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Old 06-14-2021, 06:11 PM   #1
Prof.Enigma
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Spinda The FB Bar

A secluded bar of laughter, drink, and the occasional antics. Trainers and Pokémon may find themselves here on their path to becoming a Pokémon master and meet other trainers who are venturing on their journey.

This thread exists as a Time-Out thread for players to have their trainers and Pokémon interact freely with those of others.

Last edited by Sneaze; 10-12-2021 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 06-14-2021, 06:48 PM   #2
Missingno. Master
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Keith walked into the bar, smiling nostalgically. In years past, this place had been where Fizzytopia's Pokémon Trainers would meet up and hang out. People and Pokémon alike have loved and lost. The site of many a new friendship, budding romance, or horrible catastrophe.

"Man," Meowth purred from his spot on Keith's shoulder. "Now dis place brings back memories."

"That it does, Meowth," Keith responded fondly, nodding slowly. "Glad they got it up and running again. Oh," he added, taking out his PokéGear, having just heard the text message alert tone. "Lemme see... Ah, OK, cool," he smiled, before typing out a response and pocketing the device. "That was Willa- she and Maribel will be here soon," he said to Meowth. "The Pokémon Center back home is kinda busy, and they don't wanna get moving until Dracovish and Flapple are fully healed."

"So why'd ya go on ahead?" Meowth asked. "Ain't youse usually da type ta stick wit dem instead o' goin' on ahead?"

"Heh. I am," grinned Keith. "They insisted," he explained. "Willa saw my eyes light up when I heard that the old bar was back in operation, she could tell how eager I was. She and Maribel told me to go on ahead, that they'd catch up." With that, Keith plucked the balls off his belt and tossed them into the air, sending out a Shiny Toxapex, an Umbreon, a Shiny Eevee, a Flareon, and a Cryogonal. "C'mon, guys," he said, leading his Pokémon over to the bar, whereupon Keith took a seat and proceeded to order various foods and beverages for himself and his Pokémon. None of which was alcoholic- this place, for Keith, had always been more about the socializing than about the booze.
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Old 10-04-2021, 11:15 PM   #3
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"First, he tells me not to leave. Then, he kicks me out of the house? How does that make any sense?" Aiden asked aloud. Kite trotted off to investigate something that caught his attention, Illusioned to look like a Growlithe as always. Dust and Tase ignored him, both more interested in their surroundings than their trainer's complaints.

"To be fair," Hint said through the hands-free device masquerading as an ear cuff, "the last two times you left the apartment to do your own thing, you ended up in some...interesting situations."

Kite huffed a laugh at that, while Dust rolled his eyes. Getting sucked into a console and having to fight a corrupted Porygon-Z could be considered interesting; both of them considered it more dangerous and irritating themselves.

"Well, yeah, but why does he need the place to himself? I know he doesn't have a girlfriend." Aiden blinked at the bar he'd spotted. Huh, he hadn't tried there yet.

"He probably wants to have some time alone," Hint said. "And you've already tried all the bars around the apartment building, why do you think this one'll be any different?"

"'Cause it's not close to home?" Aiden had been trying to get someone to sell him a drink without carding him, but he hadn't been very successful.

"Why're you trying so hard anyway?" Kite finally asked. "That stuff smells gross."

Aiden shrugged. "Just because I wanna see if it's possible. Since I'm, y'know..." Not legally a Trainer. And stealing funds from an actual Trainer to manage, at the moment.

Dust rolled his eyes again. "As long as the floor isn't gross, I guess it's fine."

"Uh, Aiden?" Hint said as Aiden reached the door. "You might not wanna visit this one..."

Aiden rolled his eyes this time. "I'm sure it'll be fine, Hint. They'll prolly shoot me down in like a minute. Then we can leave."

"It's not that..."

But Aiden clearly wasn't listening. He made a beeline straight from the door to the bar and tried to order a drink. The bartender asked for his ID. Aiden sighed and changed his order. The bartender eyed him suspiciously, but didn't immediately throw him out, passing him the non-alcoholic drink that he'd ordered.

Hint waited until Aiden was in the middle of taking a sip before it continued, "It's that Keith Masters is currently sitting down the bar from you."

Aiden choked and started coughing. "And you couldn't have told me that earlier?"

"I tried," Hint returned blandly. "You stopped listening. And now you're stuck because Kite and Dust decided to go investigate the other Pokémon."

Aiden looked and, sure enough, Dust was peering up consideringly at the Cryogonal while Kite had wandered over to the Eeveelutions.

"Tase?" Hint hadn't mentioned him.

"Yeah?"

Aiden jumped as the voice came from his shoulder. "Right. Forgot that's where you like to be. Just wondering where you were."

"I mean, the only place I'd go right now is over to the Meowth over there, but I thought we'd only be here for a little bit," Tase said. "Are you staying for a while?"

"I kinda have to now, don't I?"

He felt the minute tugging on his clothes that meant Tase had probably shrugged. "Then, I wanna meet the Meowth!" Tase skittered down his arm, onto the bar top, and peered up at him. "Don't leave without me!"

"We won't," Aiden reassured and then Tase was heading down to Keith Masters and his Meowth. Aiden groaned and put his head in his hands. "This is just my luck."

Hint shrugged. "I tried to warn you."

Aiden only sighed.
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Old 10-05-2021, 07:17 PM   #4
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The Bar was quiet that day (or at least so far), so of course the arrival of a newcomer did not go unnoticed among the few patrons there already, and by that I mean the one guy and a handful of his Pokémon. Like I said, quiet day. This newcomer's Pokémon were quick to start socializing, and indeed, Keith watched as the Trainer's Alolan Vulpix and alleged Growlithe started wandering around, though he'd also noticed that the Trainer himself seemed to be upset over something as he sat down the bar from him. "Hm," Keith murmured, concern in his tone as he noticed this.

At that moment, however, the Joltik had approached, clearly intent on meeting Meowth. "Hey, dere," Meowth greeted the miniscule Pokémon. "Ain't seen you or yer Trainer 'round here before. Name's Meowth, and dis big lug's Keith," he added, gesturing with a paw to the cowboy hat-wearing Trainer, who smiled at the Joltik in a friendly way. "So, wat's yer name?" Meowth added.

"And, uh," Keith interjected, glancing over again at the Joltik's Trainer. "Is, uh, your Trainer OK?" he asked the Attaching Pokémon. "He looks upset about something..."

~~~~~

"No, you can't!"

"Yes, I can!"

"No, you can't!"

"Yes, I can!"

"OK, OK, break it up, you two," Cyanide stated, the Umbreon stepping in between her Flareon son and Shiny Eevee daughter. "Believe it or not, Eon, your brother's right about this one."

"What?!" the Shiny Eevee exclaimed in disbelief as the Flareon laughed in triumph. "But moooom, you said only an Eevee can learn moves like Sizzly Slide, and that even then, they'd have to forget those moves if they ever evolved!"

"And so I did, back when that was the rule," said Cyanide. "Things have changed, Eon. Your brother absolutely can learn Sizzly Slide if he wants."'

"Hah!" the Flareon laughed triumphantly once again. "See? Told ya, Eon! I told you, I heard it from Salamence, Maribel taught him that move!"

"Aww," pouted Eon. "I thought I had a Fire move he could never know..." However, she was not left to dwell on this for very long, as it was around this time what appeared to be a Growlithe came wandering over. "Oh! Hi, there!" Eon smiled, wagging her tail. "My name's Eon!"

"And I'm Leo," grinned the Flareon.

"Heya. Name's Cyanide," Cyanide added, walking up to the "Growlithe". "These two rascals are my son and daughter," she said, nodding to Leo and Eon respectively. "So, what's your name?"

~~~~~

Winter was quick to notice a fellow Ice-type approaching. The Cryogonal took a deep breath at this- social situations weren't exactly his greatest strength, but a desire to try and work on that was exactly why he expressed a desire to accompany Keith here today, and so, much as he felt the urge to, he did not shy away. "H-hello," he greeted the Alolan Vulpix, in a decidedly warmer tone of voice than one might expect from a sentient ice crystal. "My name's Winter. What's yours?"
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Old 10-06-2021, 02:14 AM   #5
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"I know!" Tase said enthusiastically. "You're the human-English-speaking Meowth and your trainer's Keith Masters! You're famous!" He glanced at Aiden before turning back to Meowth. "I'm Tase! And he's just upset 'cause he was trying to be sneaky, but you guys are here and he's stuck 'cause Kite and Dust went to go meet your teammates!"

---

"Hullo, Eon, Leo, Cyanide. Nice to meetcha," Kite said, nodding to each as he said their names. "I'm Kite."

---

"I'm Dust, short for Diamond Dust," Dust said, tail waving gently. "Nice to meet you, Winter."
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Old 10-06-2021, 01:59 PM   #6
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Meowth blinked in surprise as the Joltik enthusiastically claimed to already know who they are, even going so far as to call them famous. "Eheheh, I dunno about famous," Meowth replied modestly.

"Meowth, modesty be damned, you gotta admit we've made names for ourselves in this region over time," Keith grinned.

"I mean, dat ain't wrong," shrugged Meowth. "So, da Joltik's name is Tase, and..." he paused to continue listening to the Joltik's explanations. "...huh," he murmured. "Evidently his Trainer's just upset cuz he was tryin' ta be sneaky about sometin', but now dat his Pokémon wanna stick around and meet the othas, he's kinda stuck here."

"Huh," Keith murmured. "Not sure what that's about, though I guess it's at least better than him having gotten bad news or something," he shrugged, before looking back over at Aiden.

"...yer gonna go and try ta meet him, ain't ya?" Meowth sighed.

"You know me well, Meowth," Keith replied, standing up and walking over to where Aiden was sitting. "Hey," Keith greeted the Trainer. "Is everything OK?" he asked. He wasn't sure what to make of the revelation that this guy had been trying to be sneaky about... something. Whether he was in trouble of some sort, or trying to stay out of trouble- either way, Keith wanted to see what he could find out for himself.

~~~~~

The "Growlithe" introduced himself as Kite, stating as he did so that it was nice to meet the family of Eevee and Eeveelutions. "Good to meet you, Kite," nodded Cyanide.

"Yeah!" agreed Leo with his usual enthusiasm.

Eon tilted her head. "Kite?" she repeated. "Isn't that, like, a thing humans make that they fly in the wind or something? That sounds more like a name for a Hoppip than a Growlith-"

"Eon," Cyanide interrupted, gently yet sternly. "What have I told you about criticizing other Pokémon's nicknames?"

"...to not to," Eon replied meekly. "I'm sorry, Mr. Kite," she added. "I didn't meant to be rude, I was more just wondering why you were named that."

"Now see, that's better," nodded Cyanide. "And if he says he doesn't want to talk about it...?"

"...I respect that?" said Eon.

Cyanide grinned. "Attagirl," she said.

~~~~~

Winter, on the other hand, had no questions as to the meaning of Dust's name, with the Alolan Vulpix explaining it was short for Diamond Dust, and if a sentient snowflake who grew up in the wild didn't know what diamond dust was, then who could you count on to know such a thing? "Oh, that's a nice name," Winter replied, his tone suggesting he'd be smiling if it was physically possible for a Cryogonal to do so. "Nice to meet you, too, Dust. Do you come here a lot?" he asked. "I... this is my first time coming here, actually, though I understand my Trainer's been here many times before he caught me." As he said this, he turned to glance over at Keith for a moment, before turning his attention back to the Alolan Vulpix.
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Old 10-07-2021, 01:04 AM   #7
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Hint tracked Tase across the bar counter, watched the electrical currents flicker for a moment, and checked that it'd turned the external speakers off before it spoke to Aiden again. "Keith incoming."

"Mike's gonna kill me," Aiden muttered. He then took a deep breath and turned to Keith as the high-profile Poison-type specialist approached. "Eh, as well as can be expected, I s'pose." He blinked and raised his eyebrows. "Wait a minute...aren't you Keith Masters?" He flicked his gaze up to the cowboy hat and then over at Meowth, straightening in his seat as he did. "Yeah, you are, aren't you? Wow, what are you doing here?"

---

"...whoops," Tase said sheepishly as he watched Keith head over to Aiden. "I didn't mean for that to happen." He started to skitter back to Aiden when Hint's electrical currents shifted and he paused. Hint apparently didn't want him coming back just yet. Huh. Alright then. He turned back to Meowth, practically bouncing in place. "How did you learn human-English? Didja teach yourself or didja learn it from someone or didja get a human to teach you? Did it take super long to learn? Can you still speak Meowth or didja forget all of it like how Pokémon in other places do with their moves?"

---

"That's a bit funny coming from a kit who's name usually implies a long time." Kite grinned sharply at the shiny Eevee before abruptly shaking his head. Right, kit's mom was right there; no poking the sleeping Beartic. Hopefully, she hadn't taken too much offense to his brief baring of teeth. "Sorry, it's, uh, short for Kaito, which has a few different meanings." He shrugged a bit sheepishly. "I'm not entirely sure which one mine is, but they all sound pretty cool." Which was half a lie. He knew exactly what his name meant; it just wasn't exactly advantageous to tell people. Ruined the effectiveness of his Illusion. Thankfully, Aiden'd agreed and they'd swapped to Kite after the whole Porygon-Z thing. Matched everyone else, too, which was another good thing about it.

---

"Thank you," Dust preened before returning the favor. "Winter's a good name, too."

He then shook his head at Winter's question. "No, it's our first time here, too. We wouldn't normally have even been in the area, but we got kicked out for the afternoon and ended up wandering over this way." He tilted his head and curled his tail around his legs. "Well, I say we, but it was mostly just him." Dust nodded at Aiden. "The rest of us figured it'd be more interesting following him out than staying in, so." He shrugged and swept his tail to indicate the bar. "Here we are."
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Old 10-07-2021, 06:50 PM   #8
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Keith chuckled sheepishly as the Trainer seemed to recognize him basically on sight. "Eheheh, yeah, I am," he grinned. He gave another chuckle as he was asked what he was doing here. "Heh, are you kidding? I practically lived here years back," he smiled, glancing around the Bar. "This Bar used to be the very hub of activity among Trainers in Fizzytopia. It's in this place I've made dear friends, witnessed amazing Pokémon evolutions, even risked my life once or twice. Good times," he murmured. "So yeah, soon as I heard the place was open once again, obviously I had to come back," he stated. "And it seems like our Pokémon are already starting to get along," he added, glancing around, seeing his Umbreon and her kids talking with what appeared to be a Growlithe, and his Cryogonal chatting with an Alolan Vulpix, and of course, Meowth continuing to talk to the Joltik. "So, uh, you already know who I am, so... what's your name?" Keith asked. "And what brings you here?"

~~~~~

Tase was quick to acknowledge that he wasn't looking to get Keith to go over and talk to his Trainer, and though he seemed eager to go back over, he changed his mind for reasons unknown, and instead started asking Meowth question after question. "Eheh, well, wat happened was, when I was bein' traded ta Keith, dere was some sorta malfunction wit da trading machine," Meowth began. "Fer da longest time, we could only guess, but eventually we learned da truth- dere was Dream Mist in da machinery, from a previous trade involvin' a Munna or Musharna. Dunno if youse knows how dat works, but basically it's da stuff Munna and Musharna can produce that lets youse see dreams. And my dream was ta be like dat talkin' Meowth on TV," stated Meowth. "Soon as Keith sent me out, he and I both found out I became able ta speak human language. Evidently, I'd lose dat ability if I ever evolved inta Persian, but as it turns out..." And he showed off the Gigantaband he wore on his right front leg. "...dat weren't an option ta begin wit," he purred. "And I can still speak fluent Meowth," he added in a rare instance of Meowth language before switching right back. "I just prefer human language, personally. But still knowin' my first language, dat's come in real handy dis one time. It's a long story, but I'd be willin' ta tell it if yer willin' ta listen."

~~~~~

Eon chuckled at Kite's retort. Cyanide didn't seem to react, but was keeping a watchful eye on the alleged Growlithe all the same. In any case, Kite was quick to apologize and clarify that Kite was short for Kaito, which had several different meanings, with the added admission that he wasn't sure which meaning applied to his.

Eon grinned. "Well, my name comes from how every one of my evolution's names end. Mom wanted me to have a name that'd give me the strength of every Eeveelution put together, and would fit me no matter which way I evolve, though I'm not gonna evolve at all," she added proudly. "I'm gonna be stronger than evolving could ever make me! Stronger than all the Eeveelutions put together!"

"Except me," taunted Leo. "Especially since now I know I can learn Sizzly Slide!"

Eon, however, wasn't paying attention to her brother's taunting this time. "And, and, Dad's this really strong Ambipom, he's a Normal-type just like me, and I wanna be a really strong Normal-type just like him!" she continued. "Hey, hey- Mr. Kaito, can we have a battle?" she asked suddenly. "I wanna see how much stronger I've gotten!"

"Eon..." Cyanide began warningly.

"I know, Mom, I won't pester him if he refuses," promised Eon, before turning back to Kaito hopefully.

~~~~~

"Thank you," Winter replied as Dust complimented his name. He then listened as Dust explained it was their first time in the Bar as well. Evidently, his Trainer had been kicked out for the afternoon, and his Pokémon went along with him. "Oh, OK," nodded the Cryogonal. "...kicked out?" he repeated. "Um... if you don't mind my asking, what exactly happened there? Nothing bad, I hope?"
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Old 10-10-2021, 01:33 AM   #9
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Well, damn. "This is that famous bar?" Aiden peered around the bar when Keith did, wondering how he'd managed that. Of all the bars in the city...

"Your luck is terrible," Hint murmured in his ear.

Aiden nodded. "Makes sense," he said in response to Keith jumping at the opportunity to return, following the other trainer's gaze across the bar. Tase was practically vibrating on the bar top as he waited on the Meowth for something, while Kite seemed wary at the moment. Dust looked like he was enjoying his conversation so far.

He turned back to Keith as the other trainer asked for his name. "Oh, shit, my bad." Aiden leaned in and stuck his hand out. "I'm Aiden, Aiden Peak. My brother wanted some peace and quiet, so he kicked me out for the day and I kinda just wandered around until I spotted this place." He shrugged. "Figured I might as well take a look-see and here I am."

---

"Oh, wow! That's super cool!" Tase said after Meowth explained how he learned human-English. Meowth then showed off some kind of band on his leg, which had Tase running back and forth to look at it from different angles. The Joltik squinted at the band, but got distracted when Meowth spoke in Meowth. "Oh! You didn't forget it!" He then gasped at the offer of a story and skittered into a good position, so he didn't have to tilt his whole body to see Meowth. "Yes! I wanna hear this story!"

---

Kite nodded as Eon explained where her name came from and then moved on to talk about her dad. When she asked for a battle, though, he leaned back with a laugh. "Ah, probably not the best idea," he admitted. "Considering who your trainer is, you could probably kick my can all over the field and then some. Wouldn't be much of a challenge for you, I'm afraid."

---

Dust blinked before shaking his head with a grin. "Oh, no, nothing bad," he reassured Winter. "His brother just wanted some space, since sharing an apartment with your younger brother and his Pokémon is, apparently, really stressful, so he kicked us out for the day to try to get some." He fanned his tails out before curling them back up and tucking them close. "Don't know how well that'll work when he's been fretting on and off over Aiden since he got back with his first Pokémon, though."
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Old 10-10-2021, 09:43 PM   #10
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The Bar was indeed something of a famous place, and Aiden was somewhat surprised that he'd managed to end up there without even trying. He looked around at his Pokémon, before realizing he hadn't actually introduced himself, and made to fix that. Keith shook the offered hand. "Good to meet you, Aiden," he said. "Heh, I guess that'd do it," he added as Aiden explained why he'd been kicked out for the day, and subsequently, how he'd stumbled upon the Bar basically at random. "Can't say I have much experience with that myself, though," he added fairly. "I, uh, didn't really grow up with my sister. And my family, we tend to do things together. Matter of fact, my wife and daughter were gonna come with me to check this place out, but they didn't wanna just leave their Pokémon at the Pokémon Center, and it's been somewhat busy today," he shrugged. "But they'll catch up."

~~~~~

Tase was quite excited by pretty much everything Meowth had said, and had even run back and forth to look at Meowth's Gigantaband from various different angles. And of course, at the offer to hear Meowth's story, it was like he couldn't accept fast enough.

"Haha, alright, den," purred Meowth. "So, a while back, Keith heads off ta dis volcanic island, Cortoza, right? We gets dere ridin' on his Tentacruel. I weren't all dat thrilled, personally- da man has a boat, and he rides a Tentacruel instead. Ah, well. I ain't fell off, which was wat I was worried about," he shrugged. "Anyways, Keith had heard o' dis ancient temple built ta honor da volcano goddess, Pele. He'd heard dat a newer one'd been built cuz the old one was thought ta be cursed, possibly by Pele herself. So of course, da big lug hears dis and tinks it's a good idea ta go and check out the possibly-cursed ancient ruins." He shrugged. "Welcome ta my world."

"So we gets dere," Meowth continued. "But when we do, I hears... I dunno, sometin', and I'm tryin' ta listen fer it again, but nuttin' doin'. Keith couldn't hear it neitha, so he got me ta just stop worryin' about it. So our concern at dat point was more about gettin' trough dis huge crowd o' tourists wat dat had da same bright idea ta visit supposedly cursed ruins. Had some actually nice art and stuff in dere, too, depictions o' Pele and her interactions wit the ancient people o' Cortoza. Finally, we gets ta dis set o' glass cases holdin' all sorts o' ceremonial items, and plaques that went on about wat dey mighta' been used fer. And den, as we's lookin' at dis pendant, da stupid lighting in dat place went out. Da rangers is tryin' ta usher everyone back outside, and we's just waitin' fer da panicked crowd ta kinda thin out before makin' our move, and den dere's dis big flash o' light from behind us, all red, gold, and green at da same time, and den everyting went black."

Meowth paused for a moment, signaling for the bartender to approach. "Gimme a sec, just need sometin' ta drink," he said to Tase. He turned to the bartender, only to see that he had brought over a bowl of Moomoo Milk. "...Ya know, dat's just profilin'," Meowth quipped. "I'd be more offended if dis weren't exactly wat I was gonna ask fer." He lapped up some of the milk, then turned back to Tase. "So anyways, I wake up before Keith does, so I start goin' explorin', and we's ensed up in dis weird, old-timey kind o' village, and da hut we woke up in, dere were more like it all around. Bunch o' people around, and da way dey was dressed, I got da feelin' dey wasn't tourists. I could still see da volcanoes, though, so we was clearly still on Cortoza. Tried ta find a ranger, but no luck. Finally, got back ta da hut where we ended up, and Keith woke up, and he thought da same think as me, goin' out ta find a ranger. Told him I ain't had no luck, but also dat I had some kind o' deja vu vibe about da place. And den dis young boy comes up to us, spots Keith, and starts talkin' about food, and by dis point, we was plenty hungry. But here's da ting- Keith couldn't understand a word he was sayin'," said Meowth. "And I could understand him perfectly. We decided pretty quickly, once we got past the initial weirdness, dat I should try speakin' Meowth language to da kid, and tankfully, dat worked like a charm. Kid looked all relieved right away, and tings went a bit smoother wit dat figured out. He was invitin' us ta eat wit dem- we were, after all, da guests of honor." There was clearly more to the story, but Meowth paused here to drink a little more milk.

~~~~~

Kite was quick to back down from the battle challenge, stating that considering Eon was one of Keith's Pokémon, she'd probably wipe the battlefield with him. "...oh, yeah, good point," agreed Eon.

"Eon!" Cyanide admonished, albeit with a smirk and a chuckle.

"...oh, I didn't mean it like that, I'm sorry," Eon said to Kite, realizing what this was about. "I just meant, Keith really is a good Trainer, and he's helped me get really strong, so..."

"All right, how about you and your brother go and look to see if Willa and Maribel are here yet?" suggested Cyanide.

"OK!" said the Flareon and Shiny Eevee simultaneously, and they raced off to peer out the nearest window.

Cyanide chuckled as she watched this, before turning back to Kite. "Heh. Sorry about that 'good point' remark from Eon," she said. "Don't want you getting the wrong idea, she's not arrogant or anything, just... well, sometimes she can be a little too brutally honest. Gets that from me, really. She's a good kid, though. They both are. So, uh, Kite, what's your story?" she asked.

~~~~~

"Ohh, OK," nodded the Cryogonal. "So, his brother worries about him a lot?" he asked. "I guess I get that. I, uh... I have a lot of brothers and sisters, I- Keith actually caught me in the wild," he explained. "We were, uh... we were fighting a bunch of Trainers, a bunch of us Ice-types. I wasn't really sure about it all, but the rest of my family were eager to go, so I just wanted to help them out, I guess. Keith actually battled me with Meowth and caught me, and... well, he's been really great as a Trainer, just... I do sometimes wonder how my family is doing," he murmured.
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Old 10-10-2021, 11:32 PM   #11
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"Willa and Maribel Masters," Hint murmured in Aiden's ear. "There was an incident with a temporal anomaly after the Primal Dialga Dynamax raid. Like temporal aftershocks," it clarified when Aiden's neural patterns remained confused.

Aiden nodded. "That's fair," he said, before taking a drink. "By the way...do you mind if I ask why you didn't get to grow up with your sister? Since you said your family does things together..."

---

Tase listened quietly as Meowth spoke about going to Cortoza to visit a possibly-cursed temple to Pele, how they looked at various artifacts before a flash of light that was red, gold, and green made them black out, how Meowth woke up first and investigated the location, and then how when Keith woke up, they ran into a human who didn't understand Keith!

Tase gasped at that, his main eyes wide and focused on Meowth as he waited excitedly to see how they solved the issue. Meowth and Keith figured speaking in Meowth might work and it did!

"Oh, wow! That's so weird!" Tase said, skittering in a circle to try to burn off some of the excitement. "Didja ever figure out why he couldn't understand Keith, but he could you? What'd he mean by guests of honor? Oh, oh! Were you guys kidnapped by some old-timey cult?"

---

Kite watched the kits run for the window before turning to their mom, shaking his head with a grin. "Naw, it's fine. I said it first, after all, and it's not like it isn't true." His grin faded and he tilted his head at Cyanide's question. "My story? I dunno, I hatched, I ended up with Aiden, I'm here now?" He shrugged helplessly. "I'm not really sure what you wanna know, but that's pretty much all there is to me."

---

Dust nodded sympathetically. "That makes sense, especially since it sounds like you can't visit them easily." He glanced over at Kite. "It's the same for me and Kite; we know where my dad and his mom are, but we haven't had a chance to go visit yet. Mostly because we've been told we shouldn't seek them out, so..." He shrugged. "Anyway, yeah, his brother worries a lot; their family is very, hm, against being a trainer and with his younger brother now a trainer? I imagine it's very stressful on both ends."
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Old 10-11-2021, 03:13 AM   #12
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"Ah," Keith nodded. He had a feeling Aiden might get onto that subject, but in all honesty, he felt it was something he could talk about. "Well, thing is, when Mom and Dad had Helena, they, uh... weren't expecting to," he stated. "Nor were they in the best of financial situations at the time. So, they gave her up when she was born, and she was adopted by a family somewhere right here in Fizzytopia. Nice people, by all accounts, but she was always interested in someday meeting her birth parents. Anyway, by the time they had me, they were better off financially, in a better place for this kind of thing... and man, were they feeling guilty over having given up Helena," he stated, shaking his head. "I was lucky to even learn I had an older sister, they didn't like bringing up the subject much. But they did tell me that she was adopted by a family in Fizzytopia, so when I left Lavaridge with nothing to my name but a young Koffing and a brand-new Pokédex, that's why I struck out for this region," he stated. "Never did find her... well, not at first, anyway. See... what happened was, she and her boyfriend had a run-in with Team Rocket," he said, his expression darkening somewhat. "And they... well..." He shook his head and did not finish his sentence. "They both came back as Shuppet," Keith stated. "And eventually, I hear about this Shuppet up for trade, with a really pleasant demeanor, and by that time, I've started to gain something of an appreciation for Shuppet and Banette, so I go and meet the Shuppet, we kick it off immediately, and I make the trade for her. Now... my parents had only told me Helena's name once, when I was very young," he stated. "So when this Shuppet says her name is Helena, it didn't click. Not until I was talking about this very subject with my girlfriend at the time did the memory come back, and two and two fit together at last, and she and I realized it in the exact same instant." He was now smiling fondly. "I'll be honest, not exactly how I'd envisioned finding her," he said. "But I still found her, and I can't complain about that."

~~~~~

Meowth chuckled as Tase went on and on with more questions. "Alright, don't sweat it, I'm gettin' ta all o' dat," Meowth responded. "I'll admit, kidnapped by a cult, dat was one possibility goin' trough my head at da time. But nah- we got ta meet wit deir leader, Chief Kupa'alani, as well as one o' Pele's priestesses, Keahilani. Dey explained dat we appeared outta nowhere in dis green and fire-colored light, and dey figured we was Pele's chosen warriors or sometin'. And da festival dey was settin' up fer at da moment was in honor o' Pele- big deal wit dese people. But dat ain't cleared up dat much fer us, since we ain't had no idea wat Pele might'a brought us dere for in da first place. Da local Pokémon had deir own theories as well, but in any case, da people was kind and hospitable ta us."

"So, wit some time ta kill before da food was ready, we went off and did stuff, includin' come to da conclusion dat we's was somehow dragged back in time," he stated. "We needed a moment afta dat. But yeah- da kid from before, his name was Ieni, he asked us ta come wit him, cuz his brother and cousin were in dis contest dat involved a Vulpix lightin' da contestants on fire. Naturally, I freaked out, was half ready ta douse 'em wit a Water Pulse, but Keith had me hold off- we'd already worked out dat da contest would involve fire in some way, so he had me ask Ieni if dat was supposed ta happen. Which it was, as it turns out," he shruguged sheepishly. "Dey's all people o' Fire, as Ieni put it, which I'm guessin' has ta do wit why dey didn't undastand how Keith speaks. Dey was all very close wit da local Pokémon, though, so dat probably had ta do wit why dey could undastand Pokémon speak. Ieni's cousin won dat contest, by da way. And afta dis, we took part in dis race where we rode on one o' da local Ponyta, name of Sunfire, she weren't all dat confident in herself. Tankfully, da Pokémon o' dat era could undastand human speak, so Keith was able ta ease her concerns. Maybe a bit too well, considerin' dat one big jump Sunfire took at one point- Keith was lovin' da whole ting," he smiled. "Heh, even I couldn't get all worried about none o' dat, it really was fun! Dere was an earthquake near the end of the race. We won, but by dat point, everyone was more concerned wit the earthquake. Popular theory was dat Pele was pissed at da village fer dem not havin' a proper festival for her in a while, and some o' the elders seemed to be tinkin' along dose lines, too. Weren't exactly da most encouragin' ting," Meowth shrugged, before pausing to drink a little more milk.

~~~~~

Kite took Eon's remark well enough, maintaining that he'd said it first, and believed it to be true. And as for his story... he hatched, he ended up with Aiden. Nothing more to it, really. "Oh, alright," Cyanide replied. "Hey, sometimes it really is simple as that. Team as big as mine, you sometimes do get some good stories. Some of them caught in the wild, some from the old Coins for Prizes deal, like yours truly, that sort of thing."

~~~~~

The Cryogonal nodded. "To Keith's credit, he has tried to help make a visit possible, but... well, we always were on the move as it was, and I have no way of knowing where the others wound up going after that whole thing. He tilted his head... whole body... you get the picture... at the notion that Dust and Kite shouldn't seek out their parents. "Shouldn't seek them out?" he repeated. "Wh... why not?" he asked. "if- if you don't mind my asking," he added hastily. He looked just as bewildered at the notion that Aiden's family was very much against the whole being a Trainer deal, and with Aiden of course being a Trainer... yeah. "Why would they be against becoming Trainers?" asked Winter.
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:20 PM   #13
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Aiden nodded as Keith related his story, sipping from his drink as he listened. Made sense that a younger brother who'd never known his older sister would seek her out. He winced when it turned out the sister hadn't even survived to meet Keith and hid his expression behind his drink when Keith turned out to have adopted the Pokémon his sister returned as.

"I mean, yeah, at least you found her in the end," Aiden eventually agreed, not really sure what to say to a story like that. Honestly, it was difficult to even imagine not having ever known Mike; his brother had just...always been there and trying to imagine it now was...well, kind of futile.

"You'll give yourself a headache if you keep trying," Hint muttered.

Aiden opened his mouth to retort and rapidly had to switch gears because he almost forgot Hint was hiding. "...I couldn't imagine not knowing my brother and I just tried." He shook his head. "I mean, literally everything would be different and I just..." He shrugged and shook his head again, still not really having the words to describe what he was feeling. Lost, probably, if he had to pick one, but it seemed...lacking.

---

Tase tried to tamp down on his excitement as he waited for Meowth to continue and then listened raptly as the pair met the leader of the village they'd ended up in. They also met a priestess and learned that the village thought they were some kind of chosen warriors for the volcano goddess, Pele. They'd appeared on a festival day, so they went off to do some things and figured out they'd gone back in time!

Tase ran around in circles at that part, too excited to sit still, but the part about people getting lit on fire and not dying had him going again. They then took part in a race with an insecure Ponyta, there was an earthquake, and then they heard people think Pele was mad at the village.

"Oh, wow! Time travel! That's amazing!" Tase said, almost vibrating in place. "And a race and an earthquake and an angry volcano!" He ran a few more circles. "What happened next?"

---

Kite nodded at Cyanide's clarification and shrugged. "Yeah, that makes sense. You've got tons of teammates, so it's not like everyone could come from the same place." He nodded at Dust. "Me and him, we came from the Hatchery. Both of us were sent on to Aiden, but at least his dad got to walk him over. H--" He coughed, abruptly remembering Hint hadn't shown itself yet. "A Gothita came to pick me up and my mom was not happy, but at least I know I'll see her again someday." His voice had gone wistful for the last bit, before he tilted his head at Tase. "The Joltik on the counter showed up while Aiden and Hi--" He coughed again and cleared his throat. Damn, this was hard not talking about Hint when it had just been the Rotom and Aiden at the beginning. "Sorry, I think I might be sensitive to the smell of some of the drinks in here. Anyway, the Joltik on the counter showed up while Aiden and I were practicing how to battle." He grinned. It'd been frustrating at the time since he had nothing to really hit Hint with, but it'd still been funny to see his trainer and a Rotom completely miss hitting one tiny Zorua kit.

---

Dust grimaced. "On the move all the time? Oof, no wonder you can't visit easily." He then grimaced harder when Winter asked why they didn't go visit their parents. "Well, apparently there's this Gothita who's got...plans. Not really sure what kind of plans, but some kind. And Aiden's starter, well, it doesn't really want to cross her, the Gothita, because it says it doesn't want to see what she'll do if her plans get upset." He glanced over at Kite. "Kite and I figure we could take her, four on one, but...she's also kinda the reason we have Aiden." He frowned and tapped a paw against the floor to hear his nails click. "And Aiden definitely doesn't want to rock the boat at the moment, so we're kinda...stuck." He shrugged and then shrugged again at Winter's next question. "Apparently, being a Trainer's dangerous and their parents refused to let them do that before they were much older. Also, apparently, being a Trainer wouldn't get them 'many marketable skills in a job that could support them without threatening their continued well-being'." The last bit clearly being a quote from someone.
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Old 10-11-2021, 09:30 PM   #14
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Aiden wasn't quite sure how to respond to Keith's story. Eventually, he agreed that it was good that they found each other in the end, and Keith nodded his agreement with this. "Absolutely," he said. "Yeah," he added as Aiden admitted to trying to imagine not knowing his brother. "Like... I get it's not the same thing, but I sometimes wonder how I'd have turned out as a Trainer if I never found that Koffing..." He shook his head. "Sorry, sorry," he murmured. "I take it you and your brother are close, then?" he asked.

~~~~~

Tase was more than a little excited by the story so far, and Meowth could tell. So, much as he needed to take a brief pause every now and then, he tried at the same time to not keep the poor Joltik waiting too long. "Alright, well, wat came next was da food," said Meowth. "Or, well, more specifically, da speech Keith had ta make as da guest of honor," he clarified. "Dat came before da food, and rememba, we was hungry, which is part o' why Keith kept it short and sweet. Probably ain't helped dat he was neva one fer speech makin' in da first place, eitha," he shrugged. "But yeah- he was pretty straightforward wit dem, tanked da villagers fer bein' so kind and hospitable. He was up front about havin' no idea why Pele might'a brought us dere, but promised that he'd do his best to do whatever he'd need ta. And honestly, it might be fer da best dat da speech weren't dat long, cuz yers truly had ta translate it, don't forget," he chuckled.

"Afta dat, we dug in and ate. Met Ieni's family, too, nice people. And good food," Meowth added. "We went back ta da hut we woke up in fer da night. Dat Ieni, turns out he'd been chosen as da guide fer Pele's chosen one, which was a big deal wit dem. He was doin' his best and it showed, we really was grateful ta him. But anyways, we lied down and succumbed ta da food comas," he purred. "Until, dat is, I was woken up later dat night. Big earthquake was headed dis way, and I had ta Scratch dat big lug awake," he added, gesturing towards Keith. "I swear, da man could sleep trough a Bouffalant stampede," he chuckled, shaking his head. "But yeah, once he was up and at 'em, he stated we was gonna make sure da villagers all got ta safety, not just us. Only ting is, da villagers were more annoyed den worried," he sighed. "But, dey had deir evacuation plan in place, so it seemed like everyting was gonna go well."

Meowth sighed again, however. "And den dis old lady wit a Delphox come up ta us," he stated. "Says dat Pele wasn't just mad- she was furious. The earthquake, da tsunami, dey was gonna be a bad time fer everyone. She said da younga ones didn't wanna tink Pele could be dat cruel, but she's seen tings, and her outlook weren't so rosy. So she took off dis necklace and handed it ta Keith, tellin' us we'd need it fer when we climb da mountain. Not dat she had much faith in us, but she welcomed us ta at least try and change Pele's mind. Now, most folks, in da face o' havin' ta confront an angry volcano deity ta try and save lives, dey probably wouldn't be feelin' too good. But fer Keith Masters, dis weren't even his first time in dat kind o' situation," he chuckled. "But yeah- by dat point, the only question was wat we was gonna ride ta get us up da mountain, and Keith was quick ta conclude we needed Sunfire fer dis- da Ponyta from da race. And in da meantime, we found Ieni, who insisted on comin' wit us. We wasn't sure about potentially puttin' da kid in danger, but wit his home and family in danger, he wasn't about ta give up. Bout as stubborn as Keith, and we both realized dis."

"So, we went up da mountain, and sure enough, dere was dis barrier o' thin air. Me, Keith, and Sunfire could get trough it just fine, but Ieni and his own Ponyta couldn't. It was da necklace dat old lady'd given Keith, we was right about dat. So we was able ta help Ieni trough da barrier, and as we reached da peak, dere were all dese Larvesta and deir evolved form Volcarona, all ova da place," he murmured. "Probably half o' dem Shiny, too- I remember how Gavin reacted when Keith got ta dat part o' da story," he chuckled. "Gavin's his best friend, and he's all about Shiny Pokémon. But anyways, back ta da story- dere was dis one Volcarona. Horns and wings weren't orange or gold, but bright pink. Ieni advised Keith ta dismount Sunfire and approach carefully- cuz dat right dere was Pele herself."

~~~~~

Kite was quick to understand Cyanide's clarification, before stating that he and the Alolan Vulpix both came from the Hatchery. But in Kite's case, his mother was not happy that he was picked up by a Gothita. "Hm," frowned Cyanide. A Growlithe mother unhappy about being separated from her offspring... where had she heard that before? Granted, this was assuming Kite's mother was a Growlithe, but, well, as far as she could tell, Kite himself was a Growlithe, so it seemed reasonable enough. In any case, she didn't really have enough to go on at the moment. "You know you'll see her again someday?" Cyanide repeated. "I mean, yeah, I'd friggin' hope so. A Gothita, though, huh?" she asked. "I'm guessing this Gothita ain't on your team, or I'd have seen them around here, yeah? And if that's the case, what's their deal, then?"

~~~~~

Winter listened as Dust went on about that same Gothita, and how she has... plans of some sort. Exactly what sort of plans, nobody seemed sure, but plans nonetheless, with Aiden's starter not wanting to see what said Gothita would do if said plans were derailed. Even if the four of them could take on the Gothita, she seemed to also be the reason they even had Aiden as a Trainer in the first place, a gift Ponyta Aiden did not seem willing to look in the mouth, considering his parents were dead set against him becoming a Trainer. "...wow," murmured the Cryogonal. "That... that is strange. I do know that Psychic-types can sometimes see the future. I know a Swoobat like that. She'll act on her premonitions to try and ensure the best possible outcome for all involved. I... well, I hope that's what this Gothita is doing," he murmured. After a moment, he responded to another point Dust had made. "Being a Trainer does seem dangerous," he conceded. "I've heard stories of the sorts of things Keith's been through before he caught me, and if half of them are true, the man is lucky to be alive. Though... maybe 'lucky' isn't the correct term," he added. "I... doubt Keith would have made it through all these situations without the help of his Pokémon. I... we... a lot of us are really strong, and any one of us would be there to help Keith in an instant if he needed us," he said, glancing over at Keith admiringly.
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Old 10-12-2021, 01:56 AM   #15
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"No, yeah, I get it." Aiden nodded. "You meet someone or someone tells you about something and then you wonder what your life would be like without someone who's always been there." He then hummed and turned so that he was leaning against the bar top, careful to move his drink out of the way. "I mean, you could say that," he admitted when Keith asked after Mike. "We're sharing an apartment at the moment, so that's pretty close already, and, while he's not happy that I decided to do the Trainer thing, he's helping me with it anyway."

"Not to mention he's helping you conceal a theft from the NFPD," Hint muttered in his ear.

Worry flashed across his face, chasing the warm smile that had appeared as he spoke about his brother, and he spun around on his stool, away from Keith, so he could hide his expression. He took a sip of his drink and pulled up a smile. "But yeah, he's the best. Even when he annoys the shit out of me."

---

Tase tried to sit still when Meowth continued, but he nodded and giggled when Meowth did, talking about how Keith gave a short speech. The pair then dug into the feast, met their guide's family, and then passed out, stuffed full of good food. Until an earthquake woke Meowth, who woke Keith, and got them up and going to help the village. Except it turned out the village didn't need them.

Tase made an intrigued noise, the mystery calming him down from his earlier excitement, when an old lady with a Delphox passed on ominous warnings and a necklace that had Keith aiming for the volcano's peak. He collected Ieni and Sunfire along the way and found that something prevented anyone without a necklace from reaching the top, but he quickly solved that and found a bunch of Larvesta and Volcarona at the peak. Half Shiny, half not, with one pink one in their midst. And, of course, the pink one was Pele, the volcano goddess.

Tase's main eyes widened and he let out an "Ooooo." "Wow," he said, awe clear in his voice. "That must've been amazing! An actual goddess! What'd she say?"

---

Kite's grin faded as Cyanide asked after Annabelle. "Um, yeah, no, she's not on our team," he said, clearly uncomfortable. "Dunno what her deal is really, but she has some kind of plan for Aiden and...another Trainer. Keeps going behind her back to arrange things for us, so, I mean, we kinda owe her." He shrugged and grimaced. "Granted, Aiden's stolen stuff from the other Trainer, too, but he was mostly just aiming to get his own journey started. Pokéballs and cash, y'know?" He pawed at the ground, frowning. "Still, feels...wrong if I think about it too long, what that Gothita's doing, but Aiden's starter doesn't want to cross her, so..." He shrugged again, dissatisfied.

---

Dust shrugged. "We can only hope," he agreed a little darkly. Granted, Annabelle had given them a Trainer and a team, but she'd gone behind Melissa's back and paired up her Pokémon without letting Melissa know. His dad hadn't been at all happy about letting him go, but Prince had been...placated by knowing where Dust was, at least. He wondered if Annabelle'd had to change tactics, after Kite's mom apparently refused to do any more Hatchery anything for the Gothita.

He gave himself a little shake and refocused on the conversation when Winter began speaking again. "I get what you mean." Dust nodded. "I've only been Aiden's Pokémon for around two years, but he's already almost gotten choked out and trapped in a console, and I've only been around for one of those! He didn't even have any Pokémon when he got choked out!" He sounded like he would be throwing his hands in the air if he could have. Dust shook his head. "And I know we aren't very strong at the moment, since he's been avoiding highly-trafficked areas like the Daycare Center, so, I can understand why his family's against basically everything Pokémon, but...he's mine, you know? Mine and Tase's and Kite's and--" He cut himself off. "And ours."

Dust wanted to shoot a glare at where Hint was hiding in Aiden's ear cuff, but that would defeat the whole purpose of hiding the Rotom in the first place. Still, it was frustrating when Aiden only had four Pokémon and they couldn't even talk about Hint when the Rotom was practically always present!
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Old 10-12-2021, 01:05 PM   #16
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Keith nodded as Aiden stated that he got it. He then went on to explain that he was sharing an apartment with his brother, who was helping him with the whole being a Trainer deal, even if he wasn't all that happy about it. Worry then flashed across Aiden's face, and he hastened to turn away to hide his expression. His elicited a look of concern from Keith, who hadn't failed to notice this. After taking a sip of his drink, though, he managed a smile, and continued on to say that his brother was the best, even if he was annoying sometimes. "Heh, yeah," Keith nodded. "That's good, yeah. Not happy about you being a Trainer, though?" he added. "I mean, I tend to see the whole Trainer deal being encouraged. My daughter, in fact- me and Willa are both pretty good Trainers ourselves, so we were always ecstatic that Maribel always wanted to be a Pokémon Trainer," he smiled. "Honestly, we didn't even find it too surprising that that's what she wanted, considering she grew up around all our Pokémon. Willa even gave her her Phantump last Halloween and he evolved into a Trevenant- that Phantump had been basically like an older brother to her growing up."

~~~~~

Tase was in awe at the story so far, and most unsurprisingly, was hungry for more. And after another drink of milk, Meowth was happy to oblige. "Well, it was Keith who had sometin' ta say first," Meowth responded. "He'd had his say, told her dat da villagers loved her, pleaded dat she don't punish dem... Now, as we was approachin' da pink Volcarona, dis figure, dis human-lookin' figure appeared above her, dis bein' Pele's actual form. And once Keith had had his say, Pele... well, she weren't impressed, ta say da least," sighed Meowth. "She revealed sometin' ain't none o' us saw comin'- she weren't da one ta yoink Keith outta da present and bring hiim dere. We wasn't chosen by her at all. She called us out fer presumin' ta know da local ways when we was just outsiders, and told us nuttin' would change. And, well, speakin' as someone who knew da fate ta befall da last volcano deity who undaestimated Keith Masters, I knew wat was comin' next," stated Meowth. "Lemme tell youse sometin' about Keith Masters-
da man keeps his promises. And he'd promised ta help da villagers trough dis. He saw saw only one way forward from dere, so he sent out his Heatmor and started ta battle Pele."

"Naturally, Ieni was shocked ta see dis," Meowth continued. "I went back ta explain da situation ta dem. Keith tells me Pele was complimentin' both hisself and Kyle- dat's da Heatmor's name-, which neitha o' dem was expectin'. And da battle weren't just against Pele, eitha- dose otha Larvesta and Volcarona, dey was gettin' in on it ta defend Pele, so it ain't looked like da best odds fer Kyle. But Ieni was tellin' me dat da way he saw it, Pele weren't refusin' ta stop the eruption- it was dat she couldn't. She needed da festivals and watnot- not fer some ego boost, but fer energy, like humans need food and water, or like youse needs electricity," he said, gesturing to the Joltik. "So I runs out ta Keith ta make him call off da battle, told him wat was wat, and he had Kyle back down, had me ask Ieni if dere was anytin' he could do, any ideas at all. Pele ain't thought nuttin' would work, so she told Keith ta give dat necklace ta Ieni, so dere'd at least be a survivor ta rememba all dis, so dat nuttin' like it'd happen again. But Keith weren't about ta just give up. He ain't like dat," Meowth stated, with a tinge of admiration in his tone of voice. "Ieni had dis idea dat healin' Pele's Pokémon body might powa her up enough. So he sent out his Stunfisk, his Toxicroak, and da Feraligatr he used ta have. All o' dem know moves wat can heal someone else, so he had dem try deir best. But, much as Pele appreciated Keith's determination, it weren't doin' da job. Looked pretty bleak fer da moment, da volcano started eruptin', it was da beginnin' o' da end..."

Meowth took a deep breath... and smiled. "...and dat's when Celebi showed up."

~~~~~

Kite was obviously uncomfortable talking about this, clarifying that the Gothita wasn't on their team, stating that she had some sort of plan for Aiden and some other Trainer. "Hm," murmured Cyanide. "Yeah, I guess I get it," she shrugged. "Even if you don't know what the whole idea is, if it's been working out OK for you so far, I get not wanting to look a gift Ponyta in the mouth. Hey... Kite," she added. "I can tell you're not exactly thrilled about talking about this, and I get that, and I'll be glad to change the subject, but before I do, I just got one more thing to ask, pretty much to satisfy my own personal curiosity... this Gothita got a name that you know of?"

~~~~~

As the conversation steered away from that of the Gothita, Dust went on to talk about the dangers Aiden had already gotten himself into. He seemed to stop himself at one point, though- almost as though he had been about to mention somebody he shouldn't have, is the feeling the Cryogonal got, though he wasn't really all that sure how to address that, or even if he should, so he instead decided to ask something else he was wondering. "It seems like you're all very close, that's really nice," said the Cryogonal. "Who, um, which of you is Aiden's starter?" he asked.
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Old 10-14-2021, 02:17 AM   #17
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Aiden nodded. "Yeah, that's how I hear it is for most people," he said, idly rotating his drink. "And, y'know, you don't hear about too many people getting hurt while adventuring...unless you go looking." He shrugged. "And I guess my parents found too many of those kinds of stories and it scared them when we were young, so they basically said we weren't allowed to until we were legal. At which point they couldn't do anything anyway, so." He shrugged again. "Mike never thought about it himself, but we're the only ones living here, so I guess he feels responsible if anything happens to me."

---

Tase's main eyes widened when Keith approached the pink Volcarona, relaying his experiences with the villagers and begging her not to punish them. They widened even more when Pele remained unmoved, saying she wasn't the one to bring them to that time and calling them out for assuming they knew the local traditions. She also said nothing would change. Which, of course, prompted Keith to battle her. And not just her; the Larvesta and Volcarona leaped into battle, as well, probably surrounding Keith and Kyle on all sides.

Their guide was, understandably, shocked by their actions and told Meowth how Pele needed festivals for energy, which had Meowth running back to Keith to stop the battle. Keith did and asked Ieni for ideas on how to help Pele, but the volcano goddess didn't think there was anything they could do. She tried to get them to brace themselves, but instead Keith sent out his Pokémon to try to heal Pele to give her energy. Unfortunately, it didn't work and the volcano started erupting, only for Celebi to arrive.

At which point, Tase gasped. "A volcano goddess and a Mythical Pokémon? That's amazing! Oh, oh! So, it was Celebi who brought you to that time?"

---

Kite nodded at the gift Ponyta analogy. "Yeah, you get what I mean." He then shifted his weight warily as Cyanide wound up for one more question, bracing himself for who knew what, but she only wanted to know the Gothita's name. Taken aback, Kite blinked. "Uh, yeah, I know she's got a name. I don't think I've personally heard what it is, though." He tilted his head. "Something-bell, I think."

---

Dust froze, thoughts immediately scattering in panic as he scrambled for an answer that wasn't the truth. He'd mentioned Kite and himself had both come from the Hatchery; could he name Kite? Would it be weird that Aiden'd managed to get a Pokémon from the Hatchery when his family was against him being a Trainer? It would probably be too suspicious.

Tase then? He glanced over at the bar where the Joltik was staring wide-eyed at whatever story the Meowth was telling. Could work. He didn't think he'd mentioned where Tase had come from yet. Except...it just felt wrong to claim Tase was Aiden's starter when Kite predated him and they'd agreed to pretend it was Kite.

Dust fought the urge to growl. This would be so much easier if he could just--he paused and frowned. It wasn't the fact that Aiden had a Rotom that was the issue; it was where the Rotom had come from. And Winter hadn't even asked what Aiden's starter was; he'd asked which of them it was!

Relieved that he'd found a way to answer that hopefully wasn't too suspicious, he said, "None of us, actually. I'm not entirely sure where his starter's at at the moment, but it decided not to come along." He glanced over at Aiden. "I think it decided that if Aiden wanted to make a fool of himself, he could do it on his own time."

Aiden turned and rolled his eyes at Dust after a moment, prompting the Vulpix to grin. Hint had probably deliberately let that translation pass, so it could laugh at Aiden's reaction, too.

Dust turned back to Winter, registering the earlier comment. "Oh, yeah, we kinda have to be. The apartment we're sharing isn't very big, especially with four Pokémon and two humans sharing the space, and with how Aiden's family is about being a Trainer, we're pretty much all we have."
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Old 10-14-2021, 07:41 PM   #18
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Keith nodded in agreement. "Yeah, my experience, you don't typically find trouble unless that's what you were looking for in the first place. That's not to say I've never ended up in some insane situations without really looking for such a thing, but that's really more the exception than the rule." He listened as Aiden explained his parents had most likely heard a few too many such stories, and were scared into forbidding their sons from becoming Trainers until they were legally adults- which is to say, for as long as they legally had any say in the matter. "Wow," he murmured. "I mean, I'm a father myself, I can get it somewhat. Hell... I dunno if you know about that eldritch champion raid last Halloween, it was this freaky Lickilicky? My daughter took part in that, it was her very first raid battle, and I'm not gonna lie, I was more than a little worried," he chuckled. "But you know what? I'd have been way more worried if she didn't have her Bagon with her- that was her starter, and it was already a force to be reckoned with even back then. It actually evolved into Shelgon once they'd taken down the Lickilicky, and it's a Salamence now, easily her strongest Pokémon. And that's just it, really- the sort of dangers Pokémon Trainers can get into, they'd be a lot more dangerous if we didn't have our Pokémon by our side." He turned to smile at the various Pokémon of his around the Bar, before turning back to Aiden. "You got some cool Pokémon there," he added. "Used to have an Alolan Vulpix myself, in fact. They your only ones so far?"

~~~~~

Meowth nodded at Tase's question. "Yep," he replied. "Weren't dat hard ta figure out, neitha. I mean, time travel, Celebi... Honestly, in hindsight, can't believe we ain't thought of it soona. Dis weren't even Keith's first run-in wit Celebi, eitha. So, Celebi's offerin' Keith its hand, and Keith's askin' if we can save 'em. Da villagers," he stated. "And den, anotha Celebi shows up. Well, I say anotha one, but we's tinkin' it's more likely it's da same Celebi from different points in time," he added. "Da first one ain't seemed ta recognize Keith, so he tinks dat one came from before da first time he met it, while da second one seemed ta recognize 'im straightaway. Scolded da first one about just sendin' people trough time witout givin' 'em a fightin' chance ta change sometin'. So dat's why we was dragged inta da past- at complete random," Meowth chuckled.

"But da second Celebi ta show up gave us a chance ta do wat we'd set out ta from da start- ta save da villagers," he continued. "Sent us back far enough in time so dat we could warn da villagers, tell 'em wat's wat, try an' get 'em off the island before da volcano blew. A tall order, yeah, but da ting is, ya spend enough time around Keith Masters, ya get ta tinkin' dat anytin's possible," he shrugged. "And Celebi promised ta get us back to our own time period aftawards, so we had dat goin' fer us. So anyways, we got right inta it. Keith made sure we was all out o' our balls now- dat's me, da Heatmor, da Feraligatr, da Stunfisk, da Toxicroak, and da Tentacruel we rode inta Cortoza on in da first place. Gold and Aquarius, da Feraligatr and Tentacruel, dey went out inta da sea. Dere were all dese Lapras, Wailmer, and Wailord, and we was tinkin' dey'd be perfect fer evacuatin'. Da rest o' us, plus Sunfire- she'd been sent back wit us too- we tried ta get da villagers on board wit da plan. So o' course, tings weren't dat simple," he sighed.

"First off, me and Sunfire had ta step in and reassure dem dat da Heatmor, Toxicroak, and Stunfisk dey ain't neva seen before were indeed wit Keith," stated Meowth. "And den some o' dem was like, 'ain't we just seen youse goin' up da mountain?', and 'where's Ieni?', and all dat. So, Keith had ta make anotha speech on da spot, wit me translatin', naturally, and he chose ta tell 'em da truth- dat he turned out ta not be Pele's chosen one, dat he was sent back in time by Celebi, dat Ieni was fine because he had dat necklace, and dat Pele truly couldn't stop the eruption. Anotha objection dey had was dat dey was people o' fire, not water, so evacuatin' to da sea ain't exactly appealed ta dem, so we had ta really stress it was eitha da sea or literal death. Dat seemed ta do da trick," he stated. "He wrapped dat up by statin' how tankful he was fer deir hospitality thus far, and dat he wanted dis ta be his way o' returnin' da favor. Dis did da trick fer da most part, and den Chief Kupa'alani stepped forward- da man was seein' sense, he reminded his people dat Keith had been doin' nuttin' but his absolute best ta do wat was asked o' him eva since he arrived, and so he fer one believed us. He had a request fer Keith, though- da priestesses. Most o' dem was older den da chief and about as stubborn as... well, as Keith!" Meowth chuckled, gesturing with a paw to his Trainer. "And lemme tell youse, between his sister and his daughter, I'm convinced it's a Masters family trait," he added. "But yeah- da priestesses was convinced dat prayin' ta Pele was da way out. O' course, we knew betta, but we had ta convince dem o' dis now," Meowth chuckled. "Oy."

~~~~~

Cyanide's eyes bulged at the partial answer Kite was able to give. "Son of a Barboach," she murmured. "Annabelle, by any chance?" she asked. "Cuz I don't wanna get your hopes up over potentially nothing here, but the way all this is lining up, I might know some of your mom's teammates," she stated. She thought back to the conversation she'd had with Eve all that time ago. "...you said your buddy's dad walked him over, yeah?" she asked. "This dad a Houndour by any chance?"

~~~~~

Dust did not immediately respond, trying frantically to think of a response that did not expose the Rotom's presence. Winter looked a bit confused at this- he'd thought it was a pretty simple question, himself. At last, Dust responded, stating that Aiden's starter was something else entirely, having elected to sit this whole thing out. The Cryogonal was still curious, especially considering he still didn't know exactly what the starter in question was, but for the time being he decided he could just drop the subject, he clearly wasn't too comfortable with it. He nodded as Dust stated that he, his teammates, and their Trainer were basically all they had. "So you're basically a little family of your own," murmured the Cryogonal. "I've heard stories of when Keith was just starting out as a Trainer, he wasn't too different in this regard. His parents were a lot more supportive of him being a Trainer, but they also live in the Hoenn region- Keith traveled out to Fizzytopia when he started as a Trainer because he knew that's where his sister had grown up, and he wanted to find her. Also, he... wasn't exactly the best at making friends back then, I hear. So for a good long while, it was just him, Gemini back when he was a Koffing, and James back when he was an Oddish. And Hebenon, his Qwilfish," he added.
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Old 10-18-2021, 08:27 PM   #19
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Aiden nodded as Keith spoke about how worried he'd been when his daughter went up against the Halloween Lickilicky last year, but how he'd been reassured by his daughter having a Pokémon to protect her. "Makes sense. And you're a Trainer yourself, so you know how having Pokémon with you can help." He shrugged and tilted his head, smiling a little because he was pretty sure the next thing he said was going to shock the Poison-type specialist. "No one else in my family's had Pokémon before, at least that we know of, and my parents never really concerned themselves with them until me and Mike started asking if we could be Trainers when we grew up. Pretty sure they about had heart attacks when they started doing research into what Pokémon were capable of," he reminisced, taking another drink.

Aiden turned to look around the Bar as Keith turned his attention that way and nodded at his question. "Yup, pretty much. Kite and Dust, the...Growlithe and Alolan Vulpix, drive Mike crazy with how their fur kinda gets everywhere and Tase makes him nervous with the whole Joltik-eat-electricity thing, but they're mine and I don't like leaving them in the Pokéballs for too long, so." He shrugged. "He deals."

---

Tase stared at Meowth in awe. Twice? His trainer had encountered Celebi twice? And two of them the second time? Not to mention, they got sent back in time twice, too!

Of course, the tension started building again after the second jump back, since they were now on a deadline and they wanted to save everyone. Keith pulled out all his Pokémon to try to speed things up, but ran into problems with the locals. First, they had to be vouched for. Then, people noticed that Keith had returned, but Ieni had not. Keith gave a speech to clear things up, only for the villagers to not want to head towards the water. At least the chief backed him up, though he also asked Keith to get the priestesses out, too. And, based on Meowth's words, that hadn't been easy either.

"Wow, that must've been hard," Tase said thoughtfully. "And annoying. But two Celebi?" The Joltik almost vibrated in place. "Two Celebi? That's so cool!"

---

Kite blinked and wondered who she'd spoken to to recognize Annabelle from just a few, vague comments. "Uh, yeah, I think so?" He tilted his head. "Sounds about right to me." He then lit up and leaned in, eager to hear anything he could about his mom. "You do? How's she doing? Is she okay? I haven't heard anything about her since I came to Aiden, but I've been hoping I'll see her soon." He impatiently nodded as Cyanide asked about Dust's dad. "Uh-huh. Pretty sure that's right. I didn't really get to meet them when they first came to Aiden, but he smelled like Houndour when he arrived. But, anyway, my mom?"

---

Dust nodded and listened as Winter spoke of Keith's beginnings, relieved to have hopefully gotten past the Cryogonal's question without being too suspicious. "Hebenon...that's the famous Qwilfish, right?" He tilted his head in thought, tail waving gently again. "I didn't expect him to have had him for that long, but on second thought, it makes sense."
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Old 10-18-2021, 10:35 PM   #20
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Keith nodded as Aiden remarked that Keith being a Trainer himself put him in more of a position to know firsthand how having a Pokémon by one's side could help. Then he revealed something astonishing- nobody in his family, at least to his knowledge, had ever had Pokémon before. "Nobody?" Keith repeated, incredulously. "Wow... That's, that's hard to imagine, with just how prevalent they are in the world, y'know?" he said. "Then again, I grew up in a small town in Hoenn that's home to one of the region's Pokémon Gyms," he shrugged. "Just about everyone in Lavaridge Town has Pokémon. My parents- Dad's been a firefighter for a long time, and he's got this Blastoise he's had since before I was born," he smiled. "Part of the reason I was so willing to train up a Squirtle when I got one, for that matter," he added. "Also, he and Mom now have this Abomasnow I used to own, too. Sent him to them for Christmas one year. And my grandmother," he chuckled. "Grandma Masters is better known around town as the crazy Wobbuffet lady of Lavaridge," he grinned. "She's a sweet old lady, though. She keeps a bunch of Wobbuffet in her house, and they're a lot of fun, too. She'll give out Wynaut Eggs to Trainers that pass through town, even sent me one for my birthday one year. But yeah- Pokémon's always been a big thing in my family, is my point," he added, sounding somewhat sheepish as he realized he'd caught himself before he could steer the conversation too far off course.

He nodded as Aiden confirmed that the Pokémon they could see around here were all he had for the moment, chuckling good-naturedly as he talked about Kite and Dust's fur getting everywhere. "I know how that goes," he remarked. "Pair of Mightyena, a Skuntank, the pair of Ninetales I used to have, even that Flareon of mine. Honestly, the house wouldn't be nearly as clean as it is, or at least not as frequently, if I didn't have such a well-trained Swalot. They'll eat anything, and that's not an exaggeration." He didn't have as much input on Tase's, ahem, shocking diet, not really having any experience with such Pokémon himself, but nodded all the same. "Fair enough, not leaving them in their balls for too long," he stated. "Comes down to what the Pokémon prefers. Most of mine are fine either way. Meowth over there is one of the exceptions- hates going into his ball. He'll deal if it's an emergency, of course, like if I have to withdraw him to get him out of a dangerous situation for like a few seconds, or if the conditions are ever such that he'd be safer in the ball than out of it. Thankfully, neither of those come up especially often, though," he stated.

At that point, however, his PokéGear started ringing. "Oh! Hold on a sec," Keith added as he dug the device out of his pocket. "Hey," he smiled, holding the device up to his ear. "You still waiting at the Pokémon Center?" He blinked in surprise. "That long ago?" he replied. "It shouldn't be that long of a walk, is everything OK?" The look of concern melted away almost at once. "Ahh, yeah, that'd do it," he chuckled. "What was it, one on one, then, if they already finished? What'd the guy use? A Delibird? Interesting, yeah. So what'd our girl use? I'm guessing either Pignite or- well, Ok, yeah, good point, Fighting, Flying, not the best..." he conceded with a chuckle. "So, uh, how'd- wait, really?" he said, grinning widely. "Oh, that's great! I'm so proud of her," he said. "So, I'm guessing that's the first thing she'll be sending out when you two get here, then?" he asked. "Heh, yeah, obviously indeed," he nodded. "Alright, OK, see you then, dear." And he hung up. "Ahaha, sorry about that," Keith said to Aiden. "My wife and daughter finished up at the Pokémon Center, actually left for here a little while ago. They'd have been here sooner, except Maribel got challenged to a battle. It was her Magby against the guy's Delibird, and..." he trailed off, chuckling. "You'll see when they get here," he said.

~~~~~

"Yeah, in hindsight, dat was pretty cool," Meowth nodded. "A little hard ta appreciate when yer fearin' fer yer life, though," he added fairly. "But yeah- afta dis, we heads off to da shrine, da same shrine where dey found us in da first place. We got dere just in time ta see most o' da priestesses get up and join the evacuation." He gave a sigh. "Most o' dem," he repeated. "Da same one from earlier, no less, Delphox and all. He tried talkin' sense inta her, wit me doin' da translatin', o' course, and Kyle, da Heatmor, he stepped in and started tryin' ta talk sense inta her as well. He's kinda got a history wit losin' loved ones ta volcanic disasters, so dis kinda hit a little close ta home fer him. So o' course dat ain't worked," he groaned. "Da Delphox was tinkin' the only ones wat could make her change her mind was either Pele herself- which was outta da question, she was a bit busy tryin' ta hold back the eruption- or someone wat dat Pele favors. Keith was tinkin' Ieni might qualify, I had ta remind him dere ain't no feasible way we could'a gotten him back down dere in time. We was stumped, so Malfoy, da Toxicroak, made ta pick da priestess up and carry her outside herself. Dis ain't gone ova too well wit her, as you can imagine, but den Delphox stated dat it saw Pele give dat guy a favor," he added, pointing a paw at Keith again.

"And den it hit him- when Pele was tellin' us ta brace fer da worst, she made one o' dem pendants dat da priestesses was wearin'. He took dat out and showed it ta dem, and... da priestess admonished him fer not openin' wit da pendant," he chuckled. "Dat was all da proof she needed and she went wit the evacuation willingly. Tings went smooth from dere," stated Meowth. "Everyone got onta da Lapras and Wailmer and Wailord, but when the earthquake and eruption happened, dere was dis big plume of ash come rollin' out ova da sea, headed right fer us. So Keith told his Tentacruel and Feraligatr ta do a double Surf attack ta fend it off. And we all had backup plans in mind in case it failed, too. But before we could see how it happened, everyting froze in time. Sure enough, dere was Celebi, concedin' dat while he'd given da villagers more of a shot at survival, it really couldn't justify leavin' us in dat time period any longer, fer our own safety. But before Celebi could send us back, Sunfire spoke up, fer da first time in a while. She acknowledged dat she'd only known Keith fer a day, and was wonderin' based on dat, if it was odd dat she felt like she'd miss him. And Tase, I'mma tell youse sometin' about Keith Masters. Dere's a gleam he gets in his eye, ya see it witout fail everytime he gets it in his head ta catch hisself a new Pokémon. Used ta drive me crazy, but now I wouldn't want da big lug any otha way," he remarked admiringly. "By dis point, I ain't even needed ta look at Keith and I could feel dat gleam in his eye. Sure enough, he took out a Poké Ball, told Sunfire he ain't thought it was odd, and offered ta let da Ponyta join da team. Naturally, she had her concerns about da timeline and dat sorta ting, but Celebi assured her dis was fine. Considerin' da current situation, she'd basically be startin' fresh no matter which way she went, so she made her choice, tapped da ball, went right inside."

"Afta dat, Celebi did da ting, and we was brought back to da present," stated Meowth. "But we ain't stopped dere- Pele had told Keith dat she'd wanted ta see him again once he got back ta da present, so dat's just wat we set out ta do. Pele sure looked a lot less haughty once we got back up dere. She started out explainin' dat da favor she granted him would grant him safe passage among da Cortoozan natives, and keep him safe from da heat and fires o' Mt. Pele. Den she did dis ting, which gave it da powa ta teach a Pokémon Lava Plume. Far as I can tell, dere ain't no TM or TR wat dat does dat," Meowth purred. "Keith agonized ova wat ta use it on, before his daughter's Tentacool accidentally made da choice fer him one day. Though, considerin' how well she used da move afta evolvin', I ain't in no position ta complain," he added seriously. "Den, she powered us all up, me and da rest o' da Pokémon Keith had on him at da moment. I even learned Night Slash from dat," he added proudly. "Finally, she was sure dat Keith had further questions, and o' course, she was right- he wanted ta know if da villagers survived, since o' course we ain't seen exactly wat happened. She ain't known everyting herself, but was able ta confirm dat the evacuation was a success. Ieni survived, and the othas even came back ta retrieve him afta he had some Wingull pass on da message. And dat was all da questions Keith had- he looked so relieved and happy when he learned his efforts ta save dem had worked. And da last ting Pele told him was dat should he return ta Cortoza, he just might come across some natives who might tell him dis whole story, not realizin' dey's tellin' it to da guy wat dat lived it," he chuckled. "Oh, Arceus, I hope we do go back dere someday," he purred. "Dat'd be surreal, like watchin' dat documentary on ancient Romma. If youse watches a lot o' TV, Tase, ya might wanna pay attention next time Warrior Masters is on, ya might notice a few parallels," he said, glancing at Keith's Mega Hat. "Suffice ta say, dis weren't our only encounter wit time travel. I'll just say dis- Keith weren't too sure at first when he heard dey got Adam Sandattack ta play da leadin' role, but when he sat down and watched it, he conceded he'd got his character down pat. But gettin' back ta Cortoza, yeah- we headed back home afta dat," he finished. "Ain't been back ta Cortoza since, but Keith and I are in agreement- we'd love ta return someday."

~~~~~

Kite was more than a little excited at the mention of her mother, impatiently confirming that Dust smelled like Houndour upon arrival before steering the conversation right back to the subject of his mother. "Alright, OK, deep breath there," Cyanide chuckled. "First and foremost- haven't met your mom myself, though that weren't for lack of trying- I only met some of her teammates, like who is almost certainly the very Houndour you smelled, as well as a Swablu, a Ralts, a Vulpix- Normal Form, not Alolan, so, like, reddish fur, Fire-type like you, the whole deal- and an Eevee, who'd come to seek advice about evolution for when she becomes a mother herself. But anyways, getting to the point, Eve, the Eevee, she was telling me about this Growlithe teammate of hers, and she friggin' regrets being talked into this arrangement where she don't seem to get a chance to see her kids. And I'm with her on that, frankly- it ain't right. My man, Pom, he knows good and well he's welcome to come visit any time he likes, and he does, and those two are always thrilled to see him," she added with a smile as she turned to look at Eon and Leo. "But yeah- unless this is all one big cruel cosmic coincidence, which I'm thinking to be less and less likely the more we talk about this- then your mother belongs to a Trainer named Melissa," she stated. "Wish I could give you more to go on than that, but I only know what I know, y'know?" She paused, looking at what she still thought to be a Growlithe. "...I really hope you find her," she added softly.

~~~~~

Winter nodded. "I suppose so, yeah," the Cryogonal replied. "I... well, that's how I hear it, anyway, that Hebenon's pretty well-known in this region. I can't say I'd heard of him before ending up on the same team as him. Though a Qwilfish as strong as he is, knowing punching moves, I guess it makes sense that he's not unknown to many," he conceded. "Oh, yes," he added at Dust's last remark. "Hebenon was among Keith's original team of six. Gemini and Mustard, the Weezing. Gemini is the head that was the Koffing before evolving, Mustard is the second head that came to be when Gemini evolved. James, the Vileplume, and Lily, the Venomoth. Those two have been madly in love for many years. They even adopted Six- Keith's Amoonguss- as their child when he first hatched. Hebenon, of course. Nagini, the Arbok. The first Pokémon Keith caught since coming to the Fizzytopia region. She can be scary, but only tries to be when she needs to protect the others- normally, she's very kind and sweet. She's really like a mother to us. And Hedwig, the Crobat. She's more of a loner, keeps to herself mostly, though if any of us do want to talk with her, she doesn't turn us away. Fiercely protective of Keith, though, and the way I heard it, she used to be insanely jealous if Keith ever got ahold of another Flying-type. Keith's six strongest Pokémon, without question."
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Old 10-19-2021, 04:55 PM   #21
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Aiden grinned and nodded wryly as Keith reacted about how he'd expected. It was somewhat unusual not to have anyone in his family with any Pokémon, but it just...wasn't a super common thing where he was from. No Gym League, no Elite Four. Not a lot of Rangers, either, but his town wasn't very big. Easily overlooked in the grand scheme of things, even by Pokémon. Somehow.

"Nono, it's all good," Aiden reassured Keith as he picked up his drink refill. "It's always interesting to hear about other people's experiences with Pokémon, usually 'cause they always start super young. I mean, I'm not entirely clueless on the theoreticals, but the practicals?" He winced. "Steep learning curve there."

Aiden stared a little wide-eyed as Keith explained how he managed to keep the fur from his Pokémon from getting overwhelming. "You can...teach a Swalot to eat that stuff? That sounds...really gross, but I guess if it works..." He shrugged.

"I mean, truthfully, I don't think they care too much either way, but I like seeing them out and about, y'know? Reminds me that I'm actually doing the Trainer thing like I've wanted to for almost my entire life." Aiden turned back to his drink for a moment and then busied himself with it when Keith answered a call.

"Hmm," came Hint in his ear.

"What?" he said quietly, listening with half an ear as Keith cheerfully chatted on the phone with his wife.

"Kite's...gone sad," it said, sounding like it would be frowning if it was corporeal at the moment. "I'm not sure why, but if I had to guess, they're talking about his mom."

Aiden grimaced at the mention of Kite's mom and he took another drink. As far as Hint could find, the Growlithe was still very depressed about having to give up two pups in one year and he couldn't imagine how Kite was feeling about it. Unfortunately, he didn't have anything Psychic to ask about when this whole situation would even out, but it really felt like it was all coming to a head soon.

He smiled at Keith as the other Trainer turned back to him. "No worries. Sounds like she did really well, though. Did her Magby evolve?"

---

Tase conceded that it would probably be hard to appreciate something like two Celebis when you might die. Meowth continued the story, telling how they went to the temple to evacuate the priestesses, only for one to stubbornly remain. They tried to talk to her, but it didn't work and her Pokémon could only suggest getting Pele herself or someone she favors to convince her human to go. Unfortunately, they didn't have either, so Malfoy just picked the priestess up and carried her out.

Tase giggled at the image that brought to mind. He didn't think the priestess or her Delphox appreciated that much. Thankfully, the Delphox had Seen that Keith had gotten a favor and, when Keith flashed it at the priestess, she scolded him for not starting with that.

Things seemed to go smoothly after that...until they got to the water. There was an ash cloud that rolled over the water, chasing after them, and Keith had his Pokémon try to weigh it down with water, but they never got to see what happened because Celebi stopped time and told them it couldn't leave them there any longer. Sunfire said that she'd miss them and Keith offered to catch her. Celebi said it wouldn't matter what choice Sunfire made, so she decided to go with them back to the present.

When they got back, they went to visit Pele again, who rewarded them with protection, the move Lava Plume, power, and answers, if they wanted them. Keith asked after the villagers and was relieved to hear they all survived the eruption, at least. Pele then told them that, if they ever returned, they might hear the same story but from the locals, who'd never expect to be talking to the person who'd saved them all that time ago.

Tase grinned and skittered in circles as Meowth wrapped up the tale, mentioning that this wasn't their first experience with time travel. They did, however, hope to head back someday.

"Wow! That was so cool!" Tase cheered. "Time travel and Celebis and a volcano goddess! And then another time travel! Didja guys ever figure out how far you went back?" He stopped and turned back to Meowth. "Oh, and the ancient Romma thing! Was that when Dialga's Gate was open? I heard Mike kept Aiden at home a lot while that was happening!"

---

Kite nodded impatiently as Cyanide disclaimed meeting her directly, naming Dust's dad, Melissa's Cirrus, Tempest, Hex, and Eve as the ones she'd actually met. Eve had apparently told Cyanide that his mom really regretted letting him go, without even knowing where he'd gone.

He whined, low and quiet, hurting for his mom, especially when he saw the expression Cyanide turned on her two kits. Would his mom have looked at him like that? He knew she hadn't wanted him to go, but it sounded like she was still hurting over that decision.

Kite nodded again sadly. He scraped lightly at the floor with his nails. "I kept hoping she'd be alright after a while. Since I'm mostly alright, y'know? But I guess it's the difference between knowing where someone is and not knowing where they are." He shrugged, staring down at the floor. "I mean, if I really wanted to, if I just...stopped caring about what Annabelle might do, I could just...go see her, but at least I know where she is and we can hack the cameras to see her sometimes."

He continued picking at the floor for a few moments before he realized something about what Cyanide said. His head snapped up and he stared at the Umbreon. "Wait, 'kids'? As in, multiple? I have a sibling?"

---

Dust nodded. "That's what I've heard. That a Trainer's first six are, well, special in a way." He glanced over at Aiden. "There's four of us now and I know there's an Aerodactyl he's hoping to one day capture, but I dunno if we're ever gonna get a sixth. He turned down the Porygon we ran into on the last adventure, but, to be fair, none of us were very happy with Porygon by the end of that."
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Old 10-19-2021, 08:58 PM   #22
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Keith chuckled as Aiden reacted to the mention of his Swalot's unique method of helping out with the cleaning. "No, no, you kinda got it backwards," he grinned. "It's not that I had to teach Crabbe to eat that stuff, it's that I had to teach him to not eat basically everything else while eating that stuff. It's not just that a Swalot can eat anything, it's that they wouldn't mind eating anything. I have literally seen that Swalot of mine voluntarily consume blocks of solid concrete topped with ranch dressing," he chuckled. "Hell, some years back, I took a job to help clean up the old park, it was loaded up with garbage. So, basically, I got to give my Weezing, my Muk, my Garbodor, and my Swalot several days' worth of what they see as gourmet feasts, and I got paid for it," he grinned. He nodded as Aiden clarified that he didn't really think his Pokémon cared about being in the ball one way or another, that he himself just liked to see them out and about, but before anything more could be said, Keith had a phone call to take, during which Aiden had a brief conversation of his own, one which Keith hadn't picked up on, so busy was he with his own. He grinned and chuckled, but before he could answer Aiden's question, the door opened up, allowing the mother and daughter duo to enter. "Well, hey," Keith smiled as they approached (the Meowstic accompanying them wasted no time going elsewhere). "Glad you two were able to find the place all right," he said.

"Indeed," nodded the woman. "Though before anything else, I believe our daughter has something to show you," she added, gesturing to the 10-year-old girl. She had green hair like her mother, but wore a cowboy hat with a Key Stone set in front of it, just like her father.

"I bet," Keith nodded. "Let's see, sweetie."

And Maribel Masters, beaming with pride, threw the Poké Ball she'd been clutching in her hand since before she'd entered the Bar. "Come out- !" Maribel exclaimed.

In a flash of light, there appeared before them all a Pokémon that, as early as this morning, Keith knew to have been a Magby, and yet, a Magby it was no more, standing proud and tall with a more fiery appearance. "Maagmaaaar!" he grinned triumphantly. Keith took out his Pokédex at once and pointed it at his daughter's freshly-evolved Pokémon.

"Magmar, the Spitfire Pokémon. A Fire-type, and the evolved form of Magby," droned the device. "In battle, Magmar spews intensely hot flames to intimidate its opponent. A common sight near the mouths of volcanoes."

"Awesome," Keith grinned. "And your mother says that that was a pretty intense battle you had on the way, too," he added.

"It sure was," Maribel nodded. "I didn't expect that Delibird to know Water Pulse!"

"A smart Trainer tries to find ways around disadvantageous type matchups," stated Willa.

"Well said, dear," Keith nodded. "Ah- but where are my manners?" he added. "Willa, Maribel, this is Aiden. Aiden, this is my lovely wife Willa, and our daughter, Maribel.

"A pleasure," Willa said with a nod to Aiden.

"Pleased to meet you," added Maribel.

"Maaagmar!" Magmar chimed in.

"And I would introduce my Meowstic as well, but..." Willa trailed off, giving a soft chuckle as she saw where the Psychic-type was headed. "...she has her own priorities at the moment."

~~~~~

"Ain't neva found out exactly how far back, or at least I neva did- if Keith found out, he neva told me, but at da same time, I feel like he'd tell me," stated Meowth. He nodded at Tase's other question. "Yeah, dat was da one," he replied. "And I don't blame dis Mike fella, eitha- dat was kind of a dangerous time all around. So o' course dis big lug wants ta go and check it out, see how he matches up against da tough Pokémon Trainers o' da past. Not too shabbily, as it turns out. Den one ting led to anotha, and before we knows it, we's rescuin' an Electivire and her Tyrogue son and helpin' ta expose da brutal practices in da Romman Colosseum. Guy even caught da Tyrogue and all, though it ain't his no more- Ahhh, as if on cue!" he purred, for that was when Willa and Maribel walked in. "Yeah, he ended up givin' Tyrogue ta his wife, and he evolved inta Hitmontop when we was up against dese... ugh," he shook his head. "Well, neva mind dat, anyways- Oh! Aha!" he grinned as a familiar Psychic-type made her way atop the counter to where Meowth and Tase were. "Hey, dere," grinned Meowth, embracing Meowstic warmly.

"Hello, Meowth," Meowstic responded softly. "I apologize for our lateness- Maribel ended up being challenged to a battle, and... well, you'll see in a second."

"Eh?" Meowth replied, turning to look in the direction Meowstic indicated, just in time to see Maribel send out Magmar. "Wat da- Magby evolved?!" Meowth smiled.

"Indeed," nodded Meowstic. "Ah, so, um, who is your friend?" she added, glancing at Tase.

"Ah, yeah- dis here's Tase," said Meowth. "Tase, dis is da lovely Meowstic."

"A pleasure to meet you," Meowstic nodded politely.

~~~~~

Cyanide looked at Kite as he whined quietly. Right now, her motherly instincts were demanding that she find that Gothita and crush her into a fine powder, but she resisted. She nodded at what Kite said next. "Yeah," she agreed quietly. "Like... I wouldn't give up Eon and Leo for the world, but if, Darkrai forbid, there was ever some sort of circumstance in which I'd have to... I'd be happy to at least know that they're with a loving Trainer." She gave a sigh. "I'm sorry about all this, Kite. I really am," she murmured. "I dunno when I'm next gonna see any of them, but if I get the chance, you can bet your ass I'll pass on the word that you're with a Trainer you're happy with." Then, the wording Cyanide used clicked with the disguised Zorua, and he asked about it, about the notion that he had a sibling. "Seems like it, yeah," nodded Cyanide. "Though what they're like, or even what kind of Pokémon they are, no clue, I'm afraid," she shrugged. "I-"

"Mom! Mom! They're coming!" exclaimed Eon and Leo simultaneously, running back over excitedly.

"Heh. Took 'em long enough," Cyanide smirked. "Hey, Kite, wanna meet my Trainer's wife and daughter?" she added. "They're good people." She was kinda hoping that this would be a good way to maybe cheer Kite up somewhat.

~~~~~

Winter nodded as well. Keith made damn sure to never show favoritism to any of his Pokémon over the others, always strived to make sure none of them were left out, but if he had to say which of the Pokémon on his team were perhaps the closest to Keith, it would be those six. Plus Meowth and Kyle, if he was being totally honest. Dust then mentioned that Aiden turned down an offer to add a Porygon to his team, but added that in his defense, this was just after an adventure that had soured their opinions on the species somewhat. "Oh, yeah, that would do it," nodded the Cryogonal. "I, um... Does this have anything to do with what you were saying before, about being trapped in a console?" he added. "It- it sounds like a whole computer thing, and I know Porygon have a lot to do with that sort of thing..."


Quote:
What? Magby is evolving!



...

...

...!



Congratulations! Your Magby evolved into Magmar!

*Magmar learned Low Kick!*
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Old 10-23-2021, 12:01 AM   #23
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"I guess that's a perk of training Poison-types," Aiden said, tilting his drink at Keith with a grin. "One man's trash."

When Keith turned to greet the pair of ladies walking into the bar, Aiden turned as well, getting his first look at Keith's wife and kid. Maribel was a cute kid, cowboy hat matching her dad's and absolutely excited to show him her newest Pokémon. Aiden nodded to himself at the Magmar that materialized. Just like he'd figured. Willa, though, looked formidable and Aiden really, really hoped he never ended up against her.

"Nice to meet you both, Willa, Maribel." He smiled at them, even as Hint sucked in a breath in his ear.

"I forgot. Maribel has a Rotom Phone," Hint hissed. "I dunno if it can sense me, but I can sense it."

Aiden followed Willa's gaze to see her Meowstic heading straight for Meowth. "Ah, it's fine. I'm assuming they're together?"

He knew Hint had a very refined electrical sense--more than other Rotom, Aiden assumed, since Hint could apparently sense neural activity and that wasn't something he'd come across in his research on Rotom--but was it better or worse than a Rotom trained for smartphone and Pokédex work?

He supposed they were about to find out.

---

"Aww, weren't you guys ever curious?" Tase pouted before his main eyes widened as Meowth segued into another story. This time, Keith went through Dialga's Gate and ended up in ancient Romma to battle ancient Romman Trainers. Of course, in true Trainer fashion, he ended up rescuing an Electivire and her Tyrogue son and revealing the brutal practices of the Romman Colosseum before catching the Tyrogue and gifting him to his wife. The Tyrogue later evolved into Hitmontop, but Meowth cut himself off before he told that story.

"Awww," Tase repeated, quieter than before because Meowth was hugging a Meowstic. He looked happier, now that she was here, so Tase figured she was important to him. He did turn to see what Meowstic was pointing out, but he only saw a Magmar, though it sounded like he'd only just evolved. With a shrug, Tase turned to Meowstic and waved a foreleg as Meowth introduced him.

"Hi, Meowstic! Nice to meet you!"

---

Kite nodded morosely, flashing Cyanide a grateful smile at the Umbreon's offer, but before he had to scrounge up some words, her kits excitedly heralded Keith's family's arrival. Cyanide offered to introduce them and Kite shook himself from nose to tail, getting to his feet with a bracing breath.

"Yeah. Yeah, sure. I'd like to meet them," he said with a firm nod. And if it brought him back to Aiden, well, two birds; he could use some cuddling at the moment and he wasn't afraid to ask for it.

---

Dust briefly bared his teeth at the reminder, before he shook himself and forced himself to cover them again. "Yeah." He breathed in and nodded at Aiden. "Aiden wanted to get matching Pokéballs for the team, so he headed to the Foundry in New Fizz City to see if he could make some. While we were there, he installed some kind of package on a new device that ended up sucking us into the machine. Through a...series of events, we found out that there was a Porygon inside the machine who'd been taken over by malware and it asked for our help in the middle of our battle against it." His voice went sour. "After we'd had to jump through hoops just to regroup." He shrugged stiffly, still angry, but calming down. "Obviously, we were successful, but none of us were really happy when it wanted to join us, once we managed to escape."
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Old Yesterday, 06:20 PM   #24
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Keith chuckled and shrugged in response to Aiden's remark. "Hard to argue with that," he grinned back. "Though I love my Poison-types all the same. Seriously underrated type," he stated.

Before this could go anywhere else, Keith's wife and daughter entered, with the latter wasting no time in showing off her newly-evolved Magmar, and as Meowstic went right over to Meowth, Aiden made the assumption that the pair of felines were a thing. "They are indeed," Willa nodded with a small smile.

"Yeah, Meowth's never been happier," Keith added.

"Dad, can we bring out our other Pokémon in here as well?" Maribel asked.

"...that depends on which ones you brought, sweetie," Keith stated, glancing around. "I wouldn't risk Bouffalant in here. And if Salamence has had any coffee-"

"I told you, Dad, that was one time," sighed Maribel. "I promise, Salamence has never had any caffeine since then."

"...Alright," Keith nodded. He then glanced up at the ceiling for a moment. Then to the floor, then back to the ceiling. "...I would say no to Tentacruel as well," he added finally.

"Ooh, yeah, good point," Maribel agreed. "Well, for the moment, I know who's gonna want to see what happened at the very least," she added, throwing an Ultra Ball into the room. "Come out- Pignite!"

In a flash of light, yet another Fire-type materialized in the room. "Piiiignite!" snorted Pignite with a grin, a grin that quickly turned to a look of pure shock as the eyes above said grin beheld the nearby Magmar. "PIGnite?!" Pignite exclaimed in shock.

"Mag mag! Maaagmar!" Magmar grinned smugly.

"Piiiig..." seethed Pignite. "Pig! Pig Pignite!" he declared, motioning for Magmar to come at him.

"Oh, no, not in here," Maribel said sternly before her Fire-types could begin brawling in the bar. "If you two are going to have another sparring match, at least take it outside, OK?"

"...Pignite," conceded Pignite with a nod.

"Maaagmaaar," Magmar nodded as well. However, the two began to quietly bicker as they headed outside.

Willa, meanwhile, had chosen to send out one of her own Pokémon for the moment, and from her Ultra Ball emerged a deathly pale Corsola, his coral branches naught but spectral wisps emanating from visible holes in a hollow shell. "Cooooorsola," he gave a distinctly happy ghostly wail as he floated in circles around his Trainer.

Maribel had been looking around, and upon seeing Tase talking to Meowth and Meowstic, tilted her head slightly.. She dug a certain possessed smartphone out of her bag, and held it up, aiming the camera at Tase. "OK, Rotom- whp's that Pokémon?" she asked.

"Joltik, the Attaching Pokémon. A Bug and Electric-type," said Rotom. "Joltik can't produce their own electricity, so they latch onto larger Pokémon to absorb static electricity. Do me a personal favor and never catch one of those."

"Rotom, be nice," Maribel admonished with a frown. At that point, however, Cyanide and her son and daughter had come over to greet the Masterses and Maribel was overcome with giggles at the Flareon and Shiny Eevee jumping up and licking her. After this, she noticed Kite. "Ooh, Aiden, is that your Growlithe?" she asked, now aiming her Rotom Phone at the disguised Zorua.

"Growlithe, the Puppy Pokémon. A Fire ty- wait a minute," Rotom murmured. "Something's off here..."

Maribel narrowed her eyes. "Rotom, I'm warning you," she began. "If this is gonna be anything like the time you read off the Pignite entry for that slightly larger Ninetales-"

"OK, one, that was comedy gold, and two, this isn't even that," Rotom shot back. "I don't think that's even a Growlithe."

"...What?" Maribel said incredulously.

Keith and Willa exchanged surprised looks. "I thought Rotom was leading up to a joke of some sort, but I think it might actually be serious," remarked Willa. "Aiden, is that really a Ditto or something?"

"Yeah, come to think of it, this is more or less how Rotom gets when it's trying to scan a Pokémon that's really just my Ditto after using Transform," Keith nodded.

Cyanide raised an eyebrow at the dialogue between Maribel and Rotom. "...the hell?" she remarked. "What'd you do to get that thing all turned around?" she asked Kite, though with a bit of a chuckle. "Not that I mind, honestly- ain't been fond of that phone since it called me a sweaty nightlight."

~~~~~

"A little curious," conceded Meowth. "Might see if Keith and I can look into it at some point.

Not long after, Meowstic arrived, and brought with her the news that Maribel's Magby had just evolved on the way here. Tase looked to see Magmar as well, then turned back to greet Meowstic, who nodded politely in response. "So, I take it the two of you were talking about something before we arrived, yes?" said Meowstic.

"Yeah, I was tellin' Tase about da time Celebi sent me and Keith back ta da past when we was visitin' Cortoza," Meowth said. "Went a little inta da whole Dialga's Gate adventure afta dat, and youse showed up pretty much when I finished tellin' dat story."

"Ah," nodded Meowstic. "Well, I'm far from surprised- you and Keith have been through many adventures together, I'm certain you had material to spare."

"Yeah, fer sure," Meowth nodded. "Even went a little inta when Tyrogue evolved inta Hitmontop... just a little bit," he shrugged.

"Ah," Meowstic nodded. "I take it you... were not feeling up to retelling that which it would invariably lead to?"

"Ehh, I'm kinda on da fence about it," admitted Meowth. "Probably would be betta now dat it's behind us, but we's still talkin' about a part o' my past I ain't exactly da most proud of..." Meowstic put an arm (front leg?) around him at this point, which seemed to steel his resolve. "...Dat bein' said, Tase, if youse wants ta hear da story, I tink I'm up ta tellin' it," he offered.

~~~~~

Winter squirmed uncomfortably as he realized that asking about that particular misadventure might be a little much, as Dust bared his teeth for an instant at the mention. He went into the story, though, telling of a malware-infested Porygon inside the machine they'd been sucked into, asking for help while battling them. Once they'd succeeded with it all, the Porygon had shown interest in joining them... and considering all it had put them through, Aiden was disinclined to accept. "O-oh," murmured Winter. "Um... I... wow. That... I feel sorry for the Porygon, too, though," he added. "Like... it was only doing that because of the malware, right? I... it sounds to me like you really saved it, too. I, um... don't get me wrong, I- I can get why none of you would want to really, y'know... have it along, after that sort of thing, but... I- I don't know, I'm sorry," he murmured, his innate shyness threatening to get the best of him- this was, after all, strictly speaking, none of his business, and he didn't want his new friend thinking he was trying to meddle or anything.
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