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Old 04-26-2015, 01:42 PM   #26
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The undergrowth continues to erupt with activity, the resounding footsteps evidently drawing ever closer. Panicking, Orlando swipes the young Pikachu into his grasp, making to escape immediately, but something stops him from doing so. Asking the young girl for her name, she calms for a brief moment, a look of confusion coming across her face, but she quickly responds.

"M-my name is ... was ... Lilian. Everyone used to call me Lily for short though. Th-there's no time though! It's almost here!"

Without warning, a shrieking, blood curdling roar pierces the air. The few Pokemon in the surrounding area all create a cacophony of sound as they flee from the unbidden intruder, and a strange form suddenly comes into the edge of Orlando's vision.

The figure was titanic. Easily reaching the size of the nearest trees, the hulking form was clad in tinged purple armour, a viscous fluid leaking from beneath the scales and singing the ground below. Ragged breathing permeates the air, and the monstrosity seems to be sniffing at the air, a hefty head shaking from side to side. With one final, resounding grunt, it takes back off into the dark depths of the forest, seemingly called from someplace unknown. The thunderous footsteps slowly but surely fade into the distance, the only sound to be heard above them the crushing of trees being forced aside like splintered twigs.

The girl stands on stunned, her eyes widened by the sight. Perplexed, she barely manages to stammer out a retort.

"Wh-why? Why does it leave you but butcher me? ... Why?"

Her voice breaks as she stammers out the final words, clearly tormenting her ever further.
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Old 04-26-2015, 03:05 PM   #27
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Lilian... that name rang in Orlando's ears. His mother had bestowed that name upon him - at least, the name of the flower in his mother's native tongue, Azucena, one of a distant land he had only ever dreamed of. His mother had said she had loved white lilies, and that on the day Orlando was born, she saw a single lily through the hospital window, growing among the shards of its broken pot. He felt a twinge of sadness at his mother's memory. But he had little time to reflect as Lily called out, warning of the beast's approach.

A chilling roar rumbled through the air. Screeches of scared Pokémon rang after it, growing distant as they fled. Orlando recoiled and Max's ears twitched. As the plants continued to rustle and snap, Orlando caught glimpse of the monster's shape out of the corner of his eye. He turned slowly towards it, barely able to discern its features in the near complete darkness. Its form was massive and intimidating, oozing from its purplish scales. Orlando stood frozen, but it soon began to lumber back into the thicket.

With the immediate threat gone, Orlando snapped back into the moment. He immediately remembered the Pokédex he had in his case - a rusty old model given to him by a fellow shipmate and retired trainer, which he had wiped clean and registered in his name in Vermillion on a whim nearly a year ago. But before he can even flip the top, the monster was out of sight, avoiding identification.

As the powerful footsteps of the monster faded into the distance, the girl forced out a few pained and confused words.

"Wh-why? Why does it leave you but butcher me? ... Why?"

"I... I wish I knew... But I promise you, I'll make sure this beast isn't allowed to hurt anyone else. I don't know that I can do it alone, but I'll make sure it's done. For now, I think it's time for you to rest. Pikachu will be taken care of, and that monster will too."

Orlando spoke as resolutely as he could manage, but secretly, he had no idea what he was doing.
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:29 AM   #28
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With the vicious beast having passed into the distance, the young girl looks towards Orlando, her face shifting from confused to at peace as Orlando promises to prevent the beast from finishing anyone else. With one final look towards Pikachu, she drops downwards, her spectral arms embracing the rodent for one last time. As she does, her entire form glows with an ethereal beauty, slowly but surely disintegrating and passing on to the next plane. With a stifled cry, the Pikachu shifts in her position in Orlando's arms, looking up towards the young trainer. With a leap, she drops down to the floor, purposefully nudging at the young man's legs.

Out of nowhere, the raspy voice of Marion can be heard once more. Approaching, she bends to stroke the head of the Pikachu. With a toothless grin, she continues to rattle on in her shuddering voice, her eyes piercing the gaze of Orlando.

"It would seem this young one would like to continue on the torch of her previous owner. She wishes to come with you on your journeys. A simple matter, just present her with a Poke Ball - I doubt she will put up much resistance."

Before Orlando can respond, the elderly woman disappears once again, hobbling off into the light fog of the surrounding swamp ...
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:43 AM   #29
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Orlando watched on quietly as the ghostly figure of the girl gave her Pikachu one last embrace. Slowly, she faded, glowing in a warm light as her form disintegrated into the afterlife. Orlando feels Pikachu squirming a little, releasing the mouse onto the ground. Pikachu lets out a soft cry, watching as her trainer's form slowly disappears before her eyes. Once she is gone, Pikachu turns to Orlando and nudges his leg with a melancholic look on her face.

From the thicket, Marion appears again, bending down to caress the face of the Pikachu. She gives Orlando a look, seemingly peering straight through him.

"It would seem this young one would like to continue on the torch of her previous owner. She wishes to come with you on your journeys. A simple matter, just present her with a Poke Ball - I doubt she will put up much resistance."

Orlando looks down at Pikachu just for a moment, but when he looks back up to thank Marion for her help, she's suddenly gone. It's far from the strangest thing he's seen tonight, but it still left a bit of a chill down his spine. For the moment, he fought the feeling, kneeling down to Pikachu's level.

"Is that true, Pikachu? Do you want to come with us?" Orlando asked, "I'm sure Max and I could use a little company..."

He reached around to take off his pack, Max jumping from it to allow him to fish out a Poké Ball. He expanded the apparatus, offering it to the little rodent.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:32 PM   #30
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Upon being asked if she wishes to accompany the group on their journey, the small Pikachu looks upwards towards Orlando, making eye contact before grinning widely. Getting excited, she begins to eject small sparks over the surface of her body, her natural abilities evidently beginning to run a little wild as her mood improves. When she is presented with the Poke Ball meant to house her, she happily slaps her paw into the orb, watching on as the two halves widen and an onrush of crimson energy engulfs her form. Watching on, Orlando witnesses the ball shake once, twice, three times, before finally settling and making the trademark thunk.

Congratulations! You've captured a Naive Level 5 Female Pikachu!

Quickly releasing herself from her Poke Ball, the small Pikachu begins to run rings around Orlando's legs, evidently pleased with her new trainer. As she comes to a stop before the young man, she abruptly begins to glow with a soft golden colour, the remainder of her wounds slowly managing to heal themselves. As the soft glow fades, she looks up towards Orlando, clearly trying to gauge his reaction to her special technique.

It would appear this rather special Pikachu also knows how to use the move Wish!
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:16 PM   #31
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Orlando couldn't help but feel a bit proud of himself - two new Pokémon from absolutely none in barely a day. Of course, these two particular captures were basically lucky breaks, but it was still satisfying nonetheless. He chuckled as he watched his new friend run in circles around him, clearly looking overjoyed to be joining him. When she stopped, Orlando bent down to her level, a little surprised to see her start glowing faintly, her wounds quickly healing themselves.

"Wow," Orlando said with a chuckle, smiling widely and patting her on the head, "that's quite a trick you've got there. I suppose you need a name... perhaps Lily, after your trainer?"

Pikachu nodded and chirped, clearly happy with the new name.

"Lily it is then!" Orlando exclaimed, "Well, Lily... what are we gonna do now?"

With all the excitement now over, Orlando realized that he had no clue where he had ended up... His head felt a little foggy, out of a combination of exhaustion and shakeness. It was practically pitch black, save for some light from the sky above breaking through the trees, and this rather marshy area of the Viridian outskirts wasn't exactly an ideal campsite.

"Oh, right! Paul and Lock!" he remembered, "They must have run off when the beast came about... I suppose we should try to find them, maybe they're back at the campsite... which was um... this way? I thought I left a trail..."

Orlando turns away from the marsh, roughly towards where he remembers coming from. But with the tangle of foliage and the low light it's not exactly clear what direction the site was in. The leaves he had left as a marker had been largely swept away and it was nearly impossible to see them in the dark as it was.

"Guess we'll just head this way..." he mumbled to himself, pushing through the thick of bushes, "Keep your ears peeled, Max, for any sign of Paul or Lock. Hopefully, we can hunt them down so we can crash until morning and make our way to Viridian tomorrow..."

Last edited by Jerichi; 04-27-2015 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:40 AM   #32
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With Lily having showcased her rather special talent, the unlikely three begin to make their way back through the trees, the quickly fading light offering little help as they fight their way through the undergrowth. More than once Lily finds herself tripped by entangling roots, Max quickly on hand to help out. The small Nidoran remains entirely alert as they make their way through the dusky forest, clearly left spooked by the previous encounter with ... whatever had beset itself upon the girl. As the trees begin to fade a little, the encroaching darkness barely fades, leaving the group with no indication as to whether they were any nearer their destination.

No indication, that is, until Paul bursts out of the trees, his breath ragged and his eyes wide. Bullet is soon in tow, the Durant shrieking bloody murder.

"H-holy fuck. Orlando, it's you. By god, did you fucking see it? I didn't get a good glimpse, but by the gods, it looked brutal. Luckily it ignored us, but not before it gave Bullet here a right good scare. Stupid thing went to attack the monster, but that idea soon left his head ..."

Hunched over, Paul manages to steady his breathing, bringing himself to full height and wiping sweat from his brow.

"I was watchin' yer back, makin' sure nothing took you by surprise. Then I ... I saw it. I feel bad fer it, but I bolted then and there. Anyway, the campsite is this way, come on."

With that, he heads off into the undergrowth, more or less in the direction Orlando was walking.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:57 AM   #33
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Following Paul through the brush, Orlando laughs a little, "Nah, it's fine. It was a little hairy there for a moment but I think I handled myself pretty well. And I made a new friend, so that's always a plus."

After not even quite two minutes of walking, they find the campsite again. The campfire is smoldering by this point.

"I think I'm gonna turn in for now," Orlando said, waving to Paul before finding himself a soft patch of ground nestled between two trees.

Swinging his bag off his shoulders as Max hopped out, he pulled out a tightly rolled blanket. It was a little mildewy and a bit ragged, but the Mareep wool was still plenty warm and even generated a little bit of its own heat from the leftover static clinging to the fibers. He tried his best to clear out a little area in the brush to sleep on to keep bugs away, and fluffed up his pack as best he could to make a pillow. Max found himself a little nook in between some roots and curled up, while Lily slumped up against the tree, exhausted.

Orlando lay silently for a moment, adjusting ever so often in a futile attempt to get comfortable. After a moment, he sighed. His first day off the boat and it was already a crazy one. Getting lost in Viridian Forest, befriending not one but two Pokémon, all while being attacked by a ghost girl and a gigantic monster. It felt like some strange fever dream. He thought he had seen ghosts before, but he was always blaming it on something, thinking himself too rational to believe in ghost stories.

He could still feel a little bit of the rocking sensation that he had become accustomed to, still not totally used to being on land. For a moment he considered if he was actually asleep on the boat still, having a very vivid nightmare. He pinched himself just to make sure. No dice.

Out of frustration, he grabbed his pack from behind him and rustles through it, pulling out a raggedy, leather-bound journal and a pen. They had been gifts from the captain when he left the crew, given with the instructions to chronicle his adventures for a good laugh when he made it back. Orlando had a feeling that that wasn't really the captain's purpose, but he figured it wasn't in his nature to tell him that writing things down will make you feel better.

Angling himself to get enough moonlight to see his work, he began to write...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando's Journal
Day 1

I feel like I'm not really the kind of guy to keep a diary or anything, but I'm on captain's orders to keep a record of my travels, so I suppose I have no choice. After all, it might be in my best interest to write shit down so I don't have to just have it rattling around in my head all night. And there's sure as hell been a lot to have rattle in the past 24 hours.

Being on land has already been kind of rough. I still haven't totally gotten my land legs back. It's not that I'm feeling unstable but it was a bit of a shock to get lost within a few hours of setting foot on solid ground. You'd think after a few years at sea, I'd actually be able to navigate worth a damn, but I guess you can't underestimate the crazy terrain changes over the past few years. I guess it was a happy accident, though, I also managed to stumble upon a little Nidoran looking for a bit of companionship. In retrospect, it was kind of stupid for me to leave without a Pokémon, but it must have been fate or something that we happened across each other. I've been calling him Max (short for Maximilian). It hasn't even been a full day but I can already tell that we'll be good partners. I feel like we both sort of found ourselves in similar circumstances and it's pretty fitting that we found each other while both being lost.

Not too long after, we managed to find a couple of guys camping out in the woods - Lock and Paul. They seem to be pretty friendly and allowed us to camp out for a little while. But the craziest thing was when a little Pikachu wandered into the campsite, clearly scared out of its mind and starving. She had been lost herself, but it seems like her circumstances were a bit more dire. She brought us into the swamp near the forest edge and - I kid you not - there was a real live honest-to-goodness ghost that was tried to kill us. Not a Ghost Pokémon. An actual ghost, in the flesh ectoplasm. At first it took the form of a Frillish, but this strange old woman performed some strange magic or something that revealed it to be the ghost of a poor little girl that was eaten by a beast wandering around the woods. I almost didn't believe any of this until I saw the beast for myself, purple and massive and oozing slime. I thought it might be some kind of Pokémon but I didn't get a chance to identify it before it stomped back into the forest...

Man writing that all out makes me realize how crazy I sound. Honestly, though, it all happened. I saw it with my own eyes, so did Paul. I promise that I'm 100% sober. But I can definitely tell you I got something real out of it - my second capture in half as many days. The poor little Pikachu that led me to the ghost used to belong to the little girl. I took her in as a promise to her. I think I'm gonna call her Lily, after her old trainer. She's a bit timid but I think she's happy to not be alone anymore. I'm sure she'll warm up pretty quickly. She's even got a neat technique that lets her heal herself. Impressive, I know!

It's all been so surreal. But I guess some excitement - well a lot of excitement - is probably a good sign. Though, I'm exhausted and still not entirely used to this solid ground thing. And my headaches have been coming back. I haven't craved a drink at all today (though I've hardly had the chance to), so that's progress. I think I'm gonna try my best to make my way to Viridian tomorrow and then make an attempt to get myself to Pewter in the next few days, just to see how it's changed. Maybe I'll even take a crack at a Gym Battle. If my catching streak keeps going as it has, I might be able to front somewhat of a team even.

Well, I guess this whole writing thing worked. I'm feeling pretty tired now. I'll end here for now. Good night!

(Who am I saying good night to? This is just a damn book!)

~Orlando
Satisfied, Orlando shut the pen in the journal, tying it with a little leather string and stuffing it back into his pack. Rearranging it as best as he could, he threw it behind his head again and drifted off to sleep within a few minutes.
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:23 PM   #34
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With his business for the day done, Orlando heads to sleep, despite the ongoing potential for looming danger. His night is thankfully free of any undue interruptions, albeit it a little rough, but as the morning breaks, so does his slumber. Noisily awoken by the movements of Paul and Lock, he busies about the campsite while they collect their things, before it becomes evident that it is time for them to move on. Grinning, Lock comes across, slapping the young trainer on the back.

"Well, would y' look at that. Looks like you got yourself a Pikachu. Rare little buggers, those, make sure you look after her."

Walking away, Lock is quickly replaced by Paul, who looks a little uneasy in light of the recent developments. With a heavy sigh, he stammers out what he was intending to say.

"You didn't happen to catch the name of that girl did you? ... I watched you talking with her, though I daren't approach."
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:30 PM   #35
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Orlando rubs the sleep out of his eyes as the campers begin to pack up their site. He didn't exactly sleep well, but he feels at least somewhat rested. As he hoist himself up from the ground, Lock comes over and slaps him on the back.

"Well, would y' look at that. Looks like you got yourself a Pikachu. Rare little buggers, those, make sure you look after her."

"Yeah," Orlando replies a bit groggily, looking over to the still-sleeping Pikachu, curled up in a corner of roots, "I'm lucky, I suppose. I'll take good care of her - I suppose I promised to anyway."

Lock walks off and Paul soon appears in his place, looking a little unnerved still. After composing himself momentarily, he manages to force out his question. "You didn't happen to catch the name of that girl did you? ... I watched you talking with her, though I daren't approach."

"Uh, yeah, her name was Lilian," Orlando responded as he got to his feet, starting to pack away his blanket, looking a little surprised by the question, "I actually named Pikachu after her. I thought it was only appropriate. Why do you ask? Did you know her?"
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:20 AM   #36
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Upon hearing the name of the girl, Paul looks stunned. Turning towards Lock, he calls the man over, muttering something under his breath. As he does, Lock's face drops, the blood draining from his cheeks. With a heavy sigh, Paul turns back towards Orlando, the atmosphere of the surroundings clearly taking a turn for the sombre. Grimacing, the man looks towards Orlando, before looking at Lily, the small Pikachu tilting her head inquisitively.

"Well, y' see ... we didn't know her. Not properly, anyway. As it happens myself and Lock found our ways down here after havin' came through Viridian. We're trying to help out with th' restoration efforts, y' see. We had family live in Viridian before th' Disasters, so we figured we might as well lend a hand."

The man becomes increasingly agitated, something clearly weighing heavily on his mind.

"The thing is ... when we were headin' through Viridian, so happens that we came across a ... search party of sorts. A man and a woman had gotten things together with th' authorities, seems their daughter had gone missin' ... I think you can see where this is goin'."
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:39 AM   #37
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"A-ah..." Orlando mumbles, a grim look of realization crossing his face, "Well, I guess someone should probably deliver the... er," Orlando struggled for a second to find the words for it, "bad news. At least give them an opportunity to mourn their daughter."

Orlando was never really the best at facing this kind of thing. He had dealt with plenty of death in his short time, but it never got easier. Especially having to tell anyone about the death of their loved ones. His thoughts flashed back ten years for a brief moment, remembering the fretting face of his younger sister Rosa when he was forced to tell her that their parents were never coming back. He ached a bit at the possibility of having to do that again, facing the tears and grief that he would have to deliver.

"That gives me an excuse to make a beeline Viridian, then, if you can point me in the right direction. I'm assuming you two are gonna stay in these parts a while longer? I hope our paths cross again sometime - and keep an eye out for that beast, yeah?"
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Old 04-29-2015, 12:34 PM   #38
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Paul remains dejected as Orlando responds, drawing his hands through his hair and heaving a hefty sigh.

"Yeah. I suppose they do deserve to know. Closure would be good, if painful."

Dropping his arms to his side, he shakes his head, looking back towards Orlando.

"Still. Nothing to be done by moping about. We all go through painful times. They ... make us stronger. Or something."

With that he claps Orlando on the shoulder, forcing a small grin as the young man tells him to keep an eye out for the beast.

"Yeah. Yeah we'll be hanging around here for a good while. Figure we might as well throw our lot in with the Viridian committee, do what we can. Little things, right? Viridian is on that way."

Turning, Paul pauses briefly to motion north from their current position, before continuing.

"And don't worry on the beast front. If we see that fucker again, we'll be sure to be leggin' it. We'll have Bullet remain on high alert, Pokemon have ... funny senses, an' all. Be seeing you round, kid."

With that, Paul signals to Lock, walking off south towards Pallet, evidently looking to try and help curb the advance of the marshlands which had formed there, leaving Orlando to his own.
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Old 04-29-2015, 12:59 PM   #39
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With their goodbyes said and the brothers heading south to help with the rising waters of Pallet, Orlando turned to his Pokémon. "Alright, you two, how about we head into town?"

Max didn't respond, simply climbing up onto his trainer's shoulder with a few quick hops, afterwards burrowing into the top of Orlando's pack. Lily responded with a bit of excitement, leaping onto Orlando's shoulder as well to hitch a ride.

"Let's see if we can't find Lilian's parents first... then we can go take a look around... how 'bout it?"

Lily gave an understanding nod, but Max simply responded with a little twitch of the ears which Orlando took to be tacit consent. With that, Orlando set down the trail once more - this time hoping he actually had an idea of where he was going.
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:03 PM   #40
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With his companions having settled upon his body as a mode of transportation, Orlando once again takes off into the depths of Viridian Forest, this time his goal much more definite within his mind. As he begins to traverse the dense woodland, barely a thing moves, the tranquil peace a jarring contrast from the horrors of the night before. Both Lily and Max stay understandably on edge, their small ears shifting at even the slightest sound of approaching noise, but the rest of the journey is largely uneventful, with the exception of the lush scenery. All seems peaceful with the Forest, and the threesome eventually manage to break from the denser trees, finding themselves in the large clearing now called Viridian.

Despite being a small traveler outpost following the destruction the Disasters brought, Viridian seems to be bursting with life right now, with people shuffling from place to place, the entire place awash with activity. Out of nowhere, a young woman comes up to Orlando, brandishing a small piece of paper. On inspection, it becomes evident it is a picture of Lilian. Frantically, the young woman pleads with Orlando.

"H-have you seen this girl? Oh please, tell me you have."
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:19 PM   #41
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When the frantic woman handed him the flier bearing Lilian's face, Orlando froze for a moment, his stomach sinking. As she asked with desperation in her voice if he had seen this young girl, his mouth dried. He choked out a response.

"I-I have..." he began, swallowing and looking to his feet, "but she..." he paused for a second, considering momentarily what to say. The truth would be too much. They'd just think he was crazy or hallucinating. If her parents were to ever find peace, he would have to lie a little. He just hoped the lie would be white enough to not sit on his conscious. He looked the woman in the eyes, steeling himself "I found her, barely alive. She had been attacked by a beast in the woods and I... she died in my arms... I would have brought her here if I wasn't afraid for my life myself... But I don't think she would have made it even if I did. Y-you can find her remains a ways outside town. You should come across a recently-abandoned campsite just off the path... You'll find her just beyond the bushes near the swamps..."

"I wish I could have helped her more..."
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Old 04-30-2015, 04:22 AM   #42
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As Orlando explains the dreadful end of the poor girl, the woman before him begins to tremble, her hands clasped over her mouth as she stifles short cries of agony. Beckoning Orlando to follow her, she quickly makes her way to a large tent situated near the Pokemon Center, the outside adorned with numerous large fliers of Lilian's likeness. As the group approach the tent, a bustle of activity comes from within, a young lad not far from Orlando's age coming from within. Stopping to take in the sight before him, he quickly puts an arm around the crying woman, his voice breaking somewhat as he talks.

"H-hey there, Abigail. A-are you okay?"

His expression betrays his thoughts, having come quickly to the right conclusion. The atmosphere begins tense, and from within, another pair come, the two clearly much older than the others situated around the site. Both are fairly well dressed, but their attire is evidently suitable for the task at hand. Looking at the sight before them, they drop their gazes, a heavy sense of the inevitable coming across them. As the woman breaks down crying, falling to the ground, the man who is presumably her husband turns to Orlando. His face is stern, but there is emotion in his eyes, a small spark of hope drowned by the preparedness for tragedy.

"Well then. I suppose you've come to tell us you ... found her. Our Lilian."
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:56 AM   #43
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"Y-yes, I, uh..." Orlando stammered, "I found her out in the woods. I'm afraid it was too late when I got there. But..."

He paused for a moment, patting Lily on the head. It was selfish of him to want to keep her for his own. This little Pikachu was the only thing left of their daughter's...

"This poor Pikachu fought for her, tried to fend off the beast to protect her... I think it may have grown attached to her perhaps? She wanted me to protect her and make sure she was safe..."

He took another beat. It had not even been a day, but he felt like he had a duty to protect and care for this Pikachu... but he didn't think he would have been faced with this situation.

"I think you should take her. The Pikachu. I named her Lily after your daughter, but if she belonged to her, it's only fair that you should have her."
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:00 PM   #44
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Lily's father stands for a brief moment, as if turning over the events in his mind, still not wanting to believe that his daughter was gone. With a heavy sigh, he motions for Orlando to follow him, walking into the tent. The inside of the construct is expansive, with a large desk strewn across the center, pieces of paper littering the surface. In the far end a large billboard, dotted with snippets that the searchers may have found useful. Slumped in a chair, the mother, her figure hunched and shaking with sobs. Walking over to his wife, Lily's father pulls a chair up, placing it beside her and draping an arm around her, before turning his face back to Orlando.

"She left home without warning, you see. She wanted to go on a big adventure. We had always intended to let her go at some point ... when she was older. More capable. Able to look after herself."

The last few words are almost choked out of his voice, his composure beginning to slowly break. Lily gingerly edges forwards, nudging his leg with her head as if to try and reassure him. Bending down, he strokes the Pikachu, a small grin finding it's way onto his expression.

"Would you look at this little thing. So removed from our world and yet so caring, so considerate. Just ... like her. It was a fitting name you gave her, lad."

He goes silent for a moment, as if lost in thought, before sighing heavily and lifting himself from his chair. Walking over to a chest placed at the far end of the table, he lifts the lid, shuffling through the contents before finally nodding his head. Walking back ver to Orlando, he holds his hands out. There rests a small wad of cash, totalling $3500, as well as a Sitrus Berry and 2 small, glittering Star Shards.

"Here, lad. It's the least we can do for your troubles. And ... thank you. For being there for her. For bringing us closure."

Moving back over to his wife, he slumps into the chair, his body language defeated and weary. With one final look at Orlando, the man forces another smile.

"And about the Pikachu ... you keep her. It wouldn't be right for us to take her on. We can't do anything for her, we're too old to go journeying. She needs to see the world. See what our Lily couldn't. She deserves much more than what we can offer her. She always wanted to see the world after all, Lilian did."
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:29 PM   #45
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"T-thank you," Orlando replied, looking the man in the eyes as he took the handful of items from him, "I hope I can live up to that and give her Pikachu what she always wanted for herself," he took a beat, unsure what to say now before sputtering out a brief, "Goodbye."

Unable to face the grieving couple any longer, Orlando turned towards the Pokémon Center, making his way in before he had to talk any longer. Finding himself a chair in an empty corner, he crashed into it. Taking a look at his spoils, he briefly considered flinging them away. They felt like blood money. But, he figured it was disrespectful not to accept the man's kindness. Sighing, he opened his pack and, once Max hopped out and onto the chair next to him with Lily, threw the Sitrus Berry in his Berry Pouch and stashed the $3000 in cash in a tattered wallet. He found an extra little pocket sewn into the inside of the pack, slipping the 2 Star Shards into it.

Max hopped over to the arm of the chair, giving Orlando a look. Orlando's face lit up, petting the Nidoran's ears.

"It's okay buddy, that was a little tough, is all. How about we take the two of you to the nurse for a moment just to make sure you're okay?"

Max's ears twitched while Lily gave a quick chirp of consent, prompting Orlando to grab their Poké Balls off his belt, "Alright, back in the balls for now so the nurse can take care of business," he said, withdrawing both of his Pokémon.

Walking up to the counter, he dropped his Pokémon off with the Nurse. Upon registering his ID, she informed him that he actually had some deliveries awaiting him and directed him to the a PC to claim them. It's oddly decorated for some reason, including a banner stating "Happy Holidays from Jeri Co." Jeri Co.? he thought, That's not one I'm familiar with. And "Happy Holidays"? What holiday is it?

Regardless, he scanned his Pokédex, accessing his PC. At the moment it was empty, but before he could survey its emptiness, a message appeared. "Claim your complimentary gifts from Jeri Co.!" it read in gaudy, yellow-green letters. Shrugging, he pressed the box, which brought up a selection screen, showing a number of rotating 3D models of various rare Poké Balls. Without much thought, he picked the Fast Ball simply because he was rather fond of its coloring, a fan of the yellow and black. The machine spat out the Poké Ball into a small dispenser, and he removed the ball, stashing it into his pack. Another screen popped up right after, this one showing four discs, one red, one light blue, one yellow and one white, each labeled with move names, which he recognized as Technical Machines. Without even thinking about it he chose TM Shock Wave, thinking of Lily, but immediately regretted his hasty choice when he noticed that they also offered Hidden Power. Grumbling, he took the disc from the slot, unsure of what to do with it. As if the computer read his mind, it also spat out a complimentary TM Case in which to store it. Shrugging again, he slipped the disc into the convenient case, placing it into his bag.

The selection screens faded out, returning him to his PC menu, but before he could make any choices, another screen popped up, this one also claiming to be from "Jeri Co.". This one, in the same puke-colored text, also wished him Happy Holidays, and resulted in the machine spitting out 5 Star Shards. Once again, it presented him another screen with 3D Poké Ball models. This time he opted for something a little flashier, selecting a Luxury Ball, which it spat out atop the shards. Now thoroughly confused, he pocketed them anyway, wondering what use they even had.

Before he was even finished putting them up, though, yet another popup appeared, this one without a clear sender and with a much simpler message. It was unsigned, but simply thanked him for his service to the region. This offer gave him two things as well, first allowing him to select a TM from a rather sizable list. Although initially tempted to claim the Hidden Power he missed out on before, he was once again distracted by the offer of a TM Iron Tail, selecting that without much further thought. Grabbing the disc as it was dispensed, he put it too into his new case. Once his selection was made, the screen changed, simply stating "Thank you again for your continued service to the redevelopment of the Kanjoh Region. As a reward, you are entitled to 5 Star Shards. See a local Shard Merchant in the nearest city or town to exchange for various valuable items and supplies." This message seemed a little suspect, but he decided not to look a gift Ponyta in the mouth, accepting his new prizes.

With all his gifts dispensed, the screen read, "Check back regularly for further rewards." Raising an eyebrow, he decided that he had had enough, exiting his profile. As he did, the nurse called him over, handing him back his Poké Balls. He asked her if she knew anything about a Shard Merchant, to which she immediately responded by directing him to the nearby Gym. She told him to look for a man in dark clothing just outside, and assured him that he was friendly enough. He decided that would be his next stop, but first he would swing by the General Store, which the nurse kindly directed him to.

Heading to the store, careful to avoid the grieving parents, he made a quick purchase of x2 Potions and x2 Antidotes, totaling $1200, and decided to keep the rest of the $1800 in cash for an emergency. He then made his way to the Gym, quickly finding the Shard Merchant. Deciding to rectify his hasty mistake earlier, he inquired about a TM Hidden Power, which the man just happened to have in stock for 10 Star Shards. Orlando handed over the shards, collecting his new TM, which he stashed away. As he completed his transaction, the merchant walked off, turning the corner and disappearing. Orlando was left a little bit confused by the transaction, still unsure how he suddenly came across this bounty.

Deciding he would just blindly accept these gifts (after all, he could use a bit of a pick-me-up), he released Max and Lily again so he could properly take advantage. "Okay, you two. I have some neat things for the two of you," he started with a smile, pulling the TM case out again, as well as his Pokédex. Scanning his Pokémon, he checked to see if he could use his TMs. Surely enough, he had made some smart choices, as it appeared both were capable of learning them.

While looking up the compatibility, he took a quick look at both of his Pokémon's statistics according to the Pokédex. He was a little disappointed to see that both were a little on the weak side, with Max only level 6 and Lily only 5 (whatever that meant), but was surprised to see that his order of a Sucker Punch was, by some dumb luck, actually a move that Max had knowledge of. Who knew! He was also happy to be able to put a name to the impressive technique Lily had performed the night before, seeing that it was actually Wish. Other than that, though, both of their pools of battle techniques were a little shallow, making him rather eager to get to teaching.

"Alright, so, I somehow managed to win these TMs from some company or something," he explained, presenting the yellow and gray discs, "and I just got this one off a guy for some shiny shards," he now showed the white one, "These are apparently TMs, which will help teach you how to use some new attacks, if you're up for it."

Max's ears stood on end, reflecting his interest, while Lily lept up excitedly.

"First, erm, Shock Wave... How do you do this..."

Taking a look at the case, he found a slot for the TM and inserted it, pressing a button and aiming it at Lily first. A beam of soft light enveloped her, causing her to glow briefly before the case jingled lightly. Lily's cheeks sparked as she tested out her new ability. He tried it as well with Max, who began to spark a little himself.

"Okay, I think that worked. Iron Tail next..."

He swapped the discs, replacing yellow with gray, and aimed the apparatus at them again. Lily was pleasantly surprised as she gained the ability to make her tail light up with a shiny silver aura, though Max seemed a little shocked with his spikes hardened with an iron coating.

"And finally... Hidden Power. This one should be interesting."

Swapping the discs and shining the beam, he imbued them both with a strange new power. Lily gave it a quick test, able to summon small orbs that reminded Orlando of the color of Grass, while Max glowed the same Grassy green.

"Well, then, I'd say that's a success," Orlando stated, "Hm, well, while we're here, why don't we give these new moves a bit of a trial run. How about a quick training session?"

Max twitched his ears again and Lily nodded. "Okay, it's decided then!" Orlando exclaimed before heading into the Gym.
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:29 PM   #46
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His team having received a new overhaul of their move set, Orlando strolls into the Gym, the doors swinging wide open to accommodate the fledgling trainer. As he begins to walk through the expansive building, he takes in the scenery surrounding him. Though most Gyms were freshly renovated following the disasters, Viridian City Gym was ... something else. Sculptures adorn the place, each of them intrinsic and unique, having been crafted with a delicate yet steady and practiced hand. As Orlando finds himself beginning to become somewhat lost amongst the placement of the sculptures, he finds himself approached by a young girl, not much younger than himself. Her hair hangs down fon a long braid drawn over the front of her shoulder, her clothing little more than a simple sundress with a shawl drawn over her shoulders. Her features are somewhat radiant, and her demure smile is inviting and gentle.

"Well, hello there, young sir. What brings you to the Viridian Gym this fine day? The name is Celene, I happen to be one of the newer Gym Trainers around here. Anything I can assist you with?"
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:55 PM   #47
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After finding himself lost amongst the Gym's enchanting sculptures, Orlando happens across a young Gym trainer who greets him on behalf of the Gym. Her name is Celene and though he generally is not one to notice these things, he can't help but be a little struck by her beauty, fitting for a Gym so filled with eye-catching art.

"Oh, hi there, Celene," he forces out, "Um, well, me and my Pokémon were just in the area, and I was wondering if we might get a chance to do a little training to test out some new moves. The three of us just met recently and I thought it would be a good idea to do a few exercises together to get to know each other a little better."

Orlando caught himself subtly flirting. It was far from intentional - almost a reflexive - but he felt a little awkward for giving off what he thought was the wrong impression, blushing subtly under his tan skin.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:18 AM   #48
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Her smile ever abating,Cele seems to brush the flirting off - that or she simply didn't pick up on it. At least, she gives no indication of having picked up on it, her expression not changing in the slightest. Turning, she looks back to motion to Orlando.

"Come on then, this way. I'll show you to our training facilities. Sadly Nando isn't about to give you any hands on experience, but I'm sure I'm more than capable."

As Orlando follows, Celene leads him into a rather expansive room, with numerous training dummies spotted around the area. Each of them seems to be rather exquisitively formed, not unlike the suclptures displayed in the main room. With a chuckle, Celene explains.

"Nando likes all of his Gym Trainers to have some sort of artistic outlet. In fact, I'm one of the people who helped design and create most of these training dummies. They're not quite on the level of Nando's work - they're his in the main lobby - but I'm rather proud all the same."

With that, she beckons for Orlando to follow her to the far end of the room, where numerous target practice rings are suspended in mid air. Next to the rings are a few smaller dummies, clearly suited for a more hands on approach.

"Now, from what I can tell, you have a Pikachu and a Nidoran. For Pikachu, I'd like you to have her use her ranged attacks against these practice rings. It shouldn't be anything too hard, and Pokemon of her type are naturally more comfortable utilising their special based attacks, so this will help her get used to the taxation of them. As for this little guy -"

Celene bends down to begin scratching Max behind the ear, her grin becoming more childike as she does.

"He'll become something a little more physical when he eventually evolves. So I'll have him attack these dummies here. He can do it however he likes, but I would suggest he try focus on the physicality of it. Don't worry about breaking them, they're sturdier than they might look."
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:26 AM   #49
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Orlando was relieved to see no response from Celene to his unintentional comings-on. As he follows her into the room, he's rather surprised by the quite elegantly constructed training dummies scattered around the room. When she suggests using them for training exercises, his first reaction is immediate hesitance. They seem too beautiful to train on! However, with Celene's insistence that they won't break under the pressure of his Pokémon's moves, he decides it's best to just trust her.

"Alright then, let's get working! Lily, how about we try out some new toys? Let's try to hit a few rings at once. Try targeting multiple with a couple Shock Waves. Then, see if you can't aim Hidden Power at a few targets at once. Max, let's try to string some attacks together. Try leading with a flipping Iron Tail into a Peck, then try out a Sucker Punch as a follow-up!"
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:26 AM   #50
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With his orders having been issued, Orlando watches on as his Pokemon begin their work. Shuffling towards the target practice rings, Lily looks towards Celene, and the Gym Trainer gives the young Pikachu an encouraging nod. Grinning, Lily begins to gather her energies, blue sparks pouring from her reddened cheeks. As her body becomes consumed by the flickering lights, she cries into the air, sending numerous bolts shooting outwards. Bounding through the air, the bolts singe some of the rings, though most are left awry. Not off put by her slight lack of control, Lily repeats the move, this time watching on as the majority of the bolts slam into the inner sections of the training structures. With a cheer, she turns to watching Max, who is gingerly approaching the training dummies ...

His ears twitching, Max finally decides to begin, cloaking his stubby tail and the jutting spikes of his body in a shining aura of steeled, grey energies. Rushing forwards, he leaps into the air, performing an awkward somersault and landing a glancing blow on the left shoulder of the training dummy. Not wanting to be discouraged, he quickly turns, rushing the dummy with a horn aglow with dull blue energies. A small nick is put into the intricate clay work, but the damage is minimal, and Max seems overjoyed as he continues his assault, facing the dummy and gathering blackened energies around his left paw. Staying true to the function of the moves, he darts left, looking to strike with the limb, before transferring the energies, pirouetting and crashing his right paw into the body of the dummy. Watching on, Celene cheers, clearly impressed with the work the young Nidoran was putting in.

With a grin, Lily resolves to not be bested by her newest friend, turning back towards her practice rings. Spreading her arms wide, she begins to turn to her hidden potential, unlocking her latent energies and becoming basked in a soft green illumination. Small spheres begin to condense from the surrounding cloak, thrumming into the air and orbiting her body slowly. With her concentration raised to it's peak, Lily sharply cries out into the air, swinging her tail through the air as she does so. Each of the orbs obeys her will absolutely, shooting through the air and hammering into the wooden rings with loud thunks. Bursting in impact, the orbs rupture into a dazzling shower of energy, and having completed their training, both Pokemon begin to shine with a virulent blue energy, seemingly becoming empowered as a consequence. Celene looks taken aback for a moment, before bending down to stroke Lily as a congratulations. With their basic training over, Celen turns back to Orlando.

"Well, it looks like they have the basic points down. Lily is still developing her accuracy, but you can tell the potential is there, while Max has the raw power but is a little shaky on accuracy. How about we mix things up a little? Have Lily spar with the dummies for a short while, with Max taking on the rings? Take them out of their comfort zone a little. There's no guarantee that they'll be left to their strengths in battle."

Lily has grown to Level 7!
Max has grown to Level 7!
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