club Trading Center, maneuvering the crowds. The sender of the letter was not a name she recognized, but as the face of the tall, pale teenager comes into view, something about him resonates like the echo of a distant memory. With a scowl on her face, she practically slams the Pokeball on the table in front of him, the force being enough to startle nearby trainers.

"Foongus, huh. Foongus." The soft, eerie snarl that emanates from her lips is thick with darkness. "You ask me, of all people, to trade you a Foongus. Perhaps you do not know my reputation? That last time I came here, it was with the intent to... well, you must know SOMETHING about me, hm? After all, you researched my aliases... Figured out where I ran to after practically a year of changing addresses, moving across continents... Sent me a letter out of the blue... For a Foongus." Her snarl threatens to transform into a yell, her chest flaring like the bellows of a hellish furnace. Yet, the furnace dampens quickly into a sickly sigh.

"I suppose it is better off with you. I..." Her eyes turn downward. "I cannot bear to even look at the poor thing, to be honest. The memories... are bittersweet, but I cannot stomach them." She pauses. "I do not need your money, really. I just have to ask...


((OOC: Trading Level 1 Male Foongus to Lil'Twick for $10.))

How long ago was it? Years? Days? Weeks? Seconds? For Austin, time seemed to not even move. The few memories he had, he could recall with an acute vividness. Were they really his memories? Or videos? It was hard to know. It was hard to understand. It seemed like yesterday he wrote the letter. Or was it yesterday? It couldn't have been yesterday. Yesterday Jakob made everyone tea. The Espurr usually made everyone coffee. Tea... Why tea? Marie happily drank it, being the motherly figure she is when not pranking everyone around her. Since Nick joined the team, the two pranksters have been running amok. Poor Parker. Poor, poor Parker. The Mareep always are at the butt-end of their pranks. It was nice to have a full house.

It was hell.

Of all the things Austin has done, this was the strangest. Most other people would call him crazy, others already do. This woman was to be feared. What she has done... What she might do again. It was hard to track her down. Track her down once more. Would she remember him? He assumed yes, she would. A faint itch on the back over her mind. Sometimes, things happen momentarily. Blink, and you miss it. Yet, these tiny moments can last forever. Such as this will be. Such as it was fated to be.

Austin walked through the halls of the cable club. The air was different than his previous visits. The harbinger was here. He smiled, though the world wouldn't see it. She after all did come. Determination is a powerful... force. He walked towards the designated table, and saw her. Saw her once more.

"So she came," a quiet murmur as he continued to approach. She looked so different now. Yet... No matter how much someone changes how they look; there is no escape from who they are within. With a scowl, she questions why he summoned her here. Summoned here to this hell to trade a Foongus. So many hoops. So many hoops, for a Foongus.

He pulls down his mask for a second, flashing her a smile before putting it back on. It was still hard to read her. The Mawile was new though. But, things come and go. Was it really a shock? Considering what she's doing to avoid her past muddying her future, it made sense.

"You saved me once. I was younger. I don't recall my age, but the information sleeps next to this great barrier. A wall that hides all of my memories... memories of before the fire. Yet... It stayed within my mind. Stayed within my heart."

A deep breath.

"Here, take this." He hands her the payment. "You know the rules well enough, has to be a voluntary exchange with both sides offering something within economic value. I'll take this little guy. You know, I would've been surprised if you didn't come..." He looked around. Even within casual conversation, this was certainly... Dangerous.

"Considering how persistent I was. I mean, the majority of my letter was fluff. I could've poured in a few sugar packets, it would be the same. All that mattered is that you came. Even if you barely remember me... Please remember me as you see me today. Someone... Who was your friend once. I need to head back to my fallen paradise. I'm afraid that my Espurr is having an aneurysm right now," he spoke, letting the Foongus out quickly. It looked up at him, and tears started welling up in the poor fungus' eyes. Scooping the poor thing up, the boy gave one last look at her.

"Thank you for coming here. This should be the last time our paths cross. I just, wanted to fulfill our promise you know? No matter how much you try to change yourself, to prevent what you've done, it'll still stay. It just takes some time to remember. Time to unravel what was buried. Time... to heal. Regardless, thanks for making this last stand, Marion."

And with that, he walked out of the cable club, not looking back for even a second.

(ooc: Trading Marion Ette $10 for her Lv. 1 Male Foongus

~trade closed~)
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