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Old 10-25-2021, 06:17 PM   #26
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Willa ended up holding the Galarian Corsola in her arms. The macabre regional form's default expression might have been a forlorn frown, but right now, Corsola was smiling contently.

Cyanide gave a chuckle. "All the damn time," she grinned. "If that thing has a snarky comment it can inject into a Pokédex entry, it goes for it. At least it's had the common sense to not talk like that about my kids," she added. "I'd have Snarled it right outta the phone and... yeah," she chuckled. "Credit where credit is due, though- it ain't all bad," she added fairly.

Keith began thinking in response to Aiden's question. "I actually asked my own Ditto this same thing once," he replied. "Jack says it depends on the Ditto, but by and large, it should theoretically be possible to maintain it indefinitely. Provided the Ditto doesn't laugh, anyway," he added. "Ditto can't hold their transformation if they're made to laugh. And I'll tell you something else," he added, reaching into his pocket. "Rotom Phones are all well and good, and whatever faults Maribel's has, it does serve her well, but..." He then produced from his pocket a Koffing-purple Pokédex. The classic Kanto HANDY505 model, featuring a skull and crossbones on the cover. "...as far as a Pokédex goes, hard to beat the classics," he stated.

"Indeed," Willa concurred. "Maribel's Rotom Phone typically goes by the smartphone's camera, but a dedicated Pokédex is not as easily fooled."

"I resent that!" Rotom called out. "At least I noticed something was off to begin with!"

Keith gave a sigh, opening up his Pokédex. "Well, let's just see, then," he stated, aiming the device at Kite.

"Zorua, the Tricky Fox Pokémon. A Dark-type," droned the device. "To protect itself from danger, it hides its true identity by taking on the forms of people and other Pokémon."

"...that'd explain it," Keith said at last, breaking what was sure to be a few seconds of stunned silence.

Cyanide turned to look at Kite, mildly surprised. "Daaamn," she remarked, sounding impressed. "I didn't suspect a thing!"

"You can make yourself look like other Pokémon!? That's so cool!" Eon exclaimed. "It's not the same thing, but I can change my type to whatever I want," she added.

~~~~~

Neither Meowth nor Meowstic failed to notice Tase's yawning. The Joltik was quick to apologize, though, stating that his earlier excitement depleted his energy, and he needed some electricity. He asked if either of them had any Electric moves they could use to energize him, hastily adding that it was OK if they didn't, or weren't willing to do so. "Nonsense," Meowstic said gently, approaching the Joltik. Sitting down beside the Attaching Pokémon, Meowstic raised a front paw and began the makings of a Charge Beam. Rather than fire it, however, she offered the bundled electricity to the Joltik. "Eat up," she said.

"If dat don't hit da spot, I can help out wit a Thunderbolt," Meowth offered. "But I somehow doubt dat'd be an issue," he added with a chuckle. "Anyways, uh... so yeah, ta get right inta da story. Tyrogue evolved while we was fightin' off dese Pokémon pirates. But dis weren't my first encounter wit dem, not by a long shot," he added. "We had some serious history. And dat's da real story here. Goin' way back, da crew o' the Iron Charm were da most fearsome Pokémon pirates in all da Fizzibbean..." He took a deep breath before continuing. "...and yers truly was deir captain," he sighed.

~~~~~

Dust, his anger at the memory of the misadventure all but melted away by now, clarified that they did at least ensure the Porygon didn't get wiped from the console once they were out, and it was safely retrieved from the device. Furthermore, it had somewhere it could go if Aiden didn't want it, and it was presumably happily working in the foundry to make Poké Balls. "...Oh, OK," nodded the Cryogonal, sounding a bit relieved. "Then it sounds like everything went well in the end. I, um, I'm sorry if I was pushing an uncomfortable subject for you," he added. "Just... I kinda... wh-when all of those Ice-types were invading the Cloud Garden that one time, years ago, that's actually when Keith caught me. I... I didn't really want to join in on the invasion," he confessed. "B-but my family, they all- they all said this was our- our opportunity. And... well, I see what they m-meant, because if- iif the invasion wasn't thwarted, there would've been this- this nice, frozen area wh-where we might've actually been able to settle down. It... but no, it wasn't right, th-that was where so many other Pokémon already lived," the Cryogonal shook his head, a few snowflakes fluttering from his eyes. "But they... didn't give me any choice. I had to help fight the humans. And one of them- that one," he added, pointing with an ice crystal chain in the direction of Keith Masters. "He had his Meowth battle me, and then he threw a ball and caught me. I... I was so scared at first th-that that big fight, all those attacking, invading Ice-types... I was scared that's all they'd have seen me as, that they wouldn't have wanted me around b-based on what they saw that day..."

The Cryogonal took a deep breath. "...but I'm so glad I was wrong," he admitted. "Keith has been so good to me, and his other Pokémon made me feel right at home. Just... I'm sorry, just... what you were saying about not wanting to take Porygon, it... it kinda brought back my memories of that time," he admitted.
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Old 10-26-2021, 03:34 PM   #27
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Kite hummed at Cyanide's response, exchanging glances with Aiden. Almost all of them would tire of a Rotom like that very quickly, so even if Aiden wished he had some kind of Pokédex, a Rotom device was firmly off the table. Besides, they'd probably just stick Hint in it, if they got one.

"Rude," Hint sniffed in Aiden's ear, picking up on the teasing amusement of their neural patterns.

Aiden hid a smile behind his drink. Aw, it knew they loved it. And vice versa.

Hint sniffed again, but fell silent as Keith answered Aiden's question. Aiden nodded thoughtfully along as he and Willa then explained the difference between a Rotom Phone and a traditional Pokédex, watching as Keith pointed his 'dex at Kite.

"Zorua, the Tricky Fox Pokémon," it read. "A Dark-type. To protect itself from danger, it hides its true identity by taking on forms of people and other Pokémon."

Aiden nodded to himself as the 'dex finished. "Good to know."

"I wonder if it can pick up Rotom in machines," Hint mused.

Aiden tilted his head and nodded at Maribel's Rotom Phone. "What happens if you point it at that? Does it pick up the Rotom or nothing at all?"

Kite grinned slyly at Cyanide's surprise. "I mean, isn't that the point?"

He then nodded at Eon and Illusioned himself into a copy of her, bouncing around to show off his new form. "It doesn't change my type and it doesn't really hold up to a hit," he explained, before swapping back to Growlithe and trotting over to Aiden, "but it's pretty useful. And really fun to see people's expressions." He grinned over his shoulder and pawed at Aiden's leg.

"What's up?" Aiden glanced down at him.

"I'm sad and I want cuddles," Kite informed him and pushed himself up so he could put his forepaws on Aiden's leg.

"You don't look sad anymore," Aiden told him, even as he leaned down to pick Kite up. "But yeah, alright."

He set Kite in his lap, arm curling around the faux-canine to idly run his fingers through Kite's fur, and the disguised Zorua settled in, peering around from his higher vantage point.

---

"Yay!" Tase cheered, skittering over to manipulate the attack to drain into him. He peered up at Meowstic as the electricity started flowing; Hint always made a weird face when he did this, saying it felt weird, and he wondered if Meowstic could feel it, too.

"Thanks!" he said to both felines as he finished draining Meowstic's attack, skittering back to where he'd been listening to Meowth talk. "But you're right. This one'll work for a while."

He then settled in as Meowth started the next story, eyes already going wide at the mention of pirates. They widened even more as Meowth admitted to being the captain of the pirates and Tase let his jaw drop. "Wow! You were a pirate captain? That's so cool! A Trainer's Pokémon by day and a pirate at night! Oh, oh, but you said you had history with them." He gasped. "Did they backstab you? Or did you backstab them? Were they back for revenge?"

---

Dust nodded and listened as Winter explained more of his story, making sympathetic noises as Winter spoke of his internal conflict and worries at the time. "Yeah, it's hard to go against family, even when you feel like something's wrong," he said, glancing over at Kite who he knew hadn't wanted to leave his mom. He then tilted his head thoughtfully. "But, huh. I always figured if a Trainer threw a 'ball at you, they wanted you, so..." He shrugged and grimaced at Winter's admission. "Oof. I know I didn't know, and I definitely didn't mean to, but still, sorry for reminding you of worse times."
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Old 10-26-2021, 05:01 PM   #28
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Kite's illusions might not quite have been found out by Maribel's Rotom Phone, but Keith's good old fashioned Pokédex wasn't fooled for an instant. Aiden didn't seem bothered by this, and neither did Kite, who responded to the Umbreon by stating that others not suspecting a thing was the entire point. The Umbreon simply nodded and shrugged- he wasn't wrong!

"Wooooow!" Eon exclaimed as Kite changed up his illusion, turning into a Shiny Eevee, explaining that it didn't change his type, and also wouldn't stand up to an attack. "Ohh, so that's why you didn't wanna battle!" Eon exclaimed.

After this, Kite went to Aiden for cuddles. Aiden, in the meantime, had asked what would happen if the Pokédex was pointed at the Rotom Phone. "Oh, that'd work, no problem," Keith replied, aiming his Pokédex at the possessed smartphone.

"Rotom, the Plasma Pokémon. An Electric and Ghost-type," droned the device. "Rotom infiltrate electronic devices and wreak havoc. A recent trend has emerged in which Rotom are used to power smartphones."

"Show-off," snarked Rotom. "Like I couldn't do that. Or doesn't that mindless garage door opener of yours know I'm not the only Rotom in thi- has been registered to your Pokédex!" he added suddenly, an image of a fiery pig creature popping up on the screen.

"Wait, what?" Maribel said, eyes widening. She raced to the nearest window that overlooked where Pignite and Magmar had gone outside to spar and gasped audibly. "He really did! Pignite just evolved!" she exclaimed.

"Hey, whoa, that's awesome!" grinned Keith.

"I'll be right back!" Maribel called, already halfway out the door.

"Heh," grinned Keith. "Wow. Uh... oh, man, Magmar might not take it all that well," he added with a chuckle.

"Indeed," agreed Willa. "Those two have been rivals since Maribel first caught Magby. I think we all saw how Pignite reacted to having seen that Magby evolved..."

"In which case, I don't think Maribel's gonna be back in here in any particular hurry," Keith finished.

~~~~~

Tase was happy with the electricity. Meowstic could feel something of a strange sensation when the Joltik sucked up the electricity, but having helped Eddie's Togedemaru and Diana's Dedenne with similar energy crises, this wasn't her first time. And even if it had been, her expression rarely gave much of anything away anyway. "Happy to help," she nodded in response to Tase's thanks.

But then they got right into the story, where Meowth admitted to having been the captain of the Iron Charm. "Eheheh, weren't so much a Trainer's Pokémon back den," he stated. "Dis was before I eva set foot in a Poké Ball. And, uh... well, da first one," he stated. "Dey backstabbed me. Da whole ting, makin' me deir captain, it was all a ruse. Dis one Galarian Meowth in da crew, she was real manipulative, and she figured she could con me inta helpin' her gettin' stronga, learnin' dat Steel Beam move, even evolvin'. And well, she'd earned my trust but good, so... yeah, I helped her," he shrugged. "And I wanna just say, I was a damn good pirate captain if I do says so myself," he added. "But afta dat one Meowth evolved, she'd gotten wat she wanted, and so she mastaminded a mutiny. Marooned me on a desert island and left me-owth ta die," he sighed. "Managed ta float ta da Fizzytopia mainland on a piece o' wood. Got da job done, but it weren't comfy," he shook his head. "Decided den and dere I ain't wanted nuttin' ta do wit pirates no more, so I tricked dis one Trainer inta tinkin' he'd hatched me from an Egg. A few trades later, I end up wit dat guy, and I ain't neva looked back."

~~~~~

"O-oh, it's OK," Winter assured his new friend, Dust having apologized for inadvertently dragging up less than pleasant memories. "L-like you said, you didn't know, and it's n-not something I typically talk about, so... well, how could you have known?" he murmured, shrugging his ice crystals. "I... I know now that Keith wouldn't have caught me if he didn't really want a Cryogonal. And I mean he really wanted one, too- I heard he'd been trying to get one for years. So... all things considered, that all turned out for the best," he said with a happier tone.

~~~~~

"MAAAGMAAAR!"

"EMBOOOOAR!"

"MAAAGMAAAR!"

"EMBOOOOAR!"

"MAG-"

"Alright, that's enough!" Maribel interrupted, folding her arms as she addressed her pair of Fire-types. "Emboar, I'm proud that you evolved, but there is no need to rub it in Magmar's face! And you, Magmar, you know better than to let this sort of thing get to you!"

"...mar," Magmar conceded.

"Embooar," Emboar added sheepishly.

"Thank you," smiled Maribel. "Now, then... Magmar. I know what you want to do now. And I'm OK with it. But Emboar, if you're not OK with it, if you don't want Magmar stealing your thunder or anything like that, then we'll hold off. Right, Magmar?" she added pointedly.

But Magmar nodded. "Mar Magmar," he agreed.

"Boar..." considered Emboar. Then, he reached into Maribel's bag, and gently extracted a strange red box from within, and handed it over to Magmar. "Emboar boar!" he grinned.

Magmar grinned back. "Mag maaar!" he responded. The Spitfire Pokémon then took hold of his Trainer's hand (thankfully keeping his considerable internal temperature very well-contained) and raced off in the general direction of the Global Trade Station...


Quote:
What? Pignite is evolving!



...

...

...!



Congratulations! Your Pignite evolved into Emboar!

*Emboar learned Hammer Arm!*
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Old 10-27-2021, 01:46 AM   #29
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"Well, yeah, that was one of the reasons," Kite admitted. "But I wasn't lying when I said you'd probably kick my can. And easily, too."

In response to Aiden's question, Keith demonstrated that a traditional Pokédex had no issue picking the Rotom out of the Rotom Phone. Not that Maribel's Rotom Phone appreciated it. It was in the middle of revealing Hint's presence when it abruptly registered an evolution and, based on how no one else commented on it, Aiden tentatively hoped no one had heard. Hint was very quiet in Aiden's ear as Maribel rushed outside to deal with her just-evolved Emboar.

"You think so?" Aiden asked curiously, glancing between the Masters. "Where's she heading then?"

---

This story wasn't as detailed as the first, but Meowth had implied that he only recently felt ready to share it, so Tase didn't say a thing about it. He did nod when Meowth clarified that his pirating days happened while he was wild and listened with wide eyes as Meowth explained how a Galarian Meowth manipulated him into helping her become the captain. The crew then marooned him on an island and he managed to get to Fizzytopia on a piece of wood, swearing off pirating anything when he landed. He then got himself caught and eventually ended up with Keith.

"That sounds rough," Tase said in sympathy before perking up. "But, it also sounds like joining Keith was good for you! And if the first hadn't happened, who knows if the second ever would've? Y'know? I think things happen for a reason, so..." He trailed off, turning to look back at Aiden and Hint. Oh, and Kite, too, but he was fine. Same with Aiden. The only one who wasn't was...

Tase frowned. Hint didn't feel very good in his electrical senses. "Excuse me, Meowth, Meowstic," he said distractedly. "I gotta go check on something."

He didn't wait around for their response, darting down the bar top to where Aiden was leaning against the bar.

---

"Yeah, it really was for you," Dust agreed, one ear flicking over to where he'd last seen Tase. A glance towards the bar showed the Joltik making his way back to their Trainer, but Aiden looked fine to him. Same with Kite. And he didn't really have a way to check on Hint himself, but Tase was already on his way, so he figured there'd be enough people concerned about their Rotom for the moment. He turned back to Winter and stretched. "It's nice when things work out."
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Old 10-27-2021, 06:13 PM   #30
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"Ohh, OK," nodded Eon.

It didn't seem as though anyone had really caught what Maribel's Rotom Phone was about to say, so distracted were they by the sudden reveal that Maribel's Pignite had evolved into an Emboar. This left Aiden wondering just where the young Trainer was headed.

"The Global Trade Station, easily," said Willa. "Those two Fire-types have been rivals since they were a Tepig and a Magby. Tepig evolved into Pignite while battling who was then a wild Magby looking for a fight. It seems it was only once Pignite made it clear to Magby that Maribel is who helped him get that strong that Magby decided to go along with her. The two have been trying to outdo each other ever since. And so now that Pignite evolved into Emboar..."

"...Magmar's gonna want to evolve into Magmortar," Keith nodded. "Good thing Maribel got that Magmarizer a few weeks back."

~~~~~

Tase was sympathetic about what Meowth had gone through, and added that it seemed like joining Keith was good for him. "Dat it was," Meowth nodded. "And honestly, once I finally opened up ta da big lug, told him 'bout my past, he was pretty cool about it. Even helped me confront my past some time ago, too." He was about to get into that story, when Tase stated that he had to go and check on something. "We'll be here when youse gets back," Meowth said, as the Joltik already took off running back to Aiden.

"He seems like a nice fellow," Meowstic remarked.

"Yeah," Meowth agreed. "Full o' energy, but a good listener."

"It would seem so," nodded Meowstic. "You will be telling him, then, of the Battle for Sludge Wave Coast?"

"I was tinkin' just dat," confirmed Meowth. "O' course, ya wanna tell some o' da tale, yer more den welcome to," he purred.

"I think I'd like that," Meowstic responded with a small smile. Meowth nuzzled her affectionately as they waited for Tase to return.

~~~~~

"It is," agreed Winter happily. "I-"

"O-oh, Winter? Um... and, uh... I'm sorry, I don't know who...?"

Winter wheeled around- the Shiny Toxapex Keith had sent out along with his other Pokémon earlier had finally actually approached someone. "Oh- Aster," said Winter. "Where did you go? I hadn't seen you since Keith sent us all out."

"I- I went into their aquarium, to- to wait for the others to get here, and I ended up taking a nap," responded the shy Brutal Star Pokémon. "U-um, I was wondering, since I didn't wanna interrupt the- the conversations over there... I... um, wait, I interrupted your conversation instead, I'm sorry," she murmured, embarrassed as she realized this.

"No, no, it's OK, Aster," Winter assured his teammate. "I'm guessing you wanted us to go and let Corsola know you're here?"

"Yes, um, if it wouldn't be too much trouble," nodded Aster.

"None whatsoever, I'll be right back," Winter replied. "Oh, yes- this is Dust. Dust, this is Aster, one of my teammates and friends," the Cryogonal added, introducing the Shiny Toxapex and Alolan Vulpix. "I'll be happy to continue our conversation, if you would just give me a minute?

"Hello, Dust," said Aster, shyly yet politely.
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Old 11-02-2021, 12:42 AM   #31
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"Ohhh, that makes sense." Aiden nodded once the older Masters explained the situation. "So, when she does return, she'll have another newly-evolved Pokémon?"

Meanwhile, Kite had slowly started stretching out in Aiden's lap, prompting his Trainer to shift his disguised Zorua so the vulpine didn't fall onto the floor. One of Kite's ears rotated and he peeked an eye open as Tase skittered back over.

"Hey, what's up?" Kite asked, Aiden following Kite's gaze to see Tase.

"Oh, hey, Tase. You done?"

Tase shook his whole body in a "no." "Something's wrong," he said, visibly concerned. Kite's head came up and Aiden straightened as the pair turned their full attention on Tase.

"With..." Kite trailed off, Hint's name loud in its absence, and Tase nodded.

"What's wrong?" Aiden almost demanded, not quite caring that the Masters would hear everything after all their efforts not to let on about Hint.

Tase paused and tilted his head, listening to Hint's electrical currents and looking more upset the longer he listened. "It's so scared," Tase eventually whispered. "I think..." He hesitated and listened again. "It feels like the Rotom Phone might've scared it and it panicked and then it started scaring itself."

Aiden reached up for his ear cuff, glanced at the Masters, and clearly decided to finish the movement, tapping gently at the device as he rested his fingers against it. "Hint?"

---

Dust tilted his head as a Shiny Toxapex approached, but it wasn't until Winter called her by name that he recognized her. This wasn't just any Shiny Toxapex; she was the Shiny Toxapex. The Alolan Vulpix smiled as he was introduced, nodding at Winter as the Cryogonal offered to talk to a Corsola for Aster.

"Sure, we'll be here," Dust told Winter, even as his eyes flickered over at the group he assumed Winter would be heading for. It was the only other group talking to each other, but something seemed to be happening there. Dust watched for another moment before he turned back to Aster and Winter; if they needed him, they'd call. He smiled at Aster, trying to be encouraging. "Hello, Aster. Nice to meet you. You're...from the Springtide Isle, right?"
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Old 11-02-2021, 10:02 PM   #32
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Keith and Willa both nodded at Aiden's question. "Without a doubt," Keith stated.

"It does seem a bit... soon, considering Magmar was still a Magby just a little while ago," said Willa. "But when a Pokémon is ready, it's ready."

"Couldn't agree more, dear," Keith nodded. "Why, my Haxorus spent a grand total of two seconds as a Fraxure," he chuckled.

"Ah, yes, I remember you telling me that," Willa nodded with a small smile. "I- hm?" she murmured, for at that moment, Tase the Joltik had skittered back over to them, looking visibly worried about something, and he seemed to very quickly have Aiden and Kite's undivided attention. Keith and Willa exchanged looks, then listened intently. Though... since they couldn't understand what exactly Tase was saying, they didn't get much out of it. But Aiden certainly seemed to, and eventually, after a glance at the Masterses, tapped gently at the ear cuff he had been wearing, attempting to speak to someone known as Hint.

"...Hint?" Keith repeated. "Aiden, what's wrong? Is there any way we can help?"

Willa, meanwhile, was thinking. Now that she thought back to the moment, she recalled Maribel's Rotom Phone starting to say something before being interrupted by the timing of Pignite's evolution into Emboar. She considered a possibility, which, while not knowing if there was actually anything to it, it would nevertheless explain it all. "...is Hint the name of your Rotom?" Willa asked, not unkindly.

Meanwhile, in all this confusion, Willa was only faintly aware of the fact that Corsola had spotted someone floating close to the ceiling, and floated up to meet him.

"Hi, Winter," smiled the Ghost-type.

"Hello, Corsola," the Cryogonal responded warmly. "Enjoying yourself?"

"A little," the Galarian Corsola responded. "Maribel had to run off for a bit- apparently Pignite evolved, and since Magby had also evolved into Magmar earlier-"

"-ohh, yes, then he'll be coming back here a Magmortar," nodded the Cryogonal. "Well, hopefully that will quell their rampant one-upmonship now that they'll both be fully evolved... Oh, yes," he added, having just remembered why he had come to fetch Corsola in the first place. "You know, Corsola, your mother is here, and she'd love to see-"

Corsola's ghostly eyes lit up. "Mommy's here?" he said. And, looking down, he spotted the Shiny Toxapex talking to an Alolan Vulpix. "Yay~" he exclaimed, before practically dive-bombing the Brutal Star Pokémon.

~~~~~

Aster gave a small smile as Dust greeted her, but looked mildly surprised as the Alolan Vulpix asked if she was from Springtide Isle. "Y-yes, I am," Aster replied. "H-how did you know that?" she asked, her tone more curious than accusatory. "A-are you from there as well? I... I know s-several Trainers got Alolan V-Vulpix from there-"

"Mommyyyyyy!" came the surprisingly cheerful voice of a Galarian Corsola as he dove right into Aster, who prepared herself for a hug just in time. Of course, Corsola's ghostly branches weren't going to do much in the way of, y'know, hugs, but Aster was more than happy to hug her son with her frontmost legs, making damn sure to not let her boy run afoul of her spikes. But she'd been practicing hugging literally since she was born, so this was second nature to her by now.

"Oh, Corsola, my son," smiled Aster. "Why exactly did Willa and Maribel get here later, anyway?"

"They were held up waiting for us at the Pokémon Center," explained Corsola. "Helena was real busy today. And then a Trainer challenged Maribel to a battle on the way here, and Magby evolved! And then Pignite evolved too, so Maribel's gone to evolve Magmar into Magmortar."

"Oh, wow," murmured Aster. "That certainly would do it... o-oh, yes, where are my manners?" she added sheepishly. "Dust, this is my son, Corsola. Corsola, this is Dust."

"Hi, Mr. Dust," said Corsola.
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Old 11-06-2021, 01:49 AM   #33
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Aiden was only half paying attention to the Masters, far more focused on trying to figure out how to get Hint to stop 'scaring itself,' and he grimaced as a small spark of static leaped to his fingers at his tap.

"Hint, c'mon," he said quietly, trying not to slip into begging. "Talk to me."

Unfortunately, Willa's question seemed to register with Hint before Aiden's voice did and Aiden yelped as a stronger burst of electricity shot out of the ear cuff, ripping the device from his ear so he could drop it onto the bar top. "Ow." He rubbed at his ear and then covered his face with his hands. "Dammit."

After a moment, he dragged his hands down his face and took a deep breath, turning back to the Masters. "Yeah, Hint's my Ro-" He snatched his hand back as an arc of lightning flew from the ear cuff to where his hand had been resting.

Tase raised his forelegs, looking upset. "I think it thinks it's back where it was before you got it."

Aiden eyed Tase and grimaced again. "You know I can't understand you right now." He glanced at the ear cuff. "But I think I can guess," he muttered, before turning back to try to answer Willa's question. "Yeah, Hint's a Rotom. And I'm its human." He ran a hand through his hair and gripped the back of his neck as he answered Keith's question. "And if you guys know how to snap a Rotom out of its thoughts, or even have any suggestions for that, I'm all ears."


Meanwhile, Kite pushed off Aiden's lap and climbed onto the bar top, ignoring the bartender's scowl as he trotted over to where Meowth and Meowstic were chatting. "Hey, uh, sorry to interrupt," he said to Meowth, sounding more polite than genuine, "but could you help translate for a bit? We're...having an issue at the moment, which, unfortunately, puts my trainer's translation device out of commission and it'd...probably be a good idea for him to be able to understand what Tase is saying."

---

Dust shook his head at Aster's question, but the Shiny Toxapex was quickly distracted as a...ghostly Corsola came darting over to hug her. He raised his eyebrows as the conversation between the pair proved that the ghostly Corsola was Aster's kid, Dust tilting his head as he watched them. Huh. He hadn't figured that Toxapex could breed with Corsola, but, apparently, it was possible.

He nodded at Corsola when Aster introduced him. "Nice to meet you, Corsola." He flicked an ear and his eyes over to the situation happening over with the trainers and tried not to frown as he watched Kite trot over to Meowth and Meowstic. "Do you know what's happening over there right now?"
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Old 11-08-2021, 02:32 PM   #34
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Almost seemingly in response to Willa's question, a burst of electricity shot out of Aiden's ear cuff, and he hastened to remove the device and drop it on the counter. After a moment, he answered them, confirming Hint was indeed his Rotom. Tase, the Joltik, approached, but Aiden didn't seem able to understand what he was saying, wording it as though he usually was. Keith and Willa exchanged looks- they got the feeling that Hint typically powered that ear cuff and enabled it to translate Pokémon language for Aiden. A pretty cool prospect, they had to admit... when it worked, anyway, for it didn't seem especially functional at the moment.

Kite, meanwhile, walked over to the feline couple, who looked at him as he apologized for interrupting, before asking if Meowth could help with translation, seeing as the issue at hand put Aiden's usual means of Pokémon speech translation out of commission. "Yeah, sure ting," Meowth nodded. He and Meowstic walked along the counter, though not before the Scratch Cat Pokémon made use of Pay Day to leave a decent tip for the bartender, so that perhaps he might be a bit less upset with their current positioning. "Hey, so, wat's up?" Meowth asked Tase. "Yer friend says yer havin' an issue and dat I should maybe translate fer youse?"

Keith and Willa exchanged looks again as Aiden asked if they knew of any way to snap a Rotom out of its own thoughts. "Snap a Rotom out of..." Keith murmured. "Bad memories of some sort, perhaps?"

"It could very well be," Willa nodded. "Hmm... it might not be the same as bad dreams specifically, but surely Selia might be able to help?" she suggested.

"Y'know, that's not a bad idea," Keith nodded, already taking his Pokédex back out. He pressed a few buttons, and finally a Luxury Ball materialized in his free hand. He tossed the Luxury Ball into the air, and a Musharna appeared, floating in midair. "Selia, there's a problem," Keith stated. "The Rotom in that ear cuff there seems to need help snapping out of its own thoughts, something to that effect? I'm not entirely sure what the story is, if I'm being honest, but I get the feeling you might possibly be in the best position to help with that. Its name is Hint, that's about all I got."

I'll certainly give it a try, Selia responded telepathically, her telepathic tone of voice soft and reassuring, broadcasting this thought to all nearby. Hello, Selia greeted Aiden and Tase. Before I attempt anything, is there anything I might need to know about Hint beforehand? I would hate to inadvertently make this worse due to not having all the pertinent information.

~~~~~

Dust seemed somewhat surprised at the implication that Toxapex and Corsola could breed, but did not question it. Instead, he returned Corosla's greeting and then turned his attention to the situation that their Trainers were involved in, asking if any of them knew what was going on. "I'm not sure," murmured Aster. "I was off by myself since I got here... Corsola, do you know anything?" she asked her son.

"I heard Maribel's Rotom Phone starting to talk about there maybe being another Rotom nearby, before it was interrupted by Pignite having evolved into Emboar," replied Corsola. "I don't know if that means anything to this, though."

"Another Rotom?" murmured Winter. "That's news to me. I didn't see one... that thing on the counter is sparking, though," he added, looking over at what was going on. "Is there a Rotom in that thing?" he asked Dust.
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Old 01-31-2022, 07:17 PM   #35
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The past few months have been hell. Literally. Literal fucking hell. For over a decade he's been trapped like this. TRAPPED. Only for the past few months to be even worse. Fuck everything. Literally. Fuck everything. He had a proper body again. Even if he was still a ghost dead and gone. He was still here. Alive, in a sense. At least he wasn't bound anymore. That was fine and dandy. At least he finally had some semblance of personal time. And what better way to do it than to commit arson?

So there he sat at the Bar, sipping on a drink using a disposable phone. Trying to get a certain horny idiot's attention. Besides, he wanted to talk. He had seen her recently. Though surely he had some SEMBLENCE of an idea on where the fuck she went. Perplexing, wasn't it, that whenever he thought he'd be freed from this another wrench was thrown into his plans.

"Lemonade," he demanded, slamming yet another glass onto the bar counter.

"Uh, sir, where are your parents?" the barkeep asked. "This is your fifth glass."

"Did I fucking stutter?" the "boy" glared, yellow eyes starting to burn purple.

"No. No. I apologize. Another lemonade coming up," the person responded, voice laced with terror.

At this point, he could feel his rage starting to well up. No, not yet. Not yet. Soon, but not now. Besides... he knew that by being a demon's plaything, he'd chew toyed by someone interfering with his plans. This place felt weird, but at least he was alone... for now. Uninvited guests would definitely, totally be fine.

Gritting his teeth, he continued to rapidly text on the electric brick in his hands. He knew better than to leave a trace. After all the things he had to stand back and watch he knew better than anyone. The unspeakable horrors he was forced to observe, he cared not. Trauma? He was dead. A burden for his soul that would end up being consumed by flames.

All of this just to get his end of the bargain. All of this horseshit. He'd be happy once all of this was said and done. That he got his friend back. And had to leave all of this fucked up bullshit behind. He wanted an afterlife, and he'd do whatever it took to fucking get it. Now. Where. Was. That. Fucking. Horndog. Of. A. Crow?



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Old 02-08-2022, 09:04 PM   #36
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Of which the tongues declare

A horndog crow enters the Bar in the shape of a frustrated human. Face contorted to almost comedic levels of restrained fury, he dramatically flings the doors open... only to have one come back and nearly hit him in the face, with the quick reflexes of his left arm being the only thing between him and a broken nose.

Undeterred from this ridiculous display by his near-injury, he marches over to the brooding young gentleman sipping his fifth lemonade, and, with a flourish, pulls out the empty stool next to him - only for it to crash on the floor.

With a muttered apology to the bartender, he straightens the stool back up, and sits down with an exaggerated sigh.

"My sincere apologies for the lateness, but... the situation has changed," Oroitz murmurs with excessive gravitas. Just as these words leave his lips, a Baile-Style Oricorio gracefully flits in, looking around.

Oh... What a lovely little dump this is, she sings, flying over to the dust-covered jukebox. Maybe if you hung out at hotter places, you wouldn't be such a cold, wet rag, Also Oroitz~ With a few well-placed Pounds on the buttons, she gets the thing running... At maximum volume.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh~! This is my song~ she coos, in a tone that suggests that she was likely to say that about any song with a remotely danceable rhythm. As the music plays, she dances her little birdie heart out, forgetting why she followed Oroitz to the bar in the first place.

Oroitz watches her a moment, longing in his crimson eyes, before turning around and slamming his fists on the table.

"The fates... are cruel, are they not?" He hisses, turning to the "boy", his eyes softening slightly. It was true, this was one of the very worst moments of Oroitz's life... But the tormented soul beside him had suffered pain beyond what the crow could fathom, and the birdbrain would do well to show some sympathy. "...How are you holding up?"

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Old 02-09-2022, 06:22 PM   #37
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There was an annoyance to what he had just witnessed. Finally, the birdman showed up... with a flamenco bird in turn who immediately started dancing. At least, it seemed, she was more here to partake in living up the place than interrupt on the conversation. Especially, well, when it was obvious the ghost boy wasn't having it. Of course, the phone that Oroitz had wouldn't have been used.

Still, he could tell that the Honchkrow man was dealing with similar feelings as him. At least, well, he was able to change back into a Lampent. Such was the "gift" of his benefactor. He'd, at the very least, have preferred a version totally to the years he had lived. Not to the exact same as when he had died the first time. Such was the cruelty of fate.

Letting out a deep sigh after downing his fifth glass, he turned towards Oroitz, who more than seemed to be sympathetic at this point. They were, after all, dealing with the exact same thing at the end of the day. Their bodies contorted beyond their consent. Harsher still, for the one born as a Pokemon.

"Like shit. All of what I'm going through for over the past decade was part of even more convoluted bullshit. I thought, that by agreeing to what I did... I'd save them all. Such a fool-hearted dream of a child, isn't it?" he turned back to Oroitz with a solemn smile, eyes closed. The face of someone about to break, despite accepting what happiness they could get.

"But, that matters not." At this point, the Lampent was looking at the ceiling of the bar, almost as if gazing at the starry sky and moon beyond. "I at least have autonomy now, instead of being forced to watch in waxy form. Still, I was human once, I'm not sure you ever were. How have you been dealing with this new body?" William poised.

Surely Oroitz could get a much better use out of one than him. He was stuck in this pre-teen age, barely pubescent even if his mind was far beyond that. Sure, he could always just hang around as a Lampent, but that was no fun, was it? He preferred this form overall, though, despite his qualms. Still, best hear the man he had hounded out here for various purposes instead of going on his own tirade.
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Old 03-06-2022, 05:20 PM   #38
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Aiden considered the floating pink-and-purple Pokémon with wary skepticism, especially when she spoke in his head. He weighed his want to know what kind of Pokémon it was versus Hint's situation...and decided he could wait until afterwards, if this worked.

With a grimace, Aiden said, "Hint..." He paused, took a breath, and decided to just plow through. "It's almost literal worst nightmare is being discovered unwillingly. It was originally trained in, like, electrical infiltration and espionage or something like that, with the knowledge it wasn't likely to have backup often, if at all, so this?" He gestured in general. "This whole thing? I think this is pretty much its worst nightmare come to life."


Tase glanced at the ear cuff sitting on the table and then at the floating Musharna before turning to Meowth as Kite trotted back to Aiden, settling himself in their Trainer's lap. "Normally, Aiden can hear us through that,"--he gestured at the ear cuff--"but Hint's really scared right now and it's zapping anything that touches it." Tase skittered forward and gingerly touched the device, pulling back and canceling out the charge that leapt at him at the contact. He turned to look up at Meowth, wide-eyed and worried. "And, and I know Aiden probably knows, but I just wanna tell him that I think Hint thinks it's back where it was before Aiden got it. It's, it's the only time I ever see it try to be small small," he said, voice dropping, body drooping. "When it wakes up after going all jagged and scared. It always hides on those days. Quiet quiet and sneaking around."

---

Dust winced as Corsola explained what he knew and then Winter asked him if there was a Rotom in the sparking thing on the counter. "Ehhhh," Dust hedged, peering over at where almost everyone was clustered. "I mean...well, I guess...since it's kinda already freaking out about it, I can probably say that we have a Rotom?" He tilted his head to the other side, trying to decide if he should head over as well or if that would just be crowding Hint. "Though...it definitely will not be happy that people know we have it."
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Old 03-07-2022, 11:59 PM   #39
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Aiden seemed wary of Selia at first, but launched into the explanation nonetheless- Hint, as it turned out, considered its worst nightmare to be getting discovered against its will. Evidently, it was trained in electrical infiltration, spying, things of that nature, with the caveat that backup would be infrequent, if an option at all. Keith and Willa exchanged looks- a past like that, that would surely make anyone think getting found unexpectedly was the end of the world.

Sympathetic tears squeezed their way past Selia's perpetually closed eyelids as Meowth and Meowstic came over, accompanying Tase. The former of the felines nodded at the Joltik's words before speaking up to Aiden. "Alright, so, Tase is pretty sure youse knows dis much already, but he wants me ta tell youse he tinks Hint tinks it's back ta where it was before youse gots it. Apparently dat's the only time he's eva seen it like dis."

Hmm, Selia mused, taking in this information. Indeed, I think getting me involved was the right decision, she informed Keith (though still telepathically transmitting to all present). It's an unusual situation, so I cannot make promises, but assuming I'm understanding the situation correctly, this should do the job. With that, Selia focused on the sparking device, on the sentient power source within, on the nightmarish situation said power source thought itself to be in, on the nightmare brought to life, and used Dream Eater. The theory was, she could eat away the bad thoughts and feelings, snapping Hint out of it, and since the Rotom was technically awake, the move would leave it with nary a hit point out of place.

"Selia is a Musharna," Keith said to Aiden. "Munna and Musharna are pretty much the only Pokémon that can eat dreams that don't find nightmares to taste disgusting. And Selia for one considers it her responsibility to help out anyone plagued by nightmares."

"And Hint's situation would certainly qualify," Willa nodded. The Masterses elected to shut up following this- if Selia succeeded, after all, it was agreed all around that the first thing Hint should hear was its own Trainer's voice.

~~~~~

Dust confirmed that they did indeed have a Rotom, though added that it would most certainly not be happy about people knowing this. Corsola, Winter, and Aster all exchanged surprised looks before turning back to the Alolan Vulpix. "Why wouldn't it?" asked Corsola. "Is it shy?"

"I... I can be pretty shy myself," murmured Aster. "I... I'm a bit better about it nowadays, but sometimes when seeing new people for the first time, I would just..." trailing off, the Shiny Toxapex slammed her two front legs down in front of her, forming a perfect dome with all of her legs, concealing her head from view in its entirety. "...that," she finished, lifting up the front legs again, revealing her face once more.

"That does seem to fit with what looks to be going on over there, more or less," observed Winter. "Though is that Selia?" he added, noticing Keith's Musharna. "Usually if she's getting involved there's actual nightmares to be dealt with..." The Cryogonal turned to look at Dust, concern somehow evident in his immovably inscrutable expression. "If you don't mind my asking, what exactly is that Rotom's story?" he inquired gently. Aster and Corsola both looked at Dust as well, paying close attention.
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Old 03-13-2022, 11:03 PM   #40
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Aiden grimaced as Meowth relayed Tase's words. That...about matched up to what he'd figured and the times Hint had had nightmares before the others had joined them. Which, while Tase was right and he'd pretty much already guessed that before Meowth had helped, still really fucking sucked for Hint. Poor guy hadn't had one of these freak-outs in public before. And in front of other people? Which revealed its presence among them? He didn't want to even guess how badly his Pokémon would be feeling after that.

Kite pawed at his hand and he started threading his fingers through the Zorua's fur, nodding as the Masters explained what Selia was and how she could hopefully help. Well, it was out of his hands now. He'd just have to hope that Selia's efforts were effective.

---

Dust hedged again at Corsola's question, making a noncommittal noise as he tilted his head. "Ehhh, I suppose you could say its shy?"

He grimaced at Winter's question, though, tapping his tails in sequence against the floor. After a beat, he sighed. "Hint...was apparently trained to quietly infiltrate and gather information. Maybe sabotage things. But it was always trained to go solo. No team, no backup. No help." He glanced over at the group, watching Aiden as his Trainer waited tensely for the results of whatever the Musharna was doing. "And I guess it's been found out. Not because we introduced it or it popped out on its own. But...it's known now, to people it doesn't know. Whose reactions it can't predict. In a place it doesn't think is safe." He shrugged, ears going flat against his head as he turned back to the group he was talking to. "You can guess how it feels about that."

---

...small and quiet...

...

...hidehide...

...

...don'tbefounddon't be found...

...

...

...wait...

...

...mission? Was it...on a mission?

...

...what...was the mission...?

It slowly uncurled, inching out from the little ball it'd squeezed itself into.

...where...was it?

...this...wasn't its Pokéball. Not a server or system either...

...it was comfortable...

...

...

...there were people out there...

...familiar signals...

...

...maybe...it was safe...?

...

It considered the signals radiating anxious worry and tentatively reached out.

...hello?

One of the electrical signals responded.

---

"Hint!" Tase cheered, darting up to tap excitedly at the ear cuff.

Aiden straightened at Tase's cheer, shifting to keep Kite supported in his lap as he reached out for the ear cuff. "Hint?"

"Nono, waitwaitwait." Tase skittered to intercept Aiden's hand, waving his forelegs to ward his Trainer off. "Give it a minute!"

Aiden hesitated and Kite immediately pulled at his arm to ask for more pets. With a sigh, he went back to it, waiting for Tase to give the all-clear.

"I guess..." He paused and glanced at Meowth. Might as well confirm what Tase's behavior implied with the one Pokémon who actually could. "Did it work?"
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Old 03-14-2022, 05:47 PM   #41
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As had been pretty much assumed already, Aiden had indeed pretty much already figured what the Joltik had been saying. Nothing more could be done by the humans now- it was all up to Selia. The Musharna was dutifully eating away the nightmares, hoping to snap Hint out of it, get the Rotom to realize it was safe. For several tense moments, nothing seemed to happen. And then, Tase ccheered, darting over to the ear cuff, tapping at it excitedly. This, naturally, got Aiden's attention, but as he went to reach for the cuff himself, Tase headed him off, telling him to give it a minute. This plus a little prompting from Kite got Aiden to resume petting the Zorua instead, while turning to Meowth, asking if it worked. "Tase certainly seems ta tink so," Meowth responded. "He was tellin' youse ta give it a minute. Which makes sense ta me- don't seem like a good idea ta overwhelm anyone just snappin' outta a bad nightmare."

"Mrroowstic," Meowstic nodded in agreement.

Selia no longer had any nightmare to eat, but the Musharna was staying focused on the ear cuff and the Rotom within all the same, carefully monitoring the situation to ensure all had indeed gone well, and would continue to. I believe Meowth's assessment of the situation is right, she telepathically transmitted to Aiden specifically. I am continuing to monitor Hint for the moment in the interest of playing it safe, but it seems as though your Rotom will be just fine. The Musharna gave a gentle smile as those words were beamed into Aiden's mind. Keith and Willa dared not speak up at the moment, lest they startle Hint unnecessarily, but they exchanged glances and relieved smiles.

~~~~~

Corsola, Aster, and Winter listened intently as Dust launched into the story, the story of a Rotom trained for electronic infiltration, specifically for solo missions- no team, no backup, no help. And now its presence was known against its will, to people it didn't know, to people it couldn't predict, in a place it wasn't convinced was safe. "...that sounds nightmarish," the Cryogonal murmured as the Alolan Vulpix concluded his speech. "Then I would say Selia was the correct choice indeed- dealing with nightmares is a specialty of hers. Selia believes that Munna and Musharna are descended from the legendary Pokémon Cresselia, hence her name," Winter explained to Dust. "Evidently, most Pokémon capable of eating dreams are in unanimous agreement that nightmares taste disgusting, but Munna and Musharna are the exception. You would think this would have inflated her ego, but Selia sees her supposed ancestry as something to try and live up to. She actually commonly volunteers in the Pokémon Center back in Sludge Wave Coast, too- people who stay there at night never complain of nightmares if she can help it."

"Yeah, she's really good," Corsola added. "I feel sorry for Hint, but I'm sure Selia's helping it to feel more comfortable."

"Absolutely," agreed Aster. "Perhaps later we could introduce ourselves to Hint, so that it knows us better, should it encounter us again in the future... obviously not right away, of course, I wouldn't dream of overwhelming the poor thing so soon after this ordeal," she added respectfully, which was met with murmurs of agreement from Corsola and Winter.
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Old 03-18-2022, 08:39 PM   #42
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The one discharge from sin and error.

Oroitz nods with deep sympathy at the living spirit's words. Even more convoluted bullshit seemed an apt summary for both of their situations, really, and the former Honchkrow grew more exhausted and irritated with each unexpected twist and turn. He considers consoling his new companion, reassuring him that no decision made in the interest of saving one's loved ones - no matter how risky, or ill-fated - was ever foolish, but he reconsiders. The crow, in attempting to approximate clamping his beak shut, finds himself grinding his human teeth audibly. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, he thinks to himself, and this poor bastard's been walking that road so long his shoes are practically on fire.

"Autonomy..." Oroitz repeats, considering the transformed Lampent's question. "Well, I am flightless, wingless... My beautiful black plumage, thoroughly plucked... I have no beak, and I must squawk." Oroitz smirks slightly. "Even so, I can sit at the bar without being pushed and cajoled into antics. I can sit quietly... Have a drink... and engage in a serious conversation. Not that I was denied such comforts as a Honchkrow, mind you; Minerva speaks to me as an equal, rather than some performative pet. Beyond her, though, this form... Well, it certainly commands more respect from other humans - and even other Pokemon - to the point that it makes me rather nauseous to think about." His eyes flicker briefly over to Becky, his grimace deepening. "That one over there seems to be the only exception..."

The irritated gentleman sighs, flagging the bartender. "A Virgin Mary, if you would," he requests, "and please don't be afraid to get a little heavy-handed with the horseradish and tabasco."

I SEE YOU ORDERING DRINKS! I WANT ONE, TOO! I WANT WHATEVER YOU'RE HAVING, SO I CAN JUDGE YOUR CHOICES! Becky shouts from the dance floor. Oroitz sighs again.

"...Make it two, please."

He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a lighter, flicking it idly as he looks around the room.

"This... this is Minerva's. She was a smoker for a long time, you know," he comments, the flame sparking and extinguishing with each flick. "...What the fuck did she and Marion see in this godsforsaken place?"
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Old 03-24-2022, 11:05 AM   #43
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One touch and I ignite

The ghost boy listens to Oroitz's laments. Sure, being human was certainly an advantage, but at the same time, it felt... off. He could understand, despite being human once. This body, well, wasn't one he wanted. His form was changed for a reason, and so for it to be contorted into something like this. Well, he understood that pain.

William feels a little irritated by the Oricorio's sudden outburst, not being able to respond to the bird next to him. Sure, he could feel the partying spirit, but he was jealous they could have alcohol while he couldn't. Still, whatever, this was more than enough with the lemonade. Not like the acidity would do anything to his body, so it was more of a mild sugar high than anything else.

He then watches as Oroitz pulls out a lighter, and talks about his trainer. Smoking... the thought disgusted him. When your last moments alive involved inhaling smoke, well it would turn you off. Still, though, a lighter wasn't a bad idea. He looked around, seeming ready for something.

"Well, why don't we put that lighter to good use?" William smirks. He then swaps tongues.

"Order a whisky. Then we can light this place up. Wash it of its sins, and let the public make it become reborn. I'm sure this will catch the attention of those who did this to us, no?" he continues, this time within the language of Pokemon speak. He could see the bartender looking at him a bit confused. Good, it worked.
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Old 03-28-2022, 05:13 PM   #44
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Aiden sighed at Meowth's translation. "Alright. That's...good." He ran his nails down Kite's spine, prompting the Zorua to arch into the sensation like a cat. He huffed a laugh and looked at Kite. "What, are you a cat now?"

Kite immediately swapped his disguise from a Growlithe to a Litten and meowed at his trainer. Aiden snorted and rolled his eyes, but continued what he'd been doing. "Yeah, alright. Whatever."

Meanwhile, Tase tapped at the ear cuff, watching Hint's electrical signals and silently talking back to it. He updated it on the situation, reassured it when it got embarrassed, and slowly coaxed it back out.

"Ughhhh," groaned a voice from the ear cuff eventually.

"Hint!" Tase cheered, forelegs in the air. Kite lifted his head from Aiden's lap as their trainer's attention snapped to the voice.

"Hint," Aiden said in relief, scooping up the ear cuff to cradle in one hand. "You alright?"

"God, that was...an absolute disaster," it said wryly through the device. "But thank you, Musharna-whose-name-I-missed. I didn't realize you could do that when someone was awake."

"Selia," Kite offered as Aiden gently set the ear cuff back on the bar top, so he wouldn't look weird holding a hands-free device that appeared to be on speaker.

"Selia," Hint agreed. "And thanks to the rest of you for bearing with us. I swear, I'm usually put together much better than this."

Tase did his best to hug the ear cuff. "You know we just want you to be okay!"

"Besides, we should've known it would've been a disaster the second we ran into them." Kite tilted his head at the Masters.

Hint laughed. "That's probably true," it admitted. "Us and legal copies of things probably shouldn't mix."

---

Dust hummed agreeably at Aster's suggestion, though it was ultimately up to Hint. Depending on how it was doing after this whole thing, they'd see how things went.

In the meantime, Dust shook his head in amazement as Winter explained about Selia. "Man, it seems like you guys have a lot of teammates and everyone sounds so helpful," he observed. "And nice. Doesn't it ever get overwhelming?"
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Old 03-28-2022, 07:35 PM   #45
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The only hope, or else despair

Oroitz seems to pick up on William's disgust regarding Minerva's former smoking habit, and seems to tacitly agree with his expression, before he looks around the Bar. His companion suggests he put the lighter to good use, and the darkly-clad gentleman nods in concurrence. He flicks the lighter open and shut, the flame flickering to life, only to die, and rise again. A phoenix in miniature.

"Better than lighting a cigarette, anyhow," he responds in the human parlance, before similarly switching tongues. "I will see it done."

"Barkeep," Oroitz motions with his free hand. "I've decided I... well, I want something a little stronger, eh? Scratch the Virgin Bloodies, and give me two shots of whiskey, please. One for me, and one for the lady."

The Bartender mumbles something about alcohol not being healthy for Pokemon, which only causes the veins in Oroitz's temples to nearly pop with fury. Flushing red, he grins like a wolf bearing fangs.

"It isn't healthy for anyone to drink, but I know better than to pass judgment," Oroitz hisses in the human tongue, before muttering in Honchkrow about how this place couldn't burn down fast enough.

Meanwhile, the music suddenly stops from the jukebox, as a series of colorful swears pours out of Becky's mouth. To the casual observer, the irriated bird was merely taking her anger out on a suddenly uncooperative piece of machinery... But out of Oroitz's eye, he could detect a particular deliberation and cunning in the dancer's actions. The way she was clawing at the cords with her talons to fray and expose them, pulling at the outlet to expose its innards... Perhaps it was just his imagination.

The pair of shots arrives to the table, and before Oroitz can even thank the bartender, Becky flutters in and swipes one, though the shrewd crow notices that she doesn't take a single sip of the drink... At least she was out of his feathers er, hair, for the moment.

Oroitz turns to William, taking a deep breath. "Ready when you are."
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Old 03-28-2022, 09:44 PM   #46
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Meowth's translation was able to put Aiden at ease, and to general amusement, his subsequent petting of Kite got a very feline reaction out of the Zorua, whose retort to this observation was to disguise himself as a Litten. Cyanide couldn't help but give an appreciative chuckle at this.

Most everyone else, on the other hand, had their attention on the ear cuff while Tase made an effort to communicate with the Rotom within. And finally, Hint's voice could be heard. Aiden was quick to pick up the device, whereupon Hint, whose voice was quite audible through the device, thanked Selia (albeit needing reminding of her name). The Musharna gave a polite nod. It was no trouble, she telepathically responded. I'm happy to have been able to help.

Hint also thanked the others for bearing with them, with this whole situation, promising that it was usually more put together than this. "Ah, we're just glad everything turned out alright," Keith responded.

"Indeed," Willa nodded. "Most everyone has their bad days in some capacity, there is no shame in that. If anything, it is us who should be apologizing, though I hope you realize Maribel's Rotom Phone meant no harm."

"Yeah, that Rotom's the sassiest thing you'll ever meet, but it's got a heart deep down," Keith stated. "Maribel actually actively chose that one out of all the better-behaved Rotom Phones in the shop, if you can believe it," he said to Aiden. "Didn't want to get deterred by a misbehaving Rotom Phone before she even began her journey, because she knew she'd probably have to deal with Pokémon that'd give her an even tougher time." He gave a small, proud chuckle. "Didn't want to start letting little obstacles like that deter her. She's inherited the old Masters family stubbornness, for sure," he smiled.

"Speaking of which," Willa murmured, a ringtone coming from her bag, from which she withdrew her Holo Caster. A projection of Maribel's smiling face appeared above the device. "Hello, sweetie," smiled Willa.

"Hi, Mom," said Maribel. "I'm on my way back now, and Magm-"

"MORTAR!!" Magmortar butted in, a holographic projection of the Blast Pokémon's head and left hand squeezing in, waving at Willa, who gave a light chuckle and a small wave in response.

"...yes, Magmar evolved into Magmortar," chuckled Maribel as Magmortar's projection disappeared. "And the guy who helped me with this, he was looking to evolve his Scyther into Scizor, so I got to help with that at the same time."

"Very nice indeed," Willa said approvingly. "It's always nice when these things benefit both Trainers in some way."

Meowth and Meowstic, meanwhile, had turned their attention back to Tase. "We's glad dis all worked out," Meowth said to the Joltik.

"Yes, indeed," Meowstic agreed. "Though with Selia's assistance I think there should have been little doubt. She helps out at the Pokémon Center back home all the time. Her belief is that her kind descended from the legendary Pokémon Cresselia, and so she makes it her duty to help those afflicted with nightmares of any sort."

"I can kinda believe it, too," Meowth put in. "See, when I use Dream Eater, if I ends up eatin' a nightmare... uugh," he groaned. "Enough ta make me-owth sick ta my stomach. Not Selia, though- Munna and Musharna can munch on nightmares witout a problem," he purred.

~~~~~

Dust seemed amazed about Selia, asking if having so many nice, helpful teammates ever got overwhelming. "I can't say that it does, really," the Cryogonal responded.

"O-oh, yes, I agree," Aster piped up. "See, I... well, I'm quite shy sometimes. Less so than I used to be, but still more than a little. And for the most part, the others are good about giving us space if we need it."

"I suppose the closest it would get to overwhelming for me was learning everybody's names when Keith first caught me," stated Winter. "And even then, his team wasn't quite as large back then, so everyone who came after me I could get to know gradually. And when Willa came into the picture, well, she only had Yanmega and Eelektross. It was also actually somewhat helpful that neither she nor Maribel name their Pokémon."

"I don't mind that, for the record," Corsola piped up. "I'm cool with just being called Corsola."

"...but I do get that such numbers can be overwhelming to some," nodded the Cryogonal. "Some time ago, a Trainer's Ralts and Galarian Ponyta had come to visit, the Ralts seeking advice from Keith on how to counter Poison-types. They ended up staying for dinner, but the Galarian Ponyta was more than a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of Pokémon- evidently she doesn't do well with crowds. Keith, Willa, Maribel, and all of us, once we were made aware of the issue, we all did our best to accommodate her until her Trainer could retrieve her. I remember taking my food and floating up near the ceiling, myself," the sentient snowflake recalled.
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Old 04-10-2022, 03:10 PM   #47
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That's just who I am this week

William considered what the best course of action here was... Well, the only witness here would be the Bartender. Good, perhaps they could just... dispose of him. A soul to feast on would certainly be a good treat. The finer delights of life, but at the same time, he knew Ethan would disapprove. COnsume the damned, after they have passed from their bodies. If he partook in murder, then would he really be better than his patron?

He then looked around and noticed the frayed cords. This Oricorio was an experienced arsonist... wasn't she? Well, she definitely had picked up on the plan. Well, it was time to light this place up. Taking a napkin, he rolled it up. Sure, he hated smoking, but well he had to give the illusion. Grabbing the lighter from Oroitz, he lit the tip of the napkin and let out a powerful Smog

"One of you two, take the bartender out and throw him outside while the smog covers us. Becky, you know where to throw to whisky. Oroitz, give me the shot once things are right. Need something to numb the pain of transformation," he told the duo.

"[I]Once I'm back as a Lampent, I want you to create a few molotovs Oroitz. I'll light them up with my Firestream... That way we can quickly tap and throw. Then, once we're ready to blow this joint... I'll have this place be consumed by my Inferno," he finished his plans. If he could give his second trainer credit, he was certainly a master strategist. Trained to handle any situation. Including arson. If they were unimpeded, then this place would be bereft of wood and consumed by flame.

Hopefully... things would soon be reborn from the ashes. Wash the sins of the pas. Of all the lies, deceit, and drama. A new start... Yes, a new start. If only he could have one...

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Old 04-10-2022, 05:47 PM   #48
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Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre // Am I more than you bargained for, yet?

Anticipating William's strategy, Oroitz takes a final, quick look around the room to cement his spatial awareness. He suppresses the urge to cough as Smog fills the space, closing his eyes tight and keeping his breaths small and controlled. Rising from his seat, he follows the sound of the Bartender's hacking, sputtering protestations, dragging them unceremoniously from behind the bar toward the door. Oroitz feels his way with his free hand, wordless - opening his mouth, after all, would invite disaster - and, once he finds the door, he slams it open with one hand, throws the bartender through with the other, closing and locking the door behind them. Perhaps an overconfident gesture for a transformed Pokemon that has no fire resistance in either form, but the crow would suffer no interruptions... Especially from goody two-shoes "heroes" who might dampen their plans.

With that quick breath of outside air, Oroitz finally opens his eyes, enduring the inevitable watering, though the dissipation of the initial smog has provided some reprieve. As instructed, he begins to rip bottles from the bar's shelves, preparing Molotovs with surprising efficiency. He comes across a bottle of tequila, with only a shot or two remaining... Not enough to make a Molotov, so the Honchkrow gentleman finishes it off with a swig. Hey, might as well numb his own discomfort from the smog and rising heat... With this task completed, he slides the shot of whiskey over to the Lampent to consume, preparing to start lobbing lit Molotovs at William's instruction.

Meanwhile, with a sickening spark and a brilliant flame, Becky flings her shot of whiskey at the raw wires and exposed plug, lighting an electrical fire that quickly finds the Bar's woodwork and spreads. With a mad cackle, she spreads her wings into the flames, letting them ignite. Fully alight, she dances to the tune of the crackling wood. She dances to the song of the rising blaze. With sweeps, swoons, steps, slides... Her fiery flamenco heralds sheer destruction. The fire-type was a swirling phoenix, reborn in madness, singing, singeing and swinging.

Oroitz averts his gaze from the burning display, knowing instinctively that if he were to watch the Oricorio's performance, he was liable to fall under her passionate thrall... And likely ignite as a result. It occurs to him - darkly, frighteningly - that this might have been her plan from the beginning. Perhaps it was his imagination, but he notices her smirking at him from the corner of his eye, her beak forming the words smarter than I thought.

The darkly-clad gentleman shakes his head, refocusing on the task at hand. No time for distractions, after all...
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Old 04-17-2022, 12:05 PM   #49
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Let our dreams get lost, feel the temperature rise

William chuckled a little bit, seeing the bartender quickly taken outside. Seems this plan would go out without a hitch... Well, time to continue with the plan. Looking at the shot of whisky, the ghost takes the shot. He recoiled a bit, the alcohol incredibly bitter. He felt himself warm-up, and he jumped out of his chair. With a swirl the Pokemon transformed back into a Lampent, human screams turning into the screams of the lamp.

Floating in the air, the soul-eating lamp watched with curiosity as the Molotovs were made. Good, more than a few bottles were at the ready. Preparing himself, he scanned the room once more. The electrical fire was already happening, and he had an idea. If the arsonist Oricorio was willing to accept it. Yet, she didn't really have a choice now, did she? This was a plan before she had come...

The Pokemon quickly went to the electrical fire and sat in the flames. His flicker of soul fire soon grew and grew, shining brighter than the ectoplasmic glass containing it. He soon began to chuckle, before the laughter became deranged. It was a tingly sensation, as he absorbed the flames due to his Flash Fire. This would prove more than enough to burn this place down in hellfire.

"Oroitz, you ready!?" he spoke out, before beginning to head back to the counter.

He soon inhaled, and let out his Flamethrower. He tried to hold it as long as he could, so each explosive cocktail could be lit and start fires around the bar. If they could beat the clock, and consume this place in flames... Perhaps they could spend the night somewhere else. Of course, that was as long as the plan went off without a hitch. Yet, he knew this place would arise like a phoenix out of the ashes.
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Old 04-19-2022, 06:08 PM   #50
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To be redeemed from fire by fire // One touch, and I ignite

Oroitz winces slightly at the sound of William's screams, wondering if he should have prepped another shot to further dull the pain. Even so, one couldn't argue with results; his companion's brilliantly burning soul was a sight to behold, particularly against the backdrop of such raging destruction. The Flash Fire signaled his intentions to Oroitz, and, dancing around the transformed William to the beat of his maniacal laughter, Becky also senses the Lampent's next move. The very moment before he unleashes his Flamethrower, Becky offers a Helping Hand, fanning the flames with her wings and breathing the warm essence of her fiery passion into his powerful stream of fire.

The moment the Lampent speaks out, Oroitz is quick to respond: "Ready to burn this miserable place to ASHES!"

The transformed Honchkrow wastes no time, his human hands lighting Molotovs and flinging them like he was a bartender serving cocktails... Only these particular concoctions were definitely not fit for consumption. He keeps his targets tactical, for the most part, though he grants himself a single indulgence: a Molotov lobbed at the spot he knew that Marion's body had landed, that fateful night of Halloween, 2012. He couldn't quite recall how he knew the exact placement of her body, but every time he tried to recall the memory, he was overwhelmed with a sickening feeling... Like being a Zangoose in a pit of Seviper. Indeed, that exact metaphor seemed the only way he could describe it. Serpentine eyes glaring within his soul. He wanted to burn the bloodstains out of the floor. Burn out the sins of his beloved friend. Most of all... he wanted to burn her ties to this place. Its people and Pokémon. Burn those fucking snakes - those fucking worms - into black, bitter dust, and let those old, painful memories burn away with them.

With a cackle, he flings fire across the Bar, delighting in the growing blaze consuming his surroundings. Eventually, Oroitz runs out of Molotovs, but that was of no concern to him - with this many fires raging unabated, the place was doomed to complete annihilation. Rebirth required nothing less, after all. A sudden realization strikes the birdbrain, and he stumbles over to snatch Minerva's lighter - best not to leave any evidence at the crime scene. Pocketing the silver device, he motions toward the bar's back kitchen.

"I believe there's an exit for staff through there," Oroitz remarks, "which should still be in tact. William, Becky, I trust that you both will cover our tracks..?"

Becky smirks, turning to William. He was a dance partner of sorts, to her, and she was eager to keep tempo...

Last edited by Marion Ette; 04-19-2022 at 06:13 PM.
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